Friday, December 31, 2010

A busy, busy Christmas

So the Christmas quilt for Colton didn't get done on time, it got very, very close before realizing that I had made some MAJOR puckers & gave up on Christmas Eve Day and allowed myself to let it go & focus on the kids, the house and the cookies ... oh yummy, yummy cookies.The story itself of how it got so prolonged is very long & detailed, full of lost pins, not enough quilting pins & a knight in shining armor going to Wal-Mart at 6 am to buy EVEN more quilting pins on the 23rd & surprising his oh so happy wife with them when she woke up (because let's be honest ... 4 kids, the 23rd of December & Wal-Mart??? Yeah, I'd rather poke my eyes out then go there) ... and in the 11th hour of her attempt, she was too tired, sewed the backing together (in TWO different spots!!!) and left a 3 inch pucker that could NOT be ignored ... tragedy that amounts to a winter blockbuster I'm sure. ;)(The kids left celery sticks for Santa, because they were SURE that he would have a tummy ache with all the cookies the other kids leave him ... lol.)

So, I've spent the last few days slowly un-picking the back, playing on the new Wii with the kids (that Grandma & Grandpa sent ... yeah!) and slowly cleaning up the BOMB that seems to have exploded in our house as a result of it all. And despite my Christmas quilt failure ... wouldn't you know ... Christmas was still a hit. :)
(Colton loving the spiderman costume & other dress up clothes from his Great-Grandparents)

So here's the 25% of the way quilted blanket (sorry for the HORRIBLE lighting ... we are having major snow/cloud storms here today) ... I'm not sure I love it still, but I have never, never, never spent so much time working on a quilt before & that makes it special. Colton keeps telling me it's broken (because of the quilting pins & the fact that the stuffing is falling out on the sides). But I'm going to work on the quilting more today & tomorrow and let him keep it on his bed until someone MAKES me put it away ... because I can. :)

Happy New Years everybody! My goals are to start less projects, finish more unfinished projects (which my husband would love) and to enjoy my family time more.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Can't Talk ... Must Sew

So with all my free time this last week (which is a complete oxymoron ... as any Mom can relate) ... I have been sewing stars ... lots and lots of stars ... and trying desperately to finish the next Christmas Nativity Quilt ... before Christmas!
My goal is almost within reach ... another hour or so should finish the quilt top ... and then I plan on quilting all day Sunday ... hopefully ... since my hubby will be home after church to watch the kids ...
So ... wish me luck! I hope to have a finished or practically finished quilt by Monday! :)
Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thrifty Thursday -New Pillowforms-

I definitely got a lot of odd looks from the gal checking me out at Goodwill. But where else can you get six nice pillowforms for $11.57??? Once they're washed in REALLY hot water I have some fabric that has been taking up room in my fabric room/storage of everything/guest bedroom. Can't wait to show you the finished products! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Fort

So, it's DEFINITELY winter here ... and the snow can last for another 5-6 months (Cheyenne doesn't DO spring we've learned), so the kids are all loving and re-discovering their toys, and inventing things and being artsy and stuff. And they're building forts ... lots of HUGE forts in the front room, which their lovely 19 month old baby brother thinks is fun to immediately knock down.
Not to even mention the mess ... that they never put back away ... from the upstairs front room (since the downstairs is NEVER warm during winter time) ... it was driving us all crazy. So, I took some uber cute fabric that I had picked up to make myself a purse & had just enough to make them a fort ... the dark blue w/ polka dots fits perfectly with their decor, and it was another free & fast/easy project for the boys!
I didn't want it to create a fully darkened/covered fort/cave, but enough that they had a large fort-type area to play in and then we tied it onto the top bunk and there you go! :) Since their room can already get so dark during the winter, the slits of light let in enough light to let them all have fun, without being scared. And I LOVE that all of them can fit inside it now. Project #4 complete ... and didn't cost anything out of pocket again! :)
The kids saw me taking photos, and couldn't wait to get in on the action, it's getting a LOT of play time ... which is what I've noticed is the most ironic thing about toys & kids, the cheap, easy, basic things always get loved the most, I'm so glad they like it. :) **Please excuse the red-eyes ... my computer w/ photoshop will NOT turn on the past few days ... I think it's dead for good this time, ugh.**
BTW - I am in LOVE with the photos I've been able to take the past two days! My parents sent us a camera for Christmas (and told us not to open it until Christmas Eve ... but I couldn't wait any longer!!!) ... oh my goodness, I can't believe the difference between our last camera (which had been slowly dying for the past year or so) and this .... yeah! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Annoying weather!

So, the shelves are still sitting there un-finished. It was so windy on Friday (and I didn't want to spray in the garage ... the fumes spread thru the whole drafty house then), and then it started snowing on Friday night (which was NOT on the forecast on Friday morning) ... sigh ... maybe this week?
So Saturday, I did crafty wood projects with the kids at Lowe's, played the piano at a Nativity/Christmas performance for our local church stake (sooooooo glad that's over!) and did a bit of sewing the past few days. Mainly these ...
my third child still doesn't have his nativity blanket. And he's noticed & mentioned it LOTS over the last few weeks ... so it was high time I get this in gear! Since the other two have such amazing quilting, I wanted his to still feel special too and so I did a scrappy set of squares. I'm not sure I love it yet, but maybe once it's all together it'll look better? Here's the tutorial on how to make the blocks ... today's goal is to finish another four blocks (I need a total of 16 ... and each one is taking me an hour) ... that with homeschooling the kids (and I guess feeding them occassionally) should pretty much fill up the entire day ... and probably most of tomorrow too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Weekend's Plans

Hope you all have a nice weekend! It's supposed to be almost 50 (!!!) degrees here today, so I'm finishing up this WIP that has been sitting in the garage for the last few weeks. Time to pull out that black spray paint & start putting the finishing touches on the sanding! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thrifty Thursday -Magnetic Calendar-

We are homeschooling this year ... not sure how long that will last, but for this year it's a good fit with everything going on. That's what made this find so exciting! It was an UNOPENED Melissa & Doug magnetic calendar for only $2.99!!!Savannah is in kindergarten and has LOVED putting it together over & over & over again (so has Hunter). But with all those tiny little pieces we are still on the search for a functional but safe places for almost a hundred little, tiny pieces.But it is definitely a HUGE hit already ... :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boys Room Shelving

Thanks for the love on the Noel sign, I've loved it! :) Project #3 for the boys room came out to cost about $20 in wood (and was bought MUCH earlier in the year & has been sitting in the garage taking up space ever since), but the paint I already had from painting their dresser. We found this awesome tutorial on Knock-Off Wood for collector's bookshelves just like pbkids ... and my poor husband somehow got roped into doing it for me. :) **Although I would like to add that he really enjoyed working on a wood project and is now committed to several more ... poor boy is getting pretty overwhelmed at just the thought of it all!**
Hunter is always reading late into the night and the books late, late, late at night and then the books fall down the back of the bunkbed and are lost forever in the abyss of junk that I can't reach and can't move the beds to get either. This totally solves that problem now! :) After the toddler bed is ready for Jaxson we'll make him a smaller version for his bed, I'm just not sure how "big" I want it to be yet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pottery Barn Noel Sign

So while flipping thru the Pottery Barn magazine the other week I saw this Noel wall art. Swoon ... but the $150 price tag is sooooooo far beyond my budget right now! And the fact that it was already sold out of course didn't help much either.
So, I had some random wood laying around. Literally ... I got two pieces of particle board 4'x8' at the auction for $5 (!!!) total and so there is a lot of random wood laying around the garage waiting to be used up from other projects.
So, I used the Arial Narrow font in bold and just enlarged it in photoshop until it was the size of the wood piece I had, traced it on & Ryan cut it out with the jigsaw for me. I decided that I liked a dark red better than the dark brown ... 3M Velcro on the wall and voila!

Isn't it AWESOME??? Love the way it fits perfectly on the side of the wall next to the rustic Christmas trees, it's perfect ... and it only cost me the $2.47 for a HUGE (still half un-used) tube of red paint. :) :) :)And now that little table right at the top of the stairs looks nice & festive ... and I love it! Now if I could just stop getting the kids to steal the little nativity pieces we'd be set.

I'm linking up to the Shabby Nest Frugal Friday (how do you put those fun little buttons on a blog post???) and 30 days pity party , Funky Junk Interiors and a Little Lovely's Saturday Soiree! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Matching Bedding

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :) None of my pictures really turned out, but we did craft paper on the table w/ crayons on each seat for the kids ... it worked so well! And they all STAYED at the dinner table for longer than 5 minutes, that alone was nice. :) Then we made little Mayflower ship nametags for each seat (which I was surprised how much the kids liked that, we'll have to do it again at Christmas!), here's the tutorial I used. The kids just couldn't be bothered with looking at the camera, they were busy sneaking food & coloring, lol. But you get the idea. Then the rest of the weekend was spent finishing more projects! :)
Project #2 for the boys room ended up costing me NOTHING out of pocket. So nice! :) I wanted matching bedding. But ... I have no budget for that ... honestly ... I have no real budget to decorate, lol. So ... how to get matching bedding???
Well, Hunter already had a jean blanket, and we had a full/queen jean blanket that we put on the bottom bunk for Colton. As soon as I can get to a Jo-Ann's (the closest one is 45 minutes away ... ugh), I'm going to buy enough jean material to quickly whip up a little toddler bed one too. Then I was trying to think of matching pillowcases and I remembered the yards of cute, "I am a child of God" flannel that I had bought a couple years ago (planning on using it as a backing for a blanket). And I had just enough random scraps of red flannel to put as the top part of the pillowcase! :) YEAH! :) I read a lot of random craft tutorials and just winged it from there on the pattern I did. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! :) I know it may sound dorky, but it's fun watching the room come together from nothing ... and for practically free! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our newest nativity

Since it's after Thanksgiving, I can start talking about Christmas now, right? ;) I won't mention that Christmas has been up for almost a month at our home ...
I wanted a fun little nativity for our home that would be okay for the kids to touch, and if we lost a piece, no big deal it could be easily replaced. So, when I saw Under My Umbrella's Nativity pattern I knew it was perfect! :) BUT ... I would like to give one word to the wise ... I enlarged mine to 125% thinking it would be easier for my husband to cut out ... big mistake. Some of the pieces become too top heavy when they are larger than her original pattern & we had to put nails into the backs to help them become more steady. It's a cute/adorable/fun/free nativity pattern ... make it this year ... just don't enlarge it. LOL.
Ryan cut it out on the jigsaw for me one night & the kids helped me paint it ... which they loved & keep begging me to come up with another art project for them now. LOL. And doesn't it look PERFECT right next to my rustic Christmas trees in the front room??? Love it! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, I can't believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving ... already! Where did the year go? Yes ... I know that makes me sound old ... I'm allowed to say that at this point though, right? :)
So, I have some cute aprons I made the kids and we are busily prepping food and getting ready for tomorrow (pics on Monday ... as soon as Ryan takes them) ...
Do you remember the story ... "It looked like spilt milk" ??? I'm realizing, re-decorating the boys room is becoming more & more like that ... lol.
I had a piece of wood that I had framed to be one of my "Be True" artworks. But ... the framing on the back was HORRIBLE (I did it myself ... and I'm not known for my patience or skill in cutting wood), and so Ryan made a new frame for me, and the old frame and wood sat in the garage for the last umpteen months. I didn't want to throw away the wood, but I didn't know what to do with it ... so it looked like a piece of "be true" artwork, but it was really meant to be ...
Chalkboard speech bubbles for the kids doors! :) I've seen this around ohdeedoh's website and a few other spots, and it's perfect! 3M velcro tape to put it up on the door and now both the kids rooms have one on their doors. Savannah loves to write messages, Hunter keeps writing math problems for Daddy when he gets home from work, and Ryan has been known to write an "I love you kids" for them when he has to leave uber early for work. I love it ... and it was free & used up some random piece of wood out of the garage! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crib Bed Transformation

I mentioned how we got two cribs (one without all the parts) and a mattress for $2.50 at a local estate auction ... but I didn't want to just throw the crib bed away & KNEW there must be something to do with it ... then it hit me!
I thought about this cute pottery barn idea. We were putting these in the boys room (which now holds a almost 8 year old, 3 year old & will soon hold Jax who's 19 month), and I've had to come to the unfortunate realization that a cute little schoolhouse was NOT going to be an appealing idea to my oldest son, I realized we could still make the art section of each square with the two sides of the crib! :)
**He was so sweet to pose for that picture for me ... in the snowy/windy garage ... after spending all day under our van trying to get it fixed. Thanks honey!**
After cutting off the spindles & filling in the gaps they left on the top & bottom, we primed & painted all around the molding section that was left.
Then Ryan was sweet enough to do the three coats of spray paint all around & I cut some galvanized sheet metal (it was about $16.50 for a HUGE 3 x 4 sheet at Home Depot), and painted the sheet metal with some chalkboard paint we already had. We used liquid nails to glue it on & left it weighed down (with the laundry detergent ... lol) for 24 hours. It's awesome now that it's up on the wall!
I wanted to do both panels as magnetic chalkboards, but the sheet metal was FOUR inches too short on one side, we didn't like the idea of sharp edges ... so I'm trying to find some large sheet of cork board to fill in the other ... the boys LOVE it and are always playing "school" on it, and coloring pictures for me to see ... perfect! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hey everybody!

I'm finding my mojo again ... it's been a long time since I crafted, sewed or did anything crafty and I've realized how much I've missed it. So, I've been hanging up picture frames and finishing projects that I started and for the first time since the move, I feel more like me, more like things are okay & even though my house is getting messier in the process ... I'm also de-junking and getting that slowly under control, yeah! :)
So, here's the first thing I've started on ...
There is a fun little estate auction here in town. I have been able to score some GREAT deals before and this last week was no exception. I was able to pick up two cribs (with no guarantee that all the parts were there mind you) and a crib mattress for $2.50!!! While we had all the pieces for one crib, the pieces for the other were missing. So, I racked my brain for a few days on how we could utilize the crib walls and then I saw this, and this on the pottery barn kids website.
So, we are in the process of chopping off the tops & legs, filling in the holes with putty & getting ready to spray paint! Hopefully, I'll have a finished project to show you on Monday! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Newest Creation

So I have been very, very busy ... unfortunately and it hasn't left much time to make stuff for myself.

But, I love, love, love this art that I made ... I used President Hinckley's 9 B's as the wording, and then just re-sized, and re-sized and re-sized until it fit right. Not necessarily in the most perfect order, but it works, right? :) I listed one on etsy too if you're interested. It makes me happy. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Homemade Christmas

What are your plans for the weekend? I need something mindless & easy and finished in a timely manner. Which got me thinking about the ornaments I bought.
There was 90% off Christmas ornaments at Target last month and I seriously filled three shopping carts with 1200+ ornaments ... for a little under $50. It should make between 12 - 15 wreaths. So excited about this gift! I got red/silver combo for some, red/gold for others, and a couple colored filled for some fun & funky family members who I think would really enjoy them.
And the best part ... this kind of tutorial is something I can do with the kids. :) Sorry to any who read this blog and are family (none do ... but just in case). You now know what your Christmas present is. Pretend like you are surprised anyways, okay?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snowy Weekend

Our weekend was filled with lots & lots of snow! We finally got a chance to go sledding and the kids LOVED IT!!! Unfortunately it should be in the high 30's tomorrow, so the snow will melt away much sooner than the kids would like. But the non-icy roads would be a nice thing.I broke my sewing machine needle & with the snow & freezing cold temps, I never ventured to the local Wal-Mart to pick up a new one. The only real outing we've had in the last four days was on Saturday morning. I stopped at the local Goodwill & picked up the newest treasure to work on for Hunter's room! This little dresser. I picked up some clearance handles from Target for $5, and we're planning on filling in the design with wood putty & painting it dark blue. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am with this $22 little treasure! :) Now the remaining big question is what to do with the funky mirror???

Friday, February 19, 2010

My New & Practically Free Diaper Bag

Snow has been coming down off & on since Wednesday! FINALLY!!! :) Although, trying to open my frozen car door was fun last night ... we're going sleddin' tomorrow! Woo-hoo!!!
We're stuck indoors for the next few days, so I've been trying to figure out what project to finish. And then I remembered how much I really want to make this bag ... adjusted like she did for the diaper bag kind of idea. Since my diaper bag is practically in shreds. But ... the goal was to complete more projects without accumulating more stuff. So I picked up my old fabric from the curtains & throw pillows in the last house & have started cutting it out. I'd like to pick some lighter fabric, but this is what I have, & this is what I will use! Nothing is as good as practically free. Now to just figure out what a dart is ...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Birthday Cake & Another Almost Finished Project

So I mentioned yesterday about the cake. It was so yummy! I would definitely recommend it again and it used a lot of basic ingredients we already had around. Just make sure to have LOTS of milk ... it's very rich!
Last night the ward (church group) here in Cheyenne had their once a month get together for a charity group project they are doing. They have made it their goal to make 30 quilts for us to make & to donate to charity by the end of the year. So I volunteered to take home 20 pairs of jeans and cut, lots & lots of squares for jean rag quilts (enough for over 2 quilt tops). Yesterday I was supposed to take them back, so lots of time was spent cutting them up. All the loose jeans took up 2 overflowing boxes & the scraps filled up an entire garbage bag.I was feeling pretty good about it, until my husband said we should volunteer to cut up all the jeans they have (I've been told there's at least 4 or 5 boxes) ... so guess it was finished & now it's started again. LOL.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Honey!

My sweetie pie husband's birthday is today! Ten years of celebrating birthdays together ... and he's still cute & fun & I absolutely adore him. I wanted to make his birthday really special, so I have spent the entire morning making multiple rounds of cakes for this cake. It called for a special homemade cake recipe, but I figured a pillsbury cake mix can't be that different. Right? Yeah, um ... when I finally finished the fourth layer & was starting to try and move them, they crumbled to bits! Which of course the kids didn't mind ... yummy cupcake pieces for all! Seriously, my kids think I'm the greatest Mom ever. Cake before lunch time today! LOL.
We're going to go with this yummy cake now instead. And since he's taking a half day for work (he worked 6 days last week), we're going to mail off the apron & book to his sister (a very delayed wedding gift ... hopefully she likes it). I made the apron using this tutorial and then the pocket (enlarged 125%) from here. The best part is that I was able to make myself an apron with the extra fabric ... love it! :)Sorry the photos are so lacking, it's very snowy/cloudy here today. Hopefully some snow is in the forecast today or tomorrow! We still haven't gotten to build a snowman yet!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy President's Day!

I love three day weekends. :) I hate having Hunter gone so much, and it's really nice getting an extra day with Ryan too! :) I'm about to go thrift store shopping (I want to find some chairs to re-cover ... our front room desperately needs more seating!), but I wanted to quickly post pictures of Savannah yesterday at church. I cut out the apron (and keep forgetting to take some pictures of them!) & was actually able to make TWO! And then I had enough left over fabric to make a cute skirt & headband for Savannah too. She was thrilled to have something homemade. I wanted to take a picture outside, but it is windy & way too cold to do that. So indoor/crappy lighting instead! Basic poofy/long skirt, complete with a fun pocket & 2.5" trim on the bottom to give it a better finished look. I used this headband tutorial from Heather Bailey. Totally fun, easy & she LOVED it! :) Pictures of the apron tomorrow, and I also have finished three projects now! YEAH!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Shirts

I wish I could say the valentine's day shirts were my own original thought, but they weren't. I found this etsy store & loved her designs! But, with four shirts needed, it was way beyond my budget. So I tried my best to come up with my own graphics to make it. I really liked her's better. Maybe it's because of the wonderful finished edges she had, and the way that the black made the colors pop!
Anyways, I found shirts for $1.50 on clearance at Target, and so that's what I used. And fabric from my own stash ... so $6 for four shirts was feasible. Colton loves his, and wouldn't take it off ... but also has become camera shy & ran away from me every time I tried to take a picture of him in it. LOL.
I had seen a similar design on a blog somewhere for Savannah's shirt, but I can't find it now. I used the target modern elephant as a template, and then a single heart. I wish I had used a different color thread so you could see all the little details I sewed into it ... but eh. It's done ... project one complete!
Now I've cut the fabric for the apron and plan on using this tutorial as a guide to finish it. I wanted to use the blue fabric as the bottom trim, but cut into it too much for a "7" for Hunter's birthday ... so I'm going to find some pocket tutorial and make them instead. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A promise is a promise

I dream of making this. Oh, I love it. My husband joked that I have an alphabet obsession, and then there is the alphabet framed thing I let Hunter the other day. Maybe I do. But, I think it's just because there are so many little ones here, I sing the ABC's all day long, why not hang them up on the wall. And it's cute too, admit it. You want one.
So on last Saturday we went & picked up the wood to make the shelves. I told him to pick up the wood for my newest alphabet. And he lovingly reminded me of the entire ROOM full of un-finished projects. And the valentine's day shirts that I was going to make the kids. And the apron that I INSISTED on making for his sister's wedding present (which was last month). And the two over-due blankets I've been promising friends. On top of the million of others he doesn't even know about.
So, I promised I would finish three projects before I would REQUIRE something new ... which he agreed would be the shelves.
Well ... the shirts are almost done! Next up ... that way past due apron.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Boys Room

So when we moved, we put the 3 older kids into the largest room in the house, so they could hang out together. With the intention that Jax would move out of this crib next year & then it would be a boys only room. So we've been trying to come up with some kind of decorated room (with absolutely no budget mind you) for them. Nothing themed or matching. Something that would grow with a one year old, but not be too baby-ish for the 7 year old too. So I've been letting Hunter decide what he wants & likes. This is what he's picked. There is no decorating budget ... no money for this at all. So, we're going to very slowly work on it, and Hunter is actually excited about thrift store shopping for things he wants. And I figured I would slowly accumulate the fabric ... since I need enough to make three complete quilts (one for each boy).
I found these old chipboard alphabet letters in my scrapbook stash & Hunter loved putting them together (and we put them in an old frame I had around). He's so very proud of the fact he's going to make things for his new room.**Please don't notice the thrashed room behind him.**
Then this weekend, we picked up the wood to make these. It cost about $18 in wood (we're making two of the large 36" ones w/ the extra ledge included) and I can't wait to get the garage cleaned out this week & start working on it! :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Too long of a break

So I don't think anyone reads this anymore. You would think I'd fallen off the face of the planet ... and we sort of did. We've moved, 871 miles away from Henderson, Nevada ... to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The complete, polar opposite of the heat filled Vegas life. It's snowing big, chunky, fat flakes on the ground ... and I've been told the snow lasts off & on thru May. LOL.
Why the move? Well, the bank my husband was working for in Vegas FAILED. I still have the hardest time wrapping my mind around that. He loved the job, loved the people he worked for an never thought he would leave. But there came a point when we could see what was coming, and you can't talk about those kind of things at the time.
The new bank that took over promised everyone would get to keep a job. But, we knew it would have to mean a demotion, pay cut and we would sink pretty quickly. We were lucky that the week before the merger was announced, a very nice company here offered him a job. And so here we are. It took nine months to find this job ... and he has a Master's degree even. But we feel blessed to have found work.
It's been tough for the kids. It's been a big adjustment too. But I've finally stopped crying over the windy/snowy days and we've found a groove. So, today ... it's snowing. And we're kind-of trapped indoors. So I'm going to go dig out my sewing stuff and hopefully finish something today. :)