August 30, 2011

A Baby Girl Quilt

My friend and co-worker at the salon is having a baby girl in September. She and her husband are so very deserving and I couldn't be happier for them!

I decided early on that I wanted to make her a baby quilt. I have made quite a few quilts for myself, but sewing for someone else adds a whole new level of pressure. I am somewhat of a perfectionist!

I have learned everything I know about sewing from my Mom, who is a quilter. My sisters and I also had some good practice by participating in 4-H while growing up. I am truly blessed that Mom has passed on her knowledge and still helps me with all of my sewing projects...I'm still learning!

I asked my friend a few questions about how she planned to decorate her nursery. She is keeping the overall scheme of the room neutral and bringing in accent colors of pinks and reds. She also decided to paint an accent wall in aqua. I started with fabrics in the Bliss collection by Moda and then added a few extra fabrics from my stash. They were the perfect combination of colors including aqua, red, and pink. I also love how the patterns have a vintage feel.

I pieced the quilt using a neutral center square and a log cabin style on only three sides to make a rectangular block. The unfinished block is 5 inches by 7 inches. I quilted it with a double straight line on the vertical and horizontal. Each line was sewn a quarter inch from the pieced seams. I then quilted around the perimeter of the center square which made it stand out. I just love how it turned out!

I used a Bliss fabric in flannel for the back!
The binding really accented this quilt!

I surprised my friend with her new quilt last Friday when all of the stylists went to lunch to celebrate her pregnancy. She absolutely loved it and said it will go perfectly in the room! I'm glad I got it finished and that she will enjoy and appreciate it! 

The Hunny and I are working on finishing up the barn today so I will be back to painting furniture soon! Thank goodness, because the furniture is starting to pile up! Hope you enjoy your Tuesday!

August 26, 2011

My Little Black Puppies

The puppies are 6 weeks old today! We have been enjoying having them around and cannot believe how big they have grown. Each one has their own unique personality and it will be hard to start giving them away. But I can't have 6 puppies running around. They have already taken a liking to my flower beds!

It's so funny to see how the puppies, kittens, and chickens all react to each other. The puppies play pretty rough with the kittens, but are scared of the chickens! Zoe has been such a good mother keeping them fed and Black Dog just stands so wisely while they jump all over him like a playground.

It was a little difficult getting good pictures of them just because they move so quickly and usually gather right at your feet, but here are just a couple I thought you might enjoy!

Here are all six at about 4 weeks old.

The puppies playing with Black Dog

It's hard to see, but her back toes are white!
I will have some fun sewing projects to share next week! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

August 24, 2011

Rocking Chair Makeover

I found this rocking chair at an antique store a few months ago. I loved the style of it, but that fabric had to go! The 70's look just isn't what I was looking for.
I decided I want her to sit in the corner of the Master Bedroom where the windows are (which makes for difficult pictures :/). I found this simple geometric pattern that worked perfectly with the curtain fabric!


After removing the hundreds of staples (which oddly, I don't mind) I was surprised to reveal the past owner had used a sample of carpet for padding! I used some foam I had on hand and cut it to size. I used the piece of board from before as a template for the foam and fabric. I allowed a few more inches around the edge to fold over when cutting the fabric.

I then layered all three with the front of the fabric face down and the board on top. I began to pull tight on one edge and using a staple gun, secured it with just three staples. I then moved to the opposite side to secure it with three additional staples. Afterward, I moved to the other two sides and repeated this process until finished. This method allows you to get the fabric very taut. I had so much fun working with the staple gun! I screwed the board back in place and am now enjoying a brand new (more comfortable) chair!

I did this project before I had my blog so I apologize for not having pictures of the process! It truly is an easy project to recover a cushion and can make such a huge difference! Hope this inspires you to try a quick furniture makeover with fabric and a staple gun! 

{linking up to}

Somewhat Simple Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

August 23, 2011

The New East Barn

I have been so busy the past few days working on a new barn to use as my workshop to restore furniture. Unfortunately, the other barn I had been using has been taken over by chickens!

I was working on the matching end table to this one and noticed bird or chicken poop on the tabletop. When I removed the paper I found that it had actually stained the wood darker in two spots. After researching, I decided to bleach the spots. I then had two bleach spots. I suddenly realized I should have bleached the entire surface! So after a couple rounds of bleach and sanding I finally stained the wood. It actually turned out beautiful!

I went on with my process and brushed my first coat of poly on. The next day I walked out to find a chicken had hopped on the table, which was sitting on another table, and had walked across leaving footprints and chicken scratches! I was horrified! I was about to throw out the second table and settle for one, but moved forward in hopes of being able to sand out the scratches.

I immediately moved my end table to the well sealed garage to ensure that I wouldn't have any more attacks! After not being able to even look at the table for a week, I finally sanded the scratches out and applied another coat of poly. It now looks beautiful with a few imperfections (I call it character). After this whole fiasco I asked The Hunny for a different barn to work in!

The new barn is filled with junk and dirt, but I just know once we clean her up she will be just perfect. This past week I have been using the drill and well as getting dirty by clearing out all of the junk and sweeping the floors to expose the concrete.

Saturday The Hunny and I were cleaning out the top of the rafters which were filled with tons of scrap wood. There was also an old, wood table sitting up there I can't wait to get my hands on. This is a recap of the following occurences...

The Hunny: (standing up in the rafters)

Me: Hunny you can't just drop that old wood will break. Here, let me take it. (arms outstretched)

The Hunny: Ok, you got it?

Me: Yea I got it.

The Hunny: You sure you got it? I still have quite a bit of weight up here.

Me: Yep, I got it! I got it. (picture a long table resting on my leg with arms spread so far out there was no way of actually being able to hold onto it)

The Hunny let go of the table

Me: On the ground with a table on top of me

The Hunny: Don't remember all of the words out of his mouth and then...are you ok?!

Me: Is the table broken?

I completely collapsed under this table. I came up laughing with a scratched and bruised leg. I was so thankful I didn't break my leg or the table! Sometimes I am just way too confident with what I think I can handle!

I took a few pictures this morning before I swept the floor. I was a little nervous about showing these pictures, but this is what it's about. I love taking brokenness and bringing it to its beauty.

Still some cleaning out to do!
We are going to use the tall cabinet for storage! And I know those old barn wood planks caught your eye.
I have put them aside to possibly use in the foyer!

Love the inside of the door!

The table beside the barn is the one that conquered me!
We plan on filling the floor in with concrete to level it. We need to do some electrical work and plan to install a few cabinets we have on hand...and possibly a window! We are also going to put some of The Hunny's tools and saws in there so he can help with fixing up my furniture! We are both so excited that we will finally be able to put this lovely barn to good use! I will keep you posted with our progress and pictures!

August 18, 2011

Classroom Makeover

My little sister's classroom was large and started out with purple walls and cabinets. We were inspired by the purple when coordinating different fabrics to make pillows for a reading area. After we had our color scheme we found some fun decorative pieces and made a collage wall to include artwork!

Here is one side of the room where the reading area is...we found the rugs at Menards and the cute green stool at Joanne Fabrics. Down the road we plan to find a fun chair, but didn't have enough time to find one in only three days!

These are the fun pillows we made! The geometric patterns in the fabric were so much fun for the classoom! We used purple and aqua fleece for the back of each pillow.

This is a window curtain we found at Wal-mart for $9.95! We actually found it after we had picked the color scheme and it matched perfectly! My Mom sewed a sleeve at the top and bottom. We used spring tension rods for both ends that held it up. We then made a band out of ribbon to gather the middle.

We found these caddy's to hold all of the students' supplies!

This is the collage wall that including some wonderful quotes that fit perfectly in the classroom. The green frame holds this quote..
 "The more that you read,
the more things you will know.

The more that you know,
the more places you'll go"
-Dr. Seuss

The black one reads..
"Excellence is a habit,
not an act.
It takes practice

My oldest sister created the other two posters in the collage. She is amazing with graphic arts and working with the computer! She also created this Homework and Birthday Chart for the bulletin board. I believe some of you might recognize my older sister from the famous Sweet Sewn Stitches!! She was so kind to share the printables of her charts.. you can find them here.

This bulletin board was outside of her classrom in the hallway. My Mom came up with this fun idea to hang shirts on a twine clothesline! SO cute!

I made a template out of cardboard for the shirts and cut them out with some cute scrapbook paper! We found the mini clothespins at Wal-mart.

The newest 5th Grade Teacher at her desk!

All of our hard work really paid off... She really enjoyed the final product! Thank you for stopping by!

{linked up to}

Somewhat Simple Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

August 16, 2011

My Little Sister

This morning was a big day for my younger sister. She is teaching her very first class. My stomach is twisting and turning just thinking about how nervous she must be today. As hard as it is to imagine my little sister teaching a class of 5th graders, I know she is the perfect person to enhance those kids' lives. She is so smart, funny, and motivating.

She just graduated from IU in May with a degree in Elementary Education with highest distinction. She also received certification in Special Education. I always stand in awe of her many accomplishments and the work ethic she used to achieve those things in only four years!

My little sister is growing up...and I couldn't be more proud of the person she has become. She just makes my heart smile. And even though I am older, I know there will always be things that I can learn from her.

Here are a few of my favorite photos of her I took this past spring...

She was hired for this position on Friday so she only had THREE days to get the classroom in order. We were working on classroom projects from 8 in the morning until 10 at night! We even worked 2 hours by flashlight Saturday night after a huge storm took the power out! It was quite an overwhelming weekend, but so much fun to see how excited she was when we finished.

I will be sharing some of our projects we made for the classroom this week!

August 12, 2011

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

I apologize for being so absent this week. This is how I have been feeling...

"I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right..
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afriad you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
By Dr. Seuss
I had a hang up this week...I am ready for a weekend to relax and get out of my slump! Thank you for being so patient and understanding. Hope you all have a good weekend!

August 9, 2011

Fun Sewing Project

My Mom and I were flipping through Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags one evening. We decided to dive in and sew a new make-up bag! The Origami Bag Set Pattern was the perfect pattern. This pattern features 6 different sizes.

I chose to make the mini and medium size. I use the smaller one for my make-up and the bigger size to carry toiletries for travel! I found the Home Dec fabric at Joanne Fabrics. They are very durable and I love how they coordinate!

The pattern was fairly easy and only took a couple of hours. The second one is always easier!

You can never have too many bags!

Happy Sewing!

August 5, 2011

End Table Part Two

I began the search for end tables last month and found two different styles I liked. Of course, I bought both and figured I could decide later, after some paint, which to use in the living room. The first makeover was a country style posted here and this one is more of a french style.

I actually found this one, as a pair, on Craigslist fo $40. They were both in great shape and I knew exactly how I wanted to finish them. I have always loved the painted base with a stained top. This end table pair was just the project to experiment this combination on!



 I began by stripping the top with Citristrip Stripping Gel. This was my first time stripping the finish of a piece of furniture so I was a little nervous. This gel really works well and it was actually very simple! I then covered the top and began to paint the base.

The Citristrip Gel working it's magic!

After I removed the gel
 I applied a few coats of Sherwin Williams Creamy for the base with a little distressing. I used Minwax Dark Walnut Stain for the top and finished with Minwax Polyurethane Clear Satin.

The stained top turned out beautiful. I'm really glad I decided not to paint the top. The stain accents the beauty of the wood and provides better durability.

I finished the whole piece with a few coats of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax.

I love how she turned out! This was a fun makeover because I learned so much and the result was so rewarding!  I believe I will be replacing my country end table with these two.. after I finish her other half!

Enjoy your weekend!

{linked up to}
The Shabby Nest Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Furniture Feature Fridays  

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special