Friday, January 17, 2014

Sewing Envy

I have always envied those who can sew.  I mean those who can really sew, like clothing and stuff.  I remember in 7th grade we had to make a pair of shorts and shirt and then we had to wear our creations to school for part of the grade.  For that assignment I choose a fabric that was stretchy.  I clearly used the wrong kind of fabric.  I sat down in it at the beginning of the day and it stretched and stretched.  It got bagger and bagger as the day went.  It never regained it’s normal size or anything close to it.  Needless to say, I never worn the shorts again!
Making clothing wasn’t hard, but I am someone who learns by a physical person showing me how and is standing right in front of me.  I checked out many sewing books and I just don’t understand the sewing language. 
One of my resolutions for 2014, I talked about it Monday, is to learn how to sew the “right way”.  I have sewn a few things but they all have been the backwards and upside down way.  Here’s a few examples:
My long yellow ruffle garland project.  I first sewed them together but then I wanted it to ruffle.  I didn’t know how to do that so I hot glued it into a rufflily state. 
My gold glittered bow project.  If you took off the center tie ribbon it would reveal something quite different underneath.  Pretty sure it’s not how you’re suppose to make a bow.
And lastly my first attempt at making a pillow.  As I said Monday I want to start making pillows; pillows with zippers.  If you lift this pillow up the underneath side is unfinished and open.  I tried putting in a zipper, but it didn’t work since I had already sewn the other 3 sides.  Apparently you must put in the zipper first THEN sew the other sides.  I had to cut off the zipper and it’s a whole mess on the bottom side!
So you could say I’m still learning.  At least I want to keep trying.
I do have a sewing machine; I bought it shortly after I graduated college.  My thought then was to become a designer who could offer clients sewing opportunities in house.  That still is something that I very much would like to pursue.  But I guess I need to become better before I offer anybody anything!
To become better, I’ve already pinned several easy-to-understand blog posts.  Then I want to check out YouTube as I’m sure I will find a wealth of information.  I’ll keep you posted on my future as a sewer.  Ha/Ha
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bring Back Some Green

I really enjoyed having the Christmas tree up along with all the holiday wreaths and garland.  It seems like you’re bringing in a little of the life outdoors but minus all the cold!  Gosh, the holiday season just flies by.
Now that all of our Christmas decorations have been put away, I found myself in need of something to fill the greenery gap left in the house.  I needed some life within our spaces.
I have had no live plants in my house for several years now and it’s all due to one basic reason.  Kiddos!  Kiddos can grab and put in their mouth!  And when these kiddos are here for daycare I don’t even want to take on that responsibility.  So faux plants and flowers work just fine for me. 
When everything outside is brown and dead (and might be covered in snow) having a little greenery helps it feel not so brown and dead inside.
There’s just something fresh and new about white flowers in January.  Mainly I think it’s because white flowers represent new life or starting over in a new year.  I’m shooting for a new start plus I really like the contrast of the white flowers sitting upon my black cabinet.
Right now I really love the color combination of black, white, browns and greens together.  This vignette represents all those colors and it works.  The greenery livens up the space.  There is just something about black and green that is so striking.
More white flowers, in the kitchen, are refreshing to view. 
So while the holidays are over and everything is brown and dead outside, it’s nice to bring life in with flowers and plants.  Whether it’s live or faux, it’s all good!
See that peak of blue outside the window?  Those are sleds!  While we don’t have any snow right now, for us here in Nebraska we have to be ready for sledding.  They’re propped up and just waiting for us to grab them and go.  I guess that’s the ONLY fun thing about winter!
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Last week I got an email from Pinterest (I’m sure you did too) about a contest.  Pinterest would like to see what people are dreaming up for the year 2014.  They will pick several of their favorites and send out goodies to each.  Yes, that would be awesome to be one of their top picks, but I really just wanted to do it for myself.  Somewhat making a written out of what I would like to get accomplished.
I gathered pins of ideas that I would like to do for 2014.  My ideas are totally practical and within our budget.  That’s probably one reason I won’t win…I didn’t pin ideas of traveling to some far away country or remodeling our house from top to bottom.
My first idea is to make a gallery wall.  I came across some of my artwork from when I was in college and I thought, Why Not? Use what I got.  So here’s a pic of what I’ve gathered so far.
Don’t know if I’m in love with the big black and white abstract…we’ll have to see.  I want to add to the collection with more drawings and renderings all done by me.  To me that’s what will make it cool! 
I want to use existing frames or frames bought at a second hand store.  I definitely want them to have a bit of character and patina.  It makes the collection more interesting in my book.
My second idea that I pinned is I want to learn how to sew the “right way”.  I would love to take a class in it, but for now I will have to settle in and watch YouTube videos and reading blogs.
The easiest thing to sew I thought would be a pillow.  I’ve always wanted more pillows thought out the house.  What could be easier than sewing 4 sides of 2 pieces of fabric to make a pillow.  Here’s where I need help.  I want to put in a zipper.  I want to be able to use the same pillow form but change out the cover for different seasons or just if I want a change.  And I want to change a lot!
Aren’t those just dreaming!
My third idea is I want to grow my blog.  I’ve only researched this a bit in the last couple of days so I’ve just started.  I’ve pinned ideas to help in expanding your blog through social media, different blog readers and through keywords.  And the list goes on and on with tips.

I’ve implemented a few and a few tips I need to do more of.  All in time.
For the last of my ideas I’ll let you click on the link below and check it our for yourselves.  I’ve included a widget from Pinterest for easy click ability. 

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Little Guy’s Christmas Bedroom

OK.  I swear this is the last Christmas posting I will do!  I just had to share this one.  Mainly because it was a fun adventure. 
One Sunday afternoon in October we went out to some land that my husband hunts on just west of town.
My main reason for going there was to look for some old wood.  Maybe a smaller tree that had fallen.  Plus I wanted to find some sticks that I could use as branches.  Once again my husband thinks I’m a little crazy.  He doesn’t see the picture in my mind of what I want to construct with this old wood.  And once I tell him he still is somewhat skeptical.  I remember watching this clip on the Martha Stewart show on a upcycled table top tree.  I found the video and watched it again and knew that this was something I wanted to do for my little guy’s room. 
Once I gathered what I needed we had a little fun in the woods. 
After we got back my husband cut the tree to the length I wanted along with cutting several stumps in various sizes.  If you watch the video it will explain the procedure on how I’m making my woodland tree so I’m not going to describe it in detail.  It was not hard but you do need a saw, drill and some wood glue.
Of course little guy needs to help.  He was my helper in cutting the branches.  For this picture I told him to just “do what he was doing”.  Can you see him being all stiff and looking out at the corner of his eye.  Too cute!
And here it is all decorated and displayed in his room.
I had all the red and brown ornaments from last year but added a few woodsy items for this year’s woodland theme.
I’m really impressed at myself with the star I made.  Several years ago I cut and scored cereal box cardboard and glued it into a star.  Last year I glittered it for his tree.  This year I attached a wire to connect to the top of the tree and I wrapped it in twine.  I wanted to incorporate twine into it because of the woodland theme.
I added some wood “stumps” and “logs” for added affect.  The bottle brush trees are from my Department 56 village collection that I attached a wood stump to.  And the green yarn cone trees I constructed last year.  Wrap yarn around a cone and add a small ornament to the top.  Super easy!
I also made these snow globes minus the water last year as well.  An old pickle jar with some bottle brush trees and some faux snow.  The kiddos love playing with these. 
The stuffed bears throughout his room are from my childhood and theirs. 
Isn’t this old toy truck neat!  It was once my father-in-law’s when he was a boy.  It still has the string attached to the front where he used to pull it outside.
I tried to incorporate all kinds of animals in the forest.  There are bear, deer, beaver, squirrel, chipmunk, fox and a ceramic owl.
And here’s the little guy again hard at work.  I told him “to pretend” putting some Legos together.  As you can see he couldn’t quite do it with a straight face nor did he know what to do with his arms and hands.  Too cute!
Sorry you have to be reading about our Christmas in January.  I guess I’m still trying to figure it all out on how to get everything in.  Until then…
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Look Back At Our Christmas

It’s now January and Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone.  Most of you have taken down everything and don’t want to think about it again for another 11 months.  I’m right there with you!  All our decorations have been taken down and put into storage and won’t come out again until next December.  It’s exciting to put it all for the celebration but it sure is nice to have your old house back again.

There were several things I wanted to share but simply ran out of time.  The first being our Christmas tree.  I waited until the very last moment and I mean last moment to take these pictures.  I took these Christmas Eve morning when the house was decorated and all our presents were wrapped.  My thought was that I could crank out a blog post after lunch that day.  I don’t know what I was thinking!  With hosting a dinner that night and getting 3 children and myself ready for church in the afternoon, writing a blog post was the least of my thoughts that day. 

So here I am.  Kids have returned back to school and children are napping.  This is the perfect time for me to share pictures of our living room with our Christmas tree and kitchen area.

My color palette for this year was white, gold and silver.  I threw in some black clustered ornaments on the tree and in patterned wrapping paper. 

When we were setting up the tree this season some of the strands of lights were out.  So I call my husband, who was already at Menards, to pick up a few boxes of lights.  He came home with LED lights. 

Now….!  If you don’t know me you will soon will know that I have a thing for LEDs. 

I don’t like them!  I don’t like the bright white light they give off.  I guess it’s more of a selfish reason why I don’t like them.  No one looks good in the bright white light and it somewhat gives off a greenish color.  Gosh!t  This is MY house I want to be able to look good in it!  Plus it also makes rooms seem too much like a warehouse.  I realize that incandescent lights are on the way out, but I’m going to ride that train for as long as it’s available. 

That being said, I thought I would give the LEDs a try on my tree which would be taken down in a month.

Nope!  No way!  Once they were strung around the tree and the room lights went off, it looked too much like we needed to be packing up boxes in a warehouse. 

Here’s where my husband really thinks I’m crazy!

I packed up all the lights and returned them and purchased just some plain inexpensive old-time Christmas lights.  So long story short our tree has brand new white twinkling lights and I love it!






My cone trees were super easy to make; no tutorial necessary!  Plus they can be customized to what ever color scheme you have.  Just wrap fabric around a cardboard cone.  I made my own cones using cereal box cardboard.  I looked into buying cones at the craft store and thought twice about it after I realized what it was going to cost me. 

All my greenery is faux including the tree in case you wondering.  Again I thought about adding some real stuff here and there for the scent but I just figured why?  I can buy a candle and it will be just as good and a lot less of an expense.






Years ago I cut out initials for my kiddos and tied them to their packages.  Just adds a extra touch of sparkle.  I’ve kept them for year to year and reused. 


I didn’t forget about my 2 starburst mirrors.  I added snowflakes in my coordinating colors to the rays.


Also my Dad’s deer antlers didn’t go untouched.  I dangled more snowflakes from one side.





I clustered ornaments together and then tied them to the light chain.  I also draped greenery around the light fixture and finished it off with white satin ribbon bows.



I just had to get a picture of my new favorite dessert…peanut butter chocolate balls!  They are sooo yummy!  Family members really couldn’t believe I made them or so they say!


An ornament wreath in shades of white, gold and silver is flanked by 2 simple evergreen wreaths.  A black satin ribbon is draped in between and connects everything together.



And one more look with the lights off.


And finally the happy kiddos right before church.  With excited faces and anxious hearts they couldn’t wait for Christmas to come!


We all had a wonderful day spending time together with family and opening up gifts.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories that I will always hold to dear of this Christmas season.

I will be back this week to show what I did for my little guy’s room.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.