Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Bag of Diapers

Okay totally cannot take credit for the awesome diaper bag pattern that is F to the R-E-E … yep that says FREE. But I wanted to show off my favorite sewing project thus far. I LOVE IT. I love the colors and the size and the pockets.. all 7 of them. I still cannot believe that I sewed this; I am no seamstress, a beginner really. So for all of you looking for the perfect sized diaper bag- check this out HERE.

I was able to get this finished in one morning.
I was 2 kids short for the morning- so Sweet Parker and I
hung out and while she napped I sewed us a new bag.
And then a matching Binky clip.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hammocking Is All The Rage

This is one of those projects that I've had in my head forever. It was just a matter of getting motivated enough to dive in. In all honesty, this project was neither costly nor time consuming. I spent more time gathering supplies than we did building. 

Cost was approximately $40. That does not take into account some supplies that I had on hand. 
A simple break down of supplies and costs look like this:
4x4 post $12............................................local hardware store
50 lb bag Quickcrete $9..........................local hardware store
[2] 1' length chain $1..............................local hardware store
[2] large carabiner $5..............................local hardware store
[2] screw and hooks (had on hand)........WalMart years ago (for plant hanging)
[2] plant hangers (had on hand)..............came on the house when we bought it!
[2] Boston ferns .....................................Lowes
Hammock $10........................................Big Lots (last year on sale)
Solar Light $3........................................Big Lots

Some of the supplies were purely decorative, so you can even slim down the budget for this one if you wanted. 

Or you could beef it up and be the talk of the neighborhood with your disco ball, surround sound, and climate controlled hammock stand. Hey, the world is your oyster.

I had purchased the hammock last year and intended to hammock (is there a verb for that!?) all summer. But I was foiled by our trees that were spaced too far apart. Wah Wah. So this tutorial is for a tree anchor and a post anchor. This could be done without any trees in your yard however. 

Just double the recipe or uh...ehh...whatev.

My parents happened to be in town and I was able to get my Dad to help me tackle this one. I took it pretty easy on him this time compared to some of our other collaborations.

To get started: dig a hole (novel idea). I was shooting for a 2' depth. But got stumped at 20", literally. That's what happens when you dig holes by trees. 4" off. But I think we'll live. As far as measurements like distance from the tree, thats going to depend on your hammock. But will stretch with time. So be a little more liberal with your spacing. Thats where the chain can make up for the stretch that the hammock will have over time. 

Its like a bra strap (stay with me here...I heard this on Oprah once). You should hook your chain (or bra) to the furthest link when selecting your distance (or size). That way, as the hammock (or bra) stretches, you can move in a few notches to tighten things back up.

Sorry if I lost any fellas that may have wandered over here with that dazzling analogy. Don't pretend like you don't know things about women's under roos.

If you choose to set a light in the top of the post, drill your hole and tap in the light holder before setting the post in the ground. Less ladder work = less potential ankle sprains.

We also used some scrap lumber to hold the post vertically level (plumb) before cementing. Then cement according to package directions. 

(aiming for the bottom gauge here folks, plumbness is next to godliness)

The Quickcrete we used was fast setting and required no mixing. 
Hallelujer. (Madea anyone?)

Then add water. This stuff is suppose to set completely in 4 hours. We started right before dinner time and then got side tracked by more important things like campfires, hotdogs, and s'mores. After the cement has set, cover the remaining depth (3-4" according to package directions) with dirt. Mound it up a little to prepare for dirt settling with the rain.

The next day we drilled in the screw and hooks. Followed by the chain. Then clipped to the carabiner and hammock. 

Ok, for reals...hammock is one of those words that by the time I'm done typing it 67 times, I swear I've spelled it wrong all along. And carabiner. I may have googled how to spell that ditty.

Don't forget to accessorize your stand as you wish. My grand idea was a pillow and book.

My kids had other ideas.

Stay tuned for more instagraminess from everybody's favorite new spot. 
All the kids are hammocking these days. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sparkly paper.. cork.. and naptime


What do I do when my new baby finally starts taking  hour long naps rather than her 30 minute power naps? I run through the house trying to find whatever I can to throw together to make something pretty to look at. Yes, I probably should be sweeping or mopping or folding laundry… But I grabbed a can of spray paint, a frame that’s been in hiding (behind my couch), a roll of wrapping paper, cork, sparkle & scrap paper and my glue gun.

Thank you to the Amber teething necklace that arrived this morning… I believe that had a part in the super great naps. After I finished the Frame & art guess what…… Naptime AGAIN. So I followed Tanya’s craftiness on her  POM POM tutorial and made the super cute garland to throw on top.

Who doesn’t love something new. . . for free. . . that makes you smile!

As for the laundry & the floors, theres always tomorrow.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Industrial Open Shelving

This has to be one of my favorite projects of all times! (I say that every few months you know, but the title of: FPOAT (favorite project of all time) is currently held by my industrial open shelving in our kitchen which is mounted on our subway tile that was the former FPOAT champion.

For the wood I went to Lowes and had them cut a 2"x12"x12' piece of white pine in half. White pine is soft enough to beat up but will support your items. And if the guy at the saw tries to talk you out of your lumber selection because all the knots in it, you know you chose a good one!

You need to make sure the width is enough to fit whatever you're placing on the shelf. My shelf is for 10" dinner plates. If you weren't already aware, a 2x12 is just the name. The actual measurement is closer to 1.5x11.5. So to be safe I got the 12" width so my plates wouldn't be teetering on the edge of the shelf. I have them cut my lumber down at Lowes  because 1) I wanted to be able to easily get it into my car and 2) taking pics of my lumber in front of the big saw is my m.o.

I wasn't needing my wood shelves to be 6' long, so I measured and chopped them down a little more when I got home. But you could have the store cut your wood to your exact dimensions if you didn't have a saw and knew what exact dimensions you needed. Not saying I didn't know before hand...but not saying I did. When you get your lumber home, beat the snot out of it. Below is the highlight reel of my method. You can really use anything metal you want: hammer, nails of different gauges, chain, screws, etc.

One of my favorite effects I did was banging the edges on all sides (top and bottom) with the hammer. It makes it look more like rough cut milled wood. Then stain your little heart out. On my first pass I thought the stain I had on hand was way too red. So I watered down some black acrylic craft pain and mixed that. Stain, wipe, paint, sand, repeat until you have the desired color.  I'm not even going to give the stain color I have because it seriously is super red and only looks semi-decent with the black wash on top. The great thing about the black paint though is it sinks into the distressing and pops with that horrifically red stain. If you're DYING to know though what stain I used, you can email me and ask me nicely in a big run on sentence so I feel right at home. Extra points for sarcasm!

After you've reached max level of wooden awesomeness, seal your wood with polycrilic. I use Minwax Polycrylic (blue can) for everything and LOVE it. Fully endorse that product (even though I've never been asked to!) I always have it on hand because it doesn't yellow white painted furniture. So I use this on everything. 

The shelving part was easy and mildly therapeutic with all the beatin' and distressing' going on. The hardware took a little more brain power. One glance down the plumbing section for metal elbows, flanges, and pipes, I knew this could quickly become a COSTLY project. (Read: non exsistent). Ebay to the rescue folks. I found a great tutorial here and contacted the ebay shop she had used. Super nice guy with great communication. Instead of purchasing each piece separately, I sent him a list of what I needed and he sent me a price quote the following day. I had all my supplies within a week. 

To make two shelves (with two support brackets each) I needed:
[8] ¾" flanges
[4] ¾" elbow brackets
[4] ¾" x 2" pipe nipple
[4] ¾" x 5" pipe nipple

The type of metal used was black malleable. My total was $47 with $4.95 s&h. Had I purchased this at the store it would've been well over as the flanges alone totaled roughly $48 in store.

I went over them with a light coat of hammered metal spray paint. Mostly to cover the printing on the pipes and seal in any dirt. Makes complete sense right? Assemble like so

I actually secured a flange to the wall (using a tile bit to pre drill through the tile) before screwing on the 5" pipe. Make sure you're completely level when you attach the two brackets.

Screw the opposite flange up into the wood. To be more accurate I laid the wood on the brackets, marked each hole with a marker and pre drilled a pilot hole into the wood. This made attaching the brackets to the wood a breeze. Then step back and bask in the glory. To be 100% honest, after putting all my beloved dishes on the shelves, I ran out to check my shelves the next morning to make sure nothing came crashing down during the night.  

I'm happy to report these have been up for a couple months and have been loaded and unloaded with dishes several million times. Still going strong. Still make me smile every time I walk into my kitchen. I have to put a small piece of trim at the top of the don't look too closely at the photo.

You just looked, didn't you?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oversized Napkin

Oversized napkin… table rapkin (runner-napkin)… Totally feeling uneducated on table linens at this moment. In an attempt to add some new d├ęcor to my previously naked kitchen table, I wanted to make a table runner: without it being to long…. Table cloth: without risking it being pulled off by the many little hands in my house… well and honestly making 6 fabric napkins was not ever in the picture because thats just too many of the same thing. Thus being how I came up with this oversized kitchen napkin. So Simple/ No sew.
I used one bowtie & 2 hairbows shy of a yard of fabric and some Heat-n-bond ( this stuff has got to be one of my favorite crafting items, since my sewing machine and I need some therapy on how to better get along.)
That's it, you read it right. A piece of fabric, heat-n-bond, and your iron. This literally only took me 5 minutes to complete.
5 dollars + 5 minutes of no sew goodness = craft happiness
Now go on get your craft on!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tandem Bike Art

This is the continuation of an epic project. Not because its overwhelming or costly, but the direction I am taking this room is evolving as we go. I'm going slow and enjoying the process. You can see how the playroom started in my home tour. Big. Green. Empty. Sometimes an empty room is more overwhelming than a room that already hints the function its intended to be.

I've already shared one of our projects for extra seating in the playroom. Now for something a little less functional and little more...pretty. I started with a sheet of plywood that I had cut down by the kind folks at Lowes.

Framed it out with some scrap moulding. (But did not attach to the wood until after I painted the art)

Paint the plywood "canvas" white and moulding any pop of color that your room is craving.

I happened to be able to sweet talk our church into letting me borrow their overhead projector. We've kept one around Orchardville Church for art projects. This isn't a necessary tool as you can draw or trace directly onto your wood canvas. 

I painted the color directly in-between my traced lines. I had originally thought I would outline the bike in black after painting my color first but loved how it looked without.

These two simple words sum up the whole heart behind this project: better together. The font I used is called sweetly broken.

I taped the moulding to the front of the canvas so it would stay put when I layed it face down on the floor. Then nailed finishing nails into the back of the plywood to hold the moulding in place.

I screwed the plywood directly into the wall since this was so big. It would be such a shame to smoosh a child beneath art. Then I painted the screws white so they are hidden in the canvas. This entire project came in under $20 since the moulding and paint were from my stash. 

One step closer to done in the playroom! I'll secretly be a little bummed when this epic project ends since I'm enjoying each mini project that pulls this room together. It may seem like I know what I'm doing but trust me...I don't. The only difference between me and the girl next door that is decorating her house is that I happen to be sharing my process with the world. Faaaaantastic.

Front Door Fever


Front Door Fever?

Is there even such a thing?
If so, I’m pretty sure I’ve had it, for months … actually FOUR months.

This picture to me seems like this is just yesterday. Check out the mean mug on my boy. Okay so, looking beyond my chipper children, look at the door. This is the first door of the first home we ever bought. Ha- no teary eyes here, This was quickly changed to Full glass… see all storm door. I love the sunshine without the commitment of being completely open.

Another hard to believe mommy moment- this little girl just finished up the first grade! 2nd grade here we come. You may recognize this picture from my 1st day of school post. Here you will see the front door, the way it’s been the past 4 years.

And here again, remember this. This is prior to the Board & Batten wall we did.       


I’m completely guilty of having a half a thought of doing something and running with it. That was not the case this time. For several months I have thrown around the idea of painting the front door. Driving through town… stalking all of the other doors in our area. And one day I came across a beautiful YELLOW door. I at first glance wanted that one! But at that time I was VERY pregnant and knee deep in all of our nursery projects and knew I needed to wait. I’ve never really forced myself to wait before. 

Finally yesterday was the day. Nate took the door off of the hinges and with iced coffee in hand, I dove in.


Finishing up at 11:16 pm last night. I wanted so bad to reveal the color to you all last night. But sorry folks, this momma was tired and it was off to bed for me. (Keep in mind we are still up every 2 hours with Miss Parker,) But here you go I’m leaving you guessing just a little bit more. Because this is just the start.


Check back soon. We are about to give our front porch a complete makeover!
I’m so excited, this has been a long time coming.