Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Maternity skirt

Let me start by saying that I would wear this skirt, pregnant or not. This skirt is seriously the most comfortable item of clothing I own now. I am in a little dilemma with this pregnancy: I don't have any winter maternity clothes! Zadie came in the middle of summer so, sadly, I was my biggest when it was HOT. I swore that I would never be that pregnant again in summer and if I was I would move out of Florida :) Well, I wont be super duper pregnant during summer for this baby which is so good except now I need some good fall/winter pieces to wear. This skirt is going to be perfect for that! I followed the tutorial from this blog (which is such a cute blog!): Elle apparel. I felt like her directions were very clear and I followed them almost exactly. Here is my finished product:
Isn't it SO stinking cute! Pippy (my pup) liked it so much she wanted to get in the picture too!
I mentioned that I made some changes, this is what they were.
1.) If you went to the blog I got this from and read through her instructions you saw the measurements she used for herself. You also saw her picture. She is a small woman. When I measured myself my waist measurements were smaller than hers. I am not saying this to gloat. I am actually sharing this because my womanly intuition had a bad feeling about my measurements being smaller than her measurements, but I didn't listen. I should have. If you look up at my picture and notice my tush, you will see that the skirt was a little snug. Praise God for spandex underwear! The next time I make this skirt, which will be soon, I am going to follow her 30 inch waist instead of my 27 inches. Obviously she sews more than me! ;)
2.) My material was not as wide so my flare could only be 34 inches. It is still really comfortable.
3.) This one isn't a change it was just a confused moment. I could not understand how the waist would work in her directions and I almost did not follow them. I am so glad that I did because, just like the pillows, once I put it together I saw that she was exactly right and that I am a dimwit! :) The entire 5 inch waistband folds down when you wear the skirt.

I went to my grandmothers house to sew this skirt because she has a serger and because she is a genius. She was nervous about the length. I assured her it would be fine and it is. The skirt is long but I never step or trip on it. I think the longer length makes it look kind of bohemian and I am into it!
You need to go make this skirt, like now, pregnant or not. I already bought the material to make another one! Go do it.
~happy skirt-making!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Polka dot pillow covers, and sewing disasters

Remember how I said I would complete those pillows by the end of the week? Well I didn't hold into account that I have taken such a sewing break that I am now a novice. Nor did I consider how long it would take me to REALLY set up my machine. Let's just say I was one frustrated girl yesterday; broken machine plus teething baby= one grumpy momma! At least dinner turned out REALLY good! I made a ham and cheese quiche with leftover ham from the previous night's dinner and swiss cheese. MMMMM... is was delish! Another positive is that I now know my machine a lot better since I spent plenty of one on one time with the owners manual (and on the phone with my grandmother, the original owner). As for Zadie, she doesn't seem as weepy today... Hallelujah!
I did, in the chaos of yesterday, get two pillow shams done. If you remember in my previous post pillows galore I posted a link for a tutorial I was going to follow for the pillow covers. For some reason that tutorial was really intimidating to me because she did not give exact measurements throughout, and, I am embarrassed to admit this, I just could not understand how it could work! It was one of those times that I looked at her finished product and thought that there is something I am obviously missing so I am just going to go for it and hope I catch on. So on top of everything yesterday, I was working on a project that I assumed would probably not work.
Boy was I wrong! It hit me about 3/4 of the way through the project that I am a complete idiot (duh!) and I was making things WAY harder than they were. So here it goes.

I started by measuring out my fabric like she said in the directions, one 18x18 piece and one 18x26 piece.

I cut out two pillows at the same time.
Note to self: Learn how to cut straight...

Here is the fabric I worked with first.

I folder the longer fabric into 3rds and cut off 1/3. If you are annul like me and are making the same size pillow then your measurements should be: the 2/3 piece is 17 1/2 x 18 and the 1/3 piece is 8 1/2 x 18.
I folded the sides of the material, where I just cut them apart, 1/4 an inch and then ironed it down. I just eyeballed it.

Then I foled it again up to 1 1/2 inches. I only took a picture of the smaller piece for some reason, but I did this to both pieces.

I sewed down the ironed edges far enough down to make sure I got the 1/4 inch fold.
Finally I pinned it all together. This is the step that had me SO confused. For some reason I had it stuck in my mind that the two larger pieces would make up the front and the back and the smaller piece would just flap over. I know, I know... It is called a POCKET pillow. I can just be really slow. But for you other confused people out there what you do is lay the 18 x 18 piece down with the right side up. Lay the shortest piece down, right sides together, at the top of the 18 x18 piece. The hemmed side should be aimed towards the middle. Now lay the last piece down, right sides together, at the bottom of the 18x18 piece with the hemmed side going towards the middle. The 2/3s piece should overlap over the 1/3rd piece. You should now have made two 18x18 pieces. Pin them together.
Sew up all the sides reinforcing the overlapped pieces. Cut your corners and then flip it right side out!

Wa- la! You have a pocketed pillow sham! Again, I know I am showing my stupidity in this post, but I wanted to help any other poor frustrated soul who's brain just wasn't quite working. Pretty much I wanted to help all the new moms out there :)
So, two down and a gazillion to go :) I am thinking about trying one of those cutie patootie flowers I linked on the pillows galore post out today. Wish me luck... and full brain function :)
~ have a lovely, brain functioning day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sidetracked... Craft closet

If you read my post yesterday you read a very motivated pillow maker sharing some ideas. When that motivated pillow maker got off the computer to begin working she came to a very sad realization. She had no place to sew :( If you read my post on the pallet shelf then you saw the picture of the desk with my sewing machine on top. Well that desk was sold this weekend and my sewing machine lost it's home. I have known this time was coming and I have been trying to come up with a solution. Then, one day, while scrolling through pintrest I had an epiphany! Why not make that weirdly shaped storage closet in the hallway a small sewing closet. I measured, sweet-talked the hubs, and then got to work. Here is a picture of what we started with.
I cleaned the closet out first.
Then I painted it with some paint that we bought last year at a yard sale for like $.50. Then we cut another shelf and painted it. The board for that shelf was about $6.
It loos good huh!?! Brent even made a little cord hole for me in the shelf. Sadly we woke up poor Zadie in the process of installing this shelf.

She was not very pleased with us! My goodness this little girl sure does make life more exciting!
Here is the finished project so far.

Pretty good for a day's work! So far this sewing closet has cost us about 7 bucks. I am pleased with that!
But we are far from done! As all of you crafters out there know the space is only the first step; now we are on to storage. I played on pintrest for a while last night and created a craft closet board. I really like the idea of the peg board on the door, the baby food jar storage, and the magnetic paint cans. As you can tell, I am far from finished! So look for future posts on the Craft closet!!

Currently, Brent and I are debating lighting for the closet. I, being the frugal momma, want to get a couple of these tap lights.
Thomas & Betts HS4720B Push On Light

And Brent being the "buy better and only buy once" type wants to buy these lights.
Lumen 3 Pack LED High Output Spotlights with Remote Control

He will probably win because he is usually right about these things. You better NEVER tell him I said that though!
Now that my sewing machine has a cozy little home be expecting those cute little pillows!
~ have a cozy little day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pilows Galore!

Today is a pre-project post. I do still have some older projects to post about, but today I have pillows on my mind! I went to JoAnne's yesterday. I love that store. Between their coupons and my teacher's discount I always end up saving more than I spend. That makes this frugal momma HAPPY! :) Yesterday they were having a sale that was half off all the clearance fabric. What! Let me show you my steals...
I am not sure what I am going to do with the bottom fabric, but it was only two dollars a yard so I could not pass it up! And I think it is really cute. This is what I am thinking for the rest of the fabric. First let me show you the fabric that the color pallet for my house comes from.

This is actually a cloth napkin print from World Market. I fell in love with it and decided to pick the colors of my house from it. But, being the creative loser I tend to be sometimes I have created every throw pillow in my house from this fabric. LAME... So my plan is to spice it up a bit! Here is what I am thinking-

 I am going to make two more throw pillows for my living room couch out of the polka dot fabric. Then I will layer the pillows. My living room is that green/ yellow color of the napkin pillow.
For my family room I was thinking of making a couple of throw pillows in this gray seersucker fabric to go with the napkin pillow. I know that may be a stretch color-wise but my family room is a gray/blue and a more casual room. I bought the seersucker originally to make a summer dress for Zadie next summer. So, I may stick with that plan. We will see :) Here is a great tutorial I found for simple but good looking throw pillow covers that I am planning on following. http://www.piebirds.org/2011/01/how-to-make-throw-pillows.html

Now for the other pillows... I know there are MORE! I warned you. I was thinking of adding this flower
I linked the tutorial above the picture. This is the fabric I am thinking about using.

The Seersucker would look cute too though! Who knows what the finished project will look like. I am planning on getting these done this week so keep checking!  ~happy sewing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Apple cake mmm... mmm... good!

Hello all my lovely friends! Today is an overcast breezy day in the sunshine state and I love it! These types of days always put me in the mood for drinking coffee, gardening and baking. I was just walking around my yard yesterday when I realized that I have A LOT of garden mums planted. Now I see why. Fall weather makes me want to garden, and I love flower, therefore we have a plethora of mums! Sorry that is off topic, but really one day I am going to show you before and after pictures of our house. The changes to our yard are incredible. Please do not think I am patting myself on the back because I am not. Brent has the major green thumb in the family. My only job is the flowers, oh and picking the veggies he grows. Although pretty soon I have a feeling a sweet little angle is going to steal that job from me!

Okay, now that I have rambled I will get on to the topic at hand, apples. MMMM... I LOVE baking with apples! and Cinnamon! and brown sugar! Oh, I am getting the baking itch just thinking about it! Lucky me, the cake I am sharing today has ALL of those ingredients. I got this idea from pintrest (are you surprised ;) and from the moment I read the recipe I had this cake on my mind. I wanted to bake it immediately and I was getting the ingredients out to do it until I realized I was out of eggs. Of course. It was a sad sad day. Here is a link to the recipe I originally saw http://sixoneseven.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-10-14T20%3A03%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=10

I pretty much followed this recipe, but I did make a few minor changes I wanted to share.

Change one- I used Cinnamon apple sauce, not because of some major baking epiphany. I just wasn't paying attention at the grocery store. The cake did not turn out to cinnamony for me, but I do love Cinnamon!

Change two- I did not use whole wheat pastry flour. I just used regular plain jane whole wheat flour. There were two reasons for that change. the first being that it was what I already had and the second being I am a poor stay at home mom. I have a grocery budget and I use whole wheat flour a lot. Pastry flour would probably sit in my pantry for a long time and that is not in the budget. :) I did research this change before I made it and what I came up with is the pastry flower would have made the cake a little less dense and probably a little more moist. I was pleased with the regular flour.

Change three- I used 4 small fuji apples and I had plenty of chunks in my trunk... I mean cake... sorry about that. ;)

Being the health freak that I am (I wish!) I coated my bunt pan in cinnamon and sugar, AND I made the glaze. I was not trying to give my family diabetes, I swear. The cinnamon and sugar did not make any type of coating for the outside of the cake by themselves, and honestly I cooked the cake a little too long and I was scared it was going to be dry. I had a helper with the glaze though.
She is SO much like her daddy!

The first slice of cake did turn out dry, but this is one of those desserts that just get better with time. By day four it seriously was one of the most delicious morsels I have ever put in my mouth. I think it was the glaze that made it get so much better. So my recommendation is- do not skip the glaze! I ate this cake every morning dipped in coffee, the breakfast of champions, and every night after dinner. I did always share my dinner piece with Zadie though! Even with eating it twice a day it was disappearing like crazy! I had no idea where it was going until I saw the slices Brent was taking to work every night. They were 5 inches thick. Seriously! So I would call that a husband success! Try this cake. You won't be disappointed. Then tell me how yours turned out!

Happy creative fun Sunday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pallet shelf

I am going to start this post by saying, I LOVE pinterest. It is the perfect oasis for stealers like me! :) This project was one of the first ones I completed after joining pinterest. To be fair, here is the link to the website the original idea came from.

I am not tooting my own horn or anything but this is a project where I actually like my finished craft more than the inspiration! A friend actually showed me this idea the same night she introduced me to pinterest. Brent and I both instantly fell in love and we had the perfect spot for them. The only problem was we had no pallet or any idea where to get one that size. Luckily for us and very unluckily for my sister she had two laying on her burn pile when we went to her house the next day. This was an unfortunate event for my sis because those pallets were under her safe which was stolen from her house... in the middle of the day. Seriously, why are some people so mean. I don't understand! She graciously still gave us the pallets and our adventure began!

All we did was cut the pallets in half. That sounds so easy but of course we did not have the right tools to do it with. I do not know what the right tools are but Brent complained about it the whole time. :) So, we improvised and used a table saw and a skil saw. Our cuts were not perfect but that just adds to the rustic charm right?! I have been wanting to do something like this for a while so I have been collecting cool books to display. We did need it to be semi-functional so it does have a mason jar pen holder and our stamps are hidden in there. The rest is just a mix of things from some Nina Fritz art prints (a local artist) that Brent gave me when we were dating, to books and records, a plant Brent is rooting, and even the newspaper from the day we were married... I told you, I am embarrassingly sentimental! Anywho, this is the finished project. I hope you like it!
 This picture is kind of crazy. Sorry! I wanted you to see what was under the shelves as a hint to a future uncompleted project. Right now we have the desk that use to house our desktop which has been replaced. I temporarily added my sewing machine but it will also have to move because we are going to build a bench to fit here! I can't wait!
Well I hope you get a little inspiration from this project, if not mine then the original. It really is a great and easy idea!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just for kicks, Window frame

I am going to start my first real post by posting a craft that... hold your breath... is my own idea! Please do not get use to this. It will not happen often. :) This idea came to me when my husband came home with a lot of old window frames. When I say a lot, that is exactly what I mean. He had this wonderful idea, really it was wonderful, to build a greenhouse out of the old windows. But, as many great ideas do, it died. So I was left with bakoodles of old windows. I am not complaining. I do LOVE old windows, but this is where I inherited my amazing frame. I did not have to mess with the existing paint besides scraping a little more off. I love the shabby chic look! The material in the frame were from the centerpieces at my wedding... I am embarrassingly sentimental! The photos are a short timeline of my life with Brent. It starts with an engagement picture, on to the wedding, then maternity, and finally our growing little family. Side note, it is crazy how soon my little family is going to grow! It seems like that engagement picture was taken yesterday... Seriously. Back to topic, I added some little flourishes. The B is a cute whatnot a friend had in her craft room that she was so kind to give up. The word family and the embellishments are scrap booking supplies. This frame took an embarrassingly long time to put together. I have a problem with making things too busy so every time I came out with a finished frame Brent would nix it and I would start again. I am glad he did because I LOVE the finished project! So here it is...
Sorry about the glare :(
And this is the finished wall in my family room.

I hope you like it. I sure do!

A new idea...

So I obviously have decided to join the blogging world! Brent (my husband) and I have been working on so many projects around the house, and with Zadie (my daughter) being able to get around on her own now, I have finally gained some time to craft and bake and READ!! I am going to enjoy this sweet little bit of freedom before baby number 2 comes in January and I thought I might share some of it with you!

To get myself in the mojo of this whole blog thing I am going to start by posting about some recent projects I have been working on. I am going to go ahead and let you in on my little secret. I am a stealer. I some how missed that gene that those really cool people get where they just come up with amazing ideas on their own. So to compensate for this deficiency I get most of my ideas from other blogs and just kind of make it my own. or not. Sometimes I follow the directions exactly and mine turns out so very different... AHHHH! But I always have fun. So here it goes....
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