Blogger love….

One of my fave blogs is Vintage Revivals. It’s one of the blogs I check out daily if at all possible. She has such awesome ideas and talents. I am never disappointed in what she shows up with. Her last post is one worth sharing. This whole blogging world is something of a site to behold – pun intended. It’s a crazy domino effect – you go to one blog, they link you to another that they were inspired by, you click over and BAM, links to a few more blogs. OH and then some bloggers have “link” parties where any blogger can link up and share specific posts. UGH, seriously, I.can’t.get.anything.done for all of the blog hopping. But you know what? I love it! I could spend hours upon hours just checking out all of the talented people out there.

Take a minute – er, or an hour or two – and go check it out. Click HERE While you are at it, leave me a comment with a link to your fave blog. This is probably one of the best ways to share some of those blogs that don’t always pop up on a radar for other people. Please share!!! As a matter of fact…I may start sharing a new blog I find on a regular basis. Hope you enjoy what you find!

And you know I don’t do posts without at least one pic… so here you go… my latest obsession ~ seriously, are you surprised?

Images and tutorials found 1. here 2. here 3. here and 4. here

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I would write more, but I really mustache….

Have you seen them? I know you have…you have to have seen them. You know, the mustaches everywhere! They are the coolest accessory these days. What would 2012 be without staches?? I need to jump on that bandwagon before the wheels fall off. I ended up getting some real cute staches for your nails off of Groopdealz last month…can’t wait for summer to use them! But enough about shopping, I thought I would try my hand at making a mustache glass. The point is that when you lift the cup to drink from it, it appears you have a funky little mustache. At first, I was going to etch them on. I had seen some good posts on etching and this would be a good way for me to get in on all of that fun. Then I started to price etching cream. WOW! That stuff is expensive…$23 bucks for 22oz. That’s about a buck an ounce. That means I would have zero room for error with this stuff. And then I went on to read that it actually changes the composition of the glass, so once this stuff is on – it’s on for the long haul. That last part made me pretty nervous. Luckily, while searching for spray paint for another project, I came across some frosting spray. It was $5.98 a can…and let me tell you, I can stretch a can of spray paint.

I put my supplies together:

drinking glass of choice
one can of frosting spray
several mustache templates that I found free over herean exacto knife
some removable contact paper (found at Wal-mart for less than 5 bucks a roll)

I cut out one of the mustaches and then traced it onto the contact paper. I used the exacto knife to carefully cut out the mustache, leaving a stencil of sorts. I slowly placed this on the glass, being careful to align the mustache where I wanted it as well as keeping it level. I took another piece of contact paper to cover the rest of the glass. I flipped the glass over on some newspaper and spray away. Actually it is important to pay attention to how you spray….use a well ventilated area, keep the can at least 8-10 inches from the object you are spraying and work the can back and forth pausing spraying once past the item.. does that make sense?

And voila! You have a cute little stache!

Here is the second template I used. This is the mustache cut out of the contact paper.

And here are both complete. I was actually pretty happy with how they turned out. The only problem? When you went to drink out of them the stache was in between your eyes… kinda like a funky uni-brow, not a handle-bar mustache. Oops! And they were a little on the small side.

I attempted to correct the problem by at least making it bigger. I just printed out a template larger and tried to line it up over the original one.
Fail! I had the worst time with the paint coming off with the contact paper, and you could sorta see the original stache. Bummer.

So, I scraped it all off and started over. It came off really easy, and that actually concerned me because if these glasses were going to get any use, I wouldn’t want them to show wear and tear to quickly. I figured after this try, if they still scraped off easy after a coat of clear acrylic, then it would be a job for etching cream.

Here they are… all ready for a coat of frosting spray.

And after they were sprayed. I actually discovered something interesting…you cannot spray a clear acrylic over this frosting spray. It cancels out the frost or something and just makes it clear. Odd.

And here they are all done! Look good?…uummm…

Maybe you should look closer…. agh! Fingerprints!!! Sigh, oh well… I guess that even though I was being careful not to handle them too much, without gloves it was unavoidable.

This is a project I would chalk up to learning experience. I need to keep an eye out for coupons and get a jar of etching cream and quit being a chicken and so dang cheap. Oh well, I can at least scrape all of it off and start over again. You win some…you start over on some… I can’t say lose, cause I can still recoup this one a bit. I still love the idea, and although I would rather share all of my “wins” I figure, let’s keep it real..I don’t get them all right.

Anyone else have any project fails to share? Oh, come on…I can’t be the only one! Maybe a fun mustache story to tell??

I wanna see your peacock…curtains that is!

Yes, that Katy Perry song did play through my head as I made these… and my husband thought it was funny to play it, you know, just to get it out of my head. Nope, stuck. Luckily, I was stuck on the design of my fabric so I was ok with it. I made a pit stop at Wal-mart last week. Not my favorite store by any stretch, but I had seen they had some fabric at ridiculous low prices. I have been envisioning some white based curtains with pops of color for the living room for some time now. I had considered doing a canvas drop cloth curtain, maybe stenciled or painted with chevrons. I kept hesitating, not really 100% sure of what I wanted to do. Well, maybe it was fate cause I found my curtains last week!

I am so impatient when doing projects, that is definitely something that I am trying to improve on. If you take a look at the pic below…it’s not done. The curtain wire is not taught enough, you can see where I have moved the bases to them, but have not puttied and painted the spots. Oh, and that panel on the right? Umm, it’s not done. It actually has pins in it. In all fairness though, I ran out of thread. And I am considering painting the main rooms of the house, so I am not sure I am going to bother touching up those spots. So really, the only part that I should have done was tighten up that cable. This is where I should hear a collective “Well, get to it!”. I will, this weekend. But enough about all that jazz…what about those curtains????

Nice? A little too loud?? My husband suggested a disco ball when he saw the material. lol They are pretty out there, but I love ’em! I know they aren’t a choice everyone would make, but they suit me and I love to look at them. So here is what I did….

I bought 6 yards (I have NO clue how I came up with that – cause I need much, much more) The material is 48″ wide. I measured the curtains I already had hanging since I liked the length on them. 90″, so some quick match and that is 2.5 yards. (90″/36″ = 2.5 yds) So obviously my 6 yards was off..I don’t even have enough for 2 windows! Did I mention I paid 3.97 a yard for this stuff??? I will totally be going back for more.

But I digress, I cut my 2.5 yards, pressed it and then considered using hemming tape to get these done. Yes, that would be very easy. Almost too easy. BUT…I have a brand new sewing machine that I have to learn to use! So I hemmed the edges the old-fashioned way. I folded the material over approximately .25 of an inch. I pinned it down as I went and even ironed it so it would lay nice and flat.

Then I simply ran a straight stitch along the edges. Did I mention I don’t really know how to sew? Well, here are some good examples of things I did wrong/didn’t think of. I should have cut the material at 91 inches. Why? That seam allowance!

You can see in the pic that the patterned material is a little shorter. All-in-all not a big deal, but a little irritating for me. Oh and when I was sewing, this is what the back of my stitches looked like on that last panel…

From the research I have done, the thread tension was off. I will be taking that line out and re-sewing it. But I had to get them up!! I wanted to see if I was totally off with this fabric choice, or if I had really found what I was looking for.

I had those semi-sheer brown curtains up there before, and I actually cut those in half so I could layer up the curtains. I am kind of thinking the patterned material is too narrow, that maybe I should not have cut it in half. I may hang the piece I have left to see…but I wanted to live with them for a while before I moved forward. So what do you think??

I ended up making this little pin cushion while I was working on the panels. It was soooo easy to make and what a great help it has been!

Anyone else been window dressing? Window shopping? Or maybe you have your own version of peacock that appeals to you!

Chirp Chirp….oh wait, that’s not the right sound…

I am not sure if you are aware of my affection for birds. Not as a bird watcher, or even the living sort, but the colors and ceramic types. I have an owl coffee mug, a couple of super cute yellow birds I found at Michael’s dirt cheap. And now, I think I have a peacock addiction. This will be an addiction that I need to control. Because let’s face it…too much peacock in a house is for the birds. *cue corny punch-line music…

Ok onto a more serious note, as serious as you can be when talking about peacocks that is. I really feel that its going to catch on this year (heck, it might have been from last year and I missed the memo?). The colors, the design, just the feel of some plumage. I have my own ode.to.peacock in the works, but before I dish on that, let me share some inspiring peacock prettiness.

Here is a cute fabric… obviously peacock

Image found here

Not quite so obvious, but very nice color arrangement!

Image found here

What a beautiful table setting!

Image found here

Love this painting…

Image found here

And you know you can’t go wrong with a great peacock pillow tutorial!

Image found here

And last, but certainly not least, the real deal feathers… aren’t they lovely?

So does anyone else have a new color palette of some sort that is keeping their attention these days? Maybe going a little bird crazy?? Surely it’s not just me!

Goodwill finds

Anyone like to shop Goodwill? I know my mother-in-law should probably buy stock – er, if it was a publicly traded company of course šŸ˜‰ I have gotten back into my thrifting. I used to do it a lot, but kinda fell out of the practice. It must have been something about having a baby that got my DIY bone to itching, cause it seems that’s all I want to do these days. I have come across some pretty neat things at Goodwill, and I think that I need to start exploring the other locations to see what goodies they may hold. Upon my last trip to the Goodwill, I found 3 things. Please ignore the Scentsy warmer- that’s its home on the bar.

I took this shot first, but as you can see..I had a “helper” who was very intent on helping. And those are fairly heavy glass, so I didn’t want any squished toes.

I found 2 of these “greenhouses” and a pasta container.

Some back story here would be relevant ~
I had actually been oggling this little “greenhouse” that YHL has for sometime

Image found over at younghouselove

Then I saw some for sale over at Zgallerie (my favorite place to peruse these days) and honestly, I had no idea what they were called (I searched that site for quite some time, but to no avail). I shot an email over to YHL to see if they had a name for it. Sure enough, they called it a greenhouse, or a cloche. Yay! A name to google (thanks so much to Sherry!)! Here is what I found when I googled “cloche” images:

Must be a hat thing.. and you know, my son would go crazy if he saw this. He loves him some hats.

So then I googled “glass cloche”. Ahhhh that is what I was looking for.

And.. I had already decided on a great place for one of these to reside. Oh and bonus? I had picked up these cute little faux succulents at Target for 2.50. So total cost on that little deal is 5.45+tax Woot! *note: I am not sure why my pics are all wonky…working on that!

I havent decided what I am going to do with the other one just yet. It’s waiting in the wings for some brilliant idea of some sort. And that pasta container? It is just another purchase in my mission of organizing the pantry. I will tell you that it’s in the works, but it may seriously take a year to complete. I am not a spender and it will take time to accumulate the containers I need to complete it. I could give myself a big old smack to the forehead though, I visited World Market this last weekend for the first time, and they had some super cute larger glass cannister at a very good price. I walked away… ugh. I wish I wasn’t such a penny pincher sometimes.

So has anyone else found some great Goodwill items recently? Or maybe you have some organizing going on behind the scenes? Please share!

**Teaser alert! I just purchased material for our curtains in the living room… I love it! I will be cutting panels and sorting out how I will hang them this weekend hopefully. I will share the deets when I am done! Think – peacock.

DIY ruffled pillow

I guess I have had a thing for pillows lately. All the Pinterest surfing has me really paying attention to pillows. I also love some re-purposing of items I already have on hand. Or really cheap ideas. Whichever, something crafty on a budget is what keeps me up at night (and a 16 month old, but what else do I have to do but “day”dream of pillows?). I saw this pin and this pin last week and figured, heck, I can do that. I have been needing to put my new sewing machine to the test and I had been given some valances that, although cute, just didn’t have a place in my house. Now onward with a tutorial of how I made my little ruffled pillow.

I didn’t take pics of the first steps, but it was pretty simple. I figured out how big I wanted my pillow to be, and cut out 2 panels(cut 3 if you want the front and back to have the same material). I then cut one of the panels into 2 inch strips. I took each strip and ran a long stitch down the center of it (no backstitching!) Once I had all the strips stitched, I started at one and held one of the pieces of thread while pushing up on the fabric. This started to bunch the fabric in little ruffles. I pushed mine pretty tight and stretched them as needed once I started laying them out on the pillow face. *one tip – use good thread! Cheap thread will break when you start pulling to ruffle it.* You can see in the pic below where I had all the pieces bunched up, and stretched the first out where I wanted it to fall.

Remember to leave about 1/2″ seam allowance. I let my strips overlap the allowance a little (not enough though, I ended up having to sew with about an inch seam allowance to catch-all the ends). Just watch when you pin them that you have the ends of your strips either all the way to the edge or sew overtop of the ends.

I pinned each ruffle down trying to keep the ends as straight as possible. I discovered while I was sewing them on that the most important step here is to make each strip’s first stitching line straight.

As you can see here, I just sewed each ruffle on by going over top that first stitch. As I went, I found that where the strips were not straight, I just unpinned, pinned them back and voila, easier to sew. If you look to the right of this photo, the edge ended up being 2 inches once I straightened out all of the ruffles and sewed them on. I just cut an inch off so that the whole piece would have the same seam allowance.

You can see that 2 inch side better in this pic.

And a little close up of the sewed on ruffles.

Here is what the back looks like…not really pretty, but no one will see it.

I also didn’t take pics of the next step. I didn’t use the same material to back the pillow. My bonus daughter had some old dress up clothes she was getting rid of, so I snagged a white dress out of it and used that for the back.

I placed the back piece and the ruffles face to face (front of the ruffles to what would show on the back of the pillow. Then I stitched all around the edges, leaving a small hole (maybe 4 inches) open to stuff the pillow fluff.

I actually sewed 3 sides and flipped it right side out to see how my edges looked and discovered that not all of the ends of my ruffles and made it into the inside of the pillow. So all I did was turn it inside out again and do another stitch a little further inside the first. You can trim extra material if you like. I did not.

I stuffed it, then turned the raw edges of that 4 inches I left open in and sewed it up on the sewing machine. Easy peasy. And I should note at this point… I don’t know how to sew. I am learning very, veerryy slowly.

Voila! Here you go…. one ruffled pillow!

And the back..

And here you can see how all of the ends of the ruffles are sewn inside. HHmmm little lumpy huh… needs some fluffing.

All done! My second pillow project complete!

Although it’s cute… I really don’t have a place for it in the house just yet still. I think I need to start working on pillows with a place in mind. But green is a good color, and I may work it in!

Anyone else been working on “pin” projects? Making pillows? Dreaming of pillows?

Place mat to pillow

I had seen this post over at The Country Chic Cottage about turning a simple place mat into a pillow. I mean, how cute? And how simple for this just.learning.how.to.sew girl. I was at Big Lots and saw a place mat that caught my eye. It had some colors I liked and was brighter than most I had seen. Oh and it was 2.99. Why not get it, right? So i brought it home…

The first thing I did was take my seam ripper and open up one of the edges. I chose a short edge for the obvious reason of not having to sew as much back up.

I grabbed a pillow I already had to check out the stuffing situation.

It’s nice and full here…

I’m not sure if you can tell from this picture, but it might have been a tad too full…like right after Christmas dinner is over, and you finished off that last bite of stuffing full. I decided to use the stuffing from another pillow I had on hand instead. It was much easier to pin it after putting less stuffing in it.

I pinned the seam I had opened up with a few pins about an inch or so away from the edge (sorry, I forgot to take a pic of that before I sewed it so I “reenacted” it).

Here is a close up…

And another… I really had to pay attention when I sewed this up, it was so full I had to be careful guiding it along that edge with all the stuffing in the way.

And all sewed up. I stitched the outside rather than flipping the fabric face to face and then sewing it all up, and then turning it right side out. The orignal stitching on the place mat was on the outside where you could see it, and I kind of liked that look. Plus it gave me a chance to try out some of the fancy stitching I could do on my machine.

Here it is looking all small and lonely on my couch.

So I moved it somewhere it fit a little better… (and you can see the fabric I am using to make another pillow cover!! A little sneak peek for you!)

Here it is… place mat-to-pillow

Anyone else upcycled something lately? I love some upcycling… share your ideas and projects!

A little at a time…

It’s 2012, and I am in full decorate mode. I want to do it ALL – NOW!!! I want to paint the island, paint the kids’ bathroom and vanity, put in some kind of storage in the living room, create a new dining set. I could list all.day.long the ideas I have and what I want to do. But the fact of the matter is…it all takes time, and money. Both of which are running closer to “E” in my daily gas tank. So I have decided the only way that I am going to accomplish anything is to take bite size pieces. I will make a list for each room of what I want to do. Then I can figure out which items will give me the most impact for the least money to start. That should at least quell the raging decor beast inside for a while.

How to begin? I seriously have notebooks full of ideas just scribbled down as I think of them. I attempted to put them in room or project order, but that didn’t always work out. Oh and did I mention that I got a sewing machine for Christmas?? (thanks to my wonderful family!) So now I have even more projects that I need to do! Need.. not want, need. Because I need a home that is beautiful to look at, I need a home that makes me smile when I see it. So let’s start with those areas I see the most: living room, kitchen, dining room.

In no particular order:

window treatments
wall color
furniture (placement and pieces)
rugs
art/picture placement
storage (this is a big one, we hardly have any storage)

I believe that little list of big stuff handles it. I have ideas, and I have some things in the works. Sadly, any furniture work will have to wait for warmer weather since I have nowhere to paint this time of year. But there are lots more changes I can make!

In the meantime, I thought I would share some sites that keep me inspired and reaching for my pocketbook. There are lots of good deals on a variety of home decor and general items! Check them out!

Joss&Main

Open Sky

WUSLU

Groopdealz

One Kings Lane

Does anyone else have a decorating monkey on their back? Or have you started the year out with a new mojo? Maybe you have a project list of your own to tackle?

Happy New Year!

Well, this is it…it will be a new year in just a few hours. Are you prepared to start another year? I believe I am. It’s going to be a big year. Do I have resolutions? A few. I can name 5 that I need to put in writing.

1. Organize my home
2. Take on a DIY project that has big results
3. Finish a room in my house
4. Get back in shape
5. Learn to use the sewing machine I got for Christmas

That’s my shortlist…honestly, the other things I need to do didn’t need to wait until New Year to be on a list. Why not use today as a jumping off point though for the rest of the year? I think I will begin this morning with a cup of coffee, and contemplate what I will begin today.

Is everyone else ready for today? It’s a new year, wipe your slate clean…what will you do to make 2012 a year to remember?