Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cleaning Leather Sofas

This post is a little different from the norm but I thought I would review a Pinterest attempt that actually worked, as I have had several failures lately. We have some leather couches that honestly wouldn't be my first choice for furniture, but they came with my husband when we got married :) I have tried several times to clean them with no luck. After having two kids and a dog there is just stuff on them. I found a pin about cleaning leather sofas from www.stepbystep.com. I was a tad skeptical because I guess I never knew you should clean leather with ivory or another mild body soap. I used a Dove body wash and it worked. Here are some pics but they don't really do it justice. I don't have before pics of the after side, but trust me, it was just as bad as the other side. The wash really took off marks that I had gone over before several times with a damp rag, leather cleaner, and other failed attempts.

So if you are looking for an easy way to clean that actually works, I would totally recommend this cleaning method.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

DIY Kindle Fire Covers

My niece just celebrated her birthday and my parents bought her a Kindle Fire as a gift. I usually make her something homemade for birthdays and a cover just seemed like a perfect fit! I searched the web for some tutorials and came across two that I tried. The first one is from www.chicaandjo.com.
I had to make a couple small adjustments as it was too big originally and the kindle was not tall enough to reach elastic on all four sides. It was probably some mistake I made...but it was a quick fix to get it to fit.

The supplies I used were cotton fabric that I bought at Joann's a long time ago, colored elastic that I ordered from PickYourPlum.com and the cardboard was from the back of a card stock book I had in my scrapbooking supplies.

For the second one I decided to make a padded case using the same supplies minus the cardboard and the addition of felt, a button, and padded interfacing. This one came together quickly and was super simple to make. If you are looking for a quick cover, this is the one to do. http://treasuresfortots.blogspot.com
I like the way both cases turned out and they both serve a different purpose. I am happy with the way they turned out and I hope my niece gets some good use out of them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

House Happenings

If you read our blog you may have noticed a slow down in posts and sewing tutorials. Let's just say life has been busy and a tad overwhelming at times. For me, I sold a house, bought a house, packed a house, unpacked a house, started work, started MOPS, started attending a small group...in the past two months and this house came with lots of "to do" items. And add to that a 1 and 2 year old and time goes by quickly with little progress. So, while this post is not craft related it gives you a little glimpse into my life and what we have been up to lately...I hope to be posting more regularly soon and also have lots of house decorating posts as well. Til then...here is what you can bet I will be doing: wrangling these two cuties who love to play and fight and manage one cranky teething little boy:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Setting Sail Party

So...where is time going? How has it been 3 weeks since I posted? And why am I just now posting about something that happened in August? Seriously, my life feels a little crazy right now, but I digress, let's move on.

In the summer I was tasked with the planning and decorating of our annual back to school "fun day" for our school staff. Every year we take one day of inservice, and for a few hours, do a team building activity and staff lunch. It is always fun to pick the theme and decide how we are going to pull off a fun time for our staff. However, it has its challenges, as budgets are tight and we have 50 staff members that attend. This year we took the theme of "Enjoying the Journey Together" and spun off the "fun day" activities and lunch to collaborate with the theme. For the activity we had the staff compete in an "Amazing Race". I unfortunately have no pictures of what I created for this :( It was a lot of work, but it was all made easy because of the fabulous blog chicaandjo. Seriously, from templates to clues to running the whole race- they have it all! This was a tremendous life saver and saved me hours upon hours of work. The race was fun...but we didn't leave enough time for it, so we unfortunately had to cut two legs of the race while in the midst of it. We learned to either have lunch first and then take the afternoon for the race or start earlier in the morning.

For the lunch theme we went with "Setting Sail." I first picked the colors of blue, green, and white and went from there. Here are some of things I was able to do with a tight budget using items I had around the house or from the dollar store. Keep in mind the room I had to decorate was less than ideal (a crowded stage with fluorescent lights) and the pictures are from my cell phone.

I purchased blue tablecloths from the dollar store and splurged on wrapping paper for the table runner. I felt so bad that the roll was $12.00 I actually bought it with my own money. I bought one roll which I cut in half to create enough to cover the tables. After the party, I rolled up any paper that was in good shape and it has already been reused to wrap gifts, etc...I am frugal like that :) The paper was from a local party store and it was the perfect shade of green and a modern stripe. I looked everywhere for a more modern paper and this was the best I could do, hence, I spent the money for it! One of my favorite projects were the place cards.

The paper boats were created out of kraft paper I already had at home. Surprisingly it did not take forever to make 50 of these. I followed several tutorials until I figured it out :) Here are the two main ones I used: Martha Stewart & You Tube. After I made the boats I looked around school and found some coffee stir sticks that I could use to hold the pendant name tag which was simply printed on regular printer paper. The silverware was inspired from www.craft-o-maniac.com
I used silverware and green napkins from the dollar store, wrapped them in twine from Walmart (hint: I found cheap twine in the paint/tool area for about a third of the cost as the twine in their craft section). And tied a lifesaver on the outside to look like a life preserver.

 The dessert table backdrop was made with blue kraft paper to cover the white board on the wall followed by some dollar store wrapping paper. The banner was made with burlap and fabric I had at home and my cricut machine to cut out the letters for me to stencil. We simply used small clothespins (again something I already had) to attach the banner to twine. The desserts followed the color them with blue m and m's, green and blue jelly beans, green gummy frogs, white powdered donuts, and the favorite, chocolate dipped oreos- found here: http://www.makoodle.com. The gaps were filled in with two metal planters had from Ikea and green tissue paper. 
Overall the room was nice and festive and didn't look like a school stage. I had fun decorating, just wish I hadn't taken on this task while also moving :)