Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Decor and Baskets

I am way behind on any seasonal decor...I totally skipped Valentines and St. Patrick's Day and wasn't going to do Easter, but a couple weeks ago I just felt like making Spring decor changes. Maybe it was the blizzard warning we were under that was bringing out the need for some soft Spring colors and fresh decor... I am totally over winter already! So, I quickly rummaged my Spring decor bin and tried to whip up something quick and easy. We have these two cut outs in our house that I decorate for seasons/holidays. I started with the larger one in the upstairs hallway and settled on this:

It came together fairly quickly and for free using items I had on hand. I first took a 16 x 20 frame we have had downstairs for over 5 years and took out the mat. I added some fresh floral wrapping paper from Walmart and hung it on the wall. Next, I created a 3D Egg banner inspired by this tutorial. I did my eggs a little different to hide the back sides being white or a different print and I simply hole punched my paper at the top to string it up. I also would have loved to use book pages, but didn't have any old books to tear up on hand :(

In one corner I grabbed a thrifted pitcher I spray painted cream a long time ago and filled it with sticks and grassy things that I also had downstairs. Throw two little cute birdies next to it and call it good. On the other side I printed an Easter printable and framed it with a moss bunny behind. The bunny and birds came from my husband's aunt who sells these types of decorations wholesale to stores. I love digging through her sale racks of display items to find little treasures.

I wish I could say I finished the downstairs nook...but it sits with a half completed chalkboard project and a nest with no eggs in it...well, maybe next year!

And here is a little look at a project I did last year. Quick little baskets using this tutorial from Positively Splendid

Happy Easter-

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Outfits

I finally finished the kids' Easter outfits. My daughter's dress, although I had made the same one several years ago for my niece, proved to be a challenge. I have never picked out so many seams in my life!! I had to take in a couple inches on each side...and in the end I just had to make it work the best that I could. She loves the net ruffle slip underneath and I think she looks adorable. And who can resist a little dude in a tie?

The material I used for the polka dot dress and tie is...wait for it...a thrifted bed sheet! I know that isn't really that surprising, since I have used a bed sheet for a dress before HERE
But I have to say, I really didn't think this sheet would look as cute as it does sewn into clothes. I totally love it and it made for cheap outfits. I think the sheet was a couple bucks!
 The tutorial for the tie is found here. It was super easy and quick (I actually did this while my kids were awake, which says a lot. I normally do not sew when they are up, but that is how fast and easy it came together. )

My daughter's dress is from the Simplicity Project Runway patterns: 2989. The dress isn't difficult but when I tried it on her early in the process I thought the fit was right, but once I inserted the lining and zipper it was WAY TOO BIG. How does that happen? So, out came the seam ripper...I also added piping at the skirt and band seamline. The picture below shows the net ruffle underneath which is so fun for spinning and twirling.

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Pillow Inserts and Floor Pouf

When I purchased IKEA pillowcases for our Family Room Makeover, I could have purchased the matching inserts at the store. However, since I was not planning on buying my pillows there I had already purchased 24 x 24 pillow inserts at Joanns awhile back for super cheap during a sale. So...what to do? Do I save the pillow inserts from Joanns and purchase the IKEA ones or use what I have and make it work. I opted for the second option. I quickly turned my two Joann 24 x 24 inserts into two pillow inserts for the IKEA cases and used the remainder for my can find more on that below.

The whole project took about 45 minutes one night while watching tv. (Sorry for the dark pics.) I first determined the size I needed my insert to be. Luckily for me the width was the same so I only had to measure and mark the length I needed my inserts to be.
 I took my ruler and marked the new length in several spots moving across the pillow. Then connected the lines with a marker. You can see it faintly below.
 Next I took scissors and starting cutting the pillow on the line. I snipped one side of the insert at a time and worked my way all the way around.

Then I pinned the opening closed and hand stitched it together.

 And it was done. I stuffed them into my pillowcases and called it good.

I took the remaining stuffing from the pillow inserts and used it to help fill the DIY Pouf I made. This quick project saved me a trip to the store and I was able to use the pillow inserts I already had on hand...woo hoo!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Petrillo Bag Review

A few weeks ago I was asked to pattern test a bag created by Sarah at Sew Sweetness. When I first saw the pattern I thought the bag was super cute and knew I wanted to give it a try. I found my fabric at a local quilting store. It is Timeless Treasures in Portobello. I just love the print of the Navy floral fabric.
 This bag is deep yet comfortable. It is made to hold an iPad, kindle, or other small electronic device in an interior padded pocket...but I have just been using mine as a small diaper bag. It was quick and easy to put together and I highly recommend the pattern. Sarah has some great designs- check out her store here.

I have been getting some great use out of my bag and look forward to seeing what Sarah creates next!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

BHG Floor Pouf is one week into March and I still haven't posted the next space in my Dozen Designs challenge...well, let's just say we went with the guest bath and it is turning out to be a bit bigger DIY job than we planned on, but it should be done soon! So, in the meantime let's finish up the family room.

When creating our family room makeover I wanted to add a little floor pouf for an additional seat, a place for the kids to lounge, and some added color. I found this free pattern over at Better Homes and Gardens. What I did not realize was just how large this floor pouf is...maybe the term ottoman should have given it away though. My original plan was to have two smaller poufs but once I began cutting the fabric I realized quickly there would only be enough for in the end I have one large ottoman/floor pouf and I am happy with it and slowly getting used to its large size :) 

For the fabric I used this curtain panel from Target. I bought the $20 panels and barely had enough to complete the pattern. I had to unpick the stitching at the top to allow enough room for the top and bottom octagon pieces. These poufs also require a lot of stuffing so I used old clothes, baby blankets, plus fiberfill including some extra I had on hand from the pillows to create this one pouf. So, while it may not have been what I was expecting, I am pleased with the result and it gets plenty of use in our family seems to have changed to a "rock" my kids use in their make believe games that they roll from place to place :) 


Saturday, March 2, 2013

DIY Gallery Art Wall

When completing the family room as my first room in my Dozen Designs Challenge, I struggled with adding personal artwork.

 To be honest, I am not a huge art person in general. It is hard for me to like something that is not symmetrical or all the same color family, etc. So when my husband asked for more family photos in the family room I hesitated...crazy, I know. But you see this would mean deciding on an arrangement on the only empty wall which is under the staircase-yikes, a slanted wall...this concept scares me :) And photos...hmmm, if they aren't black and white they aren't the same color- ahhhh! But, I got over it and set to work trying to pick something I liked.

I have seen several ideas similiar to this floating around Pinterest. I decided to give it a try. Here is how I created my canvas wall art.

Photos (I used 2 8 x 10s and 1 16x20)
Mod Podge in Matte finish
Artist Canvas (I bought my larger ones from Hobby Lobby using 40% off coupons, I had the 8 x 10 ones on hand from a previous project)
Cricut or way to create a stencil
Acrylic Paint
Sponge paint brushes
Spray Paint (I used Oil Rubbed Bronze and Cream)

For the photo canvases I followed this simple and quick tutorial from Girl Inspired. It was super easy. Before I attached my picture I used spray paint around the sides and front edges in Oil Rubbed Bronze. After attaching the picture I used her technique of taking black paint with a sponge and applying it to the edges. It all came together nicely. I did try attaching scrap book paper to the sides first instead of painting and it did not work well for, if you want to save time, paint the edges.

For the word art I followed the following steps:
1. I painted my canvas with two coats of spray paint. First a cream, followed by oil rubbed bronze. I wanted them to have a slightly worn look without a bright white showing through the paint.

 2. Next I typed the important family dates and the text I wanted into my Sure Cuts Alot program for my cricut. I used my 12 by 24 mat and cut out the dates in vinyl. And then...things got dicey...I laid the stencil on top of the canvas very delicately. I had a very difficult time removing the stencil from my mat without ruining it and it didn't want to stick to my canvas. The only upside to this headache was realizing my original plan to just cut it out of vinyl and attach it to the canvas wouldn't have I guess that is positive :)
Below you can see the stencil on top of the canvas. I just made sure I painted by pressing straight up and down with the sponge. This helped it stay in place and not smudge too bad.
 I painted the 2 dates at the top and bottom using a creamy white acrylic paint and the center date in blue. I let it dry, peeled off the stencil and touched up any necessary several areas. After I had one sign down, I decided to try a different technique on the second one. For the sign below I cut the stencil out of thick card stock. I wish I could say this was so much easier...but it wasn't. About the same result but with less sticking. So if fidgeting with vinyl makes you angry, this is the way to go :)

 I painted all the text white except for the word day, which was painted in blue. I then cut a little swirly object from scrapbook paper on my cricut and mod podged it on. I hung the canvases using command strips and picked a layout that had symmetry (of course).
 And thats it...for just a bit of time and money, I now have my own little gallery art wall.