August 22nd, 2011
Janell here, In March I got a hold of some of Jen Allyson’s Quite Contrary Fabric Collection from Riley Blake and I made my daughter this cute summer dress, but what’s a girl to do without accessories? Make some of course!
There’s still time for a few summer craft projects, these flowers are so simple you can whip up a bunch to enjoy for the rest of the summer or give a few away, they make perfect gifts. Simple, sweet, and handmade.
The best part about these projects is that they can be made from fabric scraps. Those of you who work with fabric have oodles of scraps. I chose five different fabrics from Quite Contrary. For the first flower, you’ll need thread, a needle, scissors, and extra embellishments like buttons, hair clips, or a head band if you choose.
Start with cutting a circle about the size of your hand from one piece of fabric. You don’t need to make this is perfect circle, in fact a little imperfection adds to the fun of these flowers.
The take your threaded needle and simply stitch about a ¼ inch all around the border.
Then gently pull to cinch the circle together. Repeat with another circle of fabric slightly smaller than your first circle. You can make multiple layers to add depth and beauty to your flower. Once you have at least two circle flowers you can layer them one on top of the other and stitch together. I added a button so I sewed all three together at the same time. You can also use jewels or beads in the center, or leave the flowers plain.
Now you can attach the flower to a clip or a hair band or an elastic hair tie. I wanted to make a fabric covered hair hand to attach the flower to. This is also very simple to do. Take your head band that you want to cover and a few long strips of fabric. I chose to tear some strips because I like the raw frayed look of the edges. I started with two long strips that were about ¾ inch thick. Take a hot glue gun or your favorite craft glue and start at one end and wrap the headband with the fabric strips adding glue about every inch or so.
You can attach your flowers with a little glue or you can sew them on as well. I chose to do both to make sure they were very well attached since I knew my toddler might not be so gentle with her headband.
I even made a card with an extra fabric flower that I had.
The second flower is a “no-sew” flower, also great for scraps. Tear some strips of fabric anywhere from 1 inch thick to 2 inches. You can experiement with the thickness to find one you like. Tie a knot at the end of one strip and start twisting the ends around the knot to form a circle. As you go place glue around the edges. I used a hot glue gun, because that’s what I already had out, but a quick dry craft glue would be ideal and you don’t have to worry about getting burned.
Here are three examples of the different looks you can get from different fabrics using the Quite Contrary line.
The hair clips (below) I started with the pink polka dots for the center of the flowers and then wrapped them with green circles. I filled the center with brads and buttons.
Try layering multiple flowers for a larger hair barrette or attaching to a pin for a fun, colorful broach. Make a few for present toppers, magnets, scrapbooking or t-shirt embellishments, there are so many ways to use fabric flowers.
August 20th, 2011
^^ That is my little quilting helper! Unfortunately piecing 3 squares at one sitting is about his limit.
Spurred on by my new resolution to finally learn how to quilt AND an upcoming meeting of my local modern quilters guild I actually jumped feet first into quilting. I decided to do a SUPER DUPER simple quilt to get me started and found this easy-to-follow quilting tutorial online. Of course I felt the need to complicate it a bit by making more than 2x the squares so I can have a great big PICNIC quilt! And what better fabric for a picnic quilt than my Quite Contrary by Riley Blake that just feels so bright and summery. So last night I cut the fabric from the bolts, and this morning, I cut my squares and then cut them into slices and even got a few squares pieced! Here is me cutting with my helper who is not so entertained by this whole process.
See! I couldn’t even get him to smile for the camera! Not amused mom.
Anyway, since this tutorial was easy enough, I have thus far sewn 6 squares:
And a closeup:
And of course I would probably be done sewing the squares by now if I could get this baby to nap! There is also that pesky problem of not being able to find the Iron… details details. Either way, I am super excited to have begun my very first quilt! I’ll keep you posted!
July 3rd, 2011
We needed a quick and easy vanity for our upstairs bathroom. I had been checking out craigslist listings for awhile hoping to “upcycle” a dresser or some such into a vanity. I came across a few things that I liked. Some were antique dressers, they were a little heavy, some were tables that needed to be cut in half, but that was too much work. I wanted something with open shelving, and little or no ornamentation – just simple and cottage-esc. Oh and it had to be 48″ wide, 36″ tall and no more than 24″ deep. I came across a shabby chic open cabinet that was nearly perfect dimensions and snatched it up quickly, here it is in the truck:
It did come with some awesome blue kitty knobs (on the drawers), but those were promptly removed.
We already had this sink from Overstock.com. We had planned on using it in the powder room, but ended up buying a pre-made vanity for that room.
We bought some planks of Alder from our local hardwood shop, and Mr. Project assembled a vanity top with all his fancy wood-working equipment. He made it with a hole already in it to save on wood costs. After tearing the top off the old cabinet, he braced the structure with some wood planks horizontally and vertically.
Based on his measurements, he cut the cabinet to fit the sink:
The sink fit perfectly!
Once everything was all cut to fit, he stained the top:
And varnished it:
This is the spot in the bathroom just waiting for a vanity:
Mr Project cut out a hole in the vanity for the plumbing, and slid it into place:
all that was left was to screw in place (from the bottom) the top and add the sink and faucet (and new awesome glass knobs):He still needs to cut into the shelf to fit the plumbing, and then install it, but for now the sink works great and looks adorable in the guest bathroom!
From start to finish this project took Mr. Project less than a day. He’s pretty awesome.
*** UPDATED*** The vanity is finally done being decorated yay! Here is what it looks like now, and hopefully forever unless the baby decides that he really loves towels:
I LOVE it even more!
April 21st, 2011
For some unknown reason, I’ve taken to saying “thats a horse of a different color” in everyday conversation. I am not sure if this makes me extra cool or extra nerdy, but I do know that every time I say it, I think to myself, “I can’t believe you said something so stupid”, and then forget what I was talking about. Of course writing this pushes the cool-o-meter strictly into the extra nerdy column. (And just so you know, when we finally get around to painting the outside of the house, I’m totally using this blog post title again).
2011 has been a very eventful year – having a baby and all, and now we’re capping it off with the purchasing of our little family’s very first home! We are so excited as you can see by our huge grins in this awesomely cheesy photo:
I especially love how Baby Project (BP) is passed out in his car seat. We are officially closing on the house today. It needs A LOT of work, but luckily Mr. Project is very handy. And of course the best part of all of this is that my blog can become home of “THE PROJECT HOUSE” where we can show all our home renovations as we go along. And trust me there will be a lot of them. Anything you can imagine being done to a house, we are going to do to it. We might as well sell our souls to Home Depot right now. Monday is go-time with popcorn ceiling scraping… you probably don’t need to see that… but I will show you before photos soon! We are hoping to move in about 6 weeks. This is what will need to get done to make it happen:
- scrape ceilings
- tear down some unnecessary walls
- remove ALL trim/casings
- install new windows/extra windows
- add necessary walls (frame, drywall)
- put in recessed lighting, move outlets, fix non-working outlets
- re-texture ceilings and drywall
- put up new railing on stairs/overlook
- replace ALL trim/casings
- install all new flooring
Whew! I think the list took me 6 weeks to make ha! And you haven’t even seen the list of what needs to get done AFTER we move in. Well regardless of all the work, we are SO EXCITED to get started on it and really have fun making the place ours, and gorgeous of course. Stay tuned for updates!
April 6th, 2011
Wow! The last 4 weeks have been quite the whirlwind. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. Exactly 28 days ago, I was sitting here in my bed, designing Lost & Found 2. Little did I know that in 15 hours I would be holding my sweet boy in my arms. I woke up at 4:15AM with really strong contractions. I started timing them on a handy ipad app, they were coming strong and steady – about 5-6 minutes apart and 45-60 seconds long. My water broke about 15 minutes later and Spencer was out of bed like lightning, getting dressed and warming up the car. I took a shower and made sure we had everything we needed, and then we headed to the hospital around 5:45. We got to the hospital and they admitted me at 4cm dialated. I did a few laps around the maternity ward but the contractions were getting really strong at around 10:30 I was at a 7 and asked for the epidural. The epidural was the most amazing thing in the world. I went from so much pain I thought I would vomit with every new contraction, to feeling all warm and fuzzy and not feeling much else. I rested and napped for about 2 hours, and the doctor came to check on me around 1 and said I would be ready in about 2 hours. He came back 2 hours later and I was ready to push! 45 minutes later at 3:05PM we had sweet Oliver!
He came out screaming and was so alert and bright-eyed (and very gooey). It was love at first sight, and I already can’t imagine my life without him. After all was said and done, I realized how exhausted I was and all I wanted to do was shower and take a nap! Of course they wouldn’t let me shower because I was still a little numb. Oliver was very tired, and we just snuggled and loved on him for the rest of the day. Here he is sleeping on me at the hospital.
We worked on nursing a bit that evening, and the night nurse helped us a lot during the night, and he was just such a good little eater that we mostly got it figured out by the time we left the hospital. In fact everything was going so smoothly and I was feeling so good, that the Dr said we could leave that morning. So we left the hospital around 1 in the afternoon on March 10th, 22 hours after Oliver was born!
Since coming home from the hospital, life has been so busy! Nursing Oliver takes so much time, but I really treasure every precious moment. He has been a really good sleeper, so we are in a good night routine. When he sleeps during the day I get work done, which is nice, but has been exhausting while recovering. I just finished Lost & Found 2 so my workload should lighten a bit and I can rest or take care of the house while he’s napping. Our favorite thing to do right now is to just play with him after he’s done eating, and to take a lot of photos. Here are some of my favorites from the past month:
My heart melts just looking at these pictures. He has already started to grow grow grow, and I try to just enjoy him in the moment and not stress about him getting big. My life will forever be changed by this sweet little boy who made me a mother. I couldn’t have imagined how much I would love him, or how every time I see him or hold him my heart leaps out of my chest. He is my sweet little boy, and I am so blessed every second of every day.
In addition to all the hundreds of photos we have taken, we had an adorable photographer – Lindsey Erickson – come and do a photo shoot. She got so many adorable photos of our cute little guy, here are a few of my favorites:
Too cute for words! Thanks Lindsey for the beautiful photos that we will cherish forever. If I could have one wish right now it would be that I would never forget how perfect and small Oliver is at this moment and that I can always remember how it felt to welcome his tiny soul into our lives. I didn’t know how it would feel to become a mom… I wondered how it would change my life, and I thought that I might be a different person because of it. But I’m not different at all, if anything I am more who I was before. What I feel now is PURPOSE. I feel like the same me but with more purpose than I’ve ever felt in life. Like every role or job in my life has been selfish to some degree, and now my life has ceased to be about me, and has become about a much greater plan with much greater rewards. I am loving every moment that our little family spends together and hope that I can cherish these moments and forever look back on this incredible time in our lives. Thanks for sharing in our joy.