30 January 2014


Looking for a fun craft to do with your kiddies? This is super easy and cute. Here's a quickie tutorial for a TRIANGLE HEART GARLAND.

Valentine's colored pipe cleaners - Michael's

1. Bend one pipe cleaner twice (in 1/3 spots) making a triangle.
2. Kink the top ends, wrap them around each other and pinch together to close the triangle.
3. Push in the side on the opposite side of the closed point to make a angular heart shape.
4. Take another pipe cleaner, send one end through the first heart and repeat the process.
5. Do the whole bunch and you've got a nice garland of triangle hearts.

23 January 2014


I get together with a bunch of friends every so often for DIY NIGHT. With Valentine's coming up we've crammed in two this month. Last time I started hand stitching these little felt hearts and made a garland with them. Tonight is another DIY NIGHT... what should I make?

21 January 2014


Last year I saw these felt envelopes at Pottery Barn Kids so of course I knocked it off my own way.

The night before my husband and I had our own little craft night making cards for our girls. They enjoyed it so much that I feel like we need make this a long running tradition. Then when they're grown they can see an accumulation of love notes from their mom and dad.

These are aprox. 9" x 7" white felt envelopes with pink puffy heart closures. Lined with pink printed cotton fabrics. I also used gold thread. These were quickly done, and a bit sloppy but they're cute and good for the job at hand.

17 January 2014


I was asked to sew up some burp cloths for the new moms in the neighborhood. Recalling those spit-up days...I wanted an absorbent fabric, sweet pattern and a contoured shape.

Many of the DIY burp cloths you see online are cute and all but the grossness slides right down cotton quilting prints. So when you sew a the patterned fabric to the rectangle cloth diapers (the absorbent part), nothing soaks in. And those ultra soft fabrics like dimple dots don't actually absorb as much as you'd think. Terry cloth is absorbent but it's thick and messy to sew on because it sheds, plus it's not as soft. I even did an absorbancy test on Kokka fabrics because there are so many sweet prints, but alas, not absorbent enough. So I settled on flannel.

Cute flannels are harder to come by than cotton quilting prints. I'm not talking about cutesie baby fabrics. That's what I find at Joann's (No surprise there. Somebody tell me who that buyer is so I can T.P. her house)

Online was my source. I found some designer flannels here and here, the fanfare collection. If you really want to spend a pretty cent on your burp cloths, you can hunt down the amazing Heather Ross Munki Munki flannels (Cut up PJs). That's what I really wanted to do, but I was also on a budget and needed a large quantity.

FREE printable pattern:

Flannel Fabric
Sewing Machine
White Thread
Straight Pins
Iron and Iron Board

1. Print pattern on 11x17 paper and cut it out.
2. Back up two prints of fabric and fold. Line it up so that you can fit as many as possible on the fold.
3. Place pattern on one of the back sides with the "Place on Fold" on the fold of the fabric, pin and cut out.
4. Sew 1/4" in from the edge, straight stitch all the way around the shape, leaving a 2" opening on one of the middle contour sides.
5. Turn inside out and iron flat, making sure to push out all of the fabric. *I use a chopstick to get the full shape.
6. Hand stitch the opening closed using a blind stitch (pretty good tutorial here).
7. Finish off with a decorative or zigzag top stitch all the way around the burp cloth shape about 1/4" in from the edge.

15 January 2014


This room has taken four years to find it's place. As my daughters room it was never really complete. Now it's The Happy Place. See the style sheet here. There are still a few things to add, but that will happen later on.

For the first time, I can really say I'm pleased with this room. Many thanks to my helpful and patient husband!

White Expedit Shelves - IKEA
Egg Chair - IKEA
Play Kitchen - IKEA
Knappa Light - IKEA
White Shag Rug - Target
Play Table/Chairs - P'kolino
White Baskets - Pottery Barn Kids
Cloud Shelf - RoomMates
Curtains - IKEA
Side Table - Vintage
Rag Rug - Handmade (more on the rug here)
Yellow Side Table - Vintage (painted)
Green Baskets - Target
Mirror - Handmade
Balloons - Handmade
Jonathan Adler Table Lamp - JCPenney
Globes - Vintage
Fisher Price Toys - Vintage
Mr. TTT - Friends With You
TJUSIG Wall Hooks - IKEA

Wire Shelf - Urban Outfitters*
New Kitchen Dishes/Food*
Friends With You Map*
Play Table/Chairs - Little Nest
Yellow Pouf - Etsy
Round Rug

*I have these things but I'm spreading the project out. Spoiled kids ;)

13 January 2014


This was a project that in my mind seemed so simple and then I started in... "what have I done!?!"

Sometimes I think everything is like working on the computer, command Z this and command C, command V that.... making projects so simple when the reality is really a monotonous time taker. THIS was a monotonous time taker.

I did about half of it, I don't even know if you could call it half. It was probably about 18 nights of tying knots, with hand cramps and back aches. It was still so thin and bare looking. Then my husband's grandmother, BLESS HER, was needing some projects and she saved my bacon.

GrandmaGreat completed enough in one week to hit the goal: just enough to make it look like grass. It's not completely full. If you were to turn it over, you'd see lots of spaces that could use filling. She and I both agreed that this is something you could do forever and never be done. But we were both satisfied that it looked like grass and that is all we needed. It is for the playroom and it won't have any foot traffic, it's just for show.

If you'd like to make one, I suggest something small for your sanity sake, unless you too have a GrandmaGreat that is willing to save your hide.

Variety of Green Fabrics (I used fat quarters*)
Non-Slip Rug (cut to the desired size)

1. Lay out one fat quarter of fabric, one piece at a time, upside down. Fold it in half, and then fold it in half again.
2. Cut the folds so that you have four equal strips.
3. Cut 1/2" strips.
4. Repeat this process for each of your green fat quarter fabrics.
* If you buy more than fat quarters, just do this and eyeball it. The finished strips are about 1/2" x 5".
5. Cut your Non-Slip Rug Pad to the desired size.
6. Begin tying knots*, one strip per opening.
*Because my rug was not in a high traffic area and I'm not planning on ever washing it, I just tied it ONCE, I didn't tie it twice to make a knot.
7. Try to tie all of them in the same direction. I'm not sure why, maybe this is a bit of OCD talking, but it's nice to turn it over and have them all going the same direction ;)

This is what mine looked like after a few nights of working. In my next post... The playroom dress up area has the finished rag rug.

06 January 2014


Setting New Years Resolutions are not really my thing. I like the idea of setting goals and New Years Resolutions. I'm all for ideas that better ourselves, our habits and our homes. I just don't like the cliche that we don't keep our resolutions. It all seems so doomed to fail. And honestly, I'm one of the many that has tried the "work out resolution"... and like many others, I made it to about February or March. It's a dreaded task for me, which means it won't easily become a habit.

I need a goal that is attainable to turn this doomed concept around. Sure it can still be dreaded but to make it doable, I make the entire month of January a deJunking month. It is liberating to let go of all the little unnecessary things that get collected all year long.

I used to enjoy putting away Christmas because it was easy. I had ONE bin. But now, I have collected quite a lot of decorations, I'm up to six bins for Christmas (that's probably less than most people, I realize). Like most, I have bins for other holidays too, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, Summer/Spring... I also have bins from past parties so I can reuse decorations I've made.

As I pull out decor throughout the year, some gets put away in it's proper place and some doesn't. Some is out on loan and gets put away in the wrong place because I can't even reach the bin that it's supposed to go in. So before Christmas, the storage room is a fright.

As a result, putting away Christmas decorations means it's best to organize the basement storage room first... The aspect of this goal that is a bit of a chore BUT I love the way it feels after it's done!

Color code bins by holiday and/or season:
(I use Target's Sterilite bins because they sell different colored lids throughout the year):
Aqua - Easter
Blue - Spring
Pink - Valentine's Day
Green - Summer
Silver - Various Parties
Orange - Halloween
Bronze - Thanksgiving
Red - Christmas

After Christmas has come down and the storage room is in order, I move on to the next biggie; the play room. I let the kids in on this one. They "get to" pull out 10 toys that they no longer need. I try to talk up the "get to" because it's hard for them to let go of toys. They've never been the kids that give up their favorite for the child in need. They're not there yet. I have high hopes that they'll be compassionate one day ;)

We put the box in the middle of the play room and load it up. I then load it up when they're not looking with other things that I feel can go. Every mom on the planet loves to get rid of some toys. You know the ones from Wendy's, McDonald's, puzzles without all the pieces, toys that are too young for them.

I keep one bin with baby toys that are sentimental to us. That way if any friends come over that have a baby brother or sister, I still have toys for them to play with.

I TRY like the dickens to edit out the stuffed animals. I'm not sure why this one is so hard for us. I even get attached to some of these toys. If we can pull out 3 plushies each we're doing great!

Next I go after our closets. My husband and I edit out our closets easily, we know what we don't wear enough to justify taking up space. He's a shoe guy so it's always great to lose a few of those. Big feet = big shoes = space takers.

Then I edit out the kids clothes. I have the clothes in bins by size. Clothes that my youngest can wear are most accessible and the small sizes that both my girls have grown out of are put away for the long haul. In those bins, I only keep the extra special, sentimental outfits, the clothes that they may want for their own kids later.

Next, I edit out the bathroom cupboards and drawers, the medicine cabinet, the food storage, and kitchen cabinets.

By the time January is over we all feel refreshed. It's amazing what editing for a month can do to the way your home feels!