Saturday, December 13, 2014

Festive Pillow Covers

I came across some festive Christmas fabric I bought last year. I thought it would be fun to use it to make envelope pillow covers for the sofa.  Envelope pillow covers are great because they are easy to make and easy to change out.  Here is a link to the "You Tube" video that taught how to make a simple envelope cover.

Here are some of the other envelope pillow covers I have made:

These covers are easy for even a beginning sewer to make.  This is a great way to change out one's decor without breaking the bank.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Decking Out the Front Door

Always being a fan of thrift, I managed to bring some holiday spirit to the front door/porch this year for just $8.  As a start, I picked up a 15' fresh pine garland at the "Home Depot" on black Friday for just $5 and some "fox" wrapping paper at "IKEA" for $3. Everything else was gathered or reused: the wagon is from childhood, the pine cones were picked up at my parents house, and I made the felt rosette wreath last year.

I've been busy on some other little to no cost holiday projects that I'll be sharing soon.

Merry Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Have A New House

Well my little boys couldn't be more excited that we have a new house....a tree house that is.  My husband recently reworked a small deck off the back of our garage.  Rather than dispose of the old wood from this deck, he used it to build our boys a tree house in the back yard.  The tree house is simple in design (more old school than mini McMansion).  The boys couldn't be happier with their new digs for play.

On trips to playgrounds my boys love to pretend to take "food orders" at the  play house windows. Now they have their own window ledge where they can take/place orders. My husband and I have lots of ideas to accessorize the tree house, i.e. tarp, bucket/pulley, pennant, etc.  I don't know who is having more fun, the boys or their parents.  I will be back with new posts to update as things shape up. Meanwhile I have a new favorite place to read, relax, and watch the boys enjoy the tree house.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Garland (Easy Craft for Toddlers)

 I thought it would be fun to get my toddler boys involved in an art project for fall. 

I "Google" searched "leaf outlines" and found several nice options for printing.  I used some cream colored card stock, that I had on hand, to print out four sheets of the "leaf outlines" I found on "Google". 

I then set my little artists free to color in the leaves.  We used "Crayola's Washable" paint so I wouldn't have to worry about clean up.  My boys used a mix of sponges and brushes to create their masterpieces.  After the paint dried, I cut the leaves out.  I put a small slit in the middle of each leaf so I could string them with twine as a garland.   I attached them to the backs of the chairs at the kid table, so they could be enjoyed at kid friendly eye level. 

Have you done any fall crafting yet?  I would love to see and/or hear about your projects.  Just reply back in the comments section below.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall Harvest Recap 2014

As the nights take on the chill of Fall, I realize that the days of my garden and the remaining harvest are growing short.  Above is a photo of the raised garden on the deck.  I have some cherry tomatoes ripe and green ones on their way.  Tomatoes have been my hardiest crop this year.  Below is a recap of the other crops harvested from the 2014 garden.

First we had sugar snap peas, then carrots, lastly came watermelons and lots and lots of tomatoes. This is just the first of Fall, but I am already dreaming about the things we can grow in next year's garden.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washi Tape Vase

For those who have been living under a rock yet to hear about "Washi" tape, here is a quick summary:

-the adhesive is releasable, so you can use it on your walls without fear of damage
-there are endless patterns/colors available
-the uses are only limited by your imagination

In case the list above doesn't already give it away, I love "Washi" tape!  I recently found this link from the blog "Honey We're Home" showing lots of ways to use "Washi".

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I picked up some cream colored roses that were on sale.  I decided to dress up a plain glass vase for the arrangement. I used a yellow/white chevron pattern around the neck of the vase and a grey/white striped pattern vertically down the sides.

A little "Washi" tape and my plain vase now has a bit more pep.  The great thing is that nothing is permanent with "Washi".  I can easily pull the tape off without any sticky residue when I am ready for a change.

Anyone else loving "Washi" tape.  I would love to hear about your ideas!

FYI, Cork Trivet is from "IKEA".


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Big Boy Bed for a Sweet Little Boy & A Bookcase To Boot!

My little boys are growing up way too fast.  It is with mixed emotions of happy/sad that I announce our house no longer has any cribs or toddler beds.  I am glad to see my boys enjoy all the fun of being toddlers, but part of me wishes I could keep them small forever.  Last week we switched my youngest son from his toddler bed to a "big boy" bed.  We loved the simple/classic design of our "Graco Lauren" crib.  First it was a great crib, then we converted it to a toddler bed, and now we are using the back as a headboard (truly a full circle piece).

Bedding Details:

1.  I found some super soft "microfiber" plaid sheets at "Ross" for just $9/set.
2.  The teal blue bedspread is from "Target". 
3.  A must for protecting your mattress with little ones, the "Aller Ease" waterproof mattress cover.

As luck would have it, I was  able to get a bookcase for my sweet little guy to go along with the "big boy" bed.  This bookcase used to be mine when I was growing up.

When I was young, I went through a "cherub/angel" motif design phase (it really was popular at the time). Appealing to my "cherub/angel" love, my Mom kindly stenciled a bookcase for me with angels on top.  While I still greatly appreciate real angels, the decorative cherub/angel motifs are not on my design radar any more.

My Dad graciously agreed to sand down the "angel" stencil, so I could put on a fresh coat of "boy friendly" paint.  I used the "Valspar" color "Vintage Teal" to tie in the color of the bedspread.
Three coats later, my little guy now has a good place to store all the books he loves.

It is so much fun to spruce up a child's room!


Friday, August 1, 2014

A New Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of "Rustoleum's" gloss black paint has brought new life back to my rusty and worn deck furniture.  My Dad generously offered to paint all of my deck furniture.  He has years of experience using spray paint on wrought iron furniture, so I was grateful for his help.

These "before" photos remind me just how bad the pieces looked.

Another "spruce-up" on the deck is the umbrella for my table.  I have been on the prowl for an umbrella all summer.  There are several out there that I like, but the price tags have stopped me in my tracks.  I found this tan umbrella on clearance at "Big Lots" for just $30.  It has a weather resistant metal pole and hand crank (two features I wanted). 

The "tan" color wouldn't have been my first choice ( I was hoping to find a bright green or yellow/white stripes), but this works well with our new siding color (Sherwin Williams "Resort Tan") and my chair cushions.  Here's to many meals and good times to come on our deck.

 A special thanks to my Dad for all his hard work!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Easy as ABC....

In an effort to help my little ones learn their ABC's, I thought it would be cute to embroider pillows with a little personalization.  I highlighted the letters in my oldest son's name with red thread and used white thread for the rest of the alphabet. The raised embroidery on the letters are fun to touch and make for a great teaching tool. I plan to put together one of these for my youngest son as well.  This is just another way to show my little ones how special they are.

 Keeping with the "learning" theme, I used this fun letter/number fabric for the back of the pillow.

Here's to adding a little fun to learning!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Good Food and Atmosphere

There is a new eatery in town called "Wheeler's Bagels".  They serve wonderful New York style bagels and sandwiches.  I highly recommend this locally owned establishment.   Here is a link to their website with all the details on their menu and location:  click here.

All images copyrighted by Beth Duncan

A recent addition to the atmosphere of this restaurant is some work from my favorite photographer, Beth Duncan. She specializes in nature photography as well as architectural photography.  A selection of her photographic works on canvas are currently on display at "Wheeler's Bagels".  Each piece is priced for sale and business cards are on hand for orders.

Image copyrighted Beth Duncan

Image Copyrighted Beth Duncan

Image Copyrighted Beth Duncan

Should you be looking for a good spot to grab a bite and relax, stop in to enjoy the good food and atmosphere at "Wheeler's Bagel's".  My favorite is the "Cinnamon Crunch" bagel.


Friday, July 4, 2014

In Bloom (July) Red, White, & Blue

Wishing everyone a wonderful Independence Day Holiday!  Here are a few of the flowers in bloom around the house right now.  In honor of the 4th, I have highlighted some of the red, white, and blue, blooms first.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Bedding

Cleaning a king size comforter is a real chore.  They are too big to fit in a standard size washing machine, which leaves you to either make a trip to the laundry mat for an  industrial size washer (inconvenient) or the dry cleaner (expensive).  I have been on the hunt for a duvet cover that I could use to cover my existing comforter and then easily throw in the washing machine when it gets soiled. This is a real convenience with two small children and a dog in the house.  After shopping and watching for sales, I finally found a reasonably priced duvet cover for the master bedroom that I love. My find was on clearance at "West Elm".  I love the stripes of gray, turquoise, and green in this "Playa Stripe" duvet cover.

 As you have heard, "one thing always leads to another".  Once I had the new duvet in place, I needed new pillow shams.  I found some coordinating turquoise and green fabric 40% off at my local "Bernina In Stitches" store.  It took 2 yards of fabric and 40 minutes to make these shams with an envelope closure. I first sewed together my envelope pillows and then top stitched a 1-1/2" border for a "flange edge".

It always nice to switch things up a bit.  The new colors are nice for summer and I am really thrilled that I can just throw this duvet cover in my washing machine whenever it gets dirty.  Here's to hoping it holds up well (a tall order in this house).