Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Laundry re-Visit~

Last March I did a laundry project that turned out really well. If you missed the post, it looked like this:

It still makes me happy every time I open the door! If you have to do laundry, you should at least be able to smile while you work! This was done with wallpaper pieces. Easy and fast and it's holding up really well. The whole project might have taken me an hour and cost under $20.

So,  while I'm at home recovering from hip surgery, I have have a lot of time to surf and plan new projects. While I was following the blue links... or Smurfing as my son calls it... I found a really great idea for a laundry upgrade for almost NO MONEY! I had to add a link to share this great idea. The blog is called East Coast Creative and they do some awesome projects - definitely worth a look, even if you aren't recovering from surgery!

Here's a sneak peek at the finished project - to see the complete process, click the link below ~ Enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Utility Apron

     I've been searching the internet for patterns - I've been wanting to make some utility aprons. I found a really simple pattern here:
 Her pattern is very simple, but seemed like a good place to start. I wasn't sure about where I wanted the pockets, length etc...  I decided that I would figure it out as I went. What I ended up with is a practical apron for lots of different uses. It looks like this:

 As you can see there's a ton of pockets.  Small ones for business cards, narrow for pens and scissors, specially sized for glasses and cell phone or small camera. The pockets on the top are deep and wide, great for patterns, note books, your E-reader etc... My DIL actually used this one at a teachers conference she attended and it worked out great. 

     So, here's how it goes.......

1. Make a pattern ~ cause you know you can't just make one!

     Whenever I'm making my own pattern I write all the sewing instructions on the pattern as well as how many to cut and any tips that I figured out that I know will be helpful to remember.

2. Select your fabrics.

I always add interfacing to each piece - it helps maintain the shape and keeps your project sturdy.

3. Cut three sizes of rectangles, based on how large you want the finished length to be. You'll need 2 of each color.
4. Now for the easy part - stitch the fronts to backs wrong sides together for each color. Layer them according to size, decide where you want your pockets and stitch them in place, sew them together, fold the entire thing in half, right sides together, bringing the unfinished edges of the large rectangle together, sew up the sides, turn it right side out.
5. Make the ties the same way you make binding sew the ties to the apron encasing the top edge of the apron - Piece of cake!

These are great for all kinds of situations, cafeteria workers, sewers, crafters, conference attendees, teachers... the list is endless!

Gettin' Back to Business

     So the last year and a half have been a bit of a challenge, my arthritis reached what's known as 'end stage' - it had gotten to the point where I was having problems functioning day to day. So after much discussion with  my orthopedic surgeon we decided that it was time to build me a new hip.

     On Tuesday, September 9, 2014 my husband took me to Reston Medical Center. I got prepped, which included getting this fancy new outfit and being filled full of holes!

     I was whisked off to surgery - it only took an hour and a half - I was in my lovely private room by 6:30pm with one of these....

Then came the amazing part - physical therapists showed up bright and early the next morning. They showed me how to get dressed, climb stairs, manage the car and do my exercises - and they sent me home!! Less than 24 hours after full hip replacement!

     So now I'm home getting stronger by the minute and planning all the things I'll be doing as soon as these staples come out!

     Modern medicine --- what a marvelous thing!

Monday, August 18, 2014


     A while ago (months, actually) Charlene brought me two fat quarters of really fun Betty Boop fabric. Classic red, black and white - nice. She said she thought of me when she saw it and knew I would find something fun to make out of it.

     Well about a month ago, I was smurfing the internet and found these amazing purse clasps. These are for change purses but they have a little notch on them so you could make a necklace, change purse, lanyard thingy out of them. So I ordered a set....

     As it turns out, one of them was just the perfect colors to go with the fabric that Charlene gave me! Back to the internet....... found a pattern that I managed to copy online..... in about an hour, Bang! I got this made....

     What!? Is that fun? --

Don't be surprised if you all find one of these little cuties in your stocking this year !                   

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Day Off

     So, life has been crazy this year. Lots of changes and very little free time - which translates to no time for fun house projects *sigh*...

     I realized that if I keep waiting for some free time it'll never happen and I'll never get to do any of the ideas that are percolating around in my tiny brain! Even though I don't have days and days to do anything elaborate I did manage an entire day off and decided that was enough time to perk up my entryway.

We have a very small entry - the house is open concept so as soon as you walk in, you're seeing almost the entire main floor. I decided that a little punch of color and whimsy was in order.

So I taped off a huge rectangle... painted it purple... 

Taped off 12" stripes - cause everyone looks thinner in stripes, right?

Then, painted those stripes a darker shade of purple - oh, yea.... lookin' snazzy!
Now to start the finishing part... let's add a shelf!!

Trim around the edges gives it a little depth and looks more finished.

Not bad for a days work! And it really brightens up the entrance to the humble abode!

Mr. Chuckles looks so much happier now that his view has been improved!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Art of the Tree

I love Christmas.

I love to decorate the tree. Here's my Tree Decorating Theory: there is no such thing as too many ornaments. When the tree crashes through the floor, you're getting pretty close.
I don't have anything against that minimalist look. It's clean and sleek and easy to put away when the season is over. I just love me some Christmas ornaments! I've been collecting for over 35 years. I love them all - the cheesy stuff the kids made in kindergarten, hand blown delicate glass from Germany, shiny, sparkly, gaudy, classic, hell - I even have one of those crazy elf on the shelf guys. My goal every year to completely cover the tree - I don't want to see any green branches.

I'm getting pretty close. One of the best things I did was to get rid of all the old lights and put LED's on the tree. They're amazing, very bright, not hot, last forever and use hardly and electricity! Saving money is good - I can buy more ornaments!
Another thing that makes me happy is finding ornaments that aren't 'traditional' - not everything has to be a red and\or green sphere. I have clowns, trains, pickles, houses, martini glasses, bells, giant bulbs, shoes (lots of shoes), birds, fish (many fish, including the Trout Treetopper!) - you name it, I probably have at least one on the tree.
It makes me so happy to walk into the house and see this mass of color and lights. I spend the entire season grinning like an idiot ~ and thats what it's all about, right? The Christmas spirit is all about happiness.
 Next year.... NO Branches! .... and.... I will work on taking better pictures.... my photography skills - *sigh*