Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So Fresh and so Green, Green.

I decided to put together a new dining table centerpiece since the rest of the house is getting a Spring makeover. I wanted something to work with the pitcher my boss and his wife gave us as a wedding present, so I raided the craft room and dining chest for ideas. This is what came out of it:


The fabric is actually a skirt I never wear. When I was going through my fabric scraps, nothing was screaming at me, but the skirt I put off hemming was.


It had a black sash around the waist, so I just tied a bow around the base of the cake stand. For the top of the cake stand, I grabbed a vase from my dad’s Mayor’s Ball and filled it with some flowers I had lying around the craft room and a couple pieces from the arrangements I made with my last Dollar Store batch. I also grabbed two of our signature Granny Smith Apples from the kitchen and two baby salt and pepper shakers to top it off.


Those two green glasses came with the pitcher, and the small green candle holder was my grandmothers. I also pulled out an oil dispenser with black olives and green leaves from Hussy’s sister/brother in law. I took a cue from the chrome tip and grabbed the stainless silverware and chrome carrier and our stainless napkin holder to add a touch of shine.


One last aerial shot to finish things off. I’m so Google Maps. I love changing out the centerpiece any excuse I get! I also spend countless hours perusing the interwebs for inspiration, so if you have any good ones, hook a sister up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Case Closed: How to Sew a Zippered Pillow.

Apparently, being sick for 11 days wasn’t enough for my body. Oh, no. I just had to pick up the same cold/allergy issues again just a week later. Although I have a bunch of projects that I already started, I decided to pick up yet another. This time, one that I can do sitting down while sick. I bought this fabric a while back, waiting for downtime to get it done. A lazy Saturday night is as good a time as ever!

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Supply wise, grab some matching thread, a tape measurer (or if you’re real fancy, an actual measuring board), scissors, matching zipper, pillow form and fabric. When I buy my fabric, I usually just stick with even 1 yard. Since I was making two 20” pillows, I got 2 yards of the zebra print. As for the zipper, just grab one that’s slightly longer than your pillow form measurement.

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If you’re shorter than 5 foot like I am, use the pillow form as a booster seat to allow for optimal sewing views.


Measuring the fabric has been a lot of trial and error for me. Since I’m too impatient to Google it, I’ve found measuring the width of the fabric a half inch LESS than the measurements listed on the pillow form bag makes a nice snug case (this includes the 3/4 inch seam allowance). When you measure, use the natural crease of the fabric from the bolsters as your fourth side, and cut the other 3.


After you’ve cut your three sides, flip the fabric so it’s right sides together and pin the two sides leaving the top open for the zipper.

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Now to pin the zipper. Lay the zipper face down and pin the edge of the zipper to the RIGHT side of the fabric. Repeat for the other side.


Set your machine to straight stitch. I use the longer setting, that has a nice tight stitch. Make sure your supervisor is content with your work ethic.


I hope your supervisor is as friendly as mine is. Now you can start sewing. Sew the zipper down first. I find the perfect stitch for the zipper portion is when you line the edges of the zipper with the edges of your foot (see how the thread lands right in the middle?). This leaves just the right amount of room for the zipper to move freely without ever catching. Then sew the two sides of your fabric so the stitch creates a stopping point for your zipper.



Just don’t leave your seat unattended while you take pictures for too long. Move your feet, lose your seat!

IMG_3179 Then you simply turn your case inside out, stuff your form inside, zip it up, and enjoy… er, let your cat enjoy your hard work.

IMG_3189 Each case, if done properly, takes about 20 minutes. It would probably take less time if I weren’t a perfectionist. Or stop every few minutes to pet my helpers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Kitchen Renovation: Another Ikea Road Trip.

This weekend we took our second road trip out to Ikea to pick up the new dark doors.


CIMG6144While we were placing the order, we made the executive decision to swap out the doors we have currently as our uppers with the clear/aluminum doors below. I originally wanted to keep the ones we had and either stain or paint the trim since they were a) expensive and b) still holding up amazingly. However, since these were only $35/piece, we thought what the heck. Lets just save the time and effort we’d put into doing those cabinets into the rest of the kitchen, and just buy these. So the two middle in this picture will be what our doors will look like. CIMG6149

Then I noticed they had the cabinets as a kitchen display behind us. So we walked over and got a shot of what I would look like if I ever made myself useful in a kitchen :)


Then we goofed off while waiting for the elevator. Seriously, it’s two floors. How on earth this thing takes 5 minutes to move between them is beyond me. Lucky for Ikea… well, they’re Ikea. So we had plenty to entertain ourselves with while we waited. Like testing out baby gates.


Then we finally got downstairs, picked up our order (and a little something extra…).


And loaded up the beast for the ride back home.


You thought that we’d start cracking on the kitchen now that we have the main pieces, right? Wrong. Stay tuned for what NEW project has just taken precedence. And you thought I was the one with a short attention span. At least now we’ll have AMPLE entertaining space.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sprucing Up for Spring

I showed you in my latest Thrifty Thursday post my new lamps. I had these smaller sized lamps in the living room:

4577_103269383435_781808435_2787196_2292828_nAnd I got some flack on HGTV’s Rate My Space that made me realize how tiny they really were.

rmsSo I did just what they said, moved them to the bedroom:IMG_2465 …and sold off my gamecube, saved up some fun money, and finally broke down and bought a bigger version. You just can’t understand how much I love these ball lamps.


They’re way brighter than the old ones, which was a great thing… except it showed off the trim I hadn’t finished. Since September 2008. Why so long? Well this happened a couple weeks later:

CIMG8121 Then the marriage, then the honeymoon, and, well, life. So with the pretty weather rolling in, I decided to do what everyone does when Spring comes. Clean, and spruce up. You saw I got some flowers, and I mentioned pillow covers. But I also bought trim and hall wall paints. It wasn’t THAT bad, but it kind of was. This was just two strips, so multiply this by 12 doorways that needed touching up. THAT’S bad.


So I set the Blu-Ray player to Pandora and hooked it up with my favorite station: Rick Astley.


And did something I’ve put off for far too long. Embarrassing long. I mean, who looks wakes up in the morning and says WOW, I should really wipe off all the baseboards in my house? Not me, obviously.

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With that done, I set to work. In 5 hours on Tuesday night, I was able to cover the trim in the living room, hallway, bathroom AND part of the dining room.


We’re hitting up Ikea this weekend to pick up the new cabinet doors for the kitchen remodel, but tonight we hit Crate & Barrel just for fun. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Since Target sold out of the chairs I had in my cart since August, they rolled out a new, less attractive chair that’s more expensive to replace them. I can’t bring myself to buy them, and I’m upset I never got the chairs I wanted all that time. Then, I hit the holy grail. The same chair as the original one I wanted is now at C&B, for $40 less a chair!


Look at that cute barstool in the back too! Oh, if only I had a bar to put them under. Now, to convince Hussy they’re worth all that money. So many projects on the horizon (sorry for jumping back and forth!!) and so little time. Or maybe I just have a short attention span. That’s probably more accurate, but at least the house is coming along finally!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I’m Well Diversified.

I got an e-mail today from a woman in Georgia letting me know that she came across my blog on Diversity Thrift’s website. Wait, what? I thought I misread it, so I read the e-mail a few times more and finally just went to Diversity Thrift’s website to look for myself. Sure enough, on the front page, was my blog, my quote, and a link to my write-up on them!


I’m both flattered and amazed that they found my blog and posted it, and that someone all the way in Georgia (who is planning to start her own thrift store, by the way!) found me, and took the time to write me. Coincidentally, I actually planned on going there on my lunch break today, but decided to hang around downtown and let my friend Cameron go all paparazzi on me.

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There’s always next week :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Spring Forward

I introduced you to the living room mockup a few weeks ago to interject a little style and texture into the living room.


I decided to hit up 3 of my favorite places to update a space: Goodwill, Joann Fabrics, and the Dollar Tree. The easiest way to update a room is to get some cheap vases, Dollar Store flowers, and sew a few $5 pillow covers (zipper included!) on your existing pillow forms. Piece of cake, and super cheap. I’ll touch more on the pillow cases later, since this is THRIFTY Thursday :)

I hit up Goodwill first. I was going to look for frames to put on the frameless mirrors in our living room and bathroom, but two things jumped out at me that I couldn’t pass up. The first was a little jug that was priced at $2.25.


It had a small chip, but I figured with flowers in it, you won’t see it anyhow.


Plus I always like the misfits. That’s all I had until I was walking out and a clock caught my eye. Another misfit, no arms, and it’s cheap plastic on the bottom. But it had a good solid top, and it fit on the bottom snug.


I’ve had my eye out for a clock like this ever for a few months, and I was more than willing to plop down the $3.25 they were asking for it:


I’m debating on what color to paint it, and I may dismantle the clock portion and put something else under the glass. Then I got to the counter, and my total came up to $2.88. Wait, what? They marked them 50% off!


So with my surprise discount, I decided to hit up the Dollar Tree to get some flowers to put in the little jug, and the other vases I have in the living room. For $7.35, I made out like a bandit.


I was able to make 5 full arrangements that will last forever. Ok, at least through Spring before I’ll want to update them again for Summer, but they’ll be back around for next year!





Check out the church directory photo behind our NEW LAMPS :) I’ll be posting another update on the living room redo progress next. Lets just say it’s been backbreaking work.