Good Deal Alert: Beautiful colors of Sewing Thread (10 rolls for $6.99….wow!!) and Ruffled Ribbon (3 yards for $3.99) is up for grabs over at Pick Your Plum today. Ummmmm……I’m pretty sure one can never have enough thread. And then that sweet ribbon??……ahhhhhh, think of that trimmed on a skirt/dress/zipper pouch/ etc. Cute! GO HERE.
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We recently moved into a new home and have been busy re-vamping, tearing down, and re-constructing this and that in our new home. It’s been fun……and completely rewarding. We’ve been learning a lot along the way from friends, family, neighbors, online, etc. If you’d like to see other Home Improvement Projects that we’ve done recently, be sure to check them out.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to learn how to re-wire something electrical. Like, a light fixture, a fan, an outlet. But I’ve been a little chicken because my mind always goes directly to imagining a billion watts of current, shocking my body….leaving me lifeless on the ground. I’m not kidding. I’ve been a little wimpy to do anything electrical because it sorta freaks me out.
Until now. (well, until yesterday, to be exact…)
Steve’s brother, Joe, is in town. He’s teaching Steve how to lay hardwood floors (which are looking BEE-AUTIFUL…..more on those another day! :) ) and while they were breaking for lunch yesterday, I asked Joe (who somehow knows how to do it ALL) to show me how to change an outside light fixture. I was ready to learn.
Maybe you’ve done this before and it seems pretty simple. But I always thought we should hire an electrician for such jobs. Because EEEEK…….what if I got shocked by those above mentioned billion watts of current?!?! ;)
Boy, was I wrong.
After he taught me the first one…..I re-wired the other 5 light fixtures that I wanted replaced outside. Easy as that.
I still can’t believe I re-wired those little beauties! But even more than that……I can’t believe how simple it was.
Goodbye little brass fixtures. You won’t be missed. :)
3 fixtures by the garage and 2 by the front door……..5 total fixture replacements in one afternoon.
I couldn’t be more thrilled!
And to top off yesterday’s excitement……these little lovelies just bloomed from the previous owners planting them maybe last year(??). And Steve pointed them out to me, just as I finished wiring the last fixture. Blooming flowers always bring a smile to my face. And now…….so does installing a new light fixture! :)
Would you like a quick lesson in replacing an old light fixture??
Are you ready for another awesome PIN IT giveaway?
This one will blow your little socks off.
(look down at your socks and watch……you’ll see! ;) )
There are 2 winners for this giveaway………..which are both PERFECT for summer! :)
The Prizes up for Grabs:
#1 Endless Fun 11-in-1 Inflatable Bounce House and Water Slide Combo (Donated By Sam’s Club)
#2 A Canon T3 12.2 MP Digital SLR Double Zoom Lens Kit (Donated By PickYourPlum)
Wow! Can you believe those prizes? For free?!?!
I kinda wanna jump into that water bounce house right this second. I’d have just as much fun as the kiddos. :)
1. Follow each of these 11 blogs on Pinterest:
2. Like PickYourPlum on Facebook
4. Fill out the form below
Fine Print: Giveaway will end at 11:59pm (MST) on May, 18 2013 . One winner will be chosen and shipped one Endless Fun 11-in-1 Inflatable Bounce House and Water Slide Combo donated from Sam’s Club . The Bounce House and Water Slide Combo has an msrp value of $499.00. The second winner will be chosen and shipped a Canon T3 combo donated from PickYourPlum.com. The camera has an msrp of $549.00 No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.A. to enter. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Pinterest. Facebook and Pinterest will be completely released by each entrant. One entry per person. Entry includes filling out the form above including name, email and pinning. One entry for filling in the form. You are providing the information to the PickYourPlum sites involved who will in no way sell or give your information to anyone including Facebook or Pinterest. Winner will be chosen using random.org. and will be notified via email within 48 hours of the giveaway close. Winners will be announced on the post, not on Facebook. The winner must respond within 48 hours of receiving the email or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary.
Remember how I occasionally post a project for Bernina’s site, We All Sew? Well, I created a new project several months ago (you can sort of see snow in the background of the pictures below….I think it was February) and it was just went live today. Which is perfect…..because the project was intended for spring anyway. :)
In case you’ve forgotten, here are a few past projects that I’ve sewn for Bernina.
Have I mentioned that I am a true-blue Bernina fan? Even before having this sewing relationship with them……..I have always adored Bernina. And their sewing machines are like work horses.
I have had the Bernina 580 Embroidery sewing machine here at my house (as a loaner) and for this project, I used it to create some sweet embroidered flowers on a twirly Circle Skirt.
And you know those circle skirts, they are nice and twirly and full…..without gathering anything. And they’re darling for girls of all ages.
And a plain ol’ circle skirt is fun……..but adding little embroidered dahlia’s tripled the cuteness factor. The embroidery gives the skirt a nice punch of detail and, well, it was the easiest part. Ha….because the Bernina did all the hard work. :)
Oh, and in the tutorial, I share a little trick to get a nice even hem around the curved edge of the circle skirt. You’re welcome! ;)
And you guessed it…….Elli loves it. Circle skirts are for spinning, you know.
Don’t have an embroidery machine? No worries……this would look really cute with a bit of applique or maybe even some stenciled fabric paint.
Such a fun little skirt.
Thanks Bernina, for letting me play around on the Bernina 580!
Now, whip up a skirt or two……for you or a little girl you know.
And enjoy your day!
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We have been painting and painting aaaaaaand painting lately. I have stopped caring that there are always paint spots on my hands, in my hair, random smears on my arms, and paint marks that have been all over the soles of my feet for days. I always wash up (and yes, I take showers…ha!) but if it doesn’t come off easily…….I’ve stopped scrubbing. Because tomorrow always brings more paint. :)
But this painting thing has been doing wonders for the mood in our new home. I can’t believe how satisfying it has been to paint this place. Yeah, painting takes a while…….but our motivation has been so different this time around. I guess because it’s our very own home. Eeeeeeh…..still can’t believe it! :)
Right after we moved in, we hired a painter to come in and paint the vaulted ceilings. There’s no way Steve and I were climbing a ladder to paint really high, all bent in funny positions. We’re both a little woozy (and wimpy) when heights are involved……so we hired out for the tall rooms to be painted on the main level. And while our painter guy was here, we sorta eavesdropped on his technique. While he was taping walls off and painting ceilings, and painting one wall different from the next, we were curious about how he was getting such STRAIGHT lines on our textured walls.
So we asked.
And he told us the “painter’s secret’s”. (Nice guy……and well worth the money, just for these tips. ;) ) And now, ever since he shared, we’ve been using his little secrets…….as we’ve been painting our little hearts out, to give the entire house a fresh coat of paint.
Just check out those crisp clean lines on that textured “orange peel” wall texture. Wow.
And there’s not only one secret we learned……but TWO!!!
Our house has all sorts of different walls/ceilings/heights. And crooked lines would be so obvious. We’re so happy with how all these paint lines are turning out.
Straight lines aren’t just for the professionals. We can all master them. Promise.
Want in on the Straight Line SECRET?
This new home of ours was completely decked out in oak and brass fixtures when she was newly built. Totally nice for those who enjoy them. But we don’t really care for oak OR brass. But I know there are those who do. And if that’s the case……leave your fixtures happy and brassy.
But, if you’ve been thinking of replacing them…….STOP RIGHT THERE!
I know, I know……you may really dislike your chandelier/fixture. I did too. But before getting rid of it/them…….just imagine adding a little paint.
See?!?! Look how pretty she is now, all gussied up…
And really, you can’t even tell this little baby used to be brass.
There were actually 2 of these little brass beauties in our entry.
But now, they are both transformed……and they thanked me for not giving up on them! :)
Now just think, even if painting them doesn’t work out and you still hate them……you’re only out less than $10 (for the paint and tape). But at least you tried! Have you seen the price of large chandeliers for entryways?? Whew…….I just saved myself about $500 (for 2) that I was actually considering saving up for. Whew……much better!
Would you like to see how simple this really is??
Yes, we’ve been home renovating. And painting (did you see yesterday’s Picking Paint post??). And ripping up floors so that we can lay down new ones. Whew.
But I’ve also been unpacking bit by bit. And as I was unpacking my sewing stuff the other day, I pulled out a wad of thrift store Tshirts that I bought for some random project (who knows how long ago or what I originally was planning)…….and immediately had this idea to make a fun little skirt for Elli. I know, I know…..this blog should sometimes be called Make a Skirt & Love It. Ha. (Because yes, there are tons of skirts here on the blog.) But skirts are so fun. Are pretty quick to make. And are so rewarding. Plus, you can either make them for little girls, or for yourself (well, if you’re a female reading this).
Anyway, I chopped up those old Tshirts that I pulled from a box the other day, and turned them into this:
See? You never would’ve known, huh? I love that trick. :)
***And REMEMBER……..the good news with knit, is that you don’t have to do any hemming. All of those little strips have raw edges but won’t fray. And if the strips get pulled on, the worse thing that will happen is that the edges will curl just a bit. And if it stretches out the strip a bit, just snip off the end so that it’s the same length as the other strips in its row. And it shouldn’t continue to pull after that. Easy as that. (And I think I’m going to hang dry this skirt……..just to avoid too much fringe pulling.)
When it’s hanging straight, it just looks like lots of fringe layers.
But don’t worry, there’s a skirt under there to keep things covered up.
Because once the skirt starts moving……those little fringes start bouncing all around. And you can see the graduated ombre color effect.
Elli was thrilled. She shook and shook and SHOOK those little hips.
Let’s just say……..she loves it!
And when I was making some adjustments on my camera……I caught her testing it out with some full-out twirls. And good news……it passed her test! :)
I could just eat this little lady right up! She is so easy to please when a skirt finally finishes up.
And to think…….this fabric used to be a few abandoned (and less beautiful) old Tshirts from the Thrift Store.
Would you like to make a Fringe Skirt too?
You thought I went missing, didn’t you? Or maybe on a vacation? Nope……..just working like busy little bees on our new home. We’ve been tearing things down, building things up, painting (and more painting), and making things our own. It’s been fun. And rewarding. But whew, very exhausting. I can’t wait to show you a few things though. I have several things to share that we’ve done on the house, tricks we’ve learned, and a few old to new transformations. Yay!! But, most of them are half finished and are still in the works. But ooooooh, I can’t wait until we get most of the “in progress” tasks done. They are looking so good.
So, I decided to share some of the Home Improvement tricks we’ve been using…….because we’ve been learning a lot along the way. Some from family/friends, some from professionals, and some from just figuring it out on our own. And yes, good tips and tricks have to be shared…….so get ready for them.
And, just to show you that we really have been working (and not off on a Carribbean Cruise…ha!), let’s get started with the first thing.
Something that may give you a little anxiety……
Have you ever been to the paint store and you thought you were picking an amazing color?!?! And then when you painted it on the walls……….yuck.
Yeah, I’ve done that too. MANY times. And it’s so frustrating because white comes is 79,000 shades. And so does every other color of the rainbow. So here’s what I do. I search and search for a certain color that I like. I look of examples of it online, I find it with similar trim color, doors, and other features that I have in my own home. Then I pick several shades of that color that I think that I may like. Then I head to the paint store (I’ve been using Sherwin Williams because there are many around here) and I have them whip up some quart samples for me. (Because, believe me……..the price of a few samples is much cheaper than buying a couple gallons of paint, painting an entire room, hating it, and then buying several more gallons to cover it up.)
Then I label each paint color container (and its lid), with a number.
And then I grab a sponge brush for each color…..and label those as well.
Then I paint each of the colors on the wall, in order. I also add a strip of the trim color that I’m using, right below the color samples……otherwise, it’s too hard to tell how the colors will look with all that old paint color screaming at me in the face.
But I don’t stop there……I add those same colors to different locations on the walls. Because shadows vs. direct sun will make your color look so different.
**Ignore the mess. We’re working on painting here……not unpacking and cleaning up clutter. haha!
After the samples are up………wait. And watch those colors all day long. Because you may love sample #3 at 10 a.m. but may HATE it at 5 p.m. So, it’s good to find that out before covering every wall with it. Make sense?
The pictures above are from our Master Bedroom and I wanted a soft and calm grey/blue color. The first color that I picked and was SURE I wanted…….ended up being the color I liked the least. Crazy.
Anyway, our bedroom isn’t quite finished. Otherwise, I’d give you a good ol’ “before/after” shot. (Ooooh, I love those!!!) But, you’ll have to wait.
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I have a little sewing project that I’m finishing up for tomorrow or the next day and then another home improvement project (that turned out so rockin’ cool!!) at the end of the week.
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OH MY!!! Love, love, love! Check out these personalized buttons from Pick Your Plum today. Holy Toledo…….how cool would it be to add your name, your business, or a love note on your projects. You could add the buttons to a bag, use them as decor, attach them to a pouch, maybe the straps of girl’s summer dress………ooooooh, the ideas are endless. Way too unique and fun to not share! BUTTONS HERE.
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I am frequently asked for ideas for certain occasions. Weddings, mother’s day, baby gifts, neighbor gifts, etc. I know it’s easier to see everything categorized into one list……and so I’m trying to create master lists of different project topics that are a little more helpful to glean ideas from. So, feel free to browse and remember old posts, more recent posts, or posts you never knew existed on here.
Because I gathered about 20 of my favorite projects that would be great to give as a Baby Shower Present, a Baby Birthday Gift, or to just make FOR FUN.
Afterall, it IS spring. And little baby chicks are hatching right now. Do you know someone who just had (or is having) a baby this spring??
Hopefully this will be helpful.
I’m sure some of these projects may even seem new……because even I have forgotten about many of them. And I put the tutorials together……ha! So it’s fun for me to think about who has a birthday coming up or who’s having a baby.
Something completely fun, vibrant and chewable for baby, would be one (or more) of these Stuffed Fabric Turtles. I still love seeing these little guys kick around our house.
And a no-fail gift that I love giving, is a little pair of these Baby Boy Booties.
Have you ever carried a car seat in the nook of your arm? Well, the rubber and plastic pinch your poor arm. So, adding a Car Seat Handle Cover fixes that problem. And is cute to boot. :)
Or how about cutting up an old purse/pouch and using the material to make some adorable Baby Girl Flower Sandals. These still make me smile.
If you know a baby who loves his/her binky……..making a Pacifier Pocket would be the perfect gift for the mom who wants a clean place to store the extra binky.
Gosh, I made these little Felt Hair Clips so long ago (that’s my 6 year old Elli in that picture) but I still love the simplicity of them. I would use wool felt if I were to make these again but back when I posted these, I didn’t know about wool felt. (Wool felt just holds up a little better and doesn’t ball up like polyester felt does.)
How about grabbing some of those long sleeved dresses that are clearance right now, cutting off the sleeves, and using the sleeves to make ruffles for the diaper cover. Yes, it’s only half-homemade…….but no one else will have one like it. Long Sleeve Dress to Short Sleeves.
I still remember how much fun I had making this Felt Toy Truck. And it matched one of Connor’s favorite book characters, so it was well loved. Consider personalizing it for your little recipient. :)
We all know how frustrating the “the the sippy cup” game gets. So, create a Sippy Cup Leash and any mom will smother you with Thank You’s!!!
Okay, I need to make more of these Baby Shoes from Thrifted Purses. They cost next to nothing and turn out so darn cute.
These little Stuffed Elephant and Giraffe are a simple construction and so darling to make for any occasion.
Who wouldn’t enjoy a Wearable Blanket for Baby as a gift? Chloe’s 2 years old now and she still wears one at night.
No more mistaking baby girl for a baby boy. Make some super soft Wool Felt Hair Accessories to add to those little bald baby girl heads.
Diaper Covers are nice but how about making some Ruffled Diaper Covers (from pre-ruffled fabric) instead? So much fun.
Sweet baby boys and girls both can treasure a Fabric Doll from early on. And how cute is it to make it look like the little one you’re giving it to.
I don’t know why this is…….but seeing Connor in this Little Guy Tie pattern always makes me melt. And it’s one of my most favorite items to gift to little boys.
Little baby heads need a bit of covering all year long. So how about making a few Knit Baby Hats for that new baby you know.
And while we’re talking knit fabric……make a snuggly little Knit Receiving Blanket. Chloe still cuddles with this one, 2 years later.
Girls need hairbows. Even those with very little hair. So whip up some Simple Bow Hair Clips with a No-Slip Grip. They’ll surely be a hit! :)
If you know of a mom who nurses her baby, it’s always nice to receive a Nursing Cover to keep things a little more private. It’s also nice to keep distractions away from baby’s eyes.
Little boys and girls both can always use many, many pairs of leggings. So keep those little legs warm and make a few Super Simple Leggings to give as a gift.
There are several more ideas in my Tutorial Project Category List……but this was just a list of most of my favorites.
I hope that’s helpful.
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Have you noticed my newest sponsor, Sew Pretty Sew Free? I know many of you are going to jump all over this site…..because it’s an inspirational round-up blog, with links to some sort of Free Sewing Pattern……..EVERY day. No more hunting here, there, and everywhere, looking for some inspiration. You’ll find so many great links and photos of some really fantastic projects. Perfect. :) Go HERE.
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Hey, how’s everyone’s immune system doing lately? Ours are pukey. I think we’re allergic to our new house. Ha……just kidding. The pukes all started right before we moved in. Like, the night before. And cycled through each of my kiddos all last week. And our brand new clothes washer is a lemon (and we’re still waiting on our replacement to be delivered)…..so we have a lot of trash bags filled with, well, smelly laundry. Darn. But hey……we’re making some really great memories around here. ;)
But, let’s talk about something a lot more fun. Like a simple little project that’s easier than easy. And maybe you’ve already done this same thing 17 different times……but I still get excited when I turn something ungly into something much more pleasant to look at.
Hooray for ugly flip-flops!! Because then I can appreciate the make-over that much more. (And yeah, those bows are some sort of sport-jersey type of fabric. Weird.)
Go on, admit that you have an old pair of un-loved flip-flops in your closet.
Don’t ignore them any longer……add some simple beauty to them.
Oh, I better explain something. I have a problem.
Have I told you that I wear a size 12 shoe? (The only thing worse than that……is wearing a size 13. Ha! Sorry if that’s one of you……but really, it’s not that much worse. We’re in the same big-foot boat. ;) ) Anyway, size 12 shoes are pretty hard to find (especially on sale), so the “problem” surfaces any time I see a pair of size 12′s. I run through a checklist of reasons why I may need this pair of shoes sometime during the next century of my life…..and then I usually buy them. Yeah, it’s bad. (Ask Steve!!) So, when I saw these boring black flip-flops at TJ Maxx, I decided I needed them. They’re not just your regular foam flip-flops (which I can buy in the men’s section any time. ha!)……but they were women’s. So a little less boxy, and a little more curvy. Oh, and they’re about a 1/2 step up from the foam ones, on the fancy scale. So, I decided I needed them. And would fancy them up.
A little better, right?
If you’ve done this before, you can skip this mini tutorial…..but if you want to compare notes, see below:
- First, grab your flip-flops that need some love.
- Tear/clip/pull off the offending embellishment.
- Purchase (or make) some sort of embellishment to add onto your flip-flops. I bought these little beaded swirls at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. So, $6 for both. However, if you want to make your own, try the Shirred Fabric Flower, the Full and Textured Fabric Flower, the Crushed Fabric Flower, the Layered Knit Flower, the Knit Rosette, and more.
- I cut the excess frayed fabric off my little embellishments. But you could leave it on if you prefer.
- Now, grab some epoxy glue. My favorite type for this sort of project is Amazing Goop, the Craft variety. It holds really well on most surfaces.
- Then, add some to your flip flop and then place your embellishments right on top. Press firmly.
Pinch tight with clothes pins until the epoxy glue dries completely.
And that’s it!
And in case you need a little more flip-flop inspiration……here are a few ways that I completely made over some flip-flops two summers ago. All are fun, all are cheap, and all are pretty simple.
That’s all for today. I’m off to check on the delivery time for that replacement washer. I have some piles of clothes to wash. :)
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Wow. Sorry for all the craziness.
I thought I’d be up and running yesterday (after our move over the weekend) but our internet was really wonky. We had to get that all figured out……but whew, it’s now fixed. And all of our stuff is moved in. And the old house is cleared out. Thank you, thank you……for all the well wishes and virtual high-fives you sent my way for our move over the weekend. We are so happy to be all moved in. Can’t wait to get crackin’ on some home projects.
Now, back to normal. (Wait, what’s normal again?!!)
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Anyway, I have a little project that I was pretty much finished with before we moved. I just needed a moment to finish the instructions. And a little photo editing here and there.
But the idea for today’s project came from a little Tshirt sizing frustration with my girls. Do any of you have the same problem I do?? You buy a kid sized shirt and the correct size (or even the size above) is waaaaay too short and waaaaaay too wide. Weird. (Maybe my kids are just too tall!!) It’s only certain brands but…..grrrrrrr. (Circo from Target and Garanimals from Walmart are two brands that make me crazy. Anyone else have the same problem?)
Well, I bought this cute little teal polka dot shirt from Target the other day for Chloe and well, it was Circo brand……but I was hoping for the best, because it was just too cute. However, once I washed it, forget it………her sweet little bubble belly poked out the bottom. Grrrrrr.
So, I decided to turn it into a dress. And not just any ol’ dress……..a CIRCLE DRESS. (Oh, and I made one for Elli too. :) )
And believe me, this may be the quickest and simplest dress you’ll ever make. Especially if you’re using a knit Tshirt and find some knit fabric (which doesn’t fray) to cut up.
I actually bought a knit twin bed sheet set from Target for $20 to use for these dresses. I made both girls dresses from the top sheet and still had plenty left over for other projects. I also have the full fitted sheet to use for something else. Perfect. (However, you could also buy knit by the yard for this project. I just happened to like this color knit bed sheet….so it worked.)
But once these little Circle Dresses go on, it’s like an automatic thing……Elli starts spinning. And then Chloe watches, learns, and then enjoys right along with her. :)
If you look closely, you can see that there’s no gathering involved. It’s a circle piece of fabric that creates all of that twirly fun. (And really, this would be adorable in adult sizes too. Just imagine a thin little belt cinched right in at the waist. Cute.)
These girls are killing me lately. Chloe’s starting to love the same sorts of things that Elli does. And Elli eats it right up. I’m sure glad she’s teaching Chloe the ropes of being a girly girl. ;)
And since these dresses are all knit fabric…….they are comfy, cozy, and ready to be played in. I caught Elli eating some cereal the other morning and just noticed how comfy she looked in her dress. I kinda wanted one for myself.
Another fun variation? Turn the Double Layer Square Circle Skirt into a dress. Same circle concept……different look to the dress bottom.
Yay!! New dresses for the girls……..made in minutes. My kind of project. :)
Would you like to whip one up?