Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ombre ruffled bed skirt

So, I told you in yesterday's post that I've been working on the girls rooms for when we do the big room switcheroo when the baby comes. I was able to cross off another project from my to do list. 

Jasmin hasn't had a bed skirt on her bed. Partly due to laziness and not wanting to spend the money, but mostly because all of her toy tubs are under her bed and I wanted her have easy access. 

Since we will be putting Ava's toys in the closet instead of under the bed, I thought it was finally time to work on a bed skirt. I combed through Pinterest, and originally planned on doing a tutu tulle bed skirt. But after seeing this one, I knew that ombre ruffles were the way to go. 

The first thing I did was measure her bed from the top of the boxspring to the floor, which measured 15 inches. I ended up having to go back to the fabric store when we were about to put the ruffles on the bed skirt. I knew I wanted to cut the fabric into 6 inch strips. So, me with my preggo brain, figured 6+6+6=18, so it'd be long enough. But I didn't factor in the fact that after I double rolled one edge and ruffled the other, they only measured about 5 inches. So back to the fabric store I went. 

So, pretend we have 4 colors here. I bought 1.5 yards of each (I used broadcloth from Hobby Lobby for $2.99 a yard). Then I cut them into 6 inch strips, and sewed them together to make one long piece of each color. Then double rolled one edge under and sewed it.

Now, I know when some people make ruffles, they do one long stitch, and then grab the ends and scrunch the fabric and then sew on top of that to secure it. I would highly suggest a ruffle foot. It makes making ruffles SO easy, they're all the same size, and they're sewed and secure in one step. You can adjust the amount of ruffle by the tension on your machine.

I attached my ruffles to an old bed skirt that my mom had. It's one of those pleated ones. I didn't want to have to worry about the pleats or how that would make my ruffles lay, so I sewed the corners together.

Now, your measurements might be different, depending on how long your drop is. For my 15 inch drop, I knew I wanted my ruffles to hit about 14.5 inches. My bed skirt already had a 15 inch drop, and since I didn't want the purple to show, I hemmed up the bottom a couple of inches. Then I laid the ruffles on the bed skirt to figure out my spacing. I ended up putting marks at 3, 6 and 9.5 inches, and that is where my three bottom layers would line up.

I sewed from bottom to top so I didn't have to worry about the layer on top getting in the way. I put marks every 6 inches or so, lined up the ruffles and sewed. I just lined up my ruffles on the marks, and sewed right on top of the ruffle. Since it's covered by a couple inches of the ruffle on top, I didn't worry about hiding the stitches. I also only sewed the ruffles on two of the three sides of the bed skirt. I ended up with enough ruffles to go all the way around, but I wanted to have some fabric left over to redo her lamp shade. I did wrap it around the third side by ten or so inches just in case it was visible. Make sense? 

On the top layer, my mom sewed the ruffle as shown. I didn't want any of the stitches to show since it was the top layer. So she laid it on the bed skirt with the wrong side of the white to the right side of the bed skirt. Then sewed just to the side of the ruffle stitch. That way, when it's flipped down, you don't see any of the stitches, it's just a nice pretty ruffle.

See? Nice ruffle with no stitches showing. If I had planned it better, I would have sewed a strip of white fabric to the edge of the purple before doing the ruffle, since you can see a sliver of purple on the finished bed. But live and learn.

Here is the finished bed skirt.

And our finished product! My mom and I made the quilt last month, based on a free pattern I found online. I'll do a tutorial on it soon. 

Not bad for $17 worth of fabric and a few hours of time! 

Let's party...


Friday, June 22, 2012

Before and After projects

So, my oldest two girls have been at their dad's for the past two weeks, which means I have been busting my butt to get stuff done before they get back on Saturday night. None of these projects really needed a whole blog post to themselves. I mean, you know how I feel about bloggers who post "Look! I changed my mantle candles from white ones to red ones! Here are 47 bazillion pics to show you what it now looks like, and a tutorial to show you how I lifted out the white one from the candle holder and placed in the red one!". Not my style. But here's a brief run through. 

I made some shelves loosely based on some that I saw on Just A Girl.  Mine are slightly different though. She used 1x6, 1x4 and 1x2 wood. I hit up my cull bin at Home Depot and found a bunch of nice 1x4 pieces of wood for 51 cents a piece. So mine are 1x4 wood (cut into 2 foot lengths) on the bottom and back, and a piece of wood trim I found for $3.88. Total spent on this project (considering I already had paint, glue, caulk, screws and nails)? Under $6. Woot. 

So here is Ava's book storage before and after. She was so excited to see her books, I think she had forgotten about most of them with them being stuck in a basket.

Another project? I hit up Ikea and bought the Expedit shelf for $60, and 5 baskets for $13 a piece. Turned it on it's side, shoved all of her toys in there and voila! So much nicer. I'm ordering some yellow and white chevron fabric to make a seat out of the top. I'm just being lazy and haven't ordered it yet. The baskets are 13x13, which surprisingly hold quite a bit. It was pretty for about 14 seconds before Ava pulled everything out, but what can you do.

I bought these tables off of Craigslist for $60. It came with one coffee table and two end tables. Before these, we had some slate and metal ones that I was so over. Hubby despised these ones, and kept saying I was bringing trash into his house, but finally relented and we went and picked them up. Originally, my plan was to stain the top a dark walnut and paint/distress the legs white. But even after stripping/sanding/conditioning/staining the wood, it would never get much darker than it was originally. So I painted the top white too. I have more plans for it, I just need to stuff I ordered to get here. And yes, hubby likes them now.

I got this ottoman off of Craigslist a billion years ago for $10. Completely hideous, but just the right size and price. It sat uncovered for over a year. I don't have a good picture of it before (probably because it was old lady fabric with frayed torn corners) but this is the best I could find. I bought two yards of dark teal suede feeling fabric on clearance and recovered it. I didn't make a skirt for it like it originally had, and it feels so much lighter now. 

We are due with Alli in September, so the two older girls are going to have to share a room. My oldest isn't excited about it, so I'm redoing all of the kids bedrooms to make it new and fun. Ava (my 22 month old) will be moving into Jasmin's old bedroom (Arielle has the largest room so Jasmin will move in there). Jasmin's room was pink and green, but Ava's will be pink/gray/black. Before I bought new curtains, I wanted to see if I could make the ones I already made for Jasmin work. So I cut out a stencil, and painted gray over the green. Hubby looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was painting the curtains, but he likes how they turned out. The finished picture is horrible, I apologize, but it's hard to take a pic in front of a window without blowing everything out.

Reason 47 of why I love having crafty friends. My friend Megan had a stencil that she used in her dining room that she was nice enough to let me borrow. So I painted Ava's walls white (which ended up looking like a light gray) and painted the stencil. The pink is tutti fruitti by Behr, and the gray is a shimmer color by Martha Stewart called thundercloud. 

I also painted our toilet room (is there a better name for that??) This one was out of necessity. I had really bad morning sickness with this pregnancy, and one time it was particularly violent and I missed the toilet :( And you all know how easily flat builder's paint stains, right? I planned on doing 12 inch stripes, but ended up doing I think 10 inches? If I did 12 inches, the top stripe would have stopped right where the doorway top is, and I thought it would look weird. If I was a good crafter, I would have measured out the wall, figured out how many stripes I wanted, divided my original number so all the stripes were the same size, blah blah blah. But I didn't.

I also had time to do a couple of other projects for people I love. One is a maternity belt that my friend Meghan asked me to make. I haven't met her in person, but this girl has had such an impact on my life. Her son, Avery, was born with gastroschisis (the same birth defect that my Ava was born with). After her son passed away due to complications from gastroschisis, she started Avery's Angels, a non-profit organization to help parents dealing with gastroschisis. She saw that there wasn't much information or support out there for parents, and her efforts have really filled that gap. She is having a baby soon, and asked me if I could make her a maternity belt for her maternity pictures (the ones the liked on Etsy were running $80 a piece, ouch). She sent me a couple of reference photos, told me that she'd love corals and blues, and this is what I came up with.

I also made a sign for myself, just like the one I made for my sister who just got married, based on one she saw on pinterest. This is one of her wedding sneak peek photos with the sign I made for her. I made it just how I made hubby's dad's fathers day sign.

So there you go. I didn't get everything knocked off of my to do list, but I'm happy with what I did do. What have you been up to lately?

Monday, June 18, 2012

$5 engineering print + $15 window frame = a whole lotta awesome

Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I'm a pinterest addict. I have a crap ton of stuff pinned, and have actually been getting things crossed off my pinterest to do list. Woot!

I know by now you've heard all the cool bloggers raving about how you can get an engineering print at Staples for under $5, right? It only prints in black and white, but I happen to think black and white pictures are classy. You can get up to a 3x4 picture printed, which is awesome, and they'll even trim it for you. 

I saw this picture on pinterest, and fell in love with the idea. I have a favorite wedding photo that I've been wanting to get printed and framed, and this looked like the perfect idea.

So, first thing first, I had to find an antique window frame. Which is harder than you'd think. Ebay was a bust unless I wanted to spend a ton on shipping. The one store around me that had some wanted $40, no thank you. So I enlisted my friends on Facebook. My buddy Julie told me about some she saw on a local FB board, so I joined their group and called dibs on one of the frames. $15 and two days later, I picked one up. I tried to take into account the picture I wanted to use, so I wouldn't have a slat going across our faces. 

Hubby and I went to pick it up (it's 2x3 feet and heavy). There were a few old nails sticking out of it, but thanks to hubby and my dremel, he was able to cut all of those off. 

Then an hour, a razorblade and a spray from the hose later, I had it all cleaned up. Some of the larger chunks of paint came off when I was cleaning it up, so since my wood glue had all but dried up, I just hot glued them back on there. 

Hubby took photos of the next part, but a certain 22 month old figured out how to delete photos off of my iPhone, so we'll use our imagination here. I had the picture printed off, and I added an inch to my window pane measurements. I figure it'd let me move around if need be so the post in the middle wasn't in an important spot. Probably not an option if your photo is an extreme close up/crop, but I had some background to play around with in my photo.

So, I started with one side, lined up my photo, made marks of where to trim on the left, top and bottom side, and trimmed those off. I had to cut about an inch out of the middle of my photo, since it's two pieces of glass and not one, and I wanted my photo to lay flush against both panes of glass. Make sense? Then I just taped them down, and laid some cut out cardboard across the back so my picture would lay flat. And voila!

I chose to attach the picture on the outside of the glass. The inside had the some really cool hinges and hooks that I liked (you can kind of see them at the bottom of the frame under Jake's foot). Then had hubby attach some heavy picture hangers, and attach them to the wall into a stud. It's at the end of the entryway hallway.

Now, I will say that the print isn't 100% perfectly clear, but it's close. Also, there are watermarks on the paper that you can see if you're standing at an angle. However, it was much more noticeable on Jake's black suit than on the gray stone background of the ceremony location. The Staples employee was really cool and printed it for us a few times so we could get the watermark in the least noticeable spot.

For $20 bucks though, I'm super thrilled with how it turned out. 

Partying up in here...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Umm, yeah. Brakes on a car are kinda important

So, I feel a bit silly blogging about this, but since it's still bothering me, I might as well, right? 

On Monday, my mom came over to help me unpack from our vacation, and we went to Dallas so she could go to the Korean grocery store. My favorite thrift store is right by there, so I went in there afterwards. No luck with any finds though, which rarely happens. 

I was driving, like I always do when we're together. My mom was in the passenger seat, and Ava (22 months) was in the backseat. Her car is a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner. Nothing fancy, and it's older and huge. I was driving about 40 mph in the right lane and coming up to a bunch of cars waiting at a red light. I tap the brakes, and nothing. Brake pedal to the floor, still going 40ish. I always give myself plenty of time to stop, and actually had time to think "Am I hitting the gas?" and looked at my foot, and yup, it was on the brake. Still, nothing. 

So, rather than rear end a bunch of cars, I turned the wheel to the right and jumped the curb. Not thinking about it, just instinct I guess. Ever jump a curb at 40? It's a pretty big jump. The brakes still weren't working at this point, but the curb jump slowed us down enough that I was finally able to coast to a stop. 

My mom didn't know what was going on at this point, she thought I had swerved to avoid another car. I was a bit shaken up at this point, and called hubby. I explained to him what happened, and he immediately left work to come get us (we were about 40 minutes from the house, and he made it there in 25). I then called Triple A and they sent out a tow truck. 

We went next door to Taco Cabana to get Ava out of the heat and wait for Jake. I was doing okay until I saw him walk in, and though I had been shaking the whole time, that's when the tears started. He just gave me a big hug.

The tow company towed my mom's truck back to her house. I don't know if there is any damage to the truck from the jump, but I know it's a lot less than there would have been if I rear ended someone. I showed Jake the curb that I jumped, and he said he wouldn't be surprised if I bent a tire, it was a pretty big curb to hit.

My mom said she was glad that I was driving, and that she wouldn't have thought to jump the curb. She would have just panicked and kept driving straight. 

I had nightmares about it that night. In my dreams, I didn't jump the curb and just rear ended all of those cars. And now, 3 days later, my heart still races when I'm driving my van and I go to hit the brake. I can feel my body tense up until I'm 100% sure that I'm slowing down. 

I feel so silly to still be freaked out by it. I mean, technically nothing bad happened. Brakes went out, I jumped the curb, no one got hurt. So why am I still so spazzy about it? Jake said it could have ended much differently. I mean, I'm barely 24 weeks pregnant, Alli isn't big enough to be on her own. Jake said I probably saved my kid's lives. I dunno. I mean, so many things had to have been just right for us to be unharmed and not hit anything. I happened to be in the right lane with no one beside us. There wasn't a light pole on the exact spot that I jumped the curb. There were no cars in the parking lot where we ended up. No one was walking on the sidewalk. Somebody was looking out for us that day.

I coincidentally had an OB appt soon after, and Alli is fine. Measuring right on, still kicking me in the ribs constantly. All is well. Now if I can just stop being such a weirdo about it all, I'd feel much better. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Father's Day gift for Grandpa

So, like most crafters, I'm big into making handmade gifts. So with Father's Day coming up, hubby and I thought it'd be a nice idea to make something handmade for his dad. Wanna see what we came up with? Forgive the not so great pic of it. A certain 22 month old has figured out how to delete pictures off of my iphone so I'm missing the close up pic of it. Grrrr.

It was super easy to make. I got a wood plaque from Hobby Lobby for a couple of bucks (don't forget to use your 40% off coupon). I went through all of them until I found one that I liked the wood knots on it. 

I started off with painting the front of it with vintage white craft paint, it's a pretty cream color. When that was dry, I sanded the edges, and then used my favorite product. 

It's a nice, thick glaze made for antiquing. I painted on a layer, and then used a napkin to lightly remove some of it until I liked how it looked. I like to keep more of it along the edges than in the middle. If it has started to dry and I can't get it off with a napkin, I use a baby wipe very lightly to keep wiping. Then let dry. I spray on a couple of coats of matte clear sealer at this point. 

At this point, I didn't like how dark the glaze filled in the crack, so I just went back over it with some watered down white craft paint until it toned it down a bit. 

Hubby designed the text, and sent me the jpeg. I took that jpeg and opened it in Silhouette Studio. Do you know how to use the trace function on the Silhouette?

It's at the top, it's the blue square inside the yellow square. You first hit the "select trace area" and draw a box around your jpeg. Then I adjust the high pass filter until the entire letters are solid yellow. Then I hit the "trace" button. Your letters will have a red outline around them, and then you just drag off the original jpeg. 

Now, I will try and explain this the best I can. I don't like having to deal with trying to line up the middle of letters that get cut out (like inside the b, the D, the a, etc). So, to get around that, I connect them to the sides. 

I first ungroup my letters (on my Mac, it's command and G). I open up the modiy window (it's the M on top of the gray rectangle by the top arrow). Then I draw a rectangle over the letter's center, and then hit subtract. I do this for all the letters. Then I'll cut it out. I like to cut it out on freezer paper with the vellum media setting. 

Then I just lay it on top of my wood, and trace it with a pencil. 

Once it's traced, I'll paint it with black paint. Sometimes if I can't get the edges to look clean, I'll take a black sharpie to clean up the edges of the letters. And voila! 

If you'd like to make one and want my husband's design, shoot me an email (you can find it under the harass me tab up top) and I'll send it over to ya. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And we're leaving, in a minivan?

So, in a couple of hours when hubby gets home, we're going to make the 10 hour drive up to St Louis. Ten hours, trapped in a van with a 22 month old, a 6 and a 9 year old. Give me patience, Lord. 

Why are we going up to St Louis? My dear sister is getting married on Saturday! At some point, we dropped the "in-law" after the sister. I love that girl. I've known her since she was 13. 13! And here she is, about to get married. Crazy. 

So Arielle and Jasmin are her flower girls and I'm her bridesmaid. I told her that I'm not going to show up at the wedding unless I get to hold the biggest bouquet ;)

I'm 99% sure I'm all packed. I've had a pile of "stuff we need to bring" sitting in the hallway for at least a week. But with my pregnancy brain, watch me forget my dress. Or one of the kids, whatever. 

So, congratulations Sam and JD! No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. She's 5'2. He's 6'8.

 But they're perfect for each other. Here's to the beginning of the rest of your lives!