Thursday, August 28, 2008

Breaking The Rules

The other day I was folding laundry and watching HGTV. Real exciting, I know. The show was the 25 Biggest Landscaping Mistakes. Most of what they were saying made sense to me. However, for some reason Lucky # 13 really stood out in my mind: Scattered Color. Here is a glimpse of one of our many flower beds…

The voice on the television said, “You don’t want your yard to look like a box of crayons exploded." My first thought was OOOPS. Then 2 seconds later I came to my senses and thought to myself, who are these people? What’s wrong with a little bit (or a lot of) color? My whole world looks like a box of crayons exploded all over it. Probably because our 6 year old is an artist in training, and she is very generous when it comes to sharing her masterpieces. To me, they are the most beautiful sights in the world, even when they are scattered all over the house.
Today my 3 year old and I hit the dollar store, another favorite for the little people at our house. This time I found a treasure for me – a cute little turquoise vase. As soon as we got home he wanted to go pick some flowers. At our house we have such an abundance of flora, there aren’t any rules against picking flowers. We went outside and picked an armful and then proceded to fill the vase up with the colorful little renegades. It was looking kind of crowded, but he didn’t want to leave any of them out saying, “I want the whole rainbow." Wow. You bet, you sweet little boy! I could never deny him the whole rainbow, even a tasteless scattered one. Being happy is what it's all about, and he deserves it. Don’t we all?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apple Delight (in less than 10 minutes)

Joy at Joys of Home is having a "paint outside the black box" party. This is a little outside the box, wouldn’t you say?
Here is a look at the before…

My dad rescued this one for me. It was on its way to the D.I. and he called to see if I wanted it. Did I ever! I love, love, love old furniture with funky lines. I also like FREE.

Let me explain the color choice. I have been working on a craft/sewing/art room. A place for my kids and myself (& my better half – if he was even the slightest bit artistic, & I say that with love) to go to make & create. The one thing I want for it to be is a happy, colorful place. You can see some of my color inspiration in the fabrics below. So, while I hand painted the other dresser turquoise (check out my older post to see this one), my hubby spray painted this little Green Apple delight. He was done in 10 minutes! Perhaps some artistic ability after all!
The room is not quite put together yet. Still working on a few other pieces, like the chairs posted below. But now that I am done with the stash quilt & my older kids are back in school, hopefully I will soon be wrapping it up!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stashy, Scrappy & Done at Last!!

My little summer quilting project is finally finished! The challenge was to use fabrics already in our stash for the top of the quilt, meaning NO shopping allowed! The fabrics I used are scraps from other projects, a couple of fat quarters I had been hoarding, with a few sheets thrown into the mix. For the border I cut up a green gingham crib sheet we no longer use. I sewed 2 pieces of batting together which were donated to the cause from my mother in law. The backing is pink minkee (with a floral texture) that I purchased 9 months ago when I was pregnant, with the intention of making a baby blanket and I never got around to using it, until now. So all in all, this little quilt was very kind to my wallet.

Here it is before the quilting began...

The pattern is one I drew up on my note-pad one day. There weren't any regular blocks, which made the actual piecing a little bit tricky, but I was going for a scrappy look. Although it was a real pain at the time, I like the way it turned out.
I debated and debated on quilting methods. At one point I was just going to take it to the quilt shop and let the professionals do the job for me. Then I thought I would give machine quilting a try. Not as easy as it looks (but I am an amateur), especially with the minkee backing. There were a few puckers that weren't working for me so I did a lot of unpicking. At this point I resolved to quilt it with my own two hands. I had previously decided on 2 inches square, so I quilted (and quilted) until my house was a mess, and my fingers sore. I finished all of the rows going in one direction and was quilted out. I simply could not face hand quilting all of the rows going in the other direction. So, out of desperation I attempted quilting on the machine again. Because everything was already stitched in place I had no trouble with any puckering. Worked like a charm - both myself and my fingers were so happy! It's an unusual combination of hand and machine quilting, but hey, at least it's done!
Here is the end result...

Love the minkee soft & warm!

Something out of nothing at all! THANKS to Eileen & Ulla for hosting this challenge. I have enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful stashy quilts. I think if I would have known how talented some of the other quilting gals were who participated in this challenge I would have been way too intimidated to sign up. So I am grateful for that ignorance, and my daughter is happy to have a new quilt!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Toile Tale

Actually, it is a tale of 2 chairs. My mother-in-law happened upon two unusual chairs in need of a home. Knowing my love for quirky colors as well as all things old, she surprised me with them the other day. We must have had an E.S.P. thing going on, because I had been searching the on-line classifieds for a couple of cheap chairs (with character) that I could paint fun colors and use in my sewing/craft room. Did she ever nail it! I LOVE these chairs. The cushion fabric, not so much...

It just so happens that I found a yard of pink & green toile decorator fabric at Hancock’s a few days earlier for only $3.00. Such a good deal, I couldn’t pass it up. I also fell in love with this cute hot pink Sun Drop fabric at Material Girls. Only problem is I only have ¼ yard of this. Which should I use? Or, I guess the real question is, should I frivolously spend more money on additional yardage of the hot pink fabric (which I am thinking is pretty darn cute), or should I be frugal and go with the toile that I already have (and like)? My judgement is cloudy due to my weakness for (make that addiction to) buying fabric. Decisions, decisions...

So what do you think? Either way, I am sure I will LOVE them!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sneak Peak...

I must be feeling really ambitious to be posting twice on the same day, but I thought I'd do a little Stash Quilt update before heading off to bed...

I am almost done! This is just about the closest thing to a real "block" on the whole quilt...

The whole thing really is just a random assemblage of fabric remnants. Very RANDOM - I'm still getting used to it. I still need to add the border. For this I am using a light green gingham crib sheet. The green square in the middle of the image below is from the same little sheet - I am trying to keep it stashy!

Fortunately I have had some great company during the whole process with my kids out of school for the summer. I got a real kick out of seeing this sporty guy tinkering around on the sewing machine...

Pay it Forward

Warning: The subject matter of this post is a little LAME (or so I was subtly informed earlier today). Oh well... I am in fact a nerd who gets excited about all sorts of lame things. But, if you’re actually visiting my blog, you have probably already figured that out about me. :)

I love hand-me-downs. Always have - probably because I was the only girl growing up and hand-me-downs were always more of a bonus than a staple. Recently my sister-in-law cleaned out her son's closet and my little guy was lucky enough to inherit the motherload of awesome hand-me-down clothes! He also inherits all of his brother's old stuff as well. As far as clothing goes, the kid is set for quite a while. The only things I’ll need to buy him are shoes. Woohoo! For some reason, now that I am shopping for 4 kids, it just isn’t as much fun anymore – feels like another tedious mommy chore.

Check out all the dress clothes - he’ll never have to wear the same outfit to church more than twice. :)

This abundance of new garb left me no choice but to sort through and box up all of the clothes that he has outgrown. I am hoping another little nephew of mine will be able to use some of them, and his mom will be spared a few trips to the mall (and Target & Old Navy) as well. She too, is now clothing 4 little people herself. Who has time for the mall anyway, right? I hope my brother won't be too disappointed, I know how he loves to shop. :)

And as always, there will still be plenty left for the D.I. Some clothes are past their prime after just one child...

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Thanks for the goods!