Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sewing Projects

I went to another baby shower yesterday (I seriously know so many babies/pregnant ladies this year!) so I thought I would whip something up with my handy dandy sewing machine. I've been trying to make gifts lately 1) to make something truly personalized and 2) to save a little moola without sacrificing the cute factor :).

I decided I would make some cute little shoes and a pillow-case dress that can be worn as a little tank once the baby gets bigger.

First things first, I needed to get some fabric. Hobby Lobby, my favorite place, was having a 30% off sale for their fabric so it was the perfect place to pick some up. I had planned on picking some up that weekend but the hubby was off (it was the week before school started) and he offered to go pick some out for me. Seriously, I love that man! I told him I wanted something with aqua in it since the baby's room was aqua (and super adorable!). He called me while I was at work because he saw two different patterns and described them in detail for me, haha! He ended up finding some coordinating ribbon for one, so we went with that.

I used this pattern for the shoes and I thought they turned out super cute. It wasn't terribly hard to follow. I have an old machine and my thread got jammed once but that was the only problem I had. I then used this pattern for a simple pillowcase dress. It was so easy!

The finished product:
Can't wait to meet baby D! She's going to be one gorgeous and Godly girl! How's that for alliteration???

Linking up to Frugal Friday and Show And Share Day

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Centerpiece

I know that it's already August, but I just finished my summer centerpiece for our coffee table. It's been 85% done since the beginning of the summer, but I knew it had been missing something. When we were at Hobby Lobby the other day, I picked up some fake orchids (at least I'm pretty sure they're orchids) to finish it.

When we were in Hawaii, we bought a bowl made of Koa wood that we wanted to put out so I filled it with some blue beads. I also had some little glass jars from Goodwill that I filled with the same beads. My parents had seen us eyeing some Koa wood chopsticks that we ended up deciding against buying because we couldn't justify the cost to ourselves and surprised us on the last day by taking us to a wood store to find some because they wanted to buy them for us (which was extremely generous since they paid for almost the whole trip - they are true blessings and not just because they buy me stuff) and we LOVE them. We wanted to display them as well, so we put them in the jars with the beads. It looked a little empty so we added the orchids and I love how they turned out! It's nothing special but it was fun to piece the ideas together. Also pictured are our "S" coasters for my new last name :)

You've Got Mail

James and I have a huge problem with mail piling up in our "catch-all" basket that sits on our counter. It started becoming an eye-sore and driving me nuts so I went looking for a mail sorter. But the ones that I liked were $20 and up... not terribly expensive but more than I wanted to spend. I knew I could make something for much cheaper so I looked around the house for supplies. I had wall hangings in my kitchen that I was planning on taking down - they're hanging where I'm putting my chalkboard dish and the colors did not match our kitchen anymore. I bought two of these for I think $5 each at Wal-Mart back in college. They're very cute, but just don't go in our place. I decided to use one for my project. They're the perfect width and height and already had a way to hang them on the back!
After I painted a few coats of white paint I had on hand to make a blank slate, I attached some fabric to the wood. I put modge podge on the front, placed the fabric on and smoothed out the wrinkles, then flipped it over and hot glued it on the back and put some modge podge over the edges in case it frayed. I also needed something to fashion pockets to hold the mail, so I grabbed some matboard and cut out 2 squares (same width as board and I made mine 6 inches tall), then 4 triangles (3 inches wide and 6 inches tall) to make two little pockets. I hotglued them together. They don't look perfect but I was covering them anyways!I then covered them in the same fabric with modge podge and hot glue again. The inside doesn't look awesome, but you can't see the seams too much and it's the INSIDE and no one can see it! I then hotglued the pockets to the board. I plan on adding two little labels for MAIL IN and MAIL OUT so we can keep things organized. The total cost on this was $0 since I had the board and matboard from previous decorating and the fabric was from my stash - and even if I had to add the cost of the fabric, it was a fat quarter for 50% off at HL that ended up costing about 3$. Not too shabby!I still have another board and matboard left so maybe I'll make another to put bathroom stuff in. Or I can just paint the board and cover with fabric that actually matches the house and call it good.

Linking up to Frugal Friday and Show And Share Day

Chalkboard Paint

So there's this awesome stuff called chalkboard paint. Oh you mean you've heard of it? Okay, so I know that chalkboard paint has been all the rage in the DIY world for awhile now, but I just recently finished my first project with it. I've been wanting to do this for awhile but last year I couldn't find just a small, cheap tube of it, only pints, and since I didn't want to paint a huge space, I've been putting it off.

James had a week off before he went back to school this week and nicely went to Hobby Lobby for me and found a little bottle that would cover 10 square feet at most and was only $4, so he picked it up for me. I had an old metal serving plate my friend had given me for a DIY project of my choosing (Thanks, Paigey!) sitting in my cabinet. I decided it would be really cute, painted and hung up on the wall. We have a ton of paint samples in our utility room, so I went and scanned them to see what I wanted. We have a ton of white options (did you know how hard it is to match ceiling paint?!?!?!) so I grabbed one of those.

I painted a thin coat and let it set, then attempted a second coat but it was flaking off and just not covering well. James informed me that the paint I was using would not work well on metal. Bummer... But he had an awesome idea - he had painted our shed last summer and used a white paint for the trim work. It was a durable outdoor paint that would adhere to metal. PERFECT! I painted a few coats on the dish and it seemed to be working great! I then painted 3 coats of chalkboard paint on the middle of the dish and waited the requested 24 hours for the paint to cure. All I had to do after that was rub a light coat of chalk over the area and then wipe clean. Now it's perfect for little notes, bible verses, or even grocery lists!
After this picture, I hotglued some wire to the chalk and hung it on one of the handles for easy access. James is figuring out the best way to hang it, so for now it's sitting on our table. I want it to be easy to take down and put back up so I can write messages on it without too much trouble so I think we'll hang it under the handles. I'll update when it's up!

Linking up to Frugal Friday and Show And Share Day


I'll be honest... today's church service was a hard one for me to hear. Summed up, it was about giving and receiving the Word of God. There were lots of other little things in there, but I'd say that was it in a nutshell. Giving encouragement to those close to me is not hard at all. I love to tell my friends and family what amazing blessings I see in them.

But taking them and giving them out to strangers... not my forte. It's easy for me to think that evangelism is not a gift I have - I lack the charisma, courage, and words for people I don't know. I even get nervous praying out loud in front of others. Not because I don't have things to say, but because of FEAR. But I know that even if it isn't a particular strength of mine, doesn't mean that I should fear it. That my words won't mean anything to others is a lie I've believed for far too much of my life.

So, that being said, I'm going to be praying for BOLDNESS going forward. For the lies of the enemy in my life to be broken off. For encouragement given to me by others to be fully received and believe in. For words of encouragement for others to flow from me to bless those around me. But mainly, that I have full faith in my God to use me for his purposes in ways I can't even imagine.

Decorating on a Dime

Since we're a one-income fam until the hubs get out of med school, I've made it a personal goal to really design on a small budget. We've got a ton of things that we each had before we were married and that we have received as gifts, but I do try to mix things up a bit every now and then to keep our decor fresh. For this reason, I hit up Goodwill every now and then, buy things on clearance, and try new DIY ideas with stuff I have laying around.

I've seriously been crafting all weekend and need to blog on some of those ideas, but I just realized I never blogged about a craft I did months ago that I love. I saw this on one of my many craft blog searches, and I fell in love! I knew I had almost all the supplies around the house and gave it a try. I actually had some of the wire but couldn't find it (cue an organization of my craft closet!) so the hubs nicely went and bought me some. He had also just trimmed our tree and patiently waited while I picked out which branches I wanted trimmed down for the project. What a guy! I then used scrapbook paper I had picked up to coordinate with our living room and cut out 3 sizes of leaves. I then glued the leaves around small pieces of wire and wrapped the wire around the branches. I put them in a vase I had laying around and called it good! I still need to go back and add more leaves (they're even cut out and waiting), but I keep forgetting!It was a really fun project and I completed it pretty quickly! I really like how it spices up that corner of the room!

Linking up to Frugal Friday and Show And Share Day