Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY Bed Sheet Ruffle Curtains

After making my little munchkin a Dress-Up Closet (tutorial here) for her birthday I ran into a bit of a problem... there was no more room in her room!!!  Since getting rid of something (my husband's idea) was NOT happening, I knew the only thing to do was improvise.  So I took the doors off her closet, moved the dresser inside and added a few cute baskets for shoes and accessories but it didn't look finished without curtains.  To keep this project under budget, but still chic I decide to attempt my first curtains.

I'm a very novice sewer so I took a little help from these super cheap sheet sets from Walmart. They are around 7 dollars a set and come with a flat sheet (for the curtain panel), a fitted sheet (for the ruffles), and a pillow case (for the tie backs).  I used one set for each side of the closet, so about 14 dollars total... not bad huh!?!

Since we are using the hemmed flat sheet as the base the only thing you really have to sew are the ruffles.  To make those I cut off the elastic border of the fitted sheet to make one large square of material and then along the top edge I cut one inch slits ever 6 inches or so, now is the fun part rip away!!!  You could cut them but I like the frayed edge and it was so fast.  It's a nice little stress reliever too!

Now ruffle all the torn pieces.  I just used a long loose stitch and then pulled the bobbin thread, if you have a ruffle foot for your sewing machine that would be perfect.  I on the other hand am lucky just to get the silly machine turned on, yet more proof that if I can make these you ABSOLUTELY can!

OK, once you've ruffled every scrap piece you can find, pin then to the finished flat sheet.  I just eyeballed it and evenly spaced them out in three rows.  Now sew them down to the panel with a stitch right down the center of the ruffle. Then, depending on how long you want your curtains fold over the top and sew along the top to create a channel for your tension rod.  Finally, repeat all of that for the other side.

And TA-DAH!!!  Pretty cute huh!?! I love that these are long and that even when gathered they pool a little on the floor. 

For the ties, I took a long piece from the pillow case or really any scrap you have left over and used a push pin to secure it just inside the closet frame.

This would also work great with sheets you already have on hand or you can always find them at the thrift store for super cheap.  I love the girly touch in my little divas room, and I especially love the price!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Freezing Avocados

Avocados... I LOVE them, but hate the price.  You know what I hate more???  When I pay a dollar or more a piece for them and then let them go bad on my counter!  Ugghhh!!! I'm convinced the "avocado fairies" come to my house overnight and turn this incredible fruit (yeah totally pulled that fact out just to sound smart :) from rock hard to mush in a matter of hours.  Dang those "avocado fairies'!!!  If they have even made an appearance at your house I have the answer.... freeze them! Not the fairies, the avocados and yep, you can totally do that!
Even if you are better at keeping an eye on your avocados this is still a great trick.  The little store in my town recently had a special, 3 avocados for 99 cents!!! Amazing right?!? I wanted to take advantage of the great deal, but was afraid to stock up for fear those dang "fairies" would appear.  So I decided to try freezing them and it turned out amazing.  From now on I will always stock up when I see a great deal and will never waste them again.. or at least I'm going to try not to waste them.
To save your avocados from the trash in the nick of time all you have to do is scoop out the gorgeous green flesh, mash it up and add a little lemon juice to help keep the color.  I used nine avocados and a couple splashes (a few teaspoons) of lemon juice.
Now, fold over the edges of your freezer zip lock bag to make sure you keep the seal clean and scoop in your mashed avocado.
Carefully press out as much air as possible, seal it up and throw it in your freezer.
When you need avocado just pull one out and let it thaw in the fridge overnight (or if you are a horrible procrastinator like me thaw a bag in a bowl of warm water).  It tastes amazing and if you like to make homemade guacamole half the work is already done!  Here's to not letting those sneaky "fairies" win!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kids Individual No Mess ART Bins

I threw these little ART bins together before Christmas really out of necessity.  I wanted to get the kiddos a bunch of fun new craft and coloring supplies for their stocking (psst.. don't tell them they didn't come from the BIG MAN with the red hat :) but knowing my wild little artists I knew they would be spread to every corner of my house within the first few minutes so containment was key! 

First, I stocked up on new markers, colored pencils, safety scissors, stickers, paints, papers and anything else that caught my eye at the dollar store and Walmart school supply aisle.

And since I try to avoid knock down drag out fights whenever possible, I bought two of everything.. one for each kid.  They know the other has the exact same thing so they stick to their own areas and shockingly now don't fight over colors.  I guess the thrill of robbing the other of a favorite color loses its luster when there's more than one. 

Now for the container.  These plastic bins worked out perfect, they cost under $4 (at Walmart), have lids, aren't too big and stack really easily.

So after buying two, in different colors to again avoid any confusion or cause for sibling war I used some letters and star stickers I had from another project to personalize each bin.

So simple, this took literally only a few minutes to throw together and they LOVE them! The kids ask every single day to use them.

Because of the shocking popularity of this simple project, I now keep them stacked in a low cupboard that the kids can easily get to.

My little artists get to create endless masterpieces and when they are done even at 2 and 4 they know everything has to go back in the bin.  The kids are happy and Mommy's happy, not bad for a quick excuse not to wrap a bunch of little Christmas presents :)

 Hope a little artist in your life likes these too!


Monday, January 21, 2013

No Mess Kids Paint Project

It has been so gloomy and cold at our house lately, that going outside has been almost impossible.  
Translation... my kids are bouncing off the walls and I'm running out of ways to keep them entertained. 

 Thankfully, my kiddos love to color and do "projects" like Mommy, but on this particular day I couldn't muster the energy to even think about cleaning up the inevitable aftermath of real painting so I improvised with a gallon zip lock bag, some painters tape and extra acrylic paint from my stash.  The kids loved it, I was the hero and there was not a speck of paint to scrub off!!!  Win, win,win.

Oh, and did I mention it could not have been easier.  I got the idea from a preschool idea book that said to put colored blue in a zip lock to practice writing letter.  I loved that idea, but didn't have colored glue so I grabbed my box of cheap acrylic paints that I usually use to paint wood signs.  You could absolutely use finger paints, but these are less than a dollar and there are tons of colors. 

The kids loved getting to pick their very own colors.  Once that very serious process is complete, fold back the edges of the bag so you don't get paint in the seal and squirt in a little of each color.

Next, push out as much air as you can, seal the bag and tape it to a counter top or table with a little painters tape (it's sticky but won't harm your furniture).  I also put a sheet of white paper between the bag and the table because our table is very dark and I wanted the kids to be able to see their bright white "canvas" underneath.  

They mixed, and smeared and doodled, we even practiced a few letters while we were at it.

Little fingers work great as the "paint brushes", but I also gave each of the kiddos a brush to use as a pencil when they were practicing their letters.  We actually used the same bag for a few days and got lots of enjoyment out of them.  If your kids don't get tired of the colors, the sealed bag keeps the paints wet and allows you to keep using them for as long as you want... or until the weather warms up!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Shabby Chic Coffee Table Update

Happy New Year!!!  I hope you all survived that holidays and have only amazing new memories to show for it!  I have many of those plus some really tight clothes thank to my lack of will power when it comes to Christmas goodies.  So as I kick off the year with new health and fitness goals to help shed those extra inches I decided now was as good a time as any for our coffee table to shed a few layers for a new look too.
This is our coffee table before.  It started out as a finished yourself wood table project that my husband and I took on for our very first house.  Come to think of it, this was probably my first ever DIY project, long before I even knew or cared what that was.  We sanded, stained and sealed it in our garage and loved it at the time.
But two kids and two moves later, the nicks, dings and crayon masterpieces that had left their marks needed to be updated.
So, here's one last look. Good bones, but bad acne!
To make the change I decided on a distressed white washed look so I just grabbed some left over Moonlight White Behr paint I had on hand and a cheap brush and literally slapped on a few coats. I just wanted it mostly covered.
Once it was completely dry I used a combination of just a piece of sand paper and the more heavy duty electric sander to get a wide range of roughness to the finish.
I focused a lot on the corners and near the drawer where normal wear might happen.  I know it is crazy to cover scratches with paint only to scratch it up again, but after some Annie Sloan dark wax I LOVE how it turned out.
I will say if you are new to distressing there will probably be a point in the project where you question what you are doing and wonder if you just messed up all that painting, but go with it!  Keep sanding and roughing it up, because in my experience it always looks awful before it looks amazing :)
And here it is back in my living room.
I love the distressed finish with my other rustic western decor.
I hope you like it too.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

You like me, you really like me!!!  OK, so one person, the lovely Georgia over at CraftSewLoveGrow likes me, but hey I will take it!  All kidding aside, just before the craziness of the holidays I got an email from Georgia nominating me for the Liebster Award!!!

The purpose of this fun award is to bring attention and hopefully new fans to blogs with less than 200 followers.  In receiving this award you are asked to post 11 random facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you and then in true blog loving fashion create 11 questions for the 11 new blogs you love with less than 200 followers.  Phew... get all that :)

OK, so here goes, 11 random facts about me:

1. I went to college on a Rodeo scholarship.. yes those do exist.
2. After that, this will NOT be as much of a shocker, I ride horses :)
3. I'm a horrible procrastinator, I'd rather watch re-runs of The Real Housewives then be up all night finishing a project that I could have easily finished while normal people are awake!
4. My day can never really start without coffee, but if there is NO flavored creamer... no thanks.
5. My little kiddos are better artists than I am, drawing is not one of my strengths.
6. I grew up in Idaho.
7. I hate yard work, a gardener I am not!
8. I love those rare lazy days when you never get out of your pajamas.
9. I once had American Idol dreams.
10. I'd love to write a book someday.
11. I am blessed beyond belief!!!

Now... The 11 questions from CraftSewLoveGrow:

1.What made you start your blog?
Shortly after leaving TV news to be a stay at home mom, I cherished being home but needed a creative outlet so the blog was born :)
2.What advice do you have for potential bloggers?
Just do it!  Don't over think the idea of blogging, just jump in with both feet you'll figure it out as you go.
3.What inspires you?
Old pieces of furniture that have been discarded.  I love the idea of bring new life to old things. 
4.Do you have a favorite material to work with?
5.Name a place you would love to travel.
Anywhere in Europe.
6.What is your favorite post or project you have done?
I look at my antique buffet everyday and still love the huge transformation so that's probably my favorite!
7.Where would you prefer to live: the beach, the mountains, the city, the country and why?
The country!  I love to visit the city to shop, the beach to eat and the mountains to ski, but the country is where my heart is! 
8.What is your favorite movie?
Sweet Home Alabama
9.What would your dream occupation be?
Fashion designer, but that silly no drawing skills AT ALL puts a kink in that dream.
10.Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it?
"Don't sweat the small stuff." Simple, but so true!
11. What is your favorite smell?
I am so very honored that anyone takes the time to read my blog or is inspired by the crazy projects I take on.  So thank you, thank you, thank you Georgia for this very sweet and much appreciated nod.  But, I do have to admit that juggling the craziness that is my wonderful life, which includes my helpful husband, two wild and wiggly kids and about one million projects, most of which are just swirling around in my head, I don't have much time to check out new blogs.  So I am accepting this award and hope that you will all in turn take some time to check out Georgia's blog  and any other new bloggers you come across.  The time that goes into posts and projects is something I never appreciated until I started this crazy journey, so hats off to all bloggers big and small!