We went on a long baseball tournament. I sewed a lot of hexagons. BY HAND!
Today is my chicken baby girl’s birthday. She decided on a room makeover. Now, I don’t know how most people go about a room makeover, but I don’t have a few grand to throw at a 14 year old’s room, so we started small. I bought a few thrifted and clearance items to get us started – wall art, an ottoman and a set of letters that spell her name. With those things out of the way, I had to start thinking bigger. It will be up to her to decide on paint, so I didn’t tackle that for her. Instead I DIYed a bedspread.
As we were talking about how she wants her room to look, I directed her to Pinterest for some eye candy. Of course she found an amazing bedspread from Urban Outfitters that was completely and utterly out of the budget. (I didn’t even spend that much on my own bedding!)
Here’s the inspiration bedding:
Now, this puppy retails at over $150. Nuh-uh. No way, no how. So I set about to recreate this as best I could with thrifted materials. I knew that I would have to buy yards and yards of fabric, which wasn’t in the budget either, so I went a hunting for a blanket and sheets that I could dye. My girl asked for charcoal gray. Baby I tried my best, but apparently my fabric dying skills aren’t up to snuff.
Turns out that when you want dark gray or black fabric from white fabric, you don’t actually use black dye. I got a gorgeous purple. Three times. Then I started adding other color dye to see what I could come up with. Long story short, I ended up with a slightly green tinted gray! Success! (sort of!) The blanket and one sheet were the same color, and the other sheet came out light gray. And not a nice matchy combo. So, I ditched the light gray sheet in favor of coordinating the ruffles and blanket.
I bought a gathering foot for my machine and ruffled the heck outta those ripped strips! For a bit of interest, I added a trim of grosgrain ribbon to separate the ruffles from the rest of the blanket, and with the left over sheeting, made a pillowcase with ribbon trim! She likes it!
Here’s my handiwork, with some improvisation thrown in. It’s not a copy, but I kind of like that it isn’t exactly like what we could buy in a store.
We’ve got some work ahead of us, but I think we are off to a great bedroom makeover start! Stay tuned for more progress.
If I could rip out walls and windows and re-do my entire kitchen I would. But I can’t, so I won’t. The next best thing is messing around with what I have. So be it.
When we bought our house there was no hardware on any of the cabinets. Still isn’t. I’m going to change that with some cute DIY cabinet knobs in the kitchen!
I got started this weekend, so here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on!
Just phoning it in today to say how little there is going on around these parts. School is back in session, people are sick, Ski club started for the middle school, the cats are cute as hell and I’m still pinning more quilts than I will ever make or need in 4 lifetimes.
Being sick has been nice in regards to my current quilt project though. It’s a lot more relaxing to hand sew when you don’t feel like moving more than a foot or two from the bed or couch. I’ve wrapped up a book or two. My new coloring book and markers arrived so I have even managed to color. Aside from that being sick sucks. I can’t breathe well and my head hurts. Somebody call the wahmbulance.
Also, LuLu is getting too fat for the tower. My sweet fat bottomed girl.
Turns out that publicly admitting you have no Christmas tree on Dec 10 makes you feel kind of shitty. Normally we put the Christmas tree in the living room. This year the living room is all torn to hell because we’ve ripped out the flooring. With our financial BS going on, we had pretty much decided to skip the tree this year. But then there are the kids. Despite no expectations of santa, and knowing that our Philadelphia trip was THE Christmas present this year, I still had that nagging guilt that we should do something.
Leave it to Pinterest and Instagram to give me a free idea. Behold, the DIY Christmas tree using materials we had on hand:
The Millionaire and I have been cussing and discussing the idea of starting some home improvement projects for quite some time now. I, for one, am positively giddy because I hate almost everything about this place. (Marriage tip no. 483,469,921: don’t buy a house your partner hates) Our house has lots of potential, but unless we make some changes it is never going to be awesome. After living here with only minor changes in paint colors for over two years, today we took the plunge – we ripped out the carpet in our main floor living room. We pulled staples and tack strip and kicked it all to the curb. yes we did. Buh-bye ugly Berber textured carpet! Hello DIY plywood floors. (Thanks be to the Pinterest gods for the ideas and inspiration)
I give you before shots! And a perplexed KittyCat!
I bought a serger last year on eBay. Almost a year to the day. I’m too scared to use it. I don’t even know if it works. All the jumbled up strings of thread are so complicated looking that just walking into the sewing room gives me anxiety.
So I’ve tucked it into a far corner in hopes that it won’t jump out and get me every time I open the door.
I have so many things swirling around my head to write about. Sometimes dumping it in one spot helps me clear my mind enough to move forward. There. I admitted it. So here are the posts I’d love to do, but haven’t found a way to gel into coherent thoughts. My hope is that I can put this out there for accountability purposes:
While I was in Memphis I busted ass trying to help my mother get her house in shape. I emptied out cabinet after cabinet of stuff, cleared out the fridge and scrubbed what I could. While I did some of the more down and dirty jobs, my mom diligently got rid of boxes and boxes of clothes.
One of my mother’s big fears when cleaning is getting rid of something that is useful or that someone else could benefit from. Unfortunately, this means her heart of gold has her saving things that could help a friend, colleague or student in need, but that don’t end up ever leaving her house. With lots of discussion about how it was not helping her be healthy and happy to keep all these things she agreed to start filling boxes with items to donate. At first she wanted to fill the boxes to take to church, school or send to somebody who might know somebody, but I was able to help her see that we needed to get things OUT. We settled on putting an ad on Craigslist for people to come and just take whatever was on the curb, and we agreed that if no one came by to take it, I would take anything left to Goodwill. (Goodwill was the nearest charity to her house) Believe it or not, I only had to take one load to Goodwill. Everything else was picked up off the curb – I saw one family stop several times. As I relayed this to her, she was able to feel better about her things going to a family for free.
Cleaning out food was another matter altogether. We had our most tense moments dealing with food, medicines and trinkets stored in the kitchen and bathroom. Food is a very touchy topic with my mom as when I was very small she and my father were very, very, poor. Throwing food away simply does.not.compute. It took me calling a Memphis area food bank to convince her (and my dad, who grew up in poverty) that if it was too expired for the food bank, it was too long expired to keep or give away.
While I left the house cleaner than I found it, I felt a deep sense of failure that even my loose expectations were shattered. As I worked steadily for a week on the kitchen, my kitchen cleaning breaks were spent clearing out and cleaning other rooms in the house. I was able to tackle an endless stream of laundry – mostly clean that had pet hair, dust or had simply been sitting so long no one could remember if it was clean or not. I sorted the mystery sock pile and was able to sift through items that no longer fit or were wanted. (This was aside from the clean clothing mom was simultaneously sifting through in several closest and bedrooms) I was able to clean most of the cabinets in the kitchen – emptying them, scrubbing them, scrubbing the contents and putting everything back. The kitchen ceiling was primed and painted (water damage from a storm) But I never finished fully cleaning even ONE room.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Not even one room was left fully clean and organized. Even so, even with the disappointment I felt with myself, I can now call this venture a success. How can I change my mind so completely now? My mom called me yesterday to report on what she has been doing since I left. Never in a million years did I think I would hear those words coming from her! I am so proud of her for soldiering on even without help! Happy, happy, joy, joy!