Tuesday, August 30, 2011


One of these days, I'm going to get it added to my side bar or something, but not today.

I am on pinterest now, if you have any interest in seeing my pins. I'm avoiding looking around too much, because of the time suck factor, and using it more as my personal inspiration board. There's so much fabulous stuff on there, though!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Dresser for the Little Man

We switched the Little Man to a toddler bed a few months ago, so that he could get used to it before his little brother arrives. It went very well, except that the little monkey who never gives up now has an entire room full of distraction that he can use to keep from taking a nap. Sometimes this means his room is a disaster twice a day. Oh well. He does great at night and he entertains himself fairly well during his "nap," so I will be happy with that. The Man keeps reminding me that I can't make him sleep, and he's right.

We also needed to get him a new dresser because we planned on keeping his original dresser together with the crib, since they match. We had a hard time finding anything that we liked, or rather, the right combination of price and quality.

So we bought a toddler bed that we liked from Amazon and went ahead and decided to go cheap and bought the Hemnes dresser from Ikea to go with it. Since they don't match anyway, I wanted to try painting it. I did it a few weeks ago, and it wasn't really very fun to maneuver around my big belly. It took a few hours per coat, since I painted the insides as well, and I put on 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint that I think was supposed to be self-priming.

I am really liking the paint color in his room. I wanted to use the London Fog (the gray I've been using in the bathrooms and on his little stool), but while it looks plenty dark enough on the walls of the bathrooms, its really pretty light on the stool. So I went a couple shades darker and used Plymouth Rock instead.

We'll see how well it really holds up to the little monkey over time. Its already got some chips here and there and the some has rubbed off on the drawers because, quite frankly, the drawers don't fit perfectly. I like the dresser overall, though. Hopefully he won't try climbing in the drawers, because they will never hold his weight!

Anyway, hooray for progress! I just feel like I need to move some stuff on his wall now, but we'll see. Probably won't get around to that. Baby number 2 is due in three weeks!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here's another freezer paper stenciled t-shirt that I made for the Little Man a while back. Its a stylized version of the Pittsburgh skyline found here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Leftover Curtain Fabric

And this is what I did with the leftover curtain fabric. The other print is Gotcha Gray also from Premier Prints and it is a twill. They have lots of other colors as well. . . wonder what I could possibly need them for?

Dutch sneaks in the picture for the sunshine.

Our couch pillows were looking really awful, but the inserts were feather and still nice, so I made some new pillow covers.

They definitely need to be removable and washable, but I hate how an envelope back pillow always seems to gape open in the back, so I decided to put in invisible zippers. I've never done that on a pillow before, and when I tried it on The Little Man's bean bag, it worked okay, but not perfectly.

This time I found several different YouTube videos to see how its done, because none were completely clear to me and I can never understand the product directions on traditional sewing supplies like zippers or patterns (is that just me? I consider myself intelligent and the sentences read like some other language altogether). Anyway, it worked and it was easy. They aren't quite invisible because I didn't buy the special Coats invisible zipper foot and just used the one that came with my machine, but they're darn near invisible. Good enough for me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Porch Pillows

We bought rockers for our front porch this summer, and I was feeling like we needed some pillows to go on them. I was sorta leaning towards buying the Sundial pillow from West Elm for out there, but decided against it, because it was just too much after paying for shipping. I'm pretty sure that these will be on the ground fairly often, as the front porch is an outdoor play area for the Little Man.
Sundial outdoor pillow in Papaya from West Elm

So, this is what I did with the fabric from the Little Man's old curtains. I made some pillows for my porch!

This is a much better use for that shower curtain fabric. I like it much better as pillows, and since its "recycled" fabric, let him throw them on the ground if he must!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Curtains for the Little Man

I finally found the fabric that I wanted to make curtains for the Little Man's room. Yay! I believe that its been a year and a half since we moved him out of my office (his nursery) into his own bedroom.

I tried out some all white grommet top curtains at first, and they were just too plain and boring. Then I found a navy shower curtain with a printed ivory design on them that I thought might work if I cut them and reconfigured them into panels. You can see them in the bookshelf post. They ended up being to dark and too skimpy for my taste.

I was hoping for a chevron print that I could use, but I never could quite bring myself to buy the ones that I found. They have a nice blue or yellow or brown at Fabric.com, but I what I wanted was gray. Pale gray.

Well, then it occurred to me that those are all Premier Prints fabrics. So I searched for Premier Prints and found their website. I am such an idiot. How did I not know these existed? I've actually used several of their prints before when I made all those aprons for Christmas several years ago. Ta da! Their Zig Zag design comes in the perfect Ash/White print. (I'll save you the leg work if you happen to want this fabric and tell you that the cheapest place that I found it was here, btw.)

I ended up buying 8 yards of fabric, so that I would have some extra, because I love it. I was trying to figure out how to cut it the right length, so I ended up folding it in half and laying it out the length of my living room/dining room and just using a measuring tape. Of course, the Little Man decided not to nap that day, so I had to get him up while I still had the fabric laid out and was trying to double-check my calculations before cutting.

He put on his rain boots and his 8-ball bike helmet and was riding his trike up and down the fabric like it was a runner just for him. He was saying "Wheeee!" and going back and forth and stomping around in his rain boots. He was in rare form and totally cracking me up. I was laughing so hard and trying to capture him on video to show The Man. Its a wonder I even cut these things right.

So here they are . . .

I'd never made curtains, but I wanted to do it right, if I was going to spend so much money on fabric. I wanted fully-lined, professional-looking curtains. I found an excellent tutorial here. I bought drapery lining at JoAnns. I don't know much about linings, but it was heavy enough and soft and about middle-of-the-road price. I learned how to make a blind hem on You Tube. Awesome. They turned out perfect!

I am so happy with how these look in his room. They are perfect! I'm nearly finished with it now. I wish I knew of a better way to store all his stuff, but this is how it is. We've already swapped his crib for a toddler bed, and now we need to swap out a new dresser for his changing table/dresser. We've already got the dresser, and I painted it last week.

Now I just have to get my act together and get my office ready to be set up as the nursery again. I'm getting concerned that number two is coming sooner, rather than later, so I need to get things done. Seriously. I'm not ready.

Oh, and if you happen to like this fabric for curtains, but don't want to sew them - lookie here. Someone is selling custom panels on eBay.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Step Stool

A few months ago, I saw vintage step stool plans posted on Ana White's blog and I decided that I was going to make one. Myself.

We have an old "rustic" stool that was The Man's when he was a kid, but its not very tall. The Little Man uses it all the time and drags it from counter to counter in our kitchen, depending on where the action is. I figured we will be needing more stools around this place and I would like something cute. You never see cute stools in the store.

I figured this one would do the trick and get him up a little bit higher.

I convinced The Man that I was really going to do it, so we bought some lumber. It cost more than I was hoping, but what I bought was enough for a stool and half, probably. I even convinced him to carry up his miter saw out to the back patio for me.

The first afternoon I attempted to use it, The Man was already gone for work and the Little Man was supposed to be napping. I couldn't even figure out how to unlatch the dumb saw. I sent him texts and he tried to explain it to me, but I couldn't find the latch for the life of me. I had to cover it back up and wait for him to show me how. Sad, I know.

The next afternoon, however, I got most of my cuts made and realized that some of the lumber is too wide for the miter saw. Oops. Had to wait for help again. We ended up cutting through one side and then the other with the miter saw, because we don't have a table saw. It worked.

The next afternoon I had free, I needed a jig saw to cut out the sides. I found the jig saw in the garage, but there was no blade in it. I texted The Man again and he told me where to find the blades. Found them, but I couldn't figure out how to get them in the saw. I even googled for the manual and couldn't find one online, so I had to wait for help again. Ridiculous.

Anyway, I got everything all cut out and The Man helped me figure out the screws and stuff that I needed and he showed me how to pre-drill the holes and screw it all together. Yay!

Anyway, this is turning into a ridiculously long explanation, but my point is that it was actually pretty simple to make. Obviously, I had no idea what I was doing, but I did manage to make it all by myself. Which means it is easy.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore London Fog (my new favorite gray/taupe color) that I used ages ago in our basement. I love the color, but it didn't occur to me that there would be little dirty footprints on it at all times. Oh well.. I was going to take different pictures of it, but why? This is exactly how the stool is going to be used and what it will look like in my kitchen.

Now I'm thinking I could use one that is maybe a tad wider for the sink in the bathroom. . . but with only 6 weeks to go before the second Little Man is due, when would I do that? At least this time, I know how to use the tools!