Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to Make an Easy Rolling Clothes Hamper

This is a quick little fix for our laundry room (cupboard) that is one of those things that just niggled at me.  For some reason, random items of clothing get left all over the main floor of our house.  I am often yelling at gently reminding someone to go and deposit said items in our laundry.  I keep a laundry hamper there so the items aren't on the floor again in case there is laundry in the machine already (which there often is of course).  The laundry hamper I had there was a large'ish square fabric one that just fit in the space in front of our little tub but I often had to drag it out to reach the tub or something on the shelves and so on.  Anyway, of course it wasn't a big deal but it often got left out in the hallway and it was fabric (not great for keeping clean) and a bit cumbersome blah blah blah and I have been focussing on attending to all these little annoyances lately.  In the hope that my life will start running as smoothly as I imagine everyone else's does.  Ha!

So, I picked up a smaller hamper from The Container Store (it was about $20 from memory) and thought I would attach some castors to it.  I love castors.  They are great on all sorts of furniture too in my opinion.  Obviously I couldn't attach the castors to the plastic on its own so I cut out a rectangle from some scrap wood to match the base of the hamper.  Well, I started to cut it out and the commercial size jigsaw I borrowed from my contractor neighbour went all crazy and wouldn't shut off and I had a little moment of panic in the garage trying to turn the thing off.  My neighbour then finished cutting it out for me.  He is good like that.  :)  

Wood, meet hamper....

I was thinking about leaving the wood natural but decided my less than glamorous laundry cupboard (not to sound ungrateful - I am very glad we even have a laundry with a little tub) could do with a little hit of colour.  So I primed the edges that would be seen.  I didn't do the whole top and bottom because, well why bother?

Then two coats of a pretty blue.  I then attached this to the bottom of the hamper with poster putty so I could drill some pilot holes for the screws that were attaching it from inside the hamper bottom.  Keep reading, that will make sense soon.

I found these washers that are a decent size but with a smaller central hole (got them at Home Depot) as I thought they would hold the plastic down better than just the screws.

As you can see, little measuring was done to make these even.  I just eyeballed it.  It was a little tricky drilling down into the hamper when I realised the screws I was using wouldn't stick to my magnetic drill bit.  So I busted out an old trick.

Yep, poster putty.  Worked like a charm.

I bought four of these small castors to attach to the bottom.  I got these at Ace Hardware (obviously).  My only requirements were that they needed to be small enough to not stick out from under the hamper and they had to swivel, for obvious reasons.

I marked out my spots, drilled more pilot holes and then screwed them on.  Oh, I took out the poster putty from between the wood and the hamper before I attached the wood too.

Here she is, a little fun touch and mobile now!

Here it is tucked into our laundry closet (like I said, there are no glamour shots in this post).  It fits perfectly and is easy to just scoot out of the way when I need to get to the tub.

Just a little thing but it helps to make my day run that just a teeny little bit smoother so that suits me just fine.  Anybody else been trying to remove little annoyances from their day too?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring cushion (pillow)

Hello, pretty cushion/pillow....

So, how is winter going in your neck of the woods?  Are you stuck in Narnia like some of us??  Or do you live in Texas and smugly watch the weather channel?  If so, let me know your address and I will be on my way!

Well, whilst outside looks like this still (aaaaand it just started snowing again... yay! NOT) I am trying to keep my sanity by keeping busy.  I have a whole spreadsheet of projects to do to keep my mind off the NEVER ENDING COLDEST FLIPPING WINTER in the history of the world me.

Our yard is literally half full of snow... gonna be a swamp back here!

Anyway, I have a gazillion half done projects but actually managed to start and finish this cushion (pillow) cover today in the time my kids were doing their math lesson.  It is super quick and super satisfying.  I can't claim this as my idea, the wonderful Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick showed me how here.

First, a couple of days ago, I bought this placemat at Target when it took my eye with its pretty Spring like yellow.  I am desperate for anything that even hints at Spring so this got thrown in the cart quickly when I remembered this project.  Oh and obviously you need a fabric placemat with two layers of fabric for this type of project.

Then you simply use a seam ripper (or quick un-pick as my Mum always calls them) to open a seam of whichever side you want.

Stuff it with polyester filling or down filling or straw or whatever takes your fancy.

Stitch it closed again by machine or by hand, whichever you prefer.  I pinched mine down on the side and put pins in first to hold it and then stitched it on my sewing machine (sorry, forgot to take photos of that step).  From memory, I think Sarah did hers by hand to sew it back up.  My placemat already had an outline stitch so it was easier to just follow the original stitch line anyway.

Then, TA DA, plop it on your sofa and bask in the joy of making something yourself.  I have a bunch of cushions (pillows) on my sofa's that I am planning on giving some love to so stay tuned for some more ideas.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Squirrel stamp and ornament

So, I made myself a squirrel stamp.

Then I made a little ornament.  I will try and post tomorrow showing the steps.

I like it but my son said 'that is bad - not Christmassy at all'.  Pffft.  I still like it.  I am imagining a little tree full of woodland theme ornaments.  I don't have any woodland themed ornaments so I am challenging myself to make them.  I am going to do multiples of each (I have this thing of having to have at least 3 of every ornament) so I am not trying to think of 50 different ornaments.  Whether I get there or not, well, we will see.  We are lucky enough to be having family visit us for Christmas (SO EXCITED!) and I have a loooong list of projects/cleaning/decluttering I want to get done before they arrive in early December.  I have a bit of a habit of trying to do too much at once.  Like we all do I am sure.  They might be lucky to just find the bed made.  :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pinterest Inspired Bench

I think I might have mentioned that I liked the easy instructions I found for making this little Shaker style bench and that I wanted to have a go at it.  I had it all finished a while ago (read: a year) but forgot to blog about it.  Ha ha, don't you love my confused decorating here?  I was just transitioning between Halloween and Thanksgiving so you get both!

Anyway, this is a really easy woodworking project that didn't require anything more than a drill, wood glue and screws.  I had all the timber cut to size at Home Depot but you could do that yourself if you have wood lying around and a saw to cut it with.  As it was, the guy at Home Depot totally stuffed up the measurements so I had to adjust the sizes on a couple of pieces after I started putting it together and realised it looked a bit odd.  Oh, I also borrowed a jigsaw from a neighbour to cut the triangular notches in the legs.

This is where I found the instructions and I strongly urge you to have a go.  It was a very quick project.  It took longer to paint it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Well, hello there, if anyone is still around. :)

Dropping in with a quick little project I did a few weeks ago.  My wonderful sister and her husband made the trek across the Pacific to come see us (another sister is coming for Christmas - yay!) and I made this pillow for the guest bed downstairs.  I love it!  So cute for a guest bed and helped cut down on the 'twee' I had going on in the room (what better spot to satisfy my secret love of everything granny floral?).

I made a simple envelope cover from a drop cloth (seriously love those things), hand wrote the word on there with a disappearing ink pen and then embroidered it using a simple backstitch and a thicker crochet yarn in a dark pink.  I am sure I could have taken a bit more time and got it more 'perfect' (or, you know, in the exact middle...) by printing out a template, tracing it on or making a stencil yada yada yada but then I wouldn't have done it.  I only have snippets of time to do anything when the kids are home on holidays.  They are back at school as of yesterday so I have a list as long as my arm of projects I want to tackle now... I am working on rehab'ing a tray and freshening up my foyer right now.  Be back soon with the results!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Busy doin' but not bloggin'

While we have been dealing with this stuff (thankfully this is all gone now and we finally have a day above 40 degrees today!  yippeeeee!!!!).......

I was busy doing some inside stuff like hanging this gallery wall in our family room.  It is our favourite room in the house but was a but unloved on the walls and still felt very 'we just moved in'-ish.  Sooo, I finally got busy to stop myself from going CRAZY from the snow still hanging around in April.  I really wanted to only hang things that meant something or that I really love so I can get the most enjoyment from it everyday.  It is a mix of my kids' art, a framed doily my Nana made, the Home sign (which was made for us by our best friend Barry for us to take with us on our international travels and we have hung it in every home so far - it is the first thing we put up), a plate that always hung in my Nana's home, a favourite print from Emily of The Black Apple, a bottle of seaglass collected in Uruguay by another dear friend and gifted to me, seashell art I made fom seashells collected in Uruguay, favourite thrift store finds, etc.).  This wall was blank for a very long time but I put up the picture ledge last September and it has been only the picture ledge with a few accessories since then so this has been a long time coming.  What can I say?  I don't like to rush!  :)  I kid you not though, when my husband watches tv, he sits in a chair directly across from the tv just to the left of where I took this photo from and he DID NOT NOTICE the entire gallery wall (I did it while he as out of town).  After a few hours I just had to ask if he noticed anything different about the room.... sigh...

I have also scored a few thrift shop finds lately.  The above items were bought on a spring break Macklemore style 'thrift shop challenge' ($20 in my pocket...) with my kids.  The picture is a bit dark (it is a dark room plus it has dark carpet) but that super cute mid century bedside table was only $5.99!  So happy with it - it now resides in my son's room.  The globe was $10 and I loooove its soft colours.  I also got a little wooden craft plaque that I want to make into a key hook for near the garage door entrance, a wood and marble chinese checkers game and a tiny little English porcelain plate (I collect them - they are personal salt cellar type plates).

I also repainted my Home sign.  I can't remember if I have ever shown it before but I painted it a taupe colour to match the decor in our apartment in Malaysia for some reason that escapes me now.  I don't know when I will learn that I just like a lot of colour.  I have always loved it but now I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it in yellow.  That photo above looks a little odd but I just got a new iMac and have always been a PC girl so it is taking some getting used to.  Therefore my old trusty photo editing tools (which I was not very good at anyway but at least I knew how to use them a little bit!) are not around.

I did this embroidery for my dining room (as part of another gallery wall).  I showed a picture of an oversized embroidery that I was taken with in my last post and I wanted to do one but simpler.  This is certainly nowhere near as large as my inspiration one either (it was 1m [3'] across, this is about 36cm [14"]).  I have never done much cross stitch either so I just did a simple back stitch.  This is the second version as I tried it first with regular embroidery floss but the line was too fine and you couldn't see it unless you were right in front of it.  I used an economical knitting weight yarn for this version and it does show up better but I think I have to have another try at it so I can see it from my kitchen.  I love the yellow but it is still hard to see from a distance.  I am thinking of cutting out felt letters and stitching them on next.  Not ready to give up on some form of yellow yet!

So, that is a quick update of a few things I have been busy with.  Hopefully I will be back soon with some more but my blogging schedule is a bit unpredictable right now (award for stating the obvious goes to me...).

Hope you are all enjoying a glorious Spring/Autumn wherever you are!  I am going to go and stare at the trees and imagine leaves on them...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Favourite Finds Friday

No crafting happened around here this week unfortunately (apart from the kids making crayon hearts for their valentine's for school).  Busy earlier and A has come down with a horrible cold Wednesday and I am fighting it off.  Nothing much happening except domino rally and lego building.  I need to drag the poor kid out to buy some chicken pieces so I can make a big pot of soup (and try out that recipe from last week's list).

So, in no particular order, here are my favourites from this week:

This link from Young House Life where kids describe what they think would make a cool house.  Cute and funny.

I just signed up for their $5 iPhone photography course starting on March 1. 

If you have received your copy of the latest Country Living, this huge cross stitch sampler is featured in a home on the front cover.  I love it!  It is 1 metre across.

I have quite the thing for bunnies and I adore this hook from Anthropologie.  They have a fox too.  I saw this on the lovely blog, My Old Country House when she redid a bathroom and used it there.

These pretty papers are available through Toffee Magazine for $2.50 for an instant download.

These bowls come from Country Road Homewares, a store in Australia.  They have this shape they call Bistro bowls and they bring out new patterns every year.  They have other matching items as well like mugs and my sister has a lovely growing collection of them in different patterns.  I bought two of these in pink (stowing them very gently in our luggage for our return trip) and have been happily using them since.  They just brighten up my morning a bit.  :)

This is a holiday rental in Cornwall.  I have always wanted to visit England and, if I go, I want to stay here!  So lovely and it is right on the shoreline.  I found this through the Hooked on Houses blog.  Be warned if you visit her blog, you will be hooked too!

Hope you are all well and happy weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Well, I am squeaking this post in by the skin of my teeth...  Busy week, sick kids, blah blah.  Anyway, on to the photo.  My sister and her family visited us from Australia last September/October and, on one of our outings, we spent some time on the banks of Lake Superior in Duluth (we all loved it btw!).  It is a very rocky/pebbly shore and I had the great idea that we could all look for heart shaped rocks as I had seen a number of them on other people's blogs awhile ago.  We did find a few but my sister also found this lovely little heart eroded into a big rock.  So I will leave you with that and save my 'bah humbug' anti-Valentine rant for another day.... :)


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