Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30 - Quick last minute Halloween decorations

Halloween kind of came too quickly for me this year.  I have been pinning fun ideas, recipes etc. and then, bang!, it's here and I am not really ready!  Sometimes I spend way too much time thinking about and planning for something rather than actually getting it done.  Tell me I am not alone in that! (no need to respond Anonymous - aka B!)

I did manage to do this idea above though, at the begging of my children to decorate properly (you mean the electric jack-o-lantern in the window and the foam bat on the front door isn't enough??).  This isn't my house obviously but I used this idea on our front door (and side glass panels), as well as adding a couple of hanging black lanterns with orange candles on either side of the porch entrance plus some carved pumpkins and fake spider web I had from last year and we are looking quite festive now!  I will have to try and get a photo of it for tomorrow.

Lesson learned? - start decorating for Thanksgiving immediately and I might actually have it done a few days before the day!  Ditto Christmas....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29 - why do they make lamps like that?

Well, the last 3 days have been crazy busy!  Between play dates, windows needing replacing, gymnastics classes, karate classes, school functions, girl scout functions and trying to keep on top of washing and so on, the last few days have been a blur.  Loads of fun but a blur.

I did manage one little thing I wanted to share with you though.  This is one of those ultra simple little problem solving ideas that just makes you feel quite a bit clever.  I shall explain my dilemma.

You know what I really don't like about bedside lamps?  Where the switches are located.  They are either up under the shade which requires having to sit up to turn off (yes, I realise how whiny and pathetic that just sounded but bear with me - I am guessing I am not the only short armed or very tired person who finds that annoying when you are all snuggly in bed ready for sleep) or they are placed on the cord about a foot down from where the cord enters the lamp base.  Why?  How is that supposed to work?  The switch always falls down behind the bedside table then.  I just don't get that design.  Why don't they all just have the switch in the base of the lamp like hotel ones mostly do?  Well they really should.  Maybe I will design a bunch of bedside lamps just like that and everyone will sigh with relief that they can buy them...

So here is my solution.  Cable ties.  Simple as that.  Tie that sucker to the bedhead so you can reach it easily (but it isn't really visible if you slide it down close or below the mattress line).  Now, obviously, I have the type of bed that is easy to use cable ties on but I am sure, if you have the same problem and a different style bed, this could inspire you to find a solution.  I love it!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26 - Random stuff

I still have my awful, awful headache (if it goes for longer than a day even after taking painkillers is that technically a migraine? - I can still function though).  All thoughts of crafting/making over our bedroom have been abandoned for now.  So far today I have managed to get dressed and fold two loads of laundry and that will have to be it.

Yesterday, I did get my movie program framed (not hung obviously).  Wow, that yellow looks neon in this photo.  It is actually a much calmer sandy yellow in real life.  Didn't that frame come up a treat?  I love it now.  Our bedroom is going to be white, grey and yellow with touches of purple when I am done.  I have some fabulous ideas and can't wait to show you.

Oh, I also managed to walk the kids to the bus stop this morning and lookie what I found beside one of my distant neighbour's rubbish bin?  Niiiice.  I have been looking for one for the kids playroom for all my indoor plants to live on for the winter so I can have them in the sunniest room in the house but be able to wheel it out of the way when needed.  I had a quick look at it as it seemed broken but there is just one little screw missing and it could use some new glue.  Easy peasy.

One other random thought, I just thought I should let you know that all the planets must be aligned in some 5,000 year random pattern.  Want to know how I know?  Not one, but two, family members random socks all matched up!  Amazing but true.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25 - Pop up paper craft

I have a splitting headache today so a very quick post from me.  I made these for A while he was eating lunch.  My kids can't get enough of them and I must admit they are fun to make.  I found the idea on Pinterest (original link here).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24 - Old frame makeover

I have had this picture (that I probably bought in the late 80's/early 90's) languishing in our basement waiting for a makeover.   Stylin'!  Look at that lovely yellow frame... (excuse my totally crappy blurry photo - A has developed the bad habit of trying to run into every shot I take so I was trying to be quick before he noticed me!  Little angel...).

Well, hubster is away for a few days so I decided to give our very bare bedroom a bit of a makeover (I may or may not show photos of this - depends how it all pans out).  Nothing drastic but I haven't added any homey touches to it since we moved in a year ago and I figure we need a nicer space for ourselves.

First up, this frame is getting a beautiful coat of shiny black.

Random aside - A has been dying to spray paint something (ever since he found my spray paint can stash) so he grabbed some blocks of wood and joined me.

I am ditching the old Van Gogh print (didn't everyone own one of these at some point??) and replacing it with a movie program from a favourite restored Art Deco theatre (the Astor Theatre - if I have any Melbourne readers) we used to frequent when we were young and starting out in Melbourne, Australia.  I have had this poster for just as long as the Van Gogh print I think.

I will show you it all framed up tomorrow - it is past my bedtime now... 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22 - Security envelope re-use

I pinned this image in Pinterest a short time ago because I thought this was such a clever and simple idea.  I really like the patterns inside bill and junk mail envelopes and, as this person did, if you turn them inside out you can reuse them.  Love it.

I have been saving envelopes for a little while after I read somewhere else about using the cute patterns for paper crafts so I had a stack of them waiting.  Only problem was most of them were window faced envelopes so I decided to rip them open, make a mini envelope template and make a stack of little envelopes.  I thought these would be so cute for gift tags with little cards made to fit inside (that reminds me, I have two miniature cards and envelopes that I think I bought when I was about 12 years old and have never used because I just adore the cuteness of them - random thought).

Then, of course, the brain doesn't stop there.  Wouldn't tiny little address labels look cute?

How about tiny little stickers to close them?

Hmmm, who should I mail this to?  Look, she is so happy to be getting mail!  I think even my non girly daughter will love these.

I have another idea for these that I hope I get to tomorrow.  It will be great if I can get it to look how it looks in my head right now.  I know, it is an exciting world over here....  :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21 - Cane basket makeover

Dang, knew I shouldn't have kept numbering the days!  Then you might not have noticed a day missing - la la la.

I have this little basket that I use for small hand sewing projects so I can carry it around from room to room (for things like felt acorns one might say).  I felt like doing something to the handle so this vintage twill tape came to mind.  Little dab of hot glue one end, wrap it around and secure with hot glue at other end.  I think I might like it painted white too but I was too impatient to do that today.  I just might have another basket around here somewhere that I can do that to (ha ha, Lynette, I still find a basket hard to resist at the thrift store!)...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19 - Fabric acorn tutorial

Remember these cute little guys?  I thought I would show you how I made them.  You probably don't need a tutorial for these but, hey, I have 31 days of blog posts to fill!

Cut out a little circle of fabric (I eyeballed it) and stitch around the outside (no prizes for neatness here - just get that gathering thread around there).  Pretty much how you would make a yo-yo.  Without the neatness.

Pull the gathering thread, add some stuffing inside as you gather.....

pull it tight and knot the thread.  I normally get it tighter than that so you can't see the stuffing but the little sucker slipped as I tied the knot.  It is getting squished into something so I am not too perturbed.

Take your selection of acorn caps and shove it into a few to see which one fits best.

After you have chosen the cap, take the little fabric ball out, squirt some glue into the acorn cap....

and squish the little ball back in there.  Let dry and then do 10,000 more to fill a small apothecary jar... (anyone have some more acorn caps???)

This post brought to you as part of Blogtoberfest.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18 - Thrift Store Tuesday

Dang, I missed yesterday... just too busy...

So, today I am back with some thrift store goodies plus I would love some ideas.

I found these vintage fabrics (just had to get them - they remind me of something we had in the 70's as children - Lynette or Sheryl, do you remember what?? did we have clothes in this sort of fabric?).  I don't usually lack in the ideas department but any ideas for what to make with them?  I thought I might use some of one to make an a-line knee length skirt for E to wear.  Trying to think what else to do with them....  I thought of cute soft toys but I don't have the need to make any with my kids being older.  I like these coloured plastic embroidery hoops for the kids to use too.  They look pretty on the wall when you hang them in a child's room.

I also bought this beautiful crystal bowl.  I think I am going to give it to someone as a gift but not sure.  I might just re-sell it on eBay.  I bought it because my Mum has mentioned on more than one occasion some red drinking glasses that she missed out on at an auction and I am always searching for some for her.  I am not sure if this is the style she meant or not.  Sandra, is this what those glasses looked like??

I scored these two glass bottomed lamps for just $5 ea.  Pardon the bad light, they are being stored in the basement for now.  Obviously the shades need to be changed (somehow my living room just isn't going to rock the disco vibe) but these lamps are usually pretty pricey so I am very happy with these.  I don't have many lamps as the ones we brought here all have different plugs (from different countries) so these will do very nicely.

I hardly ever shop at Target anymore!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 16 - Sunday funnies

My bloggy friend, Aunt Lolo, shared this with me and I laughed so much I thought I would share it with you.

Basic Lessons for Boys from amy drucker on Vimeo.

This post brought to you as part of Blogtoberfest.

Day 15 - Thrift store doll bed

I found this at the thrift store for $4.  It was being used to hold a lamp but it looked like a doll bunk bed to me. I left it there as it was quite rickety but, after telling Miss E about it, we decided to go back and get it if it was still there.  Miss E has two American Girl dolls and I thought they would fit perfectly.

I added some glue and more nails to hold it firm.  To be honest, I just did a fairly basic patch job - this isn't and won't be an heirloom piece by any stretch of the imagination.  I gave it a quick sand and primed it.

Here it is painted.  I was quite surprised E picked pink for it - she is not a girly girl at all so I was really expecting orange or green but there you go.  Glad I was right, the dolls do fit perfectly!

Now I just have to make some coordinating bedding - the fun part!  A little mattress, a pillow and a patchwork quilt for each bunk (which I have decided will be my introduction to quilting - I have always wanted to try it).  I was going to do sheets as well but the beds are so shallow I think it will look fine with just a pretty mattress.

Then it will be on to the next thrift store makeover.  I found this plane shelf for a couple of dollars which will be perfect for A's room.  He is mad for planes.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14 - Fabric acorns

My little acorn collection is coming along.

It is going to take me longer to fill this jar than I thought...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birthday goodies

Yesterday was my birthday and I just have to show you what two of my sisters sent me.  One sent me that gorgeous ceramic box with the wooden birdie lid.  I have been coveting a similar one and never even told her (good ol' sisterly esp).  She went to Bali recently and bought it there for me.  My husband and I honeymooned in Bali so that is really special for us.  This same sister also bought me a pair of really lovely silver and garnet earrings that I forgot to include in the photo.  Now I have two new pairs of favourite earrings (see the lovely pink pearl ones in the bag?).  Now, check out those soap boxes from my other sister!  I love the packaging for these.  Can you see the sparkle?  I don't think you can but there are little touches of glitter all over the illustrations.  Not only is the design on the box just delightful but glitter is involved.  Sigh, so lovely.  (ok, I do have a rather freakish love of boxes so that could explain my unnatural delight in these...)

I also love how the calendar my best friends here in the US bought me last Christmas has this as the October page...  very fitting!  I love this calendar so much that I will have to try and find the same style for next year.  The back of each page has a printed template of a fold up box or a mini file folder or things like that so you can reuse the pages.  Brilliant idea.

Now, it is my hubby's birthday today so I need to go and bake a cake!  (we made sure we married someone with almost the exact same birthdate so we couldn't forget.. we're planners like that)

Day 13 - Brave reveal (not really....)

I am not very good at willingly showing pictures of not so nice sights, especially when they happen to be existing in my house but hey, I will live on the edge over here and show you the cupboard under my kitchen sink.

Behold, the wonderful before shot.....

Now, obviously this cupboard could benefit from a large splash of white paint (imho) but I am renting so I have to work with what I have (don't get me wrong, this is a great home by the way - I am not complaining).  Because the kitchen is a little dated and in need of a refresh I have kind of been neglecting trying to prettify it up much.  Which is a bad idea for me.  Prettifying (yes, that is a word now) stuff up is something I really can't get away from.  I operate much better in tidy, uncluttered and preferably pretty surroundings.

I don't think this reveal will win me a spot on Apartment Therapy or Design*Sponge but what the hey.

Behold, the after.....

I just added some shelf liner to the bottom (cutting around the pipes and stuff at the back), collected random stuff in some spare plastic storage containers I already had and put my dishwasher tablet thingies into a jar (oh, and tidied that little hanging basket on the door).  Simple, quick changes but, aaaaah, that feels much better...

In case you haven't noticed, this Blogtoberfest challenge is basically me catching up on the million little 'to do' list items I don't usually make time for and for completing some of my huge project 'to do' pile.  Yay for Blogtoberfest!

This post brought to you as part of Blogtoberfest.  In case you missed that paragraph above...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 12 - puppy shirt

Take a clean, new shirt (maybe even consider ironing it...)...

Add an embroidered puppy done my E herself...

Add double sided fusible interfacing to the back of it, cut around it, peel paper (from interfacing) off, iron on front of shirt, embroider a quick border...

and voila!  A cute surprise for a sweet 9 yr old when she gets home this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You send me....

(I wish you could see how much they sparkle...)

I post a reasonable number of presents, living overseas from my family, and I am always trying to think of ways of embellishing gifts in a flat sort of way (to avoid crushed bows).  I thought this might be my Christmas tag this year.  Just glitter glue on plain wrap.  Would work with glue and loose glitter as well of course.  So many ideas for this now!

(hint: draw out your design lightly in pencil first then put glue over the top - you can get the name straight then!)

This post is brought to you as part of Blogtoberfest.

Monday, October 10, 2011

From Russia with love

I finished up my second russian doll embroidery a couple of months ago (first one is here if you would like to check it out) and have been mulling over how to frame it (not the whole time obviously...just when I think of know...).  Let's see.  Leave it in the hoop?  Paint or yarn wrap the hoop and leave it in there?  Frame it?  Hmmm, let's try that.  I have a few basic white frames lying about (as you do).  White fabric doesn't look right against white frame...  need a border... ric rac?  that would look cute... don't have red ric rac... have to go to store...  trying to stay on budget and not spend money....  almost impossible to go to craft store and ONLY buy needed ric rac.... hmmm, what else...  aha!  red card cut with scallop scissors!  I like it!  (of course, now I am thinking I need a teeny square frame...)

(I won't bore you with the whole thought and action process behind trying to just take the darn photo... aarrrghhhh...) (you are welcome)

This post brought to you as part of Blogtoberfest.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9 - Sunday stuff

A photo wrap up of our weekend and what I have been doing today...

(obviously this is why autumn is called 'fall' here in North America - that is not dead grass, friends, it is all leaves...)

(sitting with E trying to knock over her homework for the week - with emphasis on the word 'trying'....)

(hexbugs getting ready to go into battle - A's recent birthday present is getting good play time) 

(making numbers with A on a Lego mat)

(bustiers and hardhats go so well together I think) 

(matching bustiers are the new 'it' thing for Lego couples...)

(you never know who you are going to meet crossing the road in this town)

(on Friday we headed to South Dakota for a karate tournament - saw this wind energy farm on the way there - this photo from my phone doesn't do it justice.  It looked pretty awesome.)

(thanks to aforementioned tournament, now I have to find somewhere to put these... the kids did well but just about everyone in the younger age groups gets a trophy regardless so you end up with a truckload of the things)


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