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How to sew a Ruffle Flower Pillow

Ok, the New Year is here and  I’ve got my resolution  in place:  set small goals and write down how I am going to work toward them daily.  So often I get overwhelmed when I’m looking at the big picture—once I wrote down everything, even the really small things, I wanted to get done in every room in our house AND outside—O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.E.D. !!!

So my current short term goal is Pip’s room.  My goal is to have it done—minus repainting her desk and building a hutch for it—by the end of January.  I still need to map out the month with the baby steps to get there, but I did one of them today without the map.


I was seeing these all over the place while I was Christmas shopping and I knew she would love to have one for her room.  However, I was NOT paying $25 for one!

Here’s how you can avoid doing that as well.  Mine was free because I already had a pillow form stored away and leftover fleece from making Pip a robe years ago (pack ratting paid off this time…)

You need: Read More…

Mason jar Christmas candles

Merry Christmas!  I hope you had a fantastic holiday!  I did manage to get everything done that I needed to do, and if my house wasn’t exactly spotless for company on Christmas day, there was enough jolliness going on that nobody noticed…I hope.

We did make a last minute run to the ER on Christmas Eve after Pip broke out in a horrible rash and we needed to make sure it wasn’t an allergic reaction to the Amoxicillin she was on…and my mom visited the same ER on Christmas Day to be diagnosed with Shingles (no urgent cares were open for the holidays!), but other than that all went smoothly. Hopefully we will make it the rest of 2011 with no more urgent care visits!  Since  Thanksgiving we’ve visited 4 times–a back spasm for me and 3 separate for Pip’s strep throat.

I wanted to share the table decorations I made with inspiration from Pinterest this year.

Read More…

How to wrap a necklace and have it stay in place

I am having a really hard time getting into gear this morning.  I need to clean.  Wrap.  Cook, and possibly bake a little bit as well.  Instead I am pinning and now composing a blog post.  Oh well, this one is a short one…

We bought My Man’s grandmother a necklace for Christmas  and I think she will really like it.  But as I was putting it in a box to wrap it, it kept pooling in one end of the box.  I wanted there to be impact when she opened it, not  her fumbling around untangling it before she could even see what it looked like!  So I made a little something to hold it in place.  It was so cheap and easy, and it worked perfectly!

Read More…

DIY ribbon bow

Aaaahhh!  Only days left until Christmas is here!  I waited too long to get going on the Christmas preparations.  But it will all get done.   Right??  (Just say yes…even if you don’t believe it)…

I was wrapping presents the other day and I realized I didn’t buy any bows in the clearance sales from last year like I normally do.  And I didn’t have my usual curling ribbon or fabric ribbon in Christmas colors either.  You know how I dislike leaving the house when I haven’t planned to…so the DIY wheels were turning.  You also know that I am a pack rat!  It rescued me on this occasion, for once.  I have a shoe box of the velvety red ribbon I bought a LONG time ago and I have this really nice ribbon I got from a fund raiser packet of wrapping paper and bows a LONG time ago (anyone else hoard the really nice stuff for a really nice occasion?  I do it with fabric, food, too many things!).  The “I can make that” thought made an appearance.

Here’s the original really nice bow from the fundraiser:

You pull each loop out and then pull the next. They pop up really nice and full. Sorry, keeping this as a reminder so I didn't fluff it up for you!

Here’s my fluffed up version with the velvety ribbon:

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Hi again!

My 8 weeks away was a whirlwind—I can’t believe how fast it went! Obviously I didn’t get any projects, even small ones, blogged during that time. But I did finish two VERY small DIY organization projects that I’ll share now. I wasn’t going to because the pictures aren’t impressive. How do some bloggers get those fantastic pictures of the smallest things? However, the other day I opened the cabinet where one of the projects is located and felt a small spurt of giddiness because it solved a long standing problem. So here’s hoping this may help you out as well.

Hair stuff. Past DIY organizer was a picnic basket I painted with shoe box dividers.  The hair clips were on small strips of cardboard, clipped in place.  I already took them out in the photo.  They were stuck in the spaces in the sides:

You couldn’t see them all at once and although it was somewhat organized, it was still a pain.  My daughter never put them back on their strip and I didn’t like to either.


Read More…


A little while ago I saw these crates on a blog post by Kit at DIY Diva and I loved them.  She made hers from pallets.  I did not for a few reasons.

  • 1.  I’d have to find some pallets
  • 2.  I’d have to take apart said pallets.
  • 3.  Pallets scare me.  I’m pretty sure that most of them are saturated in all sorts of things to keep the wood from rotting, none of which I want inside or to breathe while I’m cutting, sanding,etc.  Read the comments in the DIY Diva post for safety measures you can take.

So I went to Lowes to the furring strip department and searched for really-beat-up-but-straight-as-I-could-find boards.  Really beat up?  Easy.  Straight as I could find?  Not so much.  I could find furring strips for the 1x3s and 1x4s, but the 1x2s were impossible, so I used Top Choice for those.

6—1x3x8 furring strips

3—1x4x8 furring strips

1—1x2x8 and 1—1x2x6 Top Choice boards (they only had a few at 8’—there was enough wood for 3 with these figures)

For a grand total of $21.24.  Much, much, much cheaper than the large baskets I was eyeballing at Target 2 weeks ago.  I could have spent $50-$60 dollars on 3 baskets!  Sheesh.  Here’s my version:

For the ends cut: Read More…

Four legs + trim + paint = brand “new” dresser

I am so happy with how Pip’s dresser turned out!  I didn’t do anything too drastic to it, but I think that the difference is dramatic.  Let’s see if you feel the same.  Before:

And now:

Remember that I mentioned going to the Pottery Barn site to be inspired by some of their options.  This is the dresser that I felt I could somewhat replicate:

Potter Barn Caroline dresser

I considered adding some trim to the drawers as well, but in the end decided to skip that detail.  I also considered keeping the original knobs which are just like the Pottery Barn version, but the new drawer pulls match the storage bed hardware.  And I liked the contrast of color they add.

Here’s the process. Read More…

The view from our “front”door {post 15} Removing base molding

Is it molding or moulding??  I’ve covered my bases and used both spellings in these posts.

However you spell it, I needed to remove some of it to place the cabinet next to the wall.  I learned how Sandra does it over at Sawdust and Paperscraps, one of my favorite places to visit.  But I had to modify my approach, so I guess this is somewhat “my way” of doing this.

I have two layers to remove: the base and some quarter round at the bottom.

Cut right at the edge where the molding meets the wall.

And again here.

Here’s where I made it up as I went along.  I started at one end and used a small putty knife which I had to pound in with a hammer.  Then I wedged a 3″ plastic putty knife in behind the small one.

The front knife protects the molding (which I want to reuse) and the back knife protects the wall.  Be aware of the ridges in the back knife–they will make indentations in your drywall if you aren’t strategic on the next step.  I used a small molding pry bar on this part.  Put that in the middle of both knives.

Gently pry the molding away from the wall.  Once it begins to pull away, move all the entire set a little further down the length.  You won’t actually pull any nails free at first, you will just be pulling them a little way out.  Once you feel that you won’t snap the molding because you have enough loose, you can get more aggressive.

Now you can move to the larger base molding.  This one was held in with two nails at each spot and they were 2.5″ long.  This took a little more muscle.  Begin the same way as with the quarter round, but once you have it loose enough to get a larger pry bar in, use that instead (still use the larger putty knife behind it).  You aren’t pulling nails at first either, just get them pulled a little ways out and move down the length.  Once you feel like you’ve gone far enough, use more muscle with the pry bar and pull the nails free.

Some of the molding had flooring in front of it, so the flooring prevented the molding from coming out.  There I had to use the pry bar under the molding, lift up to bend the nails upward, and then pull it out from the wall.

Remove the nails from the back of the molding with nippers (tip from my Family Handyman mag–I think I found the equivalent of my seam ripper in sewing–yay!)  Use the block of wood to protect your molding (tip from My Man).

Mark the wall above the molding where the prior nails were in pencil (so you can clean it off later).  This will tell you where you need to nail when you reinstall the molding.

All done!  The inspector is checking my work to see if it is up to par.

Beauty and the Beast {Cutting Plywood Part 2}

Look at my Beauty.  She’s so pretty and clean and she doesn’t bite.

My Beauty

And here’s the Beast that I need to tame:

The Beast

Like all fairy tales, this too has a happy ending.  I made two of the straight edge cutting jigs for the circular saw yesterday like these here.

I used 1/2″ plywood and S4S 1x4s (so I could get a nice, smooth, straight edge).  I had the store cut the plywood at 12″ down the 8′ side for the longer jig.  Then cut it again on the 3′ side at 12″ for a shorter jig.  That means you need an 8′ 1×4 and at least a 3′ 1×4 .  I decided to use 2x4s for the support surface and I bought 5 of these.

The plywood in my "truck".

Make sure you have a good blade to use too.  This is what I used for the jigs and it worked great for the cuts with the grain (ripping).  The more teeth that the blade has, the smoother the cut.  But you also have to keep going at a decent rate or the blade heats up and burns the wood.  I have to say that there was some burn smell in the garage when I was done, even with the 40T, so it was a good decision for me to not go any higher on number of teeth.

I plan to use tape on crosscuts (perpendicular to the grain) because they tend to rip the veneer like this crosscut that the store made.  I hope the tape works with the 40T.

Veneer rip-out from a crosscut.

You’ll need wood glue and about 15  1″ screws.

Mark a line down the longer edges of both plywood pieces 1.5″ from the edge.  Cut your shorter 1×4 down to the exact length of your shorter plywood piece (long edge).  Apply glue to the 1x4s.

Clamp the 1×4 to the plywood with the plywood lined up exactly on your scribed line.

Screw the two together–I used a countersink bit, but that probably isn’t necessary.  You might want to predrill though.  The article said that you would screw from the plywood side into the 1×4, because you want to screw through the thinner piece into the thicker.  I didn’t do that and won’t know if I’ll regret that until I’ve used it.  My thought was that I used glue with the screws, so it should hold.

I used about 10 screws on the 8' jig and around 5 on the 3' jig.

When making a cut, you want your saw blade to just clear the material by no more than half of a blade tip (at least that’s what I hear).  Make sure the saw is unplugged!

Now you run the circular saw down the wider side of the jig.  Make sure you have the saw snug against the 1×4 edge for the entire length of the cut.  This will be the edge you use on future cuts.  You are creating an edge that you will line up with your cut line.  This jig is specific for your particular saw, eliminating the math you need to do by just clamping a 1×4 to your plywood and then figuring out how far back you need it to be to account for the distance from the saw blade to the edge of your saw’s plate.

The finished jigs!

Now I haven’t gotten to actually use them, but even making them has gotten me comfortable using the circular saw.  WELL, as comfortable as you can be with something that can cut off digits.  I did make some practice cuts on smaller pieces of wood clamped to my workbench before tackling the jigs.

I will be using these jigs later this week to cut the pieces for the cabinet and shelving unit I’ll be building for the laundry room.  Can’t wait to get started on it!  Hopefully it will be a Happily Ever After relationship between My Beauty and The Beast.

A Sign: Finishing the kitchen Post 2

This morning I was lamenting the fact that something I ordered had not been shipped yet and I would be stalled in my list of projects AND wouldn’t have anything to post until it made it here.  Then I had a moment of brilliance where I realized that I could switch the order of the projects. My brilliance may be blinding you about now, so feel free to put on a pair of shades so you don’t get squint lines.

So then I was lamenting having to put on my shoes and get into the cold van to drive to Lowes and get a board for a sign I had been thinking about putting over the sink in the kitchen:

Remember how I said I had done a lot of sewing for my home over the years? This roman shade was a project several summers ago...

After perusing a few blogs to get sign ideas, I had decided I wanted to score the board so that it looked like a few boards stuck together.  I had seen a blog where someone had done that to their kitchen table so that it looked like a farmhouse table.  Then (grab your shades) another flash of brilliance–I could actually use some of the 1×3 furring strips I already had here.  They were slightly warped and rough looking which made them perfect for an old looking sign.  Woohoo, no cold van!

These furring strips were already sanded prior to this project (see the how-to button in the blog header). If you want to use furring strips and have them look like these, you'll have to sand them first.

I cut the boards on the miter saw to 4′ and then cut some boards for the back to screw into to hold the sign together.  I used a countersink bit to make sure the screws didn’t scratch the wall once it is hung.

You can see my color tool there in the corner of that last picture.  I’m a “play it really safe” girl with my wardrobe and my house so the path of least stress for me would have been white or brown letters on the weathered board.  But I love this piece above my cabinets and wanted to bring more of that color into the room.  According to my color tool, it should work.  This was my inspiration:

Not a great photo of the Sago tin, but I took this photo at night with the flash. In natural light I love it.

The base coat of the sign was a mixture of white, a drop of black, and a couple of teaspoons of brown thrown in.  The white came out of a gallon I had in the basement and the rest are craft bottles of acrylic paint.  I mixed that with water so it didn’t go on evenly or too thick.  I also dipped my brush in some walnut acrylic after loading it with the “white” so that I got streaks and areas of brown.  This is how it ended up–I think it looks pretty close to a weathered board:

Once I had picked out what I wanted the sign to say (I like my decorating to mean something to me and my family, if I can.  I happen to want some chickens, so this sign may portend the future–fingers and toes crossed).  Next I used the Aharoni font in my Print Shop software to print out large letters (Word will work, but you will have to enlarge the font quite a bit) in the outline option on cardstock.  I cut those out and put painters tape on the back to hold them in place:

Then I did a test on my scrap wood.  I usually do each step on a scrap piece of wood so I can try it out.  Up until this point I was testing on the back of the sign.  But now I started a test scrap to see if dabbing paint on the outside of the letters was going to get the look I was going for.  It did not.  Hmmm…what to do, what to do…

New plan.  Roughly paint the entire piece with the teal paint (leftover from our basement walls), trace the letters, and paint them in roughly with the white:

Using a large brush, get some paint on the end and then remove most of it on a paper towel so you get uneven coverage. If you look closely you'll see the letters stenciled in also.

For the next part I used a small square paint brush and one of my daughters skinny paintbrushes to get crisper corners:

Get some paint on the brush and then remove most of it so you get uneven coverage again.  On the edges where I had more paint on the brush so I would get a crisper edge, I then made sure to feather out the paint so it wasn’t too built up.

I used the paint can opener to make some distress marks in the wood.

I like the sign how it looks now, but in my head I imagined it more distressed up on the wall.  On my test piece the very watery walnut mix I painted over it all partially washed off the very fresh white letter.  I repainted the white letter, will let it dry overnight and try it again tomorrow to see if it works once the white has a chance to get really dry.

Ok–that was all yesterday.  Today I’ve got it up on the wall:



My Man thought he was hi-larious last night when he said that my eggs aren’t really fresh anymore.  Since I’m done hatching chicks and I’m feeling pretty good about myself (and because it was a little funny), I let him live.

What do you think–was I ok stepping out of my comfort zone with the color?  Should I dirty it up a little with some brown stain/paint?


Linking up to:

Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello

Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Frugal Fridays at The Shabby Nest

VIP Party at Designer Garden

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Get Your Craft On at Today’s Creative Blog

All Thingz Related

Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts

Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design

Transformation Thursdays at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple





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