Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Month in Review and No-Spend July

Anyone else wondering where HALF the year went?? Can you believe it’s almost July? That’s nuts! I mean, I’ll be thinking about fall in just two weeks months! ;)

Since the end of the month is here, yet again I’m recapping the last 30 days of projects just in case you missed one of them! I’m adding a little somethin’ from now on too – if I haven’t answered a question you have about one of the June projects, please leave me the question in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer you there.

I started off the month by sharing what our Nutter, Nut Butt, Crazy Dog – our cute little Peanut, has been up to:

chihuahua rat terrier

He looks so innocent.

Thanks SO much for all of the advice about our sweet, crazy dog. :) Many suggested crate training and we’ve been doing that since day one. I’m afraid we  have a non-trainable dog, at least when it comes to his business. If you know what I’m sayin.

Is there such a thing as a dog that can’t be potty trained? If so, we sure have one. ;)

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but Peanut can go ALL night, like 11 hours straight, without having to go. So that is AWESOME. I have a feeling the “light bulb” just hasn’t gone off in his head yet about the rest of the day. I’m hoping anyway!

Some of you had some great ideas so we’re persevering!

At the June Before and After Party, I shared how I started out the guest room redo – with bedding as my inspiration:

grey green bedding

LOVE it! Thank you to reader Emily for sharing the name of the bedding on Facebook – the brand is Hillcrest and the print is called Santorini. I found a comforter set for sale on Ebay here if you are interested!

Next up, a simple door painting project turned into my biggest DIY disaster ever. It involved broken glass. LOTS OF BROKEN GLASS:

black french door

I love how it turned out…I mean LUUURVE. it. So it was worth the hole in the house. I think.

I shared the ways I deal with the bad feelings blogging brings on and how I keep blogging FUN in the next post:

This post resonated with so many of you and I’m so glad!

We searched and searched for new outdoor furniture and finally found a fantastic deal at Sears:

sears outdoor set

So far we are loving it! It’s so nice to have a table set out there again. And the weather has been awesome this summer (so far), so we’re actually using it!

I made some progress on the never ending project that is my office:

board and batten

The board and batten is caulked and puttied and ready for paint! (Whoo.) I showed you the how-to on prepping the molding here!

Next I shared my piling problem:


I’m a piler. And a bagger. And I loved hearing from all of you who are too!! I loved reading those comments, they had me rolling! We are NOT alone people! ;)

I’ve made some changes to our master bedroom since last fall and shared the progress here:

four poster bed

It’s our comfy sanctuary and I love how it’s coming together!

I shared Kristi of Addicted 2 Decorating in this month’s Show Her Off post. This recent project of hers is one of my favorites:

upholstered wall

Wow, I just love it!

If you haven’t been to Garden Ridge, you’re missing out!:

garden ridge pillows

I shared some of the goodies from my last trip here. Some of you mentioned your local GR isn’t as good lately, and I’ve noticed some changes in ours too. Thankfully they still have a great selection. (I’m a sucker for their outdoor stuff!)

And finally, I showed you how I’m teaching myself to sew (again). It’s been a couple of years since I’ve touched a sewing machine and if feels good to be creating with it again:

striped ikea fabric pillow

My sewing skills are as basic as it gets and I’m still figuring it out – I KNOW you can too! :)

That’s the month of June all wrapped up in one post for y’all! I’m kind of excited about next month’s projects because I’ve created a little challenge for myself.

I’m determined to not spend a DIME on any DIY or decor projects for the whole month of July. Over the past few months I’ve realized how long my to-do list has gotten, and I’m determined to catch up.

So I’m challenging myself to get them done without spending any money. These won’t be free projects mind you, because there are some I have the supplies for and I just haven’t gotten to completing them. (I’ll probably have a few True Value posts thrown in there too.) But I think it will be fun to try to get creative and try to make things work with what I have on hand.

So for the month of July the posts probably won’t be as in depth – some of them may be brief, how-to kind of posts. But I also hope to post a little more than usual too. We’ll see how that goes. It is summer and I tend to turn into a sloth during the warmer months. ;)

I think it’s going to be fun – but I think I may go through HomeGoods withdrawal people. Nah, really -- I’m not there that much. I just tell you every time I have been there so it seems like I am. Or something like that.  ;)

If you have any questions specific to the June projects, leave them in the comments!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Learning to sew…again

Hello there! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We started the Fourth festivities a little early and had a blast – I LOVE this week every year. :)

As you may or may not know…if you have read this blog for two minutes…you know we just got a new sofa in the family room. And it’s created a snowball in the space (and the rest of the house, but more on that later) – but it’s the kind of snowball I LOVE.

It’s the “this part is soooo much better so now that needs to be addressed” effect. I know you know what I’m sayin’. If you’re like me anyway. Which many of you are. (I’m sorry.)

One of my favorite parts of the new sofa – it’s deep. Plenty of booty space. And almost as important – plenty of pillow space. I’m a chick, what can I say? I love me some pillows.

My pet peeve with our last sofa was that the pillows ended up on the floor every. single. time. the Bub and hubby would sit down. (Can someone please tell me WHY this phenomenon occurs?)

But now there’s plenty of room for tush and pillows, so I’m one happy Momma.

I wanted to find a couple new pillows that worked with the ones we already had and our rug:


(You can see more on my FAQ page about the rug!)

I was at the “fancy” mall for a bit this weekend and checked into Pottery Barn. They had this striped cover on clearance:


And I brought it home but it was too bland. It was super cute but too much red with our other pillows.

I checked out Target and found this cutie:

target brown and blue pillow

The opposite side was blue, which worked great with the rug, but it was just too graphic for what I wanted.

And what I really wanted was something with blue, red, cream and a bit of green like our rug.

Next to impossible. So I decided it was time.

Time to make my own. (Dun dun duuuuun.) I knew if I looked at the fabric store I’d find something perfect if I would just be willing to sew them myself.

But I kept hesitating. I haven’t sewn anything in about two years. Mostly because the sewing machine I had was an itty bitty Shark sewing machine:

shark mini sewing machine

It worked pretty darn well for years…I sewed a few pillows with it and even a set of drapes. And it was supa cheap – you can find it Overstock here for only $20.

But it was SO small, and hemming tape was SO easy. :)

For a while I’ve been realizing the endless possibilities that I’m missing out on by not sewing…or at least learning to sew better. I’ve got the most basic skills when in comes to this – all from Home Ec in the 7th grade. ;)

So a few months ago I got a new, slightly larger sewing machine. It’s still not a full size, but it’s much bigger than my old one and has a ton more options.

But it sat in the closet for months. Taunting me:

pixie plus

The whole relearning thing was intimidating me.

But when I walked into Joann’s and found the PERFECT fabric for family room pillows, I knew I had to bust it out.

And I was so pleasantly surprised – I basically pulled it out, plugged it in and started sewing. It was all ready to go and the sewing part came right back to me!

With just a bit of measuring and a little time (and I mean little, they went fast) I made a couple of pillow covers for the new sofa:

waverly blue red green stripe

Told you the fabric was perfect – blue, red, cream and a tiny bit of green! It’s so fun and fresh for summer too! (I’ve got some drywall patching and painting to finish up before I can show you the whole space.)

The fabric is a Waverly print and I made two pillows with just a little over a yard of fabric – for $12.

GAH. Doing it yourself strikes again – since I used the pillow inserts that came with the sofa, I got two pillows for $12. Score!

I was feeling pretty darn good, so I moved on to the next project that I’ve been meaning to finish forever.

After I finished up the Bub’s big boy room last year, my friend Rebecca emailed me with a photoshopped picture of a cute yellow and white striped pillow on his bed. She thought it would be the perfect finishing touch and she was SO right.

It only took me a year, but I finally got that darn pillow done! I found the perfect striped fabric at IKEA earlier this year. I think it was about $6 for what I needed.

My pillow-making tutorial is not really a tutorial. :) I cheat by folding over the fabric so I have one less side to sew:


:) I’m going to work it on people. Just give me time.

Then I just sewed a straight line on two sides, and half of the other. The opening is for stuffing the pillow, and I just sewed it up by hand:

It’s not pretty. I don’t care. No one will notice. And if they do, as you know, they get a cookie.

I have yet to hand out a cookie. :)

I love how it turned out!:

yellow and white striped pillow

Seriously cauuute!!

It pulls the yellow out of the sheets and works with the touches of yellow throughout the room:

boy airplane room

FUN! And I did it all by myself – WHOO! Next up, slipcovers!!

Watch out world!

No really, my next goal is just to put zippers in pillows. I’m very excited about this. :)

Now the little sewing machine no longer mocks me…it flutters hearts out at me:

pixie plus sewing machine

Awww…so sweet!

If you are looking to get into sewing, so far I’m REALLY pleased with this little Pixie machine. It came with a ton of supplies as well:

Everything you will need to start out comes with the machine. I’m good on thread for quite some time. Until I try that slipcover. ;)

So, any sewing tips for me? Do you have a machine you love for when I get so good at this that I need to upgrade? (In…a few years.) Did you teach yourself or did you learn as you went?

I’d love to hear!