Bringin' In Some Estrogen

Anthony is good at a lot of things...okay, everything!  Apparently he came out of the womb with a trophy and has collected them in winnings since because we have all shapes and sizes. 

See them?  Yep, they're all lined up on top of our office bookcase.  He parted with a lot of them when we moved last year and just kept the ones he felt were the most meaningful and so now that's what we've got.  The reason I'm telling y'all this is to show why our office is needing some feminine detail.  The walls are a pretty neutral color and the green in the bedding and curtains could go either way.  Since I'm in this room just as much as my 'super-man' husband, I'm pretty-ing it up a little.

Last night I was busy scheming and planning on some kind of high while Anthony was sleeping and showed some of what was taking shape in my head.  Read about my night here.  Well, I'm finished with part of my idea and it involves our new lamp.

We were given the lamp, which I spray-painted white, and I found and bought a lamp shade.  It was 3 bucks at my fave discount store here and this is why:
A two inch tear on one side.  However, 3 bucks for a Target lamp shade is el-cheapo, especially when I know I can someway, somehow fix or hide the tear.

So, after I devised my late night plan, I cut one inch strips of fabric about two feet long from the excess fabric I had leftover from making our curtains and pillows and put a simple stitch through one side, making a sort of long ruffle.  I purposely left the other side unseamed to give my "ruffle" a sort of unfinished-but-pretty look.

Then, I hot glued the "ruffle" in a circular pattern directly over the tear in the shade.

Then, after all of my rounds of gluing and a little maneuvering, this is what I got:
Bye, bye little tear and hello pretty, little, feminine flower!  It looks a little lonely so I might add a couple more smaller ones but at least for now I've hidden the tear!  By the way, I got my inspiration for this project from a dress I have that has flowers constructed like this with toile.  This just affirms that inspiration can be found anywhere!

Pretty feminine, huh?  Well, there's more little fabric flowers to be made to fulfill this little plan in my little brain.  Can you guess where else I have plans to "floralize"?  Watch and see!

Late Night...Snack?

I'm pretty wide awake.  It's past my bedtime.  My husband fell asleep shortly after we came home from swimming at a friend's house tonight (to be precise, around 7:30 p.m.).  So, nothing is stirring, not even a mouse.  When what do my wandering eyes appears...ok, just kidding.  (St. Nicholas was the saint of the day today at Vacation Bible School so he's on the brain.)  Since I am who I am and I do what I do, instead of feasting on a midnight snack I'm just sitting here experimenting.  I have two small, rectangular pieces of fabric leftover from my full-sheet-into-curtains-and-pillows extravaganza and I've got an idea so I thought I'd share it.  I'm not quite positive if what's in my brain is going to look kosher in real life but that's what late nights are figure it out. 

Here's what I've concocted (so far...the night is young):

So, as always in my blogging world, stay tuned to find out what happens.

P.S.  For your late-night treat I'd like to introduce the newest member of our office/bedroom transformation:
A bedside lamp!  Newly spray-painted white and topped off with a Target shade I found for 3 bills.  Also about to be bean-i-fied...come back and find out how!

Farrah's Shower Invitation Project

I recently got back from a little vacay in Florida where I visited my sister, Farrah...a.k.a. "Peach".  I went there mainly to help her get some things off her to-do list before her big day in October and also to throw her a surprise wedding shower! 
Since most of our family lives 1000 miles away or more, it wasn't really possible for everyone to fly down for a weekend shower when they'd be coming in a couple of months.  So, Farrah's fiance's sister had the idea to throw a "mail-in" shower where we could send invitations out that asked people to send her a gift.  Since I wanted to surprise Farrah, I had everyone send the gifts to my house and then I carted them on over to Florida.  More on the shower itself another day.  The invitations are on the menu today.

If you've read about our wedding, you know that we found and made invitations ourselves for a steal.  Well, we had about 50 invitations and reply cards leftover so I saved them knowing that one day they could come in handy.  Well, the one day came along and I went to work on about 25 reply cards, transforming them into shower invitations fit for a Peach. 
Farrah and Patrick's colors are coral and navy blue so I tied in those colors and used some cute fonts I found online to spice them up.  The company that makes the invitations has a website where you can download the format needed to create them in Word so I downloaded it (I had deleted it since I used it for our wedding invitations) and went to work.  Then, just to appease my perfectionist self, I created a document to print out all of the envelopes with addresses in matching colors and fonts.  All I had to do was adjust the "page size" in Word and my printer printed them perfectly.

Lastly, I added a little more flair by punching out one corner with my corner-punch and nipping off the other corners with a plain 'ole scissors.  

  So there you have it!  Cute invitations costing a few cents in ink and an hour of time!  Peachy keen if you ask me!

From Farm Girl to Seamstress

Let me begin with a laugh...I almost named this post "I'm An Official 'Sewer'", meaning a person who sews ('sewer' may or may not really mean that though) when I noticed that, coincidentally I could be telling y'all that I'm a festering puddle of human and/or animal excrement...great!  So, I nixed that title.  

On to more important things though...I made my first pillowcases today!  I also made my curtains with an actual 'sewing machine' rather than iron-on tape!  I am pretty much a professional seamstress...or, I'm really not.  I'm pretty sure I probably broke every sewing rule making these but it worked.  The only thing I've ever "made" by myself with a sewing machine was a tote bag for 4-H in like 4th grade...up until today.  But making that tote bag definitely prepared me for today.  :)  Let me give you the details.

A few days ago I was looking around in my favorite discount store when I found a light green, full size, flat sheet that matched the green of our duvet cover in our office.  It was Target brand and the best part...2 BUCKS!  I happily waltzed out of the store knowing that I could get a pair of curtains and two matching pillowcases out of that baby before I was done with it. 

So, this morning I set up my convenient, sewing workspace.
And yes, I will use the fact that our dining room also doubles as a great craft room as a selling point someday when we decide to sell this house.  :)

When I was out and about the other day dreaming about the new sheet I would soon transform I picked up a hand-held sewing machine (since I won't have a real sewing machine until Santa comes) at Wal-Mart for about $16.  Yes, cheap it is and my job it will do.

To make the curtains I simply cut the sheet in half, cut off the excess, vertical length after measuring my window, grabbed my little machine and wizzed away down the unfinished sides.  Before I started sewing, I ironed a crease down the side I sewed and drew a light line with pencil that I could follow to make things a little easier.

Here's a close-up of my cute, little stitches.  Not bad for a beginner, eh?  :)

I found a curtain rod for $5 at the same store I found my sheet, bought 14 curtains rings for $7, and up went my finished curtains.  I even hung the rod all by myself!  I was so excited!  It's the first time I've ever...or the first time Anthony's let me...hang anything but picture frames on my own! 
(Keep reading to see the finished curtains.)

Now on to the pillowcases.  First of all, I don't do zippers...or, I don't know how to do zippers (yet) so any way that I sewed a pillowcase had to be easy and done without any zippers.  My best friend is pretty much a genius though and (unknowingly) provided me with inspiration on how to make pillowcases that could easily come off and be washed.
First, I took the excess fabric left over from my sheet and decided to fold it in half so that the fold would end up being one side of my pillow...if that makes sense.  So I only had to sew three sides.

Then I measured the width of my pillow with a ribbon measuring tape from side-seam to side-seam to make sure I made my new cover the right size. 

The day my best friend inspired me with this project was when she used a standard sized pillowcase to cover a really small pillow by placing the small pillow inside the pillowcase and then folding the leftover 'case' into the back and inside of the encased pillow.  That is the only way I know how to describe it and I'm so sorry if it leaves your mind spinning.  So, I'd have to make my pillowcases longer than the needed to be and with one side open so that I could just tuck in the extra and untuck it when the case needed to be washed.
Hopefully this picture helps.
When the pillow is displayed from the front, you can't even tell the fabric is tucked in in the back...score for being easy, convenient, AND pretty!

So back to the sewing, after I sewed together the sides of my pillow (inside-out when sewing them together) and securing some ends with a quick seam, my cases were finished...well almost.  Next up is spicing them up with some white paint in some sort of design or maybe a monogram on the front.  But that's for another day.  :)

Here's my sewing masterpieces!  Sew cool!

As always, I want to know about your projects!  How do you make cheap cute?!

Please Step Into Our Office

Here's the progress you've all been waiting for...not done yet, but looking better.  Sorry it's taken so long but I've been semi-vacationing with my sister in Florida...and helping her organize details for her wedding in October.  Details of that trip to come soon! 

So here's the office/guest bedroom before: 

The biggest changes are the fresh paint on the walls, trim, and filing cabinet...and that's basically all I've gotten done so far.  It's looking a little 'blah-zay' in there right now but more of my plans will take shape next week. 

Here's another side of the room:
Curtains and homemade pillowcases to match are next on the list, then a 'Do-It-Ourselves' upholstered headboard to turn our bed into a day bed, some art up onto the wall...maybe a collage or something but who knows yet, and then a homemade cushion for the window seat.  We also want to replace the curtains that enclose the closet with real closet doors, so eventually this will all get done.  The way we work is month-by-month.  This month was dedicated to the office and so we'll get as much done with the time (and money) that we have right now and if we can't get it all done, we'll do more another month. 

Next month we're moving back into the master bedroom that was the first room we painted when we moved in.  I'll share our project for that room at the beginning of's going to be so cozy and "Island getaway-ish" so keep in touch!