Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Upcycled firemans uniform

I just finished one of the most unique custom orders that I have ever done. A wife brought me her husbands old firemans uniform. They had cut it up, planning to try to make a bag out of it, but then were overwhelmed and didn't know what to do. She thought of me and brought it to me asking if I could make it into a bag for Christmas to surprise him.
Upcycling is my fav, so yeah!
I came up with a design for a duffel bag.
Here is the result:

This is the bottom of the bag, I thought the leather knee would make a good support for the bottom.

I also went through 2 blades, 10 needles and lots of time with a seem ripper.

I even used the inside of the suit for lining. That is possibly the messiest material I have ever used. It was all over my dining room.
Fireman uniforms have really cool hardware, I would have loved to use, but they had cut it out so close I couldn't sew it onto this bag. This duffel bag is probably my all time favorite order!

Easiest Christmas Pillow EVER

I seriously needed some throw pillows for my couch. It sits too far back and is not that comfortable. I had seen a post a long time ago about making pillows from placemats, and being somewhat lazy about decorating my own house, decided I might try this. I tried to go back and find the post, only to find there are hundreds of posts on pillows from a placemat!

First I picked up a couple of really cute, fun placemats from Kohls for around $1-$2. However I did not take a before pic :(

It needs to be double sided

Using a seem ripper remove a section of stitching from the top center of the placemat, I just made sure my hand could fit into the hole. Then I used some stuffing I had from another project and filled it. I pushed the stuffing away from the opening and pinned it down. Then I used my sewing machine and stitched it back up, but you could do it by hand just as well. I have some really elegant placemats that I don't let anyone use because they might get dirty. I think they might just become pillows!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pallet into a ballet bench

I found 4 little legs, from a table that was long gone, at a garage sale for $1 last year. I knew they would be perfect for the little bench I wanted to build at the entry to my living room. I love pallet projects and knew I could use it for the bench. So for the last year the pieces have resided on my back porch.
Now my little dancers and tumblers can come in and have a place to sit to take off their shoes and change into ballet shoes.
It has an added bonus of masking my a/c intake vent.
I added a cute little sparkly heart to the corner. I think the girls will love it. What do you think? Other than my phone take bad pictures!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some days are just good. Take Tuesday. It was joy #4's, 5th birthday. And he is a joy. He loves anything and life makes him happy. Oh, how I wish I could be like that.
It is the little things. He played the wii (his newest love) as soon as he got home from preschool. And boy can he jam to Just Dance 4. After awhile he got tired of that and switched to wii sports. As of yet, he has only bowled, but on this momentous day, he wanted to try all of them. And his, oh so non-techie mom, had to figure out how to attach all the gadgets to learn to box. Well give the kid, two minutes and he has it figured out. Then to his utter joy, his dad got home early from work and they began to 'box' together. 
I was working in the other room and listening with a quiet, joy in my heart as they laughed and slugged their way through the game. I came in to check on them and they are sweating and swinging away. Just a couple minutes passed and joy #2 came home from school, saw the boys playing and asked to join.
For like, ten minutes. The 'boys' were having so much fun and she had to repeatedly ask. Finally, dad says, we should let her play for a minute.
The remote gets handed over and 2 seconds later. I hear her tell them, "that's how a girl does it, thanks" and she gives the remote back.
I come in to see what has just happened and dad and boy are looking, with big eyes at joy #2. She and dad both say " two punches" . Then she says, "that's all it takes when your a girl" with her mischievously, beautiful smile and a little wave, she goes to ride her scooter and play outside. 
Love that girl to pieces. And the two men, but boy just loving that girl today!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Canning, one of the joys of summer

Of all the joys of motherhood and being a wife, cooking and cleaning are my 2 least favorite. Not to say they don't get done, but they are the drudgery part of my life. They are a viscious circle. You must eat to survive. If you want to be frugal (and let's face it, most of us need to right now) you must cook at home. Cooking makes a messy kitchen. Not once a day, but at least 3 times (if you don't have monsterously hungry midgets, who are constantly biting at your heels begging to be fed)

Like you didn't feed them an hour ago. My kids are never NOT hungry. I have no idea how they survived a 100 years ago, because my kids need constant fuel. Sorry totally different rant, back to cooking and cleaning!

Then you must clean the mess from cooking. And eating. And drinking. No matter how many times, you declare " All food must stay at the table!" it falls on deaf ears, at least at my house, because I always find the remains of what was lunch, snack, dinner, etc.. crumbled across the floor, trailing to the door. Sigh..... I hate cleaning. Have I said that?

 One thing I don't mind cleaning and probably falls in the cooking category, is the mess from canning. I don't know why, but seeing, my food (especially food I grow at my house, in my garden) all sparkly and nice in rows of jars, brings me so much satisfaction.

It takes time. It is hot. But oh, be still my little heart. I always feel a glow when I look at the rows in my pantry (or currently my guest bedroom, aka the fabric store) ready to eat come the fall and winter, when all the prices skyrocket on our favorites, like peaches. Or when I go to make salsa or spaghetti sauce, which I make regularily, and the tomatoes are ones grown in my backyard.

This is a summer of plenty. I have canned tomatoes, peaches and my newest Double Berry Vanilla Peach Syrup.

So yummy on cheesecake, ice cream, waffles, pancakes. Served over cream cheese with crackers. Oh, I am sure there is more. I stumbled on this, quite by accident, several years ago. I was making peach jam and I didn't have enough peaches for all my jars. So not wanting to waste anything, I looked into my freezer and had a bag of frozen triple berries. I don't even know what kind of berries were in there, it was called frozen triple berries. I added it to my peach jam and it was a hit. My husband had a fit, if I shared it with anyone. It is his! Period. He is not normally like this, so I knew success was in the bag. I experimented from there. I found a recipe on for Vanilla Peach Syrup and adapted it to what I wanted. Here's my recipe for Double Berry Vanilla Peach Syrup.

5 cups peaches/berries (choose 2 of your favorites) Fresh is always better, but frozen works too!
2 Tbl lemon juice
1,5 cups of sugar

Puree all this in your blender or food processor
Simmer for 5 minutes
Add 2 Tbl vanilla

Pour in sterilized cans
Water bath for 20 minutes (just means put the cans in a large stock pot with water over the top of jars, boil for 20 minutes)

Take them out and let them cool ( I leave'em out for 24 hours and then make sure the lids are sealed)

Then lable and store!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A 2 Year Project... sigh

Two years ago, my oldest wanted to decorate her room and she wanted crafty things to do... (she is a bit like her mom) so I had this fabulous plan. My awesome sister and her kids, made rugs for their rooms. I thought, we will do this too! We will have fun, doing a project together. Kill two birds with one stone. SO, I paid for the materials, wrapped everything up and Christmas here we came. Should have known, life is never  what we picture in our head.

She wasn't that excited about her present, but seemed willing. My sister helped her choose a design and we opened up the mat and drew it on the mat. Then we started the project. My daughter actually did two strips of fabric before she was bored. I kept after her. I became a giant nag. No matter. She got about 13 strips total done and then told me " it gives me a headache and makes me dizzy", "forget it, I don't want it". This was not the project I thought it would be.  I put it away for awhile and would randomly get it out and try to tease and tempt her into working on. I could get everyone but her to try. So the project would be put up for awhile, but it takes up a LOT of room. The mat we purchased was huge. There was only one size at my fabric store and it was not the same size as my sisters. We should have cut it down, but... we live and we learn.

Just before Christmas this year, I decided this thing was gonna get done, one way or another and I buckled down and tried to do some work on it every day. SLOWLY but, surely, it did happen. The rug actually got done. The closer I got to finishing it, the more the members of my family took interest and wanted the rug. Even my husband. He kept telling the kids we were keeping it in our room. I feel a little like the Little Red Hen. I couldn't get a bit of help, but everyone wanted it when it was done. I actually put it, in my oldest's room, but it was her Christmas present and I spilled a can of paint in the middle of her room, right after we moved into the house, so we needed something to cover up the spill.

Here is the finished product.
I am so glad this is done! I am not sure I will ever make a rug again, but it is awesome. I used fleece and it is thick and cozy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Upcycle, upcyle

I love the first of the year. We can look at the old and start fresh. I must have been in that mood, because during January, I was attacking my jean stack making the old new.

I found a great tutorial, through pinterest, for the cutest apron.

I followed her tutorial for the most part, but at the neck, I wanted a button, I wanted it to fit, but not pull on my neck (plus I really hate things tied around my neck, always makes me feel clausterphobic!)

And then I left the bottom with the original hem from the jeans.

My girls all want their own and so now I have a stack of their old jeans awaiting their aprons.

February, a new month, already!

I can't quite believe that February has snuck up on me. January just flew by. I think the entire month was spent with one person after another in our family being sick, but everyone is finally back to 100%, and as the mama, boy am I glad!

I did get several projects done in January. I had been given a very old, handmade table/cabinet. That had definetly seen better days. The doors were falling off, the back was missing. I spent a couple days putting it back together. I added a strip of wood, from our deck in San Antonio to the back that was missing. Totally got rid of one door. Sanded, stripped, primed, painted and added some turquoise knobs that I just love.
I also painted the inside white and added contact paper, for a little pop.

And, of course, I distressed, because that is always my favorite part. I really love this little piece and if fits so nicely next to my bed. I really should sell it, but not sure if I can part with it!.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012

This is the only picture I have of decorating our Christmas tree, because I was trying my hand at making a digital photobook and somehow managed to delete all my pictures of my kids hanging ornaments. I feel pretty sick about the whole thing, but hopefully I have learned and next time I 'create' a photobook I will be able to do it without losing my pictures.

The entire month of December was filled with the Christmas spirit. It was truly one of the best Christmas's that I can remember. We had secret santas come different nights and leave treats and presents

It was soooo exciting for K4 that he was a little bit scary! We got sweet notes, treats and so much more. He got a tent and tunnel this night and we set it up in his room and everyone has played with it for the entire month (I had to put it up when company came just before Christmas) but he has already asked for it to be put back up.

K4 is my first kid to go see Santa without running away screaming or in tears, so I want to just celebrate that here.

He is such a fun kid

Steve's birthday was quiet, but the kids love his tradition of giving them gifts on his birthday (he hates gifts, all gifts and almost always returns them!) and so they were pretty excited.

There is Mr. handsome himself. He even insisted he didn't want me to make a cake (he went and bought a cheesecake, just so I didn't have to cook) the kids loved that too!
K4 doesn't even wait for a fork! And he got that blue and black dinosaur and it has gone everywhere with him.

Steve managed to actually coral the kids before church one day and get their pictures (little hams!)

The biggest event we really had, was Dec. 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm, Steve decided the time had come for Mark to baptize him. On Saturday, two of my sisters and their families and my parents drove in and stayed the night, for the start of our grand adventures.