Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bright Quilt (Deployment Project #17)

My awesome kiddos woke me up this morning yelling, "It's snowing!  It's snowing!"


Snow is pretty, yes I get that.
Snow is fun, yes, I can see that.

It's also cold, it makes a mess as it melts, it throws our whole schedule off, and Virginia (bless it's heart) has no clue how to deal with snow.  As I write this, there has been snow on the ground for 20 hours and still the snowplows are not out - - go figure!

But the kids love it and they were excited. 
I on the other hand was not so excited.  First off, I had not slept well.  I seem to have lost the battle that I have been fighting for the past two weeks - -- the cold has won and it has taken over my body.  Ugh!  So, I guess if it was going to snow, this would be a good day for it to do that - - I wasn't planning on going anywhere anyway!

So we spent our day watching movies.

One of our favorites "Singing in the Rain"
Except the kids changed the words today to "Singing in the Snow - - - we're just singing in the snow!"

We made some yummy oatmeal, butterscotch, chocolate cookies and
made sure we ate our fair share of those!

And, I made this...a little baby quilt.

It was just a great day to do a project just for fun.  Since it was cold and snowy outside, a quilt is just the thing.  This is a collection of 15 different Amy Butler fabrics.  I tried a new pattern called the Magical Maze.  It was quite easy and I really like how it turned out.

So fresh and bright!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Craigslist "Little Couch" and pillows (Deployment Project #13 and #14, #15, #16)


I just can't wait to show you this project!  I wanted to show you it last week, but I have made a strickt rule for myself, that I cannot post anything until the project is completely finished.  I am notorious for starting a project, getting it to a "good enough" point -- you know the point where it looks finished, but you know it isn't completely finished.  So, I had to wait until it was completely finished. 

I had it almost finished a week ago, but I was 1/2 a yard short of fabric for the bottom of the cushion.  This resulted in me searching the internet to find more of this particular fabric and then spending more money on 1 yd (because they didn't sell it in 1/2 yard incriments) of fabric than I have ever, or will ever spend again!  I had orginally bought 6 yards @ $6/yard of this fabric when we lived in CA, but didn't know what I was going to use it for.  I laid out all the pieces for this, but forgot about cording, therefore coming up 1/2 yard short.  Resulting in me paying - -- - honey if you are reading this SKIP OVER THIS NEXT SECTION - -- - $30/yard!!!  YIKES!  It about killed me!  But I was at the point of no return.

When I saw this couch on Craigslist for $40 I could not get my email telling them I wanted it sent fast enough - - I knew it was a perfect candidate for reupholstery!  It was a breeze to reupholster (except for that being short on fabric part) and I think it turned out fantastic! 

I have a little corner in my kitchen that was just begging for a piece of furniture to be put there.  It was the perfect new home for my beautiful new "little couch!"  All it needed was a great pillow on it.  I've been making lots of pillow lately, so I had lots to choose from!

a coral rectangular lumbar

this great green pillow that I made for a customer
obviously I can't keep this one :)

look at the fun tie detail!!

a little bird lumbar -- I love this design.  My friend Kristi and I came up with this embroidery design.

Lots of projects this time!  All next week will be the school room re-do!  Can't wait to share it with you!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reupholstered Chair (Deployment Project #12)


  My good friend Kristi was stationed at Ft. Irwin with us and when we both found out we were moving to DC we were quite exctied.  The only problem is that her family moved north of DC in Maryland and we settled in south of DC in Virginia.  We are only a speck over an hour from each other, but the city of DC separates up. 
That is a lot of traffic that is separating us!!!

The kids and I went on a little road trip at the beginning of this week.
Through DC
Through the traffic...
To Kristi's

We had a good time getting away, hanging out, staying up late, shopping, finding great deals at PB and eating delicious food!!! 

We also worked a little. 

Kristi picked up this great chair (ok, it just had great bones, but it was disgustingly dirty and stinky!) at our local antique mall in CA before we all moved.  It was time to get this thing painted, antiqued, and reupholstered. 
Here is a picture of the inspiration for this piece.

not sure what magazine this was ripped out of

I am loving the horizontal stripes on this chair.  It is an unexpected pop!

Kristi - Thanks for a great little get-a-way - - next time it is your turn to drive my way!

*By the way, I have updated my post about the printed pillows -- - giving a little more detail about how I made them.  You can go back and check out the new information here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sneak Peak (Deployment Project#11)

So many projects and so little time!
Today, you just get a little sneak peak of a HUGE project I am working on!  Last week I decided I just could not live with all this white any more!  I had to pull out my trusty paint brushes and roller and put some color in just one room.  (I may not be able to stop there!)

Before and after pictures will be coming shortly
along with projects #12 - #19. 

We are halfway through our school year and I have to tell you, the kids are doing fantastic, but I am beginning to dread going into that school room!  It is one room that just has not had a plan and it kind of just keeps growing.  We keep adding stuff to the walls, projects and posters, artwork and rewards.  Basically it is just a jumbled mess!!!  It was time to organize it.  Time to make it a room that we all wanted to be in!

So I started with color on Friday night.  More on that later.  But today you get a sneak peak at a little over the bookcases vignette.  I made the ragamuffin garland last year and used it in my workroom.  But it looked silly just hanging up on the wall with nothing else.  So I tied some clips into it and added some "wow!"  I wanted to add some artwork and some vintage school inspiration.  So where did I turn to? 

The Graphics Fairy of course!!

Aren't these fantastic?  I just love the detail and the expectations that teachers had for their students.  Can you imagine writing like this every day?

I hope when we start back with school this week my kids are inspired and excited to be learning!  I know I'm pretty darn excited about our new room - - I'm even looking forward to classes this week!!!

I'm linking up to Graphics Fairy Brag Monday - - -
you have to jump over there today (she's sharing my bird pillows!!!!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

$300 Saved!! Deployment Project #10

If you are in the military or associated with the military, there are some well known fact about deployments that we all know.  But I thought I might take this opportunity to share those "facts" with my non-military readers.   So, in no particular order, here is my list of deployment facts:

#1  Deployment orders will come at the worst timing for your family - - when we lived in IN, we were redoing our old house.  We had just taken a weekend and worked super hard tearing out all the paneling and old insulation from the entire upstairs.  It was down to the studs. 

Hubby got orders the next day.

Thank you Army, I love doing home improvent project myself, especially drywall!

#2  Your children and you will be sick while hubby is deployed - - not just a small cold, sniffles sick.  More like..."I think I might be on my death bed, don't come near me, all I want to do is crawl in bed and die sick." or "Mommy I just threw up but I didn't make it to the bathroom in time so there is a trail of chocolate milk puke from my room, down the hall, down the stairs and through the livingroom to the bathroom sick."  

And most likely these two will occur at the same time!

#3  Something is probably going to flood.  You might be lucky and it is just your yard or your driveway, but be more realistic and know that it is probably going to be either your basement or a bathroom!

#4  Despite all of hubbys precautions and preparations,  - - even if he made sure you had a new vehicle before he left so that nothing  could break - - - something is going to break on your vehicle.  It may be something as small as, ...oh, I don't know - breaking your passenger mirror on the garage door (clears throat) or as large as the engine blowing up.  More on all of that later!

#5  You will have plumbing problems.  Again, when I was in Indiana and hubby was gone,  all my pipes froze.  Really, they didn't have a choice, it was -35 degrees outside, you already read that the insulation was not in - - what were they to do but freeze.  Thank goodness for neighbors and friends from church who climbed under my house with blowdriers and thawed them for me!!

#6  You will have to call and either A. have your garage door fixed or   B.  have your garage door replaced.  It just wouldn't be a deployment if you didn't go through a garage door!!

#7  Plan on at least one trip to the ER.  This trip will not be for some normal explainable childhood accident, it will be for something crazy like glass pedistal cake platters falling off hutches and shattering on the floor and a huge chunk of glass happens to land in your childs head (yup - - that happened to us once), or because suddenly one morning your child wakes up and he can't move his left leg at all because it hurts too bad so you take him to the ER and find out he has some medical thing that you can't pronounce, but basically it is a massive case of growing pains (yup - you guessed it - - we did that one too!)

#8  All that extra money that you are making from hubby being deployed will now be spent paying for all of these wonderful adventures and you will wonder where in the world the Army came up with $100/ month separation pay.  $100 does not cover it!!!

But through it all, you will keep going on.  You will stay strong and you will survive, because you are a military wife, and that's what we do.  It is our part in being our husbands helpmate and other half.  It is our part in serving our country.  And personally, I'm proud to have this job.  I'm proud that my husband has confidence in me that I will be able to manage all the stresses that go with him being deployed.  I'm proud of my husband and his sacrafice of being away from us and missing out on our everyday life as a family. 

Before I get too sappy, let me tell you about deployment project #10.  I hinted about it above.  Yes, I made sure to kill two birds with one stone.  I took out the mirror on our new truck with the garage door.  You ever just have one of those days?  GGGGGRRRRRR!!  I was so frustrated!  You should have seen the kids in the back seat.  Cameron was in the middle of telling me something about his day, when suddenly we heard that noise (you know the one of crunching car parts  eeeeek!),  Cameron stops talking immediately and quickly turns to his sister and says, "DON'T SAY ANYTHING, JUST SIT QUIETLY....Momma's not gonna be happy!"

looks nasty doesn't it?

He's right, I wasn't happy.  Especially after I called the dealership and found out that a new mirror was $300 and minimum cost for labor was $150.  Are you kidding me?  Seriously - - it can't be that hard.... can it?  So I asked the mechanic on the phone that very question.  He told me no (and quietly under his breath) told me to go to a junk yard, buy a used mirror and then told me if my husband was mechanically inclined in any way, he would be able to do it.  Well, right there, that sealed the deal for me!  I knew it couldn't be that hard so I did what we all do, I googled tutorials on replacing vehicle mirrors!  I found a used one for $150 and had it shipped to me.

just another view to rub salt into my wound!

So, this afternoon, my project was to replace the mirror.  About 20 min. later I had it all finished, put back together and working perfectly!  So, since it only took me 20 min. and the mechanic told me that it would be a minimum of $150 for labor, that works out to be $450/hour.  

but doesn't it look so much better now?

I'm thinking I should just change my buisness, forget about slipcovers, reupholstery and pillows - - -
Franklin Designs - - I change out mirrors!

I don't know, it doesn't have a catchy ring and I think I would get bored with the job after awhile......
but I sure would like that paycheck!! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Quilt (Deployment Project #9)

This project was a long time coming.  This little quilt if for Miss Evelyn who just celebrated her first birthday.  I originally made a quilt for her when she was still in her Mommy's tummy and we were all convinced she was going to be a He!  I had made an adorable cowboy quilt, but it was obviously a boy quilt!  After She arrived and wasn't a He, I told her Momma that I would make her a girly quilt.  finally - - just one short year later, I present a very girly quilt!

It is made with vintage looking pinks, creams, and a dash of plum.  The combination of fabrics with the quilting gives it a fabulous, cuddly look.  I think little Evelyn is going to enjoy her quilt for a long time!

Happy Birthday Evelyn!!!

In deployment news, we are all still doing well.  Three weeks down - - woohoo!!  The kids are so cute - - we pray together everynight before bed and everynight without fail, Charise says, "and Jesus, thank you that we made it through another day......woohoo!(throwing all our arms in the air because we are holding hands!)"  Cameron's prayers are a little more serious, he seems to be fixated on Daddy coming home with all his body parts and prays accordingly.  I guess that is just part of being a 9 year old boy!  Handsome hubby is doing well - - I guess he had camel for dinner last night.  Better him than me!

I have been enjoying going to the gym.  It's killing me!  But it is a great break from our daily grind and the kids seem to enjoy the kids area.  I've got so many projects lined up - - one big one this weekend, one that I am waiting for 1 yd of fabric to arrive in the mail so I can finish it, and one that requires nice weather and my mechanics hat!  Peaked your interest?  Keep checking back - - I wonder how many projects I will finish while Hubby is gone?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspiration Pillow (Deployment Project #8)

Last night I was hanging out at my friends house while our kiddos played together.   We've been doing that a lot lately.  It helps having a friend whose husband is deployed also.  Our kids get along great and we have enjoying sharing dinners.  Almost makes it worth making dinner!  I think any military wife would tell you that while hubby is deployed, the menu definately changes!!

While I was there, I started paging through her Pottery Barn Catalog.  Have you seen the latest one?  I'm loving it - - it is speaking to me.  All of it except the prices!  You know me, I am a thirfty girl - -  I refuse to pay full price for most anything.

So, as I was paging through and gathering lots of ideas, I got to pages 56 and 57. 
Be still my heart.

I am in love with those pillows!

But this one in particular made my heart swoon.

Photo:  Pottery Barn
Price:  $49
Are you kidding me?  Really?
I can definately make one of those - - MUCH cheaper!

So, there in lies project #8

I made up the graphics in a power point presentation, and then, used my embroidery program to program it into something my machine could embroider.  I embroidered it onto a natural linen.  While it isn't exactly the same, I think it turned out pretty good. 

My cost?
FREE since I just used what I had at home.  I guess if you wanted to calculate the cost, since I did buy the fabric at some point, it would be 1/3 yard of fabric @ $3.00/yard so $1 plus the zipper, another $3. 
$4.00 total

Not bad!! 

And here it is on a sneak peak of a project I am currently working on - - - just need the rest of my fabric to arrive in the mail and I will be done!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Painting (Deployment Project #7)

I like to paint, I just don't do it too often anymore.  When we were stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY I had my own buisness doing decorative painting.  It was fun, but I was never overly comfortable doing it for other people.  I like working with fabric so much better!!  Fabric is consistent and after a customer picks out their fabric, it isn't going to change.  It is concrete.  Painting is more about personal prefrences, creativity.  Needless to say, I don't paint for other people any more.   Except Handsome Hubby.  He loves for me to paint and he always shows a little dissappointment when I bring home a framed picture that I bought from somewhere.

As I'm sure you have noticed by now, every pictrure of my living room on here shows that I still have blank walls.  I just didn't have anything in my stash that fit the bill.  I wanted two pictures that worked together and were the same size to go over my two chairs.   I started searching for something, but when hubby found out I was looking, he went to Joannes and bought me two matching pictures.

Two blank white canvases.

Last night I decided to start the first of the two.  I knew I wanted a white flower with a blue background.  It didn't take me long to sketch out the flower and then I pulled out the paints.  Before I knew it, I had finished the entire painting.  I am pleased with how it turned out.  Now all I have to do is make another one for the other side of the wall!

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Update

Two weeks down.  We have survived two weeks now and I would say we are all doing really well.  The kids and I are adjusting to the "new normal."  I have started to get the kids involved in some more extra curricular activities.  We had been putting it off knowing that the deployment was coming and I didn't want us to be busy  running from here to there in the last weeks before hubby left. 

Friday I went to the gym and got a membership.  I am actually pretty excited about it and to be honest, the most exciting part isn't being able to work out.  Yeah, yeah, I know it's good for me and I'm sure that by the end, I will be healthier and hopefully a bit leaner.  But for me, right now, the most exciting was the fact that with my membership childcare is included - - Woohoo!  Not having to pay for childcare everytime I go to the gym.  The kids love the play area.  Think Chuck E Cheese on steroids!  Plus a computer room with computers, wii and tables for them to do schoolwork.  On our way in to the gym, Cameron asked me if I thought it would have a gym where he could shoot baskets, I told him I didn't think so.  Wrong - Mom.  Right there, in the kids area is a little gym just for them where he can shoot all the baskets his little heart desires.  The kids have been so excited to go back all weekend they keep asking me if today is the day that we get to go back to the gym.  I guess I have accountability built in!  I'm also pretty excited because there is a hair salon, nail salon and tanning beds all at the gym.  Do you know how hard it is to get your hair done when you homeschool and your husband is gone?  Yeah - - they could charge me double for my haircuts and I will still go to them just so I have childcare built in!

Tonight I took the kiddos to church to get them signed up for Awana.  We participated in Awana in CA, but hadn't gotten involved here yet.  The kids were a little aprehensive about it at first.  It is a fairly large group and they don't know too many kids at church yet.  But they quickly felt comfortable going to their rooms and by the time I picked them up an hour and a half later, they were excited!  They talked the entire way home about everything they loved and they can't wait to go back next week!  Woohoo!!

I feel like we are starting to get into a groove and like we might be starting to find our niche here.  Hubby is doing well.  He got over there in record time and it seems like he is keeping quite busy.  We hae been able to talk on the phone about 3 times so far - - hopefully we will be able to talk more frequently later.  The biggest issue for him right now is the fact that his foot locker that we sent out in early November, has not arrived there yet.  All his extra uniforms, sheets, pictures, creature comforts and of course the quilt that I made for him are in there.  I am putting a pkg out in the mail to him tomorrow with sheets and pillows and some goodies for him. 

I personally am doing well.  Emotionally I think I am doing fantastic - I am no where near as emotional as I usually am - I think I am just tougher.  Hubby was TDY (temporary duty) so much the last two years, that is still kinda feels like this is a long TDY.  Just minus the phone calls and text messages.  That's probably what I miss the most.  We joke around here that Hubby's love language is texting.  Usually I get anywhere for 10-25 text messages a day while Jason is gone along with phone calls throughout the day as his schedule allows, but obviously that isn't possible right now, so it is a little hard to only recieve a quick emial, but it is better than nothing!  My biggest issue right now is sleeping.  I don't know why, but I just have not been sleeping well at all.  I have seen all hours of the night go by just waiting for sleep to come.  I'm not scared - - an alarm system is super!!  I have been trying to wait to head to bed until I am really tired, but then I just sit there awake anyway.  Hopefully this will go away soon!

This has kinda turned into a long post just about deployment, but I guess if I am going to post all these deployment projects I might just as well keep you updated on everything else that goes on with a deployment!  

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spy Bag (Deplyment Project #6)

We haven't made too many friends around here.  It is much different than living on post.  But thankfully we have made some good friends with out neighbor a couple houses down.  Her husband deployed about a month and a half before handsome hubby and they have two girls - - the exact ages of my two kiddos!  So, needless to say, we have been hanging out a lot and they have been a God-send to us! 

Saturday was a Birthday Party for their oldest.  When I asked Cameron what he wanted to get for a gift for her, he knew exactly what to do!  Apparently, when they play at our house, they play spy all the time.  So he wanted to get her all the spy equipment she would need - along with a bag to keep all her "gear" in. 

So Friday, we headed off to Target to see what we could find in the "spy gear" department.  A gun, flashlight, evidence kit, spy glasses and decoder seemed to fit the bill.  Next we came home to pick out the pattern and fabric for the bag.  I have about 12 different bag patterns, so I let Cameron choose what one he thought would be the best, then we went to "The Stash" to pick out the fabric.  He thought the bag should be all black -- and as far as spy bags go, I couldn't agree more, but I really thought the brown with blue polk-a-dot fabric was really cute and approprate for a girl, so I convinced him to go with the polk-a-dots.  His one argument, "but Mom, if she's trying to hide, the dots are going to be GLOWING!"

Friday night I cut out the pattern pieces while the kiddos and I have pizza and movie night (it's our new Friday night tradition while Daddy is gone) and after the kiddos went to bed, I sewed the bag.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  I was a little nervoust about it when I started cutting it out because there were a lot of pieces!!  It turned out to be a fairly easy pattern - - I modified some of it to suit our spy needs.  We wrapped each of the spy gear gifts and stuffed each pocket and the bag with the different items.  It was so much fun to see her open each thing and get excited about all of it!

Doesn't she make a beautiful model?

Here's to enjoying every minute of childhood and all your spy games!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who Knew? (Deployement Project #5)

There are just some things in life that make you say, "who knew?"  One of the things I have realized this week, and this is probably going to be an obvious thing, is that frogs ribbet...A LOT!  Cameron has two fire belly frogs.  I swear they were quiet until hubby left.  Cameron said they made noise, but I never heard them.  Until a week ago - After hubby left and suddenly I am aware of every single noise that takes place between the hours of 9PM and 7AM. 

Every Noise

Frogs Included

Those darn frogs never shut up!  It wouldn't be so bad if it were a plesant ribbet with rainforest sounds in the background. But these frogs sound like little yappy dogs. 

You know the ones I'm talking about - - when you lived in your first apartment after you got married and still didn't have a job so you were home alone all day, but your neighbor works from some ungodly hour in the morning till dark and their little yappy dog is home alone all day - - -yapping.

Yup, now that you have that mental picture, imagine our house.   All night long..."meep,       meep, meep,       meep,     , meep,        meep, meep meep,              meep, meep, meep, meep,                  meep,      meep,       meep, meep,     meep, meep, meep,        meep, meep "

Did I mention ALL NIGHT LONG?

That's my first, Who Knew of the week. 

Here is my second....

Who knew you could put fabric through your printer?

I'm not sure if it is safe.  I'm not sure what damage I am doing to my printer.  I am not sure how long it will last.  BUT.... I do know that I love the results and I am having fun with it!!!  Your probably sitting there saying, "duh - - I knew you could do that."  Well, I had no clue, and if you knew, why didn't you tell me sooner?  Either that or you are saying, "man she is stupid, doesn't she know the damage she is doing to her (brand new) printer doing that?" - - Please if that is the case, TELL ME!!!

Check out these fabulous pillows I made today.

Seriously - - I am in love with them!

The bird pictures on them are digital copies of vintage advertising cards, that I printed onto linen.   If you look closely, you will see the the Arm and Hammer Baking Soda logo on them.  I found these images at The Graphics Fairy.  I don't know if you have ever checked her site out, but it is a treasure!!!  She shares at least one vintage image a day.  On Mondays, she hosts, "Brag Monday" and everyone links up with projects they have made using her images.  I am going to be part of the party this Monday.  If you haven't checked out her site, jump on over there (after your done here of course!).

Here is the original picture from Graphics Fairy

Here it is printed on linen.

I think it gives it a fantastic worn look.  Very charming and used all at the same time.  I have to give credit to my friend Melissa for the fabric these pillows are made with.  Shortly after we moved to Virginia, she sent me a little "care" package with all kinds of goodies in in.  This piece of fabric was one of the things in that pkg.  I think it turned out to be ther perfect frame for these pictures!!


*****  Added Information:  Well, I have gotten lots of comments and lots of questions on these pillows, so here is the quick lo-down on the pillows!

To run the fabric through my printer, I cut my fabric 10 1/2" x 13" (2" larger than my piece of cardstock).  then I carefully taped it around a piece of cardstock, wrapping the edges, making sure the corners don't get too thick.  This is the tricky part, but be patient.  Make sure all the edges are held down with tape so that the back of your piece of cardstock is smooth. 

Next you need to print your picture.  Most printers have a back panel where you can manually run cardstock or thick paper through it.  I had to work with mine for a little while, but if you have some patience and keep working at it, you should be able to send it through and just let it print.  For the settings on my printer, I just set it for standard cardstock and photo quality printing.

After it printed, I took all the tape off and then pulled some strings to make it "fringy."  Next I cut my pillow fabric to size and used a decorative stich to attach the fabric picture to the front.  Then finished my pillow by attaching a zipper and sewing the other three sides.

Now, here is the important part - - - - Are you reading this? 

You cannot wash these!  It will wash your entire picture clear off your fabric and you will have worked in vain! - - No, I did not wash my pillows - - I actually thought ahead and made an extra sample just to run through the washing machine!  But I am just warning you - - my fabric came out whiter than white.  Now, I am willing to bet that if I were putting new ink into my printer and the ink cartrage spontaiously combusted and I got it all over my favorite shirt - - it would not wash out!  But since I intentionally put the ink on fabric - - it most definately washes completely out!!!

Hope this extra info helps!!!

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