Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pretty Picture

I got a new lens for my Nikon D40.  Last night I tried it out for the first time.  I am very excited about it!  Look at all that sparkly bokeh!
 then, she {snapped}

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Circle Applique Quilt

I have been admiring this circle applique quilt for awhile now.  I set out to make my own version of it.  I used scraps for the circles and Kona Cotton brown for the back ground.  Here it is: 

 I think it turned out quite nice!  I decided to leave the edges raw on the circles.  I basted them on using a regular glue stick, which helped to keep them in place when sewing them on.  After the quilt was completely finished, I washed it.  Then, I took a toothbrush to the raw edges to help "fluff" them up.

The back is one of my favorite fabrics ever!  I thought it matched the circle front really well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spider Web Quilt

I would like to introduce you to my favorite quilt I have made yet:

And of course, it looks better with Kate on it.

This quilt is called a “Spider Web” quilt.  I first fell in love with the block when I saw this quilt.   I followed the tutorial and wah-la! 

I used scraps from my Kaffe Diamond quilt and from Big Bertha.  This quilt took a long time, from start to finish it took about four months.  But the end result was well worth it.  I really like the solid white background, it sets off the color in each spider web very well. The quilting shows up really well on the white, as well.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Racetrack Quilt

Check out my latest quilt!  I am smitten.  This was my first attempt at making a quilt since Kate was born.  It is possible!

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest?  While perusing quilts one day, I came across this adorable baby quilt here and here.  I love the cute take on the traditional Drunkard’s Path quilt block.  I had never sewn a curved quilt block before, and I wanted to test my skills.  The pattern for the race track quilt is found in this book.  I was able to check it out from our local library. 

My mom’s most recent quilt book is all about curves in quilts, and I was able to use her fail proof technique to make the curves almost perfect!  Not one pin was used in the making of this quilt.  Check out her book for this fabulous technique. 

I have a new nephew arriving this summer and I knew this quilt would be perfect for a little boy.  I love it so much I might make another one using girly fabrics. 

After piecing the quilt top, I embroidered the dash onto the road with Perle Cotton embroidery thread.  I thought it would take a long time, but it acutally wasn’t too bad.  I chose denim for the back, it seemed fittingly boyish.  After I quilted it on the long arm, I washed it and threw it in the dryer.  It got all crinkly and soft just like I was hoping.   

Enjoy some more pictures:

 The quilting shows up nicely on the denim back.

The track is the perfect size for a Hotwheels car!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rocking Horse Redo

Last summer I bought a rocking horse at Goodwill for $10.  I was on a bit of a rampage buying anything cute and kid like.  Our garage has been filled with unfinished projects all purchased last summer.  I decided to tackle this one recently.

Rocking Horse Before
The rocking horse was in tough shape.  The back of the rockers were badly scraped and splintered.  The body was covered with scratches. The entire frame was loose and wobbly.  And the mane and tail were disgusting and smelled a little.

I started by prying the mane and tail off.  I wore gloves for this part.  As far as I could tell, that matted disgusting material used to be strands of yarn.  Next, I carefully removed the bridal, because it was in good shape and I knew I wanted to reuse it.  Then I began sanding the entire thing.  I sanded it down to the bare wood to get all of the scratches off.

Naked Rocking Horse (Sat in garage for 6+ months in this state)

My husband helped me add some structural supporting screws to make the whole thing more sturdy.  I filled the screw holes and the badly splintered rockers with wood filler.  I then stained the horse a dark walnut shade by Minwax.  Next, I coated it in a thick coat of oil based polyurethane.  I read that oil based polyurethane holds up stronger than water based.

The mane and tail were made from ribbon.  I followed this tutorial about how to make a korker bow, except I sprayed my ribbon with starch before I baked it.  It took seven spools of ribbon to make this happen!

Korker Mane
Finally, I attached the mane with a glue gun, reattached the bridal, and found some new eyes!  It actually looks pretty nice in our living room!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Small Vintage Suitcase Redo

I can’t get enough of vintage suitcases!  Remember my weekend case?  As much as I love it, I have been looking for a slightly smaller suitcase to redo.  I mentioned this before, but finding an old suitcase in decent condition isn’t the easiest.  However, I finally found one the other day, for a $12, which is a pretty decent price!

I got out my Mod Podge.  And I slapped some fabric fat quarters on!  To be a little more technical about it, first, I traced the front of the suitcase onto the fabric with a fabric marker.  Then I cut the fabric out.  Next, I painted the front of the suitcase with Mod Podge and a foam brush, then I slapped the fabric on!  I coated the fabric onto the suitcase with about 4 coats of Mod Podge and let it dry over night.

The entire process took about an hour.  It looks like the fabric was made for this!  I love how it turned out.

I love Mod Podge!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thrifty Baby Nursery

When I found out I was expecting I made a list of everything we would need for a baby.  I sifted through baby books, magazines and advice from others on what would be needed.  My list included everything from diapers to a stroller, a total of about 40 items.  I quickly discovered that this baby venture would be quite pricey! 

So, I hit up Craigslist and garage sales big time!  Kate was born in the fall.  I attended about 20 yard sales throughout the spring and summer prior to her being born.  I am now a firm believer in buying baby gear used.  Most of these items were in great condition when I bought them.  Some needed a little work.  I sewed new cushions for the glider and painted the dresser and changing table.  The only thing we opted to buy new was the car seat/travel system (which we actually received as a gift, thanks Mom!).  The whole expiration date on car seats was a good reason to start new, considering we may want more babies.  And, strollers tend to get some wear and tear and starting new seemed smart with future kids in mind. In the end, everything (with the exception of the travel system) was used! 

Here are some examples of some of my best finds:

Sony baby monitors with two receivers: New: $52 Found used for $5
Changing Table: Free!  Someone put this out on the end of their driveway with a free price tag!
Fisher Price Cradle Swing: New: $126 Found Used: $50
Jumperoo: New: $73 Used: $30

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Diamond Quilt

The second quilt I ever made was a diamond quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I love the rich, bright colors in all of the fabrics. It is quilted with veriegated rainbow thread.  I found the pattern online here.

  I fussy-cut  the center of every diamond so that each diamond would have a flower in the center. 
Fussy Cut Centers

I layed out each diamond block on our living room floor before I sewed them all together.  I spent about two days tweaking the blocks so that the colors looked balanced.  
In pieces
This is one of my favorite quilts I have made yet!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Headband Curls

I am always interested in finding new ways to curl my hair without heat.  I wish my hair fell into perfect curls straight out the shower, but it does not. However, with the help of Pinterest, I have found a really fun way to achieve a natural looking head of curls.  Check out this tutorial.

The first time I tried this, it worked!  The curls were beautiful.  However, I do have a couple of tips.  Don’t wrap your hair too tightly around the headband.  The curls will be too tight and it will remind you of a bad perm from the eighties.  Also, use gel to help the curls hold better.  Go try this now!

The night before...all wrapped up.

The next morning!

Beatiful Curls!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Cake

I made my husband a cake for Valentine’s Day.

I glazed the cake with ganache. I didn’t know what ganache was until today. Oh my heavens, it is amazing. Ganache consists of three ingrediants: Heavy whipping cream, a bar of chocolate and a pinch of salt. Enough said.

I found the recipe here. However, instead of Ghiradelli chocolate I used Pralus cocoa powder  and a Valrhona Manjari 64% chocolate bar.

The cake turned out delicious!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Lucy's Shoe Sock Review

I am in love with baby shoe socks (socks that look like shoes).  Kate has many shoe socks and she looks so darling in all of them.  She has a set of shoe socks called “Lucy’s” by Trumpette.  She received them this last Christmas (thanks Mom!).  Not only are these socks adorable, but they are tactile!  Kate loves to grab at the bows with her hands.  Anything that can entertain this little girl is AMAZING.  I give this product 4/5 stars.  I couldn’t give it a full five star rating because they are a tad on the expensive side.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Duvet Cover Thoughts

I have wanted to revamp my bedding for some time now.  Here are a few covers I found that I like:

Here, here and here (this last link is my favorite!).

However, bedding is expensive!  I was inspired to make my own duvet cover out of two flat sheets by this tutorial.

If I found some flat sheets on sale I could make a beautiful duvet cover, embellished with ruffles, for significantly less money than buying one. 

This may be a bigger undertaking than I realize, but I am excited.  I have found a couple other inspiring tutorials here, here, and here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Hair Accessories

I love to go to yard sales. This past summer at a yard sale I found vintage earrings for 25¢ per pair! I bought several pairs along with some other miscellaneous jewelry. I wanted to somehow make them into hair accessories.

So I bought some metal alligator clips at a craft store. Then I pried the clips off of the backs of the jewel earrings so that the jewel would sit flat nicely. Next, I hot glued the jewels onto the alligator clips.

Inexpensive Fancy Hair Clips!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Armless Chair Recover

I love reupholstering furniture.  It reminds me of wrapping a present, and I love wrapping presents.  I decided that my first chair upholstery attempt should be an armless chair. I figured it would be a good learning project. 

I found this armless chair on craigslist:

It had a 90's hotel feel.
My wonderful husband went with me to purchase it so that he could help me load it in the car.  One thing that the craigslist photo didn’t convey was that this chair is BIG!  It takes up more floor space than I expected.  My husband lovingly named the chair “Big Bertha”, and that name has stuck.

I started off by unscrewing the back off of the chair.  I didn’t realize the chair was capable of this from the craigslist photo.  This made reupholstering it much easier.  Then I took a lot of photos of the chair.  The photos were going to help me remember how it all went together.

Then comes the part that takes some nerve: tearing apart a perfectly good chair.  I removed the fabric by prying out the staples with a flat screw driver and pliers.  The trick is to remove the fabric CAREFULLY.  The original fabric was going to be my pattern for the new fabric.  As I removed each of the pieces I labeled where they came from with a Sharpie, for example, “back of chair”.  This part of the process was pretty slow, it probably took about 4 hours to get all of the staples and fabric off the chair.

I ordered new fabric called Wood Fern by Amy Butler.  I found this chart that helped me decide how much fabric to order.  This 54” heavier weighted fabric turned out to be perfect for an accent chair like this.

I cut the new fabric to match the old.  Then I stapled it all on with my electric staple gun.  I would highly recommend an electric staple gun if you are serious about upholstery.  This was the quickest part of the whole process, it only took about an hour and half!  

I am smitten with this chair!


Miss Mustard Seed's Creative Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Felt Flower Tutorial

Baby girls wearing headbands look so cute.  I found that after Kate was born making headbands was about all I had time for in the realm of crafting.  I could make one for her in about the same amount of time she napped. 

Her newest headband is a gray chrysanthemum (spell that Gilbert!). I made it yesterday while we were snowed in.

Kate looks adorable!
To start off, a good pair of scissors is helpful.  I love my Ginghers!  I cut seventeen teardrop shapes and a two inch diameter circle out of a felt sheet that only cost ten cents!

I pinched each tear drop together at the base and hot glued them into petals.  I used a ball point pen to help hold the glue until it set so that I wouldn’t burn my fingers.  Then I glued eleven petals around the edge of the circle and filled the inside with the remaining six petals.

Finally, I hot glued elastic lace to the flower, and finished it off by adding a sparkly button that I had laying around.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jewelry Box Redo

I found this beat up jewelry box at a thrift store for $2.

With a little TLC, I thought it would be the perfect gift for my niece’s 13th birthday.  The outside of the box was scratched and dirty, while the inside had sustained water damage.  The felt lining on the inside was stained with brown water spots and was peeling in several places. Also it was missing a brass knob. But still, I knew I could do something fun with it.

I started off by ripping the old felt out of the inside.  It came off pretty easily.  I saved the pieces so that I would have a template to make a new lining.  I removed the hinges from the door, pulled the brass knobs off the drawers and detached the spinning necklace hanger.  I decided to spray paint the box brown. 

The most fun part of this project was putting a new lining on the inside.  Inspired by my suitcase project (link post), I found some fancy wrapping paper that would complement the brown paint.  I got some poster board from the grocery store and traced the old felt lining on it.  I did this for each drawer and for the taller compartment.  Then, I cut the pieces out and I wrapped each one in the fancy wrapping paper and glued it into place inside the jewelry box. 

The wrapping paper needed some additional protection, so I used Mod Podge to give the inside a protective, plastic-like coating.  I really like the texture and glossy look it created. 

At this point, I reattached the hinges and necklace hanger.  I scoured home-improvement stores for new tiny knobs, but I had no luck.  So, I went to the craft store and picked out some crystal looking buttons.  I attached each button by threading it with fishing line to a bigger button on the inside. They held securely. 

It turned out great, and my niece loved it!  Success!

Happy drawers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kate's Ruffle Quilt

I wanted to make a quilt for my little baby girl.   I was 39 weeks pregnant when I purchased the material for it.   Several people joked with me that if I started a project it would make the baby come sooner.  So, I guess you could say I sort of hoped I wouldn’t be able to finish this quilt, at least not right away. 

I had never sewn a ruffle before.  So I called my sister, who is an experienced sewer, but is usually up to her eyeballs in trains, shooters and rockets with her two little boys.  When I asked her if she knew how to sew a ruffle she replied, “A ruffle?  Hmmm….I don’t know…we don’t really do ruffles here.”  With that, I turned to google and I found a great ruffle tutorial here.

 I folded the sides over and hemmed the raw edges down on my ruffle strips, this way the ruffles looked more finished.  I quickly learned that sewing ruffles takes a lot of fabric.  So I had to go back to the store to get more fabric halfway through. 

Before attaching the ruffles I quilted the gray fabric on my mom’s long arm quilting machine.  Then, I attached the ruffles.  I marked even, concentric squares on the gray quilt top.  I then pinned the ruffles on to my markings.  I sewed the ruffles on with my walking foot because the fabric layers were pretty thick at this point. Lastly, I put a yellow binding on.  

All finished...still no baby.  Baby Kate didn’t arrive for another two weeks!


Kate (almost 4 months) loves how tactile the quilt is!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Turtle Recover

This adorable turtle was hiding in a closet in my husband’s great grandparents’ house.

Turtle Before

I first saw it on a family reunion trip and knew it had great potential.  I was lucky to receive it on a subsequent visit.  The paint was in great shape, it just needed a new shell!

I found the perfect fabric, “green / wall flower” by Amy Butler, which looked like it belonged on a turtle’s back!  I removed the old fabric by prying out the staples with a screw driver.  I then attached the new fabric by stapling it to the underside of the turtle with my trusty staple gun. 

To give it a more finished look, I pounded new upholstery tacks tightly around the base of the turtle shell.

New shell!