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Typically the joke’s on me when I attempt to sew “The 20-minute project!”
20 minutes?
I have that.
Oh wait, you mean they lied?

Usually the project is a dress or something…
I can’t pick out a dress to wear in 20 minutes,
let alone make one.
So yeah, that’s usually how it goes for me.

 

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HOWEVER! I am here to tell you that this project really did take very little time!
My sister-in-law Shannon’s birthday was yesterday.
I decided I wanted to make this as a gift for her.
When?
Umm, yesterday morning.
(It’s no secret I am usually behind in life)
So, I went out to the store around 11,
and completed it start to finish during nap time!
It took me about 2 hours.
Which, maybe somebody else could make this in 20 minutes,
but I’m going to try and give you a more realistic estimate.
I could just be slow,
but hey – at least I’m honest.

I first got the idea from my friend, Steph, who made this as a gift for her sister who was in art school.
Shannon is also in art school, so I figured I had a winner.
I found the tutorial over at Prudent Baby.
I customized it to fit pens and pencils instead of crayons,
so I used rectangles that were 9”x 18”.

I got some fancy art pens to go inside…

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And of course some fun owl ribbon.
I sewed two pieces of ribbon together
(wrong sides facing)
so that there were owls on both sides ,
regardless of how the ribbon was laying.

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Interfacing.
It made the roll much sturdier.
Although, I accidentally Heat n Bonded my ironing board…

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The inside…

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The outside…

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Stuffed with pens and pencils…

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All wrapped up and ready to be gifted!

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Happy Birthday to the lovely Shannon!
May your 20th year be full of all things lovely and exciting 🙂

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I’m back tracking a bit.
Earlier this month, my lovely friend, Margie, got MARRIED!
I couldn’t be happier for her,
though I’m more than a little sad Bernie took her far away from me.
Far as in Tennessee.
I’m still trying to work through this!
Also, I wish I had pictures from the wedding,
but I left my camera card at home that weekend.
I was pretty mad at myself.
And I wasn’t able to get a ton of shots at the bridal shower,
but I got a few beforehand of the decorations.
It was such a fun time celebrating.
And now I just have to figure out how to easily get to Tennessee.

Coffee Filter Flowers

These were so much fun to make!
I hot glued them onto branches,
and stuck them in vases and mason jars filled with pinto and black beans.

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I liked them so much I kept them and am using them around my house for everyday decor.

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For favors:
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

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And here is beautiful Margie opening her gifts.
Behind her: pinwheel fans!
(thank you Pinterest for endless inspiration)

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Sewn Paper Garland

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Yarn wreaths on the windows!

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and Fall would not be complete without
Salted Caramel Apple Cupcakes

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It was a fabulous time celebrating a fabulous lady.
Love you, Margie!

It started like this: I had several free photos through Shutterfly,
and I wasn’t sure what to use them on.
So I ordered a bunch of prints from our wedding
and hoped I could figure something out.
On Monday (one day before our anniversary)
I was still scouring Pinterest for inspiration
and I came across this Photo Frame idea.
What could be a better way to transform boring 4×6 photos?
I found the frame at Goodwill for $12.97
It had a picture in it, so I removed the glass and matted artwork,
leaving me with just the frame.
I then used a staple gun to attach rows of twine to the back of the frame
and mounted each picture on cardstock using raised, foam stickies.
(what a technical description, I know)
I then hung the pictures using miniature clothespins.
And voila!
A framed photo collage in less than a day.

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For less than $20, I’m quite happy with it 🙂

Sometimes I ask myself if it’s worth it.
To spend so much time making stuff rather than buying it.
What’s better?  Ease or accomplishment?
Having exactly what I want, or wanting what I can have?
And then I remember I don’t really have a choice.
It’s either make it or not have it.  😉
Or buy something cheap that I don’t really like at all.

I’m learning to make it work.
Rather than sulk and spend all my time wishing I could take a wagon through Pottery Barn and load it up, I need to work with what I have.
And it’s proving to be worth it!
Oh, and God is teaching me LOTS about contentment along the way.
I thought I was done with that lesson???
Apparently that’s a life-long one.

Anyways, here are the recent changes to our bedroom.
I am always amazed how simple things like curtains can dramatically change a room.
And new shades, too!
We had these blackout shades that were both hideous and impractical.
They didn’t look pretty, and it was nearly impossible to get up in the morning since they blocked out all the sunlight.

Before:

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(hideous, right?)

and After:

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I replaced the blackout shades with Bamboo Roman Shades.
They are light-filtering, which is exactly what I wanted.
Not to mention, MUCH prettier.

The fabric for the curtains is from JoAnn’s. 
I picked a subtle, flower print for the main portion.
I would have used it for the entire panel, but the store did not have enough fabric for me to make 4 panels.
So I improvised!
I added a block of muslin and a block of turquoise damask print,
both of which were leftover from my bed skirt.
Yet another example of learning to make it work 😉

And sewing them was relatively easy.
I had the fabric cut in 4, 2-yard portions at the store,
(saved me lots of measuring and cutting)
attached the two fabric blocks to the bottom,
and hemmed all sides.
I made a 3-inch pocket for the curtain rods at the top.
And that’s it!
It takes time (mostly for measuring), but it’s not too complicated.
Thankfully curtain panels are RECTANGLES! 😉

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And now for the bed skirt.
As I said, it is the same fabric as the bottom of the curtains.
I picked these colors because they best matched those in my bedspread.
(please ignore the junk under the bed.)

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Basically, I measured the length and height that I needed,
then divided it by how many panels I wanted in the skirt.
I did not want to mess with ruffles or frills,
so I made it hang flat.
I then just sewed the panels together and hemmed the raw edges.
I made three separate sides but did NOT sew them together:
to simplify my life even more,
I just safety pinned each side of the skirt to the box spring,
making sure they were well hidden under the mattress and met properly at the corners.
So much easier than attaching it to a sheet under the mattress,
plus it makes it easy to change out at any time.
(Just a note: you could sew the corners together if you wanted,
I just didn’t feel like figuring it out so I took the easy road.)

So here’s what I ended up spending:

$45 for four 84-inch curtain panels

$20 for a King sized bed skirt

$19.98 for two curtain rods from Target ($9.99 each)

$60 for two Bamboo Roman Shades from Overstock.com ($28 each + shipping)

$120 for the Quilt and Shams from Target
(this was my splurge.  However, it is machine washable, which means I don’t have to get it dry-cleaned AND it’s a quilt.  To make one would be almost as expensive.)

So, that’s been my most-recent project around here!
I am now on the hunt for a fun wooden door to use as a headboard.
I have some leads but not the time right now, so we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

Hope this encourages you all that you really can decorate on a budget!
It may take time, but it will be worth it. 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

I am so ready for Fall!
To get in the spirit, I made a wreath for our front door.
I found the inspiration on Pinterest (of course.)
You can see the original post here.

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Yes I know – that door is hideous.  And broken.
It will be replaced shortly.
The new one will have more windows, which I am very excited about!
I told Mike I want our next house to have windows galore!
Oh how I do love sunlight.

Remember this chair?
It has a new look.

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I would have posted a “tutorial” of sorts,
but trust me – it would have been helpful to NOBODY 🙂
My method was “let’s see if this works…” hahaha.
I just took the chair apart as much as I could,
pulled, stapled, and stretched the fabric as best I knew how.
And then I sewed slipcovers for the cushions.
It’s not a professional reupholstery job by any stretch of the imagination,
but I’m very happy with it.
I now have a chair that matches the rest of the decor in my loft. 🙂

I prayed the entire way through this dress.
No lie.
Because I still don’t really know what I’m doing 🙂
I followed this tutorial for the tiers.
Made a 4th tier because I messed up.
And came up with the chest and straps on my own.
That only took about, oh, 8 hours.
I really need to stop believing people when they say,
”it takes 10 minutes to whip up!”
😉

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The good news is, it fits.
The straps are a bit loose, but I’m not complaining.
And if all goes according to plan, she will be wearing this at her birthday party.
Provided she doesn’t decide to throw up on it or anything.
Which she would totally do.
I’m learning that’s how these things work.
😉

I’m just glad it doesn’t look like the 1st attempt.
God is very kind to me. 🙂

1st Birthday parties really are more for the parents than the kid…

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So even though she has no idea what pinwheels and garland are,
I still plan to thoroughly enjoy myself.
At her party.

So I bought this dress at Anthro last year that I absolutely love.
It is one of my favorites.
But it was strapless, and try as I might, it kept falling down.
It was pretty frustrating.
So I decided to add straps to make it more comfortable.
I used this tutorial, obviously only following the steps for the straps.
They looked pretty homemade, but I still liked them 🙂
I will just have to work on my stitching for next time.

Before:

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After:

 

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I was overall very pleased with how they turned out!
And now I will probably wear the dress more often since it is more comfortable.
Win.

Ok I really need to run.
Somebody is being a real Grumpess today.

Love her though 😉

For Mother’s Day, I found this tutorial and tried my hand at it.
They were so much easier than I thought
and so much fun to make 🙂
A special thank you to Margie (once again)
for taking my many panicked phone calls and texts. 🙂

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I think I’m going to make a few for myself now!
One for the beach.
One for the Grower’s Market.

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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