Monday, December 1, 2014

Two Tone Entry Bench Contact Paper Redo

 Our new house has an enormous living room. The room is very long and has some odd wall features like light switches in the center of the wall and a build out for one of those old projection TV's. Once we set up a cozy seating area there was quite a bit of space left over. We needed a place to store shoes near our front door so I went in search of a long chest of drawers to place in front of our large front window.
RC Wiley's clearance center delivered again with half of a captain's bed. It had large drawers, was low enough to make a bench and was solid wood. It was a perfect blank slate. I have really liked the look of two tone furniture, where the wood grain is exposed either on the drawers or the outside and the other part is painted. This piece was already painted and I didn't want to strip the paint so I decided to use contact paper instead.
That's right, this those drawers are not stained wood! Looks amaze-balls, right?! I bought some wood grain contact paper and covered the drawers using a shower squeegee to prevent bubbles from forming as I pressed it down. I also switched out the knobs with some brass mid-century modern style knobs.
I was inspired by several contact paper posts I found online. Who knew that faux wood could look so good with so little effort?!
I finished the bench off by investing in an electric knife to cut an old foam mattress topper in half to make a cushion for the bench. Oh man, if you work with foam or want to work with it in the future, a $10 electric knife makes the job SO much easier! I sewed a zippered cover for the bench cushion so it can be washed easily.
 
The drawers are perfect for hiding what feel like a billion pairs of little shoes, right by the front door where we can find them easily. I've also just started putting the boys' socks in there too since it makes sense to have all the footwear in one place.
This thing has been awesome! We've used it for a few months now and the contact paper is holding up extremely well. Using faux wood contact paper is definitely something I'd do again, ideal if you want to change something without a permanent commitment!

Friday, October 31, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

. . . . . . .
Be blessed.

Monday, October 27, 2014

DIY Orla Kiley Stem Pillows

We bought a new couch after the move. Our family is growing and we wanted a couch we could all fit on, something that was comfy, stylish and washable. I have been wanting a sectional for a long time and we picked up the adorable Karlstad from Ikea in gray. We bought tapered legs from Bob's Workshop to give it a more mid century modern look. All it needed was pillows!
I love Orla Kiely stuff. Her mod prints are a throwback to 60's designs without being garish or kitschy. (Although I do love myself some kitsch!) However I missed her collection for Target a few years ago and have not the budget to afford $25 tea towels and $200 duvets. I really wanted this multi-color "Stem" pillow, four of them actually, but at $70 a piece they were too rich for my blood.
Instead I bought a a few half yards of Hawthorne Threads Hues solids in a similar color palate and appliqued my own! I used a black grosgrain ribbon for the stem and satin stitched the edge of the leaves.
I backed them in Michael Miller's "Flight" in Navy and added an invisible zipper to the bottom for easy cleaning.
Now we have four bright comfy pillows for our couch for about the same cost as two of the designer originals, and instead of screen printed, they're appliqued for an even more polished look! I've already washed these once or twice in the few months we've had them and they've held up well!
We also painted that accent wall navy, it was brown when we moved in and we got special permission from the landlord to paint it a cooler color. Most of the house is beige so it needed a little shaking up. I finally got pictures up on that wall a few weeks ago so I'll have to show you guys how it looks decked out.
Now I just have to keep my boys from kidnapping these pretties for their pillow forts.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life Keeps On Rolling

This "Work in Progress Wednesday" brought to you by life!
 It has been a really interesting year so far. There have been lots of transitions for our family. We sold our mountain lake house that we'd lived in for over 4 years, moved from our foothills community to a suburb of our state capital, went from owning a house in the woods to renting a house in a neighborhood with sidewalks and street lamps and a grocery store within walking distance of our house.
After attending three different schools in 2014 alone we've finally found a school that we're all happy with. Gabe has waffled between loving living down the street from our friends and missing all of his old friends up the hill.

We have been trying but failing at potty training a very strong willed little three year old and I have been waffling back and forth between feeling really laid back about it and letting him lead the way and feeling panicked and guilty that I haven't been doing "enough" to have him potty trained sooner. Some days it really does feel like I'll still be changing his diapers when he's five.
Brad and I have been throwing ourselves out into the community in an attempt to make some new friends and create a community for ourselves in our new town. It has been really interesting attempting to do so without falling back on just shopping around for a church. We made some nice family friends in the skeptic families meetups but have also been to some really bizarre meetups. We also started attending a monthly event where we get together at a brew house and argue about faith topics, which has been one of our favorite things since moving here.
After 6 months of trying we got pregnant with our third boy, who is expected around the end of February/beginning of March next year. I looked pregnant at week 7, and now at 21 weeks I already look like I'm due just about any time. It's been another challenge navigating a hospital system and insurance that I'm unfamiliar with while finding a midwife and dealing with my most exhausting pregnancy to date.
Through it all I keep thinking about this dusty old blog. I miss writing almost every day. I miss being able to come here and share pieces of my life along with pieces I've been working on. When looking through old weekending posts I regret having not documented more of our weekends here. Since having my second child, it has been really hard for me to find the motivation to craft and when I do sometimes I wonder if it's even worth it to blog it. The blogging world has changed a lot in the 6 short years since I started this blog. It's gotten so polished and professional, it seems like most craft bloggers have personal assistants, endless budgets and babysitters. I've also acquired an iPad and an iPhone in the past couple years and I think the time suck of those devices keeps me on the couch reading the endless Facebook and Pinterest feeds rather than in my studio sewing. I got frustrated trying to find my "brand" and as a result I stopped participating in craft shows.

My theology has changed a lot in the past 6 years, too. I started blogging over at Mama Compton so that my faith struggle would not distract from my art. I also did not want my "craft blog" to somehow discredit something I felt was really important to say about faith. However, by separating the two, I think I made this blog feel more frivolous to me, and by proxy, my craft seemed frivolous. I wanted to make sure that each had a focus, one more professional, one more personal, but I realize that it's all interlocked and related. The blogs I personally find most interesting include it all, the faith struggles, the family life and the home projects and sewing endeavors the writer is working on. I craft, but I am also a feminist, think deeply about the big questions in life, struggle with mental illness, feel strongly about the merits of critical thinking in the age of information, wonder if I'm doing this parenting thing okay while fiercely loving my family, etc. etc. etc.

So inspired by my friend, Connie of Refabulous, I am going to be more "real" here. Hopefully by breaking some of the "rules" I had given myself for this blog I will have more to say here, and I would love it if you joined me. (And I promise, some baby crafting will be on the way soon!)

Be blessed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Earrings Organizer Tutorial

After the move my jewelry "organization" has consisted of this:
Which left me having to untangle earrings and necklaces in the last moments of trying to get ready to go somewhere.
So I gathered some frames I pick up thrifting over the years, window screen, gold spray paint and my trusty staple gun.
Unroll the screen and cut it about the size of the frame.
Fold the edges of the screen over once or twice. This gives a bit more of a stable material to staple through and keeps the raw edges enclosed.
Lay the screen on the back of the frame. Make sure that the edges fall in a part of the frame that will take staples well, in my case it was the widest part of the wooden frame.
The next few steps are totally optional. I really wanted the screen to be gold to match my frames so I put on the proper safety gear and gathered my screen.
I put the screen inside a box. We have a million right now because we just moved. I've been trying to paint other things in this box too.
Spray the entire screen, careful, it's super easy to miss spots.

After your screen is dried, put it painted side down on the back of the frame and staple that sucker down. I found stapling opposite sides of the frame helped keep it tight and kept the screen from shifting or warping. If you don't have a staple gun, buy one. They're cheap and you can use them for a ton of projects, they're just good to have around.
Put your earrings on the screen and voila! You have a place to hang your earrings. No more tangled mess! These would also work well for craft shows to display your handmade earrings. I'm just stoked I can find them when I need to!

Be blessed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Massive Update

Hello to those that read this blog a full 6 months after I've stopped posting. You guys are the best, really, thank you thank you thank you.
Bye, thanks for the memories, house.
WE FINALLY SOLD OUR HOUSE! After almost a year on the market our first home sold, prompting a whirlwind move with lots of drama in the middle.
Terrible photo of Brad and I outside of the title office the day we signed papers to officially sell our house
Long story short, we decided to rent in Sacramento and found a house down the street from a family we've known forever.
The truck was so huge it literally hides the house.
Right about the time I was losing my damn mind.
It took three guys to get our fridge into the truck: my dad, Brad and a random neighbor.
My empty studio. Sad face.
We packed up our old house, which we've lived in for over 4 years, put it all in a huge moving truck and moved to the city.
Gabe turned 6. (!!!)
Forrest turned 3. (!!!)
And I got a haircut.

We're figuring out how to make this house home as renters while navigating the "adventure" that is living someplace new. Now that I am not in house selling mode I hope I'll have more time to sew, and blog what I sew. And of course I live entirely too close to IKEA now.

Be blessed.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekend Hiking at the Dam

 Happy 2nd of December! I am so excited to welcome the Christmas season!
This weekend we lived it up in our typical foothill town life way. We started the weekend with a hike along the lake near our house.
Our house is still on the market so as we are in this limbo of waiting for the house to sell before moving to the big city we are savoring what time we have left living walking distance from this:
We cut our tree from our yard and walked around downtown Nevada City and Grass Valley this weekend. We also got a special visitor, which I'll tell you a little more about tomorrow.

Be blessed.