Monday, October 29, 2012

I heart Felt!!!

Many months ago I found this adorable cork board for less than $10 in Home Goods. I also found out that week that we were moving so I refrained from hanging it up! I guess that everything happens for a reason, since I was inspired to enhance the cork board and I think it works even better now!

My sister had plans to make a felt board for her daughter so we made a trip to Joann's and she got lots of cool colors to use. I was still focused on Halloween costumes and bought boring primary colors (and lots of it!) The next day, the costumes had been completed and Little Man was dying for something new to play with and I knew just what to do! He helped me make his new toy.

Lots of Felt
Hot Glue Gun, Scissors, Cutting Tool
Corkboard or Picture Frame
Print outs to create felt pieces
Accessories for felt pieces (pom-poms, eyes, etc)

 What a great assistant!

1. I opted to make a day and night felt board so we used blue and yellow as our background. Your choice on colors. I also think that doing a 4 seasons one would be super cute! Glue the felt to the board. I opted to cut it down to size after gluing using a craft blade.

2. Take a sheet of green felt. Cut it in half lengthwise. Then fold that piece in half. Now in the middle cut jagged edges to make grass. You are basically cutting zig zags in the middle.

3. Use your craft blade (or razor blade) to trim off the excess felt from the background.

4. Hot glue the green grass over the background.

5. The base of your board is now done! It's time to make some felt pieces! I used a clip art program to print out some basic shapes, letters, and animals. I then traced them onto the felt and cut them out. I added eyes, pom poms, layers, etc!

Here is what it looks like when finished. I have added some more felt pieces almost daily as we think of new objects.... a whale, a dinosaur, and a bat! Little Man loves his felt board and I love that it he was able to help create it!

Linking up at Serenity Now

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roping up a Quick Drapery DIY

One thing I have learned thru the process of selling our home is that things move fast. You get an hour of notice for a showing, you can get an offer in less than 3 days of being listed, and you can be back to square one, just as fast! So when my phone rang last night at 6pm (after a full day of no showings and letting the kids tear up our neat house) I fully expected a showing request for 7pm.... Thankfully, the call was for a showing in the am and I would be able to spend a little more than an hour getting the house cleaned. Aaaahhhhh! The small blessings in life!

I adore Little Mans room... But I have been aware that some parts of the room were making the room feel smaller. I had 3 tasks on my list to help the room look larger in the hour we had before bed time.

1. Down with roman shade. It was making the room look way too dark.
2. Out with the rocking chair and table. With 2 twin beds, the room was looking over crowded.
3. Take down the drapes over the closet. The dark navy was also making the room appear small.

The hubby made quick work of moving the chair out and I got started on removing the roman shade and drapery hardware from the closet. then, I popped the folding doors back on the closet. Things were starting to come together but the window really needed some help. I had planned on putting the drapery hardware from the closet back over the window (where I had removed it from just a few short months ago!) but with the window until bedtime quickly closing, I decided to improvise!

Here are some quick before shots:

View into the room with the roman shade

View towards the closet

Above the window after we got a little crazy with the Spackling! The big spots are from 
patching up the hardware (and now I need hardware up again!)

Screw in Hooks
Tape Measure

1. Measure out the space that you need covered. For us, it was 2.5 inches down from the ceiling and 2.5 inches past the window. Mark your spots.

2. Screw the hooks into the wall. I chose to do 3 screws to ensure that it could hold up the fully lined black out drapes (they are really heavy!)

3. Stretch your rope out and knot it about an inch wider than the space you are looking to cover. This allows for the rope to slightly hang from the hooks. If you want more of a hang tie it wider, less of a hang tie it the exact length of the hooks.

4. Feed your drapes thru the rope and then wind the knots around the end hooks and thru the center hook.

And now for the after shots....
The room feeling bigger and brighter without the shade.

What a huge difference it made getting rid of the chair and bringing back the closet doors!

Linking up at Serenity Now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

MIA....House on the Market & Sleep Regression

If you had asked me awhile ago how I thought things were going, you would get a very different answer than today! The house has been shown like crazy (we are talking almost daily), 2 offers (that both had finance issues), and my wonderful little sleepers are not so wonderful at sleeping right now! I fear the the sleep issues are a result of the schedule changes from showings. Naps have been skipped and bedtimes pushed back to allow the house to be shown at 1pm or at 7:30pm at night. It's been brutal all around and I am ready for it to be over! Did I mention that I am back to falling asleep within 2 minutes of sitting down? So I find myself waking up at about 4am after several hours of sleeping while sitting up in the rocker in Fia's room after her night time feed. Yeah - It's been great on the neck and back too!

No naps and late bedtimes also mean that get zero time to do any DIYs! Not that there is much I want to do in the way of Home DIYs. I have closed the book for this house and there will be no more money or time dropped here! Thankfully there are plenty of kids crafts and seasonal decorations that I can work on!

Tomorrow, I will debut a super cute and easy one kiddo kraft that can easily be switched up year round!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Polly wants a Tutu... Part Tu

Yesterday I completed the main part of Fi's Halloween costume, the tutu. It is adorable and I cannot wait for her to wear it! But I wanted to add something more to make it more of a costume than just a tutu and also to make it more obvious that she is a parrot!

I started on the parrot part. I thought that adding a parrot applique would help to solidify what she is! Do you know how hard it is to find a parrot applique? Thanks to a sale on felt at both Michael's and Joann's, I decided to make one! Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow felt and I was ready to try it out.

I googled parrot applique and found a cute one I liked to use as an example.

Then I cut out the body and traced it backwards onto the red felt. I did the same for the beak on the yellow felt. I free handed the wing feathers and cut those out too.

Here it is all hot glued together (minus the blue jewel for the eye)!

This left me wondering where I should put this adorable little parrot? I was planning to have Fi wear a headband so that was a definite option but I also liked the idea of putting on the body of the costume. What to do???? Before I get ahead of myself I need to get that costume body finished!

I had three options: the crocheted top, a long sleeve onesie, or a DIY red knit top. I had issues with each of them! The crocheted top was impossible to find in red. The only red onesie I could find was screen printed. And well - the DIY I would have to make! Here is what it is all looking like....

The crocheted top... Made using 2 crocheted red headbands with the satin ribbon and parrot as accent.

The DIY Top... Using a stretchy red, knit. I simply hand stitched a band of fabric so it was gathered. Then I added the satin ribbon near the tutu.

Again the DIY Top... with the satin ribbon and the parrot applique. 

I have pretty much decided against the onesie, unless we randomly get a cold evening on Halloween. I am loving both of these options. But am still stuck on which one! And then should the parrot go on the costume or on the headband... or both??? I could easily make another one.

Headband with just feathers. 

Headband with feathers and parrot applique.

What do you think??? Crochet or Band top? Parrot on costume or headband or both? Can you tell that she is supposed to be a parrot?

I am linking up today at Serenity Now!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Polly want a.... Tutu!!!

So you might have guessed that my little lady is going to be a parrot for Halloween! It wasn't really my choice.... Little Man is dead set on being a pirate and initially Fi was going to be a pirate too. Then we started on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates kick. And a Parrot it was!

Thankfully for me, I found tons of adorable and girly Parrot inspiration pictures (mostly involving tutus! YAY!) So I set off on making a frilly parrot tutu costume for my little girl.

First off, there are a ton of no sew tutu tutorials out there and they all seem pretty similar! I did pick up a couple of helpful hints that I want to pass along though.

1. Make sure to measure the waist of the tutu wearing little lady. If creating a ribbon based tutu (like mine) then add about 6-7 inches in ribbon length per side to tie it together. If the waist is 20 inches you would need a piece of ~34 inch ribbon. It also helps to tie a knot in the ribbon where you want the ties to start. In the above measurement example you would tie a knot at 7 inches and 27 inches. This will keep your tulle in place.

2. An unused paper towel roll is a great manequin when creating your tutu. It also happened to be the perfect size for me!

3. Make sure to measure the length you want your tut to be. I skipped this step the first go around. I went with the standard 24 inch tulle length per most of the tutorials. But I wasn't thrilled with the way it looked. Luckily I just untied the tulle, cut the 24 inch pieces down to 12 inch and I was much happier!

4. It is much cheaper to buy the tulle from the bolt. This means that you need to cut it down to size. But I saw this very helpful tip that helped me cut all of my tulle in less than 5 minutes! Huge win! Take your piece of tulle, cut it to the length you need (12 in my case) and roll it up like you would a roll of wrapping paper. Then simply make cuts along the roll at 6 inch intervals.

Let's get started... here's what you need:
Tulle - using 6x12inch pieces (3 yards for the actual tutu)
Accent Bustle Tulle - 6x24 inch pieces (I chose 2 colors, 1 yard each)
Ribbon - your length will vary (I chose 3 colors of ribbon to accent the bustle too!)
Feather Trim (to make your tutu more parrot like!)

1. Tie your ribbon around the paper towel roll

2. Take a piece of your tulle for the main part of the skirt (red). Fold it over lengthwise, and knot it around the ribbon on the paper towel roll. You are threading the length of the tulle thru the loop you created when folded in half.

3. Repeat about 50 times until you have a tutu that is the desired size.

4. I veered more for an advanced tutu with a rear tutu section. I found no help online on how to make this happen. But I found that it's pretty easy. Using your longer strips of accent colored tulle, you again fold the strip in half lengthwise but you knot the tulle around the ribbon this time so you have a loop on the top of the ribbon and the length sticking out below. (demonstrated below on a sample ribbon... would be done at the back of the tutu)

5. Add about 10 bustle pieces to the back of your tutu. You can also use ribbon and other embellishments to make it look even prettier. I did some blue and green satin ribbon and red feathers.

Now stand back and admire your work! I don't want to totally spoil the surprise so I am saving the actual photo of Fi wearing it until I have finished a few more enhancements! So here is my lovely paper towel model wearing the parrot tutu with bustle!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Countdown is on!

We are counting down the days till Halloween at our house! Today we visited an awesome pumpkin patch that had a petting zoo, bounce house, pumpkin cannon, train ride, hay ride, and more!!! Granted it was 90 degrees out but it got us in the mood for fall!

On the 21st we are going to a Halloween event at the local zoo so it's crunch time for the kids costumes this week. And what are they dressing up as? Here is a clue....

Source: Birthday Direct

So tune in this week for all of the DIYs to make our Halloween costumes! And please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spook-tacular Pumpkin Bars

No this is not turning into a food blog... but it seems the only bit of DIYing I have done lately has been in the kitchen! Man, its rough keeping the house clean and ready for showings with 2 kids and a dog (and thankfully we have had lots of activity!) I do have about 5 projects in the works but at the end of the day all its all I can do to drag myself to bed!

I have been itching to bake something pumpkiny but also wanted something dairy free so that I could enjoy it too! I came across this yummy recipe and without the icing it is totally dairy free! I have a go to dairy free icing that I was going to make but these bars were perfect without any icing for my taste.

4 eggs 
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar 
1 cup vegetable oil 
15-ounce can pumpkin 
2 cups sifted all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. 
Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. 
Spread the batter into a greased 13x10 inch baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes. 
Cut into bars.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chicken + Bacon Mini Meatloaves

It's been a bit since I have gotten into the kitchen and really cooked a meal! In an effort to try and keep the kitchen clean, we have been eating grilled chicken or super easy to prepare meals lately. We had our 6pm showing move up to 4:30 so I was excited to get my hands (and kitchen) dirty!

We had been at the grocery store and I grabbed the key ingredients for this yummy meal, ground chicken breast and bacon! Now how can you go wrong with a recipe that includes bacon? 

I used this Unbelieveable Chicken Meatloaf as a base and switched things up a bit!

1 LB Ground Chicken Breast
1/2 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1 Egg White
1 large Carrot (lightly steamed)
1/2 Red Onion
1/4 cup ketchup
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Worchestire  Sauce
1 TSP Steak Spices
1 splash hot sauce
6 slices bacon

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Dice the onion and the carrot.
Mix all ingredients (except bacon) in a large bowl.
Form the meat mixture into 6 football shaped balls.
Wrap each ball with a slice of bacon.
Place bacon wrapped balls onto a foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.

This was a huge hit at our house and I was shocked that Little Man even tried his little mini meatloaf and liked the first bite until it got too "spicy"!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A super cute DIY... that I can't hang!

I am linking this DIY up at Serenity Now!

I found this adorable paddle years ago at Home Goods on clearance.... at one point it hung in Little Mans room (with the plain non-worded side showing) and I have had big plans for it ever since. But like everything else, it seemed to keep falling lower and lower in the DIY list. Of course, I would FINALLY complete this project just in time for the relo news and the house to go on the market! So now I have this adorable coat/towel rack that I can't hang! No sense in making more holes in the wall that we have to patch up!

In all his 'surfer' glory! 

The needed supplies: Just a paddle, hooks from Target, and a screwdriver!

I decided that I wanted to five hooks and measured out accordingly to space them evenly (okay - truth be told I really wanted 4 but in the course of my measuring, I somehow messed up and needed to add the 5th to make it all even!)

I put a piece of painters tape across the length of the paddle at the exact height I wanted the top of the hooks to be placed at. Then I set the hooks on the paddle at the designated distances (I did 5 inches apart) and got to screwing them in.

And that's about it! Here is my finished product just leaning!

I have been dying to have a drop spot since we are constantly in a rush out the door for showings and this would be perfect to catch our diaper bags, purses, jackets, etc! So I hung it with Command Strips!

And after 1 light rain jacket and about 5 minutes... I heard a huge bang! Lesson learned! This will be really hung in our new house and it's heading into storage in the meantime so I'm not tempted to try and hang it again!