Friday, July 29, 2011

Couch Makeover {pillow #2}

Friday, July 29, 2011

This pillow was pretty simple.  It was made with a beautiful cut velvet fabric I purchased from Joann's Red Tag fabric when they were 50% off.  I love looking there for fabric I wouldn't normally buy.
I used my Side Tie Pillow Tutorial- but instead of making the ties with the fabric, I used a 1" wide satin ribbon.
I think this would make a gorgeous ring pillow for a wedding.  Only not so big. ;)
Slowly making my way through the pillows.  I'm pretty happy with them so far. :)  Since I know you are all so amazing and have terrific advice- I have need of opinions.  See that lovely Polka dot fabric?  The one from This pillow?  I am wondering if I need to embellish it for my couch?  Add piping?  trim?  fancy ruffles on the border?  Or just leave it simple and let the fabric do the talking?  All the other pillows have some texture and interest, so I'm wondering if leaving it simple would make it stand out- for good or bad?
Help.
XOXO,
Amy

Linked up to Tatertots and Jello Weekend End Wrap Up Party.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Couch Makeover {pillow #1}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
If you are curious what this post is all about, click here for the {before}

I knew I wanted to make each of the new pillows for the couch textural and different from each other.  When I saw this tutorial from Tonia at The Gunny Sack on Someday Crafts, I knew right away it would be one of them.  

Gorgeous, right?  Here's how mine turned out:
Mmmmm.  LOVE it!! :)  I pretty much followed Tonia's tutorial, but I made just a few changes:
I did not use her templates.  Instead I just cut the felt into rectangles that measured 1" by 1 1/2", then just rounded the corners.  I did this about 800 times.  Yes, you read that right, 800!
I did not lay out all the petals for each round.  I just started with one and when I was almost finished sewing that one down I added the next one.  I did stop sewing and lifted the presser foot (needle in the down position) each time I added a petal so I didn't get it folded over.
This is what the back looked like when I was done sewing the petals on.  I used two different size circles for the base- the 4" circles each had 50 petals on them and the 3" circles had 25 petals each.  I started out with 10 of each size flower and added 4 more smaller flowers at the very end.
To finish off the centers I took a 2-3" long 1" strip and folded it accordion style- stitching some gathers in the center.  Then, I hand stitched 1-2 of these in the center of each flower, and hand stitched the flowers to the pillow cover. (made with complimentary cotton fabric- envelope style closure)  I stitched them on AFTER I made the cover because I didn't want to have to deal with avoiding all those petals sewing the side seams. :)
It did take some time, but it was worth it!!
Thanks Tonia for the awesome tutorial and inspiration!  My couch and I are in your debt!!
And, we have some progress! Please forgive the funky lighting- some of these pictures had to be taken at night, and we've been having some pretty intense thunderstorms that mess up my afternoon lighting. ;)
Come back tomorrow for Pillow #2!
xoxo,
Amy
Linked up to Friday Flair at Whipperberry!  Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts, BFF party at the Answer is Chocolate and Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and jello

Point of View Features Summer!

Point of View is one of my favorite bloggy projects.  I love how so many ideas come together and showcase each person's personality and talents.  There were some GREAT projects linked up this month!

This month I am so excited to feature a gorgeous wreath from Laurie at Gallamore West.

Isn't this gorgeous?  She has changed the look of this wreath more than once.  I love how versatile the basic burlap wreath is, and how dramatically it changes the look with the different embellishments.

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  We are doing our best to live every day to the fullest!  
I'll be back tomorrow with an update on the couch makeover. :)

And, if you have a summer themed post, but didn't make it to the POV link party- feel free to leave a link in the comments and I'd love to check it out!

One last note: Next month's POV theme is Back to School.  We'd love to know what you do to get the kiddos (or yourself) ready to head back to the land of pencils and homework.  Do you celebrate or mourn?  Get your posts ready and we'll all share next month!
xoxo,
Amy

Monday, July 25, 2011

Couch Makeover {before}

Monday, July 25, 2011
So, last week I asked for your suggestions about what I should do for my couch in my living room.  This couch is a hand-me-down from my mom- three times removed.  (meaning I'm the third person to have this couch and chairs set since my mom decided she didn't need it any more)
You can see how the fabric is starting to just shred from so much use.

I am going to slipcover it....eventually...but in the mean time, I'm hoping to camouflage it. :)

So, I'm taking your advice and covering it with neutral pillows in hopes that the not so nice tapestry fabric will sort of disappear.

This is my before shot.  I really think it looks better already. :)  Each pillow will be different with different textures and looks.  Hopefully they will be beautiful together.  
xoxo,
Amy

Mangled {Mom-day}


This is how my weekend started off.  Baby hit her face against my nieces bed.  Bed pushed back.  Two teeth shoved up into the gums, one pushed down and forward.  Not the most fun ever.
Pretty much how I'm feeling today.  I'm pushing against the house, trying to tackle the mess left after a too busy weekend.  And it's pushing back, with mess after mess after...well, you get the idea.

So, I've got some work to do.  I'll be back when the damage is repaired. :)
xoxo,
Amy

Friday, July 22, 2011

Point of View- Summer!

Friday, July 22, 2011
When we started Point of View, I really had no idea that one of the side effects would be that time would speed up.  It seems like every time I turn around another month has flown by and it's time for Point of View again!  Not that it's a bad thing, but somehow it always seems to surprise me.
This month was really fun because we have a new participant- Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything has joined us as a replacement for Stacy who unfortunately had to drop out of the group.  And we got to welcome two guest posters to join us as well- Caroline and Michele are filling in for Michelle and Camilla who had so many fun summer activities planned for July they didn't have time for projects. ;) (lucky girls! )
Are you ready for the big reveal?  Ready to see how each of our participants interpreted the theme of Summer?
You are?  Okay- here it is:
Awesome, right?  I seriously get giddy every time a new collage is revealed.  It's so exciting!!  Are you dying to head out and see full details for each of the projects?  Here are all the links you'll need:

Gwen from Gwenny Penny
Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything (new member :)
Carolina from Always Expect Moore (guest)
Michele from Michele Made Me (guest)

  But before you head anywhere be sure to stop by the link party and show us your Point of View on Summer.  This month Leanne is hosting the link party and you can get there by clicking here.  Your project can be old or new, food, crafts, decor- anything you feel is related to the summer theme! 
And now, are you ready for all the details on my project?  
When I think about summer I think about being a child in my Grandmother's backyard.  She had a big apple tree with a swing made out of an old tire.  I would snuggle up in that swing with a pink and blue flannel blanket she had and I would just relax and enjoy the motion.  (unless my Dad pushed me too high, then I would stop breathing) :)
My Grandma had one other blanket that I loved.  It was a quilt that had been given to her as a gift years before.  We would spread it on the grass and look up at the clouds, or snuggle under it as we slept under the stars on her back patio.  As I thought about how many memories of mine were associated with these two simple blankets I decided that I wanted to make a blanket that we would use the same way.  Then, when my kids are older and they see the blanket, they will associate many happy memories with that tangible piece of cloth and batting.
I started with this backing fabric. 
It was a vintage pre-quilted piece that I scored from my Mother-in-Law's stash.  I loved the colors in the fabric.  Next, I found fabrics that coordinated with the back to piece together for the front.  The hardest part was arranging the 9" blocks for the front. 
I wanted it to be random, but it was difficult trying to make sure there weren't too many blues in one area, or that two of the same fabric weren't too close to each other.  I finally decided that no one was going to be looking as closely at it as I was so I needed to just let it be fine.  I decided to do a pillowcase binding (I think that's what it's called?) where you sew the front to the back with right sides together leaving an opening for turning.  This way I didn't have to bind it. :)  It really worked well for this blanket because the backing fabric was already pre-quilted.  I was originally going to quilt it with a machine, but that was more complicated than I wanted to deal with- so I decided to just tie the quilt. 
However, I hate tied quilts.  I really don't like the nubbies created by the yarn tied in a knot all over the blanket.  It really bugs me. (can you tell?)  Then, I had a flash of brilliance.  Why does the tie have to be on the top?  It they're on the bottom, I won't feel them all the time and they won't bug me!  (insert choir of angels singing)  So, I used embroidery floss (all 6 strands) and stitched an X on the front side, then tied the free ends on the bottom of the quilt.  I used all different colors of embroidery floss through the quilt.

I adore this quilt.  I mostly used clearance fabrics and fabrics from my stash because I didn't want it to be so expensive that I would worry about my kids using it.  It has already been to a baseball game, family picnic and it was home base for a rowdy game of "No Bears are Out Tonight!"  I'm happy to say that so far it is holding up to a lot of love and use- and I hope it will for many years to come!
Please head over to Leanne's place and link up your summer posts- I would love to read them.  (If you want, leave a comment letting me know which links are yours so I can make sure not to miss them!)  And just a heads up- next months theme is going to be Back To School- AAcck!  I told you Point of View made time go faster!
Head out and make some great memories for summer and I'll see you soon!
xoxo,
Amy
Linking up to Craft Goodies Friday link party, Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up party,Get you Craft on at Today's creative blog and Topsy Turvy Tuesdays at I'm Topsy Turvy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Marshmallow Day- Summer Camp Guest Post

Thursday, July 21, 2011

 Today I am guest posting over at The Gunny Sack.  You can see what we did with all of these ingredients,





and, how our marshmallow shooters were used "in action",  (including the action of eating the ammunition)

I hope you'll stop by!
XOXO,
Amy

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marshmallow Shooters

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I have been wanting to make these marshmallow shooters forever!  I would often see them at carnivals or boutiques and could never bring myself to purchase them because I knew I could make one myself for so much cheaper!
This summer I finally did it!  I broke down and made them.
It was kind of one of those slap your forehead kind of moments, when I realized exactly how easy these were to make.  You can google Marshmallow shooters and find all sorts of complicated ways to make these, but I decided to stick with simple.  All you need is 1/2" PVC pipe and your fittings: 2 elbows, 1 "T" and 1 end cap.  I spent just over $6 and made 4 shooters with a little pipe to spare.  Not too shabby for less than $2 per gun!
And, my Father in law has this magical pipe cutter that ratchets up and cuts the pipe in a jiffy!  It only took me about 15 minutes to cut the pipe and assemble all the guns.
The kids are loving them, and we even discovered that they will shoot the mini pom poms you can find at craft stores, so I don't have to worry about stale marshmallows hiding all over my house. (although I'm sure I will be finding mini pom poms everywhere. ;) )
My 2 year old can even work her very own shooter- so she gets included in the fun!  They had a great time using Grandpa as target practice!
So what have you done lately that you're kicking yourself for putting off?  I have so many things on my list- I should just get busy doing stuff already. ;)
XOXO,
Amy

DIY under $5

Monday, July 18, 2011

Polka Dot Pillow

Monday, July 18, 2011
Sometimes a pillow needs embellishments.  A bow, a flower, a pin tuck- Something.
And sometimes a pillow just needs some really pretty fabric and to be left alone.
My sister found this great polka dot fabric and asked me to recover this pillow for her.  It was from my grandpa and it had this really out of date tapestry fabric on it, but it was an awesome shape.  I was happy to sew it up for her, especially since the fabric was so pretty, I wouldn't have to sew anything but straight lines.  And, since this fabric has a satin sheen to it, it wouldn't launder well anyway, so we skipped the envelope closure and just did a blind stitch to sew up the opening I left for turning.
I'm loving the look of shades of white and cream on this bed.  I'm tempted to try this look on my couch in the living room, which has a tapestry fabric as well (one I'm really trying to hide).
But, I'm also hoping to make a slipcover for the couch, so I'm not sure if I should just wait for the slipcover and then make bright happy pillows (with a neutral slipcover of course). Or, just make up the neutral pillows for now until I can get the time/money to make the slipcover.
Oh the thoughts that spin round and round in my head.  I'd love your opinions/ ideas.  Any suggestions for fixing furniture you inherited on a VERY tight budget?
XOXO,
Amy

Train Ride {Mom-day}

 I don't normally like to post about Blogging events I attend here in Utah.  I don't want to make anyone feel bad- especially since it's mostly just luck that I find out about them anyway. ;)  But, sometimes I am so impressed with an event, and with the entity sponsoring it, that I feel like I need to share it.  Last Friday our local transit authority hosted a Mom Aboard event allowing blogging moms and their children to be on the first public ride of their new line.

There were goodie bags for the kids which included these darling engineer hats (love) and train whistles (maybe not so much love. ;) )
My kids had never had the opportunity to ride on our Traxx Trains so they were thrilled to have this chance.  They loved how fast it went and they loved that they could ride standing up- so that's what they all did on the way home.
I really want to thank UTA and Tauni for the super fun event.  It made my kids' week for sure.  Sometimes the benefits of blogging can't really be measured by numbers- but by fun- and in this case- it was a winner for sure.
And, I have one more little bonus from the event- UTA provided me with a pass good for 4 round trip tickets on any of their mass transit lines- from Trax to Frontrunner.  I am going to do a speedy giveaway for it- the first person to comment that they want it, will get it.  :)  The pass is good for the month of August.  Please make sure your e-mail is attached to your profile, or leave it in the comment so I can get in touch with you and get it in the  mail.
Thanks for letting me indulge in this little moment of "Man, I actually took my kids somewhere fun and it didn't cost me anything except for many hours blogging and lurking on twitter so I would find out about it and actually sign up and do it!"  :)  I guess nothing really does come free. ;)
Have a great Monday!
xoxo,
Amy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Point of View reminder and Summer inspiration

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Hello all of my friends!  I sure hope you are having a wonderful summer.  I am trying my best to cross off every item on our list, and we're making some pretty good headway. 
I just wanted to remind you all that next week will be our Point of View reveal- Summer Edition.  I really want this to be an inclusive opportunity for all of us.  Any idea that you feel relates to the theme is welcome at the link party- that's really the only "rule".  So, to help spark your creative juices, or maybe jog your memory about something hiding in your archives- here is some summer inspiration:


 Summer Fun list from Jane of All Crafts
 Clockwise from top left corner
Amazing Paper Wreath from Corner House
Orange Sorbet Recipe from the Idea Room

So, anything's game.  I'd love to see what you're up to this summer!  Feel free to add a link to the comments, or wait until next week and link up to our party- let me know which project is yours and I'd love to check it out!

XOXO,
Amy

Sunglasses Case

I needed to make something, anything to jump start myself out of my creative posting rut.  When my sister came over she said she had just the thing- she bought new sunglasses and wanted a case to keep them safe and sound in her purse.
I have not made a glasses case since home ec in 7th grade, so I sort of just made it up as I went along.  There are things I'd do differently next time, but for a quick, last minute project I think it turned out pretty cute.
And aren't those sunglasses to die for?  Yeah, I'd want to keep them safe too. :)

xoxo,
Amy
Linking up to Weekend Wrap up Party at Tatertots and Jello

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday is "Mom"-day {simple thoughts}

Monday, July 11, 2011
Motherhood is HARD!

Anyone who says otherwise is LYING!
(or trying to sell you something)

xoxo,
Amy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Focus {Monday is "Mom"-day, on Tuesday}

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
We didn't have time to get the ice cream home before it melted, so we're eating it in the back of the car in the parking lot of the grocery store. :)
There have been quite a few bloggers who have posted recently about "taking the summer off" so they could spend time with their children.  Some are moving to new states, others are pregnant, some are just burned out.

I have been thinking about my own blog and the lack of attention it has received lately.  How is this going to affect my numbers?  Am I going to lose followers?  What opportunities am I going to miss because I'm not giving it 110%?

It is during this downward spiral of panic that I begin to reflect on why I started my blog in the first place.  It wasn't to gain popularity, or big numbers or make oodles of money. (although I do confess that I have always hoped to earn just a bit of income from my blog- to help support my craft habit ;) )  I started this blog to share ideas, to put my spin on things, to make new friends and participate in a community I really enjoy.  It is a place to share this part of me that yearns to shine and grow and often gets overlooked in the busyness that is motherhood. 

But while I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience thus far, it is not without sacrifice that you get a blog to grow.  It takes time to develop projects that are new and different, time to create the project and then more time writing and photographing a tutorial.  It takes money for supplies and effort in taking "just right" photographs of everything.  Then there's linking, networking, tweetchats, blog conferences, learning analytics and html...and of course the list goes on and on.

If you are also a blogger, you know all about the demands of a craft blog, if you are a reader, you might not think about all that it involves.  Either way, I hope you take just a moment to tell those who create things you love to see/do/make that you appreciate their effort...But I digress.

The main purpose of this post is completely selfish and self-centered.  It is a reassessment on my own behalf to remind myself that while craft blogging is fun, a dream job really, my "real" job is what requires my best efforts.  Raising children is not entirely a super fun job.  It is a whole lot of thankless work, lots of re-doing what's just been done, repetitive and dirty and downright gross at times. 

But, it is priceless in it's rewards.  To see a child learn something new, accomplish their goal, enjoy their life, overcome a challenge, become something they weren't before.  To know that your efforts contributed in some way to that triumph is one of the most wonderful things in the world.

So, while craft blogging is in essence what keeps me sane and helps me be a better mother, when it gets in the way of my actual mothering it is time to modify and renew and ...Focus.

Hopefully you won't see a huge change on the blog.  I have just recently re- discovered my crafting mojo and and am itching to get going on some great new projects.  I have a quilt almost finished I can't wait to show you and a guest post I'm really excited to share.  Plus there are still quite a few projects I am working on for the finishing touches on the kitchen makeover and other great stuff lined up including the Point of View group that I love.  (summer projects for this month- hint, hint)  But behind the scenes, I am  hoping there will be a lot more purposeful teaching, training and over-all better mothering going on.

It's going to take a lot of work, and if things are slow here at times, I hope you'll be patient with me.  Know that I'm working on my "masterpiece" and it might take a few years before I know if it's a success. :)
 XOXO,
Amy

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Friday, July 1, 2011
I have been gathering ingredients for this recipe for a while.  My daughter checked out a book from her school library about fun cupcakes and we pored over it together trying to decide which one we would try.  We finally settled on some cute Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.  I even happened to find some citrus candy in a totally random store one day.
Then, I saw that Lorie on Be Different...Act Normal had a whole post rounding up great ideas for a Pink Lemonade Party, including this recipe for Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.  I decided to go with this recipe since it used more of the lemonade concentrate and I wanted some really flavorful cupcakes.

Even the frosting uses lemonade concentrate.  Yum!  I don't know about anyone else, but I find that homemade buttercream frosting usually just tastes like powdered sugar and butter.  And, I have to admit, this one did too- at first.  But after they sat for a while, the lemonade in the frosting infused more into the buttercream and they tasted yummy!  I took them to the Epic Room Makeover Girls' night Out hosted by Mandi from Vintage Revivals and I only brought home 3, so I guess they were a hit. :)
This is something we will be making again for sure.
Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend!
xoxo,
Amy
Linked up to BFF Link party at the Answer is Chocolate and Whipperberry's Friday flair link Party.  Also linked up to 504 Main's Tickled Pink Party.
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