October Retrospective

October has been full of family visiting and going to visit family and on top of that the boy has been sick this past week, so I haven’t had much opportunity to work on many projects. In lieu of a DIY project, I have some fun pictures from this month.

We started out the month by traveling to Florida for a wedding. (Notice the well coordinated shirts and bowties)

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Then, we spent some time with papa in the lab cleaning up and doing fun experiments! Safety first!

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We went to one of the many fall festivals here in Louisville and these two met R2D2!

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Caed had to go to the doctor for his six month check up and had LOTS of fun playing with the paper on the exam table.

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Finally, we went apple picking and to the pumpkin patch. Caedmon was not too pleased to have to take a picture in the cold, but tasting apples made up for it.

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Still ahead, pumpkin carving, apple cider and donuts and adorable Halloween costumes.

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

Sharpie Mug DIY

This past weekend my cousin got married in Florida. Though we were happy to share in their special day, the trip itself- air fare, hotel, and food cost a pretty penny. That being said we didn’t really have extra funds to buy an expensive gift.

After a quick Pintrest search for inexpensive wedding gifts, I found these mugs that are sold on Etsy that served as my inspiration.

The hubs picked up these two coffee mugs from the dollar store and I grabbed a Sharpie and got to work.

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Writing with a Sharpie can be a somewhat daunting task, what with it being a permanent marker and all. But, don’t let that stop you! Here is a trick, if the design has dried but you don’t like the result, go back over it and while it is still wet, wipe it off. Since a permanent marker is just a dye mixed with a solvent, when you go back over it the solvent dissolves the dye again, allowing it to be wiped off! You could also try nailpolish remover. *note – this method isn’t fool proof, so still be careful, test on an inconspicuous spot first.

If they are hard to read, one says “hubby” and the other “wifey”.
I loved the hubby mug because that is what our grandma called our grandpa.

After you have your design finalized put the mugs in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. This is a critical step, it sets the ink so when you wash the mugs your design doesn’t rub off. At this point they should be done but, if you want you can go back and darken in any spots you may have missed before and bake again.

That’s it, super simple, super cheap and super cute.

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Congrats again Christina and Pat!

Tree silhouette DIY

So, I will start out by saying I am a sucker for a good tree silhouette. Our wedding invitations had a tree silhouette and our “guest book” was a tree silhouette that everyone signed by putting their thumbprint on it. Maybe it stems from my love for fall, I don’t know.

But this is the story of a very particular tree silhouette. Our hundred year old house needed A LOT of renovations when we bought it two years ago. At some point we decided that we wanted to paint a tree silhouette in our living room that we will put pictures of our family on… A “family tree”… Get it? Ha. ha. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I finally got to start that project. Below is a serious of pictures of the tree and a description of how I did it.

What you need:
Projector
Picture of a tree
Pencil
Paint
Paint brush

I know not a lot of people own a projector, but I found this if you own an iPhone and really want to do this project. I suppose you could also do it freehand if you are awesome at drawing negative space.

Step 1: Find a tree you want to trace.
Step 2: Set up your projector so that it places your tree in the size and position you want.
Step 3: Trace the tree. You will be tracing the negative space – or the space between the branches, which can get confusing when you are looking at it really closely so I marked an “x” where I wanted the paint to go.
Step 4: Paint. I bought a paint sample jar of black paint from Home Depot that only cost $3.00! A second coat was needed, what with the color being so dark. This takes patience; I probably spent about five hours total on the painting, which was easy in the living room where a movie or the radio could be conveniently playing in the background.

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There you go, a beautiful focal piece of art for only $3.00 materials plus whatever monetary value you place on your time. If you are a renter or someone without the time or inclination to do the painting yourself, there are stick on decal options like this one. Though you are not necessarily guaranteed to find the exact size or shape you may want.

10 Beautiful Fall Projects to Inspire You

10 fall diy

Fall is upon us. And who doesn’t love fall? The trees are changing colors. Wearing layers is not only acceptable, but necessary. Blankets come out of hiding. And your house gets a little cozier.

Autumn brings out the hermit in all of us and wakes up some deep-brain nesting instincts. The den must be comfortable. The den must be right.

If you’re going to be hibernating anyway, do it in style. Here are 10 great ideas to inspire you as you get your home ready for fall!

1. A fall sharpie plate – This plate and bowl set only cost $15. Find out how to do it yourself from Tiny Sidekick

2. DIY ghost – A fun floating ghost that is so simple! Check out the rest of the list too, for more easy decor ideas on buzzfeed.com

3. Burlap pillow – Another quick and easy fall project comes from The happy housie. Follow her tutorial to make this cute burlap pillow!

4. Fall wreath – This houndstooth pumpkin wreath is sure to get people’s attention this fall. Check out the how-to from Tatertots & Jello

5. Thankful sign – Here is another great idea from Tiny Sidekick, get the step-by-step by following the link!

6. No-sew pumpkins – Here is a project even your kids could help with! Confessions of a Plate Addict gives a great how-to.

7. Boo banner –  This adorable banner from the Golden Sycamore is so easy and yet adds so much.

8. Tree chalkboard – This cute chalkboard only requires three items, a piece of wood, chalkboard paint and some chalk! So simple and versatile – use it from Halloween to Thanksgiving! Thanks Craftaholics anonymous!

9. Twig letter canvas – This pretty twig letter canvas will offer the “perfect touch of fall” in any home and is super easy to make, just follow the instructions from the crafty blog Average but Inspired

10. Mason jars – These pretty painted mason jars are on Etsy and not a DIY tutorial, you can purchase them from the link or draw inspiration from them to create a beautiful fall vase of your own!

What fall projects have you done or do you plan to do? How will you add a little (pumpkin) spice to your home? Comment below with a description or link.

One Hour Nursing Cover DIY

I know there is some debate about nursing in public. For the mama’s that still want to cover up, here is a super simple tutorial for a nursing cover that only takes about an hour to make.

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What you need:
1 yard of fabric
Three bar slide (what I used) or d rings
A piece of boning
A tape measure
A couple pins
An iron/ironing board
A pencil

Step 1: Cut your fabric and boning
Body: 38″ x 27″
Long strap: 30″ x 2″ (make wider if your d rings are wider than 1″)
Short strap: 6″ x 2″ (d ring see above)
Boning: 15″

Step 2: Iron
I used to skip ironing, thinking it wasn’t that important, but it makes everything so much easier!
Iron the hem on the two short sides first.
Fold it up once to 1/2″, iron, and fold it again 1/2″, iron.
Do the same to the bottom hem.

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And while you have it out, iron your two strap pieces as well. Just fold in half lengthwise and press.

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Step 3: Sew
Sew the body
Start on the right side, go down,
turn the corner, go across,
turn the corner, go up

Sew the straps
Sew the top and side of the long strap, leaving the bottom open to turn it back
Sew just the long side of the short strap, leaving both the top and bottom open
Turn the straps inside out using the pencil

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Step 4: Iron top hem
Fold up 1″, iron
fold up 1″ again and iron

Step 5: Place straps
Measure across the top, it should now be 36″. Subtract 15″ from that for the boning and divide by two to get where to place the strap when measuring from the corners.
36 – 15 = 21
21÷2=10.5
Pin the long strap in place 10.5″ from the corner.
Then put the short strap over the middle bar of the the bar slide, fold in half making sure both ends are even and pin in place from the other corner. (*NOTE Whichever side the short strap is on will be the site you will adjust from

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Double check to make sure the boning will fit snuggly in the space between the straps. If it doesn’t readjust slightly until it does.

Step 6: Sew
Start from the corner and sew across one of the straps and stop when you get to the other one.

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Step 7: Insert boning
Unpin the strap

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Insert the boning into the pocket you just made making sure that the natural curve of the boning faces out so it will pull the fabric away from your body when you wear it.

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Repin the strap

Step 8: Sew
Finish sewing across the top hem
Pull straps up and sew across the top and down the side opposite the boning so that it stays in place and the straps stay up

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Step 9: Attach straps
Pull the long strap through the three bar slide to desired length

And you’re done!
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Happy breastfeeding!

If you make a nursing cover or have questions let me know! I would love to see how it turns out or give some help!

A look back and forward

 A lot has taken place over the last five months. Travel, renovations, growing, weeding, meeting new people, not to mention a baby. Since it has been a while since I have blogged, I thought I would take some time to reflect on how I have been doing on those goals that I set for myself early this year.

To start, lets look at the relationship category:

1. My relationship with God is an ever-going ebb and flow, I have times of consistency and times of complacency. I have found this to be one of the most challenging goals I set, and it will most likely continue to be. But, I still recognize it’s importance in my life and will continue to strive after it.

2. We hosted a back to school BBQ for our block early this August. It was a great success. After handing out invites the weekend before we felt sure no one would show up, but by the end of the week we had about 20 RSVP’s and about that many showed up! It was great to be able to put some names with faces that I see all the time, and everyone who came were so grateful that we had reached out to them to do this.

3. My relationship with my husband is another one that will continue to be a work in progress, not a goal to check off and be done with. So, I am excited for a new date night schedule that has just started. Since Caedmon has been born, finding intentional time that isn’t talking about him or Nathan’s work has been scarce. A friend suggested a babysitting co-op, so between us, them and another couple we get to have four date nights every six weeks and are babysitters the other two. This, hopefully, will be a great opportunity to have better conversations and just to rest, as well as being a blessing to the other couples.

On to the home:

1. Last we spoke we were still in the dreaming stage of renovating the third floor, now we have a new floor, a wall and door to separate the bedroom in the back from my sewing room in the front, and a closet to make the bedroom complete. We are still working on the front half of the space trying to finish the drywall. But after that we just have to paint, then I will be able to set up my sewing space! I can’t wait to have everything have a home, my stuff has been nomadic for so long. IMG_20140118_130404

2. The garden. I will share more on this a little later, but the garden has been a huge success this year! Thanks to my wonderful in-laws who, as a present to us, bought and planted some beautiful plants in our front yard which was in dire need of a landscaping face lift and all kinds of herbs and veggies for our garden in the back yard, even making some new flower boxes. It was such a treat when we came home from the hospital to find such a lovely yard.

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Lastly, work:

1. I did not really meet my goal of blogging once a week, but I hope to take that back up again.

2. Having a baby boy has given me some inspiration. Anyone who has a boy is keenly aware that, while the market is flooded for baby girls with all the lace and tulle you can stand, boys have some slim pickings. For now, I am hoping to roll out a line of bowties and possibly suspenders and hats in time for Christmas, with room to grow from there. So be sure to check out the store in a little while to get your hands on an adorable tie for your little one!

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3. We will see how it goes!

So far, not too bad on the goals, but still lots to do! How have you been doing with keeping your resolutions?

Meet Caedmon!

OK, time to get back in the game. I was on a little hiatus since welcoming this little bundle of joy into the world.

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So precious, I can’t stand it!

Time is flying by. He is already five months old! I can’t believe it is already September! Watching Caedmon grow and gain new skills has been so fun. He has been such a great baby, ready to do whatever we do, and go wherever we go.

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Here he is with his papa at his first football game! So fun!

Stay tuned, I will be sharing an update on how I have been doing on my resolutions from the beginning of the year and a couple of new diy projects!

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Let’s go!

Fisherman’s wool baby blanket

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Wow, so it has been quite a while since my last post, a lot has been going on since then.

With spring coming I thought I should get this post out before it becomes too warm to want to think about knitting.

This winter I started working on a baby blanket with some wool yarn that I have had for quite sometime. I had been waiting for a good project to use it for since it was 100% wool and I only had one skein.

When I found this blanket pattern on ravelry.com I knew I had to try it. It only requires one skein or (625 yards) and the pattern was pretty and simple enough for me to understand, though I did have to YouTube a couple of things.

For complete instructions, you can download the free pattern here. Though, I believe you have to have an account on ravelry.com, which is free and totally worth it of you are in to knitting or crocheting at all, or want to be. I highly recommend, it there’s tons of free patterns and advice for all skill levels.

The pattern repeats after every four rows which makes thing simple.

Row 1: k1, k2tog, yo, k1,yo, ssk, k1
Row 2: purl
Row 3: k2tog, yo,k3, yo, ssk
Row 4: purl

Now, if you are like me, knitting abbreviations look like gibberish so I had to look some of the things up.

K1: knit one. Most basic, just a simple knit stitch one time.

K2tog : knit two together. Little more tricky, but just like it sounds you put your needle through two loops instead of one and knit them together. You can see it here.

yo: yarn over. Simply bring your yarn from the back to the front of your needle. You can see that here This allows to increase stitches.

ssk: slip, slip, knit. Take two stitches off onto your other needle one at a time then knit them together. Basically you switch the position of the two stitches before knitting them together. You can see that here.

While I was knitting my blanket my yarn broke a lot. I’m sure there’s a better way to deal with this, but I just knotted it and kept the end all on one side of the blanket. Then when I was done knitting, I took a crochet needle and wove the ends into the blanket.

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I really enjoyed working with this pattern and once you get it down it goes pretty fast and you make a beautiful blanket, something I can now cross off my bucket list.

DIY Reupholstered Wingback Chair: in 7 easy steps

With a new house we were in need of a lot of new furniture. However, we also needed to save some money after such a large purchase. After looking around at some furniture stores we found a few things we liked, but not much we could afford.

My husband explained our search to his dad. Not too long after we got a call saying he had found two very nice, albeit outdated, wingback chairs sitting out to the curb and asked if we wanted them. Of course we were thrilled at the find and were excited to add two classic chairs to our home.

When they arrived, we were both really surprised at the condition they were in. Despite having a dated fabric, the set looked awesome.

To look at a wingback chair you may think, “There is no way I could reupholster that, it looks way to hard. There are so many angles and pieces..” I know I thought the same. But, like so many other things, deciding top make the attempt is half the battle. Plus, since the chairs were totally free and the fabric we bought was forty percent off, there wasn’t much to lose.

Come to find out, if you have some time and patience, it is actually a very doable diy project.

Step one: MEASURE

Measure the dimensions of your chair to find out how much fabric you need. We bought six yards I believe, but over estimated by about a yard and a half.

Section main parts of the chair into rectangles as best you can. Then you can break out your trusty sixth grade math skills to calculate area: area equals length times height. Add up all of your calculations in feet and divide by three to get the number of yards of fabric you will need.

Step two: FABRIC

Buy fabric. Pick a pattern you like in a durable fabric. If it is a chair that is likely to be sat in frequently, using upholstery fabric is highly recommended.

Step three: DECONSTRUCTION

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Take your time, if your chair is like mine, there will be approximately 18 zillion staples in it.

A few useful tools: a flathead screw driver, a pair of needlenose pliers, a butter knife, teeth, nails and anything else you find that fits under the pesky little staple that wants to hold on for dear life.

This was the most challenging part, and, as you can see, it’s not beyond anyone’s skill level. It’s just time consuming.

Try to keep the pieces intact as best you can (refraining from just tearing the fabric as you inevitably get frustrated with pulling out the 59 bajillion staples) as these pieces will become your pattern. Label them as you take them off and keep any spare pieces with that piece so it doesn’t get lost or confused with another.

Step four: CUTTING

Lay out your fabric right side down. Lay your chair pieces on top, also right side down. You can pin, or trace, or as I do just make sure it’s flat and cut. Keep the old piece and new together.

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Note: if you use a fabric with a directional pattern like this one make sure all your pieces are facing the same direction.

Step five: SEWING

Once all the pieces have been cut out they can be detached from the facing (the liner material you will be reusing in your new version of the old chair) so it can be sewn onto the new fabric and the cushion can be sewn back together.

Step six: STAPLING

Using your notes and labels, work backwards. The last piece you took off is the first piece you will put back on.

It is really worth it to have a nice electric staple gun at this point. It will save your hands and your sanity.

Step seven: ENJOY

Take a step back and enjoy how your hard work paid off and how fabulous your new chair looks. Then have a seat you earned it!

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         Here are my two newly updated chairs!

Chunky Rib-Knit Infinity Scarf

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We have had a few visitors over the last week or so. First my in-laws and respective grandparents came down from Michigan over the MLK weekend to help us with installing a laminate floor, I will share more on this later. Then the day they left I received a call from my mother informing us they would be making their way down from Michigan on Wednesday, as they had plans to go see my niece in Georgia for her 2nd birthday.

It has been quite cold here in Kentucky, lots of layering needed. While my parents were here my mom noticed an infinity scarf that I had made last winter that was sitting on the table after wearing it that day. After I explained to her how you wear it she decided she wanted one as well, and inquired as to where she could find one. I told her that I would just make one for her. So I did. I used a very simple rib-knit pattern and over the course of the weekend I pretty much had it done.

This is a pattern that anyone who knows how to knit and purl can easily do. So, if you have a skein of chunky yarn laying around waiting to be given a purpose in life, and a cold neck, this could be a great project.

Here is what you will need:

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1 skein of chunky yarn. I used Lion Brand bulky yarn.
A pair of large needles. I used size 10.
Scissors
A crochet hook or yarn needle

Here is the pattern:

Cast on 20 stitches

Row 1 knit
Row 2 purl
Row 3 knit
Row 4 purl
Row 5 purl
Row 6 knit
Row 7 purl
Row 8 knit
Repeat starting at row 1

Here is what it should look like after a few repeats.

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Continue until you reach the desired length or use all of your yarn. I did 120 rows and can comfortably wrap it around my neck twice. Just keep in mind when working with a very definite pattern like this one that you want the end to be the opposite of the beginning so that when it is joined it matches up right and you can’t tell where you joined it.

When you are ready to bind off, leave a long tail at the end so it can be sewn through to join the two ends.

Lay the scarf flat and match up the two ends. Using your crochet hook or yarn needle, whip stitch the two ends together.

There you have it. A beautiful handmade chunky infinity scarf.

Stay warm!

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