Sunday, June 30, 2013

My head might explode!

I have so many projects in mind for the new house that I actually had to start a Word document that detailed them room by room. Its a little overwhelming, but also exciting.  I love the thrill of the hunt for thrifted items and new ideas.  Here's only 4 of the many items I've already gathered.

1.  Vintage 1950's Samsonite suitcases. I have big plans for these! First off, someone painted over the awesome original blue with red, so I'll have to figure out how to get if off.  I'm thinking a side table and maybe a wall storage cabinet for craft supplies?  So many possibilities.

2.  Side table.  This little guy will get a Pottery Barn aged black treatment.  It will probably go in the in the entry way with some cool mirror over it.

3.  I'm obsessed with chevron!  This fabric will be toss pillows for the master bed.  I'm not usually one to put a bunch of pillows on the bed, mostly because I rarely make the bed, but I couldn't resist adding this pattern somewhere. 

4.  Family heirloom armoire.  This is a hand-me-down from my husband's family.  Once used to store fishing equipment in the garage, then linens and a TV in the bedroom, its now ours and needs some TLC.  My vision is either the Pottery Barn black again, or a dark espresso stain.  Its a big project so I will have to wait until the new house so I have garage space. 

I can't wait to show you the finished projects.  What to do first?


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My baby is a beaver!

EMERGENCY!  Little girl is sprouting her teeth. She already has two bottom teeth, and the front top two started to make their appearance. What better teething toy than the crib rails? Well, Grandma spent a pretty penny on the crib that will supposedly last her through high school graduation, so I didn't want tiny teeth marks forever embedded in the rails. Not to mention that paint and wood are probably not on the "baby's first food" list.  I had to act fast.

So I searched the Internet for possible solutions.  There's the stick on kind, which reviews show as not-so-sticky, and they ruin your paint. Then there's the fabric bumpers which are quite expensive, especially if you go to ETSY and look for a custom design. They can run you $100 for 3 sides!  Then I thought, "Hey, I have mad sewing skills now, I'll make it myself"!  I found this tutorial, and off to Jo Ann I went.

I tried to get a before shot of baby actually biting the rail, but she doesn't perform on demand, yet.  So here's a cute pic of her anyway.

$19 for materials, one evening, half a nap time, and this quickie was complete. The rails have been saved!

I think they came out nice, and will function as needed.  The only thing I might do differently, if there is a next time, is to use ribbon instead of making the ties. Those ties took me at least two hours to make! Ribbon would've been so much easier.  Live and learn. 

On to the next project.  I think I'll put away the sewing machine for awhile. 

- Sarah

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Directions

First off, I know its been a while since I posted here, like 2 years! But hey, I'm back and going in a new direction. My life has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. I moved (back) to Los Angeles, had a baby, and quit my full time job. I'm lucky enough to be able to stay home and raise our daughter, especially because it gives me more time watch her grow and do the things I love. This blog used to be linked to my side biz (see website in the sidebar), but I'm taking it in a new direction to better match my new life.

We will be moving into our new home sometime in September, but in the meantime, I have lots of fun projects I'm working on. The new house is more than double the living space of our current abode, so there's many rooms to fill. As I mentioned earlier, I no longer have a job, so the word "budget" has become a mainstay in this household! How will I fill the house with furniture, decor and functionality with very little money, you ask? With a little DIY and creativity. On that note, here's the first major project I've completed....

HELLO, 1996 called and they want their chair back! This gem of a thrifted find was very daunting for me. I've never reupholstered a piece of furniture before. If I needed a chair, I would just jump in my car and drive myself to the nearest IKEA. While I still love me some IKEA, I wanted the challenge of making a big comfy arm chair for our future "library" for less than $100.

Before...(sorry about the iPhone picture, no fancy editing here!)

There she is. She's a beauty, isn't she? All that wonderful tan, maroon and forest green. Yummy. But not for me, or the vision I have for our new home. Still, she has good bones, no pet stains and no weird odors, so I set out on a mission to recover her. 

Here is my inspiration chair.  Its the only picture I could find with a similar style chair that had the color scheme I envisioned.

Keeping in mind my $100 budget, I decided on using painters drop cloths for the fabric. Being my first time, I couldn't stomach spending $150+ for home decorator fabric, so I spent $21 at Lowe's and got something that looked a lot like linen. To go with that, a little navy bias tape for the piping, cording, scrap fabric from a previous project for the toss pillow, pillow insert, a heavy duty staple gun, screw driver, pliers, and I was ready to go. I salvaged as much as I could to keep costs down and paid close attention to the order in which I removed all the pieces. It only took me 5 days a little bit of time to pull out all the staples, and 4 days to recover it during baby nap times, all whilst battling a nasty flare up of carpal tunnel syndrome.  Feeling your fingers is overrated anyway.

Are you ready for the big reveal?

Mama's so proud! I think it'll look awesome in the "library", or maybe the master bedroom. Also, I'm in love with piping. Now that I know how, I'm putting piping on everything! 

Total cost you ask? 
Thrifted chair $25
Painters drop cloth $21
Bias tape $8
Cording $6 (with Jo Ann coupon)
Pillow insert $9, on sale!
Toss pillow fabric $0, scrap I already had
TOTAL: $69

I did it, and under budget! Even the hubby was impressed with my new skills, especially considering I just got my sewing machine 2 months ago! This is a "if I can do it, you can too",  moment.

Finally, here's a happy customer.

I'm not going to write a tutorial here, because thanks to the Internet, someone has already done that for me. Here's the link that I referred to for the chair, For the seat cushion I used Thanks for the help, ladies!

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment or Pin. What shall I tackle next?

- Sarah