Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organization for a 10 Year Old Boy

Because what 10-year-old boy doesn't love being tidy and organized? What's that? None of them? Oh. Anyways, I just finished my nephew's birthday present, who turned 10 on April 8. (Two weeks late isn't that bad, is it?) I haven't given him his gift yet as I have to mail it to him but I thought I would post about it anyways. I don't think it will ruin the surprise for him because I doubt that, as a 10-year-old boy, he is reading any sewing blogs. So, here it is:

Um, what is it, you ask? It's a Nintendo DS carrier! I found a pattern for it here. I had to make a few adjustments to it to make it look how I wanted it to, but the basic pattern is the same.

I added a strip of black nylon webbing around the center of the carrier and attached velcro to it:

The inside of the carrier has a pocket for the DS, pockets for games, and an elastic strip for the little pen-thingie that comes with it (I can't think of what it's called!).

The outside is made from a blue and black striped sweatshirt fabric and the inside is black jersey cotton. Because of the stretchiness of the fabbric, it looks a little wonky and uneven in the picture but, trust me, it's all good. The tutorial was pretty easy to follow. The only part that really had me confused was where I was instructed to fold it in half "hamburger-style". Um, what? Do people fold their hamburgers in half? Other than, though, pretty simple. And, I like how it turned out!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10 Projects in 10 Days Update

So it's been a few days and I thought I'd update you on how my project list is coming.

1. Finish deck chair cushion and pillow - Done! Last summer I bought this old wooden chair at a garage sale for $3:

Three dollars, People!!!! I love how it's old and rustic looking. But it was missing something. A few weeks ago I found a cute cushion cover at Goodwill, some scrap fabric at Joann's and, of course, my beloved dingleberries. And now this is sitting outside my front door:

Cute! I tried ironing the cushion cover but ironing is not really my "thing". I'm OK with it being a little wrinkly.

2. Wash windows inside and out - Done! And it was disgusting. Cleaning windows isn't really my "thing" either. I even got out some Q-tips and cleaned out the window tracking. Yeah, I'm hardcore.

3. Bark the flower beds - Half done. Ran out of bark but just got some more yesterday so no more excuses.

4. Clean off potting bench - Nope, haven't even started.

5. Finish Big Daddy’s birthday present - Done! Posted about it the other day.

6. Finish nephew’s birthday present - Done! Will be posting pictures soon!

7. Finish friend’s birthday present - Not yet. That's my plan for today.

8. Sew pocket storage for trailer - Done! A while back Big Daddy and I bought a tent trailer and we love it! However, it needs some handy storage, mainly near the bed so we have easy access to our glasses, headlamps, books and that sort of thing during the night. I thought that I would just sew a couple of pockets to hang from the tent poles that are near our heads when we sleep. And this is what I came up with:

I was looking for some camping-themed appliques to put on them but couldn't find any so for my pocket I put on a cute little owl:

I wanted something a little more "manly" for Big Daddy. This was all I could find:

Need a closer look? Watch might get judo chopped!

9. Clean up debris in yard - Nope

10. List stuff on Craigslist - Nope

And quite honestly, these last two probably won't get done before we leave. But I'm OK with that :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Big Daddy Part Two

Big Daddy is a golf freak. He golfs about twice a week and goes on an annual golf trip with his friends every year. He even has his own golf blog called Breaking 80!....I guess that's a golf reference? Anyhoo, so, of course I wanted to make something golf related for his birthday present.

Several months ago I found this tutorial on sewing a golf towel here. Perfect! The tutorial was super easy to follow and Big Daddy loved this gift! Here's the inside of the towel:

The bottom corner is folded up and then sewn on one side to created a pocket to make it easier to clean golf balls and clubs. Of course, I had to personalize his towel:

And here's an action shot of the towel:

Excuse the messy garage. I also wanted to make him a matching bag for his golf shoes. I found a tutorial online (I forget where) that I tried out and it just wasn't working. I think it was designed for Women's Size 5 shoes, not freakishly large Big Daddy size 12. When I finished it, I realized that he could maybe fit his hand into the bag but definitely not a shoe, let alone both shoes. So I started all over and made it up as I went along. And this is what I came up with:

I also wanted to line it on the inside with the same towel-type material that I used on the towel. I added a couple of large snaps on top so it would be able to close:

After Big Daddy opened it, he asked if I could add some handles to it, to make it easier to carry. Done!

And another action shot (minus the shoes):

Um, yeah, it kind of looks like a man-purse. I'm sure it will look much more manly once there's golf shoes inside of it. Hopefully.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Big Daddy!

Today is Big Daddy's birthday. He hates birthdays. Well, mainly just his own birthday. And he hates it when anyone makes a big deal for him. So, out of respect, I won't go on and on about what a wonderful husband he is. I won't talk about how lucky I am that I've spent the last 12 years of my life and have so many more ahead with him. I won't talk about how much he makes me laugh, even when he's not trying (and I mean that in a good way). I won't talk about what an amazing father he is, even when he doesn't think so. I won't talk about how much I appreciate everything he's done for me, from supporting every wild, crazy, and illogical whim I have to taking care of me when I'm sick and whiny (and when I'm not sick but still whiny). I won't talk about how much I love that he is always game for anything, be it tagging along on my many Goodwill trips (and NEVER rushing me!) to dressing up as Elvis to hand out invitations (yes, he's actually done that). Nope, I won't talk about any of that. Out of respect for him, of course.

I love you, Big Daddy. You are my world and I'm a better person because of you. Happy Birthday!

P.S. Pictures of his birthday present coming soon!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

10 Projects in 10 Days

Big Daddy and I will be leaving for a week long getaway in ten days...not that I'm counting the days or anything. And, as always, I have a bazillion things to do before then. I find when I'm completely overloaded, unless I get myself organized, I tend to be overwhelmed and then just procrastinate and not get anything done. So I've decided to give myself a goal of "10 Projects in 10 Days", which I'm going to list here so all of you can hold me accountable :) And even though these chores aren't all sewing or gift projects, this is my blog and I can change the rules whenever I want. So there.

So here it is: 10 Projects in 10 Days:
• Finish deck chair cushion and pillow
• Wash windows inside and out
• Bark the flower beds
• Clean off potting bench
• Finish Big Daddy’s birthday present
• Finish nephew’s birthday present
• Finish friend’s birthday present
• Sew pocket storage for trailer
• Clean up debris in yard
• List stuff on Craigslist

Of course, there's a ton of other things to do but this is a good start. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck :)

Who Says Easter Was a Week and a Half Ago?

Not me, that's for sure. And that's mainly because I just finished sewing my Easter gifts for the grandbabies. I found this pattern at Jo-Ann's several months ago:

It was so cute and looked somewhat simple to least that's what I thought at the time. I mean, it has "Simplicity" right in its name! Come on! (Side note: Jo-Ann's usually has AWESOME deals on patterns at least once a month. This one is regularly priced at $15.95 and it was on sale for 99 cents. I LOVE a good bargain!) Anyways, back to the Easter gifts.....I thought these would be relatively easy to make. Why I thought that, I have no idea. I have since learned that I should perhaps read through the sewing directions before deciding on its difficulty level.

I wanted to make two of them so I had to cut out 100 circles of fabric and 100 circles of batting. And then I had to sew each one until I ended up with a huge pile of fabric discs:

And, of course, to make these difficult, there were three different sizes:

Side note: It would have been so much easier if I had one of these:

GO! Fabric Cutter...only $500...*sigh*.....

Anyways, the construction part of the process wasn't too hard, apart from sewing the head, appliqueing (that is a word...I looked it up) all the facial features, and sewing them to the fabric discs. I mean, other than that, it was a breeze. But, even though it took me foreva, I think it was worth it. I love how they turned out! First the happy little hippo:

He looks so happy!

And a close-up of the discs:

And a little hippo padunk-a-dunk:

And then it was onto the monkey:

Close-up of the discs:

Rear view:

And, look, they're friends!

So, even though it took me about 8 1/2 years to finish these and there may have been some cussing involved, I'm really happy I was able to finish these. I think they're super cute! And, the upside to giving Easter gifts a week and a half late? Easter baskets that are 75% off. And you know how I love a good bargain!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Big Reveal: Adelaide's New Room!

What a crazy, busy couple of weeks I've had! A few weeks ago I decided to go back to school (starting this summer) and I had so much to do to prepare to just APPLY to the program. Buttload of paperwork? Yup. Financial Aid? Working on it. Placement tests (even though I have my Bachelor's, too much time had lapsed)? OK. Medical Terminolgy class? Er, uh, no. What's that? All the courses all full for spring term? I guess I'll just have to take a challenge test and hope to pass it and waive that requirement. I mean, how hard can it be to teach myself a whole term's worth of information in one week? Turns out, pretty hard. I spent an entire week with my nose inside of a textbook and it paid off....I'll be starting classes in June! So, along with all of that, let's throw in trying to finish the sewing room, trying to eke out (unsuccessfully) a few projects, a sick dog that had to have surgery, a migraine, a few nights of insomnia...well, let's just say I've had my hands full.

But, I was able to put some finishing touches on my/Adelaide's room today and I'm ready to show it off! There's still a few things I need to do but I think it's good enough for now. My main goals in re-doing this room were to make it functional, make it enjoyable to be in there, and to spend as little money as possible. I'm talking like zero, zilch, nada. We did replace the floor with neutral carpeting, bought new paint, new shelving on the walls, and new curtains. We also replaced the old baseboards with brand spanking new ones. And when I say "we", I mean my favorite nephew, Adam (thanks, Adam!)
Everything else in the room I either already had or bought second hand and spiffied it up.

So, let's take a look at few before and afters, shall we?


This is what it looked like when you walked in: dark, dreary, and just an all around hot mess. This is what it looks like now:

Light and bright! I love it! Do you remember this heart attack-inducing disaster?

Gah. Make it go away. Now it looks like this:

The pictures on the wall are prints from the Robot of the Month Club that Big Daddy gave me a couple years ago for Christmas:

These are probably one of my favorite gifts I've ever received....every month for a year I received a new print of a robot doing some sort of activity: knitting, getting a physical, making a snowman. They just make me laugh. Although, not sure if I like them on this wall or not. Maybe I need to paint the frames? Oh well, another day.

How about these ugly closet doors?

How about some wicked awesome curtain panels instead?

Inside the closet before:


Because we have no choice but to put the litter box in this room, I moved it into the closet so it's out of sight. I think the cats like the "privacy curtains", too. And those blue bins on the shelves? Upcoming projects I'm working on:

I plan on spray painting all the bins with chalkboard paint on the front in order to label everything but that's for another day as well.

Lonely armoire before:

Moved to the other side of the room and gussied up:

Hahaha! Dingleberries on the lampshade! I do love me some dingleberries....

Here's a picture of the wall across from the sewing table:

So organized! This gives me such a happy feeling....*sigh*

A shelf I took from another room:

View out the window:

Super cool, vintage kitchen storage bin for flour, sugar, etc. now being used to store sewing stuffs:

On top of the bin is a cushion I made for Alice the Malice:

She likes to hang out with me when I'm working on projects and help. And by help I mean roll around in the fabric, attack any thread or ribbon I'm working with, and just causing general mayhem. Hence the moniker "Alice the Malice". I also found an old doll bed at Goodwill a while back that I turned into a little bed for Alice to hang out on when I'm working away in there:

She loves it:

OK, she doesn't look all that enthused here but, trust me, she loves it :)

So that's Adelaide's new room. Can I just say how much I love it? Um, I love it. A lot. Every time I go in there, it just makes me happy. Now, time to start working on some projects. I'm a little behind...I'm still working on Easter presents for the grandbabies (yes, I said Easter), and a nephew's birthday present that needs to be done in one day, a birthday gift for a friend who's birthday was this past weekend, and get started on Big Daddy's birthday present. Yeah, a little behind.....