Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bedroom Restyle Part One: Office Nook

Whew.  It was a long weekend for us as we got our new office nook all put together. Now normally, I am not a person who advocates having a computer in a bedroom.  I believe the best place for a computer is in an open, common area.  But right now that isn't an option for us. We have an unfinished basement and have tried before to have our office area there, but it just didn't work out.  I know once we finish our basement we will spend a lot more time down there and are planning on putting an office area in. So our solution for now, is to have a corner of our master bedroom dedicated to office space. Our bedroom has been the big eye sore in our house.  Its full of mis-matched furniture, dated bedding, and was still sporting builders grade white walls...oh and my elliptical resides there too. This picture isn't a true "before" picture.  Where the desk is in the corner used to be an old red La-Z-Boy. Super stylish.

My husband and I tried to do this restyle on a tight budget.  First off was the desk.  We picked it up at a local thrift shop for $30, and it rode home strapped on top of the mini-van. Yep, we're cool like that. My poor husband really misses having a truck. On our way home we stopped off at Lowe's to grab some primer and new pulls.  After wood filler, a few screws, and two coats of primer, I painted it with some left over paint I had from my hutch.

When putting it all back together, my husband reversed the order of the drawers and now calls it the "Happy Desk." Dork.

Next up was the chair to go with the desk.  I inherited this yellow chair from my Grandma at the same time I got my hutch.  It had been sitting in my basement waiting for me to fix it up.  It also received some wood filler, screws and a coat of fresh black paint.  I pulled the cushion apart and re-upholstered it with some fabric I bought a few years ago for some curtains that were never made. This was my first time attempting any upholstering and I found it was super easy.

 Next up was a bulletin board.  I knew I wanted some way to pin things that I needed easy access to like my son's basketball schedule.  I went on the search for the perfect bulletin board and found it...but it was $70.  There was no way I could justify it, so I looked again and found one at Hobby Lobby.  Did you know that if you have a smart phone you can pull up a 40% off one item coupon on Hobby Lobby's website?  That what I did, and snagged this for a little over $20.

The next item I went looking for was a way to organize our paper mess.  I went to IKEA knowing exactly what I wanted, but unfortunately they were sold out and wouldn't be getting any more for two weeks.  After looking around at a few other places, I went back to IKEA and bought this organizer.  I love it more than the one I originally wanted.

The last thing I needed was a desk lamp.  This corner tends to be pretty dark at night and I wanted a light I could turn on while the husband sleeps. I found this stinking cute lamp (and picture frame) at Target. In fact the bird and pail are from Target too (the dollar section).  Love that Target!

I had a gallon of gray paint left over from when I painted my living room a year ago, and I used it to cover up our plain white walls. Lastly, I hung up hubby and my's (ha, is that a word?) degrees.  I worked hard for that piece of paper so its not just going to sit in a box!

The finished product...

It's so nice to have an office space again! This re-style cost me next to nothing out of pocket since it was funded mostly by me selling off our old junk!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Long Week

Is it really only Thursday? This week has been one of those crazy, busy, sick ones. My poor little baby man has been cutting his canines and battling croup and an ear infection.  Needless to say its made for some sleepless nights around here. The one good thing about sick kiddos is the fact that when they aren't miserable, they are sleeping.  The extra nap times have allowed me a little bit of time to refinish this desk.  We picked it up last Saturday at a local thrift store and after some wood glue, wood filler, and two coats of primer, it was ready to be painted.  I painted it the same aqua color as my hutch and it turned out so so cute.  We bought the desk to have a place to put our computer. Now if you know us, you know that we have a huge computer desk in our basement.  It was something that we had purchased as we were finishing up college.  We bought the monstrosity thinking that we would soon have a house to put it in, and we wanted an elegant piece of furniture. Ha! It takes up way too much space and is a magnet for clutter.  After I get done going through all of the clutter on it, it will be put up for sale. This time around, I wanted something clean and simple to put our new computer on.

Please excuse the dark phone photos...

 Over the next month or so, I will be doing a mini series on our bedroom re-style.  Our poor bedroom is the neglected area of the house that is still sporting builders grade white walls and bedding that is way outdated. As part of the re-style we are doing an office nook in our bedroom, since our living room is way too small to put a computer desk and our basement is unfinished...which means its a playroom war-zone down there.

Also, this week we learned paper piecing at quilt guild.  I'd done a one day crash course in paper piecing in college, but hadn't done much since.  I forgot how fun it was...after I remembered that I had to think backwards when laying out my pieces.  I'm super excited to be part of a quilt guild and love getting to hang out with people who are as nutty about quilting as I am. In fact, one girl I sat by brought her finished Swoon quilt to show and it made me even more antsy to get mine finished. I need more hours in the day to sew...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Past Few Weeks

Its been a crazy few weeks around here and blogging has taken a back seat. The biggest reason being that my computer had become almost unusable.  It took me six hours to do my last blog post. Between the computer crashing every time I edited a picture to having horrible formatting problems in Blogger, I was absolutely done with it.  One of my friends was sweet enough to lend me one of her computers, but I didn't want to dump all of my pictures onto her computer so I used it mainly for the Internet and formatting my blog posts.  I am happy to report that we are now the proud owners of a new iMac!  Blogging will become a lot more streamlined from here on out so you can expect more regular posting (since it won't take me 6-10 hours for every post...yes, seriously!).  This is the first time we have owned a Mac and I am absolutely in love with it.  The first thing I loved about it was when we pulled it out of the box and there was only one cord to plug it into the wall!  The last time we owned a desk top computer it was a mess with all of the wires we had to plug in. I'm also getting used to using a track pad instead of a mouse, but overall I love how streamlined everything is from the programs to the hardware. I don't think I'll ever go back to a PC.

The past few weeks we've also been celebrating Valentine's Day. I was pretty much in love with this heart garland on my hutch.  I made the garland a year ago using a heart shaped punch, thread, and a ton of paint sample cards from Home Depot.

I've been working away on my Swoon quilt. I only have a few more block to go until I'm done. These blocks are quite large, 24" by 24"and there are only 9 of them in the whole quilt. The more blocks I get done, the more excited I am to see the whole quilt put together.

 About a week or so ago, I did some free motion quilting.  I've always just paid someone to do the quilting on my quilts, but as part of my resolution to ACT, I decided it was time for me to do my own quilting. I've straight line quilted before, but never free motion.  Its a whole different ball game, but also super super fun.  I learned that basting spray can be a life saver because pinning (as pictured below) can be cumbersome.

In addition to quilting, I've been busy making Valentines for my three older boys. My oldest little guy has started into grade school and my 4 and 3 year olds are in Preschool, so we had three classes worth of Valentines to do.  I found this cute printable on Pinterest, and we decided to add a sucker and a glow stick to it.

Lastly, my little Porter-man began walking a week or so ago.  Babies always seem so much older when they are walking! I wish they wouldn't grow up so fast.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

La Love You Pillows

Today I have a tutorial for some simple Valentine's Day Pillows. My home is lacking in Valentine decor so I thought I'd use some of my scraps to make a few throw pillows for my couches.

 For the heart pillow you will need:
  •  16x16" square of solid colored fabric
  • 8 jelly roll strips
First, sew the jelly roll strips together, side by side at at 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Next take the sewn jelly roll strips and cut them into two 16x16" squares.

Take your solid piece, and fold it in half and draw a half heart. Cut along the outside of the line.

Lay the solid piece on top of one of the  jelly roll pieces.  Decide whether you want to run your jelly roll lines horizontal or vertical. I chose horizontal. Sew around the perimeter of the heart leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  I made my stitch at a length of 4.0. We are leaving a raw edge so it will fray and frame in the heart.

Next, sew top of pillow to the other 16x16" jelly roll square RST.  Turn, stuff, and hand stitch closed.

Next up is the "Love" pillow.  You will need:
  • 1 fat quarter
  • wonder under (for applique)
  • contrasting fabric for letters
  • Printed off letters of LOVE in your font choice.  I used Book Antiqua at a 400 pt. font.

Trace letters onto paper side of wonder under.  Make sure to trace letters backwards.

Cut letters out of Wonder Under. Fuse to WRONG side of contrasting fabric.  Cut letters out of fabric.  Set aside.  Take your fat quarter and fold it in half.  Trim it to make two squares that measure 12" by 10 3/4". Remove paper backing off letters and place them on one of the squares as desired.

 Fuse letters to fabric with an iron.  Next, blanket stitch around the letters.  I used the blanket stitch on my machine instead of doing it by hand. Sew both sides of pillow together RST, turn, stuff, and hand stitch closed. 

You now have two super easy pillows to toss on your couch!