Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reduce, Reuse... Repurpose??

For our first anniversary, Mr. Moore surprised me with a delicious Edible Arrangement. And it looked something like this:

Photo courtesy of Edible Arrangements
See the “vase” that it came in? Not too bad, right? But, still not too good. For 7 months it sat in a junk catch-all” basket in our kitchen.

Then I got the idea to cover the row of hearts so it would blend with our decor and could be used for something other than collecting dust. After all, the rest of the design was pretty cute:

I originally thought to cover the hearts with a chocolate colored ribbon. But once I got the ribbon home and began to wrap the "vase", the tapered sides were just not cooperating.

So, on to plan b: spray paint. And luckily, I had exactly what I needed already in my garage! I taped off the hearts to be sure to only get paint where I wanted it:

After a few coats of paint and a top coat of clear for extra protection, here is what I ended up with:

And if we zoom out a little bit:

You can see that has now taken up residence in my sewing nook to hold odds and ends.

What do you think? Pretty good for a project that did not cost a dime, huh?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The goods

You may recall my upcoming Ikea trip. Well that day has come and gone. Reusable shopping bags were packed and meatballs were enjoyed.

You may also recall the shopping list I prepared before the trip. Unfortunately, I did not leave the store with all of the contenders. In fact, only one item on the list came home with me.

Let me explain…

1. The curtains. I had actually planned on taking 8 pairs of these home with me. They are great and lightweight. Could be perfect for almost any room. My concern was of the possibility of little kitten toenails playing with them. I need to find something with more weight and texture (to hide the potential pulls).

2. The frame. The mats were cut to fit a 5x7. My pictures are 4x6. Therefore, a no go.

3. And lastly, The mirror. I did not even see it in the store.

The search continues for other items like these. But that is ok because here is what came home with me:

The picture ledges.

But, I also happened across this fabric.

Hopefully, Mr. Moore and I will have some time in the next few weeks to hang the ledges over the desk in the living room. I am going to leave them white for now and revisit painting them after a few months. 

I plan to use the fabric to make throw pillows (yes, more pillows. here and here) for our master bedroom. I am thinking the big, oversized variety.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sewing 101

Over the past few months, I have been slowly dipping my toes into the world of sewing. While creating placemat pillows and repairing dog toys have become common practice in our home, I decided it was time to step it up a notch and dreamt of creating pillows (from scratch) and one day, baby items. Plus, if I hope to make any children’s clothes in this lifetime, I better start practicing!

So I began to look around for an affordable sewing machine. I looked at Joann’s and Target at new ones, but the price tag always scared me off. Paying $200+ for a machine that I may quickly fall out of love with did not make sense. Next stop was to look at second hand stores, Craigslist, and Freecycle. This took quite a bit of patience. You never know when someone will drop off or list an unwanted (and working) machine. So waiting can take weeks or even months!

Finally, one Saturday morning when I checked in with my good friend Craig, I spotted a like new machine in a recent posting! Unfortunately, the price the seller was asking for was still out of my range. But, I decided to take a chance and email her an offer that I was happy with. Sadly, she declined. So I moved on with my search.

After a few days, I had another email from the sewing machine seller in my inbox. As it turns out she was willing to accept my offer and asked when we could meet. I was in pure joy! I scheduled a time when Mr. Moore and I could meet the seller to make the exchange. After all, you should never meet a stranger alone!

Over the next few days, I began to collect ideas, free online patterns, and even went to a local second hand store and found some fabric to get me started.

Once I had the machine in my little hands, I began to set up a nice little home for it:

my new Brother!

After dusting off my memories of home economics I began to thread my machine with what little thread I had from a tiny sewing kit purchased in college. While at the local second hand store, I had purchased 4 tan colored, cloth napkins in hope of making, you guessed it, pillows. They were my first experiment project. After running my finger tips over numerous times and wishing I had straight pins, here is what I ended up with:

Perfect? No. But a start? Yes. These little pillows gave me the confidence to make an “envelope” pillow case for an existing throw pillow on the couch that had seen better days, buttons and all:

Next on my sewing list? Larger rectangles! More pillows are on the horizon and so are a few cute bags. Maybe one day I will venture into making a few clothing pieces for myself. And someday down the road, I can begin to make all of the baby items I have seeing around.

Now I just have to get over the fear of drowning in the large pool of fabrics at Joann’s!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

To-do list check in.

#3. The garden around our house is finished….for now. We added landscaping along the side of our home to connect the front and rear gardens. It has made such a HUGE difference. The yard now looks so much more connected and complete. The shrubs and tree out front came with the house when I purchased it and last summer when we added the patio, we put a few boxwoods along the perimeter. For continuity, we used the same types of plants out front and out back to line the side of the house. The only new type of plant we added was some decorative grass. We chose the grass for some height…now it just has to grow.

Existing front garden

Patio installed last year with our tiny boxwoods

New side garden

Side garden connecting with rear garden around patio

Since I took these photos, we have added mulch, but you get the gist of it. Now Mr. Moore and I are trying to decide if we want to add edging. I vote 'yes'. He votes 'no'. What do you think??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You may be wondering...

...why Mr. Moore and I were in the car for 13 hours.

It is because we were travelling home from this:

The greatest place on earth AKA the Outer Banks!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I am thankful for...

...having a puppy who is such a great traveller...

...even on a 13 hour car ride!