Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photo Troubles

It looks like I have run into photo storage problems with Google which will not allow me to download photos from my files into the blogger program so I can share them with you.  I am not sure if there is a resolution to this problem, if not, I will not be able to continue using Blogspot for my blog hosting site and I will have to wait until the new year to see what can be done to transfer it to a new site, not sure how that works.  What a total pain in the behind!!!!  Sooo.... I won't be able to share the toy room reveal or the Apron a Day series, or all the holiday projects I had planned.

In case this cannot be resolved:

I wish each and everyone of you a Very Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!!!!

I hope to see you then!!!  Look for me on the web in 2013!!!

Hugs,

Laurette

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Apron A Day # 3



Today’s spiffy little number is a black, white and yellow double ruffle, waist tie apron.  I made this one of a kind apron for someone very special but I did not give it to her because she changed her kitchen d├ęcor when she moved away, all before I could present her with her gift.


The apron has a French Country feel in the colors, double ruffles, black and white bow at the hem and the antique buttons sewn just in front of the ties in the back.  The pattern was one of my designs and the retro buttons came from my long time button collection.  I hope to someday give it to that special young lady once she moves again and decides on her new kitchen colors, fingers crossed, if not I may just put it up for sale.

Thanks for letting me share apron #3, I hope you are feeling inspired to make some aprons of your own for the up coming holidays. There are more aprons in the series I want to share with you, the toy rooms reveal and plenty of holiday gifts and decorations so keep reading, you don’t want to miss all the fun.
See you soon.

Laurette

You might also like:

Apron A Day Series - # 1 & # 2



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Flowers In Pumpkins



Thanksgiving is on the way and I am way behind getting my decorations completed.  I decorate for fall, then Halloween and finally Thanksgiving which is usually last on my list for making new decorations.  This year after looking at so many beautiful fall decorations on Pinterest I decided to give a few of the ideas a try using the inspiration not the exact craft.  I wanted some fresh fall flowers to decorate my porch giving it a pop of color, but as I found out the hard way, the sun beats down on the porch from sun up to late into the afternoon killing any kind of plant or flower I put there.  I really wanted fresh flowers and real pumpkins for that space but I was going to have to settle for faux pumpkins and silk flowers if I wanted the look and color I saw in those photos.

I gathered up some of my fall craft supplies and went to work. The first thing I did was to ask my husband to carve up the pumpkins by using a hot knife to cut the top open so I could insert the flowers and greens. He went through a couple of blades and some muscle to carve out the tops, once that was done the rest was a breeze.  I think they came out just great and will add just the right amount of color; drawing all eyes to that small but useful space.

Look how bright and cheerful the oranges, reds, yellows and greens look against the tan walls and black rod iron.  They also look really lovely with the red front door, very eye catching, just the look I was going for even if I could not use the real thing.

Thanks for letting me share my pretty fall flower decorations with you, I hope they inspire you to make some new decorations for your porch, front door or yard to give your curb appeal a boost.  I still have a decoration or two to finish up for Thanksgiving, I am not sure if I will have enough time to finish them with everything else I am working on, only time will tell. Coming soon are more aprons from the series and the toy room reveal, keep watching for those.
See you soon.

Laurette

You might also like:

Falling In Love With Fall
Fall Windowpane Quilt

Monday, November 5, 2012

Toy Room Makeover Projects


We have been working like crazy to finish our projects for the toy room and we are almost done. I was going to break down each project into individual posts but time is flying and I am afraid I will not have time to show them all to you so I am going to bunch up a couple of them with just one more final reveal post with the before and after photos.  The holidays are approaching fast and I always have gift making projects and decorating projects and event projects….. Oh my, I better get busy and get this one finished so I can move on.  Today’s projects are; the cushions for the benches, the wall mural and the curtains.  This is going to be a long one, a triple post, so grab your coffee, sit back and enjoy!

We needed some kind of padding for the benches in the play area so I took a page from the iheart organizing blog, which is where I got the inspiration and how to directions for the toy room project.  I think Jen’s blog is one of my all time favorite blogs; you really have to check it out at: iheartorganizing.blogspot.com. 

The first thing we did was to cut the 2” foam to size, Joann’s cut the foam to the right length but we had to cut down the width to fit the top of the benches, my husband used a turkey carving knife, cuts it like butter. Once the foam was the right size I cut the fabric to fit the foam. I could have sewn cushions but time is an issue so I decided to make it Jen’s way which is super easy and very quick, anyone can do it.


Step two was cutting some MDF to fit the foam; my husband did that for me as well, what a handy guy he is.  The MDF was placed on top of the foam ready for the final step.

For the final step I pulled up the sides of the fabric turned under the edges and used the staple gun to tack the fabric to the boards folding the ends like gift wrapping a package, all done, nice and neat and ready to place on the benches.  For detailed instructions you can go to Jen’s blog and see what she did, her playroom makeover is just fantastic.

Up next was the wall mural, I debated where it should go in the room, I was thinking of adding it to the one I already started on the closet but decided to put it on the wall I originally planned it for. Even though I could have painted one on the wall, again time was an issue so I went with peel and stick wall decals I got at Target; they were in my color theme and just the right size.  I would not have to paint over it if I decided to makeover the room later down the road.


I chose the only wall large enough to work with right above one of the benches creating a nice focal point, the other bench sits under the window, no room there. There were a lot of pieces to the tree and no instructions; thank goodness there was a very detailed photo.  It did take longer then I thought trying to match up the pieces with the photo and as usual several pieces were not there in the correct sizes so I ended up moving things around to fit better.


The tree came out just as I saw it in my head and really helps to pull all the pieces in the room together, everything makes sense now, and I love it!  The photo shows it just above the bench, it looks kind of small in the picture but the dimensions are 50” (127cm) high by 36” (91.44cm) wide, not small at all as you will see in the final before and after photos of the reveal.


Last but certainly not least are the curtains for the windows. Even though there are white wooden blinds on the window the room bakes in the sun from September until spring so very heavy curtains are necessary to keep the heat out until the cold weather sets in.  The 10’x10’ room is the hottest and the coldest room in the house, it sits on the outside corner wall and gets all the elements year round.  We purchased the fabric from IKEA; it was a steal at $3.99 a yard for 60” width heavy printed canvas upholstery fabric, perfect to cut down the heat and cold.  I chose a bronze rod to coordinate with the browns in the fabric and the tree trunk on the wall mural, actually I already had it in my stash from a previous home, re-purposing at its best.  Unfortunately, the curtains are still not finished, I have one more panel to make they take forever due to the size and weight of the fabric. The curtain fabric was what I used as the jumping off point for the color scheme for the whole room; you will see them in the final reveal.  That about wraps up the projects for the toy room makeover, oops.... I forgot I still have one more very important painting project left to do.  I am not sure if I will write a post on it or just show it off in the final reveal of the whole project, I guess you will just have to keep reading to find out.

Thanks for letting me share my toy room makeover, it has been quite a project and I can not wait to show you how it all came out. I am not sure how soon that will be since our daughter and her husband just bought a new home and we are helping them fix it up so they can move into it next week.  There are lots of projects, cleaning, packing, moving and babysitting my darling granddaughters which is taking up all my time and energy making it hard to write more then a quick post or two.  I still have posts of the apron series scheduled to share with you; they are fun and quick so keep watching for those.
See you soon.

Laurette

You might also like:

Toy Room Makeover – Day 1, 2 & 3

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Apron A Day # 2


Welcome to the Apron A Day Blog Series, I am happy you are here to check out my next featured apron.  I made today’s apron from two matching fat quarters because I could not find any full yardage in this cute sewing fabric.  I wanted an apron to wear during my sewing classes and this darling fabric had just the right theme with all the sewing notions pictured on it.  The fabric featured hot pink, red and white so I made the waist band, ties, pocket and hem trim from some sweet mini heart fabric leftover from another project.  The pattern is one of my designs which I adapted so I could use fat quarters instead of full yardage.  My apron cost about $7.00 or less to make; cute and cost effective too.

Thanks for letting me share today’s pretty little sewing apron with you. Be sure you look for the next toy room makeover project in the series; it will be coming right up.
See you soon.

Laurette

You might also like:

Apron A Day - # 1 (The story behind the series)


Friday, November 2, 2012

Apron A Day Series - # 1


Here it is, the apron series I have been talking about for a couple of weeks, I will be sharing aprons I made over the years some of which are now considered vintage by today’s standards.  In addition I will be sharing some of the aprons my mom designed and made for me as gifts.  If you have been following me for a while you know my mother was a master seamstress who made her living from the things she designed, stitched and sold at craft shows and other venues, she is my true inspiration every single day. I grew up working the shows with her and eventually we both designed and sold our products together, sometimes I don’t even remember who designed what since we traded patterns back and forth regularly.  I have most of those patterns, her sewing notions and some of her fabric, the rest was divided up among my two sisters who also sew and crochet.  I think of her everyday when go into my studio to work, I really feel her looking over my shoulder, especially when I pull out some of her notions, fabric and patterns to begin a project. My mother wore an apron everyday of her life whenever she cooked a meal or cleaned the house to protect her clothing from stains. Because of her strong influence I grew up with a fascination for aprons both in wearing one when I cook, clean or work on messy craft projects and with collecting and making them.  I have books, patterns and a good size stash of fabrics set aside just for apron making, I am obsessed.  I dedicate this series to my mom who passed away from breast cancer fourteen years ago this month, this one is for you mom.

I had so many aprons to pick from I had a tough time deciding on an apron to start with so I just picked the one I took the first picture of.  This pretty blue and green print with the polka dot waist band, tie and trim is one of my own apron designs, very simple with lots of coverage and very eye catching.

I added a loop in the back so a light weight hand towel could be hung there for easy clean up, no more searching for a clean towel.  This pretty little apron only took a couple of hours to make from start to finish, quick and easy with great results.

Thanks for letting me share the first apron from my new series, I hope it inspires you to start sewing and wearing aprons by the time the series is done.  For those of you who are not in love with aprons, like I am, there will be several new projects inserted in between the apron posts, for example, I have some Thanksgiving craft projects and more photos of the toy room makeover projects so keep checking in to see what is on tap for the day. There will be a lot of creativity going on in the studio during the next couple of months as the holidays approach, I hope the projects on my blog will be a hub of creative inspiration for all of you so keep reading, get out those glue guns, paints and sewing machines and get busy with me.
See you soon.

Laurette

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween


For those of you who celebrate Halloween, I hope you had a safe and fun day and night.  I got to spend it with my two granddaughters who went trick or treating in my neighborhood, it was fun to see them all dressed up as a cheerleader for the oldest and Tigger for the little one.  Not many kids came by so the lights went off early and here I am writing to all of you. Halloween is over for me, after a quick clean up of the decorations I will move onto Thanksgiving decorating and a few projects for that holiday, which I will be sharing with you as I get them done.

It has been quite an adventure getting back to normal after being gone for ten days, so much to do to get laundry, bills and all the rest caught up so I can go back to my normal day to day life.  I have a lot of projects to share with you, I just need to have the time to sit down and post it all.  First up is the Apron A Day series which should appear in a day or so, I will be sharing other projects in between so I won’t actually be showing you apron projects every single day but pretty close to it which means if I can do it right you will see a post a day, at least that’s the plan.  The photo shoot for all those aprons is completed, I just have to do the writing, easier said then done but I will give it my best shot. I will also have more toy room projects to post in between all the rest of the other projects. Yikes!!! I better get writing!

I made this little witch doll many years ago when I was making and selling every kind of theme fabric doll imaginable. She is one of my original designs, who knows maybe I will start making them again; everything comes around if you wait long enough.

Thanks for letting me share my posting schedule with you, I felt it was important to let you in on the plans for the next few posts and what to expect.
See you soon,

Laurette



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

He Has Arrived


That special day we have been waiting for finally arrived on Monday morning, October 22, 2012 at 3:00 am. Our first grandson was born in Anaheim, Southern California via emergency c-section; he was 7 lbs, 12 oz and 19” long, his name is Parker. Unfortunately we were not there when he was born but we did manage to arrive several hours later.  We live about 6-8 hours away depending on traffic and how many stops we needed to make, we left at 5:30 am and arrived around 12:30 pm. My husband and I started packing and getting the house ready when we got the call Sunday evening, we packed all night getting only about an hour of sleep then hopped in the car and started our journey, staying up about 36 hours before we were able to go to sleep.  You know what, we are not young anymore and 36 hours is a long time to go without any sleep but really worth it to be able to see and hold our darling new grand baby not long after he was born.  We truly cherish those first hours of our grandchildren’s lives when we get to really bond with them which makes for a very special life long relationship.

Because it was an emergency trip several things got all messed up or forgotten, one of them being my pre-scheduled blog posts of the Apron A Day Series.  I was not able to set them up like I planned to so I can not share them with you while I am away, oh well; I guess they will wait until I get home again.  I think I will be back on track again late next week after I get home and unpacked.  We planned to stay for about ten days but we could not find an extended stay hotel due to some huge convention which hits town this Friday booking up all the rooms anywhere close to our son’s condo. We managed to find a hotel across the street from Disneyland for a few nights, what a great area with tons of places to shop and eat so we will stay until we have to move out on Friday, after that who knows.  Anyway… we are thrilled to be here spending time with our son and his new little family for as long as we can.

Thanks for letting me share the joy we are experiencing with all of you; things will be back to normal very soon, keep watching for the Apron A Day Series and more of the toy room makeover projects, lots of those coming up.
See you soon.

Laurette

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 3 - Toy Room Makeover


Day three was all about bringing the toys back into the room which were in there before and pulling out the rest of the toys from storage to see if we had enough room for everything. I must say I had a really good time playing with all the fabric bins moving them around and changing them up over and over trying for a pleasing look to go with the rest of the soft goods going into the room later.

I had a wonderful time sorting toys for the large bookcase; I wanted all the dolls, Barbie dolls, clothing, dishes and books for my 6 year old granddaughter up on the top two shelves and all the toddler toys on the bottom two shelves and in the fabric baskets under the two benches for easy access.

I placed all the art supplies up on a high shelf, out of reach for little hands, so they could be used for supervised project/art time, meaning no crayons or paint on the walls when we were not looking. All the special puppets and antique toys were placed on the highest shelf for easy admiration and to add a pop of color, taking your eyes up making the ceiling look higher then it actually is.


More toddler and infant toys were placed in baskets and shelves under the bench so the little ones could pull them out and onto the floor, great for easy clean up too.  The light weight fabric boxes can be easily transported around the room or downstairs when needed.  Two car track carpets were placed in front of the benches for color, added softness and lots of creative/fun playtime.



There are still several more items to go into the room which are full blown projects.  You are probably wondering what else I could possibly put in there?  I am giving you a few hints with the above photos but I won’t tell you what they go with, you will just have to keep checking in to see what I am up to next.

Thanks for letting me share day 3 of the toy room makeover, the rest of the makeover series will not happen until after our grandson is born and we are back from southern California.  While I am gone I will be remotely sharing my apron a day series, at least that is my plan, I have not done this before so keep your fingers crossed that the technology actually works the way it is suppose to. Giggles!!!
See you soon.

Laurette

You might also like:

Toy Room Makeover – Day 1
Toy Room Makeover – Day 2


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Toy Room Makeover - Day 2


Day 2 was all about putting together the bookcase/bench units we purchased at IKEA several weeks ago.  We purchased two single IKEA EXPEDIT bookcases which could be used in a number of different configurations; ours would be turned on their sides to create very sturdy benches for the adults to sit on while they played with the kids.  Several shoppers at IKEA tested them out with us to make sure they would be safe to sit on, it was lots of fun. That place is a mad house on the weekends, don’t ever go there then, go during the week, totally a crazy but fun experience I would not repeat anytime soon.



These wonderful EXPEDIT bookcases came in very heavy six foot long boxes.  They are the build it yourself style furniture using wooden pegs and an Allen wrench. I must say they are very well built, the pieces are substantial and everything lines up perfectly unlike some of the other build it yourself furniture out there, my husband was impressed with the easy installation of the pieces.




The first two single bookcases went together pretty quickly and before we knew it we had our two corner bench pieces ready to put into place.  Don’t they look great, sturdy too!


Up next were the double bookcases which we planned to put on each side of an existing bookcase we already own and planned to use in the room once it was given a new paint color.  The double bookcases went together the same way just taking a bit longer with double the pieces.


Once we had the bookcases assembled they were much bigger then we thought they would be in width but not as tall as we needed to keep little hands out of the big girl toys they were not ready to play with yet. What to do????  We tried several different configurations but ultimately ended up turning them on their sides and stacking them to gain about four inches in height, which should do the trick.  The bottom two rows are for the toddlers and the top two rows for the 6 year old, an even split.  We had to leave out our existing bookcase and send it to storage for the time being, one less project to paint.

Thanks for letting me share day 2 of our toy room makeover, day three is the beginning of the fun part, decorating the room. There will also be sewing projects and painting projects some of which will have to wait until we return, after our new grandson is born.
See you soon.

Laurette

You might also like:

Toy Room Makeover – Day 1



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Toy Room Makeover - Day 1


My husband and I recently decided to turn our very small 5th bedroom into a dedicated playroom/toy room for our three grandchildren.  So much of our home is not particularly child friendly since just the two of us live here, hence the need for a really safe place for the grandchildren to play.  The room has been moved around and been several things in the last two years, I planned to make it into a beautiful boutique style closet for all my clothing and accessories but we felt for now we needed the playroom more.  Oh well they won’t be small forever and we designed the movable elements in such a way as to be able to use the storage in my boutique closet later. Come along with us on our journey to creating a very cool kid space, here is what we did.



I really detested the wall color and finish on the walls in that tiny little room every time I walked in there.  The color was painted a dirty/pinkish beige with very splotchy textured walls which was applied to cover up a ton of damage and stains, not something we did it was that way when we moved in. No matter what I did to the room to brighten it up with colorful fabrics, toys and furniture it just looked awful.



I am not sure we can do justice to the mess the walls were in with these photos but I gave it a try.  The first thing we did was to take sanding blocks and try to sand down the really rough patches, we found if we went to far the damage and stains started to appear so we could only sand the top layer without getting into re-plastering all four walls, Yikes!  That particular part of the project was a long one because we had to brush down the walls afterwards and vacuum twice. We were smart enough to move everything out of the room first.  Once the room was prepped with blue painters tape we began the real work of cutting in around the baseboards and corners, a long process; once that was done, out came the rollers.  My husband also painted the ceiling which really created a light bright room, the walls are not as smooth as we wanted but we did the best job we could taking into consideration the past damage. With art work, a mural, furniture and curtains not much wall should be showing anyway.

Can you guess what color we chose for the room, we asked my oldest granddaughter what color she wanted to see in there, pale yellow or a light blue?  She chose an icy blue to go with all the other fabrics for the curtains, pillows, bench cushions and furniture we were adding to the color scheme.


I could not get a good photo of the room color just yet but you will see it as we work on it day by day, sorry about that. Not much color in this post, I can guarantee there is plenty of it in all the rest of the posts to come.

Thanks for letting me share day one of our toy room makeover; furniture construction is up next, what a difference those pieces made to an empty space.
See you very soon.

Laurette

I am sorry for the strange font sizes in the pint, sometimes the blogger program goes bonkers on me and there is little I can do to change it without erasing the whole thing. Yikes!****
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