Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ikea shelf hack: American Girl Dollhouse

 Alli has an American Girl Doll.  Kit.
Ruby has a faux AG doll.  Kat. 
Alli has a bunch of Kit's stuff too.  She wasn't playing with it that much, and I was about to pack it up and put it in the basement, but then... inspiration!

We had an empty bookshelf that I was moving from the art room to the basement.  I took the shelves out and set the bookcase on its side to push it down the hall.  On its side, the bookcase made two little rooms that an AG doll could stand in.

The shelf was moved to the playroom, where the girls immediately set about to decorate it properly.  We set the loose shelves on the floor in front of the bookcase to make more floor space for the dolls. They colored pictures of windows and taped them in.  They found a jewelry box to be a dresser.  They expanded the house with other tables and blankets... hours of fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Angry Bird pajama party!

 I like our kids to be involved with the planning of their birthday parties.  When I asked Ruby what kind of party she would like, she said, "Angry Birds pajama party!"  I did not want to do a sleepover party.  And so we had a breakfast party with friends in jammies.
The first activity was to make Angry Bird bean bags.  I had made the basic red circle bean bags in advance, and the kids just hot glued (with adult assistance) the white patch, eyes, feathers, beak, and eyebrows onto the bean bags.

Then Grandma Utah painted faces.  She is a professional.  (If you live in Utah and you are throwing a party, call her.)

 Once everyone was done making their Angry Birds, we played the game.  The kids tossed their bean bags to knock the pig balls off of the boxes.  We played several rounds.
 The green balls were from the dollar store.  I painted pig faces on them.  Each kids got to take one home.

Then we had breakfast.  How about that Angry Bird fruit platter?!
 We served bacon and eggs (pigs and birds, get it?!) and fruit with the first course.

 Then we had waffles and ice cream.  Ruby did not want a cake, so we made waffles with cake batter.  Yum.  We did put candles in her ice cream.
Ruby had her face painted like a "rainbow tiger" which became quite popular.  Most of the kids looked like colorful tigers.
Then there was a pinata.  A pig, of course.

 Pinatas scare me... actually the child swinging a stick near a bunch of other kids scares me.  But it all worked out without injury.
The kids got goody bags to put the treats into.  And they took their pig balls.  And they went home happy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I ain't LION

I got these beauties for a dollar or two.  I forget.

My husband thought I was nuts.

I waited and waited for the right weather for spray painting.

And here is the pair flanking our fireplace.
 Right now they are primer gray.  I may paint them turquoise or red.  Loving them for now though.

the GIANT canvas is done!

A few months back, my sister-in-law found a large (about 4x6') framed canvas that her neighbor was throwing out.  She knows I like trash... so she grabbed it for me.  The painting was hideous and very textural (lumpy).  I didn't take a before picture... you might have gagged.  I tried to scrape off the thick paint, but quickly realized it wasn't worth it! 

I took off the mauve frame and spray painted it a blackish-pewter color.  I stripped the old canvas from the stretcher.  Andy helped me stretch a fresh new piece of canvas onto the stretcher bars.  That was a workout.  (Seriously, I was sweating.)  Eventually, the canvas was stretched tight enough to play like a drum... or at least tight enough so it wouldn't sag while painting.
I primed the canvas with gesso.  I painted it with acrylic paint.  I used a stencil to make this chevron pattern.
To make the stencil, I folded a 12x12 paper in half and cut two diagonal lines... so when I opened the paper, there was a chevron. 
I drew light guidelines with a pencil (to keep everything straight), then traced my stencil over and over until the canvas was filled.
The painting is now on top of our entertainment center.

I can easily pull it down when I need a yellow chevron backdrop.

This is Ruby's stink face.  Don't upset her.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Organizing winter gear

I should have taken a before picture of the closet, but it would have been embarrassing.  We have a small closet in our entry.  It came with a basic wire shelf... we can set stuff on top and hang hangers.

I have installed hooks on the inside of the closet where the kids can reach... that helped a bit.  But the winter stuff was a problem.  I kept it in a bin on the shelf... which was way too high for the kids to reach.  I am all about independence... if you want to play outside, go get your mittens.  But the kids couldn't get their winter gear out or put it away... so there was always a mess.  There is no room on the floor of the closet (that is where boots and a skinny bin for umbrellas are).  The only place left was the door.  The closet door is extra skinny, and I needed lots of little pockets for the little mittens, legwarmers, etc. 
And so I made my own customer closet organizer with scraps.  There are some bigger pockets and some small ones.  I put the grown-up winter gear at the top and the kids' stuff within their reach.  The organizer is attached to the door with velcro Command Strips.  I actually stapled the strips to the fabric of the organizer so I wouldn't have to sew through the adhesive and get my needle all gummy.

This organizer has been in the closet for almost a month now, and I am happy to report the closet has stayed pretty clean.  The kids can get their stuff out and put it away.  And even though the organizer is made from scraps and not all matchy, I think it is fairly cute.

Success all around.

cardigan sweater pillow cover

Oops.  When I exported my photo from Lightroom I left the watermark on.  Shameless advertising for my photography, I know.
Anyhow... I found a darling wool sweater cardigan at the thrift store.  I loved the colors and the big buttons... but I wouldn't have worn it (it was too big anyhow).  I washed it on hot and dried it in the dryer to felt the wool.  Then I laid it out and cut a square to fit my pillow.  I sewed around the four sides (leaving the center button unbuttoned so I could flip the right side out. 
I can take the pillow out of the cover by unbuttoning it.  It will look cute in the fall with my pumpkin pillows!


Here is a little Christmas present I made for June.  I up-cycled a wool sweater and made a tiny kitty for her.  The bottom side is fleece.  The nose is felt.  Button eyes.
June named it Lily.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

a fabric sample book turned into a quilt

A while back I got a bound book of fabric swatches... for free.  The colors were all in rainbow order.  It was so neat... but useless and silly to display.
So I cut that book of fabric up into quilt blocks.  I arranged the colors chromatically from white in one corner to black at the opposite corner... rainbow order from top to bottom. 
I pieced it all together...
and then I sent it away to be quilted.
And I forgot about it.

Fast forward several months... I got a package.
It was magic.

My quilt came back!  I finished the edges and stitched my name on it (which felt a little like cheating since I sent it out to be quilted).

Oh, I love it!  My girls love it too.  It is the new favorite cozy thing.  Unfortunately it is small... like a lap blanket.


Too bad it isn't big enough for our bed... someday I'll get that ambitious!