Friday, July 29, 2011

The Lamp Re-Vamp HIS & HERS

When I found out that this month's Create With Me project at Ucreate was lamps I was so excited.  The CSI Project is also lamps.  I've had two of these lamps for a while now and I just haven't been motivated to do anything with them.  My friend Missy sold them to me at a yard sale (and by sold I mean she gave them to me, she's nice like that) a while ago.  I thought I wanted to use them in my living room so I started to paint them black but then I changed my mind and they sat.

I used the tutorials HERE as a starting point for my inspiration and this is the end result

His & Hers lamps for the kids rooms!  Jackson's theme is dinosaurs and Maggie's is birds.

How I did HIS:
I removed the outside fabric of the shade and used it to trace the proper shape onto grey fabric.  Once I had my fabric cut out I stenciled a "j" onto the fabric and free hand painted the dinosaur.  After letting the paint dry I then hot glued the fabric onto the frame, pulling as tightly as I could.  I finished it off by coating the whole thing in Mod Podge I felt it protected the fabric a little better and would be easier to clean.  I also felt like it helped tighten up any loose patches once the Mod Podge dried and shrank the fabric.  I then hot glued a little piece of ribbon in the inside to cover my seams. 

I may decide to paint the base red in the future but for now I like the blue. 

Looking for more of Baby Jack's decorations? You'll find them here:

How I did HERS:
I removed all of the fabric from the shade and wrapped the top and bottom rings in sisal, using hot glue to secure it in place.  I then wrapped the entire shade horizontally in sisal again using hot glue to secure it in place.  The sisal gave it the nature feel that her decorations have but I also wanted to give it a little birdie so I cut out a tiny bird shape from fabric, sewed it and stuffed it and hung it from a chain to create a faux lamp chain look.

Looking for more of Mags' decorations?  You'll find them here:

Hope you feel inspired to do your own lamp makeover. 
It feels good to have them finished and it really ads a little something special to their room.

Thanks Kari @ Ucreate and The CSI Project for the extra push I needed to get these done!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crayon Rolls

One of the best things for a beginner sewer to make are crayon rolls.  They don't take long to make and it's just straight lines.  Super simple.  I first learned how to make them at one of my favorite blogs, Skip To My Lou.  I used her Crayon Roll Tutorial as a starting point and have made a ton of these since.

These were the very first crayon rolls I made.  I fell in love with the fabric.  I got both fabrics from Hobby Lobby.  Eventhough it was a few years ago that I purchased mine, you can still find both fabrics there. 

I love this cowboy one so much I'm thinking of having Baby Jack's first birthday party based off of it.  Still on the fence though...

For these I used ribbon for ties but since then I've been using elastic cord that I loop and sew into one side of the roll.  You can read HERE about where I get my cord.

Isn't this fabric great?  Such a fun fabric especially for travel.

I have a huge stack of fabric cut out for rolls for a project my mom and I are working on but I'll have to show that to you when it's finished.

Currently crayons are banned from our house because someone (cough, cough, Maggie, cough) has had a little problem coloring on well... everything.

So if your child doesn't have a crayon to wall addiction you should totally make some rolls for your kids.  They also make great gifts!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Felt Board: Under The Sea

Friday morning Maggie and I were looking for something to do.  Baby had just laid down to take a nap so I decided it was time to work on a fun project together.  We made a felt board!  It was so simple and 100% free since I had all of the felt scraps on hand.  Maggie has been playing with it non-stop since.

I took the side off of a huge diaper box and covered it with a sheet of white felt.  I cut the felt to be slightly larger than the cardboard, wrapped it around each side and secured it with a thin strip of hot glue. 

I used white so I could make lots of felt scenes in the future but today was all about the ocean so I cut out a large piece of blue felt for my ocean waves.

I sat with my pile of felt scraps and Maggie dictated to me what she wanted.  Nemo Daddy, Nemo, Dori, Shark, Ariel, and eyes she was very concerned that I was going to forget their eyes.  I even cut out some generic fish and let her color them.  I pieced them together using hot glue.

Each piece was cut by hand without a pattern and in a hurry so some pieces look a little funky.  A 3 year old waits for no one.  But you know what?  It doesn't have to be perfect. 

Do you like my hand-less Ariel ghost?  Haha.

She enjoys it and we spent some quality time together making it. 
That's the only part that needs to be perfect.

When I asked her what her favorite piece was do you know what she told me?

Yes.  Ariel, the hand-less ghost was the catch of the day.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw this later in the evening -

"Maggie!!  What in the world happened to Ariel?!  She's decapitated!"

To which she grabbed the shark and said, "Num, num, num, num (think Jaws theme music) chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp!"

Well, at least she's got imagination.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Birdie Quilt

I've shown you a few things I've made to decorate Baby Jack's (side of the) room HERE and HERE but I haven't shown you anything I've made for Maggie.  Well, I guess that's not entirely true, I did end up putting the birdie tree in there after we did the Birdie Baby Shower a few months ago.  Anyway, I guess I better show you some of her stuff to.  Maggie's room is decorated in browns, pinks and greens.  All sorts of patterns, shades, prints, etc.  And there are little birds everywhere because she's my little Magpie.

I am no quilter by any means.  I don't have the skills or the patience, but I did want to try so here is my first and only quilt (thus far).
I appliqued a little birdie to each square.  Each bird has a different kind of ribbon for their legs.  I just placed two pieces of ribbon that I tied in knots at the bottom for feet and then secured the applique with a zig zag stitch.

I pieced all the squares together and then used what I think is called the tie method to secure it all in place.  I used brown embroidery thread to secure a button (brown, green and pink) and then tied it in a knot leaving a little thread showing out of the button.  The quilt top was made using pieces of fabric from my personal stash.

Here's the whole thing...

For the back I wanted to incorporate some of the patterns from the front in a fun way.  But here's the "what were you thinking?" moment - instead of appliqueing the strips on like I did with the birds on the front, I cut out holes in the brown fabric and then pieced the strips in.  Why?  That was so much harder!  Consequently it made the fabric not lay as nicely but after washing it doesn't make much of a difference.

But I don't want to dwell on the negative so let's just look at the cute little birdies on the front again shall we?
Love those birdies!

I think I'm ready to tackle a dino quilt next!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

So Grateful Sunday: My Brother Ian and His Koi Fish Painting

This is my baby brother, Ian. 

He's super talented and I really love him.

This is his girlfriend Amanda.

She's super cute.

They're having a baby soon.  I can't wait for my first little nephew on the O'Boyle side.  I'm working on some crafts for the little guy but that's going to have to wait, because today is all about Ian.

Ian is twins with Collin.  I know, they look nothing alike.  You will not find more opposite twins.  Ever.  But like his brother Collin, Ian is also stand up guy and is really special to me.
Ian kind of has two personalities.  The sensitive side and the wild side.
Ian's always looking out for others.  Have you watched that show What Would You Do? where they show crazy things happening to see if anyone steps in?  Well, Ian would be the one to jump in every time, even if its dangerous or inconvenient.  Just the other day on his way to work he witnessed a car accident.  He stayed with an older woman who was upset and clueless as to what to do and stopped the other lady from driving off.  Even though it meant missed time from work he stayed to help them out.

One time he was driving and saw something move along the side of the road.  He pulled over and it was a premature baby deer!  The mother had been killed by a car and the baby was expelled from the mothers stomach.  He held the deer and comforted it, probably saving it's life, until police were able to come and rescue it.  Can you imagine?

Needless to say, Ian will always have your back.

He's compassionate and kind but as I mentioned before this kid is also crazy wild.  I swear, he's lucky I let him live through his childhood, this boy drove me crazy.  He was always a performer and having my friends over meant putting on a show in his mind.  Although he made me nuts sometimes I have to admit he was very entertaining and funny.

When I was bringing my serious boyfriend home for the first time to meet the family, Ian caught wind that John (my now husband) was a conservative, shy, Canadian, hands to yourself, kind of guy.  Ian made sure not to bathe and put on the shortest 70's shorts he could find and knee high socks.  When John walked through the door, Ian ran to him, threw his arms around him, nuzzled his head on John's chest and proceeded to tell him how excited he was to meet him.  For 5 minutes!  It's a miracle John didn't run out screaming after that!  Ha ha.  Gosh Ian is funny.  You've just gotta' love those wild ones.

Oh and did I mention he's super talented too?

For our wedding Ian painted me this gorgeous painting.  It's 2 feet x 3 feet and the colors are just stunning.
We had an Asian themed wedding.  I thought it would be fun and it was. 
Ian wanted to make something to go along.  Isn't it beautiful?
Just look at the detail...

It's been hanging in random places around the house since then but I think I've found the perfect spot for it.  You'll have to see when I've finished with the whole room.

Happiness and Harmony.

It was his wish for our future.  I wish you and Amanda the same for yours.

I love you Ian!  Thanks for the beautiful painting!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Jean Bean Bag Surprise

My husband and I got married just before our senior year of college.  We were poor.  So so poor.  We were living on love and prayer.  Not a bad way to live actually but it means you don't have a ton of stuff.

To solve a seating issue, I decided to make a bean bag chair.  It's pretty massive.  I used old jeans cut small squares and sewed those into 6 large squares.  The bag is actually one big cube.  At one of the big seams I used the zippers from the jeans for an opening.  Into the opening I shoved an old down comforter I wasn't using and cut up my mattress pad from sleeping on those crappy college room beds all those years for the stuffing.  Free, comfy seating.  It was great.

Here it is  -

(It's seen much better days.  You can tell it's had many years of use.) 
 You can imagine my shock when I heard it giggling the other day.  What in the world?!?

 This thing is so old it grew a kid! 

John thinks it's time to sew up the holes.  I think it's time to say good bye and buy some actual furniture.  Maggie thinks it's perfect just the way it is.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salvage! Salvage! Salvage!

My house is like a craft store.  I have so many supplies.  I love that I have what seems like an endless supply of well... supplies!  The best is most of the stuff I have is free because I salvage usable craft items from things around my house before I throw them away.  

Now, please don't take this to mean that you should keep every piece of junk that enters your house.  Oh my goodness, no.  Have you seen Hoarders?!?  I'm no minimalist and my house has it's fair share of craft clutter, but I work hard to not cross over into the realm of whatever that is.  You have to be wise about what you save and what you don't.  Give yourself rules.  Here are mine.

  1. Ask yourself, is saving this worth the effort?
  2. Make sure you have a place for it.
  3. Make sure you have a use for it in the near future.

Here's an example of something worth salvaging to me.  In the post about the Good Deed Tree I mention that I used an old burlap rice sack.  I kept the sack knowing that I would have a use for the burlap in the future since it is a popular fabric in crafting right now.  When I needed to make the tree I had the sack on hand, folded up on my fabric shelf. 

 I used the bottom of the sack for the Good Deed Tree and what was left of the top was the handles and the zipper.  Now I could have gone crazy and found some use for the handles.  Perhaps for handles of a purse but it didn't follow rules 1 & 3 for me so I chucked the rest of the burlap and saved the zipper. 

Let's see if it follows the rules shall we?

  • Ask yourself, is saving this worth the effort?

  • Yes.  Zippers can be expensive and the 3 minutes it takes for me to save it is financially beneficial to me.


  • Make sure you have a place for it.

  • In the sewing notions drawer in my craft room.


  • Make sure you have a use for it in the near future.

  • Can be put in one of the many outfits I am working on designing or on a purse.

      I simply pulled out my seam ripper and less than 5 minutes later...

      ... I had a zipper to add to my personal craft store.

      Today's lesson: 
      Don't be a hoarder and let your house get so out of control that you don't know how many dead cats are living under the piles and piles of rubbish (you've got to watch the show), but don't waste perfectly good stuff either.  Be smart about what you keep and what you toss and you'll find yourself satisfied with the nice collection of supplies you've acquired.

      Other craft salvage suggestions:
      • Keep the ribbon off of anything and everything.
      •   Remove all buttons off of clothing items.
      • Cut off the good pieces of fabric that a clothing item might still have so it's easier to store with your other fabrics.
      • Remove all working zippers.
      • Strip old bras of the eye hooks for use in other sewing projects
      • On broken shoes or belts save the buckles for use on bags or other belts you may make.
      • Remove elastic from waistbands to use on another project.
      • Keep the elastic cord that comes with new kids shoes (to keep the pair together) and use as a closure with crayon rolls, or like I did was the back closure on the Mod Mod Dress.
      • Before you toss a card, keep any reusable embellishment - brads, fancy paper clips, jewels etc.

      Anyone have any other salvage ideas?  I'd love to hear them!

      Tuesday, July 19, 2011

      South of The Border Chicken and Vegetable Soup

      A simple, hearty and healthy soup. 

      This soup is so yummy and the only way I can get vegetables into my 3 year old.

      I created this soup for Christmas Eve one year and have been enjoying it ever since.  In fact, even though its 100 degrees outside I think I'm going to make a bowl of soup.  No amount of temperature can keep me from enjoying a good bowl of soup.

      • 1 can cooked chicken breast
      • 1 can tomato sauce
      • 1 can beef broth
      • 1 can water
      • 1/2 large onion, chopped
      • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 carrot, small chop
      • 1 stick celery, cut in half lengthwise and chopped
      • corn from one cob or 1/4 cup kernels
      • 2 tomatoes, chopped
      • 1/4 cup cilantro
      • 1-2 Tb. olive oil
      • salt
      • lemon pepper
      • cumin powder
      • chili powder
      • cayenne pepper

      1. In pot, heat olive oil.  Saute onion, garlic, carrot and celery until soft.
      2. Add tomato.  Saute additional 3-5 minutes.
      3. Add tomato sauce, broth, chicken and water.  Cook until boiling.
      4. Add spices according to taste.
      5. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips.
      Serves approx. 4

      Monday, July 18, 2011

      The Lace Vase

      Are you ready for a simple project anyone can do?


      It's so simple even a three year old can do it.


      This three year old crafted this darling vase.


      Do you let your kids craft with you? 

      I hope you do.

      Crafting with your kids doesn't have to be all finger paints and pipe cleaners.  Every time I craft I usually have one of my kids by my side.  Sometimes they have important helper jobs like handing me pins when I need them, or sorting out the colors of my button collection, or sitting on my lap as I sew.  They love it.  I love it.  Sometimes you can even hand over the reins and let them take charge.  I bet they'll surprise you.

      This is the vase before. 

      My wonderful, thoughtful friend Mary gave me a beautiful boquet of flowers when Jackson was born and they came in this tall blue vase.  {I'm officially declaring blue (especially navy) the new IT color.}  This vase has been sitting in my window sill since then and I got the idea to add a little lace to it.  I got some random scraps of lace from Great Grandma Cutts and I'm pretty sure it's vintage.  I wanted to use it in a pretty way so the Lace Vase was born.  I love combining beautiful things.  Plus, it makes me think of Grandma and Mary and that just makes me smile.

      • Glass Vase
      • Lace
      • Mod Podge
      • Foam brush

      Step 1:  Cut lace to fit your vase.  My lace was in sheets and not on a spool so I had to cut around the flower design to give me a strip of lace with a nice decorative edge. but you can purchase pre-trimmed lace at any craft store.

      Step 2:  Place lace on a piece of plastic (I jused a grocery bag) and cover the entire piece of lace in Mod Podge.
      Step 3:  (Here's where mom steps in) Place the lace onto your vase and work it until it lays the way you want it to.
      Step 4:  Dab Modpodge on top of the lace until the entire piece is completly coated.  Let dry.

      {I would consider this project to be semi-permanent.} 

       You can rinse it to wash it and the lace is stuck on pretty well.  However if you ever decide that you want your vase back, sans lace, than you can soak it in water and scrub the vase back to its original state.


      Crafting with your kids is SO worth it.  Look at this proud and excited face!

      Your vase is fabulous, Maggie.  Simply fabulous.

      Nice work baby girl!
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