February 27, 2010

For almost my entire life, in every (OK, two) home I can remember we have had a giant bulletin board over the kitchen table. I'm not talking large, I'm talking massive. Bigger than the table! It was always crowded with papers, notes, bills, phone numbers, emergency lists, and then some. I think it was how my Mom managed any inkling of sanity with her 4 busy children.

So in my teens one day I realized that this board was not normal. That and it was an eye-sore. I think that's about the same time I started to develop a passion for home decor. I vowed to one day convince my Mom to take it down. So now years later, with children of my own and a need for my own humongous bulletin board (which I never would do) I finally found a way to convince her to remove it. For her birthday last year I gave her new covered cork boards. Only, it took me a long time to figure out how I wanted to make them, pick fabric with her, and complete them.

She didn't want framed boards so I found the easiest boards to cover. I wanted something that would last for a while. I found 14"x14" unframed cork boards at Jo-Anns and slowly purchased 6 of them with my 40% off coupons. You can also see them here. They cost more, but I think it was worth it for the way they are covered.

Due to the funky print and the fact that I wanted a smooth soft look on the boards I ironed the fabric flat and then ironed on some fusible fleece. This is my favorite thing to use instead of quilt batting. It worked a lot easier because it's ironed to the fabric so it didn't shift very easily.

I cut the fabric to about 17"x17" and stapled it to the back. I started in the middle on all 4 sides and then worked my way around the edges. This kept it from shifting and pulling too much. I think they turned out fabulous!

I added a pocket to one of the boards. I used got two pieces that were just over 1/3 of the height of the boards and ironed fusible fleece to one piece. I sewed the right sides together, turned them, top-stitched the top of the pocket and then sewed it to the fabric around the edges and a few rows for different size pockets. Then I stapled the piece on just like the other boards.

Ah, there it is again, my lovely new rug. Loving it.

They chose to hang only 5, my Dad just nailed them into the wall using his nail gun. But the best part of it all is it inspired my parents (that and the need to paint to cover a hole in the wall) to try wainscoting (or bead-board) on the kitchen walls. I think the room looks a whole lot better.


I'm linking this up to Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party!

February 26, 2010

Do you remember when I was so excited and happy about a rug? It didn't last. I didn't even have time to take a picture of it in my house before it had to be returned. Sad yet true. After only a month in our house my son had a rash, one that grew, and covered his entire body. A few days after we hauled out the rug we knew it was the culprit. My dear little toddler, the one who loves to tear off his clothes and run around the house in his diaper is allergic to wool. Guess what else?! So am I!

By the way - just in case you didn't know. Hypoallergenic Lanolin is not so hypoallergenic to those with wool allergies! Suddenly some experiences in life make a whole lot more sense. Just saying... And for those more sensitive people I'll just stop there.

Ah, sweet rug, it took me so long to find you. So long. I confess though, I don't miss my sons rash, the endless shedding, or that one time that you plugged up my vacuum. Nope. Not at all. I've moved on. There's a new rug on my floor. It's bigger, better and more beautiful than you. And guess what - it was cheaper! I've moved on. And this time I took a picture. Well, alright, this is a picture of something else that included the gorgeous new rug! Someday I'll have the living room all clean and get a picture of the entire thing.

February 23, 2010

Last year while quickly browsing through my local thrift store I found eight very cute jars. Their shape was just so cute and they were so cheap. I think all of them cost $2. I just knew they'd be perfect for storing little snippets in. You know: those little things for crafting that you want to remember you have.

Unfortunately after a trip to a few grocery stores I had no luck finding lids for the jars. I was very disappointed. But that weekend, while my Dad was visiting, he saw the jars and asked about them. I can't begin to tell you how much my Dad helps me with my projects. He opened the fridge, pulled out some jars and started testing lids. Turns out the lids for my spaghetti sauce and for artichoke hearts were just the right size. I wouldn't have even thought of that!

So I started collecting lids. It took some time, and my Dad even donated a few, but finally I had eight mis-matched lids. It just didn't work for me. Out came the spray paint! I painted them a black metallic. It's amazing how good it turned out.

After the lids were done I quickly cut some vinyl numbers and applied them. I think the final look is fantastic!


Creations by Kara

February 22, 2010

Last week my husband took a day off. It was wonderful. I took the toddler to play group and left the baby at home to sleep. It's such a treat to have one-on-one time with him. After that we all ran out to do errands. We first stopped at Jo-Anns where they didn't have the color yarn needed so we headed to Michaels. I didn't go in at all. These visits were for my husband and his most recent crochet project. A quick stop at Costco was then followed by another stop at Home Depot. There it was my turn to run in. I got the supplies I needed for my current project and home we rushed. It isn't the first time either of us have been in those stores, but it was a little ironic to me because usually it's the other way around.

It's entertaining to me what we sometimes "gender define". People have looked at me weird in the Hardware stores and the girls at Jo-Anns are always asking my husband if he's sure he got me the right color. I love that he's man enough to tell them straight-up that it's for his project. Especially when the color is Pink Poodle!
I have said it before and will say it again. I have an amazing husband. This week I'm singing his praises. After an amazing Valentines night last week he went and out-did himself this week. After he had a guys-night a few weeks ago he organized with my friends husbands a girls-night-out! He organized pretty much all of it - the time, the location, the child-care, all I had to do was organize where to meet my friends and figure out the vehicle to take.

So Thursday night we all met at one friends house where the husbands were all going to chill with the kids. My husband not only took the toddler AND the five month old baby but he watched my friends two children as well! (Her husband is away on training.) We all piled into her van (I officially want a van now) and drove to down-town Seattle where we enjoyed three blissful hours at The Melting Pot. It was a first-time experience for two of the girls. Oh, sweet cheesy apples and bread. Yummy Lobster, shrimp and other succulent meats. Ahh, sweet heavenly chocolate fondue. But the best part of the whole evening? The sweet time I got to spend with my friends - without the kids! (At this part I confess my complete surprise that the four that my husband was responsible for were all asleep upon our return, even if one was bundled on the couch, and another collapsed on the floor.)

As if that wasn't enough we went out on Friday night too. Our valentines reservations had been cancelled and so this week he rescheduled. Unfortunately our date included the kiddos due to a little babysitting mishap. Those things happen, and we were OK with them coming. We went to Benihana in Seattle. I'm so glad the toddler came too. I think he was the most fascinated with the entertainment as our chef twirled eggs, spatulas, caught shrimp and things in his really tall hat and pockets, and drummed the big grill in front of us. It was such a good meal and so fun to watch our son. The two gentlemen next to us at the table commented three times on how well-behaved our kids are. I have to confess, they were exceptionally well behaved that night.

We were also supposed to take a trip up the Space Needle but seeing as how we had the kids we decided to save that for another time.

That sounds fabulous, you might be thinking, but I have to add - Saturday as per usual he did the laundry, yet to be folded, but all done! He also cooks, washes dishes, and cleans (all of those things done this weekend). I have to say I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful husband. He's so awesome. I have to say though, unlike many other Praiseworthy things in this world - he is not to be sought after. Sorry ladies, but he's mine!

February 17, 2010

As I checked my comments the other day I found several SPAM comments. Links to unknown and unwanted sites - ones that I will never visit. (Now you know why I have comment moderation.) I also had random comments on a few posts that didn't make any sense at all. I showed my husband and we laughed over it. His comment? "You're popular enough for Spam!" Just to clarify here: I'm don't blog for popularity. I gave up all hope of popularity in high school.

I actually use Google Analytics to see and understand my blog traffic. You see, I have an inner nerd, one that escapes every once in a while. Alright, often. I like to see how different things (like joining parties, labels, etc.) affect traffic. My favorite part of Analytics is the map overlay where I can see where people are visiting from. I've had visitors from 54 countries over the last month. How can it not be cool to look at a map and see that you've had 11 visits from Poland? OK maybe I'm alone in this.

I'd like to say the most visited post is some amazing creation of mine. Ha ha ha. For some reason Google image search results pops this post up on their first page when you search for Procrastination. I'd love to know how their search engines work but I don't think I'd make it through that explanation. I'm not THAT nerdy.

February 16, 2010

Some time ago as we painted our house like crazy people we included the Master Bedroom in the whirl-wind. There was drama. First the wrong color, then two walls just didn't look right. Then last year we finally go around to fixing those splotchy walls. It took priming them and starting all over again. We finally had everything finished. Then, suddenly I realized I had no clue how to decorate my bedroom. I had no color scheme, no idea what bedding would work, nothing. So I left it. I lived in the room for days, then months, without doing a thing.

This is how the room was when we first saw it. (This is the listing image!) Just painted different there was a great improvement, but it still wasn't enough.

Then one day as I was moving decor around elsewhere I found my inspiration. These are some blocks we did one Super Saturday with some Scrapbook paper I love. (Please ignore the dusty night-stand. There's a reason I have time to craft you know.) I finally had a color scheme to work with.

I then used the same paper and Mod-Podged three Malma mirrors from IKEA. They were the Black-brown ones so I didn't paint or stain them at all. This was super easy to do. Cut the paper, mod-podge the paper, stick it on, press it flat. Then let it dry. Mod-podge the top after and let it dry again! Simple. Fingerprints bothering you? Refer to my earlier comment on dust. At least I used Goo Gone and got rid of the few streaks of mod-podge on the mirrors. I was a little sloppy.

I think they turned out super fabulous. Then lastly, I finally found some beautiful frames and framed some pictures of the Seattle Temple that I took last year! I'm finally getting somewhere with my room. And you finally get to see my red striped wall! That was a lot of work, but I LOVE it!

Here's what that back wall looks like now! I have more in store for this room but this is your sneak peak. And looking at this picture the red pillow just has to go. (I know, you'll be so happy Hun. He has no clue why we need so many pillows.)

Creations by Kara

February 15, 2010

I can never come up with gifts to surprise my husband. The things he always asks for are simple: books and tech toys. But he always seems to know exactly what to get me. Ever since getting my new camera I have had one regret. It does not record video. So what does he manage to sneak into the house this year and surprise me with?! A small video camera in HOT PINK. It's absolutely perfect and has already taken several videos.

He also lined up a wonderful date to the temple (which is hard to plan because of our little nursing baby) and we had a delicious meal after that! Ahh. It's so wonderful to just have time to talk. Thanks to our friends for watching our toddler and to my wonderful parents for taking the baby while we enjoyed a short temple visit. I have missed it so.

As for me? Husband and boys got Love buckets filled with goodies and trinkets to entertain them. I also got my husband a rain coat. We've lived on the West Coast for over two years now and he still didn't have one! Shocking, I know! Now he can stay dry during his commute - unless the rain pounds down. (I know it's practical, but I felt like I was letting him know I really care with this gift.)

It's sweet to celebrate Love.

February 9, 2010

Saturday I completed yet another Diaper Bag. My husband commented on it being Version 3.0. I gawked back and said, "You know, it actually is!" to which he replied: "I know, I keep track of your craftiness you know!" How sweet is that. He knows the number of times I've altered and created the same pattern. This bag, now Version 3.0 is a favorite.

The Pattern: Simplicity 2750 BAGS View B

The Versions (and Lessons Learned):
1. I made the pattern as is on the outside but added pockets on both sides on the inside. The pockets went all the way to the bottom. They were too shallow and for this style bag you have to remember that the bottom seam is too low for a pocket to go. I am constantly digging for my things because the bottom of the pocket is really the bottom of the bag!
2. I extended the band across the top and joined the sides and the middle. Then I only did pockets on one side on the inside of the bag. The pockets were raised up. It worked, but it wasn't enough pockets. (At least for me.)
3. This time I opened up the front of the bag to make 3 large pockets on the outside and several on the opposite side on the inside of the bag. The outside pockets all fit bottles and the inside ones are a good size too. All of them do not go the depth of the bag to prevent losing things at the very bottom of them. Lastly, I added a Posy Pin like the one my Sister-in-law made me for a little extra touch.

I think I'm finally finished and have transformed this simple pattern into an ideal diaper bag. Of course, it is on the smaller side for a Mom of 2 kids in diapers. I'm going to work on a larger version so it will fit more. Version 3.1 up next!

Visit thecsiproject.com

February 8, 2010

I had the wonderful opportunity of taking Newborn Photos for some friends of mine. Theirs is a long story - but one that ends with a miracle and a beautiful baby girl. I have to admit, Daddy was right, she does look like him in his baby photos. But when they are so little and new, you never know who they'll end up looking like.

I'm still learning how to photograph and how to use my camera. I always feel so nervous and humble when taking photos for someone else. Thank-you so much for letting me practice photography on your daughter!

I rented a 50mm lens that I've been wanting to try out. After the shoot and struggling to get the focus exactly as I wanted I'm not sure I still want the lens. Time and more practice will tell. I'd recommend renting to anyone planning to make a large investment like a DSLR Camera or a lens for it. You can rent cameras and lenses at different locations. I know in some places it's not as easy, luckily I have a rental place near enough.

Let me know what you all think, if you have any suggestions on how I can improve I'd love to hear them.

February 6, 2010

I love IKEA! I love wondering the many rooms and gathering inspiration. I enjoy their meatballs. And if I were Swedish furniture - this would be me:

OK, that was a fun little 5 second break provided to you by Blogadilla.com. Go here to try it out yourself.

February 2, 2010

I have been so busy this week working on several projects. I have 3 aprons cut and ready to sew, one bag cut out, and I'm working on curtains for my living area. Plus a super cute gift for my son which I'll show you soon. Sheesh it's a lot to take on in one week. But my goal is to get it all done this week.

So with no time to take pictures of other things I've done, here's another version of the Soap Pumps I made last year. Go see that post for more instructions on how to do it! Wrapped up with a towel and some ribbon these look fantastic! They are so cheap and easy to make too. You can go all out or keep it simple and it always blows people away!

For one recipient I had planned to give her Crystal Nail Files (which, by the way, are so wonderful to use) so I packaged them along with this and it was perfect. Wouldn't this make a super cute House Warming Gift, or Valentines Gift? The possibilities are endless!

Joining up to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land, Get Your Craft On with Today's Creative Blog and Look What I Made with Creations by Kara.