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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

No Sew Bed Skirt Tutorial

Love our bed! 
Last weekend I got a bad-ass ukulele from my dear friend Glenjamin. I also finished the bed skirt to match our No Sew (& practically no measure) Curtains. 
My sister says, "Uke wars, Kirby style"

Maybe it's obvious that I am not one to sew. It's not that I don't want to sew. It's not that I don't have a machine (thanks Karen!). It's really that I am just not good at it yet. So, while I practice sewing, I'll be sharing all my no-sew tips. 

This is a ridiculously simple project that can turn your bed from ordinary to lavish. There is just something about a pool of fabric that screams taste to me. 

Here's what you will need: 

  • Fabric
  • Duct Tape 
  • Measuring Tape 

First measure your fabric. I made two separate panels (one for each side of the bed that meet at either end of the bed) I didn't worry too much about where the panels meet, because I have both a head and a foot board. If you don't have a foot board, you may want to make one very long bed skirt. I measured two times the length of my bed. The width measurement was the height from the top of the box spring to the floor plus five inches. 

I used  Osnaburg Fabric Unbleached Muslin. No need to hem the ends, I love the unfinished look that match my curtains. Then found a work space large enough to lay the fabric long way. I used a long table with a tall stool on the end. 

Then you will make accordion folds about one inch wide. Then, simply cover the top with duct tape. Leave enough of the duct tape to fold it over. If you need to, attach another piece of duct tape on the backside of the fabric. 

Once you have completed folding and taping the entire length, easily slip the duct tape end between your box spring and mattress. You can play around with how much length you want by manipulating where the duct tape sets. Super easy and super gorgeous! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Little things to make my office more like home

Happy Holidays! 

Today I am enjoying working from home. I love the energy at my workspace but I love being in my home and near my puppies. Our home office is not quite ready for use, so we have the computer set up on a dresser in our bedroom. I am okay with that. I have a peppermint and vanilla candle burning, a coffee, and the soft lighting of Christmas lights and lamps. I feel less anxious, although I have a million things on my plate. Enjoying working from home made me think about how I can enjoy my workspace this much. 

I am lucky I can work from home a couple times a month but, I can't work from home everyday.

1) I use real cups and mugs. It makes such a difference. 

2) I used home goods not office supplies. My paper clip holder is a cute painted little votive holder. I have $ 1 store picture frames, framing my to-do lists and calendar. I use pretty wicker baskets to hold my snacks. 

This makes me happy =)
3) I surround myself with pictures of those I love and other things that make me happy; Bible versus, inspirational quotes, pictures of the shore. 

4) I can't light candles, but if I could I would turn off the florescent lights and use table lamps and candles. 

5) Lovely lotion. I keep Aveno or Johnson & Johnson lotion at my desk. It smells like baby (I love babies) and makes me happy. 

6) I have a small dog stuffed animal that is filled with lavendar and rice. It can be cooled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave. It is great when I am hot or cold and soothes a back or stomach ache and it is just so darn cute! I got it from Ten Thousand Villages, but you can make one yourself. 

Other office things that make me happy, organized files (color coded), colored pens and markers, and labeled binder clips. I've seen some cool tutorials on how to upholster an office chair. I love the idea of a cozy rug on the floor or a blanket on your chair. I can't concentrate when I am cold (or hot) or generally uncomfortable. 

Here is a picture of today's stove top scent. Rosemary, Cinnamon, cranberries, oranges, some lemon juice, vanilla, and water. Smells so lovely and looks so festive! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

We were featured on IKEA Hackers!

Lots of exciting stuff going on over here! 

Our book shelf project was featured on IKEA Hackers. Check it out here. 

I also got a great email from the folks over at Harts Fabric. I sent them some pictures of my No Sew (& pratically no measure) Curtains! AND they sent me a coupon code for my next order. Totally love those guys. 

I garbaged picked some wood (New Yorks throw away such amazing stuff!) so I'll be making something for the bathroom. We need some towel storage. 

Thanks for reading and keep your fingers crossed that I can make some blog world connections and post some more of my projects on some other sites! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happiness is Only Real When Shared

Some folks know, I can be a little high strung and anxious about small details. But, the last few days I have felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I get into bed at night feeling grateful and I wake up feeling rested. My relationship with my husband keeps getting better and more and more I feel connected to my communities. My job is providing me with a healthy dose of challenge and my graduate courses are keeping me intellectually stimulated. 

I'm re-reading, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. It was a gift from my dad a few Christmases ago (and a few Christmases since then because I keep giving my copy away!) My dad told me the author and her story reminded him of me. Rubin is a typical type-a New Yorker with a million goals and a high stress job. I am a typical type-a new yorker with a million goals and a high stress job. Rubin spends a year trying to be happy with what she has and really exploring what happiness is. The following are somethings I have learned from Rubin and yoga classes and other books and conversations I have had about happiness. 

Stop doing things that don't make you happy! I used to do sooooo many things I hated. I belonged to clubs I didn't enjoy, I hung out with people who drove me nuts, and I ate food that made me wanna puke. What's the point? You only have one life- go live it! 

Clean now. Just tidy-up a bit. I love going to bed knowing there are no dirty dishes in the sink, the blankets in the living room are folded, the floors have been swiffered (I do this every single day) and the bathroom is clean. A little bit each day saves me time! 

Medatate. I am a yogi who loves metta meditation. If you need an introduction into meditation and yoga, check out my dear friend Shira's e-book: http://storyofacollegeyogi.tumblr.com/. It's an excellent resource and I am mentioned in the book =) Shira is a phenomenal yoga teacher. 

Write in a gratitude journal. I try to use my planner as journal, jotting down specific things that I am grateful for. Sometimes its phone call from a friend, other times the man who held the door for me when my hands were full, and then the little things- I have a family, I can see, I can continue my education, I am madly in love. More importantly, I truly try and stop to reflect on these things. 

Make lists. Even if it is just so you can check off the little things you did today.

It's all about expectations. Don't expect to get something in return. Do things because you want to. And don't expect other people to think what you do is great. My hubby does not care if the dishes are done before bed. I shouldn't expect that he say thank you because he just doesn't care about his dishes! 

Make memories and show them off. Spend money on making memories. Display things that remind you of happy memories. I love photos, I love books. I made a huge book shelf to display them! 

Have you read the Happiness Project? What do you have to add to this list? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Another $5 Craft, Country Holiday Wreath

Today, I am feeling so festive! I've got some delish rosemary, vanilla, and lemon on the stove, creating a heavenly scent in my kitchen/dinning room/living room! I have a peppermint candle burning in the bedroom AND I have Christmas lights a-twinkling! 

James and I bought a lovely plant at Trader Joe's yesterday and will now have fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme in our kitchen. I seriously love having fresh herbs and this winter I am going to get serious about taking care of something that brings me such joy. Stay tuned for an apartment herb garden tutorial! 

Other than decking the halls, I have been crafting! 

I am really excited to share this step-by-step country holiday wreath. 

You'll need: 

Pipe Insulation (Found in the plumbing section of Home Depot for around a dollar. My mom suggested using a pool noodle if you have one!)
Fabric Scrapes, any length/width will do 
Duct Tape
Hot Glue Gun 

Holiday berries
Cardboard and Twine 
Fabrics and Buttons 

Start with the pipe insulation, use duct tape to tape into a circle.

Attach the hot glue to the duct tape or another piece of fabric if you can. Or use a small amount of hot glue. The foam will melt crazy fast. Then wrap your fabric around until you have covered the entire ring. There is no wrong or right way. I used dark and light brown burlap, some muslin, and some white fabric scraps left over from my shower curtains. 

Then decide what you want to attach to your wreath. I wanted to use our initial and some white holiday berries I had laying around. And I made a Burlap Bow! See my tutorial here. 

How to make a twine cover letter super cheap? Don't start with a Hobby Lobby letter. Simply trace a letter on cardboard and cover with twine. There are lots of interesting methods to covering letters in string. I fund the trial and error worked best. Also, use small lengths of string and simply hot glue on the backside when you get to the end of a piece. 

Here is the finished project, hanging over our guest bed. I love that it's a little bit winter and a little bit country but not too over the top. 

What holidays wreaths are you crafting this winter? 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

No Sew (& practically no measure) Curtains!

 I purchased 25 yards of Osnaburg Fabric Unbleached Muslin at 3.99/yard. The folks over at Harts fabric answered all my questions and sent my order out so quick! It took me a couple of weeks to finally sit down and break out my sewing machine. And as it turns out, sewing is not nearly as easy as I imagined. I had hours until our Thanksgiving party and had only enjoyed one creme brulle latte. 

I measured from the curtain rod to the floor and added 15 inches. Then I cut one panel, held them up the window to double check that the measurements would work and cut the remaining fabric. The measurements don't need to be perfect because I left so much to pool at the floor.  I wanted two panels on each window, so I had four pieces of fabric to hem. I left the long sides un-cut, I like the unfinished quality to it. 

The hemming was easy-peasy thanks to my iron and Thermoweb Heat'n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-on Adhesive.  It is as simple as it sounds, you cut the adhesive in strips and iron where you'd like it to hold. Make sure to measure the height of your hem, as you want them all to match. This was really important for me, because Osnaburg is somewhat transparent. 

We are really happy with how much sun-light the curtains block without making the room pitch black. In the summer, I may add a panel to block out the heat, but right now they will stay as is =)

What do you think? What curtain or hemming tricks do you use? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Built-in Billy Bookshelf for under $250

What do you need?

  • 3 billy bookshelves 
  • Crown molding
  • Lattice
  • Quarter round
  • Base molding
  • Calk
  • Paint
  • Screw drivers
  • Drill
  • Finishing nails 
  • Optionl: chalk pro reel set, shims

Step 1: Clear out the closet if needed and remove doors. We had to remove the poorly installed wood shelves. (It was fun to rip them down!)

Step 2: Put those Billy Bookshelves together. I put all 3 together by myself in under 90 minutes. You will need both a Phillips and flat head screwdriver for assembly. 

Step 3: Wedge the shelves in your closet space. A friend is helpful for this maneuver. We were incredibly lucky with measurements. We had about three inches to spare with the bookshelves in the closet. We also had to account for a dip in the floor. We used shims (scrap wood) to keep the shelves level.  

Step 4: We used a chalk line pro-reel to make sure each shelf was lined up on the floor, otherwise the molding would have been a pain! And we nailed the base of the shelves directly into the floor. They are not moving!  

Step 5: We used a chisel to make the bottom part of the two ends of the shelves even with the rest of the bottom of the shelf so the base molding could sit in there. 

Step 6: Install the lattice where the two book shelves meet to make it look like one piece. 

Step 7: Install crown molding above the book shelf. Nail to top of closet or molding around the closet. 

Step 8: We installed quarter round on each side to cover an unsightly blemish in the original wood work. 

Step 9: Fill in the nail holes with putty or calk and let dry. Then paint. 

Step 10: Decorate your new built-in! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Couches!

They are here! My couches came in! 

If you want to know the tale of how the couches got into our apartment, keep reading. Otherwise just enjoy the photo. The delivery folks were scheduled to get to our place on Wednesday, which was perfect because our Thanksgiving dinner was planned for Saturday. They were late, hours late. It was almost six when I called the company we ordered from but they were already closed for the night. So, I did what any normal stressed-out pre-Thanksgiving hostess does. I went and got a manicure. But, as soon as my nails were wet my phone rang and the couches were a block away. Blarg!

I was so giddy I couldn't sit still! James called and I was thinking he would say something like, "They are lovely, good choice baby!" What he actually said was that the three delivery guys refused to bring the couches upstairs because there was no way the couches would fit! I threw a fit. I knew that if were took off the door jamb we had an extra inch of room. The delivery folks said that I could not take the door jamb off. I called the company and left three voice mails and sent a bunch of emails. The drivers drove away.  (Sidebar story, my Nanny just had these couches delivery to her house. We had no idea we were ordering the same couches! Anyway, I was able to measure for the exact dimensions of the couch.)

Friday morning, I call until I reach a human and explain that I know the couches will fit. They first told me the trucks have all left for the day but they will see if they can make a special arrangement. An hour later, I got a call from a delivery guy who said he would be to our house in 30 minutes. I b-line it home, becuase, ya know, I was running errands for our party! At this point I had only had coffee to eat and I was kinda running around like a crazy person. This one guy and James manage to get these couches up the stairs and in our apartment in less than 30 minutes. I know, I know, they are total Hercules. 

Burlap Blessed Banner

Sometimes, I need a little reminding of how blessed we are. I saw a burlap banner at a dear friend's bridal shower last year and have been thinking about making one ever since. While it  is very fitting for Thanksgiving, I plan on leaving it up year round. 

I am blessed =)

You will need: 
Printer (or you could free-hand it)
Hot Glue Gun 

I found a font I liked on-line, downloaded it, and printed the word "blessed"

Cut 7 triangles out of the burlap

See how the burlap is practically see through? No need to stencil! 

Trace the lettering on the burlap with a sharpie and then fill in! 

I used a hot glue gun to glue each piece together at the corners and then glued twine to the back leaving two inches at each end to hang it up. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Trail Mix & Free Label Download

I have so many things to be thankful for this year. My loving husband, our beautiful dogs, my supportive family, our dear friends, a job I adore, and this blog! 

I love being able to make things for the folks I work with and let them know I really appreciate what they do everyday. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for that! A quick trip to the Deals store and Walgreens was all I need for Easy Thanksgiving Trail Mix. 

I made 15 baggies of trail mix and used the following: 

One big bowl
2 boxes raisins 
2 bags of craisins 
2 bags of sunflower seeds
1 box of Life Cereal 
1 box of Frosted Mini Wheats (I used the off brand)
1 container of honey roasted peanuts
2 bags of Fall M&Ms
Cellophane Baggies 

Total Cost: $25
Price per baggie: $1.78

Mix it all together

Put it in the baggies and attach labels with a stapler. 

These are the labels I used for each baggie. I printed them on card stock in black and white. 

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Burlap Bow?!? YES!

Do you have any old vases laying around? Maybe the freebies that come with a flower order? For under $5 you can turn it into something beautiful!

You'll need: 

Burlap scraps
Hot Glue Gun

First, wrap some twine around your vase. Use a little hot glue at each end. 

 Next, cut your burlap into strips, you can play around with the length and width. 

Lay the burlap strips into a flower like formation. 

A little dalop of glue in the middle of the strip is all you need. 

 Then layer the other strips on top placing hot glue in between. 

Fold the end of each strip toward the center and hot glue each layer. I am sorry I don't have a picture of this. I burned my fingers with the hot glue gun :/

Knot up a little piece of twine for the center and there you have it!