Nursery

I've had the nursery done for a while, but finally had time to write about it now.  I started with my color scheme, wanting mostly neutral creams and whites with natural wood, peach, and coral.  It involved a lot of projects like a canopy, mobile, crib sheets, pillow cases, curtains, a slip cover, reupholstering an ottoman, spray painting frames, turning a chair into a rocker, and making artwork.

Some of the projects were really difficult (never making another slipcover!) but I enjoyed the hours I spent on them, thinking about when my little girl would be here.

She's beautiful and I am so grateful for her every single day.

I had so much fun working on the artwork, it was nice to sketch again and reawaken that side of my artistic abilities.  I fell in love with this crib, but when I looked up how much it was I almost died.  Thank goodness I found it on kijiji second hand!

The rocking chair was made from an ikea wing chair, here's the great tutorial on how to do that.  I'm so glad we did it, when nothing else will calm her down, the rocking chair is all that will work.

I found this lamp on kijiji and changed the brown shade to white, and painted over the puke green color, turning it coral.  The mobile was made from keys I bought at Michaels, felt wings hot glued onto them, and fishing wire attaching them to the ribbon covered metal hanger I'd upcycled from an old lampshade.  The bookends were a great thrift store find.

The dresser is from Ikea, but we found it brand new on kijiji for a lot less, and the mirror was black when I found it at a thrift store, and looks way better with it's new paint job (what doesn't look good spray painted gold?).

It's so calm and peaceful in the nursery, exactly what I wanted for my little girl : )

Is it a Boy or a Girl?

This week we found out what we were having; I feel like I'd been waiting forever to find out!  We went for the ultrasound in the morning, and instead of finding out then, we decided we wanted to find out with our families later that day.

I'd done most of the work for the party before hand, but thankfully still had enough to do to keep my mind busy and away from sneaking a peek before the party.  It was tempting!

Since our house is pretty tiny, we had searched out a private little spot in the nearby Fish Creek park.  Being outdoors, I decided to go with a kind of autumn color scheme.  I really lucked out at Value Village, finding those adorable picnic baskets and table cloth.  The rest of the decor, I mostly picked up at the dollar store, found in my house, or borrowed from my own mother and my mother-in-law.  I put the chips in some paper bags to dress them up a bit without dragging tons of breakable dishes with me.

I had the tables all set up for when our families arrived, and they loved it!  They were all expecting a fire-pit and hotdog roasting, which we did have, but they were pleasantly surprised by the decorations and the setup.  As Curtis's Mom said, "It's the fanciest picnic I've ever been to."

When Curtis's brother first arrived he saw some empty picnic tables before making it through the woods to our little clearing, and asked if that was it.  Curtis said, "You obviously don't know Jennie," and led him to the party.  Curtis thinks I'm crazy sometimes, I know, but I loved how nice everything looked!

There were a few more details, such as the chalkboard to cast your vote, and a station to write a letter to the baby, which they can have when they later learn how to read.

For the reveal we decided to go with a pinata I made.  I had bought pink and blue candy the day before, so that on our way home from the ultrasound we stopped by my friend's place so that she could stuff the pinata for us.  She was great at keeping it a secret, so we still had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl!

Dinner was fun and simple, and I'm so glad everyone had a good time.

Finally it was time to hit the pinata!  The anticipation was killing me!

And......It looks like little Indy is getting a girl for a cousin!  She was dressed just right for the party, and loved the candy.

We were completely surprised, I guess we both thought we were having a boy!  Our little one is a girl and we are so excited about it.  She's going to steal her Dad's heart, that's for sure : )

A Baby Blanket

First off, I must apologize for my absence.  December is always a crazy busy month, and then I was sick for about two weeks (hopefully that's it for this year!).  But no more excuses!

Here's a baby blanket I knit a while ago, and I was waiting to post this until my sister-in-law announced to everyone that they're having a baby!  I'm so excited for them, and gave them this blanket a week after I found out.  I love the way it turned out, the pattern is beautiful, and since they're not finding out if the baby is a boy or girl the colour is perfect for either, without having to be generic yellow.

To make one of your own, you can purchase the pattern online here, it's very simple and easy to download after purchasing.  I think it's so cute!

Making an Autumn Wreath

I love how my furniture and everything are all fairly neutral colours, such as whites, greys, and creams, which makes it easier to decorate for the season, which I love to do.

I love the fall season, even if it means the end of the summer, because I love layering and wearing jeans and sweaters, and I love watching the leaves turn colour.  I must admit that I found myself missing Ontario, and our old house with the three huge maple trees on the front lawn.  The leaves out here in Calgary only turn yellow, so I decided to bring the reds and oranges that I missed so much, into my house.

I made a fall wreath, which I hung on the mirror above my couch, and I think it turned out rather pretty, if I do say so myself:

It was an in-expensive wreath to make.  I bought the form at Michaels, and the leaves were a kind of garland, all attached to one another, from the dollar store.  The little squash/pumpkin/bunch of berries is from a box of little fall things I had already bought from Superstore.

Here's a breakdown of the cost of this wreath:

Grapevine Base - 3.99

Leaves      -     2

Total Cost   -  5.99

Compare that to at least $30 for the cheapest wreath of that size.  That's a savings of at least $24.

An Ugly Old Dresser

I've been working on a lot of projects this week, trying to get them all done before the snow hits for the winter.  One of the projects I completed this week was an old dresser I'd purchased on kijiji a few months back, for only $10.

It was in pretty rough shape, but I liked the look of it and had been searching for a short, three drawer dresser, and it was perfect.

Step 1:   

After vacuuming the piece out, it was time to get rid of that horrible paint job.  It was a mess, not to mention the colour was not the look I was going for.  

These are the tools I used:

The pliers were to remove the old hardware, and the rest was for the paint stripper I picked up at Home Depot for $10.  I hate sanding, so I tried it out.  All you do is pour it on the area you want to strip (don't be cheap, you'll need a thick layer), and let it sit for at least an hour.  This is what it looked like after 5 minutes:

After it's all bubbly, you strip the paint off with a scraper, being careful not to damage the wood by denting it.

Step 2:   

The paint stripper didn't get all of it off, so I sanded down the rest until it looked like this:

Step 3:   

Fill the holes you won't need anymore.

Step 4:  

Then I began painting it.  I decided on white because I like neutral colors for furniture, and because I still had some paint in the house that was white.

Do you love my workstation? I set it up in front of my television in the middle of my living room, and watch decorating shows while I accomplish projects.

Step 5:   

Attach hardware.  (Aren't they cute?  I found them on sale at Michael's and had to pick them up!)

And then it's done!  I'm pretty excited about it, it's perfect for the little space it's in.

So what did it cost?  Here's the breakdown:

Dresser  -  $10

Paint stripper  -  $10

Paint    -  $0

Hardware -  $9

Total Cost  -  $29

With the chance of sounding like an infomercial, "That's a huuuuge savings!"

This dresser from Ikea, the cheapest, new, similiar dresser I can find, that isn't quite as pretty or cute, is $199.  I saved, at least, $170.

Just one more time, here's the before and after:

Making an Ottoman

Okay everyone, here is a riddle for you.

What can you make out of these two items, found on kijiji?

*As a side note, please do not judge my editing skills by my poorly photo-shopped table picture above.  the legs were originally green, but I had already painted the legs by the time I took the "before" picture, and I wanted you to get an idea of the original state.

What I did first, as mentioned above, was paint the legs white.  I painted the sides as well, and didn't realize until later that I actually didn't need to, so save yourself some time and skip painting the sides.

Next, I measured out where I wanted my tufts/buttons to be, and then drilled the holes through the top of the table in those places.

After that, I took the cover off of the little couch and chopped up the foam to lay on top of the table.  I had to use every inch and scrap to cover the top, and was a little short, but I figured that when I tufted it later it wouldn't show.  I used the little couch instead of just buying foam, because foam is incredibly expensive!  It would have cost me at least $100 from Fabricland for the amount of foam I needed.

I used a spray adhesive, just one I found at Wal-mart in the craft section, and it worked pretty well.  Don't do the spraying inside, as everything nearby will become sticky.  I sprayed the pieces of foam and then stuck them to the top of the table, kneeling on them to make sure they adhered.

For this next part, I do apologize, as I was too eager to get this part done because it was already midnight, and forgot to take pictures as I went, but I will try explain what I did.

After sticking the foam down, I made holes in it on top of my drilled holes.  It helps a lot when tufting.  To find the holes through the foam, I used a kabob stick (because it's pointed on the end) and stuck it through the hole in the back of the table, and it poked out through the foam.  That's how I knew where to dig the holes.

Next, I put batting down, doubled, on top of the foam.  I cut some pieces up and stapled them under the lip, so the edge wouldn't be so obvious.  I then laid my fabric on top of that.

And then it was time to tuft.

First I covered the buttons (you can find these pretty much anywhere, I got mine at Fabricland).  Because I had picked a thicker fabric, I needed a hammer to get the backs into the buttons so they would stay.  Make sure when you're buying the buttons to cover that you get one of the packages with the kit, otherwise it's much more difficult.

Since I didn't take pictures, I'm going to direct you to this wonderful tutorial on diamond tufting:  

http://blog.addicted2decorating.com/2010/08/how-to-make-diamond-tufted-upholstered.html

This is a photo of my tufting job.  Listen to the tufting tutorial when is says leave it a bit loose, because then you will get the fabulous lines between buttons, giving you a diamond shape and a deeply tufted look.

When I was done, I stapled around the edges, securing the fabric tightly underneath.  I started stapling at each button, creating a nice crease down the side and stapling that down first.

After cutting off the excess fabric, it was all finished!

Here's the breakdown of what it cost:

             Coffee table (kijiji)  -           $25

             Foam/Kids couch (kijiji)  -  $10

             Fabric  -                             $24

             Buttons  -                           $11

             Batting   -                           $16

             Total Cost:                         $86

Compare that to $539 for the ottoman below, I think I did pretty good at saving at least $450.

Square Tufted Storage Ottoman

Here's just a little reminder of the before and after:

I am pretty pleased with myself, it's perfect!  Well, except for the corners, I want to fix those, but it's not urgent.  And it's wide enough so we can use it from both couches!  I'll have to post a picture of my living room when it's all completed and decorated.

Cable Knit Scarf

It was last fall.  I was at the mall, checking out everyone's clothes because going to the mall is like going to a fashion show.  This girl walked by with the

cutest

scarf.  Ever.  It was a rusty colour and I wanted it very much, but alas, it was no where to be found.

After much searching, I decided it was time to take up knitting.  I'd tried once before when I was about 12, and it was a disaster, so I hoped that this time it would go better.  Relief Society (what we call our group/organization of women at church) was putting on a crafts Saturday, and I ended up learning the very, very basics of knitting.  It was perfect timing!

I bought knitting needles, I bought the yarn, and I got started.

A little ways into it, I decided it was looking far too boring with only using the basic stitch, so I unravelled it, and searched youtube for tutorials on knitting a cable stitch, since I love the way they look.  I also learned on youtube the difference between a purl and a knit stitch.  I swear, you can learn absolutely everything on youtube!

I'll give you a rough pattern of what I did to knit this scarf, in case you wanted to make one yourself.  It makes a great scalloped edge, as illustrated below.  If you don't know a stitch that I used, youtube it, because that's much easier than reading my rambling, trying to explain it.  Here's the needles I used, they are 3.75 mm, US 5:

To start it off, follow

Step 1:

Cast on 32 stitches.

Step 2:

I did 9 rows of 1 purl, 6 knit, 2 purl, 6 knit, 2 purl, 6 knit, 2 purl, 6 knit, 1 purl.

Step 3: 

On the 10th row, purl 1, cable 3 over 3 (this is done by slipping the next three stitches off onto a short little cable needle, knit the next three, then slip the three back onto the needle and knit them.  This creates the cross over called a cable).  So again on the 10th row, purl 1, cable 3 over 3 (using the knit stitch), purl 2, cable 3 over 3, purl 2 cable 3 over 3, purl 2, cable 3 over 3, purl 1.

Step 4:

Repeat step 1, followed by step 2, over and over till your scarf is as long as you want it, then bind it off!

Here's the picture illustrating those steps:

Soon you will have a lovely scarf to wear.  I love scarfs!  Here is me "modeling" it for the post:

Not bad for my first knitting project ever, if I do say so myself.  Well, I guess second.  It's much better than the lopsided squares I made back in the day, that's for certain.

For these pictures, if you're wondering, I looped the scarf three times around my neck and secured the ends together with a few bobby pins, works great!  I used two things (so scientific) of yarn for it, so it's super duper long, just the way I like a scarf.

I'm trying a new stitch now, the herringbone stitch, for a cowl I'm making.  When I'm done I'll have to post that too!  If it turns out, that is.

How to Deal With: An Old Worn Desk

I got this old desk off of kijiji near the end of last summer, when we just needed furniture regardless of how it looked.  The desk was free, and I thought it was a cute shape with great potential, even though the drawer fronts were missing half of the veneer.

This week I finally decided to drag it out to the backyard to sand it down and give it a couple coats of white paint I had leftover from my bookshelves (I'll have to post a picture of those sometime).

After I painted it all and had peeled the veneer off of the drawer fronts, I pasted a textured wallpaper to the drawer fronts and painted it the same color, finishing it off with some drawer handles from Home Depot.

Our computer looks much nicer on it now, at least until we get a real computer desk that's the right height, and I can find a better home for this cute desk!