Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Non-Event

Don't forget to enter the giveway for a free double wine tote pattern from Fireflies & Jellybeans, plus a finished tote made by me!

As a mother, sometimes I build things up into a big intimidating THING, and then when whatever it is happens it's so not a big deal.  I think I'm not alone in this.  I need to give my kid a little more credit where credit's due because she's handled change well since she was an infant.  I'm apparently the one who is averse to it.


For probably at least a year, we've limited Arden's pacifier use to sleeping only.  It was very little upset to stop having it in the car, which had previously been another time when she could use it.  I knew we were pushing the boundary of when the dentist was going to say it was time.  I've been talking to her a lot about how she was a big girl and didn't need it anymore, yada, yada, yada.  The thing is - Arden's not a very good sleeper.  She's a fabulous napper, and at bedtime she usually goes to sleep pretty easily.  Then she wakes up to three times a night crying incessantly.  I've done a little research and it sounds like night terrors.  Because of her poor sleep I was reluctant to change anything in her routine.


Here's how the Project No Pacifier went: 
Thursday after her dentist appointment, I told her she wasn't going to have her pacifiers any more and that we were going to go and trade them in for a big prize.  Arden - "a big horsey prize?"  Me - "sure".  Thursday nap went fine.  Thursday night time was a little rough, but I think more because we had been babysitting at a friend's house and got home a bit late.  Friday nap - fine.  I had her decorate a paper bag to hold her pacifiers after nap.  She enjoyed a half hour of crafty time.  Friday night - only one bout of crying, so an improvement from normal.  Saturday nap - fine.  Saturday afternoon we went to Target and she got a little purple sock monkey as her big prize.  I made sure to get in line with a female checker and explained that we were trading our suckies in for a big girl prize.  The cashier went along with it no problem and we went home with a new purple sock monkey and without pacifiers.  The End.  A complete non-event.

I did almost the same internal buildup about switching over to her toddler bed, and that also was no problem.  Have any of you found yourselves making things a bigger deal than your child?

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Fireflies and Jellybeans Double Wine Tote Pattern Giveway!

Recently I volunteered to pattern test for Fireflies and Jellybeans.  In exchange for a free pattern they were developing, I sewed a double wine tote and provided feedback on the pattern.  It turned out to be super easy to follow, and a nice quick project.  I think this would be perfect for a hostess gift, or for toting a couple of bottles for a picnic.  Fawnda also generously offered to do a giveway on A Jennuine Life - here's a bit from her:

Hello, Fawnda here (from Fireflies and Jellybeans), I am so excited to introduce my newest pattern:
It is a Double Wine Tote!

The double wine tote is the perfect way to carry your wine safely anywhere you want to go. Whether you are going to a party or a evening with close friends and family, you are sure to look stylish with this chic wine tote!


**The Pattern come with a license to sell what you make!**


Jenn was gracious enough to be one of my pattern testers!  Her tote turned out FANTASTIC!  I love her fabric!


To introduce my pattern I am giving away 1 free to A Jennuine Life reader!  
Also A Jennuine Life readers get 20% off at my shop: Funky Joy.  
Just use the code: JENNUINE

Isn't that cool!  Plus - I'm going to giveway one completed wine tote to a lucky winner in the fabric shown above.   This is the first time I'm trying a Rafflecopter giveway - I think you need to be on a computer with Javascript enabled.  If you have any trouble entering, please leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

OMTWI Week Four: Media Dresser

Did you see the results of the final round of Season 7 of One Month To Win It?  I knew as soon as I saw Rhonda from home.made's grain sack painted dresser I knew my little project didn't stand a chance:



And Jessica from Sunny Tuesday (who claims to not "do" furniture) made her own ribbon storage station from scratch:


My project ended up being a minor fail.  If left entirely to my own devices, I would have tried to do a more interesting paint scheme, and I would have loved to try to do some stenciling or hand painting on it.  But it had to also fit with my husband's aesthetic, and the room it was intended to go into was already painted a rich blue and had dark woodwork, so it needed to be lighter. 

That's not really the fail part, just the constraints.  The fail part was that Dave got the family a Blue Ray disk player for Christmas, and it didn't have the same dimensions as our previous DVD player.  Also, after I got the whole stinkin' thing finished, it didn't really work in the space - it was narrower than our television, and it was elevated enough that the damaged spots on our hardwood floors was visible as well as the power strip and all the cords.  I selectively edited the photos and "prettied up" the floor and cords for submission to the contest.  Here's what it looked like without editing:


So, if you know anyone in the central Michigan area looking for a cute media dresser - send them my way!  I do like how it turned out; just not in our living room.

I'm thrilled to have made it as far as I did in this competition pitted against some very talented ladies.  It's one place further than I made it in Project Toddler Runway, so I'm movin' up in the world!

Media Dresser


I feel soooo lucky to have made it to the finale of One Month To Win It!  I was really on the edge of my seat for the results of last week's voting, so thanks everyone!

For the furniture theme, I wanted to tackle the media center in our family room.  We had recently wall mounted our television, so no longer needed a unit for the TV to stand on.  I searched Craig's list for a piece of furniture that could be repurposed to fit underneath and found this charming little antique dresser.


Now don't go getting all upset at me for painting an antique - it wasn't in the best of shape, and whoever had stained and sealed it previously had not done it any favors.  I used paints from the Martha Stewart line and painted the drawers fronts and side panels a high gloss buckwheat flour and the body of the dresser cast bronze.

I removed the top drawer to house our DVR and DVD players; reusing the drawer bottom to make a shelf.  I wanted the components to be somewhat hidden but still able to receive the remote control signals and also be able to access the DVD player to change disks.  To accomplish this, I built a frame and used L-brackets at the corners and a mesh screen called hardware cloth to back it.  I sprayed the hardware and screen with oil rubbed bronze spray paint to go with the new drawer pulls I installed.  The door lifts up on hinges so we'll be able to reach the components.  I think the L-brackets give the piece a look similar to campaign furniture.

I lined the shelf and both the drawers (which had seen better days) with linen fabric decoupaged to stay in place.  The drawers will hold our DVDs, spare remotes, and a cozy blanket for snuggling up on the sofa to watch a good movie!
This has been such a fun challenge - regardless of the final outcome, it has been a pleasure to participate on One Month To Win It Season 7!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Pinned It! 1.27.12



Hellooo!  Have you been wasting spending quality time pinning stuff?  I sure have!  Some of the Pinterest parties have broadened my circle of following/followers so there's even more cool stuff to look at!

This week's tip is mentions.  You can mention a user you follw by typing @ in front of their name - it will pull up a dropdown box as you type and then you can select the user you want.  You can add a mention to a Pin description or to a comment.  So if you see something you know a friend of yours would like, just type "@Jane Doe" and Jane will receive a notification of your mention.

Here's some of what I've been pinning lately:

These sleeping bags for stuffed animals are simple, sweet, and amazing!  One of those duh! - why didn't I think of that kind of things.  I will be making these for my girls' loveys.


I sort of feel like I've been living under a rock that I hadn't heard of Craft Hope previously.  As stated on  their "About" section, Craft Hope is "a love inspired project designed to share handmade crafts with those who need them.  It is our hope to combine our love for crafting and desire to help others into a project to make a difference around the world".  Right now they're collecting handmade beanies and bags for kids who are fighting cancer.  Beanies - check, bags - check.  I can totally put my crafting skills to work for this cause!

LOVE this idea!  Someday when I have an actual laundry room and not just a couple of ancient appliances in the dreary basement, I'd love to do this! Right now all my gDiaper liners are on one of those rickety folding racks!

I used to know how to crochet, and I think I'm going to sit myself down and relearn soon.  This magic ring or adjustable ring method looks really cool!

OMG!  This key lime cupcake looks so yummy that I used stereotypical texting abbreviations - that's so not my style!  I wonder if I could make them pink and have them at Arden's PINK birthday party???

As always, if you'd like an invite to Pinterest just leave me a comment and I'll send one right away!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tutorial: Nautical Banner

I promised a tutorial for the nautical flags which made up the banner for my project for Week Three of One Month To Win It, and here it is! 


When I set out to make this banner for my parents I had intended to make it for their home - called "the crab trap", but my Mom thought it might get more use on their golf cart - "the crab cart".  After I had finished the project it dawned on me that TRAP and CART only differ by one letter.  So, I whipped up a "P" and took photos for a tutorial along the way.

First, I used this site to translate "the crab cart" into nautical signal flags.  I decided to make the flags 9" square because most of the pieces of the flags were divisible by 3.  It would be even easier to make them 12" square because then you would easily have halves, thirds, and quarters.  I could be any size, just whip out a calculator and go to town.

Nautical FlagSkill Level - Beginner
Items Needed -
* Fabric
- white cotton canvas - 10" width for every 3 flags desired
- ripstop nylon in blue, red, yellow and/or black as needed.  I didn't have any flags with black in them, but I, L, and Z do.
* coordinating thread
* grommet tool and grommets
* jute twine or whatever you want to use to connect the flags
* rotary cutter and self-healing mat
* sewing machine
* iron


1. Using the rotary cutter and self-healing mat, cut the canvas into strips 9 1/2" wide and then 18 1/2" long for as many flags as you are planning.  It's 18 1/2" vs. 19" because you don't have a seam allowance on the fold.  Cut the ripstop nylon - for this letter "P", I cut a 9" square and then folded in half each way and cut out the middle leaving a 2" frame.  The more accurate your cuts are for this step, the easier it will be to sew and will make a nicer flag.


2. Pin the nylon in place on the bottom half of the canvas, leaving a 1/4" border for the seam allowance.  I placed mine at the bottom so the fold would be at the top making it easier to put the grommets in - less bulk from seams.


3. Using a zigzag stitch and coordinating thread, applique the nylon onto the canvas.  I made my stitch slightly wider and shorter than the default for my sewing machine. 


Make sure to test to see where the needle drops so you can sew right along the edge of the nylon.


4. With right sides together (RST), fold the flag in half.  Switch the thread to white to coordinate with the canvas. 


5. Leaving about a 4" opening for turning and backstitching at beginnings and ends, sew along the three sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.  I found it unecessary to pin this step, I just started at the edges of the opening and sewed towards the fold for each side.  Clip the corners to reduce bulk after turning.


6.  Turn the flag right side out.  Use a chopstick or similar tool to push the corners out nice and square.  Iron using a low heat setting appropriate for nylon.  I also ironed from the backside.  (I skipped this step for the flag pictured because H was sleeping in the same room and I didn't want to haul out the ironing board).  Make sure the seam allowance along the opening is turned in and lined up.


7.  Topstitch about 1/8" from the edge.


8. For the grommets, the cutting plate that's part of the tool didn't begin to cut through two layers of heavy cotton canvas, so I folded the flag over about 1" from the top and sides and made a small cut to get an opening large enough to fit the grommets through.



9. Put the part of the grommet with the cilindar sticking out through from the front side.  That collar piece is what gets pinched and folded over and isn't as pretty.  Put the ring on from the backside with the domed side out.


10.  Line up the grommet pliers and squeeze with all your might.  It gives good resistance and then you'll feel it squeezing the collar piece.



I'm one grommet short since I had to do a test one when I began the project to be sure I was doing it right.


I cut 9" lengths of the twine and put a looped end through one grommet, the cut ends through the loop and then through the next flag's grommet and tied the ends around the part going between the flags.



I really enjoyed this project - I think it would be fun for a boy's room (or a girls!), or as part of cottage or coastal decor.


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Linking to:

Mondays Making the World Cuter Monday – Making the World Cuter Just Something I Whipped Up – The Girl Creative Party Blog Made By You Monday – Skip to My Lou Do It Yourself Day – A Soft Place to Land Craftastic Monday – Sew Can Do Making Mondays Marvelous – C.R.A.F.T. Market Yourself Monday – Sumo’s Sweet Stuff Creative Me Monday - The Southern Institute Tuesdays I Made It Without My Hubby – Shanty 2 Chic Sew Cute Tuesdays – Creative Itch Anything Related – All Things Related Tot Tuesdays – My Delicious Ambiguity Tute-in Tuesdays – Oops, I Craft My Pants Take a Look Tuesdays - Sugar Bee Craft Edition Wednesdays We Did It Wednesdays – Sew Much Ado Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice - Seven Thirty Three Show & Tell – Blue Cricket Design Show Me What Ya Got - Not Just a Housewife Your Whims Wednesdays - My Girlish Whims Thursdays Strut-Your-Stuff – Somewhat Simple Make It, Wear It – The Train to Crazy It’s Stinkin’ Cute – Sew Stinkin’ Cute Show Off Your Stuff – Fireflies and Jellybeans Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now Pinspirational Thursdays - The ArtsyGirl Connection Fridays Furniture Feature Friday - Miss Mustard Seed Weekend Wrap Up Party – Tatertots and Jello Feature Yourself Friday – Fingerprints on the Fridge Friday Fun Finds – KojoDesigns Weekends Check Me Out Saturday – A Vision to Remember Show and Tell Saturday – Be Different Act Normal Sunday Scoop – I Heart Naptime Sunday Showcase Party – Under the Table and Dreaming A Pinteresting Party - Tutus & Tea Parties

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OMTWI: Finale

Photobucket

Voting for week four's finale projects will open today at One Month To Win It.  This week the theme was furniture. I've done all my work - the decision is now in your hands!

Monday, January 23, 2012

If Marty Can Do It, So Can You!

I know my title doesn't make much sense.  Let me explain. 

In High School my friend Marty was super lazy.  I mean a real slug (Marty - if you somehow are reading this; sorry but it's true!).  He used to say he was tired from napping so much that he needed another nap.  Then Marty went to college and something changed.  Marty up and decided to start running.  Marty began to look amazingly fit.  You know that tanned fitness model with boundless energy fit - that was Marty after he started running.  So I decided that if Marty - formerly the laziest person on the planet - could transform himself into a runner, then so could I.

One of the great things about running is pretty much all you need are shoes and something to wear.  I started by trying to get around the block without having to walk.  Once I could do that, I added another block.  Eventually I could run a couple of miles.  I didn't decide to start entering races right away, but eventually I ran a local 5K, and it was really fun.  Then I met and began dating a fairly dedicated runner and we would go to races for fun.

Maybe I'm naive, but I've generally found if I decide I want to do something I don't see the obstacles in my way.  I blithely trot forward until I'm knee deep in whatever it is - riding my bike (with streamers on the handles of course!) across town for Zip's ice cream when I was eight, moving to Atlanta before landing a job, running a marathon six months after bunion surgeries, knitting my first sweater after only basic instruction - you get the picture.  And for the most part everything has worked out just fine.

So the point of this stream of consciousness is that it's not so much the doing of the thing, it's the deciding to do it.  That's kind of how I explained to people that would say "oh, I could never run a marathon".  Of course you can't... until you put your mind to do it!


I couldn't find a good picture to represent doing what you set to mind to do, so this is me at the Taj Mahal during one of my trips as an internal auditor.  I was in Mumbai for three weeks, but traveled to New Delhi and Agra since I took every opportunity to take side trips while I was in that job, something I will never regret.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Phew!

Sorry I've been out of pocket a bit lately.  Between projects for One Month To Win It and Arden being sick this week, I feel like I've barely had a moment to do anything except care for tiny people, deal with poop in places it shouldn't be (don't ask - let's just leave it at it involved a preschooler in the utility sink), and work on furniture. 

I've been so scattered that I made a trip to the store with Arden and didn't realize until I was checking out that I didn't have any makeup on.  I know it's vain, but I like to at least have some foundation and eyeliner on if I'm going out in public.

I have had a ton of fun participating in the competition but I have to admit I'm glad the work part of it is over.  A weight lifted off my shoulders the moment I hit send on my post.  I'm planning to do a tutorial for the nautical flags - those were fun to do, and I was torn between a banner for my parent's house called "The Crab Trap" and their cart they call "The Crab Cart".  Then I realized I only needed to do a "P" and they could have it either way.  Pretty cool!  I also found a cute knitting pattern for little birds that I'm going to make for Hadley's room.

Have you heard that Picnik is shutting down next month?  I am super bummed about that - I have Photoshop Elements and I'm getting better with it, but there are many things that are sooo easy in Picnik that I haven't figured out in PSE just yet.


And so as not to leave you picture-less, here's a shot of Hadley modeling a little hat my Grandma crocheted.  She cranked out a ton of little hats for the great-grands a couple of years ago and Arden decided Hadley needed to wear one today.  Super cute!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Pinned It! 1.20.12



This week's little tip is a quick and easy way to add a description when you pin.  Before you click on the Pin It button on a post or on your toolbar, just highlight the text you'd like to appear on your pin.  It will appear in the description field as you build your pin and select the board.  Love this quickie trick!

On to what I've been pinning this week:

This crocheted birdie is adorable!  I especially love the heart as a wing.  This might just already be on it's way to my house!  (Don't worry, she has other items just as adorable!


Great description of how to setup a shot with a tripod and timer from a wonderful photography blog.  This is a recent addition to my reader and I'm lovin' it!


LOVE - ha! get it? - this knockoff of designer pillows.  So sweet and elegant.


I find this graphic really funny because my husband is a physicist.  I guess I can't get too high and mighty since I'm an accountant - I've heard rumors we're not all that cool, either.


I can almost smell this, and it looks fabulous!


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OMTWI Week Three: Nautical Banner

I'm so excited!  I made it to the final round of One Month To Win It!!  Next week the project theme is furniture, and I had a planned project for our home that I know we'll like - I just hope the voters appreciate it also...

Here's my entry from Week Three - Banner or Bunting:

Whee!  I made it through another week against very stiff competition.  I was pretty excited when I learned this week's theme of banner or bunting.  I had planned to do this very project as a Father's Day gift and it didn't materialize - One Month To Win It gave me the perfect kick in the pants to get it finished! 

My parents live in a coastal community that has recently permitted the use of golf carts on the roads.  It's a quirky kind of place where people name their houses, and now; their golf carts.  This nautical banner spells out "The Crab Cart".


The 9" square flags were created from ripstop nylon appliqued onto heavy cotton canvas.  I then added a 3/8" grommet in each corner, and used jute twine to string them together.  Let me tell you - if you ever need a good forearm workout, try squeezing 22 grommets into place!


I'm happy with how it turned out and it was fun to sew - I hope my parents enjoy it just as much!

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Linking to:

Mondays Making the World Cuter Monday – Making the World Cuter Just Something I Whipped Up – The Girl Creative Party Blog Made By You Monday – Skip to My Lou Do It Yourself Day – A Soft Place to Land Craftastic Monday – Sew Can Do Making Mondays Marvelous – C.R.A.F.T. Market Yourself Monday – Sumo’s Sweet Stuff Creative Me Monday - The Southern Institute Tuesdays I Made It Without My Hubby – Shanty 2 Chic Sew Cute Tuesdays – Creative Itch Anything Related – All Things Related Tot Tuesdays – My Delicious Ambiguity Tute-in Tuesdays – Oops, I Craft My Pants Take a Look Tuesdays - Sugar Bee Craft Edition Wednesdays We Did It Wednesdays – Sew Much Ado Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice - Seven Thirty Three Show & Tell – Blue Cricket Design Show Me What Ya Got - Not Just a Housewife Your Whims Wednesdays - My Girlish Whims Thursdays Strut-Your-Stuff – Somewhat Simple Make It, Wear It – The Train to Crazy It’s Stinkin’ Cute – Sew Stinkin’ Cute Show Off Your Stuff – Fireflies and Jellybeans Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now Pinspirational Thursdays - The ArtsyGirl Connection Fridays Furniture Feature Friday - Miss Mustard Seed Weekend Wrap Up Party – Tatertots and Jello Feature Yourself Friday – Fingerprints on the Fridge Friday Fun Finds – KojoDesigns Weekends Check Me Out Saturday – A Vision to Remember Show and Tell Saturday – Be Different Act Normal Sunday Scoop – I Heart Naptime Sunday Showcase Party – Under the Table and Dreaming A Pinteresting Party - Tutus & Tea Parties

This project was featured!

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