Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Operation 52

I am stuck in a rut.  A BIG HUGE disorganized BLAH rut.  Every day I wake up and my house is....still there.  Which is good I guess.  It would sure suck if it were gone.  BUT sometimes I feel like I am living in a rental house.  Like my house is a temporary place of residence that I have just borrowed for a while.  I HATE THAT!!  I have lived in my house for 5 years.  IT SHOULD FEEL LIKE ME.....right???  Well it doen't.  Not REALLY.  A lot has changed around here in 5 years.  I have become a TOTALLY different person.  BUT my house is still a busy teacher with deadlines and papers to correct and junk piled in the closet from when she moved in.  SOOOO  I decided I am ready for a makeover....

My house is fine.  It is a nice little "mousy brown haired mommy lady."  But it WANTS to be a "pretty red-head with nice white teeth and a splash of red lipstick."  I am sure on the inside this lady(who I graciously borrowed from google images) WAS a red head.  She just needed to get in touch with that part of her personality.  I want MY house to get more in touch with MY personality.  SOOO I decided to put it in writing.  No more.....when I get a chance....OR....someday I would love to.....TODAY I am starting to change things around here. 
I am giving myself ONE year....52 weeks to make my house into the home I want it to be.  If I can create a human being in 40 weeks, I should darn well be able to re-vamp 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and.....well an entire house.
  Since I have officially OUTED myself, I will actually follow through. That is the madness behind my....madness.    52 projects....52 changes...some big....some small....but all of them to make my house JUST THE WAY I WANT IT.  Cleaner. Greener. and MORE JESSICA!!!
Next September you will walk into my house (preferably only those who actually know me please) and say...."wow that REALLY looks like you (me)!!!"  I will be updating my progress here for all to see.  The GOOD.  The BAD.  And the Worse than bad.  I am not going for a remodel or overhaul, just AHHHHHHH!!! (the sound you make when you get into a nice warm shower at the end of the day....not the sound you make when you drop the milk jug on the floor without the lid on it). 

Operation 52 is in full swing starting tomorrow. 
 A new month....A new start......and a new LOVE (fingers crossed)!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Baby Board Shorts

You know when you have waited until the very last minute for something and then you FINALLY get it finished???  That feeling of relief and accomplishment???  I ALMOST have that right now.  If only summer was not almost over and my baby board shorts were not a LITTLE bit too late.  BUMMER-IFIC!!!!  Oh well.  For one more sunny day Baby Boy can look cute:)  Anyway.  I am still trying to empty out my WIP basket.  I AM NOT GIVING UP!!!! 
Not a great picture of Ethan, but the only view of his shorts that half way turned out.  I cannot believe how hard it is to take a picture of a kid who ONLY wants to learn to crawl.  Wiggle Wiggle WIGGLE!!!!   ANYWAY...When I was in bandana short making mode at the beginning of the summer, I whipped up these little baby board shorts. I saw this bandana and thought...BOARD SHORTS!!!   I hve more of these bandanas and had hoped to make Em a matching bandana skirt, but NOT GONNA HAPPEN THIS SUMMER.  Besides that....BABY boy never got to enjoy his shorts because they sat in the bottom of THE BASKET waiting for the shirt to go with it. 
 I used the 90 minute shirt tutorial from MADE and it only took my 90 DAYS!!!!  Oh well.  I completed it..that is what counts right???  I liked the pattern and hope to make many more of those some day.  NOT TODAY THOUGH!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scarlett O'Hara Skirts

While at Target the other day I found 2 cute curtain panels on clearance for around 3 bucks.  I wanted them, but was not sure what the finished product would be.  BUT how can you pass up 90 percent savings???  I at least thought I should carry them around in my cart for a while just in case. 
Then I thought Oh Fiddle-dee-dee I wonder if I could make skirts out of them.  OK OK I didn't think that....but I COULD have!!!  Anyway....I made the purchase and thought I would try it.  The first one started as a window valance....
 I cut off all the cute little tabs, sewed the two ends together, made and elastic casing....
And ended up with a happy little ALMOST pre-schooler.  She likes to make up her own poses when I try to take pictures of her.  I am not sure where she learns this stuff....I have never seen Dora do a photo session, but whatever....she is so darn cute I just go with it. 

Curtain number 2 was an even easier fix.  It was an ACTUAL curtain.  The green strip was a casing for a curtain rod, so I decided to use that for my elastic. 
 I just measured how much room I needed for elastic and sewed a SEMI straight line down the green strip.  Then strung my elastic through and sewed up the side seam--elastic and all. 

I am spoiled now and may never want to ACTUALLY hem anything ever again.  It was so nice to whip up a skirt in about ten minutes and never have to think about top-stitching or hemming or measuring.  It was just instant gratification....I needed a few NON-complicated projects to get my sewing mojo back I think.

Skirt number 3 I made from some thrifted vintage napkins I had laying around.  I initially bought them for my etsy shop, but then I noticed that a few in the set had some slight staining waste not want not right????  I was not sure Emersyn would be ok with the VINTAGE look, but she LOVED it.  She called it her cowgirl skirt and refused to take it off....cannot beat a reaction like that. It is just perfect for lounging around the plantation:)
 She cracks me up because when I get done sewing something for her and have her try it on she instantly runs outside and yells....TAKE A PICTURE OF ME NOW.  SO I do.

Some of her poses are better than others....

These were by far the easiest re-fashions EVER.  I know I say that every time, but SERIOUSLY this time.  30 minutes for all three skirts.  For a little princess who likes to twirl and dance around....PERFECT!!!!  I am actually loving this whole...BACK TO SCHOOL thing.  I realize it is just pre-scool  2 days a week, but the kid needs a new wardrobe RIGHT???  ;)  I am however OUT of curtains to  sew up.....but AFTER ALL....TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY:)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

6 months (and a week)

A little over 6 months ago I started a quilt.  A simple little quilt for my SOON to come baby boy.  ONLY one problem.  I didn't QUITE get it done before he arrived.  Life happened and I got the top done, but didn't get it quilted.  I had REALLY good intentions of getting it done within weeks of his birth, but somehow FAILED.  Then I planned on getting it finished before he had surgery....FAIL.  SOO a little over a week ago I decided I would get it done by the time he turned 6 months.  Now (only a week late) I got it finished.  PHEW!!!!

It sure would have been easier to get a picture of a newborn.  This guy does NOT hold still for 1 second.  He spends his days trying to perfect the whole CRAWLING thing.  YIKES!!!
The pattern is Little Man from Camille's book SIMPLIFY.  The fabric is (pretty sure) a little Authentic by Sweetwater, a little Michael Miller, and a few.....something or others.  I just grabbed what I liked. 
I think my boy kinda likes it too:)  NOW that is a happy little boy.....LOVE IT!!!

The backing is my favorite.  I love the gray and the dots.  LOVE. THE. DOTS!!!!  I do not love the crooked quilting line down the green strip, is what it is RIGHT??? 
Man a lot can happen in six months......
And there he goes....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reality Check Aisle 5

I went to a Bret Michaels concert tonight.  I know...I know....totally doesn't seem like me right???   I was being a supportive wife.  AGAIN....I know...totally doesn't sound like me either.  I guess today was a day of  miracles.  It was ok.  I swayed, I clapped, I sang along in appropriate places.  I enjoyed it as much as a NON rocker can.  ANYWAY...
I had a bit of a MOMENT today.  I was getting ready to go to the fair and I wondered....HMMM??  I wonder what I should wear.  Pretty typical, except I actually had a moment of remembering.  THE FAIR!!!
Growing up, the fair was IT!!!  It was the last big excitement of the summer before school started.  It was hot, and long, and AWESOME!!!  IT was also the first time we got to try out some of our NEW school clothes.  NOT all of them of course...because then there would be no mysteries on the first day of school OH MY!!!  But just enough to think that we were looking pretty hot.  Which MATTERED of course because we had not seen the boys all summer and wanted to REMIND them how cute we were I guess.  Even more important than what to wear AT the fair was what to wear AT NIGHT at the fair.  There were rodeos and concerts and wandering aimlessly through the know all the stuff you have to pull out the big guns for!!!!  WHICH BRINGS ME BACK TO MY FIRST POINT.....
There I was standing in front of my mirror thinking....What does a 30 something mother of 2 wear to a rock concert??????  And it hit me.....WHATEVER YOU WANT because nobody cares.  It was kind of like a slap in the face reality check.  I could have worn my pajamas and nobody would notice because it is not about ME anymore.  HMMMM???  What does this little realization mean for me????  Well it means I need to watch myself because that is why mommas start wearing MOM jeans and white high top sneakers.  OR strapless sun dresses WITH 90 percent of their bra showing (that would be the old lady in front of me at the concert by the way).  
SOOO needless to say....Bret and me didn't hook up.  I jammed out in my capris and sensible shoes, and all was well in my 31 year old mother of 2 life. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Easiest Re-fashion EVER!!!

You know when you have one of those weeks???  The ones where the kids each wake you up about 100 times a night, there are no clean clothes, and the only thing you feel like making for dinner is pizza.  The ones where you wake up in the morning with no covers on three square inches of your bed and look over too see your kids all piled up between you and your husband.  The ones where you contemplate running away, but it just seems like it would take more energy than you have.  Yeah....well multiply that by 10 and that about sums up the way I have felt this week. 

THEN by some miracle sent from above, the stars aligned and the kids took a nap AT THE SAME TIME.   I should have made a dent in the dirty clothes mountain or cleaned the sticky goo off of my kitchen floor OR taken a nap....but I decided to sew.  Crazy I KNOW!!! 
I needed something simple and mindless AND with instant payoff.  I chose to dig out my re-purpose box and see what popped out at me.  I have had THIS
shirt around since I was PREGNANT with over 3 years.  I thought it had potential, but never quite knew what to make of it.  I decided to go easy and make a simple skirt.  SOOOOO I cut off the bottom below the waist, added an elastic waist and SMILED!!!!
I KNEW Emersyn was going to like it.  WHY????  Because it would look great with a pair of cowgirl boots.....and this girl LOVES her cowboy boots!!!

I don't know if it is because they are pink or because they are adorable or if it is because they tap when she walks, but SHE LOVES HER BOOTS!! 

So we both got what we wanted.  She got a cute comfy cowgirl skirt and I got 1 hour to myself with no crying, pooping, or BUT WHY'S. 

And in my opinion a twirly girly skirt is about as good as it gets.  Maybe even a little therapeutic :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hitting the Books!!

I finally got back into the reading groove this month after a LONG time away.  I have started off strong though with a few good ones.  The last two books I read I REALLY REALLY enjoyed.  They are right up my alley actually. Love stories that take place during WWII.  Just so you know...that SCREAMS Jessica :)
This is a 3 book Christian series called THE WINGS OF GLORY by Sarah Sundin. I have read the first two so far.  Book 1, A DISTANT MELODY, is about a very wealthy girl (Allie) who is engaged to her father's business partner(unhappily) when she meets a military pilot (Wally) at her friend's wedding.  They hit it off and she "forgets" to mention her boyfriend.  They write back and forth from the war and each tells lies to the other and to their friends and family.  They both get caught in multiple lies and have to sort through to the truth. I kinda loved it...not gonna lie.

Book 2, A MEMORY BETWEEN US,  continues on with Wally's brother (Jack) now being the main character.  He is a pilot in the war and gets shot.  He meets Ruth, a nurse in the hospital who REFUSES to date.  She is an orphan who is working hard to send her money home to her siblings so that they can stay out of the orphanage.  She does not want the distraction of dating, plus she has some horrible things from her past that keep her from making friends or having relationships.  Although Jack takes it slow to try to win over Ruth, he cannot compete with her terrible memories.  He has his own demons to get past, AND is trying to make the decision about whether to become a preacher when he returns home.  Drama Drama Drama.  I am ready to read book 3 about the 3rd brother.  It is called...
BLUE SKIES TOMORROW.  I love the mixture of History and Fiction.  I cannot get enough of WWII.  I know it was a horrible time, but it sure makes for some good reading:) 
 I am off to the library website to reserve book 3!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Burning the scrambled eggs....

Is anyone else a super messy cook????  NO, just me. Hmmm??!!! Well I cannot deny that EVERY time I finish cooking my stove looks pretty much like this...
 I am not sure if it has anything to do with my need for speed and dislike of low cook setting or what.  BUT WOWZA what a mess!!!  So I was so thrilled when I read about HOW TO CLEAN A FLAT/CERAMIC STOVE in one of the cleaning books I recently read ( not sure which one because they are already back at the library...oops!!).  Anyway...normally I use a special stovetop cleaner and a little elbow grease and get my stove pretty clean....when I manage to get the time to clean it at all that is.  BUT I found my new found tip so helpful I thought I would share.  HERE GOES....The answer is Baking Soda. YEP.  Worked WAY better than the stuff I bought in the store.  You just sprinkle it on (I use enough to cover the whole yucky mess) and then sprinkle some water over it. Then I used a toothbrush to scrub off the yuck.  I took a picture after just a few weak scrubs---comes off super easy. 

I also read that if it is REALLY cooked on.  Do the same thing but throw a little vinegar on top of the baking soda.  It is gets all fizzy...but I am not sure it worked any better than straight backing soda. 
In case you cannot tell...this totally rocked my world!!!!  Simple pleasures in the day of a stay at home mom I guess:)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Boy shorts

Yesterday I told you about this cute vest tutorial at B is for Boy....well I could not let the poor boy wear his cute vest WITHOUT some matching shorts!!!  I was a little bummed that the shorts I bought to re-purpose ONLY had enough fabric for the vest (I didn't realize it would be fully lined).  SOOOO I had to improvise.  I grabbed a brown skirt out of my GOODWILL pile and got to work. 
I followed the same steps as from over HERE when I made bandana shorts, except this time I used the pockets from the skirt to make the pockets of the shorts. 

It worked great.  I just cut the pockets RIGHT off the skirt.  I even cut the bottom layer of fabric and kept the button.  That means inside his pocket is a button that is only attached to a small circle of fabric, but since he doesn't REALLY use his pockets, I think we are safe:) I just sewed the pockets onto the front side of the shorts BEFORE I attached the 2 sides together.  I sewed them on by top-stiching and left the edges raw.  I think raw edges scream BOY, but I guess you could turn them under and have finished edges too.  ANYWAY....quick easy addition to our CHURCH attire and probably the last pair of shorts of the  on to making coats and pants:) 

Monday, August 15, 2011

B is for Boy!!

 Pheww...Summer is kicking my tail.  So  many things to do before the weather gets cool again.  Fairs, parties, birthdays, and this week....pre-school orientation.  How do I have a kid old enough for pre-school???  When did that happen???  Anyway...I did manage to get a little ALONE time amongst all of the chaos...and of course I headed to the sewing room.  I have REALLY been wanting to make something cute for my little Ethan boy for a while now.  It seems like there are TONS of cute girl things to make, but boy patterns are few and far between.  THEN I ran into THIS cute vest tutorial from B is for BOY.  I INSTANTLY knew that this was the tutorial for me.  So I headed to Value Village for some pants to re-purpose. 
Actually I found SHORTS to re-purpose, but I SHOULD have looked harder for pants.  WHY???? Because then I could have made him a matching pair for pants.  As it was, I only had enough fabric for the vest.  SOOO I guess I will have to make another one:) HMMM..better head to Value Village Again!!!

 This tutorial was great.  Easy to follow and well explained with pictures.  I LOVE PICTURES!!!!  There are only 2 things I would do differently. Both having to do with the top of the vest.  It tucks under the onesie flap, which works great.  BUT when the neck moves or gets pulled, the raw edges of the top of the unfinished vest show.  I did not like I sewed a few stiches on the top flap through the vest...just to keep it all closed up.  I should have either made the vest tops narrower or folded them under and finished the tops off.  That is my only complaint.  I guess that is REALLY only 1 thing I would change...
 I think this would be SUCH a fun baby shower gift.  Quick and easy.  PLUS who doesn't love to dress their baby up:)

So for the sophisticated 6 month old....SUCCESS!!!!  Perfect for a morning at church, and comfy enough for an afternoon in the yard.  BTW....I LOVE THIS LITTLE BOY!!!!!