Snail Mail is My Favorite

There’s not much that cheers me up more than receiving a bit of unexpected snail mail so when I found out that my friend, Kelly from The NO Drama Mama was hosting the Summer Lovin’ Snail Mail swap, I jumped at the chance.

 

The NO Drama Mama

 

Kelly, along with her co-host Claudia from Lashes and Beard laid out the details HERE and HERE.  Basically, you get matched up with a fellow blogger, swap emails a few times and scour each others Pinterest boards then whip up a fun package for them.

My Snail Mail pal is Lysha from Magnolia Mom.

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Here’s a peak of what I sent to Lysha.  You can see more details on her blog post HERE.

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And now for the fun part… what I received!!!

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Everything is my box screamed SUMMER LOVIN’!  From goodies for my Project Life, pinwheel straws, a new insulated cup filled with lemonade and tea drink mixes, jelly bellys (my FAVORITE), chip clips, nail polish (that made me stop in my tracks to paint my nails) and candles that I can’t wait to use up!

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If I had to summarize this swap in one word it would be:

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Thanks again, Lysha!!!!

Check out what other folks sent and received HERE.

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The Pillows Are Talking

I love an ad hoc project.  Really, I think I just really like to procrastinate.  I seem to be most inspired when I need to be accomplishing something else.  This time… it was a talking pillow that led me off task.

 

A week or so ago, I was organizing my fabric stash and in the “I’ll do something with this someday” pile, I found this:

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What is it, you may ask?  Well, a million years ago, I started a purse for someone or other.  I had knit this in the round and closed off the bottom with a double bind-off… then it sat in a drawer.

This time, as I tackled the “I’ll do something with it one day” pile with enthusiasm to purge, I finally had an idea.  Naturally, I stopped the presses, grabbed some white yarn and a needle and got to work, completely disregarding the half sorted piles surrounding me.

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Before I knew it, the pillow was speaking to me… and I was in love.

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I did a simple mattress stitch along the already sealed bottom, for decoration’s sake, then sewed up the top, pausing before closing the last few inches in order to stuff the pillow then finished off the top edge.

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Voila!  Say hello to the cutest little pillow to ever meet my couch!

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A Case for New Pillows

When I moved into my new-to-me house, I inherited a bisque-y beige-y palace.  At first, it was refreshing because the last few places I lived had brightly colored walls in colors that weren’t exactly my style.    So the neutral monochromatic thing worked for a while… until I began to crave some color.  That’s when the master bedroom redo project began!

 

Here’s the before:

Now, you got to see a preview of the wall color and one DIY art project HERE.  Next up has everything to do with this fun fabric that I snatched up on clearance ages ago, with no project in mind.  I love the colors… and even more, I love coffee!

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After the bedroom began to take shape, it became pretty obvious that the bed needed some more color.  The brown leather throw pillows were too close in color to the head board so I decided to give them a new look.  I started by taking the cases off the existing pillows to get the measurements I needed for the new cases.

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Width-wise, the fabric was the perfect dimension to leave on the selvage and just fold in half so I only needed to sew up the long sides and hem the opening.

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I went back and forth between zippers and buttons for closures, but in the end, I opted for simple ribbon ties.

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I just pinned them were I wanted them then sewed away, going back and forth a couple times to make sure they’re good and secure.   Singe the ends of the ribbons a bit if you want to make sure you don’t end up with fringe.

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And there you have it!   Voila!  Literally a 10 minute project.

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And here they are in the natural surroundings… that middle pillow is now screaming out for a new outfit.

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What’s your vote?  Color? Solid? Pattern?  Fur of some kind?  Help!

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An Ottoman Tale

This is the story about an old, worn out ottoman.  It’s also the story about bad project process shots that leave me looking like I’m being eaten by said ottoman Little Shop of Horror style.

 

This isn’t a very detailed tutorial, mostly because most of my process was “wing it.”  It all started with removing the old fabric with a screw driver to pry up the original staples and a box cutter to cut out the stuck areas.

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Then there was a lot of measuring… (that’s my friend Christine from Recipes by Christine)

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and cutting…

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and more cutting…

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then there was the sewing. 

For the bottom side piece, we cut one long strip to wrap around the whole base then sewed it together in a loop.  The top side piece was done in the same way but I sewed the side to the top piece before sewing down the side.  It took a little tweaking here and there but it worked.

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You can see that the base is already done.  We just slid the loop of fabric on then stapled the top then the bottom, pulling things snug and smooth along the way. 

The top was sew as a bottomless “box” so when I slipped it over the cushion, all I had to do was staple it to the underside.  

(This story was very nearly about how I appear to be in miserable pain whilst concentrating but I decided not to make it about me.")

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Doesn’t this ottoman practically scream, “Feed me, Seymour!”

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A few fun parts you missed because of my serious lack of forethought in the documenting process were having to rip the seams out of the top piece after I miscalculated the first time and the cover was way too loose.  Also, I was half way through attaching the top cover when I couldn’t get the staple gun in the right position because of the opening mechanism… enter the drill and my frustration.  We took off the whole top, finished it in no time, and I wished I’d taken it off in the first place.

 

So here she is, poor lighting and puppy photobomb and all.  I LOVE IT.  I love it so much I’m ready to recover my entire couch! 

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Quinn loves it too, just not as much as he likes his picture taken.

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Anybody want to take a turn at staple gun duty when I start the 6 piece sectional?  No?

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I’ve got recycling in the bag

Welcome to the last installment of “stuff I made for my Package Pal.”  I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to participate in something like this EVERY month because it sends my productivity into the stratosphere.  My Pal and I exchanged several emails asking questions and getting to know each other a bit. 

 

I discovered that her favorite blog is A Beautiful Mess and her favorite store is Anthropologie.

 

The stars collided and I ran to my recycling bin to snatch out the Anthro catalog I’d just deposited and saved it from it’s pulpy reformation to live on in a more glorious form… the magazine clutch as tutorialized by A Beautiful Mess HERE

 
Step 1:

Collect all your favorite images

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Step 2:

Arrange into a square

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Step 3:

Stick all the pages together with a layer of laminating sheets

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Step 4:

Use your mad envelope making skills to assemble that bad boy, using more laminating sheets to seal the seams.

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Step 5:

Sew on a button and a closure loop with embroidery thread. 

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This project was so much more fun than I thought it would be!  I am SO glad I sprung for the 50 pack of laminating sheets because I see many more of these in my future!

 

 

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And don’t forget to check out

my prints for sale at:

OTS

Knitting it up…

I’m a compulsive knitter.  All you need to mention that your uterus might be occupied and I will start a blanket.  I can’t help it.  I’m going to be “That” aunt.  You know the one… she knits you sweaters for every Christmas and you live in Florida.  Yup.  That’s me.  So my Package Pal was not going to get off the hook that easily… knitted gifts were on the agenda.

 

First up, the coffee cozy.

My favorite part of knitting is when a project goes from this

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to this!  When the pattern emerges… well, giddy doesn’t cover it.  Cables are extra satisfying too because they look complicated but are actually pretty simple.

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The hardest part of this project?  Button selection.

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Not only which buttons but then whether to sew them on “face up” or “face down” (that is, if buttons have faces).

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and viola!  I whipped up this bad boy in a couple hours.  Talk about instant gratification.

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I particularly love this pattern because it’s adjustable to fit various mug sizes.  Bonus!

Get the Paper Sensei Coffee cozy pattern HERE

Next up, the cutest little bunny that I ever did see.

This whole pattern was knit in the round with double pointed needles.  Sorta makes you feel like you’re knitting with a sea urchin.

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Maybe I should have been a drummer… I think I could so some serious damage with drum sticks after the choreography with 4 needles that is small knits on DPNs.

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The icing on this little bunny cake has got to be his pom pom tail.  I’m a fan, fo sho.

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Stitch on a little innocent rabbit face and you’re dunzo.

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Perfect for all the little cuties in your life (including yourself!)

Get the Spud & Chloe Rabbit pattern HERE.

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Make your own stamp

Stamp making has been on my perpetual “To Do” list for far too long.  I can’t even tell you how long I’ve had THIS kit sitting on a shelf in my office.  When I saw my Package Pal’s fun logo, though, I new just what my first stamp should be.

 

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Equipped with a print out of the image, a sheet of stamp rubber, a speedball cutting tool, an exacto knife and a pencil I got to work.

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I used the tried-and-true-rub-a-pencil-on-the back-side-of-the-paper transfer method to get the glasses on the stamp.

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Ta da!  Next up, cutting off the portion of stamp I needed with the exacto.

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Then brought out the big guns…

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At this point, I just went to town, not really knowing what I was doing.  The trick seemed to be going slowly and taking small chunks at a time…

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I’ve got to be honest though, I took away too much from one side, so I started over… in the end I took the left lens from the first stamp and the right lens from the second stamp and glued them together.

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I think a design with less need for symmetry would have been a better option but it still turned out cute.

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I chose to glue the stamp to a piece of wood (photo evidence fail) before I wrapped it up and sent its way… not before some practice stamps though!!

 

Now I want to make a stamp of EVERYTHING!   Stay tuned!  I’m sure some fun DIY stamps are in my future.

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