Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY Striped Curtains Tutorial


I really wanted striped curtains in Oldest's Star Wars room. Really, really.

In my head that is what went best with all the bedding, the gray, black, and navy blue color scheme, and of course our favorite villain Darth Vader.


However, with all the room redo-ing lately, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and time. So I came up with a cheap, creative way to make my own striped curtains for his room. These curtains took about a day to make and cost me less than $20. A-whoo-hoo.

Since they turned out so well, and because they were easy and affordable I decided to share with you guys how to make your own.

DIY Striped Curtains

What you need:
1 flat sheet-mine came from The Mart and were SUPER cheap
1 pkg of 84" length curtain panels-again they came from The Mart
coordinating thread
rotary cuter



The first thing that needs to be done is to prepare the curtains and the sheet to cut the strips from them. I laid out each lengthwise and folded them in half (hot dog style...yeah I am technical like that) and ironed.


First I cut out strips of the sheet. I cut out 5- 8 1/2"x 30" pieces for each panel. That made 10 total.


The bottom strip will need to be bigger since you will have to hem the bottom. So I cut out 2- 12 1/2" x 30" pieces out of the navy for the bottom strip.


Next I started with the curtain. Start with the top and cut off 7 1/2". Keep this strip. All of the curtains strips you will use will be cut at 7 1/2 ". I cut one strip at a time because the curtain material was a little temperamental.


Take the first cut curtain strip and lay right side up. Lay one of the 8 1/2" strips from the sheet with right sides facing. Pin at the raw edges. There will be excess on each outside edge.


Sew with 1/4" seam to attach the strips. Iron seam when done. Then open and press stripes again.


Here it gets a little tricky, but next you want to cut off a 8 1/2" strip of the curtain and just throw it out...you won't be using it. Then cut a another 7 1/2" strip. Pin that strip to the sheet strip, right sides facing. Sew again a 1/4" seam along the raw edges.

Repeat pressing.

Repeat this pattern until just after the last 8 1/2" sheet strip is sewn on.


When you get to the bottom of the curtain, you will forgo the last 8 1/2" discard cut of the curtain and just cut another 7 1/2" strip to use. Then discard the bit of the bottom of the curtain.


Sew on the last curtain strip like before. Then sew on the 12 1/2" strip of sheet to the last curtain strip.

All the strips should be sewn together. Whew...a lot of work. Almost done.


Hem the bottom by first ironing a 1/2" from the bottom. Then fold to 4" hem and stitch hem in place. Hemming the bottom should achieve the last 8 inch strip.


The last step is to fix the overhang of each sheet strip to match the side hem of the original curtain. Can you notice the extra special treat in the photo below???


Okay, back to finishing the curtain. Fold in the excess once and iron. Then fold again to match the curtains original seam.


Then sew the side hem in place. Repeat with both sides of each strip.


Then repeat the whole sewing process with the other panel.

After that you can hang those beauties up and admire your hard work.


I am super happy with how they look in the room. Nothing better than a DIY set of curtains...and these look super polished because of the pretty-precise ( I wouldn't dare say uber-precise) stripes.

Now I just need to add all the stuff on the walls. Imagine it with me.


Until I get all the pictures/posters up, I will just stand back and admire my DIY striped curtains. Woohoo! Ehem...sorry I still get excited about them.


Hopes this helps you guys with all your striped curtain dreams...I mean I assume, like me, you have had them.

Linking up:
Ta-Da Tuesdays: Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night
Share Your Awesomeness: The 36th Avenue

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In a Nutshell: Forts, Supers, Villains and HAPPINESS


This is a little how our house looked during the day this week. There was lots of fort building, lots of creating, and lots of Little Men running around. I am still in the middle of my sewing/organizing/re-doing madness, so the Little Men found lots of ways to have fun while I sewed and painted.

As you will notice by the following picture, there were also several days where jammies were worn half, if not the whole day. No one was complaining though.



There were also two days were I couldn't get Middle and Littlest out of their Halloween Supers costumes. I kept meaning to get a picture, but never did. Shoot dang it all. Believe me though it was cute.

My boys LOVE anything Super. In fact this week while Middle was dressed up as Superman I asked him to help me with something. His reply...

"Of course Mom, 'cause Superman is helpful."


Yes, Supers are pretty important in this house...even the aunts got in on the fun this week during a little trip to Target...aka the best store in the universe...aka the store I could drop buckets of money in.


Now as most of us know, where there are Supers there must be Villains. I mean what purpose would the good guy have if there was no bad guy to fight.

Well occasionally the bad guy shows up in our house. This week the bad guy was this villain...


Ooooh. Scary, right?

It was a pretty fun week.

Having boys in the house is never dull or quiet. If I am honest with myself, I wouldn't have it any other way. I just about love all the fort building, Supers vs. Villain fighting, furniture jumping, and dart gun shooting.

They make me happy even when they are making me crazy.

Segway into my HAPPINESS moment.

My kiddos did have several moments of driving me crazy this week. I blame it mostly on my advanced stage of human incubatoritis. By this time of pregnancy I have not been traditionally a chipper person. This pregnancy is no different...in fact it may be worse.

I am older.
I have three crazy kids.
This is my fourth.
My body is tired.
I swear this baby is a giant.
Did I mention I am older?
Well I am older.

This doesn't sound like HAPPINESS yet does it?

Well no, not really.

There were plenty of moments this week when I did not feel happiness and most of it centered on my late stage of pregnancy. However, when I stop though and really think about this pregnancy, I realize I am happy about many things in this pregnancy. If I stop and reflect with gratitude on the blessings I do have in this pregnancy, I can't help but feel peace which does lead to happiness.

So yes, I don't enjoy the last little bit of pregnancy, but I can be happy in recognizing my blessings.


I am healthy.
I can still be active.
I am not on bed rest.
Newest Little Man is active, so I know he is there.
He is healthy.
I have a helpful husband.
I have three healthy boys.
I am a Momma to boys.
Good boys.

I may have to remind myself of this while crying as I struggle to get into a pair of pants...but I am a big believer that being happy is an active state of being. I am learning that in sadness if I try hard to put things into perspective and focus on the good then happiness can evolve.

Then the peace comes.

Perspective follows that.

Then the smile soon follows.

Have a great Sunday everyone. Thanks for letting me share my HAPPINESS journey with you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Canvas and Fabric Decorating-Baby's Room


8 weeks until our newest Little Man should make his debut. That might seem like a long time...believe me there are days/minutes/seconds where I feel that. THEN I start looking at my legen....wait for it...dary to-do list and I realize 8 weeks is not  that long.

This week I got a couple things accomplished for his new room. I painted canvases and made embroidery hoops cute by  adding coordinating fabric.


Both of these projects were super easy and fairly fast.

Of course once I found all the fabric, the planning could begin. I was so happy when I finally went to a store here in town that was rumored to sell home fabric...you know the kind on the giant rolls...for super cheap.

Jackpot!

Can you just imagine, home fabric for anywhere from 4.99-9.99 a yard? Say what? Yeah it is true.

Isn't it all so lovely.



This is the curtain material. I got 6 yards of this cute print for just over 30 bucks. Again, I must say it...


JACKPOT!

The curtain material is where I started coordinating all the other fabric.

Some of the fabric is going in hoops. I am adding more sizes of hoops to these soon.


This is one of my favorite fabrics and is inspiring the accessories of white elephants.


I also decided to use my handy dandy, always in stock, canvases to make some more wall art.

I simply gathered my canvases and taped off the edges with painters tape.


I picked out some coordinating craft paint.


I painted my canvases with 2 coats. Then I removed the painters tape.


Next I used white vinyl and my Silhouette and cut out a chevron pattern for one. The first letter of new baby's name for another...


and then of course a white elephant on the biggest canvas.


I LOVE the colors together.


I am getting so excited. Middle and Littlest's room is all done. Oldest's is SO close. Newest's room is on its way.

This room is going to be so sweet and hopefully ready just in time for our sweet new Little Man.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup


"Ahhhhhhhhh."

Yes that is a choir of angels singing. Well okay, maybe it was just me singing. I am sorry but when you manage to actually make a homemade version of one of your favorite soups, AND it is pretty garsh darn spectacular, then singing is necessary and involuntary.

I love, love, love a good Italian Wedding Soup. Until recently, I have never ventured to make a homemade version. Why? I don't know. But if waiting this long led me to create this, then the wait was worth it.

Side note...do you think food is going to hold this much power over me once I am no longer pregnant??? Hahaha...

Okay back to my ravings...

I have pinned a couple of different Italian Wedding Soup options. I didn't really like any of the entire recipes so I morphed some of the recipe parts, added a few things, omitted other parts, and then bam, I had pretty much the most delightful homemade Italian Wedding Soup. I am telling you guys, it was better than I imagined.

Yup. That good.

So here is the recipe I came up with for Italian Wedding Soup...


Italian Wedding Soup


Ingredients:

Meatballs-


1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 TBS Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

Soup-


1 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
salt
pepper
1 bag baby spinach
2 eggs
2 TBS Parmesan cheese
6-7 cups chicken broth ( I used 7 because I like my soup brothy-is that a word?)
1 cup small pasta, I used Ditalini
50-60 mini meatballs

First make your meatballs. Simply combine all of the meatball ingredients. Then, to form the mini meatballs, I used a tsp as a scoop. I scooped out the small amount of meat mixture and then rolled it into a small ball. I lined them up on a baking sheet. I had about 80+ when all was said and done. I reserved about 60 for the soup. Set those aside. Then I just cooked up the others, which my Little Men enjoyed for an appetizer.

Look at 'em all lined up, aren't they so cute??

To start the soup heat up the oil in a stock pot over med heat. Add onions and carrots and a bit of salt and pepper to the pot. Saute the onions and carrots for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add garlic, stirring constantly, cook for another minute.


Add the entire bag of spinach and stir to coat with oil. It will look like A LOT, but don't worry. Spinach totally wilts and cooks down.

Add a little more salt and pepper and then allow the spinach to wilt down. It will take about 3-4 minutes. See it totally wilts.


While the spinach is cooking, whisk the eggs and cheese together in a small bowl. Make sure the white and yellow parts of the eggs are completely blended. Set aside.

Once the spinach is cooked, add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta and the meatballs (yes just plop them in there uncooked...they will cook while the pasta cooks) in and allow to cook for 7-8 minutes.

Next slowly stream in the egg mixture, making sure to stir gently as you pour the eggs in. Stir in a circular motion, not so much a spastic side-to-side motion. If some of the egg whites cook and separate in the soup, just scoop them out with a fork.

Allow the soup to cook for an additional minute.

Then this delightful soup is done! Serve it up with a side of french bread.


Seriously I loved this soup. If you are a fan of Italian Wedding Soup, you gotta try this. It was a hit with every single member of the family. AND as I mentioned Tuesday, I had this soup twice for leftovers. I hardly ever eat leftovers. So you gotta believe me when I say this soup is a keeper.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine's Day Projects





Okay, so disclaimer...this Valentine's Day set up is at our old house. I do have our new house all Love-Day-ed up but, I have yet to have good enough light to take a picture around here. Also, with the hustle and bustle of everything going on around here I haven't added any new decorations...so nothing really new to share with you.

However, I thought I would share with you guys my previous Valentine's Day projects and the links to some of the tutorials. It is crazy to think that some of these tutorials were the very first ones I ever put on the old blog. CRAZY.

Valentine's is a fun and somewhat easy holiday to decorate for. I don't decorate for every holiday, but for some reason I do enjoy Valentine's Day decorating.

Okay so here is my Valentine's Day Past decorating  recap...ENJOY!

FIRST--Here is the tutorial that I did for the L.O.V.E Banner pictured above.

I have sewed a bunch of Valentine's Day Pillows. I used part fabric and part felt. Felt is SO easy to sew with. Pillows are an easy way to add a hint of whatever holiday you are celebrating.





 

Last year I add this sweet guy to my Valentine's Day decor. I am in love with this Hoot Owl.


I am also a big believer in decorating with candy...partly because I am a big believer in eating candy...
It is so easy to find glass containers you already have and to simply fill it with cheap red Valentine's Day candy. Boom, instant decorations plus then you have a pretty handy midnight snack.

A decorating post can be found HERE.

Last year I also whipped out this little pennant banner to hang up. Last year I put them on my cabinets in the kitchen. This year they are hanging in front of our living room mantel...again, sorry there are no pictures of that.


I LOVE this wreath. In this new house, wreaths don't stand a chance against the wind. I found that out the hard way at Thanksgiving. So this pretty little wreath is hanging up over the mantel. I do love how it looks on a front door though...hmmm should I give the wind another fight?

Felt Heart Wreath post HERE.

I hope that this post has given you some Valentine's Day inspiration. 

Writing this post has reminded me that all of these decorations have evolved because of our annual Valentine's Day party. However, this is the first year in quite awhile that I am not planning a Valentine's party for my Little Men. I am a little sad, but I am not going to lie, I am not sure where I would fit in the planning and throwing of that party right now. I mostly realize what I am missing are all those Ohio friends who would join in the party with us. Ahhhh the memories!

Happy Valentine's Day decorating!

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