Friday, July 29, 2011

Breaking Ground

Our house journey started two years ago when we came home, giddy, from the courthouse and stood in our weedy field with this sign.

We were land owners! Over the next two years we lived on one teacher's salary - saving the other for our dream house and Brad's Master's program tuition. We dreamed. We cried (OK, I cried) when we learned we simply could not afford the house we planned to build. So we set aside those blueprints and created new plans. I googled, my dad and Brad drew, and an architect turned our ideas into home plans made just for us. We went to a bank and had green lights all the way to a crushing appraisal. I cried some more. We started the loan process over again with a new bank, and the appraisal came in higher than we dared to hope. We waited for a nail biting month for the paperwork and underwriting to come back. And yesterday, after two years of highs and lows, penny pinching and prayers, we closed on our construction loan. We came home, giddy, and stood in our weedy field with a shovel.

With thankful hearts we dug into the hard, red clay...

And broke ground.

On Monday, the real ground breaking equipment will move in, and the excavation will begin! I know to some a house is just a place to live, but to me this is already a home. This is the place where I grew up and skinned my knees and dreamed of falling in love. This is where, God willing, we will be blessed enough to start a family and raise children a stone's throw from their grandparents. This is where we will plant trees and build snowmen and celebrate the grand adventures of life.

This is home.


Monday, July 25, 2011

stripes + floral tank

For some reason I've been on a crazy nautical kick this summer. So when I spotted a remnant of striped  jersey knit fabric at the fabric store, I had to have it. I was thinking summer tank, but I wanted to add a little something extra to it to put a twist on the nautical look.

I found this awesome floral fabric (actually a girl's dress) in my Goodwill fabric stash, and the stripes + floral summer tank was born.

This is a seriously easy tank to whip together in an hour or so, and it's a great stash buster as well.

To start, cut two rectangles of knit fabric. You want them to be as long as your favorite summer tank, plus 4 inches and as wide as your favorite summer tank plus 6 to 8 inches depending on how baggie you want the tank to be.

Fold the top edge of each rectangle down two to three inches, pin, and sew. This will create the pocket to hold your straps/ties.

Take a long strip of fabric five inches wide and a yard long (or longer) and fold in half lengthwise with the right sides together. Pin, sew, and turn right side out. This will be your straps/ties so you might want to angle the ends. I tied my straps in a small bow, so this length worked out fine for me. If you want a flouncy bow, you will want a longer strip of fabric.

Thread the long strip of fabric through the pockets at the tops of your knit rectangles. Use your favorite tank as a guide for how long to make the straps, but also try this on as well.

Once your straps are the right length, tie the extra fabric in a bow.

You will also need to pin and sew the sides of your tank closed. I pinned and sewed about four inches from the top of the tank, but this will vary by body type, so  make sure you try the tank on after you've pinned but before you've sewed everything up.

After the sides are done, you can also hem the bottom edge of the shirt. Knit doesn't unravel, so I decided to keep my bottom edges raw.

That's it!

I decided that I really like mine belted for a more tailored look, but it also looks great loose.

I love the way it drapes in the back.

What do you think? Mixing stripes and florals - good idea or fashion faux pas?

Linking to these parties:


Creative Itch


Friday, July 22, 2011

Nautical Chevron Bracelet

I had a brainwave yesterday. Shocking, I know, but it does happen sometimes! I was thinking about the hemp friendship bracelets I used to make in high school and how to make them a little more grown up. My eyes landed on a spool of navy grosgrain ribbon, and the nautical chevron bracelet was born.

It turned out to be super quick and easy to make, my kind of project!

To make your own, you will need: ribbon (long enough to wrap around your wrist plus three inches), 5 ft of  jute twine, a button, and a needle and thread.

Fold the twine in half and knot at the top, leaving a loop. Slip the loop through the ribbon.

Fold the ribbon over and pin. you can sew this shut now or later.

Take the twine on the left side and pull it over the ribbon and under the twine on the right side.

Now, take the twine on the right side, bring it under the ribbon, and...

... pull it up through the loop on the left side.

Carefully, pull the twine on each side to tighten the knot. Now you are going to do exactly the same thing, starting on the other side.

Take the twine on the right side and bring it over the ribbon and under the twine on the left side.

Now, take the twine on the left side, bring it under the ribbon, and...

... pull it through the loop on the right side.

Carefully tighten, making sure not to squeeze the ribbon.

Repeat the pattern of alternating your knots until the bracelet is long enough to fit around your wrist.

Knot the twine.

Fold the ribbon over, and sew shut.

Trim the ends of the twine.

Sew on your button.

Enjoy your adorable new bracelet, and have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, July 18, 2011

My living room is on vacation

I love the game theme I did for the living room, but seeing back to school items in stores this week (seriously, people!) had me clamoring to live up the summer for as long as it lasts. So, I decided to bring in a little beachy, nautical vibe to keep September far from my mind.

That's why this:

Turned into this:

To start, I took the blue tray off the bottom and flipped it over on top of the divided box.

Hmm... yeah, looks like I didn't bother to paint the bottom. Scrapbook paper to the rescue!

Now, just add a fish bowl full of jute rope.

And I have to make a little ribbon nautical bunting. (sew through little ribbon scraps - super duper easy)

Add a candle and some sea shells for the finishing touch - and there ya go!

I also added my "S" and a vintage nautical oil panting to extend the look to the rest of the coffee table.

Now when I'm sitting in the living room watching far too many hours of netflix streaming, I remember that it's OK, because I'm on vacation!



kitchen dreaming

Here's a little kitchen idea board for the dream house:

1. We are going to go with an Ikea kitchen, appliances and all. This is the mock up Brad created on their website. Note the counter tops are missing, see number 3 for what we're planning there. We also plan to use trim around the top of the cabinets to cheat them up to the top of the ceiling and edge in crown. That weirdo gap on the right side will be filled in in real life.

2. This is the feel I would like to have in the kitchen. We plan to go with a very pale aqua wall color and lots of pops of red in the accessories.

3. I am super open to counter top suggestions! All I know is that I want something that looks like carrera marble at a much cheaper price tag.

4. We are going to build our own island, and I really want to find lab stools to use in place of bar stools.

5. These nautical/industrial lights are awesome! I think two or three of them will look great over the island.

I can't wait to get started on turning these ideas into reality! Our closing date for the construction loan is set for the end of July and we are praying that it all goes smoothly.

If you want to see more kitchen ideas, check out my pinterest board.

What would you have to have in your dream kitchen?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Get your booty on the floor

Well, I'm sure to get some weird Google search hits from this title! Today I'm talking about getting your booty on some cushy floor pillows. We don't have a lot of seating in the living room (only four tushes can sit comfortably) so when I found these huge, ugly floor cushions, I knew it was time for some DIY sewing action.

A little trip to Hobby Lobby, and a few hours later and I had these faux tie envelope pillows.

The two tone tie look was a happy accident involving me being cheap and buying half a yard too little of the striped canvas fabric. I ended up loving the look, and here's how you can recreate it on purpose.

Sandwich your pillow between your chosen fabric. You want enough extra on each side edge for your seam allowance. Cut the fabric on the open top end shorter than the top of the pillow, leaving a little of the pillow visible. Hem the two top edges.

After hemming, wrap the fabric around the pillow again, to measure your second fabric.

Once you have all your edges matching, hem the top edges of your second fabric.

Now you want to make your ties. Take four equal strips of fabric. Mine measured six inches by 8 inches. Fold the strips in half along the long edge with right sides together, and sew to form a long tube. Turn right side out, and tuck in the raw short edges. Top stitch to close the short edges.

Sew your straps to the top edges of your big piece of fabric, two on each side.

Almost there, only three straight seams to go! Overlap the top edge of your big piece of fabric on top of the top edge of your extra fabric and sew together.

Now, you should have one long pieced together sheet of fabric. With the right sides of the fabric together, fold your striped fabric in half along the bottom edge. Now fold your linen fabric in half along its bottom edge.

Note how the fabric overlaps, this is what forms the envelope that allows you to take the pillow in and out without fooling with a zipper. Can you spot the mistake I made in the picture?

Yup, I overlapped my fabric the wrong way! The linen fabric should be on top of the striped fabric. I didn't notice this until after I sewed up my side seams. I was too busy ripping my seams out and banging my head into the wall to take a picture of it the correct way. Anyway, after you've overlapped yours the correct way, with the short fabric overlapping the top edge of the long fabric, pin your edges and sew up each side. Now all you have to do is turn the cover right side out and pop in your pillow. Oh, and tie your little straps into a cute bow.

Yay, for extra seating! I've already plopped down on these and enjoyed having a cushy seat to pull up to the coffee table.

Do you go in for floor pillows?