Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sew Perfect Laptop Bag...

I can't sew. I mean, really, I can sorta sew (remember, I got a C in Home Ec.). I don't sew well enough for like, a real seamstress to call me a "sew-er". I do own a sewing machine and can somewhat sew a straight line, thread my needle, etc. But, I'm an amateur for sure. I'm rambling. I know. I just needed to point out to you the difficulty in this undertaking before I showed you my project.

Here's my inspiration:

I really really love this bag. Unfortunately, it is waaaaaayyy outta my price range at 102.00. Yeah. I can't even possibly imagine paying 100 bucks for a bag (not that it isn't lovely). So, I said, "I think I can make that". It's for my laptop and a couple of school books.

I don't want to bore you with the details but I made a mock-up for the bag and guessed how I might sew it, making my own pattern up as I went along. I took the bag that I had been using for my laptop to gather measurements since I liked the size of it. Then, I went to Joann's (with my 20% off coupon) and got  fabric to start sewing. I got 3 cuts of fabric: 1 for the outside of the bag (1.5 yds), 1 for an inside liner (1.5 yds), and 1 for the mustard yellow flower (0.5 yds). I also bought some batting to make the bag slightly softer and more substantial. Total cost for all was16.00 and change.

And here is my end result:

I cannot tell you how proud I am of myself. For most regular sew-ers this is prob a 2 hour quick bag with little to no thought but for me? Well, remember when I made my bread? Well, this is the same thing. I feel so empowered. Like, yes I can!!! (you know back when everyone liked Obama and had hope for our country? That's how empowered and confident I feel).  I really love my bag. Let's do a side by side comparison before I continue:

Sorry for the tiny picture.
Not bad though right? !!!!

Okay, enough of patting myself on the back (okay, I just did it one more time for good measure). Here's the lining:
So cute.
And an up close of the ruffled pleats and flower:
What I love about this is that I got what I wanted for only 16.00 I'm sure the other bag is nicer, and probably made better (obviously) but for only 16.00 I'll take my bag!

I feel like I could be Laura Ingalls any day now what with my mad sewing skills and baking bread. Forget the fact that I can't live without electricity or that I have no idea how to kill and skin animals or pluck chickens. I'll figure that out some other day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Organization in it possible?

Just a small project I tackled to make this:

look more organized.
This is in our cupboard. It hold various items but mostly our boxes of kool-aid packets to add to bottled waters. It always looks like a mess because, no matter how much I organize, my daughter and husband are always sifting through them to find the different flavored packets they want. Inevitably, there are empty boxes and packets everywhere in there. And it never stayed neat.

So, I devised a plan to make it more organized and use up a space in my pantry that is wasted. This was a no cost DIY also because I only used 1 thing which I already had: contact paper.

I bought this on sale at Michaels (1.50 for roll) awhile ago because I loved the pretty pattern but hadn't found a use for it.

Okay, I lied. I used 1 other thing for this makeover: labels.

I also had this leftover from a project I had done in March so- no cost. (originally found at Michael's).

So, here's what I did. I took all the kool-aid boxes and cut them in half (eyeballed it).

Then I wrapped them in my contact paper:
I had about 7-8 pretty boxes.
I added the labels to the front of the box with each flavor written on them.
Here's the end result:
Soooo much more organized. And it uses a space that would otherwise be wasted in my pantry. Since they are measly little packets of powder I just used thumb tacks to adhere the boxes to the wall. No problems with them falling or being too heavy for the tacks. I also added a small plastic bowl below them to hold additional boxes of kool-aid that may not fit into the organized box (we tend to stock up on them and use them a lot as it's the only drink we really have in the house).

Now I just need to figure out how to make the rest of my pantry looks as organized.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

More Pinterest inspiration...I love you!

I love Pinterest. I know I've said it before and if you're my husband you're probably nodding your head in agreement unlike the rest of the world who may not be privy to my addiction as of yet. But despite the neglect of my poor dear husband, I love other things besides Pinterest. Like my daughter (sorry DH!). And this post combines that love into 1 harmonious action. Okay, don't get your hopes up. It's not an overly long or awesome post.

I made this cute little sign for my daughter:
Everything was used from my supplies at home so this was a craft with 0 $ invested. 
  I put it right next to her bedroom door so that she can always see  how much I love her:

A quick inexpensive craft that bring a smile to my face. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stairs Wars...Empire Carpets Strikes Back.

Here's how my stairs started out:

Humiliating though it may be, you can really see the ickiness of the stairs in the last pic. This is why it was a no brainer for me to attempt this DIY project. I needed to replace the carpet anyway. In the end, if I mucked it all up I wouldn't be destroying good carpet.

So, I started tearing out the carpet. Little by little. This was by no means a difficult project just time consuming. And not all that time consuming really. I was just lazy and took my time. So what I did in 3 weeks time could probably be accomplished in 3-4 hours. I just did a small patch (about an hour) every weekend. Nothing exhausting. Still I was pretty disheartened by what I uncovered. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

To take out the carpet I only needed a few tools.

1.) A mini crow bar
2.) box knife (only for starting the cut of the carpet)
3.) Needle nose pliers
4.) a small plastic cup I could put nails, staples, tacks, etc in

That's it. And the elbow grease. It was simple work just yanking up the carpet. Just ripped it out of staples and off the tack strips.
 Ewww for lurking stains.
I rolled the carpet up as I went. It was nice that they didn't use 1 big piece but cut the carpet into increments of about 4 stairs per section of carpet so I never used the box knife except at the beginning.
I rolled up each padding too.

And the staples weren't bad (I've heard some horror stories about staple after staple after staple taking hours to get every single one out).And no glue so that was good too.
Though I did have a nice surprise on the landing. They left a little present under the carpet. Oh for the shoddy work of builders.
 Yep. They left a razor blade underneath. Guess it wasn't that important to pickup after themselves.
And this shoddy workmanship is what is sooooo frustrating. Cuz when I started on the longest part of my stairs (the "down" part of the stairs after the landing) I found this:

(and this is a pic of a pic off my iphone so yeah. Deal.)

A nice wide gap. About 1/2 an inch to an inch wide. I was a little scared at that point but I soldiered on. And I wasn't rewarded because here's what they all looked like after all the carpet was up:

*Le sigh* I don't know what I expected. I mean, I guess it was too much to hope that they could cut the appropriate F-ing measurement to each riser right? That simple mathematical step was just for. Who knew?

So, now I'm left with some options.
Trim, trim, trim is my best friend. I can cover it with quarter round trim butting up again them like so:
I'm gonna have to get trim anyhow because of the gaps in the side remember? Obviously not in that Gawd awful Honey Oak. I'd just get plain white so I could paint over them.

My other option is a facade. I've talked to a few guys at work and they suggested just getting a 1/4 inch piece of wood cut to the length I need and glue it to the stair's riser. Then it's ready to paint. I like this idea for the seamlessness of it but there are a few problems.
1) Cost (cuz I'm cheap-I'm pretty sure quarter round will be cheaper than a few sheets of wood)
2) Cuts. I would have to make a bajillion cuts to achieve the exact measurement of each and every riser which is about 15 stairs and lets just say 3 cuts per riser = 45 cuts. And I don't have a circular saw or any nifty power tools that can bust this out in 10 min. This would be an old fashioned hack saw with a lot of pencil markings on the wood. Of course, I've heard HD will make cuts for you so....maybe it's still an option. But if any of them are even slightly off this could really f-up my day if I have to trim something back, or it's too small or whatever. I realize that, with a 90 degree angle of stairs, each riser should be equa-distant  but...*cough* shoddy builders *cough, cough*. Do I wanna take a chance?

Okay, I know I'm thinking out loud with you guys so forgive the run on sentences above.
But that's where I'm at with my stairs. Plus, I still have to sand the bejeezus outta them so that'll take awhile (ugh, sanding!).
Wish me luck.

Good bye Summer...Hello Fall!

No more lazy days. I mean, for my daughter.

School has started and you know what that means? For her it's the end of sleeping in, playing late, then sleeping in again. And I'm sure she's devastated. But me? To me it means... crisp fall mornings, apples and cinnamon, falling leaves, mums, pumpkins, hot chocolate by the fire pit, college football, Halloween *le sigh*.

Of course, I don't have those things living in Florida (you know what I mean) but a girl can dream.