Custom aprons

This winter I made custom aprons for two little girls I know.

One was a birthday present for Mia who was turning  two year old.  Her mom told me that Mia loved the movie ‘Frozen’ and I happened to find some perfect fabric.

Mia apron

 

Then I told my hairdresser and she said her three year old would love an apron too.  So, I found some more material and I made her one also.

second apron p

They were pretty easy to make and I was happy to hear that both little girls enjoyed them.

Later – H

 

 

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Curtains made with Grommets

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I bought all of the material and the opinions are 100% mine.

When I started to setup the sewing/craft room I used a set of pink curtains I found in the garage.  Since I had painted the room a light green color the curtains gave a horrible tint to the room, but they at least covered the windows until I found a set of curtains I liked.

pink curtain

Temporary curtains

I didn’t find a set of curtains I liked, but I did see this package of Dritz Home Curtain Grommets, in Pewter, at a local fabric store.  I had never used them before and was willing to try.

grommets used

Dritz Home Curtain Grommets

Next, I had to find the material I wanted.  I happened to be in Walmart one day and saw this material for less than $3.00 per yard.  I bought four yards of the main material and four yards of the white material as the liner.

main material

Since I had never used the curtain grommets before I decided to cut a header and attach the grommets to it and then sew the header to the curtain.  I used a ruler and pen to mark the center of each grommet location and then used the pen to trace the template mark.

Note:  I also decided to stitch the two layers together on the template line so the curtain would not move while I was cutting out the circle.  This step wasn’t mentioned on the package or by the fabric store.

stitch on template

To cut out the circle I made a small cut in the middle and then worked my way out to the outer edge.  The cashier suggested that I cut the hole slightly inside the template mark which was a very good idea.

cutting circle

I followed the package instructions to install the grommets.

white header

To make sure that the edges of the curtains didn’t roll I top sewed about 1/4″ from the edge of the curtains after I had pinned and ironed the edge flat.

edge stitching

When the curtains were done I hung them up and found out that they were not as full as I wanted.

white curtain

Finished white curtains

So, I went back to Walmart and found that they were out of the white material, but I found a black material with the same pattern on clearance also.

black material

So, I bought a third package of the Dritz Home Curtain Grommet and made two curtains, which were half width that I hung on each side.

black and white curtain

Final curtains

I think they turned out really good and I would definitely make more of these curtains.

Some additional information:

– I saw similar packages of the curtain grommets at Walmart.  I think they were for a slightly different size curtain rod and I don’t know if they go together as easy as the Dritz Home package.

– I recently saw similar curtain grommets used to make a tote bag.  She used them as decoration and for the handles to go through.

– I used quilt weight material so I didn’t have to worry about the two layers of material being too thick for the curtain grommets.

– The package of curtain grommets says that the grommets can be removed with a flat screwdriver and that the curtain grommets should not be put through a washing machine, which is another reason I sewed the two layers of material together.

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

What project have you worked on lately?

Later – H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: DIY Ribbon Organizing

This is an update to one of my first blog posts.  I think this idea is much better and takes up less room.

So, when I was first organizing ribbon I used a plastic basket, dowels and some twist ties.  This basket was still in my cupboard until January of this year.

 

January is when I started to seriously reorganize the sewing/craft, etc room (that will take multiple posts to show so that will be done some other time).

Anyways, I saw on Pinterest (or somewhere) about the idea of hanging ribbons on a mutiple pant hanger (or at least that is what I call it) and I had one sitting in my closet.  This allows me to use the space in the cupboard for stackable items  (labeled boxes, etc) and I can hang the ribbon holder on the door handle when I am working on a project.  When it is not being used it could hang in a closet.

ribbon holder watermark.jpgYou may see another update in the future if I figure a good way to hang extra ribbon below the lower bar (which doesn’t open).

Anyone have any suggestions?

Later   -H

Thread organizing

Have you ever picked up a jewelry (or for something else small) organizer at a thrift store since it was a great deal and you knew you would find a good use for it someday?  Well, I have in the past and I finally determined a great use for one of them.

When I reorganized the sewing/craft, etc room I found this one buried in a cupboard.  Since I had just been looking at my small spools of thread and trying to figure out the best way to organize them (partly so I knew what I had and could get to them easily) I had a light bulb moment.  And this is what I came up with:

thread hanger watermark.jpg

This works perfectly for me since I had bought the Gutermann 26 spool thread (from JoAnn Fabrics on sale) so I had one or two spools of a bunch of different colors.

When I am sewing I can take it out and hang it on the cupboard door handle and see the options that I have.

 

Later – H

 

I unclogged the bathroom sink!

The bathroom sink has been running slow for a few months.  I had tried to pull out the hair, etc using the end of a chopstick (it worked to pull out some of it), but I didn’t think it had much hair, etc still down the drain.

The husband suggested I clear out under the sink (ugh) and we pull the stopper out so we could get it really clean.

Well, I got the area under the sink cleared out, but he didn’t have a chance to work on it.  So… I did a Google search on how to get the stopper out.

Here is the link I used (photo 3 shows how to get the stopper out).

http://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/drain-repair/unclog-a-bathroom-sink-without-chemicals/view-all

I was shocked by how much hair, etc that I pulled out of the drain.

bathroom sink junk combined

After I got all of above out I wiped down the drain with a paper towel and put the stopper back in.

To get the drain even cleaner I then put 1/2 cup baking soda over the drain.  I poured a warmed mixture of 1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water over the baking soda and closed the drain for about 30 minutes.  After that the drain appeared to drain quickly.

I guess I need to add this task to my To Do List (maybe every six months, if not sooner).

What household task have you learned to do recently?

Later – H

Denise’s purse – Quilt project

I just realized this post is almost two years old, but I never finished it!  So, since it is still valid I will finish it and post it now.  Two posts in one week already?  Maybe I am back to blogging….

So, lately my hobby of choice has been sewing.  Besides helping with Community Quilts (part of the quilt guild) where we work on quilts that are donated to people in the community (which is also a social outlet for me) I have worked on a few quilts – one of them being the Lil Twister Table Runner from this post:

https://acreativeengineerinnevada.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/table-runner-lil-twister/

I also made a quilt wall hanging for a friend (Denise) who loves purses.  I designed the quilt and it was inspired by Kim Schaefer’s ‘Calendar Quilts’.  This was also the first time I had tried Free Motion Quilting.  I think it turned out really good.  The one thing that surprised me is how LONG it took me to make this.  I think that is partly since I knew I was making it as a present and wanted to make it ‘perfect’.  Well, it isn’t perfect, but Denise loves it.

Denise purse quilt watermark

 

 Now (two years later) I am the 4-H leader for Quilting (actually the three girls are making wall hangings).  I was able to borrow the wall hanging I made for Denise and show it to them.  They were excited to see it and asked if I had won awards with it (definitely no, but it was nice to know they liked it).
Do you have multiple hobbies?
Later – H

 

 

 

Word of 2015 – Simplify – #2

If you saw a previous post  ‘Specials Words of 2015’ then you know that one of them is Simplify.

Here is the second project that I did that has simplified an area of my life (which in this case is the corner cabinet in the laundry room).

corner cabinet

We use the corner cabinet as an extra pantry area, but it was difficult to keep track of what was stored in there.  For years (and I do mean YEARS) I had a piece of paper taped to the inside of the cabinet with a semi-running list of what was inside.  I knew there had to be a better way.

Last fall, I found a roll of cork sheeting (on Clearance after school started) and cut a piece to fit the inside of the door.  One problem was it didn’t like to lay flat and the second one was I realized I couldn’t nail it to the door, but tape and glue would not make it stay.  So, that came down and I still needed a solution.

 

A few weeks ago, Hand Husband asked if I needed anything from Amazon since he wanted me to order something for him (and then we would qualify for the free shipping).  That is when I remembered seeing the

Fancy-Fix A4 Sized Weekly Planner Blackboard Sticker Memo Removable Vinyl Chalkboard Wall Sticker   

and

SuperChalks White Liquid Chalk Marker Pen (4mm Regular Tip)

I realized the A4 size should fit (or would be easy to cut down) and I liked the idea of liquid chalk (I hate using regular chalk, especially in dry Nevada).

Once they arrived it took me about 5 minutes to have three of the Blackboard Stickers installed.  It was tricky to get the Liquid Chalk Marker Pen to work at first, but then it went on neatly and dried pretty quickly.

corner cabinet, pantry list, organization

 

I also found an idea for a Pantry inventory sheet at Organized Home   Pantry Inventory

that used boxes and ‘/’ to show you have the item and ‘x’ to show when it was used to keep track of the inventory.  I thought that idea was brilliant!   (go check out the free printable at http://Organizedhome.com )

So, I will be taking everything out of the cupboard and writing it down on the sheets when they go back in.  Hopefully then we will be able to keep track of everything.

 

Now, to figure out how to do something similar with the regular pantry (which has bi-fold doors)…

How do you keep track of your pantry inventory?

Later – H

Word of 2015 – Simplify – #1

If you saw a previous post  ‘Specials Words of 2015’ then you know that one of them is Simplify.

Here is the first project that I did that has simplified an area of my life (which in this case is in our hall closet).

Inside our hall closet we had two baskets (on the shelf above my head) which contain the winter gloves, winter scarves, winter hats, gloves, rain poncho, baseball caps, etc.  Also, the flashlight is kept on that shelf or the one above, which I can’t reach (have I stated that Handy Husband is taller than me and can reach a lot farther up than me?).

inside hall closet door

 

This last summer I added one Command hook to the inside of the hall closet for our summer hats since they would get buried in the baskets (along with the gloves, etc).

 

 

 

 

The other day I bought an over the door multiple shoe organizer, but didn’t want it to be ‘over the door’.  I also bought a package of Command hooks.

filled inside closet door

 

After I hung the multiple shoe organizer up I loaded it with the light items that we would use the most (including the small flashlight).

It is now so easy to grab a pair of winter gloves when I am pulling my coat out of the closet.

Where do you keep your winter gloves, etc?

Later – H

Dead front load washing machine

Well, this was going to be a post about how handy husband and I fixed our 12 year old Kenmore Front load washing machine.  One night a couple of weeks ago when it was near the end of the final spin cycle it abruptly made HORRIBLE sounds (turns out the tub was swinging around and hitting the side of the walls and front of the washer).  When handy husband and I took off the back we found that one of the shocks was broken.

So, I did a Google search on the model number and found out that RepairClinic.com had the shocks and a video that showed it was pretty easy to replace.  So, I ordered the parts and we waited.  While I was gone for a few days handy husband got the old shocks out (he said it was pretty easy) so all we would have to do was put the new ones in and start using it again.

The new shocks went in pretty easy and I tested out the machine by rinsing and spinning out a few towels.  It was semi-louder than I remembered, but we thought it was okay.  So, then I decided to wash the towels and a couple of pairs of jeans.  It sounded fine until it got to the end of the spin cycle.  I heard this HORRIBLE noise from the other end of the house.  I went running for the laundry room to turn it off.  I came upon Pepper (the Golden Retriever) in the dining room with her ears pulled back and running for the hall (which she has never been allowed to go down).

We first thought the washer was somehow unbalanced (which was weird since it was never unbalanced before).  So, we added foam between the tub and the sides, but it still was making horrible noises.  (The way Pepper was acting [ears back and wanting to leave the house] should have told us that it was making horrible noises before we could hear it.)

I did a YouTube search and found a video on how to take apart our washing machine.  They discusses that the ‘spider’ which is inside the tub breaks.  Uh, oh.  Between that video and a comment from a friend we decided that was what was wrong.  Since the spider is part of the drum it is very expensive to fix.

So, I went searching (Consumer Reports, Google, etc) and found out that Home Depot had the LG 4.0 Cu. ft. washer (WM3050CW) on Black Friday sale for $579 ($220 off).  To be safe I ordered the 3 year protection plan for $80 (it says they will replace the unit if it is a Lemon).

So, the washing machine is on back order so we are without a washing machine until December 3rd.  I am hoping we only have a few more trips to the laundry mat before it arrives and right now I am so happy that I don’t live too far from the laundry mat.

What appliance have you had to replace recently?

Later – H

 

Giveaway: Build a Budget that Works by Jessi Fearon

So, you all know that I try to be thrifty by doing DIY projects, making food from scratch, using coupons, find deals at the Thrift Stores and finding the best deals on the new items or services we need to buy.  Well, another way is by keeping your family on a budget (and one that works is even better).

Jessi Fearon sent me a copy of the Build a Budget that Works  book to review as part of her book launch.

I am glad I got it since it reminded me of categories that I sometimes forget to budget for (like recently needing tires for our truck [which I found a sale on] and now it sounds like we will need them for the car also this year – ouch,  definitely not something I planned for, but I will be looking for a deal on those also).

I will continue to tweak our budget using the tips in Jessi’s book.

So,  would you like to win a FREE copy of the Build a Budget that Works book?  I was given one copy to give away to a reader.

Between now and Thursday 20 November 2014 make a comment (which will be delayed in posting since I have to approve them) with your name and email address.  After that I will pick a winner using a Random Number Generator (hey, I have to use something nerdy).

Good luck!   – H