What’s under my hood? And a neat gift idea.

It’s the humpty hump day!  I meant Wednesday, you sickos!!

I’m sure you’re all dying to know what I’m cookin with over here?  What’s under my hood?  Or, in plain ol’ terms, what kind of sewing machine I’ve got?  Well, I upgraded a few months ago to the Brother SE4oo, which is a combo sewing and embroidery machine.

For any of you that have ventured into the world of embroidery, you know those machines are not cheap.  In fact, Damn, Gina!  They are ex-pen-sive!!  I’m talking 2k at the lower end.  Did your jaw just drop?!?

That’s why I ended up with this machine.  It does embroidery on a 4×4 hoop (that’s pretty small) but, it does a pretty good job for a machine that’s in the 300 range.  (Love that movie, btw – We are Sparta!!)

As a father’s day gift for my uncle that literally has everything, I decided I would embroider some stuff.  I figured dish towels are always a necessity.  Snagged these at TJ Maxx for under 10.

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I knew I wanted to do an M monogram, so I marked off the middle with pencil.

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Are you freaking out because I used pencil?!  I only did that because I knew I was going to wash the towels after to remove the stabilizer.  Which brings me to a super duper key part – the stabilizer.  It’s a must.  But who wants some cardboard chunk on the back of their towel?  No one, that’s who.  So get this stuff… it dissolves in water and is very fancy.

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I actually bought this on Overstock.com when I had a coupon and needed to spend a few more bucks to redeem it – so free for me!

Then I carefully sandwiched the fabric in the hoop and made sure the needle lined up with my markings so everything was straight.  (Sounds easy, but take your time on this.)  I used some basic settings… two frames and a letter.  Cute, I think.

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So, is my machine top-o-the-line.  No, not really.  But she does get the job done and since I’ve only embroidered a few things, I’m happy I didn’t shell out the 2k… although, one day, I just might.  Buaaahhhhaaahhhaaa!

PS Look at me Mom, no pencil marks =)

Finished the Couch – or did I?!

TGIM.  Sometimes I’m relieved it’s Monday so I can go into the office and just have a few hours of uninterrupted quiet time…not that it’s quiet in the office, but just for that time, I’m focused.  At home, even when I’m being productive, I’m thinking about the other 10 things I could be doing and the kiddos are adding their own list of Mommy-to-do’s.  You know what I’m talking about, right?!  So after the Father’s Day festivities, yeah, TGIM.

But on with the show!  Here is my couch, sans covers…

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12 cushions and 1 ottoman… doesn’t seem so daunting, until you’re on #5 and there’s still a long way to go.  But totally doable in 10-20 minute increments (which is what I did since if I even touched the sofa, the boys would immediately start doing gymnastic karate moves on it).

From this far back, the cushions look like they’re in fairly good shape… why even cover them?  To you and I, couch means “a place to sit on,” but to the munchkins it’s “where I wipe my hands and boogers, where I set my mashed up banana, where it’s best to test the reliability of a sippy cup.”  For the record they’re not all that reliable.

Please don’t judge me too much (deep breath) but here’s why covers were VERY needed…

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And cleaning ain’t cheap – $350 a go ’round.  I went to downtown LA and ended up buying 10 yards of $2 dollar fabric.  I made the ottoman cover and then lived with it for about 2 weeks.  Washed it, man handled it, changed diapers on it – really tested ‘er out.  That discount fabric held up, so I went back and NOOOOO!!, they only had 20 more yards.  I figured that I would just mix some fabrics; Shouldn’t be too hard to find something fun, right?  I also got 10 yards of flexible vinyl that I put under the fabric to protect the cushions from spills.

My inspiration is something like this… I love, love the way the designer mixed the fabric colors and textures.  Of course, this sofa is cute and small and mine is huge, but it’s inspiration.

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My problem always has been, where to stop.  When I’m buying fabric I always gravitate toward crazy colors and patterns – they’re just so much more fun to buy and sew!!  But for the couch I tried to urge my inner self to go neutral – I tried!

Step one – The actual cushions

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Step 2 – The OutersDSCN1320

Step 3 – Pillows for Sure and A Revamp??

I’m not entirely happy with how the covers are looking.  Ironing and pinning might be the play (but ironing makes me angry), and then the red fabric… well, I’m not sold on it.  Ed says it’s too Morroccan…and he’s not wrong.  Maybe just take off the outers?  Any thoughts Amigos?

I won’t bore you with all the how-to’s but basically I cut the fabric to size + 0.5″ for the seam and pinned it in place to fully match the shape of the cushions and frame.  That way I would be sure the cover would be fitted (since some of the cushions are worn more in one area than another).  I numbered them on the back to keep track of which goes where.  I also added super long zippers, ’cause who wants to tug and pull these puppies on?  Not I!!  I know I’ll be washing them weekly, so the easier the better.  (PS  These have already been washed about 3 times.)  Got the zippers on Amazon for cheapo and they work great!  All said and done, I ended up using about 40 yards of fabric.  Wowee.

There you have it!  The fruits of my labors, I’m talking about the cushions although those boys qualify too!  Didn’t I say they could resist this darn couch?!?!

Hope you get some rest from your weekend today =)

Flee Market Finds – June 2013

Hi there Friends!

2 of the 3 boys woke up Sunday with a fever, so almost didn’t make it to the Rose Bowl this month.  Would have been tragic, I know!  But they are such little troopers!  They kept saying that they wanted to go in the car and see Grandma and Grandpa (who were meeting us there to help push, chase, feed these monkeys).  Thank you my sons, is all I can say.  You nutted up and mama loves you.

With that said, because of the added drama, I totally forgot my camera.  Ed had a phone, yay, but we often get separated, boo.  He loves the dude stuff – sports and comic stuff.  Stuff I wonder why people love so much… honest, but true, people.  We did manage to be together for a few finds, though.  Phew!

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These were $165 (how did you guess that?!) for the pair and I think totally worth it.  You can put a chair like this in any room and getting a cushion (or making one) is pretty simple.  Here are some ideas…

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Lots you can do with those chairs!  Here’s a cane peacock chair that I’ve seen in print that is just so sweet in person.  These can get big and ornate, also fabulous, but this girl can fit in a small space, which is nice when you don’t want to take up too much real estate.

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The vendor referred to it as a princess chair.  Only for a super stylish, trendy princess!!  And for $145 bucks this conversation piece could be yours.  I think it would be perfecto for a little girls room, a boho sunroom or just for fun in a corner with books and a cool lamp.  These are neat ideas too…

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So there are probably ZERO photos of the next awesome thing I spotted.  There are not many of them in the world, fo sho.  I feel like they were probably from the Raffles hotel in Singapore… don’t you just want to drink a Singapore Slinger looking at them??  Check these out!!

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Squeal!  They are TDF (To die for)!  Can you image the brass shined up?!  This is retro glam at it’s best and oh, so An-i-mal (said with an accent, of course)!  I really wanted these, but I had no idea where I would put them and at $400 for the pair, I had to be sure there was a spot.  Don’t want to be a hoarder… or more of a hoarder (guilty look).  These lamps would make any so-so spot a show stopper.  Imagine these rooms with elephant lighting…

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Can I just say, these lamps have got to go?! El-e-phants, el-e-phants!!

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Hope these fun photos gave you a little inspiration today!

Happy Hunting!  Any finds you’d like to share??  I’d love to see =)

Lights On!

So what have I been up to?  Not posting too much, but at least I’ve managed to cross a few to-do’s off the list.  Doesn’t that just feel sssoooooo good?!  I only really make lists so I can cross something off and then I’m like Mrs. da S-H-I-T for the moment.  Yeah, I feel that good when I get stuff Done.

I’ll elaborate more tomorrow, but for today (drum roll) I got the light up in the hallway.  That’s her home for now, I may move her later to my closet since she’s a bit of a girlie-girl, but I’m very pleased with my piece.  Again, here’s what she looked like when I got her for $4 bucks at the ReStore store…

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First thing I did was break the entire glass piece out.  I debated taking them all out for continuity, but really, who’s going to notice it when it’s up high that only one panel is missing??  So, out it went!  Then I taped both sides of the glass – not fun.  Primer – better fun.

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High gloss red paint – mucho fun!

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Notice the small holes at the bottom.  I made those with a handy tool that I found at Joanne’s.  Yay, for the 40% off coupon, so this bad boy was mine for about 8 buckeroos.  New toy to play with!!  Giddiness!!  (There was a similar tool on Amazon for about $14, and nothing even close at Lowe’s.)

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And it worked perfectly to make teeny tiny holes for teeny tiny bells (of course)!  Remember that I’d had “the bells” a few posts ago… I’m such a nerd.  At least I think I’m witty.

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I also got these at Joanne’s in the bridal section for $2 dolla – Holla!

I asked my FIL (Father-in-law) to help me put all the pieces together with a light kit I was taking down anyway.  He got ‘er connected and mounted all right.  I purchased this fancy bulb that’s supposed to last a million years – 12 in human, but that’s a million in bulb years 😉  And here she is….

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Shot from Kobe height

 

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Shot from Jessica height

I’m liking the fun shadows on the walls and ceiling, although looking at this picture, my walls seem so … sad.  They need a bit of color, yes?  A definite treatment is in the works for you my hall.  Don’t talk to your walls like I do?  Start!  It’s the only place I get a word in around here!!!

Dreaming of a new sofa…

I’m still working on these darn cushion covers for my ginormous couch (seems ginormous, at least) so, of course, my mind has been dreaming of the day when I can get a new sofa.  A brand spanking, shiny, untouched work of art.  The oldest is 3 1/2 and the twins are 21 months… I think it’s going to be awhile cause you know these kiddos don’t give a hoot about upholstery!  At least for now I can oogle some works of art… which made me wonder why everyone has such “normal” looking sofas.  Next go ’round, I want something less ginormous and more spectacular!

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But I think my favorite is the next one!  Whoever came up with this definitely has a sense of humor!

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Have a fab-u-lous weekend friends!  I hope I didn’t give you any ideas on what to do with all those stuffed animals your kids have lying around the house!!