Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sliding Home

I may have mentioned before that Bionic Man is extremely creative.  He comes up with some pretty wild ideas, some of which I won't mention.  (Like how he'd love to install clear tubes along the ceiling and fill them with water and tropical fish.  If only I would let him....)   Most of those wild ideas turn into amazing finished products, once Bionic Man gets to turn his ideas into reality, like our gazebo playscape.

Even before we were married, Bionic Man shared his dream with me of having a slide inside our future home.  We're not talking a Little Tykes mini slide, we're talking a slide.  And you know what?  I kinda dug that idea.  Unfortunately, we just haven't ever lived in a home where a slide was architecturally feasible.  It seemed like something we'd have to design ourselves.

Recently, a friend showed me pictures of a home in Japan, with a slide as the central design feature.  I loved it!

Trust me, you'll want to see the other pictures of this home.  

Those pictures got me wondering about other homes with slides, so I went looking and found these:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pinteresting Tutorial

What?  What's that you say?  I misspelled the word interesting?

Au contraire, my friends.  I have discovered the website Pinterest.

Well, to be fair, I didn't exactly discover it.  Kami from No Biggie told her readers about it, here.  I was curious, and went exploring.  What I found is just too fun not to share!
About Pinterest

What it is:  I like to think of it as the virtual equivalent to my habit of ripping pages out of magazines and filing them.  Pinterest is an online tool that lets you store images on your own virtual "bulletin board."  Here's what the folks at Pinterest have to say about it:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 3/26/11

It's that time again!

This week, the official week of our semi-annual Great Sort (read about it here), I have clothing on my brain.  Specifically, spring/summer dressy outfits for my girls, since I need to get going on some dresses or skirts if I am going to have them ready for Easter.

I've been looking at the Matilda Jane website and thinking about how to replicate this or this dress for Superkid, and this skirt for Endeavor.  Totally doable.  

Have you been to Hawthorne Threads, yet?  I {heart} this site.  To be honest, I've never actually placed an order, but my goodness I have a lot of fun looking and getting inspired.  One of my favorite things about the Hawthorne Threads site is their color grid.  You can click on any color in the grid, and a slew of beautiful fabrics featuring that color will appear on the screen.  Click on any fabric, and there is a group of coordinating fabrics shown below it, as well as similar patterns in alternate colors.  My sister and I had waaaaaay too much fun playing with the color grid last summer, when I visited at her house.

Here's proof that I've been playing with the color grid again while I've been thinking about sewing for my girls.  How do you like these combos?

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Great Sort

There is a semi-annual ritual at our house each spring and each fall which I refer to as The Great Sort.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  A little like Hogwarts?  Unfortunately, there are no banquets or sorting hats involved, which might be nice.  The assistance of a sorting hat would be appreciated, and goodness knows I'm pro-banquet.  Note that I didn't say that, unlike Hogwarts, no witches or warlocks are involved in The Great Sort, because (also, unfortunately) I'm usually a witch by the time The Great Sort is over.  Frankly, there is really nothing great about the semi-annual Great Sort.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dining Decadence on a Dime

In looking through some of my older posts, I found this one.  Since it is about one of my family's favorite meals--one that everyone loves, miraculously--I thought I'd recycle the original post with some simplified  instructions.  Enjoy!

People don't think of seafood as a cheap meal, unless they are thinking fish sticks.  When you prepare your seafood at home, however, you can get far more bang for your buck than if you ordered it at a restaurant!  This particular menu can be prepared with frozen seafood with excellent results.  At my favorite local grocery store (Aldi), frozen shrimp and frozen salmon fillets periodically go on sale for $2-3/lb.  I can buy it, put it in my freezer, and pull it out later to use in this special meal.  

Weathered Wood & Wire Picture Holder

I've been in a bit of a funk lately, have you noticed?  I'm suffering from a severe case of writer's block, crafter's block, DIYer's block, and housekeeper's block.  It's been terrible.  You are welcome to bring casseroles.

Anywho, I was wracking my poor brain for inspiration and thought to look back in my blogging files for unpublished stuff.....and, looky here!  I found somethin'.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


This was a fun project from last spring.  Thanks to a women's sewing organization in Turkey who has posted a link to this project on their website, this little project has garnered international fame.  (Well, at least I like to think so.)  If you missed it last year or you aren't Turkish, here's a little

Fashion Friendly Recycling!
I created this outfit using materials I had on hand.  Here's the before:

Game On! Update

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Boy, I'm not sure why this week has been so busy.  Looking back, I don't feel like I've accomplished anything very spectacular.  Wait--I did do something out of the ordinary.  I went shopping, for me, for clothing, at retail stores.  Not thrift, not outlet--actual retail.  I actually went to the mall.  You know times are really tough when I head to the mall.  Have I told you that I really don't like to shop?  Yes, the Bionic Man is truly blessed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 3/12/11

Once again, I'm going to point you in the direction of a few special things that caught my eye this week.  Follow the links to see for yourself!

It seems like I just decorated my house for winter, but now it is time to start thinking about spring--what's up with the seasons changing so quickly?  I had so much fun making winter accessories for my front room, that I'm going to have to do the same for spring.  Luckily, I won't be short on inspiration, since discovering Just Another Hang-up.  Suzanne has tutorials for pillows that put mine to shame.  I will be copying.  Check out some of her creations here, here, and here.  Sewing not your thing?  Suzanne has an Etsy shop.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tip for Entertaining Children

Last week, when we still had snow on the ground, my friend's little boy spent the day at my house.  He was getting a little bored just before my kids came home from school.  Luckily, I remembered an old trick my mom used to use during the long winters of my childhood.

Snow in the Sink

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Evidence that I Gave Birth to Martha Stewart's Child

I think I could win a tabloid headline title competition with this one, don't you?

Those of you who know our family well know that Endeavor did not get her domestic abilities from me.  My limited domestic abilities have come to me slowly, over time.  Endeavor was born with them.

During Endeavor's infancy, I noticed that she had a strange fascination with paper.  She would seek out paper, no matter where I hid it, and shred it into tiny little pieces.  Or crinkle it into small, tight balls.  Or draw on it--because Endeavor always knew where the pens were, too.

It was only later that I realized that Endeavor was actually a talented papercrafter, her artistic expression limited in infancy only by the development of her small motor skills.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Something Special Saturday on a Monday - 3/7/11

I've had a goal to post these little featurettes on a more regular basis.  But I have to say, this last week ran me over like a truck.  Thank goodness for Blogger's schedule post option (lets me write in advance and publish later), or you wouldn't have heard a word out of me last week.  So, let's pretend today is Saturday, okay?

You know how I'm currently suffering from a slight slipcover obsession?  They've been on my brain.  Now that slipcovered chair #1 is sitting in all her finished, completed glory in my front room, receiving compliments from any who see her, I'm getting the itch to sew a few more.  In fact, I'm thinking of branching out from cheap canvas dropcloths, to an actual fabric.  Linen, actually.  (Note:  I have no idea how much linen costs, yet, so this could all change.)  Look at these extremely nifty slipcover/upholstery pictures I found while getting a post ready for the CSI Project:

Friday, March 4, 2011

I Shopped the House

Who coined that phrase?  I use it all the time now, and the Bionic Man looks at me like I am cuh-ray-zay.  Crazy like a fox!  I’m not spending any money when I shop the house.
This little winter vignette was totally free.  It took the place of our Thanksgiving Tree.  (Which, incidentally, looked so good there, we left it up well past Thanksgiving.  Gratitude is always in style, right?)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ribbon Trimmed Canvas Curtains

Earlier this week, I showed you how I made several things to insert bright colors and a fun pattern into my otherwise neutral d├ęcor. 

Remember how that valance was originally a tablecloth?  It was a pretty big tablecloth, but after two pillows and a long valance, I was starting to run low on snowflake fabric.

Originally, I planned to make another snowflake valance to top the window in my dining room (the other end of our large great room).  I played around with a couple of ideas, but finally came up with something completely different.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Canvas Pillow Cover

I’m showing off some of my winter projects, this week.  Yesterday was all about my cheery snowflake tablecloth that found a few new things to cover.  Did you notice the pillow that was being propped up by some of those snowflakes?
This lovely canvas number was another one of my snow day sewing projects.  I’ll be forever grateful to this pretty pillow for helping me figure out how my sewing machine works. 
I started this pillow cover with one thing in mind: ruffles.  I wanted something ruffly on this pillow, but I didn’t want it to scream, “I’M A RUFFLED PILLOW!”

It Snowed Inside

I know that today is the first day of March, and I should probably be thinking of spring….but we’re still experiencing winter where I live.  Just humor me, this week, while I finally post some of my winter projects.
Yesterday, this little pillow was in all the pictures of my newly slipcovered chair.  See if you can find a couple of its relatives on the other side of my family room:

Here’s another snowflake pillow on the couch…
….with more snowflakes over the window!
Believe it or not, it cost me all of $1.98 to make both pillows and the valance.  What’s my secret to scoring such a great deal on fabric?  I didn’t buy it at a fabric store. 

All that fabric came from a tablecloth I found last year during Target’s post Christmas clearance.