My New Closet


Been a while since I blogged. We have been busy moving. As home owners, we get to do all the house projects we have always dreamed of. 

My first project was for an insufficient closet. The closet is small with a slanted ceiling, but even the small space I have was not being utilized. There was just one kind of low hanging bar and shelf. 


Judging from the paint layers and the amount of dust behind, it was probably installed in 1977 when the house was built. 


After I pulled the bar and shelf out, I spacled any holes in the wall and let them dry. 


I usually get “are you lost, darlin’ ” type looks from other customers when I shop in the lumber section at a hardware store. But, until going in for shelf supplies no one had actually said that to me. 

I know the old gentleman was probably trying to help, but you can imagine the shocked look on his face when I told him I was buying lumber so that ‘I‘ could build a new shelf in my closet.  

He was even more surprised when I told him that, no my husband isn’t deployed or too busy. I just enjoy building things myself.


After painting it with accent walls , I put the original shelf back in, but a foot higher and added an old shelf from our last house(just just so happened to fit perfect). 


Then with the fresh lumber I had bought at Home Depot, I made customs shelves in the deaper section of the closet. 


And in that I can’t dress in the dark, I also mounted an IKEA light and ran the cord under the closet door and plugged in to an outlet just around the corner. 


I love my new closet. I still have more shoes to unpack, but there will be plenty of room for them. 

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Child-Safe Christmas

 

Doing Christmas with three toddlers can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. There are many of my decorations I am not using this year  for the safety of my babies as well as for the safety of my holiday decor. 

When my other kids were this age, I was able to teach them to leave the tree alone. But, now I am out numbered and have to choose my battles. This is just not one I have the energy for. So I decided to only do child-friendly ornaments. 
  
 Last year I bought a box of 40 wooden letter blocks for $18.99,  drilled a hole through the center and ran a ribbon through the hole and hung them on the tree. Between blocks and ribbon it came out to about 50 cents an ornament. 

  
With that same idea in mind, I hit the dollar section at target and found a bunch of wooden cars. 

  
I also found this wooden nativity for $15.00. 

  
Just like last year, I drilled a hole in them.  

And then, my older girls put the ribbons on them.   This year, it came out to about $1.50 a piece. 

Our tree ornaments consist of wooden toys, plush animals, and plastic Christmas balls.  

 Then, just for peace of mind, I secured the tree with some furniture wire. 

Now we are all set for a child-Safe Christmas.  

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Thrift Store Halloween II

My other daughter is reading the Harry Potter books right now and everything is about the wizarding world these days, so of course she wishes to be Hermione Granger. She was given her robe and time-turner for her Birthday, so all she really needed was a uniform. 

  
We found a pleated skirt on sale at Target for $4.99. 

  
The whites shirt was at the thrift store gor $4.99 plus discount. 

 

  The Ty was $2.99. 
Skirt         $4.99

Shirt         $4.99

Ty              $2.99

                   $12.97

                 -35%

Total         $8.43

She was so excited to show her teachers. 

   
 

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Thrift Store Halloween

So my daughter wanted to go as Zarina the Pirate Fairy this year. The problem was, of course, that the Pirate Fairy movie came out last year and so there were no pirate fairy costumes available this year.  

She already had the boots and the wings, but needed the dress. I was just not in the mood to start a project from scratch, so we hit up our local thrift store. Our thrift store gives 35% off military families every Wednesday, so I was sure to go on a Wednesday. 

 

I got a pretty green skirt, which apparently I forgot to get a full length picture of, with it’s original tags still on it. So, a $78.00 skirt for 12.99 plus discount.  
  
A white shirt for $3.99 plus discount. 

  
And a tank top/ bodice thingy for $5.99 plus discount. 

  First I took the white shirt and cut it in half, so that it came to about my daughter’s navel
  
Then I sewed a seam down the back to better fit her shoulders. 

 

Then I attached the shirt to the skirt. Then I got on a roll and forgot to take a photo of the next step, but I basically folded the skirt up on itself to creat kind of a bubble skirt effect. 

   Then I got to work on the botice. I cut the straps off, ran old bra wires(because I never throw clothing parts away) in them, so they stand up well and seed them back on at the front. 
Skirt              $12.00

Top                $3.99

Bodice          $5.99

                     =$21.98

                     -35%

Total.            $14.28 + about 2 hours of my time. 

I was rather rushed and it wasn’t really my best work, but she was extremely pleased with the results.   


  Here she is all ready to go to school. The costume theme at school was dress as a book character, so she posed with her book. 

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Confession 

I will procrastinate a whole project for weeks, because I don’t want to bother with having to change out the color thread on my sewing machine. 

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Man of Lions(My 2nd Quilt)

  
When our little boy was born, he arrived covered in fuzz and growling instead of crying. My husband started calling him a little Lion. And with that the list of potential baby names went out the window and he was named Leander(Lion Man). 

Also out the window went my plans of a Hungry Caterpillar quilt that I was going to make for him. He was clearly a Little Lion Man.  So, began the planning of a different project.  

  
I went online for inspiration.  I searched images for baby Lion clip art, coloring pages, quilts, cartoon drawing, appliqués, and room decor. But, I couldn’t find any One thing that I thought suited him. I did however find a lot of ideas. 

  

Here are Just a fiew. I liked the body stance of the first pictue and the face of the second picture, so I opened up both pictures in Photoshop and combined them and then created a mane that I felt suited him.  
 
I then added eye brows, whiskers, and tweaked the smile to give it more personality and added roughly the colors I wanted. 

The quilt I made for Lily took me almost two years, because I didn’t have a full plan set in stone and kept changing my mind. I bought a loooot of fabric that never got used and in the end her quilt was very expensive.  

 I was not going to do that with this one. This time I had the whole thing planned out, before I even went to the fabric store.  

I bought ALL the fabric and supplies on Labor-day weekend Sales with two different coupons allowing me to save more than I spent. 

 

I did my best to keep the fabric chosen in a basic harmony with his other bedding. I knew it was impossible to have it match perfectly, but I, at least, didn’t want it to clash entirely.  

 I pieced together my background. I had wanted more stripes than I got, but most of the stripes I found where going in the wrong direction.  In the end I was happy with the patterns I found.  
Next came one of my favorite steps, the appliqué.  I got more and more excited as it came together. The fabrics I was able to find came together so perfectly.  

  
I often get approach avoidance when starting a project and even though I bought all the supplies Labor-day weekend, I didn’t get started till the end of June. Not counting my planning/creation process, which I do on and off for months while on other projects, this whole quilt only took me 15 weeks. (89 weeks less than my last quilt)

I think the lesson learned is: better planning saves money and time. I will also say I could not have been more pleased with how it turned out. 

 
It wasn’t till I presented it too him today, that I realized that, because my babies Love to “help” so much, 95% of the work had been done during nap time and after bed time. As a result, he had never seen it before and it was a surprise.  He was very excited about the new blanket.  

  
 
So much so, that he would not let me take pictures. 

He sat and played with the face. And growled at it for a while. 

 He carried it around for a bit.  

And shared it with Daddy and Jones.  

 

For me the greatest success of a projects is marked by it’s use.  

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I invented the Snuggle Tote!

  
My baby girl is a security blanket child, more so than I have ever seen. She wants to take her blankets with her everywhere.  The biggest problem we have is being on the go. Blankets get dirty and even left behind. 

I took about a week pondering on the engineering of this one. I wanted something that is multi-purposes. 

 

I started by getting a new Small Mooshka doll. My girls all love these kinds of dolls from a very young age. They are soft and my babies start talking to the faces as early as four months old. I think this is the sixth Mooshka doll to join the toy box. 

 

 
  
  I got some flannel and backed it with just regular cotton, cut it into an exact square, and stitched the two pieces together with a corner to corner X. 

 (Warning: when working with flannel, ALWAYS wash and run it through the dryer first. Flannel has a tendency to reshape itself after a few washes)
 

I used a bowl to round out the corners.   
And added another semi-quarter size piece at what I wanted as the top of the blanket. 

  
  As I started cutting into the little doll I realized that this is the 5th or 6th toy I have pulled to pieces for the purpose of re-functioning. 

  
Then came to my mind a scenario of the Toy Story  characters living in fear of the dreadful mother who kills toys and builds Frankincene’s Monster type hybrids out of the pieces.  

Anyway! While I had the doll open I put some beads in an old makeup case(air tight for when I drop it in the wash) and put it up in the dolls head to create a gentle sounding rattle.   

After sewing all the pieces together, which I can’t show much detail on because I forgot to take pictures, I crocheted a lace onto the edges. 
 

I added two buttons; one inside the pocket and the other on the exact other side…

   … and I added four button holes. This will allow for the multifunction I talked about at the beginning. 
   
I also put in a velcro strap that can be unhooked when needs be. This allows it to be worn as a purse and reduces the risk of it being set down and lost. 

Function 1


This of course allows my baby to lounge around and nap with her doll and blanket together. 

Function 2
For around the house I can take the three  corners and button them into the pocket. 

 

This makes it so she can walk around without the blanket dragging on the ground. This reduces need for washing and limits damage. 

Function 3
  
 

This function uses the button on the back and allows me to fold the doll up into a small tote for when we are out and about. 

   

This function was perfect this last weekend on my husband’s Unit Family day. She was able to walk around and climb on equipment without losing her precious security blanket and any time she felt she needed support, her doll was right there.  

  

My baby girl seems pretty happy with her Snuggle Tote.  Totally worth the effort!

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