Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Blooms in the Garden


I live in Northeast Ohio and the month of March is usually cold and snowy with a few 50 degree days. The snow doesn’t last as long and the crocus and daffodils start popping up. This March has brought record breaking temperatures. We have had multiple 80 degree days and it feels like it’s really late May. I am not complaining one bit! It feels like actual spring instead of our typically spring, which is mostly non existent. We have a saying here: “We have four seasons, winter, still winter, almost winter and construction.” :)
All this warm weather is making Mother Nature think it’s May too. Flowers and trees are blooming like crazy. There are lots of combinations of blooms that wouldn’t typically be happening. The tulips and magnolias are starting to bloom while the daffodils are still up.
This is my favorite time of the year and I love watching all the spring bulbs bloom. Every time I go outside something new is blooming in my garden or one of my neighbors gardens.
I’ve been out taking some shots with my DSLR to try and capture the spring beauty. The crocus are long done blooming but everything else is going strong right now. I couldn’t resist planting some pansies and violas already. They are my favorite annuals. I normally like planting them in the ground in the fall. They live through the winter and bloom in early spring. I never got around to planting them last fall but the garden center was stocked with all the pretty blooms nice and early this year.


IMG_1008Daffodil
IMG_1009Daffodil
IMG_1012Hyacinth
IMG_1018Magnolia
IMG_1019Magnolia
IMG_0975Pansy and Violas
IMG_0896Crocus
IMG_1025Not a flower but still adorable :)
IMG_1021The best shot I could get of her. She wouldn’t stay still!


After I took these pictures we had a frost and all my magnolia blooms died :( I was so sad. I made sure to cover up my hydrangea and a couple of plants but I took the cover off too soon so I am nervous it won't bloom this year. I guess that's what happens when you get warm weather before it's time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My First Guest Post


I am super excited today! I am guest posting over at The Crafty Scientist. It's my first guest post and Mel has been so great. I am sharing a fake flower headband tutorial. Go check it out!

flower headband

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY Rosette Pillow


diy rosette pillow

Some of the living room pillows were starting to look a little beat up so I decided to whip up some new ones from my fabric stash. I needed some inspiration so I searched Pinterest for some ideas. I found this tutorial on how to make fabric rosettes. I loved the look of the rosette on the pillows so I decided to try it.

I started out with this red fabric.

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I cut out two squares in the size I wanted the pillow to be. Then I sewed them together. I used this brilliant tutorial on how to sew perfect corners. There is a video that made it really easy for me to follow.

Sew down one side of the pillow and back stitch. Fold down the corner before you sew the next side
After you sew all four sides (with an opening to turn), fold the other side of the corner down and turn the pillow right side out. You will be left with a perfect corner.

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After I sewed the pillow, but before I stuffed it, I started on my rosette. I used two long strips of the same fabric and rolled it into a flower using this tutorial. I had a hard time with the fabric because it was very thick. I had to pin the rosette together before I started hand sewing. It was tough to get the needle through all the layers. I would love to try this with a thinner piece of fabric because I think it would be much easier.
After I sewed the rosette to the front of the pillow, I stuffed it with fiberfill and hand stitched the opening closed.

I loved how it turned out and the color matches perfectly with our curtains. I ended up making a few other non rosette pillows to go on our couch too.

DIY Rosette Pillow

DIY Rosette Pillow

DIY Rosette Pillow

I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Basement Painting and a Home Inspection


I can officially say we have painted everything room in our house at least once (excluding our closets- and we did paint one of them.) This past week we finally painted our basement hall and steps. When I say finally, it's because we had the intention to paint it when we painted our kitchen last summer. We bought paint and were all set but our kitchen redo project was so much work we decided to postpone the basement hall for another time.
It looks awesome! Our basement steps were looking pretty rough. With fresh paint they almost look brand new. We also put a fresh coat on most of the basement floor. We painted it 3 or 4 years ago and the paint was starting to chip. Plus it looked dirty and dingy. I actually feel like spending time in the basement now. The hall looks a million times better too. I wish I had a before picture. The moldings used to be an awful peach color and the walls were all marked up and dirty. Now everything is clean and fresh. Did I say fresh enough times? :)
Here are the after pics and yes that’s my kitty in the first pic. She thinks I am going to feed her.
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And the before pics.
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Mike and I are still contemplating selling our house so we decided to be proactive and hire a home inspector so we didn’t have any surprises. Even if we don’t sell I’m really glad we had the home inspection done because we learned a lot about our house.
For starters, we found out that our deck is on the verge of collapsing! One of the joists fell down and the inspector said if there were more than 10 people standing on it then it could collapse. I think we have only had that many people on our deck three or four times since we have lived here so we weren’t in eminent danger but it was something we needed to fix. It was a pretty cheap and easy fix too. (If you consider crawling under a deck in the dirt easy.) Mike got the parts at Lowes and fixed it this past weekend, with a small amount of help from me. 
The other big thing we found out had to do with our roof/attic. There was a small hole somewhere on the roof where raccoons were getting into our attic. We had heard scratching noises in the past and Mike even crawled up there to look before. It’s no easy feat either. We have a tiny cut out in one of our closets that he had to crawl through. We never could figure out what was up there or where it was coming from. The home inspector showed us where the outside hole was and Mike was able to fix it fairly easily too.
There were a bunch of other marginal items on the inspection too. Some things we knew about (we have carpenter bees) and others we didn’t (the outlet in our bathroom isn’t grounded.) We made a list and did some calling around to get quotes and have some things fixed. Nothing, besides the deck, was too major so we are contemplating how much we want to do.
We are still debating if moving is the best option for us right now but we are going ahead with getting the house in tip top shape. We still need to paint the deck and touch up some paint on the house and garage. We also need to figure out if we want to paint our front porch floor or if we should replace it since some of the wood is starting to rot. At least if we do the work and we stay then we will be in a house that is in great shape. If we decide to go then we should have a good chance of selling for the price we want. I’m just not sure what the right option is for us.












Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Make a Diaper Cake Tutorial


Diaper Cake Tutorial

This past weekend my friend Michelle asked me to help her make a diaper cake for a baby shower she was attending. She is quite the expert on diaper cakes. This is the third one she has made and I was excited to help her make her latest creation. This is such a fun gift to bring to a baby shower and it’s very practical too.
The cake we made only had a one plate and one pack of diapers but you could make a much larger cake if you wanted to. The size we made was very sturdy and portable. If it was larger it would have been more challenging to transport.

Here is what we used to make the cake:

diaper cake tutorial

Pack of diapers- we used size one since it is the size the baby will be in the most but you could add additional sizes for a bigger cake.
Plate to use as the base of the cake
Hot glue gun
2 small bottles
Ribbon
Rubber bands- the white ones look best
Command double stick tags (the replacement kind for the command hooks)
Items to decorate the cake with. We used small toys, trial size shampoo, body wash, baby powder and lotion, onesies, washcloths and pacifiers.

Start by rolling the diapers from the bottom up (the tighter the better.)

diaper cake tutorial

Secure with a rubber band.

diaper cake tutorial

Continue rolling until you have a big pile of rolled diapers.

diaper cake tutorial

Use a command sticky to secure a bottle to the bottom of the plate.

diaper cake tutorial

Start placing the diapers around the bottle and secure with a rubber band over the entire layer.

diaper cake tutorial

Continue to add layers of diapers until the entire plate is filled. The round doesn’t have to be perfect. We stared inserting diapers inside of the rubber band to fill the entire plate (we added more after I took this pic.)
 (You can also skip using a bottle and use diapers in the center instead.)

diaper cake tutorial

Use the command sticky to stick the second bottle on top of the first one and continue the diaper rounds. We needed a few more diapers so we rolled the onesies up and added them into the rounds.

diaper cake tutorial

Take your ribbon and wrap it around each layer. Make sure to cover up the rubber band and hot glue to secure. We also rolled up the washcloths and placed them in the rubber band rounds to add some extra color.

diaper cake tutorial

Now it’s time to decorate. We glued the trial size items to the ribbon with hot glue. They can easily be removed by the expectant mother. We attached the pacifiers and toys with ribbon and made a bow for the top of the cake.

diaper cake tutorial

diaper cake tutorial

diaper cake tutorial

diaper cake tutorial



If you like this diaper cake then check out another version from my baby shower.


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Jewelry Organization Display Tutorial


jewelry organization displaay tutorial


This is my favorite project of all time! I have been drooling over jewelry organization pictures on Pinterest for months. Mike and I have discussed ways to make my own jewelry organizers and we gathered up most the materials and they have been sitting around in the “To Do” pile.

I had been missing a key component and that has been something to pin the jewelry too. The solution appeared at Target the other day while we were in the cleaning supplies aisle. There was a small section dedicated to contact paper and there was one made out of cork. We snatched it up and the supplies we needed to make the jewelry organizers were complete. So then it sat around for another week or so before I got inspired to finally make them. It was actually really easy and (although I always think this) I don’t know why I didn’t make them sooner! I have never felt so organized with my jewelry. It is so easy to find my necklaces and I find myself wearing some of my forgotten pieces more often.

To make this project I started out with four various sized frames. They were all laying around in the basement waiting for a purpose. Mike spray painted them all black for me and removed the glass. Then we positioned them on the wall to figure out how we wanted to hang them. We added a black and white picture to balance out the arrangement.

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Then I got out my roll of cork.

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I laid it on the table and took the cardboard back of one of the frames and traced it onto the backside of the cork. I cut along the lines with my rotary cutter to make a clean cut.

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I pulled off a small piece of the paper backing and laid the sticky side down on the top of the cardboard. I continued to remove the paper and smooth the cork on the cardboard. I flipped I over and made sure I didn’t have any overlap and if I did I trimmed it off.

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Then I placed the cork covered cardboard back into the frame and repeated with two of the other frames.

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For the last frame I wanted to use something that I could hang my earrings on. I have seen various materials used but I wanted to use something I already had. I experimented with some lace ribbon but it didn’t look right so I ended up using a old lace curtain I had been saving. I laid out the curtain on the table and moved the frame around looking for the right part of the pattern to use. Then I got a staple gun and stapled the curtain to the back of the frame. The wood of the frame was really tough so I ended up hammering the staples down.

IMG_0647

I flipped the frame over and used my rotary cutter to cut off the rest of the curtain.

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After I finished all of my frames I laid them on the floor and started placing my necklaces on them to get a feel for where I wanted to position everything. After I figured it out I hung the frames on the wall and started putting in the push pins. I could have went out a purchased some pretty push pins but I had a full box of clear ones so I decided to work with what I had. I am going to warn you that the cork was not very thick and the cardboard was a little tough to stick the pins through. The pins poked through to the other side and into my fingers a couple of times. I had to hammer a few in that were really stubborn.

IMG_0657

After I got the pins in place I hung up my necklaces and hoop earrings and I hung my other earrings in the lace. Now I can admire all my pretty jewelry and it is so easy to pick something out I want to wear. I didn’t do anything my with bracelets and more delicate necklaces so there is still a future project on my list to organize the rest of my jewelry. For the time being I can admire my awesome jewelry organization display :)

Jewlery Organization Display


Jewlery Organization Display
Jewlery Organization Display

Jewlery Organization Display

Jewelry Organization Display

I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

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