Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Stool Makeover

before stoolWe have a pretty small kitchen which also serves as our dining room. Up to this point we have had a very small built in table that we have eaten at, but it was no longer working for us as we couldn’t fit all six of us around it very comfortably. This past weekend Hubby ripped it out (more on that tomorrow) and we have purchased a new, bigger table. Because the table is bigger and there is not a lot of space, I have been keeping my eye out for some stools that would fit under the table when not in use. We stopped by our local thrift store the other day and on my way out of one of the buildings I saw this poor, sad little stool. He was painted a bizarre wood-like colour and was covered in filthy old brown corduroy. He is super sturdy, and the best part was that he was only $1.50. I snapped him up and with a little bit of a clean up, some fresh paint and new fabric, here he is. after stool I really wanted some kind of a neutral-ish floral print so that it would look nice but still blend in with the table and other chairs, but since I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted and we need the stool now, I covered him in unbleached muslin. I’ll still keep my eye out for a different fabric that will work, but in the meantime, he looks so much cleaner and will be perfect for our needs. I was so excited that I found exactly what I was looking for for such a great price. We are really lucky with our thrift store, it has such great prices, and this is the kind of thing that really gets me going. I really love taking something old and worn out, or just plain ugly and turning it into something that is useful and beautiful. More fun stuff tomorrow, have a great day!

home, thrift store finds • Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 • 10 Comments »

Have a Great Weekend

snowmanThis photo was from a couple of weeks ago, when we had the big blizzard. Thankfully we’re supposed to hit 60° today so we have big plans to throw open the windows, shift a few things around, and do lots and lots of painting. I can’t wait. What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever they are, I hope you have a great one. See ya Monday!

family, home • Saturday, November 7th, 2009 • 6 Comments »

Tic Tac Toe From Nature

woodentictactoeMy kids love tic tac toe, especially the boys. I often find bits of paper with their games scrawled on them, so I was excited to see this in a book I recently checked out of the library. Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials is excellent. A lot of kid’s crafts books have maybe one or two projects that I would actually want to do with the kids, but this has a bunch, so many that I’m going to purchase the book. My six year old gathered all of the sticks and rocks and I helped him tie the smaller sticks into crosses. The boys have been playing with it and are really enjoying it. I love that it is made of natural materials, and love that there was more than just playing a game involved. There was gathering of materials, creativity and time involved in making it, and then the fun in playing it again and again. This is just the first of many projects out of this book that we will be working on, you guys should definitely check it out if you can.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Thursday, November 5th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Blue and White Striped Jugs.

blue and white jugsYou will have to pardon my very short post today as I didn’t get home until 2:45am last night and can barely keep my eyes open. I am wondering how I am going to make it through this day (though it was a fun night), I’ll tell you all about it shortly. In the meantime, look what I found at a local antique store, two blue and white striped jugs all the way from Staffordshire, England. I am always surprised at what shows up in thrift and antique stores and wish that the items could tell their story. Have a great day and I’ll fill you all in later.

food, home, thrift store finds • Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Paper Flowers

paper flowersA couple of weeks ago I was brainstorming for ideas for decorating my girl’s room and making paper flowers was one thing I thought of. Last week I saw Lisa’s paper flower tutorial which is great. There are also some paper flowers in Green Crafts for Children which is a fantastic book. I ended up using Lisa’s tutorial as a base but used tissue paper that was 8" x 8" instead of 8" x 16". I also rounded the corners for more defined petal shapes. I love how they turned out and my daughter had a lot of fun making a bunch. We made enough to fill a silver bucket for her dresser (I’ll show you all the finished bouquet as soon as her room is done). You should definitely give these a try, there are so many variations, and they are inexpensive and quick to make. They were a huge success.

family, gardening, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, November 2nd, 2009 • 10 Comments »

French Press Cozy

french press cozyYesterday started another blizzard here, turns out we beat the October snowfall record by 2 inches (still more forecasted) as the highest since 1906. Yeah, it’s a lot of snow. Perfect playing in kind of snow, and lots of it. We’ve been snuggled up since yesterday and are now getting in a wintery kind of mood. I guess we won’t have a real fall this year, oh well. We’re trying to keep the thermostat a bit lower and just bundling up to make up the difference. Generally this works, though I noticed that my hubby was having to microwave his coffee to warm it up as it cools off really quickly in the chilly air. Even though I like my coffee sweet and milky enough that it no longer resembles coffee, I know that microwaving it is not the ideal way to have hot coffee, especially after he has gone to all the trouble to roast his own. So, when the kids were resting I pulled some charcoal yarn out and crocheted this cozy up. I love quick projects that are easy and this one was a breeze. A big hook, fat yarn and 40 minutes later I had a french press cozy. I tried to make it masculine and not all girly, and he loved it. I might have to make some more of these for gifts, they were so easy and I think that they will do a great job of keeping the coffee hot till the last drop.

crochet, home, sewing • Friday, October 30th, 2009 • 13 Comments »

Sweet Fabric Bird

finished bird.jpgSome weeks it seems as though I don’t have a spare minute to breathe let alone craft, but after going for a while not creating anything, I get a serious itch. I am working on decorating my girl’s room and this is one project for it, a sweet little fabric bird. It was so windy today I had a really difficult time photographing him, he just wanted to fly away, so the picture is not brilliant. He is a sweetie though. I used a vintage sheet I picked up at a thrift store, and some vintage buttons. The wing is made from some fabric from one of the babe’s dresses that she outgrew. He has cute little crochet legs and wooden button feet. I really enjoyed working with vintage fabrics, buttons, cotton yarn, an alpaca blend yarn and hand embroidering as well. I think that is a lot of his charm is that he is a hodgepodge of materials. I’m hoping to have a tutorial up by tomorrow in case anybody wants to make their own cute birdy. UPDATE: The tutorial is now available here.

crochet, home, nature, sewing, thrift store finds • Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 • 10 Comments »

A Date with my Hubby and Art Wires

barn.jpg It’s a very rare time when Hubby and I get a day by ourselves, but my mom generously offered to watch the three bigger kids while we took the babe and went off for the day. As anybody with kids knows, sometimes it is really hard to get an adult conversation in while they are still awake. Since the babe doesn’t talk yet, we were able to spend the whole day talking, while we were actually awake enough to think straight. We drove 40 minutes away to a town that has a few nice things to do. On the way we saw this fantastic barn and some gorgeous trees (most of the ones where we live went straight from green to dead because of all the snow, no autumn colours).orange trees.jpg We walked around the historic downtown for quite a while and stopped at a local brew pub for a quick lunch. It was so nice to be able to get out in the fresh air, it was a gorgeous 70°, and do lots of walking and talking. After some more walking we went to a bookstore where we were able to leisurely browse through some books and magazines until I almost jumped out of my skin as a mouse scurried by my feet. I do not like mice, I do not do well around mice, mice are not my friends. I have an irrational fear of them and seeing this little guy put me on edge. They say that the best way to face your fears is to jump headfirst, right? I’m seriously considering going to a pet shop to hold the mice because I really do not like being controlled (through my fear) by these little guys. Anyway, that’s another story…buffalo.jpgOn the way home we saw a bunch of buffalo, they are truly magnificent creatures. Then we passed one of the windmill farms near us. Some people complain that they are an eyesore, but personally, I think they are beautiful and calming. I often think it would be nice to grab a blanket and a book and sit in the middle of a windmill farm. Not really a possibility, but still.windmills.jpgOh, and on Sunday I tackled one little project. I hung some art wires (well, cotton yarn) for the boys to hang some of their artwork. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, but I just never got around to it. Now for less than a quarter, the boys have somewhere to arrange their never ending supply of artwork, and it adds some nice colour to their walls as well.art wire.jpgI’ve got lots planned for this week, so it if goes according to plan, I’ll have several fun things to share with you.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, October 26th, 2009 • 7 Comments »

Hankies

kids hankies.jpgOne way that we have tried to consume less and save on the budget is by using hankies. I’ve had lots of fun trying to build up a collection. I have a good start, but if everyone came down with colds at the same time, we might be a tad short. I have some from when we lived in Japan, one from a friend in New Zealand, a couple from my great grandmother, and the rest have been picked up at thrift and antique stores. crocheted edge hankies.jpgI’ve got a couple with some beautifully crocheted edges and several with some gorgeous embroidery. I even found a cute little child’s hanky.embroidered hankies.jpg The other day when I was out birthday shopping with my mom, I found this beautiful smoky brown hand embroidered hanky which would be great for using at more solemn occasions. My new favourite is this hanky with pink and brown houses.brown hankies.jpgThen of course there are plenty of floral hankies as well.floral hankies.jpgI don’t usually pay more than one dollar for a hanky, so over time that is significantly less money than buying boxes of tissues. As far as laundry goes, with the amount of laundry that six people generate, a couple dozen hankies really doesn’t add much. Besides, it’s so much more fun having a colourful hanky in your pocket, and so much softer on your nose. I love collecting them and keeping my eye out wherever I go, hoping to find some new ones. There are so many beautiful hankies out there, but a lot of them are really fragile so I try to only get ones that can handle some serious nose blowing. Using hankies is just one small way we try to consume and discard less.

home, thrift store finds • Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 • 10 Comments »

Birthday Bunting

birthday buntingI am in the middle of last minute crafting for my little one’s fifth birthday, and this is one project that is now complete. She is growing up so fast, and boy is she excited about her birthday. I am not a big fan of buying a bunch of decorations to be used for one day and then to be tossed, so I was thrilled when I saw the idea of making homemade decorations that would last indefinitely. It is such a simple idea, I don’t know why I never thought of it. This bunting is made out of vintage fabrics, with some more handmade bias tape. My little one is so excited and loves the idea of decorating with it. I love the fact that years down the road she will be able to look at these decorations and have such wonderful memories of all the birthdays gone by.

family, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Thursday, October 8th, 2009 • 5 Comments »