Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm in the Mood!

I was feeling a little moody today.  Maybe it was all the commuting through Los Angeles I have had to do this week or just the weather ... but I found the perfect thing to lift my spirits and change my mood!

I have always wanted to go to Mood Designer Fabrics!  If any of you watch Project Runway, which of course I love, you'll know exactly what Mood is.  Every episode you see the contestants running through Mood and digging through the endless rows of fabric and trim to bring their design ideas to life.  I always assumed it was in downtown L.A. near the fabric district and never could figure out why I didn't see it on my trips down there.  Today we had to go back to Beverly Hills to get my daughters TB test read (signing her up for Kindergarden this week!!!  Hard to believe!)  I did a google search for fabric stores near me while waiting for the nurse at the doctors office because I really needed some elastic, but I didn't want to drive out of my way to Joann or downtown L.A. to get it.  I knew there had to be something near by, but I had no idea it was going to be the Mecca that is Mood fabrics!  

Instant frown turned upside down!

Welcome to Mood!  Right on Pico and La Cienega Blvd.  Sweet!

So over whelming!

Aubrey found a beautiful pink fabric with yellow hearts she wants for her kids :).  I want it for myself!  

What wool?  So in love!

Just some trim ....

And more ....

Aubrey next to the feather fabric!  No they aren't boa's ... they are huge yards of feathers on netting fabric

Me in the wool ... I had to leave with some.

My first Mood purchase ... $50 friggin dollars!  EEK!  It is really nice thin stretch wool sweater material.  Plus some thread and the yard of elastic I initially came in for :).  Oops.  

My bag :)  I don't know why, but I think it is so cool.

I am inspired by this shirt below ... 

I don't know that I will make the exact same shirt, but this is my inspiration.  Who knows, I may go toward skirt, but I would LOVE to rock a shirt like this for the Pato Banton show I'm going to on Saturday.  :)

Feeling Irie!  Nothing like a trip to Mood to turn my mood around!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Whole New Room

I finally finished the re-do I have had mentally planned for my living room.  For quite some time now, I have been slowly and steadily working toward my vision.  I posted about this project in the past in a post called What does a Sticky Genius do on her one and only kid free day off for weeks?  At that point I had only tackled one of the walls in my living room and the bathroom.  I still wanted to paint the remaining three walls in the living room.  On top of the painting, I have also been wanting to purchase this stuff called Art Film Window Decor.  We live on a very busy main street and our front living room window faces the street and it doesn't allow for very much privacy.  I don't like to draw the blinds ever and I only slightly open them enough to let light in and keep peeping eyes out.  I have been searching for some solutions (aside from sheer curtains or drapes because I think it would crowd the room and end up with dog hair all over them) that would help remedy both of these issues ... and I do believe I found it!  It was SOOO easy to do and it looks AMAZING!  Take a look ....

Above is the Art Film Window Decor I purchased at Home Depot.  They range from $20-$24 and there are several different styles.  It comes in a pre-glued roll with a squeegee in a 24" x 36" sheet.  I had to cut mine down just a hair to get it to fit.  All it requires is a clean window and some slightly soapy water and elbow grease.  I had these up in less than 30 minutes with no help.  I LOVE how it came out!  Now I can draw the blinds up half way and let light in through the stained glass bottom and slightly open the blinds up top enough to allow more light in, but still keep eyes out.  I may add more to the top window, but for now I am going to leave it as is and see how I like it.

Fountain Sprout blue meets Havana Cream

I also re-painted my bathroom, somewhat, a few weeks back.  The yellow was just too yellow, so I went over it with a wet rag and white paint and just sort of color washed the walls with it.  It completely subdued the yellow and I like it so much more now.  It's hard to get a decent picture because of the small space, but here it is:

Next up is the garden!!  Grandpa and Grandma Moses are coming up for Aubrey's birthday in a couple weeks and are also going to help me build a cover for my garden bed to keep the pests out and pick some good veggies to plant.  I already got a couple plants for my front patio to plant this week.  I bought two vine lilacs that I hope will trellis along my drift wood fence I built.  Bayne picked out a jade plant and Aubrey picked out a nice aloe plant.  I picked up a little cactus for one of our empty small pots and some marigolds for the other random empty small pots I have to add some color.  I can't wait to start adding some more herbs to my patio!  Got to get that veggie bed in the back planted first.  Spring is on it's way!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finished Project!

I don't know if you remember my Old Tin Can post a while back.  At the end of the post I mentioned a good idea I had on how to use these old tin can lanterns I made to decorate my patio.  Well, I finally finished and I love how it came out.  It may not look all that fabulous in the day time, but I love the effect it has at night :).  Here is a look at my little patio project:

I hope you like it!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feel the Love! Valentine's Day at Our House. Plus a Felt Tic Tack Toe Tutorial!

Valentine's Day is a special day in our house because it also happens to be CHD Awareness Day.  As many of you know, my daughter was born with CHD.  CHD Awareness Week runs from February 7-14.  Perfectly aligned to end with Valentine's Day.  Heart families love hearts.  It becomes our symbol for our fight, our strength, our love, and a trophy for our heart warriors.  The heart is defined as the organ that sustains life.  I think that love could have a similar definition, the force that keeps us alive and bonds us together.  While Valentine's Day may be a lame hallmark holiday to some, I view it as a day to celebrate love.  We should celebrate love every day, but I think it's fun to have one day to go all out and do crazy lame things to shower the ones you love with love!

The last couple years I haven't been going all out.  Just doing the basics - candy, card, gift.  With all the upheaval and changes in our family dynamic, I just didn't have it in me to do the Super Mom routine for all the holidays.  Don't feel bad, though, Santa still came, we still colored Easter Eggs, the kids had birthday parties and cakes, we dressed up and went trick or treating, but I went easy on myself and didn't try to push myself too hard to get in the Super Mom mood and go above and beyond the basics.
This year, I'm feeling some of my Super Powers coming back again and I am ready to put on my cape and add a little more magic back into our holiday celebrations.  Even though it may seem lame and an insane amount of work for little pay off, it is SO special to the kids.  These things they will look back and remember fondly and hopefully it will inspire them to create the same magic and fun in their children's lives.

Here is a peek into our fun Valentine's Day!
I hung little hooks above their door and tied two strings of balloons onto them, so they could wake up and walk through a balloon wall :).  I couldn't find any red or pink and I didn't knock myself out.  I had the "brilliant" idea to color red hearts on the balloons with permanent marker.  NOTE TO SELF: NEVER do this AGAIN!!!!  I was blowing up all the balloons, watching tv, not paying attention and when I was done I look down and my whole entire outfit was pink!!!  Permanent marker all over my clothes!  AHHHH!  I soaked everything in borax in the sink and got most of it out.  Such a mess.  Don't ever make that mistake!  I got some on the paint where I hung them here, I'm hoping the magic eraser will take it off.
See's candy for the kids and me.  I am hooked on their Cinnamon Lollipops!  Yum!  Somehow this cost me $45.  YIKES!
I made this cute Tic Tac Toe felt heart game for their gift.  Bayne loves Tic Tac Toe.  I found the inspiration for this on Pinterest.  I'd link it, but there was no tutorial.  Their version was done on poster board with black lines drawn onto it and felt hearts of a single color.  I thought it would be fun to do one all out of felt because it would be easier to roll up an store.  I didn't want to spend hours on it (which I did anyway), so I decided to make the hearts reversible.  White on one side and pink on the other, so I only had to make 9 hearts total.  This was entirely hand sewn, so anyone can do this.  I am including a TUTORIAL at the tail end of this post, so you can make your own.  I think this will be a fun thing to take on trips, camping, to the park, Grandma's, where ever!

Looks like we have a live one!  First to wake up was Aubrey ... see her peeking through :)

Then my boy Bayne (who eventually tore half of these down by paying Tarzan)  :)

Playing with their new game (i.e. fighting over who gets to be what color)

I got up extra early and made Oatmeal Waffles colored pink with red dye and fresh squeezed juice made from my organic produce delivery service.  A couple different oranges, two mangos, three pears ... delicious!!!!  Here is a link to the recipe for the waffles ... Oatmeal Waffles .  They were healthy and delicious!  

Here are my kiddos all dressed in their CHD Awareness Zipper Heart Shirts made by me :).
Find them on Etsy in my shop along with lots of other cool things I make.

I pushed the easy button for dinner and ordered this delicious heart shaped pizza from our neighborhood Valentino's.  Now that's Amore!

For dessert, I made this ... there is a brownie under all that frosting.  The brownie is deceptively delicious.  It has pureed spinach and carrots in it and 3 grams of fiber per serving!  Shhhhhh!  Don't tell the kids because they both asked for seconds.  I love finding ways to sneak veggies into their desserts.  Makes me feel better about everything.  Of course the frosting is pure sugar, but I used Earths Balance Organic Butter Substitute.  Love that stuff.  I am sure most of you have heard of Jessica Seinfield's Deceptively Delicious recipes.  Here is a link to her recipe ... Deceptively Delicious Brownies .  I, personally, don't love them.  I am spoiled by years of eating fatty chocolate brownies.  What is important, is my kids do and I like the guilt free feeling I get when they eat them, so I make them often.  Plus it is a great way to use up all the spinach I have been getting in my organic produce box.

That was our Valentine's Day celebration in a nut shell!  The kids had fun passing their cards out at school.  I got to volunteer for the first time in Aubrey's class.  I love working in the class room because it gives me a chance to get to know all the kids.  I was in charge of marble painting.  Six four to five year olds at a time with 5 different color paint and marbles flying everywhere was a little crazy, but it was fun!

As promised, here is a tutorial for how to make your very own Felt Heart Tic Tac Toe Game:

Start by making a template out of tissue paper or regular paper for your large heart.  Draw a sketch of how you want your lines to appear for the game, so you get a good idea on size.  Fold your heart in half and cut it out of the tissue paper, so you get an even heart.  Leave it folded and pin it onto a piece of felt, also folded in half, aligning the center of the heart that is folded to the folded edge of the felt.  Pin it all around (I have a little helper pinning for me).  Then cut out your heart.  We used red because that is what I had the most of, but you can use any color.
Cut out your black lines for the game board by measuring the lines you drew on your template.  Adjust as necessary.  
Pin the lines down.  You can either sew this through the machine or hand sew.  I hand sewed mine, but about half way through I wished I had used the machine ;)
Then work on cutting out your smaller hearts.  I started with a tissue paper heart to get the right size heart to fit in the spaces between the lines.  I cut one heart out of felt using the tissue paper template, then took that felt heart and fine tuned it to make it the size and shape I liked and then used that felt heart as a template to cut the rest of the hearts.  I wanted to cut both the pink and white hearts at the same time to save time and the felt heart template works better than the paper if you want equal size and shape.

Put both the white and pink felt together (you can use any colors) and then pin your felt template to both layers (shown above).  Cut out hearts.  Do this 9 times to make 9 double sided hearts.  Enough for every space on the game board.
Use embroidery floss and knot the end.  Sew the edges of the hearts with a straight stitch leaving a small opening for stuffing.
Stuff the heart full (get your little helper to stuff!) and then sew the heart closed tying the ends and clipping the threads close to the seam.
And now you are all finished and ready to play Tic Tac Toe!  I wanted to have something to store the game in to make it easy to travel with and keep the pieces together.  I can totally see these hearts making their way elsewhere, so I decided to steal this bag idea from another pattern I have for felt groceries.  I have blogged about this book and another project I made from there in a post here.  It's a great book with lots of fun hand sewing projects made from felt.

All nicely stored and ready to go!  I think I will be taking this to dance class with us to keep the kids entertained while the other dances.  :)

Enjoy!  And don't forget to celebrate LOVE today and every day!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Some More Things I Can Check Off the To-Do List

Well, It's February and I swore that I would finish working on all of my personal projects by the end of January and get back to business making some bags and other things to sell.  

I still had a couple things I had to finish up last week and I'm proud to say, as of this morning, I am finished!  (Of course, there is still that rubbermaid container filled with dresses cut and ready to sew from my free vintage fabric, but I try to tackle those a little at a time)

This first project was a lot of fun.  It was love at first sight with the fabric.  Baby blue flannel with brown accents, perfect colors and oh so soft.  I thought it would make a cute winter dress.  I searched everywhere to see if I could find a flannel dress on line for some inspiration, but I couldn't find a single one!  I decided to use a pattern I had used before.  I love how the other dress came out, but this time I tried one of the other bodice options.  

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. 

In my fabric closet organization frenzy I found an old dress that I shoved in there because I liked the fabric, but hated the dress.  I decided it needed to become a cute little sheer skirt, perfect for the beach.  I'm actually wearing it today with a pair of brown leggings and my new Channel Islands blue jacket.  Feeling every bit of winter beach hippie today.

See this green shirt with orange stripes below?  I found it on a clearance rack at Target for under $5.  I like the shirt, but it just isn't finding a good fit in my wardrobe.  And although my main squeeze here, Mr. Scarecrow, seems to like it, I think I found a better use for it.  I recently got another shirt off the Target rack for under $5 (sensing a habit????  I'm like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter when I get near the clearance rack) and this one has been begging me to give it a cute skirt to be paired with.

And now my two Target clearance rack scores are together at last as one.  The shirt easily turned into a stretch skirt.

Remember my black sweater?  I turned it's white twin sister into this cute midriff sweater.  I decided to hold onto this one, because you never know when you will need a black sweater.  I liked it, but it was still a little too baggy on the sides.  I decided to take it in a bit.

Here it is now after I gave it a little better fit.

Of course I had to throw one more thing into my To-Do pile at the last minute.  It's from the big rubbermaid container of cut patterns and vintage fabric.  Remember my Fun with Free Vintage Fabric post?  This is fabric from the same pile of fabric from that post.  I didn't notice it had some stains on it, but it still came out cute.  Here is what I did with the yellow gingham vintage fabric I acquired ....

.... a fun little apron :)

I also hemmed 4 pairs of pants :).  

Now I am busy working on a few zipper heart shirts for CHD Awareness day.  

Once I finish those, I think I am going to randomly pick some fabric out of my closet and see what it wants to become :)  

I hope you have a productive work week!