Friday, June 29, 2012

Patio Decorating Progress

Our new patio is looking good, but it needs a bit of "green", as my husband said.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on expensive pots but I had something in mind.  I love aged copper pots on patios -- but I couldn't spend $30++ each on pots (especially when I wanted four of them) --- solution . . . spray paint some plastic ones!

I found these inexpensive green pots at a hardware store for $2.50 each.  I purchased four along with a $9 can of Rust-oleum aged copper spray paint!

spray painting plastic pots

I've never spray painted plastic before, although I knew it could be done.  When picking your paint, make sure it's designed to go directly onto plastic -- it's no fun if you have to prime it first.

I did it outside, of course, and tried to protect the grass by using old boxes to spray on.  Make sure you read through the instructions carefully on the can, shake really, really well and when you're spraying, make sure that you're continuously moving the can at a nice even rate.  If you stop moving in one spot you'll get an icky looking blob of paint -- go too quickly and you'll get it on too thin.

spray painting plastic pots 2

Because of the shape of the pots (with the lip at the top), I had to paint it in two different coats.  One to get the top lip, inside and around exterior.  Then when it was completely dry, I flipped it over and got the bottom of the pot and under the lip and touched up any spots I missed.

spray painting plastic pots 3

These pots will hold only flowers, so I don't have to worry about any contaminants from the paint into the plants as we won't be eating them.

I got the plant stands from my mother-in-law's basement (they weren't being used right now) and I think they look great.  Just imagine them with flowers flowing out of them!

trio of plant stands

There was one more borrowed plant stand (for one more pot) and then my big purchase of the large patio pot I really liked ($40).


I think it's starting to look great -- now I just need some plants for the pots!


patio 2

Notice my melting candles -- aren't they funny!  My outdoor candle holder (from Ikea) and the candles sold next to them.  Too hot for them here I guess.  They just couldn't handle the heat!

candles melted in the sun

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Sew-in

I've been a bit under the weather lately -- nothing serious, just over active allergies that was making life a bit difficult and as a result, no sewing was going on here -- so no posts.  :(  Allergies are finally calming down (with some help) and my routine is finally getting back to normal.  Yay!!  I miss my sewing machine!

Over the weekend, I managed to get a bit of sewing in with other members of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.  We had our first sew-in and did some charity sewing using up our fabric scraps.  They sewed all day -- I could only stay for a couple of hours, but I was glad I went.

The sew-in was held, where are monthly meetings are held  -- at Sewtropolis.  Nikol, owner of Sewtropolis, brought in this beautiful featherweight machine and sewed blocks using vintage sheets -- wouldn't you love to have a machine like this?!

vintage sewing

Just look at this mountain of scraps we had to work with!  We were learning the "slab" technique from the book Sunday Morning Quilts which is a great way to use up your scraps.

mountain of scraps

Kristin, another MMQG member, was working in blues.  Look how beautiful they look already!

blue fabric love

In my couple hours there, I did manage to whip up three blocks ::

block 1

block 2

block 3

They'll be added to all of the other blocks sewn and made into one (or more) quilts which will be donated to a charity, which will be determined at a future date.  If you want to see some of the other blocks made, check out the MMQG blog and flickr page!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

'Tis the season

It's that time of year . . . rummage sales and garage sales galore!  I'm not a big rummage sale / yard sale goer - but there is one I go to every year without fail.  My grade school/old church have the biggest and BEST rummage sale every year that I've ever seen.  Every year I walk out with amazing things.  I always go on the morning of the first day.  They charge a cover.  Yup.  So much good stuff they charge you to get in in those first hours.  And I gladly pay it (along with hundreds of others). 

I went straight to the athletic/outdoor section.  (It's pretty scary that I still remember where they put everything.)  Was looking for a bike trailer for Gwyn to sit in while Connor and I bike around the lake.  They had several jogging strollers, one kangaroo seat for a bike, but no trailers.  But Connor did find one thing he was looking for. . . . A SKATEBOARD.

"new" skateboard

He was so excited!  I was too because I found these amazing chairs!

rummage sale find

They need a bit of work.  It looks like whoever owned them last had a small dog or cat.  The bottom of a couple legs are scratched up a bit, but no matter.  I can fix that.  Also with some new fabric for the seats and I'll have some nice "new" chairs for the kitchen.

Gwyneth came away with two big treasures - a kitchen (which looked brand new)

rummage sale kitchen

It was immediately used making lunch for us.

cooking time!

She also got a gorgeous, huge wooden dollhouse.

rummage sale dollhouse

I love how it opens!

dollhouse open

Even the little door!

is someone at the door?

I didn't even look at a tenth of what was at the sale, but even still I had to make two trips with the minivan to get it all home.  What are your recent rummage sale or yard sale finds?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Crafty in the Car

Last summer we took a very big road trip with two kiddos in a small car.  We had zero extra room.  Absolutely all of the space was taken up with carefully chosen items.  We did camp for a few nights (so we had a tent and sleeping bag)s, but also stayed at a hotel, a cabin and yes, even a teepee.  So no extra space ---

After driving for 1080 miles, I couldn't take it any more.  My hands needed something to do.  I purchased the first craft/sewing kit that I came across.  At the time we were in Yellowstone, so I picked up this little counted cross stitch kit of Old Faithful.

old faithful counted cross stitch

It turned out that even though I was missing my sewing machine and anything crafty to do, I really didn't have much time for anything.  My husband (the rock star) drove all 4,000 miles of our journey.  I was the designated navigator and we never got lost -- not once, thanks mostly in part to free Wi-Fi at Starbucks and McD's along the way, we looked up anything we needed and I figured out how to get there -- laundromat, oil change, park, grocery store.  I was also in charge of kiddo entertainment.  Believe it or not, we had very few arguments between them and they way they were packed back there with all of that stuff, I was quite surprised.

Anyhow, this little kit has been hiding out in my car since fall.  Every time I had a minute or two waiting to pick up a little one from school, I took it out and did a little more.  Now that school's out, it's finally done.  I'm not quite sure what I will do with it -- hang it on the wall or just make it into something, but we'll see.

old faithful and tree

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!

Fishy Hat, view 1

When I was making this little bucket hat, all I kept thinking of was a little sketch from Sesame Street (from when I was little) which had Bert and Ernie in a boat fishing (Ernie's actually wearing bucket hat too).  Instead of using a pole, Ernie would call to the fish "Here Fishy Fishy Fishy" and the fish just jumped into the boat.  (You can watch Ernie and Bert fishing here.)

Fishy Hat, view 2

This little hat is made using the Reversible Bucket Hat Pattern from the book Little Things to Sew from Oliver + S.  The "fishy" fabric is Marine Life from Birch Fabrics.  It's a lovely organic fabric.  The other side of the hat is made with KONA cotton in Robin's Egg Blue.

Robin's Egg Hat

I've made other Bucket hats from this pattern before which you can see here, here, here, and here.  -- Wow, I didn't realize I've made so many of them!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ready for Summer

summer shirts

School's out!

Connor and Gwyneth started their summer break by coloring some t-shirts.  You can get "The Summer of Boys" here and the "Summer Love" girls' version here.  The images were simply printed onto t-shirt transfer paper and ironed on, then the kids colored them with fabric markers.

summer love

The kids loved coloring on the shirts and want to do more.

boys of summer

Don't you love Connor's cheesy smile??  He's trying to show you his loose tooth.  I think he's just super excited for the tooth fairy money that will come -- and just in time for summer too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus

If you missed it, yesterday Venus took a rare trip passing directly between the Earth and the sun, known as a Venus Transit.  Being scientists -- my husband and I planned a trip to the park with a picnic and of course, telescope in tow.

Here's a picture we took with our telescope (we had a solar filter on, so it was safe to view).

Venus Transit

The next Venus Transit won't happen for another 105 years -- in December of 2117.  NASA's SDO took some excellent photos which you can check out here

Connor looked in the telescope and thought it was cool and then had fun climbing the trees and playing tag with his cousins who meet up with us at the park.

Boy in a Tree

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vintage Sheet Quilt

vintage sheet quilt

This quilt is made entirely from vintage sheets.  The front is made up of eight different prints (from eight different vintage sheets).  I simply cut 5" squares and sewed them together.  Each of the eight sheets had blue and green floral patterns - a few had a bit of pink or purple.  They looked so lovely together!  You may recall seeing some of this fabric before -- Gwyneth's Vintage Sundress is made from the scraps.

vintage sheet quilt, view 2

This quilt was part of a challenge (proposed by me) to the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild.  The challenge was to make a quilt using all upcycled materials for the front, back, and binding of the quilt. You can see some of the other fabulous upcycled quilts made by guild memebers here (and the back of it), here, and even an adorable upcycled koala.

vintage sheet quilt, close-up

I simply did free motion quilting in a meandering manner to finish the quilt.  Don't look too closely.  (It's not that good -- I need more practice.)

vintage sheet quilt, close-up 2

For the back and binding, I used one large sheet.  It was a dirty looking cream that didn't look that good, so I took some petal pink dye and well, you get the idea.  I think it looks much better.  Still subtle, but it looks better than the dirty cream.

vintage sheet quilt, back

There were a few spots on the back of the quilt that dyed a bit darker.  Perhaps from a previous stain, but they are very tiny spots, that I think only I might notice.

back of quilt

The back fabric was used to make the binding too.  I was a bit lazy though and didn't hand sew the binding on.  Instead, I used a decorative leaf stitch on my machine.

binding detail

Hope you all have a great day!  I'm going to go outside to enjoy it with my kiddos!


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