Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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Baby Blue Girl's Room

I must say, it's been an awfully busy year this year! We moved twice, I got remarried to someone phenomenal, my kids have flourished, and our little family is about to grow by one! Actually, in just two days that is! Phew! As busy and as crazy as it has been, it has been absolutely wonderful too.

With the addition of a new little person into our beautiful family, I got the opportunity to decorate her entire room. My husband and I love the color blue and I am still slightly obsessed with denim so, hey, I designed a blue, white, grey, and denim patchy nursery and I cant believe how cute it turned out!

I know what you're thinking, "Wait, blue for a girl?" Yes, my fellow skeptic. Check it out, it is anything but "boyish":

We started by painting the room "Baby Boy Blue" (ironic, I know) It made the space calm and soothing  and the perfect backdrop for denim and white and gray. This is the changing station. We had a small cube organizer from Ikea already in the room and purchased a changing pad for the top. It'll be great while she's teeny and I made a cover for the pad with some remnant flannel in gray and white chevron and a zipper to be easy to clean when necessary.

The pad is the perfect size for the top of the organizer and a great use of space for something that was already in the room. It can be used for toy storage as she gets older. The beautiful vintage quilt is mine from when I was a baby. I was looking through my cedar chest for clothes I saved from when Adree was a baby and found this gem. The baby blanket I primarily used is threadbare and completely full of holes (evidence of a well-loved item), but this blanket is in surprisingly good condition. It was made by one of my great aunts and I am thrilled to show it off as a wall hanging.

Since we are talking a nursery, what better opportunity than this to paint a feature wall! When we first purchased this house, I noticed that the wall with the closet is quite wide and also vaulted on one side of the room. It's a bit asymmetrical. I was able to correct this by painting a denim patchwork mural  to just above the closet. This took me about a day to complete, but I love painting! I started out by measuring  lines in 6" and 8" widths up the wall and scoring them with a pencil and a yard stick. I used this as a template to paint patches in shades of blue, white, and gray. I mimicked the look of worn denim by a combination of crosshatching and lightening centers of the squares to look just like denim. I love denim and this was really fun to do!

The quilt top for the crib was the first thing I completed for the space. I hoard (maybe just a little) fabric and always have a huge collection from various places. Some thrifted (best way to get vintage finds), some remnant bin digging at big-box chains, some purchased for specific projects. Almost all of of the fabric for the crib bedding was thrift store finds over the years and kept until I had the perfect place for it! Score!
 Knowing that we were doing a blue nursery, I alternated stripes of blue, white, and gray in a variety of prints and textures. I love the chambray and gingham and cloud prints, they are whimsical and fun! It looks great with her white crib.

 When I purchased the batting for the quilt I noticed they had ready bumper-pad inserts as well. I used the same fabrics I used in the quilt and made all the bumper pads too.

I just did some quick machine quilting in a quick zigzag motif. Quilting isn't really my forte, but this should outlast many-a-washing. ;)

The back of the quilt and the bumper pads too are backed in a soft blue cotton waffle. It washed up well and is really soft!

Somehow miss Adree ended up with a new loft bed in her room and we moved the daybed I purchased for a whole $25 bucks (and updated with a little spray paint) into the nursery. It had a comforter on it that didn't necessarily match.

Simple solution here with a twin sheet set ($12 at Ross) in a Nautica denim stripe and a denim blue flat sheet that I had in the closet. These  made a great duvet cover with a couple of seems and the addition of some Kam snaps.

A quick crazy denim patch pillow to add with my favorite yellow pillows with blue roses and the bed was dressed to match.

Now I had put a lot of thought into the denim patchwork wall, but not so much into what needed to go on the other two blank ones. I happened to have a few things that hadn't found places in my house yet and used those and bought a couple of things and made a few more!

I knew I wanted another chevron element in the room and when I came across these 7 x 14 canvases, I knew they would work. A little painters tape some gray and navy blue paint and a couple of simple outlines and I think I accomplished my goal.

I purchased a small shelf on clearance at Homegoods and filled it a silver frame from my SIL and some angels from my MIL, my awesome vintage children's books, my favorite bicycle planter with my husband's bear and topped him with a teeny crocheted hat I made while I had to put my cankles up.

This denim wrapped floral ring actually had a different intention when I wrapped it, but turned out so cute with some denim flowers and made into a wreath!

These framed pictures were all either painted or sewn by me and miss Adree. I love how the simple white and silver frames make them all relate to each other, even though they are all very different.

I used a denim pocket left over from another project and filled it with felt flowers and a patchwork "love" to make this cute little picture.

I love to take pictures and recreate them into paintings and my all-time favorite pictures to do this with are those taken by my husband. I painted this one in January of 2014 and it's from a picture taken in Colorado (his favorite place).

I told Adree that I needed to paint something for the space and she wanted to participate too. This girl is very creative and I am always surprised at how well she paints. She wanted a silhouette of a bird on a black background. I helped by free-handing the bird in pencil and she painted the image. I must say, I'm impressed!

I actually painted this image (taken in Colorado by my husband) a few years ago and never hung it up. It's perfect for in our baby's room.

 I happened to have some more chambray in my stash and knew I wanted curtains for the room in it.

I added some felt clouds and surged the edges and paired them with a great lace panel I found in a bag of remnants from Savers and I love, love how cute they turned out!

Another thrifted find was a boppy pillow for $5 at the Goodwill. This silly things are so useful, but are obnoxiously expensive. I brought it home and laundered it and made a flannel cover for it out of material in my stash. Sweet!

Yes, I made a matching mobile too. These are just patchwork and felt stars that I stuffed and hung from a musical arm set that we found on Amazon. It is so cute and matches the room perfectly.

This was such a fun project to do! I was able to  take a non-conventional color pallet and make it whimsical and not "boyish" at all and I can't wait for us to bring home our baby girl and enjoy it. <3 p="">

Friday, November 7, 2014

On the Why

I haven't run out of things to say, in case you're wondering. I haven't run out of things I do either. I haven't run out of things I feel or want or need either.

I spent an enormous amount of time trying to convince the world around me that it was okay, that I was okay, and where I was was okay. I wrote about it, I talked about it. It must have worked  alright because I remember a friend saying to me, "you seem so happy."

Actually, I'll let you in on a secret. I learned something over the years and it works. It's called being happy where you're at and accepting where you've been. I did both. Every day.

I'll let you in on another secret, I still needed more.

I spent 8 years as a single mother. I raised 3 wonderful human beings with some help too. He helped me provide good things for kids who didn't deserve to have no dad in their life. He provided stability and we provided companionship. It was a partnership and it worked for a while and I can't help but to be grateful.

My ex was a dud, but I missed having a partner. I wanted someone who wanted me and my kids in their life, even though it would be hard sometimes. I didn't want to feel like having kids was a liability or a disadvantage to a potential mate. I wanted to know what it felt like to be loved back when I love them so much. I didn't have any of that.

I found it, in him. I didn't even have to look because he's been right there with me.

25 years ago, I was a 6th grader in my first year of middle school when a wild-haired boy with a broad smile opened a door for me and proceeded to tease me about the "Shawn Coffee" incident (read about it here) the school year before. We didn't even go to the same school the year before, but obviously that didn't matter because EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT IT! (Insert some snarky comment about small towns here.) We had classes together on and off together the rest of the way through school. We had a similar group of friends in high school and I remember sitting next to him freezing on the quad during lunch and buying him things off the snack cart. We were on the yearbook staff together

and I remember giving rides home occasionally too. Senior year I wanted to ask him to be my date to homecoming and I can't remember why I didn't. I should have.

We grew up and left our decrepit little town and went about our lives. Several years ago when I joined the blogging world, I joined Facebook too. I befriended classmates and relatives and I received a friend request from him. I exclaimed out loud, "Omigosh! He was one of my favorites!"

I recently glanced back through our messages (did you know that Facebook counts them for you?) and we have messaged each other 10, 500 times over the years. This doesn't include texts, phone calls, messages through words with friends, and even visits in person. People who talk to me in person know of my "friend in Phoenix" because I talked about him a lot!

I missed him when we didn't talk. I thought about him more than anyone else. (Besides the kids, of course) Somewhere along the way, I didn't want to lose him. I couldn't imagine my life without him. I remember telling a mutual friend of ours that if I could ever find a way to work it out with him, I would. In a heartbeat.

I did. And it did. And know this, I am happy. I don't even care what else is going on around us, I get to be his wife. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I have a family again. Not some patched together people who look like a family because they co-exist together. No, a real family with a mom and a dad and kids who love each other and work to make each other better.

I haven't run out of things to say. I still do things and I still have many opinions I could express.

I don't have to hold up signs that say "SEE, I AM HAPPY" anymore though. I just get to be happy and live.

And if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do just that. <3 nbsp="">

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Dress a Day inspiration

As you all know, one of my favorite things to do is to revamp old things and make them new again. I mean I LOVE it!! Imagine my excitement when I found a blogger who does it EVERY DAY! Marisa and her blog New Dress a Day spent an entire year taking thrift store dress finds  (a new one everyday) and making them fabulous! Some of her stuff is simply amazing in transformation!

Now, I found this piece as I was looking for dresses long enough for my daughter at the thrift store. I love the idea of reusing things as an eco-friendly solution, well, that and my daughter (at almost 13) is ridiculously picky and is perfectly happy to wear second-hand items that I've revamped (trust me, my wallet is thankful too). See some of them here, here, and here. Anyway, I loved the lace on this dress, but the color and fit weren't as good. We love us some Rit dye around here and I knew exactly what this dress needed.

I dyed it using Teal Rit dye on ye old counter and rinsed it in the sink and dried it in the dryer. I wasn't found of the sleeves and snipped them off pronto. It was also a bit big and I wanted the waist cinched in a bit so, I used a length of bubblegum pink ribbon in a pretty bow. I thought it turned out so cute! I wore it for Mother's Day and took my family out for a little photo shoot.

Ooh la-la!

Momma to 3? 

Gurl, puhleeze!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sew, this is what I do

Okay the title on this post in a bit misleading...because I obviously haven't sewed all of these things, I did however, create them with my own two hands. :) Up top here is a pic of me with my hot-pink dyed Levi's, these turned out so cute! I bought a pair of white jeans on clearance for like $7 and utilized a box of Rit dye in hot pink and dyed them with a lot of boiling hot water and a big metal bowl on my counter top. Super easy and you gotta love the result! :)

This next project was super fun to make! I have a friend with a little girl who was turning 3 and LOVES Curious George. I also found out that she needed a toy box and thought I would combine the two. I picked up a second-hand toy box and spray-painted it turquoise (the same color as a vintage Curious George story book). I then Googled a cute Curious George image and sketched it free-hand to the top of the lid. I colored in the image with some acrylic paint and used a black sharpie to outline the details and spayed it with a clear lacquer. I can't believe how cute it turned out! Very appropriate for a "Curious" little girl! :)

I also learned how to make felt flowers, which is super easy and pretty too! I attached one to my second-hand Down East sweater that had a couple of small holes in it and I made a hair clip or two for my daughter. I also made one for...
A sweet little dress for my youngest niece. She turned 3 in April and told me specifically that her favorite color was "lellow". :) This dress was made from a yellow tank top and the now found chambray
(click here for the rest of the chambray dresses for my nieces). I cut off the bottom of the tank top and made a skirt out of the chambray. All of the dresses I made this year featured belts and for this dress I made the belt from a little polka-dot grosgrain ribbon and made another felt flower for it. I didn't hem the skirt because the selvage was neat I wanted to keep it. Such a cute little dress! :)

 I had a coworker leaving on a L.D.S. mission and wanted to give him an appropriate present. This was a hard back journal that I picked up for cheap several years ago. I wrapped the cover with some denim making sure the seam ran along the spine and sewed a little pocket for the front. I used some spray glue (good stuff BTW) to stick the denim on and recycled a couple of pieces of cardboard with a great denim motif for the inside covers. I thought this turned out so great and was a fantastic memento. :)

 I still love felt (can you tell?) and this pillow was made for my Mommy for Mother's Day! These are colors I knew she'd love and I love, love the natural tree motif. I Googled a pine tree silhouette image and cut it out on paper. I used it a pattern and traced it onto 3 colors of felt and cut them out. Using a little Aileen's quick dry tacky glue I glued two trees to the background and let them dry. I carefully sewed around the outline on each tree and layered and glued the third tree on top. After it dried I carefully sewed around the outline of the third tree. I sewed on a brown and green border and a meadow print for the back. A little polyester fiberfill and voila, pillow! :) It turned out great and my Mommy loved it. Of course she texted me a picture of one of her dogs laying on it, so at least I know it's getting some use! lol

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Confessions of a vegetarian

If you read the title of this post, you no doubt have realized that I (Jgirl, of She's Not Your Average Mom fame) have taken the leap into a meat-free lifestyle. "So...you don't eat meat?" (insert incredulous look here) I get this comment daily...and to be honest this isn't a huge leap or anything for me. I have avoided red meat like the plague for the last 12 years in fact and have slowly whittled meat out all together for the last 5 years or so. Really, no big deal here. Honest. So, what made me want to quit it all for good?


My family gave up cable a few years ago (seriously, best decision ever) and because of this we watch an enormous amount of educational television (we have an antenna booster) and everything that Netflix offers (including many, many documentaries). My manpanion and I sat down and watched this documentary above in it's entirety.(Yes, it's available on Netflix right now) Let me tell you that I had no whimsical ideas of farms where animals roam free that are meant for our dinner tables. I know it doesn't work that way. What amazed me is that factory farming (which is where that hamburger you are eating comes from) is so cruel, and disregarding of life in general. It's sooo hard to close your eyes and pretend that you are not contributing to the problem when you are downing your chicken dinner. I decided that I won't do it any longer and I haven't looked back.

So, do I miss any of it? Not really...although I've had to plan my meals a little more carefully to make sure I am getting enough protein and watch my sugar intake (I am hypoglycemic and too much sugar makes me really sick and getting enough protein is super important to keep my blood sugar even). Really, it's not a big deal though.
I have loved, loved cooking meat free! I made this yummy recipe last night:

Guacamole soup (GF and Dairy-free of course!)

2 large ripe avocados (peeled, pitted, and cubed)
1/2 a red onion (chopped)
1 leek (chopped)
2 small Roma tomatoes or one large tomato (diced)
1 clove of garlic
optional:{1 jalapeno (seeded and sliced)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro}
1 carton ( 32 oz Kitchen Basics) of vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup coconut milk

Heat over medium heat olive oil, onion, leek, garlic, and tomato {jalapeno and cilantro} with salt and pepper in bottom of large soup pot. Heat until onion begins to caramelize. Add vegetables to blender with avocado and half the carton of vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Return to soup pot and continue heating over medium heat and add the rest of the vegetable broth and coconut milk and lime juice and stir. Bring to a simmer and turn on low and heat through (about 10 mins.) Top with a little shredded cheese and sour cream (for nondairy-free eaters) and serve with corn chips or corn tortillas. Makes 6 servings.

This was soooo yummy good! Makes me not miss eating meat at all! ;)