Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Repurposing Denim

I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like, mostly because I want to take pictures (I made a new sling!) and that involves uploading pictures which I am terrible at! So instead I want to share with you what I have been browsing on the internet since putting my children to bed. Basically I have a bunch of old jeans and many possibilities for what to do with them. Here's some I'm thinking of:
I need another pair of maternity jeans. One of mine has been worn for 5 pregnancies between my friends and I. These look fairly doable
Easy and inexpensive! Check out the post from patchworkprincess on how to make them.
I desperately need new bibs for my kids. I don't have a lot because I just can't justify spending the money for a piece of clothing they wear so infrequently! These are not only cute, but cheap to make! The best part? No interfacing! Check out this post from thimbly things and while you're at it, browse her site. I'm loving her ideas!
Some more fun places to see
I also plan on make a wall hung organizer for kids books and toys and maybe a toddler skirt.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Peer Pressure

Family pressure. Friend pressure. Neighbor pressure....whatever. When you try to live "differently" from others some of them get defensive or make fun of you or do something to make you feel silly whether intentional or not. You become "those weird people". It usually doesn't matter, but sometimes you start questioning your values and goals. Just remember
Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held it's ground. -Anonymous

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm a little freaked out

I cannot find my baby sling!

If you are a baby wearer then you know why I'm feeling a bit panicky. It is my absolute must-have baby item. If you haven't ever used one, I strongly suggest trying it. I love the new native/pouch style. The backpack style hurts my shoulders and the moby wrap, while comfy, is a pain to get on and off. I need my pouch!
Time to hunt for a pattern and get sewing I suppose. Only 10 (9 if she's like the others) weeks to go!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Useful Clutter

We live near a lot of family and because of that we are frequently given their old toys, clothes and furniture. I am always extremely grateful for these offerings. I haven't had to buy a lot of clothes or toys for my kids and we've saved a lot on furniture as well. The problem for me is that I can find a use for anything with shelves or drawers. I just have too much of it. More than I can fill. But when you hold onto it, eventually it fills up. Bare surfaces always collect clutter the way bare dirt will always grow weeds.
And yet I can't find it in myself to get rid of it. I love to rearrange and reorganize rooms in my home. So the bookshelf I'm not using this month may be used next month. I rationalize keeping it because it might be useful someday. It might. Meanwhile it's taking up valuable square footage in my home which makes me cranky.
My 2 kids share a room right now and the other bedroom is used as a playroom. It also houses all the extra "stuff." I spent the weekend putting old toys and things into the donation box and was left with 2 empty small bookshelves, a file cabinet, and a dresser. The dresser is now storing tools in my shed because I can't bear to part with such a useful piece of furniture. But that file cabinet has been empty for a month and I just now placed it for sale. Furniture really is my clutter nemesis. The bookshelves are sitting in the playroom slowly collecting toys and books as my brain tries to justify a space for them.
What I'm trying to remember is that I value having less stuff. Even if it's valuable or potentially useful, it's not worth keeping if it doesn't bring peace to my home, right?
What do you have a hard time getting rid of that you know you should/really want to?

Monday, March 8, 2010

No Television

One of the ways we save money is to not have cable/satellite. We don't even have the equipment to watch network television. I get my Lost fix from Hulu. I have to say, avoiding all those commercials and not being glued to HGTV has saved us a LOT of money! Not to mention I think we're all a little more intelligent than we were before, especially the kids.
So I'm sitting here in my living room looking at the blank tv and wondering why the heck we have it (the answer, if you're wondering, is because my husband would divorce me if we didn't). If I got rid of the tv and all of its corresponding accessories, I think I could fit another couch in my living room! I have the tv (32"), tv stand, shelves for tv acessories, movies, games.... If I must have a tv, I would love to just get a little 20" tv I could fit on the book shelf and keep behind a door.
My husband, however, would like to upgrade to a 60" plasma. And some things are more important than finding extra space in a home. So we compromise and keep the 32" which will die some day and at least be replaced with a flat screen :) Meanwhile, I will continue to silently sit and dream of wht I could do with that extra space....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Scientist Coat

What do you get when you combine old mens dress shirts and a 5 year old who insists on having a lab coat if he's going to be a scientist someday?

This was easy. Just cut off the bottom of the short sleeve shirt an inch longer than you want it, then hem it. Remove two pockets from other shirts and sew them on so the hands fit comfortably. I did this in an afternoon. I plan on making a dress for my daughter out of one the other shirts.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Towels Bath Rugs

I got these lady bug towels as a wedding present from a very dear friend. I absolutely love them, but they are nearing a decade old and my husband refused to use them anymore so they've been sitting in the closet taking up useful space. At the same time, my bath mats are also getting on in years and their age is beginning to show.

So I combined my lady bugs with a bright green towel also taking up space and created these:
The one on the left has a second layer of towel on the underside. I was thinking it would be better for absorbancy. This didn't work very well as you can see. I simply can't fit all that bulky material under my sewing machine and iot doesn't look right. I am busy unpicking all those stitches now, so don't make that mistake! The one on the right is simply a rectangle of the green towel with strips of the lady bug towel sewn onto it. For easiness, two layers of towel seems to be about the max. For greater details and some other options including cotton sheets, (I adapted mine) I recommend Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule. Cute idea, huh?
Now I just have an old white sheet to do something with and I'll have emptied half a shelf in my linen closet!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What Made You Smile Today?

The first signs of spring! These dwarf rock iris bloom right before the crocus. Those should bloom in a day or so. The daffodils are poking up and there are signs of grape hyacinth as well. My son has asked if we can spend all day in our underwear yet. Almost sweetie. Almost.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I had no idea

I have a lot I want to post. But after getting an infection I'm on a temporary bedrest for a few days and am trying to take things easy. But I wanted to share this article from yahoo:
Homeschooling: German Family Gets Political Assylum in US
"The Romeikes are not your typical asylum seekers. They did not come to the U.S.
to flee war or despotism in their native land. No, these music teachers left
Germany because they didn't like what their children were learning in public
school - and because homeschooling is illegal there."

I am still undecided as to whether or not I will homeschool my kids. But even having the option is something I take for granted. For all of its faults, we really do live in a great country. I just hope it stays that way!

I'll get back to sewing and posting my repurposed crafts later this week.