Off to Sewing Class

Summer is off to a great start, minus the horrid temperatures. Seriously, it's so hot outside that my A/C is pushing it's hardest to keep the inside nice and cool. And forget opening the blinds. Every time I want to let in some natural light I am being overridden by the hubs and his complaining that it's making the room hotter, and unfortunately, he's right. We have broken records several times this week and if it's 100 degrees at the end of May, what will it be by July??? I don't even want to know...

Earlier this week I was able to mark one part of my summer to-do list off. Take a sewing class - CHECK! I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and attended the Sewing 101 class last Thursday. I expected to get in front of the machine and get busy, since the class was only 2.5 hours long. I was ready! BUT, I was surprised to find out that we had to learn terms and walk through the store and be introduced to the tools before she even pulled the machines out - what's that about? Well, after nearly 2 hours of instruction it was time.

I used one of the machines that Jo-Ann's sells - a Viking Emerald 116 ( I believe).

It looks like this.

And boy was I intimidated. I have never touched a sewing machine in my life. I had to ask the instructor if it turns on automatically when you plug it up, or if there was a button to turn it on. Turns out, you have to turn it on. Luckily, there was only one other person in the class with me and the instructor was very kind to walk me through everything step-by-step. I learned how to put the necessary parts on to get started and how to thread the needle (yeah, not too much included in the class). But, she said that all machines would be a little different and that the instruction book on the machine I choose would be my best friend. Then I sewed! I created a mini curtain with rolled hems down the sides and a hem for the bar at the top. I sewed only wavy straight lines, so I didn't take a picture. But, I assure you that it was a pretty simple design. My biggest fear was sewing through my finger. The advice my instructor gave - "Well, keep it away from the needle!".

Now that I have taken the class to get to know a sewing machine a little better, I plan on buying one and learning more for myself. I was originally planning on getting a Viking similar to what I used, but after hearing that I really didn't need that from so many people, I have decided on a Singer 7258. It has lots of great functions and is said to be an easy beginner machine.

It looks like this.

I really don't have any sewing projects that are a must this summer, but I do want to get familiar with the machine and create something useful for the house. Curtains, maybe? Since I am obviously a pro after my simple crash course in sewing.

Here's to hoping for cooler days.

Oh - and side note, here's a preview of our sweet new friend, Jack. I will post his story later this week. :)



Summertime is Here!


I know, I am terrible. But, GREAT NEWS! Summer has officially began! The last day of school was Thursday and my last work day was Friday. It was sad to see my class go, but I am very happy to have two months off -- one of the great perks of teaching!

However, my plans do not involve laying by the pool everyday (seeing as a don't have one) or spending the summer at my condo on the beach (nope, not that lucky either). I am starting a grand to-do which involves some re-design and learning a new craft. I do plan to get it some lounge time (because we did get a boat!), but I want to make some use of my time and do something productive.

I love lists. Anyone who knows me well knows that I always make a list to remember things. So I am creating a list of things I want to do, buy, and achieve before the end of the summer. And this time, I'm not just writing it down -- I'm posting it for all to see. No throwing it away and forgetting about it. I MUST get these things done! And hopefully, through all of this, I will find some more time to blog (and  have some interesting things to blog about). So let me get to it...

1. Get fit - eat better, excercise more, and lose some weight
2. Refinish guest bath
3. Buy a sewing machine - and learn to use it! (Lessons, please!)
4. Create an office/craft space - because where will I sew?
5. Refinish all of those Craigs List finds - that have been sitting in the guest room/junk room
6. Keep my house clean - stick to the cleaning schedule and make it more permanent
7. Get a tan - it is summer!

I'll keep you all posted, I promise. :)


Prayers, Pallets, and To-Do's

Although I don't have many followers, some of you have come from other websites and aren't people from around the area whom I know and am friends with in real life. For those of you from outside of Alabama, you might know that our state endured a terrible string of tornadoes last Thursday. Although the area in which I live was not affected, many of the surrounding areas and those just a couple of hours away are suffering a great deal over loved ones lost, homes ruined, and lives changed forever. Please pray for those who have been affected by these storms, and if you can, donate what you are able to.

On to another topic. Pallets. I cannot believe all that I have seen today created from recycled pallets. Yes, you heard right. Those wooden supports that are typically found outside of dumpsters ready to be grabbed, yeah those. I have always looked at them and wondered... hmmm, what can I do? We all know that I'm really not all that inventive. Sure, I can follow an easy tutorial to a T. But, I'm not coming up with grand ideas of how to turn trash into treasure.

And then I saw this.
Source: re-nest.com via Tesa on Pinterest
I wasn't even looking too closely before I pinned it. After a closer look... it's a pallet. Wow! Now, there is no tutorial for this particular table, but I have found several others that can be adapted. I am in love. So after thumbing around Etsy I ran across some more really great finds.

Another table.

Source: etsy.com via Tesa on Pinterest
And a chair.  

Source: etsy.com via Tesa on Pinterest

This fab stool.
Source: etsy.com via Tesa on Pinterest
And this cute bench (and dog!). 
Source: etsy.com via Tesa on Pinterest

Aren't those awesome? Most of the pics are from an Etsy shop found here. I am really thinking of attempting some sort of outdoor table for the patio. There isn't much more room back there, but what the heck.

And lastly, I really need some help with the organization of my projects. I have at least 3 projects that I am in the middle of and am coming up with new ideas daily. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Working full time and going to school (although that will officially be over with this week!!!) haven't left much time for me to actually get motivated to work around the house. Heck, I'm lucky if I clean it up each afternoon, much less make a new mess by dragging out supplies for a project. But, I need to get it all organized and come up with a system so that something actually gets completed. That's my task today, since I am home sick. Oh, did I not mention that right now I feel like I have been hit by a truck mixed with the silly feeling I get in my stomach from DayQuil. Yuck! I definitely don't feel well enough to go outside and complete the patio redo that has evolved from simple to complex. So for now, it's just me and the computer and attempting to gain some order in my life!

Until next time.


Charlie Sheen's Not the Only One Winning...

I am too!! I won the giveaway hosted by Hannah at Young and Crafty! If your not a follower, then make sure you check her out. She has some great ideas that I might just be stealing attempting in the future. It's my first win (of hopefully many!) in blogland. Want to know what I won? Of course you do...

This fab "Kathleen" zippy pouch! :)

It's from Walla Bear Designs. She's just changed her business name and will be adding lots of new goodies soon. Plus, she's a teacher just like me. Hmmm... if only I had a bit of that craftiness in me. You can also check out her Facebook page here. I can't wait to use my zippy pouch!


An Addition to the Kitchen

My kitchen redo began last summer. I plan to write a LONG post about the entire process when I am completely finished, but today I just want to reveal my fab chalkboard that I created this week.

In my last post, there was a picture of this great thrift store frame I snagged one weekend.

 The frame.

I loved the curves in the frame. After getting it home I just knew I wanted to turn it into a chalkboard. After mending the frame a bit and lightly sanding it I painted it with the same green color that we have been using for the other pieces that we have completed lately. (But I promise, this is the last green piece for a while!) After searching all over for a how-to on applying chalkboard paint to glass, I just went for it. I tried sanding lightly first, but I don't think it made a difference. I used four coats in all.


I used this.

Then, I antiqued it using the same method mentioned here. After letting it dry for 24 hours, we got to work putting it back together.

My handy man working hard. :)

M had to help with the nail bending and then we shoved some cardboard under them to keep the glass from moving. Gotta love a quick fix! And now, it hangs in my kitchen just waiting to be written on... I have to go buy some chalk first.


I'm linking up this transformation at these places...



I know, I know

... I'm not doing so great at keeping my blog updated. But, I have some really great excuses, I swear! Over the past week/weekend I have been super busy. Let's get caught up.

Last week I spent three days (YIKES!) away from my sweet class to complete my internship. I went to BTW Magnet High School and worked with a sweet librarian who showed me the ropes of high school library media centers. And, WOW!, was it different. Different in a very, very slow kind of way. I missed my babies so much and think that, if God allows it, I will work with the little ones forever! :)

Thursday was the opening day for the Biscuits! And of course, I was there! I don't know how much of the game I watched. But what I did do was catch up with friends and eat my most favorite baseball treat of all time, Dreamland BBQ Nachos. They are a little bit of heaven. I wish I would have taken a picture because so many people still have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention them. I will make sure to do that next time. My other favorite baseball treat turned out to be a fail. Oh how I heart Dipp'n'Dots... but they have completely let me down at the Biscuit's Stadium. They no longer offer the rainbow flavor and that is my all time fave. I don't know what it is, but I don't crave creamy when I am thinking Dipp'n'Dots. Instead, I want something fruity. I'm out of luck for now. :(

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday flew by as I spent every night away from the house. I did, however, have a few minutes to get started on my next project. M and I went to this great thrift store a couple of weeks ago and I picked up this great frame that I thought would make for a cute project when I could think one up.

The frame. It came with glass, but I took it out before taking the picture.

Well, it didn't take long. I thought it would make the perfect chalkboard for the kitchen. There is a great spot on the wall for it. And, bonus!, it will cover a yucky phone jack that we have no use for.

Kitchen Wall. 

Right now I am working on mending the corners where it has started to pull apart.

And that's about as far as the project's gotten. I plan to work on it throughout the week so that I can finish it before the weekend. I'll track the progress and post about it when it's finished.

My other goal is to update at least once a week. I'll keep my fingers crossed if you do the same. :)


Our First DIY!

So I mentioned a couple of days ago that Michael and I have tried a couple of DIY projects. And I must say, I am very excited about the success we have had! Usually if something gets too tricky or expensive (yikes!) I tend to give up. But these projects were simple and cheap. And that I love!

Last Fourth of July we were riding to a friends house to celebrate the holiday and on the side of the road was this beauty.

Seriously, just sitting there!

With plenty of space for Michael's junk inside.

And a broken drawer.

We turned around to check it out and decided it was a keeper. Then we went and asked a friend to help pick it up because BOY is it heavy. It's had a lovely home on our back porch since then.

After being tired of looking at it, Michael got the project started. He rebuilt the draw at the bottom, sanded the entire piece, and primed it. Because he had been doing all of the hard work, he got to choose the paint color. Although he wanted a dark green (what does that mean anyways?) I convinced him to lighten it up a bit and we chose a more acceptable color (I just tried to check the color and can't find the paint can.). After giving it two coats we stood back and took a look. Ahhhh! We had made a mistake. It was an awful army green that looked like it belonged more on a camo jacket than our guest room.

Solution time -- I had recently come across Kristi's blogpost over at Addicted 2 Decorating that explained how to antique a piece of furniture. It completely changed the look of it. Although we didn't use the neutral eggshell color that she chose, we decided to give it a try. We headed back to Lowe's and bought a can of Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Dark Walnut. I distressed it with the sander, brushed on the stain, and wiped it away with a cloth.

Proof of my labor.

Thank goodness for the Internet! That saved us from having to sand, prime, and paint again. It looks fabulous! And although I found others who said using an oil stain over latex paint would be a mess, it worked perfectly! But -- DO let the stain dry for at least 24 hours before using a polyurethane. We bought a spray so that it would be quick and easy. Then, a few hardware changes and...


We just love how it turned out! It's the first finished piece for the guest room so I guess we will have to work the other projects around it. We are both just so happy that it turned out so well after being skeptical of the yucky green color. Michael loved it so much that he even refinished a side table for our patio the same way.

I'll update with finished pictures of the patio this weekend after we remove the flowers that I talked about earlier in the week.

Linked Up at The DIY Show Off