Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting Fancy on the 4th

Who doesn't love the 4th of July?  Seriously, one of the best holidays of the year, in my opinion.  My love for this holiday probably comes from my parents.  For years, they have been hosting a 4th of July party at their house.  They have all of their friends over, everyone brings a side dish and my dad enjoys the day outside drinking beer and grilling the most amazing hamburgers on his 25 year old Hasty Bake grill.  It's summertime at its finest.  (If you don't know about Hasty Bake grills, you need to check them out here.  They are the best grills and just might change your life.) 

So I have to say, I am super disappointed that we will not be in attendance at this year's party.  It's one of the cons of living 4 hours away and being 30 weeks pregnant.  However, I am going to try to strike up my own little party here in Kansas City with some red, white and blue love, even if it's just a party of 2 (and a half). 

Your 4th celebration doesn't have to be a blow out (no pun intended), but adding a few of these ideas just might make you feel patriotic...and a little bit fancy.

Pink and red peonies in a turquoise pitcher - love!
Better Homes and Gardens

Handmade napkin rings out of grograin ribbon - so easy!
Martha Stewart

Scrambled Henfruit
Simple & easy...(change ribbon for different holidays too!)
Tip Junkie

Monday, June 25, 2012

Riding high on my new bar stool cushions!

I am excited to share a new project I completed the other day.  We have 3 bar stools in front of our kitchen island which we use at least a couple of times a day.  These things show wear and tear pretty quickly.  In fact, this is the second time I have recovered these chairs in the past year.  However, this time I think I was a little smarter...I hope.  I chose a more durable fabric (a very sturdy cotton instead of the drapery grade poly-type crap the last time) and I took the time to have the seats scotch-guarded before attaching them to the chair.  I also made my own piping for the chairs this time around.  It took a little extra effort, but I think the extra detail really makes the chairs have a more professional and finished look.  Here are some pictures of the process (I apologize in advance for the terrible iPhone pics):     Enjoy! 

Step 1: Make your piping (or buy it).  For all that's good and holy...if you have a zipper foot...use it when sewing piping.  I do not currently own a zipper foot for this machine and I'm sure this process is much less irritating when you have the right equipment.

Step 2: Remove old fabric.  I didn't take a picture of the original cushion because I was slightly embarrassed at how funky it had become.  Just trust was time to recover.  Make sure all of your old staples are out of the wood!  Use pliers if necessary.
Step 3: Attach new fabric with a staple gun.  I kept the original original fabric on the chair because I thought it gave a little extra cushion.  You could take off the original fabric if you wish.  Start of one side and staple the fabric to each side, starting in the middle, stopping about 1 1/2" from each corner.  (Yes, that is a power tool you are looking at and yes, it's awesome.  My husband bought me a pneumatic stapler and it is such a lifesaver on projects like this.  It is fueled by an air compressor, so you get a ton of power, which is nice when you have one hand holding the fabric and the other on the stapler.)
Step 4: Fold your corners.  This is probably the most frustrating part of the process.  You want to fold the corners in such a way that you don't have lots of pleats on the front side of the cushion.  Tuck the fabric into itself and make 2 pleats for each corner.  Staple where the fabric comes together.  Give it a couple more staples on either side to further secure.
Step 5: Attach piping. I'm not sure what happened to my photo of this step. So, you'll just have to use your imagination. Basically, I attached the piping (with a 1/2" seam allowance) to the bottom edges of the cushion. Make sure you are close enough to the edge of the cushion to be able to see the piping when the cushion sits on the chair frame. Make small slits in the seam allowance along the edges so you get a nice rounded look. 

Steps 6 & 7: Protect your fabric w/ Scotch-Guard.  Attach to your chair frame.  Voila!  New bar stool chair cushions. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Clean House with Minimal Effort

Let me start by saying that I really don't like cleaning.  In fact, I pretty much hate it.  However, I will say that I LOVE the feeling of a clean house.  It is so relaxing to be in a space that smells and looks clean and fresh.  Cleanliness is next to Godliness....right??  So, in order to combat the funk one step at a time, I have adopted a daily list of chores.  Here is a sample of what my list looks like:

Monday: Laundry
Tuesday: Vacuum & Dust
Wednesday: Laundry (split loads between M&W), clean kitchen appliances
Thursday: Clean bathrooms & mirrors around the house
Friday: Vacuum & mop floors (mopping floors sometimes done throughout the week too, as needed)
Saturday & Sunday: NOTHING

I'm not including daily chores like picking up, making beds, cleaning kitchen, cleaning up dog hair, watering plants, or whatever else needs immediate attention on a particular day.  I also don't have monthly chores on the list (like cleaning baseboards or windows).  This list is simply a general guideline to keep me on task each day so I can avoid spending an entire day cleaning...or avoid paying someone to clean it for me.  Obviously this works for our house, but you might need a slightly different list.  Here are a few lists from some different blogs that might be useful:

Hope this is helpful! 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Vision Board

As our baby's due date approaches (9/10/12), I am having such a great time creating a space for her that will be cosy, sweet, and girly, but not too "baby-ish."  I know there are interior design board sites that will help you pull a room together like and, but I prefer the more archaic version I created on Microsoft Word.  I tried using Olioboard, but I didn't like the fact that you were limited to the brands they had on their site.  Sweethome3d is good, but you have to learn the program and I didn't feel like it at the time, so maybe I'll try it again when I have more time patience.  Any hoo, the Word version is really easy.  You just open up a new file and insert pictures you have saved to a file.  It's important to upload each file at a time and change each image to "wrap text" as either "behind text" or "in front of text."  This gives you the ability to move the images around the page as you like.  I created the picture labels by using the text box feature.  You can also change the page color by using the pre-set colors or making a custom color of your own like I did. 

I know what you are thinking...get with the program, Katherine...and I will, some day.  But for now, this tool worked perfectly for my needs. 

I can't wait to see how the room comes together!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Blog!

I know...I know...another homemaker style blog.  BUT...It's taken me about 6 years to finally pull the trigger on publishing my own blog and I think I have some cool stuff to show you all.  I'm super excited to share home projects, creative insights, recipes, family stuff...and whatever else suits my fancy pants.

Thanks for reading!