Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sewing Obsession: newborn Christmas outfit

Last week, we had a beautiful niece born. We're going to see them over the holidays, so I thought I'd make a little Christmas outfit for cute, little Anna. I just made them from the scraps I had from little girl A's Christmas dress and from scraps from our Christmas p.j.s.
This just shows that you don't have to spend a ton of money on meaningful gifts.

Upcycling Obsession: Christmas dress reveal

You might remember this previous post here, where I was going to make little girl A's Christmas dress out of this women's blouse. Last week I finished the dress. Although . . . it just wasn't Christmas-y enough. It was just really boring. It was more of a casual dress. Something she could play in.

And then I remembered this old dress I had from oh . . . around 10 years ago , when I was in my first year of college. Okay, maybe 11-12 years ago. I was in a choir at the school and this is the dress we were all made to wear. Note: puffy sleeves were not even "in" in the late 90s. Whoever made them forgot that, I think. Or maybe I'm in denial. Anyway. Here it is. Puffy sleeves and all. this past summer my mother sent all of my old dresses down my way, so I could store them. But I have other ideas for them . . . he, he, he.

So, I brought out the dress and used the black material as the skirt of the dress. Used the top half of the previous dress I made. Sewed them together. Made a sash. And also had a little help from fellow bloggers by using their tutorials (for the sleeves and the roses). And here is the finished product :

Awhile ago, I'd seen this post on Everyday Chaos by Bridget on how to make these tattered fabric roses. The tutorial is very easy to understand and they're so easy to make! I made these in about 10 minutes. And I plan on making another one to put in little girl A's hair.

I made these sleeves by following a tutorial on Made by Dana. These were a little tough for me. I just don't like making sleeves. Period. Maybe that's why they took me a little while to make. And there is even a little too much puffage on one side. I still need to do a little tweaking here and there.
These were the only pictures I was able to get. Taking pictures of a squirmy, almost 2 year old, is not my forte!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baking Obsession: Soft, Yummy Gingerbread Cookies

I'm not the biggest fan of gingerbread cookies.
 Okay, maybe it's because they're hard and I don't like hard cookies . . .
 soft, chewy cookies are what I like.
And if you're like me, you will absolutely, love these cookies!
 These gingerbread cookies are different though! They're actually soft and chewy!!!
It's a recipe my sis-in-law was given a few years ago as a gift (you know . . . all the dry ingredients in a jar . . . layered). She made them, gave us a taste, and I was in love!

Classic Gingerbread Cookies

3 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Allspice

Mix dry ingredients

1/2 cup softened Butter
3/4 cup Molasses
1 slightly beaten Egg

Mix wet ingredients with dry. Dough will be stiff so use your hands to completely mix. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour. After you chill dough roll it on a surface that is lightly dusted with flour. Roll to 1/4 in. thick. Use favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Bake on cookie sheet for 10 minutes and then let cookies rest on pan for 2 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.

And I'm thinking that's what I'm gonna do for the neighbor gifts this year (and we still have quite a few neighbors we need to meet. We've been bad.) Oh and you can put a glaze on, but I was too lazy last night.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Always looking for" obsession: wingback chairs

Ever since I went to a restaurant where everyone sat at the table in a wingback chair . . I've wanted them. I know. I know. Wingback chairs don't always remind you of modern, stylish, decor. Especially in a dining room. But check out these pictures. They might just change your mind.




So, for the past few months I've been searching . . . and searching. Still haven't found the right price for my wingback chairs. It doesn't really matter what the fabric looks like because I plan on making slipcovers. And I found a great tutorial on how to make slipcovers for your amazing wingback chairs. It's here on Sew, Mama, Sew!

Craigslist, garage sales, thrift stores . . . here I come!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Upcycling Obsession: Christmas Dress

I bought this large, women's blouse at the thrift store the other day for a Christmas Dress for little girl A. I am loving upcycling! There are a few blogs that I'm in love with that have increased my love/obsession for upcycling. Here's a few of my favorites: and Their upcycling creations are amazing.
the plan: use the button side as the back of the dress (I despise putting zippers and buttons in)

. . . and that's my plan so far. Hopefully I'll get it done next week. I want this Christmas to be as relaxing as possible.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Home Decor Obsession: Hanging the Christmas Wreath

For those of you who've followed my family blog, this might be a repeat post for you (posted last Christmas). A few years back, I saw this idea in a magazine. Instead of using a metal wreath hanger, use ribbon! You can hang it as low or high as you want (the metal wreath hangers don't really work for homes with tall doors - - like ours). And it makes it look very classy. All you have to do is cut how much ribbon you want to use, attach to the wreath (I put the ribbon between branches so it would hold it), and then use a thumb tack to attach the end of the ribbon to the top of the door (the part you don't see). And there you go. You're sure to get compliments. I know I have.

On a sad note: last night as I was getting out all of my Christmas decor, I realized that I left a box (that has most of my decor) in Vegas when we were moving. It's at my in-laws. Oh sadness.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Home Decor Obsession: Family Room Reveal

Well, I wanted to start getting the Christmas Decorations up, so I thought I'd take pictures of our almost finished family room/dining room. I'm still searching the thrift stores/craigslist for the perfect coffee table and also looking for more yellow accents. Almost everything in this room was either found in a thrift store, bought on craigslist, or bought on a really good deal. Below are pics of the before:

And the after:

(you can get these curtains at ikea for $15 for both panels!!!)

Hope you like it. I sure do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spray Paint Obsession: living room chandelier

During the summer, I was looking on craigslist for a cute chandelier to hang in our living room. There was a post from an electrician that was selling 3 grey chandeliers for $40 (that's $13.33 each!). He said that they all worked and that he had just taken them out of a house that he was working on. So. . . we trusted him. And we bought them. My husband picked them up for me. When I saw them, I couldn't believe how big they were! (the picture made them all look small!) So, we've had them sitting in our garage for the past 3 months and I decided to finally do something with one of them.

So, I got the spray paint out and primed with 2 coats (Valspar primer). And then spray painted 2 coats of Valspar satin (this probably took me 2 weeks to finish, cause I was being lazy!! But having Thanksgiving guests motivated me.)

And I'm loving the look! I think it makes our living room so elegant. I'm still thinking about whether I should just leave it plain like this or maybe hang a few crystal thingies on it. What do you think? Leave it or dress it up?