Friday, October 15, 2010

Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial

This tutorial tells you how to make easy fabric pumpkins that measure at around 2½” fat by around 2½” tall, not including the loose fabric at the top and the stem. Easily adaptable for larger pumpkins - just cut larger pieces!

Now available in my shop.  Since this is a PDF that I will email to you, there is an unlimited amount available.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a glitch, and I am unable to change the number of patterns in stock.  I'll keep trying to change it, but if you see the pattern is sold out, please check back, as I will make more available ASAP!  I would love to see any of the creations you have made using any of my tutorials, so please feel free to join my Flickr Group!

When it's OK to Lie

Last night was one of those times when my heart skipped a beat, and I was terrified about where the conversation might lead.  I chose to lie, and I don't regret it.

We were on our way home from Cub Scouts, and the Bug asks, "Mom, what does raking mean?"'s when you use that stick with the metal prongs on it to get rid of the leaves that have fallen.  Granted, we only rake about once a year, and that's only if the wind blows the leaves into a pile that blocks the back gate, but come on.  The kid should know what it means.

"No, not that kind.  Today on the bus, Susie* said that Billy* went to jewy because he raked Sally* and Sally* started crying."  (*Names have been changed.)  My heart sunk.  I had indeed heard the rumor, and when all the kids in that house had disappeared for a month then all but Billy came back just before school started, it seemed as though this rumor was true.  Then I was angry, so angry that for the first time in my life, I wanted to strangle a 9-year-old.  Susie is the kind of girl who makes fun of everybody, and the people in this particular house are an easy target.  I wanted to cry for little 6-year-old Sally who had been brutalized by her 14-year-old brother, then be made fun of for it by some snot-nosed little brat on the school bus.

After taking a few deep breaths, I informed Bug that Billy was in juVy, then explained to Awesome that it was like jail for kids who do really bad things.  Then I asked Taylor what he thought raking was. 

"I figured he just beat her really bad with a rake," he told me.  I just went with it.  When he's older, I'm sure he'll figure out the truth, but I'm hoping we'll be able to put off that discussion until he's able to fully understand it.

I apologize for not having the pumpkin tutorial up, yet.  I have to get groceries this morning, but will work on getting it up for you this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heart Stopping Moment

Saturday morning, the boys and I headed into town for the parade that is put on every year by the local college as part of their homecoming week festivities. Did you know that Indiana Jones is going to college here? No joke.

I had my camera on the wrong setting, and the boys were tugging on my arms, so it's a little blurry, but you can still make out Indy's name!

Before the parade, I stopped into the local fabric/hobby shop to pick up a few things that I need for a fall wardrobe item...I'll be sure to show you when I'm done. I suddenly remembered a phone call I needed to make, but didn't have the number, so the lovely ladies at the store let me borrow their phone book. As my fingers were walking through the yellow pages, I saw that the number for the good ol' bead shop was still listed. It made me want to stand in the middle of 2nd Street and yell, "CAAARRRLLLAAA!" (Think Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire.) But, I had doubts as to whether she would be able to hear me all the way in Michigan, so I saved myself (and my boys) the embarrassment.


After the parade, we headed off to that horrible place that begins with a Wal and ends with a Mart for our groceries. I was dreading this trip. Although Awesome no longer sits on the floor throwing a fit when he doesn't get a toy, he is not a shopper. At all. To add to his normal impatience, it was almost lunch time and we were all getting hungry. Lucky for us, Saturday was sample day! Among the many yummy treasures we came across, we were able to try some Irish cheddar cheese. Big, fat chunks of cheese stuck on the end of a toothpick.

We paid for our stuff and walked out of the store. When we crossed the driving lane and were by the handicap parking spaces, Awesome decided that he wanted to throw his toothpick away in the trash can next to the store doors. He just turned and ran, didn't even say anything. On his way back, he didn't stop as he entered the driving lane. There was a big, red pickup RIGHT THERE, so I yelled "STOP!" Well, I thought I yelled, but by the way people were looking at me, there may have been some hysterical shrieking involved. Thank God that both Awesome and the driver heard me. That pickup managed to stop 1 foot from my six-year-old baby. After a few suffocating hugs, and a few stern words, my heart started beating again and we headed to the safety of our home.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Repurposed Window & Hinges

Last fall, we headed out to my grandpa's farm where there is still a small, 2-room house (minus the windows and doors!), a second house that has fallen down, a barn that is kind of standing, and a couple of other out-buildings. I came across an old 8-pane window that I immediately fell in love with. At the time, I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I knew it had to come home with me. When I found it, all 8 panes were still intact, even though you couldn't see through all the caked on dirt! Unfortunatelly, we hadn't planned very well, and by the time we made it across many bumpy dirt roads and all the way back home, all but 2 were cracked. I broke out all the cracked glass, but couldn't bear to shatter the 2 panes that survived. There's just something about the waviness of old glass that I find enchanting.

A few months ago, I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my window - turn it into a bookcase! Then, I noticed how wobbly our then-current TV stand was, so I changed my mind, and this is what I came up with:

Here's a quick (I hope!) description of how I made it.  First, I measured the outside of the window so I could figure the measurements for cutting my wood.  Using 1 x 10's (remember that a 1 x 10 really measures in at about 3/4 x 9-1/4), I made 2 boxes that had a middle shelf, as well as top and bottom supports that I place about half-way down the length of the middle shelf to help support the weight of the TV.  I joined the two boxes together using 16" strips of a 1 x 2. 

After my wonderful dad cut my wood for me, but before I put the boxes together, I painted them Country White from Wal-Mart.  I sanded the edges, added some Early American stain that my mom had on hand, and wiped the excess off with a wet paper towel.

For the back, I found a 4' x 8' sheet of Luan on sale at Mendard's for just under $10, so I traced the outside of the window onto the luan, and cut it out.  Then, I used some beadboard wallpaper (shown below), painted it the same color (without the stain) as the boxes, and screwed it onto the back.

I wanted to have the option of lifting the window out of the way, if needed, so I used a couple of old hinges that I found when we were cleaning out my great-uncle's farmhouse and buildings.  They were uber rusty, and while I wanted to keep a little bit of rust, but not have to worry about getting it on everything, I cleaned some of it off.  I rubbed the hinges with some steel wool, then soaked them in white vinegar for about 20 minutes or so.  After scrubbing them again with the steel wool and letting them dry, I sprayed them with a matte finish sealer.

I love that there is plenty of room for the TV, game consoles, games, DVD's, and photos of the boys and our nieces and nephews!  I still need to play around with decorating it, but I'm happy with it for now!

Just a few notes about the entertainment center:
*The pumpkins that are on the bottom right shelf were made by my super talented sister-in-law, Kelly.
*The left side is devoted mostly to the video games and movies.  To keep the clutter under control, and hidden, I made a little basket from fabric and burlap for the PS2 games, bought a basket from Hobby Lobby to hold the PS3 games and extra controllers, & a matching basket (also from HL) for the memory cards and all the slips of paper with cheat codes written down on them.  The smaller basket also help elevate the PS2!  The boys' movies are kept in a brown, faux leather, CD case.  The movies that the boys aren't allowed to watch are kept in the TV stand in our bedroom.  There are a few movies that J is insisting on keeping in their cases, so I still need to find some storage for them.
*That gorgeous crate is one that my mom found for me on this year's Junk Jaunt (I wasn't able to go).  I have a large, upside-down can that I draped some burlap over, then put a big crock on top with flowers in it to help hide the plug in on that wall.  The crock is one of several that I brought home from Faye's farm.  This is also where we are storing some movies for now.
*If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

And last, but not least, see those little fabric pumpkins in my header?  I'm working on a pattern for them that I hope to get up soon.  Being sick and putting in new floors has put me behind on my to-do list, but I'm slowly making progress.

Linking to this party, so check out all the other fun finds and ideas!  Also linking to Twice Owned Tuesday Party here:

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