Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Office Chair Re-upholstered...

My Husband has an office chair that he bought in a silent auction when we were dating or shortly after we got married (it's been a long time). He LOVES his awesome desk chair, and I don't really blame him- it's super comfy. Well the seat cushions have seen better days and were starting to rip, fade and become altogether dingy.

On a whim one day he decided to take the chair apart to see how easy it would be to re-upholster the cushions. Of course taking it apart was the easy part. Since he doesn't sew, he then needed my help to make the chair beautiful again. He kindly bought all the supplies and then waited (and waited) for me to get around to the sewing part. A few weeks of gentle nagging and I finally found some time to get the job done.

I'm no expert but I used the existing cushions as a guide and did the best I could. It was my first time ever using stray adhesive, or thin foam or even this stitch.

The stitch I used had to go over the cording but not sew into the cord so that I could pull the cord through the thread and have it cinch the cushion over the plastic seat parts. Very interesting but it worked really slick.

Once the cushions were snug on the plastic chair pieces they snapped right back into the grooves of the chair. It was pretty awesome to see the transformation. I didn't take a before shot of the yellow dirty chair, but here's the new orange office chair.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Pink Leg Warmers...

Back in November I started this project. It wasn't a hard project it I just didn't really have a lot of motivation to finish them. Fast forward to February when I finally finished them. My son wore them once and hasn't wanted to wear them since. I'm not sure why- I made them just for him the way he wanted them. Some projects are just like that.

Here's his pink leg warmers/ yoga socks in pictures and the pattern:

I cast on 64 stitches. Joined the stitches for working in the round and then made a *Knit 4, purl 4*  2 inch ribbing. I wanted a new challenge so after the ribbing was 2 inches from cast on I started to make a rick rack rib stitch in the round.

Rick Rack Rib stitch:

Round 1: *Purl 1, skip the first stitch, knit in the back loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches of the needle; repeat from * to end of the round.

Round 2: *Purl 1, skip the first stitch, knit in the front loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches from the needle; repeat from * to end of the round.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 to the desired height.

I forgot to write down the pattern as I was making it up, but after the pink measured 12 inches I cast off 34 stitches, leaving a little less than half (30 stitches) on the needle. Then I cast on 26 with my main color (pink). I joined the stitches for working in the round again and *knit 4, purl 4* rib with my second color (purple) till the ribbing was 2 inches. I cast off all the stitches and wove in all the loose ends.

I didn't even have the time or energy to take really fancy photos either. These we took really fast in the front entry on the dirty floor with my iphone camera. C'est la vie

Though I felt disappointed having made something he hasn't really worn much yet, there was one awesome thing that did come out of this knitting project: I convinced my son (who I was making the leg warmers for) to read aloud to me while I knit. It became a nightly routine until I was finished this project. It was a wonderful bonding time and I hope we can continue it into the future. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A rattle for a new baby...

One weekend I just happened to stumble upon the most adorable knitting patterns for stuffed animals. I've never tried knitting a stuff toy before but they were too cute not to buy the pattern and try. I bought the Wasabi pattern for the little whale.

It took me a couple tries to get it started correctly but then it was super fun to see it come together pretty quickly.

I decided to not use button eyes like the pattern called for because I didn't want them to fall out or be a choking hazard to the baby. So I stitched the eyes. As I was finishing the eyes I realized I could add a few little bells inside to change it from just a stuffed toy to a rattle for the baby. Oh I was so excited about this idea.

I finished it up just in time to give it to my son's teacher for her baby shower gift. She has been amazing this year, encouraging my son to thrive in her classroom. I don't want her to leave before the end of the school year but am excited she'll get to snuggle with her first child. We'll miss her loving care but it'll all work out fine.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A New Quilt for baby...

My cousin had a baby shower back in July and as a gift I decided to make her a quilt for her new baby. Of course, it took a while to get things worked out as far as color, design and ordering the fabric. So it wasn't till New Years Eve that it was finally finished and I could take it to her.

My cousin and her Husband both enjoy fishing and hunting. With my twin sisters help we found a bit of inspiration to use that in our design. I even had an extra arrow started that when we were putting the quilt together, when it wasn't need on the quilt top I threw together a quick quick pillowcase to store it in. I love making these cases for smaller quilts, because when we travel we love pillows as much as warm blankets. We take the quilt out and stuff a jacket inside when we want both a pillow and a blanket.

The arrow heads were a bit tricky but eventually we got the look we wanted.

I love all the textures on the quilt. The backing is a very soft fuzzy material, the edging is satin and the cotton piecing on the front is matte.

 Baby A seemed to love it right away and even took a nice warm nap in my arms wrapped in its coziness. Hooray for handmade gifts.

Monday, July 10, 2017

From Rack to Open Wardrobe

I worked at a school this past year and it was so much fun. At the end of the year all the teachers were organizing their rooms and cleaning things out. One item that was up for grabs was from the Kindergarten teacher I worked with. It was a rack she didn't need anymore. I grabbed for my sister initially. My sister is amazing at looking at something and seeing its full potential. She didn't want it for anything but maybe a garage sale clothes rack. Then it hit me how I could use it for all my clothes. Our closet/ drawer system isn't working for me and I needed a change.

Here's how the rack looked after I sprayed it black. 

Then I started thinking about more storage... like shoes. Where can I hide those (not that I have too many). A box! I grabbed some 1/2 inch birch plywood from the garage stash and started constructing a box that would rest on the two lower bar supports.

I stained it in a limed oak stain, which is pretty much a white stain, but I loved it next to the black metal. The two side pieces to keep it from tipping off were a bit tricky but it worked with the bar up the middle. Here it is empty... we're waiting for new carpet so ignore the bare cement floors pictured.

Then I went to the container store (love that place!) to buy a few bins to organize it all. I think this is most of my clothes and all my shoes (you can't even guess where they're hiding- but they are there).

I'm so excited to have everything all in one place. Of course there are a few boxes with my winter/ seasonal things put away for the summer, but I'm happy to keep things simple. Too many clothes and I'd be lost for what to wear. These are all the pieces I wear constantly/ daily and have no need for much more than this.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I am a BAKER

I am a Baker! Can't cook a meal but I love to bake. My family has been watching The Great British Bake Off show together and we are all enthralled. I made my first ever Angel food cake the other day and shared it with the neighbors. I failed to get the two piece pan and lost a little bit of the top of the cake when trying to get it out of the one piece angel food cake pan. Other than that it didn't turn out half bad. I didn't have the almond extract this recipe called for but it was pretty yummy.

Today I baked Ebleskivers and my oldest was all about what we could fill them with. He was also all about the dusting of powered sugar on top "just like the British Bakers do on the show".

After making the angel food cake I now know a lot more about stiff egg whites and how to get all that lovely air into my baking. I used this recipe for my Ebelskivers and they were fantastic!

We made some filled with a strawberry glaze left over from the angel food cake.

And some filled with chocolate chips which melted into yummy pillows of goodness.

I haven't baked in a while and I have missed it. Needless to say, the Great British Bake off has us all inspired to do more baking. Can't wait for our next yummy creation.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Refinished old school desks

Our basement had a bit of a flood when I tried to fill the pool for the summer. Needless to say our house is in upheaval and half our stuff is in the garage. Meanwhile I thought I'd paint stuff I've been meaning to paint for a while now. We got these two old school desks for free or very little money a couple of years ago. At the time I thought how cool it would be to paint them, but never got around to it. UNTIL NOW!!

I had the boys wash their desk and then we went to the store to pick out paint colors. Not exactly the colors I would have chosen but its their personal homework desk so I said "whatever you want". We sanded the deck and chair of one desk because it was real wood. I decided to cover the wood and wait to stain it till after all the paint was on the metal. Then it was a lot of spraying and waiting... more spraying and more waiting.

I had a limed oak stain (which is white stain) left over from another project yet to be blogged about so we used that on the wood. I love the white with the vibrant colors. I put at least three coats of poly over the top of the stain to make it really smooth and durable.

The other desk had a laminate desk top which we washed but left alone, a wooden chair seat and a plastic back. I decided to just stray paint the wood seat and the plastic back to match each other and the inside of the desk. I'm not loving the desk top color but on the whole it looks better than it did.

 I love how the desk turned out. More importantly the boys both are thrilled with their "new" desks.