Room Makeover Progress

I did not make it into the 4th round of Creating with the Stars.  Bummer!  But I am happy with the couch I made.  The theme was paint, and I immediately knew I was not going to do anything expected like paint a wall or refinish wood furniture.   I thought the couch was little edge-y and different.  I carved out a horse and stamped that baby onto to it.  This couch was so gross before!!  Would I paint upholstery again in the furniture?  Maybe.  This couch is not functional, and it is scratchy and crunchy.  But man does it make a great staging piece!!  Imagine throwing one of my quilts on this bad girl.  Yee haw!

On the flip side, I am continuing with Round 4 Home Decor, but since I am no longer in the contest, I can share with YOU some progress photos.

Please keep in mind I only have less than a week to redo this room for a little girl, and I have limited funds and resources.  Working out of town is completely different too!  I miss my family, but I'll see them soon.

Thank you for your support and love these last few weeks.  It's been quite a ride for me, and the end is in sight.  I don't think I have ever completed projects so quickly in my life!



Hello Illuminated Sign

This is the project that got me into Round 3 with Creating with the Stars.  I know many of you did not know this was my project.  Had ya fooled, eh?  Let's hope and pray you ain't fooled next week.  ;)

A tutorial will be up later after this crazy busy life slows down a little.  I'm leaving today to go out of town to decorate a space for Round 4 because let's face it.  I'm going to kill Round 3.

FIND the tutorial HERE.

You kids have fun . . . and sleep a little for me too.



My Life

My life has been a wreck, a disaster, a freaking nut case these last few weeks.  To say this contest has not tested my emotional strength would be a lie too.  Yesterday and probably some other days too, I have wanted to cry.  Competing against other talented folks is thrilling but is also stressful.  And to top it off, you have to try to perform your best in under a week, which does not always produce best results.

This emotional roller coaster is coming from Round 3's theme Paint.  I think this is the most difficult round. To be honest, there's a lot I want to vent in this paragraph, but I am refraining from doing so.  Let's just say that no matter what, I am staying true to myself in this contest!   And I think that is all that matters.  

I also deserve worst mother of the year award.   I get emails asking me how I find the time to blog, do projects (home or sewing related), and take care of my family.  Most of the time, I can manage these things, but the time during this contest has been drastically different.   I think my son has watched more TV these last few weeks than he has in his lifetime.  In my opinion, there is no way any mother could compete in this contest without neglecting her child in some way or fashion.  Now my son gets his meals and snacks and occasionally we'll play a game or have tickle time, but he has not gotten as much attention from me as he normally does.  The TV is his nanny, and I am confessing it.   In fact, he's watching Dora the Explorer right now just so I can type this blog post.  I mentioned it before here, and I'll mention it again.  Blogging requires sacrifice.  This contest requires sacrifice.   Don't get me wrong.  The contest has been a lot fun so far.  I just find myself questioning how important is it really?  Is neglecting my son for a few weeks really worth it?  Is having this "me" time to showcase my talents really worth it?  Why do I even feel guilty??  Don't I deserve this chance?  Ever since I gave birth, it has never been about me.  My time and energy have been devoted to Owen.  It was a choice I made, and I am happy for that choice.   But is it wrong to have "me" time?   Ultimately, I will say no, but I can't help but to have this nagging guilt for participating in this contest.  And if there is anything that is actually going to make me cry it is Owen telling his dad, "No, Mommy can't.  She's busy."  This doesn't mean I want to quit or hope that I will be eliminated next round.  If anything, I want to win!

So there's my life for you in full honesty and one messy, gross photo.  Thank you for being my therapist for today.  I'm off to paint something freaking fantastic.



Dresser turned Activity Table

This dresser got me into Round 2 of Creating with the Stars.  VOTE NOW FOR ROUND 2!!  It ends tonight!

This idea is fairly simple to do.  Take off your top and back of dresser.  Cut off the dresser where the top of the middle drawer meets.  Sand all the exposed areas very well to avoid splinters.  Attach your new back and top, and that's it.  You have an activity table or dresser or buffet.  It's totally up to you what you want to do with it.   It's great for indoors or outdoors, but I don't recommend using sand indoors.  :)  If you plan on using this outdoors, paint the entire piece inside and out with exterior paint to protect it from the elements.  I used Behr in Chlorophyll.  My knobs came from Anthropologie.   I screwed in two handles for the top so it is removable.

I have tutorial for painting furniture here, except if you are using exterior paint there is no need to seal it afterwards.  So you can skip that step.

*Word of caution - If at all possible, make sure it stays in a covered area.  Due to time constraints with the contest it was used in, I was not able to allow a proper curing time of 30 days for my paint.  My project was rained on shortly after taking photos and caused bubbling in the veneer.  :(  But when I spoke to Home Depot and a Behr specialist, they all said the exterior paint should work fine on outdoor furniture.  I was told sealing it was not necessary, but I can only imagine sealing could improve the lasting quality.*

Please take a minute to click over and vote for your favorite 3 for the knock-off round!!  I have had a lot of my friends say this round was a lot trickier choosing which one was mine!  Thanks for voting!

To see Round 1 entries, click here.

And can I just say I miss my sewing machine.  I do.  It has been really fun though focusing on nothing but home decor, but man.  I just want to sew some crap!



Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe || Book Review || Quilt Finish || Giveaway

I am so excited Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts asked me to review a book to which she contributed.  Me?!?  A quilt book?!?  First off, I have never written a book review.  Ever.  If I had to write one in high school, I do not remember it.  In fact, I rarely read any of the assigned books in English class.  What can I say?  I have rebellious blood in me.   Second, I feel so honored she wanted to hear my opinion about the quilts in the book.  I really do not consider myself a quilter . . . yet.  I do enjoy making them, but I tend to think that the more seasoned sewers are the true quilters.  I am not sure if this is why Jennifer selected me or she just likes me in general.  :)

I feel comfortable saying this book is appropriate for beginners to intermediate quilters.  I believe the advanced, experienced quilters seeking a challenge could feel disappointed, as there are no intricate or complex designs in any of the quilts.  But I would not let that stop you from perusing the book to see for yourself if you could be inspired by any of the quilts.  There is much inspiration to be had in the book.

What I enjoyed about the book was the fact it is a compilation from familiar faces.  I felt excitement and happiness for each individual blogger.  I think it is a huge accomplishment to be published, so I could not be any more happy for those in the book.   I also enjoyed reading their bios.  As a person who does not necessarily seek out or buy quilting books, this book has changed my mind to do so in the future.  It was really nice to flip through the pages and see a lot of quilts in one place.  I can go to my bookcase and pull out the book whenever I am wanting inspiration.   I believe this book can suit modern and traditional tastes, so do not let the word modern in the title deter you from buying this book, if you prefer a more traditional style.

**Here is a little note for those making their first quilts using this book.  This book only shares with you cutting requirements and how to assemble a block.  You will need access to your local library or internet to finish your quilt.  This was not an issue for me since I have made quilts in the past, but this will be a problem for someone who is making his or her first quilt and has no prior knowledge of fabric selection, basting, quilting, binding, and does not have access to the resources mentioned above.  The book does provide website addresses for you to complete your quilt.**

I figured if I am reviewing the book, why not actually make one of the quilts featured?  I chose Petal Pod by Jessica Kovach

I have never worked with curves before, and I found it a little challenging at first but totally doable.  After my second curved piece, I realized the pattern piece (Piece B) was about a 1/4" too short on either side for my fat, stubby fingers.  Adding an extra 1/4" on either side made up for the loss when the fabric is pinned into a curve and gave me a little more room to maneuver the ends.  Once I added that extra length, sewing the curves became a breeze.  You may not experience that problem though.  Overall, I am pleased with the pattern.  How cute are these pods??

I made a simple back because let's be honest here.  I have discovered I loathe making quilt backs.

I purchased my  Tsuru from StashModernFabric.  Beth had it a couple of days before any other shop did.  Awesome when you are working with a deadline!  Kona's Curry works really well with Tsuru, which is what I used with this quilt.  And a little FYI- Tsuru color's are not bright but rather muted.

Do you want to try a few of the quilts in this book?  How about a FREE BOOK???  Head on over to Ellison Lane Quilts to enter her giveaway!



time for your vote!! || cast your vote for creating with the stars

This is one of those posts that if you're reading this RIGHT now, just go ahead and take a minute to click over and vote!  It ends tomorrow evening, so that's not a lot of time.

Awhile back, I entered Creating with the Stars, and I made it!  All entries are anonymous, meaning you have no clue which project is mine!  Vote for your favorite 3!  There is some seriously amazing talent that has me shaking in my boots!  :)

Vote here.

Thanks everyone!



Let's Get Aquainted! Monday Link Up Party || Sewing Post

Hello and welcome to my blog, if you are visiting for the first time.  When Beth, from Plum and June, asked me to participate in her Let's Get Aquainted! weekly link party, I immediately said yes!  I've known Beth for awhile now, and I have always enjoyed her sewing aesthetic - improv, wonky, and lots of stitching!

I began sewing when my son, Owen, was born.  I taught myself how to use my mom's sewing machine, and I have not looked back since.  You can read more about me and my blog here.  I did not start quilting regularly until October of 2012.  My first quilt was for my son, which I made last year in April.   My second quilt was made 6 months later and then the quilting started like wildfire.  I just completed my ninth quilt recently, which I get to share later this week.  But here's a sneak peek.

I am currently quilting this commissioned piece for an old high school friend.   When I think of our high school days together, making a quilt for her baby would have been the last thing I would have ever thought I'd do for her.  Let's just say home economics was not my thing.

I wish I had more sewing things to share today, but my time has been focused on  Creating with the Stars, an online DIY contest I am in.   I swear.  Sometimes, I feel like I should be Martha Stewart's daughter.

Instead, I am going to share with you some quilting cottons I am looking forward to adding to my stash.

First on my list is Sarah Watson's Indian Summer, which comes in two colorways.  I found out about Sarah Watson awhile back when I bought her adorable hanging plants embroidery pattern.  Still need to embroider that . . .

photo credit: Fat Quarter Shop

Anna Marie Horner's Field Study in LINEN.  Still not a fan of the leopard prints though.

Bijoux by Bari J.

photo credit: fat quarter shop

And lastly, Neon by Michael Miller.

Onto to the party!

1. Link up any recent sewing/quilting post.
2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up.
3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post.
4. WHEN THE LINK ASKS FOR YOUR NAME, TELL ME AN OBSESSION OF YOURS.  Do you have a chocolate problem?  Or do you buy too much fabric?  Maybe you're obsessed with The Walking Dead like I am???  I think I just told you three of my own problems . . .



Creating with the Stars

Awhile back I entered Owen's room into the Creating with the Stars Challenge.  I really never thought I would be selected, but I MADE IT!!  Whaaatt??  Little old me??   There was some serious talent competing to enter this online challenge.  Do you recognize any of these faces?

These are some of the top DIY bloggers on the internet, and East Coast Creative has teamed up each contestant with one of these stars!  Teams were randomly selected.  See number #11?  That is Kari from U-Create, and she will be mentoring me every step of the way.

At first I thought I was a bit on the crazy side for entering.  I have read nothing but how crazy and stressful these things are where insanely talented bloggers are battling each other to win the DIY Championship title in blogland.  It's like Hunger Games on DIY steroids.  For real.  Am I ready for this???  I mentioned to Kari I wanted to vomit, and I still feel that way.  I don't think I could ever accurately describe the nervousness I have been experiencing these last few days.  I'm still shocked.  But I have to push through this and focus.  I HAVE TO WIN, right?!

This week is about upcycling, so I will be spending my time do something cool.  I promise.  Along with that, I have a quilt top that is due this week.   I may be MIA this week, and that is why.  Voting will begin this Saturday at East Coast Creative, but all entries are submitted anonymously.  This means YOU will not know which project is mine!  This keeps it fair since I have a low following and my competitors have thousands.  Wish me luck y'all!

Please click here if you want to see who I am competing against.  They are all seriously awesome, and you may find a new blog to follow!

*If you take a second to answer my one question poll, that would be awesome!

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