Thursday, July 31, 2014

Home Improvement

Yesterday I went to Menards to check out the pricing on carpet. Ryan's dad may be helping us pay for it as Ryan's birthday gift. My hope is we will get our family room livable before winter. Right now it's a disgusting mess! 

When we got Zora is when it all went down hill, and she STILL isn't even fully potty trained. She will go in there if we don't keep it blocked off with a baby gate! Originally, Ryan was going to do an epoxy floor coating, but we were in for a sad surprise once the carpet came up. Turns out, the floor is raised by 2x4s on their sides with some sort of thick plywood sat on top instead of being concrete like we had thought. Now that the carpet is gone there is only the padding left covering the boards, and Zora has seen to it that it isn't even in moderately good condition.

I decided that, even though we do have pets, that the $0.48 padding will be sufficient. If our room is actually 250 square feet like Ryan estimated it will come to $120 + tax.

These are $1.49 a square foot, equaling $372.50. I'm not really sure if I actually like the blue or not, and even though I like the light tan I know any color close to white is probably a bad idea with 2 dogs and a 3 year old. Haha!

This is actually a light blue color and costs $2.09 a square foot coming to $522.50. I liked this one better, but $650 is pretty steep!

We have to replace a few of the boards as well, but I didn't get a chance to check the pricing on that. I'd assume it can't be all that much. We only need 2 for sure because the "French doors" we have leak extremely badly and water damage has caused a big hole. 

I say "French doors" because, in my opinion, French doors means BOTH sides open. Ours is more like a door next to a window the size of a door, haha!

What really stinks is carpet isn't all that room needs.

The leak in the door needs to be fixed, and fixing it will mean no longer being able to use the door, so really we need to buy an entirely new door. I've looked into it and let me tell you, French doors are NOT cheap. We also need to replace all of the trim, not just because it's the cheapest looking trim I've ever seen, but also because Zora has torn the strip off on the side of the door and under one of the windows. The piece above the door has also fallen off because the former owners had their curtain rod (holders? anchors? hardware?) screwed in through the trim.

When I first bought my sewing machine the plan was to turn the room into my sewing area. In my mind it will be half sewing room, half comfy sitting area. Eventually, when we have more than a little extra money, I want to buy a bigger sized flat screen. This way we will have a room with actual seating to entertain company. Right now our TV is in our bedroom and the only seating we have are the chairs at the kitchen table. Losing our "family room" has made our house look tiny and I cannot wait to get that space back. Plus, a sewing area is going to be amazing. I won't be cramped at my little desk in a corner of our bedroom, haha!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Impulse Buy

 Yesterday I decided to buy a new sewing pattern, and this one's for me! I have been looking at this tank top pattern since I first became interested in sewing. There was only one problem, it was $24 dollars! So I thought. Turns out, it was $24 because it was an ACTUAL pattern they mail to you and they have a downloadable version for only $10! 

Call me anal, but I have kept track of how much I've spent on sewing supplies. I also keep tabs on how much I make selling things I no longer want, things I've made, and photo session I've done. After my session with Kyleigh I was only in the hole -$59!

After my pattern purchase I read through all the instructions a few times and then put it away. That doesn't mean I stopped thinking about it! At about 8pm I had the urge to make some purchases, so L and I set out for Wal-Mart. (Don't worry, I plan to test out my new pattern on CHEAP or (wishful thinking) FREE fabric first.)

I bought fabric for a tank top and another for the tank dress. I also got L some super cute octopus fabric. I'm not sure what I'll make with that yet though, talk about impulse buying. :P I also got myself a Fiskars 2-piece rotary cutting set for $17. It came with a 45mm rotary cutter and a 6x18in self-healing mat. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to play with my new toys! After my small splurge I've brought my total to a whooping -$96.

The blue with mosaic swirls I bought for the tank dress, and the orange leopard print is what I chose for the tank.

The more I think about it though, the more I realize that's not bad at all. I have to keep in mine that includes the cost of the sewing machine and all the tools I NEEDED to get started. It has helped a lot that Ryan's grandma has given me quite a few large cuts of fabric and plans to bring me some more at the end of the week. Also, a wonderful woman on a Facebook re-gifting site gave me a decent sized box full of a bunch of different sized cuts of fabric. It's pretty awesome that there are still people out there that aren't just looking to make a buck and actually enjoy helping out other people for no other reason than to just help. I myself have actually given away a small bag different sized scraps that I didn't plan to use as well. 

These two boxes are filled with all different fabrics that I've been given. The back box is medium-large scraps and the front is all smaller pieces. The pillows were made from a fabric the woman on Facebook gave me and stuffed with an old pillow that got lumpy from washing. I ran out of stuffing, though, and the back pillow is only half full.

Now I plan to make another 12-24 month dress and finish up a couple more tissue covers while I wait for Ryan's grandma to drop off the fabric she's so amazing for giving me. Once I get my hands on that, I think I'll be making tank tops for a while. Hopefully not so much so that I get bored with them like I did the little dresses I've made so many of, haha! Although, if I'm being honest, I've made 14 tissue covers + my mistakes and am pretty bored with those too. They did give me a good break from those dresses though, which will give me good motivation to get a few more done before the weekend!

The cupcake has been sold, but the other 3 are $1 each. I may be making 1 that has ladybugs, but am unsure. Stay posted. :)

$1 each. There will be 1 more for sale that has the teal with a red color.

12-24 month dress I (finally) finished. It sat for probably a week with only the neck casing and elastic needing finished. I plan on starting the next 12-24 month today, using the fabric with pink flowers on it I used on L's dress with red-ish sleeves.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photo Session: Kyleigh

Please do not copy and save these images. Thank you!

This was a fun session, despite the fact it was ridiculously hot and humid! L had fun tromping through the woods pretending we were lost, and of course "helping" Mommy take pictures. (Her form of helping consisted of sticking her baby doll in front of my lens right before I snapped a picture. Haha!)

I was glad to get a chance to do a session, especially one with someone who WANTED to have their photos taken. It really does suck that there are so many photographers in this are. It makes it hard to be able to take photos regularly, there are always large gaps in between each of the sessions I schedule. At least I do schedule some though, some is better than none! Cross your fingers more will come my way. :)

For anyone interested, my sessions cost (as of July 28th, price may change) $25 for 10-15 edited photos on a disk. If you want them done out of (my) town, a travel fee will be applied depending on the distance.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Modeling Mommy's Work

She sure does love to pick "yellow flowers." They are only dandelions when they are poof-balls, in case you didn't know. 

My (many) Projects Update

Ryan was working in Kansas for about 2 weeks and during that time, I got MOTIVATED.

I decided L's playhouse needed a new location, so I set to work. First, I cut down a dying rose bush planted by a trellis that was way too short. Then I attempted to kill the grass and weeds by covering them with a tarp. I'm impatient so, needless to say, I didn't leave the tarp down long enough to do anything. I bought 3 bags of river rock, went back for 3 more, and still need another! I put them down, moved the playhouse, and then started to frame it in with bricks.

I also started cleaning out a flower bed overrun by irises and in need of a weeding. Cleaning up the end that Zora has destroyed by walking through while on her outside leash wasn't too difficult. I just had to do some weeding and dig up dead iris bulbs. Then I posted a "free irises" ad on a Facebook re-gifting site and had a woman wanting 20. After doing my homework and learning that you can separate irises, 20 was not enough! It hardly even made a dent.

I finally put to use a tutorial I found before I even bought my sewing machine: travel tissue covers. I started by studying this tutorial and then got over excited and cut out 8 covers worth of fabric. Turns out I cut too soon! I thought the liner was optional. Well, it's not, haha! I had to scrap 4 covers worth of fabric because I didn't have enough to cut out a lining for them.

My premeditated cuts.
My first attempt without liner isn't pictured, but it was HUGE. I'm not really 100% how it ended up that way, but what can you do. The ribbon tab gives away the face that a liner is required as well. As L and Daniel Tiger would say "Keep trying, you'll get better!"

My second attempt (cupcakes) came out a little big and lopsided. Plus I missed a layer when doing the final stitching so there is a small area with the underside of the fabric visible.
Then came zebra! I did much better this time! It came out a little lopsided, otherwise perfect. This attempt made me realize, if I want one fabric type I don't need to cut a smaller piece, I can simply cut 2 pieces the same size. Fantastic!

Now I'm on a roll! They are all perfectly sized with (little) signs of flaw! Plus, I've found a way to salvage some of my very first cuts. Anyone that doesn't think Dollar Tree is amazing is CRAZY! I bought the largest white shirt they had and am going to use that as a liner. It's a genius plan if you ask me, but I guess I'm biased. Haha! While I was there I bought (2) 6 packs of travel tissues. The plan is to sell each for $1 and make a $9 profit after spending $3 on tissues and the t-shirt.

This is my most recent tissue cover, and once again, it's big! It's more of a coin purse size and I have no idea what happened.
 Look forward to see more travel tissue covers in a future post!

On a, practically daily, trip to Wal-Mart L decided she needed some markers. Fantastic! Markers and a 3 year old, what could go wrong? Lucky for her, we found these lovelies. Day 1: 4 master pieces! (Which were all made for Daddy as welcome home presents, of course, haha!)

"Take my picture!""

Tuesday was a fun filled day of playing in the sprinkler and taking pictures! I was actually VERY surprised when Lexi said "Take my picture, take my picture!" when I brought my camera out. Usually she's a non-stop mover the instant I try and snap a photo. I was glad to be able to dust off my, much neglected, Canon though. As much as I love photography, I don't shoot often enough.


Silly faces!!



"Mommy, let me take your picture!"

Can you see how much Abu LOVES L hugs?!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Finally Inspired to Sew

More than 3 months ago I bought a dress pattern for L. I picked a practice fabric and cut out the pattern pieces, and then it sat.

FINALLY! I was inspired to get some work done. In 2 days I successfully completed 2 new dresses for L's wardrobe, and after a short break I made 2 more!

It was much simpler than I had expected, but with that in mind, I did mess something up on each dress. Haha! 

This was my  tester fabric. Everything was going so smoothly, until it was time to sew the elastic casing for the neck. My brain decided that I was somehow going to sew up ONLY the neck. After getting the front neckline done, I sat baffled on how to connect the back neck piece. Once I realized the elastic goes ALL the way around, I had to break out the seam ripper.  

For some reason, this dress had armpit complications. The casing openings didn't match up at the bottom, leaving a gap in the fabric that the elastic shows through when pulled tight.

More armpit complications! This time the gap was fixed, but I was left with a little hole UNDER the arm, where the body piece connects. It sewed up fine, but, if you're looking closely, it's there.

You'd think by number 4 I'd be a pro. HAHA! Turns out, with time I got WORSE! To start with, I sewed both arms onto one body piece, BACKWARD. Then as I was seam ripping away, I tore the inside layer of an arm piece. After sorting out that issue it should have been smooth sailing. Nope. Someone the neck elastic casing got flipped around and I had to seam rip half of that to fix it. Then while doing the arm elastic casing I didn't leave a big enough opening in one spot and had to seam rip AND cut to get the elastic through. So, not only was it a pain in the butt to FINALLY finish this dress, but it also has the same issue as dress #2.

Before starting dress #4 I cut the pattern out in another fabric. This time in a size 12 month because there wasn't quite enough to make L's size. As of right now, only the arms are attached. The sides are pinned together, but I'm just bored with dresses! 

Dress break projects:
Sewing machine cover! It's nothing fantastic, and very thrown together, but it does it's job. I didn't even hem the bottom. Haha. We have a German Shepard/Husky mix and she is shedding like no other! During those 3 non-sewing months my machine got pretty darn hairy! I figured better late than never on protecting her from dust and fur.
I also made a GIANT pin cushion square. I used some Tinker Bell fabric that has spools of thread on it. It seemed very appropriate. It's a little lopsided, but it works just fine. Plus, it's nice not having to try and pick up pins off of flat surfaces. I also discovered I have about 20 hand sewing needles. I thought I only had 2. Haha!
Last but not least, I made L's baby doll a little quilt! I had 0 fun cutting out the squares without a rotary cutter and self healing mat, but it was SO much easier than I expected. Then again, it was small. 
"L" lined up some buttons for fun. Haha.