Learning how to sew

So, I am sure most you remember how I volunteered to make a quilt for Heidi, from some of her favorite clothes that belonged to her mom. I am sure you will also remember that I have no quilting experience, nor have I touched a sewing machine since 9th grade. LOL

Today, I decided it was time to tackle the beast. Last night I picked up a cute black and white reminent at Walmart and thought I might try to make a curtain for my new laundry room (that I still have to share with you guys). I spent quite awhile looking at curtains, pillow cases, then fabric and just didn’t see anything that caught my eye. Then I caught this pretty piece! I was a little worried about the top of it being pre-gathered, because I knew that was not wide enough to cover the window in my door leading to the backyard. I liked it enough, I figured I should take it home and give it a try.

After measuring the window I decided I was going to need to pull the gathering out in order to have enough material. I did that, washed it, dried it and ironed, then I pinned a seam of 5/8″ on the sides and the bottom.

Next, the hard part. The sewing machine. *gulp* We stared at one another for quite awhile. Don’t let a sewing machine fool you. They may seem sweet and innocent, but trust me, they are secretly very tricky! It took me about an hour, carefully following instructions in the book, but I managed to thread the bobbin, the needle, select a stitch and begin to sew.

Once I got all the technicalities worked it, it wasn’t too bad! I managed to get the thread tangled a few times, not quite sure how that happened or to prevent it from happening again. Overall, I am thrilled with the result. Granted, a curtain isn’t that hard to make, but I am pretty darn proud of myself!

What do you think? And what was the first thing you sewed on a sewing machine?


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Versatile Blogger Award!

I am so truly touched! The lovely, funny and endearing Dusty over at Girls Love Fried Pickles has awarded me with the versatile blogger award! Since I am fairly new to the blogging world, I can’t tell you how honored I am by this! If you have not read her blog before, you must pop over there and check it out. Girl is seriously funny. Like tears rolling down your cheeks funny. Love her!

So the rules behind receiving this award are as follows:

  1. Give a shout out to the person who awarded you.
  2. Share 7 random facts about myself.
  3. Send on the award to 15 other bloggers whose blogs you enjoy and appreciate and then let them know they were awarded!

All righty! 7 random facts, huh? Well, here we go!

  1. I still think Donnie Wahlberg is pretty darn hot. ;o)
  2. I don’t know how to thread a sewing machine.
  3. I like to rearrange furniture on a regular basis. Unfortunately I can’t do it very often in my bedroom or my living room because of how they are set up.
  4. I can pick things up with my feet. LOL
  5. I am incredibly naive, as much as I try not to be.
  6. My little brother is 12 years younger than me, and my mom is 12 years younger than her sister.
  7. I have never been outside of the United States.

Wow! That was way harder than I expected. Now on to the most difficult part- choosing 15 bloggers that I love! I enjoy so many blogs, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 15! I will do my best!

Well, there you have it! I have to say, it took me over an hour to write this post! There are so many blogs that I enjoy reading and getting tips from.

Please take a moment to check them all out.

All my best,

Oh the fun I shall have!

My sister and I drove about a half hour to pick up my new hutch! We made a deal that if she went with me, we would go to the Bull and Gelding Sale. Really, I wasn’t about to say no to hot cowboys.

We stopped at the Salvation Army first, to see if we could find anything fun. Just as we were getting ready to leave, I noticed this bit of wood poking out from behind a bunch of “junk”. I wandered over to it and saw that it was a stereo cabinet. I called Kristen over and we cleared everything away from it and were pretty amazed at how cool it was. It was beat up, sure, but still, what potential! The sale tag was $50, but it had been sitting there since August of last year. I knew I could get it for cheaper.

I talked to a clerk behind the counter and she came back and told me I could have it for $25. I wasn’t completely sold. I knew they could go lower. Kristen and I looked it over some more and discovered the back was missing. I went back to the clerk and told her I would pay $15 and take it that day. She agreed and suddenly I was the proud owner of a…stereo cabinet? *laughs* I really blame this on Better After. If she didn’t post such amazing redos I would have never opened this Pandora’s box. Two weeks ago I wouldn’t have looked twice at a stereo cabinet. Darn, Lindsey!

Now the question, of course, is whether to restore and sell or refurbish and sell, or refurbish and keep? Oh so many questions with no answers! Gah!

I also need to do some research and figure out how old this little guy is. I am guessing somewhere between 1940s-1950s, but not sure.

After this purchase we hit the Bull and Gelding sale and had a great time. I will blog more about that later. We met with and talked to so many fun people. Also, did I mention how HOT the cowboys were? It was ridiculous! I don’t think I have been smiled at or checked out this much since college! And seriously, there is just something about a man in a nice starched shirt, tucked into finely creased jeans. Yum! (Did I just say that out loud?)

After the sale we picked up the hutch which I got for a steal at $45! They were asking for $60, but once I got down there to check it out, I discovered the middle door was broken in the corner and that the top embellishment was plastic. No biggie for me, but I wasn’t going to pay $60 for it. I knew this is something I would want to keep, since it is pretty petite and would fit nicely into my kitchen. I just need to decide what color to paint it. The two outside glass doors do not open, and the middle door down below also does not open. I have been thinking about taking the glass doors and leaving the front open, but I am just not sure. Any suggestions?

Yesterday my mom and I started packing up Grandma’s apartment. She is still in the rehab hospital and they are not hopeful that she will be able to go back to her place. :o( We are hoping for the best but we also know she will be in rehab for another few months and we don’t want to waste her money paying for two places.

It’s going to take us several days to go through everything, but we made some progress last night. We split up these beautiful glasses she got in Mexico when my mom was a little girl, as well as a tray. I am going to put them in my hutch when it is all done. I also brought home the sweetest baby shoes that belonged to my Auntie Dee Dee when she was little. I snapped a picture of them on the tray, because I thought they were so cute!

Okay, enough rambling for now. Ta ta!


Noritake China

So after weeks of agonizing over which pattern, style, and color to pick, I have finally decided! I am so, so, so excited and can’t wait for these to arrive.

It’s possible they will be on back order which sucks, but I can wait for them, that is much I love them! I hope they are true to the picture as far as color goes.
Check it out the Kealia Green series! I am so in love with this. Sorry for the small picture, I couldn’t get the large one to save for the life of me!

Hutch & Dresser Love

I am so excited, I will be purchasing my first hutch on Thursday, for my first furniture redo! I have always been a little intimidated at the thought of painting furniture, but after seeing so many great redos out there, I am finally biting the bullet.

The price on this is great, they are asking $60 and I am getting it for $50. The only negative is the back part of the hutch is mdf, looks like the original back was replaced. However, I plan to cover it with either beadboard or paintable wallpaper so I am not too worried about it.

What do you think? Doesn’t it have great potential?

I also hope to be picking up this dresser at a thrift shop on Thursday. It is an ugly color of green but I fell head over heels with all of the detail in the wood. I plan to paint it black and will probably place it in my living room. So excited to see what these will look like after some love!

What color do you think I should do the hutch to match my kitchen? I have been thinking about black, because I had planned on painting my kitchen table black.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

I am so excited to announce The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as one of my new affiliates!! Why am I so excited? Well, let me tell you, I have the most amazing story about my last time there.

When I was in Los Angeles last year, I attended a media panel for Paley Fest for the show True Blood on HBO, which is one of my all time favorite shows. As I am sure you have all figured out by now, Alexander Skarsgard is my favorite actor. Anyhow, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting him briefly while I was down there and have a chat with him after the event.

A few days later before I left town, I had the utmost pleasure of meeting his BFF for coffee at the Coffee Bean before I left Hollywood. He and I had been in contact over the prior few months regarding a movie he and Alexander had filmed in Sweden, a short documentary that was absolutely amazing. We tried to meet up a few times while I was down there that week but he was under the weather at first and wasn’t able to make it to Paley, so we opted for coffee the Monday before I left.

I met him near where he was casting for a movie he was interested in directing and we had such a great visit. When he pulled in my heart did a little skip-a-beat because he drives the exact same car as Alex. For a second I thought he might be with him, since the windows were so dark I couldn’t tell. I have to admit I was a bit relieved that he wasn’t! Even though it would have been an awesome adventure, I so wasn’t looking hot that morning. Anyways, BFF was handsome, kind, so open and chatty-honestly, it was seriously almost the best part of the trip. He bought me a super yummy pom-blueberry smoothie and himself a skinny latte. I teased him about the skinny part because it is such a Hollywood thing to order and really, he didn’t need to worry about his weight.

While we were waiting in line I realized we were standing next to Ashton Kutcher. Honestly, it didn’t even phase me in the slightest. I was having such a great time chatting with his bff that I couldn’t have given a rat’s hiney about Ashton. We were probably near him for about 15 minutes before we grabbed a table on the patio but I didn’t care.

I loved the atmosphere of the Coffee Bean, was surprised by all the celebrity sightings- at the time I didn’t realize it was a mecca for the young and famous-and truly just loved my conversation. BFF was brilliant, funny, inspiring and just an all around genuinely nice person. We joked about how different LA is from Sweden and I told him about myself, what I do for a living and the area I am from.

He also had some amazing tips on publishing, things that had never even crossed my mind prior to my conversation with him, so once I get my first book published, I am going to owe that to him. If he hadn’t lit a fire under me with his suggestions, I wouldn’t have come back home and started writing like I have been over the last several months.

I do regret not getting a picture of the two of us together, but I really didn’t want to seem like a fan girl, although it would really have been something nice to have for memories sake.

BFF on the left and Alex on the right

One thing that really struck me, and I noticed this with Alex, too, is how incredibly humble he was. I don’t know if it is a Swede thing or maybe just the circle of people they run in, but they are some of the kindest, most down to earth people I have ever met. They are both obviously on the rise in Hollywood, but I would be sincerely surprised if it ever went to their heads. As BFF laughingly said,”Alex puts his pants on one leg at a time…unless he jumps into them.”

We only stayed for about a forty-minutes, since he was on a break from casting and had to get back, but I really appreciated the time he took out from his busy schedule to come and sit down with me, have a nice chat and enjoy some seriously good Coffee Bean drinks.

Check out their site for awesome home delivery and they have some really good sales going on right now!


Kitchen Love

I have been itching to share my kitchen with you all for ages, but really wanted to wait until it was better organized.

My house was built in 1950 and my mom’s parents lived in it until early 2004. They moved into a retirement community and I was lucky enough to move in after them. My mom was raised here and I have many, many fond childhood memories as well.

Since it is an older home, it needed some good all around TLC, which I have slowly but surely been providing over the years. The living room, kitchen, bathroom, garage and bedrooms have all been re-done for the most part over the last couple of years and today I am going to share my kitchen with you.

I love my new floors!

It has the original green tile and wood cupboards. I am a more modern girl, so it has taken some time for me to adjust to it and make my style mesh. I repainted the kitchen a lovely color and had new vinyl put in, which I just love. It is the perfect modern mix for me, with coloring that pulls everything together. I would eventually like to get
the tile and cupboards re-done… I know, I know! I can hear you gnashing your teeth at the very thought! Maybe if I change out the hardware I will be happy, but for now, it works just fine for me and I do have great memories of this kitchen.

I don’t know if you can see the tiny tin cup sitting up on the third shelf in the first picture above the red pitcher, but that is probably one of my favorite things in this kitchen. When I was itty bitty, probably around 3 or 4, my grandma used to pour some chocolate chips in there for me to munch on. I loved that little tin cip, and it was always in the second drawer to the left of the sink. It is super old, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from my Grandma’s parent’s household.

All right, enough rambling from me! How would you like to see my latest project in the kitchen? I warn you, I am just in heaven over it. I was inspired by another blog, which I did not bookmark so I can’t give her the proper credit! But if she happens to read this, please leave me a comment so I can link to your blog, because truly the shelves you put up in your kitchen gave me the inspiration for this!

Sunday my brother and I took a trip to Ikea, he was looking for new bedroom furniture and I was looking for the finishing touches to my office and my kitchen. I will share my office with you next week. ;o)

Heaven! I am in heaven! I love everything about these shelves. This entire wall was blank before yesterday.

As you can see, I found a lovely home for the gorgeous teal Ball Mason jars I found at a garage sale a few months ago. I love being able to display them like this!

The little tree next to them was $7.99 at TJ Maxx and the little silver pot it is sitting in was $.79 at Ikea. The tall skinny mason jar on the far left is also from Ikea, and it holds my whole wheat fettuccine perfectly. I believe this jar was $3.99.

Note: The rail is the exact same length
as the shelves. I tightened it too much so that
is why it looks short. I will eventually loosen
it and remount.

On the second shelf, the mason jar on the far left is also from Ikea. The middle is a cute fake grass plant I picked up as well, for $3.99 sitting in the $.79 pot. The jars sitting on either side of the grass plant are from the dollar tree! Such a good deal.

You might recognize the white dish on the far right as the one spray painted white for Christmas as a refurb. I love having such a great place to display it.

The two shelves are Grundtal 31.5″, one Grundtal 31.5″ rail, Grundtal S hooks and the Grundtal spice rack. The spice rack actually is supposed to be mounted to a rail that hangs from the rail above it, but when I put the spice rack together I was disappointed to discover that the spice rack rail was bent! I am not close enough to Ikea to exchange it, so I chose to mount the spice shelves directly to the wall and am very happy with how they turned out! Note to self, next time I go down I need more of the S hooks. I only bought a package of 5 and I really wish I had bought one more package.  I figured I could just purchase more from their web site if needed, but unfortunately they do not sell these online! *sniff* Eventually I will put all of my spices into the jars that are displayed on the first shelf. I have had these for several years and found them at Bed Bath and Beyond. I hope they still carry them!

Next to my stove is my little “island”, which is wall mounted. I installed the shorter Grundtal rail and hung the spice rack mounts on it. I was able to bend them enough so they looked okay and I put some of my favorite magnets on it.

The 50’s style “I used to care” one I got at the absolute cutest store when I was in West Hollywood last March. The “Chicks Rule” is from my late friend Missy, whom you have heard me talk about on many occasions.

I used two Grundtal S hooks to hold my most used whisks. The super cute cupcake potholder was a gift from my littlest little sister Katy, which is clipped onto the rail with a magnet.

The wine rack was $9.99 and I have been wanting to get it for awhile. I have eyeballed it on my last few trips and wasn’t sure where I was going to display it so I always passed it by. I am so glad I didn’t this time. I know my display is a bit sparse, but don’t worry, I plan to fill it up next time I go shopping. ;o)

The three frosted canisters are currently empty, but I plan to fill them soon. Also from Ikea.

Didn’t this all come together so wonderfully? I know I keep saying that, but seriously yesterday after all of this was installed I just sat at my kitchen table and stared it happily for at least an hour. I am just in love. This whole entire side of my kitchen was completely bare before I hung these shelves, because I just didn’t know what to do with it. I will put together some cute Eat, Drink, Bake signs and will be hanging those soon. Don’t worry, I will share these of course!

And last but not least are the shelves I hung over my portable dishwasher. My kitchen counters are so narrow I can not install a built in dishwasher. My cabinets are also not very tall or deep, so I can’t fit cereal boxes inside.  This area is no where near as pretty but it is so functional!

I still need to organize it a bit more, but I just love what it is doing so far.  Everything on these shelves were on top of my fridge, except for the knives, which were just looking ugly on my little island.

Ikea actually sells a magnetic knife holder as part of the Grundtal series and I wish I would have picked it up when I was there.

Oh well, there is always next time!

So tell me, what do you think of my kitchen redo? Thank you for reading and I am so happy to share this with you.

All of my best,

Linking up to all of the usual suspects, as well as Common Ground