Buffalo Check? Check!

I can tell you exactly how many Hobby Lobby stores are in a 50 mile radius of my house.  (There are 13.)  The people there are all very nice.  How do I know?  Because I called each of them yesterday on a mad hunt for the buffalo check fabric I posted about the other day.  And guess what?  

I am now the proud owner of 11 yards of buffalo checks!  I officially needed 12 yards, but am hopeful I can make it work.  I also have my mom on the hunt in Ohio, so maybe she will get lucky.  The best part?  Hello, clearance sale!  $7 a yard, my friends, marked down from $24.99!  No wonder this stuff was hard to find!

Now my next step (and I say this with a huge intake of breath and lots of trepidation) is to call my local sewing machine store and actually schedule a lesson so that I can make these curtains.  Don't laugh, I am serious!  OK, you can laugh a little.  It is kind of bizarre to imagine me behind a sewing machine, no glue gun in sight. 

Thank you to all of you who made helpful suggestions and even offered to check your local stores for me.  Talk about nice!  And now I am off to...wait for it...read my sewing machine instructions.  Seriously, don't laugh!


Gold Buffalo Check Fabric? Anyone?

*Edited to add: Thank you so much for your helpful comments!  I am not giving up hope yet, and will check into all your suggestions.  Someone asked me how much I need.  12 yards.  Two windows = four panels = 3 yards per panel.  A tall order, I know!  But I am determined!

Hi everyone!  Just a quick post to see if anyone can help me.

I am on the hunt for this fabric.  It is a gold buffalo check, and I am in love!  But I can't find it anywhere except really expensive fabric websites and I am, you know, cheap.

The Nester showed us the inspirational photo above on her blog, and if you go to this post you can see that she eventually found the fabric at Hobby Lobby.  Oh great and wonderful Hobby Lobby with their frequent 40% off coupons!  Alas, my Hobby Lobby does not have this fabric.  

So anyway, I thought I would put the word out that if anyone knows where I can score some of this fabric, I would be eternally grateful for the information!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Living Room Tweaks and a Lampshade Tutorial

I had a great weekend, how about you?  We did lots of family stuff, but in between all the action I managed to tweak my family room a bit.  Below is a photo of the family room "before."  Mainly I have been frustrated by that cavernous area above my fireplace.  I would so much rather have a traditional fireplace and mantle, but since that's not happening, I just keep tweaking!

The lamp you see up there has a red lampshade.  I decided I wanted a break from the red, so I grabbed a lampshade I had picked up at Goodwill for $4 awhile back (pre-Henry!).  

It was rather plain, so I scrounged around for some fabric that I also had lying around.  In order to cover the lampshade, I first had to trace it onto the fabric so that I could cut the right size.  I ended up with a "U" shape when it was all done.

Then I grabbed my spray adhesive to affix the fabric to the lampshade.  I did this on my deck because I learned the hard way that that adhesive is no fun to scrub off your kitchen countertops!

I also folded down a simple "seam" where the fabric meets (vertically down the length of the lampshade), and ran a bead of glue down the whole thing to hold it.  Then, once the main fabric was glued down, I just needed to seal the top and bottom edges.  First, I made a few snips in every few inches of the fabric so that it would be easier to glue down.

I used my handy glue gun to glue the edges of the fabric to the inside of the lampshade.  Then I just trimmed off the excess when I was finished.  

Here is my new lampshade, complete with a few new accents, in my family room "cavern!"

I also opted to move in a bookshelf that used to live upstairs in the loft.  I feel like the space needed something a little more bulky to the right of the cavern. 

I am happier with the room this way!  It feels a little more cohesive, with a more neutral color palette.  Amazing what one little lampshade can inspire me to do!


Easter's Over, But...

*Updated: Ooops, I totally forgot to mention that I used Mod Podge for both these projects!  Many of you might already know this, but in case you don't, Mod Podge (found at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.) is a decoupage, gluey kind of liquid that you brush lightly onto both sides of a piece of paper, and then just wrap the paper around the object you want to cover.  You just kind of keep mushing the paper down until it stays where you want it.  Then the whole thing dries hard and clear.  Messy but worth it!  I am sorry I left you high and dry on the how-to part!

So here's the story.  A few days ago I felt Hobby Lobby calling to me.  It had been three months, and I think it missed me.  So I wandered in and managed to locate the 80% off Easter stuff right away!  Go figure.  But I scored seven of these oversized Easter eggs for about 60 cents apiece.  Yippee!  (The bananas and apples weren't part of it.)

I found this cardboard bunny too.  Also 80% off.  Nina was a fan.

Don't know if it was the 80% off or just being overwhelmed at finding myself in a Hobby Lobby, but I found my inspiration again!  So I headed over to the scrapbook paper section, actually paid full price because I was that whooped up, and bought some cute paper.  A few days later, Nina's new favorite bunny has a whole new wardrobe!  Toile and apple green grosgrain never looked so good on a bunny!

The monstrous eggs?  Well, they are super cute and definitely feel better with some new clothes.

OK, I know Easter is over.  You all are way past the Easter decorations.  But I figure that we need these ideas now when everything is on sale!  Who wants to be inspired when we have to pay full price?  The total cost of the egg makeover was $8 and the bunny was about $3.  Love it!

Plus, I am begging you to humor this girl!  I am a sad, stay-at-home, puke-covered mother of two who needs to feel like she still has some life left in her...

I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be back with some more [fun?] stuff next week!


Look Who Came Out of the Basement!

Happy April 23rd!  Do you know why today is so special?  Well, for one, this little man turns three months old today.  Henry James just gets cuter every time I look at him!

But, my friends, there's another reason why this day is so significant.  Look who actually made her way out of my basement and into the light of day!

Yep!  And she was joined by this guy:

And we may have paid a visit to this long-neglected friend of mine:

I don't know what's so magical about three months "post-baby," but I feel my creative energy coming back!  For awhile I wondered if it had left me for good, but apparently it was just hiding under the spit-up cloths and nursing bras.  Oops.  Guess I should do laundry more often.

So, stay tuned for a fun project tomorrow, followed by what will (hopefully) be a little more action around here in the weeks to come!


Toy Chest Before and After

What, Carrie?  You actually have interests other than decorating your son's nursery?  No way!

For those of you who have been around for the past few months, you are quite probably on "Henry's Nursery Overload."  I don't blame you!  It's the only room of the house that needed my attention, though, and so I have slowly been pecking away at it since he was born.  However, I thought I would show you a little something that my husband and I have been working on that doesn't involve the nursery!

A while back I showed you this toy chest.  Not the most well-made piece, but I picked it up for $20 at Goodwill.  It had some lovely tack paper inside.  I will spare you.  (Gross.)  

My handy husband went to work on the mechanics, and installed some of those anti-slam hinges for the opening. We (well, mostly he) painted it a creamy white, and now here it is in Nina's room!

I love how it looks!  But even more, I love that I have a new place to stash Nina's ever-growing collection of random toys.  How many stuffed animals does one kid need?  Don't answer that.  I am afraid we have only scratched the surface!

The only thing I can't decide about this piece is if I want to do some personalizing on it.  Maybe do Nina's name in a pale pink or green, either on the top or on the front?  What do you think?  Leave it plain or personalized?


Meet My First Spouse!

Today I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine. A real life friend...one that has seen a lot of real life with me, I might add! Her name is Sarah. She and I were each other's spouses before we married our husbands. Wait, let me explain that...

Sarah and I graduated from Miami University (the one in Ohio, not Florida!) and decided we wanted to be world travelers. We hooked up with a company that sends Christian teachers overseas to teach English. They sent us to Morocco. As in North Africa. (Proof is in the photo below, taken in Marrakech, ten years ago!) Now that I have a daughter, I can't believe our parents ever allowed their 23 year old daughters to do this! But we were armed with college degrees and thought we could rule the world.

It was an amazing year. We truly were all each other had, and living in another culture, far away from all other family and friends, that's saying something. It was a bit of a pressure cooker at times. Sarah is the only person in the world, other than my immediate family, that I have ever had a knock-down, drag-out screaming fight with. It kind of bonds you for life, you know? Kind of like being married!

We have been in each other's weddings, traveled all over together, and have continued to make time for each other over the years. She is Henry's godmother, in fact. Someday she will teach him all about his crazy mother, when he's old enough to understand. :)

Why am I telling you all this? My friend Sarah is now pregnant with her first baby, due in August. She is hilarious and has lots of things to say on the subject, as you may imagine. So on this Friday afternoon, I am inviting you to take a trip over to her new blog, The Life of Blights. You will definitely be entertained! And be sure to tell her I said hi! :)

Have a great weekend!


Area Rug Update

Hey girls!  I have an update (and I am sure you've been waiting with baited breath!) on the whole nursery rug decision.  I read each and every piece of advice you gave me about this post, and there were good points for buying the knockoff rug and for waiting for something I liked more.  In the end, as with most things, I listened to my mother.  :)  She thought I should wait.

I am glad I did!  Here's my thought process: the curtains, which you may remember were originally orange and navy (but are now red and navy, see this post), may go back to orange and navy someday.  So do I want to commit to a rug that has red in it?  Maybe not.  Because then I will always have to have red in the room.  Get me?

So I opted for a simple navy rug, knowing that it will be much more flexible for decorating in the future.  I have had luck with chenille rugs from Home Decorator's Collection in the past.  Nina's room in our old house had gorgeous hardwood floors, and we had a pretty cream-colored chenille rug that went perfectly in there.  So I took my little self over to check out these rugs, and $99 later I had a navy 5x8 chenille rug that actually instructs you to machine wash it when it gets dirty.  Isn't that GREAT for a kid's room anyway?

I totally love how it anchors the whole room.  Of course this photo just makes me think about how I still need a crib skirt, and some more stuff for those poor sad walls.  Oh, well.  One thing at a time!

So thanks again for all the advice!  It really made me think long and hard, rather than make a snap decision just because I am Little Miss Impatient.  And I am so happy with the way things turned out!  


Something New: The Simple Woman's Daybook

I have seen this type of post multiple places, but most recently at Kelli's blog, Outside My Kitchen Window.  Every time I read a post like this, it's like a little sigh of relaxation for me! Something about slowing down long enough to take stock of how you are feeling, what is going on around you, and other simple things.  Not sure if this will become a regular feature here or not, but I thought it would be a good way to start this week.  I'd love to hear what you're thinking too!

For Today

Outside my window: it's sunny, after a weekend of cold, dreary rain. (Happy Easter!  Did you have a good one?)

I am thinking: about Nina, who woke up with the throw up bug on Easter morning...fun!

I am thankful for: my freshly-brewed Starbucks Cafe Verona, sitting here next to me.
From the kitchen: I better cook some healthy meals this week, after the Easter goodies I inhaled over the weekend!

I am wearing: my black sweat suit that I bought as a gift for myself when Henry was born.  Hey, I just totally gave into the knowledge that there would be many glamour-less days for me!

I am reading: "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs, sequel to "Running with Scissors."

I am hoping: to get some good bargains when I redeem my Gymboree "Gym Bucks" this week!

I am creating: a few little arty prints to hang in Henry's room.  One of these days I will be done and will show them off! 

I am hearing: Sesame Street in the background, and Henry's cooing, telling me it's almost time to eat!

Around the house: the laundry is piled high but the dust bunnies are gone.  Small victories!

One of my favorite things: is having a morning at home like this after a busy weekend.  I might shower by noon, who knows?  :)

A few plans for the rest of the week: A night out with my sister and our kids, doctor's appointment, shopping, dinner with friends, a trip to the Colorado Railroad Museum this weekend.

Boy, reading this makes me realize how boring my life sounds!  What's on your mind?


Remember that Mistreatment I Mentioned?

A while back, I told you that I was planning on seriously mistreating some curtains for Henry's room.  Well, it took me awhile, but I actually did it!  Thought I would show you the results...

The curtains are these adorable Rugby Stripe Grommet ones from Pottery Barn Kids.  The price tag was steep enough that I was really scared to mistreat them in a permanent way; and plus, I thought that I might want to revert back to the original version when Henry gets older.

I actually love the navy and orange together, but Henry's room is navy and red.  See where I'm going with this?

Enter some red grosgrain ribbon from eBay and my newest discovery, Res-Q-Tape.

It only took me about 30 minutes to affix the red ribbon on top of the orange trim.  Res-Q-Tape promises not to leave any sticky residue on the fabric, so I am hoping that if and when I want the orange trim back, the red ribbon will come off easily.

In the meantime, Henry's curtains now match his adorable red crib bumper!  (You know, for the crib that he has yet to sleep in.  But he will, once he starts sleeping through the night and I don't have to stumble down the hall at 4 am to get him, I promise!) 

What do you think?  :)