Craft/DIY Ideas, Points to Ponder, Uncategorized

40 Bags in 40 Days: Wrapping Up

Well, this is it. My 40 days are over and I’m DONE!

If you have missed my earlier posts, last month I had challenged myself to get rid of at least 1 bag of trash or donated items a day for 40 days.

The final tally? 15 bags and a whopping 32 boxes of stuff.

Some of these were just plain trash and others were donated to a local thrift store.

Would I do this again in the future? Absolutely.

Honestly, I think it would be beneficial to do it at least once a year. Sure, I’ve done purges before, but not quite as intentionally as this one. There were several areas I hadn’t even fully touched in a few years (hello, Christmas decoration area). Others I’ve gone over here and there, but stuff just accumulates, you know? Especially when you have seven bodies in one house. I can candidly say that I didn’t have to invest a huge amount of time to this project, just a bit every day.

Now, some of you may be wondering if I had heard of or read the Marie Kondo book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up). I did pick up a copy over this time and read it. Obviously I did not follow her method, as she recommends tackling categories like all the clothing all at once and doing one giant purge within a very short time frame. Some of her recommendations were good, like only keep what you love and discard everything that does not bring you joy in some way. A few other things in the book were a little too new-agey to me and I found myself kind of rolling my eyes a bit.

So, all in all, I am sort of proud and glad that I followed this thing through. I would recommend it to anyone feeling the creep of “too much stuff.”

 

Craft/DIY Ideas, Parenting Tales, Uncategorized

What I’m Into: March 2016

In like a lion and out like a lamb. That’s the popular saying for March, right?

Well, this year has been quite the weather roller coaster where we live. One day it’s feeling like early June and the next it’s calling for snow. Crazy.

Whether it’s a lion day or a lamb day, this is what we’ve been into this past month:

*Trailblazer Books. This is a book series that my kids discovered in our church library and have been reading on and off. They are all adventure stories that teach Christian values and each one highlights the story of a Christian hero from history.

*Street Food Around the World. We discovered this series on Netflix one night and tried watching it on a whim. Very educational, interesting and my whole crew was entertained. The host travels to different cities around the world and tries out a variety of street foods from that region.

*Stamps. A few years ago a nice older lady from our church very generously gave my oldest son a box of random US and international stamps. We hadn’t had them out in a looong time, and then one day my twins rediscovered it in their closet. We spent a whole evening looking up different ones and enjoyed finding out where each was from.

Useful-beautiful-quote

*Purging my house. I’m almost completely done!! I will have another post soon about the 40 bags challenge and what I’ve learned.

laundry mousse 009

*Line drying laundry. I thank the Lord that I don’t mind doing laundry, because you know I have lots of it! One of my favorite tasks is to hang laundry out on our line, and now that we’ve had good weather for it, I’m able to do so again.

*Making wreaths. As Spring is approaching, I’ve had the urge to make some bright new wreaths. You have to know that making anything with my hands is like my love language, so I am one happy camper when I can create something new & pretty! I love creating all styles–grapevine, yarn-wrapped, burlap, fabric…..

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a blessed weekend!

Rachel

Craft/DIY Ideas

Vintage Sewing Wreath

Y’all should know that I love making wreaths.

Plus I also enjoy sewing AND yard sale shopping for cool vintage finds.

This wreath is a happy marriage of all those things put together!

sewing wreath 009

I took a wide burlap ribbon and threaded it onto a wire wreath frame.

(Please don’t ask me to do a tutorial on it, for me it’s just trial and error. Can’t say I make the greatest ones anyway…)

Then I added a touch of red burlap ribbon for a little color.

sewing wreath 005

Next came the fun part for me. I added things like old button cards, thimbles, and sewing charms from a clearance item at Michael’s.

sewing wreath 012

Also, some wooden spools of thread, both empty and full.

sewing wreath 014

Most of these things came from yard sale box lots, even the cool stand that I have this displayed on.

sewing wreath 011

I have no idea what this is officially called, but it is a ruler on a tripod stand with an arm that tilts forward with hem lengths displayed on it. It is perfect for setting my wreath on.

sewing wreath 016

sewing wreath 003

This was a creative way to use up and display some of those vintage sewing notions I’d accumulated.

sewing wreath 019

All in all, this is different than any other wreath I’ve ever made, but I personally love it!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Vintage Feed Sack Corkboard

Just because I haven’t posted any tutorials on here in what seems like forever doesn’t mean I haven’t made anything lately. On the contrary, my friends, I’ve been crafting a plenty.

(When don’t I? Ummm… pretty much never.)

Here’s a little something I’ve been trying out with those vintage feed sacks I bought back in the summer.

2015 843

Cork boards covered with the front image of a vintage feed sack.

2015 846

I chose ones that still had a decent color to them. Lots of older ones have their image faded on the front, or even lots of pulls in the burlap.

2015 848

I’m still kicking myself for not buying one that had an awesomely bright image of a Holstein with one of the brand names. It was much more than I paid for these, but it could have been made into something really, really cool. There are quite a few farmers and former farmers in our families that would have loved it.

Anyway, using some bags that I DO have, I covered some plain Jane cork boards. You can probably surmise how I made these. Basically you cut out the image (give yourself a lot of margin on the sides to start with) and center it over the front of a board. Then, flipping it over, use a staple gun to tack it tightly around the back frame. Seriously–you need to be pretty liberal with the staples and pull the burlap tight as you go. This process took longer than I would have thought and I did end up yanking out some staples and redoing some.

2015 838

2015 845

Once things were nice and taut, I used these decorative furniture nails to embellish the edges. Mine are maybe an inch from the edge, so I just pushed them firmly into the cork, not the wooden frame. I think they give it a much more finished look.

2015 847

Next I would like to try making some on just a plain canvas for a wall art option.

Here’s a little peek at a stool I had recovered this summer from the same batch of feed sacks. We are enjoying it, plus one with a different design in my house right now.

My one caution for anyone that would like to try making something with these is to wash them well beforehand. I had line dried mine for something like a week, even letting them get rained on once or twice. That way a lot of the musty dusty stuff can get washed off of there before handling them too much.

Overall, I think these would make a great gift or act as a unique piece of functional decor in your home.

Craft/DIY Ideas

Crocheted Rag Rug Tutorial

As promised in the previous post, I am now putting on my tutorial for making crocheted rag rugs.

I have been enjoying making these and using up some of my fabric stash in the process!

rag rug 013

rag rug 016

This particular one may be my most favorite yet–a cheery red, white, and blue.

The tutorial I am going to explain is for a rectangular shaped rug with stripes of color.

To make these, all you need is the following: scissors, a variety of cotton or cotton/poly fabrics, a large crochet hook, and a basic knowledge of crochet.

rag rug 006

Before you can crochet anything, you need to tear your fabric into strips. I make snips at one end, probably @1 1/2″ apart, then tear down the length of the strip. (A bonus: This is very stress relieving. I LOVE to hear that Rrrripping sound as I tear them!!) I personally don’t do the prep work for all the fabrics at once, just pretty much as I go to do each row.

Make a slit at either end of each strip. This is essential when you go to connect two together.

Make a slip knot with the first color you want to use. Using your large hook, chain a number of stitches together. However many you make depends on how long you want your rug to end up being, so this is up to you.

At the end of the first row, connect a new row of fabrics on.

rag rug 001

rag rug 002

Take the new strip and slide one end of it through the slit of the “old” strip, just up about an inch or so.

rag rug 003

Then pull the tail end of the new strip through that slit of the piece that is sticking up through. I hope to heavens that makes sense. Hopefully you can tell what I’m talking about by my pictures of it.

rag rug 004

Just so you know, I did a basic single crochet stitch throughout this rug. Remember to chain two at the end of each row, then flip over to start at the right side beginning with the second set of loops.

rag rug 005

Keep on doing this process until your rug is the size you would like. Weave in any ends, step back, and enjoy your handiwork!

rag rug 008

rag rug 012

**I will warn you now that this uses up a HECK of a lot of fabric, likely more than you’d guess. I didn’t mind because I had a ton, most of it acquired through yard sales or thrift shops. To me it was a great way to use some up. If you are buying for the purpose of making these, I would recommend buying old sheets and things like that at yard sales. They are easy to work with plus you get a lot of yardage at once for cheap.

**Also, another little tip: If your fabric is a heavier weight, you need to cut your strips thinner than I showed. (Otherwise it is a bugger to crochet with.) For my denim one I did strips about half the width of these I just pictured.

I hope this made sense and if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Easy & Pretty Teacher Appreciation Gifts

You may or may not be aware of this, but Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 5th!

I happen to be highly thankful for my kids’ teachers and all they do on a daily basis. Therefore, I want to let them know what they mean to our family by at least giving them a little something.

As I am also in charge of our school’s PTO, I came up with this handy little idea for all the staff in our school this year:

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 051

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 056

Packs of flower seeds displayed on various flower and leaf shapes I made from printed cardstock.

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 049

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 052

I attached each one to a bamboo skewer to act as a stem.

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 055

The skewers are inserted into foam blocks I placed at the bottom of several baskets. Colored mesh was bunched up to cover up the foam. I attempted to place the flowers at different heights to create some semblance of a flower arrangement.

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 048

I then made a sign that reads “Thank you for helping our students grow.”

Dan play H Bday Teacher App 058

Hopefully they like it.

Many thanks to all of the teachers out there!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Canvas & Doily Art

Hey all.

I have a quick, easy, and eye-catching little project to share for the week.

march 2015 245

All you need is a basic white canvas, old doilies or lace, and a can of spray paint.

I did not document the process portion of these with pictures, but it’s fairly easy to explain.

march 2015 249

If you want one of the colors in your artwork to be white, just let your canvas alone as a base.

However, if you want a different color as a base color, paint over the entire canvas with that hue and allow to dry.

Then you can lay out old lace doilies in a design that appeals to you and make sure they are lying flat on the canvas ( no curled edges).

Take a can of spray paint in a contrasting color (in this case, navy blue) and spray on a nice layer of paint.

If you need to, allow that to dry without removing doilies and spray on another layer to get a saturated color.

march 2015 248

Once everything is dry, pull off the doilies and admire your new artwork!

As you can see, I made a couple of these and placed them above the headboard of my bed. Actually, I may make another just because I think a trio would look better.

This is a semi-cheap project to make because plain white canvases can be purchased relatively inexpensively at Wal Mart or a craft store. Old doilies or lace can be scooped up at thrift shops or even yard sales. They can also be reused for this type of project.

Laying a piece of old lace over the entire canvas makes for a neat look too.

I used spray paint because it goes in all those little holes better than a brush-on paint ever would.

Love my new wall art!

march 2015 246

Thanks for stopping by,

Rachel