Thursday, August 26, 2010


There haven't been many small projects lately because I've been working on one big FIRST QUILT.

I've always wanted to learn how to quilt and decided to just take the plunge. I don't even have much of a background in sewing (I wish I did), I had to take a class in college but haven't really done much since then, so I'm learning a lot. I picked this pattern on Moda Bake Shop but am making it more of a throw size to use when on the sofa. Then I went to the fabric store and picked out a jelly roll of fabric and a white-on-white print to use with it. So far I've gotten 10 of the squares put together.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kitchen Valance

We had a ton of work done to our kitchen (see here) when we were moving in, but for some reason I never updated our curtains. I would always look but never found exactly what I wanted so I keep the old ones up. Here is our before with the old curtains, not bad they just didn't work with everything else we put in.

With a flour sack towel from the Dollar Tree I created this.

Here is how I did it

I started with the flour sack towel which is 28x29 inches. The good thing about using this is there is already a hemmed edge so it cuts down on some steps. The fabric on this is a little thin, If I had to do this over I would probably use two towels so I could double it over so it was a little thicker.

The first thing I did was cut it in half so I had two long rectangles

Then I cut one of the rectangles in half again to be my outside pieces.

Next lay out your large rectangle (the piece you didn't cut in half a second time) with the good side facing up, this is the center of your valance. Then lay your two smaller pieces over top to pin in place. You will want these to be good side down with the edge hem at the bottom. Basically you are creating a super long rectangle.

Here are the pieces lined up

Now pin them together so you can sew. I used a half inch seam allowance on mine.

Press the seams open so its nice and flat for the next step.

Now you have to sew a pocket to put it on a curtain rod. I made my pocket by putting a 2 inch fold at the raw edge of the fabric. Pin it in place and you are ready to sew the last part.

I hung mine up before I decided on what to use to gather them. The possibilities you could create are really endless with so many choices of ribbon and fabric out there. I was going to use some ribbon but didn't have any that was thick enough so I ended up using some chocolate brown fabric that I had from a fat quarter. It ended up being the perfect length to fit around. I just have it pinned in place right now because I would like to find some printed fabric with gray, brown and black in it to go with the rest of our kitchen.

The DIY Show Off


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Water in the basement, oh no or oh yeah

Last Thursday I came home over lunch to pick something up and found a mini flood in our basement. We thought it was the furnace but after having the company come out to look at it we've determined it is actually coming from the downstairs shower. That kind of plumbing is beyond Ryan's ability so we are waiting to have someone come look at it.

The way the stall shower is installed we think you have to rip out the whole shower to get to the drain. If that is the case it could turn into a little bit of a remodel, the oh yeah part of getting water in the basement (if only it had damaged the hunter green carpet down there too, but I can dream). We've been wanting to get the floor redone down there since we moved in. Its currently a hunter green faux-marble linoleum, not our taste. So if they have to rip out the shower it may be the perfect time. So in the mist of having a broken shower I'm dreaming of re-doing the room.

Here is the terrible floor now, plus the old owners equally as terrible paint color. See, it's screaming for a re-model. But since its in our basement its been low on our list.

That bathroom is also our laundry room as you can see from the photo above. In this photo you can also check out the amazing washer and dryer Ryan's Mom got us for Christmas last year. I would love to paint the cabinets white, add a neutral floor and a new paint color.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My laundry sign was a feature


I'm super excited to say my laundry sign was featured on Crazy Domestic today!!! They have lots of other super cute laundry room ideas featured as well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

This Sunday I made a super easy dish that tastes great and makes a ton of food...chicken enchiladas. I even have some in the freezer for another meal and we've had them two night for dinner. Here is how I make mine:

Cooked, shredded chicken (I poached mine in water for about 40 minutes but they were large pieces)
Sauteed onion (I did mine with some garlic and cumin)
Fat free refried beans
tortilla shells
Enchilada sauce
Sour cream to top them

Once I shredded the chicken I mixed in my onions and added a spoonful or two of salsa so that it wouldn't dry out when baking. Then I got my ingredients set up to assemble.

I spread a layer of refried beans on a tortilla and add a scoop of the chicken mixture.

Then I rolled it up. I fold in the top and bottom then roll. Place it seam side down in a baking dish. Here are mine all ready for the sauce.

I didn't pour it on since I wasn't going to bake them right away. At dinner time I just had to pour on the sauce and add a little cheese. I baked mine at 350 for about 40 minutes, until they were hot inside and the cheese melted. They are also great as leftovers.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We now have a wall

After calling in a contractor to give an estimate on our wall project what they wanted to charge just wasn't in our budget right now. The whole reason we decided to build the wall ourselves was to keep it a low cost project. Thankfully we have some wonderful family who helped us out. Ryan's Uncle actually does hardscaping for a living in New Jersey so he made a trip to help us get our wall completed. At about 10:30pm last Friday night Ryan's mom called us to say he would be here the next morning around 11am to start working. I still can't believe he drove all the way here to work for a day. His results are amazing and we couldn't thank him enough.

Here are the guys getting to work

The first row is on

Its starting to get dark and they are still working.
Thank goodness we have a motion light on the side of the house that points toward the wall so they could keep going.

Ryan working on the back-fill today to finish it up. Our next step is to add a
flower bed behind the wall. The actual planting may wait until next spring because the plant selection is pretty picked over right now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making our laundry a little cuter

A few months ago we purchases one of those hampers that has four separate bags so you can sort your laundry as you put it in the hamper. If you have the space its definitely worth the money. Its so easy to just grab the bag and bring it down to the laundry room and just dump it in. On laundry day our basement isn't taken over by piles of sorted clothing. I decided it needed a little something so I added this sign to our hamper

To make this cute plaque I purchased a plaque from the Dollar Tree, I think it had a monkey or something on it, but the edges were finished nicely in cream. I used Modge Podge to cover it in a brown paper then applied the letters with vinyl. I used some extra twine I had from my decor balls to attach it to the hamper.

Show and Tell Green