Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cheap Decorating

My daughters talked about moving out for months. This August they finally did it. Kiah and Anna moved five hours south to LaCrosse, WI. I understand the need for independence, but wish they could have located two hours away, not five. At least they're in a town with three Taco Bells. 

Kiah came home for a week this summer and we worked like crazy getting things ready for their apartment. I sewed, Lani painted, Kiah cooked, and Anna floated from station to station, helping as needed.  

The world's most patient Wal-Mart fabric clerk helped us figure out much fabric we needed for five sets of curtains. These are for the living room.

Moving day was beastly hot and muggy. 95 stinking degrees. The girls' upstairs apartment doesn't have AC. Only love made us spend three days in miserable heat helping them set up. 

We're all pleased with the results. They turned this...

...into this.
(chair from used furniture store, suitcase and doily from Grandma Vik, 
bookshelf from my youngest daughter's furniture stash.)

The kitchen went from this... this. 
(homemade curtains, blue paint, dishes from thrift stores and garage sales.)

I showed Kiah an old brown spice rack I'd bought at Goodwill, saying I'd seen fun things done with spice racks on Pinterest. After I listed a few ideas, she asked if she could have it. I said yes and then asked how she would use it. She smiled and said, "As a spice rack." 

What a concept. There are so many Pinterest articles on repurposing things, that it was unusual to hear of someone using something for which it was intended. Their spice rack now sports a new pink paint job. 

They got this free old brown table from someone's storage 
shed and transformed it into a fun dining table/checkerboard.
(Chairs were purchased for $15 from a Consignment store. 
Paint was free from a local free paint exchange.)

Painting one wall is cheaper than a whole room.
(Yellow shelving was an $8 Goodwill entertainment center 
painted with free paint from the paint exchange.)

$1 Wall decal from Dollar Tree

They turned this...

...into this.

$30 Goodwill desk, light green paint, homemade curtains

Couch from used furniture store, coffee and end 
table from an uncle, pillows from Goodwill.

View from Living Room back towards the Kitchen.

I loved that getting them set up was a joint effort, a true family affair. I sewed, Lani painted, Amy and Erica helped carry boxes up the stairs to their apartment and unpack. Keith helped clean and organize. Kiah is a third year nursing student and Anna just graduated from high school, so they had a small decorating budget that we stretched pretty far. Now they're on their own, though another sister and their brother's family live ten blocks away. 

Needless to say, we miss them and Thanksgiving is a long ways away. 

“It is always sad when someone leaves home, 
unless they are simply going around the corner and 
will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches.”
                                       -- Lemony Snicket --

"A house is built of wood and beams,
A home is built on hopes and dreams."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prize Winning Blanket

It has been brought to my attention by my daughters, my husband, and his aunt that I haven't posted for awhile. I don't have a good excuse, other than a lot was going on in August and blogging slipped through the cracks, along with other things like cooking and cleaning. 

I wanted to share my 19-year-old daughter, Anna's, project. I dragged her to a quilt show last fall. Very interesting but these quilters were light years ahead of my beginner quilting skills. To our great surprise, Anna won the door prize of a Jelly Roll and backing fabric. 

I might not have the terminology right. A Jelly Roll, as I understand it, which means I could easily be wrong, is a roll of pre-cut three inch wide strips that can be assembled into a quilt.

The plan was for Anna to make a quilt for her new niece. First Anna needed to learn how to sew. She caught on pretty quick. I pinned, she sewed, and Lani pressed the seams. 

Anna got busy and the quilt lay unfinished for months until Cailin's birth motivated her to give it another go. 

She was inspired by this picture we found on Pinterest. 

After Cailin's arrival, Anna went on a sewing binge. She wanted an appliqued heart instead of a flower. I had never appliqued before so was thankful for Pinterest tutorials. She took the finished quilt top to a local printing place and had them embroider Cailin's name on the quilt. 

I took over from there, dismayed to find the embroidery had pulled the heart tight so the edges were fraying. I restitched the heart a few times (any real quilters reading this will most likely shudder at our quilting greenness and mistakes.)

Here's the finished product. It's pretty big so she'll be able to use it for a few years. 

The name shows up better in this picture. 

We didn't mean to sew a cross but think it's fun that one showed up.

I'm dragging Amy and Lani to this year's quilt show this Friday, hoping lightning strikes twice and we win another door prize.