Celebrating one year at Puddy’s House

Today is a special day because exactly one year ago today I wrote my first blog post: Welcome to Puddy’s House.

Puddys House - Front View

I wrote that I was dipping my toe into blogging, and that is definitely the truth.  I still feel like I’m only dipping my toe into blogging, but I enjoy it so much.  I get excited to see when people like you have come to visit my blog.  I hope that you find some value in what your read, or at least feel entertained by what you have read.  I’m still working on finding balance in life and also what I share on Puddy’s House, and defining what Puddy’s House is really about.

My blog has taught me a lot too.  I’m always surprised at what posts get the most traffic.  So far, the DIY Diaper Invitations are very popular, followed closely behind by the DIY Baby Shower Favors.  And, that surprises me because they are not what I had considered my “normal” DIY projects.  They were definitely fun for me and obviously very special as they were for showering my little sister as she was expecting her first child.  Our Basement Retreat and Our Outdoor Paradise are two other top posts, which I’m happy to see as they are two aspects of our home that we really love.  We put a lot of planning and effort over time to get both spaces to truly be our retreat and our paradise.

Basement - View from steps

Patio - view from the yard to the back of the house

Tomorrow, I embark on the next step in learning and growing in terms of blogging.  I will be flying to Atlanta to join hundreds of other DIY and Home bloggers at the annual Haven Conference.

Haven Conference

Last year, I went to Haven as a non-blogger thinking I was going to just learn more to help me with my DIY projects, and also get the opportunity to meet some of the well-known bloggers that write the blogs that I read on a daily basis.  Instead, I came home so inspired and motivated that I decided to start my own blog.  So, now that I have been blogging one year, my perspective has changed as I prepare for Haven.  This year, I hope to learn so much more about blogging so that I can improve and grow, but also to continue to inspire and motivate me to keep going.

So, as I celebrate one year of blogging, I’d like to hear from you.  Tell me what you like and what you want to see more of.  I welcome any constructive criticism too.  I’m still learning and trying to grow my blog.  And, do you have any questions for me?  I’ll do my best to give you answers.

Weekend Fun

There was not much time for DIY projects this past weekend, because it was a weekend full of fun!  Even though I had to work Friday, I kicked off my weekend on Thursday night.  Thursday evening, I traveled to York to meet a group of local bloggers.  Many of us are going to the upcoming Haven Conference in Atlanta but some of the bloggers were not.  It was a great night getting to know other bloggers in the area and having the opportunity to learn a bit from ladies who have a variety of blogging experiences to share.  It got me so excited for Haven, which is now less than two weeks away!! Unfortunately, my pictures turned out blurry, so I don’t have one to share of our group….at least I can blame the blurry picture on the waiter and not on my mediocre photography skills. 🙂

The weekend really started Friday evening when we went to the Lancaster Liederkranz for the Parrot Fest.  There were five couples from our neighborhood, and it was a night of food, drinks, music and fun.  I shared this picture of the our neighbor, Debbie, and I sporting our pretty drinks that matched our outfits on Instagram.

.weekend fun - leslie and debbie - parrot fest

Saturday night, we helped to celebrate Debbie’s daughter’s 21st birthday.  Since she was turning 21, what better gift than some alcohol!  We had 2 bottles of booze for her and I had nothing to wrap it in.  I tried to just tie some fabric around them, but it ended up all bunched up, so I took the opportunity to pull out the sewing machine and sew 2 semi-straight lines to make a wine bottle bag big enough to hold 2 bottles.

Weekend Fun - DIY Wine Bottle Bag -sewing

After I sewed it, I just flipped it right side out and put the bottles in the bag and attached some ribbon.

Weekend Fun - diy wine bottle sack

Now that I know how simple and easy it is, I think I will find some fun fabric to keep on hand for just such an occasion.

On Sunday, we had some more fun.  On Summer Sunday evenings, the Long’s Park Amphitheater has a free concert each week.  This past weekend, the concert was Dawes.  They were also there last year and put on a good show, so we knew we wanted to go back.  Bob and I packed some snacks and drinks, picked up our friends and went out to enjoy the evening.

Dawes Concert - Leslie

There was quite a crowd.

Dawes Concert - Longs Park Ampitheatre

Dawes Concert - Crowd

Dawes did not disappoint.  We listened to good music and got some nice pictures to remember the evening too.

dawes 4


dawes 6



Did you have fun this weekend?  Or, maybe you found some time to fit in some DIY?

I started to work on a few small projects this evening, so I should have more to share later this week.

Kitchen Makeover

I knew it was going to be a busy week, but I’m happy to say the kitchen makeover mission was accomplished at my mother-in-law’s house. The cabinet painting was complete and reassembled before she got home. Here are some quick before and after pictures of each side of the kitchen, before I get into all the details of the process. The fresh paint really brightens the space.

Kitchen Cabinets - before and after left side

Kitchen Cabinets - Before and After Right side

As far as the process, it was not without mistakes, frustrations, and lots of sweat, but that just makes it feel even better to have it complete and that she is happy with the results. When Bob and I returned home from the beach last Sunday, we started the project of making over his Mom’s kitchen. The days started to blur together, but I finished all the sanding by Monday. For the drawers, we were changing from knobs to handles, so I filled all the knob holes with wood filler, allowed to dry and then sanded it smooth (pictured in between filling and final sanding).

Kitchen Cabinets - filling holes on drawers

After the sanding was completed, I started to paint the drawer fronts.

Kitchen Cabinets - drawers painted starting bottom doors

Unfortunately, the first coat of “Icy Bay” did not really look any different than white. So, I took the paint back to Lowe’s and asked it to be darkened. But, it turns out that Icy Bay wasn’t dispensing properly, which is why it wasn’t much different than white. They couldn’t darken the paint, so instead color-matched it to the Icy Bay sample. I tried that paint Tuesday night. But, yet again on Wednesday morning it didn’t look any different than white. This time at Lowe’s, I choose another similar color and they tried to use that to darken it, but again failed. So, I ended up just changing from “Icy Bay” to “Summer Breeze”. Once I got the color situation worked out, I made good progress. It also helped that I took the day off work on Wednesday to work on the cabinets all day. I took pictures of all the steps. Since I was painting the top cabinets Delicate White and the bottom Summer Breeze, I separated them into two different work areas so that I didn’t get anything confused (more on that later).

Kitchen Cabinets - set up in sunroom for painting

It worked well to have the bottom cabinets in the garage and all the top cabinets in the sunroom. We numbered the cabinets when we took them off, but that is one step that I should have done differently. Bob and I were working together and just started taking all the cabinets off on the left side, top and then bottom, and then switched to the right side top and then bottom. I wasn’t thinking ahead and should have just taken all the tops and kept in numerical order and then the bottoms in numerical order. Since we didn’t do that, I had to go back and count the cabinets inside and write myself a cheat sheet of what was top and bottom. Then, once I had it straight I separated it by the work areas.

Kitchen Cabinets - brushing around magnet on doors

I worked on the inside of the doors first. I used a brush to cut around the magnet on the doors. The rest I rolled. I used a small foam roller (labeled for doors and cabinets) for the sides, and then a full size roller for the door. I found this foam roller and it worked very well.

Kitchen Cabinets - Wooster 3-16 nap roller

I used the same process on the white doors. I did two coats on the sides and insides, switching between the colors to allow dry time between coats.

Kitchen Cabinets - painted bottoms on inside

Kitchen Cabinets - painted tops inside

After I got two coats on all the insides and sides of the doors, I went inside and started working on the frames. I’m a terribly messy painter, so I needed to tape everything surrounding the frames to not get paint on what wasn’t to be painted.

Kitchen Cabinets - drawers numbered and frames taped

Kitchen Cabinets - frames taped for painting

There was not much surface area for frames, but it did take much longer than I expected it to take since it was so tedious. After I got one coat on with each color, I went back outside and flipped the doors to begin painting the first coat on the outsides.

Kitchen Cabinets - bottoms flipped ready to paint outside

Kitchen Cabinets - tops flipped and started painting outside

I had time left in the day to put a second coat on inside.

Kitchen Cabinets - painted front under stove top

Then, it was time for me to quit for the day. Thursday evening, I returned and put a second and final coat on the outside of the doors.

Kitchen Cabinets - Tops painted outside

I was very happy with the finish of the paint.

Kitchen Cabinets - close up of painted surface

Friday, was the only day I didn’t work on this project, but Bob did. He began putting the knobs on the doors and reattaching them to the hinges. It was then that he discovered a problem. I had written down the door numbers correctly according to the paint colors, but I hadn’t followed my own notes. I painted two bottom doors in white instead of color. So, Saturday morning I had to work on those two doors to get them the correct color. I did that between preparing the drawers to be reassembled. I used a simple process to mark the drawers for the new holes to be drilled:

Kitchen Cabinets - 4 steps for handle placement

Step 1 – Lay handle on the sticky side of painters tape

Step 2 – Use a pen or pencil to poke holes through the tape where the screws go

Step 3 – Place the tape on the drawer and measure from the top to ensure that it is level, by having an equal distance to each hole. I also measured from the original center knob hole to each of the new marked holes to make sure the handle was centered left to right

Step 4 – Securely attach the tape based on correctly measured placement.

It worked very well. Bob just drilled directly through the holes and tape to make new holes for the handles. I painted the two doors in between our reassembly and we got everything put back in place on Saturday except for the two doors that needed dry time.

I should note that reassembly took much longer than we thought it would. The cabinets were so snug it was like a house of cards, you got one right and then went to put in the next and you would have to go back and readjust the other one.

Sunday morning, we returned and attached the last two doors and took our final pictures.

Kitchen Cabinets - after right side view from fridge

Kitchen Cabinets - after left side from stove view

Kitchen Cabinets - After left side from dining room view

This project definitely resulted with what I had envisioned. Not only is my mother-in-law happy, but so am I.

I do want to note for anyone who is considering a similar project, you need many hours. And, however many hours you think it will take….double it. I was fortunate to have an entire day when I took off work, so I made a lot of progress in one day, but it was a solid 10 hours of work that day. I hope that the little details of the process will help someone else complete a kitchen makeover. I think we just opened a can of worms with this project though….now we are considering redoing the floors in her kitchen too.

Have you ever painted kitchen cabinets? Anyone considering a kitchen makeover?

Linking up to: That DIY Party at DIY Show Off, Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z, and Much Ado about Monday at Huckleberry Love

Life and a Little DIY

We spent the long holiday weekend at the beach.  It was great to get away, but Ocean City, MD was pretty busy because of the holiday.  We did our best at just relaxing and enjoying the time away.  Bob and I found some time to relax by the pool, hit the beach, and boardwalk, and of course had some good eats and drinks!  Over the weekend, I also finally caved to signing up for Instagram, and I’m really enjoying it so far.  Here are a few of my instagrams from the weekend.

Harborside view instagram

That was our view from the Harborside on Saturday, and below was the inside of Harborside on Friday.  It is one of our favorite spots at the beach.

Leslie Harborside instagram

Our beach trip had at least two purposes, to get away and relax was one.  The other one was to take Bob’s Mom, Helen, to the beach to stay for the week.  So, this morning Bob and Puddy and I packed up and headed home and we left Helen at her house at the beach for the week.  And, my goal while she is at the beach is to give her kitchen cabinets a fresh new look!

This is what her kitchen looked like when she left for the beach.

Kitchen Cabinets - before left sid

Kitchen Cabinets - before right side

And, there’s a few more cabinets that I didn’t fit in the picture.  The goal is to paint the lower cabinets “Icy Bay”, which is a fresh mint color, and the upper cabinets will become “Delicate White”.  Both are colors in the Olympic paint line.  The cabinets will also get new knobs and pulls.  There a total of 12 drawers and 23 cabinets, so there is much work to be done.

Today, Bob helped me remove all the doors and drawer fronts.  And, then I began the prep.  The old knobs have all been removed and about half of the doors and drawers have been sanded.

Kitchen Cabinets - Sanding

This week will be a busy one, so I’m sure I won’t be blogging along the way, but I will try my best to share sneak peaks on Facebook and Instagram.

Have you painted cabinets?  Any tips or tricks to share?

Our Outdoor Paradise

The Spring after we moved into our house, we got to work implementing a landscaping plan to make the outdoors suit us.  The deck was built with the house, but we knew we needed more space, so we had the patio added.  We also began planting trees.  So, below was phase one for the first Spring.

Patio - before when built

Then, the following Spring we added the seat wall with the landscape lights.  I should note, that for the trees and the patio building, we used a professional landscaper.  After the wall was in, we began to add more plants and shrubbery around the patio.  Bob and I did all of the additional planting.  This view also shows what our old patio set looks like, the one we lost in the storm last Fall.

Patio - Spring 2009

Now, with our new patio set and a few more years of growth, the patio and landscape looks a bit different.

Patio - view from the yard to the back of the house

It’s amazing to compare the pictures and see what changes over the five years since we moved in.

Patio - view from yard up close

We bought the chairs and loveseat for the deck the first Summer.  It has held up well.  We just use the chair covers to keep it protected from the weather.  I’ve added side tables and the additional seat/foot stool for some extra comfort.  Sitting on the deck is especially nice because we are protected on both sides with the house.  It’s a nice retreat on many days.

Patio - conversation area on deck

When we went to find a new patio set last Fall, we decided it would be nice to get an oval shape so that we could increase the seating from 4-6 at the table.  We were able to find the set on clearance at Sears.  Unfortunately, there was not an umbrella with the set, so I found that one at Target this Spring.  And, I showed you how I made the pillows for the chairs on the end here.  These pictures are from the afternoon, and you can see the house begins to shade the deck and patio.

Patio - View from patio doors

The trees in the distance started out pretty short too, about 6 feet when we planted them.  When we first moved in, there were no houses in our view either.

Patio - patio table from deck

I like the oval table, because I can finally add some decorative accents in the middle.  With the round table, there was never room.  We also went with no glass this time, we didn’t want to risk the shattered mess that we had after the storm.

Patio - New table chairs and umbrella

Patio - view from the lilac bush to the patio and deck

And, now some plant and flower pictures because everything is so green and lush right now.  Plus, it is a limited window that my little lilac bush is in bloom.  I added the rocks into the landscaping this year around each of the rain spouts and drains.  It is working quite well to prevent all the mulch from washing away.  The one pictured below is a pop-up drain from running the spouting underneath the patio.

Patio - landscaping around crape myrtle and pop up drain

I tried different annuals in my flower pots this year.  I can’t wait to see how they grow.

Patio - flower pots and coreopsis and daisies

Does anyone else take pictures of your landscaping so that you can look back and see how it changes?  I was taking pictures to remember ours long before blogging ever entered my mind. But, I also have been known to include them in my scrapbook too.

Homemade Diaper Wipes

Diaper Wipes - Homemade Diaper Wipes

One of my go-to presents for a baby shower is to give Homemade Diaper Wipes.  The diaper wipes are simple to make and have gotten many thanks every time I have given them as a gift.  It’s really the gift that keeps on giving, because you never have to buy store bought diaper wipes as long as you are willing to follow the simple recipe.

Diaper Wipes - Diaper Wipe recipe

The most difficult part is usually finding the right size container.  In the past, Rubbermaid made a perfectly sized round container, but not anymore.  And, it seems every time I go to make the diaper wipes, I have trouble finding a container.  I wasn’t thrilled with the rectangular container I found at first, but in the end it worked quite well.  The only supplies you need are a container, Bounty Select-a-Size paper towel roll, baby wash, baby oil, and water.  I say Bounty brand because according to all the Mom’s, it is the best brand for the wipes.  Select-a-Size rolls are nice, because then you don’t have to waste a whole big sheet each time if it isn’t necessary.  You also need a knife.  I use a bread knife to cut the roll in half.

Diaper Wipes - Bounty Baby Wash Baby Oil

Mix the water, wash and oil in the container and then as the directions say, submerge the towels (after you remove the cardboard center), and pull from the center.  You can change the scent of the wipes, by buying different scents of baby wash.  I always stick to the traditional Johnson’s baby wash for the initial gift, because it just smells like a baby to me.

Diaper Wipes - close up of wipes in container

For the recipe, I just have it saved in a word document and print it out as needed.  I used some scrapbook paper I had on hand, and just attached the recipe to the paper, after I rounded all the corners.  Years ago, I bought a package of full sheets of clear laminating sheets.  I cut that to the size I needed, place the recipe on the laminate sheet, and attach to the container.  This way, the recipe is always handy when you need to make more.  I attached it to the side of this container since it was the smoothest surface.

Diaper Wipes - recipe close up

I give the Mom-to-be the wipes, along with the supplies, including the leftover half of the paper towel roll.  It makes a nice little gift package.

Diaper Wipes - ingredients and finished product

Anyone else make homemade diaper wipes?  What is your go-to gift for a baby shower?

DIY Shower Curtain

When I previously shared our Master Bedroom and Bathroom, I didn’t share the shower stall because I didn’t have anything pretty to show.  I shared this shower curtain that I had found, but it wasn’t hanging since it is for a tub/shower combination and not a shower stall.

Master Bathroom - Shower curtain before

I finally found time (and the ambition to get out the sewing machine) over the weekend to work on modifying the shower curtain to work for the stall.  I bought a new clear liner and used that as my base.

Shower Curtain - New stall liner

I laid the plastic liner out flat to use as my guide and then put the decorative curtain on top.

DIY Shower Curtain - regular curtain over stall

First I took out the bottom seam to see how much additional length I gained.

DIY Shower Curtain - Curtain seam before

It was folded several times before it was sewed  I just carefully used a seam ripper for this step.  Fortunately, it pulled out in long stretches.

DIY Shower Curtain - Removing bottom seam

After I removed the bottom seam, I also cut about 8 inches from the side.

DIY Shower Curtain - Bottom seam removed and side removed

I needed to cut from the width so that I could use it to add to the length.

DIY Shower Curtain - Side placed on bottom

Since the length was so much longer than my modified width, I had some fabric to play with.  I decided to just gather the extra length a bit as I sewed the two sections together.  I tried to be detailed about this step, but the truth is, the fabric was very hard to sew.  It was also quite difficult to pin and have it stay pinned as I sewed.   So I just adjusted as I went along.

DIY Shower Curtain - stitching side onto bottom of curtain

I ended up with a slightly ruffled bottom edge.  Then, I just needed to figure out how to hide the less than perfect seam I had created.

DIY Shower Curtain - Side attached to bottom

I looked in my craft room and found some gold trim.  I had it leftover from reupholstering the chairs in our living room.  I knew there was no way I could sew it on and have it look nice, so I went with my trusty glue gun.

DIY Shower Curtain -  Attaching trim

It covered the seam quite well, and added a nice pop of color.  My modifications added enough length, that I could even raise the curtain rod a bit higher.

DIY Shower Curtain - After

Overall, I’m pleased with the results.  I am finally not ashamed to show my shower stall.  And, I did it all for the cost of $1.25 for the curtain and some materials that I had on hand.  I didn’t factor in the cost of the new liner, because I needed one anyhow.  So what do you think?  Do you think my hot glued on trim will withstand the steam of the shower?

DIY Landscape Lights

DIY Landscape Light - After - light at night

We had a full landscape plan created by our landscaper (who happens to be my brother-in-law) shortly after we bought our house.   The plan includes everything from all the trees, shrubbery, perennials, as well as the patio, seat wall, and lighting.  The plan has been implemented in phases, some of which was done by our landscaper, and some was done by Bob and I.   Over the last two weekends, Bob and I implemented one of the final phases by installing additional landscape lighting to uplight three of our trees.  I honestly didn’t think this phase would be a DIY project, but Bob had done some online research that made us consider it.  We went to Lowe’s and bought the lights, cable connectors and wire.

DIY Landscape Lights - Light and cable connector in package

We needed 3 cable-to-cable connectors, 3 lights, and 100′ of 12 gauge wire.  The process was easier for us because we already have the transformer and main wire installed.  Our transformer is in our basement, and it is 600 watts, so we had plenty of capacity.  Before we started this project, we unplugged the transformer from the wall, just to ensure we didn’t zap ourselves.

DIY Landscape Lights - Transformer

This is just the inside of the transformer, while its unplugged, showing no lights are on.  The transformer allows us to have the lights on a timer to automatically turn on and off.

DIY Landscape Lights - Inside Transformer

Once the power was off, we determined where we were going to connect to the main wire that was already running outside behind our patio seat wall.  The cable-to-cable connector had easy instructions enclosed.

Step 1 – Connect the top to the existing cable wire.

Cable Connector Top

Cable Connector Top on Wire

Step 2 – Connect the bottom to the new wire.

Cable connector middle in place

Cable Connector Bottom on Wire

Step 3 – Place the middle piece on top of the bottom wire.

Cable connector placing middle

Step 4 – Connect the top to the bottom and middle.

Cable connector - connecting top to bottome and middle

Cable Connector in place

To be extra safe, Bob and I wrapped electrical tape around the whole connector piece.  It’s probably not necessary, but it made us feel better before we buried it in the dirt.

After the new wire was connected and buried, we buried the wire along the patio wall and side of the house to run it to the tree in the front.  This was the most tedious and time consuming part.  I wanted to make sure the wire was sufficiently underground, and I also didn’t want to mess up our fresh mulching we did the weekend before.

DIY Landscape Lights - Leslie placing wire

DIY Landscape Lights - burying cable

Puddy was helping supervise.

DIY Landscape Lights - Puddy in yard

Once we got the wire to the front of the house, we took it from the corner of the house directly out to the tree.

DIY Landscape Lights - Cable by tree ready for light

DIY Landscape Lights - Puddy with light

Then, we needed to connect the wire to the fixture.  This was just a few steps.  Insert the wire into the bottom, put the middle connector piece on top of the bottom.

DIY Landscape Light - Connecting cable to light fixture

And, then finish by screwing the top piece in place.  After we had it tightly together, we wrapped it in electrical tape.  Again, this was just for our piece of mind, not necessary according to the instructions.

DIY Landscape Light - Cable to light connector

Then, we just placed the light in the ground and buried all the connecting wire.  I plugged the transformer back in, changed the time and tested the light, and we had success.

DIY Landscape Light - Light in place below tree

It has much more effect at night.

DIY Landscape Lights - Tree close up at night

Overall, it was a relatively simple process.  I’m so glad that we decided to add the tree uplights.   We added the other two lights to each of our crape myrtles that surround our patio.

DIY Landscape Lights - crape myrtle at night

DIY Landscape Lights - crape myrtle 2 at night

Has anyone else added landscape lighting?  Anyone with solar lights?  We were considering solar, but the Lowe’s salesperson convinced us it wasn’t the way to go, especially since we already had the transformer in place.  I think we made the right decision.  We actually put in the crape myrtle lights first, and we were so happy with them that we bought an additional light for the tree in the front.  Plus, it helped us use the 100′ of wire we bought.

My Craft Room

Sorry for the delay…I know I promised this last week, but right now my full-time job is taking most of my time and energy, which doesn’t leave a lot of time left for me to create and blog in the evenings.  I should get back to a better balance of work and fun soon!

When we finished the basement, one of the perks for me was that it freed up one of the spare bedrooms upstairs  so that I could create my craft room.   What is now the craft room, has had many different looks since we moved into our house.  Our initial plan for the room was to use it as the guest room.

Craft Room - Before as spare bedroom

It was very crowded.  And, we never used it as a guest room.  Then, we swapped the guest room with the office.  It worked better for us, and the guest room was transformed into its current look.  The office was originally a combination of furniture from my house and Bob’s house.  Then, eventually we got the desk that Bob now uses in his Music Room in the basement.  It was in the office upstairs before the basement was finished.  So, when the basement was finished, it left a blank slate for me upstairs to create my craft room.  I had a clear vision for the room – I wanted a large desk that I could have room to spread out when I was working on crafts, and I wanted a comfortable place to relax and maybe read a book.

Craft Room - After full view from doorway

I have everything I wanted, and was able to furnish the room with all used furniture.  I’ll admit I made a mistake on the desk at first.  I caved and bought a little desk at a used furniture store, but quickly realized that it wouldn’t suit my needs.  At the time, I still had a desktop computer, so I wanted room to hide all the components under the desk.  The little desk didn’t cut it.  I made it work until I found this large desk when I was out for one of my Saturday morning thrift store adventures with my friend.

Craft Room - Desk before

The desk matched the dimensions of the space almost exactly, and it was only $119 for this large desk.  It was a bit deeper than I originally wanted because of the windows in the front of the room, but I really did want all the space.  I knew I could change the look of the desk with a quick coat of paint.  Next step was the place for relaxing.  I began my search looking for a daybed, but I wasn’t finding anything.  But, then I found a sleigh bed on Craigslist and thought a bunch of pillows could make it function like a daybed.  I think I ended up paying $70 for the daybed.  I did the same thing with it as the desk, just gave it a quick coat of paint.

Craft Room - Desk and Bed before decorating

At this point, the room was very bare.  I did buy new bedding, I believe it was from Kmart.  After I got the desk and tried working at it, I ran into another problem.  Most of the chairs I had or found were too high.  Once I sat on them, I couldn’t fit my legs under the desk.  So, I spent a lot of time going to yard sales and thrift stores with my tape measure trying to find a chair that I could make work.  Finally, I had luck at the Goodwill.  Unfortunately, I must not have taken a before picture, because I can’t find one in my files.  But, it was a plain wooden chair for $5.  I inspected it and knew that I could easily remove the wooden seat, add foam and fabric to make a cushioned seat and give it a coat of white paint like the rest of the furniture in the room.  I did just that and I have a very comfortable desk chair, that I can actually sit in and fit my legs under my desk (its where I’m sitting right now).

Craft Room - Desk Chair - painted and reupholstered

The other projects I did on the desk side of the room, include the fabric bulletin board for family photos.  I found a cork board at a yard sale, popped it out of the cheap frame, wrapped it in batting and fabric and then used ribbon and bronze nail heads to make the grid.  I love that I can easily change the photos as time passes.  The floating shelves we originally in our living room, and we weren’t using them anymore, so I moved them to the Craft Room to give me more space to decorate.  I change them seasonally.  I just went back to mainly butterfly décor, because I have tons of it from my previous home.  The lamps are from the same thrift shop that I bought the desk.   The desk decorating is still in flux.  I had a desktop computer until a couple months ago, and I have not finalized how I want everything to look now that I have the laptop.  Its weird, but the desktop monitor provided height in the middle of the desk, and now I feel like everything looks flat.  The wicker chair is the mate to the one in the basement that I got from a friend at work.  I sewed the seat cushion and pillow cover.  Even the trash can and little chest were yardsale/Goodwill items that I picked up.

Craft Room - After Desk side of room

When I just added the new pillows to the bed, it led to me changing all the décor in the room.  It quickly went from this:

Craft Room - Before

To its current look, which includes the new pillows and a bit more butterfly artwork.

Craft Room - After sleigh bed with new pillows and wall art

I had bought this book years ago, because it had colorful butterfly book plates in the back.  It cost $1.48 at Ollies.  So, I used two pages in my new wall art.

Craft Room - Butterfly book for artwork

One is in the small 5×7 frame on the shelves.

Craft Room - Butterfly decor on floating shelves

And the other page is part of the gallery above the bed, in the center on the bottom.  I kept two of the frames the same – they just each have a piece of scrapbook paper in them.  The larger butterfly print was originally a fabric stretched on canvas that I bought at the monthly church thrift store for 10 cents.  I removed the fabric from the canvas (it looked cheaper that way) and then popped it in  a white spray painted frame.  The individual butterflies were from my grandmother.  They got a coat of spray paint too; they were originally very brassy with a wooden center.

Craft Room - New Butterfly wall art

The mirror that was here got relocated to the other wall, which is the small space between the closet and the door to the hallway.   The mirror now reflects the light from outside instead of just the other side of the room.  Framing the mirror are more butterflies with a fresh coat of spray paint.  These were originally dark brown.  They are very sentimental because my Mom has a set at home.  I found these in my thrift shopping travels and knew I needed to have them.  I’m happy to finally have a place to hang them.  The bamboo shelf is from the same thrift shop as the desk.  As I think about all my purchases from that shop, I’m very sad that it is now closed.  This whole wall, as skinny as it is, contains many sentimental items.  The little tin lamp is a tart warmer, that was a housewarming gift from  my Mom when I bought my first house.  The shadowbox is one I made with my wedding bouquet, Bob’s boutonniere and our wedding invitation.  The bottom shelf has all of my scrapbooks that I have filled with pictures of our trips, wedding, and just life in general.  And, they are sharing the shelf with our unity candle from our wedding.

Craft Room - Bamboo shelves and wall decor - after

I am thrilled with how this room has evolved.  It functions well for me as a craft room, and is pretty enough that I just enjoy sitting in it to relax.

Craft Room - After full view from doorway

I’ve seen some beautiful and amazing craft rooms out there.  Do any of you have a designated craft space?  Or, do you just use whatever space suits the project at hand, table, floor, etc.?

DIY Pillow Cases from a Shower Curtain

My mother-in-law bought this butterfly and flower shower curtain a while ago for her house.  She decided it didn’t work in her bathroom, so she asked if I wanted it.  I said of course.  I knew it wouldn’t work in my bathroom for two reasons.  First, I have a shower stall, and second I am very committed to my sand and shell décor.   We do have another full bathroom, but its the one that Bob primarily uses, and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t want it to be so feminine.  So, I decided to get creative and turned the shower curtain into pillow cases.

DIY Pillow Cases - Butterfly Shower Curtain before

I thought that the color of the curtain might look good in my craft room.  I had decorated it very neutral, but now I was ready for some color.  I already had an abundance of white pillows.

Craft Room - Before

In my stash of supplies, I also had two larger pillows – 24 x 24. I had bought them on clearance at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $9.97 and was just saving them for when I found the right spot.

DIY Pillow Cases - 24 x 24 pillow before

I’m not the best seamstress.  I love that I can sew, but it also drives me crazy.  I don’t have much patience, so I will find anyway I can to save some steps, and some fighting with my sewing machine.  The shower curtain provided some key steps already done.  I could use the nice hems to my advantage.  I planned out the pillow cases, so that none of my seams would be visible.  I cut the fabric out with the dimensions of 24 x 54, so that I could make a simple envelope pillow case.  After I cut it out, I ironed the fabric…another step that tries my patience. 🙂  I folded over the one short end and ironed it to make it easier to sew.

DIY Pillow Cases - curtain fabric cut to size

After I sewed that one end, I was ready to prep the fabric for my two other straight seams.

DIY Pillow Cases - one end stitched

I flipped the fabric over, so the right sides were in.  Then, I folded the fabric to overlap, so that it formed the 24 x 24 square, and had a few inches overlap to make the envelope.  I kept the original seam underneath, so that it would be the visible seam one I flipped the pillow case right side out.

DIY  Pillow Case - folded for side stitching

This is the only point that I used pins.  I wanted to make sure that I kept the correct dimensions, so I pinned each side.

DIY Pillow Cases - Sides pinned to prepare for sewing

I sewed straight (well straight enough for me) up each side.  And, that was all it took.  I flipped the pillow case right side out and was done.  I made two pillow cases from the shower curtain and still have some fabric left over.

DIY Pillow Cases - After on craft room bed

I flipped the comforter over too, so that it is just plain white so that the pattern doesn’t compete with the new pillows.  I really like the extra bit of color in the room.  So much so, that it motivated me to redecorate.  I pulled out more butterfly décor from my stash, and made some other new artwork.  I’ll share the full craft room with its new look later this week.

Anyone else ever use a shower curtain for another purpose?  Any other shower curtain to pillow case projects?