How To Make A Christmas Wreath

I love having a good wreath and typically buy mine at Whole Foods or Trader Joes and then decorate them, as seen here. But I really wanted to try making a wreath this year. And it turned out to be an easy 15 minute project with no headaches. I was pleasantly surprised.

One of the reasons it was so easy is probably because I had all the supplies on hand...wreath frame, green florist wire, purning shears and most importnatly left over Christmas tree branches (the ones that get cut off in order to make it fit in the stand).

It was really easy to do. Start by wrapping the florist wire around one of the spokes of the wreath frame, then wrap it around the frame, in the same spot, 3 or 4 times, and make it tight. No fancy knots or anything, just keep wrapping it. Then put on the first branch, then wrap the florist wire around the base of the branch, then add the next branch and keep wrapping. Don't cut the wire inbetween, just keep it one long piece. I wrapped each new branch probably 3 or 4 times before adding the next and tried to not squeeze the smaller branches in with the wire but wrapping in between them. Then just keep adding branches and keep wrapping. At the end just put the branch(s) underneath the first ones and keep wrapping around, trying to keep the wire hidden.

Then cut the wire leaving 4 or 5 inches of excess. Then I wrapped the excess wire around some of the previous wrappings and did a simple knot, which wasn't even needed.

I tried shaking the wreath a bit after it was done and it was still intact so I figure it can survive the mild California winter weather coming.

It's a bit plain, although I do like the simple look, so I'll probably add some ornaments or pinecones but for now I am just glad that it is done and up. And I am pretty proud of how it turned out since I had no idea what I was doing and The Bubb managed not to hurt himself (or eat any of our succulent plants) while I was making it :)

Off to finish those last minute Christmas orders! Hope everyone is having a good week :)


Christmas Book Advent Calendar

I kept seeing all these advent calendars last year with small gifts or candy, etc. and I thought that a new toy every night or worse, candy, was just too much, so I thought books. Well apparently I am not alone it seems after doing a google search, so I've joined the book advent calendar band wagon.

Now you're probably thinking that I'm a crazy - a new book, every night, that will get expensive fast. Well for this Christmas, we only spent $10 (yup that's right and only on one book - we get him one new Christmas/Winter themed book every year). So how did I manage to do 25 days of books for $10?

First we own 7 Christmas/Winter themed books already. Two we had given The Bubb already: Snowy Day and Max's Christmas and 5 other books: Winnie The Pooh's Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Morri's Disappearing Bag, Bear Snores On and The Mole Family Christmas

Now for the rest? There was no way we were going to buy that many. Solution: The library! I went yesterday and scored all the books that I needed. No they are not all the best winter/Christmas stories ever but the majority are pretty good and we can try them out without spending money on amazon for books unknown and we can slowly purchase the favorites over the next few years.

Okay so wrapping. Yes I wrapped all of them. Regular paper gets expensive and lets face it who wants to cut paper to size for 25 presents in one evening. Not me. (and my lovely husbanad said, isn't there a cheaper way and suggested tissue paper). So that is what I did and I didn't have to use the scissors once as tissue paper is already the perfect size (or at least the type I used). Yes you can kinda see through them, but he is 2 and doesn't care anyway. It took me about 30 minutes to get them all done. No fancy ribbon or anything.


I was going to number them, so that I could put the library books up front incase I couldn't renew them, but since I can sorta get a glimpse of what they are anyway through the tissue paper I can encourage The Bubb to choose the library books first. But I don't think that renewing is going to be a problem, so it is good. And now after the second night we've decided that we will just pick the next book, as having a 2 year pick out of 25 right before bed, means stall stall stall. So it is faster and simpler and he is just as pleased.

(sorry for the blurry pictures above, he was moving WAY too fast for me to refocus each time. Evan and I also both agree that it is good we're doing this as he is super slow at unwrapping. It takes him forever as he likes to take off about a square inch each time, which is nice that he likes to prolong it but Christmas is going to take seriously way too long, so we have 23 more days to get him up to a tolerable speed)

We read the Polar Express last night and while it is a little old for him, he kept calling the train Thomas, which I thought was so cute, and was totally captivated by the pictures. Love that book.

My next project is to start on my Christmas wreath. I am going to try to attempt to attach the branches myself instead of buying one premade and decorating like year's past. I have the branches but they are outside and it has been pouring rain the past few days and so they are soaked too. It is supposed to be sunny tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to dry them out a bit.


Take Two

With all the moving I have finally found (made) the time to start sewing orders again. Even though it is a little disrupting to the family (because we are still remodeling/moving in) it was time for me to start again as I've really missed it!

So this might look a little familiar as I made one 6 months or so ago, but I got asked to make another red, white and black quilt and couldn't resist. It is a tiny bit bigger and there are some differences but I think that it turned out even better than the first.

Still love the gray minky on the back. So excited for this new mom to get it :)

And can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving already! Crazy! I think that we are going to be making this pie again. Can't wait to have pie smells in the new house :)


Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter

Always makes my day when I get fabric in the mail. But a new line of fabric (and free!) is even better! I've liked both lines that Lotta has designed so far and this new one called Glimma is no exception.

The palette is similar to the other lines, echo and bella, so that they can coordinate easily. Here is a glimpse at what is coming this spring.

My favorites are the stripes, leaves, cross hatch and the flowers. Love the people at Windham Fabrics! and now I just have to figure out what to make with this sample pack :)


Orla Kiely Fabric

By chance while at Bed Bath and Beyond I saw this Orla Kiely bedding set. I have been looking for a while for this fabric as I really want to back a quilt with it. And I finally found it! I had to buy the whole comforter to get it but I'll cut off the ugly back fabric and then just use the beautiful leaves. So excited!

The best part is that it was on sale and I used my 20% off coupon on top of it. Score. Evan sorta shook his head at me when he saw what I was doing but didn't seem overly annoyed, I guess my projects have finally worn him down. Not sure if that is a good thing? Now I just need to make the quilt top.


Instagram Addict

Well I can safely say that I am running late to the instagram party. But I am still having a blast! I take so many pictures of The Bubb with my phone and then don't really do anything with them, and one of the things that I love most about instagram is that not only do I get to share them with family and friends (and my significant other who now commutes 2 more hours every day and misses out on more of what we are up to) but there are also a ton of applications/shops/products out there that allow you to print cool things with the photos. And I figure since I don't seem to be good about scrapbooking (about 5 years behind on that!) or creating photobooks anymore with blurb that this could be an intermediate step to actually have some pictures of my kid in my house. So I am looking at it as a win win.

If you care to follow (it is mostly going to be pics of my kid or what we are up to day to day routine type stuff) I am, of course, @sirbubbadoo


Rain Cloud Costume

With all the craziness of moving and remodeling I really wanted to buy Emmett's costume this year. But I couldn't find anything that I liked. With a little pinteresting I found this adorable rain cloud costume and it just kept sticking in my head and I started comparing every other costume I found to it. So I decided that perhaps this was the winner. Plus the most important thing is that I already had everything on hand! Which made it meant to be. So excited.

I used freezer paper stenciling to make the rain drops on the pants. The Bubb had blue sweatpants which are pretty much on the verge of being too small for him so I didn't mind reusing them for another purpose.

Then for the cloud I used white flannel (front) and white kona (back). I had leftover gray bias tape (score!) and used that for the shoulders. I sandwiched it between the two front layers so it would look cleaner and then after testing it out on the bubb, I sewed the shoulder straps to the back cloud. Probably could have made it more elegant looking, but time was not on my side. I filled the middle with polyfil and decided that it stayed in place quite nicely and then just sewed up the holes on the machine (could have hand stitched but again didn't have time)

The Bubb LOVE LOVE LOVES his rain boots, so that was a must. So here he is our little rain cloud. And I must say he is such a cutie! and he was way more excited about the costume than I had anticipated.

He also is very into pumpkins this year and likes to lift them and carry them around. We have 3 out front and then two in the backyard so that we can see them, as we don't often go out the front door. We got a large orange one and a really ugly black one. Just a good combo that makes me smile when I walk by.

Hope everyone has a candy filled and safe halloween :)


Buh Bye Carpet

The first thing to go was all the basement carpet. Since the basement is primarily going to be our my office/sewing/craft space, carpet just doesn't work. I finally found the perfect hardwood to put down there, so excited about it, instead of staining the concrete. While concrete would look awesome, I think hardwood is going to look a lot better (granted it does cost quite a bit more compared to a couple of gallons of stain).

We opted to do installation ourselves to save some money. The first thing we my significant other and father in law did was remove all the carpet.

Then the cabinets (while spacious but totally useless for me) had to come out and of course the wet bar. I am thinking of using the sink outside somehow for Emmett to play with...ideas ideas. And we are going to keep a couple of cabinets to use in the garage cause they are great storage.

{from this}

{to this}

But they need to be bolted and that wall/cabinets definitely need some paint, but that is a project for another time I think.

After these came out, we removed the few random baseboards and the last of the nails in the concrete. Then my Dad got to work removing all the nails, hooks, shelves, etc. from the walls and got it somewhat ready to paint.

Next we took a straight edge and found all the low and high parts on the floor, as anything over 3/16 of an inch in variance over 8 feet needed to be fixed. We found some bumps - meaning drips of concrete when it was installed, etc. and removed those with a grinder. Then for the low spots we applied a very fine layer of concrete on top to make them within the accepted tolerance. Next up was filling in the few cracks that had formed from the ground shifting and those lovely California earthquakes and some other random holes found (and maybe caused from pulling up the carpet). But they needed to be filled to prevent moisture from coming up.

So this is how it is looking after all the work on prepping the floor:

We have dry vacuumed it maybe 50 times now and I still think that there is dust and stuff, it just doesn't get cleaner. Plus our tools, paint stuff and flooring material are everywhere. Probably because instead of doing just one project at a time we seem to insist on doing about 20 projects at a time. Ha!

Next up: Finish painting and installing the floor.


Baby Girl Quilt

I got asked to make a baby girl quilt in a similar style to the Bella Quilt that I made a while back but with all girly prints. After going through pretty much all the fabric I had on hand, these are the fabrics that she picked out for me to use

Once the fabrics were picked I spent quite a bit of time rearranging them (probably about 200 times) until I finally settled on this. There are so many combinations that could be done it was hard to decide!

I used organic sherpa on the back (yes I am obsessed with this material!) and then I quilted around all the squares to make it a bit more polished looking.

I hope that the gift recipient loves it too! Hope everyone is having a good week so far :)


Our New House

So excited to share with everyone that we bought a house! Yeah! It only took 7 months of waiting but we got it!

Since everyone seems to be super interested here are some facts about the house:
- it has 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a family room, living room, kitchen, eat-in kitchen dining room, laundry room, wet bar and lots of storage over 3 stories (there is a "basement", main floor, upstairs)
- it is almost 2300 SF
- it is a townhouse. no it is not a condo and yes there is a difference. while we wanted a single family home, we were not willing able to pay $1M for one to get the space that we need in an area that we wanted to live. solution: townhouse in an area we like, with exceptional schools, and the space that we need but yes it is attached. but totally worth it! but from here on out I (we) will continue to call it a house. sorry if this annoys people.
- it has a HOA, which comes with a beautiful pool, tennis courts, clubhouse and a huge park like area for The Bubb to run around in. Plus we don't have to worry about the exterior so it is like a house in training :) And yes I totally want to be on the board.

One of the things that made us willing to wait around for this place is the space and the fact that it has not been redone recently. We LOVE that. I am sorta particular about my decorating and I didn't want to buy a home that had been recently flipped or redone as I would feel awful tearing out perfectly good upgrades just because they weren't in my style. This place has not been done all that recently but is still totally liveable while we start all the remodeling! Hooray!! I don't think that Evan quite knows what he got himself into...

Here are a few lovely pictures, but I also made a video...

{main floor}

{ basement }


If the pictures just aren't enough for you, click HERE for a video tour.

And just for fun, some facts about Short Sales:
1 they are not short (short refers to the part that the sellers are coming up 'short' on their payments). there is nothing short about them
2 if the sellers have multiple lenders it takes even longer
3 if the sellers have lenders that are super small banks or who have sold the loans to individual investors it will take even longer
4 the sellers will wait until the last possible moment to do anything so as to prolong the amount of time they can stay in their home without being foreclosed on. For instance, we closed on Friday, the house was set for auction the following tuesday - talk about cutting it close!
5 everyone will be completely stressed out by the end
6 everyone says you are getting a good deal. while this is sorta true, it isn't. they are "as-is" and will sell for the appraisal price, meaning what it would sell for in the market. so no, not really all that good of a deal. but luckily in the bay area, most homes go for more than their appraised price so we got a sorta good deal.

Anyway we are SO excited! And the remodeling has already begun...so most of my posts from this point on will probably be of the remodeling, but I will try to get some sewing in too - I have a few things that I've made photographed but just need to make posts for them. Happy Wednesday!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...