Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cloth Diapers, Diaper Covers, and a Sleep Sack

Woohoo! I'm pregnant! After seven months of trying, we finally got pregnant :) I have about eight months until the little one arrives, and so I am getting busy creating all the eco-friendly things baby will need once she (or he) arrives.

My husband and I both agree that cloth diapers are the way to go. His mom actually used cloth diapers with him, though it was because he was allergic to the disposable kind. She used a diaper service, however I am going to try to do without one and do it myself the old fashioned way. Well with the washer and dryer that is. Not quite so old fashioned I guess.

Before we get to the pics, here are some links that will help you (I know they sure have helped me!)
Sewing Wool Soakers at

Another way to sew a wool diaper cover

DIY Prefold Diaper Tutorial

Sewing Prefolds

Tons of free patterns, including one on how to make a diaper from a t-shirt

How to sew a fitted cloth diaper for cheap

Katrina's Sew Quick Diaper Soaker Pattern at

Washing Cloth Diapers

A sleep sack tutorial

Another sleep sack tutorial

Here is my first wool soaker, made with two of my old sweaters that I felted.

Here's a not-quite-finished wool sleep sack, which can double as a wool soaker overnight. It isn't done yet because I haven't finished up the bottom. I can't decide how I want to finish it... velcro perhaps? I've seen some with snaps, some drawstring, some sewed shut, some zippered... decisions, decisions!

Some 100% cotton drapery panels that will soon be flat fold diapers

Some linen that will be good for something. How could I pass up good linen?

These are the cutest fabrics. (especially the bunnies!) I'm pretty sure the plain green one is snappi-able, but I don't know about the others. I ordered a snappi so I can test the fabrics out as I go.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Raise your hand if you love Craiglist

Yeah, me too. I have had lots of good luck with both buying and selling on craigslist. Haven't heard of it? Well it's a free community where you can post what you have to sell, what you're looking for to buy (or sometimes be given for free), and where you can advertise your garage sale. It's the first (and usually only) place I check to see where the garage sales are happening, and checking craigslist before I head out has yielded in some great finds! I've also purchased some things on craigslist such as a futon and mattress (sold separately by two different buyers). The futon was black when I bought it, but after a few cans of white spray paint, it looks much better. It also came with a brand new black futon cover, still in the package, however since I don't like black furnishings, I bought a white one for it instead. I had to buy that new. *Sigh*

I also have had some good luck selling items on craigslist. Recently, we sold a TV and some wedding items, including a cake stand, lantern centerpieces, glass jars for a candy buffet, favors, bouquets, etc. You should totally check it out. Posting is completely free! And what is good about the whole thing is it's very eco-friendly. You're helping to keep unwanted items out of landfills by buying second hand.

Topic for another day.... :) Similar to craigslist except everything given away on freecycle is 100% completely free!

Making an eco-friendly trivet

So this is a weird one. I had this yellow, very sturdy plastic, um, thingamabob, and I wondered to myself, "What can I do with this?" (I think it was straps holding a box together for something that came in the mail). The wheels started turning and I came up with this: I am in the process of curling the straps and holding it with a clamp. I haven't glued it down yet, however while it's in the clamp, I will apply glue so that hopefully when I remove the clamp, the coil remains tight. Then I will coil a second strap around the first, and continue until the desired size is reached. I have four straps, so hopefully that will be enough. This surely won't be all that attractive, but it will be functional!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

B&W Grave Art

Ok, some people are going to think I'm totally weird, however statues atop some graves (the rich people's graves, that is) are just absolutely beautiful. Jason and I just got back from our mini-vacation where we visited the cemeteries of my ancestors. None of these graves are anyone I know or am related to, however they were just too beautiful to pass up.

This bunny rabbit angel right here is absolutely the most beautiful tombstone I've ever seen in my life. I hope I never have to use one, however, because bunnies (and more commonly lambs) are for the graves of the young.

I promise that I won't post too many of these pics, however I have a folder of seventeen statue photographs that Jason and I took that I want to frame and hang somewhere in the house. I'm trying to decide exactly where would be the best place. I have extra room in the sewing room, however the border in the sewing room is garden-y. "Tombstone meets potting shed" isn't exactly what I had in mind. What I envision is a long hallway filled with a row of black framed statue photos... too bad this small house doesn't have a long hallway. I'll have to keep thinking about where to place these. In the meantime, I'll be on the lookout for frames and mats. Anyway, enjoy (or scroll down to get to the next blog, if that be the case!

Why isn't the plural form of "moose," Meese?

Ah yes, it's the age old question. Since the plural form of goose is geese, raise your hand if you think that the plural of moose should be meese? (That's the teacher coming out in me...) Regardless as to what good ole Merriam Webster has to say about the issue, one thing is for certain... meese, grizzly bears, canoes, evergreen trees, pinecones, and log cabins make for a very good decor! My guest bedroom, as well as the upstairs bathroom, is done in this theme. For your enjoyment, I have photographed some of the things which represent my love of meese and related cabin-y objects. To the left is a wreath I leave up year round on the bathroom door. Notice the tiny red-painted wooden spools. The maker of this wreath managed to incorporate another love of mine all wrapped up into one wreath... ingenious! By the way, this wreath was scooped up second hand :)

This wall-hanging was post-Christmas Target clearance. Target has the absolute best after-Christmas clearance selection.

This photo hanger came from a garage sale a few years ago. I had pictures in it, however with time, the photos started to curl. I have decided to give it another try, this time with laminated pictures, however I haven't gotten around to laminating them yet. Jason had a small laminator when he moved in... awesome!

This painting is great for a couple reasons. One, it's of a moose. Two, it's vintage. Three, it's a paint by number, and those are the best. In other rooms, I have a rose paint-by-number and a horse paint-by-number, all second-hand finds. There was a larger P-by-N at the thrift store I went to today, however I didn't get it, because it just didn't speak to me.

I can't remember for sure, but I think this might have come from Target.

I got this clock at a K-mart going out of business sale. As it turned out, it didn't work, but oh well. If memory serves me right, I even bought another clock mechanism, but it still doesn't work. This clock is just bad luck I guess. That's my parents and me at my college graduation. Go Bucks!

Sometimes at a thrift store, you're lucky enough to find artwork from an online company that has donated some pieces that have nicks in the frame, etc. that they just can't sell. That's how I got this one! There's a big one downstairs in the basement that is similar too. I think it was about five dollars. This little one was probably about three. If it were much more than three, I would have passed. A girl has got to draw the line somewhere. (By the way, this one has a very nice frame, I just cropped it out of the picture)

Another thrify find which lives in the bathroom. Once again, the frame has been cropped out of the pic.


So in a previous blog I already stated my feelings toward gardening. Just in case you haven't been doing your homework, I'll refresh your memory. I absolutely, positively dislike it with a passion. I don't like to get hot, and I don't like to get dirt under my fingernails, so fake flowers are more my style. I absolutely love roses; I have so much rose stuff, that it's bursting at the seams. Our bedroom (which was my bedroom before Jason moved in) is very beautiful and girly with roses paintings all over it. He loves it. Back to flower arranging....

My mom and I made all the floral arrangements for my wedding last fall, and this was one of two rose arrangements we used on the altar. This beautiful rose topiary-esque arrangement is very easy to do, so I will tell you how :) First, I bought an el-cheapo plastic urn at the dollar store. It was originally a dark color, so I spray painted it an off-white color. Then we got a foam ball that would fit into the urn opening about half-way, leaving the top half to bubble over and stick the flowers in. Then we cut each rose stem about two inches from the flower, and stuck that two inch segment down into the foam. Repeat until finished. There you have it!


This past week was spent on a mini-vacation. We went to podunk Indiana and visited some cemeteries of my ancestors, the Cass and Miami county courthouses, and the local libraries to look up obituaries. That might not sound like your vacation, but it suits us well! Our first hotel was right across the street from a goodwill. I secretly wanted to go in, however, that was not what we came for, so I didn't mention it. We did stop on the drive over at a rummage sale at this old music hall on Rt 33, but I didn't get anything. I almost got two things, but no one was around to ask prices or give the money to, so I figured that was a sign from above that I didn't really need the stuff. One was a vintage, green-handled apple peeler, and the other was, well I'm not sure. It was an old rusty something-or-other that looked like an antique bunsen burner (with two burners) with pretty metal scrollwork and legs, and it had knobs on it like an outside water spigot, but I think it was probably for gas or something. Anyway, I thought it would make a neat footrest because it was the right height and size. Oh well.

So anyway, here I was staring at this goodwill everytime we drove by, wondering what trash-to-treasures might be waiting for me inside. Instead, I got on the internet and read other people's blogs about their thrifting discoveries, thinking that might tide me over. Um, not so much. That just fueled the fire. When we got to our second destination, I looked online to see if there were any thrift stores near by, and to my great relief, there was two!

I told my husband I just had to go one, and he told me just to go ahead and go to both, but not to buy any chairs. Ok, it's a deal! So below are the goodies I uncovered. I actually went two days in a row because the first day I almost got the pattern below but didn't, and so the second day I went back for it, and also got twelve more dollars worth of stuff.

(From the top left) The adorable doggie I had growing up, $3. A tapestry hanger which will be perfect for the Crawford County, Ohio tapestry I have just sitting around waiting to be hung up, 50c. A Simplicity pattern for an apron, curtains, toaster cozy, place mats, potholders, etc., 50c. A small angel ceiling fan pull, because I needed one very badly in the sewing room, 50c. Two cardinal prints with ugly frames, but not to worry because I gave them a fresh coat of leftover off-white paint, and they look much better! I have the perfect place for them in the sunroom, which has a birds and blooms theme, 50c each. A clown head, perfect for making a small clown doll. You might not know this, but Miami County, IN (one of the places we visited this week) is the circus capital of the world. How appropriate that I would find a clown head! 29c. And finally, a brand-new metal firefighter sign, for Jason of course. He loves firetrucks. $3.

Other items not seen in the previous picture: brand new handbag handles from JoAnns, originally five dollars; I got them for a buck. A pile of foam, 50c or a dollar... I forget. A little stack of plastic letters, good for some craft along the way, 29c. A wire wreath frame, which I plan on spray painting orange (I have the perfect pumpkiny color of spray paint already purchased... waiting in the basement for a few years... I hope it's still good). Then I can wire on those little terra cotta pots as I accumulate more and more of them, 50c. A spool of orange and black ribbon, $1. I could use this on the terra cotta pot wreath if I end up using it inside. If it's left outside on the gate, I would not want to use the ribbon as it would get ruined.

Last but not least, I got one of those large candy containers I've been wanting for awhile, $3. A wooden jewelry box with a floral painted lid, $2. Unfortunately, the mirror inside was gone, but luckily, just moments before, I saw this heart shaped mirror at the thrift store for fifty cents. Everything just fell into place with that one!

A Panel Trio & Some Antique Photos

I was visiting a blog today,, when I saw she made the three-panel wall hanging thing like I have in my living room. Mine is a little different than hers, so I will tell you how mine was constructed in a moment. She cleverly used hers as a faux headboard, while mine is used in the living room to make three small pieces of artwork really stand out. The artwork I used here were three antique photos framed in five dollar Big Lots finds. Well actually, they're photocopies of original antique photos, because I keep the originals in a fire proof safe. If my whole house were to burn down, heaven forbid, then I want my antique family photos to make it out alive. Not that they're alive, but you know what I mean. I got a ton of old photos, sadly mostly with no markings of the back to say who's who, but I do know they came from my Great-Great Grandfather Shumaker's stuff, so they're of his family. Anyway, here's the photo:

The photo on the far left is an old photo of my grandma's farm before she and my grandpa owned it. Anyway, what you probably want to know is how did I make it? Well I went to Lowes and bought the cheapest thing I could find, which happened to be that pegboard stuff. I covered it with some of the heaps and piles of quilt batting that I have laying around. (Isn't it the best when you find some brand new batting at a garage sale for next-to-nothing?!) Then I stapled on my fabric (I think my staple gun {and my glue gun too} are extentions of my right arm...) and finally attached a hanger-thingie on the back so I could hang it onto the wall. Then I hammered a nail into it so that I could hang a frame on each panel, and viola, there you have it! At Christmastime, I take down the antique photos and put up Christmas bulb wreaths that I made with tons and tons of vintage Christmas bulbs (totally thrifted of course) and some ribbon I had laying around. I'll have to show you a pic of that later.

This one has an old photo in the background, however this photo also shows the wall color. Notice how the blue on the wall matches the blue fabric covering the panel trio. Not bad for clearance fabric... I really lucked out!

I better explain something a little better though before you go wondering what blue wall I'm talking about since clearly the panels are hung on a butterscotch colored wall. My living room and dining room (which I should just call a great room because that's what it is, but I'm more traditional and don't really like the "great room" idea) are in two different color schemes. The living room is blue, and the dining room is red (see photos below) And how do I pull that off, you ask, since the rooms are connected? Well first of all, luckily there was this thing on the ceiling that comes down about a foot to divide the rooms, which enabled me to put up two separate borders. Secondly, I used paint to divide the room. The two long walls which the two rooms share are both painted the same neutral butterscotch. The smaller end walls are painted differently... a rich blue for the south wall, and a vivid red for the north wall. It works because when you walk in, you can never see both walls at the same time (unless you're a rabbit who has perfect peripheral vision... I'm not sure what Licorice {my bunny} thinks of it, but I'm pretty sure he likes it too since he's always trying to escape the kitchen to head out into the living room/dining room). When describing it to my mom over the phone, she thought it sounded terrible and even used the words "crayon box." But after coming over and seeing it, she agreed that it really does work! (And she's a tough critic, let me tell you!) Here's a quick shot of the red wall:

This one highlights the wonderful Hoosier Cabinet I got at an auction a few years ago.

And last but not least, here is a photo collage of antique family photos in the foyer for your viewing enjoyment:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buy an American Flag made in China?!

Good for Gov. Ted Strickland. He and others like him are debating an Ohio bill that would outlaw the sale of foreign-made U. S. and Ohio flags. A father of soldier killed in Iraq had this to say to the Senate: "Unless you have stood before a flag-draped casket bearing the remains of your warrior son who gave his life in combat, you may never know of the pride and ideals that this flag instills in those of us who have." Pretty powerful words. Several others states, including Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Tennessee have already passed similar legislation.

People opposed to the bill say that passing such a bill goes against free trade agreements. This guy they interviewed on TV said that passing this type of bill sends a negative message to China and could end up closing our free trade with China "which we worked so hard to open." And why is that, sir? Why did we work so hard to open free trade with China? So that thousands, millions even, of Americans could lose their jobs? What we have with China isn't free trade. It's unequal, unfair trade. What does China depend on us for, seriously? We depend on them for a lot (practically everything sold at Wal-mart), but I can't really think of a single that other countries really need us for. Here we have a problem. Buy American, people. (And don't even stop there. Buy handmade American!)

I have so many Americana items in my house.... here's a set of star shaped boxed I got at a garage sale that houses some of my sewing supplies

A Clock I received as a gift

A couple pitchers I just had to have, and an antique duck that was my grandma's

This is a picture frame I picked up for a few dollars at an antique shop. Yes, it has some damage, but I love it nonetheless. Framed in it are pictures of my Great-Grandma's family.

A rocking chair with a handmade Old Glory pillow made by yours truly. It was really easy. I took a thrifted flag and sewed it onto a pillow. The fabric covering over the pillow was also added by me... I chose blue and white fabrics to match the flag :)

Linking to: Someday Crafts Patriotic Linky Party 2012

Toilet paper can be cute too

Don't ignore the most important room of the house! Check out this flea market find. It almost blends in with the wall color because the two shades match so well. Funny thing is, I painted neither the walls or this bird house-TP holder. Both came as is. It also fits perfectly in the little spot between the toilet and the sink and is even the same height as the toilet. It's like it was made specifically for this spot. I can't believe my good fortune!

And who doesn't like birdhouses? I have birdhouse lamps, jewelry holders, Christmas ornaments... what else can we make out of old birdhouses? I have two birdhouses in the garage that my grandpa built before he passed away. He fully intended them to be used as bird houses, but I bet we could come up with some other cool use for them. They have flat roofs- it's made for a certain kind of bird but for the life of me I can't remember which kind. They have removable floors for cleaning purposes, so I could make one into a bank! Just put the money in the hole intended for the bird's entrance, and you have an instant bank! What else can you come up with?

This was also a flea market find, however it was from one of those tents where they're selling all new stuff. This keeper-of-the-TP is put to good use in the upstairs bathroom.

But what if we have company?

What if fifty people were to just drop by the house, and we felt the need to throw an impromptu tea party? Just in case that scenario should ever present itself, I need to be prepared!

Each of these vintage, floral beauties was hand picked from flea markets, garage sales, etc for next to no cost at all. I have a few more tea cups, but they don't all fit in the cabinet anymore (plus I have my great-grandma's matching china set but I don't really care for the pattern-- it's currently in a box in the basement). I have an idea. Instead of downsizing on the vintage china, how about I just buy another Hoosier cabinet?

Inspiration comes from the darndest places

So I was reading the blog on (and holy cow that lady is a brilliant master of the craft!) and I saw a link for a beer shaped purse. I thought, "Hmmm, my brother's girlfriend would like that." So I clicked the link but no beer shaped purse was to be found. I was very confused and began to hyperventilate because I really needed to see what a beer shaped purse looks like. Then it hit me. Duh. The thing said bear shaped purse, not beer. But alas, the wheels were already turning. I tracked down a photo of what I imagine a beer shaped purse would look like (cylindrical like a can of course) and am totally going to make one. I am going to use Coca Cola fabric though because I have some lying around the sewing room. I could make the top of the cylinder metalic silver (I have some of that too) and even hotglue a pop tab on top. (Is that taking it too far?) Oh the possibilities!

I was even able to find a free pattern for my Coke bag at They also have eight other projects for free, all you have to do is give them your email address, after which they will surely bombard you with unwanted solicitation for the rest of your emailing life. But hey, it didn't cost me dime and it's a bag pattern, come on.

More transformations

The lady who made this is the bomb. She is my hero, seriously. You should totally check out her blog. This is the inspiration for me to do something with this, if I could just bring myself to cut it up:

Here we have a small piece of wood, painted a lovely shade of green, to which I screwed in three vintage hooks. While I was still with my ex, his apartment building was being torn down to make way for a new university parking lot (that totally pissed me off but that's neither here nor there). Since it was being torn down, we took the hooks that had been hanging in the closet all those years. It was the least I could do save a small piece of history.

Here's my husband's not-so-attractive TV stand. We were getting rid of furniture when our two households merged, but I saw some potential in this one. I knew we would need more TV stands, since together we had six TVs. I knew just the corner where this one would work. Here it is mid-way to being done.

And here it is after it's paint job and new skirt (attached with velcro)

What the heck is this thing?

  • What in tarnation is it? Awhile back, I bought it at a flea market for next to nothing. For the longest time, I proudly displayed four pillowcases (one hung in each hole), however I have decided to put the pillowcases back in the closet. Sometimes I sling a purse over the top, and I'm sure it would be good in a bathroom to hold a handtowel, but what else could it be?

I suppose you could glue round pieces of cork into the circles and have a very interesting cork board.

You could somehow place lace around the circles (perhaps with hot glue), and use it as a place to store earrings, but I don't really wear earrings.

If the circles moved, you could position them so you could put flower pots in it, but they won't budge. Who else has some cool ideas? Speak up, people! Let me know what you think.

My Chair Fetish

According to good buddy Merriam-Webster, a fetish is:

1a- an object (as a small stone carving of an animal) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly : a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence
b- an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion

Yes, that's me. "Obsessive devotion." Why, oh why, do I love chairs so much? Big chairs, little chairs, wooden chairs, plastic chairs, metal chairs, upholstered chairs, chairs that match, and chairs that lack a partner. I love them all the same. Perhaps Dr. Seuss should have spun a little tale about chairs rather than his infamous "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish." Don't you think, "One chair, two chairs, Red Chairs, Blue Chairs" just has a better ring to it?

Yes, I do have too much time on my hands.

My husband is very good about my garage saling habit, however he now expressly prohibits me from bringing home anything that remotely resembles a chair. Well, he isn't exactly that harsh, but you know what I mean. A few weekends ago I came really close to bringing home a chair. My friend and I were garage saling at a huge community yard sale, and the sales were wrapping up for the weekend. This one homeowner had already gone inside and called it a day. And there it was. It was wooden with a broken cane seat. It matched almost perfectly the chair that my grandma gave me to few years ago, right down to the broken cane seat. And best of all, it was free. At least, I figured it was free. It was just sitting out by the curb like trash. But I didn't take it, and now it's probably taking up space somewhere in some landfill. I'm pissed off just thinking about it. Hopefully someone nabbed it, even if that someone wasn't me. Here's mine holding some vintage tablecloths since people can't sit on its broken cane seat:

I don't own a pair of these chairs, however the idea behind them are so cool I wanted to add them to the list. Click on the chairs, and you can visit their website. They recycle video game consoles and somehow make chairs out of them!

This one was sold to me back in college by a friend. At the time, it was covered in ugly black vinyl, so I covered it with green velvety fabric that I bought back when I worked at Joanns (loved that employee discount!) The pillows and blanket were second-hand finds.

This chair is temporarily holding this Sheriff's hat that I got for Jason. Suffice it to say, as a child, Jason used to collect little police badges, and I thought this would make a nice addition to his collection! (Fifty cents at a garage sale, and this hat was mine!)

I bought these little charmers at three separate garage sales/flea markets. I can't believe I was lucky enough to find three of the same type of chair! Inconspicuously printed on the chair is "Made in Mexico" ... my guess is they were hand-painted.

This rocker was a college hand-me-down from a roommate. She didn't want it anymore and gave it to me when we graduated. I recovered it and paired it with this pillow I made.

These plastic chairs were originally green and red when I was given them by a college roommate's mother. I painted them white, distressed them, gave them leaf motif stamps, and then placed a seat cusion on them (where is the other seat cushion?!)

This chair is being put to good use to hold kindling for this summer's bonfires.

I got this little beauty at an antique store for ten bucks. It's tiny and cute. I wouldn't spend ten dollars for a chair anymore, but this was one of my first finds.

This little darling came from a garage sale for a buck or so. My children will make good use of it some day, but in the meantime I set stuffed animals on it.

These shabby chic chairs came from a thrift store years ago and cost ten bucks for the pair. When covered with the cushions I made to go with them, they are really comfy.

Here's a another garage sale find

This bentwood chair has a mate downstairs in the kitchen. Both came from garage sales.

Some don't care for these chairs, but at 1.50 for the pair at a garage sale back in college, I couldn't pass them up. I recovered them and painted them white and now they look like totally different chairs. My dentist's office has these same exact chairs.

You might think that's all I have *cackles with laughter*, but honey, this is just a mere drop in the bucket!