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Wife of one, Mom of two two-legged children, Mom of four four-legged children.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

So if you really want to mess with someone....

And you have Time Warner Cable, pay attention. I discovered this by accident. You have to have a cable box for this to work. Log on to their site. Sign in to your account. Go to My TV. Go through the guide and pick a show. Then click Watch on TV. It will change the channel on your TV! Seriously. The teenager had no idea why the TV kept going from the Speed channel to the Big Bang Theory and kept switching it back. It was hilarious. It could also work if you can't find your remote, but I'm mean and like messing with the boys. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Upcycled Cat Beds

So I mentioned awhile back that a co-worker volunteers at an animal shelter and when we were talking about sewing projects, she mentioned that shelter could always use more cat beds ans asked about fabric scraps.  So being animal lovers, another co-worker and I, started sewing cat beds.

Since I'm just starting out, I don't have any fabric scraps.  I do have fat quarters that I've picked up around town.  I also grabbed sheets and pillow cases that we no longer use from the attic.  Originally I was using them as filler, and then decided I could use the sheets instead of the fat quarters and use an old mattress pad as filler.

I thought I'd share how I did this in case anyone else wants to make some.  I'm sure lots of shelters could use more beds.  You could probably do the same for dog beds, just bigger depending on the size of the dog.

For the fat quarter versions, I just sewed two of them right sides together leaving a gap, turned it right side out, stuffed, closed and then did some additional stitching to keep the filler in place.  Like this:

For the sheet version, I used a full sized top sheet folded twice the long way.  I then cut approximately every 14-15 inches for strips like this:

Then I took those pieces and cut them in half on the middle fold.

You should have a folded piece and two separate pieces.
Cut the folded piece.

Continue until all pieces are cut.
Take two matching pieces and pin together.

Sew 3 sides completely, and the fourth side with a gap in the middle.

Turn right side out.

Fill with stuffing of your choice and sew closed.  Sew some lines to keep filling in place when washed.

Finished!  Not only do cats in need get beds, but I'm also re-purposing things from the attic that we don't use!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vacation recap

Monday - Played outside in the morning.  We've been working on potty training, so I thought since we'd be home, I'd let L wear undies.  This seemed like a good idea until he told me was dripping.  After nap we went shopping so I could get some sewing supplies for the week.

Tuesday - Another low key morning at home with better luck on the potty training front.  During nap, I made these...

After nap and lunch, we went to the beach.

Wednesday - Low key morning, just like I like it.  During nap I worked on this for my sister...

After lunch and nap, we were back at the beach.  We ended up playing with kids from a couple of other families and had a great time.  Until the thunderstorms came and we went home.  The storms hit pretty hard right after supper.  L, who usually isn't bothered, was very nervous.  When it kicked the breaker for two rooms, I didn't blame him for being nervous.  Luckily they stopped just after bedtime.

Thursday - I don't know if he didn't sleep well because he was still freaked by the storms, but Thursday morning was atrocious.  First he freed willy while he was sitting on the potty, so I had to clean the bathroom floor.  Not that much later I decided to get in the shower.  While he can be entranced by television, this was not one of those mornings, so I opted to take him with me.  Besides, he hadn't a bath after the beach because of the storms.  Shortly after getting in, he tells me he has to pee on the potty, so I let him out of the shower to go.  He did go.  He also followed by pooping on the bathmat.  At this point, I want to bang my head on the shower wall.  So I get out, clean up the mess on the bathmat and clean the floor.  Again.  Then I turn around and get him in the bath, because of course he got it on himself too.  After all that, we still had an hour before nap!
During nap I dug baby stuff I'd listed on Craigslist out the garage attic.  None of which I ended up selling because they all blew me off.  While I was outside, I put the car windows down.  Prior to going back in the house, I put them up because I didn't trust the clouds.
After nap, my mom comes to visit.  We play with L for awhile, then decide to go for ice cream.  Except my battery is dead because I didn't turn the key all the way off when I put the windows up.  So I had remove and reattach the car seat and then remove and reattach again when we got home.

Friday - Thomas the Train Day!

On Friday we ventured to North Conway to see Thomas the Train.  We got to take a ride on the train which has a nice view of the white mountains.

L got to have his picture taken with Thomas and Sir Topham Hat.

We even met a very large turtle who moved pretty quick.  For a turtle.
It was a fun time, but very hot.  So hot, we stopped for ice cream on the way out of town.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pet Photo Challenge

This week is The Paper Mama's Pet Photo Challenge.  So I am submitting Rusty and Ember, the matching cat and dog.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Things I'll miss

This weeks Monday Listicles is things I'll miss and things I won't.

What I'll miss:
1. My husband
2. My kids
3. My fur balls
4. Coffee
5. Junk food
6. Finished projects
7. Going to the beach
8. Baking
9. Spending time with friends
10. Relaxing with a drink

What I won't miss:
1.  Allergies, constant sneezing and itchy mouth.
2.  Potty training
3.  Passive aggressive behavior
4.  Working
5.  cleaning the litter box
6.  Laundry
7.  The cats walking all over me while I try to sleep
8. Politics
9. Spiders and other bugs
10. Project prep(cutting, pinning, cleaning, etc.)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

SUYL - Bathrooms

Imagine a window.   A window that looks into a backyard which is mostly trees.  A window that lets in fresh air and limited light (remember the trees?).  A window located above a deep garden tub with jets.  This is what my master bathroom should look like....

But it didn't happen.  This picture is one we took while touring model version of our home.  My husband and builder both swear that I agreed to take out that window.  I must have been distracted.  It happens a lot.  But if I had been paying attention, that window would be there.  I noticed it immediately.  Our house is a modular, meaning it was built in a protected setting and delivered to our property.  We were there the day it arrived.   As we walked around the house, I noticed something missing.  My window.  There were phone calls and bargaining.  In the end, when it was determined that adding the window back at that time could delay our ability to move in (which ended up taking 8 weeks thanks to a busy electrician), I let it go.

About a year later, my husband called me.  He was making a delivery and there was a window for sale.  One that would fit in our bathroom.  So we bought it.  6 years later that window still sits in our basement.  An involved project that we just haven't gotten to.

When a friend told me she was getting new windows, my first thought was "I wonder if they would install a window that wasn't purchased from them?".  After discussion with my husband, we've decided against having the window installed now.  See that wonderful tub doesn't get used.  Filling it takes hot water, which takes oil, which is expensive.  So we've been discussing removing the tub and putting in a larger corner shower.  The pipes are already there so why not?  But who wants a window in their shower?  Not us.  So we will wait until we can remodel the bathroom, and I'll continue to complain that there's no window.  

That sound?  It was my husband rolling his eyes.

Sorry, I didn't get to take pictures of the actual bathrooms.  It's been a busy and somewhat frustrating week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Questions

This weeks Monday Listicles is 10 questions.  Here we go!

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, and find line 4. What is it?  The amenities of a resort in Cortland, NY.  It's the closest thing I have to book down here.
2. How many times a day do you say Hi?  Shoot, I meant to count this one day last week.  If I'm in the office, it's a lot.
3. Have you ever worn a uniform?  Yes, when I worked at the record store.  We didn't have to at first but ended up there shortly before I left.
4. What do you think about the most?  How to try to fit in everything I want to do with everything I need to do while not neglecting anyone.
5. How many keys are on your keyring?  Too many.  I still have keys on there from things we don't have anymore.  I really ought to take care of that.
6. What was the last thing you bought?  We went shopping this afternoon.  I got a bathing suit, some jars for iced coffee, a organizer with drawers and some more fabric.  I really need to stop buying fabric!
7. Are you growing anything these days?  Impatient, but I'm sure that's not what you're looking for.  We have a couple of flower gardens that really need attention.
8. What is under your bed?  Dust bunnies.
9. What is most important in life?  Sqeaking out moments of happiness.
10. What is the strangest word you used this week?  I'm sure there was something, I just can't think of anything right now.

Blah, Blah, Ginger

Long time no post.  Ok, so it's only been a week.  I've been working on projects and  practicing my sewing....

First, I recovered some pillows.   The striped pillows were for the couch and the truck pillow was for L.  He tends to use them all anyway.  I didn't really have a pattern for these.  I just sewed two fat quarters together then fastened them with velcro.  The day  after I finished, I found tutorials for envelope pillows.  Wish I had found that before!

Then I got to work on first birthday presents for a friend's baby.  I covered a stretched canvas with this fabric.  I made one for L while I had the glue gun out, but haven't taken a picture of that one yet.

 I was going to buy a little toy to go with it, until I saw a tutorial for a felt and fabric colors book and decided to make that too.   This was the most time consuming project of the week.  It took 3 evenings and part of a Saturday.  There's lots of prep to it, but it's super cute.

 Saturday afternoon I got a Mommy reprieve as J took L to the beach for a few hours.  So I decided to try making the One Yard Tote.
 I think I was a little to anxious to get it done because I made a few mistakes.  It was good practice.  I even added a pocket.

Finally, since I can't stand the little tomato pin cushion (it's too hard to get the pins in and out) I decided to try my hand at the no sew pin cushion.  I didn't glue it down, but it's much easier.  I couldn't resist using this mug with the coordinating dog fabric.

So that was last week in a nutshell!  We're on vacation this week.  Daycare is closed so we're mostly hanging around here and going to the beach.   I have a lot of projects lined up for this week as well as working up some posts since I've been to busy sewing to write.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sew what have I been doing?

Sewing.  For the first time since probably junior high.  We won't discuss how many years that it's actually been.  No, I'm not using the 42 year old machine.

My friend, co-worker, and occasional therapist Alison, offered to lend me a machine she wasn't using anymore and I took her up on it.  After all, she's the one who got me hooked on fabric.  She was looking at fabric online for a specific project, and was showing them to me.  I started seeing things in the "other people bought/looked at this" section that I liked.  I ended up with a few yards of fabric.

A week or so later, I was in Big Lots and found they had some fat quarters and fabric bundles.  So I ended up buying more.  Then I was in Wal Mart and saw more there and realized I had a problem.  A fabric problem.

So I have spent each evening crafting with fabric.  After purchasing a glue gun, I made a memo board on Monday.  I also have some stretched canvases that will become fabric art for L's walls.

Another co-worker who volunteers at a shelter mentioned that they could use some cat beds if we had any fabric scraps.  Since it was agreed all around that this would be fantastic practice for me, Tuesday and Wednesday, I made cat beds.

I also have a list of household sewing projects that I'd like to do (recovering the couch pillows, curtains, camera strap cover, etc.), but cats don't care if your straight stitch is crooked "whimsical".  So I continue to practice.  Those cats are going to have some cool beds!

Friday, June 22, 2012

SUYL - Dining Room

This is the room that I consider to be closest to finished.  It needs a few paint touch ups, but little else.

This is the view from the living room/entry way.

The lava in this piece is what inspired the colors for the walls...

The china cabinet was my mother in law's.

The photo wall.  There was a third photo where the sign is, but L grabbed it off the wall one day when we were walking by and broke it.  I haven't replaced the frame yet.

We painted the ceiling in this room too, but it doesn't really show in this photo.

Monday, June 18, 2012

If I had a $1,000

Much like last week's Monday Listicles, this prompt is leaving a song stuck in my head.  Yeah, I know the song is a million dollars, but the lead up is the same.  At least it's a better song this time.

1. I would fix my car.  That's right, it's fixed!  Sorry, after almost two years of the check engine light being on and multiple repairs that didn't fix the problem, I'm shouting this from the rooftops!
2.  I would drive to every Big Lots until I found this.  I've been to three so far and still no dice storage cart.
Purple 3-Bin Storage Cart
3.  I would buy tickets to the Barenaked Ladies show in August and lots of macaroni and cheese.
4.  I would get satellite radio for the car.  Hair Nation, I miss you!
5.  I would fix the 42 year old sewing machine and learn how to use it.  Besides, it's a great conversation piece.
6.  I'd take my grandmother to NYC to visit my sister.
7.  I'd hire a maid service for the housework so I could get the attic cleaned out.
8.  I would buy my husband a new laptop, because his is misbehaving.
9.  I would re-do L's room into a big boy room the right way, instead of using one of the four beds in the attic.
10.  I would take the dog to daycare more often because she loves to play.

For some reason, I'm now craving macaroni and cheese.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A tisket a tasket a leaky fuel pump gasket.

So I lost satellite radio returned the loaner car today and picked up my car.  And you know what?  The lights aren't flashing.  It seems to be fixed!  That sound you just heard?  That was me, knocking on wood.  I can't be too careful about proclaiming this car as fixed.

I have to say it.  These guys were awesome!  They knew I was coming(because Subaru called them), they knew Subaru was paying for the diagnostic,  and once they found the problem, they coordinated with Subaru to fix it and not charge me.  They provided a loaner car, with working satellite radio (sorry, did I say that already?), and kept me updated with what was going on.

The problem, you ask?  Why no, it was not the filler pipe that I had been told needed to be replaced at XYZ.  In fact, when I asked about that part when they called to tell me what was wrong, they confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the filler pipe!  The actual problem was leaky fuel pump gasket.  That's right, a FIVE DOLLAR GASKET.  Not $600, not $500, a whopping $5.  The labor charges brought it up to $160, but still a far cry from $500/$600.  Guess where I'm going from now on?  Guess who's getting a not so nice phone call from me on Monday?

Friday, June 15, 2012


This week's The Paper Mama's photo challenge is Floral.

SUYL - Master Bedroom

Linking up with week 3 of Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life series.  This week is Master Bedrooms and Guest Rooms.  We don't have a guest room anymore, so for it's just the Master Bedroom for us.

This was the first room in our house to be painted.  I liked the idea of a pale yellow room with green trim.  Our closet is the opposite of the same colors (green walls, yellow trim).  This room is also the cat sanctuary where they can go and not be bothered by the toddler.  Because we're pretty much the only people who see it, this room is last on the list for updates.

This was my husband's before we got together, but I really like how well it goes with the room.

These photos are above the bed.  These are photos I took of flowers in our garden.

I'd like to add this to the room, but I need to fix the peeling corner first.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Satellite radio is my BFF. Until tomorrow.

I rarely have the pleasure of satellite radio.  I've really only enjoyed it in a couple or rental cars while on business trips.  In fact, the free trial of the satellite radio expired while I was driving one of those rental cars.  It made us very sad.

So you can imagine how excited I was when the loaner Subaru had an active satellite radio in it.  I was looking for Lithium(the station, not the drug), but on my way I found the 80's, the 90's, Ozzy and Hair Nation.   I now officially have radio ADD.   I am constantly switching stations and have considered altering presets so I can flip through them from the steering wheel.  I haven't.  I was just tempted.  I do have to give it back tomorrow.

I seriously enjoyed this feature.  I have been rocking out to Warrant, Nirvana, Wreckx-N-Effect and a cover of Funky town that made the rearview mirror vibrate.  

I really hope there isn't a camera in that car, because that would be embarrassing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sew what

So I bought some fabric recently.  I thought I could use it to do a couple of projects.  Preferably, no sew projects, because I don't remember the last time I touched a sewing machine, much less turned it on and used it properly.  Then I remembered that we had one in the attic and thought I wonder if that thing still works....

So I went to the attic and pulled it out.  It's old, dirty and still threaded.  So I started poking around online to get some information about this machine.  It's a Singer Touch and Sew Zig Zag 758 and after a bit of searching I found a manual for it with a copyright date of 1970!  That's right, this thing possibly older than I am!

It's also VERY dirty.  Apparently being stored for the last (at least) 15-20 years hasn't been good for it.  It did actually turn on though.  And the needle went down.  It did not however go back up.  So I started messing with it and realized that the presser foot was stuck to the plate below.

So I started taking things apart and found this....

It looks like the black plastic like thing melted(?) and gummed up the plate and the foot.  I'm thinking Goo Gone might help the plate and foot, but think the black piece will just have to be replaced.  If I can get this thing to work.

So if you know what the name of that little black piece is please let me know, as I haven't been able to figure it out yet.  Apparently, they are feed dogs.  I was informed of this by a friend who was shocked that they came in rubber.  I did however find a local sewing machine repair shop that I may be contacting.