Recent Posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Home Lessons

Now that we have been in our home for more than a year, I feel like we have grown as homeowners. For us, owning a home has presented different challenges than when we owned a Downtown Condo. Here are my top ten lessons:

1. Using the fireplace will not burn the house down. Yes, I admit that I was scared to use it. All it takes is an annual chimney sweep for around $30 and keeping a fire extinguisher on hand and you too can stay warm all winter.

2. Utility bills in an older home are EXPENSIVE! Ugly plastic on the windows and four months of stretch pants are worth saving hundreds.

3. Gray paint looks very different on the walls than it does on the paint sample. We painted our living room four times. We have sampled over 25 grays.

4. Online shopping saves money and time. It's not worth driving all over town looking for curtains. Online shopping has thousands more options and easy returns.

5. Home improvement projects take longer than anticipated. We are still working on projects that I thought we would have done in the first six months.

6. Home warranties are worth every penny in an older home. For $55 we now have a new double oven and refrigerator.

7. Reuse, recycle and repurpose items around your home to save money and make things personal.

8. Gardening and weeds do not agree with me. I tried to find my green thumb but it just doesn't exist. I think the weeds like to play tricks on my by multiplying before I turn around.

9. Dogs love a big home and a backyard. I thought Mika would always be an indoor dog but she can bird watch and chase squirrels for hours.

10. Be patient and find the house that calls to you and feels like home.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Easy Eco Holiday Gift Wrapping Bag

This year I wanted to wrap everyone's presents in something they could use again and again. I created an easy canvas gift bag that can be used for shoes when people travel. It really could be used for anything. So far my family is using them for toys, groceries, toiletries and dirty laundry.

Items Needed:

Canvas or muslin fabric (I purchased at Wal-mart for $1.97 a yard)

Drawstring (I purchased from Home Depot for $3.50)

Fabric Markers

Sewing Machine

First, I cut my fabric 28" by 17" to accommodate a men's size 11 shoes. Next, I ironed a 1/2 inch seam on the long side of the fabric which will become your drawstring seam. Then design your bags as you wish. I used fabric markers and stencils because I always need a template. After they are designed and dry, fold the outside (where you designed) into each side to create a 14" by 17" bag and stitch the two raw edges. Flip to the correct side and insert your drawstring with a safety pin.

Ta-da! You're done.

You can make this any size to fit your gift. Next year, I may make smaller bags for cosmetic bags for traveling.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Custom Image Canvas

Items needed:
Spray Paint
Large painted or printed canvas

Estimated time: 1 hour

1. Find desired canvas. I found mine at Home Goods on clearance for $35 because it needed a staple in the back frame and was loose. Easy fix and saved me 50%.
2. Take photo or image and enlarge on your computer. I used Microscoft Publisher and changed the page set-up to be the size of my canvas. Then I enlarged the photos and printed the document.
3. Using the printed image place together and cut off the excess edges of your image and tape secure together and onto your canvas with double stick tape.
4. Last, spray paint your canvas. Let dry and then remove the image onto of the canvas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First HGTV Web Video Dream Come True

Thank you HGTV for highlighting my passion for reupholstery! I have a tutorial video on, my dream come true. Please check it out and share it with friends. I'm still pinching myself to see if I just might wake up.