Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goodbye Christmas

I took down Christmas yesterday. It's sad, but it also feels good at the same time? My house looks so bare and blah, but less cluttered, calmer, and more serene.

I usually wait to put away Christmas until New Year's Day.

We will be celebrating New Year's Eve at a friend's house this year and since no one is coming to our house and it was pouring rain, it seemed like a good rainy day project.

I really don't enjoy cleaning my house, it makes me cranky.

I must admit though I love when it's clean.

It does feel good to vacuum up the last faux pine tree needle off the carpet.

Now if I could just get the glitter out of my scalp.

What the heck, I'll leave it in there for New Year's Eve.

Good Bye Christmas... till next year. Oops! I forgot, I still need to take down the outside decorations. I'll have to wait till they dry out.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Something We Do Every Year

Every year around Christmas time, our family gets together and visits the Hotel Del in Coronado. My husband and I were married there a little over fifteen years ago. We exchanged vows in the gazebo at the Del's garden. Every year we go back and take pictures in the gazebo and in front of the Christmas tree in the hotel lobby.

Here is our wedding.

It's a family event. My brother Mike, my sister-in-law Sandy, and their two boys, Jake and Sam come with us too.

I have a picture from our wedding day of my husband leaning on this light pole right before we got married. The kids like to re-enact the shot. Here they are from last year.

Here's Casey this year.

Cami and Casey

Jake, Cami, Casey, and Sam last year in front of the Del Christmas tree.

Here they are this year in front of the light pole.

My parents always come and take us all out for dinner.

We always take pictures in front of the tree.

Here we are in the gazebo. You might be wondering why my husband isn't facing the camera? It's a condition of his witness protection program.

Just kidding, he's a little camera shy and doesn't want to be on the blog.

Such great memories and a wonderful family tradition.

Wishing your family a wonderful Holiday.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Grammy's and Bucky's House

My oldest daughter affectionately named my dad "Bucky" when she was a baby and it stuck. All four of his grandchildren call him Bucky to this day. My kids call my mom "Grammy." This is their house at Christmas. They live about ten minutes from us and we see them frequently every week, almost daily.

My kids love their grandparent's Christmas decor way more than ours. I have one Santa Claus and one Snowman in our entire house. My parents have a few more. Try 300 more! My mom has been collecting Annalee Christmas ornaments since 1975.

She has well over 300 of them.

Annalee Gingerbread Man and Woman.

More Snowmen than I can count.

Lots of Snowmen.

Santa and his Reindeer.

Baby Jesus, he's my favorite.

The living room tree.

She also collects Clothtique Santa Claus's. This cabinet is filled entirely with Santa's.

This Christmas tree is covered in all Annalee ornaments.

The girls and their cousins, Sam and Jake.

Annalee Santa.

Annalee Mice.

More Santas

Here are the girls baking with Grammy at Christmas time a few years back. The girls love my parent's house because they always make Christmas so special for them.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finally- The Finished Slip Cover

Remember about a week ago when I was bragging about how great our San Diego weather is? Well since last Saturday, it's been raining. Right now it's pouring. I usually don't like rain, but today I was happy about it. It was so nasty outside we canceled our plans for the day and stayed home. I finally finished (almost) my slip cover for my couch. I still need to order new replacement high density foam for the the saggy seat cushions.
 Here is the finished couch.

Here is where I left off last time I blogged. I had to run to a soccer tournament. It was a busy soccer weekend. Our club was hosting the tournament and not only did we watch all my daughter's games, but I also worked at one of the venues. Casey's team won the whole tournament (in the rain). Oh yeah, did I mention it's the week before Christmas? Needless to say, I didn't have time for much sewing this weekend.

My last blog detailed how I used beige Ikea velvet drapes that I already had.  I dyed them gray to use on my couch as a slip cover. After measuring my couch, I determined I needed three more curtain panels to complete the project. I already had four panels sitting in my closet. They come in two packs, so I bought two more packs. I ended up using approximately 21 yards of fabric which equals seven curtain panels. I have one extra dyed panel that I can use for the backside of pillows.

I didn't use a pattern, I followed the lines of the upholstery in most cases. I detoured from this technique when doing the front of each arm. I traced the shape of the flat front of the arm on to paper and used it to make the shape. I like a more fitted slip cover look. To get a more tailored look, I added a zipper to the back right hand corner of the slip cover. I was afraid if I didn't, I would rip the seams taking the cover on and off.

I haven't worked with velvet before. Not sure I'll do it again? It's not fun to work with! It has a mind of it's own. When the front sides of the velvet are facing each other when sewing, the fabric clings and puckers. The fabric also "grew" while I sewed. I don't know if that's a characteristic of velvet or if it's because I washed and dyed it in very hot water? I'm not sure if that contributed to the stretching? Anyway, the stretching caused the project to take even more time than I anticipated. I would measure, cut, sew, and have to re-sew because the fabric had stretched and looked baggy on the couch. This would require turning the slip cover inside out, putting the slip cover back on the couch, lining it up perfectly, re-pinning, taking it off, re-sewing, putting it back on, and so on. It doubled my project time. I finished today, yeah for me!

Here is the before.

Notice there's no dog on this one? Let's keep it that way Roscoe.

Now I need to find fabric to make new pillows, and paint the walls, and rip up the carpet, paint the concrete, and ....

I'll have to wait till after Christmas and another rainy day.

Do you ever start projects like this right before the Holidays or a big event at your house?
I think I enjoy the pressure of the deadline to get it done on time?
Is that a little psycho. of me?
Thanks for checking it out!

The after.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Slip Cover

I don't know why I start projects like this during the Holidays? I have a short memory of how much time these things take. I think it's like childbirth, you forget the pain once you have the baby in your arms? I decided to make a new slip cover for my couch the week before Christmas. This is my sewing/craft room, my kitchen. The counter is great for sewing, but the mess migrates all over the family room and the kitchen. Perfect for the Holidays.

Here is my slip cover project, not the dog, the couch.

Our couch is 12 years old. It has been used daily as Roscoe's personal post meal napkin and her favorite place to barf. It's been used as a handy place for my girls to put their horseback riding boots and soccer cleats. It's been through sandy beach feet, sleeping kid drool, sweaty workout husband, baby formula, and countless other messes. I have spot cleaned, machine washed the pillow covers, and had it professionally cleaned, but it's seen better days.

Saggy cushions

(I can relate after turning 46 this week. 12 years in couch age equals 46 years in people age)

Rosie loves it as a bunny chew toy. Bad bunny!

This couch is a Bernhardt. It's an 8 way hand tied, 60/40 down, blah blah blah. You know, a good couch. I'm a bargain hunter on many things, but even at a bargain, a good quality couch isn't in the budget. Couches are one thing I won't skimp on quality, especially one we use every day. In the meantime, I have had my eye out for some fabric for months to make a slip cover.

I slip covered our old couch before we had this one and most recently I slip covered the matching chair that I bought with the couch.

Here is the chair. I showed it to you on the blog about Casey's room.

I knew exactly what I wanted, I just couldn't find it at the price I wanted. It needed to be economical, feel great, hold up to everyday use, and be the right color. I love the look of white slip covers, but I have puppy paws, soccer cleats, and all the rest. I don't enjoy doing laundry and white would get dirty to quickly on a couch we use every day. I'm also tired of beige and brown. I wanted charcoal gray.

Sometimes the answer is right in front of you. I found an almost free alternative in my own closet. I had these Ikea drapes which had hung in my office before it became Cami's room.

Sanela 100% cotton velvet drapes from Ikea, $49 for a 2 pack.

Economical (free is good), comfortable, durable, but wrong color.

I already had them, not the color I wanted, so I dyed them gray. Perfect! I spent about $40 on Rit dye from Ralph's. It's probably cheaper at Walmart, but I didn't want to deal with the Christmas crowds. I dyed the fabric in my top load washing machine. I split the fabric in to two separate loads, four drape panels in each load. First I washed the fabric in hot water with the Rit Fabric Lightener. Than I dyed each load of fabric with a box of dry Denim Blue Dye and 2 bottles of liquid Black Dye. Follow the directions on the box.
You will also need 2 cups of salt (1 cup for each load- see box directions).

Here is how the fabric turned out.

I realize this is going to change the color scheme of the room. I have had a paint swatch painted on the wall for months that has a gray undertone. This is the only room in the house I haven't painted since we moved in ten years ago, so it's time. I'm just waiting for the right time to paint because it involves painting the ceiling too. I eventually will remove the carpet and paint the concrete. The carpet is shot. The brown chairs will get a face lift too. Not sure about the drapes? They are made from paint drop clothes, so if I decide to change them they will go to good use when I paint the room.

This is how I start the process of making a slip cover. First I make a drawing of the furniture I'm about to tackle. Drawing it helps me figure out how much fabric I need, how to use the fabric most economically, and how to to place the seams? It's no fun to start a project like this and realize you didn't have enough fabric to finish it. I like to cover each cushion individually so they can be washed if need be. This way takes a lot more fabric.

Here are the first two seams. Next I add the arms. I'm done with the arms, but I need to run to a soccer tournament, so I will need to finish the cushions later. I'll post the completed project when I finish.

I'm slow.

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