The Fixer Upper


So, my followers,  its been a while since we last spoke. The back is doing extremely well following surgery, and I went back to work. Then suddenly, in December, BAMMM, work injury to my knee. Fell like a wounded water buffalo, and injured the PCL. So needless to say Gma found herself sentenced to 8 weeks house arrest, and a huge amount of bored. So while visiting our somewhat local Habitat for Humanity Restore, I found this darling little 1 bedroom 1 bath fixer upper. It came fully furnished, but was in bad shape.

(no amount of peptol bismol pink from the previous owners could save it)

But the price was right $25.00 bucks!

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So, the first step in any fixer upper, (after closing escrow) is demolition! Stripped the wall paper off, peeled up the vinyl flooring, removed the windows, and unsafe railing on the upper deck.

Made a couple structural improvements, to the base and back wall.

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We removed the hinged roof and decided to give it a shake roof. unfortunately, the cost of dollhouse shingles is over $20 bucks a square foot, Luckily, I found craft sticks at the dollar store and bought 2 packages for $2 bucks! Taped them together in bundles of 20, cut them to 2″ shakes. Used the yardstick to make straight lines,  and glued them on with wood glue.

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While the glue dried, we painted the entire place with Kilz paint. Cures all evils, stains, smells, bad paint choices, and seals the bare wood. Making it a nice blank canvas to create!

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The back roof panel is glued and screwed secure, and the front is hinged so they can open and play inside the attic.

Next, I decided on my color palette, the pink I was stuck with, Hubby convinced me not to paint the vintage Barbie furniture it was mostly pink. But I had some leftover Minnie Mouse print and added a few fat quarters in a pretty blue to balance out the pink overload! Yep, there was sewing and construction involved! I painted the outside walls “Tiffany” blue, and added white trim molding. It helped stabilize the house.

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Flooring is next, since there was a kitchen and bath, of course I tiled it! After doing projects on our real homestead, I consider myself a self-taught expert! I had leftover tiny hexagon tiles and added 2 sheets matching tile with black tiles (looked like flowers to me) I still had adhesive and silver sparkly grout leftover from the wishing well project, so it really only cost $6 bucks for tile. ‘

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The bedroom, living room and attic needed wood floors. I was in the local flooring store, and found 3 planks of snap together dark stained real wood flooring. The guy just gave it to me since they were samples. All I had to do was measure, cut and snap together. Since is was so thick, no need to glue or nail it down. (hope she doesn’t trip between rooms, lol)

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Windows needed replacing, looks like they used page dividers and a sharpie to make them. I splurged on Ikea 5×7 frames ($1.99 ea) and just glued them in place.

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It’s not complete unless the patio is covered. Lowes kindly donated a scrap of Astroturf so she can relax with her shoes off. (all I had to do was ask!) Decided to do a more substantial railing. Since I was using black as an accent, decided to try it on the top rail. Used the same molding I had put on the corners of the house, but painted it gloss black

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So this whole renovation took about two weeks, with drying times, so I had plenty of time to sew accessories and cover the 70’s Barbie fabric.

The sofa and chair pads got recovered and the pillows. Made all new bedding (yes, I did fitted and flat sheets, duvet cover, bed skirt and pillows) all new curtains and drapes with fancy beaded finials on the curtain rods.  I hung them with command hooks, the rods are 1/2″ dowels, cut to fit the windows.  I was considering cup hooks but the walls are paper-thin and they would have come through the outside. I sacrificed a white bar towel, cut it up, hemmed it and added appliqué hearts for the bath.

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I decided to put “puck” lights in the rooms, easy for them to operate, but they kept falling off. I used my go to E300 super glue to attach the bases and problem solved.

The attic isn’t complete yet, think I want to put a closet pole (small metal towel bar?) across the side and hang her clothes up and maybe some cuter storage bins for her shoes and accessories. You know ladies, make it a “dream” closet, right?

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And lastly, don’t miss the family picture above the sofa, it’s the best part!!

So I encourage you to do your own fixer upper, it was a blast! Maybe I can tackle a real size one?

Enjoy!!

Debbie

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Minnie Inspired Headwrap

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OK, it’s been a while since I last posted. Let’s just agree it was a year not to be forgotten. I’m happily recuperating from back surgery and finally feeling more like myself. “the Happy Crafter” so as we are planning baby Hailey’s first birthday celebration in Disneyland, I’m inspired to make some goodies! If this one looks familiar, it is a variation of the 10 min table runner. Of course, you want to wear a table runner on your head, right? But I was looking at the retro head wraps on Pinterest thinking….. Disney inspired but not soooo mousey.

Supplies needed:

5″ X 36″ dark colored fabric (this is the back and edge fabric)

3″ X 36″ pattern fabric (for the center panel)

thread to match or contrast

Sewing machine or Serger

Steam Iron

And about 10-15 mins to assemble

 

As you can see, I choose a large polka dot in red and pink, and small dot black and solid black. This is what happens when I can’t make up my mind, I choose them all! There’s 10 of us going, so I made several options for us to share.

 

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I like to cut on a mat with a guide. Cutting straight seems to not be my strength. Cut the backing and edge fabric 5″ and the center piece 3″. I just left the length from the fabric store (44′ i think) and trimmed it after I put it together.

 

This project is so easy, I would totally recommend it as a mom/daughter learning to sew tutorial. Let them pick the fabrics and do the cutting and sewing.

 

I measured around my head, it was about 24″ so I added 12″ for the ties and came up with 36″ total. You can alter that measurement shorter if you are sewing for a child, or add if you have that one friend with the really big melon.

 

Sew the right sides together, I used my serger, one of the best investment I’ve made in crafting. But you could totally do this on a basic machine. Make sure to get good seams and turn right side out. Press the tube with the seams outward toward the edge.

 

 

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Now the tricky part, creating the ends. It’s really quite simple, fold the tube backwards. Yep, with the back edges even fold lengthwise.

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Then sew shut the short end. This make the point when you fold it down. Be sure to use your scissors or other pointy thing to get the point out, if sewing on a conventional machine trim the fabric to reduce bulk in the point.

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See? it’s really quite simple!

Now all you need to do it tie it around your noggin!!

 

 

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There they are…all dozen Minnie inspired headbands, can’t wait for vacation!

Enjoy!

Debbie

 

Chalkboard Cornhole Game

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Well, as promised…. another chalkboard project is wrapping up. Cornhole (Bean Bag) game for the rehearsal dinner.

The lovely bride’s mother requested some yard games for the rehearsal dinner, and we were all too happy to oblige.

I’ve wanted one of these for camping and what better reason than a June Wedding, to kick us into gear.

I really can’t take credit for the boards except that I insisted hubby build them to specifications.

Lucky for me, he’s quite handy and lets me boss him around.

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He’s construction, I’m design, we work well together.

I looked online at the DIY network, and found the correct dimensions, and simple enough plans to construct the boards.

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/structures/how-to-build-a-regulation-cornhole-set

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I couldn’t decide on a paint design, so since I’m all about the chalkboard lately, that seemed like a perfect finish.

We stained the sides and legs with a golden oak finish, and I painted the tops with two thin coats of chalkboard paint.

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They turned out wonderful! The legs fold under for storage and transport.

Next, you need some corn bags. I guess in the south the bags are filled with corn, elsewhere beans. Who knew?

Just be sure not to leave them out in the rain, the corn will expand and mold!

There is a specific size and weight for the bags. They are supposed to be 6″ x 6″ in size and weigh exactly 16 oz.

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So I cut the fabric into 7″ squares, and used my serger to close 3 of the 4 sides with a 1/2′” seam all around.

If you don’t have a serger, just sew them front sides together and turn them out.

Fill the bags with the proper amount of corn (I used a food scale with the bag set on it) and slipstitch the opening closed.

A good source for the corn was the new Tractor Supply store. I got 50# of feed corn for $12. bucks!

It made 6 full sets of bags, way more than I needed, but I think they’ll be great gifts.

A tip for filling and sewing the bags closed was pinning the open end horizontally to hold the corn inside, while I serged it closed.

This kept the kernels from spilling out and losing the proper weight, and also prevented them from getting under the needles of the machine.

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I did some in burlap too. And two different camping motifs!

I also made a storage bag for the corn bags with leftover fabric and cording. And added a pocket to hold the chalk!

Sadly, I didn’t get enough photos to make this post truly user-friendly, but I think you get the idea.

Psst, I had him make two sets of boards so I get to keep one for camping!

In case you’re not familiar with the rules of the Game, It’s really quite simple!

You play similar to horseshoes, tossing the bags from either side into the hole.

Generally tournament play is teams of two people, opposite each other at the top of the boards.

The boards are placed 27 feet apart facing each other.

(Be sure someone sober measures before you start!)

Bag in the hole scores 3 pts.

Bag on the board 1 pt.

First person/team to 21 pts. Wins!

Now, play responsibly and be sure to use good sportsmanship at all times.

Enjoy!

Debbie

Holiday topiary trees

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Wait? that is a tomato cage? Really? Not all home “crafts” have to be homemade looking. Just upgrade the idea.

So I have this arbor in front of my garage, and apparently rampant, hungry, zombie deer herds roaming my front yard. Seems no matter what I planted in these planters, the mutant deer devour it. I love seeing them and their babies each spring, but nursery bought food is killing me!

So why not, make “fake” trees (can’t possibly taste good right?)

But problem is, the pre=made ones are up to a hundred bucks each, and if you want them 4 ft tall, even more.

Birth of an idea, why not make them, so I did.

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In fact, I made two!

Supplies Needed:

I used 4 tomato cages (doubled up for more stability and tie on places)

Net lights ( 2 sets)

twinkle light 200 cot ( two sets)

Iced Pine garland (4 from Michael’s but they were bogo)

large pine garland 200 feet

zip ties

wire and wire cutters

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So I had the garland from previous years. It was a really nice iced pine with pinecones already attached. Been keeping it in the garage looking for a new use for it because it proved to be “messy” the ice crystals kept falling off my shelves. seems like outdoor would work better.

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I started by putting the two tomato cages on top of each other twisting them so I had more places to tie to. I used a piece of wire to secure the tops together into a pointy cone shape.

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Next I added the net lights. Plain white, but you could do whatever style you like. Since I like a little twinkle outdoors, I also put a couple of strands of blinking ones over the net lights. I figured more the merrier!

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So I started from the top down, since I thought if I ran out, the planter would hide the bottom, with the iced pine. Using zip ties to secure, I wound the garland around leaving some space. If you have enough “fancy” garland you could wrap it snugly. Once these were on, I went back from the top with the plain pine garland and continued to fill in the empty spaces with it. You can tie with the zip ties, and weave into the cage as well.

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I put them into the planters, used some garden staples to secure them and a couple short shepherds hooks. They’re a little light, and the wind knocked them over a couple of times, but now they’re secure! Think the came out pretty realistic, I have spotted the “herd” checking them out. If they eat these, I give up!

Enjoy,

Debbie

Snowflake Christmas Tree Skirt

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I know it’s barely August, but I was inspired to make a new tree skirt this year for my christmas tree. Since I was trapped in the truck during my “awesome” road trip, I had plenty of time to crochet. It’s one of my favorite parts of traveling. I found a 12 point star pattern online, and decided to work it into a snowflake pattern for under my tree.

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Materials Used:

2 1/2 skeins White  (Hobby Lobby super soft – I love this yarn) (color A)

2 skeins White/sparkle (Hobby Lobby Metallic – I love this yarn) (color B)

2 skeins Yarn Bee Fetching pewter (color C contrast)

Hook size I 5.5mm

Since I do my Holiday dining room entirely of white/silver snowflakes the color was as important as the pattern. You can use whatever colors complement your decor. I’m planning on a blue/red/white one for my BFF who has a “Cubs” tree for her honey each year.

The pattern is fairly simple, you can change yarns whenever you like, keeping the basic stitch in mind, and do as many rows will fit your needs. I have my tree on a platform that is 36″ in diameter, so my finished skirt is approx. 45″ across, with each point measuring 24″ long. I kept adding rows until I had the size I wanted. You can do less, or more just follow the pattern once established.

A few pointers as I worked along, establish the “right” side of your work so that when changing colors you begin at the proper side. When you’re keeping with the same color, you can simply turn and work back. But if you’re adding a new color you want to start on the “right” side. Working in the back loops of the “right” side makes a nice edge for the color change. (If you look closely, you can see I didn’t figure this out soon enough) If you use different styles/types of yarn it will also make the lines cleaner between them. Once I was finished, I decided to “edge” the entire piece in the metallic pewter yarn. See the inner ring of the beginning, it was all white until I put the final edge completely around.

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Note: The pattern I started with was somewhat confusing, so I decided to modify it for us basic crocheters.

Shell = *2dc, ch 2, 2dc* (makes the point of the snowflake, adding 1 st to dc total between)

P-st = *dc, ch2, dc* (makes the point, without adding dc to the count)

Row 1: using color A (plain white) *(chain 5, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in 5th ch) repeat 11 more times (makes 12 “bumps” ) with 2-dc, and 3 ch spaces each. (24 st) Mark as the right side….

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Row 2: pull yarn up in the ch3 space, chain 2, (counts as dc) dc, ch2, 2dc, in the same space. *2dc, ch2, 2dc* repeat in each of the 11 bumps. turn. (48 st)

Row 3: slip st in next st, ch 3, *2dc, ch2, 2dc* in the ch2 space, dc in next st, skip 2 sts, dc in next st, *shell* in the ch2 space, dc in next stitch, repeat 11 times, skip last stitch turn (72 st)

Row 4: sl st in next st, ch3, dc in next st, (counts as 2dc) *shell* in the ch2 space, dc in next 2 stitches, skip 2 stitches, *shell* in the ch2 space, repeat 11 times, skip last stitch turn (96 st)

Row 5: We’re going to start the “ripple” portion of the skirt working in all dc, skip first stitch, dc in each of next 2 sts. P-st in the ch2 space, dc next 3 sts, (sk 2 st, dc in next 3 st, p-st in ch sp, dc in next 3st) 11 times. (96sts) finish off. (I changed to pewter)

Note: when you’re working a color change row, remember to work in the back loops except when working the *shell* or *P-st* in the ch2 spaces. 

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Row 6: Remember to start on the right side (color c) skip first stitch, join color C in back loop of next st, ch 3, (counts as dc) dc in back loop of next 2 sts, *shell* in the ch 2 sp, dc in back loop of next 3 stitches, (sk 2 sts, dc in back loop of next 3, *shell* in ch2 space, dc in back loop of next 3 sts) 11 times skip last stitch. finish off (120 st)

Row 7: Remember to go back to the right side again (color B) skip first st, join color B in back loop of next st, ch 3, (counts as dc) dc in back loop of next 3 std, *shell* in ch2 sp, dc in back loop of next 4 sts, (sk 2 stds dc in back loop of net 4 sts, *shell* in ch 2 sp, dc in back loop of next 4 sts) 11 times. turn (144 sts)

Row 8: skip first stitch, chain 3 (counts as dc) dc next 5 st, P-st in ch2 space, dc next 5 std, (skip 2st, dc 5 st, P-st in ch 2 sp, dc 5 st) 11 times skip last stitch, turn (144 st) no increase on the P-st rows.

Row 9: slip stitch in the first stitch, ch3 (counts as dc) dc in next 4 sts, *shell* in the ch2 space, dc in next 5 std, (skip 2, dc in next 5, *shell* dc next 5) 11 times, skip last stitch,  (168st) finish off.

Note: So, the gist of this pattern repeats with every third row. Shell rows add one to the count of dc worked between the points and dips, but the third row is worked with a P-st no increase.

Row 10: Remember to start on the right side, and work in the back loops if you are changing colors (color C) skip first st, join color C, chain 3 (counts as dc) dc next 5 dc, *shell* in ch2 space, sc next 6 sts, (skip 2 sts, *shell* in ch 2 space, dc net 6 sts,) 11 times. skip last stitch. finish off. (192 sts)

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Row 11: (color A) skip first st, chain 3, (counts as dc) dc next 7 sts, P-st in ch 2 space, dc in next 7 sts, (sk 2, dc 7 sts, P-st, dc next 7) 11 times, skip last st, turn (192 sts)

Row 12: slip stitch first stitch, ch 3, dc next 6 sts, *shell* in ch2 space, dc next 7 sts, (sk 2, dc in next 7 sts, *shell* in ch 2 space, dc next 7 sts) 11 times.  turn (216 sts)

Row 13: *shell* row, 8dc finish off

Row 14: (color C) *P-st* 9dc finish off

Row 15: (color B) *shell* 9 dc turn

Row 16: *shell* 10 dc turn

Row 17: *p-st* 11 dc finish off

Row 18: (color C)*shell* 11 dc finish off

Row 19: (color A) *shell* 12 dc, turn

Row 20: *P-st* 13 dc, turn

Row 21: *shell* 13 dc, turn

Row 22: *shell* 14 dc, finish off

Row 23: (color C) *p-st* 15 dc, finish off

Row 24: (color B) *shell* 15 dc, turn

Row 25: *shell* 16 dc, turn

Row 26: *P-st* 17 dc, turn

Row 27: *shell* 17 dc, finish off

Row 28: (color C)*shell* 18 dc, finish off

Row 29: (color A) *P-st* 19 dc, turn

Row 30: *shell* 19 dc, turn

Row 31: *shell* 20 dc, turn

Row 32: *P-st* 21 dc, turn

Row 33: *shell* 21 dc. finish off

Row 34: (color C) *shell* 22 dc when you come to the end of the row, *shell* on the corner, then dc along the edge in each of the ch3 spaces and each row. work *shell* around the corners and dc in each space around the top, around the corner and back down to row #33. finish off.

My color pattern was white for the first 5 rows, single row of pewter, 3 rows sparkle, pewter, 4 rows white, pewter, 4 sparkle, pewter, 5 rows white, pewter around the entire outside edge. You can certainly do any combination of rows, yarn textures, have fun!! Use up those scraps, or do it entirely of the same color and sew on some buttons, charms, or tassels. I think mine needs some snowflake crystals on the ends of each point. Hmmmm, think I need a trip to the bead store!

As Always, Enjoy,

Debbie

Trailer Trash Bucket

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So I happened upon this funny idea for a trash bucket for my R.V. and couldn’t resist making it.

We always seem to have a collection of empty buckets with us,

for trash, recycling and pinecones…. so why not decorate them? Right?

Supplies Needed:

Bucket from the bakery at the store (Free)

sketch paper

permanent markers

stickers, letters, outdoor paint

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It started with a blank canvas.

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Sketched a few ideas. Some made it, some not…. figured out simpler lines were easier on a round surface.

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Used a little goo gone to remove the bakery sticker. Washed the bucket inside and out.

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I outlined the trailer with a marker, and if you put the original inside the bucket,

and hold it up to the light, you can trace it onto the front of the bucket with the marker.

I figured out that an ink pen just wouldn’t write on this surface.

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Kinda like a coloring book page, put the bold lines down first, then add the details later.

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I did cheat a little bit, used scrapbook letters for the “Trailer Trash” and some tiny pinecone stickers too.

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Traced a cutout of a moose kissing a moose….think I’ll add a heart between their noses.

You can decorate in any style that suits your decor. The next one will have some bears on it.

As Always, Enjoy!!

Debbie