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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Playtime in the Car

Here’s a quickie I made for my Grandniece Dolly’s car trip to Disneyland. They’re driving down, and I remember those days of trying to keep an excited

5-year-old entertained in the backseat. I made her a travel box with stuff to hopefully make the ride smoother.

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First up was a travel tic tac toe tin. I found a small metal tin in the dollar bin at Target and it was already red! So I added some cute washi tape around the bottom and painted her a Minnie Mouse on the top.

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I used a small ruler and permanent marker to put the grid on the inside of the lid.

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Collected some bottle caps from Papa, he was happy to help. You need 10 total, 5 of each color. Some button magnets and outdoor glue, attached to the back.

I painted mine black and red, and put a mouse outline on top. You can do whatever shape, or theme suits your kiddo.

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I also made a backup set of caps, using a punch and putting the images inside the cap and the magnet on the back. (I’m sure some of these will end up under the seats! Sorry Mom and Dad…

Enjoy!

Debbie

 

 

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

 

My First Chalkboard Project

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Hello my crafty friends, I know it’s been a while since we last spoke. But we all know how quickly time runs away from us.

So, let’s see if I remember how to get this posted.

My new obsession is chalkboard stuff. I had to create an entire pinterest board to all the great ideas I’ve been seen.

Well, I decided I wanted one for the front of my fireplace, but it needed to be big.

Like 36″ x 33″ big.

Supplies needed: a board (did I mention mine is big?)

Chalkboard paint and a roller (I cheated, no roller pan, just poured some paint on and rolled it out)

Chalk, Chalk markers, stencils, and/or good penmanship

 So I put hubby to work cutting a big piece of board, and had him round the corners.

Also had him put a heavy-duty hanger on the back, since I will remove it from its perch to change the message often.

If you are going to put it where youngen’s will be using it, try hanging it with mirror clips

It will be flush on the wall and not “wiggle” when they write on it.

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I also got some chalk, chalk markers, and stencils (options are good, considering this is a new adventure)

I’m not thrilled with my writing skills, but hopefully they will improve with some practice.

That’s the beauty of a chalkboard, right? I can erase it and start over.

So, a couple of tips I found online: be sure to do two thin coats of the chalkboard paint

on your board and let it dry at least 24 hours between each coat.

Be sure to wait another 36 hours before you write on it.

The paint is kinda “soft” and if you write on it too soon, those overeager messages will be imbedded forever.

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It’s recommended that you “season” your board before you start using it. So, I took some super cheap plain white chalk and rubbed it all over the board.

Easy enough, but I recommend doing this outside, since it left a lot of dust!

Cover your entire board, and then wipe it off, repeat. I used about 5 sticks of chalk, and did it three complete times.

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it really does give it a nice “used” look, and smooths out the surface before you begin creating your masterpiece.

For lettering, I used a yardstick to keep myself somewhat straight. It’s a little harder than I anticipated.

Kudos to those school teachers who have perfect vertical penmanship!

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We’re planning a June Wedding, and since I’m the Mother of the Groom, guess what the rehearsal dinner theme is….??

Stay tuned for more projects!

Enjoy!

Debbie