Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birds on a wire coat hooks tutorial

This simple and sweet update in our mudroom packs a lot of punch!

From the photos in this post, you can see that our entry/mudroom is very narrow. What you can not see, is that what used to be a coat closet was turned into a pantry (thank goodness!!).

The problem is that for the 2.5 years that we have lived in our home coats have been hanging on the back of our dining room chairs... and it drives me nuts! No matter how clean the house is this makes it look dirty and cluttered.

Very similar to the situation with my duvet cover, I could not make a solid decision about what I wanted. And let's face it, Happy Hubby is not so happy when he is continuously drilling and patching holes when I change my mind.

I picked up some Blecka Hooks at Ikea that were $4.99. Initially I intended to hang them plain and simple on the wall, but we all know I just can't leave things alone! Since the hallway is so narrow, we decided to keep it a cream color and I have the vision of a gallery wall in there. You don't see plain in a gallery. 
So, I needed to turn my hooks into some art!

Here is what I came up with:

I adore them. 

1. I got little wooden circle plaques from Michaels (don't remember how much, but I think they were around 50 cents each!) and painted them black. 

2. Laid my plaques (face down) on the backside of this rockin' birds on a wire paper and traced the small front circle with a pencil. 

3. Cut out the circles.

4. Slather a medium thick coat of Mod Podge on the front of my plaques and adhered the paper smoothing out any bumps. Once dried, I spread Mod Podge all over the paper and wood- edges and all, I like how it smoothes things out.

5. I sanded any rough spots with my 220 grit sand paper, we don't want to snag any sweaters!

6. Second coat of mod podge! whoop whoop ;)

7. Spray with a non yellowing acrylic sealer, I did 2 coats!

8. Some how measure or eyeball the circle and drill a hole to add hooks. We used wall anchors that support up to 5 lbs in the sheetrock and the same screw that you see on the front goes all the way into the wall; this is how we mounted and attached our hooks.

They make an amazing addition to the gallery, and perfect companions to this little fella I created a couple months ago!

Here is how we lined them up:

I linked up!



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MyMemories Suite Giveaway and Gator's 7th Birthday

Really, y'all, this is sooooo cool!

We had Allie Gator's seventh birthday celebration here in Portland this weekend. It was a wild Saturday! We went to Joann Fabrics and Toys R Us for Miss Gator to spend her birthday money!

The best part is that I was able to snap these photos on Saturday and Miss Gator helped me organize them into these digital scrapbook pages using My Memories Suite! I so love what we came up with!

Every year, Miss Gator gets olives for her birthday! She thinks it's a riot!

Miss Gator with her Gluten Free Lemon Cake and mommy made cake topper:

Here is miss Gator playing legos and blowing out candles!

While I adore the process of cutting and pasting, traditional scrapbook style, I must say that I love the instant gratification that this program gives with the photos! Plus you can share them as JPGs!

This digital software program is user friendly and I love that it comes with tons for free templates and embellishments to work with, but you can also buy more from their website to add to your collection!

So, do you want this $40 value My Memories Suite program absolutely free?!

All you have to do is follow my blog, visit the MMS website, and leave a comment below telling me what you can't wait to do with My Memories Suite!

I'll have my husband draw names out of a hat, very old fashioned style to chose the winner 
next Tuesday (3/6)!

I linked up!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Refinishing Laminate Drawers- Cover your laminate with Fabric!

My last post was so... um, inspirational.

 I  Happy Hubby put this thing together for me. I found some handles out in the garage, but the screws were too long so Hubs was sent to work with them to cut down.

So this thing has been sitting in my living room all day long while we have walked around it and stared at it. 

I tried to fight the urge. The urge to change it, to do something to it...

But there it sat, boring and laminate and so...white.

And I gave in.

I found this very popular Ikea fabric I had in my stash, why not?! This baby needed some texture!
I cut strips a little wider and longer than the drawers.

Guilty pleasure: I love love love a brand new bottle of Mod Podge.
I had to capture this before I popped the top!

I sanded the laminate drawer faces with 220 grit sand paper and slapped on a medium thick coat of Mod Podge. I had never Mod Podged fabric before today!

I laid my strips on top of the drawer faces (I only did one at a time, allowing the first to dry completely before taking on the second). Since Happy Hubby had already put the thing together, I was not going to take it apart again, so I just propped the drawers open with a yoga block.

I used a brush, but fingers worked better on the edges. Plus, sometimes it's really fun to get glue all over your fingers!! I used Mod Podge to adhere the fabric onto the wood. I liked the fabric feel on the front of the drawer so I did not put mod podge on top of the fabric on the face, but I loaded it up on the sides on top of the fabric so that they wouldn't come all apart.

Here is the face of one drawer with the top edge (on the right) smoothed down.

Here is how I worked with the corners and tucked them in. I really slathered on the Mod Podge here in the corners. I'll likely seal the corners with even more later, depending on how it dries.

And here it is!

I soooooo love this! A million times better than that stark and boring white laminate! The bottom drawer is still drying in this photo. 

I used my seam ripper to poke a little hole in the fabric where the holes were predrilled in the laminate. We then popped a screw through from the front side and attached the handles.

I can not wait to finish it up!!

The top drawer has dried and I have sanded the edges a tad with my 220 grit sand paper to make them a little less sharp. It worked like a charm.

Please subscribe/follow my blog!

I'll post photos when the casters are attached and the printer is at home on top of this *now* sweet little thing!

Now I'm thinking of a million things I'd like to adhere fabric to...


What will you Mod Podge fabric on to?!

Have a rockin' weekend!

Lauren D.

Creatively Living

I linked up!





Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sometimes you just have to buy it

Mr. P's schedule has been off for the past 2 days.

I honestly think that this makes him more upset than me, but I have definitely been frustrated. We have places to be, people to see, and I have projects to manage/finish.

I tried for an hour to get him to nap. He is not a "cry it out" type of guy, and honestly, I'm not that type of mom either. But today I needed just a few moments to myself and I let him cry while I sat still. He worked himself up so bad, I felt guilty and like a horrible momma and finally snagged him up so that I could get ready for our day. 

I like to dress up a little on Tues/Thurs since I don't teach yoga on those days and it's fun to (attempt to) look hot and effortless when Happy Hubby returns home from work. None of my clothes seemed to fit right, or be comfortable enough, I'm having a "fat day," and my favorite jeans have a huge hole in the crotch. 
So, we went to Target :)

I know it seems counter productive, but when Mr. P is a crabby pants, taking him to the store is the only way to guarantee that we can both make it through the day.

Now that you know how lazy heavy guilty unproductive I was feeling the earlier part of today, I'll now tell you about our wonderful adventures in Target!

I try not to shop at Target too often. I like to thrift/junk/build things for my home. With too many projects on my plate at the moment and the desire to quickly accomplish something today I knew this was the right move for both of us.

We found a great parking spot (right next to the cart return- priority as a mom now!) we went right over to the baby food section and got Mr. P 2 up and up baby food squeeze pouches, his favorite treat, and my  sanity in the store around lunch time. 

I have been searching this town high and low for something original with drawers for my office space at the landing/top of our stairs, with no luck. I figured I'd scan Target, but first I had to try on jeans while Mr. P was happily slurping down his baby food pouches. 8 pairs later, I found some that were high waisted enough that I won't have the butt-crack-gap when I sit down, like all of my other pairs. Yes, my friends, I bought some mom jeans today. And they are comfortable. lol

We the headed up to the storage/organization area of Target and I found this beauty:

The idea is:
1. to get it put together
2. to add casters to the bottom
3. to place my printer on top and paper in the drawers
4. replace the drawer pulls with something shiny
5. roll this thing under my desk

We got home from Target and Mr. P went down for a nap! 

I'm rocking my new mom jeans

and attempting to put this thing together!

The moral of my story today is that sometimes you just have to make things easier on yourself.

 Sometimes, you just have to buy it... Don't you just love happy endings?!

Now, wish me luck getting this thing put together!

What have you broken down to purchase in order to complete a project quickly?
How do you deal with a child who won't take their nap?

Exhausted mama hugs,
Lauren D.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If I were a domestic fairy, this would be my magic wand...

My life is so much easier with a bottle brush in the kitchen :)

I just had to share this with ya'll. 

I use it to wash:
Sigg water bottle 
Wine Glasses
Travel coffee mugs
Sippy Cups
Empty baby food/condiment jars
Even the humidifier!!

I'm feeling some real love for my bottle brush today and then I realized that a lot of people probably don't know how amazing and useful these little guys can be. AND they are very inexpensive! You can get them in the baby section of Target/Walmart/Fred Meyer for about $2.

Hope this makes your life a little easier!

What is one household item that you love and are grateful for that makes your life easier?

Loads of love, 
Lauren D.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How I store my flours

I have been gluten free since 2009. 
I finally learned how to mix gluten free flours and bake gluten free in 2011.

We have a teeny tiny kitchen. Seriously, the two of us and the dog can't even fit in the kitchen all at the same time. We both love to be in the kitchen and we prepare most of our meals at home, so we have a lot of kitchen devices and food. 

Most of it is now stored out in the open and we have turned it into art/decoration. 

Happy Hubby made these outstanding corner shelves for me to store my flours and baking supplies on. He made these amazing brackets (he's great at steel work and design) and the labels on our flour jars are simply from left over clear address labels from our (DIY) wedding invitations. 

Happy Hubby collects pepper mills and this little yellow number is actually a salt mill that was a Christmas gift this year. 

My vintage Pyrex measuring cup also usually sits on this shelf, but it was in use at the time of this photo!
And I got a vintage rolling pin for Christmas 2011, so now I don't have to use a wine bottle anymore to roll out my dough! ;)

Beneath my window and shelves is an old desk (free from craigslist!) that I have redone and set up as my baking station. But that is a whole other post in the making!

If you are interested in my gluten free mix you cant find it here
There is no xanthan gum added, I add it per recipe, depending on what I'm making. For the most part, it is 1/4 tsp per 1 C of flour mix.

Whether you are Gluten free or not, I hope this inspires your kitchen space one way or another!

What is something you have used in your home as art or decor that is useful in your kitchen?

big hugs, and happy baking!

Lauren D.

I linked up! 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Throw Pillow Cover- Toilet Paper Roll Stamping on Fabric

I am not a fan of Vday. Maybe it's that inner fat kid from elementary school who never got cards, candy, flowers etc. Or maybe because it consists of a bunch of crap; dumb stuffed animals that will just be tossed out, chocolates filled with a bunch of junk, and flowers that die. Or maybe I just think it's stupid to celebrate love only one day of the year. Why not celebrate everyday

I love my husband. I love him every single day. Even when I don't like him, I love him to pieces! haha

Coincidentally I wanted to make this throw pillow cover for our bed and since finishing our pin tucked duvet cover, I am motivated to create the other things for our room that I have been dreaming up... and it just happens to be Vday. 
So, honey, here is your gift. Something to remind you every single day that I love you. Well, until I decide to make another pillow cover ;)

I have been collecting toilet paper rolls. 
Weird huh?! 
I have seen all sorts of fun kid crafting projects with them and even fun things floating around Pinterest where the tubes have been turned in to wall art and photo albums! 

I know that repetitive and geometric patterns have been in style, so I figured I'd give it a whirl with my tp tube! I grabbed my turquoise Tulip Brand fabric paint:

and a paper plate:

I cut two pieces of fabric from some old curtains that I had in my stash to the size of the pillow and as I was measuring (18"), I decided to add 2" (20" total) to the back piece to make an envelope enclosure.

I ironed my fabric and got going on it!

I simply dipped the rim of my tube into the paint and stamped it onto the fabric. 
I love the hand crafted look and I was not going for perfect here or I would have measured it out and taped off areas to stamp with in, so if you are going for a cleaner look, that would be my suggestion.

I think it looks pretty cool!
Once I got this far, I decided I wanted to add words.

I got out my trusty stamps, swiped my finger in the paint and dabbed it onto each letter before pressing it onto the fabric. One. Letter. At. A. Time. This can be tricky. Again I wasn't getting all OCD on this project, but I have a ton of practice using these font stamps. My suggestion is to play with them on some test fabric if you have never used them before to try out pressure, amount of paint, and a method that works for you to line up the letters.

Once your fabric paint is dry, heat set it with an iron and a scrap piece of fabric between the paint and iron. 
Once everything is stitched wait about a day and throw it in the dryer to further set the fabric paint.

I cut the longer back piece of fabric in 1/2, then I realized that I cut it in the wrong direction. Rats! Oh well! I folded the edges under and pressed them:

Then zipped them through my machine.

Since I cut the wrong side, my envelope enclosure gapes a little, so I'll likely stitch a little velcro to it, or maybe some snaps...
This looks like kind of a dramatic gap, but it actually isn't bad at all and pulls together very easily!

All in all I feel successful with this project and I think it'll look great with our new duvet cover! I have some plans for other throw pillow covers. They are fun and easy to pull off during nap time, or even with Mr. P sitting in my lap while I stitch!

I'd love to see what you come up with! If you have any questions, ask me. I also sell these kinds of things if you want one but don't want to invest in all of the supplies!

Have you done any thing creative with your toilet paper rolls?

Lauren D.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Pintuck duvet cover from Rit dyed sheets

Are ya'll sitting down for this?!

I have been the type of person that always kinda irritated me. You know, the ones with the duvet with no cover on it. They spend night after night sleeping under their naked duvet cover and risking spilling, sweating, and who-knows-what-else-ing on it.

Yes, that has been us since last spring when we received this incredible synthetic (I'm allergic to the "real") down duvet as a gift. I'll let you know that there really is no excuse for this other than the fact that we've had a million other things going on, I have been super picky selecting a style I liked, and I just can not bring myself to pay more than $30 for something I'll likely want to change out in a couple of years. So our duvet has remained naked, until this weekend!

I really love the idea of a pinstriped duvet, but I knew I would be over perfectionistic with that sort of thing and I was sick of sleeping under our naked duvet cover. I also am not trying to make business suit the style in our bedroom, I want it to be cozy and romantic. So I found somethings else I loved...

Here is my inspiration photo:

Organic Cotton Pin-Tuck Duvet Cover

A pin tucked duvet cover from West Elm. Really the price tag of $99 is not bad at all. However, it's more than I wanted to spend, we have tons of sheets around this house just waiting on a second life, and there really is not a color gray in this style that matches the look we are going for.

So, remember my Rit Dyed Sheets from the last post?!

The flat sheet is a king size. We started by laying out on top of our queen sized bed, on top of the duvet I was covering. I started the first row of pins just a couple of inches above the bottom left edge of the duvet (which is queen sized, the sheet hung over it). We measured from that left edge of the sheet, our first measurement was 7.5" from the edge, just because it ended up that way then we made the measurement, you will want to know what yours is so you can do the math to know where each column goes. We did each column and from pin to pin about 10" apart in this particular pattern:


If you measure diagonally from the first * on the left to the first * on the right the measurement would be 10" this is how we checked ourselves through the process. The distance from the first * on the left and the second * on the left is 10"(diagonally). At one point we actually taped two measuring tapes together for the width of the bed. Yes, my amazing and faithful husband helped me, yes we can both get a little perfectionist (in our own ways) at times, and YES it is much easier if someone helps you with this. 

Here I am sticking little pins on each point on our dyed sheet:

Sadly, we didn't have a photographer to capture the process with the two of us measuring it out.
This is how we do Saturday night in the Danner household! Notice the two glasses of vino on the night stand (among the clutter)!

We are pulling this home together one piece at a time, and while the state of our master bedroom is rather embarrassing at the moment, we are taking strides to make it a haven. Hence these big projects we've been taking on. As much as I'd love to deceive you to make you think we are perfect, and everything is always tidy in our home, that's just not my style.

Once I got all of the pins in and measurements confirmed, I used one of the kids' washable markers to put a dot in the middle of each pin just in case one of the pins fell out while I was sewing. So very happy I did this since 2 almost fell out and one most certainly did. 

Let the sewing begin!
From the underside of the sheet, pinch where the pin is and pull the pin out. 

Twist your pinch, I did each of mine twisted to the left.

Then slide your twisted pinch underneath your presser foot and straight stitch and back stitch to reinforce.

It should look about like this when you've put all of your stitches in:

I didn't even know I'd finished all of them when I was done, but I laid it back out on the bed expecting to find a ton of pins I couldn't locate in my lap. 

Here is the top of our duvet cover!

I love it so far!

I lined up the top on top of the duvet again with the pin tucks about 2" above the edges of the duvet. The extra sheet was longer on one side than the other but it didn't matter since it needed to be trimmed anyway. I chose a super soft cream colored thrift store sheet ($2.99!) to be the underside of my duvet cover and placed it on top of the gray pin tucked sheet right sides together and pinned them on both sides and straight stitched them together. There will be little pleats in these stitches and that is fine it is because of the pin tucks, just go with it!

HOLY sheet pile! LOL
Its kinda cumbersome, but trust yourself!

I then placed my project back on the bed and pinned the bottom and sewed it just like the sides, then trimmed all of the way around. I just have the bottom closure pinned with safety pins at the moment, but I made it so that the gray folds over the cream and I'll be adding ties or buttons of some sort.

Here it is!

Every time I look at it I marvel! I can't believe I made this! I spent only $2.99 on the sheet and about $5 on dye!

The pillowcase on our body pillow in the back is an inspiration for our room colors! I know it is "from" Target, however I got this one from the thrift store for $2!

Here is a photo of the underside of the corner showing:

We will be making a headboard in the very near future. What color do you think it should be?

I am thrilled about this project. It took about 4 hours total, I'll certainly be making covers for the girls' comforters soon. Not sure if they'll be pin tucked or not.

If you decide to make one, please share the photos with me!!

Reduce, reuse, and Up cycle, my friends! 


Lauren D.

I was featured!!!

Creatively Living