Monday, February 6, 2012

Nautical Lamp Tutorial

Hello friends!

I have another project to share... this one is sooooooo cute and definitely one of my favorites.

This weekend I finished my nautical lamp and I love the way it turned out. We needed a lamp on our new bedside table in our guest room. I found some cute nautical looking lamps, but nothing that I loved and most were pretty expensive. I then remembered my finds on Pinterest, here and here and knew exactly what I wanted to do. Here's how I did it.

I gathered:

An adorable wide mouth wine jug. I got this from TJ Maxx for $9.99. When I saw it, I just knew that it had to be out new lamp. However, if you have or can find an antique version of this, that would be super cute, too.
A bottle top lamp kit, and shade attachment kit from Lowes.
A cork to fit my bottle. I actually had to cut this to get it to fit. I used a serrated knife to trim it down.
Lamp shade. Mine is from Walmart. It is getting recovered, but I liked the shape.

So, there is one part of this project that I had to do that is "tricky." Figuring out how to cut the hole in the back of the wine jug was a little problem, until I realized how (for me) it was actually very simple.

I used my dental handpiece and a diamond bur. 

I am not sure how to explain how cutting glass is done, for any one who doesn't have access to dental equipment. Sorry. I asked about getting a bit for my electric drill (at home) but it seemed complicated and "risky." So, I just took my jug to work and cut a quick hole in the back.
Cutting a hole in the cork was very straight forward. Use a drill bit in an electric drill and cut a hole to fit your lamp kit post.
 Next, assemble your lamp, per the picture on the back of the lamp kit. Steve helped with this part, thanks, babe! Oh, and Bella supervised, as you can see.
Next, I covered the lamp shade. This was by far the most time consuming part of this project. It took me a while to figure out how to get the fabric to fit the shade. I pretty much did this by trial and error.
 Once I finally had the flat shade fabric hemmed and fitted around the shade, I added my nautical touch- the rope trim! Steve helped me hold the rope in just the right spot, while I measured and cut the pieces. Then, I used fabric glue and plastic kitchen clips to help hold the trim in place while the glue dried.
This is the back, where you can see I sewed the fabric together to get a tight fit around the shade and lined up the trim.
Here's the final product. I think it's even cuter than I imagined!
Set up on the bedside table.
All lit up!
Also, thanks Corbin and Tyler for the adorable vintage alarm clock! I think this room has really come together. :o)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Embroidered Onesies

This weekend I went to a baby shower for my friend Sarah. She is having a little girl and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to use my new embroidery machine!

I was able to download some adorable nautical designs from Embroidery Designs and Ann the Gran, load them on to my machine and after multiple hours of studying the instruction manual a few simple steps...

I had four adorable embroidered onesies! In case you are curious, here is how I made them.

1. Washed and dried the onesies.
2. Used a soft iron on stabilizer and a water soluble topper.
3. Layered the stabilizer (bottom), then fabric, then topper (top) all in the embroidery hoop and locked it in my machine.
4. After the embroidery finished, cut back both topper and stabilizer.
5. Ironed on another layer of soft stabilizer over the back of the embroidery- just to cover the edge of the design (to keep the back of the embroidery from scratching the baby's soft skin).
6. Washed and dried onesies again to remove the topper.

They turned out SO cute. Sarah was happy, she looks beautiful and her shower was wonderful. I can't wait to meet her little one.

I am also super excited to start embroidering and sewing EVERYTHING for this little cutie pie:
Yes, that is my niece, Brooksley. How sweet is that little face? Can't wait to get started on designing her wardrobe!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ottoman Recover

I am sooooo excited about my new sewing machine.

My first sewing project is to recover our existing black pleather ottomans. Not only are they pleather, but they don't go with our decor and there is a small tear in the top of one of them. Recovering them is the perfect solution, and now that I have my sewing machine (and the internet, on which you can find a YouTube video, amazing blog post or tutorial on how to do anything, )I can make the new covers myself- yay!

First step- find a good tutorial. Check!
Seriously, thank you to all smart and talented people who put up how-to's. The internet (= google) and Pinterest are amazing places, without which I would have no idea how to do anything from cook meals to decorate my house. It's true, you know it.
I followed the tutorial pretty much as written. Although, I did add a couple of additional steps.

- After sewing three side panels together (as written) I wrapped them around the ottoman and pinned the fabric before I sewed the four panel. This allowed me to make sure I had a good fit before I sewed the last panel and made sure I wouldn't have to make adjustments after I added the last panel.
- I also used a staple gun to tack down the bottom edge to the underside of the ottoman. So, a re-cover, not a slip cover.

I have quite a few ideas for future projects and I can't wait to do more sewing. Next up, update my blah curtains. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sewing 101


I have been looking into sewing and embroidery machines for a few months and trying to find a good beginner machine that I would be able to use and could afford. Turns out, there is.

Last week I received my Brother SE 400 sewing and embroidery machine. And I love it!

I have already gotten it all set up and used both the embroidery and sewing components.

Sew far, sew good. Can't wait to share my projects with you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nautical Knot Rope Door Stop

Look at the adorable rope door stop that I whipped up this weekend!

I was inspired by some pretty cute pictures that I found on Google and posted on my Pinterest board. 

At first, I had some difficulty tying the Monkey Fist knot just using an animation, but after finding this tutorial, I was able to follow along while the guy was knotting, and TA-DA! Monkey Fist was knotted. Thank you to Design Sponge for the step-by-step.

So, if you want to make one, too, I would suggest following the tutorial and step-by-step above.
I am so excited about our new little friend. One of our french doors has the tendency to want to sneak closed, and now, we have the perfect solution.

Happy Naut-ing!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starfish Basket Accents Tutorial

Recently, I have been inspired and had the desire to get crafty. In fact, I have a big new addition arriving on Wednesday... a new sewing and embroidery machine!

I am sooooo excited about it. I have a whole list of projects lined up.
Until then, though, I have been preparing for the new arrival by shopping for fabric and sewing supplies, stripping down the settee (with the help of Steve) that I am going to reupholster, organizing my crafting supplies and working on small projects.

Like, my new starfish basket accents!
Let me say this. This project is about as simple as they get.

But quite cute, don't you think?


Baskets (to hide things like DVD's and Wii games, say)
Jute cord
Starfish (I ordered mine here)
Glue gun
Fray check

Measure jute cord by wrapping it around the basket handle to judge where the starfish looks best.
Cut the jute, one length per basket/starfish.
Apply fray check to edges of jute. Allow to dry.
Make loop with jute- around the handle of the basket- (I like the look of a "tear drop" shape, and thought that that allowed the starfish to lay better, so that is how I made mine) and use glue gun to glue edges together. Allow to dry.
Apply hot glue to back of starfish finger and attach it to the jute.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Handrolled Sushi

Yum. We love sushi. I could eat sushi everyday and never get tired of it.
So what could be better than making our own sushi dinner smorgasbord? Not much!

We used brown rice, cucumber, real crab meat, tuna, fresh basil and avocado and came up with some delicious rolls.

First we prepped our veggies and fish, while our brown rice cooked in our rice cooker.
To get sticky rice, add about 1 & 1/2 cup water to 1 cup rice, rice wine vinegar and a little sugar & salt. There are lots of great tutorials online that can help you cook the perfect sushi rice. One good website with video tutorials is My Sushi Daddy.
After perfecting the rice and prepping the other foods, we started rolling. Seaweed = rough side UP. Press a thin layer of rice mix onto rough side of seaweed.
Flip seaweed over, so shiny side is now up and rice side is on your sushi rolling mat (I cover mine with a gallon sized plastic bag, for easy clean up.) Place fish, veggies, etc on seaweed.
Use sushi mat to roll sushi into a sushi log!
Use a very sharp serrated, wet knife (I wiped my knife off before each cut and dunked it in a tall glass of water with a splash of rice vinegar) to cut sushi log in half, the place the two halves side by side for easy cutting.
Once they are cut, they are ready to eat! Garnish as you like, we added tuna to some, chili powder to a few of the crab rolls and some Siriracha to spice up our tuna rolls.



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