Playroom and Guest Room

We're wrapping up the home tour with our biggest basement room (so far).  This bedroom is quite large, about 15 feet square.  Since it's so big, it does double duty as the playroom and the guest room.  We've got a full size bed in there, and entertainment center, and a bunch of toys.  I hope to someday have a television in there, but we don't have one now.  I also want to do some decor, optimize the storage, and maybe do some sort of headboard for the bed.
This room is sort of the catch-all for our cast-off furniture as well.  I made the nightstand and cedar chest in high school woodshop, and the brown upholstered chair was a summer project of mine around the same time.  My carpenter brother made the entertainment center, which is super heavy and very well done.
The chalkboard is one of the favorite toys in the playroom.  It's accompanied by my first (and one of very few) oil paintings.
That's it!  In the top photo, you can see a sneak peek of the play kitchen I just redid for my daughters for Christmas, but that will have its own post next week.  I hope you've enjoyed this home tour

Next year, I hope to be able to show the laundry room and our basement family room that is still unfinished, since they didn't make it into this tour.  The laundry will require some built-in shelving, and the basement family room is a huge project, as it is very large and we want to include a fireplace and a small kitchen area.  We've got some big ideas for the future!

Slate Bathroom

Our penultimate stop on the tour takes us to the basement bathroom.  Even though we bought our house new, it was a spec. home and everything had already been picked out by the time we found it.  We mostly love it, but there are a few things we would have changed, one of those being the bathroom counters, hardware, and tile.  This is the only bathroom in the house where we got to choose everything.
We also did everything ourselves, from the plumbing to tiling.  We got pretty much everything from Lowe's, including the cabinets from the allen + roth line.  The cabinet I loved wasn't big enough for our space (which we didn't realize until later), so we came up with a solution to fit it in where we built these shelves in next to the cabinet and tiled them with slate.
I loved the look of the green glass mosaic tile, but we couldn't afford to buy much of it.  To make the most of what we did get, we cut the 12" tiles into thirds and ran a stripe through the slate tile in the shower and as the backsplash above the counter.  I love the continuity it gives the room.
Everything came together so well for this room.  Now it just need some finishing touches and some towels!  Next and final stop on the home tour- playroom/guest room.


Kids' Bathroom

I have been realizing recently that I have a few more rooms to post if I want to finish this home tour while it's still 2011.  There are really only three more rooms worth seeing, one of which is the upstairs kids' bathroom.  With this and the last two rooms, the quality of interior design is a bit lacking, I know.  Unfortunately, my resources are a bit limited, so I just do what I can when I can.  Besides, if my house were all decorated how I want, what would I do with myself in my "spare time"?
That being said, this bathroom is still pretty cute for not getting much attention.  I got the jungle decor from my mom when she redid her bathroom, I made the hair clip tree, and the rest has been randomly acquired.
I will admit that I don't really have a clear vision for this bathroom.  I haven't given it too much thought, but I would like to personalize it a bit more this next year.  I do know that I want to customize the builder-grade mirror, with a frame of wood or tile.  I might want to try a stencil or design on the walls, or horizontal stripes.  We are also going to need even more hair clip storage.  With two girls, we've got bows everywhere!

Look for the playroom and downstairs bathroom stops on the tour before this week is over!


Kite and Feather Fabric Swatches

I got my fabric samples that I ordered from Spoonflower's 2-for-1 fat quarter sale.  I love having a little bit more fabric to work with than just a test swatch.  I'm thinking that I need to find a good coin purse or makeup bag pattern to use these on.  It's so fun to see my designs in real life!
The orange on the kites fabric is a little bit brighter in person than in the photos.  This would be great for a spring-themed project.
I was pleasantly surprised with how well this feathers fabric printed up.  The colors are perfect!  The scale of the pattern is a bit bigger than I imagined, but I like it a lot.  I'm thinking I'll be doing a lot of fun sewing projects after the holidays hit!


Reindeer Welcome Sign

My mom gave me this reindeer welcome sign that had a much more traditional color scheme.  I can't believe I forgot to take a picture.  The outer wood frame and stake part were plain wood with an oak stain, and the parts that I painted silver were red with green accents.  I didn't hate it, but I wanted to try something new with it.
First, I spray-painted everything white, then I got some cool metallic paint in silver and did that part by hand.  I also found some glitter paint that I thought would be a fun accent.  I didn't expect it to be so clear, but I still like how it turned out.
I cut the "welcome" letters out in white vinyl on my Silhouette and put them on, and all-in-all this project really only took me an afternoon once I had it sprayed white.  My only problem now is that none of the rest of my decor matches, but I'll have to see what I can do about that with Christmas clearance sales!


I Heard the Bells Christmas Fabric

I Heard the Bells
For the small-print bells fabric contest at Spoonflower, I designed this Christmas fabric.  I used lyrics from the song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day".  I am anxious to see how this prints up, since I used my color swatch fabric to choose the colors, and they seem a lot different on my screen than they did on the fabric.

I love how the banners turned out, and the holly berries.   I'm excited to see how the voting on this contest goes.  If you'd like to vote in the contest, click here and follow the link on the right to the contest.  Voting ends next Wednesday, 12/21.  There are a lot of fun entries!


Little Gal Bricks Quilt

My oldest little gal recently made the big move from a toddler bed to a twin.  Along with that, she needed a bigger quilt!  Over the summer, I started this Easy Bricks Quilt from the Moda blog with a bunch of my neighbors and friends.  We all chose our own fabric and just followed their basic pattern.  When I was done piecing the top, we still hadn't found a twin bed, so I folded it up and set it aside for a few months. 

When we found the perfect bed at the perfect price, the quilt still wasn't done.  Thankfully, I have an amazing mother who helped me figure out how to piece the back, since I didn't have enough of the flannel I had chosen.  She pieced the back, quilted, and bound the whole thing for us-- all without the use of a long-arm quilter!  We are sure grateful for Grandma.  She did a subtle chevron pattern in variegated pink thread.
I thought it would be fun to bring some orange and yellow into the pink and green color scheme, and I think it turned out great.  Here's a little peek at the back, as my daughter runs off with it.
My corners aren't perfect, but considering that I was quilting in between chasing a two-year-old and keeping a six-month-old happy, I'd say it went pretty well.


DIY Kindle Sleeve

I got a Kindle Touch for my birthday a couple of weeks ago (yeah!).  When I looked at how much a protective sleeve would cost, I was surprised to see that they ran anywhere from $20-35 (boo!).  I discovered this Laptop/Kindle/iPad Sleeve Tutorial on The Cottage Home.  What I loved the most about this tutorial was that you can adjust the size of your pattern to fit whatever rectangular gadget you want.
I did tweak the pattern a tiny bit, using fabric with fusible fleece interfacing and flannel instead of just fabric and fleece, which meant I had to decrease my seam allowances for the outside layer.  I sewed my first buttonholes by machine, which wasn't as scary as I thought it might be.
I wouldn't try to make a sleeve much smaller than this one, which is about 6"x8".  It was a little bit tricky to maneuver at times.  One of my favorite parts of this sleeve is the flannel print I used on for the lining-- black and white skeleton keys.  I didn't know what I wanted this fabric for when I bought it, but I love it and was so happy to use it!
The yellow buttons also make me happy.  Time-wise, this project took me a couple of hours, if you don't count unpicking time.  I am really pleased with the result, and I love that I can just toss it in my purse without worrying about hurting my Kindle.  Plus, I was able to use materials that I already had on-hand, so this cost me nothing!  If you are in the market for a protective sleeve, seriously check out the awesomely detailed tutorial that I used.
Linked up: Tatertots & Jello


Felt Mitten and Stocking Advent Calendar

About mid-November, I decided I wanted to make an advent calendar that would be cute and also fun for my kids.  I started off with this idea, which morphed into more of this one, and finally ended up with my own sort of thing.
It took a little bit more time than I planned for, but once I started blanket-stitching the mittens and stockings, I knew it was going to look great.  All of the embellishments are hot-glued down, but I did do some detail stitching on some of them before I glued them down.  I didn't filled the mittens and stockings this year, since I don't think the twine would be able to hold that much weight.  I have each end tied to stocking holders, and the tray on top of my piano is holding the middle part.  Next year, I think I will put slips of paper in each mitten or stocking with either a treat for the day or a Christmas activity.
For the 25th, I did a star on a circle medallion thing.  It doesn't have a pocket, because the countdown is over at that point, but I thought it needed to be there.  I just pinned it to the twine with a straight pin.
Want to make your own?  Here's the pattern I made for my mittens and stockings.  Click on the photo, right-click to save, and then you can print it and cut the patterns out to do your own.  Just make sure that you print without scaling to get it the right size.
Any questions?  Leave a comment or send me an email.  Happy crafting!
Linked up: Tatertots & Jello


A Windy Day- Kites Fabric

A Windy Day
This colorful kite fabric is one of my most recent additions to my design library on Spoonflower.  It isn't for sale yet, since I haven't ordered a swatch yet, but I entered it in the Fabric of the Week contest last week.  I didn't make the top ten, but I was very, very close with my best finish so far- I came in lucky #13!

I am having a lot of fun learning about designing patterns, and I think I am getting a much better grasp of it.  I am very confident with designing the components of the pattern, but I still feel like I have more to learn about the overall flow of the design.  I just wish I had a little bit more time to work on my patterns.

I do have a really fun advent calendar that I have been working on over the last couple of weeks, which you'll get to see tomorrow.