Let’s shop!


I want to start out by telling you that none of these giveaways are being hosted by me. There are just a couple that I thought you should know about! I can’t wait to do an Amy-sponsored giveaway someday, but for now I’ll share a couple other good ones for you.

Imagine the amazing pictures you could take with this camera!

Visit this link to enter (note that this is through facebook)

Then there is the 16gb ipad 3. Who wouldn’t love one of those. Well, maybe my husband wouldn’t (not an Apple fan), but I think he would adjust.

Here’s the link for that one.

So there you go, a couple a-mah-zing giveaways. Hope one of you wins…or me…I hope I win too.

Sidenote: Anyone else missing Happy Endings? Just me? I remember a facebook status of one of my friends from high school about Happy Endings. Jeremy, can we commiserate together?

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O Christmas Tree…

Real tree? Artificial tree? Unconventional tree? What’s your preference? I want to know so I’m taking a poll. Yay for me rhyming! Anyway, leave your answer here:

This Christmas Eve, I thought I would bring you into our house (again) and show you my second favorite part of Christmas decor. Michael and I both have fond memories of going out and hunting down a with our families. I think we’ve gone out hunting for a tree twice since we’ve been married. Most years we head to Menards and pick one out. In 2008 we were so busy with me working a ton of overtime, helping our friends move back into their house after the great flood of 2008 before Christmas and driving to Michigan to get a car that we didn’t get a tree until December 23rd. But hey, we still had a tree and this cheapskate frugal girl was happy to only pay $5 for it. This year, we were only a little behind the game. I would love to get our tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it just didn’t happen this year but we did get it the next weekend.It came inside and we had to find a place to put it. Last year it was in the dining room, but since the dining room is now the living room and a 7 foot Christmas tree would have significantly blocked the view of the tv we decided it needed a new home. I love having the tree in the entry room so no matter where you enter the house (front door or back door) you see the tree. This being Bristol’s first Christmas, we weren’t sure how he would react to the tree. We decided to leave lights and ornaments off it for a couple days so he could get used to it.

When we knew it was safe, we got out the lights

and put them on the tree. I love it when the tree glows so I put the lights inside the tree instead of just on the outside limbs. It also helps support the weight of the lights by putting them where the branches are stronger.

Bella seemed to enjoy sitting by the tree and “helping” put ornaments on

I love getting out the ornaments and remembering where we got each one and what the mean to us. I have a hard time getting pictures of the ornaments, but I wanted to show you some of them anyway. This one always finds a spot at the top of the tree. Dad and Cora gave it to us on our first Christmas together and having the color changing really draws attention to it reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas

This is our “Our First Christmas” ornament. The ladies at church had a bridal shower for me after we got married and used Christmas ornaments as decorations. They gave us this Hallmark ornament that I adore! (Evidently, my friend Kristen aka NC Amy has this one too)

My Grandpa Dale and Grandma Sally gave us this one to go on our first Christmas tree. The angels skirt is a seashell and it’s totally a handmade ornament. I cherished it before and Grandma Sally passed away two years ago and I smile every time I look at it. I smile because she would want us to rejoice that she gets to spend Christmas with the person whose birth we celebrate.

A reminder to pray for military families who are not able to be together because they are defending our freedom to celebrate as we want to

In December 2009, we bought our house. Michael’s parents got us this ornament to celebrate our new house

We moved into our house in January 2010, so we got this ornament for our first Christmas in our new home

Last year Jeff and Jenna gave me this Willow Tree ornament for Christmas. It was so sweet last year and this year when I put it on the tree, I cried. The name of the ornament is “Comfort” and this past year, I’ve needed a lot of comfort. Bella is our independent child, but whenever I’m sad about saying goodbye to Beau and Brady she seems to know and she comes and cuddles me…so comforting.

Then there are the ornaments that aren’t as meaningful, but just plain fun. Eventually, I want to have separate themed Christmas trees (the extras will probably be artificial ones) so I’ve been gathering different ornaments as I find them on sale after Christmas. I plan for Michael to have a Star Trek tree in the Man Cave so he has these ornaments

I would love to do a tabletop tree in the dining room that is coffee related so I have these

Eventually when we have a game room, I want to have an old movie style in that room. Marilyn and James will adorn the walls. Only fitting that the tree that will be in that room would have them adorning the tree in there too.

I completely love our tree this year with all the decorations. Next year, I think we’ll put more lights on it. I love twinkling lights! So, tell me. What is your favorite Christmas decoration? And of course, don’t forget to tell me what kind of tree you have too.

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Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

Have you ever been watching the late news on Thanksgiving when they interview those crazy people who sleep outside the store in tents waiting to get the good deals that they have limited supply of? Well, a few years ago if you’re around us, you may have seen my SIL Jenna’s mom. Jenna, her mom, her brother, her SIL, her aunt and her cousins do that every year. When it’s a family tradition, it’s less crazy. I’ve never camped, but I have stayed up all night to get some good deals. Last year my sister went with me, but couldn’t take it and went home around 4am after just two stores. This year I almost didn’t go, but around 10am on Friday I totally caved. I’m weak. I only bought stuff at one store, but I did go to a couple others. I was talking to Jenna this weekend about how Black Friday shopping has changed over the past few years. I used to hear stories (which I think were mostly untrue) about how mean people were on Black Friday. Trampling, fist fights and stuff, but that was never my experience…until last year. There is a certain etiquette that us die hard shoppers have always followed. That etiquette is simply to be polite and nice. Maybe it’s the economy so there are more people out. Maybe because stores are opening earlier so people who wouldn’t have gotten up at 3am to go stand in line for an hour will stay up until 11pm to go stand in line for an hour and it’s not just the die hard shoppers who know the etiquette. Whatever it is, it’s starting to get out of control. I thought someone was going to punch me at the one store I went to because I said something when they tried to cut in line in front of 4 people who had been waiting to check out. Jenna said that Target had some “rules” in place to help with the organization of things. If you get out of line after 10pm for any reason, you lose your spot in line. All tents and sleeping bags had to be cleared out by 10pm. Those are good rules…more stores should do that. I also think more stores should run their check out lines like Kohl’s does on Black Friday. Two lines, one on each side of the store with the checkouts blocked off so only the next shopped in line goes to the checkout when the “line control” person tells them to. I think from now on there are a few stores I will skip no matter how good the deals are – Younkers, Target and Kohl’s are all on my safe list.  Material things just aren’t worth that. When people are getting trampled and shot with pepper spray, that’s greed. Plain and simple greed.

Wow, I totally wasn’t intending to go in that direction. Did you imagine me on a street standing on a soap box? Were you yelling at me to get down or hollering “preach it sister”? I think I’ll start doing more shopping on Small Business Saturday. I like the idea of supporting people who are just like me, people with that entrepreneurial (10 cent word) spirit that made this country what it is. You may have noticed that I’ve added something to my sidebar. Anybody? Just a reminder to not forget handmade gifts and small businesses this Christmas season. I have a couple friends that have Etsy shops and so I contacted them and asked if I could add them and they were totally on board. This Christmas, please check out their shops and see if something they have would work for someone on your Christmas list. Disclaimer: Leah and Karen aren’t advertisers and I don’t get a kick back if you buy from them. I just love their products and I think you will too!

Here are a couple of Leah’s projects (you can find her Etsy shop, Deepest of Grace, here)

From Deepest of Grace on Etsy

From Deepest of Grace on Etsy

Karen makes these great bags and purses. If you have a Dallas Cowboys fan on your list, she has something in her Etsy shop that just might work. She’s making me a special order Iowa Hawkeyes one that I can’t wait to get!

From Karen's Kreations on Etsy

From Karen's Kreations on Etsy

You might see me turn more towards being a Cyber Monday shopper too. Anybody want to share some good Cyber Monday deals with me?

If you are interested in having your handmade items added to my sidebar, shoot me an email at thisDIYlife@gmail.com! I need a couple high resolution pictures and a link to where people can purchase your items (Etsy, Ebay, Facebook page, etc). It might take a day or two after you send me the pictures, but I will add them as soon as possible!

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The colors of…Christmas?

That’s right, I said Christmas. Even though I refuse to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, it’s still on my mind. I need to start working on our Christmas card for the year but I can’t do that until I’ve picked our Christmas colors and theme. Last year we did olive green, black, white and silver. Yes that’s a lot of colors, but our Christmas cards (that never got printed or sent – oops) looked like this

Designed using My Digital Studio by Stampin' UP! All Images copyright Stampin' UP!

And the gift tags for presents (which also never got printed) looked like this

Designed using My Digital Studio by Stampin' UP! All Images copyright Stampin' UP!

One year we did a red, white and blue Christmas. Two years ago was a John Deere Christmas. My favorite colors were back in 2004 when we did deep purple and gold. Anybody else pick new colors every year so the presents under the tree will look like one beautiful coordinated decorative masterpiece? Just me? Oh well. That’s how I roll. Usually I don’t have any problems, but this year I’ve really struggled with it. You see a couple weeks ago Hallmark sent me my rewards certificate to spend. It was only $3, but that’s better than nothing right? Not to mention that it came with an extra $2 one to use the first weekend in November. You know I’m not about to pass up a deal so I was all over that one. Off I was to Hallmark to visit Deb (yes I’m on a first name basis with the manager of the local Hallmark store) and see what I could find on sale and spend my free $5. The answer was definitely gift wrap after I saw that deal! Buy one roll and get the second roll for 99 cents. Woo hoo! Now which ones? Do I go fun but traditional red and green like these?

Image from Hallmark.com

Maybe something a classic filigree or damask style but with not so classic colors like this set

Image from Hallmark.com

Well, I ended up with neither of those and can’t find a picture anywhere of the one that I went home with. Doesn’t matter much because it’s heading back to the store and being exchanged for something totally un-Amy. But I was at Target and saw some paper that will coordinate with the Hallmark stuff I got and I came up with a great idea to make bows and stockings and a wreath and….oh, I’m so excited. I may have had to fight the urge to start singing and dancing in the Christmas aisles at Target. I’ll start sharing with you soon in case you want to craft along with me this Christmas. Oooo, the suspense.

Anybody else pick perfectly coordinated Christmas colors? Come on, someone has to. It’s okay, you can share. We’re nice in this house, this is a safe place (that’s what I tell Bella when she gets mad at her brother). I’m ready to start working on my Christmas cards so I can actually get them printed and mailed this year. Self imposed December 1st deadline. Keep me in check people!


Categories: Best Laid Plans, Let's shop!, Living Frugal, Possibilities | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

2,478 Miles Revisited

In yesterday’s post I told you about our trip down south to see Michael’s sister and brother-in-law. I also (perhaps cruelly) made you wait until today to find out some of the great treasures we got. Well, here’s the first thing I got for Michael

You guessed it. It was sitting outside our hotel so I snapped a picture for the hubs. Wait, you didn’t think I got him the actual car did you? Y’all know me better than that…I’d rather buy paint…and this cute car we saw one day (minus the Tink decals on the window)

Don’t worry, I’d buy Michael his 1970 Chevelle that he really wants too. Seriously? How did this turn into a post about cars. Let’s get back to the important things.

Like I said yesterday, we were living out of a hotel for a week that was 10 minutes from the hospital where Michele was at. The hospital had visiting hours (didn’t know that still happened) that were an hour long three times a day and 90 minutes for the last one of the day. In between were 2-3 hour breaks for us to sit and watch tv, eat or just plain worry and be bored. A few times when I couldn’t stand it anymore I went shopping and sometimes I drug Meagan with me. Michele knows I love a good deal, so it gave me something to talk to her about too…that and Bella getting stuck in walls…and drawers. Meagan and I took a little trip to Marshall’s one afternoon and spent about an hour there. She got some clothes and walking sticks for when her and Dennis go Geo-caching. I found a great deal for Ashley in the form of chevron

A full set of queen sheets for $5! I think she might try a little bit of Rit dye on them so they aren’t so peachy, but they are chevron! I got a bottle of water which doesn’t sound great, but it came in a blue bottle! One more for the tree! I also got some great little boxes that are going to go in our entry room. There are three of them, so smaller and one larger. Sorry, this is the best picture I have of them right now. Once they are in their permanent home, I promise a better picture

One day, I took a trip to Pier 1 – oh I love that place! I have some great inspiration for at least one project.

Looks a lot like some wreaths I’ve see on Pinterest. It’s circles of felt that have been folded and rolled and hot glued. I can do that!

Another night, between the 5pm-6pm visiting hour and the 8-9:30 visiting 90 minutes we found an Applebees to eat at. Turns out they were remodeling and selling pretty much everything in the place! The money went to St. Jude’s so it was really a win-win. Jeremi and Meagan bought pictures off the wall which was way cool. Michael and I didn’t want a picture, but we did have our eye on something else. Everything was being sold as “make an offer” so we bought a light. Do you know which ones I’m talking about? The Tiffany ones that hang over the tables! We bought one to haul all the way back to Iowa with us.

Who buys a big light in Alabama just to haul it back to Iowa? People who pay $10 for said light, that’s who. You read that right – I didn’t forget a 0. This light set us back only $10! I know it’s not some people’s jive, but we kinda love it. Our house is a traditional folk Victorian and we mix a little bit of classic style in with it and I can’t wait to get this hung in our dining room and get a little bit of Amy touch in that room. It was on a track so now the big dilemma is how we’re going to hang it in our house. Enter, stage left, my electronic guru husband.

After a week in Alabama, we had to make the decision to leave there and come home. With Michele still in the hospital, the decision was not an easy one. We went back to Mississippi for a night to pick up some stuff we had left there. Early the next morning while Bella and Bristol spent some quality time on the three seasons porch, I packed the car. Any champion packers out there? I was totally worried about not having enough room for the light and all of our stuff, but I tackled it like a puzzle. I love puzzles (Michael – not so much) so I’m the packer in our family. Here is the back seat. What you can find here:

  1. the glass part of our Tiffany light
  2. the snack bag
  3. my jacket
  4. my coupon binder -never leave home without it and never let it be too far away
  5. my purse
  6. bed for one of the kids to lay in
  7. lunch bag with an icepack
  8. my laptop

You’ll notice the back seat is down and that’s because it has to be. When we travel with the kids, we don’t put them in carriers and don’t want to stop for them to go to the bathroom. Instead we put their bathroom in the trunk and put the seat down so they can easily get to it if need be. It’s usually not a problem, but with Bristol, well I have no idea how so much stink comes out of such a sweet little boy so we did find ourselves pulling over a couple times to…well, you know. If you kids are not of the feline variety, I recommend that you not try this at home.

Then there is the trunk…are you ready for this list?

  1. cat’s bathroom
  2. my suitcase (it’s the pink one)
  3. Michael’s suitcase
  4. snack bag
  5. 9 picture frames from the garage sale Michele and I went to
  6. gift wrap bows and curly ribbons that I found for 18 cents
  7. pillow
  8. bathroom bag
  9. the other cat bed
  10. scratching post
  11. cat carrier – just in case we needed it
  12. kitty crinkle tunnel
  13. the structure of the Tiffany light – this part was wrought iron and barely fit
  14. our Halloween s’more treats – worked on those in downtime
  15. three bottles of Listerine because I got them for 65 cents each
  16. Ashley’s chevron sheets
  17. my blue bottle of water
  18. Michael’s bag o’ tools…just in case
  19. a little bitty air pump….just in case
  20. the three green boxes for the entry room
  21. two pairs of cute shoes
  22. Michael’s laptop
  23. an Amy’s coffee mug that I got at Caribou on the way down (how cute is this?)
  24. other stuff I know I’m forgetting!

That’s how you get the car packed. Gotta say, I felt like a superstar. One last picture and we said goodbye to Mississippi. There’s just something about pictures of the flag and I love this one because it’s on the house of our favorite military family

We decided to break up the trip home into two days so we stopped at Michael’s parents house. We stayed the night and took off the next morning but not before getting some BBQ to bring home with us. Bristol slept most of the way home…occasionally something like this

He makes us laugh, that’s for sure. Whenever we are traveling home, I love timing the trip so we are in Iowa when the sun sets. I have been a lot of places, but I completely adore an Iowa sunset. When I see the sky painted orange, yellow, blue and purple, I know I’m home. I’m an Iowa girl (forgive the blurred trees – it’s a Blackberry picture taken at 70 miles an hour)

Someday I will do a post for you all about Iowa sunsets. Trust me, it will be worth it!

Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop!, Living Frugal | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Starbucks – Who Knew?

A few weeks ago we went on a road trip. The trip covered over 2,000 miles and 9 states in just 10 days. Long trip, but totally worth it. The goal: make it to the Gulf coast to see Michael’s family. We made it!

On day one of the trip back home we made a stop in Memphis at Starbucks for a frap where I discovered the Starbucks city mugs. Who knew about these and didn’t tell me? You better believe we picked up a Memphis one.

On day two of the trip, we stopped in St.Louis so we could get a St. Louis one.

Image found on flicker - click to go to site

When we got home, I armed myself with a Sharpie and put the dates on the bottom that we were in the city

and they found their current home in our pretty green kitchen cabinets.

I decided this is my new travel collection! You better believe that any time we travel I’m going to be checking out the list of mugs and plotting out our Starbucks stops. I do refuse to let a collection take over our house though. I don’t want them all, just the ones we get in our travels. So far, I love them!

Look for posts on Monday and Tuesday about our travels.

Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop! | Tags: | 2 Comments

The Fourth Season has arrived

Here in Eastern Iowa we have four seasons – winter, spring, summer and Hawkeye football. Every year at the end of August you can see it coming. It’s anticipated and welcomed with flags, t-shirts and anything that people can find in two colors. It doesn’t matter where or even if you went to college. All that matters is whether or not you’re a Hawkeye.

People here name their kids Kinnick and their dogs Herky and Hawkeye. People (like Noreen) plan their weddings making sure that they don’t interfere with home games. Nothing other than tailgating and football parties are planned when there is a home game. Last Saturday marked the beginning of the season with a Hawkeye victory over Tennessee Tech (34-7). Go Hawks! But the biggest game of the year is the the Iowa vs. Iowa State game. It’s a civil war of sorts. Eastern Iowa vs. Western Iowa.

In honor of the big game Saturday, I wanted to share with you some great things to make your Hawkeye weekend even better. Even if you’re not a Hawkeye, I’m sure some of these things are available for your team as well.

Everyone needs an Iowa Hawkeyes grill topper

Hot dogs aren’t hot dogs unless they are branded

No Iowa tailgating adventure is complete without a game of bags

Or a game of giant Jenga

Everyone gets dressed up for the occasion.

Who doesn’t need a Hawkeye garter

I know a few people who might need this

This is how we feel about Iowa football here

This one might be taking it a little far though

There you have it. This is how we spend our fourth season in Iowa. You may call it fall or autumn, but here, it’s football.

Not long ago one dog named Hawkeye made national news after he had to say goodbye to his owner, Navy Seal Jon Tumilson, who was one of 22 Seals lost when their helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan.

Now, thousands of people are encouraging the University of Iowa to let Hawkeye lead the Hawkeyes out on the field for a home game. Even if you’re not a fan of the University of Iowa, who wouldn’t be a fan of this Hawkeye?

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Like a Pilgrimage…for DIYers

Last week I got a text from Ashley asking if I wanted to go to Ikea (hallelujah). Somtimes Ashley asks some very silly question. Of course I wanted to go! This isn’t the first time I’ve told you how much I love Ikea (hallelujah) and it certainly won’t be the last! Early Saturday morning armed with Starbucks, Ashley and I started a one day whirlwind road trip. It was just like college again…well kinda. You sure find some interesting things in truckstops where you stop for breakfast like this rhinestone purse

I feel like I should warn you that I forgot my camera so these are all Blackberry pictures. Sorry. What about these cat and frog fans?

This cup that fits me perfectly…maybe not

Then there was Ashley’s favorite thing

If she was having a girl, she might have bought one…okay, maybe not on that one too. One torrential downpour that almost forced us to pull over later we made it to HomeGoods.

This was our first trip ever to HomeGoods and we were like kids in a candy store when we first got there. I saw this but have no place to put it

I also loved this but decided I wanted to DIY something like it with my beloved Cricut. Plus I have no idea where I would put it either

Oh wait! As I sit here writing, I think I may have found a place in the living room…or the dining room! I also picked up this fabulous little strainer that will look awesome in our open kitchen cabinets after they are fully repainted and coordinate with the kitchen curtains I made.

After I got that and some cheap Starbucks coffee for Michael and Ashley picked up a ceramic stool, a wooden ball and a metal basket we made the short trip to Ikea (hallelujah)

Through the wind and through the rain we made it. We walked all over the second floor finding stuff for our wish lists. They are playing musical bedrooms over at Ashley’s house so she had to find new beds and stuff for her two oldest boys’ bedroom. I was just finding stuff for anywhere and everywhere in our house. For the record, I’m still completely in love with this light

We need new nightstands for our bedroom and I’m pretty specific about what I’m looking for. Perhaps something like this?

We really need to put a bed in our guest bedroom instead of just a mattress on the floor. I’m leaning towards daybed since the room isn’t very big and we could use it for more than just a bed when we don’t have guests. I found this one on clearance for $149!

But then I saw this Hemnes bed that I’m pretty sure will be perfect for our space. Ya see, here it is as a daybed/single bed

Here’s Hemi as a double bed

That’s right! It converts from a single bed to a double bed and has storage for extra sheets and blankets for our guests. I checked it over to make sure that it wouldn’t be off balance for when the in-laws come to visit and it all looks good! I can’t wait to go back and pick up this bed!

I also love this little bench. Similar to the spa bench a-la-Ana that I want to make. It just reminded me that I really want to make a bench for the bathroom.

When Ashley had her list and we were filled up on chocolate overload cake we headed to the first floor to pick up two beds, two tables, two shelves and a few other little things. Ahhh the smell of flat packed particle board!

With all of our purchases packed up, we started on our way back home but first stop at a gas station for some liquid energy

I know that it might seem strange to take a picture of the gas station we stopped at, but we had to share the picture with Noreen since Noreen’s mama calls her Bucky. Oh, I remember the day that came out at work. Good times! The whole trip seemed kinda surreal…like a dream really. Eight plus hours of driving in one day all for a DIYers pilgrimage. On the way home I saw this truck

I know that it’s not full of coffee, but I’d like to think it is 🙂

To all of you who live close to an Ikea (halleljuah): I’m jealous, but I also am sorry that you don’t get to have a fabulous road trip like Ashley and I did last Saturday. What is your favorite most recent Ikea (hallelujah) purchase? Anything from the new catalog?


Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop!, Living Frugal | 2 Comments

The great debate

I absolutely love our house, but there were two things that I really disliked about our house when we looked at it. I knew both could be changed very easily, so I looked past it (and a lot of other things). Those two things are ceiling fans and mini blinds. I know that some people love ceiling fans and mini blinds, but I am definitely not one of them. When I say that there was a ceiling fan in every room where one would fit, I’m not exaggerating at all. You’ve seen the one that was in the entry way in this post and you can kinda see the one in our bedroom in this post. This one was in my creative space.

There was even one in the upstairs hallway that had a 15 foot string (maybe longer) that dangled down the stairs so it could be turned on from either floor of the house. Awesome.

Michael is a fan of fans…but I think that he could sense my disdain for them so those fans started coming down right away. We found some lights on sale at Menards for $7 each or Michael might have fought for the fans a little harder.

We still have two more that will need to come down when we start working on those rooms, but I have to find lights for them still. I’m waiting to see if Ikea (hallelujah)  comes out with a fixture that I can’t live without for the dining room and the closet this summer when the new catalog comes out.

It’s been quite the struggle to get rid of the mini blinds though. If it was up to me alone, all of the mini blinds would have come down right away and we would have lived with nothing on the windows until we decided on curtains, but since marriage is about compromise, the mini blinds have stayed. It’s been relatively easy for us to decide what we want to do in our house. Some things are a little more difficult, like the plan for the future kitchen, but I think the most difficult thing has been curtains. It really should not be this hard to decide what to hang on the windows. A couple weeks ago I was on Pinterest (when am I not?) and found some adorable half curtains for the kitchen.

From Woman's Day

That’s it! That’s what I want. Let in some light, but still have some privacy since our kitchen windows can be seen from the street…or the neighbors house. They were the perfect solution, I just had to find the right fabric! Remember that fabric I got at Wal-Mart a while back? No? I may have been slightly over-shadowed by my unnatural fear of Wal-Mart confession.

I used it to make half curtains that were hanging up on one window in the kitchen since I showed you the fabric. I put them up and immediately loved them, however our curtain debate continued. I love the half curtains, Michael hates them. Michael likes full curtains and while I have become a fan of the high and wide curtains, I am not with these – it just doesn’t work in the space. Michael would be okay with the half curtains if we had blinds behind them, while it would be an improvement from the red paper that covered the windows for a while, this chick does not like that…at all. I put up the half curtains in the window hoping that it would grow on Michael. That didn’t happen so it was time for me to face my fear again and head to Wal-Mart for more fabric.

With fabric in hand I headed home to make curtains to fit the full length of the window. My evening was filled with cutting, ironing and sewing but the curtains are up. I would have still liked the half curtains, but the full ones are much better than the mini blinds that were there. Don’t worry the blinds will not be going to waste…they will be re-purposed into something pretty. Want a hint? Check out my Inspired DIY board on Pinterest. But I digress.

To make the curtain I cut my fabric double the width and the exact size of the height since I knew I would be using ribbon for hanging and my curtain rods were $3 tension rods from Menards that would hang inside the window frame. I also decided to spray paint the rods copper to make them look a little more classy and I’m all about classy…well maybe not.

My windows were 28 inches wide and 36 inches tall so I cut my fabric to 36 inches and I used the width of the fabric for my width because it was close enough to the width I needed. I then cut the width in half so I would have two curtains and hemmed all sides in 3/8″ then folded them over another 1/2″. Seem tedious? Yeah, it kinda was. But it was worth it. After all the panels were ironed I added the ribbon hangers. To do that I cut 5 pieces of ribbon for each panel that was 12 inches long, folded it in half and then sewed them on by hand. The only reason I did this part by hand is that we were having a heat wave (heat index around 125) and our 100 year old house doesn’t have air conditioning in all rooms so my creative space/sewing room was hot! I was sewing one panel then going to cool down then back to sew another so it took quite a while to sew all of them with the breaks between each one but I finally got them done! To make sure I got the curtains at the right length, I hung up my pretty copper rods and took my pretty curtains and tied them in place there.

Once the curtains were hung, I had to break out some paint because the paint on the windows was chipping and falling off. This would be your classic “one thin leads to another” situation. I mean really, the windowsill looked like this

I want to make sure to tell you that I’m not thrilled by the fact that the fabulously gorgeous woodwork was painted and I promise that it won’t stay that way! When we do the big kitchen reno, we are planning to take off all the trim and strip all the paint off and stain it to match the rest of the woodwork in the house. I know that’s years down the road so with the help of Sherwin Williams, the woodwork around the windows in the kitchen got a fresh coat of Creamy paint. (Creamy is the color BTW, not a description of the paint consistency)

I’m glad I painted because the woodwork looks better solid than chipping and peeling and with the new curtains up, I love them!

Those blue bottles are temporarily there until I get started on the blue bottle tree we are going to make for the garden (posts here and here about the blue bottle tree). I’m hoping to get started on that next week after Michael and I decide on a final design for the tree. But I digress again…seriously, this is what it’s like to talk to me too. I have ADOS: Attention Deficit…Ooooo Shiny!

Project cost breakdown:

  • Two 28″ tension rods – $6
  • Two yards of fabric from WM – $14
  • Two rolls of green ribbon – $4
  • Copper paint – no cost, we had it our paint stash, but it was $7 when we bought it
  • Not having mini blinds in my kitchen anymore – priceless

Our kitchen and entry room are one big room so you can see the kitchen when you walk in the front door too which is how the color from our state canvases from yesterday ties into the rest of the room. It’s all in the curtains, but I’m doing a little painting in the kitchen too. I have quite a bit to do on that part before I post it. I promise to share once it’s completely done.

What do you think of the curtains? I had plans for pendant lights to take the place of those two fluorescent ones, but now I think I’m going to have to revamp that with the patter in the curtain. I don’t want to hide any of it! The most important thing I’ve learned in the last 20 months in our house is that the plans are constantly changing. That might be my ADOS though.

Anybody else still catching up from the Pinterest Challenge yesterday? I know I am. So many great projects to see!

Categories: Let's shop!, Living Frugal, Projects, Tour | 2 Comments

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