Monday, April 28, 2014

Herringbone Quilt for Emerson

It's only been over a year since I worked on this project... sheesh! Last year towards the end of tax season I got the major nesting bug. Like whoa. I hadn't done anything for the nursery yet besides gather my overall inspiration. I really wanted to make a quilt for Emerson and I loved the quilt from my inspiration nursery (see it here). I also wanted to do something really easy - those are my favorite kind of quilts. I like having something creative to do that isn't overly complicated. That I can still work on while I watch my "stories." 

I used this tutorial, which was super easy to follow. I made this crib-sized (or close to it), so about 42" x 52". 

1/4 yard each of the patterned fabrics (I did not use the gray pictured above)
1 yard of white fabric
1/2 yard of solid aqua fabric
1 1/2 yards for orange/coral polka dot fabric (used for back)
(I think overall I spent about $50 on fabric at a local quilting store)

Fabric Cuts: 
15 squares each of the patterned fabrics (ish)
60 squares of white (ish)

The method used for cutting the triangles was so easy it is a major "DOH!" moment once you realize how awesome it is. Instead of cutting and then matching up a zillion triangles, you just keep the squares intact, place them right sides together and pin. Then, from one corner to the other draw a diagonal line with a pencil and ruler. From there you can just sew a 1/4 inch seam on each side of the line. Once you sew on each side, you just cut down the line and now you have two new squares, but made up of two different patterned triangles! Genius! 

As far as layout goes, I used the "organized chaos" method. No official pattern, I just started laying down the triangle/squares making sure that no two patterns were right next to each other and were somewhat evenly spaced.

Helpful hint for keeping the layout preserved while you are sewing... we (and by we, I mean my Mom and Me - she is the quilting queen!) set out the squares on top of the backing, then rolled up the backing with the squares (another genius idea from mi madre!). It keeps everything compact and in order so you don't have to keep it set out on the floor while you sew. Also very helpful if you need to move it, but don't want to take apart your layout! 

I sewed the squares together horizontally first and then sewed the long rows together vertically, if that makes sense. Then came the ironing. Lots and lots of ironing...

My mom had the top and bottom quilted together by another lady that specializes in quilting. I had her keep it simple and quilt "in the ditch." My mom did the aqua binding to finish it off!

I absolutely love how it turned out and it works so well in Em's nursery! I hope Em loves it for years to come!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

DIY Rustic Console Table

Hi guys! I'm back with an awesome DIY for you today! I've been slowly wanting to update our IKEA furniture to more "grown up" and non-IKEA looking furniture. I mean, there comes a point in your life where you start to do that, right? IKEA is great and affordable with modern and minimalistic design, but their furniture definitely doesn't last forever - at least not in my experience. To be fair, we have moved four times in six years... which can be pretty rough on furniture. Anyways, it's time, and the first piece to get changed out (and by changed out, I mean got moved to the dining room and is now being used as our buffet) was the Kallax shelving unit

I saw this console table on Liz Marie Blog a while ago and fell in love with it (the actual plans can now be found here). At first, there were no plans for the console, so I went over to Ana White, my favorite source for DIY woodworking projects, and she happened to already have plans for a Rustic X Console Table! We've used Ana's plans before on our end table with success so we followed her plans again for the console table. 

Zach was awesome and built this whole thing all by himself during the last two weeks of busy season. He's definitely getting in as many DIY projects as he can before residency starts! He did such a good job!!! Our family and friends that have come over think that we bought it at a store! It's that good. So thankful for my handy husband!

The plans were easy to follow and he finished the table pretty quickly - over the course of a week, working at night after work and on the weekend. We made some modifications so that it would fit in our space. That's the nice thing with Ana's plans - it's not too hard to adjust them to customize the pieces for your own space. 

All together, I think it cost a little less than $100 for lumber and supplies (we didn't have anything on hand). Such a great price for a large console table that is sturdy as a rock! We used one coat of Minwax Wood Stain in Special Walnut because we loved how the knots in the wood came through. Then, we did two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane on top to protect the wood. 

To say we love it would be an understatement! It's so awesome and I'm so proud of my husband that he made it from scratch! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Emerson's Six Month Photos

A few days before Emerson was six months old we had her photos taken by Tami with Lorene Photography. I was referred by a friend and couldn't be happier with the photos! We had an hour long session and Em did so well for the first 45 minutes or so. We got lots of good smiles and poses. It was so much fun! Em loved the fluffy pink carpet. We also tried to recreate her six-day-old photo with the tutu and the gray background, but it was during the last 15 minutes and the little stinker was not having any of it.  

I would highly recommend Tami if you are in the Seattle/Snohomish area! So many good ones, it's hard to pick a favorite, but I LOVE the ones with the fluffy pink carpet.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Abstract Art

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend! We hosted over 15 family members at our house for a big Easter Brunch/Zach's Birthday/My Birthday Extravaganza! We had a blast with our family, as always, with tons of food, games and laughs. Emerson did so well with so many people, too. Let's just say she doesn't mind being the center of attention. :)

So I've been in "nesting" mode again... No, Mom, I'm not prego. Since we are staying in Seattle for the next three years and staying in our current rental for at least another year or so, I want to get more settled and put my own stamp on this place. I've been updating the bathroom some and now I'm trying to get more art up on the walls. 

The art in our home is mostly all DIY, family photos or prints from Etsy. We don't have any official "real" artwork on the walls. Our budget just hasn't allowed it, but that's OK. Actually, I take that back. We do have a few smaller pieces that I accumulated from my travels - a watercolor of the Duomo in Firenze, a watercolor of Vernazza, Italy (Cinque Terra), an oil painting of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, spray paint art from our honeymoon in Cabo. I love these so much and they remind me of our travels every time I look at them. 

That being said, we still don't have any other "real" art that isn't of a place where we've traveled. I've been seeing a ton of inspirational abstract art on Etsy and some other blogs I read and I'm in love with it! I think it's time that I diversified a little bit. Added some abstract art to mix things up and add some color. There are some beautiful colorful pieces of art out there and the nice thing is that there is some really affordable art. It may not be the original art, but a print of the original art is just as good in my book (and much easier on my pocketbook). I rounded up some of my favorites after scoping out some other round ups like this, this, and this.

1. Britt Bass 2. Michelle Armas 3. Belinda Marshall 4. Cortney North 5. Parima Studio

I ended up buying the Michelle Armas print and I can't wait until it gets here! I'm excited to add some much needed color and texture to the walls!

What art are you digging lately? Abstract? Landscapes? Typography? If you have any other suggestions for great art, please share!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Six Months

Well, I'm a little behind in this department and I'm slowly going to catch up! Luckily, I've been good about jotting things down on my phone as I remember/as they happen under my "Notes" app. It's really convenient and has been so helpful to write down the little things that I don't remember after a month or two! So, here's a little update of our sixth month with our little stinker.

Six Month Stats: 18.2 lbs, 27 3/4 inches

- Emerson started sitting up on her own! So excited for this milestone! It also meant that she always wanted to sit up, which led to a slow decline in activity in our bouncer chair and the baby swing. Fine with me though - takes up much less room in the house!

- Em started rolling over a ton and doesn't stay on her tummy for long. She is almost rolling from back to front. 

- She's super giggly and happy all the time! Well, most of the time. She definitely has her moments. She loves to do this high pitched cackle!

- She's finding her voice and "blowing bubbles" a lot. 

- Wake up calls at 3 or 4 every morning are the norm. She's wide awake and happy and is just babbling away! Not so happy for Mommy and Daddy...

- She's been getting really good at grabbing her binkie and started putting it back in her mouth all by herself.

- Always wants to hold her own bottle. 

- She's been making friends at daycare! On Valentine's Day, her teachers said she scooted across the room (very slowly) and held hands with her friend Emma! So cute!

- She started moving around her crib when she sleeps. We put her down on her back facing one direction and she wakes up facing the other direction. She also started sleeping on her side. 

- So... the perpetually stuffy nose from daycare has begun.

- At daycare, they make fun projects every once and a while. And by "they" I mean the teachers. :) She did make a pretty cute salt cookie foot print heart (see picture below) and it was so cute. I loved it.

- Em and I also tried to make Daddy a cute Valentine's card. Instead it turned out like a bloody valentine. It's the thought that counts right? #mommyfail

- We bought a high chair! We ended up going with the Ikea high chair that was super cheap (yay!) and so far has worked out great. There is no cloth, which makes for very easy clean up. Plus, it's very neutral with simple lines which I love and it doesn't look to bulky in the kitchen.

- We started solids with a few nights of rice cereal. She liked it but it still took some time to get used to. 

- Loves Sofie the Giraffe and all her chewable toys. Except that Sofie has been renamed to Geraldine by Daddy... 

- Em loves bouncing in her Exersaucer! She bounces all over and can't get enough!

- She's in love with the balloon mobile I made her. She loves trying to catch the balloons and is getting better at it too!

- Em had her first snow day! We went outside to sit in the snow and take some pictures. She wasn't very sure about it - it was so bright out!

- And.... the Seahawks won the SUPERBOWL!!! Not bad for her six month of being alive and she gets to see the Hawks win. Some of us have had to wait a lot longer! :)

Now, for the photo portion of our monthly round up...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Headboard Ideas & Inspiration

Hi guys! I'm back before busy season is over? Shocking, right? In my last post you might remember me mentioning our new Cal King bed! It's been a few weeks now and it's still amazing. I would triple underline that if I could. Why did we ever wait so long before investing in a really comfortable mattress??? Never again! Totally worth the money. Since then I have slept so well every night (just not long enough). My back and neck are in less pain and I sleep so deeply. I'm in love. If you don't know me, one of my favorite things in the world is a crawling into a super comfy bed with crisp clean sheets on. Best. Thing. Evaaaaaaaaa. 

OK, enough on my obsession with clean sheets and comfy beds. On to the headboard. I've literally been dreaming about it lately. I loved our previous head board so much and I was kind of sad to see it go (it only moved to our guest bedroom along with our old queen sized bed). With the new bed, our room just feels empty without having a substantial headboard to ground everything and bring some style. 

The sad part is I don't think I even shared my old headboard with you guys! Oops... blogger fail. It's on my list for after April 15th though, so fear not! We actually re-upholstered our old old headboard and used Sarah's plans to update it to a charcoal gray with arms headboard. It turned out great and I love it. I'll share pics soon!

As for our new headboard, I want to go similar - I'm still loving the tufted upholstered headboards these days. This time, I want to go with some deeper, diamond tufting and a bright pop of color. I'm thinking something like this but with side arms. I'm actually kind of obsessed with this color fabric and the tufting. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I also like this headboard, not for the color, but for the overall style of the headboard this is what we will be shooting for (that's also our duvet cover!). Right now we are just making the headboard piece, but one day we might try and build the bedskirt/bed frame part as well.

I'm also digging this (for the color), this (for color and diamond tufting), this, this, and this. Lots of inspiration. 

I'd love to find some beautiful turquoise velvet fabric, but I don't know how realistic that is without spending an arm and a leg, so we'll see. But, I did find this teal microsuede and this peacock microsuede and ordered a sample of each to make sure. Samples were only $1.50 each, which is well worth it to me since we will be spending so much on fabric (probably 4-5 yards). We'll see how they look in person, but I'm excited and hopefully after striking out in the fabric department at JoAnn's.

Can't wait to get started in a couple weeks and complete our "new" bedroom!


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