Quick Change Trousers

If you have ever shopped for baby clothes, you know that girls win it hands down in the cute category.  You have tutus and dresses and tights and lace and…then I have to remove myself to the boys section before he ends up in a skirt.  But whipping up a couple of pairs of Anna Maria Horner’s Quick Change Trousers from her Handmade Beginnings book helped.IMG_6431

Because every boy needs dinosaur pants.


These were my first pair and I just used some cheap fabric from Joann’s in case I messed them up.  Well other than the scrap on the butt.  If you have an eagle eye you can see that Carter’s butt matches his quilt.  I so meant to do that.


They are also reversible so if he is having a more stripe kind of day, no problem.


They are also helpful for discovering your feet.


And set off a plain white onesie quite nicely.  Because let’s me honest, if you are wearing dinosaur pants you need something pretty neutral on the top half.

Carter loved his pants so much I made some more.  Every baby also needs Christmas pants.



Well I actually made three.  Not that Carter needed three pairs to properly celebrate the holiday, but his two baby pals needed some as well. 


Carter decided the sock monkeys set off his Christmas drool bib and candy cane socks nicely for lounging around the house on Christmas Eve.  His dad thinks I am channeling MC Hammer, but nothing says “festive” like monkeys in santa hats.


And they are super comfortable for bib eating…IMG_6603

As well as present opening wrapping paper eating.

And I have already bought some fabric to make some more…this time I am thinking bears with a shot cotton lining.  Only this time I will make the legs a little shorter and the waist a little bigger.  Yep Carter hopes those proportions reverse themselves as he gets bigger.  But for right now we are all loving on the pudge.  In animal pants especially.


Last week at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild we had a holiday swap.

And it was super fun as this is the first swap I have participated.  Because of the unfortunate potholder incident.

The “rules” were that we could make anything for any holiday and we were going to do it in November because most guild members are going to be super busy in December with all sorts of handmade gifts.

I should be one of them.  And I should have also been super busy in September and October as well with this task.  But the procrastinator in me is going strong and I have not started one Christmas gift yet.  So much for getting any sleep the week before Christmas again.

Oh well.

Anyway for the swap I used some left over Figgy Pudding jelly roll to make a fun Christmas accent pillow.


It came together super quick (even for me) and I just used four blocks of disappearing nine patch.  It is a fun and easy pattern that a simple google search will lead you to many tutorials for.  And this time I was not even ripping seams 5 minutes before I had to leave for the meeting.  Stupid potholders.


But the most fun part of the swap by far….


My new Liberty of London scarf!  Somehow even being the last to choose in my group, I scored the swap item that the president, Jacquie, made.  It is gorgeous and so soft.


And backed with a great autumny orange shot cotton.  Of course I wore it to work the very next day and got tons of compliments. 

As if the scarf was not enough, I also received two fat quarters of Kate Spain’s 12 Days of Christmas.  Which is perfect as I had just ordered fabric from that line for my very own Christmas quilt that I am going to get to as soon as all the drapes and Christmas gifts are complete.

Christmas is still months away….right?


The garden has been taking a lot of my attention (and posts) lately.  So for all those non-gardening people out there, I wanted to share what else is on the DIY to-do list.  

Since we are on a tight DIY budget this summer I had to be a little creative with our next project.

Therefore with a little inspiration from Sara at Russet Street Reno, our master closet is the next in line.

Is it terrible? No.  And it was actually a huge selling point.  Coming from a house that was over a hundred years old and therefore the closets were the size of three hangers, all the closets we were looking at were awe inspiring.  I might have squealed a couple of times and said that we could make the closet a guest room in a pinch.  For the record the phrase “this is is a great closet for me, but where are you going to put your clothes?” did not cross my lips   Once,  And if you watch House Hunters you know exactly what I am talking about. 

Anyway even though our master closet was not the biggest we looked it, it is more than adequate for the two of us.  And it already had pretty good storage built in.  So we did moved in, put in our stuff and did absolutely nothing to it. 

But of course my orange arch nemesis always makes an appearance-

Closet Before

Sidenote….have you ever tried to take pictures of a long skinny closet with a window? Well it’s not easy.  So I apologize for how badly depicted this is.

And the white has faded into a dingy yellow.  And they are an awkward size for folding storage.  My excuse for stuff falling all over the place. 

Closet Before

And the walls are blah.  (Well at least before I tried some paint samples.)

Closet Before

And the light fixture is dim and ugly.

Closet Before

And the shelves do not have enough support so they bow in.  Again this is the only reason why old purses and stuff is falling everywhere.  Obviously I did not clean up before taking any of these pictures.

Closet Before

So the plan is to re-stain and finish the clothing rods, add more shelving to reduce the  size of folded stacking, new wall color, and new light fixture.  And maybe some snazzier storage.   Or a fun paper or color behind the shelves And possibly a new hamper….or re-do of the current one.  And maybe a window covering.  Because after two years of thinking how far and high this window was from the neighbors, I just realized how wrong I am.   Not going to think about that.

I have been given the timeline of a long weekend to get the project completed because someone (aka the neater side of the closet) does not want this to become the never ending project with stacks of clothes all over the house.

Think we can do it?  Any other great closet ideas?


Mailbox Surprise

Neighborhoods in our area do not have mailboxes at each house. Each street has a big box and you have key for your box. It brings back memories of apartment living. There are also two big boxes that the mailman puts your packages in if you happen to have them and then puts that key in your mailbox. So when I opened the mailbox today and saw the key I was excited. I was even more excited when I opened that box and inside there was not just one, but two packages with my name on it.

Package 1 had some books I had ordered from Amazon.

Since I am trying to advance my sewing skills past curtains and pillows to skirts and dresses I decided I needed some help and these babies got great reviews on Amazon. I can't wait to really spend time with them and make some new summer clothes. I started to work on a pattern last night......still have a ways to go.

I went back and forth about admitting I am trying a pattern since my first attempt will probably suck. But this way at least I can provide you with some laughs.

OK back to package #2-

This baby I actually won. That's right, my first contest I have ever won (besides the Safe Driving Rodeo in high school....but that is another story). One of my favorite blogs, Decorno, had a contest to send in your biggest decorating dilemma. I sent in our master bathroom which is missing from the before and afters pics on this blog because it is still hideous. When I first got the email that I won at first I was honored. But then I thought, "Should I really be proud that our bathroom won for the biggest decorating dilemma....especially considering how many submissions she must have received....I mean it's ugly but geez I did not think it was that bad." Anyway this book was my prize for having the ugliest bath. I would post some pics for you to rate it's ugliness, but I will save them when they get featured on her blog and see what everyone suggests.

In the meantime I am loving this book. And not just because I won it, it is really giving me the itch to try some more daring colors.....and shhhhhh maybe even repaint rooms that have already been painted.

This bright color itch started at a young age when I grew up in a house of white. My mom will readily admit she is afraid of color and I was constantly begging to paint color on the walls. When Derek and I got our first house and I had free reign over color choice, I went all out. Red in the living room, burgundy in the kitchen, citron in the bathroom, mint in the guest room, and bright yellow in the master. All the colors of the rainbow.... I then evolved in my color choices and slowly repainted some rooms. I also learned that maybe neutrals had their place as well. So when it came time to pick paint colors for our new house, I grabbed my trusty paint deck but tried to keep my love for bold and deep colors under control. I think I did a pretty good job and really thought I had matured and moved past that phase until I started to flip through pages of this book this afternoon. I regressed.....

When I opened it I was expecting a lot of neutral colors...which there were but there were also a lot of bold ones. There are tons of paint swatches and pictures of painted rooms. At the end of the book, the colors are also divided by room and by color family. I would scan and post some of the awesome pictures but the copyright police might not like that.

I have a new inspiration manual for paint color....all thanks to our ugly bathroom (which now thanks to this book I am thinking black walls to compliment white tile...hmmmm).

How-To: Dye Weird Colored Clothing

When I found this dress on clearance at Ann Taylor Loft for $15 I was really excited. I thought it would be the perfect work dress for multiple seasons. But when I brought it home and put it on with black shoes I noticed something strange....the dress now looked navy and I looked colorblind to be wearing it. So I put on camel sandals....and the dress now looked black. So I put on navy shoes (which were ugly anyway but hey I had to try)....and it looked black still. So after having the dress for a year and never wearing it because it is a funny in-between color I decided to do something about it and dye it black. I have never dyed clothing before but I knew I was not going to wear it the way it was so I had nothing to lose even if I ruined it. So I bought some black dye at Joann's this last weekend for a couple of bucks and last night I went for it.

  • Dress
  • Dye
  • Rubber gloves
  • Salt
  • Dishpan
  • Disposable mixing container (I used an old ice cream container)
  • Old painting clothes

1. Put on your old paint clothes, gather materials, and determine where you are going use the dye. Since we do not have a sink in the laundry room I used the kitchen sink but was very very careful not to get the dye on the counter tops.

2. Wet the clothing and mix the dye, water and salt according to instructions on the package. The particular dye had me mix things together in two separate containers before mixing it together. When I mixed the dye, it was almost like it was a giant vat of dark ink.

3. Add clothing and stir. Per the instructions on my dye, I stirred consistently for the first 15 minutes and then occasionally for the next 45. I am not sure what the dye's definition of "occasionally" is, but I did it on every commercial break while I was watching TV.

4. Dump out the dye and rinse clothing in cool water until it runs clean. Again be very careful not to splash.

5. Wash the clothing. Since I am only supposed to handwash this dress anyway, I used Woolite in warm water.

6. Rinse, wring and hang to dry.

Here is what I ended up with last night....I will repost the final results after I iron it . It looks more black to me but until it passes the "shoe test" I will not know for sure.