Friday, December 31, 2010

homemade gifts :: wine stoppers

each year my family draws names between my siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.  we draw names and then give home made gifts.  this is the third year we've done it.  the gifts are getting harder to make because we have made them for a few years now and we try not to copy each other.  this year's gifts, in my opinion, were the best yet.  I drew my cousin, Stacia's name, and the husband drew my brother's (his gift to follow).

I made Stacia wine stoppers.
here are the supplies: 3 decorative drawer pulls from hobby lobby, corks, gorilla glue epoxy, a decorative box, and paper "fluff" to fill the decorative box.

first I took the drawer pulls and corks and decided a good height for the corks to be.  I could have left the corks exactly how I purchased them, but I thought they came too far out of the bottle.  I measured and cut three corks down to the size I desired using a hack saw.  husband then drilled a hole in to the middle of the cork for the drawer pull to go through.

he also made the hole slightly larger on the bottom so we could counter set the nut into it.

then all pieces were put together.  (for two of the stoppers I had to buy a decorative "washer" from home depot to finish off the cork so that it looked right against the glass pull)  I put the epoxy on to the top of the cork, and inside the hole of the cork, and screwed the cork onto the pull.

after the epoxy dried the husband cut off the remainder of the pull, the bolt part of it, with a hack saw.  he then used a grinder to make it smooth.  the final step was to add some epoxy to the base where the nut and bolt were showing to make sure it was completely smooth and secure.

the finished product:

she loved them!  and so did I.  I want to make a set for myself now too!  I also added a bottle of champagne to the gift (her favorite), but these given with a bottle of wine would be a perfect hostess gift, housewarming gift, or a gift for any other occasion -- they can be completely customized for the person in mind and they are more personal than any other stoppers I've seen in stores.

Monday, November 22, 2010

and the projects have begun!

we are officially homeowners!  all papers are signed and we have the keys in our hands and are so excited to move in!  first, we are traveling to california to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family, then we will come home and start the moving process.  

however, the projects have already begun.  we have sold some furniture (remember my chairs?) to make room for some new furniture pieces, we have started looking for items to add to what we already have so that we can have a grown up house and not just a pieced together house from our mismatched belongings.  but the first project we have nearly conquered was a big one.  we scraped and painted the entire house!
you can't tell from pictures, but before the paint was peeling, a lot.  so the husband scraped and scraped with a painter friend and prepared the house.

 then we had the painter come and spray the entire house a new, fresh color.  we were a little nervous at this point, because it was a little darker than we thought it would be.  but we held on tight and continued on.  we hired a painter for the base paint of the house, but thought that we could do the trim ourselves.  WORD TO THE WISE: don't paint the trim yourself, it's tedious, takes forever, and is harder than you'd think!

because the weather is quickly becoming wet and COLD we had to do as much as we could in one day.  we were able to get almost all of it done.  if we get another warm day the back windows will all be trimmed out, if not the project will continue through the spring.

 we love how it turned out!  the yellow door against the gray and ivory.  we love how much the ivory brightened it up.  and though you can't tell in the pictures, a fresh new coat of paint makes a world of difference!
now to paint a few rooms inside too...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

ruffled tank

I love trips.  adore them really.  I just love being on vacation.  however, I've discovered something about myself and trips: I always want new clothes to pack for vacations, always, without fail.  

the husband and I went on a little mini vacation last week.  we met up with the california family in laughlin, nevada.  the week was filled with days in the sun, good food, and lots of entertainment.  preparing for the trip I knew I wanted something new to pack.  just something simple... like a new pair of shoes, or a new top, or a new skirt... anything really.  just so I could pack something that was different from my every day.  so I was perusing websites when I came across this ADORABLE tank: 

this spurred a thought... I could make something like that!  just a week before I had bought some jersey knit for my colorblock dress... I still had a quarter yard left.  and I have two tank tops I never wear because, well honestly, they are just too plain.  ooh!  I was inspired!!

inspired is the correct term because my tank is somewhat different, but I do love how it turned out.
step one: choose tank to add embellishment to

I chose the purple tank because I liked how the accent fabric went with it.

step two:  make ruffle for front of tank.  I made a ruffle and then pinned it on to the tank where I thought was appropriate.  this is fairly simple.  it took me a few tries to get the ruffle the correct amount of "ruffled" and pinned just right, but once I did it was easy peasy!

step 3: sew down ruffle.  I top stitched the ruffle down.  where the ruffle folds over I left that part unsewn... it was really only about an inch of fabric anyways and the ruffle continues so nicely when it's not being pulled at. remove basting stitches from ruffle.  {I also added a "trim" piece to the collar to cover my raw edge of the ruffle.  I honestly liked the look of the raw ruffle, but I was not careful with my sewing so mine wasn't so pretty}

step 4: add flowers.  I don't have pictures of the process of this, or a tutorial for it.  I made rolled rosettes... there are tons of tutorials for them online... I could have done layered flowers, or made a rosette in a multitude of ways, but I've really been liking the look of rolled rosettes lately, so I just looked up a tutorial and away I went.

two flowers on the shoulder

and one to finish off the ruffle on the bottom

step 5: wear! {I failed at getting pictures of me wearing my new top... I tried to take some today before posting, but they were blurry.  so next time I wear it I will take some pics}

... disregard the wrinkles please ...

the tank turned out quite nice.  I really like the color of purple and the way that the steel/blue color becomes more violet against the purple.  it's a great comfy tank that has a little extra added oomph.  a perfect, no cost addition to my summer wardrobe.