Monday, December 24, 2012

Scrappy Doll Quilt

My daughter and her best friend decided to exchange Christmas gifts this year.  Of course my daughter didn't tell me until after her bff had given her a cute winter coat and boot set for her American Girl doll.  

Luckily I had a pile of scraps from a granny square quilt I am making and it was pretty easy to whip up a quilt and matching pillow for her friend's American Girl doll.

I just pieced the scraps together in rows.  The scrap fabric is Lecien Antique Floral.  I used Kona white every other row and for the back.  I did straight line quilting on the white which was plenty for this small project.

I used my longer scraps to make the doll pillow.  I didn't bother quilting it just pieced it and stuffed it.

They both turned out really cute and my daughter's bff was thrilled because she didn't have any blankets or pillows for her doll.

I did finish my granny square quilt top and I'll show it to you soon.  I am hoping that Santa is bringing me something to help with the quilting part of it so I've held off on finishing it up for a few weeks:).  In the meantime I've been busy working on a few pillows to match using my extra fabric and scraps.  Everything is coming together nicely so I promise pictures soon.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!!

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Doing Something

I never thought I would be writing a political post on my blog.  Then again, I never thought I would see something as horrible as what happened last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.  It made me feel better to do something so I thought I would share with you all how to do the same.

How to Email all your Senators and Congressmembers:

Click here.  This link will take you to a form on that allows you to easily send one message to all your representatives at once.

To make it even easier you can copy and paste the message I used below...

In light of the recent tragic events in Newtown and those that happen around the rest of the United States everyday, I feel it necessary to write to you to implore you to support new gun control laws.  It has become obvious to me that strict gun control laws are needed to help reduce the number of innocent people that are killed everyday by gun violence.  Going forward my vote, my voice, and my resources will only support candidates who also back gun control legislation.

After you type in your message you fill out a brief name and address form.  Then click submit.  After you submit it tells you who it sent your message to...

Honestly, it could not have been any simpler.  It takes less than 5 minutes.  Surely we can each spare just 5 minutes today.

It's a small step in the right direction.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Pillows

I whipped these up over the weekend to add a little festiveness to the living room.  Just super simple patchwork pillow covers much like the fall ones I did here and here.

This one is just 3.5 inch squares pieced together six across and six down.  The back is an off white canvas type fabric finished in an envelope close.  All the fabrics were bought at Joanns.

I was surprised to find that I really liked it even on this blue chair.  Pairing it with the sweater pillow makes that corner of the living room seem nice and Christmas cozy.

This one with the embroidery was inspired by Amy's pillow over at nanaCompany.  She makes the cutest cleverest stuff.  My version has more traditional colors and I used Little Days font for my message.  I used 2.5 inch squares for the patchwork and it took a lot of them even with the embroidery panels in between the rows.  

Instead of buying new inserts for these covers I have just been slipping them right over the throw pillows that came with the couches.  It saves me some cash and then holiday pillows are not clashing with the everyday pillows.  

I had been planning on making a few more pillow covers but now my son has a sinus infection and an incessant cough which has been keeping us both up the past two nights.  So instead I think I will be using the new pillows for a quick little nap:).

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Party time...

Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Sweater Sleeve Gift Bag

This is a quick and easy project that is sure to impress your gift recipient.  

Every year I like to stock up on Yankee Candles to have for hostesses, teachers, and last minute gifts.  Usually right before Thanksgiving they will run a sale or have a coupon.  This year it was a bogo coupon which was great.  Anyways, while I was in the store I noticed they had these cute little sweater bags for the large jar candles.  They were cute until I realized they were $10 each.

I knew I could do something just as nice on my own especially because I had left over sweater material from my sweater pillow project.  This does require a tiny bit of sewing but you could easily do it by hand or on your machine.  It took me just 15 minutes to complete this project.

Here we go...

Step 1:  Find an old sweater.  I got mine at Goodwill but you could easily use any old one from home.  You just want to pick something that is large enough.  I usually look for large or extra large adult sizes at the Goodwill.  You also don't want a weave that is too stretchy or too thin.  A nice medium-weight cable sweater works great.

Step 2:  Cut the sleeve off.  Make a straight line across the sleeve at the and cut.  This will become the bottom of your bag.

Step 3:  Using a space piece of the sweater, trace around the bottom of your candle.  When you cut this out, cut on the outside of the circle adding at least a 1/4 inch all the way around for the seam.

Step 4:  Place the circle and the cut end of the sleeve right sides together and pin.  It doesn't have to be perfect but if you find that your sleeve is way bigger than your circle you may want to cut further down on the sleeve until they fit together more closely.

Step 5:  Sew around the edges using a zigzag stitch.  I went around twice just to make sure it wouldn't ravel on me.

Step 6:  Turn it right side out and decide how tall you want your bag to be.  For my candle I thought 11 inches looked nice.  Add a 1/2 inch to your measurement and cut.  Now depending on how long your sleeve was you could just use the premade cuff and not have to do this step at all.

Step 7:  Turn under your cut edge twice and hem all the way around with a straight stitch.  Again, if your use the cuff you will not need to do this step.

Step 8:  Insert your candle, tie with ribbon, and add a card.

At this point you can dress up the little bag with ornaments, embellishments or other accessories.

This method would work great for any number of gifts like wine bottles or glass ware or whatever.  I think it just dresses up a gift nicely and is just a little bit more special than the expected paper gift bag.  

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Front Door Before & After

Every year now we have a little holiday party.  This year it was this past Saturday.  So right after Thanksgiving and I mean as soon as the plates were cleared I had to start getting up our decorations.  

But that morning after the turkey was in the oven I started looking around, doing some initial planning, and I decided the front door was looking too shabby.  The old builder grade white steel door had seen better days.  There were scuffs and scratches and the plastic molding on the sidelights was looking uber fake and yellow.  

So I grabbed a can of black paint and started painting.

At first it looked really crappy.  I was getting a little worried and my husband was not happy (but not surprised) that I decided to tackle this a week before we were expecting 50 people.  

However, after a few more coats it started looking spectacular.  The fake molding was blending in and not looking so fake.  The sidelight clings I had added the year before were standing out nicely.

Alas, now the brass door handle was also standing out.  Not in a good way.  So I did a little internet searching and took a short trip to the Lowe's and with a little bribing got my husband to install a new handle and lock set!!!

It is a Schlage in satin nickel.  I love it.  It makes the door look super nice.  Plus it is way sturdier than the old one.

Now I just need to replace all the molding around the door.  I mean we have this huge wide door and then this skinny little molding all around it.  It needs to be wider and taller and a little crown on top wouldn't hurt.  Oh and it has to be painted white.

In case anyone is wondering the paint is Sherwin Williams enamel in the stock black.  I bought a quart and have a ton left over.  I used a 30% off coupon which is on their website still.  The paint was about $10 and the new door handle was about $125.  Not free, but I am justifying that it adds lots of curb appeal:).

Anyone else doing some crazy projects in the middle of their holiday stuff?

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~  

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Winter Holiday Front Door Basket

I think this just looks perfectly elegant.  The white poinsettias against the blue door are simple and lovely.

I choose to use just one kind of flower for 2 reasons.  The first being that I am cheap and the second being that it was easier:).  It's sorta difficult to pick multiple kinds of flowers that will all look nice together and fit in this narrow basket.  Plus it can get pricey and I've found that the best thing for faux flowers is to get fewer but get the best you can afford.  Sadly, most of the cheap ones look really fake.

I have started using picmonkey to edit my photos and they have a ton of neat effects hence why this picture is adorned with both frost and some fancy corners.  I just couldn't help myself.

Anyways, I used 3 bunches of flowers to fill the basket and I added the white and gold bow on the front.  We already had the basket so the flowers and bow ran less than $15 at Joann's.  Not too bad especially when all the wreathes I liked were 3 times that much.

You may also notice that we have a new handle set for the door.  Previously it was brass but because of another project (coming this week) we decided to switch out for the satin nickel finish.  I like this finish so much better plus the handle feels so solid now compared to our old one.

And because you can only take so many pictures of the front door that was the last one:).

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Candlebox

I had seen a few of these around blogland all done up for fall so I thought since we had some extra wood scraps from the guest room window project I would make one up for winter.

It took my husband about 10 minutes to cut and glue the box together.  Then I primed it, painted it green, painted it black and then did a final coat of ivory.  I wanted it to have an antique rustic vibe with layers of paint showing through and sloppy paint drips.

After it was all dry I added the candles.  I bought 2 packages from ikea.  I think they were $5 apiece and they had 4 candles all different sizes.  I used the 6 tallest for this project.

Once the candles were placed I added in some fresh trimmings from our tree and a few pinecones that have been floating around for years.  It seemed to need a shot of color so I grabbed some cutie oranges from the kitchen and added them to the mix.  Finally I had a little faux floral bundle that I cut up and added strategically for a little bit of sparkle.

Right now it is located on the buffet in our dining room but I can easily move it to the center of the dining table or even out to our kitchen island.  I thought about using it on the mantle but you wouldn't be able to see down into it so you would lose some of the elements.

I had to take some photos of it all lit up.  Of course, my husband thinks it is one big 'ole firetrap so I'll be using the candles infrequently and with lots of supervision.

Also, I will have to keep an eye on the oranges as they will probably need to be switched out before too long but with cuties in abundance this time of year it shouldn't be a problem.

This was a great easy project.  If I had to price it out I would say it was less than $20 for all the materials.  The wood was scrap and the tree trimmings were free.  I bought the candles, oranges, faux floral and we had the paint on hand.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest Room Before & After

Now this reveal is not going to make it on the cover of a magazine.  This is a quick and easy on the budget makeover.  Eventually we'll add some more style to the room but for now we are happy with the results and more importantly I think our guests will be comfortable.

This is the 3rd incarnation for this particular room since we moved in just a little over a year ago now.  The previous owners used it as an extra bedroom.

After we bought the house we used it as my husband's exercise room.  He somehow jammed in all his weights and an elliptical machine, the treadmill, a bike, this sit up machine thing, a tv and some other exercisey type stuff. It was a little crowded. 

Well, after a few months we realized that if we cleaned out the storage room his equipment would fit in there and then we could use this room as a guest room/toy room.

So we moved the equipment and bought a sofa sleeper and jammed in some toys (they are all hidden behind those big closet doors) and a table.  It was fine.  But then I decided we could make it better. 

So we bought some paint and some wood and got to work.

The first project was to frame out this window with some plywood and molding.  It took my husband a couple hours to measure, cut and install.  Then I caulked the seams and primed and painted.

Now it's starting to look a little more homey and cozy.  You can also see that I made a couple of curtain panels for the window.  In order to keep costs down we decided to use some art we had from our old house.  It is a set of 4 old sea ships.  So I kept with that theme and made the curtains from a nautical print called Sail Away from Northcott Fabrics.

This theme works nicely in this room because the guest room is located in our basement which is man territory.  The boys and my husband have their exercise room, video games, super huge ridiculous tv and bar all down here so I didn't want to make this room too frilly or it would seem out of place.  When not a guest room they can use it as a playroom or my husband can use the table when he works from home.

We moved the sleeper sofa over to this wall which makes the room feel much bigger.  We bought the sofa earlier this year at a discount furniture store.  It has a brown ticking pattern fabric but it is done in a sturdy kid friendly finish.

We painted the walls in a Glidden color called shell white but matched in Behr paint.  This new color makes the room so much brighter and friendlier.  Much needed when there is not really much natural light.  We also painted the trim.  I am a big huge fan of white trim and eventually the whole house will have nice white trim.  The trim is done in SW Pure White just like upstairs to make everything consistent.

Another quick and inexpensive project was this mirror.  I picked it up on clearance at the local Meijer.  It was originally $18 and I got it for $4.  I liked it because it had a nice thick wood frame and so I painted it with navy blue craft paint to match the room.  I think it is nice for our guests to be able to take a peek at themselves if they want.

We already had this little table and the lamp.  I bought the alarm clock from for less than $20 and the candle was gifted to me last year.  There's also a box of tissues for our guests.

Keeping with the navy theme I whipped up this cute ruffle pillow from fabric I already had on hand.  It makes me smile to see that pretty little touch.  My husband asked me why I had a bow wrapped around the pillow.  I tried to explain that it's not a bow it's a ruffle and it's not wrapped around and then I just let it go.

This table was originally in the opposite corner and we moved it over here under the tv.  I bought this table set off craigslist a few years ago for $100.  It also has 2 more chairs and a leaf.  I know it looks a little dated but it is perfect for playing games or when you have a lot of dinner guests.  Eventually I'd like to paint it but that's way down the to-do list.

I picked up the glass vase for the candle at goodwill for $1 and the seashell fill was on clearance for $1.49.

The tv was also something we already had in another part of the house getting very little use so I asked my husband to hang it up in here.  This way our guests have a nice tv plus it gives the kids another place to watch when no one can agree on the same show.

My mother-in-law arrives this afternoon so we'll see how she likes the new room.  I'd love to hear your favorite guest room hints.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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