Worth Quoting

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Borax - 1 (4 lb 12 oz) box - $3.38 Walmart
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda - 1 (3 lb 7 oz) box - $3.24 Walmart
OxyClean - 1 (3 lb) box - $7.52 Walmart
Zote soap bars - 2 (14.1 oz) bars - $.97 ea Walmart
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - 1 (4 lb) box - $2.12 Walmart
Purex Crystals Fabric Softener - 1-2 (55 oz) bottles - $4.76 ea Walmart

1. Grate Zote or Fels Naptha soap bars with cheese grater or food processor into a large bucket or container. I used a 5 gallon paint bucket.
2. Mix all ingredients together. It's easiest to pour some of each ingredient and then mix together. Once all ingredients are in the bucket you'll need a large metal spoon to stir. Be sure to scrap all from the bottom.
3. Use 3-4 Tablespoons per laundry load.

1. I've used the Fels Naptha soap but prefer the Zote soap - it's softer and easier to grate. If you use the Fels Naptha, the bars are smaller so be sure to buy more. I think you need 5-6.
2. I only use 1 bottle of the fabric softener but if you like your towels and other items softer you can certainly use 2 bottles.
3. Once my mix is complete, I store it in a clear lidded container. It makes a lot so use either the oxyclean or fabric softener container and refill them as needed. I'm thinking I'll make a cute little label for the oxyclean container that I use.

If you're not convinced and want to try to some, let me know and I'll send you some to sample. My family and friends that make this really love it. It is also safe for HE machines. Put a label on the container with the date that you started using it - it will shock you how long it will last!! Good luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sarah's Big Girl Room

Sarah is almost 3!!

....less than 2 weeks away and this summer it was time to transform her room from a baby girl's room with a toddler bed to a big girl bed with some girl decor.

Here were my Inspiration Ideas:

I believe these were both from Pottery Barn.

I knew that I wanted a covered headboard. Sarah is so "wild" that any wooden headboard was certain to be accident central and I didn't even consider a footboard with the certainly that she'd be jumping off of it and was certain to be impaled - also a guaranteed trip to the hospital.
I found a twin size headboard on craigslist for $20 and recovered it with chocolate velvet and added the pink chenille buttons and trim.
Then I found some patchwork type fabric with all her room colors at the most fantastic fabric store in Atlanta, Forsyth Fabrics with my fabric lover friend, Ariel! I trimmed the comforter in a brown dot and lime green sheet I found. I took the same pink chenille I used on the headboard to make the fronts of the bedskirt. The pillow sham is a mix of the brown dot and a lime green. The lime green is also between the pink panels of the bedskirt.

Once the bed was finished, it was time to work on the tree. I had been searching for the look I wanted for awhile. Since we are renting our house, painting wasn't an option. I had to find something that would give me the girly tree I was looking for without paint. I saw some vinyl that was okay, but it either was too wispy or just looked like a dead tree. One day while at The Dollar Tree I was a brown bark shelf liner paper. I realized I could use that - umm $2/roll was also a HUGE motivator!
It literally was as easy as drawing a tree outline on the backside of the shelf liner paper and then cutting it out. I made the tree trunk in several sections and simply taped all the pieces up with blue painters tape. I continued to add pieces, move pieces, trim pieces until I got the look I wanted. Once I thought I was mostly happy with it, I removed each section with the blue painters tape, pulled off the adhesive backing and put it back in place.
It looked like a winter tree with some slight hint of girliness. I knew I wanted to add flowers, so I got to work making them. I found the idea off the following blog:  dearlillieblog.blogspot.com
They are not difficult to make, but there is a technique with making sure you gather them tightly after you sew them and then roll them loosly - if you want them to be full.
They're made from crepe paper - party streamers. I mixed light pink and hot pink flowers.
Once I had the flowers made, I took light green crepe paper and cut out leaves. I sewed the leaves together and gathered them so they would roll up. Then I used sticky tack to "glue" the flowers on the branches and onto the wall.
I can't promise that it will help your daughter sleep better, but Sarah sure sleeps well under her "flower tree."
Sarah's new Big Girl Room

Bookshelf with Commitment Issues

Wow! I can't believe it's been since the first of the year since I posted something. Time goes so fast. Even though I haven't posted, I have been busy doing things with the family and some DIY projects.

I might have mentioned the bookcase that I've needed to finish for like 10 years. I really struggled with making a commitment to the bookcase. Does that sound crazy? Since we move so often, it has been in so many different rooms and since we don't know when we're actually going to settle somewhere, I hated to "tie" it down. Sounds like some kind of crazy relationship issue!! I wanted to go with a bit of color but without limiting it's future. So, here's my compromise.

I started by sanding down the entire piece, moving from a low grit paper to a higher grit to make it feel as smooth as a baby's butt. Once it was all sanded and smooth, I wiped it down with a tac cloth. This is really important to remove any lint or traces of dust so they don't get stuck in your finish. Once it was all wiped down and clean, I started applying the maple color stain. I only did one coat of the stain because I didn't want it to be too dark. I was trying to bridge between darker and lighter wood that would be in the room. Again, with my commitment issue...I wanted it to be able to work wherever it ended up.
As I stained it, I would do a small section and then use a clean rag to wipe with the grain until the entire piece had been covered in stain. The most difficult part was getting the underneath of the shelves. It was hard to get to without bumping what had already been stained. The rest was a breeze. After it was stained, I moved the piece into my bathroom. Sounds wierd? Well, my bathroom has an empty wall and the bookcase needed a place to rest and dry before I put on the clear coat. The following day, I wiped down the piece with the tac cloth and put on the clear finish. I used a polyurethane product that came with the purchase of the bookshelf. It required a 24-hr drying time between coats. Before I applied the 2nd coat of poly, I lightly sanded the entire bookshelf and wiped it down again with the tac cloth. Here it is stained and with 2 coats of poly. 
Remember I mentioned I wanted some color? I had seen several built-in bookshelves that were painted in the back to either match the wall or to stand out against it. It was the look I wanted, but didn't want to permanently make the bookshelf my color of blue. I was going for a sky blue with lime green accessories. So, I bought a sheet of hardboard from Lowes and they cut it in a couple pieces so I could travel home with it. Then I got my jig saw and cut the pieces to fit between the shelves.
I didn't want to have to include any type of adhesive, because again it would be permanent, so I made sure  the backing was a SUPER tight fit. Once I made sure all the pieces would fit, I took my craft paint (yep, from Hobby Lobby) and put a light coat on the hardboard. Since the hardboard is so dark and my craft paint is a light paint, some of the brown from the hardboard showed through, which was the exact "weathered" look I wanted. Once the hardboard backings were painted and dry I pushed them inside the shelves. They were super tight, so it was an effort to get them in. With a few accessories and a few more left to purchase, here is the end result.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Slipcover Makeovers

It's a new year. New Years resolutions almost always include cleaning up, de-cluttering and sprucing up your life. I couldn't help but think about my recent adventures with my mom on recovering my furniture. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle!

Growing up in my mom's upholstery business, I extracted a bit of sewing and furniture knowledge, but never really embraced it all. She's always helped me find great deals on quality furniture and then we pick out fabric and redo it. Or I should say that she redoes it. I do sometimes "tear it down" - meaning I remove all the old fabric and it was always fun as kids to find all the treasures inside people's furniture.

For several years my mom has been telling me it was PAST time for a furniture update. I just couldn't find the exact look I wanted. Since it had been almost 11 years from my last redo, I new I had to just go for it. So, my wonderful mother came to my house and brought her super sewing machine, serger and all pertinent sewing items. I kept telling her that I REALLY wanted to learn how to do it so that she could pass her knowledge down. This was mostly true!

Loveseat Before
We started with my love seat. Here's the love seat's history. It was purchased new by Brad's mom in Montgomery, AL. She ordered it and had it covered in a light blue chintz type fabric. When she redid her house, she offered it to me. It is a great quality piece and worthy of hanging onto. In 2000, we redid this love seat in a green chenille. I loved the softness of the fabric and it was great until the children got older. The weaves of the chenille are loose and the children often pulled out the weaves in the fabric. There weren't gaping holes, but it was definitely looking worn.
Loveseat in Progress

We decided on a slipcover so that everything could come off and could be washed - necessary for a home with children! The decking - underneath the seat cushions was laid out first. Then we did the arms, back and skirt. The cushions were all completely redone. It was about 10 hours of labor. I am happy to admit that I did a good deal of the cutting out of the fabric and even some of the sewing. It was quite difficult trying to figure out how everything would go - since we were making our pattern as we went.

Here's the Loveseat After:

Sherrill Sofa Before
After the loveseat was finished, we were ready to move on to the sofa. Here's the sofa history. When I was growing up, my parents had the best sofa of all my friends' houses. It was made of down feathers and was huge. There were so many times that me and several of my friends slept on it - comfortably. I had always wanted a similar couch. After I got married, my mom found a similar style, just a bit smaller. We stripped it down to the frame and covered it in a green almost animal print fabric. The fabric has been amazing - almost indestructible. It looks as good 12 years later as it did the day it was recovered. However, the fabric is so tough that it's not that comfortable and the cushions don't sit as good as I wanted them. So, we decided to see if we could find an alternative for the sofa. My mom got on craigslist and we found a Sherrill sofa (retail $1200 new) for $50. I'm a bit particular about who's furniture I use. So, the first question I asked was if she was the original owner and if she had pets - answers were satisfactory (sorry, I'm not a pet lover). Mom and I loaded it up and brought it home. Mom actually hurt her shoulder during the load..sorry mom!

After another 10 or 12 hours of labor, here's the sofa finished. The cushions look kinda scrunched in the photo, but they are truly fabulous looking.

The absolutely wonderful part of all is that the slipcovers can all come off and can be washed. I'm not sure I can tackle an entire sofa and make a slipcover..actually I'm pretty sure that I couldn't, but I could probably do a chair. I do now have an extra sofa that I need to sell, but right now it is still hanging out in our house, since the kids are almost threatened with getting the new ones dirty!

More than anything, I feel like a bit more of my mother's knowledge has been passed down. Mom, thanks for beautifying my home and taking time to teach your daughter.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mitchell Farms - October 2011

We met up with the Fordham family at Mitchell Farms just outside of Hattiesburg. We WISH we had known how much there was to do there. We could have spent an entire day there rather than just a couple of hours.
The huge pool of corn kernels was unbelieveable.

The dads and kids loved the water trough races.

The corn and hay maze kept Matthew quite occupied.

What a great afternoon!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sarah Turns 2!

It is amazing to believe that it's been two years since Sarah was born. The time has gone so fast! She's growing and changing so much and is such a true joy to our family.  
For her 2nd birthday, we had a small party with all her neighborhood friends. We are so blessed to have wonderful neighbors and be in a place where the kids can walk to their friends house and play.
She had a great time at her party. She loved the balloons and flowers lights we hung outside. When she walked outside and saw all the decorations, she was so excited. She loves the new babies that she got and the her own radio to play her music. She LOVES to dance.
I made Sarah's birthday outfit and I must say that she looked precious! However, with pink and green and pig-tails in your hair, how can you go wrong?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Our Garden

I'm not sure we can say we have had the most productive garden, but we have had a garden. We've learned to allow more room for cucumbers and watermelons to "run" and if you have an above ground garden to make sure you have plenty of soil and a way to allow for water runoff. HOWEVER, it truly has been awesome to pick fresh corn, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. The children have loved watching things grow and get so excited when it's time to pick something. I highly recommend having some type of garden with your family. The lessons alone that can be taught as things grow from just one tiny seed, makes it worth it. The fresh produce isn't bad either.

One of my amazing friends (Bonnie Higley) shared her recipe for fresh salsa. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I have been wanting to can it to see if I can store it. I finally canned a couple of jars and it's pretty good. It's not as amazing as freshly made - but it's much better than store bought. I also canned some pears (delicious) and some pickles.