Monday, August 29, 2011

V and Co:sponosored giveaway

i can't think of a better giveaway than fabric after a long summer without a chance to win free fabric.
canton village quilt works has been a long time sponsor of mine. and jaqueline giving away a fat quarter bundle of kona solids to start us off with a bang.
want some fabric?
want it free?
click here to continue reading and for a chance to win.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

V and Co: cookbook for a cause

with all my crazy going on this summer i meant to blog about this weeks ago...BUT better late than never!

how does she says:

After seeing the devastation in Japan, several top blogs teamed together wanting to somehow make a difference. More than 50 blogs donated one of their favorite recipes to be compiled into an incredible cookbook designed by chickabug (design talent was 100% donated as well). Basically a lot of people worked really hard to make something extraordinary. Now, it’s in your hands to make a difference.

This one-of-a-kind cookbook was originally only going to be offered as an E-book for a $10 donation. But after receiving feedback from readers, we realized that many of you want a physical copy. We approached our favorite publisher, Paper Coterie, who was willing to donate 100% of the supplies, and 100% of the cost of printing for this amazing cause

The E-book is for sale here for a $10 donation.
The hard cover cookbook is also available, (wait for it…) for only $10.

um ahem...btw i'm one of those contributors.
so seriously, go and get one, it'll be one of the best $10 donations you and your family will taste! and yeah, it's for a great cause.

it makes me happy to know i was a part of this great cooking book. thanks ladies for all the hard work that went into this book!

hey ps: monday we're having our first "i'm back at blogging" giveaway. here's a's fabric, it's a bundle, it's solid, and it rhymes with "SKONA" if you can't figure it out well you might want to come on monday anyways because the rest of you that guessed it, know it's pretty sweet. see you monday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

V and Co: how to: faux pleated pillow

i have a thing for texture. i like it.
katie's room has a lot of texture. with ruffles, and gathers, she's got enough pillows in her room (because she steals them after i make them and hoards them on her bed...i just let it go)
but the boys? not so much.
naturally i would choose to make something for my sons' room that is not on the ruffly side, so what's a mom to do? PLEATS!

now in my head i kept thinking wouldn't be cool if i could do a few different shades of solids with pleats? i could get there a few ways...but i came up with this idea of creating faux pleats using one roll up of kona solids.

from one roll up you can make 3 of these pillows (which by the way is perfect for my family because i have three boys) you will have 1/2 strip left over of each color (from every pillow), so you wont feel like you are wasting good money, and well you can probably find some project to add those strips to later on.
so shall we start?

what you will need:

-1 roll up (kona solids silent film palette: $27.50 each at the fat quarter shop) but you can gladly use other palettes!

-2 squares of background fabric cut to 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" (i would suggest a close match to your lightest fabric, or the top color fabric you are using on your pleats)
-coordinating threads (i used the black for the darker fabrics and the light gray for the lighter fabrics.
-stuffing for your pillow (in my opinion Cluster Stuff is the best stuffing, maybe you have a favorite? but this one is mine, walmart used to carry it but now it doesn't (boo!) so now i buy it from amazon. i buy it in bulk because it's the best. true story)
-super cool place to place pillow

lets get started:
*take note: we will be using 1/8" seam allowance when directed and 1/4" seam allowance to sew your final pillow together, i will instruct you as we go, but i want you to be aware of it from the start.

-start off by unrolling your roll.

-and separate from each of the five colors 3 strips.
-take all your strips EXCEPT for one strip of your lightest colors (or the the color that will be on the top part of your pillow)
-place that strip aside for later use.

-take your strips (minus that one) and with an iron press in half all the way down your strip.

all the strips pressed in half
-now we're going to make those three strips of each color and make them 6 strips by folding in half length wise, and cutting at the crease.
-do this to all your strips.
** we will be using only 5 of the 6 strips so, put aside for another project 1 of the strips. (if you make all three pillows at once you will have 3 strips of each color and you can probably make a cute rectangle pillow of the left overs!)
-take your one light colored strip we set aside in the beginning (that we didn't press with an iron), fold in half length wise, and cut at the crease to make two strips.

-take one of your cut strips and fold in half width wise

-and sewing with a 1/8" seam allowance, sew your raw edges to create a long tube.

-take your seam and place it facing up towards you, and squish down (yes i said squish, i'm a professional) your strip.

-press with an iron

this picture shows you the difference of the top strip vs the rest of the strips we pressed earlier.

-set aside your top strip for later use.

-now take one of your 20 1/2" by 20 1/2" squares, and grab a ruler, and pencil.

*we will be making markings all along this square to guide us where to place our strips.

-start by measuring up from the bottom edge of the square 1 1/4" and make your first mark by drawing a line.

-now using your first mark made on the fabric measure up 3/4" and make your second line.
-continue to do this for the whole pillow front, you will end up with 30 lines total (last one ending with 1/4" seam allowance from the top edge)

this is what your pillow top should end up looking like.

-now you are going to take your 5 darkest strips (black) and place the raw edge at your first drawn line.
-pin in place.
(please excuse my safety pins...that's all i could find, and i was lucky to even find those! lets just say my "office" is still in boxes, and probably will be for a while till i figure out where exactly my "office" will be setting up shop.)

-using a 1/8" seam allowance, sew your first strip onto your pillow top square.

*just for demonstration only i used a light thread so you could see the stitches in the pictures, but i suggest you use the black thread so you can't see the stitches.

-now place your next strip on your next marking (the 3/4" up)
-pin in place
-sew in place using your 1/8" seam allowance

-now keep going!

-i switched the thread color when i got to the light gray. if you have more varying shades of gray you can use them before i switched, but it worked out pretty good just using the two colors.

-continue to do this till you get all your strips put on EXCEPT for the top final strip.

-place your top strip on the final drawn line
-pin in place
-sew using a "top stitch" seam allowance (basically right up nest to the edge, this will give it a good finished look)

this is what your pillow top should look like now.
-sit and admire your hard work, but not for too long, because the kids should be coming home soon!

-flip over your pillow top and with fabric scissors cut off the excess of your strips.

-grab your second 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" square and place it, right sides facing, on top of your pillow top
-pin all around except for the bottom side of your pillow

-take your bottom faux pleat and push it in slightly so it doesn't get caught in your seam, pin in place your bottom edge.
- sew using a 1/4" seam allowance around your whole pillow except leave an opening at the bottom edge at least 4" wide for stuffing. (make sure you back stitch each side of your opening)
- turn inside out
- stuff
-hand stitch close.

and enjoy your super cool pillow that surprisingly my boys are all fighting over.
the oldest noisemaker totally loved it. as a matter of fact he said and i quote "mom, you are the BEST sewer..(wait for it) the family." uh gee thanks bud.
after i finished the pillow and was admiring it and placing it in other places in my home...noise maker #2 said "is that for me?!" i answered "no, but do you like it?" he answered "AWWWW! that's a cool pillow i want one!" then of course as #3 does so perfectly...he mimicked #2 and well now all three of them want one on their bed.

might as well keep the peace in our to make two more. and then off to see if i can get my hands on some other colors because i really think they would look cool in so many other places in my home.

hey so speaking of pillows!
jodi of pleasant home has made kits of my ruffle pillow you can order my pattern and kit all in one place!
i know you will like this because i get countless of emails and requests to make kits of my projects...yeah yeah yeah, one more thing to add to my plate...i should, but for now go check out jodi's kits of my ruffle pillow AND abby tote. (i know RUN!)
we'll talk soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

V and Co: word of the year come back

our new family tradition in our new area...

sunday afternoon bike rides on the trails

remember eons ago when i was rounding out the last day of the year looking forward to start the new year, and i had no clue our life was going to be rocked just three months later? yeah, remember my WORD for the year? it was "healthy"

about that.

it feels like since that day..."healthy" was thrown out the door and "survival" became the word of the moment.
and well we've done just that. we survived. :)

but because i've been working so hard on "survival" i feel all out of whack and it ain't because of's because:

- i got off the "just water" drinking train and went back to having diet soda here and there. (but not the caffeine!)
-i lost all sense of schedules and routines since that disastrous day. (and it's made me super cranky, the husband will tell you)
-i totally became shotty on my exercising. (oh i've given it a good effort here and there, but not like before)
-dude, and for some reason going from the super dry air of utah to the super moist air of iowa, has made me turn into a in: "in utah i was a raisin, and in iowa i am now a grape."
i feel like i am retaining sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much mater how much i watch what i eat, and how much i exercise...i still feel like a grape trying to put on my jeans.
(and no its not because of the soda because i really am not drinking that much, and i'm drinking water too.)


BUT, and this is a huge BUT...i feel like my family life in spite of it all and in spite of the survival mode, has become that much more healthy.
we've gone through a hard rough few months. and our family has come out like fighting champs. our kids have shown so much resilience, and have learned so much about life and how it can change in a day, they've learned life lessons of needing to be prepared. they've come out better understanding that the family unit as a whole is the most important thing in life, and everything else is well, just extra.

not only has our family gotten out of this stronger...
jake and my relationship has too.

jake and i have been attached at the hip for three months now.
and listen to this...

i KNOW right?

but screw survival! we're off of that train and we're now on "healthy" again.
and our healthy family needs routines, traditions, and stability.

so i'm getting back on the ball.

and sometimes i bounce off that ball and eat chocolate chips while making chocolate chip cookies.(hmmm i wonder why i'm a grape?)

but over all...i feel it in the air...our life is coming back to us.

and hot diggity dog i'm so excited about it.
what are some of your traditions and routines? you still working on your "word" of the year?
and ack! holidays are right around the corner! we're going to have to adjust our holiday traditions being this far from our families. we'll see how we tweak em.
we'll talk soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

V and Co: how to: hydrangea wreath

well i almost feel like saying "welcome back!" but reality is, i've had a great time getting to know a lot of you guys through facebook and or email. this summer has been a summer i hope to not have to repeat again with our THREE moves in THREE months, and our un-employed status. we are very excited to begin our new life here, and even more excited to have an income again. yay us!
it was a nice break, but i'm ready to finally have "normal" again, and well normal for me is "creating" and running around being mom. i love it, and am excited to have the "creating" part be a part of my weekly routine.
so here's what i made for my house this last week:
a hydrangea wreath for my front door.

i've become obsessed with hydrangeas lately. they are EVERYWHERE in my neighborhood. well except on my lot. but i hope to change that next year.

i can't wait to have fresh hydrangeas in my living room and in my dining room table, or adorning a patio table so when friends are there we can enjoy each other the food and the pretty flowers. (okay so i have to actually get a patio table and ahem, friends first to make that happen...but whatever.) aaah yes i think hydrangeas may be a lovely addition to my landscaping...but not right now.
so for now i will be happy with the silk version.
now, the silk version can be costly. BUT micheals was having a 40% off sale of all their fall stem floral, and i bought them out. i still didn't have enough, so i waited to use my 40% coupon on one of the full price flower. and then went crazy and bought the last two at full price.
it's more than i normally pay for things, but when you look at how much they would cost you to buy one already doesn't look so bad after all.
okay lets get started:

what you'll need:
-10 hydrangea stems
-hot glue gun
-wire cutters
-1 14"grape wreath (not pictured)

-first cut off your hydrangea bloom leaving a stem of about 3 inches long.
-do this to all your stems
-because i only had three of the signature stems with a little bit of purple on the ends i wanted to make sure i spaced them out so they wouldn't all clump in one section. (they were also a slight different shade different, not enough for it to bug me, but again if they were all clumped together THAT would bother me.)

so if this is your situation take this step:
-space out your hydrangea with different look and be mindful of where you will need to place them as you push your stems into the wreath.
-to place the hydrangea bloom onto your wreath, gently separate the wreath in the middle and push the stem in and through till your bloom is resting on the wreath.
(don't put hot glue on your wreath yet, we want to make sure you like what you see as a final product first, then we'll glue it down)
-next you are going to place your next bloom slightly crowding your last bloom. (i pushed the blooms of the first one over so it would get a bit more crowded, i wanted to get really bushy!)

-repeat with the next bloom...
-and the next bloom
-till you get all the way around.
-now step back check out your wreath and if you like how it turned out, get out that hot glue gun and place some globs of hot glue around the base of your stems where they go into the wreath.

hang from a mirror, on your mantel, on your front door, or on a garden fence and enjoy your hydrangea.

since making this wreath, i hung it from my door, but i kept thinking it needed to be a little larger, so i went back to micheals, got a 18" grape wreath and added 4 more blooms (total of 14 blooms), and i love how it turned out.

so tell me, how WAS your summer? still in the middle of it? :)
we'll talk soon.
it's good to be "back"
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