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Using Stitch People to Make My Little Stitch Family

8 May

When my spring semester of my master’s program ended a few weeks ago, I was getting the major urge to do something crafty. I remembered that I had an embroidery book from a couple years ago and always meant to make a family portrait, so I figured it was a great time to finally do it!

{You can read my initial review of Stitch People here from when I did a portrait of Ollie.}

I went through the book and picked the perfect faces, hair, bodies and outfits for each of us… then I drew up a little sketch to work off of:

I started with Travis and decided to try to replicate an exact outfit that he wears:

Special details for Travis: his green eyes, plaid shirt and black rimmed glasses.

Then, I moved onto little Joules:


Special details for me: my big skirt with pockets, reddish hair, and arm tattoo!

From there I added Jack:

Special details for Jack: pretty green eyes, favorite Flash shirt and messy hair.

To finish, I added Ollie and our family name:

I cut it to the size of a little photo frame, taped the edges to the mat and finished it off:

I added it to our gallery wall in our living room and every time I look at it I giggle a little. I mean LOOK at the adorable mini Travis?!

I think if you have any crafting experience at all, this shouldn’t be too hard for you to do. I’ve cross-stitched a bunch before, so it was in my wheelhouse. It is quite time consuming though. I think the mini Travis and mini Joules took about 2 hours each? Then another 90 minutes for mini Jack and maybe 45 minutes for Ollie?

I’m thinking about doing a little personalized bride and groom with the wedding dates embroidered on them for my sister’s wedding and also for my brother’s wedding. So, this was good practice. ADORABLE good practice!

 

Disclosure: I received Stitch People for free for review purposes 2 years ago…

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A Storage Situation for all my Overflow Pantry Needs

17 Apr

When we moved into our house 6 years ago, I was pretty excited to have an in-kitchen pantry. I organized it back in 2013 and it pretty much stayed exactly the same ever since. Which, I guess, means that the organizers I bought worked really well.

The problem is Costco.

I try to only go to Costco every 4 – 5 weeks or so. Each time I go I pick up a huge piece of salmon, which I then cut into 4 pieces and stick in the freezer. We eat salmon once a week (it’s part of my lowering cholesterol diet), so once it’s gone… I need to go back to Costco. I also like to buy a huge bag of mixed nuts (each bag lasts us one week of packing lunches), a huge jug of olive oil for refilling our regular bottle, bulk portions of goldfish and cheese-it’s, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.

This stuff does NOT fit in the pantry. So, instead I would just kind of pile it up on a table sitting in my laundry area. We don’t really have a laundry “room” because there is no door. Instead you can actually see the laundry area from the corner of the den. There is also a door to our backyard there, as well as a door to my garage.

I put a table across from the laundry machines as a way to have some nice hidden storage, but it wasn’t cutting it. I forgot to take a photo of the actual table, but here is our stash piled on top the washer/dryer after I removed it:

Here is the space where the table used to live… next to the door to my garage:

It’s a perfect little area that is hidden from the den, but still pretty accessible for easily grabbing and refilling stuff… like goldfish.

We took a fun family trip to Ikea (MEATBALLS!) and after wandering around the store in a stupor for an hour, I picked up a HINDO shelf unit. Specifically, a HINDO shelf unit and a HINDO cabinet unit which totaled $119.

My husband brought in the two flat pack boxes and then escaped to the garage while I put it together. I’m actually one of those weird people who really enjoys putting together furniture, so it worked out well for both of us.

Here’s the bottom part all assembled:

After putting the top shelving unit together, I grabbed some drywall anchors and secured the entire unit to the wall. This is super important to do if you have a kid in the house, because you don’t want a heavy unit to fall on them!

Here is a close up of one of the straps:

A strap wraps around the bar and then gets screwed right into the drywall anchor on both sides of the unit.

And here is my new overflow storage area:

{Swoon}

I LOVE it. I’m actually at that point where I will just randomly wander into the laundry area and stare at the storage unit. It does look close to my garage door, but it doesn’t get in the way when I open it. The cabinet area stores accessories for our vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner. The upper shelves hold all our bulk pantry stuff with room to grow. The cabinet and shelving area are both super sturdy and I’m really happy with how it all turned out!

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Ripping Apart My House

15 Aug

Now that my summer Master’s classes are finished and I have a few weeks off before the fall semester starts, I finally have a little extra time. And I know EXACTLY what I’m going to do with that time… rip my whole house apart.

I hate clutter and I feel like our house has just been getting more and more cluttered every month. I anticipate taking loads of stuff to the local thrift store and probably a load or two for a dumpster too.

I can’t wait.

I especially can’t wait to be able to open the front closet without being smacked in the head with a rogue suitcase!

Over the weekend, I started in the kitchen. I organized my recipes into a binder and also replaced a bunch of half-empty boxes in the pantry with nice organizers.

I bought the Rubbermaid Flip Top Cereal Keeper for $7.66:

Source: Amazon.com

 

And the Rubbermaid 8-piece modular canister set for $15.97:

Source: Amazon.com

 

I love looking in my pantry and seeing matching organized stuff!

I told my husband over the weekend that we won’t just be cleaning stuff out, I want to go through the house like we are listing it for sale (we aren’t). I want to attack the kitchen cupboards that are overfilling with dishes/cups/travel mugs, the front hall closet that will barely close because it contains too many coats, the playroom closet that houses my husband’s (unworn) clothes, and the basement that contains boxes unopened from our move over FIVE years ago.

So yeah, I have a pretty exciting few weeks ahead of me.

Do you get weird and giddy about organizing and throwing stuff away?

 

Disclosure: Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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I did a Paint Night & It Wasn’t a Disaster

14 Aug

Overall, I’d consider myself a pretty crafty person. Over the years I’ve done some cross-stitch projects, whipped up some pretty snazzy stained glass windows and even threw some porcelain on the pottery wheel. While I enjoy painting stuff like furniture and walls, I’ve never really been artistic in the way of being able to draw things. So, whenever I’d see someone post about a Paint Night event I’d think it was cool but knew that my painting would be the worst in the bunch.

Also, what would I even do with a terribly painted picture of a random flower or sunset? Probably just hang onto it until I decided to throw it in the fire pit…

A few weeks ago I saw that they were doing a Maryland-themed paint night event at the Columbia Arts Center.  So, I decided to suck it up and try it out for myself. The class was taught by Mark Russo from Mark Russo Creations and he provided the paper guide to our design, a reclaimed wood pallet, all the paint and measuring materials needed… and the moral support.

I was actually surprised that there were no stencils involved, just a sheet showing you how to divide up the sections of your design. Oh, and I could have done a few different designs such as a Maryland crab, Black Eyed Susan (the Maryland flower) or the Maryland Flag (with or without a crab added) and I decided to stick with just the flag design.

I started by sectioning out the pallet penciling on all the lines that I would need to make the design of the flag.

Then, I used the paints they gave me to mix up some custom colors and started on filling in the guides that I had drawn.

I did two coats of each color and finished up by adding on the black and then white to cover up some of my pencil lines.

And BOOM, I’m done! It took about 2 ½ hours but I did this 100% by myself and I’m thrilled at how awesome it turned out!

Now that I’ve successfully completed my first pallet painting, I’m thinking about doing another one. I have the guides for the Maryland flag, so I might try to do my own Maryland flag beer openers on some blocks of wood, like on Mark’s Instagram page. If I can figure them out, the will make awesome Christmas gifts for my siblings!

Have you done one of those Paint Night classes? What did you make?

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