Recycled Love

And my husband says I don't do anything all day...

I made these out of recycled felted sweaters.That's a lot of words.

Snow many snowmen!

My snowmen are back! I decided to Shanghai my friend's table at our local underground farmers' market and sell some ornaments. I lured her into it by promising my sparkling personality. She doesn't know what she's in for...

I'm gonna sell some birds and hearts and owls and snowmen!

When it hit me that I could make a few for sale, I went in search of the original pattern I made thinking that I would've kept it. I looked all over my "mama room" and it was lost. Until I found it in a file marked "patterns." Which was the last place I would've thought to find it.

I got carded.

My mom "ordered" a bunch of ornaments. I use ordered both ways, as an instruction from a customer to buy and a published directive from a commander. Since they were gifts, I made some little cards to display the ornaments.

Very simple design. And I actually found all the stuff in my basement:
The green paper was a little thin, so I backed it with the red swirls and polka dots. Then I glued on a triangle.
Once the tree was set, I mat knifed the very top of the tree about 1/2" down on each side. Here's a detail of the back:
I then carefully threaded the rick-rack ornament loop through the card.

Now my mom can write something on them or whatever. I thought it was much nicer than receiving a ziploc bag full of ornaments. Which I was about 5 minutes from doing when my mat knife was being messy. And it was technically free!

I need to start paying myself. But all I have is a wallet full of Chuck E. Cheese tokens. 

Hats what she said.

I made a hat! I forced my friend Jenny to teach me how to knit in a circle. We hung out and watched videos and she showed me a lot of little tips that will help keep my new hobby from getting too expensive. 

I bought the yarn to match Hartwell. But his head is actually more of an adult head. So little Bee gets the hat. And it might be a little too small for him...

Quick Photo Wreath Ornament!

We have another craft day coming up! This one at night with booze. So I added an ornament to my repertoire.

To make this ornament I just cut two 3" circles out of wool felt and then cut a 1-1/2" circle in the middle of one. I just used these circle templates left over from my drafting days.
I added french knots for berries in clusters of three. Odds are best! And I blanket stitched the inside of the wreath. The bow and hanger were actually done with a super startched bias tape. It's 1/4" wide and if I had ribbon like that I would've used it. (Court: add 1/4" ribbon to list!)
I found a picture of Hartwell that could be cut to 2-3/8" circle, but can be seen out of the 1-1/2" hole. The ornament is sort of like a frame with a 1/2" mat. You need it to be a little bigger than the hole so it doesn't fall out. Also, forgive me, I just copied a pic and didn't adjust the quality. I was in a hurry! This guy, from design to final knot, took 1 hour.

P.S. I had to stop myself from calling this post Wreath Witherspoon. Just so you know.

Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

It's rainin' gingerbread men.

Today we bought Trader Joe's Really Big Gingerbread Man Kit's for the boys! Let's see how that goes...
 The frosting was a little thick, the boys couldn't get it to come out of the bag, so I helped a little. With direction from Hartwell, of course.
"I wanna eat the head."
Beckett chose the arm and then changed his mind and asked for the head. More frosting on the head.

Handy Hartwell

One of our craft day projects was embroidered kids hand prints. This is Hartwell's. Only because he could hold his hand still. I think I'm gonna add an "H." And then, I guess, I have to do one for Beckett.

Gotta put up with the rain.

Another stitch sampler for the craft group...which is TODAY!

One of my favorite design tricks, when in doubt, RAINBOW!

H&B's Lego Tableau

My boys are so different. From their size, to their hair, to their burgeoning personalities. And how they play with Lego. Here is Hartwell's abstract art piece:
And Beckett's Headless Stand-off:
It should be noted that the dude with the shades and gray pants is wearing a women's blouse and match his gun?

It sings the clearest melody

 I'm still prepping for my craft day. Here's a little bird from spool sewing that I hand stitched. I was trying to see if it was easy to make without a sewing machine. I made pumpkin bread while I cut and sewed, so it took me an hour from printing to the last knot.I think the hand stitching gives it a vintage quality.

And I learned to move the ribbon to a different place so it hangs better. And that pumpkin bread smells too delicious.


I posted that amazing daisy lamp and then stopped by the Habitat for Humanity Restore on my way home via Starbucks. And they had this awesome industrial enameled pendant for $8! 

Which is why I'm posting this:

I'm sure these are in my future.

Daisies are a girls best friend.

I really want this pendant for the kitchen. It's 23" in diameter, so maybe a touch big. Or glamourously unexpected.

Well begun is half done.

I've had my can of green paint sitting on the counter for two months. At the end, to the left of the toaster. It started becoming part of my kitchen landscape. So I finally decided to paint the hallway. If you'll remember I originally painted it yellow, but it looked too "The Facts of Life" for me. So I kept the hallway papered and went to get the spring green paint. Which is when John stepped in Barkley poop in the backyard and tracked it in onto the paper. I can't clean the paper, so I removed it and just never put any back down. And then two months later...

Below is the yellow hallway. The difference is subtle, but I think the colors are actually decades apart.
Now I need to decide about whether or not I should paint the yellow cabinets. The only thing holding me back is that I have to clean them first. And cleaning is the worst.

Framed, I tell ya.

I'm having my craft group next week. We will be embroidering and I needed to create a practice pattern with a bunch of stitches. This little guy has the blanket stitch, the split stitch, the backstitch and some french knots.

Then, because our projects are gifts, I popped it in an old dirty frame to give the ladies an idea about how their finished product will look. I really should've ironed the muslin first.

I stretched the fabric over the glass and topped it with the mat.

Close-up of the flower:
I used a piece of a felted sweater for the flower.

Can I help you find anything?

I had been waiting patiently for my upper cabinet. It was $200 and I was waiting until I could use cash. Or change from my change jar. Luckily, at my last IKEA jaunt, I found this in the AS-IS section. Someone had purchased it, put it on legs and then returned it. And it didn't close properly. And I wanted white instead of birch. But 50% off?! How could I pass it up?
I brought it home and it took John and I about two hours of slowly disassembling each part, then reassembling it to see where the trouble was. IKEA has all of their instructions online, so we finally just looked at all the pictures and compared each and every drawing. Voila! The spring mechanism was installed in the wrong spot! We removed it and installed the mechanism correctly and it's good as new.
In this photo, you can see how it opens. Why on earth would anyone put legs on it and try to use it as a floor cabinet? As soon as you opened it, you'd have to crawl underneath the door to see anything. I'm so glad I know the IKEA catalog inside-out and upside-down. Especially the Varde series. The employees tried to tell me it comes with legs. No. No. Never. No. 

Can't wait 'til both boys are in school. I am totally working there. Come by and ask me questions. In fact, do that now.


My mom "ordered" a bunch of ornaments. Everything's cut. I just need to watch Arrested Development and stitch.

Funny Little Bunnies

Yesterday, we went on an outing to a petting zoo type place called Danny's Farm. They had mini ponies and chickens, a pig named Miss Piggy and baby bunnies! Beckett jumped right in a picked up a baby bunny and was surprisingly un-Lennie about it. Meanwhile, Hartwell, my sweetheart/loverboy, stood at the edge of the fence and cried because he was scared. Which, is a fair response. I'm not a huge fan of holding a myriad of animals. But I picked up a baby chick to prove that it's not scary. And I petted a horse and rooster to try to help him get over his fear. And I realized that it's not my favorite thing to do so why should I force him to like it?

This morning Hartwell told me, "I only like dogs."

And, based on how he treats Barkley, not very much.

Bee's Lego Tableau's

This one cracked me up because, as a three year old, he protected his soldiers' backs and made sure the grey one had a cup of coffee. It's the red square under the gun.

I look up to the little bird...

I thought it might be fun to start a craft club within my MOMS Club. Get together with a few like minded ladies and share ideas and techniques to make a less expensive holiday season.

So last night I set about researching, designing and stitching some little ornaments that teach some basic stitches and look good on a tree. The two on the left were made with wool felt. The one on the right, not so much. And I can tell.

The good stuff is so expensive. Like boots and vodka.

Boots and Vodka playing the side stage at the weenie roast.

Why I love living in LA

I'm not sure when roses bloom, but I didn't think it was November. John and I have yellow thumbs, so I'm proud of anything that is pretty in my yard.

Boys don't make passes at girls who save glasses.

I'm kind of obsessed with our glasses lately. They are all recycled jars from some food product we have consumed. There's an olive jar, a tartar sauce jar and at least four jam jars. It started when we were rinsing the jam jars out to recycle. There's only one kind of jam that doesn't use high fructose corn syrup. And it happens to be packaged in a pretty jar. So we pretty much have three jars in different flavors in the fridge all the time. John noticed that it would be a good milk glass for the boys and they started filling my cabinet.

Then I started buying items in pretty jars and anticipating their emptiness. "Hartwell, don't you want jam on your potatoes?"

Trader Joe's has an organic strawberry preserves with no HFCS and no giant chunks of fruit, chunks Hartwell no likey, and I heard John say, when he saw it in the cart, "That is a nice jar."

The other amazing thing about them is that if they break, I didn't just spend $15 on a set of matching glasses. And they break, a lot.

Why don't you just use plastic for the boys?

Because it stinks! Literally. If milk sits in plastic for one day and curdles, there isn't enough mommy in the world to get the stink out. And then, you know, plastics. There is not a great future in it.

So, sort of free glassware that works in my crazy faux country kitchen.

Also? Here's a wide shot of the glass photo shoot. A pic I LOVED until I realized that Hartwell was pantsless. As usual. Don't worry, I fixed it.

Starchy and Hutch

My fabulous thrift store red cabinet. What have I done to you now? Previously on musebootsi I added hooks to the side to provide a place to hang my jackets and bags. But mostly to keep things away from the kids.

This time I decided to add some fabric to hide my mess. I knew I could starch the fabric in place, but I wasn't sure if I could spray starch it. You're supposed to use pure liquid starch. Which John normally uses to mix his own starch, except that we can't find it anymore. So I just used Faultless Spray Starch.

I just sprayed the glass, then sprayed the fabric until it was saturated and then pressed the fabric in place. It ended up with a few bubbles, but from a distance they are not noticeable.

It's been 24 hours, and it's still up. I'll let you know how it goes.

Shady Pines, Ma.

My kitchen faces south and at about 11am, I hang this towel up to keep out the sun. We have no vents in the kitchen, so unless I point a fan in there, it's hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks.

I had plans to make a roman shade, but the thought of sewing rings and measuring and all that kept me away. I found a book at the library, Curtain Bible by Katrin Cargill, that had pretty simple explanations of curtain styles and how to make them myself. It inspired me to create and sew my own faux roman shade.

I have shade like this in the boys room. My mom made me actual working roman shades but I took the cords out, safety and all that, and now I just tuck the fabric over the rod when I want to let in light. I call them Lazy Curtains(TM).

Basically I just measured and sewed two fabrics together inside out, left an opening, turned it and got these:
I added jumbo rick-rack because, why not? And then cursed my way through the sewing process. Not one corner is the same. I resolved to only use rick rack on things with straight lines.
Then I folded the excess over and added buttons. (My window measured 14-1/2x46, I ended up cutting out 15x50 inch panels).

I love how the backing fabric shows through to the front! That was pure luck. Thanks, sunshine!
One of my favorite parts of the Lazy Curtains(TM) is that the buttons aren't matched. They're the same button, but there are six buttons in four different colors. I kept going back and forth on attaching them. But since I had to sew it together anyway, why not add some flair! 

I think they are a little twee. But, whatever.
One more pic of my Lazy Curtains(TM) tucked over themselves.

As with all my projects, it didn't turn out as perfect as I had hoped, but from a distance, they look good. 
Sorry, I had to add this photo. I cleaned off the counter and cleaned out the sink in order to take it.

Grey Coupon

The MOMS Club I hang with is having a meeting about budgeting and saving money. We are also having a coupon exchange. Which I initially thought would be hard to do. But then I found a ton of coupons that I don't need. Like when Target sends me diaper coupons. Or formula coupons.

Anyway...I made this like bag to be a coupon holder. It hooks on your cart and is small enough to fit in your purse. I've seen other cart models, but they were all ginormous monstrosities that take a lot of coupon commitment. Of which I do not have. I just want a little something. To tuck my Sherwin Williams and World Market coupons into.