Friday, July 29, 2011

Back Seat Organizers

I have two issues with the back seat of my car...

#1:  The kids love to put their feet on the back of the seats which has made them nasty and dirty.  Dislike!

#2:  With my older kids - we have more small toys, notebooks, pencils and books lingering on the floor along with empty wrappers, paper and other garbage.  Major dislike.

This led me to the idea to sew up a little garbage bag for the trash.  Well, that simple project turned in to a bigger project ... back seat organizers for each of the kids.

I did a little research on Google and determined that I really just needed to measure my car and start sewing based on the functions I wanted for my kids and needs.  I had picked up a yard of  some great outdoor canvas at JoAnn's awhile back for just $3.  It was perfect, and I love how I could use the stripes in opposite directions to add some interest to the organizers.

I added pockets on the bottom to hold coloring books/notebooks and toys.  With these two pockets, I added a simple pleat in the middle of each pocket so that they can expand a bit.  On the larger pocket, I added a smaller front pocket just large enough to hold a box of crayons.

For the top row of pockets I actually made two sets of pockets.  A larger back pocket for books, toys, etc. and a shorter front row of pockets to hold writing pencils, snacks, small toys, etc.

On the top, I sewed on a couple of straps that I simply tied around the posts for the head rests.  I decided on ties so that I can easily remove these and wash them if necessary (see #1 above regarding the feet on the seat issue).

On the bottom of the panels, I sewed on a couple of inexpensive plastic rings which allowed me to put a small bungee cord through and attach to the bottom of the seat.  This holds the organizer flat against the back of the seat so that it does not impede on the leg room of the back seat.

Finally, for the front seat, I whipped up a simply bag that can be lined with a plastic shopping bag to collect trash.  (Yes, I have that looped around my car charger right now - I plan to add a little hook, just need to head to the dollar store.) Love it!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quick Summer Centerpiece

I love when a quick, simple project presents itself with amazing sales and coupons.

This week Pier One had an incredible coupon available on Facebook - $10 off a $10 purchase.  I of course had to go in and check it out and found these fun summer lanterns on sale.  The color was the most amazing deep turquoise and I just had to have one.  I loved it so much, I decided to check out another store a few miles away since the coupon said one per person per store.  I picked up two more.

I then simply put in a white candle and surrounded those with some cute green plastic shell table scatter that I picked up on clearance at Target a couple of weeks ago.  (Note:  That Target trip was AMAZING!  I caught the 75% off sale before the sale signs were up so the aisle was FULL.  I loaded my cart with some cool summer entertaining stuff.)

Here is my new, summer centerpiece.  Quick simple and oh so bright and fun.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Simple Tote Bags for the Littles

My kids love to look over my shoulder when I am on the computer and are constantly commenting on the various blogs, websites and things I am surfing.  The other day my daughter saw a cute bag on the screen and declared that she must have one.  I found a simple pattern and today we worked on it together.  She did such an amazing job on her first project, the butterfly pillow.  She easily could have sewn the entire thing today if it weren't for the fact that she has no patience for pinning, ironing and lining things up.  After sewing the first few sides, she was done so I finished it up.

I used the awesome tutorial provided by Skip to My Lou for a Simple Reversable Tote Bag.  I love how it turned out and that it is reversable so it is like 2 bags in one!  My daughter has already loaded it up with books, stuffies and more!

OF COURSE - the boy wanted one too!  And who am I to deprive my child of his wants!  Looking at my pile of mostly girly fabrics, I remembered I had bought this pair of Madras Plaid men's shorts at the thrift store for $1 that would be perfect.  A bag, and a repurposed project - I'm in! 

{DISCLAIMER:  I was planning to do this as a tutorial, however I was so excited to make it that I couldn't be bothered with taking the necessary photos!  Again, using the general idea of the Simple Reversable Tote Bag form Skip to My Lou, I set out to make a bag! (Oh, come on, I am not the only one that gets so excited about a project that tutorial blogging becomes an afterthought! Right?!?)}

Here is what I started with...

I turned the shorts inside out and cut them off right at the crotch line.  I then sewed the bottom of the let closed.  I then turned one of the legs inside out and inserted it into the other, pinning the tops together along with a simple strap I made out of a piece of muslin.  Following the directions from Skip to My Lou, I sewed the two pieces together, leaving about a 2" opening to turn the bag right side out.  I then ironed the seam and sewed a double stitch all around the top, securing the opening with this decorative top stitch.

The boy is so happy! He couldn't wait to show it off!

I love how the bags turned out!  They truly were simple and fun!  They will be great little bags for the kids to bring a few toys and books when we go on our road trip in a couple weeks!

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Sugar Bee Crafts
Not JUST a Housewife
Funky Polkadot Giraffe

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dreaming of the Beach!

This week The CSI Project challenge is Beachy Vignettes and Projects!  I have had the makings of this project sitting in my craft room for a while now so today I decided to whip it together.  It was pretty simple, and only $4 since the two wreaths and the two baskets of shells all came from the dollar store!

My original plan was to spray paint the wreath with metallic nickel a la Pottery Barn silver shells, but I actually liked it au-natural so it is staying as is for now.

I simply hot glued the shells onto the wreath.  I started with the larger shells and went around the wreath.  Then I filled in with the smaller and more decorative shells.  I love how it turned out.  Since I was using a small wreath form, I was able to use just one basket for each wreath.

First I placed them in our bedroom, which I liked but didn't {love}. I have other plans in there and decided these wreaths could replace the birthday wreath that still was on our door from my daughters birthday party over a month ago!  (No fear - there are other decorations still up too!  It is like a summer-long party over here! Hee hee!)



Now I really want to head to the beach!  Ah, only a couple more weeks!  Can't wait!

If you haven't ever checked out The CSI Project - DO!  They do a weekly linky party with a new theme each week.  Here is the schedule for the next several weeks!

July 24: Sewing Projects

July 31: Kids Boredom Busters
August 7: Porches, Terraces & Patios
August 14: Organization Ideas
August 21: Lamp Makeovers
August 28: Back to School Ideas

I have a few ideas for some upcoming challenges!  Watch out!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{Christmas in July} #5 - Dessert Plate

Several years ago my Mom made these simple Christmas dessert plates.  She took a plain clear glass plate that she found at the dollar store and decoupaged some holiday fabric on the bottom side.   It takes a bit of work to smooth out the bubbles and wrinkles but it turns out great. I decided to take her project a step further and glue it to a crystal candlestick with E6000 glue to make a dessert pedestal which will look awesome on our holiday buffet.

I will be making a bunch of these this holiday season to deliver Holiday cookies to my friends and neighbors - a treat and gift, all in one!  These could be customized for any holiday or special event.  After seeing the Halloween fabrics in the store the other day, I am thinking that would be fun too!

Note:  The decoupage and E6000 glue requires that the plates be hand washed.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

{Christmas in July} #4 - Gingerbread Sugar Scrub

Today I decided to tackle a Christmas gift idea I have had in my head ever since I tried my first sugar scrub a couple of months ago.  I absolutely LOVE how soft and smooth my skin has been ever since I started using it.  I had tried salt scrubs years ago but always hated how they sting if you have any nicks, scratches, etc.  I can use the sugar scrub immediately following shaving with no problems.

Today I decided to create a Gingerbread Sugar Scrub in keeping with the holidays.  Now, I will admit that I don't really care for gingerbread and have never really made it but I like the idea and color of it. 

Here is the recipe:
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup olive oil
    1 Tablespoon fresh ginger - finely chopped
    1 teaspoon all spice
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essential oil

Stir together and place in your jar.  You can multiply this recipe as needed for the jar(s) you are using.  As long as you keep the above ratio's you should be good.

Can't wait to make more of this for my friends and family!  Merry Christmas in July 'cuz I don't think I can wait 6 months to give this one away!!!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sewing 101

This morning I was working on a sewing project that I can't wait to share.  I am designing it as I go and putting together a full tutorial with a free pattern download so it may take awhile.  My daughter has been intrigued by all of the fabric laying around so today I decided to let her try some sewing. 

We took a fat quarter, pinned on a couple of ribbons (we should have sewed them down but oh well) and folded it right sides together.  We pinned it.  Then I used a fabric marker and drew a line around the edges at a 1/2 inch for her to use as a guide.

She used the sewing machine and very carefully sewed along the line.  She did awesome - better than I do most of the time (granted I am a beginner myself).  We used a box to make the pedal a bit easier for her to use!

She turned it right side out, put in the stuffing and together we sewed closed the opening. 

She is so proud of her new butterfly pillow!  Pretty good for a 6 year old!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

{Christmas in July} #3 - Snowman Push Pops

Oh how I would love a nice cold, snow day about now!  The heat is getting to me here in sunny Arizona.  I have had winter on my mind.  As part of my Christmas in July series, I wanted to feature a fun, unique treat!  I can't wait to have a holiday party!

Earlier this month, I whipped together some mini-cupcake shooters using the reusable push-up containers I purchased from here.  Today, I decided to make snowman push-ups!  They were really easy and according to my children - very tasty.

The supplies...
* Push-up Containers
* Mini powdered sugar donuts AND donut holes
* Mini M&Ms
* Orange Mike & Ikes (or candy corn)
* Round chocolate wafer cookie (I used a Thin Mint)
* Rolo Candies
* Peel-A-Part Twizzlers
* Chocolate and White Frosting

I started with a dollop of frosting on the base and then gently placed a mini-donut into the tube.  You need to do this carefully so that you do not scrape off the powdered sugar when you push it down into the container.

As you can see, the cup gets dirty during this stage, use a lightly dampened rag to wipe off the powder sugar off the edge and interior.  Next, attach a brown mini-M&M to a donut hole using a small amount of chocolate frosting.  If necessary, scrape away a bit of the sugar so that the frosting can adhere to the donut itself.

For the scarf, I used a couple of strands of pull-a-part Twizzlers.  I trimmed them, created a small ribbon shape and gently placed it on top of the middle donut hole pushing the ends down into the cup.  Be careful to not scrape the powder sugar off the donut.

Now push an orange Mike & Ike or candy corn into a donut hole for a nose and secure with a small amount of frosting inside the hole.  Use chocolate frosting to make two small eyes and place the head on top of the scarf.

Make your hat by using a small dollop of white frosting on the center of a chocolate wafer cookie and pressing a Rolo onto it.  You want the frosting to ooze out a bit so that it looks like a band.  Using chocolate frosting, make a small ring on the bottom of the hat and place on the donut.

I absolutely love how these turned out and can't wait to have a party! 
Is it Winter yet?

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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm Guest Posting at HoH Today!!!

I am SOOOOOOO excited. 
Today I am guest posting over at

Allison is so graciously featuring a variety of blogs while she is on vacation this month.  HoH was one of the first blogs I ever followed!  She has inspired me to do a variety of projects, the most memorable being my Split Pea project...

Thanks to everyone who is stopping by today! 
Welcome and I hope you like what you see!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

{Christmas in July} #2 - Quilted Paper Gift Tags

Christmas in July continues with a fun and simple project...quilted paper gift tags.  Before I get started, a HUGE thank you to The Frugal Girls for featuring my Santa Belt Ornament I made yesterday.  For all you new visitors and followers, Welcome!

Quilted Paper Gift Tags

Today I decided to experiment with my new found love of my sewing machine.  I am not much of a sewer, but I have proven that I can sew paper and I love it.  For this project I used scrapbook paper and felt.  Very easy.  If you don't machine sew, you could easily do this using a hand sewn method for a fun and unique look.  I would like to try it using some different color threads as well.  I can't wait to decorate packages and more this holiday season!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Christmas in July} #1 - Santa Belt Ornament

I love the holidays and can't wait to decorate our house this year.  Last Christmas, we had just moved in and after all the cleaning, fixing and painting of buying a foreclosure, I lost alot of steam.  Plus, we were still totally trying to get a feel for the space and how we would use this wonderful new home.  This year we will be much more settled and look forward to bringing the Holidays to life.

With the temps over 100 degrees in Arizona nearly every day from about June through September, a white Christmas sounds great about now!  Over the next couple of weeks I will share a few Holiday projects I am working on.


Today is all about Santa and his jolly belly.  At the end of the season last year, I picked up a tube of glittery red balls for half price in the Target Dollar Spot!  I simply cut a 1/2" strip of felt, wrapped it around the center of the ball and added a small square frame made out of paper.  I added some silver glitter glue (found at the Target Dollar Spot yesterday) to the buckle for a little extra bling.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

{Laundry} Upgrade

A week ago today, my washer died!  Well, not a complete death, but it stopped spinning which means soppy wet clothes that do not get clean.  It was an early model front loading machine that we purchased when we moved in to our last house about 8 or 9 years ago.  It was a great little washer - "little" being the operative word!  Capacity was not something that DINKs (double income, no kids) gave much thought too.  Especially since most of our professional wardrobe went to the dry cleaners anyways!

So, instead of fixing this small and aging machine, we decided to UPGRADE.  And I could not be happier!  Loving the energy and water saving qualities of the front loading machine that was our first thought.  Although, when i went to Facebook to ask my friends what kind of machine they have and what they love and hate about them, there was a resounding "dislike" for front loaders.  Mostly had to do with the smell if you don't care for them and the length of the wash cycle. 

Having similar thoughts, I began to do a little research and came across the high efficiency top loaders.  These machines do not have a center agitator which makes their capacity AMAZING - I can fit my king size comforter in which is great!  They also use less energy and water which was another important factor for me.  So far, we love it.

{Whirlpool Cabrio HE Top Loader}

We didn't upgrade the dryer at this time as it is working fine and we really didn't need the expense.  Both machines are white so you it really isn't obvious that they do not match - besides, who sees my laundry room beside me.  That being said, I still wanted to add a little creative and decorator flair.

I pulled out my scrapbook paper and found a few sheets of tone-on-tone green paper (I believe they were part of a couple different scrapbook paper packs from the Target Dollar Spot).  I made a few pennants, punched a couple of holes on the tops and strung them up on some fun green and white plastic clothesline that I had picked up at the Dollar Tree.  I then draped it across the back wall and over onto the wall opposite the washer and dryer.

Needing a little something to ground it, I pulled out a couple of picture framers that I wasn't using and printed the words WASH and DRY in a medium gray on some vellum I had picked up years ago.  I placed the velum words over the top of some light blue print scrapbook paper and placed them in the frame.

To bring the fun green over to the washer area, I wrapped the clothesline around a large old pickle jar (Costco size) and hot glued it down in the back.  This jar is filled with my Oxy Clean - every Mommy's best friend.  I keep my laundry detergent in a bright blue bucket I picked up at the dollar store.  I wrapped some of the clothesline around it too!  Finally, I had picked up a fun green basket at the dollar store at Easter that is perfect to hold my other stain removers and fabric softener.

After not being able to do laundry for almost a week, I actually looked forward to spending some time in there.  I love the quick and fresh touch I was able to add to this otherwise work-horse of a room!

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