Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Frozen Inspired Painted Door. Elsa's Bedroom Door.

Hey everyone!  Today we are smack in the middle of spring break.  All of my kids have been home for a few days and we have had absolutely nothing planned.  We have literally done...nothing.  I have slept in until 10 every day this week.  I feel like I'm in high school...haha.  My oldest is finally old enough to watch the youngest when she wakes up, so I don't have to.  They are currently having "game day" (board games) on the kitchen table right now....and my two little girls have been assigned the cleverly chosen job of "cheerleader."  My son is quite crafty when it comes to both appeasing and deflecting his little sisters.  I did miss my Monday post because we were SUPER busy over the weekend, so sorry for that.  I'm trying so hard to stick to a schedule.  I am going to do a post on Friday and I'll tell you about our awesome weekend.

Today, I have an awesome post to share with you.  This, my friends, is all the proof you need that I am the coolest mom ever!  Ha! Well, at least my kids think so, and that's all that counts...but let me tell you, I scored some major brownie points with this one.  We have been watching quite a bit of Disney's Frozen since it came out.  My little girls are obsessed. (along with the rest of the girls in this country it seems) They know every word to every song (which means so do I) and they have already decided that they will be Elsa and Anna for Halloween this year.  For me, although I do really like the music, the best part of that movie was the lavish, gorgeous detail on EVERYTHING.  It was such eye candy to me.  Every time I watched it, I noticed something new and I would just gawk.  I really loved all of the beautiful hand painted details all over.  I believe they call it rosemaling.  I had never heard of it before this, but I'm well versed now, I tell ya.  One of my favorite things from the movie was Elsa's blue bedroom door...I was just stunned.  I think it's BEAUTIFUL.  I also think it's one of the most recognizable features from the movie as well.  Every little girl that sees it, knows exactly where it is from.  After watching the movie, I kept thinking that I needed to paint some kind of Norwegian style rosemaling on one of our doors somewhere.... but then I though that it wouldn't really "go" with the style I've got going on in here....but I still love it so much! Then one night when I was sitting in my girls' bedroom putting them to sleep, I had the thought to paint Elsa's bedroom door....on their closet! I couldn't hold myself back after that.  It was on.... like Donkey Kong.

I started by looking for pictures of the door.....which were incredibly hard to find! You can find little snap shots, but not full door pictures that were close enough to tell what was painted on it.  I ended up pulling up the video clip of Do You Want To Build a Snowman and freezing the shots where you could see good detail of the door.  You're welcome for doing that for you if you want to recreate this.  It was a big pain it the behind.  Seriously.


Here's the video.







Then I sketched the design on my closet door.  I copied the design exactly, but I changed the scale of it in some places, so that it would fit on my door. It's mostly just squished to be skinnier.  My door is not a "palace door."  I also added a few little design elements of my own for balance.  


This took a lot of patience and quite a lot of erasing, but I eventually got it down.  I think I could draw this in my sleep now.  In hind sight, I think I would have benefited from a ruler or tape measure, but I was impatient and free-handed the whole thing.  


Next I started adding the royal blue paint.  I just used regular craft paint and a tiny paintbrush. 


There were quite a lot of dark eraser smudges.  I ended up finding a big white eraser to get those off.  The darkness came from using one that was on the end of a pencil, instead of a decent one.  



After the royal blue, I added some dark violet purple in a few places and then a light ice blue/lavender in a few others.  It was hard to pinpoint the exact colors of the secondary colors from the video, so I went with what I though would suite the room best, while trying to be as true to the original as possible.  When I was done, I went back with white paint, and covered any smudges or mistakes or wavy, wonky lines to make it all look crisp.  

Here's the finished product.  




I had to paint it over the indentions on the door,so at some angles the lines don't look strait, but they are....it's just an optical illusion.  





I added the design at the top out of my own imagination.  I just needed something to fill that space, proportionately.  


The paint did give a little bit of a painterly effect, although, it's kind of exaggerated a little in this picture.  I like it though.  You can tell it's hand painted and that's ok.  



I wanted to do four of the boxed in patterns like it is in the movie, but it just really wouldn't fit, so I ended up just repeating the flower pattern all the way down instead. 

Sorry about the crazy shadows....I really stink at taking pictures. 


I also added the parts shown above and below to it.  The middle just needed "something" and this is what I came up with. 



I painted the knobs with a little flower pattern as well....not sure if I like it though...



My girls LOVE this....and so do I!  I think whenever we move, this door is coming with us!  

I still have a couple of touch ups to do, and I've thought about giving it a clear coat of poly, so that I can scrub it and keep it clean without having to worry about scrubbing the craft paint off.  I'll let you know how that goes.  For now....I'm totally happy with it!  

Now.....to work up the courage to take care of what's on the other side of that door....it's scary y'all. 

xoxo! 
Anna




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Friday, April 11, 2014

A Quick Life Saving sewing tip!

Hello!  Today, I am getting some much needed girl time with my Mom and my sister.  :)  So so so happy about that.  It's not often that we are together, since my mom lives on the other side of the continent from me...and my sis is 100 miles away from me.  Yay!

Anywho... I have wanted to share this little trick that my mother-in-law showed me awhile back. I found myself using it quite a bit while making the quilt of a bazillion knots.  It seriously changed my life when it came to hand stitching anything.  My mother-in-law is an amazingly talented seamstress.  She makes these gorgeous smocked dresses for the little girls.  She's the real deal.  Here's a shot of some she made for Easter one year.

my girls 


 All of the girls.....she made all of these dresses :) 


You all may know this tip, and I might be the last person on earth to figure this out, but I figured I would share anyways, for those of us like me that are ignorant to these sort of things.  

I have always seen my mother in law thread a needle, smooth her hands down over the string and poof, it's tied in a knot at the end.  I have always wondered how in the heck she does that.  I would always take the time to make a loop, go through the loop with my needle and then make a little knot....one so tiny that it would slip through most fabrics anyways.  So then I would try to knot it again at the same spot and I would always be off....so then I'd have two tiny knots right next to each other, so then I'd try to knot it a third time and try to incorporate  both knots into a big knot....sometimes it worked....every time, it took forever and made me feel completely inept at sewing anything.  It's a dumb thing to get frustrated over....but it is seriously annoying....especially when you look over and see a master seamstress like my lovely mother in law whip out a big fat knot in a matter of seconds with what seems like a magician swipe over the string.  Do I have any ladies out there who are nodding their heads right now?  I think I do.  

One day I was like....how in the world did you do that, and she looked at me like she couldn't believe I didn't know how to make a knot....and then took the time to teach me how.  I really have the best mother in law in the world.  I can't say enough good about her, really :) 

Here's how you do it.  

you start with a thread on a needle as usual.  
(forgive my busted up looking table that needs refinishing and my ratty looking fingernails.  It was not a good day for photographing my mess).  


Gather both ends of the thread, so they are the same length and hold them together in your hand. 


You will have to lick or wet your fingers before you put the thread in between your fingers.  Then pinch them like this between your thumb and forefinger with the end pointing down. 


Take the loose end of the string and wrap it over the top of your forefinger, around and under both your forefinger and then the thumb and then back to the top.  Basically, you are wrapping a circle around your fingers.  


After you've wrapped the circle around your fingers, take the loose end and bring it down between your thumb and forefinger as you see below.  


Here's the tricky part.  While pushing your thumb forward and pulling your index finger back, roll the string in between your fingers.  While you are doing this, hold the long end of the string in your other hand and pull it tight as you allow the string to pull off from around your fingers and to tighten into a knot in between them.  


Here's what you will get when you are done! 


It takes a little bit of practice to master, but it's pretty easy.  Once you have this down, it makes things go sooooo much more smoothly when you are tying things off or knotting something.  

I made a little video of me doing this for clarity.  It's not the best, and my fingers go off screen for a second, but you can see what I'm doing for the most part.  My 11 year old was my camera man.  Hope it helps.  








Have a great weekend!  xoxoxo!
Anna 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Anthropologie Inspired Jersey Rosette Quilt

Hey guys!  Hope you all are having a great Wednesday!  I had a pretty nice day.  It was really pretty outside today, and we had a little Easter egg hunt at my littlest one's preschool and I did some grocery shopping after that.  Pretty uneventful.

Today I'm going to show you the lovely quilt I made for my daughter's bed. I mentioned how I started this quilt and where I took my inspiration from here. So be sure to go and check out the other tutorial.  I changed it up a bit though.  This didn't turn out exactly like the Anthro quilt, but I still love it.  I think this one is a bit more slouchy than the one you can buy, but I'll say it was worth it.  I spent 20 bucks to make this....and the Anthro one is like 350 I think.  Ok...so on with the show!



I began with a queen sized set of these white Jersey sheets from good ole Wally World.  I would have gotten the king sized, but they only had queen....but that turned out to be plenty.  Plus, it came with two white pillow cases, which I kept as is and added them to my stash of pillow cases, so....score!
I sort of figured it out as I went when it came to the size of this blanket and how many squares I needed.  I began by cutting 18 by 18 inch squares out of both the fitted and the flat sheets (soooo much easier with the flat sheet fyi).  I managed to get 36 squares.

Next I took a 6 inch, in diameter, plate and began to trace a circle in the center of each square.
This was super easy.....it went by pretty quickly.


you are left with a circle


Next you take some thread (I just used regular thread, doubled up and knotted on the end) and an embroidery needle and you go in and out all the way around the circle. 




Pull it tight


It looks like those tissue paper ghosts we used to make when I was little. 


Before you pull it all the way tight and start securing it, squish the little ghost head down in the middle so that he looks like a little flower. 


Now pull it tight. 


Start wrapping the outside with your string.  Make sure to follow the line where the pleats are.   


Take your needle through the center a few times as you wrap.  You want to go through the middle at least three different times from different sides.  


Now take your needle and bring it through to the underside of the square. 


When you flip it over, it will look like this.  That little protrusion is where the middle part was poked down.  You want to make sure that is secured so that your rosettes don't come undone.  You don't want to be left with a ghost head blanket instead of a rosette blanket....ha..  okay, I'm done with the cheesy-ness.


Tie off your string.  I just made a bunch of knots between the middle protrusion and the side....but do that however you like.  


And you have one square! ....now...do that 35 more times!  


Once you are ready to start sewing your squares together, here is where I differed from the other tutorial.  They advocated pinning all of your pleats....which would have made me go nuts.  I decided it was much easier ( and safer too....all those pins, what if you missed one...ouch) to just run a gathering stitch down the side of the square.  I put my sewing machine on it's longest stitch length, selected a strait stitch, and sewed (without backstitching) down the length of one side of my square.  


I taped a tape measure to my table because I knew I would need to measure a lot.   I went and measured my daughter's bed first and determined that I wanted the entire quilt to be 50 inches wide and 70 inches long.  It would probably vary for each bed.  I wanted these to not have too much overhang, so I measured, instead of going with the standard "twin sized."  So, I lucked out having just enough squares, with one left over.  Since I had 36 squares to work with, I determined I needed 7 rows of 5 squares (35).  Each square would need to be 10 inches (finished) for my measurements to add up.  I took the gathered end of the square and pulled it tight and started loosening it until it reached 11 inches.  (I added one inch because of a 1/2 inch seam allowance on either end).  



Next I took a second square and ran a gathering stitch up one side and gathered it in the same manner.  I placed the two squares right sides together (facing in) and sewed them together. 



You repeat the process until you have a row of 5 squares.  Then you move on to a new row of 5 squares.  You repeat that until you have 7 strips of 5 squares....or however many you need for the size bed you have.  


Next I took one of my long strips of squares, and I sewed a gathering stitch all the way down the length of one side.  I actually did this in sections.  I was afraid of the gathering string breaking on such a long run, so I stopped it in the middle and started a new one right next to it.  It worked perfectly and I didn't break any of my strings.  I gathered the side of my long strip until it measured 51 inches across...which actually happened to be the exact width of my kitchen table....so I totally ditched the tape measure and just used the table as a guide....happy accident.  I made sure to remember to add an extra inch for seam allowances on either end, which is why it was 51 inches and not 50.


repeat with a second strip and lay it on top of the first strip to make sure they are the same length.  You also want to make sure as you are spreading out your gathers, that each square is the same length.  You don't want all of your gathers to be at one end of the strip and the other end not to have many.  You will wind up with a quilt that has different sized wonky squares on it.  Place the two strips one on top of the other with right sides facing in and pin each of the seams together.


You want to make sure each square is lined up at the seam.  You may have to adjust your gathers to make them line up properly. 



Now sew the two strips together.....and then repeat the process with the next strip....and then the next.....and then then next.....


and then the next....



and then the next.....


and then the next....


until you're done!  


haha, just kidding....you still have a ton of work left to do! 

If you want this to be a duvet cover, you could stop here and sew this onto the face of a duvet cover....I didn't want that.  I wanted mine to be a bona fide quilt. 

I laid it out on the ground 


Then added a layer of batting to the back. 


Now in your mind imagine flipping this thing over, so that the batting was on the floor and the quilt was on top, right side up....because that's basically what I had to do....flip the whole thing like a giant pancake.  Like I said, figuring it out as I go....

Next I went through and tacked the quilt down to the batting through the center of each rosette with a needle and thread, tying each one off on the back as I went.  You have to do this because when you sew the back on, you won't be able to turn the whole thing inside out if the batting isn't secured to something.  I didn't take a picture of this part....I was getting burned out.  This seriously took a long time.  

Once I had all of the rosettes tacked down to the batting, then I added the back.  I used a white twin sheet that I already had.  My kids don't sleep with the flat sheets, so I just repurposed it :)  I literally just laid it over the quilt, right sides facing in and started pinning it together.  I measured 50 inches across and pinned the ends there (remember the outside edge of your quilt still isn't gathered) and then I pinned the seams of each square every 10 inches....all the way around the perimeter of the quilt.  



Then I sewed....all the way around, except for leaving one space at the end, about 8 inches long.  I made sure to just gather the outside edge as I went.  It was pretty easy since only one side of the seam had to be gathered against the other side that was flat.  
Once you finish sewing, turn the whole thing right side out through that 8 inch space you left open.  



After that, you are close to being finished....but not quite!  I went ahead and started adding a tie through the quilt (tying on the underneath side of the quilt) at every intersection of seams through the whole quilt.  This keeps it together as one piece.   If you feel like tackling "real quilting" you could try to do the whole "stitch the ditch" thing and sew along on top of all of the seams.  I would love to learn this sometime....but I was ready to call it quits, so doing ties was good enough for me! After I had everything finished, I went ahead and closed up the 8 inch opening with some hand stitches.   In the end, it didn't turn out perfect, but I think it turned out to be beautiful!  









and just to keep it real, this is what was going on on the other side of the room while I was taking these photos...


Someday I'll get their whole room finished so you guys can see it all put together.  I'm nowhere near done, though.  Up next are new beds for the girls and I'm making over their closet door.  Stay tuned for those :)  ....but first....I have to make the second quilt for the second girl......sigh....

Have a great day! 
xoxo! 
Anna 









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