Friday, December 23, 2011

The One with the Christmas Tree

In the flurry of final Christmas preparation (And I do mean FLURRY . . . we are hosting the Munsell Christmas Eve celebration as of yesterday!), I took a sawzall to our Christmas tree.

It needed it.

Sophia breaking yet another ornament today was the last straw. She came to me carrying the reindeer minus his antlers, and I knew something had to be done.

So I broke out John's new sawzall, chopped off the top of our tree, and put it up on a table. Lots of tape later (the tree holder is a wee bit of a poor fit on the table), our tree has had a chic makeover.

Behold the VERY sad before:


And after!


The only ornaments I put back on were the (mostly) unbreakable apples and two strings of lights. Then I added in 18 yards of blue ribbon and the angel . . . done! I'm pretty sure this tree is Sophia proof-ish . . . we shall see.



As of yesterday . . . late last night! . . . I am done with my Christmas projects. Sophia modeled this one for me; it is going to a lucky little cousin. She would have been just as happy to keep it, but we are learning about selflessness in the Libby house.


If I am not back on here before then, Merry Christmas everyone! I have been saying "Merry Christmas" everywhere I go, and with all of the "Happy Holidays" I feel like quite the rebel.

So again I say . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stocking craftiness

Poor kid #2. Nothing is the same as it was for coddled #1. By the time #2 comes along, you're lucky to get anything into their baby book . . . ever. I've got a few scribblings down in Jude's, but it's a far cry from what Sophia's was by this time. So I decided that by golly, he was going to have a great stocking for his first Christmas, one way or another.

Then I figured out what I was going to be making for Christmas gifts this year, and the stocking got added into the mix as another item on the list. And to be honest, it went to the bottom of the list, because he wouldn't know if it didn't get done, but other people would know if I handed them a half made something or other.

The past couple months have been filled with a flurry of stitchery. I have gone thru four spools of thread in the past three weeks alone . . . when a friend called to ask if she could borrow a spool of white I replied "Darn! I knew I forgot something at Walmart today!" because I had finished off two of them that week and didn't have any left.

This past weekend I finally finished my last (almost, not quite . . . one small one yet to do) project beside Jude's stocking. Monday the plan was to get cranking. And then somehow the laundry, dishes, and kids ate up the day, and no stocking. (Is this sounding at all like the making of Jude's baby quilt?!)

Tuesday. I finally started the stocking, and by the time I went to bed I had the top halfway done. Phew! Yesterday I woke up determined to finish, and for once I met my goal! Unfortunately, it was also the day that Sophia decided she would try responding to everything I said with "no" . . . we had temper tantrum fun ALL DAY, so that was nice . . .

I wanted the kid's stockings to match in design but be different colors, and thanks to Nanny (my grandmother) I had six beautiful calico fabrics to use for Jude's. I already had the white fabric on hand (leftover from his baby quilt!), so just had to cut and sew.

Sophia's stocking . . .


Jude's stocking . . .


Thanks to iron on interfacing, the letters were super easy . . . just choose a font from the computer, print out the name, and trace onto the interfacing (backward), which should be ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out, iron onto stocking, voila!


Together . . . along with the nativity, our only decoration other than the tree . . . maybe next year I will start my projects earlier and have my act together enough to do some other decorating. But hey, Jude's stocking is done and blogged, and it's only the 22nd!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bedroom makeovers!

Since before Jude was born, I have been planning for the "Big Bedroom Switcheroo!" We only have two bedrooms in our house, so knew that Sophia and the baby would have to go in together at some point.

Well, John and I sleeping in the living room moved that timeline right up . . . the kids have been in the same room since last Tuesday, and we are back in a bedroom! Thank goodness for my mom and sister coming over to help . . . we were able to get the rooms done in an afternoon!

Now for those of you who may never have gotten to see the kid's room "before," here you go:




Yes, it is completely necessary to show you all three pictures, so you can appreciate exactly how dramatic an improvement has been made! (At our closing the homeowners actually commented about how embarrassed they were by this room . . .)

We painted the room blue before we ever moved in, and I left that color for this room switch. While John and I were in the room it never did really work very well, as it is a big room and our furniture just kind of floated in it. And not in a good way.

And now, the "after!"

Drumroll . . . .




Thanks to a lot of painters tape, this mural wall was an easy day's project. My inspiration was this wall from HGTV's Design Star. The green paint was a mix I made from my dining room paint, 2 darker green sample pots I had on hand, a pot of florescent green paint, and a hefty squirt of yellow. Fortunately, it came out just the color I wanted, so I didn't have to buy any!

The metal butterfly was $2 in the gardening section at Goodwill, and just needed a good couple coats of white spraypaint (had on hand!).


The bed is one that I used to sleep in as a girl at the vacation house we went to every summer. When my dad and his two brothers sold the house, we kids each got to pick one thing to have, and I chose this metal bedframe. I thought about painting it white, but decided I liked the contrast, and it has such sentimental value just as it is.

The quilt was a lucky find from JCPenney, on clearance for $30! Add in a bedskirt I made for free as I already had the fabric, and voila, Sophia has a whole new "big girl" bed.


I was trying to think of what I wanted for wall art, and decided on animal silhouettes when I found these canvases at Big Lots for $3 apiece. Then all I had to do was paint them all gray, print off the silhouettes, trace them onto the canvases, and fill in with paint. And of course I already had all the paint, so I got 4 art pieces for $12! I am planning to hang them a little lower, but if I waited for the room to be perfect I might never post. (And they are a little crooked for the picture, but what do you expect over a 2 year old's bed?!)


The folks who owned our house before us left a bunch of things, some helpful, some not so much. This little stool was one thing that fell into the "helpful but ugly" category, as it was only half painted, and the painted part was an BRIGHT red. Fortunately, I had some paint left over from the mural wall, and two coats later I had a new stool!


I was at Walmart one day while I was trying to figure out what to use as a rug between the beds when I came across these flokati rugs for $20. They are machine washable and so cozy, but were a bit small, so I sewed two of them together. Perfect size!

The other rug in their room is an 8x10 woven Pottery Barn rug that needed a good washing after being puked on multiple times by Sophia. Getting a rug cleaned can be pricy, but I took it to the dry cleaners, threw on a bunch of Oxyclean and ran it thru their biggest washer. That got 95% of the stains out, and the only one left is under furniture.

Sophia's bedspread - $30
Painter's tape - $10
Rugs (1 bought and 1 cleaned) - $50
Wall art - $14
Curtain rod - $16

Total cost of kid's room makeover: $120


Now on to our room . . .

Our room was previously Sophia's, and before we moved in it was the castle room. Remember what the castle room looked like?


Yup, instead of "the mustard bottle threw up on the wall" you've got really hard to get off fake castle wallpaper complete with super glued turrets. The room did have a marvelous transformation into a nursery for Sophia . . .


. . . but has now been reborn as a serene retreat for John and me.



After sleeping in the living room for weeks and folding up the couch every day, I have decided that I can put forth the effort make the bed. Especially when I'll be rewarded with a room that looks this good!


Our across-the-street-and-down-the-road-a-little-bit neighbors were getting rid of four chairs that I snatched up a couple months ago. They've just been sitting in our basement, but now two of them are being repurposed as our bedside tables . . . conveniently already painted white, not bad for free!


I took this picture while on vacation a couple years ago, and used a deal to get it made into a photo canvas for our room.


Hands down my favorite thing in the room! I found this beautiful sunburst mirror at Home Goods for $25 and snatched it up . . . love, love, love it!

(Can you see the little cutie running around my bedroom reflected in it?!)


These seashell art pieces will be featured in an upcoming blog post after Christmas. I am planning to change up the background behind them to something a little more sophisticated . . .

Curtain rod and sheers: $36
Photo canvas: $39
Sunburst mirror: $25

Total cost of "Serene Retreat" makeover: $100

And now here's where I make the shameless plug . . . these low cost makeovers were done with NO furniture purchases! My mom and I are all about using what we already have to maximize a home's look . . . if you are interested in finding out what we could do for you check out our website at

End of plug, and end of post. Don't forget to become a follower so you can be entered in the January 1st drawing, prize TBA!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December mish-mash

I had the best of intentions as far as posting this month. Three posts a week, blah blah blah . . . you can see how that worked out! Not only am I so far behind in posting, but behind on everything in general . . .


. . . the to-do pile . . . more of a mountain right now . . .


. . . that's right, the calendar is still on November . . .


But, at least the tree is up! Isn't it lovely with our Sophia-proofing . . . decorations only on the top half. She is so hands on, after having several ornaments get broken from too much lovin' we stripped it down.


And so now I have another pile waiting for me, another "to-do," the pile 'o decorations that need to be hot glued thanks to Sophia. John was particularly sad about the nativity sheep.


Random cuteness from the Christmas tree trimming day . . . Jude camoflaged on our brown recliner.


I brought the camera with us when we went to get our tree, thinking we would get some great shots of family togetherness. Then it was -42 with a windchill of about -187 and I decided it was a much better idea to wait inside with the kids while John and the "tree guy" loaded up our tree and so this is the only picture we got the whole time.
The cool orange moon.


You know how you sort of eyeball your potential trees to see how they'll fit in your house? Well, we got the tree home and realized that it was so massive that a) it takes up a ridiculous amount of living room space, and b) we can't even get the angel on top because the bottom is so fat you can't reach the center of the top from any angle!
So no topper this year.




Sophia REALY wanted to hang the Pooh bear decoration, but it was Jude's 1st Christmas ornament, so she finally settled for giving him a kiss.


Jude was super excited about hanging it up, as you can see . . .



Next morning, gotta love coming in from a run to find the hat crew on deck!


Tomorrow I'll be back with a bedroom makeover post . . . now time to go get cracking on some Christmas projects, while my to-do pile grows and November waits a little longer!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The winner!

You wouldn't know it from the weather, but today really is December 1st, and that means it's time to pick a winner! This month's drawing was for a jar of strawberry jam, and according to the random number assignment from, Kristin Tripp is the big winner! Congrats, Kristin, this will be an easy prize to deliver . . . and you are not obliged to share the jam with anyone.

Better luck next time, I'm going to come up with something great for January's giveaway, and all you have to do is become a follower to be entered to win . . . now off to enjoy the kid's naptime with a steaming cup of coffee and whatever I rustle up for lunch.
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