Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Decorator Fairy

Well, we finally did it. My husband and I spent Sunday morning putting together the bunk beds for the kid's room. I have been putting this off for a while waiting for some sign that the kids are "ready".

Not even I know what that sign should be. I suppose I've been reluctant because I know the bunk beds are going to come with changes like new bedtimes, and trusting my children to go in there and sleep (which they weren't very good at when the beds were both on the floor) instead of jumping around and playing on the fantastic new jungle gym that I have just put up in the bedroom. Which will result in a late night run to the ER.

Perhaps I am paranoid.

One thing I knew would happen was that baby sister was NOT going to be happy about having to sleep on the lower bunk.  I was right, she was not. We tried to make her love it, "Look, sweetie, it's like a cozy little nest" or "You have 2 shelves to put just your OWN stuff on! Isn't that fantastic?"

Riiiiiighhhttt! I could see the whole situation was going downhill quickly.

So I did what I always do when things like this happen, I made something up. "Well, I know it doesn't seem like much right now, but wait until the Decorator Fairy comes and makes it wonderful!!"  That girl looked me straight in the eyes and said, "There is no such thing as a Decorator Fairy."

I do love a challenge.

So today while she was at school, I went to SAS Fabrics, our local fabric store in search of some light fabric to make a canopy, ribbon and whatever other goodies I could find. I love that store, sometimes you can go in and find nothing, but some days you go in and find not just the fabric of your dreams, but also a bunch of extras you didn't even know you wanted until you saw them. I came home with some lovely peachy-pink chiffon, a bunch of cute little sparkly butterflies, and some fun plastic "crystals".

Once I got all my goodies home, I took the fabric in and kind of draped it around the headboard from the top to see how I wanted it to all go together.  I decided to sew a pocket into the widest edge of the fabric and gather it onto a dowel rod.  (This is not a great photo, but you get the basic idea)

I drilled small holes on either end of the dowel (before putting the fabric on) so that I could nail it to the slats on the bottom of the upper bed.

Hammering nails above my head while lying on a bed was an interesting experience. But I got the dowel secured without splitting it or using nails so long they poked through to the bed above.

This is what I have at this point.  So far, so good, I am loving the draping!

Next, I wanted to attach the fabric to the bedposts on either side. So I stitched some 1" wide pink ribbon to the chiffon near the bedposts and tied them into (hopefully cute) bows.

Now for my favorite part, the sparkly bits.  First I strung a bunch of the "crystals" with fishing line.  I chose fishing line instead of regular thread mostly for it's strength. Hopefully that won't get tested.

Then I looped them over the slats in the bed.  I tried for random lengths and random placement. Here's what I came up with:

Then, on to the butterflies. They were a bit heavier than I thought, so I ended up using fewer of them on the chiffon than I had originally intended.  But I knew I wanted to hide the ends of the dowel, so I sewed one on each side and one a little lower in the center.

Now, at this point I was lying on the bed looking at this, and instead of thinking, "wow, how cute is this..." all I could think was, "wow, that mattress is really ugly!"  Isn't that all you can see in this photo?? Ick. Not to worry, I happened to have a few yards of impulse buy muslin to cover the ugly mattress.

So I got my muslin, an electric upholstery stapler, an extension cord and my sick husband off the couch to hold up the mattress and stapled muslin to the slats of the upper bed. Believe me when I say that if you want to do this kind of thing to a bunk bed and you have an ugly upper mattress,  put the muslin (or whatever) on first!  Either way, the result looked much better.

Once that was done, I took some old birthday cards, cut off the backs and tacked them to the "walls" on either side of the bed.

I'm sure that we'll be adding to the collection as time goes on, which is why I chose just a few basic prints to get started.  Plus, her favorite on the other side.

And the Decorator Fairy's end result. It is very girly, special and (I hope) just enough to make the bottom bunk at least tolerable, if not magical.

When Lilah got home from school today she ran into the bedroom to hang up her hat and didn't even notice. HA!  Later, when Elliot turned the light on, she went in, saw everything and gasped, " Daddy, you were right! The Decorator Fairy came! Look! She made it all princessey! I just love it, it's the best nest EVER!"

So, Daddy was right.  The Decorator Fairy is real.

We know, because she was in Tucson today, and there is a very happy little girl sleeping under her canopy tonight because of it.

Thank you Decorator Fairy.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Just can't get enough...ANGRY BIRDS!!!

I have been on a knitting kick lately. I actually finished my first knitted hat last week. Taught myself how to knit on DPN's (double pointed needles, for those who don't knit) in order to finish the hat. I made one for my daughter and am going to start one for my son. But those of you who have kids know that they have  ZERO patience waiting for you to finish the hat, toy, shorts, skirt, dress or whatever you are making for them. Am I right?

So what does this have to do with Angry Birds?  Well, after the Angry Birds I made them for Christmas, my son mentioned wanting an Angry Birds hat. And since I can sew faster than I can knit, I thought these hats would help hold them back while I finished the knitted hats.

I used an existing  fleece hat to make a pattern for the hats and appliqued the faces, beaks and feathers onto the hat. Basically I made 2 hat pieces, a front and a back with darts in the top to help shape the hat, cut pieces of fleece for the faces, feathers and beaks and sewed them on the front of the hat. Then I sewed the two side seams of the hat together, added the feathers at the top, and stitched the darts in. Then I made an 1 1/2 inch hem at the bottom, turned it under and stitched it in place, then added the beaks.

My son picked the "Bomb" Bird and my daughter picked the "Blue" Bird (didn't get a good photo in process of the bomb bird) so here is the Blue bird with the pieces laid out.

And my son wearing the finished Bomb Bird hat.

Both hats finished. (I didn't get a photo of my daughter wearing hers....yet)

Gotta admit they're very cute, and the kids just love 'em!