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Baby proofing

The baby is all over the place.  Crawling. Standing.  Contemplating how to climb. Pulling on the blinds.  You get the picture.  So hubs and I decided it was time to baby proof the house.  We installed the traditional plugs in the outlets, under the cabinet locks and collecting items at her level to store somewhere higher.

We have a massive fireplace (175 inches long) in our living room that needed some cushioning as well as our tv stand needed a cover to distract the baby.  This was to become my task.  Design and install some sort of baby proofing yet aesthetically pleasing cushioning.  So here is what I did.

Before

After

Hubs and I decided that we needed more seating and the fireplace was a great option but not with stone sticking you in the rump!  So I made some cushions to add more seating and added a faux tufted cover for the front and side of the fireplace.  The monogramed pillows are great for back support and I really like the monogram.  I have a tutorial for the monogramed pillows here.  I kept the seating cushions neutral so I could change out the pillows with different colors if I pleased and I found it on sale for $4 a yard!

I wanted a cohesive look for the tv stand and knew this was going to be temporary.  My MIL found the tan cushions that provided great cushion on the corners of the stand but we still needed something to cover the glass shelves otherwise this was going to turn into her jungle gym.

Before

After

More faux tufted cushioning that doesn’t look too inviting for baby.  So far so good!

This was a great project because there was no pattern or tutorial.  It is all custom made for our home and I learned a lot about measuring, making piping, attaching velcro to stone and making cushions.  What kind of baby proofing have you had to do?

RAD Mama

Pinned It Did It–Fruit Wash

I have seen this fruit wash several times on Pinterest and my father-in-law actually mentioned it as a helpful hint.  Since he was hip on it I thought I better try it out to see if it actually worked.  So I bought my regular batch of fruit from Costco and brought it home, washed it in a mixture of white vinegar and water.

I believe the suggestion I used was from Food Lush Blog.  I have put it on my Pinned It Did It Pinterest Board which you can follow here.

This wash called for 1 part vinegar (white or apple cider) and 10 parts water.  Well I eyeballed it and here are the results.

After soak in vinegar wash.  I washed the strawberries, blackberries and raspberries in the wash.

5 days later.  Most all of the fruit was in good shape.  The raspberries were better off than without the wash but I think due to their fragile nature they were more mashed than the other fruit.  All in all I would recommend using this technique on your fruit to help extend the life of the summer gems.

RAD Mama

 

Tutorial–Monogramed Pillow

I have been a bit absent from my blog because I have been working on baby proofing our living room.  Since baby proofing doesn’t always have an end result of attractive, I thought I would add some personalized pillows to our fireplace.  Here is my tutorial for a monogramed pillow.

2 pillow forms of your desired size

fabric to cover the forms

contrasting fabric for monogram

pre-made piping (or you can make your own)

double sided web fusible tape

chalk or fabric marker

My pillow forms were 1x15x17 and I cut my fabric a half inch plus 5/8 seam allowance larger than the dimensions.  Cut four of these pieces.

Next I went to Google and searched “D letter” and found oodles of varying scripts of the letter D.  I chose the one I liked and printed it, cut it out and used it as a template.

Next trace your letter with chalk on your contrasting fabric.  A fabric marker will work as well but since my fabric was black my marker wouldn’t show up.  Now if you don’t want to deal with the remnant of the chalk dust you can flip your letter over and do the tracing on what would be the back side of your letter.

Cut this out and add some strips of the fusible web by following the package directions.  Try and add your web to the edges of your letter which help when you go to sew it down.  Measure equal distance from top and bottom and side to side for placement of your letter on one front piece of your pillow fabric.  Tack your letter down using the other side of the fusible webbing with your iron.

With a zig zag stitch all edges of your letter onto the pillow fabric.

Place right sides of your fabric (letter should be on the inside) together sandwiching the piping.  Make sure the pretty pipped edge you want to line the pillow is facing inside.  Using your zipper foot or piping foot sew up against the piping.  All raw edges together.  My pillows used about 3 1/2 yards of piping.

I chose to use strips of piping instead of keeping it a continuous piece since I got several pieces of mine on sale and didn’t have enough for a continuous piece.  If you chose this method make sure you extend your piece of pipping a bit longer than the edge of the fabric and when sewing your seams leave about an inch to place the next piece of piping over the piece just sewn like a plus sign.

Note–Now you could sew your piping onto one side of your fabric first but that is double work so I chose to do the fast method of sandwiching and sewing.

Pin if you wish.  Sew 3 1/2 sides together leaving (make sure you stop an inch from the edge to place the next piece of piping in the seam) a hole large enough to stuff your pillow into the casing.

Stuff your pillow into your casing and hand stitch the opening close using a blind stitch.  I chose to enclose my pillows so little hands didn’t explore and pull out the foam.  You can put a zipper in or leave an opening in the back.  More on these techniques later.

Done!  Easy!  These are going to work great as back cushions for our fireplace seating.

Now go and personalized some pillows to baby proof or update your home.

RAD Mama

Sewing Circle–Dolls, Pillows and Quilts

My friend Cara and her co-worker Kate recently took a sewing class at a local shop.  They immediately fell in love, as I am sure most of us have, and came up with the idea of a sewing circle.  I said sounds like fun and a chance to get away with girlfriends.  Cara is very philanthropical and found a project online, sewing dolls for disadvantaged children around the world.  This sounded easy enough to me so we met at my house and began the circle.  Now I am not really sure if a sewing circle needs a mission but ours was filled with gab and girl time.  Worked for me.

Not too much was accomplished the first evening but I believe Kate made some pillows, Cara began a few dolls and I started a couple of pattern weights.  Which I have yet to fully complete!  Here are the arms and legs of the dolls.  If you are interested in reading about this doll project check out this blog.

The second sewing circle had a quilt theme!  Now none of us had ever quilted but this sounded pretty easy.  Just sew a bunch of squares together, right?  So we ordered pizza and the machines were humming.  Now Cara’s machine made more of clunk clunk sound so we decided she would cut and I would sew.  Here is the vintage beauty!

Now the quilt idea came from Cara who found another great cause, Quilts for Kids.  Check it out if you want to make a little one in the hospital smile with a quilt.  They really are simple and will brighten a sick child’s day.

Our finished (almost finished) product.

For not really having a clue what we were doing I think it turned out well.  Just need to finish it off with a binding and some quilting.  I hope it makes a little one smile.

The third meeting of sewing circle Cara made more dolls, I made some cushions for our fireplace since the little one is on the move and Kate made more pillows.  Now her pillows are AMAZING.  She is meticulous with cutting and sewing.  These will make great gifts for her family and friends.

After the sewing circle my hubs comments, “It doesn’t really sound like much sewing is getting done!”  I said happy wife equals happy life!  I am very proud of our sewing circle (almost) accomplishments.  It seems I have several projects to finish, Cara has oodles of dolls to make and Kate will have back support for every chair in her house!

Be sure to check out Cara’s blog.  Lots of pretties and other musings.

Until we circle up again…

RAD Mama

Recipe–Blended Coffee Re-make

Ok so a few weeks ago I did a iced coffee drink.  Check it out here.  I made another using the same coffee ice cubes and it’s even better!  Watch out Starbucks I am keeping my $6 and making this one!

6 coffee ice cubes

1/2 cup half and half

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Blend all of these in the blender and voila, you have a tasty treat.  Now I splurged on the half and half so you could use milk but the half and half makes it amazing!  Just do an extra 5 minutes on the treadmill and enjoy!  Yields about 12 ounces.

RAD Mama

Recipe–Sweet Potato Mash

This is a great side dish for pork, chicken or beef.  Since I have been making veggie mash for my little one and I thought we could have an adult version of sweet potato mash.  Hope you enjoy this side dish.

6 medium sweet potatoes

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup cream or half and half

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes.  Boil until fork tender.  Using a hand mixer cream potatoes, cream and butter until smooth.  Mix in cinnamon and brown sugar.  Yields four large servings.

Yum!

RAD Mama

Wreath Week–Day 5

Well its been a great week of wreaths and here is my final one.  I chose a cork wreath for the last day because I have been saving corks for 10 years and now have a reason to use them!  Now I didn’t personally drink all this wine but family and friends have also donated to my stash.  Here is my tutorial for a cork wreath.

1 straw wreath

100 or so corks

hot glue gun

glue

bow

wreath hanger

I used a ordinary wreath hanger and inserted this onto the wreath before I started glueing corks.  This wreath does get fairly heavy so I think this is the best way to hang the wreath.  Start glueing by adding a strip of glue to the back of each of your corks and go around in a circular pattern creating a base.

Once this has dried and you make sure none are going to fall off then you are ready to start glueing on the next layer in a hodge podge fashion.  Note: I did have a bit of trouble with the smooth corks from Yellowtail.They don’t take the hot glue well so I used a little gorilla glue and it worked fine.

There is no real method for this just glue to create a 3D look.  You will need to test where you want the piece to go and then glue in the appropriate place.  This layer will not need glue across the whole cork.  Make sure you pieces are glued on well and add a bow if you like.

I really like the natural cork wreath.  I leave mine up year round and just change out the bow (made from my ribbon stash) for the seasons.

Well I have enjoyed wreath week and I hope you have too.  Please leave a comment and if you have a wreath you would like me to feature just contact me.

Have a great weekend.

RAD Mama