Monday, July 6, 2015

Screech- Bang! ... and Much More

I have written about one of life's curve balls in the past; this post is one of them... as you can see in the picture, that's what happened to my minivan last Monday.

I took my car in for an oil change. I take mine in to the car dealership where we bought our car brand new almost 5 years ago. Even though I made an appointment for the oil change, there were so many cars in the garage. So I talked to a person who works there, did the paperwork and signed my name and headed in to waiting area. I found a spot and sat down and started to read. After a short while, I heard,

SCREECH, BANG!!!!!


Everyone in the waiting area looked up, including myself. "That didn't sound good" I thought.

Many people stood up and headed to the garage to see what happened. I also saw many people come from the sales area and from upstairs to go see what had happened. I sat and waited for a while.

As some people came back they were saying that "Man, that didn't look good." or "Boy, I feel bad for the owner..."

I thought "ok, maybe I will go check this out myself too" then I stood up and walked to the garage. There is a large glass window where you can see the whole garage. As I was getting closer to it, I saw a white minivan and a truck unnaturally close to each other.

NOTE: Does this happen to you? In your mind you can see things and be able to process what might have happened but you are in denial and try to direct your thoughts to somewhere else? Basically that was happening in my head. Ok, you can keep on reading...

I thought well, this is a Toyota dealership, of course there are gonna be other white minivans just like mine. That's not mine.

I got closer... then I saw a rectangle blue handicap sign hanging in the middle of the front windshield. Ugh... That moment, I knew, that minivan is mine. I kept the same pace and got closer to my van and saw some damage even from behind. My van was rammed into the truck that was in front of it. When they backed out my van it made a horrible sound and revealed its damage. My jaw dropped and for a moment I could only stare at it blankly, but I took a picture and sent it to my husband with short message that said "Look at what happened to my van".

He was on his way, but in the meanwhile my head was filled with our schedule for the next few weeks. The thing is, I can't drive any other car except ours. Because I have prosthetic limb on the right leg, I have a special pedal installed in my van so I can drive with my left leg. Mr. TRH's sedan has the same pedal and I can drive it, but we bought the minivan to meet our family's needs. (I did by the way, tell them that there was a left foot accelerator that can be easily removed and to be careful.)

My boys are doing a lawn mowing business for the summer and I was helping them out to haul the lawnmower... they need to call their customers and tell them what happened...

While all this (and more) was going through my mind, many people in the garage came up to me and said "sorry this happened" or "make sure that they (the dealership) will take good care of you", trying to comfort me. I really appreciate those gestures but the storm in my head was still there and I started to tear up. Then, an older couple approached me. They were the owners of the truck that was hit by my van. Instead of being angry, they were so nice and sweet and they both tried to comfort me. We walked to the waiting area (the woman got me a tissue as well) and sat and started to talk to each other while we were waiting to talk to the dealer.

We met under bad circumstance, but as we talked to each other we found we have lots of common ground and had a very nice visit. I didn't ask their number or anything, but I really appreciated the time we spent together and their kindness to me.

So, after three hours of waiting... we were able to sit and talked to the people at the dealership. They told me that what happened was that person who drove my car was just going to shimmy the car forward while riding the brake. He accidently stepped on both the left foot accelerator and brake at the same time and the car launched forward. I always warn them about the special pedal, if you are not used to it, that could happen... it was a total accident. I am grateful that nobody got hurt because of this, it would been terrible if that was the case.

Well, a week later we still don't know what is going to happen. I think they are trying to figure out what they can do with their insurance company and all. The thing is that we bought the car brand new at the end of 2010 (it's a 2011 model) and paid it off shortly after. Our plan was to drive that van for a long time, at least until our youngest is out of the house. We were not expecting to have any car payments for years except for regular maintenance.

What is the most likely scenario for something like this? Does anybody know?

Phew... talk about a curve ball... I am just hoping and praying that things will work out ok. Hopefully I can write a good follow up post soon. :)





Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tutorial ~ Double Sided Placemats with Riley Blake Designs Home Decor Fabric

Have you seen the beautiful home décor fabric line by Riley Blake Designs? They have great selections, but I must say that my most favorite line is Patty Young Home Dec. There are 10 gorgeous colors to choose from and they are a perfect mix of classic and modern. I knew what I wanted to make, but I really had a hard time deciding which color to pick for the project. I finally chose Aqua Vivid and Navy Vivid, those are the colors that I am most likely to use for placemats. The great things about this project is how easy and quick it is to sew and you feel like you are getting 2 sets of placemats instead of 1!

Are you ready to jump in and start?

{You will need}

2 different fabric 1 1/4 yard each (they are 54" wide)
Thread (I just used cream)

{How to}

1. Fold each fabric in half vertically and cut out three 14 1/2" strips. Take two strips from each color and put them together with right sides on the cutting table. You will have three sets of strips.

2. Cut two 19 1/2"wide rectangles from each strip set. Then, you will end up with six sets of rectangles.

3. Leaving a 4" opening on one side, sew all around the rectangle with 1/4" seam.

4. Trim off the corners so that the finished corners will look prettier without excess fabric. Turn the fabric inside out. Press with iron.

5. Top stitch all around the placemat with 1/8" seam.

Sew 5 more...

This home décor fabric is very nice to the touch and easy to get the wrinkles out compared to other home décor fabrics I have dealt with in the past.

Here are some picture of table settings I did one afternoon to see what they would look like. With vivid Aqua I got my white dishes out and set the table.




With the Vivid Navy, I think white dishes with strong pink peony, gold accent would be beautiful too, but since I have some Japanese dishes and that's what I use often, I decided to try that type of table setting.



So what do you think? I think placemats are an easy and fun way to give a splash of color to your table. Head over to Riley Blake Designs to see more color options! :)


6/24 – Tea Rose Home
7/3 – Heart Zipper
7/6 – Quiltscapes

 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Privacy Screen to Headboard DIY ~ Anthro Inspired

Mr.TRH and I have been married for quite a bit, but we never owned a headboard. Why?

Reason 1. When we were newly married there were so many other things we needed to spend money on and it was never a priority.

Reason 2. I dreamed of having a four post bed for a while, but while we were staying with my in-laws, Mr.TRH would always hang things around our bed like it was our open closet, so that idea went out the window.

Reason 3. I have NEVER found a bed I liked in my price range. EVER.

Then, one day I found my dream bed... Meet Lombok Bed.

I just LOVE this bed. Talk about character... then I saw the price tag of over $3000(after tax), yikes!

So I was ok with not having a headboard or bed until I could find something I love, but the Lombok bed always stayed in my mind.
I was out shopping a few weeks ago, when I walked in to a local Tuesday Morning, the sight of a pretty privacy screen caught my eye.

I told Mr.TRH what I had in mind with it, he got his tools out and start working on it for me! We had to take all the hinges and screws out, because each panel is put together so that they will fold accordion style. With the hinges, the screen won't be perfectly flat like a headboard would be. He screwed in some supporting wood on the back...

and screwed the panel into the wall. Viola! I have an Anthro inspired headboard in my bedroom.

I kept the same lamp but changed the shades and added a couple new décor for the night stand to freshen up the room.

A couple posts ago, I shared a tutorial for Euro pillow case from a twin size quilt. Look how they are sitting pretty on my bed.


It is not exactly like the Anthro bed, but I got the feel of it for $160 dollars instead of $3000 and I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Next time when you are out shopping, you might find a pretty privacy screen. One of the secrets for success for this project is to have the measurement of the bed you want the headboard for. Also carry a small measuring tape with you, so when you see the privacy screen, you can measure it across and see if it is the right size for your bed.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a happy summer everyone!




Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Blossom Dress Tutorial ~ 30 Days of Sundresses Series at Melly Sews

Guess what? I was asked to be a part of such a fun series: "30 Days of Sundresses" at Melly Sews. It is the 4th year and there are always awesome ideas and dresses. I am honored to be a part of it!

I came up with this relaxed and flowy dress for Rachel for this Summer and am loving the result! In fact I am thinking about making one for myself... of course in a bit bigger size.

It is a very simple dress to make and if you are not big on applique you can skip that part; then you can whip up the dress even faster!

When I found these fabrics and ribbon at one of my favorite local shops, I was so excited. It was very close to what I had in mind! I created this dress for my daughter and she is almost 10. Because of the nature of the dress, I assume it should fit most of the 8 to 10 year olds.

So, here is a list of things you will need to make this dress:

Shot cotton -- 2 yards
Large Flower pattern fabric -- 1 yard
Interfacing -- about one yard
Matching thread
Ribbon 2 to 3 yards

* Note --- Shot cotton is woven with two slightly different colors, creating a subtle shimmer of light and beauty! I feel like it is slightly lighter weigh than regular cotton fabric and falls nicely when you sew clothing. You can find them at Purl Soho incase you want to see more color options;

{How to}

1. Print out the PDF pattern for the top portion of the dress and for the bottom line. You might want to print out two top portions, since there are two different necklines for the front and back. Cut them out. The pattern includes the 1/2" seam allowance.

2. Right sides together fold the fabric in half vertically. Place the pattern onto the fabric; line up the straight edge on the side with folded edge on the fabric. Trace around the pattern around the neckline, shoulder and sides with washable marker or chalk. Half inch seam allowance is already included in the pattern.

3. Measure 25" from below the bust line on the pattern and mark. Extend the diagonal line on the side and use the provided template to mark on the fabric so that the bottom seam of the dress has a nice curved line.

4. With zigzag stitch (or a serger), sew on the shoulders, armhole and sides to prevent fraying.

5. Put right sides of the fabric together, sew both shoulders with 1/2" seam. Open the seam and press with an iron.

6. Sew the sides. Stop at the mark below the arm hole. Open the seam and press with an iron.

7. Fold the seam around the arm hole and press with an iron and stitch.

8. Cut 1 1/2" W x 23 to 25 inches long fabric strip in bias. Make bias tape for the neckline.

9. Line up one side of the seam to the edge of the neckline on the right side of the fabric, pin and sew.

10. Fold the bias tape towards the wrong side of the fabric, pin and do top stitch.

11. Fuse interfacing on the fabric you want to use for applique.

12. Cut out flowers...

13. Lay the flowers on the dress and pin.

14. I did free motion stitch to do this part. You will want to make sure all the outer edges are sewn (I try to stay close to the edge... about 1/8"), then you can kind of follow the design on the flowers and stitch away.

Now, the dress is completed. It is time to enjoy!

As I said in the beginning of the post, this dress has a relaxed silhouette. It is perfect for hot summer days looking pretty but super comfortable.

Psst... she is wearing short leggings underneath, she can be as active as she wants and play around too.

With a ribbon tied around her waist, the dress can transform to a different style. I honestly love both, with and without the ribbon.

When she was trying on the dress she was super excited about it and exclaimed, "I always wanted the dress like this, mom!" That, ladies...made me so happy. :)

Melissa is running a wonderful giveaway on her blog right now, make sure to hop over to see the details. Thank you for visiting everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tutorial ~ Super Easy Quilted Euro Sham

I have been wanting to change the look of our bedding FOR-EVER. Also, we never owned a real bed; it was just a simple frame and mattress and I used Euro pillows to create height in the back with other pillows for years.

I recently came across bedding that took my breath away and bought them, but there was no Euro shams from the same line available. The bedding I bought is quilted with beautiful stitches and there is no way I could recreate that exact same look, but I wanted to carry out the same feel. I looked for white, quilted and Euro pillowcases and I found something very close to what I had in mind. It was $30 each and I needed 3 of them... that is going to be close to $100 after everything... yikes! Quickly I shifted gears from "buy" to "make".

While I was looking for the right fabrics at a couple local fabric stores, I had a light bulb moment.

"Why not use a quilt? They are already quilted and the right thickness, I just need to find the right quilt!"

I like to shop at Ross, or TJ Maxx (I hardly ever pay full price for anything), and when you are at the bedding section, you find lots of quilted bedspreads in bags. Sure enough, I found white twin size quilted bedspread for $30! I was able to make three shams out of one quilt, so I saved 2/3 the cost by making them.

This is SUPER easy, you can even do it with your eyes closed (ok, maybe not literally but it's that simple!). I will show you what I did.

{You will need}

Euro size pillow -- 26" x 26"
Twin size quilt
Matching Thread

{How to}

1. Fold the quilt in half vertically and cut off about 1/2" from the top to have raw edge. Measure 27" from the edge cut, and repeat that twice. Then you will have three 27" tall by the width of the quilt pieces.

2. Open the folded strip and bring both ends to the middle, so that they will overlap. Measure and make sure that the side edge to other side edge is 26". Pin and secure them in place.

3. Sew the raw edges with 1/2" seam and treat the edges with zigzag stitches or Serger.

4. Turn the pillow inside out. Use a pin to help pull out the corners if you are having trouble. Press the seam with an iron.

5. Done! Repeat the process to make two more. :)

I am pretty pleased with how easy it was and I got the look I wanted. Because you are using the side seams of the quilt as is where they are overlapping, the only area you have to sew is the top and the bottom. Now everybody... this post is not quit over yet.

Remember I mentioned that we never owned a headboard or bed? I found a bed I REALLY REALLY love! What? Do you ask if I got the bed? The answer is no, because the bed I fell in love with has a hefty price tag of over $3000. That's not gonna happen with this girl. I took that as a inspiration and did something fun! I will share that in my next post, so stay tuned!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Psst... Something Exciting is Happening!

I have been keeping a secret for a while from you wonderful readers... but today I can tell you a bit about it.

I was approached by a company called Hazel & Ruby and given a chance to collaborate with them to create a craft kit!! I have been working to create the actual item, taking pictures, writing instructions and shooting a video! That's right, I said "video"! Being in front of a camera is not my forte, but I did it with my ever so supportive husband; AKA Mr.TRH.

Along with other blogger's craft kits (there are going be lots of fun kits!), my kit will be in a store near you soon. Eeek!

It would be a lie if I said I am not nervous, especially when I start thinking about whether my kit will sell or how people are going to receive it. But, looking back over the last several years of my life... how many times I passed up, or said "no" to opportunities, just because I was scared and because I didn't believe I could do it. This time, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and do my best. The rest... well, life is an adventure, right? I will wait and see what happens with an ever so delighted and thankful heart.

I will let you know when the product is released, so stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Soft-Baked Funfetti Sugar Cookies

I baked these Soft-Baked Funfettie Sugar Cookies and quickly took pictures and shared it on my Instagram yesterday. I know, I should have shared it on my blog too, but Instagram is so much simpler and quicker! I promise to be better at posting things like that here as well.

I wish I could take full credit for these cookies, but I found the recipe on a blog called Sally's Baking Addiction. When I found the recipe, there were 274 comments on it. Wow, that looks promising right? I had to try it!

My cookies didn't look as pretty as hers, but they sure tasted so good! My family loved them and I love how they look cheerful with all the sprinkles baked in.
I am going to add this to my recipe book for sure!
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