Monday, September 23, 2013

The Very Long Upholstery Post....Because I Might Be Just a Little Bit Crazy

Inexpensive furniture, if purchased new tends to fall apart. The moment you think, "Wow this couch is really holding up great despite persistent mauling by my children," is the moment things start going down hill. The ottoman, which served as a place to rest our feet an a makeshift trampoline, was the first piece to go. Etsy provided some lovely vintage Vontrapp family-esque upholstery material, and the tiny home improvement section at Target provided the rest. And because while I had the staple gun out I thought I better put it to good use and reupholster my king size headboard and footboard....the dumbest idea ever, but both projects turned out great and my right hand was only numb from my evil Target stapler for a few days. 

Draping the fabric over the old ottoman gives a very deceiving view of the road ahead. The fabric instantly brightens up the room and it just seems like a nip here and a tuck there, then staple, staple, staple and viola! all done. Nope. Not with this ottoman. Because I don't own a sewing machine and I had a deep desire to not be a Pinterest fail, I rethought my plan. 
I decided to remove the foam pad on my existing ottoman and throw it on top of a Salvation Army coffee table (which was $40! Yes, not a bad price but not a deal either. LA thrift stores are too savvy for their own good). 
Upholstery buttons have tiny teeth that make the fabric stay put but also tear off the skin of your thumbs. Beware. :) 
Not too bad when you only have six buttons
I drilled holes in the coffee table before I covered it with foam and batting. Once all that was pinned down I laid the vintage fabric on top and attached the buttons with an enormous upholstery needle. 
I'm not going to lie. The ottoman sat like this for 2 days. I had done the buttons and attached the fabric to the sides but had no freaking idea how to do the corners. I deeply hated the hospital bed single fold, so I played with it and this is what I came up with. 

And Onward....
I was totally empowered by the completion of the ottoman so one trip to the fabric store armed me with 10 yards of grey linen upholstery fabric and I was ready to go again. 
Again, cheap furniture mixed with children. This project was bigger but a bit easier, since the foam was already in place and I just removed the existing fabric. 

Side note: plywood is much easer to staple than solid wood. Seriously. 
Headboard (above) and footboard (below) covered in batting and ready for fabric. 

Probably don't need this many staples but I am nothing if not thorough. 
Nifty little ebay purchase called curve-ease. Means I was able to a more finished, no staple seam. 

My little helper gave up and fell asleep. :) 
Once the buttons were in the headboard went really fast. Just stapled the fabric to the back, and since the stapley side faces the wall no need to make it look pretty. 

Finished product! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Last Days

This year the last few days of school were so fun that neither of my kids wanted the year to end. With beach days, picnics, best friends, and more beach days, I completely understand. 

A forecast of 68 and cloudy didn't stop the kids from swimming in the ocean. 

Can't believe my boy is going to be in middle school next year! 

Officially the last day of school. Flowers and presents for the teachers. 

These were my teacher gifts. Canvas bags stamped/painted with apples. I don't plan on making a tutorial for this craft, but it was sooo easy! If you ever decide to give it a try just make sure you use a firm apple like granny smith and put something inside the bag or your paint will bleed through. :) 

Layla's teachers surprised the kids threw water balloons. 

Last day of school included a Fun Run where classes took turns running around the school several times. I knew about it of course and tried to talk Layla into wearing something other than her ballerina flats, but she refused and I am all about picking my battles. Shoes didn't seem slow her down. 

Since the teachers pelted the kids with water balloons, it was only fair that the kids get a turn. Layla hit her teacher dead on. 

The above pic is from the first day of school. And the bottom is from the last day.  What a difference a year makes! 
Best TK teacher ever! She spoke sweet words to each child(much crying involved) then presented them with a scrapbook album full of all their TK memories. 

Picnic time! Which means my kidos eat with me really fast then take off to different ends of the playground to hang out with friends. 

Landon volunteered to carry all his sisters things. Such a good big brother! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

School Performance and the Open House

With the school year ending this week I am inspired to get a few things on the blog and brag about my kids and their wonderful school just a little. Landon has been in three schools in his elementary career and his current Cali school is by far the best. From the programs (4 day science camp nearly killed me but Landon loved it), to the teachers, the events, to the importance put on music and art. A couple months ago (yes, I am horribly behind on posting) the entire 5th grade participated in colonial day. Each student was assigned a historical character (Landon was King George III) and had to memorize a little speech then dress the end they all acted out famous battles. It was adorable. And over three hours. Miraculously, and with the help of a fully charged iPhone, Layla sat quietly for the whole thing! 

Family Day! 
In May Layla's teacher put on a family day which included coffee (starbucks!), breakfast, games, songs, and even a little family photo area complete with paper moustaches on popsicle sticks. 

Chillin with her pals during game time on family day.

Two weeks after family day the entire school held their open house. And Layla's teacher went all out again to make it a great experience. Also, like me the woman is addicted to Pinterest, therefore we all enjoyed some adorable cupcakes. 

At least once a month each classroom participates in what they call "Hands on Art." They bring in someone to show the kids certain techniques. They entire gym was filled with artwork from every grade. Lots and lots of art on our walls right now. :) 

Landon and his teacher. She was tough but really really good at helping him express himself through his writing. 

At open house I told him, "Go stand by your college project," and this is what I got. My boy loves attention. :) 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Strawberry Fields....TK Field trip!!

I had the the honor of being picked to go Layla's first field trip to Tanaka Farms.  I was extremely excited. Layla was born when my boy started kindergarten, so I have never been...hard to take a baby on a field trip.  Needless to say, most of this trip was very busy and very loud, and there were many strawberry stained faces by the time the day was done. 
 Seat belts school buses! Heck yeah! 
 First part of the day, scratch that, second part of the day (since the first consisted of taking the entire class to the bathroom, a feat that took 7 grown adults), we loaded up for a tractor ride and a tour around  the farm. Frequent stops provided the kids and chaperones with fresh veggies and herbs. 
 The guide told everyone that they didn't have to like everything but they did have to try everything....yeah, that went over well with our bunch...most of the onions got chucked over the side. The spinach however was delicious! 
So many strawberries!  
Fun fact, onions keep away bugs if you are planting organic. 
On the way home, almost every child fell asleep....except mine. :)