Thursday, July 30, 2009

DIY sheets from a Duvet Cover


     Disclaimer: A beautiful Garnet Hill duvet cover was harmed violently for the sake of this post. If this hurts your sensibilities, you may want to cover your eyes and move along.

      While I own a great basic sewing machine and have been sewing, if you can call it that, for years, I am not a seamstress. Give me a straight line and I am your girl. Give directions that have more than 5 steps, you better find another.

     That being said, I can’t pass up a good deal on quality fabric, no matter what it’s past life was. Case in point- $9 for a king size heather pink flannel duvet cover.

     Living near the beach, it is cool at night all year, so we use flannel sheets. The ones that we had were getting tired. I don’t know why, but suddenly they were just too small for our bed. (How can old sheets suddenly shrink??)

     The price of new, good quality sheets has held me back from replacing them though. Until I found the duvet cover and some crazy voice inside my head said that I could sew sheets.

     So, I cut the duvet cover in to two and made one piece a flat sheet. Easy Peasy, no problems. Then reality hit……a fitted sheet is well, FITTED. How in the heck was I going to do that!?!?

     There are some great tutorials online but I can’t follow directions and they included measuring. I can measure, but I really had nothing to measure with other than a 12” long wooden thing. They told you to use a rotary cutter, cutting mat, etc. I used to have those, but don’t anymore. Ack, these tutorials were killing my creative mojo.

     I soldiered on and with nothing other than a piece of chalk, some pins and some elastic, I went for it. I put the big piece of fabric on the bed, put a pin in each corner, and then drew a chalk line down where the seam would go.

     I cut, sewed, checked the fit, cut another corner, sewed, checked, you get the idea. Finally all four corners were done and I put it on the bed. YEAH!

     It has now been a week, the sheets have been laundered and they are still holding together. Because they are “custom” they fit our mattress better than any other sheets that we have had.


Total cost= $9 for the duvet and $1.25 for the elastic.

New sheets that don’t bunch up at the bottom? Priceless.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crate = File Cabinet Cozy


     So, do you remember this crate that I picked up for nothing at a garage sale?

     I had to wheel it all of the way home because it wouldn’t fit in the car. It sat for a few weeks and actually made a great gardening table while I figured out what to do with it. It was a bit, uh huge, for an ottoman I decided. I did need something to hold the TV in the guestroom though, what I had was too short.

     The only problem was that I really didn’t have another place for what was propping up the TV right now, a file cabinet. Sure, I could have thrown it in a closet, but I am bad at filing as it is. Putting it in the closet would mean even less filing.

     Bamn, lightning struck! Why not put turn the crate on it’s side and put the cabinet in it?!?! Problem solved! So the crate got stripped of it hardware, painted with my favorite paint, Cabot deck stain, and LUGGED, scooted, and yelled  at into the guestroom. The thing is really heavy and did I mention, LARGE?


     See, no more ugly green filing cabinet and the TV is just at the right height. I also gained another place to store stretched canvases, yeah!

     I have been a busy girl all week and have finished so many projects that I will have to share the rest soon.

     Make sure that you check out all of the great posts for Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality and Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DIY in the Thriftyside


     Being Thursday, I am joining the fun of Thrifty Treasures at Tales From Bloggeritaville, Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage, and DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. DIY Day @ ASPTL

     This week I did some mad thrifting, sewing, transforming, and even a bit of cooking. Why?  I have no clue. Well, part of it was Mr. M was off for a few days and I had to look busy. (Don’t tell him that when he isn’t here, I read blogs and eat bon bons all day.)

     Anywho, on with the find-a-roonies. In case you missed it, I found these freebies on Sunday.

Then we took a trip in the town and picked up ……

A pair of frames for $2. The pictures will go and the frames are already silver. (stay tuned for after pictures)

     This was a whopping $1 and is HEAVY! I also picked up a few things that weren’t really worth taking pictures of right now, like a bag of shells, a silver platter, and Mr. M picked up a set of killer golf clubs for $25 with the bag. (I checked, just a wedge goes for $25 on Ebay)

     Okay, I am going to burst. I have to show you how cool the frames turned out! That frame with the ugly castle painting and the two smaller ones that I got for $2 have already turned into this……(insert drum roll here)

     I took the frame apart, layer by layer, and sprayed the moldings black, silver and black. Then I added the silver frames and the candle thingie. Easy Peasy.

     I just have to figure out what I want to put in the smaller frames. That red fabric is temporary, I will probably paint something to throw in there, but I think that for a whopping $2 this is STELLAR. Of course, that is just my opinion!

     Thank you to all of the great hosts and make sure you check out all of the great posts!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I am a sheet sewing fiend today!

I got a great deal on a king size flannel duver cover from Garnet Hill and I am attempting to make a sheet set out of it.
Wish me luck!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free Treasures for July 19th



This week I didn’t go to one garage sale…..but I did just happen to check CraigsList at about noon today and I am so glad that I did.

     There was a listing from someone that had a garage sale and everything that they had left was FREE. Okay, we know that usually what is left over was crude, but not this time.

     These things came home with me at no cost……




     Loving the ottoman and the chair. The picture is scary, but I grabbed it for the canvas. It is huge and I just can’t afford to buy them that big new. (Sorry castle scene, you will be gone next week)

     I would have grabbed more, but I was running out of room in the car and I felt a bit greedy:)

     Make sure to visit all of the great treasures at Southern Hospitality, the bargains knock my socks off every week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I blame it all on beer….


     Today is the anniversary of Mr. M’s and my first date. He is at work right now so I thought that I would explain why I blame my current project, his study, on beer.

     4 years ago today, I called him and asked him out for a beer. I know, beer isn’t very girly, but at the time I liked it. Get over it. Truth be told, I had actually had a beer before I called him just to get the courage to make the call.

    We went for said beer at a great local restaurant called Tahoe Joe’s. I nearly fell off of my chair when he ordered the same kind of beer that I had. I swear, it was from shock, not because I had already had one! That beer was Fat Tire Ale from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado.

     Fast forward a couple of years…..we had a few more, moved in together, yadda, yadda, yadda. I actually jumped on the wagon, but we still remember Fat Tire fondly. One day, he brought this home…..

     You have to give him credit for being romantic. What girl doesn’t want a neon sign reminding her that she was once a party girl? It is the thought that counts…repeat 3x.

     It collected dust for a bit, but now that we moved, he has his own study. Well, I use the book shelves and the printer, but that is it, I swear.

     I painted an accent wall blue with paint that I got from ReStore, hung that bad boy up and I was done. Done? NEVER. This week I have been on the mad dash to make his study a bicycle themed room to go with that neon symbol of our love.

     So far I have done two paintings, using the blue wall paint as a backdrop……..

     I went out of my comfort zone, walked into a bike store and asked for some throw away wheels. They gave them to me for free, I was so excited. One even had a big fat tire, but it is getting cleaned.

     I painted that $15 chair that we got last week in a glossy black.

Yes, that is the ugliest carpet you have ever seen. What can I say, this place is a rental. The landlord actually bragged that it was the original carpet!

     I usually hate themed rooms, but this one is coming together well. I am still working on a painting or two and waiting for a few things in the mail. What do you think of the pieces?

     Like I said, I blame it all on beer. Happy Anniversary Mr. M. May we celebrate many more and please smile tonight when my crepes look great, but taste awful.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thrifty Treasures for July 12th.

     There weren’t many garage sales this week and I didn’t get to the thrift stores, but I still got some great bargains.

     First off, there is a local department store that is going out of business. You may have seen the silver fabric that I picked up a couple of weeks ago. This week I grabbed this nice little chair and a big box of bamboo.


     The chair and the bamboo cost me a whopping $15. I have already sanded the chair down and sprayed it glossy black. (darn, I always forget to take either the before or after pics!)

     Next up was World Market. They had a big sign outside that said CLEARANCE. I don’t know about you, but I am like Pavlov’s dogs when I see a clearance sign, I salivate. We just had to go in and check things out.

     All of their clearance stuff was 50% off. I was in heaven, it was like music to my ears, I was on cloud nine….you get the point?

     Here I picked up a vase that I had been searching for years for. I wanted a tall vase to go next to my dreaded TV, anything to make that honker stick out less.

     Vase $6 and that is the bamboo that I picked up at the department store. (I know that there is too much in there, but it is serving as storage for the moment)

     The cutest felt basket for $5. It is about 16” X 16” and hides the ugly blanket that is so warm that I can’t get rid of it.

     So, I am singing the blues because I didn’t get to go real thrifting this week, but I think that I did well.

     Please stop by Rhoda’s Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality for more great finds this week. The posts will make you want to get out there yourself!

     P.S. I know that my pictures need some work, I am working with a borrowed camera until my new charger gets here.

     Murphy Grace says Hi!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And the Award goes to……


     Dawn and Sunny, from Cottage State of Mind was sweet enough to give my little starter blog an award and I can’t tell you how great that made me feel! (well, I can try….there were fake cart wheels, excited giggles and touchdown dances involved)


First you must tell your readers five about yourself that they may not already know, but are true.

Second you must tag ten people with the award.

Third, you must let the people know you have given them this award.

And finally, link back to the person who gave the award to you.


Five things is tough, but here goes-

1. I work from home as a ChaCha guide. What is ChaCha you ask? ChaCha is a SMS (text) service where people send their questions into 242242 and I am one of the people at the other end that send the answers back to their phone. The questions range from “What time is Up playing at the theatre in Cedar, TX?” to “Who played first base for the Dodgers in 1980?” It is a fun job and I learn a lot.

2. When Mr. M and I moved in together, this is what our furniture consisted of ……

Seriously, we had no furniture, so we bought these lawn chairs at Long’s drugstore.

3. The above picture, while embarrassing, led to me winning a huge Crate and Barrel makeover on It looks much better now. (and we have moved, so it looks very different!)

4. I have always been ready to paint anything that doesn’t move, but I had never tried spray painting until I started blogging. I think that I am addicted now.

5. While Mr. M and I aren’t married, yet, I consider his three kids my wonderful friends and step kids. The funny thing about that is that his oldest is married with kids of his own, so in my 30’s I am a grandmother. (I still have problems typing that!)

     Now, I haven’t been at this blogging for long, but there are some people that have totally inspired me. I also wanted to find some people that Dawn didn’t already have on her blog list!

Kate at Centsational Girl – Just her section on painting wood, has given me a whole new outlook!

Brenda at Cozy Little House is a fav because she finds the neatest treasures and she always has a healthy dose of red, just like me!

Christy at Embellished Bayou because her frames are just the sort of funky traditional that I can never find.

Andy at Poppies at Play because I love everything that she does and being from California, I am partial to our state flower, Poppies!


Whew, I am worn out by by all of this happy news. I need to do what Murphy Grace is doing right now….taking a nap. I promise that I won’t snore like he is though!

Thank you Dawn, you gave me just the push that I needed to keep this up!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Did you ever throw a party and no one came?

     Okay, that isn’t what happened at all, but it feels a bit like it. We threw this grand 4th of July BBQ, sponsored by Hebrew National and I couldn’t find the charger for my camera. BTW, have you tried the Hebrew National Knockwurst? OMG, out of this world!

     The tablescapes were nice until they blew away with the ocean breezes. We had to move everything inside. Every pot had it’s own little flag until Murphy Grace stole them all and buried them.

     MR, M’s daughter and her friends didn’t show, but my parents were surprise guests. My mom used the camera on her phone to snap a shot of the reinvented tablescape.


     Even with all of the oopses and weather issues, it was a great BBQ with friends, neighbors and family.

     After the food, we headed over to Morro Bay, CA to watch their new fangled laser show. We sure hope that they have REAL fireworks next year because we were not impressed. It has become a tradition to watch the real ones over the water, sitting on my parents deck. With the laser show, you couldn’t do that, you had to go down into the crowd of 8,000 people. I am just not a crowd person. Still anytime spent with my parents and Mr. M is a great time!

Here is to a better prepared Gwen next year with the bang and boom of fireworks. I hope that everyone was safe and had a grand time.

One small step for man, one giant nap for Murphy Grace. While he naps, I have been sanding my new finds……..does everyone hate sanding as much as I do?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It is Murphy’s Law here….



     So I am trying to throw this grand Hebrew National Fourth of July BBQ here and nothing is working for me today. The wind is blowing my decorations away, the camera battery needs recharging, but I can’t find the charger, and the worst problem is Murphy Grace.

     Murphy loves sticks and all of the flags are on what? Sticks! So he is running around, pulling them all out of the ground and plants. He actually looks hilarious, running around the yard with a flag in his mouth. Jefferson and Washington would be proud. Me, I am just frazzled.

     I wish you all a very happy and safe 4th. I will get back to decorating as soon as I catch Murphy Grace and the latest flag.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome to Liberty Ranch!


     I thought that it was time to really introduce myself and tell a bit about where I live. So here goes…….

     Welcome to Los Osos, California, population is supposedly 15,000, but I have never seen that many here! We are right on the coast, smack dab between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  (see that red dot? There, but we aren’t that big)

     Our temperature averages 65 to 70 degrees year round, so when I read other bloggers saying that it is too hot or complaining of snow, I try to hold back my giggles.

     Here is our little slice of heaven that we call Liberty Ranch.

     I know, absolutely no curb appeal when we moved in. I must add now, this is a rental, so any curb appeal that you see in posts in the future will be of the portable, take it with me, because I paid for it type.

     Let me go outside and see if I can take a more current picture….be right back…

     Alright, not a good plan. The sun is shining right into the lens, but Murphy Grace decided that he was all of the curb appeal that we needed. I kind of agree.

     Anywho, we moved into this house in March and have been doing this and that to make it our own ever since. We had to slow down a bit when I got sick in April, but we are getting back up to speed now. The house has some challenges……like it hasn’t been touched since it was built in 1977. The property is an acre of sand, weeds, and overgrown shrubs/trees. The layout of the house is a dream though, one story, huge open floor plan, three bedrooms, two baths. (I hate sharing bathrooms, I love Mr. M, but I don’t want to share his bathroom)

     So, that is my teaser for now. I could go on and will in the future, but I have to be getting ready for my Hebrew National BBQ on Saturday.


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