Operation ‘Blue Plaid’

Since our children are grown and no longer destroy our house, we have done a lot of transformations in the house. And since those grown children are only 21 and 22 years old, they still pack a financial whop to our budget. Let’s face it, it is expensive out there for EVERYTHING. So most (all) of our transformations thus far have been DIY. He has saved a lot of money and made many memories. We also get what we want and customize it to fit us. After transforming the closet sized bedroom upstairs into a library, we realized that we really do need a guest room as I have taken my the other spare bedroom and made it into a sewing studio. We literally dismantled the bookshelves, painted the wood (particle board) white and bought some cheap white brackets and made a continuous shelf around the top of the wall. It turned out beautiful. I will try to see if I have a picture. The walls are soft coastal blue with real sea shells and sand for a true ‘elegant’ beach cottage feel.

To pull the room together, I wanted to find the perfect, blue plaid comforter. I found plenty that I like and a few that I loved. I just could not justify the price for something that we would sleep under and possible drag downstairs to watch a movie on the floor or even outside to watch a movie on the projector or perhaps sit by the fire. With us, you just never know. I fully live in my home and very little is sacred by the way of material things.

I decided that I would make my own plaid comforter or quilt or bedspread. So I went to the fabric store to purchase several differently types of blue plaid fabric. I was not expecting the yardages to be so costly -even with coupons. I went back to drawing board to rethink my strategy of getting this blue plaid. In the sewing room is a top shelf of denim pants and one little lonely faded plaid shirt. Yep, that was enough to spark my tiny little repurposing brain. Saturday morning would find me in several thrift stores buying blue plaid shirts. I got 20 shirts for about 10 bucks. JACKPOT! One tip I may add, buy the largest sizes available to get more fabric. Plus size paid off on this trip. lol

Repurposing is fulfilling but not always an easy path. The shirts had to washed, cut apart, sorted (pockets on one pile, buttons on another, cuffs on another). Then they all were ironed with starch and stacked according to size. It pays to have one of these

That is my Prince Charming. Once again catching the vision on one of many random brain flights. He dutifully cut those shirts apart without my asking. We had plain coming out of our ears. I did not realize how much fabric we would actually get from all those shirts. I folded and cuts squares of fabric at home and at work. For two weeks straight, you could not find me without something of blue plaid in my hands or on my person


Pinterest Project Success

Before I go to bed most nights, I look through Pinterest. My hobbies are quilting, reading, and all things outdoors -Spring, Early Summer, Fall only. We live in Coastal Virginia and the humidity is unbearable. So the Summer months of July and August finds me under the air conditioning in some shape or form. My Pinterest boards all resemble my hobbies, cooking and traveling. This year, I decided to move some of those Pinterest ideas into reality. Some were successes and some were flops mostly due to our own errors. Here is one my Pinterest Ideas:


and here is what I actually made for my backyard.

Did I say here is what I made? I meant, here is what my guys made. I brought home a suburban load of pallets from work. I told them about my pallet projects to which they were totally confused. So I had to introduce them to they DIY bible called Pinterest. After a few looks around the site, they were ready. They caught and bought into my vision. Well all they needed was a reason to get into the storage and breakout some tools and an adventure to local DIY store. I need something on our stockade fence to break up the monotony of brown slats running around the backyard. Here is some of the progress …

Actually the only things that needed to be bought from the DIY big box store were those little green pots and marigold plants. I bought the two flowers earlier in the summer and the little lights from one the local discounts stores. Total cost: $25. We have tons of paint samples because my husband works as painter on the weekends.

This project took about four hours as the wood had to be pried off and the remaining had to be stabilized and sanded. We all did out part -I found the project, pallet, pots, lights, plants and all I had to do was supervise. It was an enjoyable afternoon. Later that evening  we ate dinner outside on the new deck (another Pinterest idea that I will post later) and waited for those little lights to come on at dusk.

Project $25. Time spent together: PRICELESS