Wednesday, January 30, 2013


As you all remember, Chris moved into a toddler bed in late spring.  It was time.  And we went with a junior sized bed from Ikea.  It was the right choice.  The big downside is that it's a nonstandard bed size so you can't just buy sheets for it.  Ikea has sheets and we have 2 (blue and white) but now that it's winter, I thought he might like something cozy, soft, and warm.  And so last week I made him a microfleece fitted sheet and matching pillowcase!!!
Here's what I did :)

To make a fitted sheet for a bed you basically need to create a box shape by cutting a rectangle of fabric that is the size of the mattress plus depth on each side plus some overlap for the elastic.
I did a full-on tutorial here!!

First I measured the mattress - it measured 63" long, 27" wide and about 4" deep.  I determined that I needed about 3 yards of fabric, so that's what I got.  I was able to find some super soft dinosaur microfleece on sale.  If I had remembered to bring my coupons (grumble grumble) it would have been even cheaper.  Of course, if you're making a fitted sheet, don't forget elastic.  I used 5/8" braided elastic.  I honestly don't know how much was in the package, but I used all of it (helpful, right?)

Based on the mattress size, i decided to make the overlap 7" (to account for a 4" mattress plus 3" for the casing & elastic underneath - if I did it again, I'd make it even wider).  I even added an inch to the length & width to make sure it would be big enough.  So I cut the rectangle to be 64+14 = 78" by 28+14 = 42".  I then clipped out a 7" square from each corner.

Sewing went pretty quickly - I just sewed the corners together and then eyeballed the casing and sewed that around leaving an opening to work the elastic through.  Now since this is fleece, the big benefit was that I didn't have to fold the fabric over twice - it won't unravel.  And no ironing :)
I learned from my first sheet sewing experience that threading the elastic is a pain, so I made the casing  for the elastic extra wide and it went much better.  Once the elastic was through I used a zigzag stitch to secure it.  Then I closed the opening in the casing.

Once the fitted sheet was done, I made a pillowcase.  I made a sham-style pillowcase where the back has 2 overlapping pieces rather than an open ended pillowcase.  To do this, I measured out a sham I had, added an inch to each side (for seam allowances), then cut 2 pieces with significant overlap for the back side.  I sewed up hems on the 2 pieces for the back, pinned everything in place and sewed all the way around.  Super easy!

Here's the Before -- 

And After --

Chris LOVES his super soft bed.  It's soft and warm and he loves to cuddle his face up against the pillow.

Chris is also the proud owner of his very own down comforter.  He had been rolling around on ours saying he really likes "mommy and daddy's sheeps".  He's happy to have his very own.  It does have a cover (it was in the laundry on photo day!)  Ikea.  Of course :)

What do you think??

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Big Girl Bedroom - For Reading

It's been a while since I did an update of Sarah's Big Girl bedroom - so let's take a peek at one little corner!

One thing we have been meaning to do is get her set up with some sort of reading light.  She has a table next to the bed where she keeps a cup of water and a few books, but it's way too low for a table lamp, so when I spotted this little gem at Ikea, I jumped on it!
It's one of those fantastic Ikea pieces that can just slip into any style room and look like it was made to be there.  And at $15, the price was perfect!
Chris zonked out on the ride home from Ikea and I was able to slip him into bed without waking him up, so I actually had time to get this thing installed!  WOOT WOOT!

OK, so installation went like this:

1.  Open box (duh)

2.  Read instructions - this is always a good idea.  This light has a base plate you screw to the wall then attach the light to the base plate.

3.  Plan where to put the thing on the wall.  There's no "right" place to put something in your house.  You need to figure out how you're going to use it and then put it where it needs to be.  This is a reading light for a kid, so we centered it above the bed and hung it high enough so that she wouldn't bonk her head on it.  

4.  Using the base plate, mark on the where it's going to go.

5.  Using a drill, make a few pilot holes.

6.  Using anchors (depending on your walls) and your drill, screw in screws.  Leave them sticking out a bit.  

7.  Slide the base plate on (they have those little keyhole shaped things on the back).

8.  Holding light in place over the base plate, insert screws and tighten with a handheld screwdriver.

9.  Install shade

10.  Steal lightbulb from bathroom and screw that in - ok so this light doesn't use a standard 40 watt bulb.  You need these special "G" bulbs which aren't particularly exotic but not something you just have laying around.  They are what we use in the bathroom so that's what I used.

11.  Plug it in and turn it on!

Wow, that's a lot of steps for about 16 minutes of "work".  

The end result was perfection!  Sarah can now read in bed without a flashlight.  I really like it - the wall above the bed was pretty empty and this really helps fill the space.  I think it still needs something - artwork?  Vinyl decals?  We shall see!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

How You Got Here...

So I do so enjoy clicking around the world wide web, and occasionally I see something on a blog that I absolutely MUST rip-off.  
Here it is.  I read over on The Bloggess a quick list of the google searches that landed her readers on her website in 2012 and I wondered if my search history would be nearly as entertaining.  It's not.  But here we have it anyway:
Search Engine Keywords:
renate ljuv
oreo balls in fridge
renate ljuv curtains
goofy monkeys
groland kitchen island diy
front porch potted plants
ikea round mirror
barren hills beagles
front porch plants
None are funny like the ones for The Bloggess (but who can compare to her in the funny department, really).  I did think it was interesting to see the sorts of things people are looking for when the stumble on the blog.  

I'd love to hear how YOU found my blog??  Link party?  Comment somewhere else?  FB?  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cold Turkey January

Following the shop fest and retail extravaganza that happens from Thanksgiving straight through to New Years (because everyone shops for themselves right after Christmas, amIright?), I like to take a break from spending.  It's partly a savings recovery, partly a chance to work all the new Christmas stuff into our house without adding to it, and partly just to take a break from the habit I have (and I think others probably have, too) of just buying stuff because it's there and we want to have it.  It's sort of like a diet for your wallet :)

So my general plan is this - I buy food & toiletries as needed.  I buy things I NEED - if I have a specific article of clothing I need then it's ok (bras, undies, socks, or a sweater for a specific purpose) but no willy-nilly shopping.  I buy for maintaining the house (if it breaks and needs replacing, then ok).  I am also ok on buying supplies for crafts or DIY projects ('cause without those things, there's no blog).  

It's hard.  It's really hard.  I love to shop, to find things, to jump on a deal.  I basically have to stay out of Target, which is a weakness.  I stick to the grocery store and wholesale club, mostly.  But I miss it.  I spend a lot of time clicking around the Target website to see what's featured or new, not because I'm going to shop (because I'm not going to), but because I am curious.

So that's what's going on around here...

Do you cut back after the holidays?  


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 New Years Resolutions

I posted last year about my New Year's resolution - to have more resolve.  To do more in all areas and I think I did pretty well.  

For 2013, I'm going traditional with my resolutions...

1.  Lose weight.

2.  Get more sleep.

3.  Take on one BIG project in the house.

4.  Build blog readership!

So we'll see how well this goes.  I have high hopes!

Happy New Year!



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