January 28, 2013

Kitchen Curtains

When I moved into my house I took down the kitchen curtains because they were all but dry rotted. 
I put up some sheers and used those for a while but didn't really love them.  Too fancy for my country kitchen.  I took them down (oh about 5 years ago) to wash them and just never put them back up.  So my poor kitchen windows have been naked for a while now.  When I first bought my sewing machine I got gun ho about making curtains.  I looked at all kinds of fabric and different tutorials from Pinterest and online to learn the best way for newby to make curtains.  I got discouraged because frankly fabric isn't cheap and I didn't want to buy the perfect fabric for my curtains and mess it all up.  

So earlier this week I saw some tutorials on Pinterest about making curtains with table cloths, sheets, & shower curtains but lo and behold when I started looking at the tutorials the lady had just used those little clips with the ring and put them on a cute curtain rod.  My kitchen bay window had the old style rod and the way it is positioned really putting in the new cute curtain bars isn't an option :(  But it did give me an idea.  I could get table cloths and still make regular curtains from them.  So out I went to Old Time Pottery.  

I found some SUPER cute table cloths that were just the colors I was looking for.  AND they were considered "fall merchandise" so they were marked down 75%!  $2.99 each - what a steal!  
I bought three table clothes - two 60 *84 oblong and one 52*70.  
I didn't really know what I was doing but I thought it was as good a place to start as any.    
With that being said my disclaimer is that I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL - but this is how I made my curtains and they turned out quite cute. 

First I measured from the length from the top of my curtain rod to the bottom of my window ledge.   My measurement was just over 57 inches. 

I decided with the 60 *84 table clothes that I could make the "side" curtains 84 inches wide for maximum fullness and easily still make the top of the curtain work with 3 inches of material.  

I didn't take a picture of this because I was standing on a chair but I grabbed my pins and actually hung the fabric from the curtain rod to see how much tuft that I wanted to be at the top of my curtain (above the rod) and how much material I needed to go around the rod (this will vary depending on your curtain rod diameter).  
I marked my stitch spots with a straight pin.  The pink pin indicates where I want the bottom stitch (that will be under the bottom of the curtain rod) to go and the white pin indicates where I want the top stitch to go which is where the tuft starts.  My tuft above my rod is about 3/4 of an inch tall.  What you can't see in this picture is that the fabric is folded over and back down to where the pink pin is on the back side.  This will allow for my curtain rod sleeve and the top tuft. 

This is the back side of the fabric from the picture above.  I am getting ready to sew the fabric together to make my bottom seam that will go under the curtain rod.  Since I have a table cloth that has great lines on it I actually ironed the fabric at the top fold (above the tuft) and didn't take the time to pin all the way down my fabric.  If I had a unlined piece of table cloth I would have measured my top fold, ironed it in place and also pinned it so that my seam would be in the right place.  

Because I think it is a much more forgiving stitch than a straight stitch I am going to use a zigzag stitch. I  stitch the length of the table cloth.
  If you don't want the tuft over the top of your curtain rod you could stop here - thread your newly made curtain onto the curtain rod and have curtains but I like the little tuft so I am going to following suit and stitch  a zigzag stitch down the length of the curtain on the line from the white pin.  
TaDa!  My first "side" curtain.  Now that I have made this curtain I am going to line up the table cloth fabric for the other side of my window and make an exact duplicate.
So there was no cutting at all for my two side curtains for my window because my table cloths were the right length for a nice full curtain.  
I used my 52 by 70 inch curtain to make the valance curtains to go on the middle of my bay window and for the small window over my kitchen sink.  
I decided that I wanted the 70 inches to be my width of my valances so I cut the fabric into three equal pieces of just over 17 inches (three pieces because I knew I would need 2 to fill the middle of my bay window).  Now I have three pieces of material that are 17*70.  All three pieces already have the short sides hemmed.  Two of the three pieces have a one long length already hemmed.  I hemmed an unfinished (meaning I didn't do two folds and make it super pretty) 1 inch hem on the bottom of the one piece that did not have a hem on its long length.  Then using the same method as above, I made the "top" curtain hems on the three pieces of valance. 
And here is the finished product:
I also decided that I liked the side curtains held back instead of hanging straight down so I used the two tiny strips of fabric that I had left over from making the valance curtains and tied them back for the time being.

 My plan is to get some solid fabric the red color in the curtains and make better looking permanent tie backs. 
And here is the picture of the valance over my sink window:
 I know that these weren't the most in depth instructions but the curtains really were easy to make.  Your fabric cuts will vary depending on how big your windows are, how big your curtain rod is, and how full you want your curtains to be so there is no one set instructions on making these.  And remember when using table cloths, use as many of those nice straight hems that are already there to cut down on your hemming time.  I think taht is what made these so easy to make. 
Happy Sewing!

January 15, 2013

Sky Dive the Farm

In November Russel started the process to get certified to skydive. 
He did all his classes and jumps so far at Skydive the Farm in Rockmart, GA.  

He likes skydiving at Skydive the Farm. I always wondered WHY drive four and a half hours to go to a skydive place but now I know.  I went this weekend with him.  I got to meet some of the instructors and watch the fun jumpers and the tandem jumpers.  If I wanted to skydive I would want to go here too.  But I don't want to skydive so that is a mute point.I took a bunch of pictures not only of Russel but of several of the other skydivers and instructors.  It was just cool to see the little dots they were when they jumped from the plane, to seeing the chutes open and then them making their way to the landing areas on the farm.  
I had the unique experience of getting buzzed while sitting on the ground by one of the photographers as he landed.  It was intentional. I wish I had my camera at the ready because it would have made for good pictures.....if I hadn't had to lunge on top of the dog to keep him from running in terror.  
All around it was fun, a little difficult with Hunter there, but an experience that I enjoyed.  I know know Russel loves it.  He is working hard at it.  

Here is a link to a video Russel put together from one of the instructors that jumped with Ross on one of his training weekends.  
Here is a link to a youtube video of air and water featuring lyrics from Agent Lead of Skydive the Farm. 

January 11, 2013

So Much To Share....

So much has passed since my last real blog that it is hard to imagine.  
I plan on trying to stay up to date and getting more tutorials in 2013 but for now here's what the last several months of 2012 held for us. 

In October, after many appointments and me complaining of pain for months, my dr sent me for an ultra sound and echogram.  The point - to see if my new IUD was placed correctly or if it may be the root of my problems.  As I watched the big screen in front of me, the technician was marking spots on the video and making measurements for Dr Woods to see.  I asked if she could show me my IUD on the video and she did.  I didn't ask anymore questions because I had NO clue what I was looking at.  

I received a call from my dr first thing the next morning....um - not a good feeling when I saw her name on my caller ID that early.  She had good news and bad news.  
The good news - we now know what my problem is.  
The bad news - I have a cyst surrounding my ovary that is the size of a large orange.
We talked game plan then - no waiting for an appointment and having a nervous breakdown in the interim.  
A plan was made - wait 3 weeks, have another ultra sound, see if the cyst has changed any - preferably gotten smaller.  The day for the 2nd ultra sound came and I asked questions as I was looking at that big screen.  I knew a cyst was what the other tech had been measuring so I asked her to show me where it was.  It had gotten large enough that had pushed my left ovary to the side and was taking up a much larger spot than it was allotted.  I went on to see my dr after the ultrasound and the decision was made for surgery.  
On November 14th I went for surgery to remove the cyst and consequentially my  right ovary with it.  Russel, mom and dad came to the hospital and waited through the surgery and with me both before and after the surgery.  I asked that everyone else stay at home and wait for word because there was no use in the entire Kelley/ Stoddard clan taking over Baptist hospital.  I remember waiting for surgery. I remember clawing at my face after surgery and the nurse getting mad.  And with Russel's help I remember acting a little funny while I was in recovery after they were allowed to come back and see me.  4 incisions and 3 weeks of nausea later and all that pain is gone.  If you had asked me about a week after the surgery when the smell of food made me nauseous and I was sleeping 20 hours a day if it was worth it....I probably would have given you the evil eye.  Today, I can tell you it was worth it.  I have one more good ovary that is taking up production for the one I lost.  I am not hurting, having hot flashes, crying for no good reason, or nauseous.  Life is good.  

So during that time Thanksgiving came and went.  I have no pictures and didn't even have the Kelley Thanksgiving at our house this year.  Nanny did that.   
I love to black Friday shop.  That was a no go too but I did look at the ads and wish I could be out in the hooplah.  The only black Friday shopping that I did was to Walmart late in the afternoon for ensure (because I still wasn't able to eat much) and one or two toys that had been on sale and still were.
However Nanny and Papa did celebrate their 70th anniversary in November - so at our Thanksgiving lunch they got spiffed up to get their picture made.  

About mid December everything returned to normal and we found ourselves in the hustle of the holiday season.  Christmas was very nice this year.  We rejoiced in the birth of Christ, celebrated with the families and friends, over ate and enjoyed the time spent together.  Here's a few pictures of our holiday fun.  
Top Left - Donna & me acting silly, Top Right - Kenny, Cari, Stephen, Cacy(Wrex), Me, Russel, Donna and Phil, Bottom Left - All the guys, Bottom Right - all the gals.  
 The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Cari and Kenny's house.
Oh what fun...there were some great home made sweaters that had me so tickled.  I made both mine and Russel's sweaters.   
Russel and I had a live tree that we planted after the first of the year.  We also did our new annual tradition of making a ginger bread house.  I have a ginger bread home depot already bought for next year.  

We had a great Christmas with the Kelley families - too many gifts and too much food but as always never enough time together. Why am I licking my sister do you ask???  Because it's Christmas and I can, so why not???
Zach & Sarah - Jessica - Mark & Tina - Deb & Skooter
We gathered Christmas night with the Stoddard/ Smith clans at Mark and Tina's house and ate more food.  I think I gained 10 pounds in food on Christmas - I was making up for Thanksgiving.  
 Unfortunately after Christmas we lost the oldest member of our pet family.  Tookie our little black cat was 14.  She's been epileptic for years and taken medicine for it since we first found out.  Russel took these pictures of her walking all over Hunter at lunch one day before he left to go out of town. By the time I got home from work she had lost the ability to walk.  I knew the time had been coming but it was a very hard decision to take her to the vet the next morning.  She was my sweet, annoying, crazy little cat and I loved her dearly.  I miss her every day. 
So that is the last two months of our year in a wrap up.  Again - I am going to try to do better posting and letting you see into our crazy little lives together.  My resolution for the year is to do at least one tutorial per month.  I know that is not much at all but it is a place to start and a goal to keep.
Happy 2013 to you all!


January 3, 2013

Don't give up on me...

Sorry for no posts in forever.  My crappy feeling from surgery lasted through Thanksgiving and I got no pictures then.  I was swamped getting ready for Christmas and still fighting being tired.  I had to put my sweet 14 year old kitty to sleep last week.  It seems as though one thing after another has kept me busy or tired.  But I am ready for a new year now and I promise a real post with real pictures soon. 
XOXO Stacey