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Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend & Aspiring Unicorn Breeder

2.23.2014

Rejection

All three of our children are studying in fields that are rife with rejection; one is a fine art major and two are musicians. On one hand, as a parent, sometimes I want to shake them and scream, "No!!! Go into accounting or lawyering or something SAFE! Something that won't be so difficult and scary - something, ANYTHING, that won't put you through the rejection that I know you're inevitably going to face!!!"

But on the other hand...

I see three amazingly creative, talented individuals with a world of potential inside of them. Three young people who think outside of the box, who are much too big and unique to be placed in the confinements of "ordinary" - and I think:  which is scarier... rejection or being trapped in a life of mediocrity??

It's so difficult for me to watch them audition for something they've spent hours practicing, or submit a piece of work they've labored over, and hear someone else tell them "We're sorry, but it's just not good enough." Because to my mother-eyes what they've accomplished is nothing short of perfection. A little piece of my heart dies in those moments.

Thank goodness God gave parents oversized hearts...

I suppose this is simply part of the job requirement as a parent: to build them up when they've been torn down, to encourage them to keep going when they feel like giving up, to provide them with the tools & stability they need to continue, and to remind them of just how spectacular they truly are.

Tomorrow, when my daughter goes in for one of the most important auditions she's ever been on, up to this point in her budding career as a musician, I'll be waiting in the wings before, during, and after. I'll be there to remind her not that the audition was important and not that her performance was important, but that the fact that she tried and gave it her everything was the most important thing of all. And if she gets in, great. And if she doesn't, that's ok too. I will be ridiculously proud of her, regardless.

Pic By: Yours Truly

2.19.2014

The Answer to Our Prayers Is...

I was reading my devotional this morning when I came across this quote:

"Sometimes God answers our prayers by calling us to be part of our solution to our problems."

I really loved reading this, because I think it's something we all tend to forget. Too often we pray for deliverance from a crappy situation, one that we alone have gotten ourselves into, and expect immediate answers/results. However, we need to keep in mind that God doesn't work that way. He isn't going to wave a magic wand to clear up all the messes we've made, because really, what would we learn from that? If I ran to my children's rescue every single time they screwed up they would never learn that their poor choices lead to bad consequences.

So while it's easy to fall into whatever pit we've fallen in to - (and it's oh so easy to do - our vices generally feel ridiculously good) - we need to realize that it's going to take effort to climb our way out. Of course sometimes it feels like we're clawing rather than climbing, and sometimes we feel no upward movement at all - (often this is because we've given up when it feels too difficult to keep moving). And sometimes we even slip back down. But this doesn't mean God has abandoned us. I believe He's simply waiting patiently beside us, hoping that we'll finally learn from this one...

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.' We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

Notice that we have to actually DO our part for resolution to our problems: ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, WORK...

Keep in mind that God gave us all the tools we need to maneuver through life's sticky situations: a brain to think with, hands to work with, and feet to move forward on. If we have absolutely nothing else in this world, other than those three things, then we have everything we need. There is no excuse to stay stagnant in a bad situation; God has already answered our prayers with those three gifts.

Choose a good path in life so the journey's not so hard.
Devotional quote from "A Confident Heart" by Renee Swope
Pic By: Me

2.15.2014

DIY Padded & Tufted Headboard Tutorial

Hubby and I decided to spend our Valentines Day creating something we've been wanting for a while: a fancy padded & tufted headboard for our bedroom! I looked online and in stores, but they're just too freaking pricey!! So I checked out DIY blogs and Pinterest - but to be honest none of the tutorials were thorough - they left out important steps that a novice DIYer, like myself, would miss if not told (thank goodness my hubby was there to help me along). They were also not very honest. You simply can not make a $1000-looking headboard for $40. I'm sorry Thrifty-Granola-Blog-Mom, but you just can't. It's gonna look like a $40 hot mess headboard if I try to do it at that price. Also not everyone stockpiles fabric & wood and not everyone is a bargain shopping genius who can score expensive, designer fabric for $2 a yard. So this is my attempt to give an honest and through headboard making tutorial.

FIRST... What you'll need:

OSB Board (4 ft x 8 ft and 1/2 inch thickness) - Lowes (or Home Depot) will cut it down to the size you need. We had ours cut to a 60 inch length by 40 inch height for our queen sized bed. That should work for any queen sized bed, but you really should measure, just to be sure.  Price: $14 for a sheet.

Quilting Batting - We got the extra loft queen size from Wal-Mart (sewing department).  Price: $13

Foam or Foam Mattress Topper - We bought two 1 - 1/2 inch queen sized foam mattress toppers from Wal-Mart. You want at least 3 inches of padding for a soft headboard.  Price: $19 each

Upholstery Fabric - I suggest purchasing a high quality fabric. Mind you, it can get pricey and on average runs at least $20 a yard for a good quality, sturdy fabric. But this doesn't mean you have to break the bank. I found a lovely 5 yard remnant for $25 plus tax. So shop around and check out the clearance and remnant tables. Also, I could have gotten away with 3 yards of fabric and been fine, but I now have enough to make a matching bed skirt, hooray!  Price: $25

Buttons - I purchased 6 packages (two buttons per pack) of the 1 - 1/2 inch size DIY buttons from Hobby Lobby (they also sell them at Wal-Mart). Honestly, I don't suggest this. It's ridiculously tedious, and they do not hold up well. AT. ALL. The second one we tufted fell apart when we touched it and I had to take it out. Also they won't work with a thick upholstery fabric. I cut up a sheer curtain panel hoping it would work... no success, they just fall apart. I'm going to return them and have matching buttons made at an upholstery shop.  DIY Button Price: $18 / Upholstery Shop Price: TBD

Upholstery Needle - I actually bought a pack of doll needles because they are long (about 4 inches) and they are sturdy (again, from Hobby Lobby). It worked beautifully. You will need a thick needle that's over 3 inches long to make it though all of the padding and fabric.  Price: $3.50

Heavy Duty Thread - I purchased 1 mm waxed cotton cord from the leather working department at Hobby Lobby. It's very heavy duty and will stay put when you staple the pull-through thread to the back of the headboard.  Price: $3.50

Spray Adhesive - You will need this to secure the mattress pads to the board and also to each other. I suggest a high quality adhesive such as 3M 90 Spray Adhesive.  Price: $15

Heavy Duty Picture Hangers - You have to attach the headboard somehow, and this is an easy, inexpensive way to accomplish this.  Price: $3

Staple Gun & Staples - We already had a staple gun (T50 model from Home Depot), so we didn't have to purchase one. We did, however, have to go out and buy 1/2 inch staples in the middle of our project when we discovered that the 1/4 inch staples weren't securing the fabric properly.  Price: Staple Gun, $0 for us  ($21 if you have to purchase one) / Staples, $3.25

Drill - Again, we already had a drill. If you don't have one, go buy one. You can get them fairly inexpensively. It's one of those things that's cheaper to buy than it is to rent.  Price: $0 for us (around $40 for a low end model if you need to buy one).

Circular or Jig Saw - This isn't really a need unless you want something other than a rectangle shaped headboard. We opted to go with the Alexander shape (see below). Hubby already had a circular saw, so again, no cost for us.  Price: $0 for us ($100 if you purchase one / not sure the rental price).

Hammer - You'll need one to drive the staples down deep. We already had one.  Price: $0 for us ($10 if you have to purchase one).

Measuring Tape - You'll need this to, well, take measurements!  Price: $0 for us ($10 for a cheapy one if you need to buy it).

Scissors or Fabric Shears - I suggest a good quality, sharp pair that your kids or hubby haven't used to cut paper haha... I already had some in hiding, yay!  Price: $0 for us ($20+ for a good pair if you gotta purchase).

Utility Knife - If you spend $20+ on a pair of good shears, you're not going to want to fuck them up by cutting foam. So invest in a utility knife if you don't already have one.  Price: $0 for us (or $2 for a cheap one).

Pen or Marker - You'll need one handy to make marks for cuts. If you don't have one of these, I don't even know what to say...


The Bottom Line: $136.25 - (or $330.25 if you have to buy every. single. thing.) Still cheaper than this and you'll have something custom and tools for future projects!

Ok, so now you have a for real, honest to goodness idea of the cost, as well as a supply list!! Now to decide how fancy you want your headboard. I didn't realize that headboards had so many shapes, let alone names, but apparently they do! We chose the "Alexander" because it was simple to cut, yet looks elegant, and because it matched the angles of the tray ceiling in our bedroom.

I love the "Bonn" but I'm not that crafty...


SECOND.... The Directions:

1. If you want to make anything other than a rectangle, you'll need to measure out and make your cuts to your OSB board. It will really help if you have a saw horse. If you like the classic, simple lines of a rectangle headboard, then you can skip this step.
 
 
2. Measure out and drill your holes for the tufting. We drew a picture first for reference and then very carefully marked out measurements on the board. You really need to be precise on this part or you're going to have some wonky-ass tufting! We did a staggered pattern of 4-3-4  and also left space at the bottom that wasn't tufted, since the mattresses will cover that part. Don't drill too big of a hole, because you don't want the button pulling through.
 
 
 
3. Get the foam mattress pads out and lay one over the board. You will make a rough cut, taking off the excess, but leaving a little bit of overhang. Do this to the second pad as well.

 
 
4. Next you will cover your garage floor with craft or newspaper (for overspray) and lay the pad on top of that, bumpy side face up.
 
 
5. Now you're ready to get out the spray adhesive. Make sure you shake it well and work quickly - This stuff dries super fast!! You'll want to spray the board first, covering it completely and then do the very same to the bumpy side of the mattress pad.
 
 
 
 
 
6. Next you will place the foam, adhesive side down, on the board (both sprayed surfaces should be touching and the smooth side of the mattress pad should now be face up). You really need two people for this part, and you also need to be careful placing it down... once the adhesive touches, you won't be able to move it. You will want to smooth it out as best as you can though, again, working quickly!
 
 
7. Do this again with the second mattress pad, only this time instead of spraying the board you will be spraying the smooth side of the first mattress pad (the one already glued to the board). You will still spray the bumpy side of the second mattress pad. When you are done it should look like this:


8. Now you will want to cut off the excess foam so that it is fairly flush with the ends of the board. You don't want the foam to go over because you're not wrapping it around the board. If it's not perfectly straight, or if you have gaps or a teeny-tiny bit of overhang, it's not a big deal... the batting (next step) will take care of it.


9. Now it's time to move your project indoors - garages are generally messy and you don't want oil stained batting and fabric. So get out your batting and lay it out on your floor, making sure to smooth out all the wrinkles and bumps.

 
 
10. Once you've smoothed everything out to the best of your ability, grab another person to help you lay the padded board, pad side down, onto the batting on the floor. We played with it a bit and lined it up so that we'd have to do the least amount of cutting possible.
 
 
11. Once you've done that you will cut the excess off, leaving enough to wrap around the back. This makes wrapping the batting a lot more manageable! But be generous... you don't want to be caught short!!!


12. Now you will begin stapling the batting to the board, pulling it taught as you go. It doesn't have to be pretty because you're not going to see it. If the staples don't want to go in all the way you can help them along with a hammer.
 
 
13. Once everything is securely stapled, you will trim any excess that's left. This will make it easier when you go to staple your fabric on.
 
 
14. When you have finished stapling and trimming, your headboard should begin to look like a real headboard! How flippin' exciting!!

 
 
15. It's finally time to get out your fabric. Some blogs and such suggest ironing your fabric, but I didn't do that, one - because I hate ironing, and two - because when you staple the fabric down you will pull out any wrinkles. That said, if you have a really deep crease you might want to go ahead and iron it. These were the two fabrics I chose from (left: beige chenille / right: gray tweed) . I went with the one on the right since my room is done in grays.
 
 
16. Now you will take your fabric and lay it out on the floor the same way you did with your batting, making sure that your pattern side is face down.
 
 
17. Next you will lay the board, padded side down, onto the fabric and you will cut around it, just like you did with the batting... Easy peasy!
 
 
18. You will staple the fabric to the back of the board, just like you did with the batting. But make sure you start at the bottom, because this time once you get the bottom stapled, you will stand it up on end to finish the stapling. This will ensure that you're stapling/pulling evenly. You don't want the fabric buckling and looking "wavy" or uneven. Again, don't worry about the back looking pretty, no one is going to see it. All that matters is that the front is smooth and even.

 
 
19. Now you have a real headboard! You can stop now, or if you're brave you can move on to the tufting.... Eeeek!!!
 
 
 ***I was going to continue the tutorial to include tufting, however, the DIY buttons I bought were cheap and didn't work well, so I'm having buttons made. I've had to stop on the headboard for now until I get them back. I've also decided to add nail head trim on the edges, but am having to order that as well since I want to do the nail head strips instead of individual nails. I'm including pictures so you can see what the tufting looks like (I did two tufts, but took one out after the button fell apart). This project is not quite complete, but I think it's coming along nicely!!***
The waxed thread, doll needles, and  DIY buttons.

The buttons after I covered them & before they fell apart...
 
One sad little tuft... It'll look amazing when it's done though!
 
Well anyway, THAT'S IT!! I hope I've explained everything thoroughly and that it made sense. If you have any questions or feel like I've left anything out, please shoot me an email! Happy headboard making! :)