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Medallion Quilt - Progress

Friday, September 16, 2016

I have been (very slowly) working on a Medallion-style quilt top as I quilt along with the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild.
A photo posted by Erin Davis (@sewathomemummy) on

We're borrowing the pattern and tutorials from Seattle MQG's Medallion QAL from 2015 -they were so gracious as to share with us, and our Guild has been having fun with it!

I've been using prints from Kate Spain's Canyon line - I bought a fat eighth bundle a while back, and when the opportunity for this project came up, I thought these fabrics would be perfect for this and that I would make the quilt into a twin-sized for my girl, Audrey.
Image via Pinterest

I made her a winter quilt (post here) a while ago out of a Chez Moi fabric (Coquette), with a cozy minky back - and she spent all summer long under said quilt because mama hasn't had a chance to make a summer quilt for her big girl bed. (oops. Bad mama.)
Audrey's Christmas gift for last year, post (here)

I'm planning on adding the next border this weekend - although I'm so behind already - I'm playing catch-up, for sure. The thing is - I kind of went rogue with this project and have been just making borders I like and adding them on, not really following the instructions. I'm a rebel like that. Heheh.

If you get a chance, check out the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's Instagram feed, under the hashtag #chicagomqgmedallion, to see our Guild member's work!

click the image to be redirected to the Chicago MQG's tag #chicagomqgmedallion!


*this blog contains affiliate links to Amazon at no additional cost to you. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.

How to quickly (and easily!) remove paint from old hardware using items in your kitchen!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016



Want to know an easier way to remove paint from door and window hardware (than soaking your hardware for hours in a crockpot?) Great step-by-step - even better before and after pictures! WOW! Her 60 year old hardware looks like NEW!

As many of my readers whom also follow me on Instagram may already know, I've been in the midst of a summer-long kitchen 'reno' (and I say 'reno' because I'm using the term loosely - I'm pretty much just putting lipstick on a pig - the kitchen needs a full gut but financially that likely won't happen for another decade, so, I'm doing my best to make it prettier...).

Part of the reno has been repairing and painting the cabinets and windows. They are all original to the 1959 build. 

The hardware on my original wood-framed windows had been painted in place. Which, in turn, led me to believe that said hardware was in such bad shape that at some point, it all needed to be painted. So - my plan was to strip the hardware in preparation for spray painting (of which, I had already picked out).

Want to know an easier way to remove paint from door and window hardware (than soaking your hardware for hours in a crockpot?) Great step-by-step - even better before and after pictures! WOW! Her 60 year old hardware looks like NEW!
Oh boy. I had my work cut out for me (or so I thought)...

Oh, how wrong I was. Once stripped of all of their bad paint jobs, the locks and handles were in near-mint condition, and definitely did NOT need to be re-painted:

Want to know an easier way to remove paint from door and window hardware (than soaking your hardware for hours in a crockpot?) Great step-by-step - even better before and after pictures! WOW! Her 60 year old hardware looks like NEW!
Holy chrome, Batman! Mild pitting under the lip of one handle (left) but otherwise, mint!

SO! Want to know my super sneaky, very quick and easy, no-crockpot-cooking technique for removing paint from your old hardware, so easy that the paint all peels away, just like in my video below??



(I've added links to the product brands I used below for your reference)




Old bowl
Baking soda
Hot water
Rubber Gloves
Simichrome Polish (or a polish appropriate to the metal hardware you have)
^Utility knife






^a note about removing painted, stuck-in-place hardware:

Sew at Home Mummy Tip:

Use a sharp utility knife or Exacto to etch a groove between where the hardware meets the door or window. Be very careful not to gouge the frame or the hardware.





1. Put your hardware in an old bowl.

2. Cover hardware with baking soda - 3 or 4 tablespoons should do, but at the same time, don't be shy - especially if you're doing a large amount of hardware at once.

3. Pour boiling water over hardware to cover.

4. Allow water to come to room temperature; using your rubber gloves, peel away the paint by hand. Avoid using anything sharp to scrape the paint off as you may scratch the surface.

5. Rinse. Dry with a soft towel.

6. Polish - I had chrome hardware and used Simichrome Polish to buff and shine them up. Use a metal polish appropriate to the metal type you're dealing with.


Sew at Home Mummy Tip:

make sure to take appropriate precautions in handling your paint-covered hardware if you think there's a possibility lead paint may have been used.







Super quick, super easy. I was so surprised (an ecstatic!) to have uncovered such pristine hardware!

Try it! It's a really impressive technique!
Want to know an easier way to remove paint from door and window hardware (than soaking your hardware for hours in a crockpot?) Great step-by-step - even better before and after pictures! WOW! Her 60 year old hardware looks like NEW!

*this post contains affiliate links to Amazon at no additional cost to you. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page. Thank you for supporting this blog and all of its free tutorials!

What a summer! and - 💗 sharing the coupon love 💗

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oh my goodness, what a summer it's been.

We have been blessed with amazing weather here in Chicago, and as such, we've been outside working on the house, yard, or playing with the kiddos! It's been awesome.

Summer is also the time when we cram all of our annual/biannual health exams in, including for all of our eyes - so when glassesshop.com contacted me the week before my eye exam and asked if they could send me a free pair of glasses to review, I said sure! Send them along.

(for more information on my review and sponsorship policies, please see this page of my blog).

So, it's been almost 8 years since I had a new pair of glasses; I knew for sure that this trip to the eye doctor I would be picking out a new pair of glasses frames, that mine were pretty out of date and heck, I deserved a new pair. I actually chose to review a pair from glassesshop.com which were very similar to the ones I ended up purchasing from my optometrist - I wanted to compare quality and features as straight across the board as I could.

Here are the ones I purchased from my physician:
 ("Ernest Hemingway" brand - about $100 for the frame only)

Here are the ones I picked out to review from glassesshop.com:

As with anything I review, I make sure to use the item for several weeks before giving my honest feedback. So - that said - here goes:

➳ Shipping Time ➳:
So, from the time I placed my order to the time I received my glasses (I'm in Chicago) it was about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. They were shipped appropriately in a tight fitting hard cardboard box. My glasses came with a case and cleaning cloth:



➳ Quality ➳:
👓 Weight:
Very similar to the Ernest Hemingway frames I have. Difference is negligible.

👓 Lenses:
Seem to be light enough weight; comparable to the lenses I bought from my doc's office - although I'm not a professional lens analyst, so don't take my word for it. Prescription seems accurate to me.

👓 Color:
Great color, love the blue. The "GlassesShop.com" stamp on the inside of the arm is starting to fade off a bit after a month's continuous wear.

👓 Feel:
Again, similar to the EH frames mentioned above; comfortable, don't slip. Good fit. Not too heavy.

👓 Reflective Coating:
I notice the reflective coating a bit more on these lenses than I do the EH - at the very edges of my periphery - but I have to *really* watch for it, so it's definitely not bothersome.

➳ Price ➳: 
For $30, with lenses for single vision included in that price, why not? Especially if you've exhausted your insurance for the year. Or, you just want a few extra pairs laying around if you decide you want to change up your look.

Multifocal lenses are available for a relatively small charge, depending on the type you want.


➳ Final Impressions ➳: 
Overall, it's a good deal. I'm seriously thinking about picking up a pair of their prescription sunglasses now, so that I have 2 pairs kicking around (you know, for when my kids kick them around...) - I won't be so devastated to have a pair of $30 glasses crushed and mangled as I would my cost-me-a-fortune physician's office purchases.

I am no stranger to ordering glasses online - there is a bit of a learning curve. Mostly, you have to remember to reference the glasses you already have which fit and the measurements which are stamped inside the arms, and go from there. Here's more information on GlassesShop.com's website {click here}

And, here's a little diagram further explaining what they're talking about with respect to all of those measurements:
source

➳ How about a COUPON CODE? ➳: 

GlassesShop.com has offered a coupon for 50% off your first pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses, lenses included -

Use the code GSHOT50 on checkout.

Thanks to GlassesShop.com for sending me this free pair of prescription glasses to review!

Easy DIY Gas or Electric Lamp Post Solar Conversion - plus tips and tricks on buying a solar lamp post light!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Affiliate links have been added to this post for your reference (and pajama-shopping pleasure!)

When we moved into our 1959 split-level home last year, the original gas lamp post was still in the yard - but it wasn't kicking.

The post was in rough shape, with a lot of the paint having peeled off during the years; the top of the lantern kept blowing off each time we'd get a big windstorm, and, upon inspection, had been disconnected from the main gas line several years before.

I decided I was going to rehab the post, and, because I

a) didn't want to mess around with gas, and -
b) couldn't afford to have electrical run to the post,

I decided to go solar with it.

The hardest part was removing the original lantern - the screws were rusted and painted in place, and required a little extra to get them out. But I did it! And look at it now!

How to quickly and easily update your yard lamp post - by yourself! Easy solar conversion tutorial, step by step, including links to supplies and lighting ideas!


Here's how I completed this easy, one day project.

And, a tutorial on how I made my address sign is coming!
*DISCLOSURE: Please ensure if you are replacing a gas lamp that the gas to the lamp has been properly disconnected by a qualified technician. If your old light is electric, make sure to properly cap and disconnect the electricity to the post before working on it.





     

A few things I came across in my research which you might consider when choosing a new light for your post:

  1. Most post light retrofits are for a 3" diameter pole - double check the diameter of your post before purchasing your light.
  2. There are several types of solar lamp post lights to choose from - with various styles, shapes, colors, and colors of light. I had originally picked out this light from Amazon:
    but didn't like the fact that the light thrown was much cooler than I had wanted - the light I picked casts a nice, warm, yellow light which matches my exterior house lights perfectly:
    My neighbour ended up putting the light I decided against in several weeks after I did mine (I inspired her!) and the light, in person, is quite cool-colored. Food for thought!
  3. Most of these lights will require a replacement rechargeable battery within a couple of years of use. For most they are readily available but be prepared for some minor maintenance.
  4. Make sure that your post is not to close to any other light source - like a street lamp - which would make the surrounding area too bright for the light to ever come on, even though it's dark outside (a light source that might mimic daylight)






 




1. Remove that old light!
How to remove rusty screws - How to quickly and easily update your yard lamp post - by yourself! Easy solar conversion tutorial, step by step, including links to supplies and lighting ideas!

I had some problems removing the old, rusty screws. At first, I tried using a blade to cut around the base of the screw to remove any old paint. No go.

Then, I tried spraying the screws, several times over a few days with this lubricating spray, and then hitting the head of the screw several times with a hammer (in theory, to break the rust bonds) - but - no go.

Sew at Home Mummy Tip:

If using a lubricating spray in an attempt to loosen old screws, ensure you scrub the lubricated area well with soap and water before painting.




So, I decided to pull out the big guns. Between the rust and the old paint, I basically needed to drill the old screw out. Off to Amazon I went, and I ordered this little magic tool:
Worked like a hot damn! Bam! Screws out!


2. Prep your post for paint.
How to quickly and easily update your yard lamp post - by yourself! Easy solar conversion tutorial, step by step, including links to supplies and lighting ideas!
Yikes! This poor, beat up lamp post is in some dire need of paint!

I started with this 80 grit sandpaper, and then finished up with a 100 grit. Basically, I was just trying to remove all of the chipping paint, and trying to even out any obvious gouges or scratches in the old paint.

Also, by sanding, you give the paint a better surface to adhere to.

Remember to use the appropriate caution if you suspect that lead paint may be present.

Sew at Home Mummy Tip:
Given the age of the post (stamped with 1960) I assumed that lead paint was present. wore this maskthis eye protection and a pair of gloves to sand, ensured the kids were not around, and made sure to clean up well once I was finished. 
**DIY at your own risk in the presence of lead paint.**



a) I live in Chicago. AKA - The Windy City. Not easy to spray paint a post you can't move out of the wind! 

I ended up using a large piece of cardboard, held in my non-spraying hand, in front of the wind as a 'wind-blocker' while I sprayed. It worked pretty well!

b) My light has a hammered steel two-toned look. So, I used two colors of spray paint to try and color match the post to the new light. I first applied a heavy coat of the black hammered, and then a light spraying/speckling of this silver hammered color - and added layers in spots to give it that spotty, weathered look. Play with it and have fun.

In the end, they are not a perfect match, but pretty close!


4. Attach your new light!

You may or may not need a screw driver for this step, depending on how your new light's collar attaches to the post, but it's as easy as screwing it in place.

Voila! You're done:
A really easy way to add some curb appeal - How to quickly and easily update your yard lamp post - by yourself! Easy solar conversion tutorial, step by step, including links to supplies and lighting ideas!

As I said above, I'm currently working on the tutorial for the address plaque/sign or house number sign hanging from the post in this picture - I'll be sure to add a link to here to that post when it goes live.

In the meantime - happy DIY'ing!

Sharing the coupon love:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Heads up! Craftsy* is having a 5th Birthday sale!

Craftsy* is having a sale - their kits and supplies are on for up to 50% off from now until May 15 at midnight MDT.

Check out their Aurifil* and Fat Quarter Bundles* - they usually have smoking good deals during their supply sales, and have a wide selection of colors!

I may just have to pick up a few spools........happy birthday, Craftsy*! And happy shopping :)

*I've included website affiliate links to Craftsy's site for your pajama-wearing, couch-surfing reference and pleasure, hehehe

Looking for a great gift idea? I love giving Amazon Gift Cards - then the receiver can buy whatever they want, whenever they want!