Finished fabric bin project

Sewing Class

The one thing I have wanted to do was take a sewing class and this past weekend I had the chance to take a class at Jo-Ann’s.  The class focused on making a fabric bin. At first I thought it may have been a little above my skill set, but then I realized it was just straight lines.

Fabric Bin project

Fabric Bin project

I started out with 5/8th of a yard of fabric for the main fabric and the liner as well as the interfacing. I needed to get the eye-let kit and rope trim for the handles, although in the end I opted to leave the handles off the bin.  Jo-Ann’s provided me with the single piece pattern. I cut the pattern out three times and then began the process of sewing it all together.  The sewing class was supposed to be a mere three hours long, but almost five hours later, I was done.

Finished fabric bin project

Finished fabric bin project

As it turned out, I was the only one to sign up for the home decor project sewing class and was able to get individualized attention.  I wasn’t he only one there to sew though. There were a couple of 10 year olds there with their own sewing machines learning to make patch work pillows.  I was struck by their level of interest, concentration and creativity.  In a day where most millennials aren’t learning to sew, it was refreshing to see girls much younger learning to.

One of the young girls was a cancer survivor and she hadn’t been to a sewing class in a few years. I felt fortunate to meet the young lady. She’s very talented, creative and inquisitive.  After she complimented me on the Paris print I was working with, I gave her the scrap material I had. I am sure she will do something amazing with it.  I spent most of the day chatting with her mother as I diligently sewed my project.

The cool thing is the pattern for the fabric bin was so easy; I can replicate it at home and make a bunch of bins for other organizational needs.  It will make a gift too.

As for taking a class at Jo-Ann’s, I would happily take another. It was a fun day working on a project where my only focus was what I was working on.  The instructor was patient and helpful. I think it helped that she really enjoyed being there with all of us.

If you want to learn to sew, I suggest checking out their sewing classes. They have a sewing 101 class that teaches you the basics. You will learn about the various hems, stitches and the like.  I may actually go back and take that class, even though it’s a bit remedial for me.

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Powell and Mahoney Cocktail Mixer Review

Sponsored post:  Powell and Mahoney gifted me a bottle of the Cosmo mixer  and their Ginger Mixer for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine.

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It could be that the classic Gin & Tonic was my grandfather’s drink or maybe it’s the English in me, but I am a gin girl. I prefer gin over whiskey, and vodka. While I enjoy a good G&T in the summer months, my go to drink lately has been the Madras. It’s a classic drink that reminds me of Bermuda, and summer days spent in Ocean Point ME.

So I was thrilled when Powell & Mahoney asked me to review their Cosmo and Ginger mixers. It’s a great alternative to cranberry juice and  is used in the madras and the ever famous Cosmo, a la Carrie Bradshaw.

Priced at around $6.99, it’s a bit more expensive than cranberry juice. The good thing is unlike cranberry juice that could easily be gone when you want to make a drink, the mixer is more likely to be available. I am not sure anyone in your house would opt for the mixer over cranberry juice, just sayin.

Madras Cocktail

Madras Cocktail made with Powell & Mahoney Cosmo mixer

 

Using 2oz of the mixer, 1 1/2 oz of gin ( you can use vodka if you prefer) and 1 oz of fresh orange juice, I mixed it all in a shaker over ice and then served it up in a stemless wine glass. You can use a highball or Tom Collins glass.  You could serve it in a Red Solo cup and it would still be divine. Refreshing, not too sweet, and perfect for sipping on the porch.

I had a little trouble with the Ginger mixer. There are three drinks recommended for the mixer. The Dark & Stormy, Moscow Mule and the Ginger Margarita. I opted to try the Dark & Stormy. It’s a drink made with dark rum, another favorite of mine. It’s very gingery. I like ginger, but this was a little strong for me. That’s saying a lot for me since my favorite snack is crystallized ginger from Whole Foods. Still, I would probably drink it again.

The dark and stormy is made with 2oz of the Ginger mixer by Powell & MaHoney, 1 1/2 oz dark rum and a splash of soda water. It’s spicy to say the least. If you like spice this could be a great drink for you.

 

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Dark & Stormy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy tips to picking paint color

One of the hardest selections to make when decorating a home is paint color. There are a myriad of hues from which to pick and narrowing it down to a set of colors can be intimidating. Thankfully, there are many helpful tips to make the process less stressful and more enjoyable.

 

benjamin moore paint fan deck

benjamin moore paint fan deck

The first is to begin with what your love. If you have, a scarf or a favorite piece of artwork, pull a color from it and build the color scheme around it. Let’s say you have a beautiful Monet print, full of gorgeous pastels. Pull out the shade that speaks to you most and build the room around that hue.  You can use darker or lighter shade of the color for the walls, and bring in other colors from the painting too.

Another great tip is to consider a room’s intended purpose.  Dark paint colors won’t work well in bedrooms, and can make kitchens feel cluttered.  A small powder room will benefit from a strong hue and make a grand statement.  Keep the lighter colors to the kitchen and bedrooms.

Discover a fabulous color palette right outside your window. Nature offers a wide and vibrant choice of colors, from neutral browns to soft greens and muted yellows to bright blues.  Creating your color scheme from shades found outside lets you bring the outdoors in and blurs the lines a bit.

Draw inspiration from your favorite places to decide your color scheme.  If you enjoy time spent at the lake or the beach, choose a palette of creamy whites, soft blues and sandy beiges.  Use browns, greens and taupe if your favorite place is the mountains.

A trick I have used and love is to find a color in a treasured item and color match it at the paint shop.  You can draw inspiration from a piece of your grandmother’s custom jewelry or maybe an old jacket of your grandfathers. A semi-precious gemstone could inspire your color choice.  Only the imagination limits your options.

Frequently, when one can’t decide on a color white becomes the popular choice. Funny thing is that white comes in hundreds of tones. It can look a little grey, a little blue, or super bright. While trying to find the right white can be a challenge, it lets you play with colors. Accessories can be any myriad of tones and shades. Keeping your walls white also lets you change out your colored accents seasonally, giving you the feeling of an ever changing décor.

Another suggestion would be to look at the color palettes Pantone issues. Each palette is a series of coordinated colors.  Select the palette that you are drawn to the most and let it inspire the palette for the entire home.  Paint each room a shade from that palette and create the feeling of flow throughout the home.

If you find you do not like the colors you choose, you can always paint again. Paint is one of the least expensive tools in the decorating arsenal.

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DIY Bath Bombs

I love taking long baths, relaxing with a bunch of bubbles and tossing in a bath bomb or two.  At the prices LUSH or Basin want for them though, I thought it best to figure out how to make them myself.  So, as we all do, I went directly to Pinterest for a DIY bath bomb recipe, or two.  I found a couple I liked and opted to try one of them.  One called for oil and the other called for witch hazel.  I settled on the witch hazel recipe.

bath bomb recipe

bath bomb recipe

 

To make these bath bombs, I needed baking soda, Epsom salts, citric acid, essential oil and a spray bottle of witch hazel.  Using a big bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients and then dropped in a bit of rose scented essential oil.  I then sprayed down the mixture until I had a wet sand consistency. I then took a few dried rose petals and mixed them through for a little color, texture and addition fragrance. You could also do this with lavender.

Using an old muffin tin lined with plastic wrap I spooned in the mixture and packed it down. I let it sit over night to let it dry out.

The first time I tried this recipe I used plastic eggs left over from Easter. What an epic fail that was. Well, each of the eggs is practically a lethal weapon. They are hard as rocks and the dried mixture will not come out easily.  I needed to run hot water over the outside to loosen it. Once loosened, the bath bomb was fine.  It did take a while to dissolve in the tub, but it added the right fragrance and softness I was looking for.

bath_bombs

 

The per item cost is so much more reasonable than anything one can find at Lush or Basin. The most expensive items on the ingredients list are the citric acid and essential oil. Even still, you can get several batches made out of one bag of citric acid.

These wrapped in a pretty paper and tied with a ribbon would make a great gift for your mom, sister or baby sitter.

 

 

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Three must have color matching apps for your smartphone

Smartphones put everything at our fingertips with a wide variety of helpful apps. The apps I tend to gravitate toward are those for home décor, specifically color matching apps. Color matching apps assist in selecting paint colors for a space by simply matching a color in a picture.  Today I’ll share with you my three must have color matching apps.

I am big advocate of selecting paint color from a loved piece of artwork, a rug or textile.  Having the ability to snap a photo and then search a database of colors from the top paint brands takes a little bit of the guesswork out of the color selection process. It’s not exact, but it offers a few solid options from which to operate.

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Color Snap by Sherwin Williams was the first color matching app I down loaded about 3 or 4 years ago.  I’ve used it to help select a color palette by snapping a photo of a scarf and selecting colors from it.  The app is free and lets you use an existing photo or snap a photo of a color using the app. You can then tap the color within the picture that you wish to match. The app will bring up a few suggestions for you.  You can personalize each of the suggestions by changing the hue, tint or saturation.  You may want a pink that is a shade or two darker than the roses you color matched.

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Color Smart by Behr is another color matching app that I swear by. It lets you explore colors, color match another color, and offers a chance to preview a color in a virtual room. It’s a fun tool to help visualize what a color may look like in your space.  Often people purchase a paint color and aren’t too sure about it, then after they have spent the time and money to paint a space they realize it isn’t working for them. This color match app will help minimize the risk.

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Color Capture by Benjamin Moore is another amazing color match app.  Like the other two, you simply take a picture or select one from your phone, and then tap on the colors in the image that you wish to match. Benjamin Moore takes it a step further by offering digital color chips for each of their collections. They have one that is 140 shades of off-white.  Can you imagine that many shades from which to pick? They also have a list of their products and a few tutorials to help you execute the project flawlessly.

Choosing a paint color is a fun process with these color matching apps.  A complete room is more than paint on the walls, though and adding a color coordinated pattern or two makes a room sing.  Sadly, I cannot locate an app that will offer ideas based on a color.  I may need to remedy that, but oh what a task that would be.

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