Monday, June 10, 2019

New House Tour: Backyard

We had a nice big yard at our old house, including a fenced-in portion. When we were looking for a new house, our only requirement in the yard department was that there was a safe place for kids to play. Whether that was fenced-in, or somewhere we could add a fence, or a quiet road - we had no specifications.

However, what we got exceeded any expectations, or even dreams. Check it out.

The backyard can be accessed through this archway/gate which is on the far side of the garage. (Also through a door from the garage and from the sun porch.) We have a padlock on the gate so that Jo can play in the backyard unsupervised and we don't have to worry about her escaping.

These pictures were actually taken last Spring, and that vine actually gets really beautiful and covered in white flowers (and bees!).

The previous owners did a beautiful job landscaping the backyard. It could have just been a hill, and instead they added pathways and almost created the feel of different rooms. It's a good-sized backyard, but it feels enormous because they used the space so well.

There are two of these stairway-type paths with the wooden stairs, plus one that has flat stones.

There's a little pergola up near the back fence, perfect for a couple of chairs. (Jo calls it the farm, because why not?)

Here's the view from the farm down to the back of our house. The white archway used to be a sensible location but it blew over in storm and we set it back up and now (a year later) it is officially dead.

There's a paved patio section just behind the house.

Hopefully you won't have to wait another year to see the front yard. :)

Love and Green,
Leah Joy

Monday, June 3, 2019

Gilmore Girls Guess Who

I'm certainly not the first person to have this idea. I first saw it on Pinterest (obvs) here:

I loved that the bloggers (Sarah and Nick) included the printables if you wanted to make your own. However, I purchased a brand-new copy of Guess Who, and they've changed the picture sizes. So I basically had to start from scratch.

This was a gift for some friends, so I decided to get really into it, and actually have them professionally printed. I also wanted a copy for our house, and thought it would be fun to have other versions, too, like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Marvel MCU, and even one of family members. I spent hours in Publisher getting everything looking perfect and sent it off to the printer... only to be told that they couldn't print it because it violated copyright laws... multiple times.

Darn laws.

SO, I printed it at home. Not as nice of quality as I wanted, but still functional.

Because I'm a little extra, I also decorated the box. Thanks Mod Podge and acrylic sealer for helping me make it look even nicer!

Love and Poodles,
Leah Joy

Monday, May 27, 2019

Guitar Bags (AKA The Coolest Things I've Ever Made)

(After my kids, of course.)

I've seen this idea around Pinterest a bit - a purse shaped like a guitar. It's been a long-term goal for me, and I finally made one - or rather, two! These were gifts for two of my best friends, and while I forgot to get a picture with the straps on, you can at least see the completed bags.

I actually traced my electric guitar (Fender Squier - yes, that is how it is spelled) to get the shape, but it was far too big to make a practical purse, so I scaled it down a bit. 

I cut two pieces of each scratch-plate fabric, sewed them right-sides together (leaving a gap), then turned them right-side-out, pressed, and sewed them onto the body piece (doubled as top-stitching).

I used a similar process for the bridge and the output jack. I wanted to use a silvery metallic fabric for these, but couldn't find any remnants (and didn't really want to buy a whole 1/4 yard for the 6 square inches I used), so I used pale blue cotton scraps, which I think looks just fine. 

I also used my axe as a reference for the positioning of the screws, pick-ups, and the pick-up selector switch, all of which I hand-embroidered with silver floss. I stitched on buttons for the volume and tone knobs.

Each bag is also lined, has a small pocket, and has a magnetic snap closure.

I added a long, adjustable black strap to each.

I now have a long-term goal to make one for myself out of faux leather, because how awesome would that be?!

Love and Dreams,
Leah Joy

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Baby Bear Hat

I found this adorable pattern for a baby bear hat on (where else) Pinterest.

I went ahead and made the hat according to the directions, but I didn't like that the back of the hat had a seam all the way down. For an older kid, or a baby not in a car seat, it would be no big deal. However, for a sensitive little newborn head, I wanted to eliminate the back seam as much as possible. So, I actually reworked the pattern. This was my third attempt, and I think it's adorable!

It's a little small on Micah here, but he was 6 months old when I did this, and it was for a newborn, so I think the size is just about perfect.

In order to eliminate the back seam, I had to add side seams. I don't think they detract too much from the cuteness, though! Plus, I was also able to eliminate some of the seam in the front.

Another project I've been working on lately are these embroidered felt heart magnets.

It's a fun little project that I can work on anytime and set down whenever I need to, so perfect for a mom with two kiddos.

And they make great gifts!

Love and Thread,
Leah Joy

Monday, May 13, 2019

Wall Art

These were gifts for friends.

To make this one, I painted the canvas in all sorts of crazy colors and patterns. After that dried completely, I applied letter stickers and spray painted the whole thing white. After that dried, I removed the stickers and touched up the text with some colored Sharpies. I added the attribution in gold Sharpie paint pen, and sprayed the whole thing with clear coat.

To make this one, I painted half the canvas gold. After that dried, I applied letter stickers and painted the whole canvas lavender. After that dried, I added brush strokes in various colors. And after that dried, I removed the stickers and touched up the letters with a gold paint pen. Then a clear coat to seal.

And on a lighter note:

Love and Paint,
Leah Joy

Monday, May 6, 2019

Chevron Baby Quilt (#2)

You may remember the other chevron quilt I made here (I originally thought it was herringbone, but I have been corrected).

When I made that quilt, I took lots of notes about the process, in the hopes that I could make it again, but with different fabric.

Well, it worked! I hope to be sharing that pattern as a tutorial eventually (you know, in like 4 years).

The color scheme was chosen by the mother, but I chose all the fabrics.

It's so cheerful and sunshiny!

I actually used a different color top thread/bobbin thread in the quilting process because I really wanted the top to be done in yellow, but the back to match the backing fabric.

And my corners are improving! Two perfect, one acceptable, and only one a complete mess.

Love and HSTs,
Leah Joy

Monday, April 29, 2019

Pi Day 2019

My husband works in a very geeky office. Naturally, they celebrate Pi Day. In 2018, they had a few store-bought pies. You know, they're okay, but nothing like homemade. This year, I decided to rectify that.

By making 11 pies.

6 of these recipes I had never even made before:
Lemon Meringue - very good
Tart Cherry (made with cherries from our tree) - I've never been a fan of cherry pie, but this one was alright. SUPER tart.
Mississippi Mud Pie - Um, this is delicious
Banana Cream - Not a huge fan of bananas, but this pie was pretty good.
Key Lime - AMAZING.
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate (I used Joe Joe's instead of Oreos, and Trader Joe's caramel sauce instead of making my own) - Rich and decadent.

I also made:
- Dutch Apple
-Triple Berry
-Apple Berry (my personal favorite)
-Strawberry Rhubarb
-Orange Meringue

It was a delicious day.

Love and Pie,
Leah Joy