Love Grows Terrarium

Love Grows 8

I have never really decorated for Valentine’s Day before… maybe a candle here or there.  Now that Lucy is old enough to know what the holidays are I just love getting into the spirit of it all!

I started with the table centerpiece which happens to be one apothecary jar.  I know that sounds pretty meager, but I can’t have anything too big since I have students sitting there almost every night and they need to be able to see each other!

I don’t know how this idea came to be, but as soon as I thought of it I couldn’t wait to get it done.  All you need is:

* Moss
* Red felt
* Floral wire
* Wire cutters/floral scissors
* Fabric glue

You can get the moss at Hobby Lobby in the floral section.  I got a couple of different kinds to add depth and texture.  First, you want to cut your hearts out.  I did this old school-style.  I folded the felt in half and cut half of a heart on the crease.  Voila!

I doubled up the hearts so the “stem” could be glued into the middle.

Take the floral wire, fold in half and twist.  I did this in varying lengths.  Glue the two hearts together with the stem in the middle to make your “flowers”.

I stuck them in the moss that I had already put in the apothecary jar.  I LOVE how it turned out.  I have a little heart garden growing in my dining room.  Love grows, indeed!

More fun Valentine’s Day crafts to come!

I am linking to:

The Gunny Sack
Ginger Snap Crafts
Live, Laugh, Rowe


Rosette Pillow

Minky Rosette Pillow

Whenever I am at any of the craft stores I ALWAYS peruse the clearance section.  You honestly never know what you are going to find.  A couple of weeks ago, I found some Martha Stewart Mambo Yarn in the color Flamingo on clearance for around $2.  As with many of the crafting items I pick up on sale, I had no idea what I was going to do with it since I am not an avid knitter or crocheter (is that a word??).

I was down to only two pillows to make for Lucy’s playroom so I thought the yarn might be pretty as a rosette on a pillow.  I dove right in with no real plan (other than a rosette) in mind.

The first thing I did was make the rosette which took all of the yarn and some hot glue.  It took about 5 minutes total to glue together.

My next step was the pillow.  I had a 20 x 20 pillow insert from Ikea and I just happened to have a scrap piece of minky fabric that was 19 1/2 inches wide and about 6 feet long.  I cut the fabric to about 39 inches long.  I put the wrong sides together and sewed around the pillow with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I left a 6 inch opening to insert the pillow.

I made the rosette into an applique using the technique in my bunting post.  I turned the pillow right side out and ironed on the rosette.  I left a little lip on the edge of the rosette to insert and attach my leaves.

Mmmm.  How to make the leaves?  I had some green felt so I cut the corners off into two different sized triangles.

Below is the way in which I pinched the triangles together to form a leaf.  I pinched in on the long end so that one fold of fabric was on the inside facing my hand and two folds of fabric were outside facing me.  I folded the resulting ends towards me and then back again to form seven TOTAL folds.  Four will be facing you and three will be facing away from you.  It is easier to show you than to explain!

To hold the leaf together, I flattened the “stem” end and hand-stitched the folds together. I then cut the excess “stem” off as close to the stitches as I could so it would fit under the lip I left on the rosette.

I placed the leaves under the lip of the rosette and hand-stitched them on from the inside of the pillow case.  I placed a bit of fabric glue on the lip of the rosette and glued it to the leaves so they were secure from both sides.

I stuffed shoved the pillow insert through the hole I left open and then sewed the hole shut with my sewing machine with a teeny tiny seam allowance!

I have one happy customer who wanted to sleep with it as soon as I was done!


I am linking to:

Positively Splendid
Live, Laugh, Rowe
Gingersnap Crafts

Bean Bag Chair for Children

Bean Bags 11

Lucy’s playroom is ALMOST done!  I still have to make a magnetic chalkboard, window treatments and pillows for the reading loft.

I just finished these adorable bean bag chairs that fit perfectly beneath the reading loft.  I found a tutorial on Kathy Miller’s blog Making it Fun that I used as my guide:

Bean Bag Chair Tutorial

I did make a few changes… I will describe them with the assumption you have or will read the original tutorial.  I didn’t use an applique so I didn’t need that extra fabric or the fusible fleece.  In step one, the instructions say to fold the fabric in 8″, after first folding the fabric selvedge to selvedge.  The base of the pattern from this tutorial is wider than 8″ so I used the base of the pattern as my guide.

In step 3 (for both the inner and outer cover) I lined up the points of fabric at the top and bottom of the bean bag (the ends of the football if you will).  I sewed straight across making sure to sew just below where the seam stitching ended on either side.  If you do it this way, you can skip the applique step.

I think it looks great this way and you don’t have the extra work of the applique!

I left about an 8″ opening to fill the liner with the bean bag pellets.   I got the pellets on Amazon.  They came the day after I ordered them!  I will have to say that filling the bags is probably the most difficult part.  It is definitely a two person job!

Instead of hand stitching the opening closed, I used my sewing machine.  Can you tell I like to save time?!  I sewed as close to the edge of the fabric as I could.

The rest of Step 3 I followed exactly.

And you really don’t have to do Step 4 at all if you followed my instructions for sewing the top and bottom together.  This is what mine look like.  I love them and so does Lucy!

I made two more for my niece and nephew, but I made them a bit smaller.  I simply took 2 inches off of the pattern.  I used about 1/2 as much of the bean bag filling for the smaller bags.

I am linking to:

positively splendid
The Gunny Sack
Live, Laugh, Rowe


Playroom Bunting

Bunting Reveal

I have finally gotten my groove back when it comes to Lucy’s playroom.  Actually, to the point where I am up at 4 am each morning thinking of what projects I can conquer that day.  I had not planned on making a bunting, but I thought it would be a cute touch.

I chose the fabric for her playroom very carefully.  I didn’t want anything too trendy or too childish.  So, that meant no owls, chevrons, princesses, etc.  Notice I didn’t say anything too girly!  I chose my fabrics from Fabricworm after having found this site through the Prudent Baby blog.

I also wanted to use burlap in the bunting as well as this adorable gingham bias tape I found at Wal Mart months ago.  I started by cutting the fabric, burlap and Wonder-Under fabric webbing into squares.  Since I was using the burlap for the backing, I cut those squares a bit bigger.

I then cut letters out from black felt.  I printed the letter templates from a website that I can’t remember the name of,  but if you Google “free alphabet stencils” you will have lots of options.

Next, I ironed the creases out the fabric and the burlap and then ironed the Wonder-Under onto the fabric.  Once those cooled down, I removed the backing (Wonder-Under) from the fabric and ironed the fabric to the burlap.  I glued the felt letters to the fabric with fabric glue.

The glue dried really quickly so I moved on to laying out my bunting.  I wanted to make sure it was properly spaced.   When it looked right, I pinned everything to the bias tape.

I was ready to sew everything together… very carefully!

I have to admit that I wanted to hang this over the reading loft, but it was too long.  It ended up over the books which is still super cute and when Lucy can read it will remind her that READING IS FUN!

I am linking to:

Positively Splendid
Tatertots & Jello
The Gunny Sack
Gingersnap Crafts
Live, Laugh, Rowe



The Reading Loft

Loft in progress

There is a little window in the space that I thought would be perfect for a reading bench, but how do we get Lucy up there to read by the window?  A reading loft of course!  I found this loft bed plan on Ana White’s website.  We only had about 63″ in width and 23″ in depth to work with so I adjusted the measurements to fit the space.  My husband was a little reluctant to take this on as he had never built anything like this on his own before, but he did and it turned out GREAT!  This is a shot in progress:

At about this point my husband asked if it was going to fit and I got REALLY nervous that it wouldn’t, but after a little paint…

Sorry for the grainy shot, but it was late and I was only willing to take one picture!  You can see a little hint on each side of the picture of the toy storage solutions.  We will get to those later!


And the Floors are Painted!

Painted Floors

So… here they are!  At first I thought they were a little too pink, but I figured with everything else in the room they would be fine.  I used a mini roller and was constantly shooing my daughter out of the room.  She was jumping from white square to white square while the pink ones were still wet.  We ended up with a couple of size 7/8 toddler footprints on the white squares!

I painted a couple of coats of water-based polyurethane on with a roller.  I think I got a little overzealous in one corner because it is a little yellowish.  I will say, dirt (and crayon, marker, etc) wipes up really easily from the floors.  Now, time for the loft bed that I adapted from Ana White.  By I, I mean I did the measurements and my husband built it!

Painting the Floors

Measuring the Squares

I was so excited to get the floors painted that I just dove right in.  It wasn’t until after they were painted that my husband reminded me I was supposed to go from top to bottom.  Oh well!  I would just have to be careful when I was painting the ceiling and the walls (eek!).

I had originally wanted to do carpet squares, but then it just hit me that I wanted to paint it white and pink checks set at a diagonal.  I have never done anything like this before so I needed some guidance.  I found it at Tip Junkie.  I also called the Sherman Williams store and asked what I should use to paint over Epoxy.  They recommended an adhesion primer and then exterior paint for the design.  So… I rolled on the primer, let it dry and then painted two coats of Glidden Swiss Coffee.  I let that dry and started measuring!

This pictures is horrible, but you can make out the squares that I drew and some of my footprints.  The L-square ruler is a MUST.  As the Tip Junkie post mentioned, measure the center of your room and make that the middle of the center square.  This is a bit tedious, but it is worth it!  I marked all of the squares that were to be pink with a “P”.

Then I started thinking about what my husband had said about painting top to bottom, so I painted the ceiling the same color as the base coat of the floor and I painted the walls Cottontail by Dunn Edwards.

I have to say that painting the ceiling wasn’t bad, but the walls were awful!  As I mentioned, they are stucco so it took A LOT of paint! Once those were dry, I finally moved on to taping off the squares.

I thought of invention during this process… painter’s tape that is already in the shape of a corner.  This would have made my life so much easier!

Stay tuned for the painting!


Welcome to All Around the Mulberry Bush!

South View

Welcome!  I am so glad you found me.  I am just giddy with excitement thinking of all of the things I am hoping to share.  The first one is my latest project that is still ongoing, but it is ALMOST complete!  We have transformed our mudroom/storage room into my daughter’s playroom.  The toys were piling up and it was getting on my last nerve.  It drove me to initiate a deep Spring cleaning which ended up with a garage sale and a big run to Goodwill.

I will dangle a carrot with picture of how the mudroom looked before we started the transformation (but after we cleaned it out).  I really wish I had taken a picture of it with all of the stuff in there.  I am sure you can imagine what it looked like- just picture this room with unwanted things piled up everywhere.

The space is only about 5 feet wide and 15 feet long, so it is rather small and awkward, but I had BIG plans!

You can’t really tell but the floor is actually an epoxy garage floor coating with flecks so there is the issue of a textured floor.  Plus the walls are not only textured, they are stucco!  I am totally up for the challenge of it means getting all, or at least most, of Lucy’s toys corralled into one space.  Stay tuned for the next step… painting the floor pink and white!