Family Tree (and a challenge to decorate)

At the beginning of the year I made a resolution to try and learn or focus on a news skill each month/couple months. That fell down in April when I went on partial bedrest, then Natalia was born, then Mark finished classes and started a new job, then we moved…

Anyway, last month (after 6 months of not doing it) I started again.

One of my goals was to decorate our bedroom. I’ve never really spent time and energy (and definitely not MONEY) on decorating before, I did do Christopher’s room in our old house, but that was the extent of it beyond hanging pictures on the wall.

I knew it was time to put more love into our home, to decorate and beautify it. It is part of making a home uniquely ours. I want our home to be a beautiful place for life to happen (not a stoic place where life is hid though!)

For a while now, I’ve had this bedroom inspiration board based on where we stayed on our honeymoon. While it has been mostly me since Mark more cares about the house looking nice then how it looks nice we both agreed this would be a cool way to decorate our room.

I decided to start my truly decorating journey in our bedroom because I wanted a special place for Mark and me. I wanted one room where even if the rest of the house was pretty chaotic and distracting the bedroom would be relaxing. I struggle with sitting on the couch just talking to Mark when all around me there are things that “need” attention.

Up to this point our bedroom has been some what of a “shove” spot. It has been used more for storage and hiding things then as s lovely place for my husband and me to relax and fellowship. It has always been undecorated, cluttered, and far from beautiful.

We have by no means finished our bedroom, there are just too many projects I envision for it to have been done in one month, but it was a nice jump start.

I want to share with you today my favorite part about the bedroom and a bit info on how I did it.

Our “family tree”. Several of the frames still need pictures of our family instead of the pictures from the store, but you get the idea.

A couple years ago I found several frames for 90% off at local Christian book store not one of them matched, and they were all table top, but I snatched them up. I converted them to hanging frames through various measures, same crazier then others.

I didn’t have all the frames I needed so I bought the rest at Hobby Lobby on sale. That drove the price up quite a bit comparatively, but I thought it was worth it.

Left: thumbtacks used to attach ribbon to the frame there are knots below the thumbtacks to keep the ribbon intact. Right: wire wrapped around the hinge that once held on the stand.
I chose to use ribbons because I thought it gave even more character and since I wanted a family “tree” I thought it would look better if they were hanging from ribbons. Also, as you can see from the picture above it was easier to convert some of the frames.
I used different animal print ribbons (some, like the frames pictured above I traced the zebra stripes on the ribbon using a sharpie :D) because we have a bit of a jungle theme going on.

I hung the frames with a painting I did of Mark and me in the center. By having a large picture in the center I avoided having to figure out how the “tree” needed to come together and was able to just have “branches” going out.  I hung the pictures in roughly an oval shape, making sure not to be too symmetrical.

I found a set of tree candle holders at a antique mall for $5, I didn’t know at the time it would help me achieve my “family tree” idea, but I snatched them up. One has remained a candle holder and the other one was taken apart (yeah for cheaply made candle holders that fall apart easily). I bent and twisted each branch at the base until they broke off.

I then used the branches to create the impression of a tree.

What are some of your favorite decorating creations?

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Upcycled Skirt

When I was about thirteen my favorite outfit was a straight cut denim skirt with a slit up the back, a three-quarter length button up collared shirt, and these massive glass earrings. Probably the only thing that could have made me happier was a portfolio and maybe some glasses at the end of my no nose! I bet I looked ridiculous!

Fast forward eight years and well, straight cut skirts just aren’t my thing. I like flowy and/or full. Unfortunately, trying to find a nice looking full denim skirt at a second hand store is just about impossible and I’m not about to shell out $50-$75 for a denim skirt.

A few months back I did buy a straight cut denim skirt. I’m not sure exactly WHAT I was thinking. They look alright, for someone else, but I really dislike wearing them! I do not find them comfortable and I just don’t like slits. I’m pretty sure I wore it once. No doubt about it, the poor thing needed some TLC. I decided to up cycle the straight skirt into a more practical, more modest, more fun flowy skirt.


Well, sort of, I didn’t get a before photo but it looked like this skirt.


It was pretty simple to do. Here’s what I did.

Please excuse the low quality pictures and the really messy floor. I was cutting fabric on the floor of my craft room, keeping the scraps off the floor was a priority.

1) Cut slits up the sides of the skirt. I did the center of the front and back, the sides and then cut all of those panels in half making 8 slits in all. I also cut the end of each panel into a v shape.

2) Using a lighter colored denim I had I cut a long v to go into each slit. I originally planned on having both of the raw edges facing out, but that didn’t happen so they should have been about two inches longer then the one pictured. (I ended up having to shorten the skirt)

3) I used my pattern piece to cut seven more. Alternating the direction to save fabric.

4) Pin the insert on the inside of each slit. The raw edge of the insert will be on the inside of the skirt and the raw edge of the slit will be on the outside. You will be sewing halfway between the two raw edges so you want nearly an inch between them. The lighter fabric will have an unfinished edge on the outside and the darker fabric have a frayed edge on the inside.

 It will be sort of like this, but the light fabric will be on the inside.

 5) Sew on the insert 1/4″ away from the edge of the dark fabric. This will be the “control” for the frayed edge. Use very tiny secure stitches.

6) Next to that (on the inside of the last seam) sew it again. This will be for structural purposes. You don’t want the seam that gets most of the stress, to be right next to a frayed edge.

7) Sew around the bottom of the skirt using a 1/4″ seam allowance. This is to “control” the frayed bottom. Once again use very tiny and secure stitches. You might want to sew it twice.

8) Snip the raw edge perpendicular to the seam at 1/4″ increments. Do this for each panel and the bottom of the skirt.

The skirt will fray when you wash it.

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