Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


Fab new decor magazines!

I'm sure you've seen this around the blog world... but just the other week (Rue) and last month (Anthology), two great new magazines have come out!
Some of us are still mourning the loss of Domino, and of course Lonny Magazine online has helped with that void.  But it's so exciting to see some new design mags out there--such beautiful stuff, and all of the content online so you can view from the comfort of your desk chair.
Rue, started by two stylish friends, has a great quirky fun to it while maintaining high style and class.  Here are some great pics from the September issue:
And then there's Anthology.  It's a quarterly mag, available in print (with an online preview), based on narratives and quality writing about home décor, travel, design, entertaining, and culture.  Founded by another pair of talented women, each issue has a different theme.

So, if you have time for some ooh-ing and ahh-ing over lovely homes and decor ideas, check out Rue and the Anthology preview online.


Spray-painted heels

We're taking our engagement pictures this week (yay!), and I've been longing for some super cute, colorful heels.  Of course, it's fall now, and all the stores have is black, brown, and some dark red.  I want turquoise, or yellow, or pink!  I think it's so fun for engagement shoots to have darling, sort of vintage-inspired, colorful shoes, especially for my personality!  I know the shoot isn't about fashion, but it sure helps, and I really think the cute shoes add spunky attitude to some of the shoots I've seen... here's one from Ruffled:
And Green Wedding Shoes:

I want cute shoes!

Recently, I gave up on buying the perfect shoe and thought I'd try spray-painting some shoes with a cute style.  I've spray-painted shoes before (here) but then put glitter and ModPodge on them, so this is a relatively new concept for me.  The shoes I found to try this out on aren't great, but it was worth a try... I got this pair of peep toe heels at Goodwill on sale for $2.50.  They're the Payless brand so I don't feel bad doing things to them.

Anyway, I took a couple cans of spray paint to them, over a coat of spray primer, to make them a fun color! Here's the before...

I tried the blue, but they looked too cartoon-ey, so I pulled out the classic red.

Pretty cool, eh?
They may crack with lots of wear, but for photos they should be just fine!  I'll keep you posted on how the pics go. =)


DIY Waves of Ruffles shower curtain tutorial

A long, long time ago I saw this pretty picture from Country Living:
It's of the Anthropologie Waves of Ruffles shower curtain, $98.  I also saw a pretty image from Canadian House and Home of a similar idea for a shower curtain:
So sweet!
Now, we've recently moved into a little bungalow and are painting, decorating, and changing things up on a budget.  I'm ready for some new bathroom ideas, and think this look may work for our bathroom!
I did some online research, and found that Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and other stylish places have quite a few similar concepts for pretty shower curtains.  Check out the options (both in the $100 ballpark) from Anthro:
Some from Urban Outfitters:
And Target:
I like them a lot... I think they're pretty and girly and, at the same time, can go with a more contemporary or modern and cute look like in the Country Living image--I love the all-white look with a turquoise end table!
Anyway, I decided to make a shower curtain like these above.  Not to copy the Anthro Waves of Ruffles curtain completely, but intending to add my own changes, I did want to see it up close.  Here's some more pics of Anthropologie's lovely wavy ruffle look:
Pretty, isn't it?
I've put together a tutorial so you can follow along as I make a similar shower curtain out of simple white muslin.  Let's get started!

  • Standard shower curtains are 72"x72", square-shaped, with 12 buttonholes or grommets at the top.  You'll need extra-wide fabric so that your curtain doesn't have a long seam down the center.  Quilt backing fabrics come in extra-wide widths.  I recommend buying 2.5 yards of 90" wide muslin.  I bought mine with a coupon at JoAnn's and paid 50% off of $4.99/yard.  You could also use a large sheet and make it over!
  • Start by tearing your muslin into the right size.  You won't need the full 2.5 yards in width, but you'll need 72" tall plus hems.  
  • Add 1" on both vertical sides for the little hems, so tear your big piece at 74" wide, along the length: you'll have one edge with selvage and one without.
  • You'll need 2.5" at the top for a 2" hem, and 1.5" at the bottom for a 1" hem--that means, tear your fabric at 76" long.  Keep the extra!
  • The sewing: On your vertical edges (one is selvage, one is torn), press under just under 1/2" and then another 1/2".  Sew.
  • At the top, press under 1/2" and then 2".  Sew.  (If you have very thin fabric you may want to add a 2" wide strip of interfacing here, since you'll be adding buttonholes and it needs to take the stress of hanging).
  • At the bottom, press under 1/2" and then 1".  Sew.
  • At the top, you'll need 12 buttonholes or grommets ___ apart.  I'm doing 1" long buttonholes, but do whatever you like.  Make them start at least 3/8" from the top so that your curtain liner is covered at the very top.
  • Okay, now for the ruffles!!  You had 9" extra after tearing off the 76" length for the curtain.  Cut this 90" wide piece into three 3" long pieces.
Now, you'll use some of the extra from the selvage lengths of the fabric.  It's a little weird to use some fabric on the grain, some against, but for ruffles it'll be okay.  You wouldn't do this with clothing or anything.
Cut three 3" wide pieces the length of the fabric (2.5 yards).
  • Sew one 90" long piece to one 2.5 yard long piece.  Do this three times to make three equally long pieces.  Press open.
  • Now it gets a little tedious.  Zig-zag along the raw edges of all three long pieces, top and bottom.  You could turn under 1/4" and then again 1/4" to make small hems, but gosh, that would be a LOT of pressing and sewing.  And you'd want to make wider ruffle pieces to begin with.  Zig-zagging is easier, and I don't mind the romantic-but-casual look the partially raw edges give.
  • Gather 1/4" (the width of the presser foot) from one side of the ruffle pieces, all three.  To gather, use the largest stitch on your machine and a very high tension.
  • Now, to place the ruffles.  Depending on the pattern you want, you can sew your ruffles on wherever and it will look pretty!  But I'm sort of going with the wavy ruffle pattern like Anthro's curtain, so I'll give instructions for that version.  Fold your curtain into thirds so you can mark off, with pins or fabric pen, the bottom third of your curtain.  That's where most of the pattern will be.
See my fabric pen dashed line there?
  • It looks like the ruffles on Anthro's curtain have six peaks.  So, I found six evenly distributed points on the curtain by folding it in half, then thirds and marking.
  • I used the lines that marked six evenly spaced points on the curtain and marked with dots the peaks and valleys of the waves.  I used an angle that looked good.  I measured about 6.5" up from the first row, putting it with enough space from the bottom so the waves weren't on the hem, and made the next two rows.  From the points, I sort of improvised curves.  It's meant to be ruffly and organic-looking, right? ;)
  • From there, you'll need to pin on and then sew down your ruffles.  I did this by finding the approximate center of each ruffle, and pinning it to the center of the curtain.  Pin the outsides down, and continue this half way technique at other points: 1/4, 1/8.  If your gathering stitch was even throughout, you should have evenly distributed ruffles.  But, all machines are different, so you may have to stretch out or gather up more to get your ruffles spread out evenly on the waves.  Then, sew down.
  • All done!  Hang over a light-colored or clear shower curtain liner.
The bathroom's not done yet, so I can't really show you how it looks in the room yet!  But there it is hanging.
Have fun!


Pics from the last civil war re-enactment

We're back.  The last civil war re-enactment of the 2010 season for our Oregon group is over.  Saturday was beautiful and in the high 70's, Sunday it rained off and on all day and everyone had to take home wet canvas.  But, that's how it goes sometimes.
I've talked to you about my kind of weird hobby of civil war re-enacting, something that my mom and I have done since I was a kid through her business, Lavender's Green Historic Clothing.  Now, my cousin is very involved, too, and her darling 21-month-old has already been to 8 civil war events in her short life!
Some of you mentioned you'd like to see pics of this year's McIver Park event, and I'm happy to oblige!  Most of the pictures we took were of Brenna, the toddler, in her darling new big-kid dress (rather than the all-white baby clothes she wore last year).
We had another ladies' tea on Saturday:
Brenna got a tea cup, too!
And I delivered the fashion shows, as usual (both days, at 2:00).  Hard to get good pictures of these, since I make funny faces as I talk!  Other re-enactors come up to model, as I talk about fashion and culture for women, children, and civilian men.  I start with women's day dresses, then talk about teenagers' fashions, then children.  Then men's clothes, special exceptions like maternity and mourning, and then, of course, underwear!  Although no one models their period undergarments (we're all too wrapped up in the living history to strut around in our corsets, although we'd be covered up by modern standards).  Then I take questions.

I should clarify: Civil war reenactments are meant as educational events for the public. All day, folks in jeans and flip flops come check out the events and the re-enactors do demonstrations and shows for them just like at a house museum or historic site! Spectators aren’t supposed to come not in costume.
And, of course, we set up my mom's store where she takes custom orders and sells ready-made corsets and other things.
Brenna was good company there, too!
She also enjoyed playing with her antique stroller, particularly, putting pine cones and sticks in it.
The Oregon group, the Northwest Civil War Council, always re-enacts 1863, although not any famous battle in particular.  Of course there wasn't much going on in Oregon back then, but we pretend we're somewhere where there was!
It was a lovely weekend and now we have several months to improve our camp and wardrobes for next summer's four big battle encampments.  With my mom's business and special interest groups, however, we find many more occasions to wear historic clothing!  The winter is a nice break from camping with canvas, and it's always nice to wear awkward clothing indoors, with indoor plumbing and other modern conveniences.  I'll be sure to let you know when we make any beautiful historic garments over the next few months!


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