Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ballet Tie Chairs

First off, can I just tell you all how much I love getting testimonials! It seriously makes my day! 

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Slipcover DVD and Advanced Guide Testimonials

-I am loving watching your dvd…. I have watched it twice now. I have had a sewing workroom for several years now, sewing window treatments, cushions, pillows, bedding, etc. I keep thinking I need to specialize in something because there is just so much out there to sew. I think I have found it. I will have to practice making a few on my own furniture to be sure, but your dvd was awesome. I am such a hands on person and watching you work on the dvd made me feel like I was right there. If you ever do have a seminar, I would love to come meet you and learn oh so much more….Hoping to step up my business by specializing. I also have enjoyed going through your blog and looking at all the various projects, gives me ideas and inspiration.

-I actually just ordered your advanced slipcovers ebook yesterday. So exited. Your instructions are very clear and easy to understand. AFter sewing for over 30 years, and officially having a workroom for about the last 7 years, I am exited to try some slipcovers and finally get a website put together. As soon as I finish the website, I would love to have your feedback. Your resources are invaluable. Thanks so much. I am completely inspired when I read your blog, watch your dvd and look through your ebook. You have inspired me to sew more and save money….(which my husband really appreciates too!)

-THank you soooo much!  I just love your dvd and book.  I can't tell you how many times I've watched the dvd and the book remains open on my desk top all day!

My client had these amazing antique needle point chairs, she wanted a slipcover on them to help protect them. That way she can let the kids on them and not stress. These light blue linen 2 piece slipcovers with 1/4" french welt and ballet ties were designed by Hilary Taylor! She had great vision on these!

 AFTER--light blue lined linen slipcovers with 1/4" french welt (flange) trim.

 Hilary Taylor is a designer in the SLC area-- she did an amazing job on her dining room!


-Camille and I started writing our decorating guide "Sytling Cents" --Reuse, Repurpose, Revive your space. It's going to walk you through the steps of redoing a room -- paint, shopping, furniture placement, and accessories all on a RIDICULOUSLY low BUDGET! It's also going to include tutorials on making curtains, pillows, lamp shade covers, how to hang curtains, etc.

-We headed to St. George for Spring break with our new inflatable paddle boards from Xterra
 Paddle boarding at Sand Hollow State Park. They call this place "Little Lake Powell". It was pretty amazing, we jumped off red rocks and cruised around the reservoir on paddle boards.

I LOVE the paddle boards, we came home and ended up Preordering a third one (12'6"). I could be out there all day!

 We also headed into Zions for a day and hiked Angels Landing.  Yes, I am in a maxi dress--we had planned to paddle board this day and then got to the reservoir and it was way too WINDY! We didn't want to drive 30 min. back to the room, so we all made do. Flip flops, tied up my maxi dress--my famous words to my boys--"find a solution" was in effect for that day.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jenn's Home Makeover!

Two weeks ago, Camille texted me with the idea of redoing a room for Jenn to lift her spirits and to give her something happy and exciting to focus on. She's been through a lot in the past year, and we knew lots of people in the neighborhood would love to chip in and be a part of it.

Of course I was on board. Decorating and making something out of nothing is my happy place. Camille put together a secret group on Facebook and added everyone from the neighborhood, and people started donating time, $, and materials! About 30-35 people helped out in some way!

3 days later on Monday, we met with Jenn at her house to take a look around and show her the Pinterest board we put together with our ideas. Jenn chose an inspiration pic.


The next day we bought paint and headed to Ikea! Where we found some AMAZING finds. Entertainment center for $90 and 8x10 jute rug for $105.

Who knew there were so many options for white paint?? We bought 3 gallons of Primer, and 3 gallons of white paint. Thinking that would be enough. Mid way through painting we had to send Heber to buy 2 more gallons! 8 Gallons total!! We ended up painting front room, kitchen, hallway, and stairwell.

 FRONT ROOM---BEFORE!! Tan walls, sponge painted wall, and dark chocolate wall.

 Ceiling fan, swaggy curtain--but some great pieces we saw we could reuse. The pic to the left of the entertainment center ended up being our inspiration piece for the room It was a cowboy pic.

 We loved the crates and knew we could put them to good use. As for the patio chair, we put that out on the front porch.

 The room felt DARK. We wanted something light and bright, but still Jenn. She loves tans, browns, and blues. Here's Camille showing Jenn our ideas on Pinterest. She was quite hesitant about our all white walls idea to make the space brighter and more cohesive. But she said she'd trust us :).

We wanted to streamline the pictures on the walls to make it look more organized and clean lined.

As soon as we finished meeting with Jenn, Camille and I both jumped on all the local classified sites and found treasures! Vintage Yardsale Page on FB, Eagle Mountain 24/7 Yardsale page on FB, and KSL.

End Table $20

Half way built coffee table $20

2 Matching Chandliers $12.50 each

We have a wood shop teacher in our neighborhood, who made us these great box shelves with his wifes help. He also patched some wall holes for us.

We organized a painting party for Saturday, and were hoping to install that evening! We pulled this off in 6 days from the day we met with Jenn to install with everyones help! I even got help with the sewing! We had about 7-8 people show up for each painting shift (primer/topcoat). I love my neighborhood out in the middle of nowhere (Eagle Mountain, UT)!

AFTER!!!! The tufted chair we found on a vintage yard sale site on Facebook for $40. We kept the tan leather couch, we debated ditching it…but every inspiration pics Jenn liked had a Tan sectional. So we went with it and made it work. We left a space between the lamps for a new TV that Jenn's in the process of getting.

 AFTER--the Jute rug gave some great texture to the room and the coffee table ended up amazing. My boys helped sand, stain, and poly it. The crates we reused up on the ledge. We were able to reuse the spriggy vase on the end table and it worked great!

Restore had the second matching chair to the one I bought a month ago, and we snatched it up for $10. It was blue and would work perfect as our second chair.

We wanted a blue floral fabric for the curtains, kind of like the inspiration pic. We found this great Medallion print at the Orem Home Fabrics for $8/yd less my 20% discount. Don't forget to mention "Slipcovers by Shelley" at the Orem location and receive 20% off regular priced fabric as well.

I got the lamps for $5 each from the coffee table person. I saw they were moving and asked it they had anything else they were selling, we needed lots of stuff! She also gave me the grass sprigs for free that are on the coffee table. The two baskets were 60% off at Joanns--$6 each.

We placed the Cowboy pic over the stairwell. It's amazing how it popped off the white walls! PERFECT!

We also bought a few other fabrics for pillows. Blue pinstripe cotton and Chenille stripe.

We picked up some old books from Restore for $1 each and some other random accessories (glass, silver, pottery bowls, vases, etc. from Goodwill for $1-$3 each)

KITCHEN--since you can see the dining area from the front door, we wanted to freshen up this space as well. We hung the second matching chandelier and made a second set of curtains. The metal shelf with the plant we picked up for $2 at DI (Goodwill).

When we first met with Jenn, we asked to see her room. She was reluctant, but finally let us take a look. We were hoping we'd be able to pull off a "quick change" with little to no $.

 BEDROOM--AFTER! We found a chocolate brown bedskirt at Goodwill for $5. From that I came home and looked through my stash of fabric trying to come up with a color scheme that would be bright and happy. I had my old gray euros and foot warmer, and just enough yellow fabric to put on the front of two shams, and enough to do the rectangle bird pillow. I also had a round end table that was kicking around and not being used.

I called my sister to see if she had any king bedding she wasn't using and would be willing to give away. She had a white comforter! PERFECT! Then we switched out the painting above the bed with the metal piece that used to be hanging in the stairwell.

Not bad for $5 out of pocket. It's all about trying to use what you have! Oh yes, and it's all about the bed! Every girl needs a bedskirt right?

Jenn LOVED IT!!!

Total we got $700 in donations to pull off this makeover. Here's a bit of the breakdown.
$270- Ikea- Rug, entertainment center, throw blanket, curtain rods, and rings
$25- chandeliers
$30- coffee table and two lamps
$100- fabric for two sets of curtains and three pillows
$30- Goodwill--accessories and bedskirt
$35- Restore- chair, books, painters tape, trays, and brushes
$100- paint and primer
$20- Wood and finishing nails
$40- tufted chair
$20- end table
$12- baskets
$18- misc supplies

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Our Debt Free ride

In 2007, I decided to focus on paying off our home. That goal became a reality in June 2009! We enjoyed the debt free thing for 6 months…when we decided to purchase a cabin in Decemeber 2009. I had a hard time committing and jumping into another mortgage, but ultimately we decided we couldn't pass up a once in a life time price ($65,000).

Our cabin 

I then spent the next 2 years and 3 months paying off the cabin, and we became debt free again in March of 2012. Which at this point my husbands car had 230,000 miles on it with the hood zip tied shut, cracked windshield, and no shocks left.

Heber's new car

At this point we knew we were living on borrowed time, and started stocking away $ to pay cash for a new car. In 6 months we saved up $15,000 and added that to the $7,000 we had saved in a car account over the past several years and Heber flew to Jackson Hole, WY in October 2012 to purchase a 2012 subaru imprezza with 3,000 miles on it.

Yay! We made it, we paid cash for the car and were still debt free… for 2 months that is--until I got my best idea ever! I had been watching "Love it or List it", which is a design show on TV, where they remodel houses to fit the families growing needs. My wheels started turning, and I called Heber at work and told him all about it. "Sounds good, lets do it!" was his reply. I couldn't wait till my morning run to tell my running partners.

My new "Work Studio"

My idea was to convert our garage to my new "work studio"--I called it my "work studio" instead of "work room", because it was going to be amazing with 10 ft ceilings, bold curtains, a chandelier hanging over my cutting table, and french doors that opened to the driveway for easy loading of furniture. With this fabulous idea, we would need to build a new garage to replace the old one. Our new garage ($15,000) went up about a month later in December 2012 and we started the garage conversion process ($10,000) in the dead of winter. We got a loan for the new garage and paid for the conversion as we went.

My goal to pay off the new garage was 6 months. My plan was to pay it off by June 2013. At this point my car was struggling, it had $180,000 miles on it and we'd replaced the transmission at 160,000 miles (we broke down driving home from Thanksgiving at 2am in Wendover) and we kept dumping $ into it trying to make it last one more year, so we could save up and pay cash for a new car. Needless to say my car died the end of May 2013--it was going to need $3,000 of transmission work! At this point we decided to call it quits and purchase a new car.

We were almost home free, I was a little bummed, we had one more payment to make to pay off the garage. I went ahead and made my final payment and the next month without skipping a beat started paying off my new car.

We bought a new Honda Pilot for $35,000 in June 2013 and got .89% financing through the dealer which worked out to about $20/ month interest. So I know it wasn't the worst thing in the world to get a loan. It had just felt like a long ride. When we first paid off the house, I thought "Oh my gosh this is it, we've done it! We are debt free, how awesome is this?!" Then we bought the cabin, Heber's car, built a new garage and converted my work studio, and then bought me a new car…in a 5 yr period! WHEW!

With that being said, my pretend goal to pay off the Pilot was 18 months…because I didn't want to be neurotic about it. I didn't want to think about it all the time running numbers in my head--by my deep down goal was 12 months. Well here I am 4 months out from my neurotic goal, and it's feasible! I can make it happen!

After I pay off the Pilot and we are debt free again, I promise we are just going to enjoy it and maybe stash some extra away for retirement. We first became debt free 5 years ago and have come full circle again. I think being debt free is like losing weight, you have to consciously make an effort to keep your needs and wants in check. Just because you make your goal weight, doesn't mean it's over…you have to maintain! My famous last words, "So I was thinking…." Heber knows to hold his breath when those words come out of my mouth--usually it means a remodel, a project, or something crazy!

I feel truly blessed that Heavenly Father has blessed me with my talents and skills. I LOVE fabric and decorating! I love what I do! I am amazed at what my business has turned into over the past 14 yrs. I always remember opportunity looks like hard work. Don't be afraid to work hard for what you want and love. I thrive on feeling productive and creating something out of nothing. I don't like wasting things and try to reuse and repurpose as much as possible…my sister calls me scrappy. I also like to be efficient, I like to make the most out of my gas, money, time, etc.

I like to share about financial stuff, because it's always so hush, hush and no one really shares openly. I wish more people would've talked to me about it when I was growing up and first married. I had no idea a 12% interest rate on a car wasn't a good deal. Once I realized $900 of our $1035 house payment went to interest, I couldn't understand how that was legal! Then I became motivated to pay it off in 10 yrs instead of 30yrs. How is 30 yrs standard?? You pay 2 1/2 times what your house is worth if you stick to the 30 yr plan! How is that an investment??? IF you make an extra payment a year on your house you cut 7 yrs off the loan! Finding out we had a credit card with 28% interest rate when we were first married, because of a few accidental late payments was INSANE! I have learned a lot over the past 16 years and have made many goals, written many lists, and scratched numbers on lots of scrap papers all over the house.

We always pay off our cards every month and have different saving accounts set up for the house, cars, vacations, kids, etc. that way when repairs come up the $ is there and we don't have to put emergencies on the credit cards. We know we are going to take trips, we know things are going to break, we know the kids want to go to college…so we plan for those things.

We try to talk openly with our kids about what things cost and what we are paying off and what our financial goals are. They love shopping at second hand stores. Just the other day I took my son to the thrift store because he needed new jeans (he grew 5" this past year), I got him 4 pairs of "cool" jeans, 2 belts, a jacket, and a fleece liner for $26! How can you beat that? He loves what he got, and was just as excited as me about the price. They know they can get a lot more for their money if they buy second hand.

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