Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kindness

Yurchik has always had a sweet spirit. When his brothers were born he was always helping to take care of them-even though he was only 18 months old when they came home! Today, was just another example of his kind heart, generosity and selflessness. Sometimes, ad mist the chaos of the day to day activities I find myself becoming a reactionary parent. I'm trying every day to not be but when potty training multiple kids at the same time my patience has been quite low. And don't get me wrong because immediately following this incident my car became a zoo and the animals were going crazy. 3 boys screaming over each other to tell mom something isn't my idea of driving friendly or safely honestly! I almost pulled over... Instead I distracted them and we made it to our destination... Anyway, here's what happened today. Hopefully, it will make your heart smile just like it did mine.

Driving down the frontage road before getting on the freeway we stop at a light. A homeless man opens his crinkled, tiny piece of cardboard where "homeless and hungry" is scribbled. Jr, being 3 is not quite able to read any of those words (in, out, stop... sure but not that sign). Still, he quietly asks,
 "mom, do we have snacks he's hungry?"
Me, "no bud I don't think we have any snacks in the car today."Jr, "mom. Do you have my money with you. I buy him snacks?!"Me, "no, you're money is at home in your bank."Jr, "oh...ok...but mom, we should keep snacks in the car all the time. Some people need us share with them."
Talk about taking your breath away! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

DIY Ombre Curtains

Yes, you read that right... Do It Yourself Ombre Curtains...Orange Ombre Curtains in fact! We bought this amazing house and we chose this floor plan for its openness. The last thing I want to do is clutter it up with stuff...and that includes window treatments. I had a few things I was unwavering about...I want them floor to ceiling to keep the room long and open. I didn't want a solid color curtain (boring) and I'm not a fan of too much floral or polka dots or stripes or gingham basically I didn't want a pattern/design either... Then one day I stumbled across these at Target and it hit me... Ombre! It's perfect... it's not a solid color or a pattern. I bought a panel (did you see the price?! $25 a panel!!!) and called my sales rep to open the house (it was still being finished but the cabinets, floor and counter tops were in so I could really see if I liked it against everything) and help me with her keen eye (thanks Megan!). We both agreed they were fantastic. I chose orange because it felt happy and bright and welcoming... I also had a few chotchkie items in mind that I knew would compliment well with orange so I thought perfect!

There's a few things however about these curtains I didn't care for. 1. They wouldn't reach floor to ceiling. They would reach top of the window to floor but that felt like I was truncating the space (although my husband disagreed-it's not technology so his opinion doesn't matter. I am waiting for him to write a blog about his new in wall speakers....). 2. They were too definite. I didn't like that each section was lined. I can be a very black and white no grey about it type of gal but I'm not a symmetrical person at all. I like things to have a little more flow and freedom to them aesthetically speaking. 3. They were pricey. I'm cheap as my husband says although I prefer frugal. There are things that need a lot of money spent and there are things that don't. I didn't feel that I should spend a lot of money on curtains. The target curtains would do if need be but at $25 a panel and 5 windows it was sure to break the budget and leave me not completely happy. So, I started researching. I googled, I pinned, I search and searched. I found a few curtains/fabric on the market but none of it quite spoke to me or met my budget. That meant it was time to DIY!

I did come across a few bloggers that had created their own. I wish I could thank each of them personally that wrote detailed instructions or even mention their blogs in this post but I don't remember all of them. I do know I read and reread 1 of them as it seemed to be the most informative . I continued to research as I waited for my mom to come visit so she could help me with the sewing aspects as well as the dyeing, vision and help with the boys.

So here's the finished product (excuse our paper temporary shades please)! They aren't perfect. But I like them and I will look at them and remember all the hard work and fun I had with my mom making them. Below you will also find my tips/ do's and don'ts!

 Dining room
 Living room

I've written a general list of how we did the curtains followed by a LOT of tips. I started writing down the tips so I would remember if I ever wanted to do this again before writing the blog so I apologize if it seems chaotic and out of sink!

Step 1.
Buy material, dye and large bucket. All the dyes say to machine or sink or stove or who knows what. A large bucket outside with water works just fine. I do suggest following the tip about adding salt or vinegar depending on your material type.
Step 2.
Decide how much of your material will be light and how much will be real dark.
Step 3.
Fill your bucket with water and dye outside and dip material in the dye. Leave the end you want dark in longer than the other areas. I would suggest that you move segments every few minutes (2-5) as the dye saturates quickly and too long will just leave you with a solid color instead of an ombre affect. It's up to your personal preference if you want there to be lines dividing the sections or not.  I will say we initially loosely rubber band the sheets together and they still ended up with lines so be prepared for perfect lines or a slight color variation where you may not want it.
Step 4.
Lay flat to dry (or hang...If I had a clothes line I would probably had them hanging). You can see my mom was going over them with dye in a pitcher and we also had a spray bottle to try and fix the areas that were a bit "tie dyed" looking. I'm not sure it helped that much but you can't learn until you try.
Step 5.
Hang up (light side at the top) to rinse out. This is important as you want the dye to run down from the light to the dark or you'll mess up everything you just did! We just hung them over the fence and placed a few bricks on the top of the curtains to keep them up while rinsing. Be sure to rinse out til the water runs clear.
Step 6.
Let them dry again. They will be a lot lighter than when wet. The bottle says to double dye if wanting brighter or darker color but when we did this I didn't really notice that significant of a change in color to have wasted my time and water repeating all these steps!
Step 7.
Take them in the house (we wrapped in a trash bag; except the tops) and rinse them in HOT water in your bathtub until the water runs clear. Be sure to rinse out your bath tub IMMEDIATELY or it could stain.
Step 8.
Dry them in the dryer. The hot water should have set the dye. If it didn't and your tops get stained I apologize!
Step 9.
Hang and enjoy!

TIPS
1. I bought FULL size FLAT sheets on sale in an off white/ivory color instead of buying a lot of material. They are actually really soft and were already hemmed around the edges and had a pocket in the top to slide the rod through- I thought this was pretty genius!! We did cut the sheet in half to create 2 panels and where I have smaller wall space we cut in 1/4s but that meant only 1 side to hem not 4! Again, genius!
2. Don't try to put it in dye forever. I read a lot of blogs that said to take it out a few minutes at a time and it will gradually darken- WRONG! It's like dyeing your hair. You can leave it on for an hour and it most likely won't darken/lighten/color any more than if you only leave it on for the 1/2hr the directions called for. My best advice; dunk your entire section you want colored (Please not there's another tip on this) and immediately take it out and rinse where you want it to be light. (I'm sure you could bleach or peroxide it if you made it too dark but I don't own bleach so...). After you've rinsed the light area then you can place the remaining sections in and let it saturate. We initially divided our curtains into like 5 sections and we noticed that there wasn't that much of a change as it went down...again it's going to saturate as much as it can and then it will be done no matter the time.
3. If you want the top to be the color the material came as then you need to wash your curtains in your shower with HOT water and avoid getting that area wet by anything ( the inital dye, the rinsing outside and inside). Let the curtains dry after the HOT water and then dry in the dryer so you know the color won't run. I wanted the tops to be ivory but now they are light orange because I rinsed them outside in cold hose water and the dye ran.  Again, I could try to go back and dip in peroxide or bleach but I decided they looked fine.
3. Buy a darker or a lighter color. If I were to do it again I would have bought 3 different orange shades and dyed section by section from the lighter shade to the darker given the issues we had with it not gradually fading as we had originally thought.
4. BE OUTSIDE (in the spring or fall so you won't pass out from the heat or freeze your curtains when rinsing). I also didn't want to risk splashing dye onto my BRAND NEW bathrooms!  I did bring them in once they were dry to rinse them in HOT water to be sure the dye set and didn't run anymore after the final dye.
5. Cut your material to size before dyeing. Also, you can try to do them all at the same time but bunched up mine ended up with a slight tie dye look throughout the middles where the dye didn't quite seep in as much. For my sunset look, it works alright but I'd rather it be a bit more cohesive as the first time around it looked more ombre side to side than up and down. We left the sheets whole and they were heavy when wet as well and a lot harder to move around and not splash dye on the lighter areas.
6. Be prepared to hang them up and take them back down to dye again. We actually went back to the store and bought a 2nd color to dip the bottoms in because the ombre didn't take as well as I wanted.
7. Have a spray bottle with the dye handy to catch any spots that didn't saturate. This is also useful to blur the solid straight line if you don't want it creating a more gradual change. You can also dunk the area right where the color difference meets a few times to get that gradual change.
8. The dye will creep up your material and I'm not sure how to prevent that. Since I didn't want solid lines this didn't matter to me.

Please feel free to ask me any questions if you need further explanation :D



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Home is where...

                  The littlest Motruks are... This new house is AMAZING! All of our furniture is in and mostly put together and placed where we want it and there's still plenty of room for Yurchik to do his running! We've already had plenty of injuries to christen the house and boy have they left their marks! Luca was first. Mr Wreck It Ralph of course had to be the one! His story is actually quite ingenious albeit the landing at the end. While we were loading and unloading the furniture and boxes up and down the ramp of the rented moving truck the boys realized they could push their little tikes car and firetruck up into the truck and then ride it down the ramp. As I said previously, ingenious. We only have 2 little tikes so 1 of the boys has to sit out a turn. Well, Luca decided he wanted to push Yurchik down the ramp in the firetruck... Unfortunately for Luca, gravity and momentum exist. The firetruck took off and Luca went down. He has a nice road rash on his forehead now! It scared me half to death as we were at the front of the truck and thought he may have fallen from inside. Luckily, he had almost made it to the end! The things kids will do while you're talking to your new neighbors!
                   Yurchik was the next one to injure himself. The two lots next to us are at the very beginning of building. Yesterday, the placed the foundation frame in the house right next to us to get it started... this requires a LOT of watering of the soil. Needless to say, the boys are in LOVE with the mud. So, after cleaning them off and distinctly telling them to stay out of the house because they had slippery feet and we have hardwood floors... See where my story is leading?! Yes, Yurchik slipped and landed on his cheek just as Teta and Jackson came over! His bruise is now fading as is Luca's road rash (An┼że's knees had already met with a tough landing a day or two prior so he was walking around saying hurt and kissing his own knees to make them feel better so he was banged up prior! Life with 3 boys is rough, literally!!!)
                So, as I said, we are mostly settled in. There's still things at the other house and it still needs to be cleaned before handing in our keys but we are in. Before we moved we made a list of things we wanted and needed. It's amazing how long those lists can be yet how much can still be missed!!! It's the little things too... a 2nd hose for the front yard, non slip mats for under the couch and rugs. We also have temporary shades in most of the house because we can't agree on what we want for window dressing and don't have funds for anything fancy at the time anyway. For the most part we have a functioning home (the couch sliding across the house is the only thing we really need to fix!). It's exhausting moving 2x in less than a year. Of course, we hired movers to move everything 1,500 miles and they did so spectacularly. I moved everything 15 miles and broke 3 bowls and some of my shot glass collection! LOL
       We've also met quite a few neighbors (not that we have many yet!). A few have kids around our boys' age and ALL but 1 ARE boys (the one girl is a b/g twin with a big brother around the same ages as our older brother then twins!)! Our kids will have many friends to play with which is fantastic! ALL of our neighbors are really nice so far as well. It's amazing how having nice neighbors can affect how at home you feel as well!
       Obviously, the house isn't put together enough for photos but I'm hoping to have everything done at the other house so that I can focus on this one in the next week or so (minus the cleaning and turning in the keys...but I have until the end of the month for that!) then I promise to post pictures of our "decorated" home. I'm sure it will be different to see the house with furniture in it compared to the plethora of building photos you've seen! Hope everyone had a happy 4th!