Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project Denim, Diminishing the Jean Pile, Episode 9 : Milk Can Makeover!

Hi Friends! It's a busy time of year here on my little "Patch-A-Heaven." Spring is just the best!! I've
been working on a BIG project outside (which I will share with you later!) for the past 2 weeks. While I was out there working, I saw my rusty, old milk cans that I absolutely adore! But, I decided they needed a makeover. And you guys know me...I'm a sucker for a denim project! When I ponder ideas for décor...denim is always there for me. I think it's because I want my house to be warm, inviting, relaxed and comfortable. And what's more comfy than your favorite pair of old jeans?!! So I use denim in my home décor A LOT! (Not to mention I have an ever endless supply of old jeans to make stuff out of!!)
So today's DIY denim project will be to pretty up my milk cans. I love to decorate with old farm stuff, but I like to give them my own look too. There are so many ways you could up the style factor on these amazing old cans. Here's what I did.

What supplies I used:
Denim from old jeans and skirts
Burlap, Cream and Gold Colored (Joann Fabric)
Lace trim (Joann Fabric)
Metallic Gold Colored Bias Tape
Buttons from the Jeans and Skirts

What I Did:

I cut a piece of cream colored burlap to be the base of the design. I left the edges raw and fringed. (To cut burlap, make a tiny cut where you want and then pick a string there and pull it all the way out. This makes a space for you to cut down. Then to fringe, just pull out strings until you have the desired look. Save those strings for later!) Then wrapped the burlap around the can. Hot gluing it in place.

I then cut a smaller piece of denim (leaving edges raw and pulling fringe) to wrap around the can on top of the burlap. Then glued it in place. I held the fabric in place with pins as I glued so it would be straight. Then I cut a piece of gold bias tape for the bottom and glued it on. I cut a strip of burlap to wrap around the top tied it in a knot and then made the denim fabric and gold burlap flowers and glued them on. I used the buttons from the jeans and skirts as centers for the flowers. I made a ruffle (with raw edges) out of some chambray denim fabric to wrap around the can too.

The reason I said to save the strings you pulled from the burlap, is so you can make string flowers to embellish the cans. I did this just by taking about 3 strings (you could do as many as you want) and make a loop, then glue the loop in place, then make another loop about the same size and glue the end in the middle of the flower, keep making loops and gluing in the middle to hold the flower until you have a flower the size you want.
These are really fun!!

Here's a close up of the string flowers.
I made some rosette flowers from denim and the gold bias tape for the centers of flowers too. Do this by taking a thin strip of fabric (denim and bias) and make a knot in one end. Then using a hot glue gun, fold and glue the fabric around the knot until you have a flat rosette flower.

Because the first can had so much going on, I wanted the one below to be more simple. Also the top one was plain, but the one below has the cute writing on it that I wanted to show. So on this one I just made a sash to tie around the top out of the gold burlap. Then I cut out a rectangle tied some of the strings around the middle, making a bow, tied it onto the sash and then glued a denim rosette flower in the center. I left some of the gold strings hanging down in the middle for "fringe effect" and also pulled some fringe on the rosette flower denim strip before making it into a flower for more "fringe effect!"

Here is a close up of the top sash and denim/gold burlap flower. I also made another burlap string flower with a gold bias tape rosette to hang from the hole.

And because I loved the gold painted burlap so much I made a pillow out of it too! I wanted it to have the raw fringed edges so I just measured my pillow form and cut the burlap. Then sewed it so the raw edges were on the outside (instead of putting right sides together and sewing then turning) I sewed with wrong sides together and left the fringe outside.

To embellish the pillow I used some extra chambray denim fabric I had lying around to make a ruffle. I made a flower out of some cream colored lace by gathering the lace in the middle and gluing in place in center until I had a flower. I used only hot glue to attach everything. I used the sewing machine to sew the gathered ruffle and the sewing of the pillow.

Here's a shot of the burlap pillow. I styled it with a denim pillow I made on a previous blogs post about using up old denim.
To see the blog post where I made the denim flower pillow click here: Decorative Denim Pillow

Here's the project completed!

I love these old cans, where they came from and what they represent! And now I love them more because they also reflect my own personal style!!

Hope your Spring is shaping up to be perfect! And I'll see ya next time!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How To Make Your Own Pop Art Fashion

Spring in Utah!
 Hey Friends! It's snowing here today on my little "Patch-A-Heaven" so I'm inside dreaming of Spring. Spring for me means planting my garden, tending baby lambs, enjoying sunny days and Spring Fashion!
 One of my favorite trends this year at Fashion Week is the Pop Art Trend. Basically it's wearable art! Some of my favorite pieces come from Celine and Prada. So today's DIY project was inspired by those two pieces (which you can see below in my pics.) I love the runway, designer fashions, but my budget doesn't allow all designer pieces! So to supplement my closet, I'm showing how I made my own Pop Art inspired pieces, on a minimal budget! (I spent $3!)

  I already had the Fabric Paint  (purchased some at Wal-Mart and some at Joann Fabrics) from my first Pop Art Inspired T-shirt Transformation which you can view by clicking here:

  Then I went "thrifting" at our local thrift store to find a cheap sweatshirt. I found a plain white one in very good shape. $3.00. Score! Then with my sponge brush and black fabric paint, I began making my mark on the shirt. I used mostly sponge brush strokes. This is the fun part! Art is best when it's individual. So mine has some similar elements to the Celine designer tank, but then I did my own thing too. I added lips like the Prada number (I mean, who doesn't love red lips?!) To make the lips I drew the outline of the lips free hand with my red fabric marker then filled it in with the red fabric paint and sponge brush. If you aren't good at free hand, I'm sure you could google a lip template and trace it on and then fill in.

  I allowed the front to dry overnight and then finished the back the next day. Most of the runway pieces have black and white and then bright primary colors mixed in artful strokes.

Here is my white sweatshirt before I started and my inspiration found in the Mar. issue of InStyle Mag.
My favorite looks from this trend come from Celine, with Prada in a close second.

Here's my finished shirt and my inspo taken from these Prada and Celine designer runway pieces.

This is a super fun, super cheap, super fast way to add some "Art" to your Spring wardrobe!!

My ultimate favorite chambray shirt underneath, from Koo-de-Ker, SLC. And it's a beanie kind of day here in windy Utah!! As you can see now the snow has melted. You never know what you're going to get here in the Spring!
J Brand Boyfriend style jeans, from Koo-de-Ker, SLC.
Cherry Red crossover, peep toed heels from Charlotte Russe (Old)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Getting Steamy in my Kitchen with a Shark Steam&Mop Review!

Hi friends! It's getting a little steamy in the "Patch-A-Heaven" kitchen today!! I'm reviewing a cleaning product that I think you can get excited about. Now I understand cleaning and excitement don't always go together but, the Shark Steam&Spray Pro Mop makes me excited to clean my floors!

From time to time I will review products on this blog that I feel are natural fits for me, my life, this blog and you, my readers. I will give you my honest opinion of the products being reviewed.

You should know that Shark gifted me the mopping system, but the words, opinions and review are my own.

Mopping, is one of those natural, normal things for me and my life . I love me a clean floor! But... I also have 3 kids. So it can be a real challenge to keep it that way and not feel like I spend my life cleaning! (I've got better things to do!) I'm a wife, stay at home mom, and very busy person! I run a business, write a blog, I volunteer with my kids school and my church. I don't have hours to spend mopping! However, I want my floors to be clean. I matter how many times I say to my kids "Don't eat that!" "Eeeww, it's been on the floor!" I know the second I turn my head...they ate it!! So the thing that got me interested in the Shark Steam&Spray was well...the STEAM! To me, the hotter...the cleaner! And I can feel like I've done the best job I can do to keep my floor sanitized for those " didn't just eat that!" moments.
Honestly, you don't even have to read the manual...everything you need to know is on the box and little tags conveniently placed on the unit, helping you know what to do. It's a busy person's dream!

I have tried the cheaper, grocery store versions of "spray and mops." And they just didn't work for me. They seemed to just spray and schmear smelly stuff around the floor, using up too many wasteful pads, but not getting really clean, let alone sanitized! And if this was just a spray and mopper, I would have said the same thing. But the Steam is what made the difference for me. When I took the Shark Steam&Spray out for it's first cruise around my kitchen floor, to be honest I wanted to test it! I wanted to really see how it cleaned.

Confession: My kitchen floor was particularly grody! I missed last weeks mopping because a certain Little Miss Pageant took over my life and I didn't have the time! Confession:There were many more gobs of "who knows what" in various places, worse than usual! So I felt like I gave it a good challenge!!

The worst area of my kitchen floor is always by my bar, where the kids eat every day. So to give it a good challenge, I did not do any special spot cleaning or soaking before using the Shark Steam&Spray.

Normally when I mop my floor, (Picture Cinderella in her raggedy, old dress) I do it by hand, down on my knees, with a bucket of hot water and a rag. (Primitive, I know, but it's how I have always felt it got the cleanest!) In my "old" method, I would use two rags, one to mop with and another to have soaking over top of a stubborn spot to make scrubbing easier when I got back to the tough spot.

This is how I usually mop my floor. Not glamorous at all, I realize!!

For my first experience with the Steam&Spray, I used the washable/reusable pad and the Scrub Mode, without any pre-soaking of the stubborn spots and no other products or rags.  I wanted to see if it would get those stubborn spots off without extra scrubbing by hand. Moment of Truth: duh, duh, duh...I was pleasantly surprised. It did take a few extra passes on some of those nasty spots, but I did not have to get down on my knees at all! To me this is a AWESOME! If it will steam off the kid grime without excessive scrubbing...That's Cool!

I'm thinking "this thing is really cool!" "I mean hot!!"

This is an excited, happy girl that can now mop without slaving like Cinderella!

The Next time I used the Steam&Spray was on my front entry-way, again linoleum. I used the Scrub mode. It worked well here too. There was a dark black spot on the linoleum that must have come from some grease in my front door hinge. It took that off as well, without hand scrubbing.

For a non-typical trial I used the mop on the rubber floor mats of my new car. I drive a GMC Acadia, I love it! But my kids take horse riding lessons every Saturday and they track dirt and muddy water into the car. I don't love that! I vacuumed it out yesterday, but I was looking for a way to clean the muddy water that had dried on them without wiping by hand. I decided to try the Steam&Spray, I thought, "What the heck, it's worth a try!" It was not the most convenient as far as space inside the car because the mop isn't made for tight spaces like a car, but still worked remarkably well. (So well that I'm thinking I need a regular steam cleaner for jobs like this. I am loving the steam thing!) I wonder if Shark makes one of those?! I took some of the mats out and laid them on the garage floor and went over them with the mop, much better for space! 

Pros/Things I liked about the Shark Steam & Spray:
It's made to be easy to use! I mean the assembly is 3 steps: click handle to body, put batteries in, plug in power cord. Easy Peasy! (Truthfully, I was expecting more assembly required.)

Easy to use: Put bottle of spray in the mop, put on a pad, plug into wall, touch a button and mop!

Instructions are on the outside of the box. I knew what to do and didn't even have to read the manual.
I'm in a hurry and at a glance I knew what to do. This is made for busy people!

It's user friendly and they want you to be successful with the product. Their packaging is easy to follow.

 Reusable pad has a tab to step on and peel off the unit.

The Steam, it cleans really well! And sanitizes too!!

I liked the combination of steam cleaning and the spray of the cleaner. I like that the steam does the heavy cleaning/sanitizing and then the smell of the cleaner is pleasant, but not overly strong, so when you are done is smells clean and fresh.

I like the option of being able to use the mop with a washable/re-usable pad (good for environment) and then having the option of disposable ones too, for those gross things you just want to throw away!

It has 3 modes of use: Spray: for quick, everyday jobs (you can go cordless on the spray only mode)
                                    Steam: to sanitize or dust
                                    Steam&Spray: for the tough stuff (Kacey uses this mode a lot!)

The steam goes automatically once you have selected the mode. Then you can spray whenever you want manually by pressing another button. So you have control of how much spray cleaner you use.

Batteries are included in the box with the mop unit. Let's admit it, that's just nice!

The head swivels so you can maneuver it into corners and around furniture easily.

It has a great 5 year, repair or replace warranty.

I can get clean and sanitized floors without getting down on all fours to do it!

My favorite feature: The Steam is obviously my favorite feature! But as for ease of use special features, I love the purple tag/label that is attached to the re-usable pad, it's awesome, because when you are done you just leave the mop on the floor, step on the purple label with your foot and pull the mop up and the pad comes off! Easy Peasy!!

Here I'm stepping on the purple tab with my foot.

And then I pull the mop up while keeping my foot on the pad tab.

It comes off easy peasy!

Cons/Things I didn't like about the Shark Steam & Spray:

The cost of the unit would have gotten me at first glance, because I would have lumped it with all the other mediocre grocery store, spray mops and it would have seemed expensive. ($160)

The cord is kind of a pain sometimes, but really, it's no more difficult than using a regular vacuum. You just have to move it out of the way. (FYI, you can go cordless if you just want spray mode.)

Tough, extra sticky kid spots require more than one pass to come off. (Let's face it, my kids make gross, sticky messes! It took a few passes on a few spots! But still better than the rag and bucket!!)

The swivel head is nice to get around furniture and into corners, but be careful to lean the mop up against a corner or something that will hold the unit up while you let go to change power outlets and such, because unlike a traditional vacuum unit, this mop doesn't have a locking/standing position and can tip over easily.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked this mopping unit. Having used spray and mop systems before and not liking them, and then going back to the old rag and bucket, I can honestly say that I enjoyed using this product. It was easy to assemble and easy to use. It worked very well! I was really taken back about how effectively it powered through my kids guck (on scrub mode) without my having to scrub on hands and knees! The steam really helps dissolve the stuck on stuff! I can deep clean while in my "nice clothes" because it's just like using my vacuum and I don't get dirty! (my pants won't have holes in the knees anymore, unless or course I buy them that way!) The pads are easy to remove, but don't shift during use. It's easy to use, just push a button for mode and another button when you want to use the spray. I like that you get to choose how much spray to apply. I think this is an excellent choice for those who may have "bad knees" and can't get down on them to scrub anymore. It powers off the grime without getting down there to do it. Yes, you have to go over the bad spots a few times, but still worth not getting down on the floor! I can get my floors done faster and easier. And it is much more fun!! I can honestly say mopping my floor is now fun! And I'll admit, "I love the sound of the steam!" It's a quiet steaming sound, but it's a good cleaning sound!

I have linoleum flooring in my kitchen, bathrooms and entry-ways. It worked well and didn't leave any streaking or marks when dried. I don't have hardwood flooring so I can't say how it would work on them. (I did notice they have a different cleaning/spray solution for hardwoods, just FYI.)

Yes, at $160.00, the unit is a little pricey, when compared to the "just spray and mop" models and more expensive than the old rag and bucket. But, having used it and seen how it works as effectively as my hands and knees scrubbing, and is easier on my clothes and my knees, and faster (you know because I'm always in a hurry!) I would say it's definitely worth the money. I feel like I can get the deep, sanitizing clean without the hassle of rag and bucket! And in quicker time too!!

If you want more information on this great product or to buy one you can click here:
The Shark Cleaning Company Website

Hope you have a super day! I'm going to go get steamy on my bathroom floors next!!


Added 3/8/14: And just a little FYI, I was close to running out of spray solution and was going to place an order online, then got busy and didn't. But, I happened to walk by the cleaning/vacuum section in Walmart and guess what was there?! A nice selection of sprays, and replacement pads. Oh...And you can buy the mop unit there too! $149!!