Monday, July 15, 2013

Super Soft Burp Cloth Tutorial. Another T-shirt craft.

hoarded saved a bag of old t-shirts. Eventually, they might become garage cloths or a scarf or one of the nine millionty billion t-shirt recycling crafts on Pinterest and the interweb, right?  Or they could just be one more box of "junk" to move from Alaska to wherever we go. Anyway, I have been looking through my pins to make some cute burp cloths and bibs for Toots.  She'll be here in just a couple of months now, and even though she's our second baby girl, we don't have stuffies left over from big sister because she's 12 now. Those things have long since been handed down to other babies. I was brainstorming about what to use for backing on these since they need to be absorbent, and I really don't feel like spending more on pre-fold diapers.  While they make cute burp cloths, they are just as expensive as buying ready made cloths in the store.  I finally remembered the bag of t-shirts.  What's more absorbent and soft than an old t-shirt???

So here's my project.  Super simple.  I don't claim to practice the voodoo that is real sewing. I am not a seamstress, nor do I get paid to portray one on television.  I make things stick together with stitches. If you can sew a semi straight line, you can do this.

Step one: cut fabric rectangles.  Mine are 11x14 because I had a nice cardboard template. (pssst...It's the back of a watercolor pad) I used the t shirt for backing and a pre-washed flannel for the other side.  Both absorbent. Using a rotary cutter, I simply placed the cardboard on the fabric and cut my pieces.  You could also use a straight edge and measure, or just use scissors, but I'm for the fast way.

Step Two:  Sew front and back together with right sides facing.  Leave a three or four inch opening to turn the 2 ply cloth right side out. 

Step three:  Snip the corners so they will be square when you turn them and turn the whole thing right side out through the opening you left.
 Step Four: When your project is right side out, it will probably have wavy edges and it won't be aligned.  You can use an iron here to flatten your seams.  I didn't have much luck ironing a stretchy t shirt, so I opted to roll the edges out and pin the perimeter. 

 Step five:  Top stitch about 1/4 inch from the edge of the entire perimeter.  If you want, you can make this a double seam.  I usually run two or three lines on quilted blankets, but I left these cloths at just one top stitched seam.

Note:  I planned to have these little crocheted flowers on my cloths, but I sewed one together before adding this to the top layer.  If you want to add embellishments like this or embroidery to your cloth, I suggest you do it to your top layer of fabric BEFORE you sew your layers together, otherwise your stitches will show on the back. Duh. I figured that out on the second one. Of my set of four cloths, I have two that are embellished and two that are not. We might not feel like barfing on flowers every day. : )

 Here's the finished set.  I got four 11x14 cloths from one old t-shirt and about 1/3 yard of flannel. The crocheted "flowers" are from Michael's. I bought them about 6 months ago on clearance for 25 cents each, and used scrap ribbon for the stems. I kind of think these would be cute placemats, too if they were larger. Remember to pre-wash your fabric so it doesn't shrink and wrinkle when you wash your final project.

I'd love to see your baby projects.  Link up in comments below, or like KH Kellum on facebook and share there.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Oh Olivia! Nursery Reveal

So, it's been a while since my last blog post, but I assure you I've been busy as a bee. Where was Pinterest when I was pregnant 12 years ago? That's right, TWELVE years. Over a decade. How things have changed in our lives since then.  We are so excited to be welcoming a new member of the family around October. Being a military family, we move. A LOT. I couldn't even begin to think about a nursery for Olivia until we got settled in our new place 4,000 miles away from our old place.  We've been here almost three months and we find out next week (fingers crossed) where we will go (AGAIN) in January. Needless to say, Oli will never remember this house where she will spend the first few months of her life, and she won't be born in our home state close to family like our first daughter. It's a little bittersweet, but still exciting. I'm just glad to have her even if we live on Mars. ;)

With the thought in mind that she won't be born "at home" I tried to come up with some ideas for her nursery that incorporated things from our family and her unique heritage.  I'm not big on Winnie the Pooh and all the other pre-fab nursery junk out there. I can't help it.  I just want to do things my way. I love Winnie the Pooh, especially his friend Tigger, but I don't like the over commercialized versions of him hanging off all my walls. While we were in Alaska I searched and searched for ideas for the nursery. Thank goodness for secret boards so I could work on Pinning before we made the announcement.

The first item for the nursery was a painting by my husband's grandmother.  We had it framed and hanging in the loft area of our previous house.  I started working on the nursery before we knew the gender, but I have always leaned toward gender neutral baby things. The painting below is full of greens and blues which are common throughout our home.
Another piece I knew I would use in the room is a little dresser built by my Great Great Grandfather for my Grandmother.  It was used in my nursery, and I found it in my grandmother's garage when I was in high school and re-claimed and refinished it. The base has been many colors over the past 20 years, but now it is a soft light green.  When we knew we were having a girl, I had my daughter switch out the knobs with these Poppy pulls that I'd been hoarding for just the right thing.
I love that we didn't have to repaint this piece to use it here. I've learned that no matter where we go, we are never going to get the same floorplan twice.  All our furniture and accessories need to be useful and matching in any room.  It's a good thing we have an eclectic style that affords us some flexibility. Anyway, I feel like this is a room that will grow with this girl for quite a few years. Speaking of years.  Here's another piece from my childhood.  My paternal grandmother's rocking chair.  It was actually her mother's chair.  I might drag it out and put another coat of paint on it for protection, but for now it's as is. I think the seat has about 15 layers of fabric. Our daughters may never meet the grandmothers we knew, but we will do our best to keep their memories.
Many other things in the nursery are from Olivia's big sister, Emily, like this doll house book shelf.  We still have all the Barbies in a box, too.
The books are new and old.  From as far back as my parents' childhood days. We read them all with our first daughter, and I'm sure she'll help share them with her little sister.  She even bought Olivia a Dick & Jane primer so she can teach her to read. The painting is from Emily's last room makeover in Alaska. We covered her walls with matching fabric instead of painting.  Painting is allowed in some army housing, but we just didn't feel like doing it.  Besides, we have enough junk to cover any wall they give us.

Because of Pinterest, I've seen many projects using chevron printed fabrics.  I ordered (way too much) fabric and made a simple quilt and dust ruffle to go on the gorgeous convertible crib Olivia's daddy picked for her room.  I had something much "fluffier" in mind, but, in the end, simplicity won. I just didn't feel like hiding this pretty piece of wood. Her crib bumper came from a garage sale for $2.00! She'll actually use the quilt on the floor for playing, but it will fit her toddler bed, too.

I'm sure you're wondering at this point, "What is your theme??? All nurseries have a theme, right?" It was kind of an unintentional theme decided after gathering some of the parts and working them together with a few accessory ideas from Pinterest. I still haven't been able to pinpoint the right words for it, but being that she was conceived in Alaska, will move all over the USA, possible internationally, and we want to keep both our children rooted in tradition, this is what we came up with.

We want both our childrens' lives to be a celebration.  Celebrate love, life, nature, and everything that goes with those things, the good and the bad.  Never be afraid to dream big and go where you want, but always remember home and family. Here is one of the projects that help convey that theme.

All three of these projects were Pinterest inspired (Pinspired, ha) and I'll probably write/link to tutorials in the coming weeks. There are lots more projects in this little room, too. Mostly textile related. I told you I bought too much fabric. :)

Finally, I give you a couple of photos of completed areas.  I can't wait to get this girl home.
The crib wall with more canvas from big sister's past rooms.
The window wall with the "nanny" bed. We don't have a nanny, but I feel like someone will be in there frequently even if it's just big sister getting kicked out of her room for company. The only NEW pieces of furniture in this room are the crib and its matching dresser. Everything else is repurposed, thrifted, or hand-me-down.  Can you tell I'm excited about bringing her home? 

What's your favorite baby project?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Annie Sloan Furniture Makeover

I'm finally out of Alaska. Yes there are beautiful, glorious, wonderful things I'll miss from that great big wild land, but I'm glad to have a break from the land of no junking. Seriously, they are the home of the most overpriced garage sales and antique stores I've ever shopped.  I am so excited to spend a little time in Missouri where junk is queen!  I've spent a couple of weekends picking and let's just say I'd love to have a trailer to pull behind my giant junk mobile.

Now comes the work part.  All my junk needs a renovation. What to do, what do do? 
I've seen Annie Sloan Chalk Paint all over the internet, so after reading the benefits, (no sanding, no priming, etc.) I decided to give it  a go. I found this brilliant stockist, The Purple Painted Lady, and I placed my order. No, there's not a special discount, but TONS of perks.  You can even call her on the phone to ask questions if her online tutorials and videos don't help you, or if you didn't read the information sheets she includes with your order. The added value of her expertise is immeasurable.

Now, being a painter, I was skeptical of the claims this paint was making.  Self leveling paint you say?  With a bit of doubting I began testing my first project. A 1960's vintage desk in that classic French Provincial style that was so popular.  Complete with laminate top. Ugh. I've painted these laminate tops before, and I've sworn never to do so again.
I started brushing on the first coat of this costly paint and it did go on so smoothly what started as a test patch became the whole desktop. This was with no prep work.  Sadly, I went out the next morning and scraped it right off the laminate with my fingernail.  :(  I really, really hate losing money, so I (easily) sanded the paint off and scuffed the top of the laminate. Not wanting to do this again, I kept my respirator on and used a similarly colored can of spray paint I had on hand to "prime" the top. I sanding, no priming, but I abhor peeling paint. A very light dusting of the paint which promises to adhere even to plastic cured on the desktop.  Ahh. I came back with my brush and painted ASCP right over it. Such coverage! 

I didn't do a great job taking photos of the steps involved in this makeover because I was so excited to see a finished project.  I'll do better next time, but I can tell you the steps I took.

You've already gotten the low down on the laminate. We can call that step one.
Step two: Paint the whole piece with ASCP. (Paint any details like the gold trim, mine is a base coat of copper acrylic and a top coat of gold acrylic, both metallic)
Three: Apply CLEAR wax (for this I used a brush and wiped.  I'll be upgrading to the AS wax brush)
Four: Distress  (I used a hand held power sander with 200 Grit paper on the edges and high spots)
Five: Apply DARK wax.  (I did this step by hand with a lint free cloth and gloves)

Here's the piece after the clear wax was applied
This is a close up of some distressing. 
The dark wax really picks up these differences beautifully.
And here's the finished project!

Yes, I'm naming this set "Ever After" like the Drew Barrymore Cinderella movie.  For some ideas on complimentary bedding or rooms this would look great with you can check out my Pinterest board Furniture Re-Do

This piece and matching dresser with mirror will be for sale at The Gilded Possum in Smackover, AR this month. (mid June 2013)

If you are thinking of updating some cruddy furniture, do check out the tutorials from The Purple Painted Lady.  You'll be glad you did. I fully stand behind my purchase of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax. Oh, and tell me what you're re-doing. Remember, the furniture you re-do is cutting back on landfill waste AND saving you money. That's what I call a win win.  Same goes if you are purchasing upcycled vintage items. :) Wax On, my friends.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Valentine Contest

With all the new likes/followers on Facebook, 
I keep thinking of this quote from one of my very favorite authors.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.”  

-Mark Twain

Let me tell you a little story, or make a confession, actually.  I was afraid to start this style of marketing on Facebook where crafters "like" other crafters' pages and then share the new page. I thought this would water down my market and only help the really established pages in the long run.  I thought I would start to create things based on what other people are selling and not stay true to my own style. I thought there would be too much competition. I was wrong. Dead wrong. 

I've added new likes for sure, but more importantly, I've surrounded myself with people who are trying to do what I'm trying to do.  Build their own business from home. I see their posts, I learn what works, I share in their ups and downs but most of all


It really does help to surround yourself with people moving in the same direction. It makes it easier to "go with the flow."  So, now that you've heard from me on my soap box, I'll tell you about the contest. Because I KNOW there are so many creatives out there who love a good challenge, here it is._

------------>Subscribe to my email list<----------- and get this FREE Downloadable PDF Valentine. It will print out to a half fold card. This is the front.  You can use all or part of it in the contest.


I want to see how YOU embellish the card or use it in a project!!
I'll let you all vote on facebook and on my blog for your favorite.
 The only rules are
1.You must use a recognizable portion of the PDF,
2. You must credit KH Kellum for the parts you use,
3.Don't share the PDF. It is for email subscribers only.

You can alter the Valentine in ANY way you see fit including but not limited to

 mixed media, journaling, decoupage, fiber arts,
sewing, whatever you can think of. I know I'm surrounded by so many creative people,
I just can't wait to see what you do!

Email a high quality photo of your entry so I can share it for voting and viewing in the contest photo album on the blog and  my Facebook page. Don't worry, you'll be credited for your entry as well, so be sure to give me your name and your business page to tag if you have one.

 Due FEB 13th 12:00 midnight (Alaska Time)

I'll be creating a special prize for the winner!





Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HUGE Giveaway! 58 prizes!

Link here to a massive giveaway.  All the businesses featured in ReBlinged's Warm Your Heart Giveaway are work from home artisans or crafters.  Most of us are moms, sisters, wives, etc. building a dream and helping support our families.  For me building my business contacts is important because we are a military family and we are constantly moving. How wonderful is it that I could have the opportunity to take my job with me wherever I go?  Here's your chance to be inspired by 58 new businesses that offer things you aren't going to find in big box stores. Consider purchasing items for your home as well as gifts for all occasions.

Check it out, and be sure to thank Sue at ReBlinged for her hard work on putting this giveaway together.

Here's the link to her blog and the giveaway!  

If you win my prize, you'll receive THREE hand colored Alice in Wonderland prints on vintage book paper!

Did you make something beautiful today? I'd love to hear about it. Leave me a comment. : ) 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Today I have a coupon for you. 
While you're clipping away from your Sunday news, start thinking about Christmas gifts. 
Here's 20% off your entire order.
Use the code FALL4FISH until October 1st, 2012
at this shop

You can get something like this....
or this
or this
 Everything is hand painted, of course and most items use recycled materials of some kind. I love doing this kind of work, and I try to promote the handmade industry as much as possible. In fact, if you don't find something you love in my shop, keep browsing Etsy and make a wish list of favorites from any of the thousands of craftsmen there. And don't worry, I'll keep posting tutorials here. Like I said, I love this stuff, and I love sharing it with you.

If you are a shop owner, feel free to post your shop link in the comments below. 
Don't forget your coupon code!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Discount Door Decor

I'm late posting Wordless Wednesday. Oops. Better late than...haha. Here it is. Easy peasy. Don't throw out everything you have because it looks old. This one combines some old and new. Takes about 15 minutes. The wreath is new to me. I got it on 90% off end of season clearance two years ago, but the other stuff is either scrap or already in one of my holiday boxes. Remember, this is WORDLESS, figure it out, experiment, don't be afraid to screw it up, just start over and try again, that's how you learn. :)

 There you go. Save some time, save some money, reuse something instead of throwing it away. All you need to do is rethink the way you're using things sometimes. All I did was fluff up the $2.00 wreath from last year and add some trendy items (burlap/zebra) that can be easily removed later.