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I finally did it! I decided on a plan for making my own Kindle case and it actually turned out pretty nice even though I didn’t sew a bit!

Supplies

  • a pack of fabric quarters (or two quarters)
  • elastic (I chose wide because I liked the color, but a thinner kind would work, too.)
  • no-sew seam tape
  • a hot glue gun
  • a repurposed kindle-sized book (I used a Bob Dole autobiography we’d gotten in a grab bag at a book sale several years ago.)
  •  scissors
  • a tape measure
  • an iron and an ironing board

First, I cut everything so I could clear my work space of scrap. I cut both front and back covers cleanly off the book and used my kindle as a template to cut the fabric and batting.

Next, I glued or seamed everything together. I used the no sew seam tape to bond the cover fabric to the batting and the hot glue gun to bond the interior fabric to the book. Then, I attached the elastic also with the hot glue gun. Since the elastic was wide, I cut strips of it in half and glued that to hold the kindle in place. I used a wide strap around the front of it to hold it closed.

I’m pretty happy with the final product! The batting makes it comfortable to hold, the elastic keeps the cover in place when I’m not reading and out of the way when I am, and the book gives it nice support. I can even use the book cover to prop it up if I want to!

There are a few things I would do differently next time. I made the batting and cover fabric a little bigger than the book/kindle. I thought I’d like the wider dimensions but it kind of gets in the way and I’m paranoid about it causing the fabric to bend and then get stuck out of shape. It could also use double or even triple the batting.

For now, I’m really excited about it. And I that pack of quarters only cost me $6.50 and I have enough fabric to make six or so more cases! Lots of possibilities!

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Here’s my take on some super simple garden makers. I like my garden makers to all look the same because I feel like it creates some visual continuity among all the variety of plants.

1.) Gather your supplies. You’ll need: craft popsicle sticks ($2), pencil, and wood burning tool ($14). 2.) Draw/sketch out how you’d like to write your names. If you’ve got different tips for your wood burning tool you can basically create your own font. I could only find one tip, so I had to go with simple block lettering. 3.) Burn your names into the sticks. 4.) Admire your work. 5.) Place in your garden. You can also easily burn the back of the stick so that you can view the name from all angles if necessary.

 

 

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 This post has been a llloooonnnngggg time coming. If you’ve been with us for awhile you might remember this post on my Lane Cedar Chest that I found back in June. The day it came home, we removed the base because it was falling apart and in disrepair. So, for the last, oh nine months (9?!?!), it has sat in our living room like this:

Not bad, but also it kinda drove me crazy because  it was just a big box. I was basically waiting for the time to stumble acorss the perfect set of legs that I didn’t have to pay too much for and so I found this lovely little bookshelf with the perfect legs.

This weekend I had the time to remove the legs and clean them up a bit. Now, they’ve got a new little home on the cedar chest.

Cute, right? Honestly, I feel like the original base looks much better but since there really wasn’t a way to keep it, the little tapered bun feet are perfect!

It totally changes the way that the piece looks and how it fits into the living room. I’m pretty happy with it.

What do you think?

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Last week in this part of the world it rained for 5 days straight. I was really appreciative about the weather because there’s almost nothing I like to see in the forecast more than rain, an opinion I’m sure not many people share. The downside (or upside?) of the rain is that all of the grass and trees and flowers loved it too and now everything is growing like crazy and our lawn needs more maintenance than usual so early in the season.

That means we have to take care of a little crabgrass problem that is partially inherited and partially our fault. When we were doing demolition at the beginning of our remodel, the dumpster we rented from a company I would never go back to, got picked up a day early right after a heavy rain so it basically scraped grass out of our yard that fall. We stayed busy remodelling and didn’t take care of it so last year it just filled in with crabgrass.

I guess I didn’t mind it so much last year because the grass and crabgrass both greened up at about the same time and if you didn’t walk on it, it wasn’t so noticable. But this year, we have tall green grass and a bunch of dead crabgrass. It’s not pretty at all. I’m even too embarassed to use non-stock photos. It really looks awful.

The other problem is that I really don’t feel that competent about lawn care. I’m not even the one that mows and as soon as I started working on the lawn, I kept getting nervous that the neighbors were watching out their windows and laughing at me.

I guess I just need to think positive thought, rely on google and other blogs, and read instructions well!

My current plan of attack:

  • Pull up the patches of crabgrass in the yard
  • Spread fresh grass seed
  • Add Scott’s Turf Builder fertilizer
  • Water, water, water
  • Hope, hope, hope

Hopefully soon, we have a beautiful lawn that is great to walk on — or even lie down in.

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Yay! I’m doing a small happy dance because my plants are FINALLY in the ground. I’ve been doing so much prepping just waiting for the hypothetical last frost date to be in the clear, so that I could put the little vegetable lovelies in the ground. We gotten lots of rain here and so it was the perfect time to work in the soil. TIP: If you plan on planting anything in the ground it’s best to work in your garden/yard right after it rains. It’s so much easier and when there’s less energy being used it keeps you happier. Therefore, wanting to get back out there again and again. If you burn yourself out, you’ll not want to keep it all up.

Two weekends ago, I made my way to my home town to spend some quality time with my family. Close to my parents, my grandparents’ happen live on the same 200+ acres for the past 50 years and so they’ve got loads of materials they were willing to part with for my garden. The biggest thing was all of the white rocks you’ll see. I’m a bit surprised how sentimental my backyard is quickly becoming, it’s not something that I expected. Doing all of this work and acquiring the materials, really makes your space feel like something that needs to be loved and cared for.

Just for some reference: Here’s what I started with BEFORE

And here’s the progress I’ve made so far-

It’s looking much better! Like I said, we’ve had lots of rain lately so my grass needs a good trimming but that’ll be ongoing. The water trough behind the picnic table I’ve got big plans for so stay tuned for that!

This cute little bunny was my mom’s. It was gifted to her before I was born and it is holds an Easter Lily from my grandparent’s backyard.

These irises are great for hotter, drier climates. They are super hardy and come back every year. I pulled these up from my grandparent’s backyard and where they were started 50 years ago. So, these are off springs from their original irises from when they moved into their house. Also, since I rent, this was a great FREE option to add some extra flowers to my backyard. And because they can be transplanted so easily, when I move they are coming with me!

Here’s my little herb garden. Right now, I’ve got thyme, basil, oregano, Italian parsley, and English lavender. The oddly placed rock on the side there is marking where my chives will be going.

In the veggie garden are my bell peppers. I’ve planted red and sweet orange varieties.

And here’s one of my four tomato plants. I’ve got Romas and Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes. The super sweet ones are recommended my Martha Stewart as being delicous and easy to grow.

My vegetables include:

Red Okra, Dwarf Peas, Carrots, Pickling Cucumbers, Roma Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Bell peppers. Also, I’ve planted some Marigold seeds because they are a great flower that helps with pollenating and such.

The pine needles you see placed around the base of each plant serve as a mulch. They protect the roots of the plant from drying out and help the soil to retain moisture. And they are also from my grandparent’s pine trees. See what I mean by sentimental?

I’ve got more work to do, but lots is happening back here. Hopefully in the next couple of months, I’ll get to see some fruits of my labor.

Sorry, my Instagram (follow me at mlmarcum) photos are kinda dark. Boo. Didn’t realize that. 

Follow my graden progress and list of to-do items here.

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I finally did it! I’ve started turning the soil for my garden! It’s a small 10 x 4 plot. We’ve had so much rain here and warm weather that right now is the time to get started. The soil is so nice and soft and so turning it over was no big task.

My friend, Cathy, came over (because she’s had her own gardens in the past) and showed me the ropes. We decided on something small for my first vegetable garden. We laid out some rock and spare wood I had in the backyard to decided the size. Then I used my spade fork to dig in and turn over the soil. Now, all my soil is turned over and I just have to shake out the grass. Or, weeds rather.

As you can see in the top right picture, is where I’m going to start my compost. My plan is to get a few cinder blocks just to outline the space and hide the ugliness. I’ll just kill out the grass/weeds that are there right now by laying down a nice thick layer of leaves. All the leaves that have finally fallen will be perfect.

As I started to turn over the soil, I found some friends. The fat, creepy looking white worm is a grub. A few of these are okay, but you don’t want an infestation. According to the folks at my local nursery, an infestation is 16 grubs per square foot. So I dug a small little 12″x12″ square and then counted the grubs. I’ve only got 2-3 per square foot at most, so I’m good. They tend to feed on plant roots during the day and then at night they will crawl up and eat your plants. Bad news.

And then I found this big fat guy (girl?). If it’s a girl, I feel bad for calling her fat. Are earthworms androgynous? Hm, I should look that up. Anyway, this is an earthworm and they are awesome. They eat all the bad stuff and poop out good stuff. Basically. If you don’t have many worms in your start-up garden, you can purchase earthworm castings (aka poop).

Today, I went and bought compost from my local nursery, Natural Gardener. They are awesome and tell you exactly what you need to get. The total for the compost was $29. I’m going to mix all of it in with my soil and then in a few weeks, hopefully after we’ve had our last frost, I’ll begin to plant. In the meantime, I’m going to get the rest of the yard ready. Like, finish the compost pile, possibly build a small station for the grill, and maybe put down some morning glory seed.

Hope you all have a lovely Monday!

Isn’t this photo from Green Wedding Shoes adorable?

Seriously, I can’t get tired of silhouettes right now. Maybe it’s because I actually love Valentine’s Day and there is something so romantic about the way we remember the Victorian era or maybe it’s that I just really like cameos. Since we’re getting a little close to Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share some great silhouette DIY crafts that you can make cheaply for your Valentine!

ApartmentTherapy, together with ReadyMade magazine, has a great tutorial on how to make a silhouette. I think it works pretty well if you’re going to blow it up or make it super small so you can use it as a guide if you need help executing any of the crafts.

They also point out that you don’t have to do silhouettes of people. You can also make them of your pets!

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Curbly also has a little bit of a new spin on a silhoutte, painting the negative space on a sheet of plywood to make a natural wood silhouette without doing any cutting! The final product looks great.

You can also make silhouettes small and make custom cameos, necklaces, or bracelets. Less than Perfect Life of Bliss has a tutorial for tiny silhouettes. I love how they turn out!

I couldn’t resist pinning this necklace! The different finishes around the silhouettes makes it look so classy! The necklaces are available for purchase on Etsy if you’re not feeling adding another tutorial to your list.

If you just want a straight-forward lovey valentine silhouette project, the custom couple map silhouette is my favorite!

Silhouettes are a great way to add some personalized details to your home.

I’m not a big monogram fan when it comes to personalizing your decor, but I do like having personalized touches and a silhouette is a great way to upcycle a cheap pillow!

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com