Meet Butch

A while back I created a new friend, her name was Betty Bling. You may remember her. She made a bit of a stir over on Hometalk.
Well, Betty just seemed a bit lonely all by her self. So, I created a new friend for her. His name is Butch. Opposites attract wouldn’t you say? Betty is very sophisticated, Butch is grass-roots. Literally.

Butch is a happening kind of guy. He loves classic rock, bikes, and football. He’s a true Wisconsinite. Go Badgers!

Butch n’ Betty were easy to create using styrofoam heads that I found at Hobby Lobby.
I put Butch on top of a wine bottle filled with pebbles to paint him. He’s very serious looking, don’t you think?
These are all the supplies I used. Just some Magikote primer, Krylon stone metallic spray paint, and a paint brush. Don’t forget the wine bottle. Drinking the wine is half the fun!
I added a bandana, some aviator glasses and a groovy necklace. I couldn’t resist the earing. It just makes his Fiber Optic Grass hair seem more realistic.
For a step by step tutorial on painting and cutting the hole for planting, visit my post on Betty Bling.
I have them outside on my deck, at least until the next rain storm comes along. We have had some serious wind lately. You haven’t seen the last of them, I have BIG plans for them in the garden this summer. Be sure and stop back!

Designer Mom

Bird Bath Rehab

Have you ever heard the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? It should have said “One man’s trash is another WOMAN’S treasure”. This is my latest trash picked rehab project. I am eternally grateful to all those who throw away such awesome trash! Thank you!
This old bird bath looked pretty sad when I pulled it from my neighbor’s trash heap. I don’t blame them for throwing it away. It was ugly. The paint was peeling, it had a crack in the bottom, and it was missing a piece (my guess is it was originally a fountain).  I was undaunted by it’s pathetic condition.


The bowl still held water, even though it was cracked. I decided to fill the crack with some waterproof silicone caulk just in case it decided to leak. I found this tube of caulk at Walmart for a couple of dollars.
From the very beginning, I had envisioned this birdbath as a sunflower. I love sunflowers, and plan to have tons of them in my garden this year. They are not up yet, but I will keep you posted on their progress. So, when I found this Sunburst yellow Rustoleum Paint at Home Depot, I knew it was perfect for my garden. I gave the bird bath two coats, I love the glossy finish it has. It’s just the sunflower color I was looking for.
I used black river rocks from Hobby Lobby to give it the look of the sunflower seeds. I should buy a few more of them, but you get the idea.
The glass ball is also from Hobby Lobby, and floats about on the surface of the water. I have heard that birds are attracted to shinny objects. So am I. Who doesn’t love a little bling? We shall see how the birds feel about it.
I was completely seduced by the red Salvia plant when I saw it at the greenhouse. It HAD to come home with me. I and potted it in an old galvanized flower pot that I previously painted black.  I like the variation in color and height that it brings to the bird bath.
I have always wanted a reflecting pool in the garden, this could be it.
Have a great weekend!

Designer Mom

Garden Party Update

It has been cold and dreary here. All the plants seem to like it, I am the only one who wilts in the cool breeze. The chicks don’t like it either, they cower in the corner of their pen and ruffle their feathers.
The lilacs are in bloom and I can’t seem to get enough of them. Their fragrance is addictive. I also love this flower basket I found in the attic of our garden shed, discarded by the previous owners. 
I have been trying to get this little cabinet painted before our holiday party. The rain is slowing me down.  Meanwhile, I don’t seem to mind the ugly finish so much when it has my pink watering can full of flowers on top of it. By the way, I also found the watering can in the trash. Have I mentioned that I am an obsessive trash picker? I need one of those stickers that says “I brake for Junk”.
The hedge bordering our property is beautiful right now.
In between rain showers I have been busy planting. My window boxes are complete, although I may add a few more vines to them. I love the Silver Falls vine, it’s one of my favorites. The humming birds are back and seem to like my pink primroses. I think they will also enjoy the purple Heliotrope, but I can’t be sure of this just yet.
 A couple weeks ago, we began pulling off the black plastic from our sod where we planned on putting the garden. We began building our raised garden beds out of 10 foot 2 x 10’s, and then realized that we would never have enough compost to fill them. So, we ordered 10 yards of compost to be delivered from our local nursery and dumped right from the truck into the beds.
Here’s what they look like today.
We made a trellis out of long sticks and covered it with netting. I can’t wait for the Morning Glories to fill it!
I also took the time to stencil our little tables that we made from things found in the trash. You can read more about it in my post DIY Trash to Treasure Tables.

I don’t think the table jokes will ever end. My children do not understand my need to stencil.
Oh, well.
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!
Designer Mom

Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

I bet you are wondering what happened to me this week. I have spent nearly my entire week outside, in the garden. Everything is blooming and we have had the most wonderful weather.
I picked the first of our rhubarb crop yesterday. We love rhubarb, there are so many delicious things you can make with it. Here’s my simple recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch:
One pound of fresh strawberries, sliced
6 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup Pearl Tapioca
1/2 cup butter
1/2 honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup raw old fashioned oatmeal
Slice strawberries and chop rhubarb.
Add them to the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup tapioca. Drizzle with the honey.

Combine remaining ingredients with a fork. Cubing the butter makes it go faster. Work the dough until they are well combined and the butter is the size of peas.
Spread the topping over the rhubarb mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and the rhubarb is softened.
Don’t forget the whip topping!

How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step

How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves is a great skill to learn. You can learn how with this step by step tutorial.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|

 How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves

I have had this post in draft for a while. Altering suit coat sleeves is not difficult if you know a few tricks. It does take a bit of time, but it is very worthwhile. You can expect to spend one to two hours working on this project. Tailors charge $20.00 or more per sleeve for this service, you can do it yourself and save money.

Suit Coat Hem Supplies Needed:

•good quality sewing thread, preferably cotton
•a sewing machine (straight stitch only, don’t panic),
•press cloth or dish towel
•tailors chalk
•roll of fusible interfacing approximately 1″ wide. I use a product called Stitch Witchery. It’s very inexpensive and you can find it in the sewing department at Walmart or Joanne Fabrics.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|

Ripping Directions:

•The best advice I ever received on alterations, was to only work on one sleeve at a time. Don’t be tempted to take them both apart, you may not remember exactly how it went together and you will loose that professional look.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Fit your jacket sleeve length, mark with a pin, and measure how much needs to be hemmed. FYI, the sleeve should touch the top of your hand when your arms relaxed hanging down at your sides.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Remove the stitches that hold the lining to the sleeve. If your jacket has buttons on the cuff you will have to remove those as well. In addition, the lining may be tacked in a few other places, cut the tacks and roll the lining up the sleeve about half way.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•If your jacket is vented at the cuff, remove all stitches holding the vent in place. The goal is to open the existing hem and flatten the vent. If there is interfacing in the cuff, you may be able to leave it in place and will not need to add more interfacing.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Now for the tricky part: measure how much your hem needs to be shortened and mark with tailor’s chalk. The basic rule of thumb is if you are shortening the sleeve more than 2″, you will have to sew the vent closed. No one will know that the jacket used to have a vent. Overall, this is the easiest process. It is far more complicated to keep the vent. Trust me, you won’t even miss it.
•On my jacket, I also used the ruler and chalk to mark the cutting line. Cut away the excess vent fabric. You want the seam allowance edges to be even all the way to the end of the sleeve.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|

Sewing Directions:

•After trimming away the fabric, sew the vent closed using a straight stitch, and catching the interfacing to hold it in place in the side seam. If you need to add interfacing to the hem of your sleeve, do that before sewing the side seam shut. Keep the interfacing parallel to the raw edge of the sleeve. It should be centered over the fold of the cuff for a crisp finish like in the photo below.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Time to trim the excess fabric from the hem. I had to shorten my sleeves 3″. I removed 3″ off the raw edge. Mark with ruler and chalk, then cut.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Mark and cut the same amount from the sleeve lining.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Press the fabric slightly to make it easier to hem. Be sure and use a press cloth if your jacket is wool. Also, do not press your suit coat sleeve completely flat, it will look rather funny when wearing it. You may choose to use a rolled up towel in the sleeve to avoid creases, or use a sleeve roll if you have one.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Fold the hem in place. Using the other sleeve as a guide, re-measure sleeve allowance and pin the lining in place over the raw edge of the sleeve. Try the jacket on and make any necessary adjustments before completing.
How to Hem Suit Coat Sleeves, Step by Step|Designers Sweet Spot|
•Hang in there we are almost done! Time to slip stitch the lining to the hem. Using a needle and thread, pick up only a thread or two of the wool sleeve and then the same amount of the lining. If you are not much for hand sewing, remember the lining won’t show. If you pick up more of the lining fabric at first it’s okay. Just be sure your stitches are not visible on the outside of the sleeve.
The finished hem.
•Finally, refer back to the original sleeve for button placement. Sew the buttons on the finished sleeve in the same position as the original. A light pressing (use the press cloth), and you are done! Time to start all over with the other sleeve!
That wasn’t so bad, now was it? You can do this!
Best of luck on your sewing project!
Check out these other fun posts!Meet Betty Bling (Faux Garden Head) - FBMeet Betty Bling
How to Sew a Fleece Robe|Designers Sweet Spot|
Spring Table Setting|Designers Sweet Spot|
Painted Velvet Chairs updated with spray paint.|Designers Sweet Spot|
 10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Bath|Designers Sweet Spot|
10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom