R.J.’s Closet Nursery

overviewWe had another whole baby since my last post! Here is my sweet Baby R.J. on top of a vintage suitcase I got at Goodwill. Got to start ’em young…


I can barely believe it’s been so long, but I have a backlog of projects to share now. First up is this one: a closet room for our new addition. With a teenager and a light-sleeping three-year-old taking up all the other bedrooms in the house, I had to get creative to find a spot for Baby R.J.. Or move. And moving whilst pregnant or with a newborn sounds frightening to me. Lucky for us, there are two closets in our master bedroom. Unlucky for us, they are both pretty small. There was no option of putting a full-size or even a standard mini crib in one of them. Enter the Bloom Alma Mini crib. I love this thing. It was a tad expensive ($340 even before the mattress!) which is not my style, as we all know. But it was way cheaper than moving. It fits like a glove in the closet.

The crib is on wheels, so we move it to the left when we need to get into the right side, where his clothes and essentials are located. Then we move it back to the center doorway when it’s time for a nap.

crib side

I made the sheets for it myself because the sheets Bloom sells are $50 for a 2-pack. Just no.


As mentioned above, we store all the baby gear and clothes on the right side of the closet. I’m a sucker for vintage suitcases. Here’s another one.

suitcase shelveslower shelvesalligator

shelf side

And that completes our tour! Now, if you were wondering where I stashed my wardrobe to make this closet nursery happen, here you go. I had to pare down a bit, but it really hasn’t been a hassle.(Other than having to part with my wood hangers because they wouldn’t fit.) We already had the armoire in our room, I just busted out the back panel and added a rod. Conveniently, the shelf below the clothes fits a laundry basket perfectly.


For my shoes, I picked up these Ikea Trones cabinets at Goodwill for next to nothing. I painted them and added some of our leftover flooring to the top. They take up almost no space in the room, and my shoes have never been so organized.



We are comfortable for now, but R.J. eats like there’s no tomorrow. Hopefully the little marshmallow will stay in his closet room for at least a year.


Scrappy Girl: A Fabric Rollergirl Doll

WP_20141120_043The most important thing I learned while making this project is the fine line between a super scary doll smile and a very cute one. Last night, after handstitching the felt smile, I looked down to see a very creepy rollergirl staring back at me with murder in her little fabric eyes. I grabbed my scissors before things got out of hand, took a millimeter off each side, and we were friends once again. WP_20141120_048

Emmie is super into dolls right now. The ones she always grabs first are her fabric dolls. No plastic parts make them all snuggly for her. She also really loves to watch skating–me or anyone else. She’d love to skate herself, but her feet are too tiny still. So, I decided to combine these two loves into a fun little mini-me rollergirl doll. It’s modeled after her, with a play on my own roller derby name, Jumbo Shrimp. Get it? Popcorn Shrimp? I’m so dang clever. Actually, I think my husband came up with that, but I’m taking credit here. The number is also a play on my own. Mine is 21/25 for the count of jumbo shrimp you get in a bag per pound. Little Popcorn’s is 61/70. WP_20141120_050

My mission for this doll was not to buy anything new. I have so many scraps. I still have no idea why I bought gold spandex, but it seems to keep being useful for little things. It was perfect for her helmet and skates. I made the hair out of some leftovers from our couch cushions. Her snazzy pants are a bit of Ikea fabric that was left from a table runner I made for my team captain, Queen Loseyateefa. I figured that was fitting to use here. I made the pads with felt and some small scraps of elastic I had from making derby number armbands, also fitting. The elbow and kneepads have velcro attached to them so Emmie can open and fasten them, but they are fixed to the body so they don’t get lost. To make the logo, name, and number, I used some printable iron-on transfer paper. (And a special thank you to the league for letting me photograph the logo for my blog!)WP_20141120_053

I tried my best to keep everything washable. That was fortunate because she already has a large chocolate milk splotch on the side of her head less than 24 hours after I completed her. Her first derby bruise!

As you can see (these are pre-chocolate milk photos), Emmie’s pretty happy with her new friend. She insisted that Popcorn be buckled in beside her at Home Depot and in the car. Oh, and that smile kills me.



Bound to Be Shelf-ish: A Book Bookshelf


It’s like clockwork nearly every six months. I have to rearrange my furniture. I get antsy and start wondering how I could ever have liked any of it where it is.

This is how I came to have a school desk as my entrance table last week. I gave the boot to a cabinet that never looked quite right there, but I still wanted someplace to put throw my purse when I came in the door. On a whim, I moved the desk down from Emmie’s room. The whole living room has various school-themed (globes, maps, chalkboards) things scattered around, so this was a natural conclusion.


When I first set it by the door I loved it! Then hated it again instantly.There was so much empty wall space behind it. Plus, where could I put the lamp? A shelf, of course! Something functional but interesting. So I came up with a vintage book bookshelf. The books were previously also in Emmie’s room, but I stole ’em because the colors were perfect. Here’s how it came together. So, so easy.

A stack of cool-looking vintage books…WP_20141115_008

Open up the cover and add some brackets. I marked where the holes would be on the outside of the cover before doing this…



Close the cover and screw those puppies in…


Hang it up…


I hung two side by side and stacked the books on top between them to create a longer shelf…


I love my flying pig so much…


And yay for book bookshelves!


Cart Blanche: A Grocery Cart Turned Kitchen Island


When you see a cart in a store, you can generally assume it belongs there. Which is why I think I was lucky enough to find this one at the last stop of a Tuesday thrift store run. I never expect much from the last store, as it’s typically pretty picked over by the time we get there. Since I have such odd taste in home accessories, this was my dream come true–a really cool shopping cart for $15. I just put all my other stuff in it and happily rolled it through the store!


After a bit of ribbing from my husband about it (he asked if I was going to put all my belongings in it and walk up and down the road), it has found its place in our kitchen as an island. I slid the store name placards out of it, added a tension rod for paper towels, and some wine boxes. I was so excited when the rectangular one fit perfectly in the top basket. It’s a great work surface and I have random utensils stored in it. The bottom boxes hold onions and potatoes.

I love this darn thing so much. It makes me happy every time I see it. Told you I have odd taste.

WP_20141114_020[1] WP_20141114_029[1] WP_20141114_023[1] WP_20141114_026[1] WP_20141114_018[1] WP_20141114_031[1]

Ba De Ya, Fun Cakes in September!


My grandmother, Evelyn, turned 103 on September 13th.  I fiercely love my Grama. But then, you cannot NOT love my Grama (aka G.G. for the greatgrands.) I had the extreme good fortune of growing up under the same roof with Grama from the time I was born. She had her own apartment in our house, but I was allowed to visit pretty much anytime I wanted. I’d go hang out with her in the evening to watch Wheel of Fortune or Golden Girls and eat Smarties. She even taught me to read. When I got older (and undoubtedly more annoying), I would cringe to hear her admonition, “I’ve got a bone to pick with you, Jaime!” Just as often, I would come home from school to fresh baked cookies.

But Grama didn’t just take great care of MY family, she also volunteered; reading to kids at the elementary school, teaching English classes to international students at her church, and with the Red Cross Bloodmobile.  Some of her international students still come to visit her and send her gifts from their cultures. Up until about 5 years ago, she was still driving! Many times, she’d be driving ailing friends 2o years younger than herself to doctor’s appointments or bringing them food.

Just because she’s sweet and lovely doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a dark side. She will mercilessly beat the pants off you at any word game to this very day. Scrabble and the Jumble are mere child’s play to her. My mother and she play the game Bananagrams every morning at breakfast. A few months ago, my mom came to sit down at the table and found that Grama had spelled out “winner” in front of her own place and “loser” in front of my Mom’s! Continue reading

Tiny House: Another Playhouse Makeover


My dad is seriously the best. Not only does he still come to my rescue any time my ancient car breaks down, he also calls me when one of his clients (he used to be a programmer but now is a wildly successful handyman) is getting rid of something he knows I’d like. And he transports it for me! So was the case with this playhouse. I wasn’t really in the market for one considering I’d just fixed up this one, but how could I possibly turn this down? Continue reading

Face Book: DIY Toddler Board Book

Emmie loves her people. She loves nothing more than to look at pictures of everyone and loudly proclaim their names. Rather than constantly shooing her away from the pictures on my phone, (I’m on my fourth phone in two years from her dropping and breaking them, even with Otterboxes) I figured she’d like a book of her favorite people to toss around willy-nilly. I found out that you can have a board book printed. Adorable, I thought. Then I looked at the price tag. $24.95 each plus shipping and handling. For a toddler. No.

I decided to make Emmie a book instead. It’s not quite as tidy as the custom-printed one, but it does the job.

First I found pictures of all her people, cropped them, and added names. Then I printed them all out at 3.5 x 5 inches. I cut some card stock into the same size for the pages.

IMG_5234 Continue reading