Blue Jean Pillow Palooza

It All Started With Paint is hosting a Pillow Palooza Link Party today and my weekend crafty endeavors just happened to coincide with the party theme, new pillow covers!! After making my initial pillow covers, I learned a few things. Like how much our little family actually does use these guys all. the. time. I also learned more about the pillow envelop making process or exactly what I did and did not want to do this time around. I knew I wanted them to be spring/summer/fallish friendly and made out of something durable, but soft enough to pass the “head test”.  You know, soft enough you want to put your head down and sleep on them. My guys are not into embellishments…of any kind really.


Larger Pillows

I found this great denim fabric remnant a couple of years ago and have used it for a few small projects. I wish I had more of it because it is soft & drapey but very durable too. It would make a great pair of jeans! The stripe fabric was a home decor remnant I got at the same time as the denim. I think I originally thought I would make a tote out of the two, but I’m much happier with the pillow covers. More on why one cover has more denim on the front in a moment….

The Lone Pillow

This next pillow will have a mate soon, but for now it is the lone pillow. Enter more remnant fabric that kinda matches the other stripes… kinda right? I picked the muslin and striped home decor fabric up recently at Hobby Lobby. After two broken needles, I had a zipper installed on this cover! There is more stripey fabric there at HL, just calling my name, because I really, really, really want to make one of these babies for Caveboy! He actually needs it! When attempting to play at his little table he tries to sit in his little rocking chair, but its too tall, so then he tries sitting on his butt, but ends up on his knees ’cause he’s too short or standing & bending over the table to play. I’ve had the tutorial for the Land-of-Nod Inspired Floor Cushion by Living with Punks bookmarked and downloaded for a while now, so I really need to get cracking!


Backs of the Pillows

This is the backs of all the pillows, all are covered with denim. I am all about repurposing old blue jeans into something useful, so when I discovered I didn’t have enough of the denim remnant on the second larger pillow I decided to use the leg from an old pair of ripped blue jeans & I didn’t measure it precisely.

Blue Jean Leg Cut Open for Back of Pillow

All the pillows are made during nap time, therefore these need to be quick & easy projects. For the initial pillow covers I measured exactly, but for these I just used the originals as templates, so I kinda threw ’em together as quickly as I could. I made sure about the width, but not so much on the height. I may go back and make this envelop shorter to match the other and then again I may not.

The most obvious glaring problem with these is that the stripes don’t match well. I was hoping they would work better together but I’m afraid they just don’t. Never fear, I have a couple of options to play with….1st up turning the larger pillows around so only the denim shows


Look #1: Larger Denim Pillows with Lone Pillow

Option #2: Turn the Lone Pillow around so it blends better with the larger pillow’s stripes.


Look #2: Larger Stripes with Denim Lone Pillow

I have one more pillow to make to match the Lone Pillow. I’m thinking the muslin needs to be ruffled on that one?!

Go on over to see what others have created, bought or been gifted at It All Started with Paint!

I’m linking up with these fun parties too!

Home Stories A2Z

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2012 Ultimate Blog Party!!

I just found out about the 2012 Ultimate Blog Party hosted by and couldn’t resist linking up!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Hello and Welcome!! I’m Monica, writer of Rubys N Purls, wife to an amazing man, Caveman and busy working Mommy to one very busy toddler, Caveboy.

A little about the name, Rubys N Purls. I originally started this blog in my pursuit of learning to knit (or purl), but my interests and subject matter have shifted somewhat! My birthday is in July, therefore my birthstone is a Ruby and I wanted it to relate back to this great verse, Proverbs 31: 10-31

as I strive to serve God in all I do. Then I started dying my hair with henna just over year ago, so I guess I became “Ruby” in a sense!

This is my Caveman, my best friend and soul-mate. My life didn’t begin until I met him and he has been the best thing to have ever happened to me!

My Caveman!!

This is our little Caveboy! He is into everything, says the cutest things & we love him to pieces!

His shirt says, "Daddy's Little Monster!" So true! 😉

This blog has been a hodge-podge of my life. On any given day you might see posts on crafting/sewing, photography, Mommy attempting fashion/style, Thrifting, gushing about my Cavemen, Christian Living and Home Decor/Improvements as I continue to make our house into our home.

Take a look around, thank you for stopping and I look forward to meeting all of you!

Home Goals for 2012

The Nester is having a 2012 Home Goals Linky Party today.

I’ve reviewed some of the links from last years 2011 Home Goals linky party and realized that we haven’t done any big remodeling changes to our house in a few years. This has been kinda nice, but I’m starting to get the remodeling itch again…so here’s a bit of  a back story on our home, cave.

The back story – when we moved into our house in May of 2004 it wasn’t yet our cave or home. It was your typical 1980’s builder ranch house. At only 1300 sq ft it’s not huge but it’s not tiny either. Caveman & I immediately liked the layout – open kitchen/dining looking over into the living room. Growing up living with a remodel every few years and helping out a lot, my wanna-be designer brain immediately started going over the possibilities. Knock out a half wall here, rip up carpet and icky linoleum there to be replaced with solid oak hardwood throughout, paint this and that, only to top it all off with new recessed lighting and other fab updated light fixtures. Sounds so easy right, well not exactly…. First we lived with the previous homeowners colors (fuchsia/mauve & butter cream), carpets (country blue) and gorgeous hideous floral wallpaper (with cats on it) for about 9 months.

Please excuse the mess in the before photos – we had only just moved in…

Then in about November construction began. I started taking down the wallpaper after work at night in preparation for a marathon paint-fest of the kitchen/dining room/living room/hallway over Christmas break. At Thanksgiving that year my Dad came over to take down the half wall – I helped. It took the month of December because we had to not only patch the wall, but patch the textured ceiling as well and then re-route the wiring for a wall outlet and add new outlets for light fixtures over the someday bar area (that finally came together the next year complete with pendant lights and a solid oak bar). Not fun, but boy was I on cloud nine when you could see that additional 4 feet from the kitchen into the living room. Now my open layout was truly complete!

Before: Lovely wallpaper and icky linoleum; After: Ah, much better

Over Christmas break that year (about a week & a half off of work for me) I painted everything, the ceiling & the walls. Hubby helped when he wasn’t at work by cutting in everything. Over New Years weekend (2.5 long days) we laid 600 sq ft of solid oak hardwood flooring. This may not sound like much but when we got to the kitchen all the base kitchen cabinets had to be removed in order for the floor to go underneath. So Caveman & I moved furniture each night in preparation for floor laying the next day. Every night we dropped into bed completely exhausted and I questioned my sanity and my ability to judge time properly (I had delusions of grandeur this wouldn’t take that long). My Mom came to the rescue helping out and even bringing over chilli and running after food. Caveman did most of the hammering with the floor gun and as a result fractured his forearm, but our hard work paid off and half of the house was completed. It actually felt like our house and we wanted to spend time there. Before I felt like I was living in someone else house and I didn’t want to be there, but now it was truly home.

I really need to update the After photos. We’ve since gotten new furniture. See the new fireplace?

Over the next few months & years we tore down the existing chimney and replaced it was a much more substantial all brick chimney; added a back deck; painted the siding (we hired that one out);

Before: Weathered blue; After: Hunter Green – look there’s actually brick at the bottom.

Caveman & I laid a brick patio; painted the three bedrooms and two bathrooms; laid the rest of the 600 sq ft of oak flooring in the bedrooms & the master bathroom, with a little tile in the laundry and hall bathroom sprinkled in for good measure;

and we upgraded the master bath & bedroom. This past spring Caveman and my Dad upgraded the hall bath too with a new tub/shower combo, tile and new paint. All these changes have been so worth it even though they stretched our patience, physical bodies and emotional health; we made it through and our house is now our home. At this point you are probably thinking what else could there be to do, but a house is never truly complete. If I won the lottery I would….. 😛

So without further ado here are our house cave goals for 2012:

Goal #1: This year the need is for new windows and patio doors to replace the slider – all of which were either fogged up when we bought the place or have done so since!

Goal #2: The want for this year is to re-do our outdoor patio area and upgrade the kitchen cabinets. Have you seen John & Sherry’s newly painted and reconfigured kitchen? I would love to paint our kitchen cabinets, but they are so cheap they’re falling apart and desperately need to be replaced. Plus I want to rearrange the layout and add a tall pantry cabinet!

Not sure of the source, if you know please tell me.

Goal #3: Organize!!!!! I actually already started on this one last year. I organized out linen closet and our bathroom cabinets/medicine cabinets and some of the laundry room, but this year…

  • I really want a mud room. This one will require not only organization but remodeling too. I have struggled with where to put everyone’s shoes and coats and my purses/bags/junk for years! Now with Caveboy getting older and needing to actually wear shoes & with his coat, hat & gloves this is becoming more of a challenge. This year I so want to fix the laundry room to function for me! Can you tell I’m over it already?
  • Our office/My sewing room isn’t even used anymore other than to house stuff my junk! Caveman has been asking me to get this space organized and cleaned out for over a year now. This is the year to completely update this space. It’s a great room it just needs cleaning out!
  • All remaining closets have to be organized (there are only 4 left to do). Already started drawing out shelving and storage for the front entry closet. We may (if I can scrap the money together) invest in new shelving systems?
  • THE ATTIC!!!!! (cue the screams from any horror film here please!) That place definitely needs cleaning out.

Goal #4: Make every room be more family focused. Silly that it already isn’t? Yes.

  • Living Room: I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall around our TV in the living room for a couple of months. I’m so close to finishing this and can’t wait to share all about it. We also really need a media cabinet to help house corral all the stuff! There are some beautiful ones out there.
  • Dining Area: Our dining room table is getting refinished this winter too. It’s an antique round table that is rough and doesn’t work right in order to open up for an additional leaf. Got to fix this one, Caveboy plays under it all the time and it is the perfect size for this little space. (Believe me – we went through 3 tables before we finally found this one hiding at my MIL’s house). You can see it in the photos of our dining room up top.
  • Master Bedroom: I’m also working on some photos frames in here too and a my sunburst mirror, just trying to romance up the place. As Caveman says, this is our sanctuary. I really want it to feel that way, ’cause right now it doesn’t.

Goal #5: Grow/Update the blog: This is my home here on the internet, where I share with all of you; so it only makes sense to include this goal here. In case you hadn’t noticed I’m an affiliate with Adorama Camera (click on over, they have some great stuff, reasonable prices and fast shipping). I would like to have more sponsors and highlight products I love here more. I’ve been tossing around the idea of changing the name/address of the blog for over a year. I think that RubysNPurls just isn’t a good fit anymore, although my hair is now red & my birthday is still in July, but I just don’t knit as much as I once did. My focus has become more of a lifestyle blog than a knitting blog so we will see where this one takes me this year.

Do you think that is enough? I hope you will stick around for all the changes I have planned. Even with all my plans I’m sure there will be some surprises along the way too.


This weekend Dad, Caveman & I spent all day Saturday and a few hours Sunday morning installing the hardwood flooring in the Master Bedroom and Bath.

The first photo is the halfway point and the second is the completed floor.

These are the completed Bathroom flooring photos.

After flooring all day Saturday, none of us could easily get out of bed Sunday morning. We were all sore and poor Caveman had blisters from hammering all day. It was alot of hard work, but well worth it in the end.

Next up painting. We’ve got the paint, but still need to finish prepping the walls before putting on the final color. Sorry it’s been so quiet around here. If I’m not working on the house, I’m up to my eyeballs in work. I’ve a feeling it will be like this for a while. It’s taken about a week to finish up the two shoulder seams on my Salsa Sizzle. Maybe I can get the edging finished up this week, LOL, or maybe next.

Hope everyone is having a great summer. 🙂


Mid-point in remodel

Mid-point in remodel

I’m sure everyone has seen a shower before, but I think this one is gorgeous – mostly because it’s in place and it works! The photos on the right are looking into the bath and of the master bedroom. In the top photo on the left you can just see the little paint square on the door. Both paint colors were showing in the original photo, the top color will be the master bedroom and the bottom will be the bathroom. You can see both the paint colors here. From here most of the work will be done on the weekends.

I’ve been reading the last book from Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I had started it last year or maybe it was in the fall anyway I had to put it down, but now I’m almost to the end. I’ve been watching her site for clues on when the next book will be released, it looks like sometime in 2009 maybe. I really like this story and once I get going I can’t seem to put it down even though it’s really long. This has been my escape while working on the remodeling.

I haven’t touched my knitting in over a week! I have just a few more inches to go on the shoulders of the Salsa Sizzle, so maybe I’ll attempt to finish it this week.

Hope everyone is having a great week! I’ll try to get around and get some comments out there. I’ve seen some great post while I’ve been away!