Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Haha - this is only funny because my hubs is morally against recycling. Really only because he doesn't like that the city wants us to pay for the recycling bin - whatever. Doesn't bother me.

too excited to wait until daylight to take the pictures...
On my attic surfing adventure - I re-found these two frames (top). They actually held some very nice fruit prints, but the fruit didn't really work colorwise with our living room. However - they happened to be the perfect size to fit some gorgeous botanical prints we had, if I ignored the lack of matting. (which I was happy to do.)

Previously, just the green matted prints were on this wall, more centered, and while it looked just fine, I couldn't help but layer on some more. Now - if you can picture it with my favorite floral fabric draperies - it's just perfect. :)

Gotta love totally free projects. Had everything I needed ready to go - but the hammer. It took me almost an hour to find it. Better late than never I guess. (turns out I had put it away in its correct resting place - silly me)

On the matter of not matting - of course we would rather have a larger frame with a mat to really do the print justice but it finally just seemed silly to me to avoid hanging something on the wall that makes me happy because of that. Why "suffer" when "making do" isn't that bad. I might even decide that I like the prints unmatted - who knows?!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Attic Treasures

I went surfing in the attic Friday. It started out just to visit my bolts of fabric that I have stored up there, turned into a search for my art paper (which I still cannot find), discovered some frames that would be perfect for some botanical prints we have, and ended up finding what appears to be a panel of some sort for something in our house. I have absolutely no idea where this thing is supposed to be - but it just so happens to be the perfect size for over my craft dresser. Now I just have to decide which of the many functions it could hold would be most appropriate.

You're lucky I'm not showing the whole room - didn't realize what a disaster the "office" is - guess that's what I'll be working on while Sam is gone. Anyhow - the big black board is what I discovered in the attic and Sam says he doesn't know what it was for and I can have it. Sweet.
I've wanted a peg board all things crafty wall organizer for forever. So - it seems that doing this would make the most sense. I will obviously have to think a little bit about how to get the bins on the board since there are no peg holes - but that's just wandering around the hardware store and pondering...

I've had this magazine page on my inspiration corkboard for years! I think I've moved it twice!
What I really need to decide is - paint, fabric, chalkboard paint... And now that I've said it "out loud" - I think I am going to cover my monster corkboard in fabric - so that's out. And, while in the attic, I also discovered an old mirror that would be perfect for chalkboard paint - so that's out. (all these fun projects and not enough time!) Paint it is.

In an effort to NOT run and get spray paint, which would be so easy, I'm going to work with what we have. And we have A LOT of paint in the storage closet.

The office is painted Provence Blue, the fabrics I'm using in here are green, blue, yellow, and the kitchen, which is just off the office, is painted China Pattern Blue (super dark and bold - I love it!)
I could paint the frame Shagreen (our living room color), Colonial White (seriously the best white ever), Divine White (our hall color, but I think we also have it as a tinted primer) or China Pattern Blue (super dark and lovely).

Or - maybe a two tone paint job would be best. Hmmm... Definitely one of the whites in the center - depends on which one I decide to use on the craft dresser below it. Done. Now - I'm thinking the green for the outside frame. It's happy. I like it. I love it. I want some more of it. I try so hard.... I digress.

Well, actually, I think I might be done for the moment. Until I actually do this project - I suppose there's not too much to say. My hubs is in for Germany then Toronto for two weeks and pepito is going to be MIA with the grandparents for the next couple days - so needless to say, I am looking forward to a VERY quiet house. Perfect for projecting uninterrupted and studying. Boo to having to read 400 pages of Anatomy.

Catch ya on the flip side.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beep Beep

I almost forgot about this!! I had to wait to blog about how cute this little project turned out because it was a gift and I just now ran across the picture!!

Tutorial from here. I think I stuck pretty much to the instructions, swapped blackout lining for interfacing because that's what I had on hand, I didn't sew the ribbon on correctly, and I used iron on letters instead of searching Columbus for freezer paper - but I think it turned out darling.

Happy Second Birthday Liam!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I did it again

Yep - sewing has once again been monopolizing my time. In between, of course, going to school, washing bottles and trying to keep the house in some sort or order. I've been playing with a couple of different projects...

My best friend in the whole wide world recently got her very own studio space and I am lucky enough to turn it into fun land. Seriously - go check her out - she's awesome. Hadley Scott Photography. Also, check out her blog - there is a ridiculously cute baby on it...just saying. We're not going too crazy - leaving the walls white - better for the whole picture taking thing - we don't need a haze of green or turquoise all over the babies. I've been busy turning readymade Target curtains into semi-custom fun ones. It is remarkably easy to do this and much more cost effective, especially when you need "luxury" length panels. I'll probably go into more detail later - so here's just a quick sneak peak. kitchen. We have been in need of proper treatments for these windows forever (and they're still not quite done, but y'know) but I've had a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around fabric selections and what to do about the shutters which threw off the proportions.

these were the first idea - stage coach valances; loved the print, picked up on the blues and greens in the other rooms, but the measurements got a little off and I wasn't thrilled and at this point, Sam was insisting we had to keep the shutters - so it always felt off. And obviously I never truly committed because I never hemmed the ties... Though, for one of the first sewing projects I tackled, it was a good learning experience.
Then, over the weekend we had the prettiest weather - sun out, just warm enough, birds chirping - it was perfect. But our kitchen was SO dark. And we just decided to take down the panels on the french doors because we were missing out on the light and so I decided to take down the shutters and it was lovely. All the light!!

Second idea, really did this as a "test run" for a friend, but then we decided that the inverted pleat valance was more appropriate for her room. I was never really happy with how this turned out anyway. But, you can see how I am already thinking "these shutters have to go!"
And I'll be honest, I put off handwashing the baby bottles a little less now and when it is officially spring & summer I will get to stare at my neighbor's blooming roses and other pretty flowers.

So I ripped the seams of the "faux roman shade" and sewed a large rectangle with lining. The lining is really more the view from the outside but I could go on and on about that - another day. I'm still trying to decide whether I want ribbon ties or accent fabric ties so they are tied up temporarily with scraps from the ribbon drawer... I am super pleased with the result though. And I LOVE having a view now instead of staring at shutters that constantly need to be dusted! ha!
On a whim today, and because I saw that the flannel was on sale, I got the idea to make William a new blanket. Something a little lighter weight than his plushy ones but still large enough to wrap him in the carseat/stroller. Plus, we have lots of friends expecting babies, and I was dying to practice making a flannel blanket. Fun for me - it only took about an hour and that included keeping the baby out of the trashcan. Cut out the size you want with fabric stacked, line up, pin bias tape, sew the tape, fold over and sew the other side of the tape shut and done. Easy cheesey. It's so cute and I think he likes it too...

It's yellow gingham, green pinstripes, and blue binding. It's just shy of 36"x36" I think. I had four yards of bias tape, so I needed to keep the dimensions under this because I wasn't interested in attaching more pieces midway... I think it's adorable. Almost as cute as my sweet little button.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Camelia Camelia

So pretty.

I wasn't even aware that we had a Camelia bush in our backyard until literally this morning. And what a nice surprise. I snipped every single bloom that was worth it and filled most of my vases throught out the house. Well, atleast, in the living room, kitchen, and hall.

They make me ridiculously happy to pass all day and the flowers cost nothing - which will make my hubs happy. He has yet to figure out that my happiness is worth buying something that will die in three or so days ... I'm still working on that. ;)

And I mentioned this little shelf earlier and it is now so cheery with bright pink flowers. Success!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Target Is Psychic

Our Master Bedroom has been a 'struggle' for me. We picked the paint color because we had liked it so much in the guest bedroom at the dream house, but the bedding was for a full bed & we had to leave the roman shades with the house, so we knew that we would have to get new bedding, draperies, etc. Then I found the most gorgeous peacock white/chocolate toile fabric and fell in love so I made curtain panels to go behind our bed. And then I got stuck. We have always like the "hotel" bedding, simple and easy borders, and could get it for under $100 in white and chocolate and thought that would fix the problem. But something was always nagging at me. I felt like the wall color was random and just plopped on the wall with no real plan. I waffled between painting the walls a more neutral color and going very monochromatic with the color scheme, to trying to find a new fabric for the windows because the corallyorange was feeling like such a random paint color choice.

But we still loved the color and truthfully, I didn't want to have to move all the furniture and paint the room when we JUST finished painting the last room in the house. And then, we had to go to Target to get prescriptions refilled, and while wandering around, it happened. Target knew exactly what I needed and saved me all the trouble of either searching endlessly or painting.

I couldn't believe it. The color was perfect, the pattern was just 'eclectic' enough to make all the random wall art fit it, and it was lovely. Sam and I both stopped in our tracks. He continued on looking at other stuff and keeping the cart moving so William would stay happy - and I just stayed there holding the bedspread and thinking, trying to vision the "new" plan.

random picture from google - don't remember where I found it -but aren't the panels lovely?!
Unfortunately, now the peacock window treatments have to go. Way too busy and formal to go with the new bedspread - we're going to try them in the dining room - but I don't think they are going to do anything for that room - but we'll see. And to replace them in the bedroom - I'm thinking burlap curtains. It's cheap, chic, and will be a perfect neutral warm tone addition to the room. I'm feeling optimistic now and completely unstuck about our bedroom.

picture found at Freckles Chick, but I think it's originally from The Lettered Cottage
Remind me to never "design" a room without a full and complete plan again. Way too difficult to just add to it as I go without a full vision of what I want. And it's hard (and sort of embarrassing) to admit that because it was my job to help other people get unstuck and always have the answer. But all is well that ends well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Tisket A Tasket

I love all things basket, box, and container. Just ask Sam - it's quite the obsession. We had to get two of those ginormous UHaul boxes to move all my baskets. I. LOVE. THEM. And it just so happens that I am on the hunt for one (or two) to go under the tv/radio cabinet in the living room to hold William's toys. I haven't really put a whole lot of effort into it and I'm not sure if I want/need a lid - though it would be nice to officially hide the toys...hmm. I am sure that I don't want to pay what I will probably have to pay to get what I want. And then it occurred to me - I have exactly what we need - all it needs is a new, pretty, living room appropriate lining.

some day I will have a very organized office with bookshelves filled with these ikea boxes.
some day.
And off to the sewing machine yet again! (I think I make up excuses to sew now - it's getting kinda ridiculous...)

love pottery barn. hate the price tag.
Now of course I would much prefer to have a huge, wonderful basket that holds anything & everything - only problem is we have no where to put it. Especially since we already have one and it holds our blankets. Plus, on the flip side - I don't want it to scream A KID LIVES IN THIS HOUSE CAN'T YOU TELL BY THE HUMONGOUS CHEST!!! I really try not to have the house be so baby - atleast when people come over. Now if you just drop by - yeah - you're gonna get hit by the walker, jumper in the doorway, and trip over about a dozen rattles & rings but that's what you get when I have no warning. I can't keep up the clean house 24/7 - it's all just a show.

Target trunk basket.
Back to the matter at hand. We needed something low, so it would fit. And probably don't need the lining - but I can't pass up the opportunity to add some pattern. I am all about layering pattern on pattern on pattern. Some people may not be into it - but the more the merrier to me. It all makes me happy.

we are always watching PBS these days - and I probably should've closed the cabinet door before taking the picture - oh well - best laid plans.
The green fabric to the left of the cable box is the original lining - does NOTHING for our fabric story.
Now I have never sewn anything with this many corners and three dimensional corners and I'm a little worried. But it's not going to destroy THAT much fabric if I screw it up and for crying out loud it's for toys and it's going UNDER the cabinet so it won't matter at all if it looks wonky. Just saying.

i decided to use scraps from the french door window panels and it worked out perfectly yardage wise - gotta love that.
Turns out - it was really easy - somehow my measurements got a little - so it's slightly weird - but no one will ever know but me. And the outside corners didn't sit right, so I hand tacked some ribbons and I love the navy bows on each corner. and - Sam thought it was cute. Though I think he has picked up on the fact that I appreciate hearing that my hardwork is worth it but, for now, I am going to pretend it is every bit of sincere that I hope it to be.

And sorry that there isn't a before picture or action shots during construction. I decided to sew this late last night and now I'm in a chocolate induced coma thanks to my bestest.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Nursery for William

Not my William - but for a friend who is having a little boy this summer and I am so excited to be getting to help her with it! We had our first consultation on Sunday and we figured everything out in two hours. The general floorplan, what pieces of furniture to look for, crib selection, wall decor elevations, fabric selections, it was lovely. And on top of it all - I get to sew the bedding and window treatments for her!! Well, the bumper and bedskirt. I am really excited to get started and figure it all out.

More later - but the fabrics are gorgeous and that's where I will start. Her husband, who is perfectly adorable and would probably hate that I say so, had this "thing" against polka dots, which is kinda why we're doing "custom" bedding. It was difficult finding a readymade bedding that she liked AND had no polka dots in sight. Problem - while fabric shopping, J. found the cutest "circle" fabric and it was PERFECT. So we had to keep referring to it as circles, and not dots, and lo and behold - he agreed!! It's going to be pinch your cheeks cute - so excited!! And the swatch doesn't do it justice, because there are three rows of "circles" total and they are different colors. Will snap a pic of the full pattern later at the store...

the full fabric story all together
the "circles" will be the main fabric for crib bumpers
J loves a good stripe - this will be an inverted pleat bedskirt and also part of the window treatments
this will be used on the wall in a very cool way - more on this later
a feel good plaid as an accent pillow for J's chair
possible accent for crib bumpers - we're also looking at a solid linen...
So that's the general idea - with slightly darker than normal beige walls. Sherwin Williams Sands of Time - it's going to be great!

the swatch looks funny on my screen - it looks much better in person with the fabrics.

Just so I don't spoil everything - I'm stopping now. But stay tuned...this is going to be fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For the Moms and beyond

For Christmas we asked for formula. All you moms out there understand I am sure. The cost of formula is crippling our budget and since we don't "need" anything, Sam thought it would be wonderful if we were to receive months of supply. Our family rocks - we got almost 2 months of formula as gifts!!

and so it begins...
Some of the formula came in the form of cans, and not the plastic bins, and I just knew there had to be something I could do with them. An upcycle - is that the word everyone is using for this? - of sorts. Unfortunately I didn't inform Sam of my need to hold on to these cans soon enough and so some were lost. But I did manage to hold on to two of them. Enter my project.

don't judge the state of our ironing board...we're going to buy a new cover SOON! ;)
I already redid my "craft closet" by making a "craft dresser", but some of my supplies could be better contained. My first idea was to use scrapbook paper but the circumference of the cans was larger than 12" and I didn't want four seams. Second idea was to use - fabric -my favorite!! I have tons and had some scraps that would be perfect and I wouldn't have to cut into any large pieces of my favorites.

the home stretch...
I figured out the height and then just cut to the end of the piece knowing it would be too long but long is better than short! I pressed the hems on both and then plugged in the hot glue gun. Couple dots to get started and then started wrapping, dotting glue as I went along on top & bottom. Folded over the edge when I got back to the beginning, bead of glue to hold in place, and voila. New and improved container for paint brushes, scissors, glue sticks, tape, & sharpie pens. I really wish I had one more, might have to abandon the Sam's Club formula bin for one more can of Similac just once... I don't think Sam would approve though...we'll see.

one down, one to go
Anyhow - now if I could just find the time to repaint the dresser and the money for some shelves above the dresser and my little craft station will be in serious business! And it fulfills my need for all things fabric & sewing, since I'm supposed to be studying for two exams this week, without breaking out the sewing machine!

so much more fun than stuffed in a drawer.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sewing Up a Storm

OK - so I haven't really done anything related to design or home lately, though I am starting to let my obsession with all things container out, but that's for another day.

I have been busy reinstating my sanity by sewing. I've been making window treatments, dresses for gifts, and little jon-jons for William. I even got up the guts to try an EASY pattern for me. Sewing is my quiet, stress release time and all the things on hangers prove it! haha!

Without further ado - what I've been so busy with.

This was for a friend for her office.
Taken JUST before I realized that I had the fabric upside down. Boo. Had to rip the seams and flip over. Luckily, that only took 1.5 hours.
Made for a dear friend with the cutest little girl. I also made a matching flower headband. Can't wait to see her in warm weather!
I bought this cute green lineny fabric remnant for $2 or less. Finally stopped making little dresses and made this for William. So springy and happy.
How cute is my kid?!
Got this plaid for $1.95 a yard yesterday at Hancock's.
When does spring get here?
First attempt at a shirt for me. Silly me grabbed the wrong size pattern - so the shirt is 2-3 sizes too big but Sam says it's "tunic-y" and looks cute. (and those clothes behind are clean I promise!)
Please excuse the dirty mirror - William likes to touch it with his nose and I didn't realize it was so icky... I love this one and the fabric was $6 for both patterns I think - I might make my entire warm weather wardrobe out of just this shirt. ;)

I am pleasantly surprised by my skills. I can pretty much almost always sew in a straight line and I even figured out how to make my own bias tape and sew it on! And it's so much fun making the little outfits for gifts - that I think it might become my staple baby gift. I did make a super cute dress for a baby shower but I think she reads this blog - so I can't post it. But she (ASHLEY!!) is going to die - atleast I hope so....

So this is how I keep my sanity much to the chagrin of my husband who would like his dining room table back, even though we eat at the coffee table...just saying. ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Everything in its place

At Forest, aka the dream house with an amazing amount of closet space, I had an entire closet devoted to all things crafty, party, and decorative. When we moved to this house - we have one extra closet, in the hall, and it's tiny and not near adequate for what we needed it to hold. And try as I might I was never able to keep all things sewing and crafty in order on the one shelf I had. Nevermind that I also needed to keep extra linens, vacuum cleaner, etc in this closet as well. It was a disaster and it frustrated me and irritated Sam. I could never find what I needed, so I would end up buying duplicates, and that's just no good.

Enter my childhood dresser. Poor thing has been moved I don't know how many times and Bella, our "little" brown dog used it for teething. Several houses ago we decided to paint it red, who knows why, and now it needs to be painted something a little less HI HOW ARE YOU!! but until then it has become my organization for all things fun. And it's in the back of the house, next to the computer, and is in no one's way - except for the maybe the attic hatch...

I am totally a person who likes everything to have a place and everything to be IN that place (though I can never find my keys so I fall short often) - so this makes me crazy happy to have tackled this when I should've been doing other things. I now know exactly where my paints, papers, ribbons, cards, bags, boxes, hot glue, everything is. And this made it SO easy to wrap a baby gift for a friend this weekend. I kinda wished I had more things to wrap I was so excited!

In my master plan - I also have one of those awesome hanging organizers for ribbon and the like - but I've got to convince Sam to build me one. "add it to the list"

This one by Centsational Girl


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