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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Romper for Niko

I made this little romper thing for my nephews 2nd birthday.  I still need to add buttons.  You would think I would have some appropriate buttons in my huge button collection, but no.  I almost didn't make it because I had several votes that this fabric was not for little boys.  I couldn't disagree more, I think this fabric is adorable.  I probably should have taken the time to match the seams so there wouldn't be so many severed fish bodies.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We're building an office

By we I mean Bryant, I am in no way involved in building said office. Here are some pics of the project so far.
Materials

Framing

Framed


French Doors and a Dog
 I think Bryant is going to put up drywall soon.  I will update.

Angela's Pillows

My friend Angela asked me to make her some throw pillows for her couch.  A few weeks ago we took a trip to Sirs to pick out the fabrics.  This was an interesting challenge for me because Angela's taste is much more conservative and traditional than mine, I was surprised that I really liked the fabric we picked out.  The problem came when we started looking for pillow forms.  Pillow forms are expensive!  If anyone knows where to buy reasonably priced, good quality pillow forms please let me know.  I know that I am revealing the depths of my cheapness but buying 4 pillow forms at $10-$20 a piece really kills my budget.  In my head I was thinking that Angela could go buy a store throw pillow  for $10 or even less so I want the cost of the pillows to be around $10 each.  I ended up buying 4 clearance pillows for $17 total, luckily they were all zippered so I just took the pillow forms out and used them, no demolition required. 

I made envelope pillows so that the covers could be washed.  I measured the pillow forms and cut the fabric one inch bigger than the measurement.  For the back side I added 8 inches to the pillow form measurement and then cut it in half. Here are the finished products.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gingher Rotary Cutter

I am so excited about the rotary cutter I bought last night.  I often find myself overjoyed about fabric or an off the wall creative idea or some other artsy related interest of mine and I want to tell everyone I talk to about my latest treasure.  But after seeing too many blank stares looking back at me I have realized that there are only a select group of people in the world that can barely contain themselves in a fabric store, these are my people.  If you are reading this, you are probably my people and you might understand how awesome it is that I bought a left handed Gingher rotary cutter for like 16 bucks on Amazon.  It is normally $70 and for all you lefties out there, the right handed one was $45!  I guess there are some perks to being in the 10th percentile of handedness.  My grandmother got me a pair of Gingher left handed scissors a few years back and they have been amazing, I can't wait to try this thing out!

Update:  This thing is amazing!  I am in love, I can't stop gushing about it to anyone who will listen.  For one, it came in a super cute Gingher tin and I am a sucker for packaging.  For my first project I was cutting upholstery fabric and this thing cut thorugh it like butter, I didn't even have to apply alot of presure.  I am very pleased with this purchase.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm fond of any opportunity to celebrate, no matter how contrived the occasion.  I hope you know you are special today. 

Here was my simple and homemade Valentines present for Bryant.  I definitely need to get a new camera.
Carrot Cake Truffles and Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Heart shaped doilies stitched together with ribbon

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dining Room Chairs

I have a bit of a fondness for Auctions, I find that most people consider my treasures trash and this leads to great deals for me.  We went to our first estate auction a couple of years ago with The Best Neighbors in the World and picked up this table and chairs for a cool $70.
It was love at first sight.
I loved this set from the first time I saw it but bidding on stuff is so exciting it makes you love stuff even more.  There is a sticker on the bottom of the chairs that says 'Made in Italy' but that is all I know about this set.  I would love to get some history (if it has any).
So the sad part of the story is this part of the chairs.
tear.
The seat bottoms are damaged or gone on several of the chairs.  Sadly, I've spent the past few years bringing in alternative chairs when people want to eat food at my house but the time has come for a change.
I looked into having them re caned or trying to do it myself but this is cost prohibitive. . .So here is my solution.
Tada! 
Bryant cut me some circles out of whatever that composite stuff is in the picture.  I then cut larger circles out of an old mattress pad, batting and a beautiful black linen.

The guts.


  I'm happy with our solution.  I would post a whole table pic but the office is under construction and said table is covered in tools/dust.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kitchen Floors

Taking before pictures is not my strong suit, at least I get 'in progress' shots. 

Bryant called me one day to tell me he had ripped out some of the carpet in the house.  I was pleasantly surprised, we have two dogs and I was getting sick of having to clean the carpet all the time.  I didn't take the first picture until he had already ripped out the carpet, cleaned up the floor and stained the concrete the same color as the rest of the kitchen.  It looked something like this.

You can see how the color isn't exactly consistent across the floor.  I had this great idea to buy a couple of other colors of concrete stain to try to spice it up a little.  I was thinking I could get it to look like stone.  So we bought this.


You might look at this picture and think that I am crazy.  You might be right.  I was too traumatized during the process to take pictures.  Here is what happened.  We bought two cheap sponges for a dollar, they were about 8"x5".  I thought this part was actually kind of brilliant.  Bryant 'distressed' the sponges with a razor blade so they looked more like a natural (and more expensive) sponge.  I started with the red stain and sponged a few sections of the kitchen floor. 
I think we knew from the beginning that this was a disaster.  It looked like a scene out of Dexter
I let it dry for about an hour, maybe it will dry darker? 
After an hour not much had changed but out of blind optimism and desperation I decided to continue.  I can't really defend my actions here, since the first coat of red paint looked bad I decided that I should just sponge the entire floor with the crime scene evidence. 
Needless to say, that plan failed. After it dried Bryant and I were both feeling despondent. 
I know what will help, lets sponge it all green!  Green paint on top of ugly red paint, that's a great plan, it wont look at all like a failed 4th grade Christmas craft.  At this point we went to sleep, hoping we would wake up to find this had all been a bad dream.  The next morning, there was the floor.  
The happy ending is that Bryant painted it all red.  It looked amazing.

Yay Pretty Floors.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dining Room Curtains


At some point this year we intend to build an office out of what is now an unused living area, a side benefit of said renovation is that I will have a more official looking dining area instead of a table being awkwardly crowded out by a couch.  My soon to be dining room needs curtains on its one small window so I took this:

Jar o curtain parts


and this: 

Wrinkly Fabric

And made this:

 

Curtains!

I'll have to work on a better after picture.

How To:
  • Buy fabric-  I needed about 5 yards to make an almost floor to ceiling curtain.  I have 8 foot ceilings and did not make a big hem or any kind of fancy top tab.
  • Measure fabric.  I used my husbands measuring tape because the fabric was so long.  I think I cut about 8 feet for each panel.
  • Cut fabric-  I tried to use my rotary cutter.  I think rotary cutters are an acquired taste, you have to get used to using them.  My rotary cutting skills need some work
 
Measure twice, Cut once

  • Iron-  If you are new to sewing, you should know that you kind of have to develop a love for ironing, this goes against everything in my nature but it helps things to look much nicer.
  •  Pin- some people are pinners and some aren't.  I don't like to pin, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm not good enough to forgo pinning.


someone should make pins with funner tops.

  • Sew!  I don't usually worry too much about seam allowance,  I just sew where it looks right.  I also don't worry about matching my thread exactly.  The beautiful thing about sewing is that it can be very forgiving if everything isn't done perfectly.  Some of us can't cut a straight line, so what?  Either way you end up with new curtains in your 'dinning room.'

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Houndstooth Sleeveless Cardigan/Sweaterdress Brainstorm

I bought this awsome fabric during a bit of a fabric shopping spree a few days ago.  I Love it.  I've been trying to decide what it wants to be.  I really don't want to use a pattern, I want to learn to make my own patterns.  A dress form would really help at this point.  I made a 'mockup'  the other night but it didn't come out like I wanted.  I think I'm going to continue to try to tweak the mockup until I have what I want.  Here are some pics from my brainstorming folder.   




The pics are not exactly what I'm going for but its something.  I only have one yard but the fabric is probably close to 60" wide, It should be because it was $30 something dollars a yard (except on sale).  Stay tuned for the finished product.