My husband and I have spent some time over the past few weeks making the sewing room more user friendly and nicer looking. It’s really our catch-all room. Noah sleeps there, the desktop is in here, plus we have a twin bed up against the wall that was set up before Noah was born. All that didn’t leave me a lot of extra space to move around in.
What we came up with works better for everyone. I’ll show the desk tomorrow, but for today, here’s what I came up with for hanging my rulers and rotary mat and miscellaneous supplies that I need to put somewhere accessible to me, but not the baby.
I’ve been hanging my rulers on a scrap of pegboard I found at Home Depot that I got for free. I love the functionality of it, but it’s not terribly attractive in its raw state (not unattractive–just kind of boring).
There’s a jiffy paper store not too far from me, and I knew they’d have something fun to decoupage the peg board with. Originally, I went in there to find this paper that they had a while back with rulers all over it. I used the same stuff to cover one of my Samsonites that I use for zippers.
That was until I saw these amazing papers with Italian scenery. It reminded me of our honeymoon, and the leaning tower is backdropped on my most favorite shade of aqua…
It was very very easy to upgrade the pegboard. I just applied ModPodge to the board itself and the paper, smoothing it out as I went along. I put 2 coats of ModPodge over the paper after it had dried and then used the pegs to punch the holes. I put another coat over the paper once all the holes were punched. I totally love the result!
I’ll leave you today with exhibit #106 of how you know you have a rather curious toddler.
These are my sock monkeys for Craft Hope. I’ve been dragging my heels (literally–haha–I love sock monkey humor) on this project. I’m not sure why. I love sock monkeys. They are just inherently funny. At any rate, I woke up early on Sunday and made the pieces before I ate breakfast and stuffed and started sewing them together while Nathan and I watched Masterpiece Mystery (love that show!–that and Jeopardy–I do love running an opera category).
Noah enjoyed them later–but in this pic he’s looking at the fan. Such a mesmerizing thing, fans…
I need to make him his own sock monkey sooner than later. He was really wanting to play with them, especially after they started dancing for him. I kept them drool free for the sake of the kids who will receive them.
The monkeys in a family lineup:
And two of the monkeys just being monkeys:
I used fabric scraps instead of the heels for the mouths–some more successfully than others. I like the contrast but it needs to be monkeyed with a bit. Besides that, I used the tutorial that was on Craft Hope–I like the sock monkeys from Sock and Glove better, though I think. They’re more primatey (I’m liking these monkey inspired adjectives and verbs in this post however incorrect they might be).
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I am a tea junkie. I must have my little pot in the morning before I can function. It’s not so much about the caffeine as it is about forcing myself to slow down long enough to sip a pot’s worth of tea. It just might be the only time of day that my brain isn’t going 80 mph. Here’s the problem though: we have VERY little storage in our kitchen, so all of my teas just sit on top of the refrigerator in some glass jars or in the paper packages I bought them in. It’s not so attractive to look at, and when your space is small, I feel like the things that you must look at should be a little cuter simply because you have to look at them. Here’s my solution:
Fabric Tea tins
Small glass jars or tea tins
Matte Mod Podge
Take a scrap of fabric and cut enough to wrap around one of the glass jars plus a little bit extra. Use the pinking shears to cut along the bottom and top of the scrap. Using the brush, paint a thin layer of ModPodge on the outside of the jar and attach the fabric, smoothing as you go around the jar. When you get to where you started, fold over the raw edge (that’s why you cut a little extra) to finish the “seam.”** You can add fabric to make the tops of the jars a little nicer, or you can paint them with acrylic paints. Seal the paint with a couple layers of Mod Podge. Fill the jars with your tea and enjoy how pretty they look the next time you make your morning cuppa.
**You could put some more Mod Podge over the fabric to make it nice and shiny, but note that it will make it feel a bit crunchy–you can sand some of this sensation off with fine grit sandpaper, but not all of it.
This weekend I went away to the mountains with my women’s Bible study. It was a nice time of relaxation and prayer with some of my favorite ladies. Saturday night, we put together these magnetic fabric boards, which were inspired by the ones in Anna Maria Horner’s book Seams to Me (gorgeous book). It was so fun for me to go to the fabric store and find fabrics that fit each girl’s personality. I began to realize that we are all VERY different. Nathan very generously cut all of the galvanized steel to fit the Goodwill frames that I had painted with black and white acrylic.
We made yoyo’s that we glued magnets in and little fabric covered buttons with magnets attached on the backside. It was nice to do a quick, simple project with other people. Here are some of the resulting boards:
I have been most looking foward to today. My sister-in-law just bought a machine and today we put together a tote bag from Bend the Rules Sewing which I bought her for Christmas along with a little notions kit I put together.
This is the pretty box I decoupaged (somebody needs to bring that craft back–it’s so fun) to fit all the notions:
It was nice to take a back seat and play the role of teacher for the day. I realize that actually teaching music has forced me to do what I thought was completely unnatural for me (and was definitely at the beginning)–which is to teach and to do so more instinctively. I still feel like as a musician, my brain is wired to perform and not as much to teach, but perhaps I could teach something else. Who knows?!
Here is her bag. I think it looks great, particularly because it is one of her first projects.
It’ll be perfect for my nephew to cart around his toys in.
In my women’s prayer group, we draw a name every year for each of us to be responsible for the festivites of one person’s birthday. I drew my friend Vanessa, who has the first birthday of the year on Jan. 9th. We celebrated last night with a savory galette des rois that I made with a filling of bacon, cheddar, eggs, asparagus, and parmesan–all of which Vanessa loves. We played the find the treasure that you traditionally do with a galette des rois.
There was talk that the contest may have been rigged so that the birthday girl would get to wear the sparkly glittered crown that was the prize for finding the bean in your slice of the pastry. I admit nothing.
I checked out Zakka Sewing at the library and saw this adorable pattern for little potholders that have a wee pocket to hold your spoon for coffee. Being a lover of lattes (or leche con cafe as I like to say given the amount of milk Vanessa likes in her coffee) and having just moved into a new house, I figured she would like these very much. Being a library book, I approximated the pattern from the book on grid paper.
I also made her a little coin purse to house a gift card to a home store. I’ve decided that it is so incredibly fun to make these little personal things for people. I’m so grateful to be able to give something from my heart to someone else and I’m even more grateful that I’m able to do this because my sweet husband let me buy a sewing machine in the first place.
I also made the little houses because I made a cape a while ago for myself from S.E.W. Sew Everything Workshop that didn’t end up fitting me very well (too wide in the shoulders even after I took the pattern in and it made my hips look bigger–who wants that?). Vanessa saw it and LOVED it, so I decided it would be a good birthday surprise for her. I think she liked it.
All in all, we had a very fun night celebrating our friend.
Nathan and I made it safe back home from our lovely trip to see his parents in California. The dog was sad to see us go. Here she is pleading for us to stay.
I keep meaning to post pics of all of the clothes that I’ve made for myself, but I keep being drawn away by writing about other things. I don’t think I have project ADD, I think I’m just always thinking about what’s next. Like the few projects I can’t talk about because they involve my family who reads this blog, and the birthday celebration that I’m throwing for one of the women in my prayer group, and the Amy Butler Nappy Bag I’m making for a friend at church who’s shower is next week. I suppose now is the time to start thinking about what to make for Baby too. See–all this and I can’t remember what I have done.
So, I WILL make myself (or Nathan rather) take pictures (which should look better because Nathan’s Mom generously gave us her old camera for Christmas).
Here are some pajama pants that I made from a thrifted bed sheet. I lined them with cotton flannel because it was really really cold the day I made them. The pattern is from S.E.W. Sew Everything Workshop–the yoga pants—very easy pattern (all the patterns I’ve made from this book are…I think it’s a good starting point for garment sewing). I didn’t even have to hem them because I aligned the bottom of the pattern with the sheet hem.
Here are two maternity tops that I made from Butterick 5217 which is shockingly NOT a maternity pattern. I say shockingly because the thing is enormous under the bust (it’s not obvious from the pictures because I’ve been belting them and pulling the extra fabric around to the back while covering the whole thing with a casual suit jacket). You could probably fit a couple dozen watermelons under it and still have room to spare. Thankfully, I’m only carrying 1 watermelon and I think these tops will serve me for the rest of my pregnancy. They make me feel pretty too. Again, this is a super super easy pattern. There’s only 4 pattern pieces and the directions are clear and simple to follow.
I reversed the pleats from the pattern on this one.
This one needs an iron.
Denver Fabrics has a New Year’s Day sale–30% off your whole order. I think I will drive on down tomorrow to see if they have some nice knit fabrics. I want to make a couple of dresses too. Ahh! More projects!
Tulle is really an excellent fabric to stick on the walls via diy wall decals. I finished my advent calendar the other day and have planned on pinning it up on the bottom side of the bar that wraps around our kitchen. Being an apartment, of course that bar is hum drum white and not exactly the backdrop I wanted for the calendar.
I had read this post a while back but didn’t give it a try until yesterday. It’s super super simple to attach the fabric to the walls and because it’s just cornstarch paste, there is zero percent chance of it damaging the hum drum white. Again, I totally love the tulle. It offers a subtle amount of color that will perfectly go with the calendar. It’s hard to get a really good idea of how great this works because A) I’m not a great photographer and B) we really need a new camera before baby comes–hopefully you can fill in the gaps with your imagination. I’ll post a pic of the calendar tomorrow.
Wow–I didn’t expect I’d neglect my blog or anything else for so long, but the morning sickness has really taken a toll. Thankfully, things are slowly getting consistently better. Food actually tastes like food and I am feeling like I can start doing things I love again. I’ve missed cooking, and what with my dairy sensitivity (and baby’s complete insistence that if I eat it life becomes miserable for about 36 hours), my options of prepared food are rather limited. Being able to make a simple pasta is a joy I will not soon take for granted.
In the middle of all of my starting to feel better, I’ve started thinking about Operation Christmas Child. We’re lucky in Denver to have a processing center for all of the boxes. Nathan and I have done this a few years since before we started dating. I can’t begin to relate how moving it is to see all of the sweet gifts people take the time to make and put together for children they will never meet. That it’s all done in the name of God’s tremendous love for them is pretty life-changing. It’s especially amazing when you see a little kid who has put together a box and written a little note about how much Jesus loves the boy or girl getting the box. I hate the commerciality in Christmas in this country–and the sense of entitlement and spend spend spend that goes with that. When you read stories about a kid in the Phillipines whose life was changed ENTIRELY because she had a few pencils that she received in her little shoebox gift, it kind of smacks you upside the head and makes you reevaluate a few (okay a lot) of things. So this year, Nathan and I have committed to putting together boxes for OCC with some friends. I’m super excited about it. I want to put something handmade in all the boxes we got, so I imagine I’ll be posting some pics of the goods.
Like this lady who has been knitting little caps for her boxes–this is #370!
So make some stuff, get some friends and family together and pack some boxes for all these precious children. I love that gifts are two-way in God’s economy–it’s hard to know whose life will be changed more through this little gift–yours or the child receiving it.
I finished my first BurdaStyle project. It’s the Sidonie skirt variation 2 with pleats. It fits me remarkably well, which never happens…so it’s either a good pattern, or I’m just getting better at altering things to fit me (I did add a couple darts in the back). I love the pleats! They’re such a cool architectural feature, plus they remind me of my accordion. This was an easy project, but the directions are a little vague. What I do love about BurdaStyle is that they have professional photo shoots of all of their projects, so I could figure out from the picture what was missing in the directions.
Does anyone know how to wash a skirt with pleats?
As I finished cutting the pieces yesterday, I was struck with the superfluousness of fabric scraps. Apparel projects I think especially generate all these weird leftover hunks of fabric because of the weird angles and curves that things are cut on. What do you do with all of these pieces?
When I was a kid, I would make wee costumes for my little squeaky pig toy named Spam who lived in my violin case out of scraps. Or I would stuff things with them. But I have to think, at some point, I will run out of a use for more pillows or little ones to make stuffies for, so what to do with all of these weird chunks of fabric?