Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chalkboard Frame

Most items I make I have memorized, so much so I think I dream about measurements. However working on new items I am challenged to cut correctly and found I need a cheat sheet of sorts.

Using one of my favorite crafting items, chalkboard contact paper I use this as a cheat sheet in the sewing room. I simply covered the glass in an 8" x 10" picture frame and I have a handy writing spot that I can prop up just in front of me for quick reference. I was unable to find this locally, it is readily available on Amazon. Locally if interested, check hardware stores - the small family owned type, or teacher supply stores.

I also use this a lot in the kitchen, if I find a recipe online I can jot onto this and take it to the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Behold My Foyer Makeover is On Its WAY

It has been almost 7 years since we remodeled our home, this gave us a large foyer of which is boring and not very welcoming, to us or our guests.

Of course we have been busy, baby, job upheavals and life in general so there has been a few good excuses for ignoring this room. However, now that we are past baby and toddler stage we are need of touch up and painting all over our first floor so I have been doing some serious consideration to this space.

Mainly shopping and sadly for me the pieces that we have found and liked have not been in the budget, well my husbands budget anyway. So I figured it would be a less painful battle to buy something and re-do it, with spring coming and the weather breaking this has been my new focus.

What I have been looking for is a large statement type piece, this is a space that can hold about a 6.5 foot piece of furniture and not overwhelm the room. When shopping these pieces are not inexpensive, we have looked at consoles, dining room pieces, tables, dressers you name it we have been a lot of places, both low end and high end, sample sales, estate sales, this piece below $1500.00 has been no where to be found.

It dawned on me I needed to focus on finding a dresser, as these seem to be a very common cast off piece, all over estate sales, craigslist, consignment shops. So I have been scouring websites for makeover ideas hoping my piece would come along.

I also just noticed/found a consignment shop about 1.5 miles from my house, it actually just opened in December. We stopped in on Saturday and grabbed this dresser, which was on its last day of consignment for $55.00...YES $55.00. We went to get paint samples and returned an hour later to purchase it, today we picked it up.

This thing is a beast, it is 70" long, 19" deep and 33" tall, it was in fact a dresser or perhaps a buffet (that was what the shop called it), I think it was a dresser. It fits the bill on every aspect of what I want for my foyer, large statement piece, drawers for the paper and mail always floating around the foyer, doors that open with shelves, actually this will be used for shoe storage. Only down part of this piece is the dated color wood grain look and hideous hardware, other then that (which ok is A LOT) it could be fabulous.

Ok, before you say but it is so ugly, I know but here is where I will remind you I paid $55.00, and really if you could turn it into something like this...

Blog post by Recaptured Charm found here

Wouldn't you see the beauty and potential in this dated 70's - 80's dresser? I had actually been contemplating the foyer this blue color, but think the dresser will be the blue in the room and I am going to go for a caramel/mocha color that will be a good accent to the adjoining rooms.

Overall it is in excellent condition, my husband and I are still somewhat debating how much of this is veneer how much is wood, it is crazy heavy and very solid and for the most part is in amazing condition.

Top is virtually scuff and mark free, surprisingly this seems to have the least wear.

Drawers and doors, both on my wish list, I am going to get a large basket for shoe storage.

Three drawers, one for each of us, I am already shopping for initial knobs for my husband, daugther and me, a bit of personalization.

So undecided about all these carvings, I think if they can come out with the amazing detail in my inspiration piece I will keep them. My husband is wanting to fill it all in with wood filler...we'll see.

Just so you know how desperate my makeover is here are some pics just as the foyer is right now and sadly most days...boring, actually I think that is a kind description. Note the table is open now, often it is more a sofa table that we convert to a games table when company comes, we stick the kids there.

It actually looks worse in pictures, that's good right, my makeover will be more impressive...I hope.

So this is the wall it will go on, the table and bookshelf will be relocated elsewhere in the house. We will be repainting this room a deeper warmer tone and hanging art or mirror(s) above, I also plan on bringing in a lamp or large candle piece.

This is an idea I found and am seriously considering for over the makeover piece, this gives me an excuse to shop for a bunch of mirrors.

Blog post from In My Own Style found here

This is the view as you step in our home, cannot wait to makeover this space. I will be sure to blog about this and show progress as I go.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Item Being Made 1: Stitch in Color Coin Purse

This marks the first of what I hope to do regularily, blog posts of items being made, I thought it might be fun to show buyers their items inspiration and in progress pictures.

I will include with the listing a link to the blog post and packed with order an card with their MIBM - "My Item Being Made" link and number so they can find the post afterwards. Kind of fun, I think.

The first is this coin purse from the new Moda line "Stitched in Color" and this collection is bright and big and has a lot in the collection. I got 14 from the collection and have already cut most of it up for quilts, totes and zip pouches. This is the first item that was completed from the collection, and was actually some leftover pieces.

Not wanting to toss any of this amazaing fabric I came up with this pieced coin purse, I used all 14 fabrics and paired it with a white on white vine print. Offset small strips pieced vertically was the idea.

This was the first pieced component I tried, a 3 x 1.5 inch piece (blue and gray) and then 3 inch white on each side, it is too big for what I wanted but it helps to get a visual, as you can always cut more off.

I did this piecing on all 14 colors, then lay out to get an idea of color placement.

Sometimes I am so happy I own so many quilting tools, in this case a 1 x 12 inch clear ruler, I used this to center the blocks.

Block laid out, then trimmed to size

Side one complete, do the same with side 2

From here I just finish as I would any coin purse, all are interlined with fleece and lined in a coordinating fabric, in this case it is all white.

While cutting for the coin I also cut long strips for a large cosmetic. Again I used all 14 fabrics I have from this line, this time simple 2 x 7 inch strips.

Functional and very colorful accessories which will are now in my etsy shop, you can find the coin purse HERE.

The cosmetic pouch is available HERE.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Forgotten Prototype Foldover Cosmetic Pouch

Cleaning out the sewing room I found this make up bag, I think this was my second attempt to make this style pouch. It is super cute, not entirely sure why I abandoned it as it is quite functional.

It is a tall pouch that simply folds and closes with a ponytail band and a button. I looked through my prototype book, the place I record notes, measurements and ideas on items and this one had nothing. So I may try this again, it is a nice size for using on the bathroom counter or would actually make a nice clutch for out and about.

I tossed a few items from around the sewing room to fill it for sizing, I actually think it would make a good project keeper. In this is a tape dispenser (yes I know you would not actually use it for this:) glue and hand lotion.

I think I might re-visit this idea and make a few to offer on etsy and off.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pancake Mix to Make Beer Bread

I had the urge to make beer bread, really no idea why just wanted to try this from scratch. I found several recipes all calling for self rising flour, which I don't have. I was about to give up when I realized I have a big ol bag of Krusteaz pancake mix, which I thought was more or less a self rising flour, with a few extras.

I used three cups, which was a common amount for most recipes I found and added a full can of beer. The mix seemed a little wetter then it should so I added about 1/4 cup of flour. I also added to it 3 tablespoons of sugar and about 1/2 cup shredded cheese, baked 350 for 60 minutes.

Spoiler alert, the bread was not that yummy but it was a perfect bread. I liked the texture and the freshness of it and a lingering beer taste, but it was lacking flavor. So...that being said I would try this again but would look to add more flavor to the batter, some herbs or garlic. I would also melt butter on top and in fact may add that to the batter.

It was fun to experiment with the pancake mix, and this is a good place to start to make a great bread and it beats the 5-7.00 a box you would pay for a beer bread mix.

***Update, I have now had a piece the next day with a little bit of butter, tastes MUCH better. It would still need some add-ins but at least it was not a total loss.***

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sewers Mouse Pad Makeover

Love simple crafts that take minutes to make or remake. I seriously took as long to track down my HeatnBond as it took to make this.

Pretty much needs no directions, simply choose fabric and use HeatnBond per directions, iron fabric to your mouse pad...wella!

But really, who doesn't love before and after pics?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quilters Band Aids

How cute is this idea and also so fast to make up a batch. I found this idea in a link party yesterday from The Moody Fashionista. I instantly knew I needed to make a few myself 'cuz as luck would have it I have fabric scraps. Here is a link to the original blog post that inspired my own creations, thank you!

What you need:
  • Fabric scraps, small scale images will work best
  • fabric band aids
  • hole punch - I used 1/8 inch
  • double sided tape, I used fix it strips
  • scotch tape
I first prepped the band aid, I actually used the scotch tape to hold the band aid closed on the paper side, as these are now open and also now less sterile, this will help a bit to keep it clean.

I had these fix it strips which were just about band aid size anyway, I cut in the middle where the padding will be on the band aid 6 1/8 inch holes to help with breathing.

I then put the double sided tape on the fabric side of the band aid.

Stick the band aid with the double sided tape to the back side of the fabric, trim to shape of band aid and you are done. Super sharp scissors help, or a rotary blade works nicely too, smaller blade is better for the curves.

Be the envy of all your sewing friends next time you get a boo-boo!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sewing for Me End of the week

I am at the end of my marathon week of just sewing for myself, mainly because I really did finish up quite a few big projects and a few little ones too.

This is s Surf and Sand quilt that I wanted to go in my bedroom, mainly as a throw. This is another entry in NOT letting quilts or anything you altered sit for two long. I had to relearn the changes I made to this pattern and cut carefully as this is the last of this fabric line I think anywhere on earth. Even before piecing this I hunted all over the net to get enough fabric to make this and matching pillowcases. I actually have a lot leftover but am NOT cutting into most of it until it comes back from the quilter and the binding is cut.

I draped it over a dresser in my bedroom that I actually made over a few years ago. It was a white wash dresser that I sanded and painted aqua, then distressed it with brown glaze.

This quilt had a lot of appliqued squares, wanting speed over technique I did what I call lazy applique (sorry no offense). I used featherweight fusible and sewed right sides together, then trim out the center to reduce bulk (save for small projects) and then fuse to hold down, then stitch in place. the longest part of this task was the trimming of the fusible, corners and turning, fusing and sewing were quite fast.

While in sewing for me week I located this pieced Easter table runner, I honestly have no clue how long ago this was pieced...years, like maybe 8-10 years. So I quickly finished this up too.

If Easter wern't so nearby I would not have bothered, but now I will be able to add this to my decorations, or should I say this will be my Easter decorations. This is a classic egg print that I think Joann's has had since forever, combined with bright egg inspired colors.

I finished piecing another quilt that needs some applique and dropped Sherbet Pips at the quilter. I got the call the quilt is quilted (GIANT HOORAY) and will pick that up tomorrow and start in on the binding, show and tell later this week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sewing for ME Week

I pulled out this Christmas table runner started 2 years ago to get this done this week. As I looked through the fabrics I found 4 placemats also pieced, of course in the spirit of finishing up these items, I finished these as well.

Both are very simple just rows of fabrics, the busy and bright color palette sort of is enough to look at without a lot of piecing. The placemats are just a focal fabric of trees, accented by stripe and finished off on the right with polka dots. I then quilted circles all over the placemats to mimic the vary size of polka dots on the fabric.

The table runner again is just simple rows of fabrics the runner has 2 raw edge accents, one a triangle tree, they other a simple flower.

I also did random sized circles quilted all over the table runner to match the placemats. Kind of a bummer they will be packed away until the holidays. However a quick glance at the placemats matches perfectly the lovely tulip plant my husband got me for Valentines Day.

Up Next...

I have actually been chomping to get to this quilt, from a collection called Surf and Sand. Again this was a pattern, however I seriously altered both the size and pretty much all the components, this time I had better notes. I had the blocks underway (on right) and needed to iron them all. Next add side borders, there is also some applique to these blocks then all the borders. This will be the third quilt I will have pieced this week, I hope to get 2-4 quilts to the quilter in the next month or so. Feels good to get close to finishing up some of these items for my family and I to enjoy.

Burts Bees Grab Bag

I picked up this Burts Bees grab bag about 2 weeks ago. This is a special they offer a few times a year, usually the bag is $25.00 plus s/h, but this was an even better special at $15.00 plus s/h, which was $5.00.

I got quite a few full sized items and a few travel size, I am guess it is about $70.00 retail products. They are sold as items that have imperfect packaging or seasonal items. My favorite is the eye cream, which would be about $24.00 if purchased alone. I also got four full sized lip balms, all are tinted so not ones I will use daily. I also got a full size body lotion and hand cream. I also got and not pictured a wallet lip balm thing, not sure I will actually use it, and a super light washcloth again not too exciting.

Overall I love this bag and would totally buy one again, in fact I have checked a few times since receiving this to see if they have offered it again, if you sign up for the mailing list you can get advance notice of the grab bag sale.
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