Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Heart and a Make-over

Yesterday was such a lovely day. It was sunny and bright; I had the house all to myself and I sewed! I made this little patchwork heart out of some of my favorite fabrics, a snippet of vintage linen and a few different embroidery stitches. I put lavender and polyfil inside. This is the front:

And this is the back:
Over Christmas I sprayed some dogwood branches white and had them displayed in my dining room. I figured they would look nice with hearts dangling from the branches for Valentines Day. I have a few glass ornaments on the branches, and now this can go on them. I would take a picture of my little heart "tree", but the sideboard in the dining room is crowded with boxes from the basement so a nice picture really isn't possible at the moment!
I also started a project I have been wanting to do for a while now. I purchased this magazine holder years ago from the dollar store. It has held baby teethers and toys; board books and library books for My Favorite Boy. Once one of my kids stepped in it and broke through the interior lining it became my chair-side catch for stitching supplies.
Last summer I found a lovely rosy cotton pillowcase and some pink and white striped sheets at the thrift store, and yesterday they came together (with a bit of white craft paint!) to make my pretty, new stitching catch-all!

Ooohhh! I'm just so happy with it. I think it needs to be in a more prominent place than tucked away beside my chair! I think those two fabrics were made for each other, and I'm glad I used them for this.
It's a long weekend for the kids so who knows what we'll be up too. I'm sure a couple of crafts will be in the mix, and maybe a movie at the theatre too. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Normal Day

Today I got a break from "basement business". This is what my sewing space looks like now:

An improvement from the last photo, no? I moved all that stuff out, including all the framing. Yes, I'm going to tell you that again! So now I get to resume my normal activities until everything is framed and drywalled, etc. I can't believe how happy I was to be able to go grocery shopping today!

In addition to the errands I ran today, I stepped into the thrift store. First time in a month, so that's pretty good! I found a few vintage treasures, and some lovely cotton floral sheets that will be turned into pretty pyjamas for myself.

The book has a bookplate on the inside, saying it was given as a prize in Sunday school in 1911. I started to read some of it and I think I'm going to like it. The beads are a delicious shade of pink - I can't wait to wear them. Of course I couldn't pass up on the china posies. The container is shaped like a basket in aqua glaze. I think it's a fine addition to my collection:

After I got home the weather got nasty:

I spent the rest of my afternoon looking in some cross stitch magazines I also found at the thrift store. Now it's off to pick up My Favorite Boy from school.

A lovely normal day indeed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Home Improvement

If you remember a couple of posts ago I said we were going to finish our basement sometime this year, probably in a couple of months. Well as luck would have it the big project is going to start at the end of this week. I am really happy about this. The only downside is, the news came at the same time the transmission and rear seatbelts on our cars stopped working, and also at a time when all the prep work that needs to be done in order to start the basement has to be done by me.
The first order of business was to empty the basement. Now I don't think I have ever posted a picture of my crafting space, so you're in for a treat. Actually I'm joking, you may want to avert your eyes.
So you can see how uninspiring it might be to work down here, and I can only blame my messiness on the fact that it's so uninspiring. Now that you have had your intake of breath in horror, picture me now having to bring all this stuff upstairs to live in the living room for who knows how long. This isn't all either: there is another side to the basement that has an equal amount of videos and toys and kids craft supplies and books and holiday decorations and all the stuff that basements hold. I hauled it all upstairs and stuffed it in the living room. Then I took all the vapor barrier off, and the insulation; and today my trusty crowbar and I had a go at the framing. Most of it's gone too. Since doing that I have had a bath to ease tired muscles; emptied the dishwasher and put supper in the crock-pot. I made myself a big cup of coffee and now I'm planning on doing nothing until I have to pick up My Favorite Boy. I think I really earned it!

As I was loading some pictures onto the computer the other day I found this photo I took last month. I picked this little tea chest up at the thrift store last year, and it holds elastics and barrettes for My Favorite Girl's hair. It's been over a year I have been wanting to give it a make-over, and after Christmas I finally did.
I knocked the resin teacups and pot off and sprayed the whole thing a fresh white. I took the same fabric I used in the bathroom valance and decoupaged it onto the drawers. Then I put in some screws and glued blue resin flowers to the ends for handles. Certainly not an heirloom, but it goes better with the bathroom now and gave me an hour or so of playing with glue and fabric.

I don't anticipate much craftiness going on in our household over the next few weeks while the basement is being done. I think a lot of my time will be spent running between hardware stores finding lights and paint and all that business. Oh, and convincing myself that taking everything back down to the basement will be a piece of cake.

Monday, January 25, 2010

From the Deep...

The kids and I watched the 'Deep Seas' episode from BBC's Planet Earth series the other night. Of all the episodes, this one is their favorite. They are equally fascinated/repulsed at the seemingly bizarre creatures to be found down in the darkest depths of the sea. I thought they might have nightmares, but instead they decided to make some creatures of their own, inspired by those they will never see first hand. I present to you Sea Bug:

Made by My Favorite Girl and sewn "all by herself" on my sewing machine. These creatures, which resemble wood lice, live on the sea floor and are around a foot long. Ighh. I love that she made it truly albino with white button eyes.

My Favorite Boy was captivated by the Vampire Squid - From Hell! as David Attenborough called it. It is creepy, and I'm glad we couldn't completely replicate all it's creepiness. I love how he wanted to put the lighted bits at the bottom of the tentacles, even though I had to sew all those buttons on.

This guy isn't really creepy; in fact he has nothing to do with the movie. I just love the picture, as scenes like this are often set up around the house by My Favorite Boy. It gives me a little peak into his brain and I consider it one of those little rewards of being a Mum. I'm also happy that Orca likes pumpkin muffins too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Perfectly Pink

I couldn't resist these gerbera daisies when I saw them in the store the other day. They are so Perfectly Pink.
I love, love, love pink - but it's not my "most favoritest" color.
Not even my second "most favoritest", but probably my third.
If I love pink this much, then you can imagine how much I love my first and second favorite colors.

Anyway back to pink. I noticed how well the daisies matched my yarn so I had to take a "pinkture." Oh my, I'm so clever; ha, ha.
As you can see I'm making progress on my scarf. As you can also see I have switched patterns. I figured I will never learn crochet if I keep getting frustrated. So I found a pattern that only has two rows of instructions, instead of five or six. It's not as lacy as I wanted, but I still like it. The only problem is it's too wide. You're looking at it vertically, so rotate it clockwise in your head and you will see how wide it's supposed to be. It would be OK if it were to be a shorter scarf, but I want a long one that can be wrapped around the neck once or twice and then hang down the front of the coat. So, that means I have to pull it all apart...again...and start over. It's almost heartbreaking to do, but it's better I decide this now and not when I'm farther along. I should be an expert in this pattern by the time I'm done!

Today was supposed to be a gloomy one here so I had plans on cleaning the house and not looking outside. Instead it's sunny and My Favorite Boy and I have been lounging for far too long in our pyjamas. I have been making wish lists and web-hunting for craft space set-up/storage ideas. Sooner to become a reality now that we have decided to fix up the basement. Maybe not this Spring kind of reality, but hopefully 2010 reality. The brain-storming process is the most fun, don't you think?
Now where is my Ikea catalogue?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dreaming in Pink and Red

I honestly thought I wouldn't want to be near the sewing machine for at least two months, but this past week has my head buzzing with ideas for Valentine's Day. One day I was simply possessed to take out everything in my craft room that was pink, white, red, or covered with roses and lay it all out on my table. Talk about motivating! I can hardly get myself out of the basement.

The day after I made the raggedy wreath I set to work on a cushion cover. Like most of my projects, this started out in my mind as something completely different. In the end I'm happy with it though; pink and red are such a cheery combination.

I will have to get to work on my other projects soon; we have decided to frame and drywall our basement. The basement is where my sewing/crafting area is, so it won't be easily accessible for quite some time. That's a drawback, but once it's done it should be much brighter and more pleasant to be down there. An even bigger plus is that there will be no more fluorescent lighting to make dingy lighting like in the picture up top:)
Happy crafting!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are you selfish

...with your stash? Be it fabric or fibres, papers , stickers or embellishments? Do you buy pretty things and just can't part with them, because you're sure another, better project will come to light using them? Or maybe you love them so much you don't want to use them up in projects for other people because you won't be able to get more?

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of that. I have fabric in my stash as old as my marriage. That's almost 15 years folks. I have pretty little do-hickeys to put on those handmade cards I'm always saying I'll make which have been sitting patiently in their neat little plastic divider boxes. I have a small collection of silk threads for embroidery, but once I got them I'm convinced no project is "just right" to use them on.

I don't make resolutions at the turn of the year, because once I say I'm going to do something, it invariably never happens. This year, instead of a resolution to use up a large portion of my stash (or rather, stashes) I have a sincere desire to make stuff with it and get it out of here. We talked about this on New Year's Eve with the kids. I told my kids my 'sincere desire' (because remember it's not a resolution!), and My Favorite Boy replied; "But then you will have to buy all new stuff". Oh what a smart boy!
Now when I try to use up some of my prettiest bits of stash, or decide not to go to the fabric store, instead of feeling deprived I'll remind myself that there is a gold pot of stash to be gotten at the bottom of the pile! They will always come out with cute new fabrics and stickers and papers and do-dads, so I don't need to be greedy or clench-y with what I've got now. "Go forth into the world" I say to it.
When I picked out all the fabrics for today's project, I almost put it back, because it went so well together that I couldn't possibly use it for this. However, I remembered my sincere desire and kept on. I even ended up with a project I really like. So there crazy brain, there's no need to hoard!

Anyway, onto today's project. My Favorite Boy and I spent a good hour browsing in the craft store this afternoon. Aside from getting an insane deal on Christmas wrapping paper, I saw some heart shaped wreaths made from fabric strips. "Ah-ha!" I thought to myself. "I have the makings for that in my own stash, clothes hanger and all!"
Mr. Crafty World had to work late tonight, so the kids and I ate hot dogs in our pyjamas while watching Tinkerbell, and during the movie I happily snipped strip after strip of fabric with my pinking shears. Some time after that spent tying knots and here is my new raggedy wreath for Valentine's Day.
I like it, but I think I need more pink. What do you think?

*Edited to add:
I just found this tutorila to make rag wreaths if you are so inclined. Go here to see what the talented Flossie Teacakes made.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I finally "de'Christmas-ed" today. Normally I'm itching to get everything put away by January 1, but this year I really wanted to just let the spirit keep going on. I had a really good Christmas, and 2009 was a pretty good year, so I was a bit reluctant to let it go. However now it's done, and I'm looking at the empty spaces around the house and enjoying the calm that comes from it. I still have 2 poinsettias left over; by some miracle I didn't kill them off before the holidays so I get to enjoy them for a while longer!

As I said we had a nice Christmas. Lots of treats for good girls and boys. We didn't really do anything for a week, and it was so nice. I actually read a book; a whole book in a week. I haven't done that in years. Here's the book:

Mr. Crafty World bought a few things off my Amazon Wish List. Don't you love those things?!
I really enjoyed this one, and have made quite a few recipes from it already. The author has a blog, Orangette (which I haven't visited yet), and this book is a compilation of some of her posts. It's an easy read, but I did cry when she wrote about the death of her father. (Don't worry, that part isn't a spoiler; it's mentioned on the jacket.)

I have been trying to stitch up one of Shepherd's Bush nativity story pieces every year, so that one day I'll have eight lovely pieces to display. I don't think I did any last year, and this year I started this one in November.

I got so busy in December I didn't finish it, and just about put it in my UFO pile. Once I saw how little I had left to do (and felt the guilt about having one not done and 5 left to go) I sat down the other day and finished it off. I felt good about that.

I've been doing a lot of puttering around as well; nothing too notable but things that make me feel like I am accomplishing something, even if I am still in my pyjamas at 3p.m. I purged our filing cabinet and came up with a new and I hope improved system for filing all the stuff I have to file in a year. I cleaned up my sewing area, which you can imagine is always a mess right after Christmas. I moved some stuff around in there so it's not really easy for me to pile stuff on my machine and then get frustrated that I can't sew when I want to.
Oh, and I did my Christmas cards! I did them on January 1, so they ended up being more "Happy New Year/Thank-You for the Gifts" cards, but I finally got them sent. Guilt, be gone!

All that organizing always put me in the mood for doing something creative, so I picked up my crochet hook and a pattern and have been having a go at this:

It's supposed to be a scarf someday. I have pulled it apart at least 5 times (no, I'm not exaggerating) and am so far only on row five, out of seven. Then repeat, repeat, repeat until you get a scarf. I think I may have picked something a little too challenging for my current abilities.
Anyway at least I'm getting practice. I no longer have to look up how to do a double crochet everytime, since I have had to do it over and over and over.

Today I went to one of our local shops and did a bit of shopping. I have had a gift card from this place in my wallet for 9 months now and figured I should use it up. One of the things I bought was this book:

I have not seen it before and it's really cute. There are mini angel food cakes (from scratch) in here that only take 10 minutes to make. You just make them in a mini muffin pan. Can you imagine anything so cute?

Happy New Year folks!

You Might Also Like

You Might Also Like