Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Do you ever go through a crafting dry spell (say, the length of a physically and emotionally rough first trimester...) and then when you finally sit back down to your sewing machine/yarn/pencil/camera/whatever your craft of choice may be, and, finally, with it back in your hands, you think, oh yeah. This is me.
Whenever I don't have the energy to make, it's because I've forgotten that making is what gives me the energy. Creating is what drives our humanity. The rest is just surviving.
More on this project when I've got it all done, but I have to say that the easy freehand nature of the quilting is so soothing and meditative. I highly recommend.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
When cutting into your knit fabric, lay it out single-layer on a large piece of carpet and then smooth the wrinkles. The carpet will hold the fabric just as you set it, and now you can lay out your pattern pieces. Seriously, I spent a long and frustrating time trying to fold my fabric and get the fold smooth enough to cut out my "cut on fold" pieces. Stop the madness and cut it single-layer! Lay out your pattern piece, cut around, flip it over the "place on fold line" and cut out the other half. Easy and fast!
My next little stroke of genius came when transferring pattern markings: why bother with sticking pins through each little dot when you've got a fabric "sticky" enough to hold the pattern piece in place? You can see the markings right through the pattern piece, if you fold the pattern right on the markings, you can trace them right beneath. Maybe this was already obvious to everyone but me, but I kind of blew my own mind with this little shortcut, so I just had to share with you. Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
This might be my least favorite make, and that's saying something, but I don't want this blog to be a brag-rag, where I only post about how fabulous it is to be me, so here goes.
The original top, a lovely pink silk button-up gift from gap, never got worn, mostly because it was too short and because my life doesn't call for a lot of button-up blouses. The brilliant plan was to use the fabric from the sleeve to make a very wide band instead of a bottom hem, leaving the button placket intact on the top half and allowing it to blouse and bit and then gather into the band. My fave feature of the top is the double-buttons down the front and I wanted to preserve that.
This was an attempt to fill a gap in my wardrobe: right-sized light tops to throw on over skirts, but the fit is just so awkward I doubt it'll see much wear. Ah well, chalk it up to a learning experience. I also find that when I attempt a refashion the results don't tend to fit my "oh, this'll be easy, the garments almost done, a couple hours tops..." expectations, and then my inspiration quickly fizzles. Time for a new project, I think. You know, the kind where you start at the beginning and at least know you'll have enough fabric for sleeve caps...
Sunday, December 29, 2013
|This picture makes me so happy...|
A mere 2.5 years after buying this house and knowing that we would "sometime soon" get rid of the wall between the eat-in-kitchen and the dining room, the wall is finally gone! I know that having separate eat-in and formal dining spaces is considered a plus for real estate, but I've just never been able to understand it. Why do I need two tables? Why have a dining room that doesn't fit my table when fully expanded for family gatherings, and another smaller table on the other side of the wall? One of those tables is going unused, people. We went another route and just never got a table for the eat-in side, using in as ballroom space (read: empty and useless) figuring we'd be knocking down the wall "any day now".
|The "ballroom"...oh that peach color! Thanks previous owners...|
|The offending water pipes|
Thursday, December 5, 2013
My mother and I both get Better Homes and Gardens, and we both devour it the moment it hits our front doors. Then follows a series of texts: "did you see the kale recipe in BHG?" "BHG page 72 for your dining room" etc.
This month BHG encouraged us to create holiday centerpieces with
The project was fun and almost free: I picked up the red berries from Whole Foods, everything else is from our Christmas tree and yard.
Lacking florist foam or a flower frog, I improvised by popping old jam jars into my buckets (stolen from a shelf elsewhere in the house) and crisscrossing washi tape over the mouths of the jars to give my vertical elements some stability. I started with the berries and sticks, filled in all around by just shoving in tree trimmings until it looked lush, and then wove in a little ivy to hide the tape.
The front stoop got a similar treatment, with flower pods instead of berries and lots of trailing ivy. This brass container is an antique Union Pacific spitoon, gifted to Jon by his parents when he worked at UP. We've never known quite what to do with it, fabulous though it is, but I think it works really well in this application.
Are they really beautiful? I'm not sure, but they're a lot more interesting than the NOTHING that was there before. According to the article, "using greenery that reflects your region...is naturally beautiful, of course." All righty then. Of course.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Our biggest piece of news this month was that we high-tailed it outa Michigan for a few days in Sunny St Pete's, Florida. It was gorgeously 83 degrees and a great opportunity to focus just on each other. No housework, no outside pressures. Just our full attention on play and our little family.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
With Santa's village already up at the mall (yes, really), it seemed like a good time to reflect on all of the things we already have for which we are thankful. Soph is a bit young for this to be super meaningful for her, but she's enjoying the craft and it makes me feel all warm and gooey inside to focus on my blessings. I decided a thankfulness turkey would be fun and simple, plus it uses all things I already own (bonus!)
I cut out the parts during naptime, it took me about 15 minutes. It's all construction paper, save the feathers which are card stock.
Soph helped me glue him together, which turned out to be kind of a mistake, as she thinks glue is just as much fun as chapstick, that is, great for digging fingers into, not so great for applying on paper surfaces as directed.
I pre-filled-out a bunch of feathers using black crayon: one for each family member plus a few other things I could think of off the top of my head: house, peanut butter, tu-tus, etc. I've been keeping the feathers tucked away with our box of paints, and whenever we need a distraction we pull out a few to decorate. Water colors are perfect because they let the crayon show through.
We'll keep layering on feathers throughout the month until our turkey is covered with all of the things for which we are thankful.
If you try this craft, (and I hope you do!) don't make the same mistake I did and write on all of the feathers in the same direction. Note that the names on the left are upside-down. Doh!
I like to think that our turkey is especially thankful to live in a house full of vegetarians. Happy November!