Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Entry Way Sign

One of the things that happens when you move is that your old furniture can sometimes be hard to fit into your new house. Today's project being a perfect example.

A few years ago I made The Landing Pad for the kids' backpacks, coats, shoes, and other junk, uh....stuff that they bring home from school. And it has been great, especially for the shoes. Unfortunately, there is just not a place for that particular configuration in our new house. Believe me, I tried it everywhere! However, since I had enough foresight to make it 2 pieces, it turned out to be an easy re-do.

The kids will be taking the bus to and from school this year, and so I decided to leave the bottom cube near the front door for their shoes. And we had a store bought coat rack that was narrow enough to hang on the wall above it, which took care of the practical part. But what to do with the left over piece?

I liked the idea of making a sign, but where to hang it? And what should it say? Well, I spent the last 2 weeks moving that piece of wood around the house, and finally brought it back to the entry way.

Here's what I came up with.  Forgive the akward photography on this, it was very hard to get a good angle.

All the components are still there, just used differently. I decided to do some more aging on both pieces using a dark walnut stain. 

Once that was dry, (and boy does it take stain longer to dry in Georgia than it does in Arizona!) I printed out the letters of our last name in a font that I liked.

I sketched the letters onto the board using some chalk and filled them in with white paint.

Wow! That's some bright white!!

Too bright for me, so I went over the letters with the stain and added some shadowing to the letters. I also added the date at the bottom, which is the year that my husband and I first started dating. Awwwwww!

And there is our new drop zone. As you can see, it's still in summer mode with the swim bag and flip flops. But it will soon be filled with backpacks and lunch boxes! (Yes, I am just a bit excited for the start of school, how could you tell?) 

Linked Up HERE

Friday, July 25, 2014

Estate Sale Haul

I think I may have been a treasure hunter in a former life. I love to go to thrift stores, estate sales, and antique stores in search of hidden gems. Sometimes I'm looking for something specific, but often times I just go to see what may be there. Sometimes I buy, sometimes not.

And then there are days like today.

This estate sale was made for me. When my husband and I walked into the sewing room, he looked at me, laughed and told me he'd see me later. He's a smart man. Because I spent the better part of an hour looking at everything, chatting with the estate sale ladies, and gathering sewing booty.

Here's what I ended up taking home.

A new steam iron, tailor's ham, and sleeve roll.

Zippers, 2 rolls of zipper tape and snaps.

Various interfacing, stitch witch, velcro, bias tape, and hem tape.

Lace trims, cording, and tulle.

2 full containers of thread, a tin of buttons, a pair of applique scissors, an extra pair of scissors.

Cotton cording for making piping.

3 different length rulers, a french curve and a bendable ruler.

And the mother lode of white elastic. 

I'm not exaggerating about the elastic! Look at all of it!

Now, how much did I spend on all of that? $38. Yep, you read that right, everything pictured for under $40.
The iron alone costs that much brand new. To call this a successful haul would be something of an understatement. 

I suppose I don't need to mention how happy I am right now, do I?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Happens When You MUST Craft...

We've been in Georgia for a little more than a month now, and I've gotten the sewing machines up and running, I have some fabric for a new upholstery project, and am working on an entry way sign.

Lots happening.

But today I'm sharing what was my first crafty project of the new house. A simple knit baby blanket. (Now, don't get ideas, I am NOT having another baby.) 

No, this blanket will more than likely go to Project Linus. Most of my small quilts and blankets do.

Anyway, here's what happened. I packed up my sewing machines in May. We moved in June. By the time we were a week into unpacking, I was literally twitching from all the pent up stress. I needed an outlet. My hands had NOTHING to do, and they were driving me nuts!

So, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of all the unpacking and the chaos, I dug out my bin of needles, hooks, and yarn and found a basic baby blanket pattern online. I used the Super Easy Baby Blanket pattern from the Purl Bee, and a bunch of Caron Simply Soft yarn I had in the bin. I went into my bedroom, closed the door and refused to come out. (Those of you that know me personally, can probably picture this happening!)

And knit I did! for about a week straight, every late afternoon and evening. Unpacking and getting organized be damned! I could feel my center start to regain it's balance, and I got calmer with every stripe. And after the week was over, I had a cute little blanket, and I was a much happier camper!

But then I noticed something odd. The blanket seemed a little...small. But.....I used the right needles, and the correct type of yarn, the width was right, but the blanket seemed too short. So, I went back and checked the pattern and sure enough, I had misread the row count. Instead of 11 ridges of every color, I had 11 rows. Which basically means that my stripes should be twice as wide as they are in order to match the size in the pattern.


Ah, well. So, I have a vertically striped baby blanket instead of a horizontally striped one. Not a big deal.

I still like it, and more importantly it helped me get my groove back. The moral of the story is partly--double check your patterns and partly--when you need to get your craft on, just do it!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Girls Raglan Tee

Here's an easy sewing project that I finally got around to trying this week. (Seriously, this one has been on my "to do" list for a looooong time!) 

 I made a pattern from one of Lilah's t-shirts using this raglan tee tutorial from Craftiness is Not Optional.

I had this great neon pink striped fabric in my stash for the body of the shirt.

For the sleeves, I used some white stretch lace from a thrifted shirt that I picked up for $1 last week.

Assembling the shirt was very easy, sew the sleeves to the front and back of the shirt.

Then, sew (or serge) the side seams from the sleeves to the bottom of the the shirt.

Add ribbing (or other binding) around the neck edge and hem the bottom and the sleeves.

Try it on your model, and when she strikes a pose and smiles, you're DONE! (For a much more detailed tutorial, use the above link to CINO, it's fantastic!)

I think I will be whipping these up by the dozen. Vary the sleeve length, maybe some color blocking, this shirt can be super versatile, it could probably even be lengthened into a dress...hmmmmm..... I may even try to make some for the boy!

I love this photo, she's already got the blogger pose down perfectly! I'd say she likes her new shirt!

Linked Up HERE

Friday, July 11, 2014

Little Book Bags

Moving can be exciting, scary, thrilling, and pretty exhausting all rolled into one big question mark. It takes some time to get your bearings in a new city or town, but there is one place I've always found comforting in its familiarity in every new town.

The library.

Libraries are like havens to me. For one thing, they have books. And if that's not enough, they have librarians, who are often some of the most connected folks in the town. So, information in many forms. And everyone is welcome at the library. Plus, children's programs, which is an excellent place to take the kids at least once a week--for free!

Naturally, the library was one of our first stops where we all got new library cards. Yep, the kids got their own cards this summer and in order to make using (and not losing) the cards as easy as possible for both of them, I made them some new library bags.

These couldn't be simpler. I used my favorite tote bag pattern re-sized for the kids. I used plain canvas for the outside so they would be nice and sturdy, and let the kids choose some fun fabrics from my stash for the linings. 

I cut the canvas and lining approximately 14" wide X 24" long. I also wanted a pocket for the library card, so I found some clear vinyl and cut it just slightly larger than the card itself. I also cut out some letters to use as an applique on the front of the bag.

I sewed the letters onto the front of the bag, then sewed on the vinyl pocket leaving it open at the top. Then I added some bias tape around the outside of the vinyl to give the pocket some reinforcement and as a decorative touch. (On my daughter's bag I used pink rick-rack on the pocket.) 

Then, I stitched up the sides and corners of the bag and the lining and after adding the straps, stitched them together along the top edge of the bag.

And as quick as that, 2 simple and cute bags ready to go to our new libray to be filled up with books!

Here is the happy first time library card holder!

And the old pro!

And off to the library we go!! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their libraries this summer and their summer reading as much as we are!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Our New Home

Well, for those who didn't already know....WE MOVED!

Yes, last month we packed up the dog and the kids and the sewing machines and drove across the country (mostly Texas) from Tucson, AZ to our new home in Fayetteville, GA. The road trip was really fun, we stopped at all the welcome centers along the way, picked up maps of the states, took photos of by the state signs, and watched in awe as the desert mountains gave way to huge green trees and grass.

The kids did great on the trip, the dog, not so much. But we made it here, and are finally digging out from under the mountains of boxes and packing materials. I've spent the last 2 days in particular on a mission to get the boxes out of the kids' bedrooms and the playroom. (They have their own playroom! Which means I have an actual living room not filled with children's toys!! EEEEEE!! Hard to say who's happier with this arrangement. Probably me.) 

So, I've got the sewing machines out, am clearing a space for my work table in the garage, and will be posting my first project from our new home this week! It will be No Business Like Sew Business--southern style!

See y'all real soon!