Thursday, November 1, 2012


Just kidding.  I meant catching up.  

I have yet to take pictures of my latest projects, but last night I finally got to a project I've been meaning to tackle for a while.  An ironing board cover!  Not very exciting to most, but I haven't had a full size ironing board since high school.  I picked up the ironing board for a few bucks at an estate sale.

It came together super fast.  I didn't have a wide enough piece of fabric to create a casing for my elastic so after I cut the fabric + one layer of cotton batting to size (with 3-4 inches added all around the board) I just took a long piece of 3 inch wide fabric, folded it in half, and sewed it around the edges to create a casing.  

I did this a few months ago but forgot to document.  I love retro school things and this chair was perfect for my computer desk.  It was in rough shape but after cleaning, lightly sanding, a few coats of Penetrol, and some new feet and it was ready to enjoy.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another Halloween

I'm into making halloween costumes.  This year was no different.  Ellie is a huge fan of Pixar movies.  One of her favorites is The Incredibles.  So this year I decided to make an Elastigirl outfit for Ellie and her baby sister was Jack-Jack to keep the theme running.

Ellie absolutely loved her costume.  The first time I had her try it on she was bouncing off the walls.

I used old red footie pajamas as a starting point.  I left the feet open so she could wear shoes, but I plan to add non-slip fabric to the bottom later so she can wear them as pajamas.  The baby onesie was a last minute addition before our Halloween party.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cheerio, Darling!

I added a few new things to my wall this week.  I enjoy looking at the old LIFE magazines I see at my local Bookmans.  During the last visit I found Queen Elizabeth and immediately adopted her.  Who better to tell me to stay calm than the Queen herself?

It was fun thumbing through the magazine.  In this issue Elizabeth was just made Queen, a budding actress just started her new show ("I Love Lucy"), and the ads make me giggle.  I may even frame an ad or two for fun.

Just today I randomly ran into a 1937 British newspaper announcing King George's coronation at the thrift store.  I got it, of course.  It's a big ragged but fun to look at.  I think perchance I need to get an American flag hung on my walls to balance out the British monarchs.  Go America!

Chair Upgrade

So a month or two ago one I came across a free chair.  The chair was correctly categorized as trash (just click on the below picture to see how bad it looked)--but I thought it would be a fun project to work on while Ellie played outside.  I was inspired by the woven upholstery webbing on this chair.

This was one of those work on for a few minutes here and there so it took a while.  I had a great idea to use leather straps as an accent (okay, really they are the only thing holding the chair together).

There's more wood filler than I care to admit to.  I don't own a staple gun and wanted to keep costs down for a trash chair makeover, so I used upholstery tacks.

I had fun trying new painting/distressing techniques.

I still plan to make a seat cushion for it (I only kept the wood and springs from the original chair--the porous materials were icky).

All in all it took some time, but it was a fun experiment.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


It took way longer than it should have, but I finally finished my quilt.  

As it is now summer (in Southern Arizona no less!) I decided to hang it on my wall.  I went through all that work and I am going to enjoy my quilt anyway I see fit.

Also I received a gorgeous little quilt for Ivy (my new girly) from my talented friend.  I am in love with the colors she picked.  I need to get photos pronto.  Soon I will be cutting into fabric for my cutie pie.  Good thing I've given myself a year (well, now 10 months) to finish.  What a slowpoke :)  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Deja Vu

Whilst on a thrift trip a few months ago I spotted this yellow striped shirt.  Bold stripes, yellow... looked like a nice summer t-shirt (it actually had sleeves but I chopped them off).  After I brought it home something seemed familiar about it... what was it?  Oh!  I had made a dish towel that looked EXACTLY like it.  

I was actually going to make it gingham print but after painting the horizontal stripes I ran out of paint and decided I would just leave it as is.  The color and width of stripes is as close as you can get.  Freaky.  And somewhat embarrassing that I have a shirt that matches my towel.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Postpartum Refashion

I've done a tiny bit of sewing and thrifting since my newest little cutie was born.  Sewing and thrifting are therapeutic to me I think, they help me de-stress if I've had a long day (or week).

Anywho, during some needed breather time one evening I stumbled upon a beauty.  Just kidding.  It was pretty bad but I liked that the top half unbuttoned (convenient for a nursing mom), the print was kinda cute, and it had pockets.   The skinny: I took the waist up about six inches, removed shoulder pads, took in the shoulder width, and chopped the sleeves...and I love it!  A casual (and comfortable) dress that is also functional.

In other news I am dangerously close to actually finishing that quilt I started eons ago.  Seriously I probably have like two feet of binding to finish...lets get on that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vintage Kitchen

Some pretty things joined my kitchen family recently.
I have been admiring Cathrine Holm (or is it Cathrineholm?) enamelware for a while.  It seems collectible so I was admiring at a distance (translation, high etsy prices).  

Whilst browsing the odds and ends at Bookmans I stumbled upon these two.  The price was higher than I'd pay thrifting--but we had some instore credit from a recent media purge.  So I didn't actually pay anything for them, nice!  The green bowl is my favorite.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quiet Book Volume 1

Originally I had sketched a myriad of page ideas (probably close to twenty) for my little quiet book, but quiet book volume one will just be five pages long.  I am okay with that.  I've constructed the book in such a way if/when I create more pages I can easily add them, which is super.

The book isn't perfect, but I think that gives it charm (or is that just what people who make imperfect things say to feel better?).  I didn't use any patterns, just had fun recreating the sketches I started with.  There is a thin layer of patting in each page giving it some stability, but keeping it soft.  There are no loose pieces, I didn't want to go crazy trying to keep everything together.

Here's the cover:

The classic mailbox page:

The Velcro bee page:

The elephant page (you stick your fingers through the back to be the elephant trunks):

The family picture page:

The zipper pouch (back of previous page):

The button frog page:

And as an afterthought I added another little file like pouch on the inside back cover to hold a notebook or a small book:

Handmade birthday gift:  done!  With 7 weeks to spare!  On to the next project...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Toddler Raglan Tee

After making the basic toddler t-shirt I decided to make a raglan tee as well (why not)?  I used this tutorial.

My sewing wasn't perfect (gathers and such), but I like the style.  I will definitely be making more of these.  I'm also going to use the pattern I made as a guide to a dress I am making for Easter and my baby sister's wedding this May (another project that was not on my official "make this before baby" list, oops!).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Toddler Tee

Despite the fact I sat down and listed all craft projects to complete before baby # 2 arrives I keep starting new things.  

The other day I decided I needed to make some new t-shirts for Ellie.  I wanted to work out the pattern now so post baby I could whip them out as needed.  I used a well fitting shirt as a guide to create the pattern, and then used an old grey t-shirt to construct.  

It was looking a little ho-hum so I added some little pockets in front.  As well added some stretch lace trim (from my vintage stash) to the sleeves and pockets for a feminine touch.

They are so quick and easy I want to sew up a storm making some more.  I'm going to resist for now and get some other projects done with my shrinking free time (t-minus 8 1/2 weeks if baby is on time!).

Letterpress Spice Rack

I've been going back and forth with what I wanted to do with my spices recently.  I really wanted to figure out a way to do a test tube spice rack (you know, geek chic?)--but when it came down to the details it just wasn't very practical.  Perhaps someday I'll get some test tubes (they are so cool!) anyway for to keep liquid extracts (vanilla, almond, etc).  

A month or so I pinned this.  It's unusual, but fun!  I had some leftover birthday present funds and decided to go for it.  As usual Corey was perplexed, yet not surprised, that I would want a dirty old drawer for my birthday :)  He's used to my odd choices now.

Here's my (half full) version:

It was difficult finding a tray that was wide enough to hold the spice tins I purchased.  I eventually found one that was priced okay and went for it.  I was hoping for a deeper tray, but worked with what I had (below you can see how they stick out quite a bit).

Strong magnets and strong glue was a quick fix!  

Another deviation from the original idea was I purchased some fun yellow washi tape to label the spices.  I liked this because it added some color and it's easily removable if I want to change things up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quick Diaper Pouch

This project has been on my to-do list forever.  Once Ellie was past the new baby stage I hated dragging my diaper bag everywhere and just stowed a few necessities (diapers, snacks, etc) in my purse.  My messy purse.

Last night I wanted to do a quick project and finally decided to whip this out.  Nothing fancy. Functional and small was what I was going for.  Now I have a nice little bundle to hold together a few diapers and wipes (I just stow a small amount of wipes in a zip top bag, the generic travel wipe holder always left me with dry wipes and it was bulkier).

It's just a rectangle sized to wrap around a few diapers with a smaller rectangle at the bottom to hold things in (which actually I don't think is necessary).  

I used felt for half of the outside so I wouldn't need to add the soft side of velcro.  Lazy?  Perhaps.  Either way it gets the  job done.  Here's a full view of the canvas side to see the general shape.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Small Refashion

serendipitous ran across this post yesterday.  I had just bought a similar shirt (thrifted, maybe $4?) last week!  I thought it was pretty sweet.  Corey thought not.  I've been trying to tell him that old school stuff is cool.  Think, what would my grandma wear?  I think he thought this shirt was too grandma.

Basically doing the same steps as the original post, here's my tiny refashion:

Taking a step back perhaps I should have lowered the neckline a little more.  Even so, I like the simple adjustment.  Freshens up the shirt a bit.  Amazingly I'm still able to button the shirt despite my 6 1/2 month bump!  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Basic Sewing

I recently made two basic tank tops.  Not super exciting, I know.  I used an old tank as a guide and created my own pattern.  They aren't perfect, but work well enough.  Now that I've made two I think any future ones I make will turn out even better.  I hate spending $15-$20 on a tank top and now I don't have to, hooray!  As I got my fabric at cheap shop I probably spent $5 for both.  

I did not make these shorts, but I am loving them--too bad they are not my size! I went with a friend to this big baby consignment sale and got them for a few dollars.  I'm filing the cute style under "I'll try to make this for myself, someday" folder.  I will just have to live vicariously through Ellie as she wears them all summer.

I can't get enough of the strawberry buttons.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quiet Book Peek

Here's a sneak peek at one of the projects I've been working on recently, a modern quiet book.  It's for Ellie's 2nd Birthday.  I'm hoping to get it done weeks before her sister arrives.  For a few weeks I had fun sketching out quiet book ideas I wanted to try.  I have some traditional, but many of the ideas I made up.  For all pages I'm making the patterns up as I go.  Most of the quiet book pages are going to have some cutesy saying on them when completed.

Here's the first page I finished.  You stick your hands through the holes to be the elephants' trunks.  It will say "I love you a ton" (...awe, cute):  

I love this page.  The bees have Velcro backs that you can stick on the flowers or beehive.  It will say something like "bee happy" or "you're the bees knees":

Here's one I've seen a few times online.  The mailbox.  The flag goes up and down and you open and shut the mailbox.  There's also an envelope inside that you can stick notes in.  Predictably this will say "you've got mail" (which is also a super movie):

DIY Hand Soap

I made my own hand soap recently.  It only took a few tries :)  My hands get so dry washing them frequently, despite the "moisturizing" refill soap I had purchased.  I would have to apply lotion constantly.  I used this tutorial.  

My downfall was choice of soap (which actually was pointed out by the tutorial author, I just didn't read closely).  Don't use Dove Sensitive skin--it won't thicken.  I ended up looking for the brand the author suggested--Yardley.  Bonus they had a lemon variety (I love lemon soap).  One batch will make a lot of soap, 10 cups worth.  It can take forever to gel--like a whole day--and then the texture can be a bit funny and you may want to try to beat it (I wish I had a stick blender) to make it more smooth.  Funny texture aside, I love my new soap.  It smells better and is much more moisturizing than the refills I was buying.

I have been loving the mason jar trend for a while now.  I particularly liked the jar turned soap dispenser--what a clever idea.  I could have made it myself (after acquiring some tools and supplies), but bought a fancy lid from Etsy with some of my Christmas money.  I didn't have the right size jar on hand at home so found one for fifty cents at the thrift store.  I think it's super cute in my kitchen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Usually I'm pretty cheap (if frequenting thrift stores didn't make that obvious).  However, around December and January I sometimes buy fun things for myself.  Getting cash for Christmas and birthdays certainly has it's perks.  Isn't Etsy so much more exciting when you aren't window shopping?

Anyway, here is my newest friend.  I couldn't resist.  I love qwarky kitschy things.  Also I love ducks.  And it was like $8, which is pretty cheap for Etsy.

Upon receiving my duck scissor holder I recovered the little pin cushion.  The other fabric was drab.  I think the polka dots are much more fun.  Here's a look at the inside:

The only bummer is all those pegs are just a tiny bit too big to hold my bobbins.  Drat.  That's okay.  I'm still storing the bobbins in there anyway, it would have just looked neater had they fit on the pegs. 

I've been humming around doing small projects here and there.  Realizing you only have 3-ish months left of craft time can do that to a person.  Infant + toddler = craft hiatus... at least until I figure out how to get them on a similar schedule.  

One such small project was I finally recovered my old mouse pad.  I've seen a few tutorials around, but I just used heat'n'bond on fabric cut out to be bigger than the mouse pad and then used a rotary cutter to trim it all nice and neat.  I thought it might be bad ironing directly onto the mouse pad, but nothing was hurt in the process.