August 13, 2014

Dropping in to say "hello"

I just wanted to drop in and tell all of the friends who I've made in blogland how much I miss all of you.  Life has gotten so busy and as you all know, blogging takes a lot of time and dedication.  Those of you who have been able to maintain a blog year after year amaze me.  The irony of it is that the thing blogging helped me discover that I love is the thing that takes me away from blogging...sewing!  

Since I'm here, I thought it'd be fun to show you my latest project. After one year of sewing I have been able to make my first dress!  It's the Cambie dress by Sewaholic.  

The dress is made from one fabric on the outside and then another fabric for the lining but I thought it'd be fun to use a different fabric for the waistband as well.  Here it is, a turquoise dress with a coral waistband.  The inside lining is a pretty lavender fabric.  I made two changes to the pattern.  1) It should have a sweetheart neckline, but I opted for a straight neckline 2) It should have pockets but I left them off since I thought it would be too bulky with pockets. I just love how it turned out and I'm excited to wear it to work tomorrow with a light peach cardigan.

Until next time, happy blogging and take care!


April 19, 2014

Wine crate shelf for fabric storage

As I've been sewing, I've been collecting a lot of fabric.  I've been looking for ways to store them and finally found the perfect solution when I visited Daniela's blog Frugal Ain't Cheap

When I saw this post, I knew it was exactly what I wanted! I have an obsessions with wine crates. I can't seem to get enough of them. I think one reason is because they remind me of France (even if they're not French wines), and another reason is because they're not easy to find so it always feels like an accomplishment when I can get my hands on one!  I also love the idea of re-purposing.
Source: Frugal Ain't Cheap

I went to Home Depot and bought the wood, screws, and stain.  

I cut the pieces myself with a jigsaw!  I usually have Mr. H cut the wood for me but he had to work all day and I didn't want to wait.  For my shelf, I wanted to be able to remove the crates so instead of screwing them to the posts, I created ledges for them to sit on. 

Here's what I used:
1) two 1"x2"x96" piece of wood for the legs, cut each one in half so there are four 48" long pieces
2) one 1"x2"x96" for the wine crate supports, cut to six 13" pieces
3) one 2"x2"x72" piece of wood for the back frame support, cut to three 21" pieces
4) twelve 1" screws for the crate supports
5) six 1 1/4" screws for the back supports
6) wood stain

Here it is assembled with the wine crates in it.

Here's what my fabric storage looked like before

And here it is now! I think it's only a matter of time before Shady makes herself at home in the wine crates, though.

March 22, 2014

Vests with flair!

I had been wanting to try making clothes that I could wear.  My friend had mentioned to me that she thought it would be cool if someone could make her a jacket that was conservative on the outside so she could wear it to work but had a fun inside lining that reflected the fun side of her personality. Kind of like her own little secret on the inside. I thought that idea was so fun!

Living in Colorado, I thought a fleece vest would be the perfect thing to start with. I went to the fabric store and spent quite a while looking for a fabric that would reflect my personality and found this pretty peacock fabric.  I love peacocks!  On the outside, I decided to go with a beige fleece.
 I didn't have a pattern so I used one of the fleece jackets that I already owned and created a pattern out of it, just without the sleeves.

Here is the finished product!  It was my first time installing a zipper.  I think it turned out really pretty!

Since then, I've made a few more, improving my skills with each one.  I added a hood to this one!

My friend requested one for her little girl who was turning 5.  I had never made one for a little girl before but I wanted to give it a try.  My favorite part of this vest are the little owls peeking out of the pockets!

I also made one for a Star Wars fan who was turning 3!

I've had so much fun making these vests and have decided to include the ones for women in my Etsy shop!  They're all made to order since the fabric selection reflects each woman's personal style.

February 8, 2014

Counselor kitty stuffed toy

Sometime last year I stumbled upon Child's Own Studio, a studio where Wendy Tsao creates soft toys from children's drawings.  I thought it was the neatest thing I ever saw so I decided to try to make a doll from a drawing by my friend's daughter.  You can read about that here if you missed it.  I had so much fun making that doll that I wanted to make more dolls.  I asked my friends if anyone had any drawings by their kids that they wanted me to try to make.  I asked for drawings from kids between 5-11.  I think any younger than 5 and they would not appreciate the concept of their drawing being made into a real toy and any older than 11 the drawings might start getting too intricate to recreate.

My friend Juli sent me this drawing by her daughter, Mercy, who was 8 years old.
Mercy's father is a counselor and he asked her to draw a picture of what she thought he did all day at work.  The cat is the counselor and the person on the floor thinks the cat is so hilarious that he fell on the floor laughing.  The cat is doing its best to look like a counselor by wearing glasses and a wig.

I was very excited to to make a cat wearing a wig! It was such a fun idea!  The two challenges I saw were making a wig that would come on and off and making glasses that a child would not lose.

I finally decided to use the nylon from a pair of pantyhose, sew brown yarn into and and use Velcro to allow it to be removable.  I needed to test fit the wig and my cat Shifty was more than happy to try it on for size. Or maybe she wasn't more than happy but she stayed still long enough for me to snap this picture.

For the glasses, I decided to make them out of felt and sew them onto the cat itself so they wouldn't be lost.  Here is the finished doll!
I find making dolls or stuffed animals from drawings to be challenging because there are no patterns or instructions to follow.  You just start and figure out what to do along the way.  It is so very rewarding, though, to make a child's idea come to life!

February 3, 2014

Christmas trip to Europe

Hello everyone! I can't believe I didn't post for the entire month of January. After we got back from our two-week Christmas trip to Europe I developed a sort of aversion to being in front of the computer! I really did! I didn't blog, I didn't list anything on my Etsy shop, I didn't even post photos on my Facebook page of my trip for a few weeks! I think it was the post holiday blahs. January is really my least favorite month of the year.  Now that February is here, I'm slowly coming out of my hibernation.

Even though it's February, I want to take you back to Christmas and share some photos from our trip to Europe.  We were there from December 14-29 and stayed in seven different towns/cities. Europeans really know how to celebrate Christmas! Everywhere we went, there were markets and decorations and plenty of food!

Our first stop was Bruges, Belgium.  If you've been to Bruges, you'll recognize the building below. It's one of the most photographed corners of Bruges.  I loved how there were large Christmas lights in the trees.

 Swans swam in the canal that ran around the building.

In Brussels they had a light show at Grand Place every night. The buildings were lit up with lights that flashed on and off to music.

We stopped at Orval Abbey on our drive from Brussels to Luxembourg because Orval is one of Mr. H's favorite beers.  It was so fascinating to walk around the ruins of the old abbey.

We were pleasantly surprised by Luxembourg.  We didn't really know what to expect. It is such an underrated city! An area of Luxembourg is built on two levels! It was so neat.

On to Strasbourg, France...their decorations were so fun!  This is a building decorated with huge teddy bears!

They had fun Christmas markets, too.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany was my favorite town for Christmas. Being in the town felt like we were in a giant Christmas globe!

Munich was where we spent actual Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  Because the restaurants closed early on Christmas Eve we decided to get a spread of meats and cheeses for our hotel room for dinner. It was delicious!

Munich's town squares were beautifully decorated.

Prague was our last stop. It was very pretty.

We even got some culture in and went to an opera. We saw Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre.

Now that I'm back I am looking forward to catching up with all of my blog friends! I also want to let you know that my blog may be turning a slightly different direction. I started this blog because I wanted to share my love of home decor. Thanks to this blog I discovered a new passion, sewing! It all started when I made new seat covers for my outdoor chairs. You can read this post here. After I made those seat covers, I just kept on sewing! Since sewing is what consumes any free time I have, it only makes sense for me to capture that in this blog otherwise I'd have nothing to post about! I do hope you all stay and follow along with my projects, but I can understand if you don't. Not everyone interested in home decor is interested in sewing.  With that said, it feels nice to be back :)


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