Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Randomness and a Sneak Peek!

I'm working away on my little girls' bathroom and I hope to share pics next week! I have a few items of business to mention to you, so I'll intersperse a few sneak peeks of the fabrics I'm using.

First I want to give everyone a reminder that you can still enter my giveaway until 9pm tonight!

Thank You, Homebody!
I can't believe it's taken me all week to say this but I just wanted give Holly at Homebody a great big thank you for featuring me on Monday. I was so honored and I think this new weekly feature of hers is such a generous thing for her to do for fledgling blogs like mine. Make sure to check her out on Monday to see who she'll be featuring next!

Bloggy Get Together?
Amanda of Serenity Now and I are in the very early planning stages of local bloggy get together. First we need to know if there is enough interest in such an event. Are there any mommy/homey/decor bloggers out there in the VA/MD/DC area who might be interested in getting together on a Saturday in May? If so, please leave me a comment with an email address or a link to a page containing your email so that I can get in touch with you.

Calling all Slipcovers!
If you used my tutorial to make a slipcover I would absolutely love to see photos! Please email me a photo or a link so that I can show off your handy work on my blog!

Last but not least, I'm going to get to do a guest post on Tatertots and Jello and I am so excited! I have a few project ideas , but I thought I'd throw it out to all of you- is there anything you'd particularly like to see a post about?


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

First off, if you haven't already entered my giveaway, scroll down to my last post and leave me a comment to enter!

After showing you this the other day I've gotten a couple of requests for a sewing machine cover tutorial.

This is actually a really simple project. There are only three pieces of fabric and two seams. Mine was particularly easy because the machine I made the cover for came with a soft sided clear vinyl cover, so I just used it as a pattern. I literally just turned the cover on its side on top of my fabric, traced around it with my disappearing ink pen (love that thing!) and cut out the side pieces. The main piece is one big rectangle that goes up and over the machine like a tent. I just measured and cut out a rectangle the same size.

If you don't have a soft cover to work from, you can still do this.
  1. For the sides, hold a sheet of paper (you may have to piece 2 together) against one side of your machine and trace around the side adding 1/2 inch for the seam allowance. If both sides of your machine are not mirror images of each other, make sure you trace the larger side.
  2. Use this as a pattern to cut two side pieces (if your side piece is not symmetrical, make sure you flip it for the second piece!).
  3. Now measure around the sides (but not the bottom) of this piece.
  4. Cut one large rectangle the length of the measurement you just took by the width of your machine plus 1 inch (for a 1/2 inch seam allowance). This will be your main piece.
  5. Stitch one side piece along each long side of your rectangle.
  6. Hem the bottom or finish the bottom edge with ribbon as I did. You're done!
I also added a monogram to my cover using my embroidery machine. I know not everyone has access to an embroidery machine, but you could still add a monogram by either stenciling it onto your cover or by printing a monogram onto iron-on transfer paper (make sure to print it out in reverse!) and ironing it onto your cover.

BTW- does anyone notice anything a little nutty in this photo? My husband knew the spray paint fumes had gotten to my head when he noticed...

Let's look a little closer, shall we?

I prettied up my tape dispenser. Cuz' sometimes I just. can't. stop. In case anyone out there is as nuts as me, here's how to do it. Just pop it open, pull out the the little cardstock thingy and trace it onto scrapbook paper or a fabric scrap and snap it back together.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Lamp Makeover and My First Giveaway!

I'm participating in DIY day at ASPTL
and Trash to Treasure at Reinvented

I showed you this in my craft area makeover post:

Now I'm back to tell you how I did it!

Here is this lamp's humble beginning:

My sister got her for free and passed her along to me several years ago (thanks, Chrissy!).

She was crying out for a makeover (the lamp, not my sister!), so first I unscrewed the lampshade and spray painted the base black.

Then after reading these instructions on making a lampshade slipcover on I cut a piece of burlap a little wider than the height of my shade and a roughly twice as long as the circumference of the bottom of the shade. I acordian folded the burlap (which was really easy because burlap can be finger pressed almost as easily as paper!)

Then I threaded a large needle with one strand of burlap fiber that I pulled from the edge of another piece. I pushed the needle through all the layers of the folded burlap a little less than an inch from the top and tied it off. I did the same to the bottom. Then I placed the almost complete lampshade "slipcover" on top of the shade and it looked like this...

um, not exactly what I had in mind. I decided at this point that the shape of the existing shade was just not working.
That was when I remembered that I had this frosted glass ceiling fan shade:

It was in the front hall closet when we moved into our house. I took off the old shade and added this in its place. Then I decided to abandon the accordion fold and opted instead to gather the top and bottom by pulling both ends of one strand of the burlap a half inch or so in from the top and bottom edge. Be careful if you try this- sometimes the strand will break and you have to start over. Maddening.

Next I spread the gathered burlap panel around the shade, glued the "seam" in the back and adjusted the gathers.

much better.

I used some fabric scraps to make a layered rosette and hot-glued it all in place till it looked like this!

she may be too cutesy for some, but I love her- especially above my craft table.

In other news- I broke 100 followers today! I'm so stinkin' excited!!

To my existing followers: I don't think I've said so before, but I just love you guys! You have no idea how much it means to me that there are people out there who actually want to see what I'm doing. I am so honored that you have chosen to follow purely because you saw something here that you liked. I love reading each of your comments- they make my day! I am so encouraged by your presence here. And so, I think it's time for my first giveaway. In order to reward my existing followers and to encourage some new friends to join the ranks (the few, the proud!) I'm hosting a giveaway for all followers.

Now on to the prize. I used to have an ebay store and sold items that I personalized with my embroidery machine. At some point I bought a slew of aprons to embroider and sell but then life got too busy and I forgot about them. That was quite a while ago. I found a huge sack of them while cleaning out my craft and sewing supplies recently. So, here's the prize. One apron of your choice embroidered with a name or monogram.

I just took this photo really quickly and it's not the greatest, but it at least gives you an idea...

The aprons are quilted 100% cotton, they're roomy, completely adjustable, have a pocket in front and a scalloped hem. You can choose from three colors. We'll call the one on the left butter (pale butter background with burgundy/rose floral), the one in the center pink (cute cottage rose print, reverses to smaller print in same colorway) and the one on the right blue (pale yellow background with blue flowers, reverses to light blue stripe). Gentlemen (I know there are a few of you- welcome!!)- I also have one plain black canvas apron and I'm sure we can come up with something sufficiently manly to embroider if you win!

Now the rules!

If you are related to me by blood or marriage or have otherwise known me more or less since birth, I'm sorry but you are disqualified (but call me and I'll make you one! Geesh!)

To show my appreciation for friends both old and new I'll give away two aprons, one to an existing follower and one to a new follower.

If you currently follow my blog, leave me a comment telling me you're an old friend. If you don't currently follow, sign up as a follower and then leave me a comment here telling me you are a new friend. That's all! 1 entry per person please.

I will draw the winner Friday night, 9:00 pm EST time.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

PB Inspired Bulletin Board

I'm participating in:
Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy

DIY day at ASPTL
Trash to Treasure at Reinvented

In my last post I showed you my new sewing/crafting area:

and I gave you a glimpse of this:

now I'm back to tell you all about it! After the PB Knock-Off Party at Homebody last week, I was totally inspired by two bulletin board projects:

this one:

created by Heidi at Vacuuming in High Heels and Pearls

and this one:

created by Becky at Beyond the Picket Fence

Both were inspired by this "Rustic Wall Organizer" from Pottery Barn:

I apologize for not having any "before" pics, but when I realized I had everything I needed on hand (LOVE it when that happens!) I went into a full on 11:30 pm crafting frenzy and it was completed in less than an hour.

Here's what I used:
old corkboard from college (not as big as the inspiration pieces, but fit perfectly above my sewing machine)
Black spray paint
burlap, one piece cut to fit my bulletin board and more to form the pocket
iron-on transfer paper
tacky glue
hot glue
red grosgrain ribbon
picture wire
upholstery tacks
clip rings
images from the Graphics Fairy

First I spray painted the frame of my corkboard (in the bathroom. It worked but I don't recommend it!). My frame was unfinished pine and I didn't prime it, so the wood peaks through a bit, but I decided I kinda like it like that.

While the frame was drying I turned on my iron and printed out my images while it was heating. Then I followed the instructions on the transfer paper and ironed the images onto my burlap.

Next I glued my burlap panel to my cork board (even though the frame wasn't completely dry!) with tacky glue and glued the ribbon around the edges.

To make the pocket at the bottom I measured how long and deep I wanted the pocket to be and then I cut the burlap piece and folded it (burlap finger presses really well which makes it so easy to work with!) like a long skinny brown paper grocery bag- make sense? I hot glued the "seams" together and then hot glued the pocket to the board.

Then I pushed two upholstery tacks into the frame, wrapped some picture wire around them and added the clip rings.


How cute is this vintage dress pattern?! I can't wait to try it! I'll let you know how it goes...


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pimp My Craft Table!

For the past few days my hubby has been on a business trip in sunny FL. I know, poor, poor bunny. While he was away it snowed. Again. And I did what any self-respecting momma would do in my position- I pimped my craft table!

Here is the embarrassing before:

Aside from being an utter mess, the biggest problem was that I have and use three different sewing machines- a regular machine, a serger and an embroidery machine- and they didn't all fit on my little desk/vanity, so I was constantly having to shuffle them around to sew.

I fixed that problem by risking life and limb to pick this up in the middle of snowmageddon:

a pretty drop leaf dining table that I scored on CL for $25! I LOVE it because it's dining table size with both leaves up, but with both leaves down it's a sofa table size which means it fits in my "Sewing Studio" (aka narrow hall in the basement). The best thing about it aside from the fact that it's long enough for all three machines is that I can open just the front side to give me more space when I'm sewing and then put it back down when I'm done.

Once I got the table home and in place I lifted up the dropleaf and found this:

It's Hitchcock! I did some investigating online and the details of this particular stamp mean it was made after 1946, so it's not an antique, but still a much nicer table than I thought I was getting for 25 dollars.

And here it is all decked out. Ahem.


I finally jumped on the burlap bandwagon (can I just say I love working with burlap?!) and skirted the table with burlap trimmed in ribbon. I love, love, love it because it gives me so much concealed storage space. I can hide all manner of craft junk under the table (I have two big plastic drawer units full of sewing and crafting supplies under there) and since I lift up the dropleaf to work here all the stuff hidden behind the skirt remains undisturbed! Woot!!

In case anyone is curious about the red shelf/ribbon storage thingies here's their before shot:

I spray painted them with Krylon's Cherry Red. In the snow. Cuz I'm nuts. It looks like we were hunting wild game in our backyard. After the paint dried I hung them and put dowels through the open part in the side to hang ribbon. Easy-peasy.

Here's my sewing machine poised for action:

my netbook poised for action:

I posted about my PB inspired stretched canvas artwork and Spool Hooks in my last post- here are some sneak peaks of some of the smaller projects within this makeover that I'll be posting about over the next few days:

Monogrammed Sewing Machine Cover

Cutie-patootie Gathered Burlap Lamp

Sewing Themed Burlap Bulletin Board

In completely unrelated news, I get to go out with this guy tonight!!!

Okay, so my husband will be there. Oh, yeah and hundreds of other people, but I know he's really just singing to me.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

PB Knock-Off Stretched Canvas Wall Art

I'm participating in DIY Day at ASPTL,
Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented,
PB Knock-Off Party at Homebody,
And Brag Monday at the Graphics Fairy!

I've been busy sprucing up my sewing/crafting studio (aka narrow hallway in the basement adjacent to the family room) I'll show you the whole finished area soon! I wanted some cute wall decor to fill out the wall above my sewing table. While perusing the PB website I saw these cute vintage-y typewriter prints:

And I thought it would be fun to make a similar series only with images of vintage sewing machines and the like. So, I hopped over to The Graphics Fairy and found these cute vintage sewing images!

First I printed out my images and used Avery Light Fabric Transfer Paper (which worked very well but was kinda pricey so I think I might try this method next time!) to iron the image onto 13"x13" squares of osnaburg fabric. my final product would have looked closer to the PB inspiration photo if I had used a bright white canvas, but I wanted to use what I had on hand, plus I just like the texture of this fabric.

I originally planned to stretch the fabric around those square blank canvases you can buy at the craft store, but they were a little more expensive than I realized (noticing a theme here?!) and since I was just going to cover them with fabric I opted to make my own square forms out of foam core scraps I already had. In order to make 3 finished square forms I cut 6 10" squares and I used another little scrap to cut some little spacers. On three of the 10" squares I glued spacers in the corners (to give the finished square form a little more depth), then I glued another 10" square on top.

Here's a side view:

I centered my fabric on the square form...

Flipped it over and hot-glued two opposing sides around the edges...

To get the corners smooth I made a couple of snips...

then I glued down the little flaps and the other two sides.

voila! Oh, I mean POOF!

There's actually much more contrast between the prints and the wall. I took these photos at night so I had to use the flash. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, but I still think they could use a little more oomph, so I'm thinking of hanging them from ribbon on the wall.

Also, while on the PB site I saw these "Wooden Spool Hooks" for $24 (seriously? Who would pay $24 for wooden thread spools?).

I happen to have some empty plastic spools. I spray painted them and added a little circle of fabric to the tops. I'll add a photo as soon as I finish hanging everything!

I just finished hanging everything!

I still have some sprucing to do, but you get the idea.
This is pretty simple. Paint spools, hammer a long nail into the wall leaving about an inch out of the wall. Hang spool on nail, hang ribbon on spool. Done.

I know my spool hooks look pretty different from the PB ones, but I rather like mine! I think I'll make some more- what else can I hang on them? Scissors? measuring tape? Hmmm...

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