Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Fever and Lots of Projects

I have spring fever.  Warmer weather tempted us for a couple weeks and now we are having cooler than normal temps.  So I've stoked up the wood stove again and I'm getting creative.   First on the list is redoing my dining room. 
I've been into the really dark, rustic primitives for some time now and I just feel like going the complete opposite.  Here's a taste...
Blue floral slipcovered chairs.

 Bright white shear curtains.  Fresh, bright & clean for the summer.  I've always loved the romantic and french country look.  So that is kind of what I'm going after in my own way.  I am still trying to convince my husband to agree that our dining table and buffet need painting.  It's from his grandparent's otherwise he wouldn't have any say.
Another project...the butterfly at the bottom came from an old pillow cover that was found while cleaning out my grandmother's house many years ago.  This is my modern version. 
I just love the overall shape of it and the simple lines.
Another version.  This one is my favorite.  It's one of my bag designs that just went together without any major problems.  See that natural fabric under the butterfly...that is leftover drop cloth material from my chair slipcover project.  I'm really starting to like that stuff.  Oh, and I almost forgot...

This little beauty was painted yesterday.  It was nice enough then so I could at least do the staining outside.  However,  I will be saving the full post on the refinish for another day.  It's been a satisfying day.  One bathroom cleaned, played Chutes and ladders, cuddled, made 3 family meals and cleaned up dishes, picked up too many toys, showered, sewed 3 clutches & one bag, vacuumed the entry and kitchen, changed 5 diapers, listed 5 new items on Etsy, listed an open apartment for rent, put the girls to bed, blogged and now I'm exhausted so that's it for me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Another Day...

While photoing one of my new bags with a beautiful Amy Butler fabric.  I was constantly encountered by this.
It always seems like I'm trying to get something done and someone always wants something.  I'm sure if you have kids you know exactly what I mean.  So today I decided it would be more fun to play with the kids.  This turned into a photo shoot for my daughter.   What was life before digital cameras?  We would never have been able to afford that much film and look at all the free fun we can have now!
Now I've got a prodigy.  Let me say I cannot wait until she can work with me and learn to sew.  
It's hard to tell in in this picture but there is a head with stick legs and arms drawn in pen on the right.   The other side is her younger sister copying.  I could not help secretly being grateful for the push to make those slip covers I've been meaning to do for years.  There is no sense in reupholstering the seats when I've got toddlers, dogs & cats.  The pink velvet has been haunting me since we acquired them.  Good thing I cleaned off the crumbs and stains for the picture...
The dining room set that was given to us by my husbands grandparents.  There is a china cabinet and buffet.  All of it was shown in the 1937 World's Trade Fair.  It's very old and veneer and very, very sad looking.  I wish I knew how to restore but honestly I think it is past that point.  You can see the chair that is not covered in the back which is broken as are all of the chairs.  Pieces fall off daily but I am so cheap that I will not buy new when I can just slipcover...plus the kids and animals would not be nice to a new set.  The fabric is bought and will soon be sewn.  I cannot wait to get started...tomorrow actually.
But right now I'm going to enjoy this cookie then do some quiet hand sewing in front of the tube before bed.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Slip Covered Chair

My first slip cover! 
I have NEVER owned a new piece of furniture.  The only thing I have ever even paid any money for, yes, in my whole life so far was a used recliner from a friend.  This chair is nothing special and was given to me by my grandparents many years ago.

I've tried slipcovering before but it was a horrible and I got discouraged and never even finished it.  Needless to say it still covered the chair, I'm embarrassed to say for a number of years.  

I love Miss Mustard Seed and have been following her for awhile.  Then she posted slipcovering tutorials.  This is basically the same way I tried my last slip cover, although I initially skipped the piping because of the difficulty.  

Well, I would have to call myself a season sewer now.  Since I've been making handbags and expanding my sewing repertoire it seemed to be a little easier this time and I even used piping!  Thank you Miss Mustard Seed for inspiring and directing me!  

First I practiced on this pillow.  Oh, and I also used a contractor's drop cloth, bleached and washed for the fabric.  I love the clean look.  The piping came from some toile fabric I've had for many years.  I'm glad to use it finally.

Total cost of this "new" chair and pillow (also an old one I had laying around): $15!  Ok, that doesn't include the fabric I already had but even if I had to buy all that too maybe another $10 at the most since I bought it at discount.  

Sadly, I think this is the nicest piece of furniture I've ever owned.  But I'm proud of myself for tackling it and most of all for finishing it amongst getting snacks, craft projects and puzzles.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sick day...

We've all been under the weather.  Of course I'm the last one and it seems to be kicking my butt the hardest.  Today will be my last day - tomorrow I will be getting over this!  From the time I woke up I was horribly tired there was no way with the 2 kids I was going to make it through the day.  So we made up a big comfy bed on the living room floor.  The girls loved it!  We cuddled and they watched Dora while I got some much needed rest to get me through the day.  I'm not one of those people that lets a sickness get them down but this one was just not agreeing with me.
After my rest I made myself productive.  It has been so long since I've spent some time with my sewing machine...approximately 4 days now...an eternity for me.  My girls decided that they wanted to use their baby stroller as a real stroller one day.  My 3 year old tried putting the 17 month old in it...needless to say the cheap material did not survive it.  I could have just repaired it but why not add some more work to my already busy life and make them a new one.  I used up some scraps and fabric I've had for years to come up with this.  
I was pretty happy how it came out.  I am sooo comfortable with binding now.  I love, love, love it.  I can't believe it took me so long to get it right.  Binding is really very easy and versatile.  

Baby even seems happy in it.  By the way she was earned by my older daughter the other day for a crying free dentist appointment.  She did awesome and I was so proud of her.
A couple pictures painted today by my 3 year old.  I'm really impressed with the snowman.  It's amazing what we get of of her now.  She surprises us moment by moment sometimes.  The cute little heads with legs are slowly growing hair, toes, fingers...
I also whipped up this little case.  It needs a lot of tweeking but I thought it was overall a cute idea.  It fits my classic ipod perfectly so I guess I will be making use of this one.

All in all this sick day turned out to be not so bad.  The kids had a good day, I actually started to feel a little better.  I did not get out of my sweats all day and it was so wonderful.