Thursday, December 4, 2014

before & after... Lamp makeover

It's been an absolute eternity since I have been on here.  Everyday I think about posting and before I know it it's 9pm, the house is quiet and I can't get my brain to function beyond the couch and a tv screen.  I'm really going to try to post with some consistency here because if nothing else I just love to go back and look at old posts. 

So with this post I'm showing another before and after.  I don't have a ton of photo's but you get the idea. 

I love to repurpose (more out of necessity) and I probably do it too the old stuffing I take out of my flat pillows, refluff and stuff into a new pillow.  Sometimes I just like to bite the bullet and make a crazy purchase on something totally new - which is what I did for half of this project.  

This lamp redo is part of my living room makeover.  I'll share more of that soon.  We moved here almost 8 years ago and that was in a hurry with an infant.  Life has been giving us one huge hurdle after another and I think we're finally starting to level out. (or maybe I'm just getting used to it all!)  I'm slowly finding motivation to tackle walls desperately in need of paint and update furniture (with new slipcovers).  

So for today -

Here's the before.....

Super old lamp.  And the pair of these graced my living room for waaay too long.  My lampshade was a dark mustard with primitive stars and crows on it.  My decorating style of years ago - some of it was still sticking around.

And the after....

The lampshade did come from Home Goods, which was my new treat!  I spray painted the base with a plain ole silver spray paint.  The background shows a peek of my new wall color... more on that to come!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

my daughter's first successful design

I have 2 dress forms that both of my girls use to pin on various scraps.  It's so fun to see what they come up with.  This happened quite by accident as I like to grab a little bit of sewing time during the day when the light is good in my sewing area.  I usually turn a show on for the kids and sew for a few silent minutes.  But shows don't work as well as they used to and their curiosity of sewing is starting to grow. 

One day they just started adding some leftover scraps to the forms and it went from there. I lowered the ironing board and let them iron all of their scraps too.  Jasmine has been sewing since she was 4 1/2.  (She's now 7.)  She has her own little Hello Kitty machine (although uses my machines most of the time) and I have no problems letting her go without me even in the same room as her.  She's always been one of those kids that is very conscious of what is going on around her and careful to do it right.  (My other child on the other hand - well, we've attempted sewing, but I just know she will most likely experience  a needle in her finger and I would like to delay that for as long as possible!)

Anyways, back to the designing.  I give them complete free reign of the pins, scrap bins and iron.  As hard as it is for me to let my precious scraps be cut and manhandled I just concentrate on how this will all grow their love of fabric and all things sewing.  Look away - breathe -  look away..

The other day Jas stayed home with her dad while I went out.  When I came home she brought me over to the dressform and said, "Mom, I need help making this into something that will fit me."  Keep in mind this is a large size dress form.  I am so kicking myself for not taking a photo of it at that stage.  I think she had at least 100 pins stuck everywhere in it, but the overall look of it was a do-able dress.  She wanted to sew it right then and I wanted to rest, after all it was a Sunday afternoon, but she was so excited and I said I would at least sew together the top for her.  As I  sewed, it started to really come together and before we knew it I had it all assembled. 

I was so proud of her.  She wore it for the rest of the day. 

Shown here it needed the neck adjusted a little smaller and I still had not hemmed the bottom.  The next morning she was off for a stay with her grandparents and just had to wear it for them so we finished it up and off she went.  It sort of had the feel of a 20's dress but with lots of modern color.  I can't wait to see what her next creation is! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Summer is here.  I have been a stay at home/work from home mom for a full 6 months now.  Whenever I come on here for some reason I always gauge time by how long I operated the Stitch Lounge and now how long since I've closed.  It's still a part of me at least for a little while longer.  Last weekend I had a massive tag sale.  I HATE having tag sales but I had accumulated so much stuff both from my days of candle making, crafting, decorating and not getting rid of enough stuff.  Plus this was the last hurrah to try and get rid of more Stitch Lounge stuff.  I had no idea what to expect in terms of what I would sell and was keeping my fingers crossed that I would make enough money to feel like I made it worth it.  I am happy to say that is was worth my time.  We decided to keep it all in a safe place and use it for our summer spending money.  As long as I can keep to my weekly budget all will be well. 

We have made no plans for this summer.  I'm excited to just be and not run around.  So far we've gone to 2 beaches, saw a movie at the cinema, visited playgrounds had campfires, smores, popcorn and ice cream cones.  Hard to believe it's only been a week since the kids have been out of school.
I've even had some time to do some sewing.  It's taken me a long time to get my motivation back.  Freeing myself from all that stuff at the tag sale was a big part. The shirt has been in my sewing to do list for a couple months now.
This is my second project from the book Simple Modern Sewing.  The patterns in there are right on in terms of size and fit for me.  The only change I needed to make was to lower the angle of the bust dart by about and inch.  I'm looking forward to sewing the raglan sleeve shirt next.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

valentine mobile

We have a big problem around here.  There are piles and piles of pictures created by little hands and too beautiful to discard (but many do make it to the trash after much internal struggle and finally self reprimand that I just - can't - keep - everything!)  Actually I keep everything in a pile and about 3 or 4 times a year I go through the pile keeping only those that I really love or know that they really loved.  It's easier to get rid of things when they've been sitting there for so long.

Using inspiration from this post by Alisa Burke, I thought why not use some of their paintings.  They had no problem cutting into them which I sort of was surprised at.  First we made a heart template and traced onto their paintings.  We could fold them in a way that we ended up getting 6 hearts, all cut at the same time, out of one painting.   We used embroidery floss to lay between the hearts and glued with a glue stick.

Next we grabbed the strip basket and picked out some appropriate strips to wrap around just the center of an embroidery hoop.  The fabric can be removed later when I need to use my hoop again.  The only glue I added was to secure the final end.

I used 4 lengths of yarn to tie around the hoop then brought them all together and knotted to create a way to hang it.


We ended up making 9 string sets of 4 - 5 hearts and tied to the hoop.  The photo below only shows 4 of the sets.  We were waiting for big sister to get home from school to make more. 

One more way to reuse and enjoy some precious paintings!

Monday, February 10, 2014

update beginnings

It's been just over one month that I have officially closed the Stitch Lounge.  It seems like a world away.  I have barely been sewing anything.  I can't believe how insane I let our lives get for 2 years.  I say 2 years even though I was open as the Stitch Lounge for almost three years, because the insanity started when I made the move to Greenfield.  So glad I did it for so many reasons but I am so relieved that it's over.

I still have a ton of fabric and supplies remaining.  I had (and still have) every intention of inventorying it all and selling in some way.  I toy with the idea that I will be making all sorts of stuff but honestly I'm kinda sick of seeing much of it.  I don't feel the need to create as I did these past years but I'm sure once I'm back in the swing of things it will return.

My sewing area at home is probably one reason I haven't been doing much sewing.  It gives me stress to be over there with all the odds and ends that were shoved in boxes in no particular order then dumped where it fit.  The photo above makes the space look good but look on the other side of my cutting table and....yikes!  I'm waiting for the organization bug to bite.

I did finally start a queen sized quilt for my bed.  First one ever.  It's a soft yellow and white Irish single chain.

It's way more piecing than I like and too little color but I feel like it's the perfect quilt for the simplicity that I'm trying to achieve with the new year.  How nice will a fresh yellow and white quilt look for this summer!?

There's been lots of baking going on around here.  Not so good for my waist line buuut we are having lots of fun experimenting with new recipes.  

I'm grateful that I was able to see what was best for our family.  For once I feel like I made a good decision and I don't regret it for a second.  It's been a really tough several years and I'm hoping that this is our year of recovery.  Looking forward to what the new year will bring.