Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stretching My Sewing Skills

I spent much of this weekend sewing...I decided to make an apron as a gift for someone (and I hope that someone does not read this blog before she gets it!) which proved to be more difficult that it looked in the picture on the pattern. But, 5 phone calls and one Skype session with my mother later, it is done and here it is:
And yes, that is me modeling the apron wearing exercise pants and a turtle neck (who doesn't work out in a turtleneck?) It isn't perfect, but I don't think it is too bad for my first time attempting this project. I learned how to use double-fold bias tape, how to create a gather, and I certainly did give that seam-ripper a good work out with my mistakes along the way! I always think some of the best gifts are those that are hand-made, even if they don't look perfect!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Glory of Goodwill!

As I was putting fruit in my "fruit bowl" this morning, I starting thinking about all of the items I've picked up at the local Goodwill Industries store over the years and I've found some pretty cool stuff!

Exhibit A- Coffee Table:
I purchased this coffee table a few summers ago for $4.99. It was a pretty ugly brown color with chipping paint and of course, lots and lots of dust and spider webs! But, I saw straight through the exterior to the heart of the piece (ahhh, how "after-school-special" of me!) and with a few coats of paint, Viola!

Exhibits B, C, and D- Glassware:

Here is the previously mentioned "fruit bowl"...I'm not sure what it is really suppose to be used for, but I decided fruit would look nice! Each of these glass pieces I picked up on separate occasions. I don't remember the exact price, but I'm sure none were over $1.99! The one on the left I decided to use as a plant holder and the one on the right I use for flowers or even utensils for a buffet. Overall, I just think they are PRETTY which is why I forked over a $1 to take them home!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Two More Vacation Projects

I thought I would be friendly to my neighbors so I added this to my back porch...

I'm glad to see that at least SOMEBODY around here didn't make a New Year's resolution to watch their calorie intake in 2009!

The other new installation at my house was a pot rack (to hang my new set of pots and pans from my mom) since my kitchen is seriously lacking in storage space. Here it is:A big thanks to my dad for helping me put it up! Well, actually it was more like me helping/watching HIM put it up!

Just Call Me "Kelly-Anne-Knitting-Hands"

My current project is knitting a pair of "poos" as my step-father's family calls them, otherwise known as "really, really easy to make slippers". They look much more complicated to make than they really are. If you can knit/pearl a straight line (no increasing or decreasing or fancy stitches) then these slippers are for you! Once you've done your basic rectangular-shaped swatch, you sew up the top and the back and you are finished! The pattern can be found here.

I have only made one so far and here it is...Not too shabby for my first try! I hope to finish the other one later today!

Projects Over Christmas Break

Having almost 2 weeks off for holiday break, I became quite industrious around the house. I bought my house a little over a year ago, and after the painting, the total reconstruction of the flooring, the remodeling of the bathroom, and installing new windows & lighting were done, it was time to move on to smaller projects.

The first task was to decorate the spare bedroom/office/craft room/exercise room (jury is still out on whether we can keep this last title in the name)!

I went to the fabric store several times over the last year with the hope of finding just the right print to make pillow covers. I finally found this pretty black & white printed fabric and went a little crazy with it!

Project #1: Pillow Covers

Because the printed fabric was $6 a yard, I decided to also buy plain black fabric to cover the back of the pillows (at only $2 a yard) to save some cash and some of the pretty fabric for other projects. The pillow covers were really easy to make (you only need to sew a few straight lines) and only took me an afternoon. I used the "how to" section of this really helpful website.

The only thing I did differently was to use Velcro to fasten the back of the pillows instead of making button holes. A big thank you to Swiss inventor George de Mestral!

Project #2: Fabric Covered FramesWith the leftover fabric from the pillows, I took the plain white mats from these three frames and covered them to match! I used some craft glue and scissors and viola! It will probably take me a lot longer to decide which pictures to put in them!

Project #3: Chair Cushion Cover and Bulletin Board
At this point, the room looks like the Jo-Ann fabric store threw up on everything but still, I think it looks nice! For the chair cushion, I bought a $3 cushion from WalMart and then used the same pillow cover instructions from the website above. The only thing I had to add were the four little ties to secure the cushion to the chair.

I bought the bulletin board about a year ago from WalMart (maybe I should buy stock in this company?) It is just a plain cork board with black trim. I used fabric glue to secure the fabric to the board and then used tacks to put a ribbon in place around the edges.

Project #4: Lamp Shade
This was a tricky project...I have always wanted to cover a lamp shade with pretty fabric (every little girl's dream right?) but wondered how you could do it smoothly since the shade is an awkward shape. Well the trick is to use newspaper to create a pattern for your fabric.

I took newspaper and taped it all around the lamp shade and then cut the top and bottom to fit, leaving some extra because the fabric will need to be folded in and glued on the inside of the shade. Then I laid the newspaper template on the fabric and cut it out. I used plain-old fabric glue to secure it to the shade.

The only other project I am going to do with the fabric is maybe add a little trim to the plain white curtains in the room!