Saturday, May 31, 2008


I did it, I finished my dining room curtains. My darling Mister even managed to hang them promptly so I didn't lose any time admiring my handiwork. They are just as lovely as I envisioned. NEXT...

Chair covers! Just for the tops of my dining chairs though. In the same delish fabric as my panels. Also thinking about a matching table runner using the gorgeous red silk on the ends. Probably way too much matchy matchy but I don't care. So far I have one chair top cover sewn and two more cut out, hopefully I'll finish this project some time today.

Isn't vacation wonderful?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dining room mistreatments

Since my dream of a French country inspired sewing room bit the dust with the return of my little bird to the nest I now have turned my decorating aspirations towards my dining room. The walls are Eddie Bauer Bungalow Gold on top and a combination of Brick Dust and Burning Bush glazed over the bottom portion. My dining table and chairs are painted black. The antique Hoosier cabinet is painted Toffee Crunch pulling in the kitchen cabinetry color to the dining room. I have two black wicker bookcases and a faux fireplace with antique mantel in Golden Mushroom which is also my trim color in the room.

Awhile back I purchased over 9 yards of decorator fabric on clearance for an insane $2/yard. It's a lovely smallish floral print on a muslin colored background in reds and golds. Perfect color match for my dining room and as well as very French country feeling. I have wanted to bottom border some panels for a long time as I think it looks amazing, now I have the perfect opportunity to do it. I have added 18 inches of dark red silk to the bottom of my simple panels and topped it with a wrapped tassel trim in a golden color. The result is stunning and elevates my dining room to a slightly more elegant look vs the casual look it's been grounded at. I've been busily cutting, pressing, pinning, sewing and hope to finish them today. Naturally I've followed the advice of my favorite decorating blog The Nester and will hang them 4 inches above my window trim and about 2 inches to the sides of my window as well as hemming them so they rest upon the floor.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Inexpensive Revamping

In the world of window treatments a major no no is having your panel curtains stop before touching the floor. Every decorating blog shows big box McMansions with curtain panels that brush the floor or puddle. Having spoken with a pro her advice was to avoid "puddling" because it just looks like a waste of fabric and appears unprofessional but definitely have panels "resting" on the floor.

With a critical eye and this advice, I evaluated my living room window treatments. The Martha Stewart panels have served me well over the years. They are neutral in color with a all over leaf vine design adding interest. Resting on the floor though? Sadly not. And the tab tops feel casual where I'd prefer a feeling of more elegance.

Shopping in my stash produced a nice piece of decorator fabric that I'd been saving for my dining room window treatments. But since my dream of a French country inspired sewing/guest room vaporized I've decided it's the perfect inspiration for my dining room leaving the black/red/gold plaid up for grabs. Careful measuring and planning was a must since I only had about a yard and a half for 4 panels plus a smaller curtain for the door. Not wanting to waste a single bit of this fabric I made rod pockets from muslin eliminating the need to fold over the top for forming a casing allowing all of the fabric to show.

Another dig thru my stash closet provided lush pom pom fringe in rich black with a single jewel cut clear bead above each pom. With the addition of a new chair in black/red/gold paisley brocade to replace my burgandy leather recliner my color scheme is firmly established. Now to do something with that blue faux oriental area rug...

This project was extremely low cost, I estimate that I spent less than $1 revamping my window treatments but only because I purchased the material by the pound at a decorator warehouse and the trim was another steal at 50% off clearance marked price of $1/for the bolt plus my 15% employee discount. But for others who are not as fortunate as I am with fantabulous bargains I would estimate this could easily be done for around $20 depending upon fabric and trim choice, number of windows, etc.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bought a book

Awhile back I purchased a book from Gooseberry Patch "Sew Simple". Naturally I had a coupon + my 15% employee discount. Really I only bought it for a particular project, one I could have easily figured out on my own but chose not to, fabric covers for hangers. I've made one so far, have one half finished, and two more cut out awaiting their turn on my sewing machine. The thing is sometimes it takes having a tactile reminder of a proposed project in order to actually start working on said project. Atleast it does for me. Having gotten the book I was determined to make sure I used it thereby rationalizing it's purchase.

Another cute project in the book was a stuffed wool felt frog. The Girl (The Boy's Girl) decided she wanted to make it, so I bought her a yard of cute cheap fabric and she set about frog making.

In the book is a gift bag project from old linen tea towels. Wow, I don't have any old linen tea towels laying about and if I did I certainly wouldn't be making them up into little gift bags. But the germ of the idea was born and after months I think I've come up with a pretty good alternative. From the fabric warehouse I love to frequent, I've gotten stacks of small bits of lovely fabrics, some florals, some plaids, most are not the size I'd need to make a purse from unless I did some sort of patchwork, but I snapped them anyway because they are lovely and cheap. Now the germ of idea has sprouted. I know what I must try next.

And finally there is a cute cute cute tote bag sized sling over the shoulder hobo style bag made from two gigantic triangle pieces of fabric. Hmmmm, looks very interesting. Gotta dig around in my stash for this one.

I truly hope I manage to get a move on with these projects. So many projects! So much laziness!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Super Star

Monday is freight day where I work and it's always busy. Digging thru boxes, checking off the invoice, pricing everything and putting it up. In between all of that is customers to wait on. My coworker and I have devised a plan that we've been using for well over a month and it works great for us. We first work on her freight then we work on mine. This way we both share in helping the customers who come to my dept and I'm not stuck with all them. Sometimes customers can be such a challenge but I'll blog more on that later, lol

Yesterday I also had to put up the floral dept freight as the floral lady was out of town attending a funeral (so sad). My boss walks by several times throughout and said "My super star" or "you're a super star" or just plain "super star"... I know I'm a glory hound but hey, who does it hurt? NO ONE, lol And I love it... !

My creative thought for the day was I somehow have to manage to get to Mary Jo's in Gastonia while I'm on vacation so I can purchase a piece of that Wizard of Oz fabric a customer brought in to show off! OMGoodness, it's to die for!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Projects Started

Somehow I manage to create a list of things I'd like to do on the weekend much longer than I'm able to finish. This is what I created this weekend:

Lounge pants: I have some fitted sheets that are so soft that I'm loath to part with them even though their elastic is completely shot and they creep easily off my mattress corners. I've noticed a lot of crafting blogs have been making lounge/pajama style pants from vintage flat sheets. So I thought why not from the fitted sheet as my flat sheets have plenty of life left in them. Sunday afternoon found me laying out and pinning a pattern to one of my fitted sheets. I even managed to start sewing them up!

Lined Baskets: I have some baskets that I purchased years ago from Waccamaw Pottery, these are blond and rectangle shaped along with some collected oval baskets that have seen better days. I've been using these in my scrap room but thought they need a little zing to update them. One can of cheap spray paint in flat black and a bit of left over black and white scroll fabric later and I have a stylish set of lined baskets to hold all my tools, pens, and whatnots.

Table Skirt: Remember my post on visual clutter in scrap room? This is part two of the project, skirting the work table under the stamp hutches. I finally got it made and hung with velcro to my table. I can't tell you how much it adds to the overall decor of my room. I'm totally loving it.

Warehouse Fabric Shopping: This wasn't on my list but a sweet little friend of mine wanted to check it out so we drove over Saturday for a few hours of fabric shopping and lunch. Found a few interesting bits for myself, she found $230/yard designer fabric for $3.99/yard!!! It will make a gorgeous Renn Faire style dress for her.

That's my weekend! Next weekend my vacation starts....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Future Projects

I thought it might be fun to make a list of projects I either have in progress or I'd like to create. Here we go!

  • lounge pants from vintage sheet
  • apron
  • bar stool cushions
  • covered buttons
  • tote bag from Sew Simple book
  • crochet dishcloth
  • collage style canvas
  • raggy quilted jacket

What's your list?

Friday, May 16, 2008


Time is super short this morning... After rousing "the boy" from slumber and getting his help moving two really huge and bulky bags of fluff into the bed of Mr Fluff's pick up truck which is on loan to me today for transporting said fluff, I was inspired to do a bit of crafting goodness on the PQ (read: pretty quick).

First I started off with an old country craft framed print of a little boy in blue and some appropriately circa 1980's country crafting phrase of wisdom and took it apart. Cleaned the glass, etc. Then I painted the small stained wood frame black and didn't do that great of a job of it as I noticed a corner could have used a bit more coverage (insert the mantra of THE NESTER here - don't remember it you say? read previous post posthaste) then I painted the oval mat in robin's egg blue. While both dried I found an appropriate rub on phrase in my stash of stashes "bE yOu" and cut a piece of white cardstock to fit inside frame. Once the mat was dried I positioned my rub on & using one of my many appropriated Hobby Lobby box cutters to rub it on I had a piece of personalized art. Again inspired by THE NESTER, I plugged in my trusty Natilda and glued some fluffy bits to it. Black and white check ribbon to hang it from, another smaller check ribbon bow in the corner, some spanish moss and mushroom bird on top and it's so stinkin' cute I amaze myself!

Here's the breakdown on materials cost:
  • Frame - from my packrat stash of wooden country-ish bits in attic
  • Cardstock - more stash bought by ream at Sam's several years ago
  • Rubon - left overs from another project and I originally paid $1 for package
  • Ribbon - less than Zippo as I buy bits from work for dirt cheap
  • Paint - black was nada as it was left overs from a project for friend who bought supplies and I supplied labor and blue paint was 67 cents - 15% employee discount purchased for multiple upcoming projects
  • Glue for Natilda - maybe a few cents, I've purchased glue sticks maybe twice in over 15 years for my glue gun as I buy the biggest bag I can find each time

Wow would you look at the time!?!? Gotta run, working this afternoon/evening!

Ode to The Nester

Wowser, within one short week of blogging here THE NESTER posted a comment on my blog! Imagine my delight and surprise! OMGoodness, I am so not worthy of the honor... Seriously, she is such an inspiration to so many of us time challenged perfectionists as well as to the no craftiness whatsoever gals. She has a mantra that I love "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" and while my OCD tendencies ladden personality won't allow me to hot glue trim to a curtain it will allow me to take a few short cuts here and there, all of which THE NESTER treats us to daily, wonderful short cutting tips that save money and time while imparting a meaningful, personal style to our homes and projects. Who doesn't love that? And she's got a unqiue spunky straight talking style to her writing that is downright charming. Did I mention she's a tiny thing with three strapping handsome young sons and a beefcake hubs? OK I should hate her but I challenge anyone to still hate her after reading her bloggy goodness, you can't, it's impossible, she's just too darn sweet and funny!

Anyway, I'm pretty sure now that I have only two readers, me and The Nester, but should you have found your way here by some cosmic computer glitch, trust me, go check out THE NESTER, she rawks, like totally, ya know?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Flowers, flowers, everywhere flowers

I love my job. OK there I've admitted it. For the last two days I've been in the floral dept helping the floral manager reset her stems. First off I love her but she hasn't a clue what she is doing with her relay (technical term our corp office calls the actual moving of stuff around). So I've pretty much taken over and I'm telling her what to do which won't come as a surprise to my friends. Now the absolute best part is I'm chin deep in floral stems rearranging them to their new little holders so they are all beautiful and color coordinated. What fun! Even if they are silk flowers, still it's total eye candy and has me daydreaming about making gorgeous wreaths and things. Now today it will be back to my dept, fabrics, for me because it's been neglected for two days and I need to straighten things up and write me order up for next week. I can definitely see me looking at some Floral Arranging for Dummies books in my near future!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I was so bad yesterday! I couldn't resist buying a few pieces of fabricy goodness to fill up my stash...Think browns and blues... oh yeah tre' trendy. Now if only I could manage to get them made up into some cute summer tops. My goal today is to cut out my pattern pieces... We'll see how I do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

stamp hutch cover up

Keeping the phrase "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" firmly in mind, I finished up my panels intended to cure the visual clutter of the stamp hutches while also providing a back drop for hanging my framed poster. I'm a little concerned the turquoise blue is a tad brighter than I would have liked but considering my only other choice was light blue I think this was the lesser of two evils. Still loving the black and white scroll print now that I've bordered the top of the panels with it. My hardware was a bit tough to get in place, those hutches are hard to drill into, but I did it without any help from my Mr.

On to the table skirt!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Visual clutter in my creative space

I noticed right off the major differences between scrap rooms on twopeas is visual clutter. Some rooms are definitely bargain basements, lots of plastic storage containers in mix matched colors, lots of supplies piled up and no overall cohesive design plan while other rooms look more like designer rooms with trendy paint colors on the walls, fancy Ikea cubby hole shelving units, small fortunes spent on matching basket sets and the obligatory "CREATE" or "ART" letters. But visual clutter was hidden inside those baskets and decorations had a definite theme of color coordination as well as overall style.

I can't compete with those super star designer looking rooms and I'm not sure I would if I remotely could. But I cringe when I see those bargain basement rooms as well. Poor women! I know, I was one of those, everything in plastic three drawer chests stacked in every available square inch of my space threatening to topple over at any moment. So where's my happy middle ground...My lovely space to create...How do I put it together so I'm a designer look studio space on a bargain basement crafter budget? The answer for me lies in taming that visual clutter!

Stamp hutches are a wonder, they can hold a ton of small supplies but visually it's a train wreck no matter how neatly their contents are arranged and displayed. I had a semi-serious Sizzix collection going on, lovingly stored in Sizzix black towers and as my space is limited those towers consumed entirely too much of my precious counter top. I moved them to the floor under a table and guess what? I never used them, out of sight, out of mind syndrome. Towers were quite the investment for me but sometimes you have to just have to suck it up and make the tough decisions. For me it was emptying out the towers and storing my dies in my stamp hutches. Nine empty towers later I have reclaimed my counter top and no longer have to dig under the table to find a die. Progress. Of course my dearest Mr wanted to know if the towers were going to live by the back door now... Of course not darling, I'm going to move them soon (yeah right, like where?).

My answer to the visual clutter of the hutches is to hide it behind a curtain. Being the queen of the save I had the perfect black curtain rod stashed, it's long enough to accommodate the 60 inch wide hutches. I love curtain ring clips and snapped some up from Hobby Lobby in a Fleur De lise design, perfect touch to go with my Eiffel tower votive candle holder, my scrappy chic shopping bag, London clock and sign, not to mention the darling Eiffel tower fabric curtain I made for the door window. Off the remnant table at Hobby Lobby I snapped a large piece of black and white cotton apparel fabric, perfect to go with my turquoise blue broadcloth I purchased to make simple panels. I'll use the b/w fabric in small doses as it's more expensive and since the broadcloth is a solid color more soothing to the eye. Once my panels are made I'm going to hang a poster print of an antique Paris map over the hutches in a frame I dug out of my attic. I was going for the art work hung over the bookcase look but in this case the "bookcases" will be my fabric covered hutches. Next I'm planning to sew more panels trimmed in the b/w fabric to skirt my plastic banquet folding table under the hutches. Then I'm seriously considering panels on a tension rod to hide the space between my base cabinets where I have my paper rack stashed.

My counter top clutter was another issue, it's hard to get around it because even with cabinetry, space is still at a premium and careful thought has to be given to how tools and supplies are used. I know to keep my most often used items near me so I've got those in drawers next to my work space as well as tossed in baskets on my counter top for easy access. My ribbon I've sorted by color and put in mason jars which are lined up in a neat row across my over the sink shelf I use to increase my counter real estate. Visually it's borderline clutter but I'm hoping once I have everything else in place that it will look more on purpose like a design feature vs visual clutter.

The rest of the counter space is taken by three wicker canisters filled with tools and supplies, two cropper hopper file folders filled with stickers and various papers, and some other things awaiting a home. Once I'm able to get those few odd pieces stored then I think the rest will be OK. So its curtain time for me and hopefully I'll get those panels sewn up in record time as I'm anxious to see my ideas become reality.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My creative space

What do you call your creative workspace? Do you call it your studio? Or project room? Or craft room? Or scrapbook/sewing/knitting/junk room? I started out calling mine my studio but it sounds pretentious which is part of the attraction, wanting to instill a sense of importance to my creative pursuits but when it's also the room I'm washing laundry in it seems rather assine to call it a studio. Studio conjures up visions of a light filled lofty room with lots of canvas and art supplies scattered about and that vision is about as far from my reality as you can get. I'm in a 8 foot by 12 foot room off the enclosed carport. I have a single ac/heat vent, salvaged cabinets, water heater, no window as it's covered by stamp hutches, sub flooring, and a decided lack of molding. Not exactly the artsy fartsy mental image you'd have when you hear it referred to as my studio.

Since it's inception, the room has undergone a major transformation. Originally it had nasty brown shag carpet with bleach stains by the washer, a 12 foot ceiling, walls and ceiling were in bead board, a water pipe coming out of the floor in front of the single window, the washer and dryer were on opposite sides of the room and there was a single section of white ventilated shelving for hanging our clothes.

A friend's kitchen renovation netted me some 20+ year old cabinets that had seen better days. We removed the old carpeting, replaced the rotting subfloor, lowered the ceiling and sheetrocked the entire room, built a platform for the washer and dryer so they could be side by side, replumbed, removed the old pipe, installed a ceiling fan/light fixture along with an electrical outlet, and installed cabinets along one wall to serve as my storage/work area and more cabinets over the washer and dryer for storage. I spent a year with naked drywall and no countertop for work space but I was thrilled at having my own little space to create in and spent lots of hours looking at scrapbook rooms on twopeas daydreaming of my own stylish decor I'd have some day.

I originally thought I'd want my room to have a prim theme and feel with antique white distressed cabinets and brick red and gold accents, calico fabrics and country crafts to decorate with. Last Mother's Day I asked for my room to be prepped so I could paint it. My husband sanded the sheetrock mud and my cabinets along with hanging my two stamp hutches I got from Hobby Lobby when they redid their rubberstamp aisle. I totally changed my mind about the white cabinets and painted them a lovely chocolate brown color. The walls were a caramel yellow. And he bought me a piece of salvaged counter top for $10. Finally I had a proper workspace. I sewed a red skirt for the waterheater and bought some decorative pieces on clearance at Hobby Lobby. My studio....!

Then I did something that even I couldn't have predicted... I quit scrapbooking. I lost my mojo for it. I quit working in my room, pretty much quit daydreaming about and turned my focus towards my sewing. My paper got dusty, my hutches collected a few webs, and my countertop was cluttered with all sorts of junk. Welcome to the laundry room!

This feeling of apathy has been with me since vacation last year. Within two months of having the major components of my room in place finally I quit scrapping except for making a few Christmas cards the creative side of the room pretty much has been unused.

I felt some guilt. I felt at a loss to explain my feelings. I just simply fell out of love with paper crafting. I think deep down I was disappointed in myself. I finally got a space of my own with cabinets, I had a huge stash of supplies to work with, a counter top, I spent effort painting the room and cabinets, a little money to decorate it, and this was the best I could come up with? Lots of visual clutter and no strong sense of decorating direction. I simply failed to create a space that beckoned to me and inspired me to create. It was ugly and blah and I was ashamed of my efforts.

Months passed. And suddenly I felt the stirrings of longing. I wanted my own space dang it! I had this room and it was sitting unloved and unused, my creative space and I failed in creating it. With a new creative vision for my room I spent National Scrapbooking Day last weekend redecorating my scrapbook room. I painted the walls "spring waterfall" a lovely shade of blue, I purchased hardware for my cabinets finally, blue ceramic knobs for the doors and silver cup drawer pulls, and I got a brown rug to cover the sub flooring until I can get vinyl floor covering. I kept my London clock and sign, added a spice rack I painted black, some flowering garland, bought a case of mason jars to display my ribbon and button collections. Basically I'm creating a space that calls me to create, a space I enjoy spending time in even if it's doing the laundry. I'm not finished with it. I'm still sewing some curtains to skirt my work table and hutches but I'm well on my way to having a lovely creative space. Maybe now I can call it my studio without inwardly cringing at my own pretentiousness... Actually I don't feel this need to project that sort of image anymore. My room can stand on it's own merits and doesn't need a fancy schmancy label to justify it's existence or to glorify it's real identity. It is what it is now, a space that reflects me and my tastes. And important thing I learned from another blogger on here, The Nester, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful... And it is beautiful now, unfinished but still very much loved and reflecting the joy I feel when I'm creating.

I'm back

I've been blogging on various sites for years, mostly 360 and myspace running a close second but lately I've lost the thrill of blogging. 360 is doomed, myspace is what it is, and the other sites just don't do it for me. So many of the blogs that I visit daily are on blogger and I've had this blogger account since '06 but never took the time to figure it out. Here I am... Looking for a new place to share, new people to share with, and hopefully in time I'll get used to this format. Maybe I can bribe my son to fix my template so I'm all cool and pretty like the other blogs on here, until then this is it. Just me and my ramblings.