Saturday, June 19, 2010

Field of Flowers

I couldn't blog about this project until it had been given to it's intended recipient, but now that it has, I can't wait to show this one off! I made a dress out of an adorable pillow case! I loved the pattern and bought the pillow case with the intention of who knows what. In my spur of recent productivity and desire to get things done, I set out to use up some of the fabric stash I've accumulated!

I knew I wanted to make a dress for a certain little girl and I knew the style I wanted it to have, so I started cutting. I basically cut the pillow case in half, set aside the opening half and ripped out all the seams in the second half. I cut 2 matching rectangles and sewed them together up the sides, leaving 5 inches for arm holes. Then I hemmed the bottom and finished the sides and turned down the front and back leaving enough space to get a cord through (I think I left about an inch). I wasn't totally sure whether I wanted to smock the waist or put pockets on (I thought both might be a little much for the dress). After I put the cord through the top and saw it, I decided pockets was the way to go!

So I fashioned my own little pocket pattern, cut the pockets and positioned them, sewed them one and got one totally adorable dress!
And of course, I have to thank my loveable sewing partner, Precious...actually she was in one of those moods where she didn't want my attention going to anything or anyone but her. So we had to take a little play break with the extra cord!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The bathroom update

I'm not sure how my redo the bathroom kick got started...but it did. I decided my first project was to frame the bathroom mirror. I found a perfect frame at Goodwill for $5.
My favorite part was the detail in the corners. I think it gives it that perfect vintage feel.
I painted it white and sanded it a little to give it a shabby chic look.

I decided to go look at Lowe's for paint just for the heck of it this week. And of course, I found a 5 gallon bucket of the perfect color...for the bathroom. Yes, it's a bit of overkill. But then I decided that when I move out I'll want the color for my own house (I love it that much!). So I walked out of Lowe's with my 5 gallon bucket of paint feeling rather pleased with myself. I got home that night to discover it's flat paint. (Silent groan) My grandma used to work at a paint store, so we called her to see if there was a way we could convert it to semi-gloss or put a gloss coat over it. She wasn't sure it would work, but since I'm not one to be discouraged I decided to give it a go anyway. My reasoning was, "you put a top coat on your nails, why can't you put one on your walls?"

Saturday morning, my mom and I decided to go to Sun City to go thrifting. But we thought we should get something done before we headed out there, so we got the mirror ready to take off the bathroom wall. We carried it downstairs and attempted to cut it down to size ourselves. We had all the proper equipment, but it was a little to thick or my line wasn't exactly straight. Long story short, we ended up breaking off more of the mirror than we intended. Oops! It just gave us another thing to scout in Sun City. We finally found a mirror big enough (once we were back on this side of town and stopped by Goodwill). We decided to leave this cutting to the professionals, so we called the helpful, friendly people at Ace Hardware. We came home and I used epoxy putty to put the mirror in the frame. I loved it, but it wasn't quite right. I really wished the frame had a little gloss to it.

I decided yesterday was the perfect day to start painting the bathroom. I taped off three walls (still waiting for plumber to finish the repair on the last wall). And got to work. As soon as we had two coats on the walls, I knew it was the perfect color. I was totally in love! My mom and I decided to go to Lowe's to see if we could get any type of a glaze to mix with some paint or something similar. What we found was even better! We found a clear protective paint with a gloss finish. I used it first on the mirror frame and I just finished putting the gloss on the bathroom walls. I am so pleased with how this is turning out! I will post more updates as I get more done.

I'm hoping to decopauge the cabinet I had in the bathroom before and stencil on it, find a chandelier to replace the light fixture currently in there, sew a new shower curtain, and if I'm adventurous do the drywall repair myself then finish the painting!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Like Martha

I want to be like Martha. No, not the whole insider trading and ankle accessory thing.

No, I aspire to be the homemaker, cook, crafter, businesswoman and creator Martha Stewart is. Martha represents both a challenge and a goal for me. Sometimes she seems so gosh darn perfect, I just want to say, "Whatever Martha." (Oh wait, someone already has!)

The first thing I look at when I open a fresh issue of Martha Stewart Living is Martha's Calendar. I love the organization and simplicity of Martha's daily to do list. And yet there is an amazing ambitious quality to her to do lists. For example, harvesting new potatoes, planning when to plant her basil so it's ready in time for her tomato crop, inspecting beehives and harvesting her own honey. It inspires me, that although as of yet every plant I've attempted to garden has died a slow painful death, I too might one day be planning my basil crops with my tomato crops. I know what you're thinking....Martha Stewart probably doesn't do these things herself, she hires them to be done. But I choose to believe Martha not only can do all of these task, but that she does.

I admire the way Martha has turned her name and her humble beginnings into a multi-billion dollar corporation. She has expanded her line to include linens and cookware at Macy's; she publishes Whole Living Magazine (formerly Body + Soul), Everyday Food, and I'm sure others that I don't know of. She has a TV show, which is being expanded on Lifetime (I think that's what I heard). She manages a farm. And yet she still takes the time to make her bread from scratch. Amazing! What I want to know early does she get up in the morning to get all of this done? And I suppose it helps her cause that she doesn't have to deal with 110 degree heat for 4 months ouf of the year.

Today is a perfect example of my aspirations to be like Martha. I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (more like drug my sleepy self out of bed) at 6:00am ready to take on the day. I had a whole laundry list of things I wanted to get done: clean up the kitchen, write thank you notes, take mail to the post office, exchange movie at Blockbuster, paint a frame for my bathroom mirror, organize my file cabinet, hose off the back porch, water the flowers and deadhead them, and make a dress (if there is time). If I'm honest with myself, I probably won't get everything checked off my list since my day is already more than half over. But I had the ambition part down, and I'd like to think that makes me a little like Martha. ;)

So tomorrow, I'll wake up and again attempt to execute the secrets of a good housekeeper, cook, creator, and businesswoman.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Playing Catch up!

I have embarked on quite a few projects the last couple weeks….this comes after I have accumulated the supplies for lots of projects and got too busy to do them. I am now out of school, so I am getting down to business and working on the projects. First up, the bejeweled mirror!
I mixed a little purple and silver paint and brushed it on with a foam brush. Once it had dried I hot glued on the jewels that I picked up from SAS for $0.99/bag! When I bought the frame, it was just a plain wood frame…nothing inside. So I went on the hunt for mirror tiles. After checking Lowe's and Home Depot, I decided to hit up Goodwill. Oh how I love Goodwill! I found a box of 6 tiles for $4.99, but WAIT, they were 50% off! So I bought a glass cutter, covered my work space, got gloves, measured the mirror and cut the mirror down to size. Then I just used epoxy to glue it into the frame. I screwed in a couple eye hooks, attached some wire, and it's done!

Next up, the jewelry organization courtesy of Real Simple. I found the frame at Savers on Memorial Day and I wish I would have taken a picture of the whole thing before because the picture in it was, in the nicest way possible, tacky. So I went to work deconstructing the picture, peeling off the paper backing, taking out all the staples, removing the picture and glass. I got lucky and the cardboard in the picture was still usable, so I cut cork board to fit. I actually did two layers of cork which I think worked best. Then I covered it with velvet and used the glue gun to affix it to the back. I put the velvet covered cork in the frame and one of my all-time favorite tools (the staple gun) finished the job!

I used straight pins and hung some of my necklaces and bracelets and it's good to go!

I also found a towel holder at Goodwill on Memorial Day. A coat of paint and it has been repurposed into a jewelry holder as well!

It works for now, but I'm still on the hunt for a vintage looking bust that I could stack on some old books to hold a few special necklaces. I've been searching and Craigslist as well as searching in store at Goodwill and Savers. But for now, this does the job and is rather cute if I do say so myself.

There are quite a few other projects that have been accumulating that I hope to get to over the summer. Next up, framing the bathroom mirror (hopefully)!