April 2, 2009

Making it up as I go

I decided it was about time I signed on to be a vendor at an art fair. It’s one of those things that I knew I wanted to try on for size sooner or later to see if we were a fit for each other. So when opportunity knocked, I answered and signed on for what I felt was a good fit for novice me (good fit for my first show = one day, inside, laid back yet professional, whimsical vendors with a humorous, friendly organizer.) Now with a little over a month to go, I’m working on my booth design. If you’ve ever peeked over at my etsy wares you know I’m all about bright colors and fun. The goal is for my booth to match, yet not overpower the goods. My vision includes a pennant garland to add to the festive atmosphere I’m working to create. I didn’t use a specific tutorial or anything to make…this wasn’t wheel invention. I just created a triangle shape from cardboard for a pattern, then cut, interfaced and pinned together more triangles than I ever cared to count.

For the triangles, I used three solids (found at yard sales for pennies) and then sprinkled in my more cherished prints. I powered up my sewing machine and had fun sewing triangles with funky multi-colored thread and zigzag stitches. Nothing too serious…this garland was all about having a good time. Next, I laid out a pattern of sewn triangles (yes, there is a pattern, but heck no, it’s not obvious.)

After rummaging through my rick rack box, I found yellow bias tape perfect to string the flags together. (disclaimer: my rick rack box filled with vintage bias tapes, trims, etc. does not exist due to years of sewing. I picked it all up at a yard sale years ago before I sewed anything more than buttons. I
knew it was a jackpot for $1, even though I had no idea what to do with the stuff. Self pat on the back…glad I didn’t pass that find by.)

Yards and yards of flag later, I can check ‘garland’ off my booth prep list. Next up is signage. The 3′ x 5′ piece of primed canvas I ordered from Dick Blick came in the mail yesterday. I’m excited to roll that baby out on the floor and go to work. I’ll keep ya updated as the days tick down. It’s exciting to see it all come together. Making up a space design and loving it.
Filed Under: decorating, sewing
March 2, 2009

take this winter

i admit it. winter is getting to me. At least there are no signs of a monochromatic landscape on the inside. After getting my new toy for Christmas, it occurred to me that I didn’t have to settle anymore. Settle for the ordinary curtain pickings I was finding in stores. I might not be ready to take on zippers, but I can certainly sew a square panel. And so I present…my first long panel curtains made from six yards of Anna Maria Horner’s Garden Party fabric. What you’re seeing above is our second floor landing space. If I land anywhere, I think a garden party would be a nice spot to do so.

With my sewing machine on fire, I also took the time to whip up some funky flowers. These are sewn from muslin with a wooden dowel stuck in for the stem. Then I poured out the brightest, happiest paint palette I could and went to work. No more winter doldrums here. Have a bright Monday!
February 16, 2009

Etsy finds + a giveaway

I’d been looking for the perfect pin cushion to celebrate my return to sewing. Of course I went right to Etsy where I knew there would be endless options. I ended up purchasing this handmade pear from retro mama. I absolutely love it. So much in fact that I’m having a hard time bringing myself to actually stick pins in it.

A month or so ago, I was lucky enough to win a vintage wall chandelier vinyl decal from another Etsian. Scribble It sells a large variety of custom vinyl lettering and wall art for home decor, businesses and vehicles. I “hung” my prize over one of my computer stations. If you haven’t tried vinyl art yet, check it out. It’s really easy to put up and surprisingly affordable.

Speaking of giveaways, if you head over to Simple Finds and leave a comment you will be entered to win one of my 8″ x 10″ ‘My Kitchen’ prints. Be sure to enter before Thursday, February 19th.

Hope you’re having a relaxing President’s day. I’ve managed to fit in a hair cut & color and after all of that beautifying, a much needed snooze. Back to work tomorrow.
January 1, 2009

New threads

I feel like I’m waking from a long, dreamy nap…you know the kind that makes you question where you are, what happened and what time is it already?! The past week flew by like that. Actually, I’d say right after Thanksgiving things were on fast forward and haven’t stopped since. Our family had a great time celebrating the holidays with friends and family. The above was one of my favorite gifts. A very modest, beginner-style sewing machine. Perfect for someone who said to her helpful mom…“You mean thread comes down from the top AND up from the bottom?! At the same time! WOW.” And that would not be my daughter talking to me, but me talking to my mom who guided me through my very first sewing project.

disclaimer: I did have a Holly Hobbie toy sewing machine way back when, but that couldn’t really be classified as sewing could it?

So from a “Pattern for Dummies” with Mom standing by, I made this table runner for the dining room. It even has a fancy navy cord detail on the edges that is hard to fully appreciate in this photo. Trust me it’s there and I have to say I’m pretty proud to have managed this.

After the runner, the sewing bug officially took hold. A day or two later, I wandered into the fabric section at IKEA and fell in love with this fabric. And like many of my project ideas, I couldn’t sleep until I had whipped up two valances for my office with a touch of vintage brown seam binding. This project was a little bumpy with no pattern or Mom to guide me, but I’m getting better.

Two no sew projects (my specialty) also happened over the last week. First, I decided to cover my drafting table chair. I used my fancy upholstery tool a.k.a.flat head screw driver to shove fabric into the crack between cushion and rim.

This actually was a piece of cake. That fabric is wedged in really tight and is nice and smooth all around. Now I’ve got a spiffy “new” chair for a new year of art.

Finally, Modge Podge and leftover fabric scraps transformed my office switch plates. Another easy, inexpensive, satisfying kind of project. So besides the usual holiday stuff, you’ve caught a glimpse of the threads I’ve been working on here. Time to flip on 2009. Happy New Year to you!

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