28 February 2013

February pretties

Continuing the count to 52 weeks of pretty things in and around my house ... to get every week covered so far, I should be at 9. Given that I missed 2 weeks in January and have been in phase 1 of labor (don't ever call it "false" labor because there's nothing fake about it) for most of February, I'm kind of surprised that I got much of anything done this month. But I did! Go me! And I have a couple more projects started that aren't done yet, even!

Project 4: Adam and I rearranged the pictures and everything on the walls all over the house. We took some pictures down awhile back because we shifted some furniture and never got around to putting them back up. That's done now including with updated photos (that are still almost a year old, which tells you how old the other pictures were).

Project 5: I make a new flannel swaddling blanket for each of my babies, and it's what they come home from the hospital in. Baby JK was showing signs of an early arrival (and all labor indicators flat-lined this week, so she's still not here) so I got going on her blanket. I had it halfway done when JE took a chunk out of the side with the scissors (my mom refers to her as a "busy" 2-year-old - yeeeeah, that's a good word for it.) Fortunately, it was the side and not out of the middle. Unfortunately, it was a side that was already done. So I had to trim that edge down to get rid of the cut and do it again. Done, packed in the hospital bag, and scissors put away.

Project 6: When clearing out some drawers to use for the new baby's clothes, I put down scrapbook paper as a drawer liner. I just taped it instead of using glue so I can switch it out when I get my drawers back. Cutsey pink is great for a baby but I prefer something different for myself.

Project 7: Miniature corkboards on the "school wall" in our entry for the girls to hang up their art. I saw this on a homeschool blog but didn't bookmark it. Oops. Sorry, person who should get credit but won't. You get random picture frames, take out the picture and glass, sand and paint them in whatever colors you want, and put corkboard in them. The original link used really bright colors, which I liked. I've kinda/sorta decided that our colors for homeschooling are green and yellow, so those were the 2 colors I used, and I put them up with a pink board that SM built at a Home Depot kids workshop. I also put one in my sewing corner (painted to match my spool board) to display my collectors pins that I used to get while traveling and have been sitting in a box for forever. I gave the girls my Disney pins for their boards and some others from places they've been. I kept my Australia pins and some that have more sentimental value to me.

Project 8: I wanted some kind of sewing hand-work to do while sitting in the hospital for 2 days, so enter this month's Christmas project - fabric gift tags. I used this site to look up embroidery stitches, and still seem to have kind of come up with my own version of a chain stitch. Go figure. This is not done at all - I'm making about a dozen of them, and have the stitching done on 4. It's a decent start, considering everything that's been happening lately. I'll finish all the stitching and then do all the backings at the same time.

I also cut out skirts to make for the girls but haven't sewn them together yet. My March Christmas project will be from the scraps of the corkboard after cutting it down to fit the 8x10 frames. The March priority is definitely Easter dresses for the girls, since Easter is on the 31st.

18 February 2013

my sewing box

This was my Christmas present from Adam:

The whole sewing box, which doubles as my sewing table. Yeah, I have to sit sideways to use the foot pedal, but whatever. The plan is for Adam to eventually build me an actual table for the sewing machine itself, and the top of the box will be used for cutting, laying things out, etc. We don't have the space for it right now - maybe my next Christmas present? The spool board above the box to the right was my Christmas present last year. This is my little sewing corner in our bedroom.

Inside the box, there are two shallow shelf/boxes. One is for projects in the works, and the other is divided out for all my little bits and pieces - scissors, tape measures, buttons, my bobbin box, elastic, embroidery floss, bias tape, etc ... I've already learned - the hard way - that scissors need to be kept IN the box at all times, unless they are actually being used.

The shallow boxes lift out and underneath is all my fabric - hooray!

The box isn't stained yet - it's still just the raw wood. We're waiting on staining until next month when my mom is here to help with the new baby, and can help keep kiddos out of the way. We also need the weather to break to have the box sit outside for a couple of days for the stain to dry. I have a couple of ideas for the inside of the box that are a little more funky - I'm debating how to paint the shallow boxes, maybe some bright colors that wouldn't really go well with anything else in the bedroom. And I think it would be cool to paint some kind of "frame" around the edge of the lid, and then mod-podge swatches of my favorite fabrics so I can keep them as a sort of sewing scrapbook.

We've talked about me having a whole sewing room with lots of fabric piled here and there on shelves, but really, that's not for me. Sure, it sounds cool to have an entire fabric shop in my house but I don't think I'll ever get to that level of sewing. It's perfect that I have this big box with my fabric and notions and tools in it, which I will use to make clothes for my girls and home decor items and eventually some full-sized quilts. When I finish with the fabric I have, I'll get more for my next round of projects. Add a little table for the machine and a serger (which is also down the road a bit more), and I'm set.

08 February 2013

January "pretty projects"

I'd like to think I can work on sewing and crafts every single day for a month, and maybe I'll be able to later this year or at another phase of life. Right now, my daughters are not particularly cooperative with letting me work on things during the day so I have to sew late at night. Even that's a hit and miss because I have punk children who refuse to go to sleep until darn near midnight sometimes. So I'm going with doing something pretty for my house and life every week for this year. Hopefully I can finish something every week, but as long as I at least work on it, I'll be satisfied. So here's what happened in January.

Project 1: hook racks for behind the girls' bedroom door. They were scrap pieces of wood left from making their bunkbed 2 years ago. I painted them and got the little hooks at Walmart. I made others here for their coats, which are under the stairs. Mindy beat me for the first project done for the year because even though I had them painted, it took me awhile longer to get to the store for the hooks, and get them actually onto the wall. This is just one of them, but there are three.

Project 2: I went through ALL of the children's books and reorganized the whole bunch. There are hundreds. An entire box went to the recycle bin because it was random loose pages, torn up books, children's magazines that had been pulled all apart ... it was a mess. It's still a mess because the girls are constantly pulling books out and not putting them away, but at least it's less of a mess. All the trash has been cleared out - that alone made a big difference. It wasn't making something - it was organizing stuff we already have. But occasional organizing projects are necessary to keeping my house livable at all, if not more pretty.

Project 3: I started my quilting class and made a scallop banner thing to hang up over a window or doorway or something - this is also my January project for the 12 Months of Christmas because I made it out of Christmas fabric.

Weeks 4 and 5: Nada - we were out of town for a week for my mother-in-law's funeral, and the next week was spent unpacking and putting the house back together. Why does it take so long to get cleaned up from a trip? It was just unpacking suitcases, for pity's sake. Sheesh. Anyway, I need to rewind back to the of my quilting class (it's all online and self-paced so I can do that - hooray! because it's, um, over now) and I want to get back on track with that at least a little bit. It's a 5-week class with 3 projects per week - it's not expected that you do everything. You can choose. I'd like to at least try everything since I paid for all the lessons and patterns but it's going to take me the better part of the year rather than just a month. Some of the projects are pretty substantial and require quite a bit of time (making more than one full-sized quilt, if I'm reading it right), and I don't have days at a time to devote to sewing. I have a few minutes here and there.

And for my weekly project deal ... I will make up these 2 weeks of missed projects! I will! Maybe not in February because of being at the very end of the pregnancy, but I'll figure it out eventually.

Also - going through everything from someone's life was an major eye-opener on what to save and what not to save. For example, photos. If Nancy wasn't actually in a photo, we chucked it. We had no idea who these people were, and the photos had been sitting in a box for literally decades. I have no interest in hauling things like that around when we move, or leaving it to my children and grandchildren to say after I die, "Who is this person, and why did Mom have a photo of them?" If there's a reason for me to have someone's photo, I'm sure I can find something that has me in the shot with them, and I need to journal/ID everything now (before I forget myself) of why this person is/was significant to me. I did a big photo album sort and purge 2 years ago when my parents brought me all the stuff I'd had stashed in their storage room for 7 years, but I feel another one coming on.