February 23, 2012

Tomorrow is Always Fresh

February 13, 2012

Chicago in Black & White

I'm working on a project for a friend who wants black & white
photographs of Chicago.

There's something about a photo that has no color. I think maybe it's that you aren't distracted by colors, so you see more of the details in the photos. Or maybe it's the vintage feel that draws me to them.

Anyhow, here are some of my favorites

Ok, that was more than a few, but I couldn't choose!
You can view all of them on my Flickr page

February 7, 2012


Another idea I found on Pinterest...taking kitchen towels, adding ties, and voila! ... a half apron.

I found these adorable towels at Target, added the ties and now 3 one of a kind aprons will be for sale in my shop!!
All fabrics have been prewashed, so they can be easily thrown into the washer when they get dirty.

Gray & Yellow Apron with yellow ties
{ties are extra long so they can be wrapped around & tied in the front}

Yellow Apron with turquoise & white striped ties
{ties are extra long so they can be wrapped around & tied in the front}

Gray Striped Apron with turquoise ties & yellow pocket
{ties are shorter & only can tie in the back; pocket added to add interest to the front}

February 6, 2012

From Pinterest to Real Life

Pinterest is a great source to find creative ideas, recipes, & home decor. So many times, I see something & think to myself "I should do that!"

Like this.

I recently came across this photo canvas project & loved it the idea of it.
source: www.bluecricketdesign.net

And I have a spot above a doorway that would be a perfect spot for it.
I found a large canvas at Blick Art Store.
My walls are full of photographs, so just any photo wouldn't work. And since the canvas is fairly large at 16 inches by 20 inches, it's going to be a focal point.

So I created & ordered this, using the words from one of my favorite hymns
I found a patterned paper I loved and cut it to fit the sides of the canvas.

I then used Mod Podge to adhere them to the canvas. If you haven't ever used Mod Podge, it's miraculous stuff!! It can be used as a glue, but also as a finishing medium on top of your product. I slathered that stuff over the paper and now it looks and feels like it's one with the canvas.

Mod Podge works on photos too. I attached the photo print to the front of the canvas with the Mod Podge, it's never coming off! I also put 2 coats on top of the photo to give it some texture.
Now that's a bit scary looking!
But thankfully, it turns out just fine :)

You can't see in the photos above, but there are gaps on the corners & edges between the paper & the photo. So I got brown acryllic paint, added some black paint to darken it & painted in the gaps and edges. I covered parts of the paper & photo as well, to give it a more vintage feel.

And here's what my wall looks like now.

February 1, 2012

Sewing Projects

So I bought a sewing machine in the fall & have been anxious to sew up some new goodies for my shop. I haven't sewn for years & the last time I made something using a pattern was during my 4-H years. In other words, it's been a LOOONNGG time. But I wanted to try making clutches, and hopefully make them good enough to sell in my shop.

Here's my first attempt at one clutch pattern.
Not too bad, but the seams aren't perfectly straight & the snaps don't match up well. Plus I couldn't understand the instructions about how to sew the bottom corners, so I had to make it up. I love the color of the lining, but it was really hard to work with.

I found an easier pattern, and tried it with a different fabric & lining.
It is much easier to sew, but in it's simplicity it loses some of the details of the previous one. And the lining really doesn't work well with this fabric.

Same idea as the houndstooth clutch, but I altered the dimensions a bit. And I used fabric from an old skirt I found at Goodwill.
It was pretty flimsy, so I added some fabric stiffener to it. However the stiffener altered the color of the fabric and caused it to be a bit blotchy.

I attempted the 1st pattern again, this time with different lining & interfacing.
How it ended up in a completely different size & shape is beyond me! I followed the exact same directions.
I like this different lining so much better.

Saw an idea for another pattern on Pinterest. I altered the pattern a bit & added a fabric flower.
Finally! One that is worthy of selling :) This one, too, was not quite stiff enough. I added the fabric stiffener, which helped some. But it's just going to have to be a less stiff clutch.

 I have learned so many lessons learned about fabric types, types of stitches & color combinations. Hopefully soon, you'll see some shop-worthy ones available to buy!

Now what do I do with all these subpar clutches?

I also tried making reusable coffee cozies. Again, lessons learned about button shapes & sizes and elastic band sizes. Here are first 2 attempts.

This one is reversible, but the thick band made the stitching go all wonky. 

This one isn't reversible because of the thickness of the button. Again, the elastic band is too thick.
After some adjustments, this one is a keeper!

I am working on an apron project & will post photos once it's finished. Stay tuned!