Baby Nursery Paintings

Painting has become a big stress relief for me. I find such joy in starting with nothing and ending up with a nice piece of art to decorate my space with. It gives me this funny sense of pride, satisfaction.

So, just recently, when I was having a pretty bad day, I pulled out my brushes and canvases to created a few works of art.

Painting took my mind off my worries  and made my heart smile. After I was done I realized how great these images would be in a baby’s nursery or toddler room. What do you think?

Now, I certainly won’t win any contests for these paintings, and no one will be calling me a modern-day Rembrandt, but I love them. And they look great in my space.

 

Handcrafted Throw Pillows

Quick and easy sewing projects get me so excited! I guess that’s why I’ve become obsessed with these throw pillows. It takes 30-45 minutes to create a pillow. Just a few cuts of fabric and before you know it….the project is done.

When making my pillows, I stick with a 16 x 16 square inch stuffing. But a 14 x 14 size will work as well.

There’s a great tutorial online that I found that is great for beginners. And the pillow comes equip with a pocket in the back where you can remove the fabric and wash it if needed.

These pillows work great as gifts. To celebrate the start of the new school year, I made a throw pillow for a group of awesome teachers I know. And since football season is upon us, I made a few pillows for the football fanatics in my life. There are a myriad of fabric you can choose from to decorate your home or give as gifts. I love the pillows I’ve created so far and I can’t wait to make more!

*All fabric was purchased at Joann. The pillow stuffing was purchased at Wal Mart.*

Old Lamp, New Look

Updating an old lamp can be cost effective and fun. A friend of mine needed a refresh to her office and asked me to help her out. The original lamp shade was boring and worn. Since I’m known to have various fabrics laying around, I chose one that would make her space brighter.

I used 3/4s of a yard of fabric with a hot glue gun to make the new lamp come together. After gluing the fabric, I tucked the edges to the inside of the shade and glued them securely. And that was it. The entire process took about an hour. I let the glue dry over night and placed the shade on the lamp stand the next morning! Easy peasy!

 

*The fabric was purchased at Joann.

 

My New Stove

So, yeah. I got a new stove. And it is magical. Wonderful. Amazing. Well, not really. It’s just a regular stove. But I’ve been cooking on a nearly-dead appliance for about 5 years. So this new one is like magic.

I really wanted an electric one. But the way my house is set up…. I settled for this gas stove and I absolutely love it. Admittedly, I’m a bit obsessed with keeping it clean. I scrub it two, sometimes three times a day. It must stay clean! It must stay clean! It must!

My current cleaner of choice.

My new appliance has given me a better appreciation for my time in the kitchen. I’m enjoying myself a lot more now that I don’t have a big grease monster fire trap stove taking up space. (I would show you a picture of the old one but it’s too embarrassing.)

I’ve dived head first in cooking books and online recipes. Pretty soon I’ll have my own cooking show!

My Self-Drafted Shirt

This past weekend I decided to test my skills and create another self-drafted shirt. I’ve made one before and it turned out fabulously. So, I figured I’d do it again.

Using my previously-made shirt as a pattern I measured, cut, and pinned as best I could. They I said a few prayers and took the garment to my sewing machine.

After it was sewn I crossed my fingers and tried it on. OH HAPPY DAY! With the exception of being a little snug in the midsection, the shirt is a success! But I think it’s best if I enroll in a pattern drafting class soon. My luck won’t always be this good.

My Fancy Cooking Apron

Just recently, my stove went kaput. I wasn’t surprised. After 14 years and 2 busted burners we hauled it away and made room for a brand new unit. Along with a new stove, I got new cook wear. And since I’m being all fancy now in my kitchen, I thought it only proper that I get a brand new apron!

I searched online for aprons and was just about to order one when it dawned on me that I could make my own! Duh!!! It was my intention to create a new apron using this pattern, but I didn’t have enough fabric. So I decided to draft my own.

Even though I’ve been sewing for two years, I still consider myself a beginner. So I was a bit nervous about drafting this pattern. I pushed through my nerves and decided to add pleating and a fused pocket.

Thankfully, everything turned out great. I originally had a denim pocket (with the wrong side of the fabric showing). But I wasn’t pleased with the look of it, so I fused a decorative fabric on top of the denim pocket to give it a softer look.

After it was complete I figured I should give it a fancier belt that the elastic one I originally decided on. So I used some left over fabric from the pocket and sewed it onto the ends of the elastic belt.

In all honesty, this garment looks more like a stylish springtime skirt more than a cooking apron. So, maybe wearing it will encourage me to become a more skilled cook….we’ll see!

Organizing My Pattern Stash

 

A few months ago I went on a fabric buying binge. Joann Fabrics had a major sale and all of their Simplicity patterns were $1.99. So of course, I had to buy ALL THE PATTERNS! Shamefully, my pattern stash got thrown in a corner where they sat for weeks and weeks.

I’ve finally decided to organize them in my sewing room. I wasn’t sure how to display them. I thought about buying a file cabinet or storage drawers. But since my pattern stash only consists of about 20 patterns, a storage container really wasn’t necessary.

I found two small decorative crates that I’ve had for years and thought these would be perfect to display my patterns. And it worked! Don’t they look great? Now I can easily access my patterns when I need them. How do you store your patterns?

And I’m Back!

Initially, I wanted to start this post with a long explanation of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing since the last time I posted (which was like, 8 months ago!) Instead, I’ll just direct your attention to the above picture.  That, my friends, is my sewing room. So, where have I been? You may ask! I’ve been behind my sewing machine stitching, hemming and pinning!

Since my last post, I’ve written another book and reopened my Etsy shop! As you can imagine, promoting a book and maintaining a product supply for a business can be taxing. I’m a bit spent. But 2017 is off to a great start.

Now that I’ve recalibrated things, I have a chance to post here more often. But just in case I start slipping, you can always find me on Facebook and Instagram. Like both pages so we can connect!

Also, be sure to check out my Etsy shop. There are some great new items recently added!

Redemption

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Several times this week I’ve wanted to throw my sewing machine from my second story window. I’ve had terrible luck with my garments over the past few days. But I was determined to work past my failures and learn from my mistakes.

DIY shirt pattern

I’m so happy that I kept trying because I finally completed a shirt. I am so very happy with the results. I used the “failure shirt” as a guide because even though I messed up the hem and neckline, the cut  accurate. But I did add a little bit in the hip area because….well, you know.

DIY shirt pattern

Since the straight stitch repeatedly got stuck in my machine last time, I tried using a zig zag stitch…which didn’t work at all. So, I rethreaded my bobbin and went back to the straight stitch, which worked beautifully this time.

DIY shirt pattern

I tried on my garment and was completely thrilled with the outcome. The cut was perfect and so flattering. The length was exactly where I wanted it. I couldn’t stop spinning around in the mirror! I liked it so much that I sewed one of my Kozy Kase name tags in the back of it. I feel so fancy!

DIY shirt pattern

 

Two Time Loser- Another Sewing Fail

DIY shirt

This must be the week for epic sewing failures because I have floundered twice in less than 48 hours. I’ve had this particular fabric for a few months but could never decide what to make with it. So, I drafted a pattern using one of my favorite t-shirts. And figured this fabric would be perfect for it.

The shirt turned out perfectly. Absolutely perfect. I loved it. It was gorgeous. Really. So why I decided to cut three inches from the bottom I don’t know. (I guess it’s that self-depreciating thought process where I can’t actually bring myself to believe that I could make something so great- so I have to find something wrong with it).

DIY t shirt pattern

After the inches were cut off, I dove deeper into self-depreciation and decided to make the shirt a v-neck. Well, that v-neck turned out wrong. All wrong. I spent half an hour trying to correct the v-neck. But my fabric continually got stuck in the machine and jamming my needle.

After a few tears, a crushed heart and a few expletives, I decided to give up. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t add the three inches back on. And I couldn’t make the v-neck back into a scoop neck. So I folded my cards and walked away.

I’m sure one day I will be thankful for whatever lesson I learn from this episode. Until then, I will mourn the loss of my beautiful shirt .