January 30, 2011

DIY Roundup: Sew Inspired!

Finally having a studio space has led to a rash of sewing.  I am finishing up one project (a sewing machine cover) and have three more projects waiting in the wings.  But even though there is much to do, I cannot help but be inspired to do more!  Here are some sewing inspirations that I've been eying (and will probably attempt)!

i stitched a bag.
Love this! In fact, I have a vintage red Samsonite bag that could use a bit of sprucing...hmmm...

 I am seriously in LOVE with this handmade sweatshirt and hope to create something as beautiful (and functional!) someday soon(ish). 

This darling dress pattern creates an equally adorable (and reversible) dress - I have just the fabric for one (or many!!)

Compared to these, my makeup bag is so boring, guess it's time for a new one!
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January 24, 2011

Brrrr - Ice Bunting!!

Last Friday the high temperature in Chicago was 9F degrees.  If you ask me, that's not a temperature, that's a child's age!  Needless to say, we were not spending a lot of time outside last week.  To make things worse it was gray, gray, gray out!  So when I came across Two Chick's and a Hen's awesome idea for a colorful ice bunting, I thought, "Frozen fingers be you-know-what, I'm making it!"  and I set about gathering the needed supplies - molds for the ice, food coloring and twine.
(bunting in the night light)

Some thoughts on supplies... 
- The twine I used was not synthetic, or soft, and when dipped into the water prior to freezing started to untwist itself, inadvertently dipping into surrounding molds.  Very annoying!  Also, because of the rough nature of the twine my fingers got pretty raw braiding and then tying on the ice charms.  I'd recommend using a synthetic (but strong!) string instead.

- Ice molds that worked well included: small Tupperware squares, caps that go over the top of a bottle or sippy cup, and the tops of circular tin lip balm containers (that were rubbed with the residual balm - this is key for getting the ice out of such a small receptacle!)

- Ice molds that did not work included: film canisters (too small and deep), hard plastic cups (wouldn't release the ice), the top of the the lip balm containers without any balm (the ice smashed when I tried to release it!)

The way our deck is set up, there was no way for me to hang the bunting alone and without a ladder (and in a place where we would not have to duck under it every time we go in and out...which for me, is several times a day!)  I decided to hang two rows of bunting in the back window - it's such a bright and cheery sight!  It's been up now for nearly 5 days and still going strong.  We have not had a day above freezing and I hope to have it around for a while longer...and hey, if it does melt, this project took me about an hour, so I could easily make another!!

(pretty view in an otherwise very gray and brown winter world!)
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January 19, 2011

A pillow fight...

...requires pillows! Lots and lot of luxurious pillows that you can just sink back into and rest...now that's my kind of pillow fight! I have been turning over some ideas for floor pillows for about a year, but have not been able to commit as of yet. Here are a few great pillow DIY inspirations, though, that may be the kick in the pants I need!

Tissue paper plus a sewing machine equals precise and beautiful pillow images without the fabric chalk!

 A sweet way for your little one to bring along a bit of home.

These pillows are beautiful but a little pricey...learn to make your own out of up-cycled sweaters here!

I have some beautiful scarves that I'm thinking of transforming into pillows like these...we shall see!!
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January 6, 2011

Feeling crafty (or just cold?)

The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and it's time to (theoretically) hunker down for the cold winter months...but what's a girl to do with all this extra energy?  As it turns out, there is lots that can be done!  I know some people who, in the winter, turn to knitting - it's a good "hunkering" activity, and if you are knitting a blanket you are soon able to stay extra cozy while you work.  Try as I might, I am no knitter, but here are a few other DIY projects that already have my creative wheels turning!

These cone people are just too much (in a good way) - I see puppet shows in our future...

As a child I love, love, loved playing with felt boards!!!

So far my felting has been a giant fail...but this tutorial seems very doable (we'll see!)

New mini-comforter and pillow made from an old comforter...brilliant (I have an extra just waiting for a new life!)

 This little lovely would be a welcome addition to any child's room (or shelf in need of some love!)
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