Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tissue, please....

print by ashleyg

Definitely how I feel right now.  I've got about a million things on my to-do list and at least five projects that I need to finish asap, but the longest winter ever finally caught up with Phoebe and I and we caught whatever stupid cold is going around.  I think I'll drag myself to the couch and zone out in front of the Oscars.  And maybe start a new crochet project.  I miss crocheting.  

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some finished projects and an update on my studio.  The hubby finally got some shelving installed!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Past Project Friday

Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts art, decorating, etc.

12 Months of Phoebe

This was our version of the month-to-month baby portrait.  The numbers are simply fabric backed with fusible webbing that I ironed onto the onesie. 

As you can see, I didn't quite have my act together during month one (it was about 8pm before I remembered to do this), but it definitely shows the reality of being a new mom!

Frosting face

And here she is now at 1 1/2 after taste-testing momma's cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good mail day


Is there anything more exciting than opening your mailbox to a big, fat envelope of fabric?  I know I said that I'm on a strict, don't-buy-anything-fun budget, but I'd been saving a Sew, Mama, Sew gift card since Christmas.  So, thanks mom!


I finally broke down and bought some of Anna Maria Horner's pastry line voile.  It had been sitting in my online shopping cart for months just waiting around, but once I saw the scarf made by my lovely friend Kate, I just had to have it.  I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times, but this seriously is the softest, most lovely fabric I've ever felt. 

I've decided that I definitely need to use this for a quilt (so I can make my own voile cocoon), but that means that I need to buy some more fabric - because three yards (plus the square dance panel) won't cut it - and I need all of the colorways of course!  If you have any tips on slipping that purchase past my husband, I'd be very grateful....


I'm not super crazy over AMH's new line, Innocent Crush, but I am particularly fond of the woodcut prints.  I didn't realize how large-scale this print actually is until seeing it in person, and I didn't seem to pick up those lines in the background on all of the sample images, but I'm totally loving it.  I'm thinking the pink print might look really nice as drapes for Phoebe's bedroom, but of course I'd need an extra yard to make it work.  Why does that always seem to happen?


These last two were from the ends of the bolts, so I think they're only 5/8 and 1/3 of a yard, but they'll work really well for small projects or to blend into some of my other quilts.

On a different note, last night I attended my first meeting of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.  I met a lot of amazingly talented people and it looks like we've already got some fun things planned.  You should check it out if you're in the area!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another post involving Nicey Jane, and a quest!


I've finally been making some noticeable progress on that patchwork duvet cover I mentioned back here.


I'm just finishing up piecing the last few blocks, and then I've got to cut the sashing (my least favorite task) and sew everything together.


I used Ashley's "Rectangle Squared" tutorial from Film in the Fridge, just altering the dimensions a little bit.  My blocks ended up being 9" square and I used a sashing of 1" instead of 1.5".


This weekend I also took a short trip to visit my parents and hit up some fabric stores in their neck of the woods.  I stopped in at Erica's Craft & Sewing Center and I just couldn't resist a couple more Nicey Jane fat quarters in a different colorway. 


And I usually don't shop at Hancock Fabrics (the poor quality of their fabric makes my skin cringe), but every so often you can find some amazing gems - so I always have to go in and do a quick run through.  I mostly just walk down the aisle, running my hand over all the bolts and it's pretty easy to tell a good piece of fabric from a crappy one. 

I stopped dead in my tracks and did a major happy dance when I got to this one.  95% organic knit bamboo (5% spandex) for only $3.95 a yard.  It feels freaking fantabulous and you can't beat that price anywhere!  I think Phoebe and momma might get a pair of matching yoga pants from this.

Painter's Palette in Sky from Erin Michael's Lush Collection
On a completely random note - if anyone happens to see 9 yards of this fabric hanging out somewhere, please buy it for me and I will pay you for your troubles - plus love you forever.  I've recently decided that my bedroom curtains just have to be made out of this and will settle for nothing less.   

Friday, February 18, 2011

Past Project Friday

Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts art, decorating, etc.


This was the first project I made after Phoebe was born.  I went two months without any sewing while I adjusted to motherhood, sleepless nights, and everything else that goes along with becoming a first time parent. 


My parents came up for the weekend to spend time with their new grandaughter and I pretty much locked myself in my studio for the day, save for feeding the baby every couple of hours.

I finished the entire thing - embroidery and all - that day.


It felt amazing to be sewing again.


This book is still a big hit, and I'm proud to say that Phoebe does know all of her colors.

Tutorial is from here.  I added an extra page to include a couple of extra colors.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some recenty thrifty finds - for both me and you!

If I had a day all to myself, thrifting would definitely be a part of it.  My dad started taking my sister and I to garage sales before we could even walk, and it became a weekly occurrence every Saturday throughout the summer.  Some of my most treasured possessions are from garage sales and thrift stores and I love how my entire house is pieced together with these finds.

I haven't been able to do as much thrifting as I would like because a) I've been put on a budget (bleh) and b) thrifting is HARD to do with an 18 month old.  But here are some pieces that I've picked up here and there these past couple weeks.



I'm lucky in that Ann Arbor has some seriously good thrifting spots to keep me busy all year round.  The pink depression juicer and the cookware above are both from the Treasure Mart.  This place is probably more pricey than your average Goodwill or Salvation Army, but they always have amazing goods and are considerably less expensive than an antique shop.  And with three floors and 8500 square feet, you can always find something you can't live without.


I found this little tea strainer at the State Street Salvation Army for a mere fifty cents.  I usually can't tell one Salvation Army from the next, but this one is seriously HUGE.  I never leave there without finding multiple sets of vintage sheets, and they have a huge selection of glassware, furniture, and wool sweaters for felting.


I also found this child's folding chair at Salvation Army for only three dollars.  Three dollars!  I am so in love with this thing.  I only wish they had a whole set in my size.

Phoebe likes it too :)


This green, cut-glass, spouted bowl was found at the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop.  All of the proceeds from the store go to the Ann Arbor public schools PTO organizations, and they by far have the most gigantic craft section I've ever seen.  More about that in an upcoming post...


And finally, I found this coat at Such a Find Antiques.  


This coat brings me such joy and such sadness at the same time.  Joy because it is so amazingly awesome, and completely my style; sadness because it does not fit me and never will.  Even if I did lose 20 pounds (which I'm working on because my sister is getting married this summer :), it is just too tight across the shoulders and short in the sleeves.  

So I decided to offer it up to you guys!  This lovely gal is for sale in my Etsy shop.  I hope that someone will be just as excited about her as I am.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DIY Crayon Valentines


I bookmarked this tutorial over a year ago in anticipation for when Phoebe was old enough to start crafting and coloring.  Well that day has come, folks!  And there's still time for you to make some if you're scrambling around for Valentine's day tomorrow.


First I removed the paper from the crayons.   I read a tip that if you soak them in warm water first, then the paper slips right off.  Worked like a charm.


Then I chopped them into smaller pieces.  This is a great project for saving up all of those tiny pieces of broken crayons that accumulate over time.


Then I put Phoebe to work putting the pieces into these heart molds that I found at Target.  She had a blast because she's at that stage where she loves putting things into containers....


and dumping them out again.


This kept us busy for a good 20 minutes.


Then I popped these babies in a 275 degree oven, and basically just kept an eye on them.  A word of warning - make sure your molds are oven safe.  These weren't and were just starting to melt and tear as I took them out - but they got the job done.


Once they were cooled, Phoebe did a test run and found that they worked wonderfully for her chubby little hands.


And a great sugar-free alternative to your typical Valentine's day fare!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Past Project Friday

Every Friday I will be posting some sort of crafty project that I have completed in the past.  It could be anything from baking, to sewing, needlecrafts, art, decorating, etc.

50th Anniversary Cake

Short and sweet today folks.  This is a cake that I made for my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary.  It was modeled after a cake from the book Confetti Cakes.


I'll be back later this weekend with some toddler Valentine making!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Have you seen the new pouf?

This is the quickest and most fun sewing project I've done in awhile.  Plus, I conquered one of my sewing fears in the process - hooray!


I'm working on putting together a little reading nook for Phoebe, so I'm in the process of making all kinds of comfy floor pillows and cushions.  I had come across this tutorial last June and knew that once we had a big enough place, these would be perfect for our reading room!


Awesome fact #1 - it only takes one yard of fabric.


Awesome fact #2 - Piping is not a scary thing - in fact, it's incredibly easy to work with, and it gives projects that finished, professional look.  Now I just have to harness my power and not sew piping onto everything I make.


Awesome fact #3 - Did you know that Joann's carries Dwell Studio fabric?  Well, technically it's Dwell Studio for Robert Altman, but it flipping rocks!  I've always loved Dwell's modern prints, and they had at least seven different ones when I was there.  Extra bonus - the home dec fabric was on sale for 50% off, so I only paid $5 a yard!

Not very awesome fact - we had a bit of an incident earlier in the week that resulted in Phoebe chipping her front tooth.  I seriously cried for at least an hour.


Good thing she's so darn cute - she totally works it.

**Bonus points to whomever guesses what show the post title came from.
***Super bonus points if you know the following line!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Productivly MIA

Sorry for skipping out this past week.  I promise that I haven't just been lounging around watching trash TV (at least, not the entire time).  Besides digging ourselves out of all this snow, here's what I've been up to...

Making cakes

I've cut all the pieces needed for a pieced duvet cover for our bed.  Mostly prints from Nicey Jane, with some Modern Meadow, Deer Valley, and a couple other random Amy Butler and others thrown in.

Lots of valentine crafting, like making barrettes...

garlands for the windows...

and these fabulous paper heart strings that I (and everyone else in blogland) had to make after seeing Tif's tutorial

But most of my time has been spent working on turning this into..

There's still a lot to be done with the ceiling, making some slipcovers, getting some art on the walls, and I really want to set up Phoebe's toys into some more specialized areas (reading, dress-up, music, etc.), but it's a good start.

I'll try to keep you guys more in the loop this week :)