Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wall Bookshelf

My projects lately have incorporated a lot of woodworking.  On my recent staycation, I turned my carport into a workshop and worked on several projects for three full days.  They're not all done yet, but this post will begin the finished project parade.

The first thing I finished was this wall bookshelf for the playroom.  It holds all of Sam's board books, and since I hanged(?) it all he does is read his books.  I guess they are more exciting now that they are front and center for him.
The plan is from  I've enjoyed every project of hers that I have made so far.  All I had was sawhorses, a circular saw and jig saw, and a square and tape measure.  Anybody really can do it.  I stained it with a coat of Minwax English Chestnut and then used a half glaze, half Martha Stewart Caraway Seed paint mix on top.  I like how it blends into the wall but still has red undertones like the trim.

This is how I got it leveled while I screwed it into the studs.  Lots of trial and error to get the right book combination . . .
Sam likes it, I like it, so I think this one is a winner. :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

July 2011 Clamshell Club Update

As always, a few days late . . .

but after no progress last month, I did make some in July.


Bloggy Update

It seems to get harder and harder to update the blog these days.  Life is just that, life, and our temporary no computer at home situation has gone on longer than expected, so posts have been infrequent and sporadic (and will continue to be for a while longer). 

But here's what I've been working on over the past while . . .

One set of curtains for our master bedroom (still trying to find the material for the other set)
 A pirate pillow (fabric is P. Kauffman)
 Other pillows of which I have no pictures

Cheese dome cloche from House of Hepworths via Thrifty Decor Chick
Artwork holders for the playroom
Spray painted yard sale boxes (that I still need to make cute labels for)
Note the before below . . .
 Random quilt piecing

And some other not-yet-finished projects involving this big pile o' wood

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shameless Copy

I’ll admit it.  I thought Thrifty D├ęcor Chick’s spray painted Mason jar was fantastic, so I copied it. 
And then there’s this guy - the milk jug I got at Goodwill.
I forgot to take a picture of him in his “before” state, but he was Ugg-ly.
For some reason, he reminded me of the cute white ceramic vases I have seen around, so I bought him.  And spray painted him glossy white. 
I thought he was happy, but about 2 weeks after this picture was taken (hush, you know I’m living under a rock right now) when I went to change out the flowers, I found the paint bubbling and peeling off.  *Sigh*  I know he was cheap, but I don’t want to throw him away, so I’m going to (somehow) get the paint off him, spray his insides good with a water sealer, and redo him, with the addition of a glossy topcoat (so he really shines).  

A couple of things I have learned from this vignette:
  • When spray painting glass, frosted glass spray paint is your friend.  Do a coat of it first, then spray your color.  Otherwise, no matter how light I tried to spray, I still got runs in my paint (don’t look too close at that Mason jar). 
  • Always coat the inside of any suspect container (even glazed ones that look fine) with a water sealer.  Or you will have a Mr. Milk Jug problem on your hands.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Curtains

We have curtains in the playroom now.  (And blinds, finally, yeah I use that word a lot). 
Aren’t they nice?  They are temporary until I find the perfect riotous fabric for “real” curtains.
These aren’t real curtains?  Nope.  Where did I get them?  How did I make them?  How much did these beauts cost?  Whoa there, Nelly.  I promise, it’s not as difficult/expensive as you think.
They are twin sheets from Wal-Mart.  Yep.  That’s right.  The cheap ones – Mainstays, $5 each.  Uh-huh.  Hung with ring clips from Lowe's (they have the bigger ones for my spray painted closet rod-turned-curtain rod).  Don’t read that last sentence or you’ll know all my secrets.  
Anywho, I was going nutty from not having curtains (or blinds).  This window gets a lot, lot, lot of sun.  I managed to find one blind but had to wait for a second one to come in stock.  With one blind hung and no curtains I was really going batty.  But I couldn’t find any cute sheets to work.  I needed two sets of twin sheets for the twin beds in the guest room, so I figured if I tried plain white ones and they looked awful I’d still be able to use the sheets later.  So I tried it, and . . .  it didn’t look too bad at all.  I can totally live with this until that wow fabric finds me. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I had a “fun” night a while back – I tried out some new things, didn’t work on any existing projects, just sewed what I wanted, which was to try out this block from the cover of the Spring 2011 Simple Quilts magazine.  I only made one, so I decided to add a border (to increase the end-size) and make it into a pillow.  I quilted it with a lot of straight lines (getting more comfortable with my walking foot) and just a touch of free-motion work (don’t look too close!).  Added an envelope back, and voila!  A 14” quilted pillow cover.

Fabric is Bed and Breakfast by Connecting Threads.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Stairwell Light

Finally!  After several months of waiting, my Habitat ReStore light is now hanging in our stairwell! 
She’s gorgeous!  I’m so glad I didn’t do the safe thing and pass her up.  I looked at this light four times or so before I finally asked the price and purchased it.  I was only about 70% sold on it, couldn’t quite get past the brass or the size. 
But it is absolutely perfect in its new home after a good cleaning and a few coats of oil rubbed bronze spray paint (and a couple of months hanging out in the basement, patiently waiting).  Now if only I can knock that left side out to create a half wall and get my gigantic tobacco basket hung on the wall . . . we will be in business!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yard Sale Goodies

A set of stacking metal boxes . . . the bodies of the boxes will get painted - dark red, cream?  I haven't decided yet.
A bag of berry vines - to use in wreaths, wind around styrofoam balls and put in a bowl, or stick in a pitcher in the guest room . . .
Sand/beach toys

Two books for the Little One

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Clamshell Club May 2011

I'm a few days late again - darn lack of home internet access!

I managed to finish the fourth row and put the green clams on the fifth . . . as my husband says, I'm going to be working on this project for years (or I may work on it more as fall and Christmas approach).

My First Antique Purchases

I like antiques.  I don't necessarily want my home filled with rickety/priceless but untouchable things, but I like incorporating solid pieces or adding little accents.  I kind of see my style as updated farmhouse, not too country but not "modern."  Cozy and welcoming.  Homey. 

I got these two pieces from the antique mall near work. 
My tobacco basket:
And my antique quilt rack, which was so different and much more "me" than most I've seen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spray Paint Fixes Everything

I don't have a before picture, but some outdoor ORB spray paint took this yucky, old, rusty metal pole from drab to fab (the planter helps a little too).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stormy Days

Can still yield beauty . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dining Room Curtains

These have only been on my to-do list for months and have been sitting around partially completed, but after this last quilt, I was determined to finish them.  A couple of nights of pressing seam allowances and sewing twill tabs for the back, and my dining room curtains are done!  Of course, now it looks like I need to repaint the walls, among other things.  But hey, it's a step towards my vision, and my curtain rod isn't naked anymore!

Friday, May 27, 2011

No More Naked Couch!

Well, kinda.

It has one pillow now . . .
But the couch still needs a (drop cloth) slipcover, and the pillow needs a bunch of friends.
Size: 16 inches, made using this tutorial, simple envelope back closure.
Fabric is Premier Prints Suzani Autumn/Natural purchased at

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer's Quilt

Warning: Lots o' pics!

Another baby quilt for a friend.  This was actually finished and gifted two weeks ago.  Once I got into the piecing I wasn't sure about it, but now I LOVE it!  Love the quilting, the bright colors, the backing . . . I'm so glad I made too many QST's by accident and get to play with this fabric again.

So here is . . . Summer's Quilt.
For more details on the pattern and quilting, see this post.


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