Monday, August 30, 2010

Dreaming of sweater weather

So, it’s not quite sweater weather outside, but inside my library, meat locker temperatures are the norm; hence, my love of cardigans. Even though I’m a huge fan, I only own three solid colored cardigans – which I wear over and over and over again. However, I do have several regular sweaters that I rarely wear, so I decided to convert one into a cardigan.

That’s how this slightly too small and too short sweater,

Became this fun cardigan (I’m not sure if it really counts as a cardigan without buttons, but you know what I mean!)

I started by cutting straight down the middle of the front of the sweater.

I folded the raw edge under, pinned, and sewed.

Then came the time to add some fun! I originally wanted to add ruffles, but I didn’t have any matching fabric on hand. But I did have tons of matching ribbon.
So I proceeded to spend what seemed like two hours pinning the ribbon into pleats. I seriously thought I was going to run out of pins! It only took a few minutes to sew the pleats to the sweater, so I think it was worth the time.

I can wear the sweater open

Or tied with a little ribbon belt.

Other than the time spent pleating, this was a very quick and easy project!

Any other major sweater fans out there? Anyone else have a super cold workplace?

Linking to this awesome party!



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fall Fixer-upper

Happy Monday lovely blog friends! So, ya want to know how turn a train wreck of a makeup bag into a super snazzy fall purse?

Step 1.
Locate ugly “free gift with purchase” bag from thrift store or the back of your closet.

Step 2.
Remove any weird stuff from the bag. Mine had super classy plastic pockets on the front.

Step 3.
Cover the whole bag in your favorite color of duct tape. I went with a perky red for fall.

Step 4.
Add fun details. You’ll notice in the previous picture that I left a little strip of the canvas bag uncovered. I did that so I’d have a place to sew a fabric embellishment to the front of the bag. Attempting to sew through duct tape is a good way to destroy a needle and your nerves.
For my embellishment I decided to use the fabric from one of Brad’s old ties.

Step 5.
Create the embellishment. I took the skinny part of the tie, pleated it, pinned, and sewed the pleats in place with a contrasting thread color. Once I created the pleat, I hand sewed it to the bag using a few stitches.

Step 6.
Make the handles more fun. To give the bag a more finished look, I cut the remainder of the tie in half. Then, I took one of the halves, hot glued it to the inside edge of the handle, and wrapped the fabric tightly around the built-in handle, gluing periodically and again at the other end of the handle.

Step 7.
Enjoy your new recycled bag.
Maybe even take it on a little field trip for an outdoor photo shoot!

What color bags are you loving this fall?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Falling for fall

It was in the 70’s today. The 70’s people! That is unheard of in Virginia this time of year! Anyway, the cooler temperatures got me thinking about fall and a few of the things I’d like to do/make/try to celebrate the season.

1. Go camping with some fabulous people

Brad bought a huge (as in larger than our bedroom) tent last year and is itching to try it out. This year we’re planning to stay near Crabtree Falls.

It’s only a 2 ½ mile hike to the top of this beauty and we’ve heard tell that Spy Rock and a swinging bridge are also nearby. I think I’m abnormally excited about the swinging bridge!

2. Go apple picking.

I wanted to do this last year, but it just didn’t happen. However, we plan to camp near several orchards, so I think apples are much more likely to be in my future this fall.

3. Make something super yummy with said apples

I’ve been drooling over this Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Galette from Fresh365 all summer. Must. Make. Apple & Cheese goodness!

4. Craft out of my comfort zone.

I’ve been avoiding the whole chalkboard paint craze – until I saw these awesome chalkboard rocks from pottery barn. It seems to me that these would be super easy to make and I can just see them with little leaves and acorns drawn on. Maybe even sweet quotes and little love notes!

5. Get my sew on part 1

It’s time to go crazy in my new sewing space! I think this gorgeous belt from sew for home

... is the perfect project to kick off fall. I love the wear things belted and I have a ton of vintage buckles that would be super fun to use.

6. Get my sew on part 2

My twin soul Tracy and I fell head over heels for this J. Crew wool skirt. The price tag, however? That we didn’t love. I’m going to attempt to recreate this with a few tweaks. For instance, Tracy and I are both school librarians with dress codes that require a little longer skirt.

So, those are my goals for fall fun! Anything you’re especially anxious to see here on the blog? What are your own fall plans?


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Office 360

My students still have two lovely weeks of summer left to enjoy, but I head back to work tomorrow. I decided I did not want to go back with the office project half done, so Brad and I went into full-on project attack mode this weekend. There are still a few things I’d like to tweak, but for the most part this baby is finished! The goal was to create separate crafting and office spaces with lots of storage, make the room more fun and creative, and include some whimsical d├ęcor elements that would feel out of place in a more grown up space like our living room. Care to take a 360 view?

My much loved Vertigo poster had to stay. Orange + Jimmy = LOVE.

I found this picnic basket at Goodwill. It’s the perfect place to stash small, unfinished projects.

Shelf heaven! I knew the only way I’d manage to keep a big, open workspace is if I could stash a lot of crafting supplies off of the table.

These two shelves were 20 bucks each at Target. I love that the pegs provide a fun way to store stuff.

This shelf came from a thrift store. Brad and I modified it by adding cup hooks and a dowel rod to hold my spools of ribbon.

I made sure to have lots of little drawers and baskets to corral sewing and craft supplies.

I love all the open workspace!

Here’s my little pizza pan turned magnet board in action!

On the other side of the window is a thrifted memo board.

And here’s the office side of the room. Much less thrilling, but a family needs a place to store stationary and printer paper and post its too!

I hope you enjoyed the tour! I still want to recover the seat cushions in the room, and I need to figure out what to do with the framed photos/art that used to live where the desk is now.

Somehow, I think the black frames would seem out of place in this new, cheerful space. I’m all for painting them if y’all have any wonderful color suggestions!

Where do you carve out a spot for crafting/sewing/scrapbooking/etc.?


Friday, August 20, 2010

A whole lot 'o painting going on

Remember my precarious pile of furniture and accessories?

These beauties in the rough just needed a little TLC and paint to provide just the right touch of fun and storage for the craft room/office makeover.

First up, the only new piece of furniture in the pile, a pine IKEA dresser.

This piece had quite a few knots, so I gave it three coats of Zinsser primer and two coats of American Accents semi-gloss white. It fits perfectly under the IKEA work table and will hold my ever growing fabric stash! I’m still deciding if I want to stencil something fun on the knobs - maybe numbers or flowers?

Buried under all the “stuff” (which will be spread out once three other shelves are hung on the wall) is the little shelf that could. This shelf survived my college bathroom and my brother’s college bathroom.

The finish was in pretty bad shape, so it also received several coats of Zinsser and two coats of American Accents.

I found this spice rack at the Goodwill outlet. It was already a dingy white.

I mixed two blue shades of Folk Art acrylic paint to get the perfect aqua. It took three coats to cover this little guy.

I picked up this balsa wood shelf with baskets at Michael’s several years ago.

I also gave it several coats of my aqua paint.

Once the paint dried, I used mod podge to jazz it up with a little scrapbook paper.

This grungy pizza pan received a good scrubbing, and a light coat of RustOleum metal spray primer.

After the primer dried, I applied three coats of Folk Art pumpkin acrylic paint to turn the ugly pan into a funky magnet board.

Finally, this mini set of drawers went from ho, ho, ho

To sweet and pretty,

To a new makeover with aqua sides and orange feet.

So, what’s left to do in the office? Hang shelves and art, arrange everything, and recover the seats on the two chairs. It’s coming along!

I’m linking this to Wendy’s lovely party!