Wednesday, March 27, 2013

the new studio

These past couple of weeks I've been settling into my new studio space. A short move down the hall from my previous location in our converted garage. Although it is a quarter of the size it feels like a huge upgrade. Let's take a look around.

It's light, it's bright, and it's warm!!! 
What more can a girl ask for?

Although my old space accommodated a table for everything, I had to consolidate. My grandparent's old kitchen table has been my official work table for the past 13 years so it was a must. 
I also made our old dining table work double duty for sewing tools and my serger (thank goodness for fold down leaves.)

Speaking of double duty, this dry sink has great storage and the top shelf lifts up so I can actually use that ironing board. It was my grandmother's (she painted it her favorite color, green) and I think I remember it holding her sewing supplies too.

I haven't installed any wall shelving yet, but I did make room in my limited space for my paternal grandmother's thread and my maternal grandma's knitting needles.

Surrounding myself with ancestral objects make my machine sing.

Ah ha! The sewing machine of course! In front of the window where it belongs. This room has great light! (Not that this pic resembles that.)

My dress form, Juanita, tucks nicely into the corner and there is still room for the closet door to open. Yes! A real closet.
Let's take a look at the one in the old studio space.

A bigger closet indeed but all those wire shelves weren't functional for a seamstress, my finished garments hung on free standing racks. Not to mention that our electrical panel boxes are lurking behind that stripey bin.

And now...

Smaller? Yes, but look at all of the hanging space I have for projects in my sewing queue. I am loving having them neatly arranged where I can see them instead of piling up in a basket until I forget.

There is also, surprisingly, plenty of room in here for storage of my other random crafting adventures as well as a secret hiding spot for Desmond's gifts that I stash.

To wrap up our tour, here is a behind the door peek.
My over-the-door mirror actually has a door to go over.

Now to compare, here is my old space:

Dark, cold, cluttered, disorganized.

And the new space:

Bright, warm, fresh, and only enough room to be organized.

I am in love with my new space. Even if it means weeding out a little and letting go of some things. This just feels right.

Friday, March 22, 2013

a pillow a week

Desmond is getting his own bed and he can hardly contain his excitement. It's like his own personal moon bounce.

To make a long story short, Desmond needed a new place to nap, um, at least 6 months ago. He doesn't have a crib.

So, having my folks in town was the perfect time to pick out a twin mattress. It fit in their car and therefore saved us the delivery fee.

Once we arranged the mattress in his room I realized we were going to need some pillows. You know, to keep him from clunking into the wall or the bed frame and maybe a couple on the floor too, just in case.

I made these patchwork covers when I was pregnant for our rocking chair and as extra nursing pillows. They are adorable but they don't exactly match my boys rough and tumble style.

It just so happens that I kind of stockpile things like pillows to recover whenever the mood strikes. This beauty came from my folks house when they bought a new couch and, therefore, new throw pillows.

 Enter the fabulous bag my mother made me in the Fall. Besides the fact that she totally wowed me with her new sewing skills, she also passed along the fabric remnants too. 
And I L-O-V-E this fabric.

It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to whip up a pillow cover but I will admit to being a little challenged in the zipper department. Zippers are a must, I need to be able to toss these babies in the wash.

So, what a great opportunity to hone my zipper installation skills, I'll make a pillow cover a week for the next few weeks.
Number one is already done.

I should have them all completed by the time his bed frame is ready. I've been hard at work on that too, I just need the weather to cooperate to finish it up.

Boy, am I ever glad he is lovin' his new nap spot.

Friday, March 15, 2013

one resolution room

Remember that list of 3 big New Year's Resolutions for our house? It's here if you've forgotten.

We (I) actually managed to get one, yes ONE, room painted. So what if it's the smallest (non-bathroom) room.

 Here is what the color looked like before, yikes.

Since it was Dana's office, and therefore out of my direct viewing area, no one (me) was bothered by it's orangey-ness.

It was deemed the first room of the new year to paint because it's going to be my new studio least for a while.

Hey, if you have to move all of the future out of a room you might as well paint it. And lucky me, it just so happened paint samples were buy one get one free.

So after six (or was it eight?) paint swatches on the wall, we settled on Olympic's Zero VOC, Gray Ghost. It was a sample I originally picked up for the living room but it is much better suited here.

It's gray with the slightest undertone of purple, which we never suspected from the paint chip. It is the perfect color for my new work space.

And in case you are wondering what happened to all of those horrid outlets and switches that had been painted over as seen below...

We (Dana) hit the refresh button on those guys too, I haven't tried my hand at electrical work just yet.

The baseboards, trim and door got a little sprucing too. Trust me, they were looking really rough once the walls had a fresh coat.

I think I'm going to take a hot minute to enjoy and admire all of my hard work...which would not have happened so quickly if it wasn't for my folks being on Desmond duty for almost a week straight.

After that minute is up I will resume figuring out how I'm fitting all of this into a room a third of it's size.

Hmmmmm. Easy, right?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

snowy day project - cloth baby wipes

This was the view today from my "new" studio window, but more on that "new" part later. It was a day to scrap everything I had planned and focus on a little project for my newest little nephew.

It was another snowy day a few weeks ago when we traveled to North Carolina to meet him for the first time.
I think he loves his sewing auntie already.

I had started the little guy out with a stash of cloth diapering wipes for his baby shower. However, no matter how many you can always use more. A little request from his Mama had me back at it.

I love flannel and coffee on a snowy morning, don't you?

I used a thrifted sweatshirt for the textured side. 
I like the terrycloth sweatshirts best.

My stack of 7" X 7" squares.

Ready to stitch.

Now ready to serge. 

And done.

Doesn't it sound like I whipped these up in an hour. It actually took all day. Between my toddler and his grandparents and a husband home from work early there were plenty of interruptions.

I used the sweatshirt drawstring to bundle them and I think they look pretty cute. I'll have to remember this trick in the future.

What a great way to spend a snowy day and probably the most relaxing thing I've worked on in weeks.

Hooray for snowy days!