Wednesday, January 29, 2014

the MAMA projects

I have to confess. I hardly ever get the chance to make things for myself. "Mama projects" usually get placed on the list after...

 1)Paid gigs 
2)Sewing for the little guy 
3)Fixing our house
4)Mending and general maintenance

...which means they never get done.

I have decided to focus the rest of this snowy winter on sewing for myself, with a crochet project and some home sewing thrown in there too. I am finally going to tackle lists, as well as piles, of TO-DO.

This is so exciting!!! I'm starting with some quick accessories to get the ball rolling and feel accomplished.

Project #1: Lightweight Infinity Scarf


This vintage fabric (friend hand-me-down) came to me in bits and pieces, looking like it used to be a blouse - a really awesome blouse. I knew right away it needed to be worn again.


Hello Fabulous! 
Easy-peasy, a bit of piecing together but the pattern helps hide the seams. I meant for it to be a spring scarf but I love it so much I've been jumping the season and wearing it now.

Project #2: Fabric Scrap Belt


I was gifted with this Anna Marie Horner book when I was pregnant and, although I'm not now, I still love her Early Empire Cinch and knew it could work sans giant belly.


Out came the bag of scraps. That's right, I save all of my tiny scraps, mostly for birdie rattle making, in the bag my Boppy came in. It's quite the perfect size.


Selections made, cut, and laid out. All 32 pieces.



I really love the number of vintage fabrics I was able to use as well as some scraps from old garments. Note the same fabric I used for the infinity scarf in the mix.


Is it any surprise that I love this too?

In between all of the involved projects are some smaller, so-fast-I-can't-believe-it-took-me-so-long-to-get-to-them, projects.

Like shortening and repairing this belt.


And whipping up this braided t-shirt headband that I saw on Pinterest.


I also managed to mend some socks, change the closures on a sweater, and change the earring posts on a 6-year-old pair of dangles to hypo-allergenic so I can actually wear them now.


The ball is rolling indeed. I can't wait to jump into the next project. And, honestly, with all of this fabric and a stash of patterns and books I am hoping to get it all done without a single trip to the fabric store. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

failing spectacularly

 Last January we set 3 big, lofty goals for ourselves and threw them out into the universe HERE. We were pretty sure we wouldn't complete any of them but it really lit a fire under us to get things cookin' around here. 

#1. PAINT THE WHOLE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE

Hardly.
But let's focus on what was accomplished, shall we. 


We finally agreed on a color for our living room and halls and rid ourselves of that horrible split pea soup.

We also moved my studio to the smallest bedroom and gave that a fresh coat.

I even snuck in a little paint project that wasn't on the list, our front door. 
Before:


 And after:


The color is Emerald by Pantone and I realize it's looking a little Miami Vice with the gold knob but that will be changing very soon. 

As for the crackle finish in the rest of the entryway (and one of our baths) I gave it my all but it's not coming off. Therefore a small project has turned into a much larger one and gets moved down the list.

#2: TURN BAR NOOK INTO A LIBRARY

 Well, this plan has evolved a little to fit our needs. We decided to make the nook more of an office area with a desk top and bookshelves above. 

Here's a little look at our former bar:


And here's the progress we've made:


This project was rolling along nicely until is started to get cold outside and our garage renovation became the star of the show.

Before that happened though we, ahem, Dana, did some extensive drywall work and repaired several holes in the wall left from plumbing and electrical that was no longer in use. He also sanded down the horrible textured ceiling. You can check that work out HERE or HERE.

I painted and Dana put on the new baseboards and new electrical outlets, remember all of our old ones had been painted over.

 We have also acquired all of our repurposed materials to build said desk and bookshelves, including this awesome old school door.


And these vintage cabinets that I gave a little TLC to and added some school-desk style legs.


We are happy to have come this far until...well, who knows, for now it makes a perfect crafting nook for the little guy.
(I thrifted those yellow chairs for 4 bucks a pop, in case you wondered.)



#3: STUDIO REMODEL

Although the garage/studio/future-family-room renovation is far from finished, we have come a long way in a very short amount of time.

Try not to go blind as you look at the before:


Now, how about the serious progress that was made in the last couple of months, here's where we are:


New subfloor and drywall ready to hang.


Old duct work removed from wall and the beginnings of a new wall to disguise the concrete one.


Then, just before Christmas, we went from a ho-hum former garage-door wall to...


This!!! A rear facing window! How novel. Hello backyard! 
There is even a new back door waiting to be installed too, I can hardly contain myself.

An exterior before shot:


And Now.

 I think it looks like a cute little cottage now, don't you?


Yep, things are looking up around here, thanks mostly to my super handy husband.

I actually can't believe how much we have accomplished this year. Not just home improvements but all of the home sewing, business sewing, gardening, traveling, and attending to other parts of our house when something breaks (like our whole weekend devoted to finding a new dishwasher.)

We still have a long way to go, like decades, but this house is starting to become a home. All because we decided to stop stalling and be willing to fail...spectacularly.