March 30, 2015

belly cast complete with pressed ferns and flowers!

Here is a project that's been sitting unfinished in the basement since before little dude was born (he's less than a week from being 9 months old already!). I hope it makes y'all feel better about your own unfinished creative endeavors to read over and over how mine gt started, abandoned, and at last completed at some later date.

I had a whole bunch of ferns and leaves and flowers pressing between layers of cardboard and newspaper and stacks of beautiful art books for many many months on the laundry room floor. Irking me each week as I stepped around them but I had no one to blame but myself!

One Saturday I was helping my daughter give a mod-podge update to an old pencil box and figured I might as well have a go at the belly cast since the supplies were out.

Now while I love love love how the fern looks I am not about to tell you attaching it was easy. The main stem was quite stiff and snapped when I went to lay it across my, uh, lovely curves. I had to hold it down with my fingers while it dried and it is really the glued down leaves that are holding it in place, with a bit of a gap where they meet the stem. So the final result is rather fragile and I must admit I will probably not be able to keep it for my entire life.

The smaller, flatter leaves worked better. Even the smaller ferns or using just the top part of the fern is more flexible and forgiving. I think covering a belly cast with fall leaves for an autumn baby would be gorgeous.

I intend to put some small holes on either side at the top and hang it on a wall with some ribbon but since that step is undone for the moment, you get to see it photographed on the floor!

The one thing I would advise people on doing the belly cast is to have the person laying out the strips do an extra layer along the edges, the outline so to speak. My cast was a little thin in some places along the edge. And really, I would advise doing 2 layers for the whole thing, nice and thick, smoothing out the strips as you go. My friend was very thorough about smoothing them out and the result was quite nice; you could not see the individual pieces anymore. I almost did not want to decorate it after all.

March 25, 2015

spring table runner

I sewed a cheerful spring table runner for my mother-in-law's birthday gift based on the 9-patch technique I used with my own winter table runner a few years ago. After sewing together patches using 9 squares, you cut those patches into quarters and then rearrange them to make a new design. Unfortunately the directions I originally followed are no longer online so I just made measurements from my table runner and went from there.

I was lazy about pinning the 3 layers together and had some serious misfortune with the backing shifting while I was quilting it together. I thought it would not matter much on such a small piece but I was indeed mistaken. I was able to patch the back together – luckily the fabric design was forgiving – but I was quite annoyed with myself. Lesson learned for next time!

For a lovely zero-waste wrapping solution I simply rolled it up and tied it with a scrap of matching fabric!

March 23, 2015

kitchen windowsill in teal glass

Every now and then I clear off the kitchen windowsill, wipe it down, wash the water specks off the window, and start fresh. I am always amazed at how mood-lifting it can be to just clear out and clean up one little space. Maybe this will inspire you to start small and take a step toward loving the space you live in!

PS Yes, of course I purposely buy blue dish detergent because it matches! How did you know?

March 20, 2015

marvelous melting!

I took these photos a few weeks ago when the winter melt had just begun. My 3-year-old daughter and I frequently spend afternoons in the sunroom reading (we're on a classic fairytale kick right now) and doing "finding books" (Hidden Pictures thanks to the peeps at Highlights and Grandma). One such sunny afternoon we could actually hear the melt happening as these icicles drip-drip-dropped. We had a good time studying them. Some were melting at a faster rate than others.  Some had a pattern going and others were more sporadic.

March 18, 2015

fantastic florals!

If you asked me what my favorite pattern in fabric was I don't know what I would say but I don't think "floral" would have popped to mind. Check out the splurges above and you will see I would have been wrong! I had not own but two gift cards to JoAnn's from my December birthday so I allowed myself to buy fabric with no purpose. Hee.

If it caught my eye I bought it. If I loved it very very much, I got a whole yard. If I liked it a lot, I got half a yard. If it was quirky and I only thought I would use it sparingly in a quilt, then I got a quarter yard. Apparently I also had a thing going for polka dots.

I bought my first washi tape (yep, I am about 5 years behind the trend) and have so far had mixed success hanging things with it. A few things stuck just fine, others have peeled off the wall. You will notice I chose red, teal, and black & white. A few of my favorite colors! I also stocked up on various thread colors and indulged in a sparkly valentine heart for the front door.

So a thank you to the special people who gave me gift cards!

March 16, 2015

Easter mantel in green and yellow

I designed this brand-new Easter mantel by "shopping the house" and making use of the chalkboard frames I originally intended for a gallery* (another project started before baby dude was born and just finished!). So I started out with using an old window frame, draped some fabric across it, added the metal cross I love but haven't found the perfect spot for. Then I filled things in with my beloved milk glass plus some other glass from my collection. And a nest! What would spring decorating be without nests! Hee. This particular nest was green grass when my mom found it but now it has dried to a pretty butter yellow shade. You might not be able to see it well in this photo, but there's a vintage mustard jar on the far right that has a smiling yellow sunshine on the lid. So cute!

Speaking of nests, they of course pop up over on my shelves. As does the milk glass and the color yellow to keep the the spring theme going. Now, something funny for you, doesn't the nest perched on the one lower vase look like hair? Hee!

*I am having second thoughts about where I intended to hang these. I think they would have gotten knocked off the wall by kids busting in with backpacks. So for now, they are going to be mine all mine for decorating here and there as I wish. Discussion has begun afresh about painting various wall(s) with chalkboard paint! The kids are all about it!