Monday, September 23, 2013

~Crafting Lap Tray Makeover~

I do alot of hand work...sewing, crocheting, etc, while sitting in my comfy recliner as I watch TV.  Multitasking, you know ;)  But I don't know how many times that I have dropped my scissors, thread, crochet needle and such and then they slip down the side of the cushion and down into the bottom of the recliner!!  Which means I have to get up, turn the recliner over and try to dig out my lost items.  Not fun.

I thought a lap tray would work but everything would still roll or slip off the tray.  I came across some crafting trays at the fabric store but the designs they had in stock just didn't appeal to me.  Everything was for either children or teeny boppers. Bummer.  Finally, it dawned on me.  Get one and give it a makeover!!

I found this one at HL.  Truth be told, there is absolutely nothing about the design that I find appealing.  It's just not my style.  The only good thing it had going were the cup and pencil holders.  Perfect for holding those little items that slip out of my hands and fall down into the cushions!

But I had to do something about these colors...

And definitely this backing!  A velour type fabric means only one will attract threads and bits of fabric like nobody's business.  Not good.  There is a carrying handle and a zippered opening for replacing or adding more of those little styrofoam beads if one was so inclined but those aren't on my 'must-have' list.

First thing to do was repaint the cup and pen holders.  I used my craft paint but it wasn't sticking very well and scratched off very easily.  So I scraped it off and mixed the paint with some Mod Podge glue.  That seemed to do the trick.

I dug through my stash of scrapbook paper and found some that looked rather feminine.  Using the Mod Podge glue again, I adhered it to the top of the tray but it created too many bubbles so off it came.  Next attempt was with spray adhesive.  Much better.  The hard part was piecing the paper sheets together and cutting around the holders. I let it dry overnight and used an exacto knife for trimming but still did a rather sloppy job of it.  What does any smart crafter do?  You cover it up!!  Before applying the mini pompom trim, I sealed the scrapbook paper with a layer of Mod Podge as I was afraid the paper would tear easily.  I started freaking out when it started bubbling again but was able to work them out once it started drying.  Whew!
For the back, I purchased this quilted fabric in an ivory color.  I turned the tray upside down, laid the fabric over it and just did some freehand cutting.  I saw no need to take off the black velour.  Using my hot glue gun, I worked my way around the tray adhering the fabric along the edges leaving the rounded corners for last.  Then I just scrunched up a little bit at a time and glued some more.  It wasn't too tricky and didn't have to be perfect because of the soft bottom.
I used some more of the pompom trim to cover up the raw edges of the fabric.  I started at the bottom middle (area closest to me) and just overlapped it a bit so that it didn't show too much.  All of the trim was applied using the hot glue gun.
Don't look too closely at the sloppy job I did with the glue gun. :/ 

So there you have it!  My not so appealing crafting lap tray is now something pretty to use while I'm working.  Much better, don't you think?
Now it's time to get to work on some projects...maybe this one?
Until next time ~


Thursday, September 19, 2013

~Like A Bee In A Flower Garden~

Have you ever wondered what a bumblebee is thinking whenever it comes across a beautiful flower garden?

Internet source
Can you imagine what it (he..she...) is thinking with all those beautiful colors and scents?  "Oooh...look at that beautiful yellow!   Oooh....oh, I like the smell of this pink one over here.   Ooooh...that red one is calling my name!" That's why they flit from here to there constantly not knowing where to land first and how long to stay there!!

Internet source
Well, that's the way I'm feeling these days.  Like a bumblebee in a flower garden.  Well, not with flowers but much more important things!  I spent a gosh awful amount of time cleaning and packing and purging over the last year, which ended up being really good exercise in disguise.  My energy level has picked up somewhat and the desire to move onto bigger and better things has kicked in.  So guess what??  My creative mojo is coming back!  Well, I've made things for the grandbabies but that doesn't really count.  I'm finally getting back in the mood to start sewing and being creative for myself.  It's been awhile.  But the problem is.....

where to start!  Well, actually, where to land and stay awhile.  :/  I've already started on a  few of these projects.  Yeah, did you catch that?  "Started on a few of these projects".  Like this one.  I love to crochet but hadn't done it in awhile until I came across these patterns earlier in the summer.  I bought alot of soft, pima cotton yarn (mostly from the UK) and I love how it feels.  The one on the far left is called African Flower...coasters and placemats maybe?  The one in the middle is a heart...wouldn't this make an adorable banner?  And then the medallions are from an 1893 pattern....more coasters!
I've been coveting some sling bag purses that Dawn from The Feathered Nest has made and decided to make one for myself.  There couldn't be a more beautiful combination....canvas muslin, ticking fabric, vintage laces and trims.  Well, I had so much fun making it that I decided to make some more to put in my Etsy store.  They're almost done!
And then there's this.  I am over the moon in love with this Pam Kitty Morning fabric!!  While watching TV in the evenings, I am working on some cute little things that are going in my Etsy store soon.  But more about those later. ;)
I love the colors of Fall and have some fabric pieces that I want to use.  Maybe a table runner?  I've got this book that I've been getting some ideas from but not quite sure yet on what to make.
With all the hand sewing I do from my comfy recliner, I wanted a small, portable storage box for thread, needles, scissors, etc.  So I need to cover this little gift box in some fabric and pretty trims.  Can't decide exactly how to finish it though but, once it's completed, I'll show you.  What should be at the top of my sewing "to-do" list are these projects....
I started this quilt project way back when my youngest daughter was about 18 years of age.  That was over...ahem...ten years ago!!  With moving out here several years back, health issues and such, well, I had forgotten aobut it.  Until I came across it in the top of my closet last winter.  Yeah, pathetic huh?  The squares are a bit tricky (for me anyway) to put together and I've been dragging my feet about getting it done but I promised her I would have it finished this winter.

And last, but not least by any means, is this felt stocking kit for Little Bubba.  I started a tradition of making each of my grandchildren a Christmas stocking, which stay at my house for little goodies that Santa brings for them.  Yeah, Santa still comes to my house.  Next year, I have to make one for Peaches.  She's too little right now to know any better so I've got some time to get one purchased and made for her.  I'm so glad that I started this as the children anticipate them being hung on the stair railing and love looking at the intricate details on their special stockings.
See?  I feel like a bee in a flower garden!  Sigh...I am so thankful that God blessed me with the ability and desire to be creative but sometimes it can be a curse.  LOL  So many things I want to make!!  I haven't even shown you what I made Monkey for her birthday and I've got one more thing to get finsihed and in the mail.  Busy, busy, busy!!
Until next time.....

p.s.  I told you that several of these projects will end up in my Etsy store so if there's anything you would be interested in purchasing, let me know.  I'll give you more details and put it at the top of my list! After all, Christmas is just around the corner.  Can you believe it?

Pin It

Friday, September 13, 2013

~Pink, White and Soft Lace~

First of all, I have to apologize for the quality of most of these pictures.  They were taken over several days and, wouldn't you know it?  It was cloudy on all those days.  Plus, I made the mistake of letting my 10-year-old grandson take pictures with my camera and I think he messed with the settings. He took the first picture shown below ;)
This is Tater Tot, grandchild number four.  She had a birthday earlier this summer and turned five years of age.   Five!?!?!  Goodness.  Anyway, she was in desperate need of some new bedding for her sage, pink and white bedroom.  Not too frilly, nothing bold.  Very simple.  Much like the Pottery Barn style of bedding.

While fabric searching,  I came across this most adorable fabric at JoAnn's and just couldn't pass it up.  It was just so darned cute and I knew that it would make an adorable pillow.  But, there was just one itsy, bitsy little problem.  See all those pink and white flowers?  They are very flimsily attached to that ribbon tape and flap wildly in the breeze.  Plus, the fabric backing is a very sheer fabric.  I could just see Tater Tot (or ornery little brothers!) trying to pull those babies off.  So I backed the fabric with some white cotton and secured each and every flower with some fabric glue.  Yes, each and every one!!

After that, I made this little pillow for her.  I think it turned out so cute!  Next, it was time to for the quilt cover.  I was going to do some simple quilting but Mama wanted a duvet and it had to be white.  Tater Tot's current bedspread is white and she took very good care of it but the thing just wasn't made very well and was falling apart.
I came across this white, quilted-look white fabric that looks very shabby chic.  Perfect!!  And then this pink and white  cotton fabric in  a simple floral pattern to use for the backing.  The flowers are shaped almost exactly like the flowers in the pillow.  Scored again!!  Of course, every little girl needs some frill and I found a simple eyelet  lace to dress up the bedding some.  Forgot to include it in this picture though :/

First, I made the pillow using the pink floral for the front and back.  I created an envelope opening on the front but it's hidden underneath the lace.  I also added some Velcro under the lace trim for a way to keep the pillow closed.
The white fabric used for the duvet was tricky.  The fabric was only 54" wide, so I had to piece together one large middle panel with a narrow panel on either side but it was extremely difficult to get it lined up straight because the pattern design wasn't even!!  I think I had to take it apart three times before I was finally satisfied wtih it.  Grrr....
Look closely.  It almost looks like a mini chenille pattern, doesn't it?  This fabric was more lightweight than I would have liked, so I lined it with some cotton fabric for more durability.  And then did some straight line machine quilting lengthwise about four inches apart.  The front of the duvet just looked too drab so I created a flap with the floral cotton that I used for the back.  I attached a Velcro strip all the way across the top and added a variety of pink buttons since I didn't have enough of one particular design. (did the same thing on the pillow).
 Oh, before attaching the backing, I added the embroidered lace around three sides.  I found some large pink flower-shaped buttons on Etsy to use around the duvet.  Looking back,  I should have ordered more to use across the top of the duvet and for the pillow but I like the way it turned out.

Tater Tot knew I was making this for her but she didn't know when it was gong to be completed.  Truth told, it was about six weeks after the big "5" celebration.  She was at her other grandma's house when I took it over and we put it on the bed as a surprise.  You can kind of see the pink checked curtains on the window.  I made those for her when she was born. :)  Her bedroom walls are a pretty sage green.  Mama was supposed to take a picture of Tater Tot on her new bedding but I got tired of waiting for her.  LOL
Tater Tot told me she loves her new bedding.
 Until next time ~

Pin It

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

~Living Minimally...For A While Anyway~

At the beginning of summer, we had a huge auction selling off all of our cattle, equipment, tools, household items and much of the furniture in our house in preparation for putting our place on the selling market.  We knew that many people would be coming in and out of the house, so to keep down the confusion as to what was for sale and what wasn't, we opted to just go ahead and box up all the remaining household items to get them out of the way.  Plus, best case scenario was that our place would sell really quickly (we weren't holding our breath on that on!) and most of the work would already be done.  Fast forward, three months and this is how we are living these days..... 

As you walk into the front door, we have a long hallway that leads to the living room.  You can't see it from this photo, but our bedroom is on the right as well as the staircase leading up to the other bedrooms and baths.  Normally, I used the long wall on the left to showcase our family photos but they are all packed away for now.

On the left side of our entry is the dining room.  This photo was taken several years ago to use on the website when we ran the B&B.  Sold the farm table as it was just too big and not quite what I was wanting but bought in a pinch for the B&B guests.  Most of the chairs sold as well as the mirrored bureau and painting on the back wall.  The cupboard hanging on the left is where I house my ironstone collection (you can read about here) and that is in storage as well as the china hutch my dad gave to me a few years ago.
This is what the dining room looks like now.  Extra dining chairs sitting all alone.  Don't they look pathetic?  I'll be searching for another farm table soon, preferably one that has extensions.  To the right of the dining chairs, you go into the kitchen.
This is our breakfast area.  Yes, we are eating on a card table. LOL.  The table I had in there wasn't needed and so it was sold in the auction.  In that little nook area, I had a hanging cupboard in the most beautiful chippy shade of yellow where I housed vintage kitchen gadgets and cookbooks (you can read about that here).  I also hung alot of the vintage gadgets above the screened doors, which is where the pantry is.  To the left of the pantry is where you enter into the dining room.
Not very good photos, but this is what our living room looked like during one Autumn season.  You can't see it very well in this photo, but there is an antique sewing machine cabinet (with machine!) behind the leather recliner.  I sold it in the auction as I have another one in a bedroom upstairs.  I couldn't see keeping two of them.  The glass-door pie cabinet is in storage as well as all the pretties in this room.
We almost put the living room furniture in the sale but then realized...what would we sit on if the place didn't sell quickly??  So, we are using them for the time being and will probably give them to Goodwill.  We plan on getting new furniture more suitable for the living room of our new home.  Yep, pretty bare without pictures and such.

This is our bedroom as you see it when first entering the room.  I've never taken any 'before' photos so there's nothing to compare with so you'll have to use your imagination. ;)  We sold the queen size bed frame and mattress in the sale.  For many months now, this recliner has been my bed.  Seriously!  I had major back surgery several years ago and our bed was becoming increasingly more uncomfortable and sleeping in the recliner best suited me.  Mr. Bill has been sleeping in the bed upstairs since the sale.  Our bureaus are in storage and clothing is in boxes in the closet.  Our bed used to be against the wall where the boxes are now.  Bedding and some busy books/toys are in the boxes.  Our bathroom is just to the left of where the recliner is sitting.  The door next to the boxes leads to our huge walk-in closet.  The open door is the entry into our room and leads back out into the front foyer.
NOTE:  Since taking these photos, we have purchased new beds.  Yes, I said "beds".  I'll tell you more about that...and why...soon. It's not bad, I promise.  ;)

This is one of the bedrooms upstairs used for B&B guests.  I had it decorated with vintage children's items and toys and called it The Playroom.  I kept the old school desk (you can see it somewhat on the far left) as well as the lidded desk, the old screen door and cabinet that is now being used in the sewing room.  There was a huge, antique armoire on the other side of the old school desk that was used for closet space.  I sold that at the auction, as well as the bed frame.  By the way, there is a full-size bathroom just to the left.
Now this is just the guest room.  This four-poster bed was given to us by Mr. Bill's parents when we were first married almost 41 years ago.  They had it for awhile before giving it to us (as well as the bureaus in storage) so I have no idea how old the furniture is but they are staying in the family!  You can see the sewing machine cabinet, that I am keeping, on the far right.  There was a huge TV sitting on top of it but it sold at the sale.

This bedroom is on the north side of the house and was decorated with vintage items that your grandma and grandpa might have worn or used.  I've got such things as a pair of old silk stockings, a vintage netted hat and hat stand, a man's derby hat, shaving razor and soap mug sitting on the shelf above the TV.  This room was called The Keepsake Room.  I sold the sleigh bed and old school desk with cast iron legs at the auction.  See the pink and white quilt hanging above the bed in the first photo?  I was looking for an old quilt to hang in this room and I purchased this one at an auctions several years ago.  It was made by a local woman some 50 to 60 years ago (at least).  The colors went well with the sage and pink that dominate the room.

The room has been converted to my sewing/craft room.  The playpen is used for the grandbaby.  The rest of the space is mine.  All mine!!

This is the cabinet that was in the other room.  It has lots of baskets in it for storage.  I plan to paint this once we get into our new home.  Though the screen is somewhat small, I can watch TV while working at the sewing/cutting table.  The door on the very far left leads into our walk-in attic area.  The door on the right leads to a full-size bathroom.

In my last post, I shared with you some of the vintage sewing items I recently purchased.  You can see them at the far end of the table.  Normally, I have several wood crates stacked up for shelving but they are packed away along with all the other pretties.

Under the tables, there are lots and lots of boxes.  These boxes hold yards and yards of fabric, thread, lace, supplies, etc.  Most of these things will be going up for sale soon as I desperately need to thin them out.  I am changing directions as to what I want to do in my Etsy store and no longer have a need for all these supplies.

Under this table are more boxes of fabric, as well as lots of scrapbooking supplies.  I've got more scrapbooking supplies than I will ever be able to use so these will be going up for sale soon, too.  In case you are interested, I hope to start the listings in the next week or so.  I'll post them here on the blog first before putting them on Etsy.
So, there you have it!  I'm not a minimalist by any means, but we're keeping it this way until the place sells. I really dislike living this way.  To me, it's so boring.  And dismal.   But I can do anything for a while.  After all, it's for a good cause, right?  I'll dig out some of the Autumn decorations soon.  It's just too darn hot right now to be digging around in our POD storage unit (sitting out in the driveway) to find what I want.  And then, there's Christmas to think about.  But other than that, nothing is coming out unless absolutely necessary!
Until next time ~

Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...