Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“Grain Sack” Pin Cushion

I’m STILL working on organizing my studio. It is slow going….since I do have other things going on in my life. (Laundry, laundry, laundry). I did take a moment for a quick project. Actually I took a couple of moments. First, I painted my “grain sack”. Later, once it was dry, I sewed and stuffed. Here is the result:
Faux Grain Sack Pin Cushion
The needle “got stuck” several times when I was trying to close the top. I was about to grab the seam ripper, but I realized that it gave it more of an authentic feel. It is MUCH cuter in reality. I’m afraid that I am not much of a photographer.
What do you think??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Decorative Hanging Folders

So I was organizing some files in the studio today. I was wishing that I was not so cheap frugal and had pretty decorative folders to fill my file boxes, but I use A LOT of file folders (both hanging and straight-tab folders). I just cannot justify paying that additional cost. As my morning was going on, I had moved some decorative paper from my work table to my idea line. I also came across some Mod Podge that I had purchased at Wally World a few days ago. I have never decoupaged. Well…perhaps some Elmer glue project from kindergarten, but let’s not count that here. Anyway, I had bought the Mod Podge thinking that perhaps I would try it sometime. You know….one of those “just in case” purchases. When suddenly it hit me: I could try making my own decorative folders with my cheap inexpensive decorative paper from the $ store, the folders that I already have (bought in bulk), and my Mod Podge.
Since I was suppose to be organizing and cleaning, I only took the time to make one. I used the ugliest least attractive paper from the pack, but even it looks MUCH better than the plain hanging folder. Here it is:
Decorative Hanging Folder 1
Now….back to cleaning and organizing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Painted Clothespins

I have been wanting to make some paper-covered clothespins for my idea line. (A wire hung above my sewing table that I clip photos, small fabric samples, drawings, motivational quotes, etc).  Unfortunately, I have been unable to  find any decorative paper with a small-scale print that I like.  So I decided to paint some sample clothespins.
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It was a little more difficult than I anticipated to paint the designs on such a small “canvas”. While they are not perfect, I am pleased with the first attempt. I started to spray them with a sealer, but decided to see how they wear. I have ideas for using them for future projects running through my mind. Magnets. Message boards. Recipe card holders. I love it when small projects get the creative juices flowing. Creating leads to more creating.

What’s in a Name?

I have a room. It is my favorite room in the house, and I claimed it as my own before we moved in a little over a year ago. I had a vision. In this room great things would happen. Art would be made. The sewing machine and I would create wonderful items: aprons, curtains, pillows. Ideas would come to life. This room also has to serve as my office. It houses much of my book collection. Therefore I also envisioned it as a mini library. During our first few weeks here, I named this room the “command center”. After all, this is where I plan the rest of my life. I create school assignments here. I write menu plans and shopping lists. My days are planned in my Day-Timer here. But as my yearly reflection on my life began a few weeks ago (I do this during my birthday month), I realized that very few of my ideas had actually become a reality. That realization has led to a frustrating August as I have contemplated what I needed to change.
First, I stepped back and LOOKED at the room. This is what I saw:
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Yes, my great room had become an unorganized, catch-all. I can blame some of this mess on the fact that the garden exploded a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been drowning in a sea of zucchini, yellow squash, and green beans. However, I realized that much of it is caused by poor planning and organization…terrible use of a great space.
Next, I sat down at my desk (actually a table). As you can see from the picture above, I did not have much clear space on it. Honestly, I could barely move the mouse around. So I rearranged the items that I needed on the desk to make it work better for my needs….specifically creating a writing space. Not perfect, but it now looks like this:
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Not perfect, but it works much better. The rest of the studio is still in the process of transformation. It looks much better than in the before photos, but there are still piles that need sorting and placing. Hopefully by the end of the week it will be ready for its “after” photo shoot.
But in the meantime, did you notice? I renamed the room.  My original vision for this room was one of creativity. In that spirit, I have decided that this room is no longer the “command center”. It is now my studio.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recent Projects for the Kitchen

The past few weeks have been busy getting yellow squash, zucchini, and green beans into the freezer. However, I did manage to sneak in a few quick projects. The following photos took some creative placement, as there are still MANY zucchinis in the kitchen awaiting my attention.

Here are a few dishcloths that I crocheted.
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Here is a photo of one of three slipcovers that I made for the bar stools in my kitchen. The barstools have banana leaf seats and backs. My son has the bad habit of “drumming” with his pencil on the barstool next to him while doing school work. He doesn’t even realize that he is doing it. Unfortunately, my barstools are showing the wear from this abuse. Since they are VERY comfortable (and I don’t know anyone who can repair the banana leaf “caning”), I came up with these to cover the damage already there and to prevent future damage. They are made from canvas dropcloths (yes, you read that right). I painted the monogram on them….much quicker than pulling out the needle and thread. I am thinking of adding a stripe or two, but thought I would live with them for a while first.

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Well, I have to get back to the kitchen. Those zucchinis are not going to get themselves into the freezer.