Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toile Tea Towels

A couple of months ago—at least—I bought some toile print fabric at Wal-Mart. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted to do with it: make tea towels. Am I ever glad that it became one of those projects that kept getting pushed back because of more urgent matters. I had originally planned on just making plain ol’ square corners; but thanks to my new sewing book (see yesterday’s post), I can now make mitered corners….
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So much nicer, more professional looking. How I wish I had taken the time (and had the resource) to learn this years ago. Ohhh, the problems I could have prevented on so many of my projects.
Here’s some more views of the ones that I finished today (minus the one that I’ve already managed to get dirty…don’t ask). Tractors and Blog 025 Tractors and Blog 023 
I’m going to make a few more for myself to practice my skills; then I’m going to make some for gifts and my future etsy shop.

***OOPS! My sincerest apologies to Cathy over at live well, laugh often, love much . I joined her Christmas Countdown Players and forgot to share her links. Go on over to Cathy's blog and check it out. She has a lot of neat stuff over there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inspiration to Reality

About two months ago I bought a piece of burlap. I had no specific plans for it. I just liked the rustic look of the fabric. I knew in time it would tell me what it wanted to be. I brought it home and washed it (yes, I washed burlap), folded it neatly and placed it on a shelf with other fabric. I happened to place it next to a floral print that was left from a skirt I made my daughter YEARS ago. I instantly LOVED the two together. Little did I expect inspiration to hit so quickly….I was already planning on making some tote bags (mainly to replace those not-so-attractive ones that I use at the grocery store), and it hit me: a burlap tote lined with the floral print. Yesterday--- FINALLY--- I was able to bring the vision in my mind to reality.
Reversible ToteReversible Tote 2
I actually made it reversible, but I love the burlap side out the best. I also made my first ever fabric rose…not too bad for my first. I think the rose just gives it a little extra beauty.
As a side note: I am a self-taught sewer. Often it is hit-and-miss with my sewing projects. I have for years had a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine. Recently I saw a book, Stitch By Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time by Deborah Moebes. I decided to buy it, hoping to learn the “right” way to do a few things that I struggle with. So far I am loving this book. It is perfect for beginning sewers and for those like me…wanting to improve their skills. It even comes with a cd-ROM with patterns for some of the projects, stitch guides, appliqué designs and more….but honestly I have so loved this book, I haven’t even slipped the disk into my computer—forgot it was even tucked away in the back. Think I’ll go check it out now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One step forward….

Well…what can I say? Organizing the studio has not been quite the easy, few day task that I had imagined. Yes. It is one step forward and two steps back. It seems like no matter how much I move and rearrange my items, I still am unable to find the space that I need. I finally conceded and took a few storage tubs full of fabric to a “spare” room upstairs.  I was avoiding that due to the “out of sight, out of mind” disease that I seem to have. Just when I was starting to gain steam, these showed up:
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That would be my new “toys”, a Cricut Expressions cutting machine and Your Story book binder. Of course, I had to stop everything, unpack the boxes, and play. I am not a scrapbook person (which leads several of my friends to think there MUST be something wrong with me). I wanted the Cricut to do some home decor projects, and the Your Story was a bonus item. However, while it is not its intended purpose, I have already used the Your Story to rebind some of my paperback books that had loose pages. I did not buy the materials that I needed to make the projects that I intend to make with the Cricut, because I wanted to master the machine using paper first. Now I’m wishing that I had ordered everything when I ordered the machine. The Cricut Expressions is VERY user friendly, and I’m ready to start creating. I’m going to wait until I have the studio organized though. Hopefully, it will help motivate me to get it done.
Here are some pictures of one area of the room that I THINK is finished:
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Same build-in as above. Behind the closed doors (that you can see in the first picture) are my paints, glues, and similar items. I have my office supplies in the opposite cabinet. These fabrics are the ones I plan on using in the near future. My design and crafting books are to the left of the fabric. My Bible Study and Inspirational books are to the right, a little something to keep me focused on why I am trying to get things organized. This is my Proverbs 31 project: develop a small, home business  for additional household income (NOT for the basics…that is hubby’s job) and for resources to help me extend my hand to the poor. The vision is still developing. :-)
I do have a few “sampler” projects in the works. Here is one (plus a few items that haven’t found a home yet):
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And here are some materials that I hope to repurpose in the future:
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I have ideas for everything EXCEPT the soybean sack. I have it hanging near my desk, hoping that it speaks to me and tells me what it wants to be. A friend brought it to me from an antiques fair. If it doesn’t speak soon, I’m going to have to move it…can’t have it fading in the sun.
Check back soon. Hopefully there will be progress.

Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.  Proverbs 24:27 (Amplified)