Friday, December 31, 2010

#280..."c" you in the new year

I made this applique "c" pillow as a Christmas gift for a loved one, whose name also happens to start with the letter "c". Here is my tutorial on creating monogram applique pillows, and here is the book that taught me to make perfect pillow welting. 2010 was full of pillow sewing for me. I'm better at it and more consistent than I used to be, which is a good way to end the year. 

To make this "c" pillow, I used a vintage Waverly print, and the same printed linen that I used on my own monogram pillows from the tutorial.

Monday, December 27, 2010

#279...reading list 2010

I majored in English in college, and really enjoy reading. I usually try to read a little each night before bed to wind down. It takes me awhile to get through a novel, as I often read the same page over a few times due to dozing off. Here are the seven books I read this year. I'd love to hear if anyone has reading suggestions for me for 2011.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
While most of us can't visit 3 continents in a quest to find ourselves,
Gilbert manages to make her soul searching adventure relatable.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel
 The ending surprised me, as it turned out to be more of a fable than historical fiction story.
 I've never seen the movie, but think I'll put it on my Netflix que after reading the book.

The Shoe Queen by Anna Davis
I had high hopes for this book, as it is historical, set in Paris, and all about fashion.
However, I struggled to get into it, and could not connect with any of the characters.

Good Faith by Jane Smiley
This book centered around corrupt real estate dealings in the 1980's.
I thought it would be interesting since I dabble in real estate, but it bored me, and I barely finished it.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Set in France, it is the story of how Paris, and one family in particular, was affected by the Nazi invasion.
It is a powerful and moving story, and I am glad to have read it.

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
I love memoirs, and I found this story of an American journalist
and his young family living in Paris witty and insightful.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
This heartwarming yet sad story told from the eyes of the family dog was hard to put down.

Friday, December 24, 2010

#278...French script for the kitchen

I was cleaning up my studio, and was about to toss out a small 6 inch scrap of this French Script fabric leftover from a client project, when I thought maybe I could make something from it. I decided to pair it with some blue ticking, and make a potholder. To go with the potholder, I embellished two waffle weave dishtowels with the ticking, (see how I did it here.).....and now I have a nice gift to give in Tyler's ($10 limit) extended family gift swap.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#277...The Joy of Home

Because I was mostly good this year, for Christmas I bought myself the book THE JOY OF HOME by British designer Naomi Cleaver. It is so much more than a decorating book filled with inspiring pictures, as Cleaver takes readers through the planning, decisions and options for creating a room to love. It is part beautiful picture book, part informative text book. I have a lot more to glean from it, so here are a few cozy couches scanned from the book, that I'd like to curl up on today while reading it.

I really like Cleaver's mix of vintage pieces from various decades, arranged in a modern way. Here is a mid century secretary complete with birch bark lamp and Saarinen stool, which I would not mind sitting at...if I ever get up off the couch.

Monday, December 20, 2010

#276...wool plaid pillows

There is something so quirky and charming about this plaid sofa from Anthropologie. Inspired by the above catalogue picture, I used a few wool plaids from my fabric stash and two wool plaid skirts from the thrift store and sewed up some mis-matched plaid pillows for my own sofa. It's not quite the same effect as the fully plaid couch, but they added some coziness to my room.

Friday, December 17, 2010 wrapping 2010

I collect (read hoard) scraps of wrapping paper, ribbon, and tissue. Over the past few years, my stash has gotten overwhelming, and turned into a heap of what looks like crumpled trash. In an effort to actually work down the heap, I decided not to purchase any gift wrap this season, and use bits from my stash. I wrapped with some raspberry and pink paper (leftover from Valentine's) and a few pieces of silver and snowman paper. I added scraps of pink ribbon, an unused Chinese food box, a leftover felt snowflake from an old Anthropologie box, some striped packing tape, brown craft paper, and an assortment of leftover labels purchased over the past few years.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#274...pants turned purse (part deux)

Remember when I used these thrifted leather pants to make this tote?
Well, the pants yielded enough leather to make handles for another tote.
I made this tote for a client, using this fabric, with recycled leather handles and bottom.
In case you are interested in learning how to sew a tote, I did a brief tutorial here

Monday, December 13, 2010

#273...felt advent tree

My client Sara acquired these little felt magnetic advent calendar pieces from a garage sale. They were missing a number or two, as well as some type of way to display them to count down the days to Christmas.
I made this felt tree with tiny magnets inside of it, for the little characters to hang on

I also made this little felt bird to add to the collection
and here are the felt characters hanging on their new tree

Friday, December 10, 2010 give and to get 2010

these beautiful books found on Black*Eiffel, sold here on Amazon

This set of X-acto knives would be perfect for crafters and artists

this is a great wine saver

how cute is this quirky rabbit ring?

this recyled wooden sign

this 2011 letterpress desk calendar

I heart these clogs

and these hanging planters

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#271...festive pom poms

I had decided to take a break from putting up my Christmas tree this year, but then I saw this fun tutorial on making a felt ball garland by Jordan of Oh Happy Day, and got inspired to do a little pom pom decorating.
Jordan used beautiful felt balls for her garland, but being short of time I decided to go the locally available route, and used colored pom poms sold in packs of 300 from Michaels for about $5.

To make the garland, I used thick embroidery floss and a needle. I tied a knot at the bottom of the thread, and threaded the first pom pom on. Then I tied a knot about 2 inches from the pom pom and threaded the next pom pom. The knots serve as stoppers for the pom poms, keeping them spaced out. Instead of making really long strands, I made 3 ft. sections and then tied them together to make one longer garland.
I bought two small Rosemary plants at Home Depot, and my bag of 300 assorted pom poms yielded me enough garland to wrap both little plants. I also had enough leftover to embellish a wreath with pom poms.

I liked making the garlands so much, that I got carried away and  decided to adorn a Norfolk Island Pine with a white pom pom garland while I was at it. Thus far my cat has left the pom poms alone. I'm crossing my fingers they make it through the season!