Friday, July 30, 2010

And Now for Something I Made

Although there have been few posts lately about things I've made, there has still been making going on. Most particularly, I made curtains (granted, they are more simple than roman shades but they're still curtains) for my kitchen window. Which is a very good thing because washing dishes at this sink when it is dark outside and all you can see are the ghostly white seed pods floating in space is not a fun experience. Now I'll be able to look at pleasant curtains instead!

I used Lena's book, Printing by Hand, for the basics on freezer paper stenciling (like which side to iron to the fabric and what kind of ink to buy) and then just had a fun time with the printing.

It was all as simple as the book makes it sound and her directions were super-easy to follow. The pattern is my own sketch, traced and repeated onto the freezer paper.

very before

after painting, before curtains


As an added bonus, I now feel more confident to work on one of my proposed Alabama Chanin projects, having I've stenciled on fabric.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Most of the reason I was so busy over the last week was because I had a visit from my grandparents and aunt. Which was very fun, of course, but busy as well. So the blog languished. But the house did not!

I am super-lucky to have a mother and a grandmother who not only are able but also willing to make roman shades for my very own craft room (I can't tell you how excited I am to have a craft room after my craft bay window for the past 4 years in Brooklyn). And this is no ordinary room. It is a sun porch so it has 5 windows. And I wanted to use in the curtains some lovely vintage French fabric I'd had on my ebay watch list for approximately 2 years. And I have a grandfather willing to help me string the said curtains and hang them in the windows. Now my craft room is infinitely brighter and nicer looking. As you can see from the "before" photo below.

All that's left to do is to paint the panelling!


After (this is the window on the right in the photo above)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the Jungle

Wow, the last week really got away from me quickly. But an upside is that I have a lot of things to share here now! Most immediate is a garden update since it's started growing like crazy and will look so different tomorrow that if I don't post these photos now they'll be totally irrelevant!

The corn is starting to look kind of like corn.

Cucumbers for pickling (I didn't realize cucumber plants had such huge leaves!)

Watermelon vine. Another branch of this vine is growing along the ground in between the edges of the raised bed and the woodchuck-deterring fence. I don't know how it's going to do out there but I figure I'll try leaving it and growing this bit up the vine and see which does better.

I'm doing a Square Foot Garden this year. Now that my garden has turned into an impenetrable jungle (I pulled about 2 dozen string beans off of those buxhes in the foreground while bending across the garden border, around a corn plant, and under my rampant roma tomato), I'm thinking I need to set about planning more carefully next year. Like watching out for placing plants with lots of small things to pick behind tall plants with only a few things to pick. I can't even see my carrot plants any longer. At least I got the parsley right -- it's growing more crazily than anything else but it's on the edge of the bed so it's only trying to crowd out the dill! Live and learn (I knew my first garden wouldn't be perfect but I have to keep telling myself that just the same).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Positive Woodchuck-ness

Since I've had groundhogs/woodchucks on the brain for the past few weeks, when my friend asked me to participate in an art festival that he was setting up and to bring some knitting to sell if I wanted to, the first thing that came to mind was to knit a woodchuck based on all of my observation of Phil.

Patrick made the silly sign for me (in case you can't read it, it claims that these particular Groundhogs are 100% safe for your garden).

I'm thinking I'll write the pattern up in the next few days, especially if anyone is interested, but for now I just have photos of the little guys and the great fair held on Saturday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Junk Sales!

It's been so long since I've lived in a place where there are actually inexpensive flea markets / garage sales / random little ladies selling sewing supplies out of their garages, that it's about my favorite thing about this summer so far. I've not bought a whole lot but, to me, I found some treasures.

I love the little embroidery of the barn especially. There was one like it at a store in Brooklyn but it was already embroidered and they wouldn't sell it so it was great fun to finally get a little barn embroidery and to get to work it myself!

In case you can't tell those dogs are cross-stitch patterns. They're in a crazy embroidery manual from 1967 which is fun to look at but I will actually stitch some of those dogs.

We're using the big old crock as a compost cannister. It's too bad that it doesn't still have its handle but I think it's cool anyway.

And all of this is not to mention all of the good stuff left behind in our house (most of the things left behind were horrible, like piles of Reader's Digest Magazines from 1994 and a very very old hospital bed). But that's for another post.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Da Da Dum!

As requested by Anna, what follows are photos of our bathroom. If you are faint of heart, you should click away now. Anna had no way of knowing, when I posted a comment about the loveliness of our bathroom the other day that I was being extremely sarcastic. But, as she requested the photos, photos you all shall have. It is sheer horror. Pepto Bismol pink, all the way to the very top (the ceiling is pink too), with a faux-marble, gold-veined wainscoting, and with gold linoleum on the floor. And, not only all of that, but the room is long and narrow, accentuated by the ridiculously large linen closet running along one side (the bifold doors on the right side of the first two photos is the closet) and the shower running the length of the room (on the short side of the ceiling slope, no less). Enjoy!

With all of that said, I do actually like the shelf/towel bar in the last photo which "came with" the house. It is pink (of course) but with some navy spray paint, it is one of the few things (other than the shaving brushes and my fabric window in the second-to-last photo) which figure into my visions of my new bathroom (taken straight from What Lies Beneath, of all places!)

P.S. In case you're wondering, I seem somehow, like an old movie, to have edited the toilet out of the room. But there is one! It's next to the sink (cabinet on the left in photo 3) and under both the window and this little shelf/towel bar -- and somewhat inaccesible as that radiator in photo 4 is immediately in front of it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Great Year

Yes, it's true that my birthday was about 2 weeks ago now. But it's also true that there's been a major holiday, a heat wave, and a visit from my parents since then. And that my gifts from Patrick were delayed in the mail and didn't make it to my house until Saturday. So, even though it is rather late, I give you my "thank you" birthday post!

This photo of my gifts wrapped is a little silly but I have to mention that my two friends who have very very definite styles wrapped these two gifts for me. I didn't realize until I got home that they're both done very much in my style but not at all in either of theirs. It was very thoughtful of them! They both also, independent of one another, bought gifts for me from one of my favorite stores. How well do they know me??

I also have here a hand-goccoed birthday card, photostrips from a favorite restaurant, and several very inspiring books from a generous mother-in-law.

Patrick found out that two of my favorites were putting out new albums right around my birthday. And who couldn't be completely excited upon hearing about either of these strange concepts? I'm especially having trouble turning off the Ben Folds album. There are so many crazy little things going on with it!

I've already posted about the wonderful kitchen faucet from my parents (my aunt tells me that getting a kitchen faucet as a birthday gift makes me officially and "adult").

And then, to put it all completely over-the-top, my friend the antique dealer gave me a sofa! I was certainly quite the lucky one this year. It's been a good one! Thanks everyone (and to all of my facebook friends for all of the lovely well-wishes).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Doll Quilts

I am so very excited to be a part of Doll Quilt Swap 9. When I read about it on the Fat Quarterly blog, I didn't know that I would have to actually apply and be accepted. But as soon as I found out I crossed all of my fingers and feel so lucky to have been accepted. I also had no idea that the "secret partner" aspect of it would be quite so much fun. Every time I log on to flickr I can't wait to see what new quilts are in the pool and to try to guess which might be mine. Here are a few of my favorites so far.

This quilt is the one I'm working on for my swap partner. She has a lot of white space, aqua, and red in her inspiration mosaic so I'm hoping that this is her kind of thing. It will have a sailboat appliqued to the top portion (she suggested that she'd like a nautical theme) and then the top will be complete.

Further in the spirit of Doll-Quilt-Palooza, I couldn't be expected not to notice the quilts on antique expeditions. This is the only one I've bought so far. It isn't acutally quilted, seems to have polyester batting inside, and looks to me to be from the eighties, but I love the fabrics and colors.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yard Sale Wrap Skirt

I started this skirt from Weekend Sewing last summer but then got very lazy when it came to doing the hand-stitching on the hem. There wasn't a problem with the pattern or anything. It was fantastic and easy-to-follow. I just don't really like making clothing (I think this is the first piece I've ever actually finished) and was lazy about it. The skirt languished until Sunday, when I wanted to wear it to the Fourth of July Party. Then I spent the entire time while Patrick was baking cookies to take to the party hemming the skirt. I'm glad to have finally finished it!

Bonus photo of the tasty cookies! They're from my favorite recipe in my Once Upon a Tart cookbook (I love that cafe -- too bad that Purl isn't next door to it any more).

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Great July 4th

I hope that those of you who celebrated yesterday had a great time. We definitely did. Even though it's our first year here, we've been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people, some of whom invited us to a party out at their house. They have a pond where we were able to swin, bunnies we petted, a gorgeous house we hung out around, and a field where there was a fireworks display.

I was always sad on July 4th in Brooklyn because we couldn't really find a place from which to see the fireworks without being in the middle of crowds and crowds of people and we'd had a nice, quiet 4th of July tradition in Oklahoma that I missed.

This was a promising start for the holiday here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hallway Update

As promised, I have a few photos of the completed hallway redo/cleanup. It's now kind of a gallery but I don't think that we can get away with calling it that. It'll just continue to be the hallway.


That last one is really from inside the study looking back at the hallway (and no, you don't have triple-vision -- there really are that many doors in that corner!) but I think it best captures the corner where the shelf is now. The window on the hall landing is just blocked by the doorway on the right in this last photo. Hope that helps to orient you!

After: (I have to apologize for the darkness of these photos -- it looks better without the flash but it is a fairly dark hallway, with its one window shaded by the One Big Tree)

(this one is looking back into that door that the last "before" photo was taken through)

(How do you like that glimpse of the Pepto-Bismol Bathroom there at the top? I assure you that the decoration of that bathroom is the reason we bought the house.)

We removed the odd bits of furniture left behind and the excess handrails (the ones mounted to the walls), patched all of the cracks in the plaster (mostly occuring around the said handrails), painted everything light sage green, and hung most of our large collection of family photos/memorabilia. You might recognize some of the pictures from our apartment. They are large and difficult to move but they'd be the things we'd grab, were there a fire and we could only take a few things.