Monday, August 2, 2010

How does my garden grow?

You should really need a license to buy/plant flowers, I've decided.  I am a hazard to these things and it's just plain irresponsible of Lowe's or anyone else to trust me with their annuals.  I won't even put up the pics of my poor, sad, BROWN, and drying-up plants.  I'm trying to revive them though.  I guess I just got lazy.  Each day it rained last week, I thought "hey!  now I don't have to water my plants!"  Apparently, this was the wrong thing to think.

Now my garden is something different.  It's a tiny little square foot garden that I started this year.  I built the frame BY MYSELF, filled it with dirt & cow poop, planted stuff, and basically ignored it for a month or so.  It went absolutely nuts!  Yesterday I took down the plastic chicken wire fence I'd put around it, realizing that it was more of a hinderance than a help at this point.  You should have seen it "before."  It was almost stressing me out,  just a huge massive jumble of green.  Cucumber vines everywhere, tomato plants sprawling out all over the really didn't look good.  But at least it was still green.

So here is my garden AFTER cleaning it up a bit (you get no "before" pics today), re-staking the tomatoes and untangling the cucumbers from the poor, bullied pepper plants...

Yes, I took this picture through my window.  I was still in my pj's.  Believe it or not, what you see is a vast improvement!  Oh, and pay no attention to my neighbor's perfectly landscaped, thriving and blooming patio.  It's hard living next to Susie Greenthumb when you're...well, me. 

And just look at what I found, once I was able to see...

Larry the cucumber x 3!  I can't believe my garden actually produced these perfectly beautiful things! 

So I'm pretty excited now that I am starting to get results.  There are a ton of little green tomatoes just waiting to turn red & yellow, and I even saw a baby pepper that looks promising.  My herbs are pathetic this year though.  Oh well.  It's just that I really need some dill for pickles.  And this summer without basil has been a big bummer.  Not to complain.  

So that's my gardening post.  Treasure it; there probably won't be another one!  I would just really rather talk about things like the big box of fabric I just got in the mail, or the a-dor-a-ble dress I just made for Abby...!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

[Oh, what did you do?] Fabric binge

That's a LOST reference.  Desmond, with that crazed look on his face that we all grew to love, says to Jack..."Ohh, whatdidje duu?"  
Sigh.  I miss LOST. 


What did I do?  I spent a bunch of money on fabric today.  It was MY money - haircutting & etc. - so I say go had all kinds of super-really-cute stuff for like, ridiculously Jo-Ann's cheap...(actually cheaper)...$2.49/yard???  And I used a coupon code so it all came out to $2.09/yd.  And free shipping!  I got 19 yards.  I know there are people out there - lots of people - people I aspire to be ONE of, someday - who routinely drop way more than I did on fabric and think nothing of it...and I'm sure 19 yards isn't a major amount of yardage to most sewers (sewists? people who sew?)...but it's a lot to me.  All at once, anyway.  But it was fun to pick out a bunch of different fabrics and just go to town.  I think I got about 14-15 different prints- just a yard or two of each. 

A smattering, if you will...(all images taken from

And I really could go on. 

Oh, and I wasn't even looking for cute fabric; I was looking for something to slipcover a chair with - dark brown cotton duck, to be exact.  But that's another story - one not fraught with so much inner conflict, thank goodness.

Here's the deal: I was going to jump in and start selling my stuff.  People are always telling me that I should; I just didn't really know where to start.  So I thought I'd be a vendor in an upcoming arts & crafts fair.  However, there are no more vendor spots open this year, which is actually a good thing because I really don't need the stress of sewing an entire inventory in 2 months.  But I still want to start.  Somewhere.  Not a clue where, but here we go.  All this fabric cost less than half what the vendor fee would have been, know, it was just a good deal, period.  I don't need to justify it.  So there! 

But enough about fabric, let's talk about me: what the heck am I going to do?  I really, really, love to sew.  And I think my things are just really super cute.  I'm proud of MOST of them!  ha ha.  But you know what?  Have you looked on Etsy?  EVERYTHING on there is super cute.  And EVERYTHING has been done.  And the whole thing is just saturated with the same kind of things that I make.  I'm wondering if that's really a good place to start.  It's like an ocean of people like me, all competing.  I just don't know where else to go or what to do. 

I really want to get this going so that in a year (and thank goodness I have one more year with my little buddy!) when Nolan goes to kindergarten, I don't have to feel the pressure to get a job outside of the house.  I don't want to.  I don't want to have to deal with summer daycare, and after-school daycare and all that stuff.  I like being home and taking care of things here...not to mention I'm a really good cook and my poor family would be deprived and probably have to start eating Hot Pockets just to stay alive and I'd feel so guilty...

OK, I promise I haven't been drinking.  This post is getting a little weird.

What I'm trying to say is, there HAS to be a way to make a decent income doing what I do.  So many other people are doing it.  I am going to figure it out, too. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why I trash-pick

Well, not being one to stay off of bandwagons, I went ahead and re-did a chair last week....I wish I had a "before" pic of the was super ugly and nasty.  When I tore it off, there was all kinds of mold - YUCK!!!  GROSS!!!  Well, here's what I do have:
I sanded it and got my favorite shorts all black and gross.  I didn't realize that would happen.  

Then I wood-glued the little curvy pieces back into place and clamped them down for a while.  

Then I primed & painted...with the only spraypaint I like, which is Rustoleum.  I used the "Painter's Touch" which is supposed to cover 2x the amount of a normal can.  I think it does, too.  It's really nice.  I used Heirloom White, which really is a perfect shade of creamy-off-white-almost-white-but-not-too-stark-white. 

primed.  looks better already!  I swear I think the stuff on it before was car primer or something. 

I went to Jo-Ann's and bought a foam thingy.  I could not believe how expensive the foam by the yard is!  How appalling!!!  So I got a little pre-cut square for $5, which I still think is too much.  Oh well.  I put it on the plywood, wrapped it in batting, then muslin...THEN this awesome Waverly damask that my mom gave me (thanks!!!!)...and here we go.....

What a pretty chair!  
And it was trash-picked...I found it on the side of the road...and I have 4 more down in my basement.
This one is going to be my new sewing chair.  I'm doing a big furniture switcheroo in my living room...soon.  I'm saving up for a nice couch.  One that does NOT look like it's been trampled by a herd of circus elephants.  Preferably leather, if I live that long.  But that's another story for a different the meantime, admire my chair!  Admire it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My crafty June recap

Just because I haven't been blogging, doesn't mean I haven't been doing stuff...lots of it!

I've been knitting...

(wait till you see what this is going to be!!!)

I've been sewing...


and messing up...
arrrr!  so annoying.  it's back to all white now.  I need to just suck it up and get vinyl.


coasters that Greg didn't want to actually use as coasters

coasters we use

Can you tell which one is "real?"  Actually, so can I.  But it's pretty darn close!  Note to self: don't put water in the jar.  Lesson learned.

And yard sale-ing, much to the dismay of my kids...but I don't care because...
A few things about this photo:
1. 3 out of the 4 objects here have been thrifted or yard-saled.  Toot-toot!
2. One little kid I know has been messing with my camera settings.  But I prayed this morning that I wouldn't be grumpy or have a bad attitude with the kids.  So I will let it go...and gently remind him/her that Mommy's camera is not a toy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

backpack #2

This one is Abby's.  She came downstairs wearing it - I guess she likes it!  :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Frumpalump no more: T-shirt refashion

Everyone else is doing it!  I thought I might as well give it a try too...I cut up one of my t-shirts and made it into something cute!

Inspired by this little girl's stained-shirt-turned-adorable-shrug, I ran upstairs and grabbed this from the recesses of my dresser drawer:
Boring, frumpy, boxy.  I can't even wear this thing anymore without feeling 15 years older than I really am.  Speaking of which, let's not talk about that. 

So, some cutting, sewing, ruffling, tweaking....I think the hardest part of this was trying to get a picture of myself in the mirror.  How in the world do people do that? 
the Brassy Apple sleeves...she is so awesome

And whoever out there shared the secret of making ruffles without a ruffling foot...I don't remember where I read that, but THANK YOU whoever you are!  Turn the tension up all the way, make the stitch length as long as possible, and there's your ruffle.  That is just pure gold! 

I still don't care for sewing knits.  But I could get used to it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mailbox redo

I did this last summer...but it bears repeating.  I think.

Started with this sad, old, rusty mailbox.  Not cute at all.  And yet I'd coexisted with it for the better part of 8 years. 

I hated to be unpatriotic, but I pried the eagle off, then got the rust off with steel wool (yuck!), spraypainted it, and...

ordered one of those vinyl transfer thingies. It occurs to me now that maybe our address would have been something to put on there, but oh well. ;) Isn't that prettier? :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

How many times can I use the phrase "super cute?"

Oh my, how I love this bag.  I am going to need to make, like, a bunch more.  Starting with one for my own super-cute 6 year old.

It's kind of a composite from a couple of different super-cute tutorials, plus a little of my own tweaking.  I made it for a friend's daughter, who is super-adorable (that counts), turning 5, and loves zebra print.  Unfortunately for me, the only zebra print I have in my stash is this slippery stuff that frays like crazy and is really hard to work with.  But I made it work.  Not having a serger, I did a zigzag down each inside seam to "finish" it and keep the fraying at bay.  I hope that works!  It's lined with the slippery zebra fabric, and the super-cute outer fabric, which I totally love, was a remnant from Jo-Ann's.  Gotta love the remnant bin! I really wanted that stripey thing to be a ruffle, but I cannot explain how much of a pain that fabric was.  I didn't want to turn this into a bigger project that it needed to I bagged it.  (Sorry!  My new favorite joke.  Yes, I know it's not that funny.) But in the end, I actually really like the juxtaposition (big word) of the cotton & the silky fabrics.  And I love the contrast of the colors - super-cute!

Doesn't it look great with my cat?  I think she needs one like this. 

entered in...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teacher gifts

Just really quick because it's 8:22 and I have to still get dressed and take Nollie to his last day of preschool - in 20 minutes - but I'm excited about his teachers' gifts this year!

Simple canvas tote bags - I think they will like them!  I wish I'd used a pattern instead of the denim, but oh well. 

I really love the green paisley one!  They could both (esp. the denim one) use a ruffle or trim of some kind, but I was up tooooooooo late doing these things, and decided to bag it.  (ha ha!  pun intended!)  The biggest challenge of this project was trying to find a place to photograph the bags that didn't show a whole bunch of mess in the background.  NOT that I'm a messy person, but we're getting ready for a yard sale tomorrow and the whole place is torn apart...will put it back together today. 

But back to the bags.  I used Wonder Under for the appliques.  I hope it holds.  I hope I wasn't supposed to sew it.  I just didn't have time, or the will to stay up any later.  Now I'm kicking myself...maybe I should have.  SIGH.  Oh well. 

Maybe I can quick get dressed and quick sew around these birdies...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making me happy!

Things that are making me happy this week:

1. I'm done with my May "Sew 12" quota.  (Not that I feel the need to stop or anything, I'm just saying)  And it feels goooooood.  I got some more stuff today that I have in mind for sewing projects.  I found 100 yds of cord (to make cording) for 1.99.  Happy!!!

2. My purple clematis - finally it's looking the way I've always wanted it to look!  I've had it for 4-5 years, and it's always looked scraggly and sad.  Until now!  I can't be sure, but I think the coffee grounds I put around it have made a difference.  
3. My lemon balm.  Not a clue what to do with it, but it looks so full and healthy, giving the illusion of being well cared for by someone with a green thumb (same can go for #2)
 4. ooooh yeah, baby, here I come...
5. This little guy gives me hugs & kisses several times a day
6. I found this for $3.88 on clearance...WOW does it look nice on the wall!  Makes me want to go back and get more of them for other rooms...
7. Possibly my favorite coffee ever.  I do realize that I'm really spoiled!!!  I don't take it for granted!

And here are just a couple of things that are NOT making me very happy.
 *Sigh.*  I have to go.