Archive for February, 2011

Story Boards for the Master

I could go with yellow accents in the master or I could use purple as an accent color.   (The background color is our wall color.)

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Or, we could go with purple.

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Any thoughts?

Bedroom Dilemma

It’s time to focus on decorating our master bedroom.  It was just thrown together with whatever we had on hand.  I plan to keep the curtains (they are fabulous and from Overstock).  I also love the teal pillows on the bed.  So, keeping those.  Keeping all furniture.  But, what to put with the teal as an accent color?   Yellow?  Purple? 

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Our bedroom is 13.5x 19 ft.  It’s long and somewhat narrow.  So, the bed is at one end, which is the expected position, as the reading can lights are above it.  So, a seating area would be great on the other end. 

I’d like to hang a swag light with a barrel shade over each nightstand to add a bit of color and interest in front of the curtains. 

What to do, what to do.  I think I’ll start coming up with story boards.  

Will post those later today!   Stay tuned!

Need Linens?

I am constantly scouring the internet and local stores for great design elements. I love fabrics.  Fabrics and paint can transform a room more than anything else. 

I found the coolest linen store online today, Attiser, and their prices are reasonable!  And… guess what… it’s all handmade.  They use a block printing method.  Let me show you some of the eye candy I found on from this woman-owned shop.  You can just see her artistry in her work.

You know I love teal!   And, how awesomely is the photo styled.

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My newer love is for purple…  I’d love to explore this color in my guest room once I am ready to change it up.  This is perfect for an eclectic room.

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The color on this quilt is such a delightful blush pink.  How cute for a little girl’s room!

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I love these pillow covers.  I wonder if they’d work in my future craft room.

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What a fabulous table cloth.

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Drop by if you haven’t!

Second stop – a purse!

Since the pillows went well, I felt like maybe just maybe I was a natural, or at least on a roll.  Of course, I couldn’t have been more wrong…

But nonetheless, next up in the tutorials was a purse. 

I couldn’t find the pattern that was called for in the tutorial… so I got one that was close to it.

I must add, this pattern wasn’t for just any purse – it was a LINED purse.  Scary.

Here is the pattern that I actually got, so you can see what it should look like when finished.   I was trying to make the top one.

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I purchased all of the necessary items.  Read the pattern, though there were still lots of foreign words.  I cut each piece, which felt painstakingly slow – you have to cut the pattern piece, pin it to the fabric, cut the fabric… for a hundred pieces.  Not really a hundred, but it felt like it.  So, then, I was finally ready to sew.  I had to call my mom about every five minutes for meanings of words and instructions as things like “baste stitch the flap” didn’t quite make sense to a beginner like me.

Though I don’t have photos of me making the purse, here are some after photos.  Feast your eyes on this! 

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Hopefully the image is big enough to see the horrible stitching and imperfections.  Some of the random threads are from me ripping seams and redoing them as I was really guessing on what they wanted me to do with the “facing.” 

Note: the actual strap is the piece of fabric not yet sewn that is laying above the purse. 

Below there is a bit of the lining showing.

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Good news is, you can kind of tell what it is and the lining fits well!  The bad news is:

-  Now the pattern called for corduroy or leather.  I chose velvet.  Velvet is thick.  Very thick.  It’s hard to sew when there are multiple layer being sewn together and then straps on top of that.
- My mom kept hearing me sew on the phone and said you seem to be sewing super-fast, slow down.  I didn’t realize why, but now I do.  My seams aren’t straight.
- I didn’t want to change out the thread in order to “practice” so yeah, it’s ivory and you can see it.  And, therefore you can see how imperfect it is.
- I didn’t mark any of the fabric for where anything should be attached or sewn.  I didn’t even own tracing paper at the time. 
Many lessons learned.  In the end, it got too thick to attach the thingamajig that the strap attaches to…  So, I nixed the strap. 

What I am going to do is see this as a learning experience, realize that this was a fairly difficult project for a second project and… use it to wrap things I get from the flea market this weekend… and make a new purse with new fabric that isn’t velvet!

It’s all about the journey, right?

Starting with Pillows

I decided on my first sewing project… pillows!   After all, that’s the first thing they teach you during home economics class in middle school.  Surely, I can make pillows!

I read up on my sewing machine manual and learned to thread the machine.  I then cut the fabric, which happens to be fabric I bought on clearance the day before, so the expense would be minimal if I made mistakes.  I also happened to have stuffing, (if that is the correct sewing term) for pillows from when I ever so skillfully take fabric to my seamstress so she can make stuff for me. 

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Following this tutorial, I sewed around the edges about 5/8 of an inch in, cut the corners, flipped them over, stuffed them and hand sewed the remaining opening in order to close them up.   Here is what I made so far.  Well, I actually made two of the circle prints.  I bought quarters of cotton for those.

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Note that in the photo above, they are all slightly different sizes.  I didn’t exactly measure.  I’ll have to work on that!  But, not too bad for the first time.  I am actually already using some of them.  I put two on the guest bed:

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Then, I placed another on a chair in the family room.

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Will post about where I placed the black and white one later.

Off to a good start!  But, so much more to learn!

“Sew” Cool…

I may not have been exposed to a lot of interior design growing up, but I was definitely exposed to sewing through my mom.

I’m not talking about a mom who can sew a button on. I’m talking about a mom who made a good portion of our clothing growing up. I’m talking about a mom who didn’t always need a pattern – she could see stuff and make it. She had her sewing machine, which came with the table, in her bedroom and rarely would a weekend pass that my mom didn’t fire it up. She’d pull out her cutting board, which was a trifold that would stretch across the living room floor and begin to cut. I grew up hearing words like pinking shears, on the bias, and with the grain. However, regrettably, even though there was a master seamstress in the house, I never learned to sew myself. I just didn’t think it was “sew” cool like I do now.

So, I find myself learning to sew on my own now. Slowly trudging along with the basics. I have a very basic sewing machine to practice with.

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Last week I walked into a Joann’s clueless and lost. After getting help from other customers, I purchased the basic supplies like scissors (yeah, that’s a must), rotary cutter, cutting mat, thread, needles, and so on.

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I also purchased clearance fabric. I figured that if I mess up, I may as well flush as little money down the drain as possible.

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I have a spare room in my house that I began to turn into a craft/ sewing room. However, the interior designer in me is already concocting design ideas for it and really, I’m having a hard time not wanting to design the room before learning to sew. Must restrain myself.

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Update 8/5/11:  This room has now been transformed.

Interior Design is Pretentious and Overindulgent

The words in the title of this post sound so strange coming from someone who now has her heart go flitter flatter when she sees a beautiful room. But, yep, that is what I used to think alright!

As a little girl, our needs were met but there was little left for anything else. I remember a pair of inexpensive, blue curtains my mom purchased for my room from a dollar store when I was about 14 years old. I was proud of them, but at the same time, I was the child that would not allow my mind to dream of anything bigger, if it involved buying. I respected my parents for what they could do for us and felt it would be inconsiderate to ask for anything more.

Growing up, I loved to do anything that was creative, but the spark for interior design was not yet ignited.

Even as a newlywed, I still did not put much emphasis on home furnishings. Like many new couples, our home was filled with mismatched, hand-me-down furniture and used art…poorly hung at that! I actually looked at design as something pretentious and overindulgent. The truth is, I didn’t feel that I had a right to spend money in that way. I had not yet realized all of the inexpensive ways you can transform a house into a home that reflects your personality.

My first real taste of interior design came when my husband and I bought our first home in Salt Lake City. I became involved in every detail! I fell in love quickly. And, with my discovery of HGTV and a mother-in-law who happens to be in the business, I soaked up as much information as I could, and I still do.

Three homes later, I have discovered so many ways that design can be incorporated and still be only as expensive as you want it to be. I have also seen how it doesn’t have to be pretentious, but can be a physical extension of who you are and speak to what you like to be surrounded by. The creativity behind design brings me a deep satisfaction, with its cosmos of possibilities. Design can be unique and wonderful, just as each of us are uniquely and wonderfully made.

Happy Decorating!