Sunday, October 25, 2009

Color in the Bedroom!

I am very excited about this project. It has been a long time coming.

We have lived in our house for 7 years now, and our bedroom has been too blue and boring for 5 of those years (well, it was boring before that too, except it was white then, which was even worse). Finally, it's beginning to take shape and show some "life"!

We had guests coming in town this weekend (staying in our bedroom), and so I used that as my incentive to get a new duvet done that has been in the works for over a year and a half now.

Incase you didn't already know that I love natural fibers...well, now you do! I love linen and cotton, wool, silk, get the idea! So, for our duvet, I had bought some chocolate brown linen on sale over a year and a half ago. I wasn't quite sure how it would all come together, but that's ok...I like it when a project takes on a "life" of it's own and becomes something even better than I had originally planned. That was how this was.

My anniversary present for this past year was fabric. 28 yards of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line to be exact. Before that even though, I had bought 3 yards of another of Anna Maria Horners fabrics (are you catching a theme here?!), from her Garden Party line to use w/ the chocolate brown linen (Navy Centerpiece). Well, as I had all the Centerpiece fabric laid out down the center of the duvet, I realized it was too much. While I love the fabric, I didn't like it in a 2 and a half yard strip going down the center of the duvet. A dear friend happened to be staying w/ us from NY, and she helped me figure out a plan to break up the long strip. The result is better than I had hoped for! For the reverse, I had originally planned on a solid chocolate brown linen. But I found I didn't have enough yardage, and even piecing it together would not create enough to match the front side. So, here's where the anniversary fabric came into play. I decided to piece together some prints from the Good Folks line to form a center for the reverse, then do a wide border in the linen ( I still had to piece the linen). This turned out to be quite the task. Since this is a duvet and not a quilt, there wouldn't be any quilt stitching to reinforce the pieces, and I didn't want to take any chances of a seam popping open while a fun-loving toddler is jumping on the bed. So, each and every seam is triple reinforced (stitched, serged, then flat-felled). And believe me, w/ both the front and reverse being pieced, that creates ALOT of seams! This thing has been my "baby" for 3 weeks now! I am so happy that it is finally done, and best of all, it's one of my favorite projects ever...and now I get to snuggle under it every night this winter!

Here's the "before" of our bedroom. Boring as can be. Plus the curtains are a tad too long and they drive me NUTS!!! This is the old duvet we've been using for the past 8 was starting to get holes in it! In the summer, we have been using a blue matalesse coverlet (the same shade as the walls and curtains almost. BORING!)

Now, here's the duvet. The "front":

Now the "back". I really don't know which side I like best...I love them both equally.

The other part of my (rather long winded) story, is that I have wanted a headboard for our entire marriage (9 and a half years). Since we had guests coming this weekend, and a new duvet, I really wanted one. Here's the cheapest, easiest, most "bang-for-your-buck" headboard I have ever seen! Really, when you hear how simple it was and how're gonna want to try it for yourself! I hope you do! This technique (NOT my idea, by the way! I read it in a decorating book years ago, and then later researched it online a bit and found more instructions) is SO COOL! It was even NO SEW!

Here you go: the headboard.

All it is is fabric and liquid starch. Really. Oh, well I did use iron-on hem tape to hem the edges first, but it's totally no-sew! AND...the bottle of liquid starch only cost $1.58. Yep, that's right, and it didn't even take the whole bottle to do this headboard. Maybe half.

My list of reasons why this starch and fabric wall adornment idea is so cool:

1.It's cheap

2.It's easy. (really, it took less than 10 minutes to get this up on the wall. A bit of time was spent ironing on the fusible hem tape, but that was it!)

3.It leaves no marks on the wall when you take it down. (I tried a sample first, and it's's totally safe for walls! If you rent, and are not allowed to paint...this project is for you!!)

4.You can even re-use the fabric when you decide to take it down off the wall, just wash it!

5. You can't mess up this's so easy to fix any "mistakes". want to try it too, now don't you? If any one is interested, I could briefly outline how I did it ( I did it a bit different than the instructions I had seen online had said). Just let me know. I now have lots of plans for this technique all over my house! No more boring walls for me!

While I was at it, I decided to make a set of linen pillowcases, trimmed in a medly of Good Folks fabrics. And since I have a special fondness for travel size pillows (I sleep w/ mine every night), I made a matching travel pillowcase size as well!

If you've read this entire post...I am truly amazed! I know I am a bit wordy in my descriptions of projects, but this is my craft diary, so to speak, and I like details. I hope that I may help inspire other crafters, just as I have been inspired by so many others out there! Thanks for letting me share!

~Ruth Elizabeth

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Night Fabric Bracelets!

My two daughters (6 and 4 yrs) have been bugging me to sew with them for a while now. It's been months since I've done any sewing w/ them so it was time.

Since we didn't have much time tonight, we decided on fun, fabric bracelets. They picked the fabrics from my scrap bin, and I helped out at the machine (they sat on my lap and guided the fabric, pulled out pins, while I operated the pedal).

Here's the result...two pretty bracelets, and two happy girls!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Circle Skirts for Everyone!

These skirts are all kinds of fun! They spin marvelously, and are simple to make! My girls' love them, and so do I (I'm really just a grown-up girly-girl!)

They are full circle skirts with a yoke. The first two I made did not have a drawstring in the front, but the second three I made do have them. All the backs are elasticized for easy on/off. The hem is roll-hem serged, which I think helps give them movement also.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More pics of my sewing space...

Here's a few more pics of the sewing space. It's not done yet, but the furniture (albeit a chair) is all in. The organization is what's next! I just need some time to get it all done!

So, here's a salvaged metal cabinet that used to belong to my grandmother. It held all her cake decorating supplies. It was a plain dingy white before, but got a super fun make-over with some fabulous blue latex paint and poly-acrylic top-coat. This cabinet holds a ton!! It's great for hiding the not-so-pretty crafting tools! Oh, and the best part is...I can use magnets on the cabinet!!

And "after"...

Anyhow, I need to run. I don't have as much time as I thought I did to post more. I'll be back later!

Thanks for looking!

...Ruth Elizabeth

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sleep or Sew...

The age old question for sleep or to sew. I realized today that the answer depends on the time of day it is.

Let's say for example that it is 1 pm. I have just put my "baby" to bed (he's not such a baby anymore!), my 4 year old is playing quietly by herself, and the oldest is in school. What do I do? Sleep (well, sort-of...half sleep, half keep an eye on 4 year old), or sew? Sleep of course!!!

Now, all kiddos are in bed, let's say it's after 11 pm. Sleep or sew? Sew, of course!!!

It's silly, but my brain just functions better at night. I love to sleep during the day, and have the night to myself. Of course, this schedule doesn't always work so well for a mother of three! So, tonight, I'm going to bed! Good night!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Sneak Peak at My New Sewing Space...

I love fabric. I love to sew up the creations in my head. This is why I really needed my own dedicated sewing space. Yes, I had one before, but it was shared w/ my hubby's ugly, unused (stuff collecting), office furniture. There were the hideous hand-me-down unmatched bookcases holding my fabrics and supplies. Everything was piled everywhere with no rhyme or reason because there was no proper place for everything, I had outgrown my containers, bins, drawers...I felt like "A Fish Out of Water" (one of my favorite childhood books!).

So, I made plans. Big plans for improvement. The kind of plans that include large shopping trips to Ikea, and many hours of my dear hubby assembling swedish furniture. I had it all measured out, planned, pages marked, prices estimated. It was all shattered when my Hubby and I decided it would be to the benefit of the whole family if he could convince his boss(es) to allow him to work a 32 hour work-week. They agreed to it. Great! But that means my dreams of a whole new Ikea based sewing studio just flew through the window. Back to the drawing board, as they say.

It took a while for the plans to shift gears in my head. But eventually, I figured out a way to reorganize and fabulize (not really a word, I know!) my sewing room, using almost completely what we already had. It's a hodge-podge of furniture, to say the least, but with some creativity and lots of sanding, staining, painting, decoupaging, and sewing later, it's getting there!

...And the best part is...the ugly office furniture and the mis-matched bookcases are not a part of it anymore! THOSE pieces really DID have to go!

So, here's what's done so far...

Here's the "before" shot of the top of the main cabinet in the space...the bottom was just like this, only with solid doors. Pretty heavy and dark looking, as you can tell!

Now, here's the same! It houses all my quilting weight cotton prints, and shows them beautifully, I think! Under the skirt is hiding all my odds and ends books, magazines, sketch pads, extra pics of the kids (there's a million! I should be scrapbooking majorly to catch up!), and yes, even freezer paper!! (for that freezer paper stenciling project I never have gotten around to yet!)

On either side of the big white china cabinet, are two shelving units. Yes, they are from Ikea, but we already had them! They were in use in the girls' room, but I swapped them an antique dresser from my old sewing area, so that these could get a face-lift and help store all my "other" fabrics (well, some of them, anyways!) They were not pink leopard print when they were in the girls' room. But, thanks to some fabulous wrapping paper at Target and some hand-dyed cotton candy colored muslin, now they have a whole new life!

Well, this has certainly been my longest post so far, but I'll keep updating as more progress is made in the studio..
~Ruth Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Candy-colored fabrics...

To say that I LOVE sewing, would be a mistake. While I do enjoy the creative process and even sewing itself, it's FABRIC that I have a true love for! The colors, the texture, the way it drapes, the ability to mold it into anything at just boggles my mind!

I sometimes dream of having yards and yards of white linen. It would not stay white, of course! (at least not most of it!) I would dye lengths of it in rich, vibrant candy-colors, then neatly fold them and place each piece on the shelf to be admired, and eventually used (maybe!). Ahh, one can dream!

It has occurred to me though, that even if I am not able to procure a 20 yard bolt of white linen for myself, a more affordable option would be white muslin. Of course, not every project would be suited to thin muslin, but the candy-colors would shine brilliantly through this medium as well! (I can also envision lovely little girls skirts in swathes and layers of lovely muslin...or womens skirts...)

Am I alone in this dream? I think perhaps not! There is another blog I like to check in on I heart linen is it's name, and the author of the blog is someone who I can sympathize with on the whole loving linen thing!

So, muslin may have to be my "poor womans' linen" for now, but I can dream, can't I?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A New Beginning For Me...

 This is me, as a toddler! Not much has changed...I still get myself into "pickles"!

If only I knew where to start. My brain seems to work non-stop. I feel like I can hardly keep up with it, let alone keep up with the rest of my life. I need a place to document my crafty/ sewing related ramblings, and so this blog has come into existence. I certainly don't expect anyone to really read it, but it's here for me, at any rate. This is kind of exciting!