Archive for the ‘sewing projects’ Category

I’m almost finished in the Hall and Alcove!

Just some details to wrap up!

Editing pictures to share with you-–thought you might find this particular shot interesting.  It’s the alcove gutted for painting.  No mattress or backboard, no books, no chandelier.  Stripped down to nothin’….and still kinda cOOl!

the stripped down alcove--

The Alcove!


Well, everything’s been painted -some things have been fixed or altered- things are restored now and there’s something new!



But remember this view?

Or the one below?





the alcove

Here’s the addition—drapes for a little privacy!

a little privacy for the alcove--

a little privacy for the alcove--

the linen closet doors finished--

I still need to add a detailed cove at the front and back sides of the dowel-hangers ~to conceal them and give it all a more finished look.

When I couldn’t find any great old lace drapes for the linen closet doors, I pulled this from my stash of fabricsI’d forgotten about it actually.

After using it to finish the doors, I had plenty left to play with!  ; D

~and there’s still more!


the changing ALCOVE


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the kids' rockers---beforeMy bf bought these rockers for her twins.

Now that they’re too big for them, she passed them on to my nephew’s two little girls.

However– they’re gonna  need a makeover.  Enter~ Great Auntie! (sucker!)

To make this big job more affordable I struck a deal with my favorite upholstery-girl Katie, and I spent  the day ---the knock down(literally) knocking down/stripping off the old fabric.  It took almost 4 hours per chair with lots of pain -BLooD- and the enduring memory of the worst knock-down I have EVer done.

I believe I can accurately saythe original upholsterer must have been PAID by the STAPLE—.

A few days ago I took one of the rockers to the fabric store with me to get some assist figuring out how much fabric each chair would require.  And wasn’t sure what I was looking for FOR the fabric yet!  So having the chair there was gREAT!

I found 3 really fab selections, but nothing stood out as the clear choice.  I was encouraged to bring the chair into the store to drape the choices over it—maybe it will help they all said!  So I did.

the 3rd choice of fabric---

At this point I had 2 store employees and 3 other shoppers fully interested in how this would play out!

I laid the 1st and 2nd choices over the chair—everyone agreed they looked….N I C E….


But then I laid out the 3rd choice and the whole area erupted with ooohs and aaaahs!   ~Clearly the winner!!!

Here’s a “taste” of the progress, they’ll be finished tomorrow and delivered to one birthday girl and her little sister!  Can’t wait to show you, but I think you’ll be surprised….

there are two twists to the finish!  ; D


the kids rockers!

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my Pier 1 wicker chairs-- these old high-backed chairs—sO comfy!

–well, maybe they’re not  -OLD-  I bought them at Pier 1 in ’99.

They went from my bedroom patio, directly to storage after my house sold, and they sure don’t look so good–WoW!

So I’m repairing, repainting, and making cushions for them.

*Don’t know if you’re aware that       -Vinyl spray paint-is better for wicker.  IT FLEXES, so to speak.

*The forward chair is already worked over!

You can see I’ve already begun to make repairs to the second.  I decided to use construction adhesive to just re-secure the weavings.

-yrepairing my old  wicker chairs

One down, one to go! 


One down, one to go!

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multi tasking--Spring.  Cleaning.

Multiple family “events.”

Still fighting with that perfect (!@#$%) hall paint color.

~rolling eyes here~

Editing and deleting and more Spring Cleaning….purging gOOd!

Then— u h   o h . . . a M I G R A I N E .

a  M I G R A I N E.The 6th one I’ve ever had.

They. are.


I spent Monday in the lower- level trying to escape A N Y light and noise.  I spent Tuesday in DARK SUNGLASSES- -but I was out of the basement.

This Midwestern atmosphere is beating me up beyond reason–how I miss the Arizona desert.

The DULL headache I still have seems like a relief and I’ve resumed

Spring Cleaning-

-Cleaned out the underwear and sock drawers of all the “had better days” stuff–time for some fresh and new!  Need to go further through the dresser and closet and shoes.  (…when’s the last time YOU did that?)

-Cleaned out the bathroom drawers and cabinets–even cleaning through make-up for old & things not really used . . . Cut-Cut-Cut.

-Got back to some sewing projects.  Made some new satin pillow cases for mom, finished sewing the rest of the 70′s-styled faux fur pillow forms for my spoiled nieces–just have to stuff and hand-stitch them closed.

*I found a King-sized Matlasse coverlet for $10 in a thrift store and got that sterilized washed for use on some future upholstery projects!  That’s a LOT of fabric for $10!

spring projects--

wiring up long stems on the Christmas hydrangeas

AND….I’ve been playing with the Christmas tree hydrangea heads, adding long stems for some future usage!

Yea~it’s not some FABulous project (that I’m anxious to get back to), but it’s whats been going on.

Hope you’re having a better SPRING than “we” are-

-we’ve had two snow storms since “Spring” arrived–  ¦:  


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putting 2013 behind us I’ve been reading a lot of “Year in Review” blog posts…a great look back at some really inspiring projects out there in blogland!

I started thinking about a couple of mine—and was surprised at how many of my own projects I’d forgotten all about!

antq mall display cabinet

So I thought it might be fun to

RE-share them with you too!

But I’m going to start with one from Nov 2012 and something I never thought I’d be doing…TAKING A SPACE IN AN ANTIQUE MALL.  What a surprise–that I did it, that it went so well as to expand in this year, and the many projects it propelled!  Like~ building this new display cabinet from odd parts and its outcome!


~found me constructing a dresser-hutch for my very 1st G-G-nephew Brody.
~Then I finished off another children’s cabinet for my cousin’s little baby girl Emma  before traveling to Atlanta to deliver it AnD take a little birthday getaway!  Woo-hoo!

year in review projects- 2013

In February~

I decided to make several changes in my mother’s master br as a surprise while she took a winter’s rest in Florida with a friend!  It started with a fire place

Mom's surprise!

During the year I worked on a variety of projects, big & small~

my lighting projects- 2013

  1. My vintage White Globe sconces
  2. Princes Aleigha’s lamp
  3. A thrift store lamp and an anaglyptic-covered shade
  4. A lace-y chandelier
  5. A vintage bed lamp re-fashioned

my chalk boards and mirror projects- 2013

  1. the Atlanta trip windows
  2. my auction mirror
  3. making a mirror from cabinet doors
  4. a decoupaged chalkboard
  5. two more decoupaged chalkboards

And there were lots of  miscellaneous projects….

misc projects of 2013

But you all know my very favorite thing is construction!

Hmmm, I guess I make a lot of benches   ; D

my bench projects- 2013

  1. The other half of the 1st Craig’s List dresser
  2. The neighbor’s curbie
  3. A quilted slip-covered curbie!
  4. The ReStore “bench”
  5. Saving history!
  6. The 2nd Craig’s List dresser
  7. The sewing cabinet bench
  8. The Christmas built-in banquette

And furniture~

furniture projects of 2013reviving some curbies, an old camp chair, rattan chair makeovers, a thrift store dresser and bed re-furbished, the farm table, the outdoor china hutch, a 2nd Craig’s List dresser re-do, a decoupaged dresser, a bit more decoupage, re-working a curbie, Grandpa’s rockers, the antq mall armoire,

And of course–charity projects.

charity projects -2013

2 Hall Trees for 2 charities, The Habitat for Humanities Hall Tree and children’s cubbyAnd one more currently in the works for mom’s neighbor who is battling breast cancer, but I haven’t posted on any of it yet.

It felt like I was so busy all year, but it’s only 50′ish projects!

I did leave out a handful or so because I abandoned them (-didn’t like how they were taking shape, but I’ll come back to them…).  There were also many “other projects” that occurred throughout the year not listed above…

like TRAVEL and meeting some of my FAVorite bloggers!

Which you can neVer do enough of!


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the ReStore bed lampI found this ~old~ bed lamp in the ReStore a while back I thought my little princess-niece might like, but she spied something else of mine and–well–she’s my girl!

So this one was up for grabs again and I thought I’d flip it in the antq mall.

I stripped its UuuuG-ly coverings down,

re-faced it in a thick, nubby linen and

then gave it a secondary loose layer from an old scalloped dresser scarf!

Et, voilà!

the ReStore bed lamp redo!


Much more fun~right?!


next. . . .

the ReStore bed lamp redo!

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the greenhouse 2013Luckily, we put the greenhouse up just in time, ’cause the weather has turned c. o. l. d.  Fingers crossed it’s only a quick-little cold snap tormenting us and warmer weather is right behind it.

I still have some cosmetic repairs to make (from last season) and weather-tight the seams with silicone, so I have to laugh at my worry this morning when it was only 40° in there.  ~By lunch it was 102° –I have to cut a new wedge-block to prop up the roof flap to let some of that heat out (can’t seem to find the one from last year anywhere).

Putting up the greenhouse is really physical and my muscles were aching, so I took it easy Sunday.  Since it was rainy and cold anyway, I headed downstairs to sew—and continued sewing all Monday too!

I decided to work through a variety of projects

  • some mending,
  • get a jump on a few of this year’s Christmas stockings made from thrift store sweaters and blazers,
  • a couple more aprons made from men’s shirts,
  • and a bUNch of pillows!

Today I sat hand-stitching several of the pillows closed, and thought I’d share them with you!  I love to use old dresser scarves and doilies, flea market linens, and old clothes and sweaters.

I tend to look at stuff in weird ways…hey~I was an art major!

Yeah~I’m not too big on store-bought pillows. . .

This one was made from a flea market dresser scarf, some linen for the back and an iron-on monogramed appliqué.  *Remember, even the headboard was upholstered in a flea market vintage linen tablecloth.

made from a dresser scarf-I have quite the collection of flea market dresser scarves!  I tend to look for heavily textured fabrics, out of the ordinary designs, AND MONOGRAMS!  However, the one in the center below~again, I added the monogrammed “N.”

more dresser scarves-This picture shows the front and back of the left pillow—a doily applied to linen, and the left-over of a shirt-apron project.  The little knit pillow just behind is made from a heavily embroidered sweater (that I’m mostly cutting up for some of our teen-girl’s Christmas stockings).

froma a doily and old shirt

All of these pillows were stuffed with fiber fill so they can be thrown in the wash as~is!  Otherwise, I prefer to use goose down inserts.  Did you know IKEA sells some pretty decent $7 goose down/blend inserts-?  I’ve only seen two sizes, but they’re pretty nice.

These next are made from well-worn, great old shirts!  The small bolster was made from cut off shirt-sleeves!  I love these for boy’s rooms.  Since I prefer to use goose down inserts, I love to keep and use the button-up fronts to easily remove those inserts before washing.

shirt pillows-And finally–here are 3 of my Shirt~Aprons.  I just think they’re a whole lotta’ FuN!  And they’re really convenient for working the flea market—you know, money, phone, pen, camera (and WaY cuter than a fanny-pack)!

*Makes y’wanna go raid your hubbie’s closet, huh?!?

The 1st one–I used the shirt-sleeve cuffs for the pockets,

the 2nd was a short sleeved shirt, I left the sleeves “intact” for a double/organizer pocket on each side,

and in the 3rd, I used the back shirt tail to make the large-deep pockets.


3 of my Shirt~Aprons!

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"curbies!"Last summer, while I was suppOSED to be getting ready to join family at a lake cottage—I was busy plucking stUFF from someone’s curb! ~member these?!

The trellises were hung in mom’s garden and have deep red and white Mandevilla growing aLL OVer them!    The camp chair was painted and given new coverings with furniture webbing!

See that sad looking stool–??

 ~Its turn has finally come!

- I took off that splintered OSB, square (??) top,

- and cut a ROUND seat from a thick piece of PINE.

can I say it's a FAUX grainsack?!?

- I had some leftover canvas (from making a tee pee tent with the little boys!).  I was trying to figure out this transferring process–with no success~STILL.  *I think I may have the WRONG style printer–to let go of the ink.

You can see how poorly the image transferred, so I camouflaged it with a long soak in some instant coffee!

Can I call it a “fAUX grainsack?!?” ; D

- I made a boxed cushion for a better, “old-styled” fit (cut a circle, sew a band around it -it’s like a slip-cover- thEN staple it underneath).  I thought it would have a better overall look than just wrapping the fabric over the batting-foam-pine!

adding some lace--


- And for an unexpected touch,    I added a section of some vintage-flea market lace before attaching it to the stool!

The open ends remind me of a shirt collar!  *double click the picture to see it better!


Lastly–I cleaned and painted the stool.  I painted the under-inside a chartreuse, and the outside white!  ~I was just looking for the smallest pop of color!

a facelift for the curbie stool!

Again–it was a dUd flea market and hardly anything sold~ including this cutie.  :’ (   So it’s at the antique mall now. . .


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the Craig's list dresser #2

     Yes.  I hAd plans.  They didn’t qUITe work out.

     But I Am back on track, and have finally managed to finish this 2nd Craig’s List dresser.  I was strUggling to find the perfect fabric for the seat.  I had a lOt of  -NicE-  choices, but nOthing looked awesome—and I rEAlly felt like it hAd to look AWEsome!  ; D

So let me back up for just a minute and tell you—when a friend weighed in on this issue of fabric, she also asked if I was

“. . .going to paint the bench–??”

I said “I DiD already!”

“Oh!  It’s that Provençal style!”

Not actually!  But I wanted it to lOOk “auTHENtic!” I wanted it to lOOk completely NATURAL!  Like I was just lucky enough to find something “just as was!”

“Well, yOu DiD it!”

Although it was painted some nasty blue, underneath, it was that yellow-y, splattered finish.

the paint scheme--

You’ll have to take my word for it, it looks sO much mOre fAbulous in person, and I’m tOtally in love with the finish.  I primed the whole piece with a little darker shade of BM’s Revere Pewter, before actually painting it with this longtime, favorite (that I haven’t used in quite a while).  ~It’s a really easy shade of a gray-beige-taupe.  *Note that waxing reduces the gray.

You can see that I painted the drawer fronts, apron, and legs an Alabaster white.  And I used a gold leafing paint to emphasize key areas.  Then I distressed the whole piece, and waxed it clear aNd dark.

the paint scheme--*Another view of the gold leafing, although it IS further along with a finished attached top.

So, back to the fabric choice.  I decided to give up a special fabric I bought at Forsyth Fabrics when I was in Atlanta in January.  I figured I could pick up more next week while I’m back for Haven!

a choice of fabric--

a choice of fabric--

I bought two of these fabric panels to make pillows (in different colors and phrases)—but I hadn’t done it yet.  And it seemed to be the PERFECT choice!  Except that it was square  -for a pillow-  and the bench top was 15″ x 31″.  So I cut off the excess from the top and bottom, and sewed them to the sides!

It barely fit  -but it DiD-  I made it work!  And now it’s heading off to the antique mall for sale!  Ha! I actually like the sewn on sides!


The 2nd Craig's List dresser/reinvented bench!

the new top to the reinvented Craig's list dresser!

I’m sharing this project with~


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Pardon the momentary cry babying~

Shingles.  All I can say is. PAIN. ful.

I must have moved into the rash stage–but since it’s in my hair, and you can’t see it~I’m just guessing.

If THIS IS now a rash—IT ITCHES. LIKE. CRAZY.  But when I acquiesce to scratch it—o-m-g—it burns even worse.  ~I’m ’bout to lose my mind!

~I got a MAjor case of chickenpox the week after my 30th birthday.  I remember how ITCHY they became, but not like this–but it was long ago.

It hurts just to brUsh my hair, but I couldn’t bear the condition of it anymore– so I washed it.  A little comforting in the warm-hot water, but painful to dry/fix it.  And the whole event left me feeling really sick for a couple of days.

I frequently feel like I’ve been “over-indulging in lOts of wine”-kind-of-dizzy.  So it’s hard to focus -or distract myself enough to work on anything fUn.  –So I’ve been working on some no-fun projects instead–ones I’ve been dodging.

~        ~       ~        ~        ~        ~

In all the construction on mom’s home, I took away her attic and created the alcove–which is wAy more fun anyway!

I DiD create storage for her in the lower level.  But as needs have changed, things are getting shifted and shuffled around, and that’s what’s up right now.

*I promise—this is nOt a candidate for Hoarders!

tearing up the lower level to re-organize--yikes!

As her outdoor bar-ware and dish collection has grown HUgely, it got moved into one of those storage closets–but it’s inconvenient being downstairs.

So I’m gathering ideas and sketching designs to build an Outdoor China Hutch that will be placed on the upper dining level deck–right outside the kitchen door, facing the outdoor dining table.  I’ll probably use a combo of barn boards and pallet boards, and line the interior with plexiglass to be water-tight.  But nothing is solid yet, so, we’ll see!

the closet of outdoor dishes

Since I like to sew at mom’s downstairs dining table where there’s more room to spread out on the big table, I have sorted through and organized all of my (well, actually–mOst of my-) fabric in the emptied closet to have at hand.  This is good because, out of sight–out of mind, and I’ve forgotten all about some cool fabrics I had!

Moving the fabrics out of the tubs they were stored in, in her mechanical room, now makes room to better organize the holiday and seasonal decorations.  AND–her kitchenette needs some revisions too—but one thing (hA!) at a time!

It’s like a domino effect. . .     ¦: O


the closet filled with fabrics now!

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