My January project

Yes indeed I have a project planned for January already. December is booked with sewing so January will be furniture. I miss refinishing projects! Thankfully I got a few free gifties (aka donations) this week that'll get me back into sanding, staining, etc.

This cabinet is from someone I work with - they even dropped it off! And threw in the gift of free sanding paper to boot!

I think I just need to do some serious sanding then stain it. The drawers may need a bit of cleaning but the cabinet is in near perfect shape. And all 8 drawers could hold a ton of fabric which is what I think I'll use it for. Then I can 'hide' my current fabric storage - the plastic bins on wheels.

Soon I'll visit Windsor Plywood and scope out new drawer pulls. I'm not a big fan of big, clunky wood pulls. Once the sanding, staining and replacing of drawer pulls is complete, this cabinet will be gorgeous!

The other free items from this week are the pile of sandpaper and then I picked up some sticky back vinyl. I didn't take too much but enough to play with. The vinyl comes from the sign shop at work. I think I'll use it for stenciling. We'll see how it goes but that'll be December/January...

But yes for now I have a bunch of sewing to get done. Here's the pile of Xmas stockings I have on the go... I have 9 in the works. I'm trying to take breaks since sewing for hours and hours and hours can get to be somewhat tedious... :-)

And then my pile of pillow forms grew this week...

I found some circular forms at the Salvation Army for $1/each. I want to use them for doggie pillows. I'm hoping to work through my pile next weekend.

P.S. Thanks to all of my cyber/crafty/thrifty buddies for following me on Facebook and Twitter!


I'm a hack & a cheat

I'm being a teeny tiny bit over-dramatic but really I have no clue about sewing and furniture updating, etc. I'm getting there! That's why I'm a DIY hack... I find something I want to do and I figure out how to do it. Sometimes it works and then sometimes it's a complete disaster!

I'm a cheat because sometimes I cut corners or find an easier way to get the result I want. Case in point - my latest round of Xmas stockings. They are cute!

These were pretty straight-forward to make - I cut, I sewed, I stitched... My cheat was upcycling 2 felt placemats I found at the Good Stuff Connection Thrift Shop for $1/each this week. The red is perfectly Xmas-y. The only glitch was cutting the stockings out since I didn't want to cut through stars and there were some food 'bits' on the felt that I wanted to get rid of.

I cut out the front of my stockings from the placemats. I managed to get 4 from the 2 placemats. Then cut out the back and then the 2 inside pieces.

For the back, I used stitch witchery to seal the inside to the outside. Next I used my trusty sewing machine to sew up the sides of the front and back. I made 3 stockings with a charcoal grey inside and 1 with a green inside. Each inside colour required different thread - I used green for the charcoal grey inside and bright blue for the green inside.

Next I stitched the front and back together using a buttonhole stitch. Now I have 4 Xmas stockings done and will get as many more stockings done this weekend as possible. I have a work craft fair on Wednesday - the pressure is on! :-)

Here they are - the finished stockings...


Anyone up for a craft exchange?

I have a plan in place to help me with my bare walls... Other than eventually painting my blank canvasses, I am on the hunt for kewl crafters to exchange projects with. I have a few people in mind and have a couple ready to exchange. A fun felt applique pillow for a painting maybe or print. Who knows? Could be fun!

Lately I've been collecting items for the walls and some day soon will spend an afternoon hanging them. I have to come up with a plan for mounting these corkboards I got for free ages ago.

I've come across a lot of metal pieces for hanging keys or dish towels. The key hanger I got from Wonderbucks on Commercial Drive for $6.

Here's what I'm assuming is a dish towel hanger. I picked it up at the Salvation Army for $4. It's darn heavy... Funny to think of the mix of items I have. A friend came over for dinner and made some comment about all of the 'antique-y' items I have... I was going for eclectic not 'antique-y' but that'll work. ;-P

I got this mango wood wall mount from the Salvation Army for $5. I added oil to it since it was a bit washed out...

Next I need items with colour. Maybe I'll look into framing these Irish linen tea towels I picked up last spring for $3 each. I love them!

House of Craft Chaos

But before I get too ahead of myself, I have craft chaos to get through. I have pillow forms on my dining room table...

Wool, felt and embroidery floss on my coffee table...

And my organization system is definitely out of whack!

Chaos will reign until mid-December when all of my iPhone sleeves, coffee sleeves, Xmas stockings, pillow covers, etc are complete... Only a few weeks to go then I can relax...


Fabric adventures

It's been AGES since I went to an actual fabric store and bought fabric. I've been either using up my stash or finding funky fabric at thrift shops. But I was on a mission for something specific so it required the big trip downtown to Dressew.

Dressew is a large fabric store in downtown Vancouver. It's the place people go to for Halloween supplies - I went there once around Halloween... I'll never do that again! There was a line up outside. Strange I know to imagine a line up outside a fabric store!

I actually dropped by Button Button on my way to Dressew. It's a mini shop with endless kinds of buttons. Both Button Button and Dressew are time suckers. Those places you can get lost in for hours... Oh and then spend lots of money on stuff you like but really don't need! I did OK today - I only grabbed what I needed and nothing else. But boy was I tempted!

I needed grey wool for a bunch of pillow covers I'll be making for Favourite Unique Gifts and Accessories. I've finished up my iPhone sleeves, started on the coffee sleeves and now want to work on some felt applique pillow covers. I picked up some charcoal grey wool for $14.99/metre and then some lighter grey wool blend for $9.99/metre. I also grabbed a few spools of bright thread for the stitching along the edges.

While I was at Dressew, I noticed they now have Amy Butler fabric. It's was $14.99/metre. I was super tempted but I resisted.

Project Update

I now have 6 iPhone sleeves done. I started on 6 coffee sleeves but I'm not too keen on them so will take a breather and cut out the wool for my pillow covers. I may even whip up some designs in Illustrator.

Here are the other iPhone sleeves...

More Happy, Crafty News

The 3 Xmas dog stockings I finished were scooped up by Bow Wow Haus, a Vancouver dog boutique and daycare. If the stockings do well then hopefully they'll want more and even other doggie-centric items like pillows.

Here's my stocking on the left and all 3 in the store...

Now I need to cut fabric... They'll be tons of fabric cutting in the next few weeks then I'll be taking time off. And maybe even refinishing furniture. I do miss the sanding, painting, updating!


Makes me think of cotton candy

I have 3 iPhone sleeves done all using my turquoise felt and 3 in progress using the charcoal grey felt. I got a little crazy with the turquoise felt! The final sleeves make me think of cotton candy - pink and turquoise with mauve stitching.

I started by putting some designs together in Illustrator...

Then I cut out the felt and added the felt applique designs...

Next I added a back pocket for business cards...

Then I used stitch witchery to iron the outside to the inside. I'm using a black inside for all of the sleeves. After the stitch witchery, I stitched the edges using my sewing machine...

Finally I hand stitched the sides...

Here's iPhone sleeve #2...

And iPhone sleeve #3...

Once the iPhone sleeves are complete, I can work on coffee sleeves or Xmas stockings. This is the pile of stockings I have to work through... Cutting fabric is uber boring. That is one part of the process that is not very inspiring!


Craft friends, thrift store finds & loads of sewing

This weekend has been great for meeting crafty friends, sewing, being creative, etc. I'm starting to connect with like-minded thrifters, crafters and bloggers. Things are getting interesting!

My friend Carol, uber blogger/crafter/photographer, invited me to an invitation only craft fair. It was great! I only bought a couple of things - I picked up some super cute bottlecap fridge magnets from Cynthia F. They are fun! The craft fair definitely gave me some food for thought and I met a couple of neato crafters/thrifters to boot!

After the fair, we went to a couple of thrift shops in North Vancouver. I found this wooden box - it was $1.75.

Sometimes the cheapest, smallest finds are the most inspiring. I love it - I really like the birds! The shape of the birds would be fun to replicate on a felt applique pillow cover. I think I could use bright colours with some crazy stitching. We'll see... That'll be next month or in the new year since I'm jammed with other sewing projects!

I also found this wool for $1.99. I like the colours!

Project Update

I managed to get 3 Xmas stockings done this weekend. Tonight I'll be working on iPhone sleeves.

The stockings are looking good. I was worried the charcoal grey would be too dark but I think they should be fine as long as I add some bright colours either in the felt applique or the stitching along the edges. I have to confess - I love buttonhole stitching! It's pretty darn relaxing... I never thought I would have said that a couple of years ago! :-)

I'm making the stockings bigger than last year. The stocking on the left is from last Xmas. The new size is 5 inches along the top versus 3.5 inches... They'll fit more goodies which is important! Especially when I do the Xmas stockings for people and stuff them with homemade shortbread!


My happy, crafty news

Well I did something a little crazy... Crazier than my usual wackiness. I approached a local store about selling some of my crafts. This was a big step indeed. I thought it would be an easier step than plunging into Etsy. And well they're interested in selling some of my wares! Very exciting!

The store is Favourite Unique Gifts and Accessories and they feature local, handmade items. My stuff will fit in perfectly! I'm going to make iPhone sleeves, coffee sleeves and pillow covers to start then we'll see.

I started designing the iPhone sleeves and hope to have a few done this weekend. I'll make 3 in turquoise then 3 in charcoal grey. Here are some potential designs...

In other craft news, I'm making stuff for my work's Xmas craft fair. I'm making Xmas stockings for dogs and cats... Yup sounds weird, doesn't it? My friend Debbie is making homemade goodies to go in the stockings. I'll be making 6 dog stockings and 6 cat stockings. Then if I have time I'll make a few human stockings stuffed with homemade shortbread.

I have 3 dog stockings in the works - 2 turquoise, 1 charcoal grey. I used my dog bone cookie cutter plus added stars and snowflakes. Once the felt applique was done then I ironed the front to the inside using stitch witchery. I'm using up my free black felt for the inside... I still have TONS of it.

Here are the stockings after the ironing...

Next I set up my sewing machine and sewed the edges. I'm using bright green thread for the turquoise stockings and purple for the charcoal grey.

And now I'm adding the buttonhole stitch - this is how I stitch the front and back together. My sewing machine couldn't handle 4 layers of felt. I could simplify the stockings and not have the black inside but I think they look so much better this way!