Friday, March 30, 2012

Etsy Crush: Spring Things

I love the spring because it's the one time I really let myself be sweet, sappy and overly-romantic! Here's a few things I spotted on Etsy lately that got me in the Spring mood:

This Spring bunting has been upcycled from the 1906 book, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, which was written by Edith Holden and depicts in paintings the flora and fauna of the English countryside.

These small vintage lockets are hand painted with tiny pictures and fold up into a gold ball pendant. The pictures themselves are the same diameter as a dime!

Sold from Dublin, Ireland, I love the simple design of this Organzier/ Zen Garden. Simple, clean, and fresh. Why not bring a little outside to your desk?

Made by Tamar in Vermont, this bracelet has a real retro vibe, and I love the colors. It really satisfies my "frill" addiction, and the packaging is also adorable:
from Nest Pretty Things shop on Etsy

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Revamping My Desk

I've been using this desk in my sewing room. It was so cluttered and cramped I felt claustrophobic every time I sat down. For one thing, there are two shelves, which leaves little room for even my laptop to sit comfortably. The only space on the desk itself is covered with a sorting tool that doesn't really help because I can't see what's in it, anyway. I have no proper storage for my three boxes of fabric, so they just sit there stacked next to it. I was placing things on shelves I never really use, and this left no space for what I do. Plus, there's a terrific cork board behind a good part of it, too, but the third shelf makes it impossible to use! So I decided to make my own "mood board" and go about making this space a bit more "Feng Shui".

 First I unscrewed and took out the second shelf. Better already!

Then I found some awesome fabric and cut it to the exact measurements of the cork and ironed some iron-on adhesive to the back of it. Iron-on adhesive rocks. It turns anything into iron-on. Love it!

Next, I just ironed it onto the cork with no steam. If you're going to do this, I advise you to turn off the steam on your iron. And don't let the iron sit anywhere too long, and be careful not to let it sit too long on any part of the wood! I held up the fabric onto the cork board with two thumb tacks. I swept across it from top to bottom, center to the outsides. Again, take your time, don't let the iron sit anywhere too long, ok?

Next, I added a retro seam binding to the edges with a glue gun. I used a piece of paper under the glue gun when I put it down so it wouldn't get on the wood.

I also went to Target and found easy storage for my fabric that cost me only $25. Goodbye boxes! I found there was very little I really needed on the shelves I had before so I put those away in a closet. Any files I had in my sorter I put into pretty folders and stood upright in magazine holders, which gave me more space. Then I used sewing pins and old sewing needles to pin up inspiration on my mood board.

This corner of my sewing room is ready to play!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yarnable Wednesday: Dyeing Eggs

eggs dyed with embroidery floss by Margarita

Although I am a Passover girl, I had to share these amazing egg dyeing techniques. I love Easter eggs, and to be honest, making them was a great delight when I was young. My grandparents celebrated Easter and I remember wearing the most ruffled dress imaginable, carrying my basket, and looking for eggs. I think they still have footage of me slipping and falling on my ruffle-butt undies, Mary Janes and lace-edged socks high in the air!

In the Passover Seder, an egg is placed on the Seder plate to represent the coming of spring and new life. We dyed those eggs as well (our own family tradition). Here's some terrific ways to snazz up your lawn or your Seder plate:

Eggs Dyed with Embroidery Floss

These eggs by Margarita on her Greek blog, Syntages...Apo Spiti, are so cool and they look like they've been resting in a nest of yarn! Follow the link to her blog to learn this technique. This is such a unique look, and a wonderful idea! I think I might try wrapping instead of cutting, or trying to make designs with the thread. I'm definitely inspired!

from the blog Syntages...Apo Spiti

Silk-Dyed Eggs

Sara from posted this excellent idea of recycling silk ties and using them to dye eggs! It's so inventive, and you get the most beautiful patterns! Go here for the full tutorial.

Temporary Tattoo Eggs

Country Living just recently posted the idea of making your own temporary tattoos, which you can then apply to eggs. It's super sweet and sophisticated, for those who love a Victorian twist. Or any other images you can download!

Photo by Burcu Avsar

Happy Egg Dyeing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Textile Tuesday: Blue & Red & John Robshaw

Pipal Indigo bedding set by John Robshaw Textiles
I cannot seem to get over this blue and red theme I have completely by accident with all our decor. Then I discovered John Robshaw Textiles. Now I think I'm lost to it. for some reason a lot of our artwork has blues and reds in it, and our couch is a chili pepper red leather. I've been looking for ways to add a light and airiness to this combo, because we've been pairing it with dark woods, and lots of ethnic touches, which can make it all seem very heavy. The lovely thing about John Robshaw Textiles is that they are ethnic, which I love, and block-printed with the daintiest designs. Can't you image a beautiful spring breeze blowing through the room?

1. Twine Light Indigo  2. Alahambre Coral  3. Algiers Lotus 4. Petra Cobalt
All block-printed by hand on linen by John Robshaw Textiles
I fully encourage you to read more about John's story, because he has traveled so many places and learned the various techniques you see in his shop. His description of block-printing is an obvious reflection of his passion for this art form:

"It's so simple and natural. You touch a woodblock to wet clay and then to the fabric. After the clay dries, you dip the cloth into the indigo vat and the clay stays on. One dip gives the fabric a sky-blue color, two dips and it deepens to cobalt, three dips and its a saturated midnight blue. Then the fabric is laid out to dry in the sun and later the clay is washed off. The dyer says the indigo vats are like a mistress because they need constant attention. I was completely fascinated by the dyeing and printing processes, as well as how the finished product is used. Textiles become intimate companions in daily life, whether as a pillow, bedcover or sarong." 

In addition to his block-printing, John Robshaw sells a collection of found objects, furniture, blankets, and pillows named "Souk". I absolutely adore this blanket, which is made from vintage fabrics collected from around the world.

Patched Coral Blanket & Euro by John Robshaw Textiles

It gets me in the mood to make some quilts of my own!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring brings new things...

We are pregnant! My husband and I are expecting our first child in September. So now you can understand the REAL reason I haven't been posting much! 

I found out when Jason was away on a business trip, which was torture! Everyday he'd call and ask how I was and I had to nonchalant it and pretend like nothing much happened. The news also came a week before we had to move, and I had just spent the week prior packing everything early (thank goodness). We had been trying for almost a year and I honestly didn't believe it. I think I tested every morning (4 tests) until Jason came back just to be sure. Then I put the tests and these onesies into a box labeled "baby's room" in huge letters and placed it prominently on the huge stack of our packed boxes. Things didn't go as planned, because I'm terrible at keeping a poker face! I think he must have known the minute he walked in the door, before he even saw the box. I wanted him to just find it, but there was no way that was happening before I gave it away. Anyhow, it was still a wonderful coming-home present!

Luckily my first trimester has been fairly easy and I'm excited for the next few weeks. Soon I will be able to feel movement, and find out if it's a boy or a girl. I think it's a boy, Jason thinks it's a girl. For now I'm enjoying snacking, reading up on everything, and taking it easy. I have a feeling my blog may get a bit more baby-oriented for a little while, but it will be the most awesome, creative, unique baby stuff ever! I'll still try to keep my eyes open for amazing thread art, great DIY, and fabulous Etsy finds also, so no worries.

One thing is for sure, this baby will not want for art, music, or power tools!

Friday, March 2, 2012

DIY Thread Rack Projects

Hullo, Creatives! While sewing costumes for The Music Man it finally dawned on me that I really need a thread rack. It's bad. The tails of loose thread from each spool are forming their own united cluster and I'm afraid they will morph into some sort of super being that will take it's revenge on me (using swan snips, of course).

Ok, enough joking. There's the boring white rack that everyone knows, or if you want to be cool, there's these three stylish DIY projects I found on the web. Now to figure out which one I'll try...

#1  Festotu

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