Monday, September 27, 2010

It IS easy being green: Cloth Napkins

A few months ago I decided Stephen and I would start using cloth napkins.  Did I decide this because I wanted an excuse to buy a bunch of cute fat quarter packs, or because I wanted to cut down on our waste paper?  Does it really matter?  I made us a big pile of napkins so we didn't have to worry about washing them every day.  They are each about 16"x16" and made from one fat quarter each. 

First I made this cute set of flowered napkins.  They are sewn around the edges with a simple straight stitch.

I decided to buy this set of fabric since I wanted a few that were a little less girly for Stephen's benefit.  Most of them are still pretty girly though...

A fun added touch for these is the decorative stitching I used!  Neato!

Then I made these two double layered napkins.  I love these ones the most.  So cute!

I had this remnant of blue fabric with polka dot circles from Hobby Lobby, so I made a pair of napkins with it.  They are also double layered, and used some semi-solid-colored pieces for the back.

I keep all our napkins in this cute basket.  I found it at Ikea - it is the PERFECT size!

I don't know if your Michael's had these in their clearance bin, but my Michael's had a ton of cute more "traditional" printed fat quarters on sale for $.79 each.  Nice!  I bought a bunch of my favorites and made a set for my friends when they were having a house warming party. I did a cute scalloped stitch on the edges of these. 

And then I undid them from their neat stack pictured above and turned them into this awesome gift bow instead!  I LOVE how these napkins turned out.

In fact, I loved them so much that I went back to Michael's and bought a whole bunch more fat quarters for myself.

Maybe when I finally get around to "napkinizing" these, I'll whip up a little tutorial to show you how I made them.  Sound fun? What do you think?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Craft Room Overhaul Part 3: Hello New Shelves!

Now that you have read all about the drama of the green chairs, let me share with you what it was all about.  What my real motivation behind getting them out of here was.  My new shelves and crafting table!

Yay for my new ikea furniture! I had been doing almost all of my crafting sitting on the floor since I had no table except my sewing table, and it was full of sewing things, as it should be.  Also, I'm getting older (since 25 is practically ancient you know), and have a knee that starts to ache if it is bent for too long, so sitting on the floor for extended periods of time is just not comfortable!  I decided I wanted a table, and maybe some shelves, and found this combo at ikea and knew it was perfect!  It would fit perfectly in my "useless corner".  Useless because all that was in it was a couple of boxes I'd never unpacked, my little rolling file cabinet, and of course, the green chairs.  It is so useless, that this is the only picture I have of the corner, and it's not even really the corner, just the ironing board set up close to the corner.

I saved up my allowance so I could buy my lovely shelves, and was such a happy girl when they were all together!  Oh hooray!  Now I had somewhere to go with all my boxes of wonderful crafty things!  They were just not accessible under the bed.

The craft room/guest room still isn't quite where I want it, but now thanks to the table and shelves, we are definitely moving in the right direction!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Craft Room Overhaul Part 2: Goodbye Green Chairs!

I started writing last month about how I am updating my craft room, but then I didn't get past one post about it.  Oops!  Well I have been working on it, just not keeping up with it very well.  One big hangup - actually two big hangups - in the redecorating process are two of these lovely green chairs:

Dear green chair: I hate you

Ok, hate is really a strong word for these chairs.  I don't actually hate them, they are pretty comfortable, and only marginally ugly (mostly just because they are stained).  I just hated having them in my house for so long after I'd decided to get rid of them.  Stephen got a pair of these chairs from a friend of his back in the day when he had no furniture, and they came with him to our house now, and when we got married they became my green chairs too, and were extra seating in the living room.  Then we decided to turn our big living room into a living/dining room, so there was no room for the green chairs in there anymore.  So we stuck them in the guest bedroom.  Then I decided to turn the guest bedroom into a bedroom/craft room.  I coexisted peacefully with the green chairs in there for a long time.

I used them to store all my junk:

I used them to take photos on:

Then I decided to get organized. I also I decided I needed a separate table for crafts that didn't have my sewing machine on it.  That's when I started hating these chairs.  There they were, sitting in the corner of my craft room, taking up precious space that could be used for a craft table, which I knew would increase my creativity by leaps and bounds.  It was time to kick them to the curb.  I thought about freecycling them, but instead, I decided to be a good sister.  My little sister was moving into her own apartment, so I asked her if she wanted them.  "Sure!" she said.  I started getting excited.  I started planning a trip that weekend to pick up my new table that weekend. "I can get them in August," she said.  I pouted.  It was the beginning of July!  I wanted things to happen, and I wanted them to happen NOW!  The next day someone posted on my freecycle message board that they were looking for a set of living room chairs, and they would pick them up any time, anywhere.  My resentment started to grow.  Then the next Sunday the college minister made an announcement that they were collecting furniture for the college students, and one thing they really needed was living room chairs.  Then I started to really hate those green chairs. 

At this point, so he wouldn't have to put up with my grouching anymore, Stephen said, "Let's put one of the chairs in my studio, so you can get your table."  YAY!  I could manage to fit the remaining green chair somewhere else for the remainder of July in order to get my new table.  I cheered up.  Then I found out the actual removal date of the chairs was the END of August...  I was about ready to just throw the things out in the yard and call it a day.  But instead I persevered!  Despite my impatience, the pickup day finally came.  We moved the green chairs out into the breezeway that night:

And when we got home from work the next day, they were gone.  Never to be seen again!  WOOHOO!  Goodbye green chairs, I will not miss you. You were not bad chairs, just misunderstood.  I understand that this experience was a lot more dramatic for me than it was for anyone else, but it is very frustrating when you are ready to get rid of something and it just lingers and lingers. But I feel that now that I've gotten my story out, I can finally start to let it go - start to heal.

Also Becky, good luck ever getting rid of them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thread Project #2: Cute framed spools

Stephen and I had these cute pictures hanging in our kitchen.  They are supposed to look like this:

Instead, since there is a cabinet door that opens into them, and the door to the laundry room is right next to them, they often ended up looking like this instead:

I got sick of straightening them (ok, I didn't do it very often).  I decided it was time for a change.  I remembered when I posted about all my vintage spools someone had commented a suggestion to frame them.  I thought that was a great idea, so now my frames look like this:

The frames (ikea ribba frames) are pretty deep, so there was room to throw the spools in there loose. I picked a few spools for each one, put a piece of white card stock for backing, and shook them up, letting the spools settle wherever they wanted.  I love how they turned out!  I picked the colors to match my bulletin board:

I think they turned out fantastically!  I can't wait to get them up on the wall!  I'll make sure to hang them away from any doorways and cabinets this time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordful Wednesday

I thought I would mix things up a little bit today - get excited everyone!

First of all, for all my local readers - are there any?? - I want to encourage you to come to the Waco Community Hymn Sing this Sunday at the Ferrell Center!  I'm super excited about it because Stephen will be playing guitar!  It's almost like he's a famous person - I'm so proud of him and all the work he's putting into it!  It's sure to be an awesome time, so come on out if you are able!
Second of all, one of my bloggy friends tagged me to answer some questions, so I thought I'd give it a go!  Fun right?  And for all of you who have been missing seeing Josie pictures here - today is your day, because there are lots more fitting pictures of her than there are of me :).  

What's the best decision you've ever made?
I would have to say applying for a student worker job at the Baylor Fine Arts Library, because that is how I ended up meeting my very best friends and my husband! I never would have guessed it at the time that it would be such a life changing decision...

My old work crew.
What's your favorite place for daydreaming?
I "daydream" all the time, any time any place.  I call it "thinking about things" even though in actuality it is really just spacing out.   Staring out the window has always been the best for thinking about things though.

When do you feel most confident?
I guess when I'm hanging around with my best friends, because they don't care if I act like a major doofus.

What's your most embarrassing moment?
I can't pinpoint one exact moment - I guess that's a good thing right?  I must get over embarrassment pretty well.  Or I just block it out.  I did used to fall down in high school a lot.  Like the completely wipe out, you're lying on the floor wondering how you got there kind of falling down.  That was pretty embarrassing.


What do you think about before going to sleep?
Just whatever random thoughts float through my head. I don't actually know!

Somehow I don't think a lot of sleeping got done here...

What are the most important things in your life?
My husband and my wonderful friends and family.

Photo by the fantastic Nicole Berrett

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
 I'll admit it - I'd be super nosy and spy on everyone I know.

Super spies!  More like super fabulous!

What bad habit are you having a hard time breaking?
Forgetting to charge my phone/forgetting where my phone is/forgetting to take my phone off of silent and missing all my calls.

 I think I am at least able to answer more calls on my phone than Josie does on hers

Who would you like to change places with for half a day?
My niece Josie.  She's 2 and has all the best toys. Wouldn't it be great if all you had to do all day was play?

Who was the last person to make you laugh?
I can't remember for sure.  It might have been the ladies teasing each other at work this morning that did it.  Or maybe it was Stephen.  And my friend Katie always makes me laugh...

 Happy girl!!
How long could you go without talking?
For ages!  I don't mind talking or anything, but when I lived by myself I was pretty silent at home. I would get on the phone with someone in the middle of the afternoon and realize I hadn't said a word all day.

This has nothing to do with the question, I just think it's a funny picture!

What makes you mad without fail?
Being bossed around

Josie, are you mad?

What is your most bizarre habit?
I hum random tunes when I'm working on something that really requires my concentration.  Oh and maybe even weirder than that, I always put my finger in the tags on stuffed animals, clothing labels, etc.  I even have this dress that has a sort of thick lace layer on it, and I put my fingers in the wholes on that.  I feel like I can't wear it without looking like a nutcase. I have been doing this since I was a baby! I feel like those taggy blankets were invented for me.

That's me in the pink glasses
I was probably thinking about taggies in this photo...

What is something most people would find surprising to learn about you?
I have no idea... My family raised orphaned baby ducks on more than one occasion?  I swam on a synchronized swimming team when I was little for six months (had to quit because it was too hard/I was too lazy)?  My great uncle was governor of Iowa?  Is any of that surprising or just random facts?

Synchro photos of me are a little hard to come by, however synchro photos of my sister are not!

What's on your night stand?
I'm not going to go look for sure, because it will be depressing, but I'm sure all of this is on there:
- half finished books
- water glass
- roll of toilet paper (for tissues)
- lamp
- ball of yarn
- little stuffed animals
- more half finished books
- headbands
- dust

No night stands on the beach!

If you were three inches taller...?
I would hope it would be torso height, my legs are long enough as is thank you!  I actually was about a centimeter taller than I am now in my junior year of high school, since I had a back brace that kept my spine straight (scoliosis!).  However, once I got to stop wearing it I shrank again.

Eat your breakfast Bageera and you can grow big and tall like me!

How can you tell when Fall was truly here?
When every restaurant/coffee shop has something pumpkin flavored on the menu, and when all the home decor stores smell like cinnamon.

Best way to wrap your guy around your little finger?
I can do it just by being my wonderful self!       
So there you have it!  Most of the bloggers I know just have personal (and in some cases invite only blogs) so I don't want to put direct links to those,  so all my bloggy friends, if you'd like to answer some questions feel free! It's fun! Don't forget to add some pictures!

Monday, September 13, 2010


In an effort to get my craft room cleaned up enough to act as a guest room in a few weeks, I've been trying to get all my "raw materials" that I've been saving up processed into usable craft supplies, so for the last few weeks or so I've been cutting up all my plastic bags and adding it to my big ball of Plarn.  (I plan to crochet myself a bag out of it in the near future) The other day, Stephen saw me working on it, looked at me like I was nuts, and said "Oh I have to take a picture of that!"  I guess he was right - I do look kind of like a crazy person...

Saturday, September 11, 2010 might as well be me: Jewelry editions

How about another post on some of the amazing things I've won?  Sounds good?  Great!  Today I'm going to show off some of the pretty jewelry I've won!  Yay!

Let's start with this awesome necklace and earrings set that I won from Fantasticrafts!  I won a gift certificate from the Waterwaif and was lucky enough to snag these two on sale!  And I have a top that matches these perfectly!  How fun!!  There is such a fun variety of items in this shop!  I know I'll go back for more :)

Next I won a giveaway at my lazy apples for this oriental bracelet from Pikithins.

Hand modeling by yours truly

It is such a cool bracelet - not to mention the "green and gold" is great for a Baylor employee!  And I'm kind of in love with that big green bead!

This next one is one of my favorite wins!  It is the flock of birds earrings from Verderocks.  I won them on the Bits of Beauty blog, but had no idea, I had to enter my address on the giveaway form and didn't realize I'd won them till they showed up at my door!  They are not something I ever would have picked for myself, but I gotta say - I love them!  They make me feel wild!  They are SUPER long - taller than my "posing pitcher" as you can see.  And since I was having a good hair day that day, you can see them modeled on myself too :)  No need for a necklace with these babies!

I won a lot of earrings for a while!  The next set I won from Being Tazim.  They are these gorgeous wood inlay earrings from SSheilah.  They remind me of the frets in a guitar - don't you agree?  I thought they were going to be kind of heavy, but they are some of the lightest-weight earrings I own.  I always get compliments on them when I wear them!

This next pair of earrings I won from What I Did Today.  Aren't they darling?  With all this big earrings I've collected,  I'm glad to have some dainty ones!  And I'm so happy I came acros this blog!  It's one of my very favorites to read - totally down to earth and her kids are ADORABLE!

Another great blog I came upon through giveaways is Bead Happily Ever After!  I won these great mermaid's tear earrings from her (I wish I'd gotten a better picture,  they are so pretty!)  I check on this blog daily - it's a lot of fun!!

Next I won these awesome vintage glass earrings from Jacaranda designs!  I love the color of these ones!  I wear them all the time!

Last but not least are these adorable butterfly heart earrings from  2 Just B you!  I used to have a necklace like this when I was younger that had a teddy bear instead of butterflies, and I wore it was one of my absolute favorites (I bet I could find it if I tried...)  These earrings remind me so much of that necklace!  I love them!

That's all for today - go ahead and check out some of these wonderful shops and blogs!  I know you'll be able to find something great :)