Friday, June 24, 2011

Dog Furniture...Recovered Ottoman

Does anyone else buy pieces of furniture specifically for their pets?  My latest was this garage sale find for $3.    

A real bargain, considering that when I was at the neighbor's garage sale & did not quite get the front door closed all the way, Jacie figured out how to get the door open and started exploring the front yard neighborhood.  Panic!  But, she was easily distracted by a dog behind a fence on the same side of the street where she was roaming.  With no leash, her furry little butt was carried safely home.

This lovely (ha!) ottoman is on casters that work.  It's a nice size.  It's in a timeless (ha!) 1970's upholstery.  What more could I ask for?!

So with a little bit of sewing, I ended up with this slip-cover:
It really does look nicer IRL than this photo, for several reasons.
  • I need want a new camera.
  • This part of the patio is not level.
  • The slipcover needs to be rotated 180 degrees.  There were some distortion from wear on this ottoman, so I made a template for the top, & this is the wrong way, obviously.  The slipcover drapes much better when it's on correctly.  
  • See above:  it was after 11:00 am and over 100 degrees when I took these photos, so I did not take the time to fiddle around with changing the cover or doing anything else.  It was too hot to stay outside.  (Unless that included a bathing suit & pool.)
  • The skirt really does lay nicely, and the piping shows up well.
This ottoman is now located in front of a window that faces the street.  Jacie loves to sit on it and see what is happening in the big, bad world.  She actually got a little pissy when I took it outside for photos.  Princess!

The top is made from recycled jeans, and the rest from fabrics that I had available.  If I were to do this again, these are the changes that I would make:
  • The denim is great, but use decorator weight fabric for the rest.  I lined the cotton fabrics on this, but it's not quite enough.  Maybe use an iron-on interfacing if you want to use lighter cotton fabrics?
  • Even though there is a distinction of the "top" and "bottom" of the ottoman in the original, I would make the top band part narrower and the skirt part wider.  For this particular ottoman, I think that would work well.
Now, I have two more ottomans, bought for another dog, to recover.  One will become a piano "bench," and the other will go in our bedroom.  Stay tuned!



Friday, June 17, 2011

Mission: Reorganization

I opened my big mouth, so two of my sisters and I are having a challenge to get some things completed that normally get ignored.  We are doing just one hour a day, Monday through Friday.  I stayed on track for two weeks, and then, well...

...this past Monday was my first official Monday off of work!  Yippee!  Summer!

After the school year ended, I worked on a week-long language arts curriculum writing committee, then completed 3 workshops.  So, I decided to have a completely lazy Monday.  I've been a slacker ever since on the reorganization.  I need to make up some time today, which I'm sure will drag into Saturday and Sunday.

So far with the reorganization, most of what I have done is not noticeable...drawers, cabinets, and such.  But, the shelves above my washer and dryer are noticeably nicer.  These shelves had become a dumping ground for all sorts of crapola.  I even found a stuffed dog toy needing plastic surgery.  Why did I put that there?!

My sisters received both a 'before' and 'after' shot.  I'm waaayyyyy too embarrassed to put the 'before' picture here.  Here is the 'after:'

The two bottles on the center bottom shelf are my homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener.   I keep them in used Simply Lemonade containers.  They got a facelift. 

Jo and Kay, dear sisters that they are, made fun of me.  They think they will get more reorganization done while I am 'busy making labels' for things.  Ha!  I'll show them!  Oh wait!  Those two ancient recipe file boxes sure do need some revamping.  Maybe some fabric Mod Podged onto them to cover the ugliness?  That might be a perfect afternoon project, and yet another delay to the boring reorganization.  (But it does feel good to get some of those boring tasks completed.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day...Poppies

As a young girl in 4-H, my club participated in this 'holiday' by selling poppies.  I remember going to some of the neighboring small towns in Ohio to sell them.  Back then, it was an easy sale.

  At the grocery this weekend, there were two veterans selling poppies.  No one paid much attention to them. After leaving, I wondered just how many people understood what they were doing.  No, I didn't buy one, but that was only because I literally had no cash with me.
I learned of the importance of Memorial Day and Veteran's Day from my father (whom I sometimes called Pop).  He was proud of his service to our country in WWII, as was my brother for his service in Viet Nam.  Fortunately, they both came home.  I'm sure that they both thought about the soldiers they fought with, who gave their lives for our freedom. 

In Flander's Field
by John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.

For all who gave their lives,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jeans and a Tie...or...

...jeans and a pleated necktie necklace!

This coming week is the last week of school, and my principal said that we could wear jeans all week, as long as we wore either a staff shirt or something nice, to stay professional looking.  I'm thinking that a tie would raise the bar to professional.

This morning I saw this tutorial, from Maybe Matilda.  I raided DH's closet for a tie and came up with my very own pleated necktie necklace.  I made a couple of changes.  First, I decided that since it really did look like a tie, I would use the skinny end in the design, using the entire tie.  Second, I ended up hand sewing the top edge so that it lays nicely.

And I happened to have the perfect button for this!

After I finished, DH made some comment to the extent that people probably look at me and think that I should just go shopping to buy things.  Not.  This is way more fun!

So, will this dress up my jeans enough to make my boss happy?!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Produce Bags and Lapbooks

These produce bags are so cool!  The pattern is from Daisy Janie and they are quick and easy.  I made these for a wonder parent helper for an end-of-the-year gift.  I am also making a fabric grocery bag for her, and one of my team members is buying items to fill the bags.  So far she bought 3 bottles of wine with fun, food-related labels.  Does anyone have ideas for more items to fill the bags with?  This mom helper deserves a lot!        

Three summers ago I took a district class called "Lapbooks: Taking Foldables to the Next Level."  One of the things that I created for that class was a lapbook to be used with our language arts series.  This series has 6 units, so that meant 6 lapbooks for each student over the course of the school year.  Each lapbook has a variety of activities for the students to be working on while I'm working with small groups of students.

Here is what they look like.

This mom helper made these lapbooks not only for my class, but for my entire grade level.  That was about 400 of these over the course of this past school year.  Plus, she has volunteered to put the first unit together to start out the school year in the fall.  We LOVE you, Andrea!

Partying with:
Tatertots and Jello

Friday, April 22, 2011

Denim ~ a Wardrobe Staple ~ and a new toy!

Today was "Testing Break" day, a much needed day off of work.  I started my day with clearing off sewing surfaces.  Once that was done, I introduced myself to my new brother! 

The poor baby had been sitting in a box for two weeks.

I rewatched the videos and started playing.  After I felt comfortable enough, I made a little baby skirt from here, using the serger for finishing the raw edges of the side seams and for attaching the waist band.

While serging, one of my threads broke.  The instruction manual wasn't quite clear, but the DVD walked me through easily rethreading the machine.  I'm also beginning to learn how to adjust the tensions for different weights of fabric.  Now to buy thread.  Lots and lots of thread.     

I looked at various sizing charts for children's clothing, so I'm hoping this skirt is about an 18-24 months size.  

After completing this, I cannot believe that I've lived this long without a serger.  My sewing life has changed!


Somewhat Simple

make it wear it

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Scrappy Easter Grass Basket is Filled!

And gifted!  A couple of weeks ago I started filling this basket.  That one little fabric egg looked rather lonely, don't you think? 

I came across this pattern and tutorial for the bunny in the center.  Since I was going to be filling it with fiber fill instead of something else to make a sachet, I thought I would see what it looked like with stuffing the ears.  Next time, I'll leave the ears alone, but I was on crunch time to get it done and didn't have the time to unstuff the ears. 

Joy loved her little Easter basket.  But after a long and challenging week at work (um...challenging weeks!), I think I got the better gift from her...a bottle of wine with a relevant label that was hysterically funny, considering one of my bigger challenges that is now finished.  Thanks, Joy!


Somewhat Simple