Crafty Update: New Curtains!

I have been trying to make some curtains for my craft room for a while now and finally finished them today! I’m really happy to have them because A) I’m content with how they look, and B) I desperately needed some privacy because my next door neighbor’s house is like thisclose to mine, and I don’t enjoy feeling like people can see in at all. Even though I never can see in their windows and go out of my way to avoid looking over there in case their blinds are open and I might be able to see something. But you never know if other people are that considerate.

Anyways, the curtains, like most things I make, were a complete rig job. However, I was happy that when I told my sewing teacher that was my typical modus operandi, she said, “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! Whatever gets the job done!” The reason I am taking a sewing class in the first place is to learn how to do things “properly” instead of rigging everything. But my sewing machine is currently on the fritz, and I’m doing everything by hand. I have a replacement part, but I can’t figure out how to install it. Handy people, please help! Plus, I’m always using random materials I have collected in my projects, so there is usually a bit of fudging required.

For some reason, I collect scarves, but I don’t really wear them. Well, I wear warm scarves in the winter, but not flimsy frou-frou scarves. I just always find cool ones at thrift stores with awesome retro graphics or fabrics, and I think (like everything), “I will totally make something with that sometime.” For once, I actually fished one out of my scrap drawer and used it as a sash for my curtains. I also used some old thrift store vintage buttons on the sash corners, which hold the curtains back when I want to let more light in. Attached to the back of the buttons are gold earring hooks (I am resourceful like that) which hook into some picture hanging eyes I screwed into the window frame. The fabric is a fairly inexpensive natural-colored cotton I got at Hancock a long time ago that is called “linen look.” I’ve used it in many projects and just happened to have a little left.

When the curtains are closed, the earring hooks hang on a piece of the inside window frame so you can still see the buttons, but they still stay closed. I’m not real crazy about the pink buttons, but I didn’t have any other ones that were the same size, and I do think the color stands out more than my other choices, which were mainly light-colored shell and wood. They kinda go with the colorful 60s graphic of the scarf/sash.

So now I have cute curtains on at least one window in my house (I have about 3 more to go), and my neighbors can’t look in. Yay! If anyone wants instructions or help making some similar, I am more than willing to offer my rigging assistance. ūüôā Now if I could just figure out how to make bedroom window coverings that are cute AND function as black-out curtains. Right now, the black out part is working like a charm, but they’re super ugly. Any suggestions?

Crafty Love! India

Last weekend I finally finished unpacking my house and got my craft/sewing room all organized. And I realized that my bedroom is in need of some serious decorating help. It’s pretty much the one room in my house with zero personality because I was more concerned with blocking all light from the windows so I could sleep than making pretty curtains or hanging art or anything. I’ve always wanted to have either a Moroccan- or Indian-themed bedroom — I even have a book on Indian decorating elements. Actually I wouldn’t mind if my whole house was decorated in that fashion. But right now it’s my bedroom that needs it the worst. So I am going to start there. I started looking for things on Etsy, but of course I found other cool things besides just home decor, so I had to share them all. I need about five more jobs!

Traditional Mehndi design hurricane candle holder
$55 by All About Henna

Guitar Strap Woven with Recycled Sari Silk and Cotton
$40 by A Spinner Weaver

Aqua-Lime Brocade Stripe Cushion
$20.50 by Behirah

Bohemian Sunset Earrings with Carnelian and Caribbean Blue Chalcedony
$29 by The Stella Blue Gallery

Elephant Parade Matted Print
$12 by Signet Studio

Crafty Love! Tree Houses

The other day I was watching my neighbor climb a tree in flip flops. I love it when grown men act like little boys. Not in an immature kind of way, but in a playful, zest-for-life way. This time of year I always start to miss tree houses. When I was little, my friends Matt and Nate had a big, rickety tree house in their back yard. It was my favorite thing about playing at their house. Nate, the little brother, was often banned from it as punishment for some obnoxious stunt he pulled on us, like the time he locked us in the second floor bathroom from the outside and forced Matt to climb out the window to run down and give him hell. My first love had a tree house, too — big and open. It always reminded me of a boat. On balmy spring days we’d climb up there after school and kiss for an hour over our textbooks, pretending we were doing homework.

There was also an elderly man named Kinchen who lived on my street in a rambling white Victorian house with a veritable tree fortress in the back. He had built access ramps and walkways all over the place so he could still enjoy it, even though he was probably in his eighties at that time. He lived with his sister, Rebekah, in the old family home place, and they only inhabited one or two of their numerous rooms. I think the purpose was to minimize the amount of space requiring heat. When we visited, Rebekah would swoop through a sealed door and emerge in a wash of frigid air, with a plate of gingersnaps and glasses of tea. In the summers, we would have our cookies and lemonade outside on one of the many platforms attached to the tree. They always seemed a bit like children to me. Ancient, white-haired children.

$58 by Jenna Rose Handmade

$15 by Breezy Tulip

$25 by Slow Shirts

Crafty Update: Mosaic Window

I started making this mosaic window a while ago for a friend’s housewarming gift, but now that I am moving into my own house, I think I’m going to keep it. I hardly ever keep the things I make — usually I either sell it or gift it. But I think this will fit perfectly with the aesthetic of my new home. Plus, it has taken a really long time, and I’m not sure I want to give it to someone who may not appreciate that.

As you can see, it’s not QUITE finished. But almost. It takes hours to get just 20 pieces in place properly. I’ve literally been working on it since last summer. I thought about grouting it, but it’s already so heavy, I’m sort of afraid to do that. Plus, the design is so busy it doesn’t really need any additional outlining to set it off. It’s an antique window, and I wouldn’t want it to rip out of the wall and break once it’s hung.

It may look completely random, but there are actually some purposeful motifs going on if you look close enough. And there are also two sharks teeth hidden in the design from the collection I inherited from my great-grandfather. It’s been a fun project, and I’m anxious to see it hanging in front of a window to see how much cooler it looks with light coming through.

Crafty Love! Night Lights

As usual, I’ve been daydreaming about cool things for my house, and yesterday I was on a night light kick. I grew up in a house where there was always a night light in every bathroom, so you could find your way in the middle of the night without stubbing a toe. I have carried on this tradition in my own home. However, I turn it off when I go to bed because I can’t stand any light whatsoever when I’m sleeping. I mainly use it for energy conservation purposes. I basically never turn on the light in my bathroom except to put on makeup. So there’s your Earth Day tip! Get a night light and never turn on the overhead. Anyhoo. My night light is just a bare bulb, and that’s pretty boring. So, here are some cool things I found yesterday while searching for interesting night lights.

While not technically a night light, per say, these origami lights are awesome. I’m a huge twinkle light person, and no, I don’t think I need to grow up, thankyouverymuch. I will always have twinkle lights in my house, as long as I live. Because I like them. And these would be super cool for a nighttime back yard gathering, of which I plan to have many. $24 by Whimsidoodle

Now that someone has invented battery-powered candles, there are more options in night lights because they don’t necessarily require an outlet. I particularly like these little fairy houses, and I imagine they would look really cool with light glowing from the windows. The artist has a variety of designs, but the pumpkins and the tree stumps are my favorites. $18 by Suzanne’s Pottery Farm

As I have mentioned before, I love practical art, and this little light cover fits the bill. It’s glass. It’s brightly colored. AND it’s patchwork! What’s not to love? $22 by Paula Hall’s Stress Art

Crafty Love! Lamps

As I gear up for moving into my new house, I’m still on the hunt for cool housewares. There is no better place to find unique stuff than on Etsy. Here are some of my favorites this week.

I love lamps. And I love patchwork. Obviously, this lampshade was made with me in mind. I particularly like the fact that it can be a ceiling lamp shade as well. Although, the new house has practically no overhead lights, which I actually prefer. Lamp light is so much more relaxing. $68 by Folly and Glee

Oh, look! Another lamp! I have a weird attraction to modern design, even though I don’t use much of it in my home. I love this cherry blossom design, and I’m always drawn to things that glow from within. This artist also makes an autumn leaf lamp that is a tie for my favorite. And her descriptions are awesome: “If I could observe the world on a full time basis I would do this as a cherry blossom tree in a Japanese garden. My body firm as the trunk and my arms spread wide to the sky, fragrant blossoms hanging from me filling the air with their sweet scent. It would be peaceful. I would be beautiful.”¬† $91 by Zayra Design

One day soon, I’m planning on graduating from my $1 coffee table that I’ve been using since college. There’s nothing wrong with it, except maybe that it’s a little small. Small has been good for the most part. I’ve lived in small places. I just think it’s time to move on. So when I get my new adult coffee table, hopefully I’ll actually have room for coasters, and I will be using the ones pictured above. I’m not sure what it is about them that appeals to me, but they’re kinda funky, and I like that. $14.95 by Funky Chicken Design

Crafty Update: Sofa Cushions

This is a horrible picture because I am not very good at using my new camera yet. The story is that my futon was getting pretty squished, and the bland tan cover needed some visual improvement. I bought some huge 27″ pillows from Roses for like $8¬†a piece and made covers for them out of some embroidered silk taffeta I scrounged from the back of my fabric closet. (Yes, I have a fabric closet. My mom has a fabric room. My grandmother has a fabric house. It runs in the family.) The back of each pillow is dark brown corduroy (purchased for mere cents at a by-the-pound thrift store). So I basically have a new couch for under $40. As you can see, Birdy already has her spot hollowed out. She is dismayed that the amount of sprawling-out space to which she is accustomed has diminished. But according to my lower back, this set up is way more comfortable than the mashed¬†flat futon mattress.

Please try not to dwell on the dog hair underneath the futon. Birdy likes to lie under there to sleep because it’s dark and cool. And I’m a lazy vacummer.

In this picture, you can see the patterns and texture¬†of the fabrics better. I made these as floor pillows for Coocatchoo’s yoga studio a while back and had leftover fabric.¬†Her pillows had a natural colored linen backing. Making your own pillow cases for big ugly pillows is actually a really economical way to decorate. One plain pillow insert in this size can be purchased online for about the same price as I purchased and recovered all four. Now if I could just figure out how to reupholster my ugly chairs…

Crafty Love! Random Stuff I Like

I’ve always loved garden art. Not gaudy spectacles, but small, well-placed objets that make you smile when you happen across them while exploring. Like hunting for Easter eggs or buried treasure. Joy in the unexpected. When I am an old lady, I hope to have a beautiful garden full of odd things,¬†where I can host scavenger hunts for neighborhood children and read stories to them about the great outdoors while¬†having tea and crumpets on picnic blankets. Hopefully with a bunch of dogs hanging around. The first thing I’d hide would be this garden marker. Maybe underneath a giant pink rhododendron. $15 by The Magic Mud.

I inherited from my mother a serious penchant for lamps. And although I’ve never been a big fan of theme decor, I do love this lamp.¬†It¬†reminds me¬†of my visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, where I saw herds of elk and beautiful mule deer. I’d love this lamp in a cozy library with a fireplace and an overstuffed leather chair. $295 by Glassman1.

One of the things that annoys me about myself is that I tend to be full of contradictions. Case in point: I hate knick-knacks, or as we call them in the South, “set around things.” This is probably a result of growing up in a house full of precious mementoes that I was required to¬†dust every Saturday morning prior to doing anything fun. Also, I hate clutter. I live in a small apartment with little space for impractical things. But on the other hand, I have always loved little boxes. I don’t really have anything to keep in little boxes, and that is a point of internal conflict for me. They are not practical. But I love them. I love the mere idea of boxes to hide secret things from plain sight. And this little star shaped tie-dye box will be mine. What can I keep in it? $5 by Mmim.

Super Crafty Saturday: Vintage!

I love a good thrift shop. And I think I have a pretty good eye for design. I am the ultimate bargain hunter. It must be the weekends I spent antiquing with my parents as a small (and very bored) child. You can see how this makes for a happy combination for me. It’s mainly the thrill of the hunt — my apartment is way too small to justify buying every brass candelabra or Danish modern accessory I stumble across. But I have a solution! I’ve opened up a vintage shop on Etsy: Moon Bird Vintage. Needed an outlet for yet another obsession. Now I can rest easy, knowing I’ve rescued a very desirable mid-century modern piece of home decor from a miserable life on a crowded, dirty thrift shop shelf. They’re so much better than that!

Like I need yet another hobby, right?

Here’s my first rescue:


For sale here!  SOLD!