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. 🙂 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 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 dream about the day my sewing skills will allow me to create something this beautiful! I think I need to take a quilting class. I love this pattern, and anything that involves lots of blues and greens makes me happy. Also, it’s eco-friendly and organic. Always a plus! $125 by Little Wren and Gwen.

I really think that your dog’s collar should say something about them. I mean, why not? I happen to like finding pink collars for Birdy that don’t look ridiculous, because it drives me slightly insane when people think she is a he. She is so not a he. She is prissy, prancy, girly, and sweet. Her last pink collar finally bit the dust, and she’s currently sporting a turquoise one with turtles just because I had to find a quick replacement. I think this pink flowery one really would suit her much better, though! I wonder if it comes in extra large. $16 by Amanda Brewer Textiles.

I’ve always loved museums of any kind, although it is always an exercise in restraint for me because I want to touch everything. This textile wall art really appeals to me because feeling the texture is a part of the art. I also really like the colors. I like rainbow-hued things. As Jenny and I have often discussed, it’s too bad that they now symbolize a community we’re not a part of. I had a friend in college who had a huge rainbow flag in her apartment. Her mom came to visit and said, “But, honey. You’re not gay.” And she said, “I know that, mom, but the colors are so pretty!” $45 by Ozzart.

Crafty Update: New Projects

My latest crafty projects have been, strangely, purely for my own personal use and enjoyment.

On a recent trip to Goodwill with Jen, we discovered the joys of pay-by-the-pound when scavenging for thrifted fabric. I found 25 pounds of good stuff, but one of the great finds was a retro-cool 100% Alpaca sweater, handmade in Peru. Too large for me to wear, but perfect for trying out this sweater hat tutorial that I’ve been pondering for months and waiting for just the right sweater. I’ve also now got six awesome handmade ceramic buttons to use for some other project. Here’s a picture of Birdy modeling the hat for me:

She is not impressed with having anything on her head. A prime example would be the year chaos ensued when we tried to put Santa hats on her and Riley for the family Christmas photo card. Oh, we thought it would be so funny and clever until both dogs were rolling on the ground, pawing desperately at their heads, leaving shreds of red felt on the porch and our neighbor as photographer in tears of laughter while we sat by helpless in our carefully coordinated red and white outfits. Dog clothing doesn’t really work unless it’s on tiny dogs you can coerce into submission with your alpha human authority. As Riley would tell you, you don’t really coerce a 100 lb dog to do anything, and if he’s not doing it, then neither is his cousin.

However, when I asked Bird Dawg nicely to please sit still while I took the picture, she obligingly hunched her shoulders and froze for me for a few seconds. I believe the difference involved the lack of elastic chin strap. You may be able to detect a slight grimacing gritting of the teeth. The pom-pom is made from some chenille yarn I had leftover from the scarf I made last year for Coocatchoo.

The other project I just finished is a new shower curtain. I hate shower curtains. Most of my adulthood has been spent showering in tubs with nothing but a clear liner. This is mainly because I have never had a very big bathroom, and it makes the room feel less claustrophobic. Like mirrors! But I finally decided I wanted a little color in my bathroom, so I bought a cool wall tapestry on eBay for like $8, and cut it down and sewed it back together so it was the right size. A few slits in the top (because I was too lazy to make real button holes) and I had a brand new piece of apartment decor. Luckily, the fabric has a relatively open weave, so it lets enough light through that I can still see to shave my legs without too many ankle nicks.

Crafty Update: Recycled Wallets

By now you are probably aware of my penchant for all things crafty and all things recycled. I frequently like to combine the two. Recently I found this cool place mat on a trip to Goodwill, and I decided to turn it into cute wallets with velcro closure. Coocatchoo has already claimed one, and the rest are for sale in one of my Etsy shops. They’re the perfect size, cute colors, and totally one-of-a-kind!

Crafty Update: Patchwork Quilt

I am making a patchwork quilt, and it’s about halfway done now…coming along nicely. But slowly.


Crafty Update: Om Tank

This is a very simple tank top in tan silk that I have embellished. I finished embroidering this shirt last night, and even added the ribbon hem trim that you can see in the background of this picture in the pile of supplies. But I don’t have pictures of the finished product yet, so I’ll show you the in-progress photos. I need a model! Volunteers?

Update: I have finished product photos now, so that’s the first one shown. Just listed this in my new Etsy shop!

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Crafty Update: Soul Shakedown Party

I should probably mention that I’ve been convinced by a couple friends to open yet another Etsy shop for selling handmade hippie stuff. It’s called Soul Shakedown Party. Right now there’s just a pot holder listed…because every time I make something, one of my friends wants to own it before I can get around to listing it. Which is definitely a good thing!

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This skirt looks amazingly cute on Jenny. If she says it’s okay, maybe I’ll post a picture of her wearing it. I had no idea skirts were so easy to make! I would have been doing this years ago!

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Here’s a gauzy cotton peasant shirt with some decorative beads and a little rasta trim embroidered on the hem. Coocatchoo snatched this one up right away!  Today I’m working on embroidering a silk tank top with an “Om” mandala design. Hopefully I will finish it today and have pics up soon!

Crafty Update: Patchwork Panel Pants

My friend Jenny says I should post more stuff about my craft projects, since my blog is called “She’s Crafty.” The problem is that I always forget to take pictures of my projects. Since she made that comment, I’ve been trying to become more diligent about it. These are some slightly ill-fitting (though for $3.50, ill-fitting can be worked with) Goodwill  jeans I altered for her by sewing patchwork panels down the sides. This can also be done with corduroys, chinos, and what have you. Also, skirts. If anyone wants some, let me know. As I always tell Jenny, I enjoy being needed and sharing my crafty skillz, and I am fine with being paid in beer and/or Mexican food. (And so on.)

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