Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Curtain.

A while ago we re-did this room (you can see the transformation here). The window was left bare though. I knew I wanted to make some sort of curtain for it, but I had trouble finding a fabric I liked. I don't like buying online for this kind of thing. Even if the scale of the print is shown, I have a hard time imagining it in person. My local fabric shop didn't have anything either. Everything was either too busy, too plain, or just the wrong colour. Feeling hopeless, I went to ready made curtains, but couldn't find anything there either. It seems again that everything is either too plain or too busy. We have this same issue with rugs. Finally, I went to a designer fabric depot where I immediately fell inlove with about 15 different $95 per yard fabrics (why is it that only designer stores seem to have this middle ground?). That definitely wasn't going to happen, so I took myself over to their clearance section where they have designer fabric on bolts, ready to go, for about $15 per yard. Not too bad. I found the perfect fabric and it was just big enough for the window, with a little left over (I'm thinking a bag).

Although I brought this fabric home over a month ago, July was a busy month full of summer classes, guests, and outtings, and the sewing part didn't get started until last week. I did have some issues with this fabric. The way the light shines through it is beautiful, but for some reason it really resisted being sewing in a straight line. It is also a little thick (it's inbetween a thick linen and an upholstery weight fabric) so the seams need to be ironed carefully for it to fall properly. Despite these issues, Friday was the magic day when the curtain went up and I think it looks great! I had considered making two panels, but the window was just two small for that. This curtain is just long enough that it can be tied to the side during the day and let back down at night. I love the way the pattern looks when the light shines through!

A perfect addition to this room!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Necklace.

I've always enjoyed beading and making jewellery, but I've never been very good at it. In my younger days I'd use pony beads and boondoggle. I remember making all kinds of hideous, sparkly, crooked creations for my mom and she'd show them off proudly. My poor mom! Later I moved on to seed beads and embroidery floss(hello, friendship bracelets!). More recently I have made necklaces using antique keys and simple charms, but I wanted to try something more complicated. I have always wanted to work with chains and fancy beads, but I have trouble keeping the metal bits straight. I always squish and pull too much, and the circles don't resemble anything of the sort when I'm finished with them!

I decided it was time to work past all of that and create an interesting necklace using something that would work for me. It was very simple to make, but still something I could feel good about. I'm sure I saw this idea on a blog somewhere, so I can't take credit for it. I wasn't able to find the post, so I can't give proper credit.

For this necklace I used little rings that are found in the drapery section of any craft store (I believe they are normally used for roman blinds), and wrapped them in embroidery floss. I separated the strands into groups of threes so it wasn't too thick. The covered rings were simply sewn together, and the chains and appropriate findings were easily attached.

I had no idea of how exactly I wanted this to look when I was finished. I picked a few colours, wrapped, and attached, and stopped when I was happy with it. It falls nicely when worn too! I will have to be more careful next time as it looks a bit messy where the rings are attached. I was hoping that wouldn't show.

I had a lot of fun with this project and am glad that I have this new necklace to wear.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pom Poms.

I hate throwing out fabric. I keep even the tiniest scraps, knowing one day I will come across some amazing craft project involving tiny little scraps and I will be so happy I kept them. When I saw this project on Molly Chicken I was glad I saved all those strips of fabric left over from straightening and shortening all those sewing projects. Mine don't look nearly as nice as hers do (I made the cardboard rings too thin and used way too much fabric), but I like them.

Really a lot of scraps. I liked how she sorted hers into pinks/reds and blues so I did the same.

This is a wonderful way to keep your hands busy when you want something that you don't have to think about. Just wrap and wrap and wrap until there's no more room.

Then you cut and tie and hang, and you're done! Perfect! I'm going to make tiny red and green ones to hang on my Christmas tree this year. Yes, I'm already thinking about Christmas.

This was a nostalgic sort of craft for me. It reminded me of making yarn pom poms at Brownie camp each summer. It became the popular thing to do at camp during free craft time, and girls from each session would teach those in the next. We all had chains of pom poms hanging from our camp hats.

I don't know how I didn't find that big bunch of pom poms annoying. Seriously, look how many are on there!

Double points to this project. Using up huge amounts of scraps to make something cute and nostalgia all in one!

Friday, August 7, 2009


It has been a busy few weeks full of summer adventures, good friends, travel, gardening, crafting, and relaxing. We had friends from Germany staying with us for three weeks, and my blog was easily neglected. I have some craft projects to share, but this post is dedicated to one of my very favourite summer activities..cottaging. I don't have a cottage, but my uncle is kind enough to let us visit his every so often. It's on a small lake in Muskoka, and it is wonderful. One of my very favourite places.

It is quiet, fresh, and the scenery is incredible. I love sitting out on the dock and watching the boats pass by.

And every so often this boat comes by too, full of passengers waving to those out on their docks.

There are wonderful antique stores and even a vintage fabric shop for me to rummage through. This one is just too sweet.

Here I completed my Pink Gooseberry Cinderella bowl set. I had been looking for these bowls for a very long time.

This was Lola's first visit to the cottage. She loved exploring the land and swimming in the lake.

Being out on the water was so relaxing. I kayaked to the bigger lake and enjoyed the time spent alone. It allowed me to clear my head.

And others enjoyed the time spent together.
And after a long day we felt calm, refreshed, and at peace. Not quite ready to return to the business of the city, and anxious for our next trip up north.