Craft Room Makeover: Phases I and II

That's what I aim to do!
Some years ago I bought this house and made a mistake.  You can call it "excitement" or "tradition" or whatever, but this is what I did.  I "saved" the room designated as the "formal living room" to be just that (mistake).  My mom helped fill my head with ideas of antique furniture and such.  This is an older home, so lots of DIY work had to be done.  A friend of mine and I started cleaning walls and wall papering in the theme I wanted at the time (mistake) and in our efforts to decorate, we discovered that underneath the yucky indoor/outdoor carpet and equally nasty carpet padding was ....Hardwood Floors!

After painting and wall papering
Discovered the hardwood floors
Do you know that that room stayed just like this for years?  Years. (mistake, mistake, mistake)

In those years, I started discovering more of my own personal style and tastes.  And, although I still very much like my wallpaper theme, it's not my ideal for a craft space.  [Oh, I forgot to mention that last year I decided that this "formal living room" would be better served as a craft space.]  So, in an effort to save (money and time), I've decided to leave the walls as is and to challenge myself to create a space that I can work in and feel is a part of my own style.

My first challenge was to get the place cleaned.  I started last summer with gutting out the closet and creating a craft closet.  Although some of the items have changed, I've been able to maintain the organization of the closet.
Trying my best to keep it organized
Each shelf is basically designated to a different craft form
The top shelf is really a bookcase shelf.  The fabric bins are up there.  Honestly, if I don't use those trashbags full of plastic bags to make the plarn totes, I'm going to have to purge.  I'm getting sick of looking at plastic bags.

There are some corners of this room that are still not that presentable, but this is a work in progress.  I look forward to watching this room transform for literally "pennies" - because that's what I have towards this DIY project.  lol

Got the craft table for Christmas.  I want to make a table skirt and of course clean off the top.  I was looking for something and just dumped the bin on the table.

Some like to store in jars, on shelves, in drawers.  I like baskets - thrifted finds, except that one in the back.  I bought that on a trip in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Happy Crafting,

My Contribution to Craft Saturday

I had planned on a sewing project. There were two pieces of fabric calling my name from the fabric stash in the closet. I prewashed the fabric and prepped for the project. Unfortunately I live in a place where sewing notions are few and far between. I clearly wasn't going to drive 70 miles for a spool of thread or a zipper, so I put that project on hold.

Instead, I turned on the t.v. and made enough facial scrubbies to finish off my white skein of cotton yarn. Typically when I make a sale on Etsy or receive an order in person, I add a freebie. Facial scrubbies are just one example of a gift with purchase. I figured I'd get the bags of scrubbies ready for future sales. *fingers crossed here.*

Happy Crafting,

Yarn Bowl

How cool is this?  Spotted in Etsy this morning:

Yarn Bowl-TODAY show IN STOCK
[Red Hot Pottery:  Etsy Listing]

Happy Saturday,

Good Eats + A Sale


Warm and crunchy.

Plus, a sale!
Best wishes in your new home "Teal Paints Shawl".

Happy Friday,

Retro works fast

Just listed the plaid, thrifted napkins on yesterday and they've already been listed in an Etsy Treasury.  I see someone else is diggin' harvest gold and avocado green.

Happy Crafting,

Thrifted Finds

Several thrift store visits have yielded these beautiful table napkins.

Handstitched linens.  Embroidered edges.  
Set of 2

Plaid napkins.  Yarny, looped fringed edges.  So 70's.  
Set of 4

Vintage fabric.  Floral napkins.  
Set of 4

I think they're lovely, but into the shop they go!

Happy Crafting,

The Bag Reveal

I've been working on this custom order bag off and on for a little while now.  I listened and then not being able to find the pattern to match, I ended up making my own bag design.  That's part of what took so long.  Then the lining was another discovery.  I took notes though and I plan on making this bag again.  I'm very satisfied at how it turned out and that the customer likes it, although she hasn't seen it in person yet.  :-)

 Detachable flower pin.

Pretty red lining.

Double pockets and my very own satin label!

The bag itself.

On a side note:  Why is red so hard to photograph?  Gotta find the answer to that one.  I've got something else red to show you, but I'm struggling photographing it.

Happy Crafting,

Fabrics and Such

I have a lot of aunts.  But, I have an aunt who always loves to give even when she doesn't have to give.  Every Christmas we try to send the message, "no gifts" but every year a box manages to reach us from New York filled with a little something for everyone.  About two years ago, I tactfully told my mom to let my aunt know of something inexpensive up there (but expensive down here) that I loved.  At that time it was shea butter and a particular curry powder.  What did my aunt do?  She sent like 6 tubs of shea butter and 2 different heat levels of curry!  You just can't stop her.

This year I believe she tried to "kill two birds with one stone".  This aunt, also a crafty one, was given all these fabric samples from another aunt who sews.  Not wanting to say "I really don't know what to do with all of these," my aunt just held on to them for a long while before sending them my way.

Then there's Mary - my friend who scored dearly on the upholstery swatches at the thrift store.  After splitting her stash with me, here's what I ended up with:

Oh, Gertrude is going to be busy now.  I actually pulled her out this week when my main machine's bobbin starting going wonky.  I think it's something in the tension, but I didn't feel like searching through the manual.  Sewing machine technician, I am not.  So I just switched my thread and bobbin to Gertrude and kept on moving.  Details on that project really soon.  I just have some hand-stitching and one more thing to make for that project to be finished.

Just wanted to share new additions to my stash.  And I didn't spend a dime.

Happy Crafting,

Home Decorating Project: Finding My Inspiration

Inspiration can be found in so many places.  Usually, I find mine in fabrics, but this time it was in a piece of pottery.  Some time ago, in 2010, I saw a piece of pottery at this upscale consignment shop.  My eye was drawn to it the moment I opened the door to the shop.  Unfortunately, there was a sticker on the back which meant that the price would never be reduced.  I looked at this piece on a few more occasions, but the price remained the same.  Then I forgot about it.

Lo and behold, my mother did not.  Sometime after Christmas a huge gift bag arrived filled with these thrifted decorations and such, and in the middle of all that, was this piece!  My mom is good for watching an item.  One day she went into the same store and purchased this piece for me.  Maybe it was because she went on a Tuesday and got a special discount.  Maybe it was because there was a new sales clerk who may or may have not known that discounts don't apply to items with a certain color sticker.  Who knows, but now this piece is mine and it will be an inspiration in my home.

So, what is it?  It's a piece of Chulucanas pottery from Chulucanas, Peru.  Most of the pieces of pottery of this style are black and white.  The piece is entitled, "Toro Mata".  "Toro Mata" is a Afro-Peruvian folk song very popular in Peru. I wish I could visit Peru when my friends go this summer, but at least I will have a piece of Peru in my home. 

Happy Decorating,

Um, Happy Valentine's Day

Flashback:  I remember sending Valentine Cards as a kid and spending countless moments trying to decide which card in the box didn't sound like I was madly in love with every boy in my class.  No matter how innocent the little blurbs were on the cards, you had to make sure it couldn't be interpreted otherwise.  Ahhh, those were the days.

Confession:  Now, Valentine's Day is basically just a regular day for me.

The Exception:  When you have a profession such as mine, you can't ever forget Valentine's Day, no matter how hard you try.  The kids will N.E.V.E.R. forget.  They will remind you and ask you for a list of names until you give in and send that list home.

The Reality:  The younger the kids, the more fun Valentine's Day is.  Candy, treat bags, Valentine cards for everybody, hugs, and "Happy Valentine's Day"s are said.  The older the kids, the more it's not about just sending cards to everybody and candy hearts and such.  It's more serious.  Teddy bears, flowers, big cards that need two people to carry.  And we're still talking elementary school here.  That's the difference between 8/9 year olds and 11/12 year olds.  8 and 9 year olds do this:

And Sometimes:  You'll have a friend that wants you to feel so special on this Cupid boy's day that they leave a little surprise on your desk at work.  :-)

I could hardly concentrate all day for wanting to browse through this book!

And you'll be glad you wore a little red and showed your spirit and your new hair.

And you'll want to share with your blog friends the little heart blanket that's in the making just because it is Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day All,

Life as I Know It - Weekly Update #1

"I'm alive, and kicking" as they say.  Just loaded down with so much work, paperwork, and work that I can hardly come up for fresh air!

Being abnormal is becoming the norm and it's taking a toll on my body.  So while I try to fight off the allergies, and sinuses, and stomach weirdness, let me tell you a snippet of the good, craft side of life:

  • I finally started that blanket I was supposed to make waaaay back when.  I'm constructing it in strips.  No time/patience for squares and completing a whole design with no piecing together was seemingly impossible for this blanket.  I'll be sure to show you WIP pictures; I'm not going to make you wait until I finish.  I promise.  Think "hearts."
  • Finished a custom "dead eye fish hat" and received a request for another.  This time from London.
  • Still have to sew the lining to this custom bag and then it'll be done.
  • Got some new sew-in business labels for my own designs.  They are just too cute.  Gotta order a more manly design next time.  Some guys don't dig the polka dots and springy colors and that, I understand.
  • Finally found a place that sells photo-mount cards at a price I can afford.  Now I can make my long-awaited notecard sets.  (This is why it's good to chat with customers.  They know stuff.)
  • Visited a Joann's Craft store recently and fell in love with this machine.
  • My friend, Mary made a huge score at a newly found local thrift store and she halved her stash of upholstery sample squares with me.  10 cents a piece!  I received about 35 pieces.
  • Received a request from someone on Flickr to use a picture of my Onion Salad on their Wiki project.  So, now my photo is published there.
  • Got my hair in the afro twists now at the African Braid Shop I go to, and the shop stylist told me about a African Fashion and Beauty Supply store that sells beautiful wax prints.  I went there and fell in love.  The fabrics are authentic African prints.  You can still feel the dye in the cloths.  Most of them are pre-cut into 6 yd pieces, so I'll have to wait until another day to purchase that.  But at least I know where I can go.  In the meantime the owner, Maguy, found some smaller pieces that I could afford and so I bought one set (gorgeous, gorgeous) and a piece of authentic black soap.  What is the lesson here?  Every culture has its own inside network.  Don't be afraid to learn new people even when they speak other languages; be kind, and they will help you out.
Much to do, so I better go.  Hope to visit my own blog again soon.  :-)

Until then...