Painting a Floor Cloth

May 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Posted in decorating | 6 Comments
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I’ve been wanting to make a floor cloth forever.  Well, this house tour thing got me going.  That and the fact that my hardwood floor needs to be refinished and I’m just not into moving everything right now.  I’m lucky that I received the vinyl remnant as a work perk.  I asked for the ugliest one with a paper backing and received a nice large piece.  I cut it to a five foot square approximately.

( As you can see in this picture I have already primed, painted and starting drawing my design on it.)

I then primed it with Fresh Start ( a high adhesion latex primer from BM).  Next I used some white flat latex (cause that’s what I had on hand  and I knew I would be coating the whole thing in latex urethane so it didn’t matter what finish I used at this point).

I  made my shapes using my mouse pad as a guide.

I made this stencil from bristle board and drew around it with a pencil on to the floorcloth.  I measured to keep things fairly even.

I then used black latex paint that I already had to paint my design.

Everyone got involved.

The cat hair adds texture.

Next I painted red in some of the centres.  I chose every other square in every other line.  I then put about four coats of Stays Clear (BM latex urethane in Low Lustre) on it..

I’m very happy with how it turned out.  I’ve been weighing down the edges with heavy books and it’s made a big difference to the waviness.

My Bliss

April 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Posted in decorating, sewing | 6 Comments

After years of waiting for this room to be built I’m finely getting very close to finishing my sewing room.  I’ve mentioned before that I have agreed to be part of the local house tour this June.  I knew this would motivate me to put the finishing touches on my house and complete some projects that need doing.

Today, I made two pillows for the pull out sofa in this room and I love the way they turned out.   I used some bark cloth from a set of old curtains I picked up at a junk store and part of a chenille bedspread which I dyed hot pink quite some time ago.  I used some Belle fabric from Amy Butler and some Lotus on the back of the floral square pillow.

I made the curtains last week and sewing on that jumbo rickrack just about did me in.  I know there is probably easier ways to do it but, that’s not my way.  I machine sewed down both edges, zigzagging back and forth along the way.  Crazy, I know.

I made the bird cutout from some  vintage wallpaper left over from my husband’s parent’s cottage.  I have a case of assorted patterns.

I also  repainted this bookcase which my friends so kindly donated to me.  I used stem green from Benjamin Moore and I used the new Aura paint in Satin.  Covered well and looks great…To me.

I’m really happy with how things are turning out and can’t wait to get some serious sewing done here.

The other side of the room is nearly done and I’ll take pictures when I’m happy with it.

Mama went shopping

April 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Posted in Life | 1 Comment
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On  Good Friday I went to the One of a Kind Show in Toronto.  They have these shows in other cities like Chicago, Vancouver and New York, and they are so worth while to go to.  You get to see  and often meet craft people, designers and artisans from all over that create beautiful pieces of work.  I usually just go to the Christmas one with the intention of buying gifts for family and friends.  This time it was all about ME.  I felt a little guilty but in the end I am so happy I splurged on myself.  I ended up buying some wonderful  jewellery from here.   I bought a  ring in silver (shown above)  and a necklace.  But wait that’s not all.  I’d seen this shop at the last show and hummed and hawed about buying something.  It only took me 4 months but Ifinally bought a couple of items.  A  top and skirt that I am so excited about.

The top I bought is this same colour as the one in the photo below, but the print is of a flower.  The skirt I bought is green with silk screened leaves.  I think it will be my market skirt.  That’s exactly what my daughter thought when she saw it too.  When I told her how much they were she was a little surprized that I had spent so much on myself, but she said I deserved it.  I think so too.  As much as I love sewing for myself I feel really good about these purchases.  They are both from Canadian companies that are trying to produce quality goods. 


Guilty Admission:

Even though  I did buy a Canadian made bug box, small wooden toy and two decorated cookies  from the show for the two baskets I did up this year I also bought some crappy chinese stuff  from the dollar store.  I felt terrible about it and that is at least a step in the right direction.  I promise to be more organized for next year and make some items for their baskets or at least shop smart.

The Easiest Sundress Ever

March 26, 2010 at 11:38 am | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments

I was in Toronto last week visiting  Canada Blooms and couldn’t resist dropping in at a couple of fabric stores while there.   My local Fabricland is closing and is almost completely empty at this point.  So, while shopping for some black and white fabric for a friends duvet cover I came across this

Please ignore the mess in the background.  I’m trying to make a few things for the farmers market when I was distracted by this bit of loveliness.  It was $17 a metre, but I had to buy it. The top of this fabric is smocked . Normally I wait for sales but I was afraid the prints that my daughter would like would be gone by then.  So, for just around .8 of a metre or $13.60  she has another new sundress.   The fabric was printed with some horizontal stripes along the bottom edge.  These can be cut off and made into straps if you’d like.  I cut them off to achieve the desired length and she decided not to put straps on this dress just yet anyways.


I couldn’t decide which picture is least dreadful, so I’ve included both.

Now, back to business and cleaning up the horrendous sewing room.

An Education

March 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments

My daughter has been asking for a couple of years now if we can get a booth at the local farmer’s market.  Well… I’ve relented.  I was happy to see that Bobcaygeon, the town we are actually a part of (on the outskirts of) is starting a market this spring.  Many years ago when our greenhouse business was starting out we took our wares to the Lindsay Farmer’s Market (30 minutes away).  Once we had enough wholesale buyers we stopped going and I sort of missed it.  Maybe not the early hours and the rain but, it was nice to feel part of a community like that.  This new market is closer and they have a shelter in the event of rain.  As well our honey producing neighbours will be participating.  How nice!

My daughter wants to sell her jewellry and I thought I’d sew up a few things to round out the table a little.  We will probably be bringing planters and hanging baskets once the season starts as well.  I’ve made these

so far anyways.  They are a combination of tutorials I’ve been collecting lately.  One is from here and the other from here.  I changed the size and methods but both are really good to get you started.  The fabric for the one on top came from scraps included in a fat quarter swap from Amanda.  They look great and I’ll probably  be looking for more of these fabrics from Amy Butler.

I’ve also made three yoga bags inspired by Amy Butlers free pattern here.  I changed them a little as well.  I’ve made it before for my daughter and myself and found it quick and easy.  I think I’ll make at least 15 of these to get started and then maybe some shopping bags.  I hope they go well seeing as it is a farmer’s market and people will need shopping bags.  Pricing is always a problem.  I don’t want to under value my time and ability and price things too cheap, but I still want to make enough sales to pay for the booth.  I’ve read lately just how important it is to place a fair price on these handmade goods.  They should be valued more than cheap imports.  By underpricing we hurt all the people trying to manufacture good quality goods locally.   I’m not trying to get rich.  Trust me this wouldn’t be the way to do it.  I’m trying to give my daughter a taste of business.

Pattern Challenge: McCalls 5919

February 27, 2010 at 11:12 am | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments
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I’m so glad to get one more project accomplished on my to do list.  A friend of ours is having their second child anytime now and I wanted to make something special for child number one.  The older sibling sometimes gets a little forgotten at these times so I wanted to be able to present her with a gift when we brought something for the baby.  It’s a special time in her life too afterall.

I use to sew clothes all the time.  Blazers, dresses, even my own wedding dress.  Yes, one day I will purchase a scanner and be able to post it all.  Over the last few years of renovating I have turned my attention to home projects.  I sew drapery, blinds, slip covers, duvet covers, and lots of pillows for myself and clients.  I have a stash of oh I don’t know…100 patterns.  Maybe more, and I ‘ve given away about the same quantity.   I use to work at a fabric store and when there was discontinued patterns they let us take them.  It wasn’t unusual to drag home one or two huge bags packed with patterns.  Hoarders?  Ya, maybe a little.  I have given many away as styles and ambitions changed.

It has been good lately to get back to garment sewing if only on smaller simpler projects like the sundress from OYW and this  little tunic above.  I think joining the Pattern Challenge really helped me to get motivated.  I especially like sewing for kids.

As for a review of this pattern, I’ve done so on Pattern Review here.

Friday night “Sew-In”

February 20, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Posted in decorating | 1 Comment
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Well the sew- in turned into a project-in, but that’s okay.  I felt really good about getting these projects  completed.  I hung twp roman blinds.   They are my Ikea hack.  There is a really good website where you can find many more creative hacks here, but this is my hack.  I bought these Ikea curtains and made them into blinds. Not extremely clever, but it solved my problems.

I’m only showing one because the other is exactly the same.  I need to add weight rods, they are a little bit slouchy just yet.

I also worked on framing and hanging a collection of arrowheads and a picture of the farm where the arrowheads were found.

I’m really happy how this grouping turned out.  The shelf holds some artifacts found on the same farm.  One of the arrowheads was actually found on our farm here in Bobcaygeon.   These were my father-in-laws and they have been left to my husband.  I pinned short descriptions under each arrowhead as to where it was found, by whom and when.  I’m glad I joined this “sew-in” even if I didn’t sew this time.  I do have a little more room in my sewing room though and maybe I can get at the next round of projects a little easier.

Putting another job to bed

February 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Posted in decorating | 3 Comments

Here it is.

I’m  happy with how this project has turned out.  I’ve raised the bed a little to give myself more storage underneath. Scrapbooking  gear will find a home under there.   (I just made you say underwear) .  Never mind me.

I had these little cross stitched dog pictures in my mudroom.  The mudroom is a little over decorated.  I crime I will admit to wholeheartedly.  I like them in this new place.  Moving them has been like purchasing them all over again.  This might be a revelation for me.  I could save hundreds of dollars moving my stuff around.

There are a few touch ups to do since hauling this beast upstairs resulted in a couple of bumps and bangs.  Oh well, the list gets shorter…then longer again.  That’s life.

I’m also very happy with the pillows.  I’m still rethinking sheet colour though.  I’d love white but, husband is hard on white.  Ummm. Maybe I could use white pillows and train him to remove them before bedtime. ?

I need a bed skirt and have been researching this.  A tailored white skirt seems to be the one for me.  I’ll likely be unhappy with the quality of pre-made skirts I can afford, so I’ll be putting yet another item on my to make list. Luckily the fabric store nearby is having a huge sale and price shouldn’t be an issue.  Time is the issue, because I’ve formally agreed to putting the house on a local house tour.  I keep putting them off every year, but this is it.  I figure it will push me to get things done.  Many many things done.

A Sundress Rant

February 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Posted in sewing | 6 Comments
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I should rejoice in the fact that she will still wear something I make.  This is a cute little dress that looks good with jeans, shorts or as a short dress for summer.

We found the pattern in One Yard Wonders.  It is called the Simply Beautiful Sundress.   We searched for a few minutes for the skirt pattern piece and then realized it is cut from directions.  Not a problem.  There are only two other pattern pieces for this dress, a bodice front and back.  Very simple, but we had a few problems.  I learned how to sew from the major pattern companies and I am use to their methods.  I like the marked pattern pieces that tell you where side seams are, give you notches to match up and etc.  This has none of that.  What was confusing was the diagrams that don’t follow what I feel the written directions are saying.  The diagram shows the back and front bodice pieces being attached to the skirt at the front.  It looks as if the back is backless?  I used what little common sense I have and assumed the seam where the front and back bodice are attached together would be the side seam and that these should match with the side seams of the skirt.  An elastic is attached and it is a little strange too.  The directions tell you to mark it in quarters and attach to the dress.  I assume this means front, side seam, back and side seam.  The elastic is pulled more on the back and less on the front.  I guess this is to allow for booty.  A little more fullness at the back?  Makes sense but this should be shown or explained.  Lastly,  it directs  you to topstitch to hold this seam allowance down towards the skirt.  Topstitch on a gathered seam?  This would look messy .  I can’t see topstitching on the one in the picture.  It’s  patterns like this that make me appreciate the back views and line drawings that the big pattern companies have.

We got lucky and happened to have a great match for the bias tape.  The fabric is Amy Butler Midwest Modern Ohio Sky.  It was really nice to use and I love the look for summer.

I’m the type of person who likes to follow the directions.  I’ve heard others say they use patterns as suggestion only and as a general guide.  I like to make changes, but I expect the pattern I’ve paid for to actually make sense too.

Here are some pictures of the back, front and inside sans daughter.

Thanks for the rant.  Next project ..

Friday night Sew-In

February 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Posted in sewing | Leave a comment

I’ve agreed to join a sew-in and you should too.  You don’t have to sew, any craft project you would like to do will suffice.

If you click on this button to the right of this blog you can follow it to Handmade by Heidi’s blog and get the badge and details there.  The next Sew-In is Friday February 19th.  I’ll be blogging about my project the following day.  Hopefully it will be complete but, even if it isn’t I’ll share.  Sounds like  a good way to get me moving. 

Oh, and the best part is there is a GIVEAWAY on February 21st  that you will be entered in if you participate. Lovely.

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