a friendly reminder and a gold jack

you’ve got until noon PST on sunday to enter to win a clever charlotte pattern of your choice, so if you haven’t gotten your name in yet…go do it!

we spent thanksgiving up at the sound with my husband’s family.  we stayed warm by the fire while a storm stirred up the puget sound on thanksgiving day, and stuffed our faces full of good food.  Em and i even braved the beach for a bit – don’t you love a stormy day at the beach?  i really do, and luckily she’s a girl after my own heart.  we didn’t see the normal array of jellyfish, starfish, and geoducks, but we did turn over some rocks for a peek at the tiny crabs scurrying for cover underneath, and collected some driftwood for painting (i’m thinking something like this idea?).

speaking of painting, since we got home i’ve been spray painting stuff gold.  my sister-in-law got me this oversized metal jack that she knew i had wanted for my birthday, and she encouraged me to paint its odd, faux-rusty finish.  it wasn’t raining, so today was the day.

BOOM!  gilded jack bookend!

perfect to prop up my little collection of vintage books.  i get a kick out of finding books entitled “latin for today” or “occupations for little fingers” (a crafting and knot-tying book for kids) and will never pass up a hardcover classic like “oliver twist” (copyright MCMLVI).  when i go thrifting, these are the treasures i can’t leave behind.

thanks again, susie!

back soon with the winner!

an easy fix and my little sewing space

this is, quite possibly, the most satisfying, quickest, easiest project i’ve ever sewn.  in about 30 minutes, i went from an ironing board cover that looked like this:


to THIS:


i used the general idea of this tutorial, which i found via grosgrain.  turned my board upside down onto a 2 yard cut of denyse schmidt for joann fabric, marked about 3″ around the long sides (i’d recommend giving yourself a little more room, though, maybe 3.5″), gradually increasing to about 5″ beyond the narrow end and 4″ beyond the other end.  i serged the raw edge, then ironed down and sewed a 1/2″ casing around the outside.  i inserted 1/4″ elastic, tried it on the board to make sure enough elastic was in there to allow for it to stretch, stitched the ends of the elastic, and it was done!  that’s right, i didn’t even sew the gap closed.  i’m such a rebel.

the old cover was so thin and worn i burned myself all the time as the metal grid underneath heated up (see how overdue this project was?), so i added a layer of padding using scraps of batting sandwiched underneath the old cover.  i put the new cover on top the old one.

i’m very happy.

i love seeing other people’s creative spaces, so here’s a bit more of a peek at mine.  it’s in the basement of our 1920’s house, which we finished in anticipation of O’s arrival last winter.  my husband’s requirement was a space to watch movies; my requirement was a space to sew.  so let me first start with my old dungeon sewing area.  it was dim and cold, with a cement floor and no heat.  it looked like this:

my new sewing area is physically in the same corner of the basement and is still pretty small, but is now much brighter and warmer (due to the addition of recessed lighting and heat vents!):

my mom built a wonderful sewing table for me out of an ikea butcher block countertop, so my sewing machine and serger could sit side by side.  i hadn’t set up my serger until then because i didn’t have the desk space, so thanks again, mom!  my cutting table is behind me as i sit at my machines.  i had to drop a leaf while i was still pregnant, otherwise my big belly wouldn’t fit through that gap!  hehe.

various sewing books and notions reside on ikea shelves mounted to the right of the sewing space.

i painted a chalkboard cloud right onto the wall, which is normally filled with my sewing agenda because i’m a listmaker, but i’m laser focused on my next project so it doesn’t need to be written down.  😉

outdated college text books are used as a speaker stand (i think it’s funny to have the most left brained school subjects propping up the tunes in my creative space).

and a mini rainbow of thread.

you don’t get to see my fabric stash because i didn’t bother to clean it up (insert evil laugh here)!  otherwise, this is about as clean as my space gets.  once when i was deep in a project, my sister likened the state of the room to a “mad scientist’s lab.”  fabric piled everywhere, patterns spread out, thread all over the floor…so you shouldn’t think this is a normal state of affairs, but i do like to keep things organized enough for me to know where my supplies are and have space to work.

i would encourage anyone that has an ugly old ironing board cover to take a little time away from “normal sewing” and whip yourself up a new one to spruce up your sewing space.  just do it!  trust me, you’ll be so glad you did.