Monthly Archives: April 2014

If you give a mouse a cookie…

you probably know the rest…he’ll ask for a glass of milk!  As with much in life, one thing always leads to another and nothing is as simple or easy as you think it is.

In February our oldest son moved out to his own place. He took some furniture and most of his clothes. But he left lots of books, memorabilia, etc. We are happy to store it for him–somewhere in our small house.  But I digress. His basement bedroom was now available. Can you say sewing studio? Not so fast.

Fast forward to April. Our youngest is coming home from college next month and will be home indefinitely. He has decided the basement room is perfect for him. His room will be empty. Okay, now can I say, sewing studio?

MeasurementsStudio 1

Over the next few weeks we will clean out our garden shed, move less important items from our kid’s clubhouse (wonderful building my dad built for our kids many years ago) to the shed, buy lots of plastic totes for Chris’ leftover stuff and Andrew’s college household goods, pack and store them in the clubhouse, move Andrew’s stuff to the bedroom basement, paint the new studio, move my sewing stuff in…whew! And I haven’t even mentioned redoing the living room once the sewing stuff is out…I think we’ll take the sofa from the family room and then…okay, I’ll stop. As my co-worker would say, these are all “first world problems.” I am blessed to have so many options and such a supportive family.

If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk. If you give him a glass of mild, he’ll ask for a straw…


From Trash to Treasure–Literally

Our next door neighbor passed away a few months ago. Pretty sad story really–he lived a fairly lonely life. Not the friendliest of guys so most of the neighbors didn’t go our of their way to to befriend him. I always felt a bit sorry for him and tried to wave hello whenever I saw him.

The past few months they have been cleaning out his house in preparation for a sale. Our trash guys have been very busy picking up old chairs and such from the curb. One day I spied something in the trash I thought I could use. I looked at it for 3-4 days before finally snagging it and stashing it in my backyard.  I wonder if anyone saw me do it? 🙂  It was a door frame with 4 window panes–well actually 3–one was missing.  (sorry no how to pictures–I made this before I started the blog)

Window 1

I cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of white paint. The wood was nicked up a bit, but that adds to its charm, I think.

In the first pane I created a fabric-covered bulletin board. I had an piece of foam core sitting around that I cut to size. I added some batting and folded the fabric around the board and then taped it in place. I wrapped the ribbon around it and tacked it with pins on the back. I added some covered buttons and with a large needle was able to tie them to the board. I then used some hot glue to stick it to one of the glass panes.

Window 2

In the 2 middle sections I used some chalk board contact paper. it worked pretty well, but I think if I did this again, I’d try a spray paint version.

Window 4

I had one spot left and thought–let’s do a cork board. I found a piece of cork at Michael’s in the clearance section–it was cracked–no problem for this project. I covered it with some burlap, also from Michael’s. I put it into the frame without the glass–figured it was easier to push pins through if there wasn’t a pane of glass right behind it. It was slightly short so I added some black decorative cording at the top and bottom.

I used some nails to keep it in place–that’s not working so well. I’ll need to find a better way. My handy son Andrew is in town this weekend–I’ll bet he has some great ideas.

Window 3

Once I decide where it will live and whether it will hang vertically or horizontally, I’ll add some hooks to make it easy to hang.



Sunshine Quilt

The weather in the Midwest in the spring is always crazy–shorts are fine one day and the next you’re pulling out your boots and sweaters.  One remedy for the dreary days is a bright and colorful quilt. I’m calling this one Sunshine!

Sunshine quilt 5  It still needs white borders on the right and left sides. And then some bright colored border around the entire quilt.

I made this with a Summer Breeze by Riley Blake charm pack and some fat quarters from my stash.

New project

I put 2 charm squares together and sewed a quarter-inch seam on 2 opposite sides–east and west. Then I cut them in half and pressed the seams open. Next I placed them on top of each other (flip them around so you are putting a solid right on top of a print). Now sew seams on the east and west sides and cut open. Press and add to your pile.

New project 1Sunshine quilt 2Sunshine quilt 3

Couldn’t do this without this design wall hanging in the wall off the living room. Only problem is the dog knocks the blocks off with her tail. I wake up in the morning with squares on the floor. I have learned to take a picture before I got to bed–otherwise I’d never be able to put it back together.

Sunshine quilt 4


Clutter always looks better in a basket (or box)

When our boys were little there were toys and books all over the place.  I discovered early on that if you put the clutter in a cute basket, suddenly you can call the mess “decorative.”

In the vain I thought about all the sewing stuff I have sitting around…all the fabric for a quilt, the embroidery threads and fabric for Christmas gifts, etc. If I put it in something-voila!  It looks intentional.

box with fabric

Here in St. Louis we have a service called “Fruit My Cube.” They deliver fruits and veggies to our work each week. I have collected many of their boxes–nice size and very sturdy–just not in keeping with my studio theme.

fruit 1

Time for a little fabric magic. I used some white card stock to prevent the print from showing through.

fruit 3fruit 2

Then I covered the box with some aqua chevron fabric I had. I I used some spray adhesive and basically wrapped it like a present.


Not bad, but it needed a little something more. A handle perhaps?

Grommet 1box 3

Picked up the grommets and cotton cording at Jo-Ann’s and I was ready to go.

box 4 It was a little challenging cutting through the thick corrugated cardboard. Next time I’ll pick the thinner side of the box 🙂

I added the grommets and the rope. Love it!

box 6box 5

Here is the red version.

box 8 I think any clutter I have will look better in one of these boxes!