I haven't done much crafting lately. My shift at my day job has turned my job into a night job, so sleep has become a priority. The upside of that is during the wee hours of the morning while I'm at work, I have been doing a ton of reading. I've read 20 books so far this year, mostly trash romance, but I've thoroughly enjoyed all the reading I've been able to do. I've been using the Overdrive app on my kindle and scooping up library cards like they're going out of style to broaden my ebook library.
Since my crafting has been minimal, I think I'm gonna start posting book reviews.
I started the year off with the "Surrender" series by Priscilla West -- this includes Forbidden Surrender, Secret Surrender, and Beautiful Surrender. The three books are basically the different stages of Kristin and Vincent's relationship. Kristin is an up and coming financial advisor. Vincent is a billionare looking for a wealth management firm. She doesn't want to sleep her way up the corporate ladder, but he's also smoking hot. Then she doesn't want to get fired for sleeping with a client. Hijinx ensue, but the 3 book series is a fun and easy read with super hot and steamy sex scenes, enough of a story to not feel too raunchy, and a happy ending.
It's a new year and time for a new project! In the post Christmas hangover, the space above my fireplace was looking a little lonely. The Christmas wreath looked great up there and I wanted to fill the space with something year round. Enter the succulent wreath. Pottery Barn has one for $100, but it's only 18" in diameter. Sam's club claims the one I had up at xmas was 39" but I measured it and it was closer to 32".
Etsy shops I contacted wanted $400 for a wreath the size I wanted. WAY out of budget. I went to Michael's looking for succulents to make my own wreath, and even with a coupon, it was gonna cost me $300-400 in plants to make my own, so also, WAY out of budget.
Enter Shinoda Design Center, which if you have a business, is THE spot for crafty stuff. It's a wholesaler, so you have to have a business license or a business Tax EIN, or be a non-profit to shop there, but it's amazing. I was able to get all the succulents I needed to fill a 30" grapevine wreath form and make it look like this!
I realize it's been a while since I've posted, but it's been awhile since I've crafted anything too. To ease my gentle transition back to blogging, I've started with some pillow shams for my mother in law. She bought a basic table cloth at Target, and following this tutorial, I turned it into a couple of pillow shams. I'd say this is a super easy project, the hardest part was cutting straight lines, and with a rotary cutter, it was pretty easy.
It's all straight line sewing, I did serge the inside edges just because I could and it kept everything tidy.
Now that we're mostly settled into the new house, I'm finally starting to get my sewing room together. My first real project was morphing the Ikea Stenstorp Kitchen Island into a cutting table. I liked that it was already counter height, and the right size to fit my big cutting mat. The shelves on the one side are great, and the other side has space to tuck in a bar stool or two which is great.
It wasn't a big departure, but I added casters. I wanted to be able to move the thing easily off the wall and around my small space. The feet of the island are rather small and most of the casters with a mounting plate are too big to fit or proportioned wrong. I ended up getting these vintage inspired casters from Home Depot.
The island came with plastic feet nailed into the bottoms of the legs, I pulled those off and used the nail holes to mark where I'd drill out pilot holes to screw the caster in. I used a vice grip to get it the rest of the way in and tight then screwed in the finish screws.
It works great! My floors are tile, so the small casters work great. If you have carpet you may need to use something with a bigger wheel to distribute the weight of the island. I like these small ones because I'm short, and it didn't raise the counter height island up too high so I can still stand and cut comfortably at the work surface.
So it's been a month and the laundry pedestal is working out great. It's painted and put in place, I put a couple of little trim pieces on to cover the edge of the plywood and it looks great. I thought about decorating it with chalkboard paint so I could note which clothes were in the baskets underneath, or clean or dirty, but I haven't gotten that far yet and my other list of projects is long. So for now, this is good enough, and it's working great.
I've actually been using the pedestal for about a week and I'm really pleased. It was WAY chepaer than buying the pedestals from the appliance store and has been WAY more functional.
At the old house, we had the metal pedestals that matched the washer and dryer and they're pretty useless. Nobody wants to bend and lift detergent from under there, so we ended up using ours to store old towels.
This new pedestal was built to hold laundry baskets. I can fit 3 full size rubbermaid hip-hugger laundry baskets under there which has been infinitely more useful.
It's SO cute, maybe I'll try it. Oh, but the pattern sizes won't fit me. Pattern grading you say? What? Noooo, way too hard for me. I don't sew clothes anyway.
Or do I?
I followed the instructions on The Drapery blog and though I was skeptical, it worked like a charm. I made the test fit bodice out of an old sheet and it fit perfectly. I am cautiously optimistic that this might actually work.
My cousin posted a picture of her two year old grandson cooking while wearing an adult sized apron. She commented that she should buy him his own. Project! I traced one that my son was gifted at Christmas, added some personalization, and voila! It took me about a half an hour, I only messed up the embroidery twice, and I managed not to burn myself pressing seams!