a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


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Triangle bunting

So remember my Christmas stocking? I hung it and the rest of our stockings up on our mantle for the first time ever. Like, I got myself a hammer and nails and did them up right. Then Christmas was over, and I had stupid ugly nails sticking out of my mantle.

What would a normal person do in this situation? Remove the nails and patch the holes, probably. Or leave them and wait until next Christmas.

But a crafty person? A crafty person’s twisted brain would say “Lo! An opportunity to make a pretty thing dost shine on me here!” and would get busy making said pretty thing. So that’s what I did. I was especially glad to take this on since our mantle/”fire”place (electric joke that it is) was pretty snoresville and plain plain plain before. Needed a little something.

I gathered up a bunch of fabric bits that I figured would generally ‘go’ together in that cool “who knew those would ‘go’ together, but they do!” kind of way. I cut them into diamond shapes that would be folded in half to create triangles. I sewed up the edges and turned them inside out and topstitched in matching burgundy thread, then strung them on some string and hung that baby UP.

Some of this fabric has made an appearance here on the blarg before. The green paisley, if you recall, was leftover from the first pillowcase dress I made, and some of that burgundy/yellowy striped stuff made a ring sling a while back, too. I’m trying really hard to use up some of my fabric stash and it is slow going, friends! But a noble endeavour, as I would like to make some room for, you know, that kid I just had.

So there it is. It hides the nails rather well, doesn’t it? And we can leave it up until next Christmas.


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Lamp revamp

I don’t really know why I haven’t learned my lesson about spray paint projects yet. But alas, here we are.

 

My revamped lamp: before (left) and after (right)

I found this lamp at one of my local thrift shops, and needing something to illuminate our otherwise dark second bedroom (it’s the kind with no overhead light, where the light switch controls a plug in the room instead), I snatched it up. I didn’t love the brassy brassy it had going on, but did like the lampshade part and the general shape of the base. So I decided I’d try my hand at repainting the base. With spray paint (again, why?). I figured that, while my last spray paint project was kind of irritating, I learned some lessons from it and so perhaps I could do better this time. Or maybe I just forgot about all the lameness over the last year. Quite possible. Or maybe it was just that I had my grubby little hands on some novelty crackle paint (on sale!) at Michael’s! “Novelty crackle paint?” you say? Why yes. It’s the stuff of dreams nasty chemicals that stink up your house for days. Maybe that’s why it was on sale…

Anyway this is what my bare-bones lamp base looked like before I gave it a makeover:

And this is a close-up of the base after painting happened:

So, a couple things went wrong with this. First, the amount of crackle this paint produces is directly related to the weight of the coat. Said simply, goopier parts made bigger crackles than more thinly-sprayed parts. This is a problem because of all the grooves and weird angles involved in painting something this shape.

Second, I couldn’t paint the brown cord or the still-brassy-brass sections of the bits on top that hold the lightbulb. I didn’t want to mess with putting weird chemicals near a heat source, nor did I want to get stuff all up in the mechanism that turns the lamp on, or on any important electrical bits. I did spray the nub that screws the shade on, but there are many visual angles that reveal pretty blatantly that there were these “missed” spots. Purely out of hubris, I have not photographed them for display here. I prefer even my shitty projects to look nice in photos.

What did I learn by doing this? Very little. Except that I still hate spray paint’s guts. And perhaps that I should avoid using it, even when the perfect opportunity to make a mess presents itself (read: we ripped up our old flooring and, for a few days, I had bare concrete that did not need to be kept nice and un-painty).

Oh well, I shall just bask in the wonder of all my DIY misadventures in the light of my new lamp…


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Things I covet: Trees on walls

So, we’re not really going out of our way to decorate our baby’s room. Reason number one being that our baby’s room is basically going to be our room for the first I-don’t-know-how-long, and we’d like to keep our guest room available for… well, guests (because everybody wants to stay in a house with a crying baby, right?). But if we were going to do something, I am really digging these wall murals and decals featuring trees and nature scenes:

Lovely tree mural by Le Chat en Carton


Birch trees by Michelle Hlubinka at Make:Projects

Maybe once the kiddo moves to our second room we’ll have the motivation to do it up real kid-like for him or her. I’d love to do some kind of wall decor (though we do have some art hung in there already so I don’t know if it’d be a full room deal). But for now, I’m enjoying just looking at the results of other people’s hard work!


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Things I covet: Doily table runner

I’ve never been one for doilies. To me, doilies conjure up images of old ladies handing out scotch mints in dusty living rooms that smell of mothballs. But this project by Ashley Ann made me do a double take and rethink my old lady stereotype. Check out this amazing doily table runner she made!

So when you’re done prying those scotch mints apart, get your sticky fingers on the tutorial!


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Things I covet: Revamped serving tray

Christie at Lemon Squeezy Home had her sister, Rachelle, do this fabulous guest post tutorial showing how she revamped an ugly old wooden serving tray!  I love the bright colours and the modern look to the trees she designed.  So simple and elegant!

The tray before (left) and after (right)!

Check out the details on how to modge podge your way to new and wonderful home accessories like this one!


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Sewing machine cover

(Happy 100th post to me!)

In what seemed a strangely recursive experiment, I used my sewing machine today to sew something for my sewing machine. I made it a cover, in fact!  Following the tutorial from Sparkle Power that I’d been eyeing for months, I used up some of the black and yellow paisley fabric that was left over from making my shoulder/hobo bag.

Being a big rectangle and all, this little cover was pretty easy to sew up.  I spent a crafty afternoon sitting on the floor, cutting and ironing, while listening to my favourite podcasts.  Good way to spend the day.

This is what it looks like untied and flattened.

A couple other angles, for good measure. And because I got a bit shutter-happy.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  And thankfully I think my hobo bag and sewing machine cover will be easily able to avoid the fashion faux-pas of showing up to a social event wearing the same thing.  They don’t usually go to the same parties, anyway.

Psssst!  I’m participating in:

Sumo Sweet Stuff


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Things I covet: Fabric fortune cookies

How adroable is this idea for a “good job jar” full of fabric fortune cookies?  This idea comes to you courtesy of Megan from Brassy Apple (who was featured over at Moda Bake Shop!).

And the best part is, they’re not sewn shut, and actually have a fortune in each!  Although… part of me just likes the look and shape of them, and wonders if they could be made just for decoration. Perhaps put in a large jar or vase, much like the robin’s egg vase filler I blogged about not too long ago…

Well, no matter what your intent for these cute little friends, head over to the tutorial to find out how to make your own!


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Things I covet: Distressed alphabet/wall art

Perusing Happy Together today, I happened upon this great guest post by Delia of Delia Creates. In it she explains how to create a funky and distressed-looking alphabet wall hanging. My favourite part of the project is the photo scavenger hunt for great pictures of each letter!  I think it would be so much fun to go out on a drive or walk (especially fun for little helpers who are learning to recognize letters) and find a bunch of different, colourful letters to photograph!

Check out Delia’s blog for more inspiration and some handy tutorials!


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Things I covet: Clothesasaurus

When I first saw this post by Rachel at Smile and Wave, I thought to myself:  What in the heck is a tater box anyway?  Am I the only one who has never heard of such a thing?  Is it an American thing that we don’t have here in Canada?

No matter what its origin, a lick of paint is all it takes to turn a plain old wooden tater box into a pretty rad Clothesasaurus!

After

Before

Rachel made the Clothesasaurus to serve as a fun laundry hamper for her young son. I think it’s a great way to make doing laundry fun!  And you can practice tossing balled up socks into his mouth when he gets “hungry”!  My mom and I used to do that when I was a kid (into a much less exciting looking basket, mind you) and it’s one of my favourite memories.

I really need to find me a tater box…