Monday, July 29, 2013

Wedding Shadow Box

3 years later, I finally got around to making the shadow box for my wedding. I wanted to make one of these from day 1 because I knew I wanted to frame the pattern for my dress somehow. I have written about the wedding on the blog before (here, here, and here) but long story short, my mom and I made my dress and I made my reception dress (pics below) so I have the pattern and various scraps of lace and fabric that I wanted to preserve. I also saved a few other odds and ends to include like my "something old" and "something blue" - a vintage bow hair pin from my sister, and two charms from a bridal charm bracelet from my sister. I included the wedding invitation and a pink bow from my shoes too.

I adore the shadowbox I found, definitely the cutest one I've ever seen. I found it at Michaels for just $20 (after coupon). To attach my fabric, lace, etc. I use the pins that were already in the shadow box plus a couple corsage pins I already had. The only thing I ended up taping in was the wedding invitation because I didn't want to put a hole in it. I also ended up taking the physical pattern out of the pattern envelope so it would be less bulky.

Click the photo below to see it larger.

I included fabric from both my dresses (below). 

I love being able to look at this stuff that reminds me of that day + the year of planning leading up to it. We spend so much time and energy on wedding planning and then so much of it gets stored away in boxes and never sees the light of day again. I am glad to have my wedding memories out on display now!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Easy Tufted Cushion Tutorial

I have had these ice cream parlor chairs for a year or so and there was something just not quite cute enough about them... well I remedied that with these adorable tufted round cushions! I really had no idea how to tuft cushions so I just went for it in the way that made the most sense.

But first, I made the cushions. I found this fabric at Joanns and I thought the pink would match the front door pretty well. I want to say I spent about $7 or so on it. I bought half a yard and it worked... but it was a little tight. 3/4 of a yard would have been better. To get the round shape I took various sizes of plates outside to the chairs to see which seemed to be the right size. In the end I didn't have anything quite big enough so I ended up cutting about 1 inch extra around a large pasta serving bowl. In retrospect I should have cut them a little bit bigger than that because once I stuffed them they poofed up and were a little smaller than I had intended. The tufting did help with the poof though.

I picked some ribbon and laid the fabric circle on the chair to see where the ribbon would need to go in order to tie around the metal back of the chair. I pinned the ribbon in place on the right side of one circle (x2 for the other chair).

Then I simply put right sides together and sewed around the circle leaving the space between the ribbons open so I could flip it, stuff it, and sew it up when I was done.

After I stuffed them they looked like this (below). As I said, a bit poofy.

So then I tufted them! I picked 4 spots (the corners of the green medallion here) and went for it. I just tied a big knot in my thread and started from the back. I pulled really tight and went back through about 1/4 inch from where my needle came up and repeated that step 5-6 times. Sometimes I pulled the thread and knot right through the fabric but I just started again if that happened. I think this would have been even easier with small buttons because then the thread would be less likely to pull through plus it might have given an even more finished look to the cushion.

I think they turned out pretty cute! The porch looks more finished and I have an added pop of color. Definitely better than no cushion. 

... and they made for a nice prop in this recent anniversary pic.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bow Ribbon Frames

I have been looking for a tall and skinny frame or something to fill out my mini gallery wall in the bedroom. I was at Meijer with my sister awhile back and saw the cutest little black frames that hung from black and white ribbon. I thought it looked easy enough to do myself (even though the frames were only around $6 each) so I bought 2 $3 frames and a roll of ribbon which in retrospect cost me almost the same as if I had just bought the already made frames. Oh silly DIYing. But I was determined to just make them myself AND I found a roll of ribbon that matched the background of my button H frame (see how I made that here).

It was a super easy project. I just tied the ribbon into bows and secured the back with a little hot glue. Then I measured out the tails and glued the ends to the back of the frames (on an angle so they didn't hang funny).

Viola! The perfect fit for my gallery wall.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Coral Painting

I was in my mom's store a couple weeks ago and saw the most beautiful painting that would go perfectly in my bathroom. Unfortunately it was one of her student's paintings! But I talked my mom into painting me one too. And so now I am the proud owner of this beauty:

 Isn't it pretty? I guess the flower is inspired from her student's bedspread (kind of like the dresser painting I did to match my blanket). The color is perfect to match my shower curtain and pops against the gray and white stripes.

The painting is hanging directly across from the shower curtain.

Thanks mom! :-) See more of her work on her store's Facebook page: Ruthie's Paint and Yarn Shoppe

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ikea Scores

This week was an exciting one - my mom's birthday on Tuesday and my 3 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday. On Tuesday my mom and I went to Ikea in Chicago and out to lunch to celebrate. I intended to buy a new chair for my sewing room/office. While I love the ones I made for the room a long time ago (see the diy makeovers here), I was ready for an update. I looked online and found the chair I wanted. It looked like it was going to be $40. When I got there, it was only $19! 

I think it's pretty cute. 
Plus I get to roll around on the new flooring. 

I was also looking for a rug for the bedroom so the dogs don't have to jump directly onto the hard floors. I was thinking a black and white polka dot because I am still very noncommittal about color in there. So far everything was black, white, gray, and one pink pillow. Not anymore!

This rug was the weekly special so it was only TEN DOLLARS! Crazy. So far it seems to be decent quality and holding up to the dogs scratching at it etc.

I probably would have never picked it if it hadn't been on sale but I think I like it. The red is a little bright for the bedroom but it is fun and definitely a change of pace. 

I will call it a successful Ikea trip! Now back to work... at least the chair makes it a little more fun for now.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Organized & Sophistated Sewing Room

The title should read organized and more sophisticated sewing room because despite the changes, I still have a bright pink table and chandelier. But as I am headed toward the dreaded 25th birthday and I finally had a false sense of some extra time on my hands last month, T.J. and I embarked on a big house project ripping up carpet and putting down new flooring in the sewing room, man cave, and guest bathroom. And of course, while the flooring was up I thought I had better paint the trim and doors, which lead to painting and reorganizing the sewing room.

I finally got around to organizing my fabric using comic book cards (see this post for details) like I had intended to do at least a year ago when my sister gave them to me!
Here is the nitty gritty before shot. I made myself live like this until I took the time to properly organize the fabric:

 And after:

 I also got around to making new curtains. The old ones were driving me a little mad with their circus-like dots and ruffles (see them here), although I do still love the fabric. Love/hate maybe. This new fabric is a linen-like print I bought a few years ago in Columbia, SC. I originally intended to make a dress with a pretty full skirt so I bought a lot of it - enough for full length curtains apparently. If I remember correctly this is the most I have ever spent on one piece of fabric, something like $40! Which really isn't bad for curtains...

Unfortunately I don't have a paint color to report here - I did something I am sure is #1 in the DIY handbook not to do - I mixed a bunch of grays + white + black that we had left over in the garage and hoped for the best! We had already spent a lot on the flooring and I really didn't want to go drop another $30 on a bucket of paint I knew I'd only use 1/2 of when I already had a bunch of grays in the garage. So I thought why not. What's the worst that could happen? I think it turned out okay although I won't ever be able to touch it up or replicate it and I ended up having just enough. It was very stressful when I thought I wouldn't be able to finish one of the walls and couldn't even go to the store to buy more. Yikes. Never again.

The organization process was honestly pretty time consuming which I think was made worse by my sitting on the floor to do the folding. If you can swing folding on your table that might be better. I was just enjoying the brand new floor! I refolded each piece of fabric and basically wrapped it around the comic book card (10 cents each). Pieces I thought were too big went in a different pile to be stored in the closet. I LOVE the way my fabric looks now. Much more inspiring and beautifully showcased. Now if only I had some time to play with it. 

One last thing... happy birthday to my mom today! 
Isn't she beautiful? I bet she made that vest herself too!

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