Saturday, July 28, 2007

Baby Lizard... wait, caterpillar?

Sharon told me about this intensely cute embroidery book. Here is my first design.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sarah Kusa's Web Store Debut

Sarah Kusa, friend and rower extraordinaire, has just launched her online store! She's been designing hand-screenprinted home decor goods for the past year and is taking her business to the next level. Check her out.
Sarah Kusa Design Goods

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Here is a pair of pillowcases that I made to honor the ever so wonderful SOB (sister of bride), who was also a fantastic maid of honor. I loved this old-fashioned pattern by Bucilla that duke sent me and the bright summery colors it required. The pattern, stamped directly on the pillow cases, washes out, but you have to select fairly hot water (40 C/over 100 F).

Repainting dressers

Spring came and with it the desire to upgrade the look of the bedroom, which hosted some gems, like a fire engine red dresser and a totally useless IKEA bathroom cupboard that was desperately trying to live up to the demands of clothes storage. I found a $10 lime green dresser at a school fundraiser, thusly relegating the IKEA cupboard to presiding over greater order in our basement storage space. The fire engine red dresser, in its ruddy health, was not to be discarded or moved, but transformed.
I started first by finding new drawer knobs that could be used on both dressers to create a little more furniture harmony in the room. I found that at a store in Norway a bit like Anthropologie, where it is possible to order new knobs online. I wanted to keep the bedroom rather light, as the room is small, so looked for a paint color in the white family with green undertones and bought paint. We used about 1.5 liters of semi-matte oil based paint for two dressers, be sure not to buy too much as paint is expensivo! Oil paint is great for trim and furniture. In addition, I bought a new roller and a new brush.
On both dressers, Lars and I started by removing the existing wooden knobs and then sanding them, merely to rough up the surface lightly so that it took paint better. I then washed both dressers with a light soap to remove dust (in fact when sanding the red dresser, I wet the surface just before sanding in order to keep red dust down as we were doing this inside). On the light lime green dresser, we skipped the coat of primer as the color was quite light and then over the course of three days we applied three coats (with 24 hour drying time). The red dresser got a coat of primer first and then only required one further coat (and we ran out of paint...).

I think our only surprise was that as we didn't assiduously clean the roller (used for the broad flat surfaces such as top and fronts of drawers), the roller sponge became uneven/a bit prickly and in later coats would rough up the surface a bit. I kind of like the not totally glossy, flat look anyway, and better than opening up white spirit in the apartment to clean the brushes (yuck). Very fun to make something old into something new!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Spring-- er, summer skirt

Thankfully I finished this before fall. It's my first solo sewing project, thanks to a lot of guidance from my mom. Things I learned: zipper, hem, waistband... um, everything.

Funniest potential blunder: I knew the back should be hemmed slightly longer than the front. I thought an inch difference might do the trick. Right. Like I have an inch's worth of badonkadonk that needs accommodating (wishful thinking). Had my mom not stepped in to suggest a hem-pinning with the skirt on, I might have ended up with something like this:


Ta da! Here is the purse I made for Elana's big day! I wanted to make something special out of the hem from her bridal gown and decided a little purse might come in handy. Unfortunately there wasn't enough fabric from the bridal gown for the exterior, so I purchased a matching fabric and stitched together the hem from my SOB (sister of the bride) dress for a spicy interior. The small hearts embroidered with their initials and wedding day are made from her g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s dress fabric (we're talkin' buttery, here). The 8.5" purse frame and Guterman glue came from and I followed the directions they posted to assemble the clutch purse.