Holiday Brainstorm

September 21, 2011

Holidays are around the corner. I hate to think about it but since i make a lot of gifts I have to start early. Last year I made a few small things but we mostly bought cookbooks and craft books for folks. We had lots of fun wrapping presents. I thought I’d share some of last years gifts and ideas for this years crafts to get the ball rolling!

We love to cook and we’re vegetarians so generally we love great vegetarian cookbooks! We hate to come across as trying to indoctrinate others to our lifestyle. We gifted the Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian Cookbook to one of Peter’s sisters who loves healthy recipes and vegetables. It’s a nice book with great photos along with the instructions.

I’m a craft nerd. I love craft books. We gifted to arts and crafts books last year. We got Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts for Peter’s other sister. It has lots of basic crafts but lots of really useful crafts laid out in simple Martha Stewart style. It’s jam-packed with gift ideas! For our niece who is into fashion and art we got a book called Fashion Designers Sketchbooks. It’s filled with fashion designers concept sketches. It’s goes inside the mind of someone who is creating a collection. It shows process and how designers get from point A to point B. We paired it with sketchbooks and a nice Pitt drawing pens.

We bought some H&M outfits for the little one. We bought a nice cheese board and cheese cutters from CB2 for Peter’s mom since she enjoys entertaining. She also wanted a vintage wooden ironing board for her craft room. Low and behold my grandmother had one collecting dust in her closet. She gave it to us to pass along. It had a cover with it but it was old and crusty so we bought some nice fabric to and gave it to her with the old cover so she could sew a cover for it herself.

Music is always a good gift. We like to pick out CD’s, yes CD’s, and give four or five as a nicely curated box set. One year we picked out prints for everyone. We bought some from Etsy and some elsewhere online. We framed them and matted them. We tried to pick things that were thoughtful and unique to each person.

I made some purses, some knitting needle holders, and aprons in the past. Last year i just made a few little things. For all the women I sewed little lavender filled squares with fun fabrics and presented them in little handmade pouches, The pouches could be used later for carrying jewelry while traveling or thrown into a purse for an extra pocket.

This year I have some ideas, most of which I can’t share yet. The one I’m willing to share is for our niece. I saw it on Craftgawker and then visited the original blog. It’s a project to make these fabric wings for a little girl . I think they’re magical. Has anyone made these yet? I’m dying to do it.

In many months I will post photos of all the goods we make. It’s definitely going to be a handmade holiday this year!
Advertisements

cornered

June 23, 2011

the breezy corner of our new kitchen gets a tremendous amount of light.  i love a bright kitchen with windows, so we’re pretty lucky. the tricky part is that it’s a corner window. i’ve never really hung curtains in this type of situation.  it’s tricky.

for the time being, i’ve hung one rod on the main window that has a gorgeous view of the parking lot. everyone stares into our unit after parking their cars.  i wanted to have fun sheers that put a bit of a buffer between us and the public.  i was able to reuse one curtain i made from our old apartment. this set off the design for the second curtain. the second curtain was maddening to put together. all my fabric and sewing  supplies are still scattered around the apartment in boxes.

i’ve managed to make two curtains, but my question is about the third. what do i do? will three of this patchwork sheers be too much? they let in wonderful light and really change their look throughout the day. the curtains are really the only color in the kitchen. everything is white on white on more white. should i break it up with one simpler  grayish sheer curtain with a strip of patchwork at the bottom? or should i just go for it and make it fun?

i think i will take a little space from this project. i always have to remind the kids i teach that it’s okay to step away from your painting for a while and take a break. it’s okay to stop and come back to it with more energy. i think i will follow my advice today!

filtered light

June 17, 2011

i was gifted a ton of fabric from a good friend of mine sometime last year.  it was a bit overwhelming at first because it was about twenty or so boxes of samples from a clothing manufacturer that had gone out of business. i lived in 500 sq ft at the time and could not take it all. i donated some to the art school where i work and the rest came with me. let me just say that my husband, peter, has been very patient with these boxes of fabric.  they all sat in our living room for a long time. it was hard to start a project with them because it was very hard to navigate through so many boxes of tiny samples. it all had to be sorted, washed and pressed.  i managed to make a couple of little things with it in the old space. i’m very excited of what’s to come in the new apartment because i actually have space to work with it.


i made these great sheer curtains that let in colorful and bright filtered light into the kitchen.  the curtains don’t fit the dimensions of any windows in the new apartment, so they will have to be repurposed into something else fun.  i love natural light washing over a room. i just don’t love people looking into our windows like we live inside a tv. i think sheers do a great service in allowing beautiful filtered  light in but also creating a nice buffer between you and the public.

i made these by arranging various samples on the floor. it was very much a stream of consciousness sewing project. i really didn’t have a sewing plan. i would just stitch seams and hope for the best. i used some cute little ribbons, different twill tapes and even an old drawstring or two to make the hanging loops. it was very organic and i will miss them dearly! try it with old sheer scraps and lightweight cottons!