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January 27, 2012

The curtains were hung...

...by the window with care :)

Drafty chilly nights require decent curtains, even if you do not have a proper rod from which to hang them. A few picture hangers, safety pins, and tie backs later, and we had a nice little barrier from the cold.

curtains pulled back

Initially I thought I would get a curtain rod as soon as we could, but now I'm kind of digging the stationary tie-back style.

Here they are when closed up for the night.


I use the magnetic ties to hold the curtains together when closed.

See that big green beautiful chair? That (and its partner) is what I am saving pennies to redo. So much character, eh? Can't you just see it in navy upholstery and antique white finishes? Yep, me too.

I was working on a basic hem on the other curtains for the dining room. I had given up hope to repeat this amazingly painstaking gathering technique. But then, wouldn't you know, I sewed my finger. On a HEM of all things. Ten, literally TEN inches from the end of the last hem on the last panel. Totally took away my sewing mojo. I have a bit of fear again. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who has done this, but man, what a way to ruin progress!

So I baked a bit instead.

banana cheesecake & ganache

Banana cheesecake with chocolate ganache, anyone? A bit of an adult version of a kid food, if you ask me, and delicious of course. I guess a decent runner-up to sewing :)

January 18, 2012

WiP Wednesday: The Sewing Space

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

If you are just swinging by, my husband and I just moved to Maryland. First thing on the WiP list this week was to get my sewing space set up.  It is really a built-in desk space that is our shared computer-craft nook, but we'll see who ends up using it more...

new sewing space 2    new sewing space 1 

Ta-Da! It's functional! I would like to point out the spool holder that my dad made me for Christmas. It is a gem.

Some things I have left in their boxes, waiting for them to find their natural place in the room. They might end up staying in boxes indefinitely, who knows.  Getting this done yesterday and this morning allowed me to actually SEW today! First time in a month or so. Yikes. 

I needed a small dish in which to put my often-worn jewelry. Having it strewn about on various counter tops just was not working. I had seen a dish like this one in one of the many blog posts I ran across. Of course, that was before my participation in Pinterest, so I cannot track it down now. (i.e. I do not claim to be the originator of this idea.) [**Found it, and its accompanying tutorial, at Sew In-Between)

jewelry dish

I used Cloud 9 Nature Walk that I have been hoarding for months (literally, it made the trip from Atlanta to Maryland, back to Atlanta, and now back to Maryland).

As for other WiPs... I am currently reserving my monetary resources for one large project: reupholstering two antique chairs that are finally out of storage. That means the fabric, muslin, batting, foam, buttons, paint+supplies, stays, nails, staples, etc.

Therefore, I have tabled all projects that would require purchasing anything (like batting...). That pretty much knocks all quilts off the list, and makes way for many a stash-busting / scrap-only projects, of which I have zero. Give me five minutes on Pinterest, though, and I will have a list a mile long :)

I apologize for the lack of process talk. Unfortunately, there just isn't any! Check out everyone else's progress, link your own, and say hi to Lee over at Freshly Pieced!

January 17, 2012

First Official Finish in Maryland - Bike Rack

The good news: we made it to Maryland, along with all of our things. Phew! 
The bad news: the sewing machine has yet to make an appearance. 

You can imagine, therefore, that this post has nothing to do with sewing, but, nonetheless, everything to do with a big finish, I promise!

First I will let you in on a little secret: I have an addiction to power tools. One of my most prized possessions is the 9.6V Makita handheld drill, which is older than I am, that my dad gave me when I flew away from the nest (no worries, he has and needs six others. I mean really, who wants to change from drill bit to drill bit mid-project? Not this girl, and not her dad either. That's how you lose bits).

Anyway... A couple of months ago, I drew up these plans for a rack to put our bicycles on. I knew that I wanted our bikes to have a place in our new home, but I could not find anything commercially available that seemed like it would last a while, looked like it would fit in aesthetically, and didn't cost a ridiculous sum of money.
My mom and dad gifted us (err...Sean?) the materials to make the rack as part of Sean's graduation presents. Some 4x4 pine posts, a single 2x4 in pine as well, and birch veneer plywood for the shelves. 

While we were in Minnesota for Christmas, my dad and I worked on making the components for the rack, and I finished the assembly once we got to Maryland. Here are a few in-process in-pajama photos, just for fun :) I love working with my dad in his workshop. So much fun.

bike rack process 5
routering the shelf supports

bike rack process 4
demonstrating the concept to my brother-in-law and Sean

bike rack process 3
laughing about something hilarious I'm sure

bike rack process 2
setting up for routering the second beam

bike rack process 1
almost done!

There were a few bumps. Like when we routered along the wrong line for shelf #2 (from the top). You can see it is a little crooked in the photo above. One of these shelves does not have the same vanishing point as the other ones, for you drawing folks out there :) Also like when we had the wrong blade on the table saw. No, you should not use a plywood blade to cut down a 2x4.

And here is the semi-finished product. Maybe I lied at the beginning of this post. I still need to iron the veneer onto the shelf edges, and it also needs to be stained a dark brown. The problem is I have to stain on the balcony, and I can't stain when the temperature is steadily below 50 degrees. But it works, and we are using it with pride, so it is a finish in my heart :)

bike rack 1
it works!

bike rack 2
it really works! no bikes have fallen over! (it looks crooked, but the bikes just angle down to the left)

bike rack 3
the shelf is straight again!

So that's it! Now you know something new about me: I love power tools. And I love my dad.

Now back to getting rid of the boxes and setting up my sewing space  :)