Welcome to my blog!

Up until recently I mostly blogged based on local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and find myself now posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Couch Blanket Made From Airplane Blanket And Prom Dress Lace

Actually I made this couch blanket over ten years ago but am posting about it now as it helps me realize I've been into re-use and recycling for a long time. The story about this creation is that, by mistake, or should I say inadvertently, I brought home one of those airplane blankets -- I think this might have been from Delta airlines. It sat around a while and then I knew I just had to do something with the blue and pink lace yardage that I'd taken off some old 1960s prom dresses (yup, I'd kept those a long time and salvaged the lace and satin bits). So I cut these lace pieces into the shapes of various letters from the runic alphabet as they are interesting shapes with interesting meanings and something I once studied. I stitched them on directly onto the outer blanket surface, turning the edges of the rune letters as I went along. Not being perfection oriented, I just scattered the rune letter shapes in a rough design around the edge of the blanket. Then going back to the fabric scrap pile, I found an old worn sheet and taking the best bits of that and stitching them together, I created the lining or backing for this couch blanket, just overstitching it on and using some more leftover strips of the lace as a binding around the edge. Over time, this has gotten washed and so the navy  blue has gotten a bit purple in places and the pink and blue laces pieces have faded out somewhat, but I've always received quite a few compliments from visitors when they see it tossed on the back of a living room chair. And, of course, it's a comfy thing to have in the winter when there are a few draughts about.

Book Tote Bag Made from Scrap Fabric

This past year I decided to bust my pile of scrap fabrics and unfinished sewing projects and this book tote bag was among the first to be finished.  The green fabric is from an old pair of jeans, lined with some dress fabric I found in the trash, and decorated with some old floral sheet material. To get the basic green fabric I just cut the jeans legs off and opened the seams and created panels that I then stitched together. Before putting in the lining, I cut out squares and circles of the floral sheet material and stitched them on as decoration, using red thread and the zig-zag stitch setting. I also created two handles making ribbons and then stitched them inside before adding the pink check lining.  This  makes a great bag to keep and carry library books in and although I haven't done this yet, I know it's washable!
As you can probably tell, I don't spend a lot of time measuring and patterning and cutting things exactly, but rather do a lot by eye and as the mood strikes me, to give the whole thing a bit of a hobo feel. If it looked manufactured, it wouldn't be home-made, would it?

Ever Changing Wreath on Front Door

I'm really into re-use, reduce and recycle so for my front door wreath I used an old twisted twig wreath form that I got years ago in a Michaels Arts and Crafts store and that I update seasonally.  This summer I used red and yellow fake flowers that I found thrown out in someone's trash in the alley (thank you very much!). First I cleaned them up a bit, cut off the extra plastic twiggy bits and then stuck them into the wreath.  The plaid green and blue ribbon I also found in the trash, someone had tossed the unfinished roll out, and you can be sure I spied it and commandeered it for re-use. The ivy leafy vine wrapped around the wreath I got years ago also, probably at The Dollar Store,  great source of cheap arty crafty bits and bobs. I'm quite glad how this colorful wreath brightens up my front door for these late summer days.  Soon, of course, I'll be changing out the flowers for the autumn, that is, once I gather some orangey yellow bits and pieces together.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Flowers in the Winter; It's all about Watering

Somehow we've got loads of flowers in the house during this cold winter snap in February.  Some lovely orchids are opening up.  I'll be sure not to overwater them as I killed an orchid plant before with too much! Apparently one or two ice cubes a week is all it needs. Then we have some lovely pink tulips that are bulbs sitting on a ledge in a tall vase and as long as you keep the water level up to the ledge, the tulips bloom.  We have four huge pink tulips flowering now!  Then, though they are not really flowers, I have three lovely red poinsettas. These were rescued from the church display in January. They were almost dead from lack of water but they've now resurrected, sitting on sunny window ledges and each drinking a cup of water each week! Then, there's that lovely bunch of a dozen red roses I got for Valentine's Day.  As long as I keep the stems trimmed and the water fresh, they will last a while, I'm sure  It's so wonderful to have flowers in wintertime! 

Signs of the Times in the Neighborhood

There's all kinds of signs in the neighborhood
while the big dig is going on -- from "underpinning and foundation," "road closed," "sidewalk closed ahead," to "dead end" and "detour."  I've also gotten used to orange traffic cones, orange speed signs in the alleys and just a plain lot of orange and white striped signs.   I suppose we just have to put up with it while the work goes on.  It didn't used to look like this around here.