Monday, March 11, 2013

I Made An Ironing Board Cover

    Slowly but surely my craft space is getting upgraded, and I'm so excited because it means I'm taking myself more seriously. With renovations happening this Spring, maybe I'll have a whole room for crafting soon!

    For Christmas my Mom gave me a fancy new iron (from Amazon).  It's super sleek looking, heats up remarkably fast, and it's cordless!  Unfortunately, the pristine condition of my new iron only accentuated the 'features' of the ironing board I've been using.  The mechanism that lets you stand up and collapse the ironing board doesn't hold anymore, so sometimes it will just release and everything ends up on the floor.  I haven't a clue how long that stain has been there and the olive green frame(you can see part of the stand at the top) is suspiciously reminiscent of the 50's.  Perhaps my Mom inherited it?  If that's the case, my sister can have it next.

    I thought the new iron deserved a better partner, so I went and found a suitable replacement for my Mom's old ironing board.  Before now, I had no idea there were 'dorm' or 'apartment' ironing boards, which are half-size table-top ironing boards.  They are perfect for what I do because I mainly use less than half a yard of fabric at a time, so I don't need a huge surface to iron on.  Full size ironing boards are probably necessary if you make bigger projects which use yards and yards of fabric.

    My new small ironing board (from Amazon) is a great space saver, and is my new best friend.  I threw together a new cover for it because, let's face it, sometimes too much white is boring.

    The fabric had been in my stash untouched for almost a year. I wasn't saving it for anything in particular, but sometimes that's the reason something sits for so long.  I love how well it matches my new iron, it's as if I planned it!

    The downside to having a colored/patterned ironing board cover is that it makes it difficult to see the loose threads that get on it.  Luckily I've always had a lint brush on hand while sewing, since back in the day when I didn't have a craft table and would use my bed instead.  The sticky lint rollers (from Amazon) are perfect for crafters because it's a quick and easy method for keeping your work space tidy.  You can tell that I use mine a lot because the roll is getting near empty.

    How long have you been using your ironing board and what condition is it in these days? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by :)


Friday, January 25, 2013

High Spirits and Organization

    During Winter I have to look for the smaller signs of life in order to keep my spirits high. 

Cardinal, Jan 23rd 2013
    This bright Cardinal should do the trick! Although buds on our Magnolia tree isn't what I want to see when the end of Winter isn't quite in sight yet. I'm afraid to see how excited the pear trees got last week when we got that freak Spring weather in January. Buds are delicate; any typical Winter weather can freeze them and make all the energy put into making them a waste.

    Well, it's a new year... and I'm going to put my energy into getting organized. And making sure I keep my sewing things organized as I take on more projects in 2013. Luckily I scored some awesome plastic storage solutions on sale at Michael's.

    The large bins are so great. In each one I keep everything I need for a project, so I can easily be working on multiple projects at once without things getting mixed together. I think these clear Iris Project Cases(on Amazon) were originally created for scrapbook-ers but they work as wonderful storage for small/medium sewing projects and supplies.

    I've been using these clear 17 slot Bead Storage Box (on Amazon) since I was pretty young. They were perfect for storing the embroidery floss collection I had for making macrame friendship bracelets. I picked up a couple more during Michael's after-Christmas sale, but I could probably use a few more still. I have so many small items in my craft clutter... sigh. At least now the sewing section is super neat and spiffy!

Praying Mantis, Oct 4th 2012
    Here's a little friend from last Autumn, just for fun. Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear how you deal with the grey, dreariness of the Winter months  :)

Comments/Criticisms welcome.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Wallet Design and An Early Christmas Present

    I've made a really small version of Napkitten's Accordion Wallet before as a custom request item but, just as some people would consider the regular size wallet too big for their needs, my 'fun-sized' wallet would generally be considered too small to meet all the expectations of a day to day wallet. I thought a medium sized wallet had potential so I decided to see if I could work something out.

    The finished measurements are 6" by 4 1/2" and when it's closed it is about 1 1/2" wide. On the inside it has the same 5 divided sections and 1 zipper pocket and the sections are still large enough to store most smartphone models. The biggest deviation on this wallet from the original is there are no card slots on the inside of the wallet(Napkitten's pattern includes 8 card slots behind the zipper pocket).

    Instead, I constructed a card slot solution on the back of the wallet. It has 8 slots, 4 sewn right to the back of the wallet and 4 on the bit that opens up, and it closes securely with a magnetic snap. I thought this was a better option for the 6" wallet because I couldn't figure out a way to put card slots on the inside that wasn't awkward. 

    Overall I'm pleased with how the back turned out. I had my doubts during it's construction, but I think the bias tape around all the edges really help tie everything together. I seriously interfaced all the pieces to ensure when cards are being held that they are safe and secure, but as a result it might be a wee bit bulky. Maybe I'll be able to find a happy medium with my next attempt at this size.

    The only other thing I would change about this wallet is the front flap. If it was 1/2" - 1" longer it would lie a bit flatter when it was closed, and I think that would make it look more in line with the look of the wallets made from the original pattern. I'll be making a couple more of this style in the next week, so if I make a post of all the Christmas presents I've made this year I'll show any changes/improvements to this design.

Fabric cut out with my new rotary cutting blades! So quick :)
    Speaking of Christmas, I bought a couple of early presents for myself. First of all I got some Olfa 28mm Blade Refills for my rotary cutter(from Amazon). Even though I've had a rotary cutter this whole time, I had been using scissors to cut out all my pieces because the blade was so dull it barely cut a dashed line in the fabric. I've heard people say that you don't realize you need a new blade until you replace it and see the huge difference  that it makes, but my blade very obviously wasn't doing it's job. 

    The second present I got was a little plastic Box of Bobbins that came with 12 extra metal bobbins(from Amazon). I like matching my threads as close in color to my fabrics as I can, and as a result I end up with all my bobbins half full because I change colors so frequently. These extra empty bobbins and a clear box to keep the used ones neat and untangled was just what I needed.

    Let me know what you think of this design variation of Napkitten's Accordion Wallet. What are some alternative ideas for the card slots? In this post I show a wallet with the card slots on the inside on the front flap. What other methods should I try? 

    Thanks for looking. And as always, comments and criticisms welcome.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Most Intense Wallet Yet!

    Although this may look like an accessory for spring or summer it's seriously starting to cool off here in Ontario. I wish I was joking but earlier this week there was frost on the ground when I woke up, it must have been around 50 degrees. So, in the spirit of the last day of summer, I present you this super out of season floral wallet!

    This wallet was a custom order and there was a lot of customization. I can't even take credit for finding the fabric, it just showed up in my mailbox. All I had to get from the store was matching thread and a zipper and such. 

    First off, I used two button snaps instead of one magnetic snap for the closure. This was to allow room on the flap for ten addition card slots, and room on the front for a windowed card slot for an ID card.

    The accordion almost looks the same as always, but there are in fact four(instead of three) divider panels. This gives the wallet six sections compared to the normal five. There are still six card slots and a paper currency pocket behind the zipper pocket.

    On the back there is a slot style pocket for loose papers that you might want quick access to, such as a shopping or errand list. There is no closure device on this pocket.

    The front flap had to be slightly longer to accommodate the additional card slots. It was also requested that the wallet be a little big longer than normal as well. It's finished size is about 8 1/2" by 5", by 1 1/2" wide.

    This was by far my most challenging custom order to date, but I feel so accomplished with how well it turned out. Perhaps now I should embrace the season and make a fall themed wallet... Thanks for looking! 

Comments/Criticisms welcome.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Map Coaster Tutorial

    My Dad is impossible to buy for, and no I'm not just saying that. Buying him something store-bought is pretty much a waste of time so I'm always trying to think of stuff I could make him. He lives a pretty upscale lifestyle so if I make him silly kid crafts it wouldn't get used(I know he'd still love it cause he's my Dad and all, but still). I saw this idea somewhere on the internet a long time ago and thought it might just be something that could work for him. Each coaster is a map of a place that has some meaning to him: the house he grew up in, the family business, his favorite road trip destination, etc. Enjoy.

Materials I Used
Roll of thin cork
6 wooden coasters
Mod Podge or other glue/sealer

Tools Needed
Computer and printer
Google maps

Step 1. Mark and cut out circles of cork that are the same diameter as the bottom of the wooden coasters.
Step 2. Using a paintbrush and your glue of choice, attach the cork circles to the coasters.

Step 3.  Paint the sides of the coasters however you please. The ones I found had ridges on the sides so I painted them with bands of a darker green to make them look all fancy-smancy. I also used a very matte type of paint and decided to put a coat of Mod Podge on top to make them a little bit glossy.

Step 4. Next you need your images. I got mine by searching addresses or places on, I then copied the image into Photoshop and put text over top in colors that matched the paint. Honestly though, any pictures could be used for this, pictures of grand-kids for a grandparents' present, pictures of pet, vacation pictures, Game of Thrones house sigils... I mean, everybody has to know at least one die-hard Game of Thrones fan at this point right?

Step 5. Print and cut out your images to be the same diameter as the top of the wooden coasters.

Step 6. Using your glue of choice and a paintbrush again, carefully attach the paper to the coasters. Using too much glue may cause your paper to ripple.
Step 7. Once the glue has dried, put 1 or 2 layers of sealer all over everything except the cork. Try to make sure the first layer is fully dry before adding a second. Once all the layers are dry then you're done!

    If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them. I also want to hear other ideas for images to use on coaster because I know there are a ton of great ones I haven't thought of. Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fun Sized

    My second custom order! This was also my first successful experiment dealing with changing the size or scale of a pattern. It was requested to be half the width so it would essentially be the width of one credit card, instead of the normal size I make which is 8" wide.

    These fabrics were chosen from my decent sized stock pile of fabrics which is a collection of fabrics I bought simply because I think they look pretty. I'm always happy when these fabrics get chosen for a project that actually gets finished because they look so much better made into something rather then sitting around folded up on a shelf :) This wallet was almost difficult to part with because of that, but luckily there are some remnants.

    This wallet is a wee little thing. It's roughly 4" wide by 3 3/4" tall. It serves the same purpose as the zipper card pouch taught here. The divided sections are made to fit all those plastic cards we have these days. In addition to the 5 divided sections, there is a teeny tiny zipper section with literally the smallest zipper ever. I had so much fun making this and would constantly stop and comment on how friggen cute it was. I think I will definitely try to make some more wallets this size. Maybe also try a middle size(6" wide by 4ish" tall). If you haven't seen my regular size version of this wallet you can check some out herehere, or here

    The great thing about this little wallet is that it is small to begin with but can get thick enough to hold quite a bit of stuff.  I'd love to hear what you think of this itty bitty wallet. Also, what do you think the optimal size for a wallet is and why?

Comments/Criticisms welcome :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flamingo Love

    I've tried listing things on Etsy countless times over the years without too much success because I wasn't great at keeping up with listings and promoting. When I got the crafting fever earlier this year and started posting things in my Etsy shop again I decided to advertise that I was open to custom orders and collaborations. I've seen some projects that turned out great with different elements from different people, it seemed like a fun idea to me. I never would have guessed I'd get my first custom order before getting my first regular sale.

    The custom requests for the construction of this wallet were pretty straightforward and easy to add. A second zipper pocket in place of one of the regular dividers, and twice as many card slots(6 in the front in addition to the 6 at the back). The only tricky part was finding fabrics that could win the client's heart. At the time I was just about to fly from Florida to Ontario so I checked out my fabric store of choice in both of the cities I was in, but neither one had patterns that stood out. In the end we found some fabrics on Spoonflower, which is a website that prints fabrics from images submitted by it's users. Sea Gifts - Tropical Seas-Seaweed and Flamingo Love were ordered and I grabbed a simple blue print from fabric land as an accent. 

    I was pretty happy with how it all turned out in the end, and the order-er left me very positive feedback after she received it so thankfully she liked too. Let me know what you think. What are some color combos or patterns you think would look good on this style of wallet?

Comments/Criticisms welcome.