crafty · sewing

T-shirt Transformation

M&I have been taking a long hard look at our stuff and coming quickly to the conclusion that some of it has to go. Many things have been very easy to freecycle, recycle, craigslist, or haul to the thrift store. Other things have been harder to part with. Each of us has quite the collection of t-shirts that we wouldn’t wear in a million years, but have sentimental value. M’s mom is a very talented quilter and has started on a t-shirt quilt using many of M’s shirts. I was considering making a shirt rug, but cutting them into strips is as hard to contemplate as shipping them off. So now what… with this so simple tutorial on Apartment Therapy I can give them a new life as a tote. I am pretty sure even I can handle this sewing project. And who doesn’t need a few more reusable washable bags around the house? This way instead of taking up space in a drawer or bin they can be out and about for me to enjoy.

crafty · knitting

The Knitting Itch

I am starting to get the knitting itch again. Although the temperatures are hovering in the 90s again this week (seriously, enough already!) my fingers are dying to get knitting and purling once again. Last week I was on a hunt to find a pattern for the perfect baby cocoon to make sure I had not only something to keep the little one warm but more importantly to get that all too cute newborn picture. Today I saw a project that really got my fingers in the mood to get my needles clacking. Blair over at wisecraft is knitting a garter stitch square blanket. I love this picture, I love the colors, and I love that it is all garter stitch squares. Very little measuring or counting and no thinking necessary, what could be more perfect for the woman who only knits scarves. Once my idle hands are busy knitting away my mind is free to finally get some peace. I believe this is because my monkey brain (this is a meditation term and although I haven’t mastered meditation I certainly know the feeling of a mind skipping from one thought to another) is finally focused on something. I just happen to have skeins and skeins of natural wool begging for me to finally try the kool-aid dye technique and get to knitting. What kool-aid flavor will make grey…

crafty · design · DIY

Been There

It is no secret that I love traveling and I love to make stuff. I have been pining away after a print of a hand painted travel map by Oliver Jeffers since seeing it on swissmiss. (BTW, if you don’t know who Oliver Jeffers is, you should go right away and check out his Creative Morning talk.) When I saw this DIY travel map I immediately fell in love with it. Thanks to the step by step tutorial I may get around to making one. I am thinking it would be nice to have a map of the world though since we have actually been to quite a few places already and have plans to get to many more.

crafty · design · DIY

I Heart Birds

I have an IKEA malm dresser to hold my clothes. Actually M and I each have one. You know the one. It is blonde wood, totally nondescript. I used to like that, but I think I am ready for something a little less boring. Today I read about wallpapered furniture and figured if there was ever a project that screamed DIY, it was this one. I had in mind a wallpaper I had seen that I loved. It should be easy for me to find again, right? It has birds and clouds on it, Google has to turn up something with those keywords. Nope. Ok, I bet I starred it in my RSS reader, let me search “birds” and “wallpaper”. Nope. Ok, I am sure I starred it so I will just search “wallpaper”. Scroll, scroll, click. Nope. Scroll, scroll, click. Nope. Sigh. Wait, is that it? It is! Yeah. Now I know where I can order it and get started on my brand new wardrobe. I also happen to love the yellow boots in this image. I am definitely going to have to figure out a way to work yellow into this project.

crafty · design · DIY

Zen and The Art of Sign Painting

Thanks to Google street view I was able to find a picture of the original sign.

When I was little every Tuesday my noni would pick up my sister and me from school and take us to ballet lessons and then to her house for dinner. The ride in her car took us past a very distinctive Mack Truck sign which I am sure I was drawn to because it had a bulldog on it. Sadly that building and the sign have been torn down and replaced with a Walgreens but luckily for me one of my grandfather’s many many talents is that he is an experienced sign painter! For Christmas I asked for a replica of the Mack Truck sign I remembered so well. He was going to go ahead and make the whole thing for us, but then I had the even better idea that I wanted to have Grandpa teach me how to be a sign painter. The Mack sign just so happened to be the perfect first project. He set about cutting out the shape and giving it a coat of white paint. Over the course of a few weekends I have traced the design onto the sign from a picture we found on the internet and given the whole thing a first coat of paint. I even had help from my dad to paint the dog.  It has been great hanging out with my grandfather and learning a new skill. This weekend I got to paint outside and the weather was so beautiful and painting takes just the right type of concentration, it is almost like meditating.

crafty · sewing

Cashmere Me

I am pretty sure I have mentioned that not only am I am pack rat but that I love love love cashmere. Basically even if I have a cashmere sweater that no longer works for me I can’t bring myself to throw it out. It turns out there is a reason I have been hanging on to it and that reason is so I can sew myself a cashmere cowl! Thanks, Leya for the great tutorial,  giving my sweater a new life, and giving me another way to wear cashmere everyday. via

crafty · design · DIY · home inspiration

Phoenix Commotion

While recovering from tryptophan overdose this weekend and visiting family I accidentally caught the evening news. Thank goodness I did, otherwise I would never have found out about the Phoenix Commotion. Started by Dan Phillips the Phoenix Commotion strives to provide affordable housing to those that would otherwise not be able to have a home of their own using salvaged and donated materials in Huntsville, Texas. These tiny, beautiful homes are whimsical with mismatched roofing, wine cork floors, picture frame sample ceilings, and crystal plate windows. Materials that would otherwise have made their way to the landfill instead get a new life in one of Dan’s small homes. Anything and everything is fair game for Dan, his crew of 5 “unskilled” workers, and the future homeowner. Not only do these houses reduce landfill burden, but touch the land lightly with their small footprint and ecologically minded design. I might have to move to Huntsville to work with Dan and get the skills I need to build my own salvaged treasure. You can read more about Dan and see some amazing pictures of his work here.