Coffee Sack Project #1

I made the most awesome discovery the other day… I can get coffee sacks from my very favoritest coffee roaster in the whole world! I went for beans yesterday and came home with five sacks for projects! Here’s the first, a bulletin board makeover.

Take one old bulletin board with funny sun bleaching on the cork, break off the frame, cut part of a torn coffee sack to fit, staple gun to back, and voila! instant awesomeness :-)

Apparently nesting for me involves not just deep cleaning (double mopped floors anyone?) but re-decorating.

I also completely re-arranged my desk today, and just in time! Husband came home at 9:30 with a haul of groceries and 19th century books… guess what we did first 😉

I like this desk arrangement so much better. The computer in the corner makes the whole room feel bigger…

Something from Scraps

So husband said to me the other day that this big blank wall was bothering him… (and now that I’ve fixed that, the fact that our dresser is off center is bothering me, but one thing at a time…)

I started thinking about what to do with said ginormous empty wall, and after a week or so in the mental crock pot, and lots of collecting random ideas from other people’s random ideas, this is what I came up with…

Here’s an item by item tour… The cool thing is, I had all this on hand.  Some of it has to be credited to failed or abandoned projects (the four canvases), things I’d changed my mind about (the wooden plaque), one, I’m sure I’ll use this, and it’s a great price (huge embroidery hoop), and one, I need one more object what can I make from random things on hand (small brown wreath).

Now, for what I did so you can be inspired too!

This piece is scraps of unbleached muslin saved from several other projects, sewn into a minimalistic landscape.  Then the elephants are scraps of dupioni silk left over from making husband stoles a few years ago, or from making banners for the church, can’t remember which… I appliqued the elephants on to the muslin background, and straight stitched around them. Then I stapled the entire thing over a canvas that I had started a painting on, didn’t like where it was going, and never got around to painting over it.  Now it’s covered. 😉

The three initial pieces are paintings on 8×10 canvases that I bought for something, can’t even remember what, and never did.  I painted a fun color wash on the front and sides (don’t forget the sides!) and then painted green paint onto bubble wrap and pressed it on at random.

I then attached backing to muslin and cut out the letters, the same heat and bond stuff I use for applique, but I just used a glue stick to lightly attach to the canvas and then stitched around all of them with a full strand of embroidery floss and an upholstery needle.  Letters are again from unbleached muslin scraps.  I stapled jute twine to the back for hangers. (between unbleached muslin and jute twine, I can do anything! woo hoo! Watch out world…)

This piece is a shaped pine plaque from a craft store that I got for one thing when they were out of what I really had wanted. But then I found what I really wanted and used that instead, and so I had this random plaque floating around. I tore up pages from an old paperback and modge-podged them onto the plaque.  Then husband brought me a branch from my favorite tree that had blown down in Monday’s storm (I’m still sad about this! I loved that tree! It was the one that made me want to buy the property the first time we saw it…) and I attached part of the branch to the board and added little fabric flowers from, you guessed it! unbleached muslin 😉

This piece was created especially because 1) I believe strongly in odd numbers when making a grouping like this and 2) I wanted another round shape to balance the big hoop.  I cut two small donut shapes out of cardboard and hot glued them together.  Then I wrapped my home-made wreath form with the wide chocolate grosgrain, glued on a few more flowers, and added the ribbon hanger and muslin bow.  Easy peasy, took maybe 30-40 minutes start to finish? and it adds a nice little dark color splash to anchor the center if I do say so myself (and I do say so…)

This blue fabric had been damaged when I was cutting it for another project, I folded it too many times and accidentally cut into it more than I needed.  So I satin stitched the cuts back together with bright red thread, creating the zig-zag pattern, then added some white straight stitching for some visual interest, and appliqued the letters and circles on, satin stitched around both the circles and the letters, and then stretched it into the embroidery hoop, and stapled it in the back so it won’t pull out.  Circles are unbleached muslin (yes, I know!) and the letters are more scraps of dupioni.

Moral of the story, save your scraps and accidents, all ye crafters and artists out there… you never know what you might come up with… and for those of you who don’t have a closet full of random crap from mistakes and sales and what not, a lot of this could be done with paper, scrap book or otherwise and have similar cool results…

Butterfly Mobile (w/ Free Download!)

Husband has almost finished painting Eli’s room, and so I’m working on finishing up the decorations.  Never mind that there’s no furniture in there, or that he’ll be in our room in a co-sleeper bassinet for a good while, it’s fun to finish fixing it up and decorating it!

I’ve recently run across several cool paper butterfly mobiles in various places on the web (can’t even remember where now) and I decided I had to have one. So I made one from stuff I had on hand: a newsprint herb catalog, Lowes garden mailer, and some colored paper and card stock left over from other projects that happened to go with his room colors. I credit the accidental matching to the fact that I crave colors fairly consistently and thus have a good chance of random leftovers matching 😉

I cut out about 100 butterflies of four different sizes, and you can too if you want to download my free template.

Earlier today while it was still light I collected two sticks from outside (all lichen-y and moss-y! Score!) and tied them together in the middle with jute twine.  Jute twine is like my duct tape, I can do all sorts of things with that wonderful stuff!

I then proceeded to sew the butterflies together at random using regular white sewing thread, doubled with 3-4 overhand knots on top of each other at the end to keep the first butterfly from slipping off.  I went through the fold of the butterfly from front to back for the first one, then each of the next butterflies moving up the strand I went from back to front towards the middle, then back again front to back, making one stitch in the crease.  They will slide up and down some, but this allows you to re-arrange your final mobile.

Which looks like this!

Hopefully we can finish painting tomorrow and we can hang all this cool stuff all over his room and clean it up! (and then I can take more pics and show you the finished product!)