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Kitschy, kitcschy, kitchen. June 1, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in renovations, sewing.
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I’ve been looking at my teensy kitchen forever and wanting to do something, anything to it.  It’s just anything we do will cause a huge amount of upheaval that I haven’t been ready to deal with.  I was thinking, however, of at least replacing the curtains.  I made window curtains a few years ago that I like, but the tiebacks are getting faded from the sun and they’re not exactly what I want and I never finished that set for the door to the extension so I’ve been wanting a change, just not sure what kind of change.

Then I found this Michael Miller fabric and fell head over heels in love with it:

It’s called “Fifties Kitchen”, quite appropriately, and oh my, it is exactly my kind of thing.  Maybe it’s because I have a red KitchenAid mixer, I don’t know, maybe it’s the red clock I thought I was going to hang in my craft room, maybe it’s just that shiny red things and mellow green things are oh so exciting to me, but I got very excited just seeing it.  “Those are my curtains,” I thought to myself.

Then I got to thinking about the project I’ve always wanted to do, which is remove all the upper cabinet doors and paint the inside a color and paint the outside white (thank you, Martha).  I realized that using that green would be *perfect* for such a task, and then I just started thinking and thinking and wheeee!

So here’s the plan – Michael is building a few more shelves into our pantry, then he’s going to take down the cabinet doors and we’ll fill the nail holes.  The outside of all the cabinets will be painted white, and the insides will all be painted green, and we’ll do a similar thing in the pantry.  The cabinet doors left on the bottom cabinets will also be painted green and I’ll probably try to find some different inexpensive hardware.  We’ll peel the wallpaper and paint the walls either white or the same green as the inside of the cabinets.  I’ll hang my red clock in the kitchen, the mixer is already prominently displayed on the counter, and I’m currently stalking red rotary dial wall phones on the off chance I find one in good working condition.  I’m hoping I can score one on eBay or, better, at a yard sale around here.  We had that exact same phone when I was growing up in baby blue.  I loved that thing.

And of course, the curtains!  I poked around online and decided to make cafe curtains with a valance because they’ll be super easy to make and I have everything already except the spring rod, which I can pick up pretty cheap.

On Saturday we were at Lowe’s (I had coupons of course :) and I brought the fabric so I could get paint to match the green and ended up with a hue named Hearty Hosta – while I don’t like hostas I will make an exception in this case.  I got one can of that and one can of brilliant white, both in semi-gloss.  So now I have the fabric and I have the paint.

Not to mention I have this cast iron trivet that was my grandmother’s that reads, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get” – anyone from the Northeast would probably recognize one of these things in an instant, they were really popular in the 60s and 70s.  Everyone had one hanging on the wall with some witty saying about a woman’s work or a man’s uselessness.

This is a pretty big undertaking for we with children and doing it ourselves, so I think I’m going to focus on just getting that much done initially.  Once this is said and done I really want to look at getting the awful countertop replaced, a new not-fugly ceiling light fixture and maybe doing some tiling.  I don’t know, it’s all up in the air right now but I figure one thing at a time.  If we can manage a half-decent kitchen refresh for under $500 I’ll be mighty pleased with myself.

To make sure I had enough fabric I bought five yards, and soon realized that five yards is a LOT.  I’m going to have tons left over to make all sorts of things – an apron, potholders, placemats, a mixer cozy, maybe?  I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from a great website called retro renovation, whose tagline is “Love the house you’re in.”  It seriously makes me miss that apartment I had with avocado bathroom fixtures.


Sewing and buttons and stuff. May 20, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, Etsy, sewing.
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Danger, Will Robinson, danger! The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a very fun game. Very fun. I love it long time. I stayed up a bit too late playing it the other night and will need to put myself on a very strict LoZ diet so I don’t overdo it. It’s funny – I don’t play a lot of video games any more, and it’s not because I don’t like them. It’s because I do like them, and I like them so much that I will play in completely irresponsible quantities.

I’ve been naughty – I’ve wanted to do creative things at night once the kids are in bed and decided to play LoZ “just for a few minutes”, which quickly turns into an hour or more. Need to focus. Game is fun but time is fleeting.

I did buy the buttons for Mim’s jumper, I just need an evening where I’m not playing video games when I have the time to get the sewing machine set up to make buttonholes. I figure I’m going to do my sewing all at once so I went ahead and cut out another jumper from this gorgeous batik from the LYS/LQS.

Another jumper

Oh, I love it so much. I’m going to use the same green batik for the inside yoke as I did for the first one.

Ack, my tablecloth is horrible. Oh well…what do you want for $2 at Goodwill?

Since I’m sewing again I once again have lots of scraps. I hate throwing anything away so I try to come up with ways to use as much as I possibly can. Buried in my sewing stuff I unearthed a drawer of button-making stuff, hooray! So I did that.

First, some buttons – the trees are 1″ and the batik are 5/8″ and 1/2″.



I also used some of the 1/2″ buttons with flat backs to make pretty thumbtacks.


I used Gorilla Glue for this batch – normally I use E6000 or Bond 527 but they both have pretty strong fumes so I thought I might try something new.


The bottle said, “Will expand.” I thought to myself, “That’s probably just for fabric or wood.”


I am loving the fabric covered whatnots, it would be a great way to recycle old clothing, too. I’m always looking for ways to reuse stuff. I’ve started reusing my paper coffee filters – I have a #2 cone filter and it seemed stupid (and expensive) to throw out the unbleached paper filters that I use in it after every cup, so I started just rinsing them out after each use and using the same one throughout the day. I haven’t tried letting it dry out and using it the next day, maybe I’ll do that today. In any case I won’t have to buy filters as often.

Two great website links for today!

<a href=”https://www.jcarolinecreative.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”>j.caroline creative</a> – just go look.  It has the covered button stuff and so, so much more.  Love this site.

<a href=”http://www.trueup.net/&#8221; target=”_blank”>True Up</a> – everything about fabric, LOVE this blog.  Also has a great <a href=”http://www.trueup.net/?cat=143&#8243; target=”_blank”>sale alert section</a>.

Up too late. May 16, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, sewing.
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I’m bad. I was so jonesing to sew today that I literally daydreamed about it, all day long. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I got my fabric prewashed and ready to go and was obsessing over it.

We didn’t play D&D tonight (since I wasn’t able to sew last night) but I still wanted to see people so we ended up with everyone over here. It was a bit of a fiasco getting the kids to bed and then I couldn’t zone out and concentrate just on my project because we had company. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see everyone, I was just so distracted. At one point Michael suggested we all play a game and the top of my head nearly blew off. I held it together but he sensed something was wrong and asked me in the kitchen, “Is everything all right?” to which I answered, “Do you really want to discuss this here, now?” I think he got the point as he then arranged for the guys to play a game while the girls hung out in the living room and did crafty things while watching a movie.

Still, I ended up doing more movie-watching than working on stuff as I couldn’t give it my full attention. And Mim woke up halfway through and didn’t want to go back to sleep so I held her in my lap for a while.

Once everyone left and Michael went to bed I just dove right in and now it’s 3:43am and he is going to kill me in the morning because I am going to be wiped. I’m so stupid. But still, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep thinking that I had wasted another night, so really, what was the most sane option?

Anyway here it is – the jumper I made for Mim. All it needs are buttons and buttonholes and it’s done, I want to go to the LYS tomorrow to see what they have for buttons. I’ve just got it pinned for now.

Mim's jumper

I wanted to use a different fabric to line the yoke but I couldn’t find a coordinating stripe, so I went with this batik instead. I like the way they go together but are very different.

Mim's jumper

The thing looks huge – I made Large, which was 21-25 pounds, I think, which is bigger than Mim but only looked slightly bigger than a Gymboree 6-12 month jumper she’s just about to grow out of. We’ll see when she tries it on. At the worst she wears it toward the end of the Summer and then I can put it over pants in the Autumn.

I do want to make a pair of matching panties to go with this, I need to make sure I have elastic for them first. I’m sure I do in the bin full of ill-fated diaper supplies that yielded one half-sewn diaper.

I also made this today – I found a free gif animator called UnFREEz and was testing it out so I used these cute pictures of my darling (ebil) girl.


Ok, to bed. Well, after I clean up my sewing machine and stuff.

A little Friday fabric pr0n May 15, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, sewing.
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I don’t have a lot to say – want to be sewing, working instead.

I did find one of these yesterday and had a coupon so I got it:

Wrights SideWinder Portable Bobbin Winder

It’s gotten mixed reviews online so I hope I like it. I’ve been wanting one for a while, actually, because I hate having to unthread my sewing machine just to wind a bobbin. That and I can’t help thinking that running it that fast, that long, just to fill bobbins will only wear out the motor that much faster.

What I wanted to do last night but didn’t get to was make a jumper for Mim. Just one of those simple over-the-shoulder types that you wear a shirt or onesie beneath. Here’s the fabric I have prewashed and ready to go:

Stash Fabric

Next in line are these fabrics, I’m thinking bags but we’ll see what I decide at the last minute:

Stash Fabric

Sigh. Back to work.

Sleepy. May 14, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, sewing.
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It’s late, but I accomplished something!

Bag - first attempt

Bag - first attempt

This was my first attempt and once I figured out how to do the voodoo to get the seams going the right way after turning one tube inside the other and forming the corners, it was pretty easy. The next one I make will take even less time. I have some pretty batiks for that one.

It was fun! I need to prescribe myself fun stuff at least once a day.