Son of Zipper Pouch

We’ve been on two cruises in our lifetime, and both times we took the exact same boat and the exact same itinerary. We’ve been to the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota twice, and both times we took the same route and the same scenic rides. So it’s not too surprising that when I needed to make a second zippered pouch, I used the same fabrics, with the same details, that I used the first time around

The first pouch I made using Kate’s super-simple tutorial at See Kate Sew turned out so cute… my daughter loved it as much as I did, and she used it as her pencil pouch at school until the day her car was broken into and her backpack stolen. The little pouch disappeared that day too, along with her camera, some personal letters, and a couple of textbooks. 

Now that she’s headed off to college, she asked me if I’d make her another pouch so of course I couldn’t say no. I used all materials on-hand, so the trim is a little different – and I’m still working without a zipper foot so I had to work carefully around the zipper pull. But overall this “second draft” turned out just as cute as the first one, and again I just have to say how easy the tutorial was for this project. 


I may need to make a few more of these! 

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Faux cased glass – painting vases

I’m linking this post to Allison’s fabulous Hookin’ Up with Hepworths party over at House of Hepworths. Click through to see a TON of other great projects and recipes! 

I recently came across a project on Pinterest showing painted vases. Here’s the pin – these vases were done by Tsuki at Little Gray Fox and I just loved the colors! 

Unfortunately, when I went to Tsuki’s blog (which is adorable, by the way!), the link she had posted for the tutorial on these wasn’t working. So back to Pinterest, where I did a search for “painted vases” and came up with this great little tut over on DIY Theory
This project is a great way to use those sort of “generic” vases that are so abundant in thrift stores. The urn style vase I used was one I had on hand from a floral delivery, but it was quite a bit larger than the bud vases shown in Tsuki’s photo. 

You can use acrylic craft paint for this project; I do some decorative painting, so I have a lot of it on hand – including several colors in an enamel suitable for painting on glass. I’m not sure if it will be waterproof, even though it’s acrylic enamel – but I do know that the regular acrylic craft paint is not waterproof. So, faux flowers only in these vases. 
I used an entire 2 oz. bottle of paint because this vase is pretty large – and I watered it down just a dab because most of my paint is a couple years old and too thick to flow smoothly. I emptied the paint into the vase and just slowly swirled it around. It seemed like there were a lot of air bubbles, but the more I swirled the more they just worked themselves out. 

Under regular lighting I think they look great! The only flaw is that it is somewhat of an uneven coat, which you can really only see if you are looking at the vase with a light source behind it: 

Once it’s filled with flowers, and assuming it won’t be sitting in front of a sunny window, I think it will really be beautiful. I love the depth that comes from having the color on the inside – it reminds me of the beautiful cased glass of my Fenton ruffled vase. 

After a few days of drying time, it looks great with my 90’s-vintage silk peonies. I will be doing more of these! 

More soon,

Vintage label projects

I’m linking up to “Brag Monday” at The Graphics Fairy! Be sure to check out all the wonderful projects featuring vintage graphics! 
Well I can’t believe Valentine’s Day came and went, and from a decorating and crafts perspective, I missed it! LOL One thing I really would like to do is get in a groove of crafting decorating accent pieces for various holidays throughout the year. Valentine’s Day would have been a great opportunity, but I’ve had a crazy-busy month at work and have barely had time for any crafting at all! 
At any rate, I do have a few small projects I’ve been working on, and I’ve been meaning to share this fun series of label projects I completed using pretty vintage labels from The Graphics Fairy. (What a wonderful site for images to spruce up your vintage finds!) For containers, I used a tall Ball jar, a half-pint Ball jar, an old recipe box, and a junk-pile medicine bottle.   

With the exception of the half-pint jar, the containers are all vintage finds. I started by choosing images of a shape and scale fitting for each container, then sizing them and cutting them out. 

I swirled enough school glue on the back of each label to cover it, and used a foam brush to make an even coat. Then just pressed them down onto each surface.
Next I taped off around the labels on the glass containers, leaving just the tiniest margin. I then sprayed each with a couple of thin coats of spray sealer. The margin allowed the sealer to hold down the edges against the glass. No need to tape off the recipe box – I simply sealed the whole container. 

Here are the results:

What have you been up to? Finding vintage treasures, I hope! 
More soon,

Vintage Thingy Thursday – a 60’s barrel chair and a special bunny

This week I’ve been doing a bit of re-organizing in my mom-cave, and I keep tripping over these two special items because I don’t really have a spot to keep them in. So thought I would share them for Vintage Thingy Thursday over at ColoradoLady’s blog. 

The little barrel chair is a kid-size seat that’s been in my family since about 1960. Barrel chairs were popular around this time – must-haves for the discerning rec room of the Boomer family! My older sister, myself, and my younger brother all used this chair, as did my daughter. I’ve re-covered the seat a couple of times over the years – a simple tuck-under-and-staple job – but other than that the little chair is all original. 

Seated in the little chair is a hand-sewn bunny I made in about 1990. Around that time, beautiful lop-eared rabbits in extraordinarily fancy dresses were all that on the craft show circuit, and oh how I wanted one. But oh how I did not want to pay the asking price for them, even though of course it was obvious how much time and love went into making them. 

So I did the next best thing – I bought a pattern, and decided to make my own. Now make no mistake, this pattern tested my sewing skills. And although I opted for a very simple dress (no patience to make the fancy pinafores and lace-trimmed skirts), I think she turned out very well!  

And my bunny story goes even a little further: at that time I had a step-daughter who was about 12 years old. She saw my bunny, and said she wanted to make one for her mother for Mother’s Day. So we went to the fabric store to choose her materials, and over a weekend she made her own bunny with really just a little coaching from me in interpreting the pattern directions. She told me later how much her mom loved it, and to me that made the bunny pattern extra special. 

Both the little barrel rocker and the handmade bunny are destined to be handed down to my daughter and her little ones when the time comes. Maybe I’ll take time to whip up a fancier dress for Miss Bunny in the meantime – and if not, I’ll at least recover the rocker seat a few more times. 

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Make a can opener cozy!

Today I got to cleaning off my kitchen counter top, which had become a bit of a (ahem) storage area, and I got a little fixated on the ugly utilitarian look of the electric can opener. Decided I needed to make a little cozy-cover for it, and knew I had just the fabric to whip up a cute, quick project. Here are the materials I used:

2 cloth napkins (you could also use kitchen rags or towels)
1 stem silk flowers
Hot glue or Fabri-Tac

My fabric was actually a pair of red-and-white-striped kitchen rags. I didn’t have a plan, but my original idea was to build a sort of fabric “box” complete with formed corners. Because of that plan, I started by sewing the two rags together, but ultimately decided I was making things way too difficult. I settled on just laying the rags right-sides-together, and cutting out a dome shape.

I pinned and sewed the whole thing together, trimmed my seam to a quarter inch, clipped my curves, and hemmed the bottom. Once turned right-side-out, it looked cute, but a little plain and even boatsy.

Obviously, embellishments were needed. I settled on a sprig of small silk daisies that I had on-hand – there isn’t really a theme in our kitchen right now except perhaps “out-dated 70’s stuff with red accents,” but I thought the daisies would fit in better than my go-to choice of romantic roses.

I separated the daisies and leaves from the wire stems, and knew I was going to attach them to the cozy with glue. (I like to use FabriTac instead of hot glue – it works great for a project like this, and I don’t burn myself. If you’re adept with a hot-glue gun, go for it!) One problem, though, was that the backs of the daisy blooms didn’t lend themselves to easy gluing. I simply clipped off the excess yellow bit, and was left with enough surface to apply a good dab of glue.

I pressed everything down into place, let it dry, and fitted it over the can opener. Here’s the result:

It’s not as complicated as the constructed “box version” I was going to make, but I sure like it – it only took about 15 minutes to assemble from start to finish, and it goes great with my red cannisters!

I’ve linked this quick and easy project to Making Monday Marvelous over at C.R.A.F.T. Dozens of fun, creative ideas – be sure to click through! 

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Vintage linens pillow

Update: Linking this project – one of my personal favorites! – to the “Oldies but Goodies” link party at Nancy’s lovely blog, Do Small Things With Love. Hope you’ll click through and see all the “oldies’! 

I’m linking this sweet little project to Saturday Night Special over at one of my favorite blogs, Donna’s Funky Junk Interiors. Please click through for a ton of wonderful ideas! 
Awhile back I purchased a handmade girl’s skirt at the Salvation Army thrift store, not because it would fit me or because I have a little girl (my little girl is almost all grown up!)  – but just because I liked (okay – LOVED) the sweet lavender fabric with the pretty violets.

This week I decided to use another of my great-grandmother’s hand-stitched pillowcases, and pair that with my violet fabric to make another of my vintage flap pillows (click here for the tutorial!). I have several of these pillow cases, but on most of them the front side of the fabric is badly stained from years of use. This pillow design allows me to preserve the pretty stitching. For this pillow, I was able to also use the back of the pillowcase as backing for the pillow itself, making this one extra-vintagey! (I swerved slightly off the path on this one, too, because I stuffed it with loose fiberfill rather than a pre-made pillow form.)



I do have some other pillow ideas in mind, but this one turned out so sweet and allows me to enjoy Great Grandma’s handiwork. And, bonus: I only used the front panel of the skirt, so I still have enough violet fabric to make something else.




More soon,


Make a vintage fashion watch cuff… or, something

I’m linking this project to the Creative Blogger’s Party/Hop at Homemaker on A Dime. Be sure to click through for lots of neat ideas!

This is one of those odd little projects that came out pretty much the way I envisioned, but I’m not sure it’s worthwhile. You know… like, it’s pretty, but am I ever going to use it (in this case, wear it)?

Anyway, this whole thing started because I bought a shirt at the Goodwill with a red floral pattern that I absolutely LOVED. The shirt would never have fit me, mind you, I just loved the fabric. Might make a pillow out of it. Well so one day I became completely smitten by the pretty details of this cuff on one of the sleeves: the way the large floral hit just at the edge, the red top-stitching, even the little ivory button. I wanted to make something out of it, but I didn’t know exactly what.

So the other day I realized: why not leave it as a cuff, dress it up with some vintage frou-frou, and make a… a… a decorative cuff. A vintage fashion cuff.

So with little more than the above “mission statement” in my head, I set about figuring out how to make a vintage fashion cuff. I started by trimming off a little of the sleeve I’d left in place to tidy up the raw edge. I then pressed down the gathers and folded the remaining excess over to be sewn down. This would give me room to attach some lace trim without covering up the floral pattern. Stitched that into place.

Next up was to add a couple layers of lace and crochet trim. I used a bit of wide crochet trim which I thought looked lovely against the red-and-white fabric.

I left a little on each end to be folded over to the backside and tacked down later, as I didn’t want raw edges showing that might unravel.

I also added a bit of ivory eyelet trim over that for a layered look.

Next up was to begin to decide what embellishments to use, and how to arrange them. Here’s the general collection of stuff I was working with:

It was a close race between the pin-on pocket watch and the rhinestone brooch as a focal point, but when I realized that the watch actually worked, I decided this was a good project in which to use it. I also liked these three buttons together so I grouped them to create the center-of-interest. (My camera didn’t capture the true color of that orangey button – it’s actually a rose-red.

The beads on either side of the center arrangement came from a costume necklace that belonged to my mother – I disassembled the original necklace… (okay, really, I cut the end and beads scattered everywhere!) and re-strung two short pieces, which I then tacked to the cuff.

For closures, I just re-sewed the original button using ivory thread, and added a bit of Velcro at the lace end of things to keep it from laying open.

Finally, here’s what it looks like when worn. My hand is in the lower right of the picture so you get an idea of the orientation.

You might be wondering about that watch: it was part of my grandmother’s jewelry collection, and is made upside down so that, when pinned to a dress pocket or bodice, it can be tipped up and read by the wearer.

So here’s my dilemma – I’ve rescued that sweet cuff with the pretty details, used some wonderful vintage bits-and-baubles to create a romantic, almost steampunk-style fashion piece, but I have virtually nothing to wear it with! At least, nothing I can think of off-hand. Looks like I’m going to have to make a detailed run through the closet and see what might work!

Small painting project

I’m linking this little project to the “Get Your Craft On” Link Party at Today’s Creative Blog! Please click through to see loads of great projects!

New Years Eve Day and the rest of my family is enjoying the zombie apocolypse on television (“Walking Dead” marathon – ick!!) so I decided this was the time to paint up my 2012 weekly planner that I use at work. I had brought it home a couple weeks ago and sprayed the black surface with a soft green base color, and had to practice up a little on my “one-stroke” roses. I am terrible about laying out any kind balanced pattern/design, but I think it turned out okay. Here are a few pictures…

Plain green cover, with paints ready to double-load the brush.

Started with the leaves, which fall into the background.

Added roses and “filler flowers,” and an attempt at numerals signifying the year in the upper corner. Waiting for the clear coat to dry.

Finished roses!

More soon!

Easy zipper pouch

Even though I totally should have been riding my motorcycle today, I decided instead to take on a few small projects that I’ve been thinking about for awhile. A couple of them were just spray-paint projects,. but my favorite is this cute little bag I made using Kate’s super-simple zipper pouch tutorial.



Seriously adorable!!

My little pouch is made up of some favorite scraps: green corduroy from a blazer/jacket – I left the flat-felled seams intact because I really love the look of them…



..and lining made from a too-small shirt I bought at Goodwill just because I liked the toile fabric.




The crochet trim is a scrap from a grab-bag of old sewing notions I recently picked up while thrifting.



The whole project took me a little over an hour – I have decent sewing skills, but I don’t have the patience to make anything too complex. I also don’t have a “zipper foot” on my vintage sewing machine, so there were a few tense moments getting past the zipper pull ;)

But, Kate’s tutorial was spot-on simple, and I am IN LOVE with this little pouch. I am not even sure what I’m going to put in it – I just knew I needed it!


More soon –


Romantic address book re-do

I’ve been on the lookout for a larger-format address book (because I’m in complete denial about needing eyeglasses) and I recently found this lovely 80’s/New Wave version complete with totally blank inside pages just crying out for a re-do.



For the new cover I chose this pretty floral fabric that I had on-hand.



I removed the inside pages from the book, and using Fabritac I applied white felt (to create the feeling of padding under the cloth cover) to the front, back and spine.



Then I laid the book open onto the wrong side of the fabric, and using Fabritac I simply began gluing the fabric down with some care taken to create tidy corners.



I actually intend to choose another fabric for the inside covers which will cover the raw edges you see here – but, I haven’t decided what to use yet so for now it’s incomplete.




I closed the book and thought it looked great, but still needed a little detail on the cover.



I used one of these small metal label-holders used in scrapbooking, inserted a printed label proclaiming “Addresses” that I made on the computer, and added a couple of small faux crystals in the holes on either side. (The label-holder is secured to the cover with Fabritac.)



I love the finished look – romantic and entirely suitable for a cottage writing desk, don’t you think?




More soon!