Saturday, June 2, 2012


I had a productive day of general craftiness to tell you all about but... no photos! I'm sorry! It's 12:30 as I start writing this and I've got to be up early tomorrow for church, so you're just going to have to settle for text tonight!

My project wishlist started piling up again this past week as I found more and more ideas for things that would a) improve something we already have, b) meet a need that we have, or c) upcycle something we weren't using into something different. We have a remarkable number of blankets in our house. Like, truly, it's astounding how many blankets we keep. I think I always hated sleeping over at someone's house and being cold through the night because they didn't have as many blankets as I would like, so I always vowed to do differently. That, and I love that you can have some beautiful patterns and pictures on blankets that you can work into your decor without any real permenance. However, blankets are pouring out of every closet we own, piled on our futon downstairs, and even stored in bins in the crawl space. That's just too many. I went through them all today and picked out ALOT that I could get rid of, but I came across a number of nice fleece ones that I thought were a pity to get rid of. Really, a fleece blanket is basically a yard and a bit of fleece fabric, which runs anywhere from $10 - $25/yard. Why would I get rid of a whole yard of nice fabric? I thought about making jackets for the boys out of these two CFL blankets we had (one was the Stamps and the other the Esks - mine was the Stamps!) when my darling, genius husband said, "Why don't you just make ponchos?" And you know what I did? I made ponchos!
I made 4 of them, in fact! The two team blankets I made into super easy ponchos; I simply cut a whole for the head and a little "v" opening and voila! A cute little poncho! But while I had intended to make one for each boy, I realized it was just far too much fabric for little Nathaniel. Luckily, I ran across another fleece blanket that was just his size, so I whipped one up for him too!
Then I had one last fleece that was a solid blue color and I decided to do something extra nice with that for myself. I made a cowl-neck fleece caplet to wear around the campfire! It wasn't a hard pattern, and fleece is a dream to work with, but the actual pattern itself would have taken 25 sheets of paper to print off. Not cool. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So what did I do? I measured the preview picture of the pattern which showed how it would look laid out across 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper. I counted 97 16ths of an inch at the longest point, which I divided by 2.588 (to get it to scale in inches), and then I had to account for a size change to 85% of the original size (the medium size link didn't work, so I was working off of the large pattern) and I continued in the same fashion for all of the other measurements! Sure, it took some time, but I didn't have to print off 25 sheets of paper, and it turned out great! Once I had drawn the pattern onto the fleece, it was less than half an hour of sewing, pinning, etc.

After I worked on one of the ponchos, I actually took a break and made a couple of loaves of bread. And while the bread was rising, I took a break and ran out to a couple of stores! I hit up Value Village where I got myself a crochet hook so I can relearn crocheting when I go on family holidays later this month, and then I ran to a dollar store to get popsicle sticks for a Sunday School project. I also found a fine-point glue pen for a couple of bucks that I needed for another project. So after a quick stop at the pet shop as a reward for Gabriel being a big helper on Mommy's shopping trip, I ran home, threw my dough into pans, and tested out the glue pen. If you remember, a number of weeks ago I cut out some 3D hot air balloon and cloud shapes to put up in Nathaniel's room, but I needed something to glue them together - something that would dry clear, hold well and have a fine-tipped applicator. The pen worked perfectly! I'll be hanging them up in Nathaniel's room tomorrow!

I also sold the very first guitar I ever owned today (for $200! Yay!), got some catalogues for a Stella and Dot show I'm hosting in a few weeks, and booked a Pampered Chef show for a girl later in the month as well!

One thing I did NOT get to today was stripping and refinishing my nightstands. First thing this morning I brought them up from the basement and set them in my living room so that I could get to them right away, but the weather looked threatening all morning. And every time I stepped foot outside I got hit with a couple drops of rain, so I bailed on my plan. But, I finally know what I'm doing with them! I've decided to keep them mainly white, but the decoupage some jazz standard sheet music on the tops! I wanted something that would make these look unique, and I was thinking about antiquing, but since they're for our boys' rooms I didn't think all the effort would be appreciated. This, however, I can make to suite them. One of the nightstands will have sheet music from a song called "Morning" that I always sang to Gabriel when he needed one more, good, long lullabye. It was my ringer. The other will have sheet music for the song "Waltz for Debby" which is one of Nathaniel's favorite lullabyes. The boys can grow up seeing the music right in front of them, and I think it will be a neat experience the first time they realize on their own what those funny shapes on their nightstands really are! Monday's weather is supposed to be better, so I think I'll get to at least stripping the green drawers (which will be a walnut brown)_and doing one coat of white paint on top of the rest of the stands.

Since I couldn't spend the whole day doing things only for myself, I also reorganized my sewing corner. And by that I mean, I packed it all up and put it into storage. *GASP!* I know - horrible, isn't it? But the sad reality is, I don't use it enough for it to merit a regular standing corner in the house. A corner which could be put to much better use as a toy work bench for Gabe, or a office space for us. And really, even though I have a sewing table downstairs, I always bring my sewing machine upstairs to the dining room table to do work, so what's the difference if I have to grab a box out of the crawlspace as opposed to a machine and attachments from the adjacent room? Not a big enough one to merit the place of honor, I tell you.

Did I mention I'm tired? And sore. Totally sore. Back in November I blew out my knee doing a workout, and I got through the same deadly workout for the first time on Thursday, but on Friday I could barely move, and today, after rubbing RubA535 on my butt and thighs last night, I can move, but I still ache.
But it's 1:00 in the morning now, and my house is a crafty mess and we have company coming for lunch after church tomorrow, so maybe just one more chore before bed?

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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