[wip] blue dressers

covered in citristrip
Today it was finally nice and warm enough to start stripping my blue dressers. I am using citristrip to take off the (at least) five layers of paint. I started "painting" the dressers with the citristrip around noon, and it still isn't really ready to come off. According to this tutorial, I need to see it bubble. So I am impatiently waiting. I can't wait to get this hideous paint off!


my sewing buddy

a cute nuisance

[wip] sneak peek of "dare to be different" quilt

happy colored scraps
While browsing the Internet last night, I stumbled upon this "Dare to be Different" quilt and was immediately inspired. I drafted a similar pattern, chose some fat quarters, and today I started cutting and sewing. The quilt top is coming together very quickly, and I think it's going to be perfect for spring. I can't wait to finish it and reveal it!


finding quilt patterns in the ordinary

towels at walmart
While Adam and I were walking through our local evil Wal-Mart, I spotted this fabulous blue and lime and white towel. I loved the pattern and the color, so I snapped a quick picture for later reference. I'd love to make a quilt inspired by this towel! One day...

[wip] sneak peek of a super secret present

As much as I love love love giving handmade gifts, I almost hate working on super secret presents because I can't share the projects until they are done and received! I mailed off one present this week, and I've been working on another. I'll just share this little sneak peek.
trying to match up colors and corners
This present is an improvisational quilt, a type of quilt piecing I've never done before. It's harder than it looks! There was a lot of cutting and adding and cutting and trimming and all sorts of things. Usually my quilts are carefully planned out (and this usually works for me, please disregard the houses on a hill quilt!), but this project called for something a little more spontaneous. The quilt top is almost done, but it's not due for ages, so don't get too excited. I am just trying to finish some presents before we move and everything is chaotic/messy/needing to be unpacked for awhile.


[wip] houses on a hill quilt top

absurdly proportioned quilt top
 Yesterday, I started a new quilt top, inspired by this Moda Bake Shop quilt. I call this quilt "houses on a hill".

As you can see if you follow the link, my quilt is not at all the same as my inspiration. I wanted it to be more colorful and look like houses on a hill (hence the name), with sky at the top. But I messed up the proportions - when I laid out all the pieces, I failed to account for the sashing in between the rows of houses. All the fabrics for this project came from my stash - the "houses" are made from a charm pack I've had for ages, and the green "grass" fabric is from my stash. The blue for the "sky" is leftover scrap from this quilt.

I was very careful to ensure that the green fabric, which is a directional print, was always arranged so that the print flowed in the same direction. I'm very disappointed that this quilt did not turn out as I had anticipated, although I honestly didn't spend a lot of time on it.

I might take off the bottom few rows and use them on the back of the quilt. Or I could add borders to the sides? Or both? I'm not sure what to do yet. I don't want to distract from the overall plan of the quilt (the "houses on a hill") with borders... So I haven't decided. This quilt top will probably be added to my stack of WIPs while I think on it. Which means I can start another project!

[wip] blue nightstand and dresser set

clean(er) and empty nightstand and dresser
Today I tackled Step One for my new nightstand and dresser set: cleaning!

I used a diluted amount of TSP (1/8 cup in 2 gallons of warm water, as the box recommended) and cleaned the outside of the dresser bodies and the outside and inside of each drawer with a sponge. Then I wiped it all down again with clean, warm water to remove the TSP. The dressers originally smelled pretty smoky, but using the TSP seems to have removed a lot of the cigarette smoke smell. Which is excellent.

Next step: stripping the at least five layers of paint (seriously). Then I plan to reclean all the interior surfaces with Murphey Oil Soap (which has a nice clean smell to it), and prime and paint and all that fun stuff. One step at a time!

clean(er) drawers drying in the sun


[completed] scented sachets

scented sachets
Over the past few nights, in between furious paper-writing, I made six scented sachets following this Purl Bee pattern. I love them! I used three colors of felt - pale pink, hot pink and a pink-and-white polka dot. The sachets are backed in a scrap of some pink cotton fabric, and are filled with flaxseeds and either dried lavender or peppermint. They smell divine!

In the process of making these, I finally mastered the invisible ladder stitch. Huzzah!

I've stashed these sachets in all my drawers of fabric to make everything smell extra-nice!

so pretty!

signs of spring



thread holder

all set up with the thread in color order
Awhile ago, right around Christmas, Adam and his father (who was visiting) did a little woodworking and made me a thread holder. Adam and I had attempted to make it before and failed, but Adam and his father were finally able to make me my very own thread shelving unit! It's a bit wonky, but I love it all the same.

I've wanted a way to keep and organize my thread for ages, and was inspired by similar thread holders I'd seen around the internet. For months, the shelving unit sat in my sewing room with rows of disorganized thread. When I decided to paint my most recent dresser project, I grabbed my thread holder to paint as well. That meant I had to remove all my spools of thread, which made a bit of a mess.

pile of thread
I decided to use two mistint samples I bought ages ago from Lowe's. I love buying mistints because they are so much cheaper - and the random aspect appeals to me. I don't have names for these colors, since they were mistints, but I still have plenty of paint leftover if I ever want to paint something to match.

I used a lavender color for the interior of the thread holder, and then a bright pink for the exterior. It took about two coats of each color, plus primer. I tried a spray primer for the first time on this project, with disastrous results. So it was back to good old Kilz for me!

before organization
The thread holder currently sits atop the color wheel dresser I painted awhile ago (which is getting lots of good use!). The colors of the thread holder don't match at all to the dresser. I could have used leftover paint from the dresser for the thread holder, but I decided against it. I like the purple and pink, and I don't mind a few mismatched pieces. Gives the room character!

after organization
I'm going to be very sad to undo and redo the thread organization when we move. But at least I get to enjoy the rainbow of thread for a few more weeks!

so pretty!


[wip] yet another dresser project

Yesterday, I picked up a dresser and matching nightstand for $50 (together!). I am going to strip and repaint the set as soon as I'm done with my bedroom dresser, which should be very soon. This set will not be for me - I am going to do all the work to restore them and then (hopefully) sell them. I know the dressers don't look like much now, but they have great lines and should be fabulous once refinished!

I can't wait to start this next project!

[wip] dresser ready to seal

painted dresser
I am done painting my dresser and drawers! In the end I needed three coats of the Sonora Rose color on the body of the dresser, and two coats of the Soft Silk on the drawers. I am now waiting impatiently for the paint to cure so that I can apply a clear polycrylic top coat and then I will be done!

My mother kindly bought me some red Ikea drawer knobs (she also got the clear version, just in case the red doesn't look good). I can't wait to receive the knobs in the mail and get to finish this dresser!


meet April

baby betta
Obviously I like fish. Fish are so calming. I have a few betta tanks floating around, so the other day I decided to reward myself for a successful job interview by getting another baby betta. I love the baby bettas because they are so inexpensive ($1.99 each), I enjoy the mystery of not knowing what the fish will look like when it's an adult, and I love watching them grow. 

Of course, I already have July, and he's growing nicely. He's a beautiful dark blue now - can you believe it? The transformation is so cool.

Anyway, I found this baby betta and the iridescent green color was something I hadn't seen before. I wonder what April will look like when he/she is grown?

happy birthday to Sassy!

five years of terror

[wip] painting the bedroom dresser

wip in the garage

So far I have done two coats on my bedroom dresser! I settled on using the Sonora Rose and Soft Silk paint colors for the body of the dresser and the drawers. The Sonora Rose color isn't quite accurate in this photo - it's a softer, more dusky rose color. The Soft Silk on the dresser drawers is coming out very white - we'll see if it looks good with the dresser body.

That purple shelving? That's a secret for another post!


[wip] more paint colors for dresser

Now instead of mixing the Valspar Soft Silk color with the Summer Night color, I'm thinking of punching it up a bit and using Sonora Rose. It's from the same collection, so I think the colors will coordinate nicely, and I love the dusky pink color of Sonora Rose.

It has been too cold the last few days to paint, but it's supposed to warm up this weekend. Hopefully I'll make a decision soon so I can paint on Saturday or Sunday!


[wip] bedroom dresser

I am thinking about using these two colors for my new WIP dresser. The colors are Soft Silk and Summer Night by Valspar, and I found them in a new spring collection set of paint chips. Adam vetoed the idea of a wildly colorful dresser (I was thinking a dark pinkish red originally), so now I'm looking at some more subtle colors. I like the idea of a two-tone dresser (sort of like this one), but I can't decide if I'd like the darker color to be the body of the dresser or the drawers and feet.
Any input?