Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sew All 26: Q is for Quilted Skirt

Katy of No Big Dill has been hosting a fabulous series called "Sew All 26." Katy and some guests are going through the alphabet together. Isn't it so fun? I have the pleasure of joining in today with the letter "Q"!

Q...Q...Q... the first thing that came to my mind was "quilt", but I thought that might be too predictable. Then I thought of making a "quiet book", hmm... nope. At last I decided to make a "quilted skirt" for Rachel.

Usually, gauze is not suitable material for winter clothing... unless (with grins) of course you add batting, backing and quilt it to create a garment. I found this fabric at Walmart for $2.50 a yard a while ago, and bought the whole bolt. I didn't use any commercial patterns to create this skirt. It is all straight cut and I just made it up as I went along.

When I was working on it, Rachel was a little hesitant about the quilted skirt. She would say stuff like "um... I think it is too big" or "this area is too puffy". My response? "Oh, it's gonna look great" or "Don't worry, I know it will be SO pretty when it's done!" Well, as I said earlier, I was going with the flow. I wasn't 100% sure, so you could say that I was bluffing a little. :)

Many design possibilities came and went in my head and I kept adding details to the skirt; such as those little fabric balls.

or big removable ribbon.

When I showed her the finished skirt she squealed with joy and said "I want to wear this to church next week!!" The compliment was way beyond my expectation.

She was more than happy to test the skirt and model it for me.

Have you noticed this? Since the ribbon is removable, she can wear it without, in front, back or, she can even put it on the top to coordinate with the skirt.

Because the gauze is very light weight and I used very thin batting, the skirt is light and incredibly soft, I think that is another reason why Rachel loves the skirt. Looking at her wearing it made me want to make one for myself.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sewing Room Progress

I am feeling so giddy, Why? I am getting so close to being done organizing my sewing room! I will share a little bit of the progress in pictures today...

It sounds ridiculous, but it took me a while to do this. I really wanted the colors to be harmonious. Trying to figure out which color to put where was hard!

Oh, have you noticed a couple missing spools on the bottom??? They are in use for my project right now and I will be ready to share that at the end of this month(grin).

The desk space is mostly for designing. I am super excited that I can use the desk as a desk now, and not another flat surface to put stuff on!

Then, fabrics... I am almost done organizing. All the larger pieces are done, and I am trying to decide how to organize the smaller pieces and scraps. After asking a few people how they organize their scraps, I think I have decided to organized them by color. I have a small hill of scraps, I will see how that goes. How do you organize your scraps? Let me know if you have any good ideas, I am all ears!

As I mentioned, I am making something right now to share this weekend. Watching me working on the project, Mr.TRH said, "It's so good to see you back in to sewing." What a sweet hubby... I was having so much fun playing with the fabric. It's been so long and I craved it. I guess it showed how much I enjoyed being in front of the sewing machine. I have several things planned for my future projects, I am almost back in the game!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Small Treasures and a Fun Announcement

Over the last few days, whenever I have chance, I work on my sewing room. I am definitely making progress, but it is so slow and tedious; I am going at a snail's pace. I am not ready to share my progress just yet, but let me give you a report... I have more floor space (which is a HUGE accomplishment!), and I am probably 70% done sorting and putting stuff away in their proper places.

Because we sold the house in a month, and after that we had to move pretty much right away, we had no time to go through our belongings to do a garage sale, donate or just throw them away. Now, I am going through our house to weed things out. My sewing/craft items are not an exception either, and you know what? It feels great to de-junk the house!! Though, some things are nice to hold on to...

A few months ago, my mother-in-law gave me her old sewing threads in a plastic container. As I was organizing the room, I finally got to go through it. I found little treasures in there. Do you wanna see them??

They are vintage thread on wooden spools. Aren't they adorable?

I had to stop cleaning and admire the lables on the spools. I feel like grouping them together makes a nice artful pictures.

I haven't decided what to do with them. Should I use the thread or leave it on the spool for color. I might even display them on a shelf as decoration. What do you think?

By the way, I have a fun announcement. I got contacted by All Free Sewing saying that one of my projects made it in to their Top 100 Holiday Craft 2013! Please go check them out, you might find some fun ideas. :)

Have a nice weekend everyone, I hope I will be ready to share pictures of my sewing space sometime next week!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Kings Lane Home Decor Resource Page Review

I have been asked to review the "Home Décor Resource" page by One Kings Lane. One Kings Lane is one of my most favorite places to visit online. I love to check out their stylish furniture, home décor and much more (they are pretty pricey for my wallet, so my visits consist of lots of Ohhs... and Ahhs... with some drooling too).

There Home Décor Resource page is full of interesting contents; anything from historical informative articles to helpful tips all about furniture. I found many interesting articles. Let me name a few that I like: "DIY Stain-Proof All Your Chairs", "What Type of Chair" and "How to Incorporate Statement Furniture Into Any Room"

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I love finding furniture at garage sales and thrift stores and then refinish them. Here are a couple chairs that I refinished in the past...

This was a chair that I found at a garage sale for two dollars! (you can read the whole article here

With many hours(and hours!) of elbow grease I transformed this trash to this;

I did this one last year. It was a Ethan Allen chair that I found at a thrift shop. You can see the before picture and read the whole article here.

It is SO exciting to find furniture with great "bone" at an amazing price. Also, I really enjoy the process of creating something unique and personal and knowing that it is only one of a kind in the whole wide world. I call them my statement chairs. Then the question arises... Now what? Where should I place them? With what kind of items? When I read the article "How to Incorporate Statement Furniture Into Any Room" it was like hitting the nail on the head.

Whatever you might be interested in about furniture, I bet you will find some pretty interesting articles at the "Home Décor Resource" page!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year Celebration ~ Cook, Eat, and Be Happy

Happy New Year!

Every year after Christmas, I start to have cravings... Cravings for Japanese food; BIG time! I don't know about you, but for me the memory of the holidays always come with memories of food. It is hard for me to get some ingredients for Japanese dishes, also my kids are not used to very authentic stuff, so I wasn't going to make anything too traditional. Though, I bought this Jubako last year and wanted to imitate a Japanese New Year celebration. Jubako is a stackable bento box and a very nice one would cost you fortune, I just found mine at a Japanese super market for under $30.
The craving got a hold of the better of me and I had two days of mega cooking. Near the end, the kids were getting so hungry and they were ready to eat! The Jubako was packed and ready to go on the table.

Some of you might be wondering what they are, so I will briefly explain. This box contains: Sautéed shrimp, mushrooms and broccoli, Kamaboko(fish sausage), Kinpira-gobo, cherry tomatoes, Kintoki(traditionally, it is made out of chestnuts, but I used Japanese sweet potatoes).

This box contains Inari-sushi and Ume onigiri.

The last box contains: Chicken Karaage, Rolled chikuwa with cheese and cucumber, Boiled shrimp(my favorite is to dip this in to soy souse + lime), Tamago-yaki, Teriyaki flavored meat balls.

This is Zouni. The white stuff in the middle is Mochi.

I was ignoring the eye rolling kids and taking the last bit of pictures of our table... hee hee hee. I was pretty happy with how everything tasted and we had a fun new year celebration dinner as a family. It took me hours to prepare everything, and it was gone in a flash. It was a lot of work but looking at my family's satisfied faces made me happy, and above all... I calmed down my BIG craving for Japanese food; that was an accomplishment.

One of my new year's wishes is that the kids will remember things like this and always come back to see Mr.TRH and I when we are all gray and old. I totally believe that food, I mean cooking and eating together is a powerful tool that bonds us together. Don't you agree?

As a mom, I want to fill their life with happy memories that we spent together as a family.(Oh, there is another new year's wish!)

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