Monday, November 30, 2015

Watercolor Flower

I have been spending a lot of time with family and friends lately. My sewing/crafting had to take a back seat for a few days, but I remembered that I haven't shared this painting that I have done, on my blog.

Ever since I was little I was always drawing. My favorite tool is simply pencil or colored pencils. I tried oil painting in high school and didn't like it much, I think it's the texture that I didn't care for. I like acrylic paint, leather paint is great to paint my shoes with. I have been wanting to get back in to more drawing and decided to try watercolor.

I Love how I can mix colors and water on my palette.

I love how colors move and bleed into each other on the paper and create unexpected beauty.

The transparency and delicateness is something I adore very much.

I think I found a medium I love other than colored pencils!

I just started to learn to paint with watercolor and experimenting with it. My goal is to be good at it so I can draw something beautiful to hang in our home.

A Chinese proverb says:

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere

I think learning something new can be intimidating, but fun. Whatever we learn: whether knowledge or skill it becomes part of us. Who knows, if I keep drawing I might get better at it and be able to draw something really pretty for my wall!

I will start posting pictures of my watercolor here and there. I feel like I gained one more thing I can enjoy in the cold winter days at home... I just need a cup of hot chocolate as company. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Recent Thrift Store Finds

I realized I haven't had a "thrift store find" posts for a while, so let me share some findings from last week...

I quickly stopped by one of my usual shops when I realized I only had a few minutes to spare before I needed to pick up my kids from school. Here are the details:

Large white bowl $X.XX

Metal strainer $1.99

Vintage pillow case $1.99

Book $2.99

I was looking for a large white bowl like this for a while after seeing this on the Pottery Barn website.

It is $79 after the price was reduced from $99. Mine? That's right, it was $4.99! :)

I have been looking for a colorful metal strainer for a while too, but that was something I didn't really need. Nor did I want to spend $15 to $20 on. But if it is $1.99? Now, you are talking.

I have been collecting vintage sheets and pillow cases, and I really liked this one. The book seemed very interesting too and I had to grab it. :)

I would say my quick thrift shop stop was a huge success. You never know what you will find at a thrift shop, but it is always nice to find the items that you were looking for for so cheap. No more garage sales and yard sales till Spring, but thank goodness thrift shops are open all year around. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Big Reveal of Small Sewing Room ~ Part 4

This is the final post about the "Big Reveal of Small Sewing Room" (are you guys tired of the same or similar pictures yet? I promise, there are other tutorial posts coming soon!). There are so many details in this tiny space, I just couldn't explain everything in one post.

Today I am going to talk about how I made the tiny clothes for the mannequin. She is only 3 1/4" tall, and I was contemplating how in the world I could make clothes for her. After thinking about it for a while I decided to do it just like a normal size dress, but with much simpler embellishment and help with glue. :)

{How to make the dress} --- Note: all the sewing was done with 1/8" seam allowance. If your mannequin is different size than mine, you have to adjust the size of the fabric strips.

1. Cut two strips of fabrics. One is for the top and measures 1 1/2"x 3" and the other one, for the skirt, measures 1 1/2"x 4 1/4".

* Top *

2. Take the fabric for the top and fold it in half and press with your finger. Open the fabric and make a small cut on the middle of the folded line. That will be the opening for the neck. Fold about 1/8" around the neck and the arm hole area as shown in the picture. Then sew.

3. Fold the fabric right sides together. Sew the sides.

4. Turn inside out. Press the sides with your fingers.

* Skirt *

5. Take the longer fabric strip and fold one of the long sides, 1/8th inch from the edge. Iron and sew. Then, using bigger stitches, sew the other side of the seam. Pull one thread to gather the fabric.

6. Fold the fabric right sides together and sew the seam. Open the seam and press with a finger.

*Putting it all together *

7. Slip the top onto the mannequin, and put the skirt on. It looks like the top is tucked in. Pull the thread to gather the fabric of the skirt piece and tie the end of the thread together.

8. I went through my laces and trims... in times like this, my tendency to "can't-throw-even-the-tiniest-things-away" comes in handy. I found a piece of lace and tiny ribbon flower. Use fabric Glue to glue them on. Oh! By the way, the pearl necklace she is wearing... I threaded 6 tiny beads to regular sewing thread and tied the ends. To keep the necklace on the mannequin, I used a small dot of fabric glue on the mannequin and set the thread of the necklace on it. In case you were wondering. :)

{Ironing board}

I bought the ironing board at Joann's. I can't remember how much I paid for it, but it was a really good deal. It had blue and white gin-gum check fabric on the board, but it didn't go with the room I was creating, so I peeled it off and added light gray fabric instead. The "quilt block" is 7/8". I guess from the ratio of the room, they are considered "big" blocks.

{Small quilt}

I didn't do a tutorial on this one, but the finished size of the quilt it 3"x 4". I also sewed this with 1/8" seam allowance. I used the same fabrics I used to make the fabric bolts, and they were already in strips, so zip, zap and zip! There is a quilt. I really enjoyed hand quilting this one.

Because I had so much fun doing this, I started looking at small objects such as bottle caps, toothpaste caps, spools... with a different set of eyes. Hmmm... What can I make them into for a tiny room... Ah, so fun!! I hope you enjoyed my posts about this small sewing room as much as enjoyed creating it. :)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Book Review ~ The Knitter's Handbook

It has been so cold where I live the last few days. The hard wood floor is one of my favorite parts of my house, but I needed to find my fluffy slippers. It takes a little adjustment, but the cold season has its own flare and ways to be enjoyed. Around this time I always want to break out my yarn and play with them. I know some basics of crocheting and knitting, but I am self taught and not confident enough to say that I am a knitter.

The book I am reviewing today is The Knitter's Handbook by Eleanor Van Zandt. It's beautiful cover made me excited to turn the pages right away. There I found many useful and comprehensive information for yarns and patterns.

This book will guide you through more than 90 stitches and techniques. Clear and easy-to-follow instructions and 250 step-by-step illustrations are surely encouraging for me to try it. Look at all these beautiful patterns. Wouldn't it be fun to knit a beautiful hat or a sweater using those stitches??

Oh, one more pretty picture from this book... I couldn't resist. :)

Whether you are new to knitting and want to learn more (me!) or an experienced knitter who wants to try advanced patterns, the Knitter's Handbook will be the go-to book.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Big Reveal of Small Sewing Room ~Part 3

It is such a small space, but there is so much to cover! First up, I am going to talk about how to make the fabrics vertically stored on the shelf and fabric bolts.

* Fabrics on the shelf and fabric bolts *

*Note--- the shelf you have might be a different size from mine, so measure the width and depth of your shelf and change the measurements to fit yours.

For my shelf, I cut 3/4" D x 7/8" H reqtangles out of cardstock to be the core of the fabric. Cut fabrics slightly narrower than the height of the cardstock (in my case it is 6/8") x 3". Wrap the fabric strip around the cardstock and put a dab of fabric glue on the edge of the fabric. Glue the edge and done.

It is fun to go through scraps to find colors you are looking for. My advice is to use smaller patterned fabric for most of them and mix somewhat bigger patterns. So there is visual interest when you put them in the shelf. I got carried away and made more than the shelf could contain... oh how similar to my true life!

Some of my beloved Liberty of London fabrics are going to be in the miniature sewing room too.

To make the fabric bolts, cut 1 3/8"x 3/4" cardstock and 1 1/4"x 3" fabric. As you did with the smaller fabric square, wrap the fabric around, glue and done.

There are many times in the past that I love the fabric so much that I wanted to buy the whole bolt instead of a yard or two. Have you ever wished that too? Now is your chance to treat yourself to fabric bolts! (grin)

* Spool of Thread *

I found these spools at a craft store in a bag and I think it was about $1 to $2. I used DMC floss and put a dab of fabric glue on the spool so the beginning of the thread stays. Wrap the thread around until your desired look and cut the thread. To finished it up put a dab of fabric glue, on the thread and glue the end of the thread.

* Wool Cushion on the Chairs *

This one is super simple. I measured the circumference of the seating. Cut 4 circles (I made two cushions, so two circles for each). I used blanket stitches to stitch the two wool circles together. It's that simple.

* Cutting Mat *

This is made out of cardstock. You will be amazed by the possibilities of so many things you can make with simple (and cheap!) cardstock. I chose a very light shade of green and simply drew lines 1/8" apart.
When you put things on the cutting mat, it looks more real. I wish someone sold tiny quilter's ruler and cutting tools. Whoever manufacture things for dollhouses, that might be a great hit item!

That is it for today's post but there are a lot more detail-talk is coming up. Stay tuned!

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