Thursday, February 18, 2010

Art On The Walls

This is not a blog about sewing today. I am trying to get some art for my walls. I have white exposed brick, which I love for its texture, but I would like to put up some pictures some time soon. Finding art that I like has always seemed very daunting to me, but I am trying to overcome my feelings and just get some art. Period. How hard can it be?

I have been looking online at paintings, and here are the winners so far:
This is my favorite, by Whistler:

I like the colors and the serenity of it.

Here is another one that I like by Whistler:

This next picture was in my high school literature book. I cut it out, framed it, and had it on my wall for years. I don't know who painted it, but it is called Ruby Green Singing. I don't have it any more, but I still like it.

Here is a picture by Sargent. I like it, but except for the picture above, I don't usually like pictures with people in them. I think what draws me to this picture is the light, which makes everything in the painting glow but at the same time look very serene. I probably wouldn't put it on my walls, but the light makes me happy.

I seem to be drawn to art that is soothing. I know lots of people who like more dramatic art, with great swirls of bright color, but I like to look at pictures that bring out that "Aaaah..." sigh of relaxation. I have kids and coffee to pep me up, I need art to slow me down.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This is the wallet I made yesterday. It was really easy, and I might make some more soon.
I played around with some paper and all of the various cards, etc., that I stuff into my wallet, and came up with two pieces that looked like this:

Then I cut the pieces out of leather, topstitched the edges, and sewed the bottom seam, where the back piece connects to the front:
Then I sewed up the sides:
I used thick nylon thread. I don't know how to finish the thread ends. I have read that you shouldn't reverse to finish when you are working with leather because all of the holes from stitching can weaken the leather. So, I left long ends and tied knots. I may try some glue. I have since looked at leather items more closely, and noticed that everyone else seems to reverse to finish a seam, so I might bow to peer pressure and give it a try on my next project.
Here's the final product, with both pockets visible:
It fits well in my back pocket, and is the perfect size for me. I love quick and easy projects!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby Sling and Things That Make Me Happy

A friend of mine, who I have known as long as I can remember, had her baby -a girl!!!- two weeks ago. She needed a sling, so I got online and found some directions, then made one out of some fabric that jumped out at me in the fabric store, screaming her name. (No, fabric does not talk to me on a regular basis, only sometimes...) I had wanted to use the aforementioned bird fabric, but there wasn't enough for the sling, and the print is too big for a baby dress, so it will languish in my stash for a while, I guess.
It was so EASY EASY EASY that I am almost embarrassed to give it to her. I made her wedding dress, so she knows that I am capable of more. Once I find some cute baby fabric, I'll make a little dress, but this will have to do for now.
Anyway, you buy 2 1/2 yards of beautiful, non-stretchy fabric, hem it, and fold it like a fan on one end. Then you thread the folded end through two three-inch metal rings, fold the fabric down, and sew through the layers. And, you're done. If you follow me so far, good for you, but if not, just look online for better directions.
I hope to post a photo of her and the baby later.
I also wanted to share some things that are making me happy right now.
The first is this adorable container I found at the local thrift store.

It came in a pack with three more, and I love them. I am a sucker for any kind of metal food container with a lid. I don't make many pies, but if I did, I would put a slice in each container and go on a picnic! These have that kitschy 50's rocket thing going on, and my kids cannot break them. The worst they could do is run them over in a car, but they are pretty far from driving still, so the containers are safe.

And in other happy-making news, another friend of mine gave me some leather scraps:
I was just thinking that I would like to experiment with sewing purses and wallets out of leather, and lo and behold, I have a little pile of leather to work with. It is very soft and not too thick, so I made a wallet today on my sewing machine. It went together in about 1 hour, from figuring out my pattern to being done. I'll post photos of the wallet soon.
It is kind of weird to think "Here's a pile of cow skin on my table." I am not a vegetarian, or even close to being one, but it is a little strange.
In not-so-happy crafting news, the green awning I made in January was 4 inches too narrow, so I had to sew a strip down the middle to extend it. It hurt my perfectionist soul, but when the frame you're covering is four states away, you have to expect some hiccups. I will not be posting a photo of the extended awning. I want to remember it pre-surgery.