Sunday, April 25, 2010

home show

These are kind of crap, but I love pictures of empty houses. In fact, the last project I worked on before leaving the photography program was of empty rental houses. I need to get that portfolio back from my friend...

the garage, and the roommate <3


back porch!

cutie pie kitchen...with windows! finally.

rad kitchen counter

arched doorway and glass door to the bedrooms (this is so being used to lock bad kitties out)

tiniest bathroom ever, but a window, and charm, and built in storage

a fireplace, mantle, crazy lighting, and tiny windows! love symmetry so much

Anyway, sorry for my absence, we have added moving to my huge list of to-do's so I am a bit crazy right now! It finally stopped raining so I'm heading over to the house today for a few fun projects. I'll share soon. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

home again home again

How many times can one girl move in a one year period? So far, three.

We're getting a house! No...not buying, just renting.

We threw our hat in for it on Friday and all weekend I was a mess of daydreaming.

Daydreaming about...

glass front cabinets in the kitchen...

a (possibly working gas?) fireplace and mantle...

a washer and drier(!)...

a dishwasher(!!)...

as well as a garbage disposal, swinging kitchen door, full basement with room for the boy to play music in, screened in back porch, detached two car garage, two bedrooms (one of which will be my dedicated sewing room/office!..with three windows and a small closet!), and a backyard with room to grow.

Granted, you have to imagine it is a very dull looking rental house that at one time had hardwood floors and now has bad laminate and bad hotel carpet.

BUT it's got the bones and we've got the meat and in the coming weeks we are going to make it work.

(all images via weheartit)

Friday, April 16, 2010

log cabin love

I can't believe that a week ago this was just a stack of half-finished four year old blocks in my "to-do/never-going-to-do" pile.

log cabin love

I love it. It's funny how in the beginning I was planning on straight setting these. Wow, look at how wonky those center blocks are! I'm glad I went with it. Every time I turn around I beam at how perfect it is.

scrappy candy shop

It pretty much consumed me, I couldn't work on anything else until it was done. Now, the quilting part on this one doesn't excite me as much...have no idea what direction I'm going to take it (any ideas?) off to other projects I go! This is staying on the wall as just a quilt top for now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

thrifty little house

If it weren't for Kaylah's most awesome finds, I probably would have passed this little ninety-nine cent house by.


But I saw some potential, brought it home, primed it, and spray painted it. It's not perfect, but you can't tell from far enough away. I was actually surprised to find that I didn't have enough tiny things to fill it.

I will definitely be on the look out for more houses, soooo cute!

tutorial: wonky sashing

What do you do when you end up with a bunch of wonky quilt blocks?
Why, you make them look like you did it on purpose!

You could do this with any square block, but I specifically chose to add the sashing in the log cabin style to be cohesive with the log cabin blocks.

1. Measure your block(s). Mine seem to be about 6.5". Now how big do you want them to be with the sashing? I decided I wanted mine to be 7.5" (that makes a 7" finished size).

7.5" [final size] - 6.5" [current size] = 1" + 4(.5") [seam allowance] + 1" [allowance for trimming/making wonky] = 3" [total width of sashing needed]

tut2 copy
2. Cut four different sizes of sashing strips. Mine were 1", 1.25", 1.75", and 2". Whatever size you cut them to, make sure that both A+D and B+C equal the total width of sashing needed. [In my case, 1+2=3 and 1.25+1.75=3]

3. Starting with C, sew the strips on to the block. I chain piece, leaving the sashing strip intact (see above image).

tut3 copy
tut4 copy
tut5 copy
tut7 copy
Of course, don't forget to make sure A and D are across from each other, and B and C are across from each other!

tut7 copy2
4. Always starting at the narrowest (A) side, use your ruler and rotary cutter to make a cut slightly crooked to the block. Don't forget to leave room for seam allowance, the smallest sliver should never be less than .25".

tut7 copy3
5. Rotate block to the right. Lining up your quilting ruler against the cut you just made (which should now be facing you), make a 90 degree cut to square up your second side.

tut8 copy
6. Rotate your block to the right. Line up the left and bottom edges on your mat. Cut the right edge to size (in my case, I would make a cut at the 7.5" mark). Rotate your block to the right one last time and cut this edge to size as well.

7. Your finished block should be perfectly square, perfectly sized, and perfectly wonky! Yay!


Also, oh man I am so bad at writing clear directions! If you have any questions just add them in the comments and I will give it my all to not fumble through the answer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

home alone

What's a girl to do when her live-in boyfriend goes out of town for a Japandroids (jealuzzz) concert?

Go thrifting on the way home from work because there's no one to call and ask where you are. There's also no one to see you come home with a couple bags of 'stuff' and ask "what the hell is all this for?!"

Boston Fern, anyone?
This was a set of three, but the Boston Fern was my favorite. Bahaha, yeah, those fern-y things actually come out from the embroidery, with a basket embroidered underneath. So weird. We were also just talking a couple days ago about getting a hanging fern for the loft, voila!

'AA' is our loft unit. These are bigger than normal blocks, and flat on the back (judging from the other blocks at the store, they used to spell "AARON"). Not sure where to put them yet, but yay. We had thought about getting two A's for our wall months ago!

vintage tablecloth
Can't say no to a delicate little vintage tablecloth. It's super yellowed and very faded on one side, but the pattern is so unusual. I think it might fit our table (and go great with the chairs!) if I ever clean the thing off, oops.

Do some sewing. Watch some more project runway (yup, I'm hooked again).

logcabin what!
I started these blocks nearly 4 years ago. Yeah!! I remember sitting in the floor of my first apartment, cutting out the fabrics for it, after recieving my first ever order from reprodepot. It was one of those scrap packs. I kept asking my then-boyfriend and then-best-friend for their opinion. I think they might actually be the first blocks I ever machine pieced....and I'm so happy to say they're done! Next up, some wonky white sashing.

feedsack love
Okay, I probably won't actually sew with this amazing vintage feedsack fabric for a long time (or ever), but I do keep staring at longingly...

And now I'm pretty sure I'm going to go get some ice cream! This is the life...when are you coming home, Mark? Oh, tonight? Hm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

long and personal

I don't like Springfield, much. Not to sound like a whiny 16 year old. It's a fine town, just as good or bad as any other. It has just never felt like 'home' to me. I think as long as I live here, I will always feel like this is the place I came to go to college, and then couldn't figure out how to leave.

A Destitute Man

It was a mistake coming to school here, and it was never where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I'm almost mature enough to admit that there's slim chance I'll be going back to finish my degree. I'm still not sure how I feel about not being a college graduate, but I fail to see how officially having a degree in photography is going to enrich my life. I only regret not getting to have a senior show. I think that's a really powerful experience.

corset satin bust
satin landscape hook and eye

I've made the best of it, I think. I have a decent job, even if I don't like it very much. I've met lots of neat people, have a boyfriend and have made our hip little loft livable. I know where most things in town are and have finally almost figured out how to get around (I'm hopeless when it comes to this).

But, if I had my way, I'd move back to my hometown, buy the ten acres across from my mom's house that my grandparent's once owned, and build myself a home. Maybe I could be a substitute teacher at my old school. Or I could probably be filthy rich if I opened up an alterations shop there. It's not the greatest place, it's kind of boring, it's kind of racist, people kind of suck at driving. But those ten acres in the summertime, I can't think of a single place I'd rather be.


My house would be a bungalow-victorian-cottage hybrid. The colors would reference San Fran's Painted Ladies (my mom's favorite), but the scale would be much more manageable. And it would be one of those inside-out houses where there's an outdoor courtyard smack dab in the middle of the house, that maybe opens up into a big, dreamy garden.

Somewhere, in a distant parallel universe, there is a Courtney J. who is independent and strong enough to do this. But she is not I. And I don't know where I'll be in five years. Or next year. I don't like that feeling.

more quilty

Just a couple of this one, I do love it so, but it's been waiting to be finished for nearly a year now. I'm glad to get it out of the "to-do" pile and set it to the side.

I don't actually like the back much, but I love this picture...

side-note I've been feeling super uncharacteristically unmotivated lately, what do you do to get out of your funks? I always seem to forget what makes me better. I think stepping away from the computer might be step one, though.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

mini diy: ruffle frame

A few days ago, Elsie gave me this sweet little painting from her recent black & white series...


I loved it instantly (it kind of reminds me of this picture of mine!), but I was afraid it wouldn't stand out from our stark white walls.

So, I cut some pretty fabric into a thin strip--this piece is actually from a dress I hemmed for Elsie's shop, so it's extra special--and ruffled it by hand while making a long machine stitch down the center...


Then, I just used a thin line of all-purpose, washable glue (I wanted to be able to remove it later if I needed to, and not compromise the artwork) on the back edge of the canvas, and attached the ruffle! Instant frame, instant cute.


It looks so good above my desk in between these two vintage silk dresses.

Love! Thank you, Elsie! xoxo

buttons+project runway=zen

I was going through my sewing notions and found a hand full of buttons-to-cover, a few sizes missing the tool you need to put them together. I thought, hm, might be nice to use these up for the craft what did I do?


Ordered a couple hundred more from etsy.


I desperately needed to unwind last night, so I set out everything on the bed, pulled up season seven of Project Runway on Mark's laptop, and made button after button. So zen.

They're all made using yummy vintage feedsack scraps from my precious stash! I haven't intentionally made "sets" but a lot of them are coming together quite nicely.


I can't wait to make up some cards and package them.

Plus, look what I found in my stash!
Is that gen-u-ine Flea Market Fancy?! Nope, it's the original feedsack the design was taken from. I just knew when Ashley posted her find that I had seen that feedsack elsewhere. So happy to have them in my collection, thinking maybe they should be framed?