Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nursery Rocker

I have 6 weeks until my due date and a bunch of projects to post about (I've been busy!), so here's the first one. We "hacked" an IKEA Jennylund chair to make a slipcovered rocker for our baby's room. I wanted a comfy upholstered/slip-covered rocker but couldn't stomach the price that such a chair would cost from a place like Pottery Barn. But fortunately, moms-to-be on the internet have already solved this first-world problem with an IKEA hack: buy an IKEA chair and attach a swivel/rocker base instead of the legs.

We lucked out and found a Jennylund chair on Craigslist for only $80 and picked up the rocker base for about the same price. Then, my dad and husband got to work on it.

And here it is in the room! (Pay no attention to the boxes on the floor, we still have another piece of furniture to assemble)

Once we told the woman we bought the chair from that we were going to convert her chair into one for our nursery, she threw in a free storage box. I bought an extra ottoman slipcover from IKEA and converted it into a cover the storage box. I'm pretty please with how it looks considering I was just working what I had and making up a "pattern" as I went along. It's also removable so it can go in the wash with the car slipcover when it gets dirty.

And did you catch that ADORABLE koala?? A friend stitched it up for our baby and it's just about the cutest thing!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Playing in Melted Crayon Rain

Last weekend, Jon and I tried out a fun little crafty project. I saw these cute melted crayon art projects while searching for ideas for our baby's room and we figured to give it try! It's a pretty easy concept: (1) glue crayons to the top of a canvas and (2) apply heat to the crayons so they drip/melt down the canvas.

We thought it would be fun to have the melted drips look like rain and have a couple of kids playing under umbrellas. I found some images online and doctored them to fit my needs and then traced them onto the canvas with a Sharpie.

At first, we used a hair dryer and only covered the kids over their umbrellas. We found the hair dryer to be slow to heat and tough to control, but were encouraged by the result.

Since we were a little disappointed that the rain went under the umbrellas, we tried again with a heat gun (turns out my dad just had one sitting around!) and also covered the kids umbrellas and down the side so rain couldn't slide under. This was a lot faster and more controlled so the rain stayed where we wanted and the crayons didn't get melted together at the top.

I can't tell which I like better and we can't decide which to hang in the room... which do you like better?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Nursery Projects

I've actually been sewing for my little one!

First up, a collapsible storage bin that will likely live on the dresser/changing table. The fabric is this adorable yellow giraffe home dec fabric. I also have a teal chevron in a similar weight, so I'm considering making another one so I have two that are the same size.

I mostly followed this pattern, but I didn't put binding on the bottom of the box (instead I did the seams so that the seams ended up on the inside of the box). I also hot glued the binding on the top of the box and the fabric on the removable bottom of the box. The pattern suggested sewing these one, but there is no way my machine was going to handle sewing through cardboard. 

Next up, a pillow with a base envelope closure. We're planning to get an IKEA slipcovered armchair and install a glider base, but the chair will need an extra back pillow.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Curtains for Katers

I've been sewing away since my last post for a special, spunky little lady. A few months ago, my cousin asked me for some advice on black out curtains for her daughter (who I made a baby quilt for a couple years ago) and I couldn't resist but offer to make them for her.

The criteria were that she wanted them to be cute (feminine but not over the top girly), block out all of the light from east-facing windows and be able to withstand a very independently minded two-year old. Here's what we ended up with:

My cousin lives in Madison, so I went to a fabric outlet here in the Twin Cities where I bought a whole bolt of Ty Pennington fabric (50% off). Then I picked up another 15 yards of basic blackout fabric from Joann. I was nervous to pick fabric without her there, but she sent me some inspiration pictures and I felt confident I understood her vision for the room.

The actual construction of the curtains was really easy, I basically just hemmed the four sides of each panel using the blackout fabric as lining underneath each hem. This tutorial is more or less the strategy I used. The trick was that crawling on the floor to maneuver the 86" panels got progressively harder as I've gotten a bigger baby bump. I joked with Jon that I'm glad there isn't photo documentation of me pinning and cutting the fabric!

So I'm really happy with how they turned out and we got to visit Madison last weekend and they looked great in person! You'll notice that the curtains are hung with clips so that if Katers tries to climb them, the panels will just release. So far, she hasn't tested this, but I figure it's only a matter of time.

Glad you like them so much, Andrea! Love you!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Major WIP

I'm excited to let you know that Jon and I are expecting a baby at the end of the summer. I'm due the first week of September. So far, pregnancy has been treating me really well with minimal morning sickness and mostly feeling good. I even have a bump now to show for it!

18 weeks!

The blog will likely pick up over the next few months as I sew for the baby. I have a list of things I want to do for the nursery and a few smaller clothing projects, but we'll see how I do as I get farther along!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bedding and Valances for Ashford

One of the cool parts about moving back to my hometown has been reconnecting with old friends. Like Melissa - she and I have known each other since we were really little. We went to the same church and lived only a few blocks away. As kids, people always thought we were sisters or twins since we looked a lot alike. Although we haven't stayed in touch, we have a ton in common and it's been wonderful to have her back in my life.

When Melissa told me last year that she was expecting, I knew I wanted to sew something for her little guy. We decided to do valances and crib sheets. She and I picked out fabric together for her vision of a navy, lime & gray nursery. Super cute, right??

The valances were an easy project, just sewing hems on all four sides. I did a wide hem on the bottom and added a little white oversized rick-rack I had laying around to make it look a little more polished.

For the crib sheets, I used a super easy tutorial that only required 2 yards of fabric and some 1/2" elastic. I think it only took about 20 minutes to do each sheet.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blogging is a funny thing

I started this blog in 2009 when I was completely miserable in the middle of grad school. Creating things and blogging about them was an escape. A way to make something tangible instead of gathering data. A way to be creative without feeling like my career depended on the quality of the product. A way to connect to people without worrying about whether they thought I was smart. A way to avoid thinking about living in a place where I couldn't put down roots.

I'm crafting and blogging less these days and I think that's a good thing. I'm finally living in a place with family. My husband and I both have fulfilling jobs that we generally look forward to going to. I'm getting out and enjoying the community where I live. I'm trying to reestablish roots in my hometown.

I've rediscovered my joy for life. I didn't realize how buried it was until last year when I finished my PhD and left academia. My joy still comes from making things but it also comes from a lot of other things that are a little easier on the budget and aren't as easy to capture in pictures.

So I'm still here and still finding creative outlets but the balance of life has tipped a bit and I'm rolling with it. I will probably post in fits and starts but I think I'm at peace with that. This blog has never been about gathering a ton of followers... it's been about remembering the things that I make and the people I make them for.