With the sale of e-books on the rise, some might say the printed book is headed to the graveyard. I say, don’t buy the headstone just yet. To me, the printed page is alive and kicking. I’ll admit, I’ve got a bit of an addictive personality when it comes to books. I own more than a dozen different sewing books, each with its own focus. There’s one for slipcovers, window treatments, and stuffed animals. And then there are the cookbooks, and the craft books, and the books on gardening. Maybe I ought to feel ashamed about this affliction, but I don’t. While there are a few books that have barely had their pages fanned, the majority of the books we own have helped me acquire the skills to make many of my favorite projects. Here’s a review of several from my stash and the projects I have made, or intend to make, from them.
Stitched in Time, by Alicia Paulson
The first time I saw this book, I fell in love with the doll on the front cover. I was really new to sewing, and had no business believing I could make that or any doll, but it didn’t stop me from fantasizing how my then four-year-old daughter would fall in love with my homemade creation. Thankfully, she did! This book not only contains fabulous sewing projects, but also personal essays, photos, and recipes by the author Alicia Paulson (creator of the blog Posie Gets Cozy). The photos of Paulson’s backyard make me want to crawl inside and have a cup of tea with her.
On my “to make” list: The reusable Happy Birthday banner. Continue reading »
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of scoring a deal. I can still remember going to a garage sale with my cousins when I was in second grade. Trolling the aisles between tables, looking for the perfect treasure. I ended up buying a shell necklace for fifty-cents. Mind you, this was in the seventies, so it’s likely I paid what the thing was worth, but I still felt the thrill of finding something special in an unexpected place.
Maybe that explains my love of television shows like Antiques Roadshow and Storage Wars. Honestly, if I were home nursing the flu and stuck on the sofa, I could easily watch four episodes of Storage Wars in a row. At least.
And, it would seem, I’m not the only one watching. Storage Wars is officially the most popular show in A&E’s (the network on which it airs) history. The show follows a group of characters around to storage facilities in California as they bid on unclaimed units in the hope of turning the biggest profit on the units they win. While part of the fun of the show is in the interplay between the characters, what I love best about the show is the excitement over the hunt for “the find”.
I know it’s only half-way through January, but in our house it’s already time to start prepping for Valentine’s Day. Between the two older kids, I’ve got sixty-five valentines to make, so I like to get an early start. While I realize it would only take a ten-minute trip to Walgreens to buy valentines for our kids’ classes, I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m just not the buy-your-valentines type of mom. I’ve made them each year since preschool and I’m not about to give in now. No offense to those who do buy; this is just how I roll.
This morning’s circus (a.k.a, the getting-to-school-on-time routine) was too crazy to even consider cleaning up breakfast beforehand, so after returning home from dropping everyone off, I started in on clearing up the mess. Just as I was about to drop the empty cereal box into the recycling bin, I had an epiphany: Hey, why not make our valentines out of this? It saves money, time (in driving to the store to buy card stock), and extends the life of something that would have been recycled. Kind of like a valentine for the planet, too.
I know that to most people, the idea of watching an online tutorial to learn how to do something wouldn’t exactly make their list of ways to spend their free time. But to me, an admitted crafty addict, I consider it pure bliss.
That’s why I’m so excited about one of the gifts I just received for my birthday: a gift card to Craftsy! OMG, there are so many options. I could learn how to make cheese, marmalade, or how to upcycle yardsale furniture. And I just might take ALL of these classes at some point in the future. I mean, how cool would it be to be able to say you make your own cheese? Just imagine your next dinner party, “Oh, this brie? Just something I whipped up myself.”
But after perusing the catalog of potential classes, I’ve decided to tackle Sew Retro Perfect Bombshell Dress. Although I’ve been sewing things like doll clothes and tote bags, I haven’t yet been able to make anything that had to actually fit someone. A few years ago I tried making a dress for my daughter. Although I was proud of the final product (because it was my first time attempting an invisible zipper), it wasn’t without flaws. And it didn’t fit. Soon after, I gave it away at a children’s clothing swap. While I was bummed that my daughter couldn’t wear it, I was so pleased to know that at least someone could.