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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Dining room craft space on: March 31, 2010 06:46:42 AM
Since we hardly ever ate at the table anyhow, I get to use our dining room space (which flows right into our living room--"open" floorplan style) for my craft area.  The down side is that I have to keep the space reasonably tidy-a real challenge for me.  Recently I tackled making it more organized

My desk is actually a counter/bar height dining room table.  We had it made to my specs at Naked Furniture; I had looked at a bunch of prefab options, but I wanted solid wood.  Something I'd be able to sand down and refinish if I need to in ten years.  The bonus is that if we decide it doesn't work for my crafting anymore, we can buy chairs and make it a dining room table again.

I annotated this pic to show where everything goes.  The four matching baskets came in a set with a laundry hamper.  They came already lined with canvas, so they're perfect for organizing my scraps and supplies.  The lamp was a Christmas present that I'd had on my Amazon wish list for awhile.

I'm lucky to have a window seat next to my craft table; it's a good place for the sewing basket to hang out, but it also tends to collect junk.

In this pic, you can see that I covered the table with an old quilt--I got the quilt on eBay, and when it came I realized it was one of the cheap type that were common at department stores, so I don't feel bad using it as a table cloth.  I store my sewing machine down below the window seat when I'm not using it and just lift it to the table when I need it, and the vintage wood sewing basket goes into the bedroom closet when company comes.

Now that I have everything organized, we're planning to move next month  Roll Eyes  Oh well, so it goes. 
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Re: Christmas Break Projects on: January 14, 2010 05:49:29 AM
Glad you guys like my purses  Cheesy thanks for the kind words

--Crystal, I use quilting fabrics and back them with a fusible interfacing.  For the pieces I want to be sturdy, I use interfacing meant for shirt cuffs, for lining pieces I use a light weight interfacing.

To put in the zipper, I sandwich one edge of the zipper between the outer fabric and lining and stitch that side, then do the other side, then top stitch.  Very like this tutorial: http://pinoyinoz.blogspot.com/2008/08/tutorial-zippered-wristletpouch-made.html  This gives me the big inner part of the purse, nicely lined, with the ends ready to be finished.  I sandwich this between the lining pieces for the outer purse and stitch that up (much like this tutorial: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=182493.0), then insert this lining into the outer shell.  Hope that helps!

I add the tabs to hold the bamboo handles into the seam between the lining and the outer shell.  The metal part of the handles have a little screw that can be removed so they can be attached to the bag once all the sewing is done (they're the easiest store bought handles to attach!)
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Christmas Break Projects on: January 12, 2010 06:45:57 AM
I promised Mom a purse back in the fall, and I'm finally done!  I made two, and I'm pretty proud of them, actually, as I tried a few new techniques, and my skills are improving.  They're my own designs--I spend a few days drawing out my ideas, thinking through the construction techniques I'm going to use, and measuring purses I like.  Then I draw my pieces out on tracing paper, double check the size, and go from there.

I welcome constructive criticism :-D

The first one is basically a large pouch to hold clothes or shoes when she goes to work out, or just the general stuff that a Mom tends to accumulate.  The front has a pleat or tuck to add a little extra volume, and it has side gussets that also form the bottom.

The strap is removable so that I can make her more bags and she can just swap the straps however she wants.  I really like the effect of the v-shape and the pleat.

The second one has nice wide bamboo handles and a circular cut out so she can carry it over her shoulder if she wants.  It has a central zippered section to keep her wallet and cellphone secure, and pockets front and back for receipts and things.

I also made one for myself, following the same basic idea as Mom's, but with curved sides and bottom and leather handles.  I really like the way it looks, but am not totally happy with the handles when I'm using the purse-they're a bit stiff and in the way when I'm trying to get things out of the zippered section.  Further design iterations are in order!

(cross posted to LJ craftgrrl)
4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Re: Pumpkins 2009 on: October 28, 2009 10:58:30 AM
Thanks!  Smiley  I don't use pumpkin patterns, I just find a picture I like (Google Images is awesome for that), then I use photoshop to make it black and white and resize it, then I print it out.  If I'm not sure what part I want to cut out and what part to leave, I'll trace the important lines with a sharpie, then flip the paper over--the sharpie bleeds through making it like a simplified coloring book image.  I color that in with orange and refine my lines that way.  Itchy and scratchy were the easiest since they were already cartoons.
5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Pumpkins 2009 on: October 28, 2009 08:24:11 AM
We just got Wall-E on bluray a couple of weeks ago, and we've been watching it at least once a week since, so that seemed a natural theme for this year's pumpkins:

It's hard to tell from the pick, but I used a fruit zester to remove a little pumpkin rind for the treads on Wall-E.  The Eve pumpkin started to wilt a bit after only one day--there's not much support for the neck-shadow bit....I propped it with toothpicks.

Last year we were on a Simpsons kick, so I did Itchy and Scratchy:

In 2004, it was my two favorite muppets:

I'm already thinking of next year...
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Anyone ever sewn with emergency blanket material? on: October 27, 2009 07:04:41 AM
I haven't worked with it myself, but I found a website for one of the brand names http://www.barnworld.com/sa/cart/detail.asp?pg={130D9CA1-089B-4390-A4A6-A6FF8E654E49} that suggests it can be sewn, and suggests a light lining for bag applications, so it would seem that you can sandwich it.

If that doesn't work, I'd also suggest polar fleece--my cat LOVES my fleece blanket, to the point that I made her a little bed and blanket of her own, and it's very cozy.  I've thought of buying her a plant light, too, since she likes to lay under my husband's reading lamp; I thought it would be an artificial sunbeam for her.
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / New Fall Purse Prototype on: October 13, 2009 07:40:39 AM
My mother picked out some pretty fall fabric and a shoulder strap, and requested a new bag, bigger than the last one.  I think I went overboard with the "bigger" request, it's honestly a bit too big. 

What doesn't show on this picture is that the front has a series of pleats that hide a zippered pocket.  There's also a nice deep pocket on the back side too.

I've sent her a picture to see what she thinks of the size; if she likes it, the second version will have a lot sturdier interfacing to help it keep the shape, inside pockets, and maybe a zippered top.  And at least now I have a nice fall "carry everything" purse for myself.
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Detaching a sewing machine? on: January 25, 2009 01:22:23 PM
I had one like that, and it was really pretty easy.  The sewing machine was screwed to a flap on one side (that's usually what holds it in place when you drop it down into the table and close it up).  Undoing the two old screws was really the only hard part, because they were old and a bit tough to turn.  You may need someone to help you hold the machine while you unscrew.

My problem is, what do you put the machine in once you have it out of the table?  I haven't solved that problem yet, but then I haven't tried very hard.
9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Re: Cord Messanger Bag (pic heavy) on: November 13, 2008 07:43:10 AM
Wow, I love that.  I especially love the way you handled the strap, and the use of the accent fabric.  Very nicely done.
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Restoring intricate cast iron on: October 22, 2008 12:42:39 PM
I found two beautiful cast iron shelf supports at a junk store last weekend, and I'm dying to use them, but they're pretty rusty and nasty.  They're intricate and detailed, so there's tons of potential,  but I'm concerned about scratching them up if I try sandpaper.

I've googled for restoration options, but everything I found is geared towards cookware.  Undecided

I want to clean the rust off, then somehow seal these so they don't rust up again.  Either with black paint, or something clear.  Any suggestions?  This is my first try at this kind of project...I'm much more comfortable with fabric!
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