Friday, June 18, 2010

It's a jungle in there...

We've now been in our home for almost 11 years and there is one room in which we have done no remodeling.  It has been one of the most used rooms - the nursery for each of the kids and now our youngest child's bedroom.  He's 5 (going on 6), so we figured it was finally time to get the toddler bed out and get him a regular sized bed.  With that, an overhaul of the room was due.  However, it contains the last of the wallpaper in the house and if the wallpaper stripping experience in one of the other bedrooms is any indication of what might lie ahead we knew now was not the time to tackle wallpaper removal.  The floor was wood when we moved in (one of only two rooms with the wood showing back then) and in need of refinishing, but that too will wait.  So, rather than being remodeled, his room is undergoing a simple face lift.  Even with only that though, it has become one of my favorite rooms in the house.  Since before he was born I knew his "big boy" room would have a jungle theme.  For years I've gathered jungle themed items on clearance at Target, been given some by a friend, and even received adorable lion wall hooks as a baby gift.

A few months ago I started gathering supplies to make some art for the wall: canvases, paint, vinyl jungle animals.  This week I painted the canvases to ready them for the vinyl animals - the plan was a pop art style grouping with bright colors.  I liked the idea, but then a bigger idea popped into my head.  What if I dressed the canvas up a bit by adding some fabric?  I grabbed my scrap fabric basket and started pulling out coordinating colors and started snipping away.  Happy with the result, I used spray adhesive (for the first time ever) to adhere the fabric.  I really like how they turned out.  I have another canvas and a cute vinyl "alphagator" for another wall in the room, but I messed up when painting it and ran out of the correct paint, so that will have to wait for a few days.

The original idea - vinyl animals on painted canvas.

With the fabric accents (not adhered yet).

On the wall.  I used command adhesive velcro strips (one on each side) - the perfect thing for holding up canvas.

Jungle room - complete with jungle cat!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coffee Date Dress

Time to create is certainly a big part of what I want to fit into my "blank" notebook of time.  (I'm also realizing that as a mom and wife and friend, etc., "blank" and time don't really seem to go together, but I'm making the most of extra time I do find.)

Anyway, I've picked a project.  Probably a very ambitious project.  I'm going to make a dress.  I've made a few dresses in the past.  Most successfully a couple jumpers that I paired with nursing shirts when the kids were babies, one ill-fitting nursing dress, and one dress that never reached completion (mostly because I am not a rule follower and thought I could take some shortcuts - I guess some rules are meant to be followed).  My one really successful dress was the Cinderella costume I made for my oldest daughter (worn by her sister in this photo, taken after we'd entered the age of digital photography).  I loved that project and the result.

For this project, I knew a fun summer dress would be perfect to get me back to sewing clothing.  Not finding a pattern I liked, I began a few months ago clipping catalog photos of dresses, in an attempt to find inspiration.  I have numerous photos clipped; however, I lack the experience (for now) to take an idea from picture to product without some sort of pattern or instruction.  Today I discovered BurdaStyle, a social network for people who sew.  While browsing the site, I stumbled on a pattern that has me eager to begin.  It's a cute, fun, easy summer dress.  An the name - Coffee Date Dress - can't be beat.  Even better, the pattern was free to download.  On the down side, it's missing all instructions, but I figure that should fit well into my non-rule-following nature.  I have a 50% off coupon to Joann's burning a hole in my pocket, so I just might go shopping for fabric tomorrow.  I'll post my progress along the way.

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