Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Last December I ordered a dozen or so yards of Amy Butler’s Lark line. And boy, I’ve put it to good use. I’ve made: a queen-sized duvet and 2 matching shams, 2 throw pillows, a Blossom handbag, an enormous overnight tote, a Kindle case, a Cosmo bag, 3 coin purses, a Teardrop purse, a clutch for my sister, coasters, and I even hung 2 fat quarters on my living room wall.

Sadly, my hoard is shrinking. I used the last of my favorite, Heirloom Jade, earlier in the week. And when I say I used the last bit of it, I mean it. I literally have nothing left; no scraps, nothing. But I made something that I’ll see very often, which is good, because this fabric just makes me smile.

I’ve posted before about how I’m working through Amy’s Style Stitches book. I made my mom a Beautiful Balance checkbook cover for Mother’s Day, and modified that pattern to make a wallet for myself. If you’ll notice, ladies and gents, it comes complete with a zippered pouch on the back for change. I’m so proud of myself for figuring out how to do that.

Last night was my kind of night. I had a stroke of brilliance for a project around 7:30, the kind of stroke that can’t wait, and ran to my fabric hoard room to see if I had the needed the supplies. This project was even better because except for a small piece of fusible interfacing and a magnetic snap, I had everything I needed.

I rushed across town to Hancock’s for said supplies, made it 3 minutes before they closed, and ended up staying until 8:10 chatting the ladies who work there (fabric addiction… it’s like a sisterhood).

Pulling back into my neighborhood I stopped and bought a bottle of Shiraz. Because it was a beautiful, rainy night and I was making an awesome project with beautiful fabric.

I spent the next two hours putting this gem together. I don’t have instructions posted for several reasons. I may want to sell these and/or the pattern; I may teach these in the sewing classes I’ll be teaching this summer; and… ahem… due to the wine I may not remember exactly how I put it together. That last part being said, I need to make another to capture the steps and measurements, so if you’re interested in buying one, please let me know.

(Fabric used: exterior – Amy Butler’s Lark Heirloom Jade; interior – Amy Butler’s Soul Blossom Dancing Paisley)

Bubbupdates

I really appreciate everyone who wished Kane well during our scare the week before last. After our initial trip to the vet, he did much better for a few days. Then, he began having the opposite problem–he couldn’t hold his pee. He ended up soaking both of us after sneaking onto the bed one night. Back to the vet, where the polyp/mass/spot on the X-ray looked the same, and the doctor drew blood to check for adrenal diseases.

The blood was mostly normal, but indicated a deficit in his thyroid production. So, my svelte, 1%-body-fat, solid muscle boy has hypothyroidism. The good news is this is a very treatable condition, and the herbal thyroid support supplements and Western thyroid medication are fairly inexpensive. We go back in 3 weeks to check the mass/polyp again, and for more blood work to see if the herbs have corrected his thyroid deficiency. (He’s also on several herbal supplements to break up whatever that mass is, so he can flush it.)

I haven’t seen any blood in his urine, and his overall demeanor is back to normal. He may even be a bit better than he was before this; some of the herbs target and quench his “fiery” constitution.

So, we keep moving forward.

… and the next you’re rushing to the vet.

I took Kane out at lunch today, like normal. But, unlike normal, he was very whiny. And he only peed a little. Then the walked a few feet down the street and peed a little again. Then repeat. Then, he was peeing nothing but blood.

We just moved back here, and I wasn’t happy with our vet when we lived here before. I had an appointment with a holistic vet booked for next week, for his yearly checkup, but we ended up going today instead. After running tests on his urine, they told me he didn’t have an infection or kidney stones. But, he did/does have a mass and/or swelling/inflammation in his urethra, which is where the blood is coming from.

This is the picture that made my heart stop. Because it could be cancer. Or, it could be nothing.

That little, grey splotch is so huge.

The vet put him on a holistic diet, and prescribed three herbal compounds to alleviate the swelling and inflammation. The hope is that this mass is nothing but some excess fluid, which the diet and herbs will flush out. That’s the best case scenario. I am sending every vibe possible out into the universe, willing that this inflammation subside in a day or two. I’ll take a sick Kane if that’s all I can get. But I’d much, much rather have this sharp, energetic, and hilarious man instead.

My dear friend Danielle knows me well. When I moved here, after going through a breakup, she knew that without projects to keep me busy, I would wallow in self pity and teeter on the cusp of despair for… well… until something changed.

She got me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received: a gift clearly picked with thought, and one that continues to keep giving.

I still wallowed for a while, but then I got busy. SUPER busy. As in, 7 bags complete busy.

My new everyday purse

Something I invented: a leash purse. Which is a coin purse attached to your leash, used for holding poop bags, keys, and phone while you're walking your dog. Isn't this so much prettier than the poop bag things they sell at the pet store?!

My dog-park bag, or walking-all-day bag. I specifically made it for carrying water to the dog park; that long handle is great for carrying across your shoulder.

It’s obviously a different kind of adrenaline than a skydiver or a mountain climber feels, but I get an incredible rush from perusing beautiful fabrics, choosing them, and then assembling them into something useful. It’s the artist in me, I suppose.

Note: All of these bags are available for sale (custom orders only) in my etsy shop.

As promised, here’s my awesome wall decoration tutorial!

Supplies:

  • Stretched canvas
  • Acrylic paint
  • Fabric large enough to cover the canvas
  • Paint brush
  • Staple gun
  • Pencil

Method:

  1. Put something good on TV or put on good music.
  2. Find a silhouette you like, and either print it out to cut out as a stencil, or pick something you feel confident that you’ll be able to freehand.
  3. Cover your canvas with fabric. Start at one end, staple in the middle, and then finish that end. Then staple the opposite end, and pull the fabric taut before stapling. Then repeat with the sides.
    1. When choosing fabric, it looks best to pick something that has a subtle pattern, and is mostly one color. Keep in mind the size of your canvas; the smaller the canvas, the smaller your fabric’s pattern should be.
  4. Draw your silhouette on the fabric with either a lead or a fabric pencil, using either a stencil, or praying that you don’t mess it up free handing (I chose this method).
  5. Paint your silhouette, being careful around the edges and making them as crisp as possible. I painted 4-inch sections, starting with the outside edges, and then filling in the middle.
  6. Admire how awesome and artistic you are.

I’ve heard many couples on home improvement shows say that the bedroom is always the last room they decorate, because no one sees it but them. I get it, but for me, the bedroom is uber important. That’s where the most important 8 hours of my life happen, and I want them to happen in a nice, pretty, relaxing room.

So the bedroom has gotten most of the attention in my new apartment.

The “makeover” (is it a makeover when you’re starting from scratch?) involved two major projects: a new patchwork duvet and shams, and decorator-quality drapes (8 of them—-4 big windows).

Allow me to share:

The Duvet

This thing is gorgeous. Gorgeous.

It’s made entirely from Amy Butler’s Lark line, which is super bright, fun, and elegant. I used her free pattern/tutorial for a duvet from her website, and modified to make it look the way I wanted. I also made the matching shams, which have that awesome coral block simply because I didn’t have enough of the jade fabric to make them solid. But I think it works.

I don’t mean to brag, but my friend Mel, upon seeing this duvet, asked me, “This is from Anthropologie, right?” That question absolutely made my day.

 

The Drapes

These drapes are amazing. They are from Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom collection (which is currently on clearance at fabric.com), and I lined them with a bolt of pale yellow fabric I bought from a lady I met on Craigslist during the summer.

They are really nice quality, thick enough to block out sound, yet light enough to allow natural light to filter through. I absolutely adore the color scheme, and you wouldn’t believe how happy it makes me that they coordinate with my super awesome duvet.

 

Kane’s New Bed

I have a really bad habit of letting Kane sleep with me, but this needs to stop for several reasons:

  • It would only be a slight exaggeration to say I love my duvet more than I love him. I want to keep it nice.
  • I’d like my bed to not smell like dog on a regular basis.
  • I’m home all day with him, and he needs the alone time to promote autonomy.

I tried making him a bed from a crib mattress, but the texture of it freaked him out. I debated for several weeks about springing for a memory foam dog bed, but eventually decided it just wasn’t worth $200. Then, while I was at Hancock’s, I noticed their selection of furniture-quality upholstery foam, and had an idea. It was on sale, so I bought two pieces of 22x36x4 foam and glued them together, to make one 44×36 piece of foam. Then I made a “duvet”/zippered cover using one yard of outdoor fabric and a flat sheet I had on hand. I plan to re-do it eventually to make it look a little nicer and fit the foam better, but it serves its purpose for now.

Note: I know I’m really bad about sharing tutorials for my projects. It’s not that I’m trying to monopolize them, I simply get too excited about them and forget to take pictures or remember the order of the steps. I’m in the market for fabric to make new living room curtains, and I’ll try to slow myself down enough to be able to craft a coherent tutorial. I’m also planning to do something super amazingly awesome for my living room wall this weekend, so I’ll be sure to share that step-by-step as well.