Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Newest Toy!!!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all!!!

It has been a very busy holiday season.  As always, I was very active crafting a bunch of Christmas gifts.  I am so thankful for my new craft room this year.  It was such a huge help to be able to make crafts and hide them away from the family.  I think I actually surprised them all with little gifts. 

Speaking of gifts, I was blessed with a HUGE one from my sister & brother-in-law.  My sister has been working as a traveling nurse here in Tulsa and she stays with us while she's here.  It's great to have her here when she can be even though it's not a ton of time, and it's helping them out at the same time.  They chose to bless us at Christmas with a couple of big items.  Mine was a new Serger!!! 

It took me a couple of days to get some thread and get started learning how to use the serger.  Ok, let me be honest, it took a couple of days to get up the nerve....why should this make me nervous...???

Anyway, a few days and a few dozen You Tube videos and I picked up some scrap material and had a go at using this machine.  It's absolutely AMAZING!!!  I can truly say "Where have you been all my life???"  It's so stinkin' quick and makes such a great finished edge to things...I love it!!!

So I had to try a project...of course!  I had a couple of yards of fabric still left from my craft room design.  I've saved it hoping to make an apron I could wear while crafting.  I hadn't quite found the pattern I wanted to use so back to You Tube I went.  I found this reversible apron and it needed just the right amount of fabric and looked fairly simple.  She is so detailed in her instructions that I felt I could tackle this project quite easily and manage to utilize my new toy as well.  I just needed to pick up a few little things to get started.

So off to Hobby Lobby I went with my sweet daughter!!!

With Sweet Pea's help I picked out some coordinating fabric for the pockets and straps, some D rings and some interfacing.  Here's the colors I ended up with:

I already had the striped and owl fabric because they were the inspiration fabrics for my craft room.  All I needed was this orange and white polka dot fabric.  It was my daughter that saw it and pointed it out (she wanted to make sure I gave her credit...consider it done!).  It was actually exactly what it needed...something that wasn't plain, but not too busy...and coordinated perfectly. 
As I said before I used this material for the pockets and straps of the apron.  I followed the You Tube video almost exactly, with only a few small tweaks.  The major one being that I added the pockets to both sides of the apron instead of just one side, making it truly reversible. 
I was able to use my serger in a couple of places.  First was around the top pocket to finish the edges.
I used it to sew the side straps...even though you can't see the edge in this picture...
Oh, and I MUST explain the straw and paint brush.  This was a huge time saver for me.  The lady in the video had a strap turner that was made specifically for this purpose.  I don't have one, so I made one of my own.  It doesn't quite work as well as hers, but it turned a 30 to 45 minute job into a one minute job.  Let me attempt to explain.  First the straw is inserted to the tube that needs to be inverted.  Then take the end of the paint brush and start trying to push it through the straw.  This particular straw was too small to push the material through, but I was able to pull the fabric down around the paint brush enough to invert and turn the material anyway.  It was so quick and did the job well enough for my purposes!!! 
Here's kind of the idea of it, but the straw is normally pushed down to the bottom.  I forgot to take a picture of the magic in action.  It truly is brilliant!!!
Ok, I got distracted...where were we???  Oh, yeah, my new toy!!!  So I used the serger on the pocket and this strap...the last place I used it was to put the two sides together.  I followed her directions for all the other steps, but instead of using the sewing machine I serged.  I had to be careful how many pins to use and where to place them, plus I had to be careful how I started and ended the stitching since I needed a section to turn the apron right side out.  But with some planning I was able to modify the directions and utilize my toy. 
It makes such a beautiful, clean edge.  Once I was finished with serging I turned the garment, ironed it out flat and top stitched around the whole thing.  It closed up the bottom and the opening isn't even noticeable. 
So here it is...
Side one...(please excuse the lack of makeup on my wasn't a makeup kind of day!!!)
Side two!!!  The middle pocket holds my phone perfectly and there's TONS of room in those pockets...with hidden pockets behind if need be!!!  Oh, and did you notice...the "girls" are completely covered!  That's not always an easy job for an apron!!!  My husband called me "Ms. Kay" when he saw it. 
If you have to ask what that means then I feel so sorry for you!  If you really don't know ask me in the comments...I'll give you an education in Duck Dynasty!!!
And here it is hanging in it's honored spot on the wall!!!
My only problem now is going to be that I won't want to get it dirty!!!  I may need an apron for my apron....sigh!!!
Till the next Treasure...


Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm beyond giddy! I actually have a craft room!!!

Holy cow!  I have a craft room!!!  This is a dream I thought I'd have some year when my kids left the you know like 10 years down the line...but no, I HAVE A CRAFT ROOM!!!
I'm just a bit excited if you can't tell.  It took a lot of work to get there, but we're finally DONE!
Here's how it all came about.
This was my husband's library/study/man cave right after we got it all put together for him.  We painted it, put in chair rail and a custom shelf for all his shot glasses.  Over the last 4 years he added to it with cigar paraphernalia, a couple of cube storage systems to replace the shelves, a different desk, a tv and more, but then he wasn't in there very much.  So one day earlier this year we were talking randomly about what I'd do if I had a craft room when suddenly he piped up and said "You can have my room."  I was like "WHAT?!?" and he couldn't take it back!  I grabbed ahold of that statement and held on tight.  Over the next several months I bought paint, picked up a bunch of this and that's to use for the rooms transformation while ideas just flew through my head.  Here's how it all turned out...just bear with me cause there are a ton of pictures!
Bright yellow with white trim lightens up the room tremendously.  I painted the black cube units with white paint and distressed it with a grey wash.
I reused 3 canvases I had from a previous project for silhouettes of my 3 kids.  I wear aprons all the time so I added a 3M removable hook that I had in a junk cabinet in the kitchen.  I've had the butterflies stored in my craft supplies for a couple of years.  They were the perfect little "family" addition to my room.
I added the kids' nick names to their silhouettes just to take them over the top.
The butterflies represent our family...Hubby, me, the two boys and my daughter!
The top of the door needed just a little something so I went in search of a crafty, creative saying to make a vinyl.  This one just grabbed me because creativity IS my life!!!
Here's a piece my husband and I made together.  This is a Pinterest inspired project.  I needed something to store all my paint and I loved the drawer idea.  This was a very inexpensive project since I found the drawer at Habitat for Humanities Restore for only $4.00 and we had most of the wood already.
Remember that custom shelf for shot glasses?  Here it is all crafted up!  I wanted several things that represented most of the crafting things I love to do.  I think I found a way to incorporate most of them.
I kept the wine glasses we used at our wedding.  They're special since they're Czech glass and our last name is Czech.  I added some of the insulators I had in the living room and then my two Willow Tree figurines.  I wanted two big wooden spools of thread, but they're SO hard to find.  Instead I found a couple of mason jars (another love) filled with wooden spools (for sewing).  They had the perfect colors...more on that later.
For birds & decorative painting I have a little hand painted bird house.  Yes, I painted that myself!

I love flowers and hand painting, and I love the One Stroke painting.  I would love to take a class some day, but for now I'll just learn from You Tube and play!
For my love of vinyl and husband I added some vinyl to the letter "E" as a template for painting.  I also added another bird that I painted pink with chalk paint (another love) and dry brushed with white.
I love my ampersand.  For some reason ampersands are so cool...just go with it!  I also added a milk jar (love) of ribbon!  Then, of course, one of my first loves is scrapbooking so I had to add a stamp. 
Owls!  Who doesn't love owls!  And more mason jars with buttons!  And last but not least are two cups that mean a lot to my husband.  They're replicas of the cups used on "Hunt for Red October" one of his favorite books and authors.  Our oldest's name is actually inspired by the main character.  So those HAD to stay!  That completes the shelf and I LOVE IT!!!  It's not too cluttered but comfortably filled!
Here's my work center.  I thought I'd hate this was the one my husband had...but I was WRONG!  I love it!  The plan is to paint it later, but for now it's just going to get used.  There's also this cabinet that the printers are on.  We purchased that well over a year ago for the printers, but it wasn't till I started working on the elements for this room that it all came together.  We removed a drawer and added wood to make it a solid shelf for electronic components that were necessary to keep in this room.  It's a perfect fit!
I plan to have my silhouette on the desk quite a bit so I found a piece of trim left over from the printer cabinet and tacked it to the desk.  It keeps the silhouette from accidentally getting knocked off the side.  Again, a perfect fit!
Here's one reason I fell in love with this desk.  My silhouette and sewing machine fit in the side cabinet just an arms reach away!  That is when I actually put my silhouette away.
Another item that stayed in the room is this handy strip outlet bar.  It is amazingly handy for all the different things I need to plug in.  The desk area needed a little extra lighting so I found something we had yet again to fill the need.  My husband had converted this liquor bottle into a lamp and filled it with rocks.  He'd never found the right shade for it so it just sat there in his study unused.  I removed the rocks and added clear, iridescent marbles then I added a decorative shade that I customized with a special fabric.  This is the fabric that inspired all the colors in the room.  I have one more accent fabric that I used for my pressing board and as time goes on I plan to make some throw pillows covered in the two different fabrics.  Oh, and then there's the cork board...we'll get to that later!
Here's one of the first projects my husband and I worked on.  I purchased the rotating tool storage system at Harbor Freight & Tools and he spray painted them for me.  He's better at spray painting than I cause I'm WAY too impatient.  The clock is today's latest creation.  I needed some kind of time piece in there and I wanted to keep it inexpensive.  I just purchased a wooden embroidery hoop and a clock mechanism and used the inspiration fabric, some felt, cardboard and tacks to make the clock.
Let me just say this up husband and I are NOT carpenters.  We could never carry that label, but we do like to tinker...and we have determination!  That's what this shelving unit took...determination!  I had a very small space left and needed a deeper shelf to hold scrapbooks and tubes with vinyl so Eric and I designed it.  We measured twice and cut all the shelves, but somewhere in the process something was off cause those middle shelves were a BEAR to get in.  Get them in we did, however, and this shelf works GREAT for my needs!
OH...I almost forgot a LOVELY and wonderfully functional little addition to my desk...a glued on measuring tape.  This has come in very handy several times in the last week.  A little E6000 and a lot of patience!!!
And of course I can't forget my find at a garage sale.  I found a popcorn tin for $.12 and had my hubby spray paint it in one of the accent colors.  It's the perfect size to put a shopping bag in as a liner and it holds a LOT...which is a great thing in my craft room!
Moving around to the back of the room you can see one of 3 frames I painted and added different backings to in the room.  The first was the green framed cork board hanging over the desk.  The second is this orange frame with a white board added to it.  The third I'll explain in a little bit.  It's my favorite by far!  Then we have the two bird cages.  Right now they're just hanging there looking pretty, but at some point I really want to turn them into pendant lights to hang in the corners of the room.  We've yet to figure out the best method to do that, so for now they'll just be decorations.
Here's the storage side of the room.  My husband had 3 different cube organizers in his room.  They were the black or ebony colored cubes and way too dark for the room.  I didn't want to get rid of them cause they can be quite expensive, so I opened a can of paint on their butts (a tribute to Roy D Mercer)!!!  One more lovely find were these paper holders.  I found 4 of them at Hobby Lobby on sale 50% off but they were all black again.  NOT ACCEPTABLE!  So I painted them the 4 accent colors and added some washi tape around the label plate to give it more interest.  Once I put all my paper in them I realized I had room and the need for two more.  So I went back and low and behold they were on sale again for 50% off!!!  SCORE!  Then there's the glass containers on the shelf.  The two stackable containers I found at Hobby Lobby on an 80% off clearance.  I had NO idea what I was going to do with them, but quickly realized that I could use them to divide up the container of decorative gems I had.  Surprisingly, I had just enough colors to fit in the 8 jars.  I found the center container at the next door neighbor's garage sale and one of the other containers at another garage sale.  I had the container holding the washi tape as well as the box and mason jars on the wall.  The middle jar in the box I found at the same garage sale as my trash can and paid less than $.10 for it.
Here's a close up of the paper boxes.  I used my silhouette to write out the labels on all the boxes.  My font of choice is Great Vibes.  I used that on all the vinyls in the room.
Since I had all these cube openings I needed something inexpensive to hold "Stuff".  If you've shopped for the canvas or basket style drawers you know they're at least $7.00 each and up to $20.00.  I have a LOT of openings and I had NO desire to pay that much.  So Eric and I checked out Dollar Tree to find baskets.  We bought 20 of them and when I brought them home they were too wide.  DANG!  So we headed to a different Dollar Tree and THANK THE LORD they had these and they had 20 of them!!!  They fit great...not perfect, but there with a bit of room so they don't scrape the sides of the cube.  I used my label maker to label everything and organize it.  I actually have a little extra room!  What a wonderful "problem" to have!
Just a few more things left to show you.  This white basket I found at the same cheap garage sale.  I literally spent less than $.50 at that sale and walked away with 4 things that are in this room.  Right now it holds small card stock, but since it's so open it may have many uses over time.  The blue box is the scrapbooking box I've had for a very long time, and the iron just hasn't been put away since I used it this afternoon.  That leaves us with one of my favorite items in the room...

My Peg Board!!!

Eric and I picked up this large frame while out antique shopping.  I loved the frame but had no clue what I was going to use it for...that is till he told me I could have this room.  Immediately I knew I wanted it for a peg board.  I envisioned the spools of thread on dowels I'd glue in till Eric said just use the hooks made for a peg board.  I purchased a couple of packages of them just for this purpose, but we had a bunch of them in the garage as well.  We also had the holder for scissors and hooks for the rest of my sewing items.  It displays and holds all my sewing items so well and looks so organized and neat...I just LOVE IT!!!

I can't forget one last thing...the name.  I needed something to call my area and my mom was the one to come up with just the right combination...Jenny's Jems.  Here's the fun part JEM is my mom's initials!  Yes, I know it's spelled wrong, but it's PERFECT!!!

We're back to the beginning of the room.  So, what do you think?  It's my little haven!  I can put everything away and get it right back out again...ahhhhhhhh!!!!!

Thanks for being patient with all my pictures.  Till next time...



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pressing Board Tutorial

I have seen several tutorials on the web for a table top ironing board, but I needed a board for something a bit different.  A pressing's a hard board with little padding to press heat transfer vinyl (HTV) decals.  Since I make lots of HTV decals I decided I needed to make myself one, and it would be a perfect addition for my soon to be craft room. 

First of all, I have to explain something especially to my sister.  I'm getting a craft room finally because my husband has decided he doesn't use his study/office enough to justify taking up a whole room.  I craft enough to justify it, so he's giving me his room.  We've both spent quite a bit of time fixing up his room as a "Man Cave" with a cigar/drink décor.  My sister and brother-in-law gave him a few things...including a poster mounted on a 1/2 inch MDF board.  This poster will not go in the décor I have planned and we don't have room for it anywhere else so it's becoming this pressing board.  So's being repurposed for something VERY useful!!! 

Here's how I did it...

  • 1/2" thick MDF board in the size of your choosing.  My board is 24" by 30" which is a great table top size as well as perfect to spread a t-shirt out.
  • 1 yard fabric to match your décor. 
  • 1 yard of 60" wide felt to match fabric.  These 2 measurements could change depending on the size of the board.
  • Staple gun
  • Good scissors
  • Hammer (not pictured)
  • Hot Glue Gun (not pictured)
  • Ruler (not pictured)
  • A couple Stick Pins (not pictured)
  • Fine Grit Sand Paper (opt.)  To knock off the edges if needed.  I just hit a few spots, but left the rest as is.
Start by cutting the felt in half so you have 2 pieces measuring approx. 30x36".  Then turn the front side of the board over and center it in the middle of one piece of felt.  It should hang over the board about 3" on all 4 sides. 

Staple one side placing the staples toward the outside edge.  Then pull the other side taut and staple again.  Do this for the remaining sides, but leave the corners free**.  I put in about 5 to 6 staples per side.  Hammer down the staples to make them flush on the fabric.

Lay the fabric out...oh, about this time I realized I needed to iron my fabric since it had all the wrinkles it normally has from the store.  So you may have to iron all the creases out first.  THEN lay the fabric down wrong side up.  Place the board on it leaving about 4" to overlap and cover all the fleece.  If your fabric has a pattern make sure the board is lined up where you want the pattern to fall on the front before stapling.  My fabric had a lined pattern that I wanted to be very straight so I actually used those lines to place the board.  Staple one side making sure to catch the fleece underneath as well as the fabric.  I placed my staples further into the board almost to the edge of the fleece to tack it down as well as the fabric.  Then I repeated the process I used with the fleece to tack the rest of the sides down but leaving the corners free.  One benefit I found to the striped fabric was that I could pull the fabric taut till I could see a line on the edge and if I did that in every spot I stapled it kept the pattern lined up and straight. 

With the top fabric I put in quite a few more staples.  If it looked like the fabric was puckering due to too much space I added a staple.

Once I had all the sides done I tackled the corners. 

I tried mitering the corners with the felt in the fabric and it was WAY too thick.  Instead I folded back the fabric and cut away the excess felt.  **If I'd have thought about this earlier I would have done this step before adding the fabric.  It would have made this process easier and much less bulky.  I could have trimmed away even more felt and made it even flatter, but we learn from doing!!!

See how the felt is sticking up...that's what I would have liked to remove.  Next time!!!

I pulled the fabric up and folded everything under neatly then stapled it down but kept the staples close to the other'll see why in the next couple of steps.  Do this for all 4 corners!

While the board is face down take the second piece of felt and cut it to size exactly as the board.  Heat up your glue gun cause you're going to need it!

Using a ruler and a few stick pins measure a hem.  I took up a 3/4" hem for my project.  The point of the backing is to cover all the staples so the work surface the board sets on doesn't get scratched up.  Take this into account when planning the size of your hem.  I didn't have any staples exposed on the outside edge so I used 3/4".  Stick a couple pins in then using the hot glue gun secure each side down leaving about an inch to inch and a half free at each corner.

To miter the corners pull up the felt and make it match from the corner to where the edges meet.  Take the scissors and cut flush to the main piece of fabric. 

Trim up the felt if need be then use the glue gun to secure it down.

This is what I should have done with the first felt, but secured with staples.  I got smart with this backing piece ;-)

Turn the felt piece over and even it out on the back.  I secured each corner down first then glued the edges down all the way around.  It was just that simple.

There it is...a pressing board.  Not too padded for ironing decals, but with just enough padding so I can still iron on it. 

I tested it out by fixing a decal on one of my son's shirts, then really broke it in with my next decal!!!

This is a 3 layered glitter decal in zebra print.  This one was fun to make but it takes a bit of careful ironing to get it right.  Perhaps I'll make a tutorial on it later...or perhaps I'll save the secret for myself!!!

I can't wait to get my craft room all set up for my new pressing board. 

Till next time,