Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Just Do It!

I did it!  I left my job and we are now officially self-employed.  There are a lot of implications to that move, but the most fun is the extra time for creativity.  Here's what I've been up to since "retiring".

My front porch got a mini-makeover for summer.  First, this worn and rusted garage-sale find:

got new life with just a fresh coat of paint and a pot of flowers.

 Some patriotic fat quarters became a banner for the porch rail:

 And the front door got a much needed face-lift with a coat of "Ranch Red" paint.

Speaking of painting, I did some of the canvas and easel type also.   Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of an internet image like the one at the right.  (I apologize to the artist that I did not make a not of where I saw his/her beautiful artwork.)  
Here is my version:  

In the sewing room, I used Pink Sand Beach Designs' pattern to create this "Sonoma Swing Bag".  This was the first time in thirty years that I've sewn anything with a zipper, so that required a little "refresher", but I'm pleased with the results.  Since I no longer spend 10 hours of my day away from home, there is no need to carry a large purse.  This size is perfect for a run to the grocery store and I can tuck it into a larger bag when I need to.

Drawstring lunch bags were my next project:

I found this pattern on Pinterest   It goes together much easier than it looks.  Read all the instructions before beginning, and give some thought to which direction the fabric pattern will run before you cut - otherwise your shoes will be sideways.

I'm not sure how well they would actually work as lunch bags. They are not insulated - although I think you could insert a layer of Insul-bright batting in place of the interfacing - and they are rather small if you take more than a sandwich and an apple for lunch.  

I'm not sure how I will use them.  They would work great for carrying small craft projects, like hexies, or to pack with snacks, crayons, etc as a child's  "goody bag" for car trips or during church.  For now, they are sitting in the closet waiting for inspiration to strike . . .  Maybe in time for the next "Inspiration on Monday".

IOM is a bi-weekly meme hosted by Trish @ Love, Laugher and a Touch of Insanity.  I am also linking this post to Needlework Tuesday, hosted by Heather at Books and Quilts.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Inspiration: The Chicken and the Egg

While visiting our son, Mitch, over the weekend, I visited one of my favorite quilt shops.  I was barely two steps in the door before I was "ooohing" and "aaaahing" over some retro prints.  Whitney, Mitch's girlfriend, who was patiently indulging me on this stop, innocently asked "What are you making?"  Making?  You mean from this specific fabric? - or any of the 17 other fabrics I purchased?"  .  .  . I have no idea!  I wasn't, technically, shopping for fabric.  Well, I mean, I was shopping for fabric but, on a grander scale, I was shopping for inspiration - slowly ambling the aisles, taking in all the beautiful colors and patterns until something grabbed me.  

The old question about the chicken and the egg applies well to my sewing. Which comes first?  The fabric or the project idea?   A basket of fat quarters sits on the corner of my work table in my sewing room. These are the fabrics from past shopping trips that "grabbed" me; that I just had to have - even if I didn't know why.  Some fabrics only remain in the basket for a few days, others may stay months.  Sometimes the fabric plainly says "I am a ________."  And sometimes the project idea comes first, and suddenly it's obvious that a fat quarter I bought 8 months ago is the perfect fabric.

Here is the inspiration that came home with me this weekend:
Christmas prints in red and lime green;
Pink(ish) newspaper print and two coordinates;
Mid-Century geometric prints
Christmas prints in black and aqua;
Fashion fabric and coordinate
Coral and aqua patterns
Awesome retro fabric!
Which comes first in your sewing or crafts?  The project idea or the perfect supply?

Inspiration on Monday is hosted by Trish and Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity and occurs the first and third Mondays of each month.  Link up your post about something you've created or things you are doing to help inspire others. Posts about projects in progress, finished projects, tutorials, and how-tos are all welcome. Feel free to share recipes, crafts, lifestyle, organizing, and DIY tips, and any other idea that can spark inspiration.

Needlework Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heather @ Books and Quilts.  Show others what projects you've been working on and see what they are working on.