Dec 6, 2010

Keepin' Busy

I thought I'd fill you guys in on what I've been up to lately.  I admitted last night that I've slacked on my blogging the past couple of weeks.  But, I've most definitely been busy with all sorts of, thrifting, going to estate sales, painting, crafting and more shopping. 

With the holiday season in full swing, I've had to pick my projects carefully, in order not to disrupt the wallet too much.  I've had to put extra dollars aside for presents and less on home decor - major sad face. 

My love for interior design, DIYing and turning this drab little town house into fabulousity has grown so much that I asked Rob to get me a sewing machine and have my office chair reupholstered for x-mas.  Requests for jewelry, clothes and shoes are in the past.  I'm all about decorating and DIYing these days - it makes me so damn gitty and excited. 

Now, I'll share with you some of the things that have caught me eye lately, as well as show some sneak peeks of what's been keeping me go, go, going. 

I spotted this at a thrift store last week.  Isnt' it so pretty.  I love the curves on it and the etching in the legs.  I haven't been able to keep my mind off of it - that usually means I should have swiped it up.  The only reason I didn't buy it was because we have no place for it.  Rob says I should have bought it anyhow since I love it so much.  I'll check back for it tomorrow - I know it's a stretch that it'll still be there but hey, maybe I'll get lucky. 

This canvas map is at IKEA.  It's humungo!  I love it.  I'm totally feelin' maps right now.  I thought this bad boy would look stunning in our office.  I managed to talk myself out of buying this due to the fact that our office is really small and I think this will be too large for the space. 
I'm in the market for a sewing machine but I must hold off buying one for now because I need lots of help.  For one, I have no idea what to look for in a sewing machine, what brands are crappy vs. good quality, or even what's best for a beginner.  This machine was $298 at Michael's craft store - a bit pricy for a beginner. 

Do you have advice on what a newby should look for in a sewing machine?  I know nothing.

I started the first steps to reupholster this ottoman.  I've been reading lots of tutorials on how to do this.  This ottoman is several years old and to be honest I'm just so over the fabric.  It's time for a change. 

 I bought four of these chairs for $38.  My original plan was to use them for our dinette table in the kitchen.  Then, I made up my mind to put two in our office.  The yellow looks so good with the green colored walls.  I'm planning to sell the other two.  I'm working on sprucing these lovely ladies up.  Check back soon to see!

 We have a mantel above our fire place and when I spotted these stocking hooks at my favorite thrift store I knew they were perfect for the top.  I've since spruced them up and will share pictures of our simple, fun and just-our-style mantle within a couple days. 

 Now this stuff...I've wanted to paint with this for over a year.  And after months of trying to decide if I should paint our office, bedroom, or kitchen, I've finally made up my mind and painted away!!!  Stay tuned for several Chalkboard paint projects coming your way!

And believe it or not, I still have a couple other things in the works as well.  But I'll save those for another cold, wintery night.  I hope I enticed you, you creative junky you, and I hope you check back soon to see all of these finished projects.   Woo to the hoo!  Until next time.

Have a fantastic night.  Good night.


Jayme said...

I just recently bought my first sewing machine and I'm very happy with the one I got. The brand is Brothers and I got it at Walmart (believe it or not) for around $80, which is much more reasonable than a few hundred. I don't ever plan on being super-expert with it so the 8 (I think that's the number) different stitches were perfect for me. I hope this helps.

Mary said...

A word to the wise. . . go back and buy that curvy blue dresser!!! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am so glad you did because I am totally enjoying yours!

Morgan @ said...

Wow, the projects you have lined up! Can't wait to see what you do with the pieces (the ones you decide to work on!).

Skooks said...

If you have any inkling in the world that you might do more than just dabble in sewing, do yourself a favor and buy a quality machine. is a great site to check out to get reviews on just about any machine you might be looking at under the sun from real people who own and use them. You need to figure out how you're planning on using the machine (hem pants once in awhile vs. quilting vs. small crafts vs. embroidery) and start your search there. A lot of people dog Singer these days because the machines are made in China now and have plastic parts . . . speaking from experience I can say if you get a higher end Singer you won't be disappointed. I bought a Singer Confidence 7470 a few years ago and sew on it regularly for all kinds of projects and it has not failed me yet. (Check out my blog . . . most of the stuff I've made has been done on that machine.) With that being said, it's a pricier machine so if you're unsure whether you're terribly interested in sewing you may want to hold off. (I saved and saved so I could get a good machine and borrowed my mom's very useable but not terribly fancy Singer Stylist that she's had since about 1974 until I reached my savings goal and found a good deal on the machine.) If you can borrow from a friend or find a used one on Craigslist or something, do that for a bit to see if you're serious. Then if you are, save up! Get a good solid machine. You will NOT regret it when your creativity is not slowed down by jammed bobbins and tension problems.

Sorry for the novel. If you have more questions shoot me an email. I'd be more than happy to give you more info if you want. Apparently with very little coaxing I'll go on and on even in a comment. :P

Anonymous said...

An idea for the sewing to your friends and find out if they or someone they know sews a lot and a few machines. I was able to trade my friends mom 10 beanie babies (back in 98 lol) for a Brother machine that still runs great. I've had it cleaned once since I got it. Hopefully you'll find someone who would like to swap something you have for one. I'm thinking I did get a much better end on that deal. :o)

Julie said...

I love my Bernina but it's a pricey machine and I know my way around a sewing machine (though I haven't actively sewed for a few years). I'd say check Craigslist and find something cheap to start with. Any Singer, Brother, Sears machine would probably be fine. You'll want zigzag stitching and the "regular" stitching to start with. And simple stuff (like a square slipcover for that ottoman) should be very easy to do as long as you don't get REALLY THICK fabric. Have fun but don't pay much for that first machine. You may HATE it or LOVE it (and if you love go get a Bernina, lol).

Skooks said...

Ray - In that case, go with either a used or a new lower end machine, but don't be surprised if you get bit by the bug and want to trade up someday. ;) (FYI: Check into local sewing dealers in your area either to find good used machines or eventually to trade in the lower end one you got when you become a rockin' home makeover-in' sewist.)

Ray* said...

OMG. You guys rock. Thanks so much for all the great advice.

Jayme: I was checking out a Brothers model (around $86.00) today online and almost all of the 159 reveiw were fantastic and most people said it was a great beginner's machine, too! I'm keeping my eye on it.

Mary: I totally went back and bought that dresser yesterday!!! Woo to the Hoo. I had to leave it at the store though b/c it wouldn't fit in my car - I almost cried. But it's officially mine!

Skooks: As of right now, I don't plan on using a sewing machine for anything other than pillow covers, curtains, ottoman covers...and that's about all I can think of right now. I think that's just dabbling, no? I spent about an hour at - good info. there.

Julia: The easy stuff, like the ottoman, is reason why I'd like to get a sewing machine sooner than later.

Thank you again for your help! I'll keep you posted on my search.