Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Craft Room!!!!

YAY!!!!!  New craft room reveal!!!!!  I finally put enough together to show you my new room!!! WOOHOOO.  Ok so, here it goes.....

This is as you enter the room.  I would like you to take note of a few things.  First the hallway wall color, it's like a green-apple green.  I wanted a green living room/hallway when we moved into this house (8 years ago) and after considering many green options, I chose this one that was called 'Precious Jasper'.  Many of you will see how I just could't pick any other color.  The second thing that I will like you to take note of the is the super out-dated "honey-oak" trim that is throughout the house.  Well, the new craft room is the first room in my transformation of the honey oak trim into white trim. I plan on painting all of the trim at some point.

This room is so small that I couldn't get a really great picture of the overall inside look.  This is the closest I could get.  I painted the trim white, 3 walls light gray and 1 wall a charcoal chalkboard paint.

We are going to start on the left and work counter clockwise through the room.  Directly behind the entry door is an assortment of odds and ends that were hanging on the wall in previous craft room. I pretty much threw them up on the wall and will definitely change arrangement... sometime.  It will do for now, though.

Next to this is the closet door which holds my knitting needle handmade caddy. Also notice that the door stop is an antique iron.  My grandma used these for door stops in her house so years ago, when I saw one while junkin', I bought it for the same purpose.  It would look so much better on wood floors, but for now, it will work on carpeted ones.

Next, is a piece of furniture that I gained in the move.  This is a book shelf that was previously used on the other side of the basement and now it houses my assortment of well organized craft supplies.  The overall theme of this room is "chalkboard" so it is pretty handy that I already had chalk board clings on my plastic shoe boxes that house my supplies.  On the top is an assortment of craft books and on the bottom....

... is my vintage sewing machine. For display purposes only, although I bet it would work if we wanted it to.

Next is another piece of furniture that I gained in the move.  This is the Ikea Kallax (although it was the Expedite when I bought it) shelf that I purchased a few summers ago for the boys' playroom.  It worked well for that purpose but wasn't being used to it's full potential, so now it's mine.  It takes the place of the hutch/dresser that was part of my childhood set.  This is much more efficient to hold fabric and the hutch/dresser is in the basement.  You will also notice that the top of the shelf holds my button collection.

The majority of my button collection is separated by color, a little OCD? Sure, but I do use them in various knitting projects and such so I found that they are easier to pick from when they are color coordinated.  This small section of buttons, however are still mixed.  They are special because they are button collections that belonged to both of my grandmothers and also the hub's grandmother.  I'm not sure if I will ever use them in any projects, but if I do it will have to be for a very special purpose.

In front of the enormous (compared to the one in the basement) window, is my sewing desk.  Same as in the basement.  I had to do a little arranging to accommodate my thread into the desk drawers, but it works out even better.  I just happened to have the perfect curtains to go in this room.  I originally bought them for my master bedroom and immediately didn't like the way they looked in there.  So I've been storing them for 2 years and was excited when I remembered them and how great they would look in this room.

Here is my drafting table.  I like it right next to my sewing table because I use the desk lamp at both tables.   I bought the large cork board at Hobby Lobby on a half-off sale.  It had a great frame, in the perfect color.  I covered the cork with fabric that I had already in my stash (woohoo) and it looks great.

Desk lamp works great when I am sewing:

Here is the warehouse shelving that I had in my other craft room.  The crates on the top 2 shelves and half of the 3rd shelf are full of yarn....  can you say yarn hoarder? The bottom 2 shelves are a montage of craft and art supplies that do not organize well.  So I bought a few tension rods and made some cafe curtains to cover them up.  You can't see it really well, but the curtains are made out of a gray on gray wood print fabric....  I love it!

A close up of some of my yarning supplies.  I like to use canning jars for storage :-)

And now we have come full circle to the lockers.  You will probably notice that on the top of the lockers is my Twilight Barbie collection.  Don't judge!  There is a long involved story of why I have an almost complete collection of Twilight Barbies, but to give you a brief summery...  this Barbie collection is a direct representation of my love/hate relationship with the entire Twilight franchise. 'nough said.  Moving on....  :-)

Ah.... This is one of my favorite additions to the room, my antique mirrored switch plate.  I have this thing for "themed" switch plates... perhaps it was the influence of that Snoopy switch plate that I had in my bedroom growing up?  We will probably never know.  The point is that when I redecorated this room, I had this vision of an antique beveled, maybe carved or etched, mirrored switch plate.  You think I could fine one?  NO!  I looked on Etsy, I looked on Ebay, I looked on Craigslist, I could not find one AT ALL.  So it was a bit serendipitous that while looking in a basket of junk at my favorite local antique mall, I came across 4 of these switch plates that fit almost my exact dream.  So I bought the one with the most character.

And check out the awesome packaging! From Pennsylvania... the birth state of pretty much my entire family (except me).  Meant to be, right?

I spent a long time picking out a light fixture for the room.  I originally thought about going with a small crystal chandelier.  Well, they were either too big, didn't provide enough light or were too expensive.  I ended up deciding on the Lotus pendant from World Market and I LOOOOVVVVEEE it!

The best part is that I get this huge window that has a great view!  And after being underground in the basement for so long, looking at this view makes me feel like I am floating!!!  

I hope you like my room as much as I do!  Until next time, Happy decorating!  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Opera Gloves

I don't dress up often.  Weddings are usually the only reason I get dolled up and I attend an average of 1 wedding every 3 years. Last month, my aunt got married!  I had plenty of notice that the wedding was in March and it was in Pennsylvania.  I went to look for a cool weather dress, because I figured with this winter's "Polar Vortex" it would probably be very cold.  I guess there is no such thing as a fashionable formal winter dress because everything I found was sleeveless or strapless.  I ended up with a strapless dress, tights and I decided to knit myself a pair of Opera Gloves!

I had this free pattern for ruffle gloves 'burning a hole in my pocket', so I decided to edit the pattern to make them fit above the elbow.  I held 2 strands together as I knitted, 1 strand of a DK weight silk/wool blend and 1strand of a lace weight yarn that had a bit of glimmer.  (Details can be found here)

Then I picked 3 matching-ish sets of vintage buttons from my enormous collection to add a bit more sparkle to the gloves.  They turned out to be super cute....

 ...and helped accentuate my attitude :-)

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Craft Room

April, already?  Busy doesn't even come close to describing my schedule lately.  To be honest, things have been absolutely insane.  I have a few moments to spare right this minute so I thought it would be a great time to update the ol' blog.

One of the biggest changes that I have made lately was moving my craft room.  Previously, I was in a small section of my basement.  My basement is a "multi-purpose room" that was housing my craft room, is a movie/living room and also acts as a part-time spare bedroom.  A few years ago, my sons decided that they wanted to be bunked together in the same room and our 3rd bedroom was then transformed into their playroom.  We decided that the areas might be better used if we moved the boys playroom downstairs, along with all of the gaming systems!, and then move my craft room up into the 3rd bedroom.  So we did it.  I painted the bedroom exactly how I wanted it, including the trim and I love love love it!  I did lose some space in the move, but I gained a small closet, a bigger window and the loss of space is helping me consolidate and purge.

I am almost finished putting the final touches on my new room to show you but in the meantime, I will show you the pictures of what my room looked like before.  The walls are a butter yellow color, to go with the "theater theme" in the rest of the basement.  My craft room was an afterthought when it came to picking the colors of the basement, so I had to just live with the yellow.  It worked ok. (the actual color of the basement is much prettier than the pictures show.  It really is a butter color and not so much a sunny yellow)

Lets start with this corner.  As you can see, I got stuck with the Christmas tree.  I couldn't "sell" my husband on the ambiance that it would add to the other side of the basement and how awesome the "outdoorsy" feel would be when he invites his friends over to watch the UFC fights.  He wasn't buying into it AT ALL!  So we had to make room for it in my craft room because, well, we have nowhere else to put it.  Literally, we have outgrown our house tenfold, but that is for a different blog post.  I also have "stations" in my craft room like my drafting table (from college) that I use to draw, paint, do paper crafting and alike.  The built-in basement shelf also came in really handy with holding knickknacks.....

and my growing button collection:

Please notice that although I got stuck with the Christmas tree, I did insist on getting the only window in the basement.  As we rotate clockwise, you will now see my sewing table.  The sewing table is actually my desk from high school and college.  It was probably made in the 70s and we bought at an estate sale when I was in middle school.  It was that fake painted-to-look-like-a-better-quality-wood. After we moved into this house, I sanded it and painted it a super glossy white and traded out the 70s brass hardware for a brushed nickel.  This desk works very well as a sewing table and the chair is actually a spare to our dining set.

More of the knickknacks that I don't need and don't know what else to do with, under which houses my spare sets of knitting needles in a "caddy" that I made with scrap pieces of fabric.  That purple thing in the corner, wearing clothes, is my duct tape dress form.

Just pass the under-the-stairs-storage-access is one of my favorite furniture pieces.... the lockers!!!!  There is a small strip mall just around the corner from my house and right after we moved in, there was a hardware store in the strip mall selling sets of lockers like this for $50!!!  SOLD!  We picked out the coolest set.  You can't see it, but on the back corner it looks like it was dropped, which is probably why it didn't make it to the school it was intended for.  It's cool, we could probably hammer it out but no need, it's still functional.  The locks on the lockers are the collection that the hubs and I have made over middle school, high school and college.  On the top are craft books and my old sketch books.  Scrapbooking paper-y stuff is next to the lockers.  Did I mention that the lockers hold a bunch of stuff???  You should have seen the piles of pictures and books that I had to take out of there to move them.  WOW.  And they are heavy!!!

In this picture, you can see the curtain divider that I made to separate my craft room from the other side of the basement.  We made the "curtain rod" out of conduit piping and I found the decorator weight fabric for the curtain panels on a huge sale that just happened to be a few shades darker than the wall color. For a curtain divider that spans about 13.5', floor to ceiling, I think we maybe made the whole thing for under $50.   In front of the curtain is one of my childhood furniture pieces housing my fabric.

And next to the fabric hutch is my industrial shelving.  I think I paid $70 or so for these shelves at a big hardware store.

As you can see, the overall theme to my craft room is mismatched, hand-me-down furniture that I LOVE!!!!  The total space here was about 8.5' x 13.5'.  I lost about 20 square feet in the move and the room that I am in now is more of a square shape instead of such a long rectangular shape.  I have a few more things to do with it and I will be posting the pics soon.  Until then, happy crafting! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pop Talk

Hello all!  I would like you to meet my super creative friend, Dayle....

She is an amazing designer and owner of the blog, Number 4 Design Studio.  Today....  she posted a feature on meeee!!!!

I am so excited and honored to be featured on her Pop Talk series. Pop Talk is Dayle's recurring blog series featuring current creative bloggers. Definitely check out Dayle's blog here, and the Pop Talk Series here!  Thank you, Dayle!

Until next time, happy crafting, ya'll!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a new year always encourages new goals, plans and resolutions.  I usually make at least one resolution each year and this year I decided to go Gluten Free.  A long story short: I have thyroid disease and after doing some research, it seems that gluten might be a factor in making the symptoms worse even with treatment.  So I am going to be Gluten Free for 6 months and see how this affects my overall health.  My hope is that this will work well for me and that I can just continue the diet and feel better and better.

With that said, I am taking this very seriously and am encouraged to find new recipes and excited to see that many of the recipes and foods that I have already been eating that are gluten free!  Yesterday I was in the process of making my new favorite soup, Thai Chicken Vegetable Soup.  Click here for the recipe.

This is a super easy-to-make soup using this new Swanson Thai Ginger Infused Broth.

Well, imagine my disappointment that after starting to make this soup, I realized that the broth is not gluten free.  Apparently most soy sauces are not gluten free (although there are gluten free versions) and that was the culprit in this broth.  So I decided to replicate the entire recipe and make it 100% gluten free.  I used this Thai Soup recipe from Julia's blog and altered it to make it more like the Thai Chicken Veggie Soup that I adore.  So here is that I came up with.

Gluten Free Thai Chicken Soup

2-Tbs. Coconut Oil- divided
2-Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1-Large Carrot, peeled & cut into 2" matchstick-thin strips
1-Medium Red Bell Pepper, peeled & cut into 2" matchstick-thin strips
1-(32ox) Box Chicken Stock
1- 2" Piece of Ginger, peeled & cut into 4 pieces
2-(14 oz.) Cans of Coconut Milk
2-Tbs. Red Curry Paste
4-1/2 Tbs. Fish Sauce
Juice of 1 Lime
4-Tbs. Brown Sugar
1-8oz. Container Sliced Mushrooms
3-Scallions, thinly sliced
1/4-C. Cilantro, chopped
Salt & Pepper

In a dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil on med. heat & cook Chicken until no longer pink.  Remove from pot.  Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil on med. heat and cook Carrot & Red Bell Pepper for 3-5min. Remove from pot.  To the pot, add Chicken Stock, Coconut Milk & Ginger.  Bring to a boil while scraping the bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add Red Curry Paste, Fish Sauce, Lime Juice and Brown Sugar.  Stir to combine, turn heat to med-low & simmer for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, shred the Chicken.  After simmering for 30 min, remove Ginger and discard.  Add Shredded Chicken, Carrots, Red Bell Pepper and Mushrooms.  Bring to a boil.  Add Onions & Cilantro. Cook for 1 minute more.  Serve.

This turned out great!  It tasted just like the Swanson version!  It did take a bit more time but it was completely worth it!  I also added a few quartered grape tomatoes into the bowl before pouring in the soup like Julia's recipe and it was also yummy!  I hope you like this as much as I do!  

Until next time, Happy New Year!