I have been offline. When you are offline, it seems like you may not exist anymore. You disappear. You loose touch. Or do you?
I now live off the grid in Taos, New Mexico. My new home is very old and we just got the hot water turned on. We cook on a wood-burning cookstove. I heat my bedroom with a potbelly stove. Baby chicks live in my living room. My road is made of dirt. My clothing smells of cedar. Internet is an afterthought found at the library in spare moments between fixing up the house and my new part-time job.
Things have changed. Life has slowed down. It’s harder to plan. Going with the flow is essential.
My online presence isn’t what it used to be. Facebook and Twitter seem trivial compared to making time to go on hikes and cook dinner. Relationships are more precious when they are based on face-to-face conversations and phone calls and not on Facebook invites and emails.
I hope that you won’t think I’ve forgotten about my website. Rather, I hope you can join me in going outside to enjoy the sun. When I have time I’ll stop by, but it’s not my priority.
Much love, Molly
After receiving my Sony Bloggie, which is a mini-camcorder similar to a Flip camera, I realized that there were no cute or even functional cases on the market. Boo. But that didn’t stop me. I decided to design and make my own. I happened to have a scrap of coated tablecloth on hand, which I thought would make the perfect water-resistant cover for my camcorder.
The following is a tutorial that you can cater to your own mini-cameras or other electronic devices, using whatever scraps of fabric you might have around the house. Don’t just buy a boring camera case. Make your own!
Quilted Digital Camcorder Case
What You Need:
3 scraps of fabric that are large enough to wrap around your device with fabric to spare
Thread to match (or contrast the color!)
A tiny piece of jersey knit or stretchy fabric, or 3-4 inches of ribbon, elastic, etc.
Rotary cutter and cutting board (optional)
1. First, measure your device. Measure its height and diameter. Add about 1.5 inches to the height and 0.5 in. to the diameter for seam allowance and for finishing the open edge.
Next, decide which fabric will be the outer layer, which will be the inner layer, and which will be sandwiched in between the two. I have chosen to use a coated fabric on the outer layer and two pieces of jersey knit for the two inner layers. I happen to have a lot of jersey knit around, so used two colors for the inner layers and then a coated fabric for the outer layer, but you can choose to use a fabric that you are comfortable working with. A fabric with a little bit of stretch is nice but not necessary.
2. Use the measurements from your device to cut three rectangles, one from each piece of fabric that you’ve chosen. Make sure you measure twice so that you only have to cut once! You should now have three rectangles of the same size.
3. Layer the three rectangles, placing them in order with the outer layer face down, the middle layer, and then the inner layer facing up. Pin them together and make sure all of the edges match. Now you are ready to quilt!
4. I decided to quilt my fabric using diagonal parallel lines. You can use any pattern you like however- perpendicular diagonal lines, vertical or horizontal lines, checkerboard, or just freestyle! The point is to sew all the layers together and also give your fabric some texture. Make sure to sew with the top layer facing up.
5. Now, flip the quilted fabric over so that the inner layer faces up. Match the opposite edges together and pin the fabric, making a pocket for your device. On the top edge of the pocket, fold over 1 in. so that the outer layer shows (as seen in the photo). This is so that the top has a finished edge. You may want to check the fit of the pocket with your device at this point to make sure that your case is not too small or too large.
Pin it once you know you have a good fit and sew the bottom and side together with the inner layer facing out (meaning inside out!). Make sure to go slow on the upper edge that is folded over, as you are sewing through 6 layers of fabric and that is a lot for some machines to handle!
6. At this point, I chose to hand-sew the upper unfinished edge. If you can figure out a way to do this on the machine, go you! I didn’t . But I like to hand-sew, so I didn’t mind.
7. Flip it inside out! Check out the fit of the device in the pocket again just to make sure. It should be nice and snug! At this point you may want to take a pen and push the corner out. You may also want to trim some of the seam allowance if there is a lot inside. It is also a good idea to sew once more around the bottom and side seam on the inside to add extra strength to those seams.
8. OK, here comes some more hand-sewing.
Pick out a cute button and sew it onto one outer upper edge of the pocket (see above photo).
Find a tiny piece of stretchy fabric and cut a little piece long enough to attach to the inside of the case, loop over it to the other side around the button, and attach again to the inside (see picture above). I used a little piece of jersey knit. You could also use a piece of ribbon, elastic, etc. I whip-stiched this piece onto one inner upper edge of the pocket to create a loop that leaves enough room to go over my device and attach to the button. This way, my device will not fall out of its case.
TADA! Now you can travel with your mini-camcorder or camera with peace of mind.
Tell me what you think in my comments, or add any suggestions for improvement. I must say, people have asked me where I bought my awesome case, and I’m always proud to say I designed and made it myself. Happy filming and photographing!
Now that I’m past my first summer craft show, I think it’s time to share some summer loving. So, I’m beginning a summer giveaway of scarves and other merchandise from my store. I’ll also try to include some merchandise from other shops I admire, although I’m still working on that part!
Regardless, free stuff is fun. So, let’s begin the giveaway! There are two ways you can enter.
1. To enter once into the drawing, just go to my shop on Etsy. Find the item that most attracts your eye. Come back here and comment on which item is your favorite and why, including a link to your favorite item in my shop.
2. You can enter again by entering a comment about a blog post that interests you. Tell me why you’re interested in the post and include a link of the post, and you’ll be entered into the drawing twice!
Just make sure that you enter two separate comments, please!
This giveaway ends June 29th. On that Friday, I’ll randomly draw from the comments to choose a winner!
Best of luck, and may you all have a beautiful beginning to your summer.
I found a lovely iron and wood chair in the alley on the way home from work one day, and decided to haul it home in order to paint and re-upholster it. It was a long haul, but I made it home and began to clean it up. I removed the three back pieces and later removed the bottom and got to work.
I decided to match this chair to the telephone bench that I found at the thrift store a few weeks ago. Remember this guy?
So, what do these two pieces now look like? See below to find out!
Easy Bench or Chair Re-upholstery
What you need:
Staple gun and staples
1 in.-2 in. height NU Foam or other Poly-fill or bamboo foam
Upholstery fabric that is a few inches larger than the dimension of the bench
1.Take apart your furniture.
First, I analyzed my furniture, and began dismantling it. For the bench, it was as easy as taking off the seat by unscrewing it from the bottom.
The chair was just as easy, but a little more involved, as I decided to take off all four wooden pieces in order to paint the back with white paint before upholstering the seat.
After taking off the seat of the bench, I began to rip the old fabric off of the bottom by using a tool to pry the old staples off of the bottom. Surprise! This bench was upholstered once before, as you can see below. Wow, it was hard to decided whether to keep such beautiful fabric or not…
Hmm, ugly flower fabric, or ugly 70′s paisley fabric?
So, I tore off that fabric too. Underneath the second layer, I found some old batting which I promptly threw away. This brings me to an important point- I recommend wearing a dust mask while re-upholstering, especially when taking apart a piece of old furniture. You never know what’s going to be underneath, and I was thankful to not inhale a ton of dust from the old batting.
2. Buy new filling and fabric.
Head out to the craft store with the dimensions of your seat. Look for the upholstery section and buy yourself some poly-fill or NU Foam or some sort of cushion that is the dimension of your seat. I found that 1 in. height was plenty for what I needed, but if you want a lot of cush, you can get 2 in. height. It’s a bit overkill for my little bench and chair, however.
Then, look for a pretty upholstery fabric that is a few inches larger than your dimension. I found a remnant that was on sale, a bright yellow and white zig-zag pattern. Regular fabric will not do, as you need something that will last through many morning breakfasts, in my case.
Get out your staple gun. Place the cushion onto the top of the seat and make sure that it is cut to the shape you want it. Center the fabric onto the foam. Make sure the pattern of the fabric will lie where you want it when you screw the bottom back on. If, in my case, you have stripes, make sure they are lined up perfectly. Then flip the sea over so that the bottom faces you.
Begin stapling two opposite ends, making sure to pull the fabric taut after the first staple to make the seat smooth. Then, turn it a quarter so that you can staple two more opposite sides, splitting the seat into quarters. This will pull your fabric tight onto your seat and help to keep things organized.
If you are doing a square seat, do the edges, pulling the fabric tight as you go along, until you get to the corners. Then, fold the fabric so that it looks nice on the corners and make sure to staple it down so that the folds are even on each side. Trim the fabric if there is excess.
If you seat is round, as mine is in the above photo, you will continue to pull the fabric very tight and work each quarter of the seat so that you can make even pleats in the fabric to fit it around the circle. You can see some of the pleats above. Below is a photo of the bottom of the seat.
I didn’t make perfect pleats, but it still looked nice. If you want to make it more perfect, just make sure to work the seat so that you end up with 8ths, and then 16ths, stapling in equal sections each time and then pleating the fabric in the same areas in each quarter of the fabric.
After you have put enough staples into the seat so that you know the fabric will not wiggle or come off, it’s time to reassemble the seat!
It may sound like a lot of work, but it really didn’t take me more than a couple of hours to upholster and paint my chair, and upholster my bench. This is an easy an inexpensive project in up-cycling. The total cost for each-
Bench- $22 at the thrift store
Fabric- $2.50 for a remnant on sale
Paint- $2 for a mis-tinted can at the paint store
NU Foam- $5 for bench, $5 for the chair
Total for both= $36.50
I love how my chairs brighten my kitchen, and are comfy too. And I didn’t spend a lot of cash for new furniture. Also, I love knowing that I saved unloved furniture from a dumpster.
Show me your new upholstery projects below!
I recently purchased a telephone bench (above) at the thrift store for $22.50. As I waited for my man to haul the bike trailer over to the thrift store in order to haul it home, I found some mis-tinted paint and primer at the paint store next door for $4. With brushes in hand, I am ready to make some thrift store make-over magic happen. But I’ve never done this before!
The Centsational Girl blog has been a worthy blog find in helping me to finish my new finds. You can find her tutorial on finishing a varnished piece of furniture here. Look at the beautiful dresser above which she refinished for her friend!
As for color and design ideas, I found this dip dye inspiration at Apartment Therapy. As my two color are white and coral pink, I’m excited to do something like this-
Now, although the floral fabric on the bench seat is “charming”, it was covered in cat hair and the cushion is decidedly less “cushy” than when it may have begun its life. I will attempt re-upholstering it using inspiration from this tutorial. In fact, I just purchased my first staple gun (I was so excited to pick it out- definitely my father’s child ) I love this white and patchwork telephone bench below-
Sigh. If only I had all the time in the world. But I can’t wait to see if I can do all of this. Cheer me on!
On Tuesday evening, I fell upon a random art installment right in the middle of a residential area.
There were 10-20 what seemed to be white umbrellas hanging in the trees above the street on Berteau and Damen. On closer inspection, the umbrellas seemed to be made of handmade white paper, and had no handles.
It’s not often that I stop on my bike to take a photo. But this was just so cool that I think I’ll start doing it more often. Make sure to stop and smell the flowers this week!
|Pesto Risotto from Post Punk Kitchen|
I found a delicious new blog for vegan and gluten-free food. It’s called Post Punk Kitchen, and was recommended to me by my local librarian. Pesto Risotto? Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts? Creamy Avocado Potato Salad? YUM.
|Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts|
I will be visiting this website often from now on. Note: Many recipes are NOT gluten-free but could be easily adapted with a good gluten-free flour mix and other substitutions.
|Apple Pie Pancakes|
Check it out for yourself and tell me what you made from the Post Punk Blog!
I’ve been buying books like a crazy person lately. And no, not second hand. I’ve been buying new ones. What has come over me!
My next-to-latest purchase was the book Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. You can read an excerpt here.
It’s cute, funny, and true. It makes me feel better as an artist because I am now taking steps towards thinking of myself as an artist as a whole person, and not just as a person who has a lot of interests that happen to include art.
It’s a good life-lessons book for an emerging artist, for an artist who’s been around, for anyone who doesn’t quite think they are an artist. I’ve been carrying it in my Chrome bag and chewing on some of the ideas. Although it’s a tiny book with large print, sometimes less is more, and this book makes me reflect on my own actions and is worth taking a little time to digest.
Please check out the writer’s website to read more, or purchase the book from your local bookstore. I got mine from Women and Children First, my guilty-pleasure, feminist-loving local bookstore across the street from where I work.
I wanted to create a collection featuring sellers who use cruelty-free feathers. It’s not hard to find beautiful things featuring real or drawn feathers for those who love them without including feathers that were harvested cruelly. Please enjoy all of these beautiful items and remember your feathered friends when purchasing items with feathers!