Saturday, March 31, 2012

my new jewelry organizer

I don't really have a lot of jewelry, but I like having my things well organized. I went online for inspiration (there's so much inventive out there!) but I already had in mind what I wanted.

I had an old wine wood case (yeah, another), made for a very big bottle of sparkling wine. I painted it white, fixated some hooks, nailed a hanging system and... voilĂ ! This is how it came out. Sooo like the result!

I found those square ceramic little bowl at the market, and I use them for my rings, my earrings, my bracelets and my watches.

The hooks were too long and the screws punctured and came out on the shelf, so I took a piece of cardboard and covered it with some nice fabric and placed it on the bottom of the shelf: nice and clean.

Under the shelf, the hooks hold my necklaces and keep them from clinking and tangling.

All in all, this system is working very well. I might add some more hooks or other decorations, but I think I got it right for what I have.

What do you think of it?

fabric shopping fun

Last thursday I went fabric shopping. But this time I actually had a project in mind, *and* I wasn't alone... Actually, said project is a shared one: we are talking about teachers' gifts. Yeah, I know, isn't it a bit early for that? Well, no. We have to make 4.

With a dear friend of mine (A), who's also a colleague, we thought about something simple but classy, a teacher tote for bringing about homework to correct, projects for the kids, and so on.

A has a 7 years old daughter, and my Smurfette#1 is 6, so both are in primary school. The girls have two "main" teachers each (one is for humanistic, one is for math), so we thought about a simple tote with a little coordinated pouch, made in four versions.

We took our Smurfettes with us (big mistake, if you ask me, you just can't focus on anything with three overexcited girls, two of them laughing and running around...) and went to the local fabric shop.

We did find the right fabric: linen, in bright blue and green, for the exterior of the tote, and a cute white fabric with green and pink fruits and another white with colored stripes, for the lining. This shopping session was so satisfying!!!

And you? what are you planning for teachers' gifts this year?

Monday, March 26, 2012

new findings in the garden

We found those little plants (radish) coming out from the soil:

Smurfette#1 wrote the name of the plants on the little chalkboards: she was so proud of the garden!

There is also a new strawberry flower (you can see it if you squint in the picture):

Our efforts are rewarded on daily basis...

key fob - 1st try

I've been drooling over other bloggers' creations of key fobs. I've never found exactly the right rings and hooks, but I wanted to try anyway.

This is how my project turned out:

So, guess what I used for the fob? This thing!

As you can see from the picture above, it's a rolling shutter rope, in cotton and nylon. I burned the cuts, so  everything stays in place. I'm not 100% satisfied with that, 'cause the cotton part tends to darken when burned... but you almost don't see that.

Being the first try and all, I do like it and I plan on making some more, maybe with a different method. 

Could be useful finding the right hardware, though... anyone knows where I can buy online?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

sweet bread

I made sweet bread with the bread robot. It came out sooooo well! 

it's a pity you can't smell it online... it's mouth watering

I know what I'll have tomorrow morning for breakfast.

baby sling

When I was expecting my younger Smurfette, I thought about making a sling to carry her about. I had already gone through the strolley waltzer... baby in, baby out, fold, put in the car, get from the car, baby in, slalom, etc etc. You know the drill.

I made myself a sling, very simple, using this tutorial, and I'm still using it now (14 months after).

The trick of the longevity of a sling is that there's a baby position for every age. Well, that and having good back muscles...

I find it very useful (it does fit in any bag, unlike the stroller), and I promised to make one also for a friend of mine (P's mom) who's expecting her little one.

Since P's a boy, I opted for the always suitable fabric of Ikea, the one with the hippos (which is now discontinued, I believe... I can't find it on the site, but they still sell it at the shop).

With this project, I've discovered Gracie's hem foot (see here why my sewing machine actually has a name): IT'S GREAT! I've never used it before... serves me well, now I'll think twice before dropping apparently useless accessories.

see the perfect hem? ah!
made with this buddy
Next sling it's going to be in stretchy fabric: I'll make it for me, since now that Smurfette#2 is older (and indeed bigger...) it might come in handy.

mini lunch bag

At lunch time, you get to see every way known to mankind when it comes to lunch bags and such. A colleague of mine (S) has been bringing her fruit in a paper bag. So? There's nothing wrong with that, but... that paper bag, which in fact is tiny and cute, comes from an underwear shop... I don't know, there's something off in having your fruit where your panties have been (although new and clean)...

S's birthday is coming, so I thought about sewing a copy of her paper bag as a present. I made one with some cute fabric I had from previous projects, which incidentally was just perfect...

Even the lining is perfect (I believe is some fabric for Licien, but I'm not sure).

It took me only 15 minutes to assemble, maybe 'cause it's so tiny. But I'm really happy that I'm getting better with bags... might use the new skill for teachers' gift...

By the way, S liked very much her new lunch bag

Monday, March 19, 2012

another way to go green on St Patrick day

I'm not Irish, but this year I went green in my own way on St Patrick day. It was a coincidence.
I planned to work at our vertical garden on Saturday morning, with both girls to help out with soil and seeds, but it was too chill and windy for the little one. Only Smurfette#1 did work outside with me. Smurfette#2 was crying and yelling and drooling at the window, wanting to "have fun" with me and her older sister (we did try to keep her otherwise occupied... to no avail, she kept running for the window).

I had taken home some wood boxes I had at work, which I was using as shelves for my server farm room... I know, I'm crafty even at work... I'm hopeless.

(please, don't mind the mess) In this shot, I had already removed three boxes (top right)

The boxes are marked with our brand (I work at a medium sized winery): at first I wanted to erase that and paint the boxes, but I actually like them better as they are.

On saturday morning, I prepared the boxes: I put inside a film (which I had previously pierced with little holes for transpiration) to protect the wood, then I added some clay balls for draining. Smurfette#1 put a thin layer of manure (when she understood what it was she made a priceless "ewww" face) and then proceeded to fill the box with soil. We then planted the seeds and, after covering with some more soil, she proudly and happily watered about with her brand new watering can.

Sorry, I didn't take any picture of that, cause I was hands deep in everything... not so practical, nor clean.

boxes all ready
We lacked the shelf, though, so the boxes sat on the floor till Sunday, when we came home from a spot trip to Ikea. I built up the thing (very easy, 10 minutes max), with the omnipresent allen key (which is also - and not casually - the Ikea iPhone app symbol...)

the making of the shelf
When it was in its place, I positioned the boxes. I was under the illusion that for each shelf there would have been two of them... unfortunately, they are 1 single millimetre too large to fit (@#&%$!), but maybe it's better that way, so the light can reach the plants more efficiently.

and that's it, all done (mostly) - in this shot you can't see the box of tomatos (bottom left)
I'll buy another, if that's the case. For the time being, the garden is so composed (top to bottom, left to right):
1st shelf: vase of little yellow roses - strawberries
2nd shelf: radish - accessories for gardening
3rd shelf: lavender - zucchini
4th shelf: box for carrots (yet to come)
on the floor, to the left: tomatos

Also, on the balcony, I planted some rosemary (cutting from the garden outside the office...), sage, and a friend of mine (well, her mother, who obviously doesn't trust us with the seeds... and maybe she's right) is growing basil also for me.

I've still some seeds left to plant, but the time is not right... and time in gardening is essential.

I'll let you know if we improve our garden.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

training for vertical garden - wall art edition

I've found this DIY wall art:

(googling about sometimes does help)

Given my current obsession, I figured I could train a little bit with a smaller wall art project. So yesterday, when purchasing soil for my vertical garden, I found those tiny succulent plants an a light wood box.

During my night FOX session, I took out my white paint and everything and made this (sorry, the shots are soooo poor... blame it on the light):

little succulent vertical garden
The wall art project (I know, a bit exaggerated) is currently and proudly hanging above my couch, and it's very nice and soothing to look at.

It was also very easy and ridiculously cheap:
- € 0,50 for the wood box
- € 0,60 each for the succulents
- white paint and string
It's worth every cent.

All in all, I think I can manage a bigger project... can't wait to play with the girls!

gardens and new project

I have a new obsession: vertical gardens.

A vertical garden is a great way to go green, decorate and train your green thumb (even if you don't have one...). In a vertical garden, plants, flowers or vegetables are "stored" vertically, in many possible ways. You can use a simple shelf, or a specifically designed shelf. Both work well. So basically you can get a vertical garden with whatever budget you want.

I especially like this (professional) solution, which is very neat and minimal:

YUU modular system @ Borella Designs
But I happen to like also other DIY solutions, like this one:

found here
or this one:

found here
Having two kids, I thought about giving into this new obsession of mine and make it into a long-term educative project for them. So I'm planning something like this one:

found here
which is both cheap and suitable for my limited space requisite... I already purchased soil and seeds, I've plenty of wood crates to put plants in and I'm going to get just the right shelf (the same one in the above photo, by the way) which incidentally is the Lerberg @ Ikea

(see? Ikea addicted)

I'll share the steps of the project with you, kids, dirt and all. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

my new knitting needles roll

It has become a necessity. Smurfette#2 (1 year old) often follows me in my craft space and lately explores it too... meaning everything is dragged out of its place and played with. When it comes to my knitting needles, I become (understandably) nervous... you know, pointy metal object and all... I had to hide away everything.

So... ta-daaaa! this is how I thought the whole thing.

This is the closed roll: no points, no needles around to play with.

This is the roll open: plenty of space for my needles.
I made two pockets in different heights to hold needles and smaller accessories. Each pocket is divided in slots, to keep firmly in place everything.

In the top pocket there's space for my needles (obviously ordered by size - big to small), I've even three free slots for future needle shopping...

In the bottom pocket (left to right): circular needle, two points knitting pins, various stitch holders.

I wanted the roll to be functional, but I added a cute fabric detail as simple decoration. I left the borders raw, simply zig-zagged. On the back, the same fabric and the same technique for the two diagonal stripes.

For a 20 minutes project, I'm really satisfied: fast, easy, functional and pretty.

Maybe one for my crochet hooks...?

Friday, March 9, 2012

life lessons and kids

Today I read this post by Charity@Indietutes: oh, girl, I can definitely relate to that!

I have two girls: one is 1 year old and cannot properly talk (yet), and one is 6 and she sure knows one thing or two...

Now, and - if the present is of any indication - in the future, I'll have my share of life lessons to hand out, and undoubtly my share of awe at kids' reasoning and understanding of life. Never fail to amaze me, those two...

Hopefully, I'll get the same amount of life lessons from them. Can't wait! :)

Smurfette#1: 6 years old
 this is her very first day at school (september 2011).
See that grin? yeah, she's like that...

Smurfette#2: 1 year old
that's the face "thanks mom, I can manage"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I know it's almost spring...

... 'cause I've been to Abilmente in Vicenza, and it was the spring installment. So on with the spring spirit!

This is what I brought home from the fair.

I must admit I didn't appreciate the smaller size of the fair, although there was plenty of shops and stands and crafty things. I had fun anyway. I just didn't like the cake design section so much, especially when that way you end up with less space for other creativity fields... Enough with the rambling.

I bought some quilting notion: a bigger rule (Omnigrid) that I paid half of the one that's half its size; a magic pen, water washable, for the quilting.

There also was the national association, so I went to get my badge... finally!

Then I fell in love with this book that explores various techniques for paper, some easy and kid suitable, others a little more complex.

I was in desperate need of ribbons (baby pattern), bias, ric-rac and nylon string for beads.

Then I found those two essences: orange and cinnamon. I plan on making something for my bathroom.

These are cutter (for paper) that I bought for my daughter, who's very crafty with colored cards: and I didn't resist this other border cutter:

I finally found these (photo below - I don't know how you call them), to be soon used for key rings:

Some stamps and ink both for me and for my daughter.

A friend of mine gave me this stick of pure and organic linen: I must think of something to embroid, now, right?

And lastly: a wood heart that's almost identical to the one in my logo... had to get it!

On sunday morning I'll return to the fair with a friend of mine at her first experience. It will be fun! (again)