Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Studio Makeover

While growing up my grandmother had a "craft room" over top of their cellar. Since I have been blog browsing, I've seen a lot of bloggers refer to this room as their "studio" and I love it!!! I thought...new look, new name. I am pleased to present you with my craft room makeover...err...my new studio!

I apologize in advance...but this post is gonna be long & picture heavy :)


I'm ashamed to post this picture of my messy, messy room...but hey, I have to show you the TRUE before. What you see here is my sewing machine sitting on a desk that I bought in college and on the right under the cover is my grandmother's Kennmore sewing machine (its in a cabinet). Yes, I have been using the floor for months as the home for my cutting mat. First to go...the curtain...I HATE it (too frilly, too floral)!

Now, I wanted to do this makeover by spending as little money as possible. So...my parents had a nice folding multipurpose table that is 8ft long that they were not using all the time (only brought it out for family functions when we needed to make a makeshift buffet line for food during the holidays). So the cost of my new table...FREE. The fabric is all from JoAnn's (home decor weight). The curtain fabric is something that has been in my fabric stash for at least a year now. I love this fabric but just hadn't found the proper project for it yet. I just HAD to use this fabric (i am a chocolate and mint fanatic!) and I consider the cost of this to be FREE because I've had it for a long time and will now be putting it to good use. Using that fabric as the inspiration along with the beach scenes in the paintings, I made a trip to JoAnn's and purchased 5 yards (I had a yard left over so if anyone wants to do this to an 8ft table in their own studio...only purchase 4 yards) of a coordinating fabric. Only $30 for 5 yards with a 40% coupon. Next, I stopped by Wal-Mart (sorry to those who love Wal-Mart but this is my absolute LEAST favorite store and I only purchase things there when I absolutely HAVE to) and purchased a roll of self-adhesive velcro ($15) and 2 sets of stackable drawers ($14). So that brings total cost of this makeover only $59!!!


I moved out the old desk (which was repurposed on the other side of the room as a crafting table for my DH's models) and my grandmother's old Kennmore sewing machine in the cabinet (which will be put somewhere else for safe keeping). The 8ft folding table fit the space perfectly. I thought I would use the space under the table to stash needed items. I used a couple of wicker baskets I had around the house...one for unfinished projects (far right) and the smaller one for scrap pieces of fabric. I stacked the 2 sets of drawers on top of one another and used the drawers to organize buttons, zippers, ribbon, etc...plus, I got to use my second favorite gadget (my sewing machine is number one of course!) my label makers to label the front of each drawer as to its contents. The white basket to the left is home to all of my patterns (I have a really great pattern storage tip...I'll share that another day.)


I used the self-adhesive velcro to attach the top hem of the table skirt to the table (think of the possibilities for changing the color scheme easily!). The table skirt was made by simply making a single hem along the bottom & top. I like simple curtains (no frills or ruffling please!) so I used a valence I already had at home as a "pattern" to make the simple but chic curtain.

I left a lot of my current inspirations already in place. The paintings behind the table were purchased during our honeymoon at the CuisinArt Resort in Anguilla (the best little island on the planet!) and the quilt hanging on the wall was quilted by hand by my grandmother (as well as that cute little turtle pincushion you see!) The most exciting thing of all was that I was able to move my cutting mat off the floor!

An upclose of the fabrics used (in case you are interested):

The table skirt fabric.

The curtain fabric.

Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think about my (cheap) makeover!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


That was the theme of this weekend. Yummy peach torte & productivity.

Not only did I have my big exam on Saturday but DH & I got to spend loads of time with our family and we accomplished a lot here at home. Our toilet started leaking this week and DH & my Dad fixed it today! They are so handy...something about a wax seal or something. Plus, DH & I washed each of our cars and I got started on the craft room makeover! I was inspired after reading this post on Swe Daisy Spaces blog. I can't wait to post the before & after photos.

Hope you all had a happy weekend!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yippie!!! The exam is over!

DH & I are off to my sister's house for a fun-filled night packed full of good eats, board games and maybe even a little crafting while the men play xbox 360. We picked up a yummy looking peach torte yesterday at our local french bakery...I'll have lots of good pictures to share tomorrow. For now, enjoy this one of my cute little Chloe. It was taken yesterday during one of my study breaks. Yea!!! No more studying (well this weekend anyway...)
I am all into softies right now. I made the most hilarious softies for So. Can't show pictures yet because I am giving them to her tonight! Also, I made another little zip pouch (just like the one in a previous post with the alexander henry fabric) to take to my sis as a hostess gift and just because she is so thoughtful (see yesterdays post!).
Now, time to go have some fun...

Friday, January 25, 2008

My sister rocks!

I have to say...I have the most awesome sister. Just look at what I got in the mail today! Perfectly timed to arrive the day before my big exam and just to let me know that she and my niece are thinking of me and praying for me. How great is that ?!? She is always so thoughtful & encouraging. Thanks Leap & So! Back to studying for me...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I've been tagged.

Thanks Kathi for requesting random/weird things about me...(these tags are kinda like a chain letter...does anyone remember actually getting a REAL chain letter via snail mail...I do!!!...you just can't resist)...here goes.

Random things about me.

1. Including kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school plus college and med school...I have completed a total of 21 years of school (well more than half of my life) so needless to say now that I am finished with school sometimes I don't quite know what to do with myself. I think this has a lot to do with my more creative side coming out (see below...sewing, photos, shopping, etc)
2. I have a HUGE exam on Saturday (so why am I not studying???) Yeah, even though I finished school 2 years ago we still have to take exams.
3. I get green with envy each time I see the beautiful pictures of all of the knitted treasures my blogging friends create. I want to learn to knit sooooo badly!
4. I started sewing when I was nine...took a long hiatus...rediscovered about this time last year and now I am a sewing addict. Just got a new machine in October (love my Bernina) but I've got my eyes on this one.
5. Workaholic. I love my job (on most days...hehe). Oh...and I am an obsessive-compulsive personality.
6. Photoholic. I love pictures. I got a new camera for Christmas and I think I am starting to drive DH crazy with my photo snapping. I wish I could go back to school and take some photography classes. I wish I had more time (I mean really, is 24 hours enough for anyone???)
7. Shopaholic. I love shopping...for anything! I'm addicted to fabric, notions and books. I can't pass up a sale (all the money you are saving during the sale can be used to buy more things!). My closet is packed with clothes (one friend mentioned that she doesn't think she has seen me wear the same outfit twice...now this isn't true but I definitely can go at least 2 months without doing laundry). Plus, I am a firm believer in retail therapy. My motto: money won't make you happy...but spending it will!

Rules for tagging:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
So, here is my list of those I have tagged (sorry! if you hate being tagged please don't hate me! and if you have been tagged in the past I am doubly sorry!...you can always just pass it up or just like to your previous tag):
(PS...to all listed below...all of your blogs rock and I enjoy visiting them frequently!)
and finally,
Expect lots of yummy posts next week because it is going to be a crafting marathon after this exam is behind me!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Presser Feet Goodness!

Yippie! My local sewing center had an open house & big sale last week & I wasn't able to go (work). However, I did call during the sale and asked the owner if I could purchase a few things over the phone and have them shipped (nothing like shopping a sale at work!). She agreed! Just look at this box of goodies! Can't wait to try them all out!
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Simple Pleasures

While backing out of my driveway today I caught a glimpse of a bird's nest in a tree that stands in my neighbors yard. I stopped the car and just sat for a brief moment in awe. Isn't it amazing that a little bird can weave such a beautiful nest out of twigs/grass/leaves? God's little creature that created this beautful nest really blessed me today. It really is the simple things in life that can mean the most and really make a busy person stop and reflect. So on this dreary, gray day this little bird's nest was my ray of sunshine...
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pedicure in a Bag!

My best friend from med school CS's birthday is actually in August...

However, I didn't see her in August and when I have gotten the chance to see her since then I have forgotten to give her a gift. Well, I felt the gift I got for her in August just no longer seemed fitting. So I came up with this idea which I think will be perfect.

First, she loves chocolate brown and this Alexander Henry fabric is just right. I used the zip pouch pattern from bend-the-rules by Amy Karol. Second, what gal doesn't like a pedicure? However, when you are super busy like she is (works in the ER) sometimes you just have to do your own rather than go to the salon. So, I filled it with all the items needed for a home pedicure including some cute toe separators, emery boards and my fave item - pedicure in a minute.

Don't you just love gifts with the personal touch of handmade?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Coffee Cozy!

The Coffee Cozy in action at work! Everyone loved it! Now, I'm off on my lunch break to run to the fabric store to buy more felt for more cozies! I'm going to make one for my friend CS tonight because she is coming into town this weekend to visit. I'm even going to stop by Starbucks and pick up a gift card to attach to it too...I'll post pictures soon!
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Monday, January 14, 2008

30 Minute Project

So, I am a BIG Rachael Ray fan. Who can't respect someone who comes up that many delicious meals that you can prepare in 30 minutes! My job demands a lot of time...and I have a low tolerance for projects that require long crafting times (it takes me FOREVER to finish them because sometimes I only have 30 minutes a day to do my sewing/crafting). Thus, I am a BIG fan of awesome projects that are quick to put together (instant gratification).

This is one of those projects!

Just look at my new Coffee Cozy! It was super simple. I saw a couple of tutorials online (this is my favorite from pink milk and fairycakes) but decided to just wing it on my own. I wanted to make this project quicker (no embroidery, no Insul Bright - the coffee from my coffee stand is not THAT hot). I needed a fabric that was kinda stiff but cute and kinda thick to act as insulation. I raided my stash and found some cute felt squares that I bought on sale. Perfect! It is cute, thick and stiff. Thus, this little gem was born...THE 30 MINUTE COFFEE COZY! What do you think?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ta-da! A Completed Project.

Finally! Mama & baby are united! The baby elephant was completed a couple of posts ago (here) and mama was completed late last night. These cute little elephants (my first ever attempt at a stuffed animal) are from a pattern in S.E.W. I initially intended for the pair to be a Christmas gift for my niece but didn't get around to finishing the project. They will be gifted for Valentine's day instead (if I can hold onto them that long...I am "sew" excited for her to see them!). Now I have to get busy on my next project...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Healthy Eating.

DH & I continue to get back to the "old us" after the holiday splurging and frenzy at home causing us to eat take out a lot. For the past 2 nights we have had beautiful salads with either panini or soup. Just look how delicious they look!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

For my best friend (my sister)

During our recent trip to the mountains we visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation and I picked up these all leather moccasins for my sister. She loves different, artsy-crafty things (and flats!). They were just too cute. Thought I would share with you all!

Still working on Mommy elephant (during my study breaks)...
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Wednesday, January 9, 2008


After 2 days of 70 degree weather (so weird in the middle of January) it feels SOOOO cold outside today (even though it was only 45 degrees). A nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows (yum!) is all I needed to cozy up and settle in to study (yuck!). Big test coming up! Keep me in your prayers!
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A (Half of a) Project Completed

When I saw this pattern in S.E.W. I could not wait to make it for my niece. EVERYTHING in her world right now comes in a pair, "a mama, a bebe" as she likes to say. So this pair of elephants, a mommy & baby, I knew would make the perfect gift for her. I tried to get to this before Christmas but ran out of time...so, I am starting early and my plan is to gift this for Valentine's Day (because both DH and So are my sweethearts!). Pictured is the baby elephant which really whipped up quite fast considering it was my first ever stuffed animal. Can't wait to get the mommy elephant finished...I'll post the pair when the project is really completed.
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Monday, January 7, 2008

Only one bites the dust...

Every year we loose a few. This year I thought things were going so well...I hadn't lost a single ornament until today. While taking down our tree (and all things Christmas-y) this one escaped somewhere between the tree, my hand and the ornament box. Oh well, DH says we need all new bulbs next year because ours are starting to fade/loose color in spots. Has anyone else had this problem?

So, I can't get 2008 Christmas ideas out of my head now. I know! It is WAAAY too early to think about all of this but it might take me that long to get them all done. The one at the front of my mind is this: why replace the Christmas bulbs? I could make ornaments. One inspiration I cannot stop thinking of these little hanging babushka dolls on rosehip blog. I want, I want, I want. Making ornaments could be broken down into something cute like this...make a new ornament each month so by December - a set of 12 new ornaments! Each ornament could be introduced to the tree on each of the 12 days of Christmas! ooo...it could be a blog challenge! Anyone want to participate and blog an ornament of the month? Let me know and then I could iron out the details and post them here on the blog. Leave your comments!

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Sunday, January 6, 2008


Wow...just look at that view. Mountains for miles...90 to be exact! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is amazing. January is a great time to visit too because it is the month with the least number of visitors (no crowds) and the best views from Newfound Gap (visibility of 90 miles compared to only 20 during the summer months)! Take/rent a 4WD vehicle and wear warm clothes - temps at the top of the mountain are 10-15 degrees cooler than in the towns below. You gotta go sometime...very refreshing. I'll be posting more pictures of our amazing Smoky Mountain adventure soon.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Re-purposed Christmas Ornament

So I loved this idea! Basically, to make the centerpiece for my table on New Year's Eve I found 2 oval mirrored Christmas ornaments that I have had stashed away for a couple of years. Using Microsoft Word I just made 2 simple sayings...one said "Happy New Year" and the other is above...printed & cut them out...put them in the frames and voila! Cute little mirrored messages. THEN, to make it super cute I placed them over some crystal candlesticks. The result was stunning I must say.

DH & I will be taking a little trip over the next couple of days to recharge our batteries before heading back to the daily grind. Hope you all have a great first week in 2008!
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008!
I hope everyone had a wonderful time ringing in the new year. We had a family gathering at our house and it was wonderful. Lots of good food and the family favorite - brownies & ice cream - for dessert! We watched the ball drop in NYC complete with sparkling cider in little champagne flutes! Blessings to all in 2008!