|Roses are ‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin|
|Roses are ‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin|
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we finally received the keys to our new home! YAY! We are spinning with remodeling projects and decorating ideas and things are currently in a state of (hopefully controlled) demolition. Goodbye wood paneling! It can be so exciting to walk into an empty space and have endless options for renovating and decorating, but it can also be completely overwhelming. Likewise, it can also be challenging to redecorate or bring new life to a space in your home that has already been decorated. Today, I want to talk about some of the top home decorating trends that you can easily implement right now! These trends include: chalkboards, metallics, mason jars, throw pillows, and greenery!
Chalkboards are definitely hot! Whether you’re making your own chalkboards, using chalkboard vinyl or fabric, or accenting with chalkboard labels, you can’t go wrong! Here are some chalkboard projects to get you started:
If you love metallic – any metallic – you’re in luck! Metallics bring so much life to a space. They look clean and shiny – they catch your eye and brighten the room. If you can’t decide between gold or pewter, have no fear because right now you can mix your favorite metallics together for a fun, eclectic look! You can even find metallic mixed with another hot trend – mason jars! The uses for mason jars are endless and these rose-gold decorative jars, for example, look spectacular to hold writing instruments or corral utensils. Here are some additional projects where metallics and mason jars really make a splash!
PILLOWS! I think throw pillows are one of my absolute favorite decorating items. There are thousands and thousands of options to buy, not to mention DIY! Decorative pillows are a fast and inexpensive way to add color or seasonal flair to a room. Whether you buy them or make them, the transformation in nearly instantaneous. I also like making throw pillows as a way to try new sewing or embellishment techniques on a small scale. If you’re ready to make some pillows of your own, here are some awesome tutorials:
Bringing some greenery with either live plants or silk foliage adds instant warmth and an at-home feeling to a space. Houseplants or flower arrangements look wonderful in baskets, metal tins, pitchers, mason jars, even wrapped in burlap! Here are several easy ideas for arranging plants and decorating planters that you can implement today!
Remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated to bring new life to your space! There are countless options for adding your own unique touch to a project. Whether you are making your own decorations or grouping some fabulous ready-made pieces, you are going to love having some of these on trend items brightening your home! I found all of the materials pictured here at my local Jo-Ann store. Alrighty! Back to tearing down wallpaper! (And don’t worry, I’ll share all the pictures!)
I mentioned last week that we’re selling our home. We built this house nine years ago and it has been a beautiful dream starting our little family out in the country. But, alas, it’s time for us to move on. We’ll be relocating to Sacramento over the summer and continuing our journey in a new home, with new dreams and new SPACES TO DECORATE!! So, there’s that. I have worked and reworked decorating our current home over the years and so I want to document where this road has led. I have shared several of the rooms in the past, but it’s my intent to complete our home tour over the next couple weeks!! My faaaaavorite FAVORITE room comes first! My Sewing Room.
Although this room was intended to be an office, it has become the core hub of my creative work. It houses nearly all of my sewing and craft supplies, save for the additional bins of fabric that runneth over and are stored in the garage. This room is rarely clean and tidy. I’m a messy worker and I usually have several projects out and in progress at the same time.
Organizing this space to get it “show-ready” was so soothing and fun! If you’re a crafter or a sewing fanatic, you can probably relate – love to sort through all the pretty things!! I FINALLY was able to rainbowtize this amazing cubby wall unit that I picked up from my local antique/junk shop guy a few years ago. It has served me well and is one of the select few pieces of furniture in the house that I could never part with. It came from a factory warehouse and has markings for screws and nuts and whatnot. The cubbies are the perfect size and there are so many, I never run out!!
Just some of the things I store here: neat, little stacks of fabric – either 1 yard cuts or large remnants. I’ve organized them by color – mostly – and it makes me super happy!
I also keep all my little nicknacks on this unit. Party supplies like cupcake wrappers, stripey straws, and gift baggies are sorted by color. Upholstery nails and supplies, as well as sewing machine feet, are stored in quart-sized mason jars. I have a mug with all my Sharpies and a basket with clothespins. Another little basket holds a million glue sticks and my hot glue gun sits next to it. I have tape and paint bottles and jars with buttons. Embroidery floss and paper flowers, and pom-poms all find their spots.
Moving around the room, I have a vintage basket with rolls of paper, a large thread rack, and a wall organizer that holds binder clips, washi tape, patterns I’m currently using, and drafting tools/rulers. I also have baskets stacked on the floor – the top one houses all of my yarn and knitting/crochet stuff (it’s not large because I don’t actually know how to do much in this department). The bottom basket is my scrap bin and is usually overflowing, but I THREW IT ALL AWAY in the name of organization!! It feels good to have a fresh start.
Next, I have a desk that is mostly decorative, but holds lots of pretties.
More stacks of fabric, the vintage typewriter I painted pink, lots of big glass jars full of ribbon (sorted by color), old thread spools I snagged at the flea market in Paris, and my favorite fabric organizer boards!!
Sometimes people comment on my old post about those fabric organizer boards that it would be impossible to store much fabric on them. And I say, YES!, that’s what the bins in the garage are for – yardage, slippery fabrics, bulky fabrics, all that! But the yummy quilting cottons go here. The desk cupboards hold some of my less used supplies – office supplies like empty binders and extra staples and allll the stamps I needed to have when my main hobby was scrapbooking.
If you step back from the desk, you’ll find my main workspace and MORE storage. We built this large worktable, modeled after a similar one from Pottery Barn, several years ago. You can read more about it in this Project Table post:
The room has come a long way since I first wrote that post, but the project table still provides many of the same functions. The whole table is custom built, and many have suggested you could put two cheapy cubby units together with a table on top. I’m all for quick DIYs, but I don’t regret going the custom route and building something that is tall, super sturdy, and has held up to a LOT of sewing!! The baskets in the side cubbies hold zippers, punches, craft/scrapbook materials, and patterns.
I now keep my sewing machines and cutting mat on top of the table all the time because I use them daily. I started sewing with Baby Lock machines at the beginning of the year and I am in love! I will be sharing more about the specific features on the machines, but want to show you what I’m sewing with now. This Ellure Plus has some of my favorite features including: auto-cut (seriously the best feature ever, such a time saver), automatic threading, a “your bobbin is running out of thread” alert!!, and seam allowance guides on the throat of the machine. It also does embroidery, a feature that I haven’t had before and am really excited to try!!
And my serger!! The Evolution dream machine! I am beyond thrilled to have a machine that can do both overlock and cover stitching. There are so many stitch options with the ability to use 8 spools of thread! But, my very very favorite thing about this machine is the ExtraordinAir threading capabilities. You Guys. If you haven’t ever seen this in action, you are absolutely going to faint!
It’s almost unbelievable it’s so awesome, right?? Dare I say I get giddy to change out my serger thread now?
Alright then, moving on with the tour. I have also started keeping my pins and basic tools super handy right on the tabletop. Makes things much easier. There are quite a few tools that are used less often and are stored in various plastic storage organization bins. I recently wrote a whole post about Craft Supply Organization and you can click here to read more about those supplies.
I have a large armoire over on the other side of the room, and it holds lots of my knit fabric stash in neat rolls. I also have extra sewing machine components, like the embroidery hoops, cover stitch plate, and machine manuals. My Cricut machine and Silhouette machine are in the armoire. And the bottom holds a never-ending supply of scrapbook paper! My large cutting tools, some blank canvases, and plastic organization containers all line up inside.
On the side of the armoire, I added a heavy metal hook, which holds my camera bag and lenses. Between the wall and armoire, I hide my tripod and large mats for photo backgrounds and/or light bouncing.
They’re over there behind those dress forms – hidden from (almost) every angle, thank you very much!
Next to the armoire, I have a file drawer that holds work files and receipts. On top of it, I keep a cute tin to stash small mending projects (they never ever get done because you know how much I hate hand-stitching). The larger basket is where I usually stash larger works in progress, but it tends to overflow and look really ugly. I’ve finished up (or given up) all of my WIP as part of organizing and staging this room, so currently the basket holds just a few linens that I use for photo shoots.
Alright! We’re almost around the room. Who knew you could shove so much stuff into one space and still have it look organized?? This here is an open bookcase where I stash extra printer painter and card stock, a few sewing books, some bins with glue products, and then those large boxes that house rolls of products like vinyl, interfacing, freezer paper, and sewing adhesives. I also keep finished garments that are waiting to be photographed or gifted.
My work desk and computer sit in the far corner. I have PDF patterns filed in one of the file drawers, as well as household and work files and office supplies. My iMac is new after killing three PC laptops in the last three years. I LOVE her!! I spend a lot of time at this desk, as you can imagine. It keeps my work confined to the office and “work hours”, which is good for my family. The inspiration board up on the wall there still makes me happy. It’s less functional than I thought it would be, but I pin up friends’ business cards and little inspirational notes and it still adds some decoration to the room.
Well!! I think that’s it! We’ve gotten all the way around the room! I have an antique ladder that I keep over by the door that somehow didn’t get photographed, but it holds my big pieces of leather and sometimes new pieces of fabric that I’ve just toted home. I also didn’t show my ironing board because I haul it up and down the stairs from the laundry room. I’m hoping to have a nice place to store the ironing board within my craft room in the next house. We shall see!
Thanks for hanging out with me today for my very long-winded sewing room tour!
Some projects come together quickly and some just do not. I have had the pattern for this Weekender Travel Bag pinned on the wall organizer in my craft room for months. Settling on fabrics and purchasing the supplies just seemed so daunting for some reason. It took the perfect excuse to finally give me the push I needed to get this project done! A weekend of fabric shopping in Los Angeles was what I needed.
Tomorrow, I’ll be headed down to L.A. to meet up with old and new blogging friends for two days of shopping at some of the best fabric stores in the country! To say I’m excited is the understatement of the year! So more on that in a minute. First, let’s talk about this Weekender bag. Isn’t it awesome? I was first turned on to this Amy Butler pattern when Ashley posted her quilted weekender bag last year. I love her quilted version, and perhaps my desire to replicate the scrap, quilted look was part of my hangup getting this bag going. Knowing that I was headed off for a weekend of fabric shopping though, I felt compelled to use some of the amazing fabrics I purchased on my last big fabric shopping trip (Jess wrote about that trip here). I paid an arm and a leg for a 1/2 yard of the Kokka retro typewriter fabric and I wanted to use it for a project that would really showcase its cute quirkiness. It was just enough for the outer main pockets on the bag. I used some gorgeous Anna Maria Horner fabrics for the other main pieces and lining of the bag. And then I had the genius idea to also use some leather on the bag.
I really, really love the look of the leather. The piece I had was small, but I was able to get two end pockets as well as two blocks for the center of the handle straps. LOVE how it looks. It actually makes me want to do another bag out of all leather – wouldn’t that be amazing (and impossible to stitch through all the layers?) Note how I’m setting myself up to rationalize all kinds of fabric purchases this weekend??
The bag took some time to make, but it wasn’t terribly slow going It was finicky sewing through so many layers while trying to stitch right along the piping, but it mainly took arm strength to hold everything in place while guiding it through the machine and I just had to go slow. I used a heavy duty sewing needle and stitched the entire bag without breaking it. I also used store-bought piping – making my own piping for this project was a major progress halter – sometimes you just have to take an easier route, you know?
On the inside of the bag, I added a pocket for more organized packing. I really want this to be a one-bag carry all for a weekend trip and I thought a few separate spaces would aide in that. I was also determined to do zero handstitching on the bag and deviated from the pattern instructions to secure the lining around the zipper and to the inside of the bag. Basically, I pinned the lining along the underside of the zipper and then topstitched right over the main zipper stitches to catch the lining underneath. I also sewed a few stitches here and there along the piping to catch the lining underneath. The fit of the lining inside the bag could be better. The lining is just so flimsy compared to the stiffness of the main bag – it doesn’t really smooth out into the space on the inside – maybe some interfacing on the lining would help with this, I’m not sure.
Overall, I love the bag. I’m excited about the quirky fabric combinations and the leather accents. I also love the functionality of the bag with its large design. I still would like to make a quilted version at some point. But, this bag is ready just in time for my big weekend of shopping! The plan is this: pack a few clothes, pjs, and makeup in this bag; stick my wallet, camera, and laptop into my camera bag; and then check two huge, empty suitcases to fill up down in L.A. and haul home. What do you think – good plan? Wish me luck!
Here’s a little more information about the sponsors for Fabric Weekend!
Michael Levine is a staple in the Los Angeles Fabric District. Between their main store, the upholstery fabric store and the Loft where you can buy fabric by the pound, you will always walk away with bags of fabric you can’t wait to use. When Graham and I made the quickest trip EVER to the L.A. fabric district last year (we were there for less than an hour, after driving 7 hours straight and on our way to a wedding), the must-visit destinations were the three Michael Levine stores. And for good reason! I am so SO excited to spend a good part of my trip in there without the rush. I shared a couple pictures and tidbits from my first trip here. I am also excited to find out that Michael Levine has an online store, too – AWESOME news for all of us non-locals. The website is lowpricefabric.com and you’ll love it.
Thank you to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for sponsoring Fabric Weekend 2013. Even in a fabric heaven like Los Angeles you still know you can find exactly what you need at Jo-Anns. Jo-Ann’s is the closest fabric store to me – a 45-minute drive away – and I am in there all. the. time. I love supporting a company that, in turn, is supporting us bloggers. They also sponsor the Girl’s Night Out event that Jessica, the Sewing Rabbit, organizes quarterly. Guess what we’re all doing this weekend? That’s right – Girl’s Night Out, L.A., baby!!
Of course, I’ll be sharing lots of details and fabric finds when I get home, but you can follow me on Instagram all weekend long if you like! It’s going to be exciting!