Dash of Rose

A dash of rosy positivity

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Festive and Cozy DIY for Christmas

I wasn't feeling very festive when December first began, even though I had already started purchasing presents.  Christmas shopping was festive activity #1.

Festive Activity #2 was brought on after visiting with a friend where they celebrated Christmas early (day before Thanksgiving) as that was the only time until 2016 that my friend (& his new wife) and his brother would be home.  We helped decorate a beautiful Christmas tree with some Christmas Pandora in the background.  This led me to start searching around for a tree.  As much as I like real trees I wanted an artificial tree because it is reusable and can be pre lit!  Even though it is pre lit I didn't want to sacrifice allll authenticity.  I scoured the internet for realistic looking artificial trees that weren't too big, but I couldn't bring myself to purchase any of them because I couldn't see them in person and I wasn't convinced they'd look as real as I'd hope for.  One evening, wandering Menards with the boy as he was looking for some home improvement related things I stumbled upon this tree and just knew it was it.  It's the 5' pre lit Carson Pine tree.  I sought it out because it looked the most real, yet I don't think a Carson Pine is an actual type of pine tree... heh.  Festive Activity #3 Accomplished!

I was rummaging through my craft-closet and found some remnant of some buffalo plaid flannel that I originally purchased to sew a dog-bed cover for the puppy dog.

Festive Activity #4:
I drew out a star and cut out pieces of the flannel and sewed them inside out (with one small section not sewn), flipped them right side out ... stuffed the stars with pieces of fleece, inserted some tied up red yarn to hang the stars with, and sewed it up! I was on such a roll because I could hand sew these on the couch and still be able to watch some Netflix (Highly recommend the show "The time in between" which is based on a novel of the same name.  It's in Spanish with english subtitles, but it is such a good show once you get about 2 episodes in...a seamstress...espionage... what's not to love?).

Once I covered the tree in the red/black stars I wanted to continue with a cozy theme, like sitting by a fireplace.  I had trouble finding copper/rose-gold tinsel/garland as gold and silver just weren't "warm" enough for my taste.  I found some great tinsel roping on Etsy from the shop : AllTheMakings.

Decorated tree with the extra tinsel on the tv stand!  Living room was feeling pretty cozy... now I just needed to really feel it.

Festive Activity #5:  I found some more fleece that I had ordered last year and wanted to make a super warm and comfy blanket.  I used the tutorial here for a braided version of layering two fleece pieces.

It may not look very wintery outside, but I can still make the inside of my home all ready for winter and Christmas!
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Crafting Calm: Wool Giraffe

It's already fall and I have not pursued this hobby of creativity nearly as much as I should have.  I haven't completely neglected creative pursuits, but today I decided it was about time I did something to energize myself a little.  There haven't been any projects that inspired me and that is probably because a lot of the projects I pursue serve a practical purpose as well.

A few weeks ago I caught up with some good friends at a nearby dairy farm for brunch and coincidentally (or maybe it was fate) there was a free wool festival going on at that location.  First of all, I didn't even know wool festivals were even a thing.  Second of all, sheep are so cute!

We had a wonderful time wandering around the tents, exploring the crafty offerings.  I didn't know there was such a wide variety of wool.

We were completely taken by these Angora bunnies.  They were incredibly soft, curious, and adorable!  Bunnies were the highlight of the wool festival.

Since that little excursion I've been thinking about all the wool-y cuteness and remembered that I had purchased a wool felting kit a long time ago (maybe a year ago?).

I've been under a lot of stress over the past couple of weeks and had been struggling to find sufficient calm in my life.  Creativity is a good source of this calm because it requires focus without the anxiety.

I'm very pleased with this felting kit and I already feel so much more at ease.

Simple packaging

Contents of the box. 

When the contents were extracted, it looked more like the remains of a stuffed animal after encountering a dog.

The instructions were pretty helpful although there were details missing that might make it difficult if you follow the directions literally.  At no point does the direction mention splitting the white wool meant for the body parts into the number of pieces (and their appropriate sizes) first.

I definitely recommend wool felting for an easy project, especially when you're in a "creative rut".  I'd say that this project was pretty easy overall.  Patience and good lighting (preferably natural/white light) is important because you don't want to poke yourself with the felting needle (pretty sharp) by accident and the white wool would be difficult to see in dim lighting.

I purchased my felting kit in a boutique in Louisville, but you can also purchase the woolbuddy kit online at this link.

Stay warm and cozy, everybody!
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sprucing up the ironing board and new apartment

It has been 7 weeks since I moved into my new apartment and it has gone by so quickly! Within two weeks I unpacked everything, got new furniture delivered, bought my first major appliances (washer and dryer) and have been adjusting to working from home! I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to move back to where I need to be and still pursue my career.  This move has made me feel more like a "grown-up" which feels strange but I am trying to embrace this period of my life and everything that comes with it.

I haven't sewn much in sooooo long and part of it is because of all the transitioning, lack of motivation, and partly because I don't have a designated space to see at the moment. 

It came to the point that the grungy ironing board that I have had for years was just an eyesore and was just really worn. This serves as the perfect opportunity to complete a quick project to hopefully get me motivated to sew again! 

Took some nice cotton fabric and some cotton quilting batting and recovered the ironing board, secured with elastic looped through the sides and tied tight.

Now the laundry room is a little more vibrant!
Next steps... Come up with some project ideas and to find a convenient and small-space friendly sewing table!
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