Our Home – Slowly Evolving to be Quite Pretty!

I am slowly beginning to improve the look of our house and am getting to be quite happy with the lounge room. I’m doing one room at a time beginning with the lounge room and once I am happy with it I’ll move into the kitchen & dining area. If you have seen some of my other posts of our home you will notice some items moving around until they find their perfect spot!

Here’s the latest look:

Our Home - Labour Day 2011

Today’s effort was 9 little cushions that now feature on one of our lounge chairs. All the other things in the photos have been done over the last few weeks but haven’t been shown on here yet.

A recent great find for our home was the stack of old school textbooks from 1947, picked up at our church Autumn Fair for a whole $1 for the set! We can now learn psychology, mathematics, physical science, biology and history as it was in the late 1940’s. The books really are quite interesting and look pretty good too I think.

Tim and I aren’t the neatest of people and do have trouble putting our things away and so all my decorating is featuring storage areas for our things we always seem to get out and never put away! The fabric lidded wooden box now holds all our nail clippers and manicure items. The melted record bowl in the shelf beneath it holds our random stationery items that get used infrequently but are still needed. All the books we are currently reading are in the bottom shelf.

I am quite happy with the tables and their accessories now but am still working on the walls and how to hide our yucky, smelly, ripped green leather lounge. We’re saving up to replace it so I am working around it at the moment! For the wall above the side table with the lamp and books I am going to get some embroidery hoops and am going to put some Fat Quarter fabric in them. I really like this idea because you can change the look all the time quite easily, see the ones below that were featured on Love&Lace. I have saved some of the fabric from the cushions and will use it amongst other fabric set aside for this particular purpose.

Embroidery Hoop Wall Art

Embroidery Art featured on Love&Lace

Above the TV I want to get a really big print of a map. We’re tight for decorating money at the moment and so some Photoshop work and the $9 printing of black and white on A0 at Officeworks seems like a good option. My other idea for the inclusion of maps in our home is to find an old Melway and do this to our coffee table:

Map Coffee Table

Map Coffee Table as featured in Craftzine

I am thinking that this idea might make the room a bit too busy though. So, I am liking this idea too that will incorporate maps into our living room; it was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. (Why maps you ask, well I am a land surveyor and maps are very relaxing and pleasing to my eyes!)

Map Coasters

Map Coasters as featured in the San Francisco Chronicle

Well, so many ideas and I’m still only on my first room! I would love to hear what you think.

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Chalkboard World Globe

So, being a surveyor I am somewhat interested in maps and cartography.  Whilst doing some searching for some decorating ideas this afternoon I found this idea for a chalk board world globe featured on Design Sponge.

I love this idea so now the search is on to find a globe that I can paint….and an accompanying old map for the wall behind it like in the photo…..

Something to Make – Letter Press

So, for a while now I have been trying to think of something I can make at home to sell online. Seeing as Tim is studying rather than working full time things get a bit tight which means no money for hobbies. My idea, turn my hobbies into a little earner. That is the plan whether it eventuates will be something else…..

I have had so much trouble trying to think of one thing I would be happy to make evening by evening, weekend upon weekend. I think I now have it. I like books, I like book binding, I like printing, I like stitching and how can I combine it all?

Printing and stitching designs onto card to turn into the covers of handmade notebooks. I will be able to do whatever type of crafting I want to do at the time and create unique little notebooks.

How will I do it? Well, I will need a press to print lino, wood blocks and hopefully one day to do some letter press (It will also come in handy if I turn my attention more complex bookbinding too). Since letterpress kind of died out a few decades ago and is now very much in vogue there is no way I can buy my own. I want to be able to do multiple types of things and sized things with my press anyway and so I will try to build my own (or rather, have my husband build one for me while I watch on!)

Here are two designs I am looking at. Tim personally prefers the second one which is from Wood Block Art and is the way he envisaged a press when I told him my idea. We’ll look into both and work out which will be most suited.

1. Tabletop Letter Press featured on Ready Made

tabletop-letterpress

2. Bottle Jack Press from Wood Block Art

A Small Summer Shoulder Bag

I have been using a little clutch bag for all the possessions I usually carry with me but since it is summer I thought it time for a nice summer bag. Yes, I know it is almost the end of summer now but I am hoping our summer weather is just late this year so that I have lots of chances to use it!

Here is my creation:

Bag1

Bag2

Bag3

The bags is made from one fat quarter and so is not very big. It is has plenty of space for the essentials (phone, wallet, notebook, pen and keys) and there is still plenty of space for all those coins, receipts, earrings and other things that seem to end up in my hand bags!

I did not line the bag, just ironed on some fusible interfacing the strengthen the front and back. The sides weren’t lines so that the bag collapses a bit when not full. I sewed a button on each side to pinch together the bag so that it doesn’t fall open all the time (I’m not sure how long they will stay on as they make the opening quite small…..)

Anyway, didn’t take too long to sew and I would have got it finished last weekend had I not run out of white thread!

My Quilt

Wow, a third post in 2 days. Must be a creative weekend! With house cleaning, gardening, husband time, exercising, church and Girls’ Brigade there isn’t a whole lot of time for crafty stuff. This weekend has been an exception.

Last night I spent my evening finally sewing the final rows of a quilt I began close to 4 years ago. I bought some fat quarters at the Stitches show several years ago, I think it was in my second year of uni….I began the quilt then, got all the squares sewn but never got them into rows. A few months ago I sewed the squares into rows and last night I sewed the rows into a quilt.

Now I hope to hand it over to mum to do the quilting for me….then she’ll probably give it back for me to bind….

Here’s my quilt:

Quilt

I am quite happy with my fabric choice of several years ago. Who knew that I would be choosing fabrics that would be more in fashion now than when I chose them!

The quilt is certainly not huge. Kind of annoying sized, not really big enough to keep you warm, it’s less than 1m wide. It is the perfect baby size but there aren’t going to have any of them around here for a very long time!

Here’s one last shot of the whole quilt (sorry about the blurriness, isn’t it annoying when you take photos and they look fine on the camera but when you download them they aren’t right and it is after you have packed everything away!)

Quilt 2

Our Home

Well we’re going to be here for at least another year. I’m enjoying the place at the moment. It is quite homely and I am getting on top of keeping it clean….well the parts we use are reasonably clean, you don’t want to go into the spare rooms though!

I have been getting photos developed slowly over time and this week I got two more frames filled. One is a 28 panel frame that is now proudly hanging on our wall. Take a look at the few little home making objects we have in our lounge room.

Fishies

And here is our side table, which is getting pretty full so we’ll need another soon! It is where my anniversary present takes pride of place. I am making it a habit to sit by it early each morning while it is still dark to do my Bible reading.

Side Table

The huge vase was a wedding present. The couple who gave it to us couldn’t be at our wedding so we got it a few weeks later. We opened it one day at Tim’s Mum’s place and she thought the couple were very brave giving such a bold vase to a couple they don’t know too well (I had met them once briefly!) but I really like it so it was a good choice!

Some cute little books

I like books. There are so many really cute little notebooks and journals you can buy now but I never seem to use any I buy so it doesn’t work out too well. They are also quite expensive sometimes. So, I have decided to start making my own. If people buy notebooks for up to $10 for a set of 5 A6 ones then I should make some cute ones and give them as gifts! And that is what I am starting to do. I would love to do a bookbinding course but for now my imagination and the internet will have to provide me with binding techniques.

I made the prayer books for the Seniors and Pioneers at Girls’ Brigade this year….26 of them so far and more still needed for the Seniors! They are so simple, just a few sheets of paper stacked on each other and some simple stitching down the spine.

Prayer Books

This last week I also made a few more.

Books

Tim’s birthday is today and although he doesn’t want a present I still got him one….well made him one! He is always writing things down, doing sums to work out what we should do and when. He is such a planner. So I want him to have a little book to keep his notes. He is also terrible at remembering what he has to do each day so the other book is where I can leave him little notes of what he should do that day.

Tim's books

I also made some books for my Forget-Me-Not at church. Luckily I got a lady who is not on Facebook and is not much of an internet person so there is not much chance of her seeing this! Other church people reading this, don’t spoil it 🙂

This is a little set of two books with an Edwardian Postcard printed on the cover of each. I have made a little case for them to live in so they are kept together and handy in a handbag.

Forget-Me-Not's Books

Now that I have the hang of these books I think I might try something a little more challenging like Coptic Binding and I would love to be able to make books with letterpress detailing on the covers but for now I will live with colour printing. A letterpress is many many years away!