Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Sewing Day

I've started working on an adorable quilt designed by Lori Holt. It's all about housekeeping. To be honest, I'd rather sew than vacuum and wash dishes or do laundry. 
This is an applique that will be place in one of the quilt corners...

I love how it's turning out. So cute! And so much more fun that actual cleaning. :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Pin Cushion

I finally finished stitching this lovely pear pin cushion...

I used some scraps of an old quilt that I had stashed away. It's a great use for those little pieces, don't you agree?
Vintage millinery flowers and pearl beads...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blackboard Covers for Messy Storage Units

I'm pretty sure that every household in America has these modular storage units in some room of the home...

I have two units placed next to each other to form one large storage area. They seemed like a great idea at the time because our house has very little closet space and I needed someplace to stash my fabric. I liked the price of these and I thought they would fit the bill. And they do. But...

Problem #1: I have a cat that sheds baby fine white fur like no body's business. I actually have to keep plastic covers on my a granny!! No more indoor pets for me, but that's another topic of conversation. Anyway, those little cube areas are covered in fur all of the time. The fur also sticks to the canvas bins that hold my fabrics. They need to be dusted every day, but I don't have the time. It's not pretty.

Problem #2: They just look messy and kind of sloppy.

I've seen a couple of great ideas for changing these types of units into apothecary cabinets and the transformations are amazing. I'm not a great woodworker though, and I wanted to do something fairly inexpensive and easy. I came up with these chalkboard canvases that attach to the front of the units with Velcro! That's major carpentry skills needed. Here's how I did it:

I wanted to add some height because it makes cleaning around these things easier. Now I can Swiffer under them to gather up the cat hair and dust. So, I added inexpensive wooden legs that I picked up at Lowes for around $2.00 apiece. They screwed right into the bottom. I used my drill to drill a hole in each corner, added some wood glue and then screwed the legs into place. MARK WHERE YOU WILL DRILL FIRST. Hold the leg where you think want it when you're done, mark where to drill, then drill:

I forgot to take a picture of the legs I used, but here's what they look like after I spray painted them and attached them:

After the legs are attached you can prepare the canvases. I measured and was able to determine that four canvases that were 25"x25" would to nicely. I purchased them on line from The shipping was slow, but I liked their prices. 
I picked up a can of chalk paint at Lowes and painted each canvas with three coats of paint. Let each coat dry before applying the next. I like to use those little sponge brushes sometimes because I can simply toss them out after the job is done..

After the canvases are painted and dry, you'll need to "condition" the chalkboard surface. You do this by covering the entire surface with chalk and then wiping it off with an eraser (I used a cotton rag as my eraser). See how I'm using the side of the chalk to cover more area faster?
Below is a canvas that is conditioned and ready to use:
I decided to add small knobs to the sides of the canvases so that they would look more like a cupboard door. I found the center of one side of each canvas and used my drill to drill through the WOODEN FRAME portion of that side:
This is the front of the canvas with a hole:

Here's the back of that same side. The hole is actually through the wood frame:

I used the screws that came with the knobs to attach the knobs to the canvas. I did all four in this  manor. Here's how they looked when I was finished attaching them:
Almost done! At this point it was time to attach the canvases to the front of the storage units. I decided that the easiest way would be to simply use Velcro. I used my staple gun to staple strips of Velcro to the edges of the storage unit and onto the canvas. Looking back, I think it would be easier to only do the top edge of the storage unit and the top edge of each canvas (one with the "male" side of the Velcro and the other with the "female" side). This way you wouldn't have to worry about having to match up the pieces of Velcro when sticking the canvases on. I also think doing the full tops of the unit and the canvas would keep the canvases in place solidly enough. Also, I did use self-sticking Velcro. The staples were an extra step to make sure that it all stuck:
You get the idea though, right?
See the Velcro on the back of the canvas?
Then, it was simply a matter of "sticking" the canvases onto the face of the storage units. When I want to get my fabrics that are stashed inside, I simply take the canvas off and then stick them back on when I'm done.
Here it is finished!..
I looked on Pinterest for some spring themed chalkboard art and did my best with it. I'm not a very good artist. :(    I'll switch it out for various seasons and holidays.
I love how it turned out! And now all of that mess is hidden away. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Got Hens? We do...

And just look at the beautiful eggs from my two Buff Orpingtons. I love them so! Spring has sprung... 

Just look at those yolks...

Got hens??