Tag Archives: crafting

Valentine's Day Pillows

I promised I would report on all of the projects I made over the weekend, so here goes. My friend Claudia spent the day with me on Saturday when we were trapped indoors by a massive snow storm (18 inches!) She is not as crazy about crafting as me (politely put, she thinks I’m a bit looney), but I managed to force her to create a few projects while she was with me.

To get in the Valentine’s Day spirit, we started with small throw pillows based on this project I’ve posted previously about. Since I was tailoring our pillows for the crafting novice (cough, Claudia, cough), we used a 12 by 12 inch piece of scrapbook paper for a basic pillow pattern. We used white fleece as the fabric and cut four squares each to make two pillows. Then, we used 5 varying shades of felt for the hearts. We used my Cricut to cut out our heart patterns. I used the Accent Essentials shape cartridge and made the largest heart 6 1/2 inches. I reduced the heart size by 1/4 inch each time I cut a new one for a total of 5 different sizes. Other than those few modifications, we just followed CraftyPod’s great tutorial.

Although she looked like she was playing tortured seamstress in a sweatshop while making them… Claudia was very pleased and proud of her final products. She also made the scarf she’s wearing, but I’ll save that for another day!

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The Modern Lady is One Month Old

Hooray for the one month anniversary of my blog! As The Modern Lady, I have posted 18 entries in the last 31 days and opened The Modern Lady store on Etsy (currently filled with aprons – oh how I love aprons). I’m so excited to see the interest grow more and more everyday and I truly appreciate all the comments to date! This blog pushes me to keep up the creativity and challenge myself at new domestic endeavors … and I only see greater things to come :)

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I wanted to highlight some posts from other bloggers that have fueled my inspiration over the last month. Here are some of my favorites:

Thank you all for sharing your talents with the world!!!

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Homemade Headbands Sent with Love

In October I went to Christmas in the Woods and saw some amazing ribbon headbands with accents. I knew it was a DIY project in the making… it was just finding the right person to craft them for me :) I’ll admit that it was probably something I could have done on my own, but I enlisted the help of my cousin Stacy instead. She is an amazingly creative person and I knew she’d whip these out in no time.

These little gems arrived in the mail shortly thereafter.

My favorite part about Stacy’s headbands was that she created several flowers for me to choose from and apply on my own. (Very thoughtful since you never know if other people have the same sense of style as you – as she so eloquently put in an enclosed note to me.)

 So, how can a girl decide on just one when there are so many beauties to choose from??? I don’t. When I want to wear a flower, or two, or three… I just sew them on. If I want to change them, I take them off. I obviously don’t sew them on very securely… but it works.

Just a little story in case your crafting for someone else and you want to add a little variety into their life; think about sending several options of your design for them to choose from.

More of Stacy’s creations are coming soon to Mia Knitwear.

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Craft room Cluster

My husband and I bought our first home in May 2009 and it’s  been a work in progress ever since. Things are coming along and we’re almost done but one outstanding item on my list of to dos was my craft room – or lack thereof.  Still riding high on the optimism the new year brings I spent my Sunday creating my perfect craft room setup.

Here are some images of the process.

We had extra space in the guest bedroom I have since claimed. I brought up all the miscellaneous bags and boxes I had haphazardly thrown in our basement and began to organize. What were the best tools in my arsenal for this straightening session? Here’s a list of what I couldn’t have done without:

  1. A folding craft table. My husband bought me this gem from Lowe’s as a Christmas present this year.  When guests come, I’ll be able to fold it up and hide it under the bed for more room. Genius!
  2. Plastic storage containers and drawers. I organized the bins by the types of materials as well as the hobby they applied to. I ended up with containers for sewing, scrapbooking and misc crafting. I bought all my containers at Walmart. They sell the bins perfect for 12 x 12 sheets of paper at a fraction of the price that craft stores do.
  3. A Dymo Personal Label Maker. For many reasons, this is one item I cannot live without!!! I highly suggest purchasing one of these for all your organizational needs. I labeled what each bin contains so I don’t have to search for things when I’m crafting.

I’m happy with the setup I created… but I can’t say I’m not a bit sad I don’t have a sweet spot like these craft rooms featured on HGTV’s site. Oh well, when I make my first million I’ll indulge myself.

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A is for Apron … B is for Big Pain in the Butt

During one of my many leisurely and expensive trips to Hobby Lobby before Christmas, I played the part of average consumer and got sucked into the DIY book section by the checkout (nice ploy for us to by more craft supplies HL). It didn’t take me long to spot a treasure in the racks –A is for Apron” by Nathalie Mornu. Judging the book only by its cover – yes, I do that – it immediately went on the must-have gift list. Santa (my brother) came through and I must say “A is for Apron” was one of my FAVORITE gifts this year.

If you’ve done any research on the book, you’ve read a lot of smack about the patterns it contains. There are 25 unique designs created by a community of pattern makers that range from traditional waist aprons to smocks for little kids. Downside: Most of the patterns need to be enlarged 400% to use them but some even go so far as having different percentages for each piece in the pattern! (Insert sigh of disappointment here.) At the Amazon.com price of $12.21 for the book, I have a problem with paying a copy place to enlarge the templates to the right size – and those are the only instructions you get from the author on how to make them larger. Could that be any more annoying for those of us who 1.) don’t like to spend money and 2.) just want to get down to business?!?!

Part of the reason why I’m a crafter is because I don’t care what it is, I always think I can make it/do it on my own. So last night’s mission critical was to tackle one pattern enlargement. It was a successful operation but a painful one as well. So, here’s what I did in hopes that it helps someone out there create the apron of their dreams.

Step 1: Scan the pattern onto your computer and save.

Step 2: Open the image into a program that allows you to enlarge the print. I used Adobe Photoshop CS4, but there are a TON of others that will work as well, just find out what software you have on your computer or Google it and go from there. Post a comment if you have questions :) Check if the enlargement is correct using the heights Mornu includes on the pattern pieces.

Step 3: Enlarge the image 400% (or whatever other percentage it is based on what pattern you’re using from the book.)

Step 4 (and this was the hardest): It’s time to print. Locate a program on your computer that allows you to print the images into a tile format – like you would a banner or a poster. This will print the image at a large size across multiple pages without the use of a commercial printer. Working on a business laptop, I didn’t have Microsoft Publisher but I read that was the best program to use. I ended up using the standard Windows Live Photo Gallery that comes with Windows 2007 and finding “Poster Printing” under the Advanced print options. Apparently there are lots of ways to do this… just find the easiest and best way for you and your computer. NOTE: Make sure the entire image is included in the print – I made a whoopsies and cut off the top and bottom on my first try.

Step 5: Once the image is printed, assemble it (another PIA). My tip here is to use the original, smaller copy of the pattern to work off of so you know what it should look like when you’re finished. I think that goes without saying but just in case! Also, don’t reorder the papers when they come off the printer. In a tile formatted print, you can usually go row by row in the order they printed off in making it less of a puzzle piece nightmare.

After writing this post, it seems like a lot of work for a silly apron pattern. However, I’m confident the final product will be well worth it. Stay tuned for an update on the finished apron :)

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Lessons in the Domestic Arts

As a digital marketing consultant by day and a DIY craft enthusiast by night, it was just a matter of time before I got around to starting this blog. However, being the anal retentive person that I am, I needed a clean start date for my new endeavor. Bless you 2010! So, here we are … one day into the New Year and one entry down for The Modern Lady.

Why The Modern Lady? My whole life I’ve always loved the lost arts of the happy homemaker. I sew, I scrapbook, I decorate cakes, I can cook a mean pot roast and so on. But what’s amazing to me now as a 25 year old is these skills make me somewhat of an anomaly.

I got married in July ’09 along with a heap of others in our social circle and not one other wife is quite like me. A lot of them don’t do scratch cooking, almost none of them know how to bake and surprisingly enough picking out decorative elements for their home is a like a trip to the dentist’s office.  I don’t even mention that I sew or scrapbook around them for fear I’ll be treated like a leper. The worst part is that somehow knowing how to do these things makes me appear like I’m an anti-feminist with a fluff job that has nothing better to do with her time than make stupid Christmas pillows by hand.

Well, I’m putting my foot down. Cooking, baking, scrapbooking, sewing, decorating and painting, etc is not the stuff of weirdos people. Any one of the above can be learned in time and I stand by the fact that it’s therapeutic to have hobbies like these. Not to mention, you can save a TON of money by making things on your own or even sell the gems that you create! There is a reason why Etsy.com is the shit (In late December, Rob Kalin (CEO of Etsy) reported the site helped sell roughly $200 million worth of goods in 2009!).

If you aspire to be the next Martha Stewart (goddess of all things crafty) like me, keep stopping back. I can’t wait to hear from other modern ladies like me :)

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