New Items for the New Year

So, after working so hard to pull together Robert’s Han Solo costume and get work done on a LOOOOONG list of projects for Christmas/post-Christmas, I was able to take a moment or two to work on a few items for myself.

Like any good crafter, I have a pile of UFOs (unfinished objects, for those curious), along with items that can’t even be considered unfinished objects…they aren’t even started! Beyond a thought and a plan, that is. There are a few things on that shelf that are for other people – two quilts, for instance – but more and more, the items that go unfinished are the pieces I plan to make for myself. Clothes that need to be darned, items that need a button or a hem, or even just fabric that was purchased with a purpose that was then unfulfilled.

Since the projects for other people are the ones that actually tend to get finished (at some point), while mine languish on the shelf, I decided I would engage in some self-care of a crafting sort and work on some projects for myself!

I had a skein of yarn I spun for myself (colorway: dragon) that was worked up into a lovely hat. I used the same pattern I used for the hat I made for Neenah, with an additional row of double crochet near the end. I LOVE the yarn. It shifts between green, blue, purple, pink and gray. And it’s SO SOFT! I still have some yarn left, so I’ll have to figure out what to use it for.

The fox pillow, in a less-than-stellar picture (aside from it including Alvin)

The fox pillow, in a less-than-stellar picture (aside from it including Alvin)

Mom and I wandered into the Quilter’s Studio the other day, which was sort of a mistake. There were so many lovely fabrics! I was good and restrained myself and only bought two yards of new fabric…a wonderful print with red foxes on a dark gray background. The gray matches the trim color in the basement, and the orange matches flecks in the tile and some of the brick and stone surrounding the fireplace, so it really works. I went ahead and made new throw pillow covers for the couch. Of course, then I had to go out and get a new fitted sheet for the futon that actually went with the rest of the colors in the basement (we’ve just been using regular sheets on it, but those tend to be in random pastel colors that don’t match anything else). Robert and I scoured the shelves at Target and I picked out two fitted sheets that we can rotate – one a light blue that is in the same family as the accent wall – not an exact match, but pretty good – and a gray one that matches the trim, carpet stripes and the gray of the pillows. I need to iron the sheet, but even wrinkled it helps to tie the room together.

IMG_20160216_213722_086I also pulled out some cute animal print fat quarters I had purchased about a year ago. They are light green, with adorable squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes, and raccoons scampering about on them. I cut each fat quarter in half, stitched one edge together, and attached them to some extra white cotton fabric I had on hand. A quick stitch around, a little foldover, and some double-stitching, and I had a new pair of pillowcases for the bed! So cute!

The last thing I wanted to finish up wasn’t necessarily a craft, but a task for the room downstairs. I had purchased lovely metal shelving for my workspace, where I can store the thread/wool/patterns/buttons/other flotsam that is needed when working on any given handful of projects. There’s even room at the bottom for two bins of higher end fabric for specific projects (most of my fabric stash is in boxes on metal shelving on the other side of the main basement space). Robert was kind enough to set the shelving up for me last year, and I’ve been loving having all of my stuff close at hand.

However, I’m not thrilled about how cluttered it sometimes makes the basement look. Even when I go through one of my organizing spurts (I know it doesn’t always look like it, but I really do like my crafting stuff to be in order), the openness of the main living area/craft room means you always see the craft storage. I don’t necessarily mind being able to see some of that stuff, but sometimes I just want to put it out of sight for a little bit…if only because I don’t want to get distracted by another item on my crafting to-do list while I’m still trying to finish another one (Yes, that happens).

So I’ve been wanting to put up some sort of curtain on the craft shelves for a while. Nothing too fancy. Just some plain, single color curtains of the shower curtain variety, to keep things looking a little nicer on the rare occasions that I have people over and in the basement. Or when I just want to sit and watch The Martian without fretting about the fact that I haven’t finished xyz project yet. Since the shelving doesn’t allow for the curtains to be easily drawn across the top, I knew I needed to use the open hooks one usually sees on shower curtains. I considered buying some cute little resin ones – owls, or foxes, or something along that line – but ended up going with simple silver hooks that wouldn’t draw too much attention to themselves. After all, I was trying to camouflage the whole thing.

I also didn’t want to have an obvious print on the curtains themselves, and not just in the interest of down-playing the shelves. I quilt, and sometimes it helps to lay out a series of blocks when figuring out the final order for assembling them. I wanted something that would not distract from the colors and patterns of any quilt blocks I might pin up. When we painted the main room of the basement it went a long way towards lightening up the entire space. I didn’t want to run the risk of returning to the dungeon feel of the old room, so I went with a light color for the curtains. I really wish I could have found a fabric that matched the ever-so-slightly-noticably-light-blue of the walls, but it’s a very hard color to find. The curtains I went with (after standing in the shower curtain aisle in Target for way too long) are white, with a small waffle pattern. I still want to find a way to affix a small pole across the front of both shelves, so the curtains can be drawn back and forth, but this will do for now.

I feel so refreshed by getting some of these smaller, “comfort” projects done. It feels really nice to do something sort of special for myself…and, yes, I realize how sad it is that doing something so simple and seemingly mundane for myself and my space feels special.


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