Friday, June 20, 2014

Video Tutorial: Twisted & Tucked Headwrap


Now that I've got a stunningly efficient and beautiful place in which to create, I am, of course, having a bit of difficulty gaining back momentum. I'm sure there's some kind of cosmic axiom for this sort of occurrence, or maybe it's just irony. Either way, it's pretty annoying.

So to help get myself back into the swing of things, I browsed through my "Inspired by Garb" Pinterest board, just to get the brain cogs moving again. One of the images I pinned some time ago of a late German reenactor has always stuck out at me, and when I really looked at it this time, I decided that I HAD to try to emulate her headdress.

Here's what I came up with:



If I really played around with this in front of the mirror, I'm sure I could lose those last two pins. And I probably will do that when I decide to wear this one for real. But as a reasonable attempt, I'm quite happy with the result, and I think it looks great.

EDIT: I did, indeed, do without those two extra pins the next time I wore this. The key was to do the step to pull that extra pointy bit down, but instead of pinning, immediately start twisting to secure it in the right place.

If you try this one yourself, why not share a pic over on my Facebook fan page? It's no fun doing headdress by yourself, you know! Simply upload your picture as a comment under the post about this video over there.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Craft Room Re-do: After (Hooray!)


It's amazing what you can do with a bit of paint and a lot of advanced planning. If you haven't already seen the before pictures, brace yourself, then click here.

I think the most obvious place to start is the wall color, since it was that glaring green that really made the room horrid to start. First, after removing all the decals, we sanded down any areas where the paint had ripped off or gotten damaged. We then used two coats of Kilz brand primer (rated for a variety of surfaces, since we had a wall patch to cover), then two coats of Glidden satin paint in the color "Frozen Ice Crystal". It is nearly impossible to capture the color in photos, but I tried my best to make sure the colors were pretty true in the photos.



Basically, it's white with a very subtle hint of blue. We went with that because we wanted something pale and light, but couldn't really get behind just plain white.


The next huge change was accomplished with the installation of a new wall shelving solution. I'll say it right now, my planning & math skills rock! Each of the elements on this wall are IKEA, but they were actually culled together over a very long period of time. The white BILLY bookcase in the center was originally purchased for the new nursery just before the twins were born four years ago. The shelf ended up in here about 2 years ago, but (if you recall from the befores) it was just an item in the room and not very effectively utilized.


The shelving system we used is the ALGOT wall shelves. In order to span the width effectively, I mixed the three shelf widths. This gave us a near perfect fit. All of the ALGOT components totaled less than $50, which is pretty hard to beat. We did have an incident while getting the uprights spaced correctly where most of what was up came crashing down. We lost a shelf (resulting in the empty space where the rose tin is), but nobody got hurt. That was operator error, though, and no fault of the shelves themselves.


Situated within the shelves is a wall cabinet I picked up from IKEA's fabulous As-Is. I'm fairly certain it's from one of the office storage lines.  Below that, a drawer shelf with brackets acts as a secondary surface. Under that, an old bookcase of my mom's works as a side table for the chair bed. The chair bed never really had a home in this house until now. It's a great place to sit and will function well for us as a guest bed. We've got an old Navy poster that's been kicking around since my mom was actually in the Navy before I was born that will go up on the wall here properly at some point.


Most of the colored storage boxes are also IKEA (the KASSETT line), and they hold all kinds of things, mostly fabric. A 10-pack of cheapo banker's boxes from Walmart acts as the primary long-term storage along the top. It's also almost all fabric.


The hanging rail was a really good addition. I'm glad we thought of it! Here we can store dresses in-progress rather than having to toss them over a chair or put them in a pile somewhere. Out of all the workflow decisions we made, this will probably end up having the largest long-term impact. We also have an ironing board on the back of the door and a smaller, table top board that hangs on the rail.


We decided that we needed something red on this side of the room. We picked up a cork board and I used acrylic paint to make the frame red. It's a pretty close match to the red of the Target lamp on my desk. The top of the shelf works well as a standing counter for smaller projects.


The narrow space below the wall cabinet and the drawer shelf was a nice spot to put some photos and display some tiny books.

One of the key goals I had was to separate my office from my crafting areas. For so many years, when I wanted to sew, I had to push my computer aside. When I wanted to work, my sewing machine needed to go away. And my work piles mingled with my sewing piles pretty liberally. Pens and pins cavorting together. Not a pretty scene. I'm so glad to have an "office" now!


My desk (also IKEA) was a birthday present back in 2008, and I've had those white ALEX drawers for about as long. The new sewing table top came from IKEA's As-Is (it has a dent in the top of it it). I picked up the legs several months later.

I even got organized on the inside with a new drawer organizer in my desk.


I also competely cleaned out the white drawers and made room in there for lots of flat projects including a drawer dedicated to my meager collection of scrap booking supplies and a pile of photos. Most of the other drawers look just as neat now.


The cabinet in the corner was an awesome score.


It used to be in one of the kitchen vignettes in the design showroom where I work. They decided to remove that kitchen earlier this year, and I asked one of the designers how much it was, thinking there really was no way I could afford it (it's solid wood custom construction). She brought it up to the powers that be and I ended up getting it free of charge! At the time I didn't know how it would go into the craft room, just that it needed to. The center shelf inside was damaged when they removed it from the wall, so I need to get a replacement shelf still, but it's an awesome piece that I love having in the room.



I cut my papel picado banner down and picked out my 6 favorites. The frames were a lucky perfect size. With a few pieces of sizing tape and a level, I got them up in a nice, wall-filing grid that's so much more polished than just hanging across the wall the way they were.


In the other corner, mom is using two sizes of folding tables (from Walmart) to create a corner desk. She's still got her decorating to do, and some shelves to put up, but the added work surface has already proven useful as she's working on a quilt and a scrapbook at the same time, and neither project is getting in the way of the other. Now that's an organizational feat!


The tall BILLY bookcase at the end of her table was purchased at the same time as the short one for the nursery. It was still in their room, but has been swapped with a wall shelf so that mom could have a bookcase and a visually-defined boundary to her work area.


At the end of the old worktable from grandma is a rolling R├ůSKOG cart- a long-time wish list item of mine- that's holding current project materials.


We're also now allowing the kids in here, and have provided some touches for them. The play mat was always getting in the way in other rooms (it wouldn't ever stay flat in the floor), so we brought that in here. A black box holds toys.


I wasn't entirely sure how I wanted to use the drawer shelf, but it turns out to be a pretty good location for my embroidery works in progress.


We used the same yellow linen curtains that we had in here before, but added tiebacks. These were actually created from an old embroidered guitar strap I had picked up years ago and never knew what to do with. Glad that beautiful handwork can finally be appreciated!


I tossed some ribbons and woven trim that don't have a project yet into a jar to go along with a few keepsakes. The rose tin has buttons in it. The white ceramic salt cellar is from France and was my grandma's. I actually remove the lid and scope and use it for water when I do illuminations.


When I was cleaning out some boxes in a different room, I found my collection of llamas. The little sign says, "The floggings will continue until morale improves." Came from mom ages ago from I'm not sure where. My grandpa collected "See, Hear and Speak No Evil" monkeys. The little metal ruler with the monkeys doing the exact opposite was AWLAYS my favorite. The photo is mom and me at Hocking Hills, Ohio- a favorite vacation spot.


My knitting bag and a basket with my Royal Knitwit hats sit on the shelf by the chair bed. The basket on the top shelf holds a baby sweater in progress. The bottom shelf holds books for the kids.


We hung a lamp from the ceiling to give the chair bed some task lighting. It's got all the colors we've highlighted in the room.

We still have stuff to bring in and put away. There's still lots of space throughout the room, and there's a possibility that some of our under-table space may disappear, but we've already sort of accounted for that in our planning. In fact, it would be sort of weird if we ended up not needing to do that.

We've already highly enjoyed coming in and starting some projects as we continue to refine the space. My husband also actually comes in the room now (and, honestly, we couldn't have gotten those cabinets up without his help, so I'm sure he feel a bit of ownership in here now). We were all in here just the other day hanging out and talking. That was surreal enough that I had to point it out mid-conversation.

So. Now that's taken care of. Time to get back to the project pile!