Sewing Weekend

I spent this weekend making cute little dresses for my niece. I never made a dress before, so I scoured the internet for patterns and tutorials, and found some really great ones. Here’s what I made:

Based on this tutorial.

Adapted from this pattern (I added the ribbon ties on the shoulders).

I was so happy with how my first 2 dresses turned out that I made one without a pattern – a super-easy pillowcase dress (not from a real pillowcase).

I had so much fun sewing, the whole weekend flew by!


Starting to Get Organized

I am in organization mode lately, which may be related to the new year or the 2 feet of snow on the ground outside. One of our worst habits is bringing new stuff into the house and shoving it wherever it will fit. Because of this habit, we have a bookshelf full of junk between our dining room and living room areas.

When I was stuck inside on Wednesday, I finally got around to sorting through some of the stuff that we have been collecting and began re-organizing the bookshelf.

I’m still deciding how to organize the books (right now they are by topic) and I have been shopping around for some storage options and accessories. The re-organized shelves are already a HUGE improvement, and I am resisting the urge to fill in the empty spaces without a system.

1. Semikolon 2.75″ 3-Ring Binder
2. Synchronicity Stockholm Flat File
3. Brocade Desktop File
4. Felt File Box
5. Emu Boxes with Lids
6. Buddha Bank


We have a lot of spices in our pantry, all in random bottles and sizes. Space in our small kitchen is limited, so in order to free up some room I am moving all of the spices to magnetic tins that I will either stick to the refrigerator or wall (I haven’t decided yet).

I started by cleaning out the pantry and tossing any expired spices. Who knew that spices expire? Here’s a link about how to tell what is past it’s prime.

Then I ordered small tins with windows in a few different sizes from one of my favorite packaging resources – Papermart.

Once the tins came, I took some 1.5″ round Avery labels that I had leftover from another project and created a label for each of the tins in Illustrator. I used a template for the labels that I found here and a free font called Sertig.

I filled and labeled each spice tin in about 30 minutes, and except for spilling candy sprinkles all over my lap, it was a super-easy project. I ordered magnets for the back of the tins, so once they arrive I’ll stick these to our refrigerator.

Happy 2011 – Let’s Make a To-Do List!

New year is a great time because everyone is walking around with a clean slate and resolutions to be good. I am a notorious procrastinator, so many of the items in my 2011 to-do list should have been done a long, long time ago. This year, I am going to get EVERYTHING done:

1. Manage my clothes problem: I began this project last year by starting to take inventory of everything I own and toss or donate everything I don’t wear. I only got through the dresses and realized I had 52! Who needs that many dresses? I want to get my wardrobe down to the essentials and only keep the things I love. This will also help with the perpetual towers of laundry that have become permanent fixtures in our bedroom.

2. Get glasses: I stare at a computer screen all day at work, then go home and stare at a different computer screen all night. I turned 30 last year and I think my eyes are the first to go. After a consistent headache for the past 2 or 3 weeks, I finally scheduled an eye exam for Saturday. Unfortunately these J Crew Frames are sold out, because if I do end up needing glasses, they are totally the ones I want.

3. Make our bedroom look like a hotel: One of my favorite things in the world is staying at fancy hotels with big beds, immaculate white sheets and uncluttered rooms. Our bedroom is a clutter of laundry (see #1), phone and computer chargers, beauty products, books and other junk. Unfortunately we tend to throw stuff on our bed to get it out of the way when guests are coming, so junk collects everywhere. I already have colors picked out, I just have to get moving painting, cleaning and actually making the bed for a change.

4. Finally makeover our powder room with crazy wallpaper: We moved into our house in August of 2007 and the first thing on my to-do list was wallpapering our small powder room with some retro-patterned wallpaper. I think I can get it done in a day, but I have been procrastinating. This is my dream wallpaper:

5. Put the finishing touches on our new kitchen: We renovated our kitchen in 2010, and there are a few loose ends that I need to tie up. I want to make a spice rack, paint the bottom of the wall cabinets, change out the recessed light fixtures, and get some slide-out wire racks for the under-sink cabinet. I’m also thinking of replacing our huge toaster oven with a smaller one, making a cover for my stand mixer, and making cuter jars for our flour and sugar.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure the list will get longer as the year goes on – I’ll keep you updated on my progress.