Friday, June 22, 2012


Not sure what the WHA is going on with my blog . . . I went to access it today because I just finished making a lunch bag for Little Miss (going to need to try again even though it turned out cute - - stay tuned for that whole thing) and for some reason my site has been flagged as suspicious?! I am no computer programmer so I have no clue how to fix this problem. Cleaned off a bunch of buttons and links on my sidebar . . . maybe it was related to something there?? Anyway, if you get this message in a reader don't click through for the time being. Somehow someone is trying to do something crappy with my site. Working on getting to the bottom of it. If anyone has any experience with this can you email me at skooksplayground at gmail dot com? Even just for sympathy? I am so lost. :(


Monday, June 11, 2012

Sewing Room Update - The Fabric Hutch and the Toy Sewing Machines

I wish I could say that I just went crazy style on the sewing room now that it's in a new locale and everything is perfectly organized, but alas . . . it is not.  So, I thought I'd at least share what actually is in place in my new space.

The easiest thing to get set up again was the hutch (that one wasn't too hard to maintain organization on through the moving process . . . Mr. Skooks was able to just pull out the drawers with all their stuff in them and move them down to the new space).  I did have to clear out the hutch to move it, but it wasn't hard to keep the fabric looking nice since it has already been rolled into little mini bolts.  I just took them out in sections and put them in a laundry basket in order and put em all back in once the hutch got moved.):

Fabric Hutch with Toy Sewing Machines
As you can see, I did re-style the hutch a bit . . . I moved all the vintage sheets (there were quite a lot of them at this point) into the drawer that used to house all of my interfacings (pre-rolling and tubing) so they were still together and accessible for when I find need to use them.  I haven't yet figured out exactly where to go with my fat quarters (baby steps people), but I decided that since I ended up losing the 3 shelf cubby system that I had in the old sewing room to Kee-ku's stuff in his new room, I wanted to clear out the middle of the hutch to display my sewing books and toy sewing machines.  What can I say . . . they make me happy.  :)
Toy Sewing Machine Shelf
Although I really like this little display thing I've got going on, I'm not married to this setup.  I really do like having all my fabric together and this middle shelf would be nice to regain for all my fat quarters and smaller pieces of fabric at some point.

What I'd like to do is get some shelves to put up on the wall that could display the books a bit more (my wheels have been turning since I saw this post),

as well as get some kind of shelving going somewhere else on the wall to show off my toy machines.  Mr. Skooks joked with me that he was going to need to build shelving all around the top perimeter of the room if this collection keeps growing.

Something like this maybe . . . ?

Of course this could be totally brilliant as well . . . a shelf mounted over the windows! 

Source: via Skooks' Playground on Pinterest

I wish!

Ok . . . I know, such a tease, but that's all I've got going in the room so far.  Will continue to update as I get more stuff set up the way I want it.  And take pictures.  That seems to be the thing that takes the longest sometimes!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Speed Sewing - An Exercise in Newborn Parenting

Despite the fact that the sewing room is the one room in the house that is in complete and utter CHAOS (as in barely been touched or tended to since all the stuff was moved into it months ago), I got it into my head today to attempt a sewing project while Kiwi was sleeping this afternoon.

I am a pretty laid back mommy . . . no schedules, nurse on demand, etc . . . I think I am starting to understand her rhythms, but I certainly have no idea how long she will stay asleep at any given time of the day. Deciding to "work on a little something" becomes a bit of a dance with Kiwi . . . how much can I get done in what amount of time? Do I take the kind of time I would normally take and perhaps spread a small project out over days (and perhaps weeks depending on when I can come back to it), or do I just hack away at fabric semi-crazed and let some of the painstaking over-analyzing and measuring fall to the wayside?

In case you missed the title of this post . . . I went for B.

Up on the docket for this afternoon, making a new changing pad cover. Simple. Google around and you'll find approximately 8.2 billion tutorials that you would almost swear copied off of each other exactly, and a bunch of patterns/tutorials selling for around $5 a pop on Etsy.

I'm pretty sure that even without said googling, I could have figured out this whole thing on my own.  (Dare I believe at this point in my sewing career I can come up with this stuff all on my own?  I do indeed.)  The thing is, as I said, I was going for SPEED.  So I landed on a tutorial among the millions available, glanced at it quickly, grabbed some fabrics from the stash, and started chopping and sewing like a mad woman.

Of course it did take me a wee bit longer than it should have seeing as I had to make it more complicated and use several different fabrics instead of just one.  Silly me . . . I had a vision of tying the colors of the canvas drawers we are using in the table in with the fabrics in the new changing pad cover.  And only using what I had on hand.

Me and the visions.

Daisy Chain Changing Pad Cover

Too bad when I finished (triumphantly!) and put it on the table I saw that the green of the bins really is NOT the green in the fabrics . . .
Not the best color match . . .
Umm . . . kind of mint vs. grass green?  What was I thinking??

Ah well.  I guess I should have spent a wee bit more time on the fabric selection process.

Lesson #1 of the day: You can still make stuff even when you have an infant.  (Well . . . I can.  Kiwi is a super chill baby.  She's easier to deal with than Kee-ku, who was asleep while I worked on this project otherwise it would never have happened.)

Lesson #2 of the day:  You should make sure you are well-rested when you go to do fabric selection.  I must have been totally out of it when I held up my fabric contenders because I could have sworn that they matched PERFECTLY.

Whatever.  I still like it.  And it matches the bins better than the previous covers anyway.  And I used up stash fabric that I've had FOREVER.  So it was free.

[C'mon y'all . . . of course it wasn't free . . . it just didn't cost me anything *right now* so it only feels like free.  Close enough!  ;)  ]


Fabric Details:
-Focus: Amy Butler's Daisy Chain
-Outer: some leftover green on green dot fabric I had from a previous project - - will find the name of it later . . .


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Holly Hobby Toy Sewing Machine

You've been hanging on the edge of your seat since yesterday for this post haven't you?

What's that?  You haven't?

Oh my . . . isn't this awkward.


Anyway, here's the other little toy machine I got for the ole birthday this year.

Holly Hobbie Toy Sewing Machine
Vintage Holly Hobbie toy sewing machine
She's a pretty robin's egg blue color . . . a little yellowed with age, but she still cleans up nice.  Not sure of the time frame or era of this one . . . I'll look into it a bit more at some point . . .)



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sew-ette Toy Sewing Machine

I got a few new toys for my birthday this year.  Literally.  I love the toy sewing machines . . . I can't get over their cuteness.

Sewette Toy Sewing Machine

The deets:
  • Sew-ette toy sewing machine
  • Vintage (late 60's early 70's era)
  • Red and white early plastic
  • Battery operated
  • Made in Japan
I'll share the other one I got tomorrow.  :)


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Hands Club Embroidered Family Portrait

I ran across this idea a really long time ago and filed it into the back of my mind for a someday-I-must-make-this-because-my-babies-are-only-small-for-a-short-time-and-I-must-savor-their-smallness-type project.  I was originally going to say pre-Pinterest, but perhaps not (though I couldn't find it among my pins . . . possibly because I have eleventy-billion).


I've been waiting all pregnancy long to work this one up so I could add Kiwi's little hand.  :)

Embroidered Family Handprints
Ack!  We are a family of FIVE!!
I'm thinking about painting the hoop just to help it pop off the wall a bit more (I took this picture outside because the lighting where it normally hangs inside is atrocious), but that's a project for another day.  And I'm sure I'll be content with it as is for now.  The kids got a big kick out of this one . . . especially Kee-ku who continually runs past it and yells out "HANDS!" and then continues on like a tornado of toddler happiness.

A little tip if you ever decide to do this project yourself: trace and then sew one hand at a time.  I tried to trace 'em all first and wowzers . . . I started going a little cross-eyed there for a bit.  I actually had to wash off my lines after doing a few hands and go one at a time because it was making me mental, and I kept stitching around the wrong lines.

Which was making my hands look all crazy-like.  And not always human.

Anyway, I don't recommend that method.  Do as I say, not as I do.  And all that jazz.


What?  Jazz Hands?  Sorry . . . super weird ending to a post.


Monday, June 4, 2012

The Summer Project List

I have been chipping away at organizing and cleaning up the new sewing room all weekend long.  SO happy to report that things are coming along quite nicely, and hopefully I will be able to take some pictures and post about my progress very soon!  A side effect I've noticed of all this cleaning and organizing of supplies is an increased desire to get back to the sewing machine and MAKE SOME STUFF.  :)

In light of that, I decided it might be a good idea to jot down a little list so the ole brain can settle (and I can get some sleep!)

1. It's a Hoot Toddler Backpack  2. Stitch Sewing Machine Cover  3. Tricked Out Bed Rails  4. Word Girl and Captain Huggyface  5. Recycled T-Shirt Halter Dress #3  6. Crop Circles Table Runner

In no particular order:

  1. Lunch Bag for Little Miss - She is starting kindergarten in the fall and for the first time ever I'm going to be packing up lunches for her.  I'm using leftover fabric from her backpack project (at her request . . . she wanted them to match!) and some remaining pieces of laminated cotton from her dance bag.  I've already picked up some insulbrite, but I've hit a little snag on the way to lunch bag nirvana as I realized that the heavyweight fusible I bought this weekend to round out my supplies for said project was actually midweight fusible (which I have a PLETHORA of already - sigh) so I need to make another trip back to the fabric store sometime.  
  2. Cover for The LockNess Monster - As I was setting up my sewing table today I decided that I wanted to take my serger out of hiding and put it on the right side of the table.  So I'd . . . uh . . . actually use it.  (Sidebar project for the serger: Learn how to thread the darn thing already.)  Anyway . . . since I put it up there, I realized how much I dislike the cheap-o plastic cover that came with the machine (ok . . . this is not a new revelation, but it has been quite awhile since the serger has seen daylight so I kind of forgot about the cover situation).  I'm envisioning doing a variation (obviously I'll have to scale it down differently) of the Bloom Sewing Machine Cover pattern that will complement what Connie's got going on.  Should be epic.
  3. Book Display Shelf for Kee-ku - Since the bed rails on his bed have been taken down, I've got these perfectly good, but perfectly useless matching pieces to his bed set.  The idea is to slightly deconstruct them and re-imagine them as book storage for his room.
  4. Halloween Costumes for the kids - Ok . . . this seems premature, except that I'm sure if I'm going to actually pull this off this year I need to get started on it sooner rather than later.  Little Miss has her sights set on being WordGirl this year.  She has decided (and I'm sure he won't mind) that Kee-ku needs to be Captain Huggyface.  (Did I mention that they both LOVE this show?!)  Still trying to decide if Kiwi will do her own thing or become Granny May or perhaps Lady Redundant Woman.  I initially suggested that she be Chuck, the Evil Sandwich Making Guy (one of my favorite characters on the show), but Little Miss thought that was TOO CRAZY . . . since Kiwi is a girl after all. 
  5. Summer Dresses for Little Miss - I have several Lil Blue Boo patterns for fun summer dresses made from old t-shirts that I have been wanting to pull out and use since last summer.  It has been awhile since I made these, but as I recall they are super quick and fun to make.  And they were some of her favorite outfits when I made the first round awhile back.  I really hope to revisit them before the summer's gone!
  6. Curtains for the Sewing Room - Right now the sewing room is rocking some crazy mishmash of curtains . . . one window has leftover playroom curtains (the other set went upstairs into Kee-ku's room when we pulled the switcheroo) and the other has a set of crinkle curtains that I got from World Market that I'm pretty sure they don't make in that color anymore.  While I'd love to buy some awesomely fun curtains from someplace (UO comes to mind), I'm thinking I might cut up some of my vintage sheets and do it up that way instead.  We'll see . . .
  7. Runner for the Dining Room Table - I've got a few sets of place-mats and one really nice runner, but I've got an urge to make a nice "everyday" runner that I can leave on the table all the time.  Thinking about possibly revisiting the Crop Circles idea.  I've also got a really cool pattern somewhere for some kind of a leaf-y thing . . . I should look for that.  That might be a good one . . .
  8. Pillows for the Living Room - I made pillows eons ago for our couches out of some place-mats that I found at World Market.  While I really have liked them alot and they've served us well, I'm ready for a change.  I got some fabric on clearance awhile back that I thought I would use to make them, but I'm anticipating the arrival of some new curtains for our living room (we've never had anything other than blinds up, so this is HUGE), and I want to make sure they will work before I commit to stitching anything up.
  9. Pillow for Little Miss - The other day she told me that she really wanted me to make her a "very detailed pillow" for her bed.  The request came completely out of left field, but it sounds like it could be a fun one.  Perhaps I could do a fun quilt block using a lot of different fabrics of her choosing from the scrap bin and make that into a pillow?  I'm sure she has ideas . . .
Anyone else making a to-sew list?  I've got a million more projects I'd love to get to, but these came springing forth the quickest, so they must be closer to the top than other ones (how's that for logic?).  Notice I didn't include finishing up any WIPs . . . I should probably work those in to the list at some point too . . . !

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