Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crochet Projects: Pillow

As I type this, I am actually using the pillow that this post is about! About a month ago, I made this pillow as a wintery addition to the two green couch pillows we had. I learned how to do front and back post double crochet stitches, and I got to use a soft and fluffy cream yarn for it. For the back, I wanted something different than the pattern suggested, so I just made two panels of all double crochet which overlap on the back and fasten together with big buttons. The pillow is stuffed with another homemade pillow form.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crochet Projects: Coasters

The most common question we were asked when first married was something like "What are the little quirks that have come out now that you're living together?" I would usually say that I found out my husband is an avid dish rinser and meticulous dish washer (I'm so lucky, right?). Among other things were our differences between storing glasses upside-down or rightside-up, tucking or untucking the bottom of the sheets, just little things.

Another little difference is how my husband insists on using a coaster and how I can never seem to remember to. I think this goes back to our parents' habits; my husband's grandfather owned a prominent furniture company in Grand Rapids and therefore his family had many nice sentimental pieces, while my parents preferred to buy well-loved (and sometimes banged up) antique pieces.

Anyway, this winter I made a few coasters for our place, which has a nice blend of banged up antiques, thrift store finds, and a piece or two from Grandpa's collection. Using some old Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn (in Ecru, if I had to guess the color), I made an assortment of random coasters. These were quick little projects to make in a sitting and to use up some extra yarn. I can't really account for where I found all these patterns (all free online somewhere), but I know that one I made up, one came from this website, and another came from this website.

All the coasters turned out a bit different in size, which I like. And I've actually started to use them more often than not! Although, our coffee table is one of those banged up sorts that we've been meaning to refinish anyway...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crochet Projects: Hook Holder

To start out the crochet projects I have made this season, here is perhaps the most functional- a holder for all my crochet hooks! I finally got a bit bored with the plastic case the hooks came in, and the pattern for this holder by Allicrafts was perfect! The star pattern was really fun to do and very easy. I was a bit skeptical that my hooks would fit into the center of each star, but they did with just a little wiggling. My holder did turn out a bit on a diagonal, and I'm not sure why, but overall it works just fine.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sewing Projects: Lumbar Pillows

So we have this couch. My husband saved it from being thrown out at the local rescue mission where he worked. After a summer of wear-n-tear from a bunch of day campers, the couch had a large hole in the top. But my husband adopted it. It spent a few days on a friend's lawn, then was squeezed into a small apartment, then into another, then into a spare room at the grandparents', then into a skinny old house (where it left some scuff marks on the wall), and finally into our townhouse. The hole has finally been fixed (yay for handy sewing skills!), and although I like to complain about how big it is and how black-leathery it is, truth be told I will miss it if it can't come with us to our next residence. To make the back cushions a bit more comfortable, last summer I made a couple of lumbar pillows (aha, the real subject of this post!). I always like to learn something new with each project, and with this one I learned how to sew piping into an edge seam. I still plan to put buttons on the backs to close them up better, but I have yet to figure out the button-holer on my new sewing machine. Until then, the pillows still work just fine.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sewing Projects: Tufted Pillow

Last summer, I set to the task of making our bedroom more cozy. To me, of course, this meant adding a decorative pillow (or two, or five) to the bed. To my husband, this seemed an unnecessary and undesirable addition to the room. Why add another step to making the bed? This pillow admittedly spends most of its time on the floor, as we rarely make our bed anyway, but it was still a fun project! And my husband doesn't mind it too much after all.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Home Decor Projects: Fern Picture

Along the lines of the last post with pressed flowers, last summer I pressed some fern leaves for a picture for our bedroom. Found while hiking on a weekend retreat to Cran Hill Ranch, the ferns are really pretty and they also have some sentimental value. The picture frame was $2 at a local thrift store, Bibles for Mexico, and I just flipped over the ugly picture that was in it and used it as the background for the ferns! Yet another cheap project!

Home Decor Projects: Bird & Forsythia Picture

This is a project from last spring. After a banquet with my husband, we got to take home a vase of flowers which included pussy willows (my favorite!) and some forsythia (a new favorite!). I pressed some of the forsythia blossoms and created this picture for our living room:

This is just black construction paper, onto which I traced a bird image that I found online, then free-hand cut. I used an old frame that we already had, so again, cheap project! The only downside is that the frame's glass had cracked and I took it out. Now the flowers are starting to come unglued because they are not pressed in by glass. Although, I do kind of like the 3D effect!

Home Decor Projects: Cork Board

An early project was a bulletin board made out of wine corks. I got the idea from my decor-savvy best friend Brenna, and then luckily got a job working at an Italian restaurant where they decorated with left over corks! There were window boxes and planters full of them, and the generous owner let me take many home. Brenna also gave me all her extra ones which had already been cut in half. As I don't have a band saw (or whatever you might use to cut corks), I left all of mine whole and created a tic-tac-toe pattern.

Home Decor Projects: Intro

To start out this craft log (could we call this a clog?), here's a few projects from the past year or so. These projects were all part of a major nesting phase I went through recently after getting married. On a mission to decorate our first home cheaply, I'd say I got pretty creative with some of the cheapest (free) materials I could find.

"Decorating for two" was a challenge. I would often go to the craft store (Michael's or Hobby Lobby) with a project in mind, and then talk myself out of it either because I wasn't sure my husband would like it or because I felt guilty spending the money. Several times I brought fabric samples home and then either he or I or both decided against it. At any rate, these projects have sprung out of our mutual tastes, more or less, and my husband has been really supportive of them! I guess you could say that together, we are the warp and weft of our "woven home".

ps: I think I'll publish them as separate posts. Maybe it will be easier to search for them later?

Welcome to the blog!

Hello, and welcome to my first blog, The Woven Home! Congratulations on finding it!

My hope with this blog is not to advertise to the world everything that I'm doing, making, and crafting. Rather, I plan to use it as a personal online three-ring binder of projects, patterns, and pictures. This blog will hopefully be a convenient way to organize my projects and to remember what I've done and where on this wide web I might have found the inspiration for it. If someone happens to stumble upon it and find their own inspiration, all the better!

Winter is a time when I find myself pulling out my stash of yarn and crocheting or knitting some cozy things for gifts and for myself and my home. I'm still on that kick, so many upcoming projects will probably be related to crochet or knitting. In the next few days, I will also post some previous projects I have done during the past year (first year of marriage = much nesting!).