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A happy sewing room.

13 Jun

Blog break!  [I feel like a need a song to sing.  Blog break!  Blog break!  Blog break!]

I’m at work on the last day of what feels like the longest week ever.  After being at Synod Assembly last Friday and Saturday, it quite literally has been an eleven day work week.  And so I declare a blog break to tell you about my happy sewing room.

I cleaned it last night.  I technically cleaned it in preparation for my mom and sister [who arrive tomorrow so we can fly out of MSP on Saturday]; the futon lives in my sewing room and someone will need to sleep on it.  That wouldn’t have been possible filled with stacks of fabric and odd sewing supplies.

It’s now a happy place to which I’m ready to return.  I have a couple more baby quilts for friends to complete before the summer is out and I have a silent auction baby quilt to make.

A what?  A silent auction baby quilt.  Jenna, my friend and Luther College fellow alum, chairs a Twin Cities Luther alum event – one that raises money for Luther scholarships.  She emailed and asked if, as a Luther alum, I’d be willing to contribute something to the silent auction.  Oh, for nice.  I was honored and certainly willing.  Give me an excuse to make a baby quilt and I’m there.  I’m ready to start finding new patterns and fabric!  I’m ready to make my sewing room messy again with creativity.


February 1: friday favorites.

1 Feb

[February 1: friday favorites.]  There is something so full of potential with the start of a new month.  With the start of each day, really.  After clearing my mind during vacation, I’m excited to approach February.  A new month.  New possibilities.

I hereby declare February the month of the blog.  [In addition to the month I start exercising on a regular basis again, the month in which Lent begins, the month I do something creative every day, the month of everything else I could ever possibly want to do, etc.]  The blog got its own domain and a whole new look just a few weeks ago.  Now it’s time for a little focus and a little forward thinking about this thing I love to write.

And so, during this month of possibility and month of the blog, I institute a weekly post: friday favorites.  A round-up of my favorite things both on and off the web from the past week.  Let’s begin.

I saw this and loved it.  The tutorial calls for sheet metal glued to the inside of a cabinet.  Something tells me that’s not a great approach for the poor pastor in the parsonage.  But it did inspire me to 3M-strip-the-heck out of a couple cork trivets to the inside of a couple cabinets.  It’s the perfect place for recipes [no longer cluttering the side of my fridge] and coupons and all sorts of important stuff.

Another organizing idea I hopped right to was this one.  I [once again – thank God for 3M strips] 3M-stripped-the-heck out of a couple hooks and a wire basket.  It now holds my sponges and fels-naptha.

Have you watched The Office from this week?  The show has had its moments of floundering in the past years but I’m in love with it once again.  They’re going out with class and the classic humor that first made it the show I love.

Look at these darling fabric bows.  I want to make one hundred of them and cover every known surface.

Do you watch The Bachelor?  No judging, please.  If you don’t, you can but pretend you don’t.  If you do, check out this dude’s blog.  He reviews each episode in an oh-so-manly and hilarious fashion.  And apparently he has a black belt in feelings.

Have you heard of Go Mighty?  Go Mighty is an online community where you set goals, tell stories, and encourage one another to challenge the status quo.  I just joined and am still getting the hang of it.  They have an annual conference in California I would die to go to; unfortunately, it’s not in the budget or vacation this year.  One thing we all can do right now – Go Mighty is challenging everyone to take 20 minutes each day to do something intentional for yourself or for others.  20 minutes a day in February.  Today I mixed up three batches of Valentine cookie dough to bake and send to people.  That was my #20minutes.

Perhaps that’s enough for now.  Come back next Friday for more favorites!

my new favorite thing.

25 Sep
Vintage metal kitchen trays.

They are my ugly and weird and cheap kitchen decor.  They double as places to hang photos and recipes with magnets, and they are surprisingly easy to find at antique stores and junk bonanzas.
My other great junk bonanza buy?  A shelf with hooks.  It nearly completes my entryway.  Still needed: a bench.


30 Aug
There is likely little guesswork involved to realize that I’m poor.  Student loans helped get me through school but they are no fun to pay back on a beginning pastor’s salary.  That being said – I take all the free furniture I can get.
Like this ottoman from my mom’s house.  She asked me if I wanted it over the phone and I think I said, nah.  It was kind of ugly.  But then I remembered I was poor and live in a huge house with only enough furniture to make 1/3 of it livable.  Okay.  Sure.  I’ll make a slipcover for it.
I bought the fabric ages ago and had it draped over the ottoman for months.  The task of actually sewing a slipcover scared me.  I don’t sew three-dimensional things like that.  I sew quilts.  They’re flat. A slipcover?  I didn’t quite know how to tackle it.
I knew I wanted something simple and something that would only take a night to complete.  Thank you, design*sponge, for this tutorial.  Slipcover done in a matter of a couple hours and it looks so much better than the maroon furry-ness of before.  It does the job and I think does it well.  

saturday soliloquy.

4 Aug
Windows are open.  Breeze is blowing.  Life is good.
I wish I could bottle the feeling one gets after exercise.  I feel one-hundred-million-twenty-seven-thousand-and-seventy times better afterwards.  [If you’re keeping track, that’s a lot.]
I finished a quilt top this morning.  Onto a second matchy-matchy one later tonight.  Subtly and not so subtly, one could say they will be like twins … perhaps like their future babies …
This is my absolute current favorite.  Zucchini squash oven roasted.  It’s nearly an every night staple for me.  Throw in some sweet potatoes or some broccoli and I am set for dinner.
I spread grass seed and filled my water softener with salt this afternoon.  I cleaned a clogged shower drain yesterday.  It was gross but I feel very domesticated and home-owner-like.  
Have you checked out Steeples and Stilettos lately?  I’ve been a terribly horrible blog partner but Megan has been posting some really great stuff.  
I’m almost done with my sermon and it’s not even 6pm.  [Who am I?]
I have three weeks of vacation to take before the year is done.  Where should I go and what should I do?  Maybe visit you?  I welcome suggestions.
Mabel and her large mouth says hello.


4 Jul
Like paper and fabric crafty.  Not suspicious and deceitful crafty.   [most days not anyways.]
I feel like my veins have been running on mod podge instead of blood lately.  
Mod podge and spray paint.

I used both of those supplies to make coasters.  I bought tiles for 16 cents at Lowe’s and used paper I had on hand to create simple coasters to save my furniture from sweaty glasses.  They were super easy and pretty fun.  I’d make more; anyone want some?

A completed baby quilt for a new baby Hemenway.  [My first ever baby quilt was made for a baby Hemenway.  If one were to compare Gavin’s quilt to new baby’s quilt, the skills I’ve learned would be most evident, which makes me feel both accomplished and embarrassed!]
A file cabinet redo.  My mom brought an old black file cabinet when she came to visit last.  It was pretty dinged up and the black was nothing too exciting.  I spray painted it and mod podged fabric to the drawers.  It’s not perfect but it will do the trick.  [It was still in the process of drying here.  I was too excited to wait.]

Lampshades have also be decorated and an outdoor swing painted.  
Next up: new cushions for the swing and an ottoman slipcover.

garden remix.

26 Jun
one of the two big blue pots on either side of the front garden.
It’s a bit delayed in sharing but my mum was around last weekend and we had one goal: to make the parsonage gardens bee-u-tiful.  It was a lofty goal for two days – the gardens were a wretched mess because I couldn’t even differentiate what was a plant and what was a weed.  I called in the right person for the job and after five stores, a truckload of mulch, and long days, it came together.  We added some new plants, moved some others around, and Pastor Lindsay bought a bird bath.  The final product is quite lovely, wouldn’t you say?

Front garden:


after. [with two blue pots on either side, just on the outside of the photo.]

 Corner garden:

a corner garden with two new pots.

 Back garden:


Not pictured is the small bed we [read: Leanne] dug around the mailbox for a couple hostas and stone. There is still work to do – a little mulching around the garage and maybe edging out a bush.  All in good time as Lindsay gets the nerve and time to dig in.  This parsonage’s landscaping is well on its way to being top notch. 


30 May
I like my dog.  Love her?  Maybe.
Not that I haven’t before this point, but Mabel and I have perhaps grown on each other.
I remember the first week she came to live with me and I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  I suddenly had to think about someone else’s schedule and become less selfish in my day to day living.  And then she started pooping in the house and I didn’t like her much for it.
We’ve both adjusted.  While in the first weeks, Mabel would wake up by 6:30 each morning, now she will easily let me sleep until 8 – even 9:30 – if I have the chance.  Sometimes she’ll even put herself to bed earlier in the night if I’m not ready to go upstairs yet.  We have a system down in regards to couch sitting.  I sit on the left; she takes the right.  Sometimes she gets sick of the couch all together and opts for the loveseat with throw pillows; she just awkwardly lays on top of them all, fighting a losing battle.
Then there was her run away phase.  Perhaps we’ve moved beyond that too, at least slightly.  We’ve gotten into the habit of getting a treat upon coming inside so of course – who would run away if there was a treat on the other side of the door?  You’d be a fool to run and see the neighbors when the other option is a minty bad breath fighting bone.
And, well, she’s just pretty darn cute.  She costs me a lot of money between food and boarding and $1.50 special treats, and she requires a lot of cleaning up after [much hair on floor and everywhere].  But she loves ice cubes and eats raw broccoli if given the opportunity.  And she’s pretty damn funny when it comes time to throw a ball; it’s like she is all of a sudden a total puppy again.  Plus, it’s pretty great to have someone to greet upon getting home; I call her my sweetie-pie-honey-bunch.  
Maybe it’s Mabeline. I like her alright.  

Here’s what I know –

1 Nov
I made myself wait until November 1st – that’s today – to put Elf in the dvd player.  I nearly watched it last week but held off.  Now, dare I say, I’m ready for snow and to put up my Christmas tree.  [I’ve never been such a Christmas-so-early person.  People change.]  Just call me a cotton-headed-ninny-muggin.  [Elf only needs a full forty minutes of sleep a night.  Oh how I wish.]
I want to buy this water bottle.  Not because I need a new water bottle but because it’s Matt Damon holding it and promoting it for his new non-profit,  He’s my favorite.  
I painted my bedroom yesterday; photos to follow as the room comes together.  But know that I love it!
I bought bar stools to go with my bar height game table in the great room.  They arrived today via amazon and … they’re too tall.  Boo.  [Silly me to guess that a bar table would need bar height stools.  Wrong.]  Now to find someone with carpentry skills to shorten them for me?
I had two families of trick-or-treaters last night [church people] and one random guy dressed as Jason who knocked aggressively on my door at 10:20.  10:20!  I did not answer but stared at him from the peephole until he got in the car and drove away.  Needless to say, it freaked me out.  Freaked me out.  Like he really wanted two boxes of nerds anyways.
“I love you.  I’ll call you again in five minutes.”
“Buddy, you don’t have to call me again.”
“Good idea.  You call me.”
“I’m going to hang up now.”

gray & yellow.

31 Oct
Since moving in, my bedroom is the one room that has received zero attention.
It’s time to change that.  I want it to be a happy place.
We’re beginning with paint.  [I’ve never really painted a room.  bathroom stalls?  yes.  giant fiberglass turtles and frogs?  yes.  bedrooms?  today we attack – rollers, blue tape, and all.]

And using this pinterest board as inspiration.  Gray and yellow is the goal.
[however I talked to my mom tonight and I’m worried now that my gray will look purple or blue instead of gray.  time will tell.]
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