Adventures in Homemaking

How-To: Fall Harvest Vase Wraps

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It’s officially fall in Michigan and I’m trying to enjoy every second of this always-short season here in the Mitten State for as long as I can. There’s lots of plaids to wear, warm tea to sip and beautiful plant colors to gaze upon.

If you’re in the mood for more harvest hues in your home, you can add a simple canvas-denim-shirting wrap to any plain vase for a quick fall upgrade. This wrap is easy to sew; add it to your own vase for a harvest centerpiece or use it wrap around a bunch of flowers at the end of a dinner party to send home with guests. (more…)

We All Scream for Uber Ice Cream

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It’s a bit of a joke that our local ice cream truck has a slightly creepy vibe to it. The people who run it are wonderful, but the ice cream mix tape they play has definitely worn out and ranks high on the “oh my…” creepy scale. Luckily Uber Detroit was here to save the day last Friday with ice cream on demand.

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As part of the celebration of National Ice Cream Day, Uber had on-demand ice cream available in markets across the country. Luckily Detroit was one of them and even luckier Royal Oak was on the list for local delivery. I waited and waited and waited hoping that the ice cream delivery would be available in Royal Oak. It took a while as the service was super popular, but eventually a shiny red car pulled up in our driveway with a cooler full of delicious Treat Dreams ice cream.

Not much of a crafty update, but an awesome update nonetheless.

Canvas Table Runners Three Ways

A few of the Handmade Detroit gals got together last week to each make our own canvas table runner as part of Meijer’s National Craft Month project. (As you may remember I took part in the challenge on my own, too, making St. Patrick’s Day beer bottle gift tags.) You can check out our Handmade Detroit blog to see what we did and how we were inspired. As an added bonus, if you’re looking to do some crafting in honor of this month’s crafty holiday, we’ve got a Meijer deal for you! Use the mPerks digital coupon code “c4tb8d” to receive 20% off your craft purchase now through April 1.

Clothespin Card Wreath

Martha Stewart's Clothespin Wreath

During after-Christmas sales at Crate and Barrel, I spotted this ornament chandelier hanging behind their cash registers. I was immediately intrigued – just think of all the greeting cards you could hang from it! But upon closer inspection, the all-metal chandelier looked flimsy and not all that well put together. I passed on the chandelier, but kept my eyes open for another solution.

Over at Target I saw a wreath, similar to this one, that was advertised as a card display wreath. But this one was worse than the Crate and Barrel option. It was barely painted and seemed like a major waste of $10. It was officially time to consult the Internet for a solution.

It’s not surprising that the project I went with was from Martha Stewart. It’s pretty simple – the inner hoop from an embroidery hoop is paired with wooden clothespins. Her crafters kept it natural, but I decided to give mine a coat of paint and add these canvas and red miniature clothespins from Paper Source. Alternating the clothespin openings allows you to get the maximum amount of display space in this easy-to-make wreath. The instructions said to use wood glue, but as I didn’t have any and wasn’t in the mood to leave my craft room, I used a strong epoxy I had. I also used a smaller ribbon for hanging, this daffodil stitched grosgrain from Stampin’ Up, instead of a fluffier satin ribbon.

Martha Stewart's Clothespin Wreath

I love how the wreath turned out. From start to finish it didn’t take all that long to make and was definitely inexpensive when it came to gathering supplies; I’d say the assembly time was stretched out for an hour or so due to drying time for the paint, glue, etc. If you wanted, you could make holiday-themed wreaths to display that season’s cards, too.

My wreath is hanging on my craft room door. Now I just need some more mail to add to it!

Eames-Inspired Summer Stripe Table Runner

If you enjoyed my Eames-inspired summer stripe tablecloth, here’s a fun table runner you can make to match. I had enough scrap Colonies Solids fabric left over that this size (almost 60″ in length) worked perfectly for me. You can customize your runner to the size of your table – just keep adding fabric! Once you’ve cut your fabric the assembly couldn’t be easier. Pour a glass of wine, put in a DVD and get ready to make a fast table runner.

Cutting Guide – All pieces are 40″ in length

  • Purple and Orange: 5″ wide
  • Yellow and Green: 3″ wide
  • Red: 1.25″

Sew your long pieces of fabric together with a 1/4″ seam. Alternate ends when sewing together to keep the long pieces straighter.

Once your long pieces are put together, add a green rectangle (18″ wide and 10″ tall) to either end.

Pair a coordinating piece of backing fabric to the piece, cut to size. Sew wrong sides together, turn out, and top stitch close. Add additional top stitching as you like. I stitched in the ditch for each long bar of color.

Easy, eh?

Eames-Inspired Summer Striped Tablecloth

I’m a huge Ray and Charles Eames fan. Working at a museum I’m lucky to have a bit of Eames in my work day more times than not. Ray herself loved color. She contributed a lot of the color and style direction to the Eames duo. Watching the Eames’ collection of films, you’ll see how important color was to their design approach.

When challenged with creating a project around Windham Fabrics’ Colonies Solids by Nancy Gere, my mind went immediately to Ray and Charles. While the collection is described as being great for “any historic or traditional project and be amazed how well it coordinate with the many projects on which you’re about to embark,” the bold, solid colors made me think of the same powerful palette of Ray and a simple, pleasing approach for today’s entertaining needs. (more…)

A quick kitchen makeover with fabric

When I first moved in with Nick, the house was in some desperate need of curtains on the open windows. Trying to buy nice curtains for ALL the windows all at once was definitely expensive, so I looked for less-expensive options to hold us over.

Tan cotton panels were what I went with. Nothing really fit our windows quite right, so I hemmed them to try and make them work. Well, “holding us over” turned into almost three years – whoops? Time for a change.

To get ready for a big weekend of celebrating birthdays and Father’s Day just a few days ago, I made new curtains for the two smaller sets of windows in our kitchen. With the excess fabric I made a table runner for our kitchen table.

The biggest challenge this time around was a few goofs on my calculations. I thought I had measured many times before I cut, but small things, like remembering the drop on the curtain rod rings, made the panels either a bit too short or too long for the windows. Or forgetting to make your last cut and sewing too long of a pattern, as seen above… Lesson learned!

I’m really happy with how they turned out and I’m learning more about pairing matching patterns together for items such as curtains. Each panel was paired with a solid white back and hemmed so that the part outside folks see looks nice. The fabric? Riley Blake’s Chevron in aqua, from my stash.

The great thing about tackling curtains? Knowing that you can do it and that you can make more…