back from a break and some changes

i'm {apprehensively} back.  i loved that internet break!  i was surprised how much i didn't miss it, and surprised at how much time i was wasting.  i started reading BOOKS again.  and good timing, because i read this one, which kept me inspired. 

i've settled slowly back in, reducing the blogs i read by half (uh, because i think i was reading about 40) and not going on pinterest every day.  i think spending so much time on the internet was causing me to think for myself less and crossed the line from inspiration into loss of originality.

anyways, enough blabbing.  something else happened which i will tell more about soon, but the living room redecorating has to stop early.  so, i'm posting what got done so far, and since there are gaping holes on the wall and no curtains like i wanted, i'm posting before and afters so that the afters look more impressive!  (please keep in mind that several months or years lapsed between these pictures, so this is an evolution and not an overnight change).



and a closer look at after!
we were stuck on what to hang between the windows, and i have always wanted to display this beautiful frank lloyd wright scarf i got at a vintage shop in montreal.  the books and plant started to make it look too snooty, so i added a vintage hulk lunch box.  off to the right are a stack of vintage suitcases with art and craft supplies.


after we painted, we wanted to rearrange furniture, but had some limitations to work with.  finally i decided to think outside the box and put the couch off-center in front of the "mantle," rather than the more traditional display above.  the painting is of new york city, painted by my great-grandmother and the coffee table base is from a textile factory in fall river, ma, and dates from the early 1900's.

before (from a different angle)...

after! (from the opposite angle)
i didn't have a good before picture, but this actually ended up being one of my favorite parts of the new room.  it's like a quirky mini library, with more of my great-grandmother's paintings.

and while i was looking through before pictures i was struck by a couple contrasts of my kitchen (which has turned into a 3-part room).


 little busy, huh?  the kitchen had NO counters so we had to improvise, and now it is also an "office" and a "reading nook" (see below).  oh and a bike.  and typically, a drying rack full of clothes.

after!  (the "reading nook")

i look at these and want to add more patterns!  that's going to be it for now though.  i wish the pictures were better.  no design*sponge sneak peak, but i like it.  this internet break made me re-think the whole blog thing, and i'll probably post slower again, but if you're thinking about an internet break, i highly recommend it!  


a little break

i'm going to take a week-long holiday from the internet. remember that pinterest problem? yeah, i think it's an internet problem. i need to cleanse my brain. not that i'm blogging daily or anything anyways, or not like it's so dramatic that i will be off of the internet, but that's where i'll be. i will be, of course, working on a few things,

and i leave you with this sign i passed by today while at the sowa vintage markets.

see you next sunday night!


vintage finds

we spent yesterday afternoon doing some vintage shopping in boston - i found stuff at two great stores, one of which i had NEVER been to or heard of and can't believe i was missing out, and one which i knew of but did not realize was as great as it is.

i bought this dress at oona's, which was having a 50% off EVERYTHING sale!  this dress was $17.50.  i want to fall-ize it (like wear it with layers for fall), cardigan, tights, boots.

this little scarf i found at cafe society for $6, which i had never heard of or been to before yesterday.  i used to live not too far from there at one point.  shame.  this scarf might become a pillow.

and this necklace is also from oona's, and $7.50!  the chain is kind of short, so it hangs down from your collarbone, which is kind of nice, i usually buy pendants on longer chains.  this is almost a choker but not (hello 90's!).

we also went to garment district where i found nothing.  and now i'm off to saver's to find an old sweater to unravel and knit with...



august gifts and too many buttons

three birthdays on two days in august, one day apart...

this was ben's birthday loot - i made this little bag out of a map of bar harbor using this tutorial.  this might be my favorite thing i made!

every year i try to make him a gift (except last year!  i couldn't think of anything!) but it's getting harder to think of things to make.  the first year i drew him pictures of three of his favorite musicians (one of which is in my first post) and the next year i made him this shirt, which was quite an undertaking for that point in my sewing timeline.  this year he kept talking about needing a wallet, so i made him one from [kids] wallet tutorial

i thought it looked a little too kid-ish and i was worried the slots weren't deep enough for the cards, but he says he likes it  i used leftover black wool and remnants from his birthday shirt two years ago!

for my brother's girlfriend i made this reversible, adjustable bag.  i like the size and shape, but this was the beginning of Too Many Buttons.  the tutorial actually calls for 20 buttons (5 on each end, on each side) so that you adjust the strap to varying lengths, but i just couldn't take that many.  i did 16 and that was excruciating enough.  ok, enough drama, but it was a little tedious because you're sewing two buttons at once each time (which, yes, i know is better than 16 individually).

and for my co-worker i made a little purple mug warmer.  i liked it so much that some of you loved ones out there may get these for christmas gifts...!  i made another one to get started on that.  and thus, more buttons. 

i used this pattern and made a dent in some stash yarn.  this is quick and easy and i love the smocking stitch pattern.  i thought it was genius - is this a stitch pattern that everyone knows about except me?  at first i got really excited and thought i would make some really cool hat with it and find my way to modification monday and then the next day i saw a pattern for a hat with the smocking pattern.  right.

anyways, i tried a tight gauge and two buttons to make this somewhat adjustable, although the brown is actually too big for the narrow mug it's on and both would not fit a super-big mug.  so the warmers need the right mug for the job.

and thank you pinterest because each and every one of these projects i found on that stinkin' website.  more pinterest love.