Upholstered Headboard ~ Spoonflower's faux suede

Spoonflower have recently added a lovely new fabric to their collection. It's called faux suede, and I had the chance to work with it for this headboard I made for our bedroom. We've lived without a headboard since buying a new bed about 18 months ago, for two reasons: 1. headboards are expensive!! We got a kingsize bed are those kingsize headboards are damn pricey 2. we never found an in-store headboard we liked. The wooden headboards we considered were too overwhelming in a room with a lot of wooden furniture already. The fabric headboards were too fancy or too plain, too tufted or  frankly, just too boring. Making your own is not only a much more economically viable option, it's a lot of fun and endlessly customizable. Ultimately, you end up with something that is completely unique.

Spoonflower's faux suede is the perfect upholstery fabric. I can't wait to tackle a few more projects like this. Rest assured, I'm scouring the local Craigslist ads for potential upholstery projects.

You can read the full tutorial of how I made ours over on the Spoonflower blog. I also used the faux suede in a couple of contrasting prints to make the front of these cushions. The print I used for the headboard is a design by Jennifer Flannigan and I can't tell you how much I love it. I notice she has a gorgeous shop full of her artwork, as well as a colorful collection of fabrics on Spoonflower.

Birch Fabrics Romper

Fabric from the Ipanema Collection by Birch Fabrics. Romper is the free Playsuit Pattern by Elegance & Elephants.

Life is too short not to have fun.

Read more here.

Canvas teepee

I've been anxiously waiting to share this project I wrote for Fiskars, because honestly I love it so much! My kids do too, of course. Which makes it such a success, at least in my eyes.
This teepee was inspired by the fact that the kids and I have been reading the entire series of Little House on the Prairie books. We started with the first book - Little House in the Big Woods back in October and we've slowly been working our way through them all; I read aloud to them a couple of chapters most nights before bed. The three of us lay on our big bed and the kids can't get enough of the stories. Both my kids are very able readers but there has been something very special about sharing the experience of reading these books to them. We're not quite done. We are on Little Town on the Prairie right now and with two more books after this one to go, I have to say I'll be sad when we come to the end.
Even though they are children's books, they have given me (us) a greater understanding of the history of this county and it has tied in nicely with my son's 4th grade social studies theme this year at school too. I certainly have a better understanding of the American gung-ho, can-do attitude.
My kids want to have a 'Pioneer Summer' this summer, and we are all planning crafts, recipes, gardening and activities that will embrace the pioneer way (at least in the modern sense). My husband just bought me this book which has inspired me further.

This canvas teepee is actually very easy to sew, because I worked out all the measurements for you! You can read the full tutorial here.

Minecraft models

I'd be willing to bet a reasonable amount of money that I'm not the only person living with Minecraft fans. I'm also guessing (hoping?) that most parents know as little as I do about the game. I'm not even down with the lingo, though I WOULD recognize Creeper if he, y'know, crept up on me (or whatever it is Creepers do). I honestly can't even look at the funny pixilated screen when my kids want to show me something they've made - it makes me cross-eyed and confused. I can't really understand what I'm looking at. I must be old. Really old.

As much as I like to try and embrace my children's interests, I REALLY like finding ways to do so, offscreen. So last night I had them pick out some colored card stock and they made their own little paper Minecraft models. They are perfect characters to replicate because they are just so…block-y.

Little Fox - Simplicity 1477

I recently sewed up this little jacket for my daughter - Simplicity 1477 designed by Molly Goodall from Little Goodall. It's adorable! One of my favorite creations of late. There's something about children in animal clothes - and with ears! - that makes my heart glow. You can read more about the jacket here and here.

Figgy's Patterns

I recently took part in a pattern tour for the latest collection of sewing patterns by Figgy's Patterns. You can find all the info about the patterns and Spoonflower's lovely new modern jersey I used to sew up the tees, over on the Fiskateer blog.

Caterpillar to chrysalis

Neighbor Don, or "The Dude" as we shall now call him, brought us over a large monarch caterpillar last week. It spent about 5 days eating milkweed and exploring a homemade habitat made from a cardboard box, wooden skewers and netting made by by 9 year old.

Then, for about 2 days, it hung in this "J" position you see here in the first photo. After successfully catching a hatching butterfly on camera a couple of weeks ago, I was determined to catch the metamorphosis into a chrysalis, so yesterday I set my alarm to remind me to check on it every 5 minutes.

Sure enough, I caught the whole weirdly wonderful process on camera. For lack of any technical terminology (I am not a scientist) I can tell you that it really looked like a miniature, slimy, green, alien brain breaking through the skin of a caterpillar and wriggling around. It had no eyes, head, legs or arms, but once the caterpillar skin was completely shed, the chrysalis did a strange spinning and very deliberate dance, until finally hardening and becoming immovable. There, I told you I'm not a scientist. I'll just let the photos do the talking, shall I?

Hatching butterflies

Some pretty amazing things have been happening around here lately. Our neighbor asked us to adopt some of his monarch butterfly chrysalises that were growing on plants against the outside of his house. He was having his house painted and the plants would have to be moved, so to protect the forming butterflies, he removed the twigs and branches that had chrysalises attached, took them into his house for safe keeping, and gave us some to us to look after too.

New cushions - sewing tutorial

I've been spending much of my time writing the Fiskateer blog for Fiskars over the last 18 months, which leaves little time left for writing here. You know how it goes.

Today I'm sharing a project I just posted for the Fiskateers and you can see it here. There's a full tutorial and instructions on how to sew these up. There's piping detail on the side seams, and my new favorite closure method - an invisible zipper in the back. Go and take a look.

Tripod floor lamp DIY

We used an old farm surveyor's wooden tripod (I say farm, because when we first got it is smelled like it had spent time on a farm..) to make this standard lamp. This project was a year or so in the making, simply because it took us that long to find just the right tripod - and luckily for us we eventually found this one at a garage sale about 5 houses away from ours. I think we paid $60, which whilst a fair amount of money for something you'd find at a garage sale, it's less than the average asking price for similar items on ebay plus we got to see this in person before purchasing.