I need a new workspace

So, Im loving my new silhouette portrait. Ive spent hours coming up with prototypes for card designs, and Im hoping to maybe open an etsy shop in the next couple of months.

A few examples:

happy birthday slider card

paper nesting dolls

opening iris card

This last design isnt mine. You can find instructions for it here.

I even came across this amazing find.

letterpress starter kit

$26 down from $70! The amazing thing is that I had JUST been looking at this exact kit, but I couldnt find anywhere online that had it in stock Im wondering if its maybe been discontinued. But I got one! And I got it at a GREAT price. I just ordered a Cuttlebug* to use it with.

*Side Note: Oddly enough, when I ordered my Cuddlebug yesterday from Amazon, it wasnt eligible for prime shipping, and it also wasnt $69.99.  It was $53 with $10 shipping. So while I saved a few dollars, I could have had it by Tuesday if Id ordered it today, but instead Ill have it sometime between the 20th and 25th. I dont know how I feel about saving a couple bucks vs having to wait longer. Im not that patient of a person.

But back on topic I need a new workspace.  Ive got all these new supplies, and Ive been spending a couple hours a day either designing on my computer, or paper crafting, but this is the the area that Im working in

floor work area

computer work area

My living room is a mess. Its impossible to keep anything organized, and hunching over to work all the time is killing my back. A few days ago I asked on the FB spouse page for our base if anyone was selling a desk, and I found two that met my needs and then they both ended up not selling the desks. So now Im trying to decide what to do. I dont want to spend anymore than $50 on a desk, which pretty much leaves me with the options of finding one used (which hasnt worked out so far), buying a flat pack one, which probably wont be great quality, or making my own.

As far as making my own goes, it wouldnt be anything too complex, because I dont have the tools or the know how for that. But Im thinking about doing something like this

Not Donna Reed Desk

from So Not Donna Reed or similarly, this

bookcase craft table

from Organize and Decorate Everything

I think Ill probably head out today looking for options and hopefully find something. If I do, my next post will be a cleaning up the mess that is my living room and (possibly making and) organizing my new workspace post. Otherwise my next post is going to be a how to frame trading cards with a side of oh, my aching back.

If youve got any ideas other than the ones Ive mentioned for a decent workspace, please let me know. Likewise if youve got any pro tips for using my new toys (Silhouette, letterpress kit and Cuddlebug) leave me a comment, and Ill love you forever. Actually, if you just read my blog Ill love you forever but comments make me happy.

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DIY Fabric Design with Stained by Sharpie Fabric Markers

Im not receiving any compensation from Sharpie for reviewing this product, I just saw it and wanted to try it.

black, green, blue and red fabric markers

Did you know that Sharpie makes fabric markers now? Apparently theyve been making them for awhile, but I just discovered them for the first time last weekend. I picked up 2 boxes of the Stained by Sharpie 4 count packages, though now I really want to try out the 8 count, because I really like the additional brighter colors.

8 count package

My first attempt was to draw on knit tee shirt fabric.

test doodles on knit fabric

I discovered that if you pull the fabric really taught (I used a small embroidery hoop), it gives you much more control over the markers, and theres less bleeding.

But I found that the best fabric to use with these markers is a woven fabric with very little stretch or texture. I used part of an old white sheet. I wrapped a piece of board in craft paper, and then pulled the fabric taught around the board and taped it in place. Im not much of an artist, so I stuck with straight lines, because one thing I can do is use a ruler.

finished fabric

The markers seem best suited for line art rather than large areas of filled with color. As you can see the coverage of the filled in diamonds isnt entirely even. I also had some issues with keeping the pressure even, which led to blotches/dots. Someone  more experienced with sketching/art in general might have more luck than I did. Overall Im pretty happy with how well my fabric turned out, flaws and all. I kind of like that it isnt perfect.

fabric details

I hear that the color holds up well in the wash, but I havent had a chance to test that out yet. I dont know what Im going to do with this piece of fabric, but I do plan on buying some additional colors to make custom throw pillows.

In completely unrelated news:

joe sorren card

I got my final trading card to complete series A of Joe Sorrens trading cards. Im going to need an additional frame to frame them all. Hopefully I can pick that up this weekend. In other awesome Joe Sorren news, the Kickstarter is fully funded (with 48 hours left to go), so there will be a series B and C. I already purchased a few packs of series B. Exciting!!!

Also exciting I got myself a new toy. I bought a Silhouette Portrait with the Fabric Package Bundle using the promo code found here (its good until 5/31). I got a great deal on it, and I cant wait until it gets here! Im gong to be pinning Silhouette projects all week. If youve got a Silhouette, leave me a comment with links to some of your projects. Id love to see how other people have used theirs.

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Bathroom Makeover

I finally found some towels that go with my shower curtain, so I decided to go all out and clean, organize and decorate my bathroom. Its still not quite done, but it makes me happy every time I walk past it.  Now you know what makeover means, right? Before and afters! Warning: the before pictures are a little bit scary. Also, I feel like I should get some ovaries of steel badge or something for showing off my dirty bathroom to the internet.

dirty sinkMessy people? Who? Us? This is, well, bad. It also happens to be the way our bathroom has looked since we moved in. I should have made this clear awhile ago, Im a slob and a procrastinator. Im working on both issues. Hell, part of the reason I started a blog was to force me to work on both issues. But here it is. This is me. A work in progress.

before drawers

The drawers arent in terrible shape, but I was on a roll, so I straightened these up to.

undersink before

Poorly stitched together under sink picture. Mess, mess, mess, mess, mess!

medicine cab beforeNot the worst Ive ever seen, but theres room for improvement.

before picsAnd heres a not quite panorama of the rest of the bathroom. Okay, done with the gross befores, lets move on to the afters.

bathroom-makeover1
This is my view every time I walk down the hall, not too shabby.

My sink and counter area are clean and organized. Im still planning on hanging that basket that contains the electric razor on the wall right under the medicine cabinet, and Id like to switch out my current containers for prettier ones, but for now Im just happy that its clean and de-cluttered. Now whats under that sink.

Like I said before, they werent really in terrible shape before, but I still thought I could improve them. Drawer 1:  I reorganized my make up and moved my brushes to the front of the drawer so that they would be easier to access, which just reminds me of how badly I need to clean them. Oh and do you like my nail clipper collection, were up to 4 so far, but I havent organized the whole house yet. I expect to find one or two more. Drawer 2: Those plastic drawers hold hair ties, bobby pins, clips, curlers and emery boards. They were already super organized, so I didnt touch them. I removed the washcloths from the basket they were in, because it was unnecessary and I wanted to use it for something else. That first square container hold my face stuff. Lotion, sunscreen, etc. The second one holds allergy related things: Breathe right strips, menthol inhaler, saline spray, etc. That dove bar is for washing my makeup brushes whenever I finally get around to it, and the stuff towards the back of the drawer are things that wouldnt fit in the two square containers, more face and allergy stuff. Drawer 3: Didnt change much. I moved the brush that I never use down with the hair heating tools that I never use. I also threw my husbands straight razor down there, because he never uses that either. So its pretty much just the stuff we dont use drawer.

The under sink after is one of my favorites, because I organized the crap out of it. Pic 1: Ive had this under sink shelf thing for awhile, and it was sitting in the utility room unused so I busted it out. Lotions and hair products up front, and if youll look to pic 4 (lower right) I have a basket of extras in the back. Things like extra blades for razors, face wash refill, extra contact solution, etc. The drawer pulls out and has a divider (pic 3). Ive got icy hot patches and large band aids on one side and and assortment of things on the other. That apple cider vinegar is for my hair, it does wonders for getting hard water residue out. Pic 2 aka, the right side of the under sink area: From front to back extra TP, feminine products, dog shampoo, lotion and ear cleaner, bathroom cleaning products, peroxide and Epsom salt.

Medicine cabinet after. Pretty self explanatory but Ill explain it anyway. OTC painkillers, thermometer and neosporin up top, ear cleaners, allergy and cold medicine, deodorants and a container full of eye drops in the middle. floss picks, dry mouth mouth wash, contact solution, shaving cream and his mouth wash on the bottom shelf.

I finally bit the bullet and hung up some art. It makes the room look a million times better. The only reason I hesitated in the first place is because I dont want moisture to ruin anything, but its super dry here, and we always run the fan while showering, and I open the window on sunny days, so I decided to take my chances. The whale vs. squid over the toilet was a birthday present from my super talented BFF, Stacy Nguyen, and the two water colors are greeting cards that I bought at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by artist Cheryl Kampe. And dont worry, my pictures arent crooked, this picture was just taken at an odd angle. Oh, and look at those towels! Arent they the perfect colors? Not caring too much for the seashell on the toilet, it looks kind of sad and lonely, but Ill find it a friend or two eventually.

Heres how the darker teal /navy/green towels look up next to the shower curtain. Im liking it. And when you put those towels through the dryer they make the prettiest lint seriously, I almost felt bad throwing it away. And just ignore my microfiber hair towel hanging there, unless you have frizzy and/or curly hair, in which case, go out and buy one RIGHT NOW!

Maybe Ill do this thorough clean, organize and decorate all in one day thing with another room tomorrow, because just about every room in my house could use this kind of treatment. Bedroom next? Or maybe just the closet

P.S. I have 1 more card to receive to complete series A of Joe Sorrens trading cards sets, and when I receive it I have a fun (for me at least) framing project planned.

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Joe Sorren Trading Card Kickstarter

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If you follow me on twitter then you probably already know how excited I am about this.

card deck instagram

old town shops mural with trading card

I actually got to trade for this card the one night I was in Flagstaff, so I had to get a picture of it up next to the original mural.

Series A was pretty cool all by itself. Joe Sorren is my all time favorite artist, and being able to actually own pieces of his art, even if they are just 2.5×3.5, makes me incredibly happy. Ive already collected almost all of the first series. Once a few trades come in, Ill only need two more cards to complete series A.  And once I get those,  I have a fun trading card display/framing project planned (all the supplies are already purchased). But this kickstarter, I am so  freaking excited about this! Theres going to be a plushie! And that scarf! Oh, and, you know, way more trading cards! Im going to get up early Friday morning, and just keep refreshing becauseoftoast.com until they post the kickstarter link and then Im going to spend too much money though probably not as much as Ill want to.

Side Note: From what I hear, Joe is a super cool guy. I personally have never met him the one time I was in the same room as him I fangirled so hard that I had to go hide in a corner, but hes played music with my dad, and back when he was an unknown artist he did a piece for my stepmoms shop, and I know about a dozen other people who are buddies with him. In other words, if you like cool art, and cool artists, but youre on an art budget, you should totally check out Joe Sorrens trading cards.

Blog Note: I dont want to get too personal here, but Ive been struggling with some health issues, and I found out today that Ive apparently been fighting off an infection for the last few weeks, so the house related projects and blogging are suffering a little bit. To be completely honest, my house is a wreck, and Im lacking the energy to do much about it. Im not quitting, or even taking a break from blogging, Im just a little slow right now, so please have patience with me while I recover and get back up to speed. I love making stuff and blogging, I just happen to love lying on my couch and/or sleeping slightly more at the moment.

Once again, thanks for caring enough about me, or my house, or my ideas, or my blog to even be reading this. It gives me the warm fuzzies, and I need those right now.

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Throw pillow cover from pillow case

I intended to make an envelope pillow case like this, but I like to wing it. That usually works for me. This time, not so much. I did end up with a decent usable pillow, but Im probably going to need to add a few buttons to keep it closed all the way. So this is not a tutorial do not do what I did. Go find a tutorial and follow it, and youll probably end up much less frustrated than I was. Having said that, heres what I did.

king sized pillow case

I took a king sized pillowcase

ironIroned out the wrinkles

measure and markMeasure and marked

made my cuts

Made my cuts

iron and pin

Ironed, pinned and sewed the raw edges, then sewed up the one open side seam.

flap

Flipped back the extra flap of fabric, and sewed it to the side seams.

put in pillow

So heres how it works: you put the $3 DIY pillow insert (which you recently made) into the pillow case, making sure that the bottom corners get stuffed in there right.

pillow flap

Then you  take that flap thats sewn on the inside, and bring it up over the top of the pillow.

pillowed

Ta-Da. This is where Ill probably make an alteration.  Ill add a couple of buttons to make sure that theres no gaping.

finished

Luckily I can just turn the pillow upside down, and have the opening facing towards the back, and no ones the wiser. Again, this is NOT the best way to do this, but luckily I was able to make it work. Im thinking I might actually follow some directions for my next pillow. Speaking of, exactly how many pillows do you think a large sectional like ours needs? Im thinking a whole lot. A DIY throw pillow roundup may be in order this week.

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I take pictures

It doesnt have to be 100% home stuff 100% of the time, right? Did you know that Im on flickr? Well, you do now. Come be my friend!

 

Snow filled gully
Gazebo black and white
Hotel Monte Vista
Saguaro Cactus
Warf

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