A Borrowed Sewing Machine and an Urge to Craft

I recently came into temporary possession of a sewing machine since my friend, Rebekah, and her husband were headed out of town for a couple of weeks to visit with family for Christmas.  Again, its this Pinterest thing that has sparked my interest ;) in creating for myself things that would be useful for our home.  I thought I would display the couple of items I’ve been working on over the holidays…

First, I tried my hand at making a little beanie for Charlotte to wear during the first few months of her life which will be in the middle of freezing weather :) This project was probably not the best one to start with considering that I’ve never ever ever sewn a thing in my life!  It turns out that the material used to make the beanie (jersey knit) is incredible difficult to work with, and for that reason, you are viewing a picture of my second attempt, the first one being quite ugly :) My skills could definitely use some improvement, but this one will do…
I am also planning to make some more flowers (and maybe bows?) to go with the hat.  You can see from the picture of the purple flower (which is actually the back) that I’ve included a button, which corresponds with a button hole on the beanie, so that the flowers are interchangeable!

My second project was to make a couple of zipper pouches that could accommodate all the necessary items for Charlotte and Abigail during nursery time at church or any other outings really.  I decided that I didn’t want to be carrying a purse and 2 diaper bags to church 3 or more times a week (and we aren’t super fans of the diaper bag we have right now anyways…don’t worry, it was free), so my solution is to keep these “diaper pouches” in my purse (which is now a big one that can definitely accommodate these pouches and my own personal items…thanks to a dear friend) and just drop the pouches off with each child during nursery time.  Each pouch is about the size of a piece of paper and is about 3 inches deep on the bottom.  The one on the left is Charlotte’s and the right is Abigail’s.

So after becoming slightly acquainted with a sewing machine and successfully (I think) accomplishing a couple of projects, I’ve added a sewing machine to my “I wish I had…” list :) Though I am definitely not even a little bit jealous of all the women before me who had to hand stitch all their family’s clothing, I definitely enjoyed the feeling of making something useful for our family (and its cheaper than buying them!)

A Sudden Burst of Creativity

Recently, the creative juices have been flowing in the Johnson home.  Perhaps its the 3rd trimester taking over, but I think it also might have something to do with Pinterest, to which I am only mildly addicted to :)

Ever since we moved (back towards the end of May), I’ve been searching for some artwork to put above our fireplace mantle.  I’ve found some really beautiful pieces, but all of them are for a price that I’ve been unwilling to pay ($60+).  So, my frugal nature has left us with a very blank area of wall that is very loudly begging for something to take up the space.

I had pretty much given up searching for anything just because we didn’t really have the money to do anything that I wanted to with the area…until the advent of, and subsequent obsession with, Pinterest!  I’ve really been inspired by all of the “do-it-yourself” projects and so I decided to put that energy into creating some kind of artwork for the mantle.

First of all, I am not exactly a “crafty” or “artsy” person so this is not the route I usually take in finding ways to be frugal…I would much rather spend my time finding great deals at the store or doing things like making laundry detergent!  But I did some research for awhile, found something I though would be feasible for such a person as me with very low level art skills, and I bought all the necessary supplies (which cost about $25).  From there, I spent a few weeks building up the courage to begin this monstrous (for me) project and I waited :) One day a few weeks ago, a couple of really good friends came for a visit and they helped me get a jump start by painting the base color on the canvases.

I figured that there was no way to get my money back now so I might as well keep going!   I kept taking it pretty slow so that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed, but the project is officially done and we now have that something that I wanted above the fireplace :)  Its definitely not worthy of the artwork I originally was looking to buy, but it’ll do…

Here are a few shots of the process: