Thursday, March 28, 2013

My thrifty home decor #1

I think I shop at thrift shops once or twice a week when I want to change or improve my house interior. Especially this time of the year, Spring is right around the corner, I start cleaning house and thinking to add some fresh colors and interesting elements to the house. I walked through all the rooms in my house, then I found my home decor is pretty much crafty and also very THRIFTY. I wish I could spend hundreds dollars to decorate my big white living room wall. But, you know, I can't. Our budget for home improvement is usually (always! Honey!!) very low. But it is not the end of the world! If you had no money, you just use your crafty brain and imagination. I thought it would be fun to share my  thrifty home decor ideas here with you.

Collecting paint chips is a kind of my hobby. And also a part of my job. We run a small business of property investment. We renovate houses and rent or sell them out. When I am not making things and taking care of my family (that occupies 99% of my time ^o^ ) , I work as an "interior designer". I do picking paint colors, buying light fixtures, finding furniture, and some more things like those. I took out a bunch of pretty color chips from my collection box and made some easy art frames.

I got these black frames from Goodwill. I inserted three paint chips in each frame. Black paint was coming off and there were scratches as well. So I painted the frames with bright yellow acrylic paint.

I love the paint chip color combinations and my choice of the color (yellow) for the frames.

One day I found a set of five modern art frames at St.Vincent de paul. I couldn't believe my eyes one moment when I saw the prices on these. They were only 98c per each!

Now my boring stairway changed to a little gallery!

This is the breakfast table area in my kitchen.

I have a lot of Origami decor in my home. They are perfect for adding interesting elements to the spaces in you home.

I used recycling papers from my recycle bin for this beautiful mobile. You don't need to buy nice origami papers from stores. You can use pages from old books or magazines. 

I am going to post "My thrifty home decor #2" soon. I already prepared more pictures of my "sustainable" crafty home decor for the next post. 

By the way, tomorrow is  Good Friday and the Spring break is starting. We are planning to go to Washington DC from this weekend to see the cherry blossoms! We take the Amtrak Capitol Limited!! This is going to be an exciting trip for us. I miss seeing cherry blossoms in Japan every Spring. And I have been wishing to go to DC in the Spring to see the Cherry trees came over seas from Japan 101 years ago.
None of us has ridden a sleeping car. So that is going to be exciting for all of us! The train trip is going to take sixteen hours to DC from South Bend. I will take a book and some lace crocheting projects with me. Nina and I are making a list of things we should pack in our suits case. Fun, fun, fun! If you have any suggestions for us about places we should visit or good restaurants in DC, please let me know! I am hoping we won't miss the peak of the cherry blossoms (Actually I love to see the wind blows flower petals like snow falling, too!).

Thank you for reading! I hope you all have a Happy Easter!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Embroider Letters. And other projects

I started a new project. It is letter embroidery. It is a time consuming project but the result is satisfying so far. I am having fun to pick different colors for each letters and it is a peaceful moment stitching alone in the quiet room.

Meanwhile, there are several other projects going on. Black crocheted flowers attached to a fabric with some colors. This is my first experience using a burlap as a foundation of an applique project ( I could name that a "crochet" project, too. Or a "beads embroidery", maybe? ).

This cute animal print has been stored in my stash basket for many years. When my daughter was two or three, I saw this cotton at the store and fell in love with it. It supposed to become a baby quilt for my girl many years ago. And finally! I started to cut and sew that a week ago!

Now I am in the middle of quilting the animal print coordinated with a couple of different solid colors. It is going pretty slowly. But finishing this quilt by end of March is my goal (for now.....).

Did you already see any signs of Spring? Here in Northern Indiana, Spring seems too shy to show up. It is wavering at the corner of my street. We have long Winter so that makes me love more to play with delightful colors in my work!  What project is on your table now? I hope you enjoy your colors on your work as well. Thank you for reading. Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Needle Felted Bow (Tie) Brooches

I made these felt brooches for selling at the local shop in February. The patterns on these bows are needle felted. This technique is very simple and easy to add some colors and cuteness on many kinds of fabrics. I appliqued polka dots, hearts and stripes on my bows using my single felting needle!

They could be worn as brooches and easy bow ties as well. I always love to play with colorful felt sheets. Looking at pretty colors makes me think of warm bright Spring. 

We had a winter storm last night and it became a snow day today. My girl has been sick since last Saturday. She already missed two school days this week but it was kind of lucky for us that everybody didn't go school today. I am hoping she won't get fever tonight. It seems Spring is not around the corner yet here on my street. I cannot wait to get out and start working in our yard. 

I hope you are having a beautiful evening. Happy needle felting!