Thursday, May 24, 2012

William Morris Thursday - random projects

Last Thursday, my incredibly sweet friend, Brenda, came over to help me work on my couch project. We had already gone shopping for our supplies the week before so we were ready to start laying and cutting fabric. It was kind of scary when we made the first cut, but after that, I kept reminding myself that I wanted the pieces to look comfortable and a little slouchy. I'm positive whatever they end up being they'll be slouchy.

We got one couch cut out and pinned and we were out of time. Yesterday, she came over and we got the other couch cut out and pinned and started to work on the piping. Some of my friends couldn't believe I was actually going to go to the trouble of making piping, but even though I want it slouchy, I don't want it sloppy.

Both Brenda and I have sewing machines, but we decided to use hers because she's already familiar with it. Since I haven't, ahem, ever used mine, we didn't want to waste time learning how to use my particular machine. I've gotta tell you, sitting at that sewing machine felt really good. If I believed in past lives, I'd be convinced I was a seamstress in mine. We used a method we found on YouTube for making the strips for the piping and then we pinned and sewed until it was done.

After spending a couple of hours at the sewing machine, I was pretty proud of my accomplishment. My husband came home and I showed him the great pile of piping I had created and we had this conversation:

Me: Look at all this piping I made this afternoon. Can you believe it?
Him: Yeah, that's great.
Me: I don't think you're seeing what I actually did here. I sewed all. this. piping. This here. I sewed
it. On that machine over there. I sew!
Him: What I'm wondering is, do you cook?

So, we've covered two couches, pinned them and made half the piping we need. All we need to do is sew the couch covers, make the covers for the cushions and make and sew on the skirt. Goodness, this is an involved project!

In between the sewing and pinning, I made a sign for my fireplace mantle and covered some lamp shades with sheet material for the girl's room.

P.S. I made the sign out of wood from an old pallet that's been trashing up our backyard for at least a year. The lampshades were half off at Hancock's. The lamps came from the dollar store and I spray painted them white.

I'm linking up with Jules' William Morris project. More here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

William Morris Thursday - my children

Even though I start little organization projects every day, projects that don't always get finished, I don't always feel like I have enough to share when it comes time to link up with Jules' William Morris project every Thursday. Although this week isn't any different, I thought I'd share something I started that I'm determined to finish. In fact, my sanity depends on it.

I homeschool my 3 youngest children (all girls) and because they are home with me all. day. every. day. we're all going a little stir crazy waiting for summer to begin. I have said from the beginning that in addition to the regular schooling they'd be getting, I would teach them home skills, too. I don't want my girls to leave my house not knowing how to take care of themselves or their homes. At different times throughout the year, I've started some sort of chore chart system but for one reason or another because of my lack of discipline it wouldn't stick. Then I realized something. While I've been putting into practice the William Morris quote, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." in the physical rooms of my house, I hadn't thought of applying it to my children. While they have always been and will continue to be a thing of beauty in my eyes, they have not started being, how shall I put it, "useful."

I'm crazy about them, but they're 6, 8 and 10 and they haven't ever done much in the way of regular chores. I go on occasional rants and give them things to do as consequences or follow them around reminding them of things they should be doing, but there hasn't been any system set up so they could learn to own their work and feel good about contributing.

Yesterday, I came up with all the chores I want them to be able to do on their own after some training, and put the steps in a list with a place to check them off as they're completed. I put those lists in plastic sleeves and put them in a binder. I haven't figured out yet how the specific chores will be assigned or how often, etc. but getting the binder done has already made me feel like this is a do-able thing. And of course, once they've mastered the chores, the lists will need to be altered and probably more complex chores added. Of course that's a problem I look forward to. ;)

Just this morning, my self-motivated daughter asked if she could wash the dishes. She already had the binder opened up to the dish washing page and was ready to go. I just gave her a little direction to get started and she ran with it.

On the project front, later today, my friend and I will get started using this:

 To turn this:

Into this:


Hopefully next week I'll have something to share!

Linking up with Jules' at Pancakes and French Fries.