progress report

Posted by on February 2, 2009 in craft | 13 comments


Now the progress on the studio is slower as I do little things here and there. I feel like I worked so hard this weekend, and there's not a lot to show for it. I still have a lot more fabric to sort through and fold to go in the left bookcase. The baskets up top need some tidying up as well, but it's looking much nicer than it did before.

I solved my light switch problem, although I didn't, perhaps, choose the easiest solution. I changed out the switches altogether for new, white paddle switches, and found this sweet little switch plate at my favorite Ace Hardware for only $4.49. It had an antique finish, so I painted it white.


Changing out the switches isn't too hard. Each one had two wires, so I took the top wire out of the old switch, and put it in the top hole of the new switch, then did the bottom wire so there was no chance of messing it up. The main thing to remember is to shut off the power!

I also installed the hooks, which were on sale at Anthropologie. They didn't come with any visible way to hang them, so I improvised by nailing picture hangers on the backs and hanging them from sturdy nails. They're mostly for holding my knitting project bags, so they didn't have to be super sturdy, although they are quite solidly in place, I must say.

I picked out a doorknob while I was there as well. The deciding factor was the fact that this one was on sale for $14.95. It helps that I do love milk glass.


It, too, was a little tricky to install, but that's the great thing about Ace, you go in with your problem, and they walk you right through the solution. I had to get screws to mount it, and there was a little grumbling and growling as I tried to fit everything together. A third hand would have been helpful, but I'm now quite confident in my doorknob installation abilities.

One last project was to place grommets in this quilt design wall I have (it's really just a piece of thick flannel or felt, my husband bought it for me from Keepsake Quilting, I believe) and then put cup hooks along one wall so I can easily hang it up and take it down. This was one of those projects that was a tiny bit harder than I expected, but came out exactly as I envisioned, so the frustration was worth it. Cup hooks are not easy to screw into wood.


The grommets are actually plastic, and I found them at Joann. You just cut a circle out of the fabric and snap the two halves of the grommets together, no special tools needed! They were a little pricey ($10 for eight), but I had my 40% off coupon, so it wasn't bad.

So here's another cheap decorating tip: sales and coupons are your friends! This takes patience, and it's also good to have a plan. I tend to think very carefully about how I want a room to look, and realize that I can't rush it. Once you've figured that out, you can accumulate the things you want over time rather than going on a crazy, expensive shopping spree. When I try to get too much at once I tend to make costly mistakes. So bit-by-bit, and watch for sales and coupons. If you're in the U.S. and not on the Joann mailing list, get on it! They send coupons regularly. For California residents with a Beverly's fabrics nearby, ditto that. They do theirs via e-mail, and it's not as frequent, but still worth getting.

I have lots more fun projects coming up, and I'm going to need some opinions, so I hope you won't mind if I ask what you think over the next couple weeks. I actually made myself a to-do list for this year in lieu of any formal resolutions, and the majority have to do with this studio project. I'm posting it here for reference:

To-do list for 2009

Grow mushrooms
Make Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
Clean the microwave
Get some new chicks (2 Araucanas, 2 Cuckoo Marans, 2 Rhode Island Reds or 2 Barred Rocks)
Make myself a sweater
Finish my studio:

  •   Slipcover chair
  •   Make window coverings
  •   Find a dresser
  •   Paint the dresser pink
  •   Collect and frame art to display
  •   Install shelf above work table
  •   Find vintage metal stool   
  •   Hang plate collection in an artful display
  •   Paint ornate picture frame and turn it into an inspiration board (turquoise?)
  •   Make drapes to cover shelves-possibly patchwork?
  •   Come up with a clever name
  •   Put up quilt design wall
  •   Find a rug (possibly this striped rug from Ikea?)
  •   Make fabric cover for my sewing machine

Train Winston to do tricks or herd sheep
Vacuum every week
Lose 30 more pounds
Learn to make creme brulee
    (not sure how the previous two items will work together)
Take more pictures
Make a quilt
Design a pair of socks (knee socks! with Scandanavian-style colorwork! I can picture them in my head)
Clean out and paint laundry room
Make more things for my Etsy shop
Make French Macarons

And one last thing, completely unrelated to all this, I wanted to share a music video. This is my brother, and the song is from his new CD, which you can pre-order at I've been lucky enough to hear the songs as he's recorded them, and this is, by far, his best music ever. I'm pretty sure it's going to be my favorite album of 2009, so you really should think about getting it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!


  1. Your room is really coming along- I love it. Is that a curtain rod over the desk/cubby area? I like that option to cover things up when you want to. Another option with the shelving is to have grommets on the lower shelving and kept the top open. I use my coupons at Joanns every week- can’t resist that 40-50% off and I feel like I can always just grab some thread or other small item that I will buy anyway- such a cheapster I am. Haha! I’ve been making a list also, but right now it’s filled with things to do before the house goes back on the market (my items have multiplied again in the dark closets). The macarons are on my list though ahead of all the other stuff- I have been seeing them everywhere lately. Lastly, I have to check out your brother’s latest when I am back on my computer with a sound card- I really like his music and surprisingly my son does too now. Oh, one more bit, I love it that you have lose 30 more pounds and creme brulee together- the vacuume every week also made me crack up. Thank you for being a real person- I love it.

  2. Hey Goosey-
    Love your brothers music!

  3. The room looks adorable! And, btw, I have a similar system for holding my knitting bags!

  4. glad to be back at my computer so I can know what’s up in CA. Your room looks awesome!!!!!

  5. Your room looks great!! We have that stripey rug in our living room 🙂

  6. The progress looks huge from here. And that Cary guy’s music is awesome.

  7. Your studio is fabulous! I love your touch…the blue stripey bag is lovely…great job!

  8. Your room is looking good! I want to makeover my space this year as well and watching you is definitely inspiring. I LOVE that white doorknob!

  9. What a beautiful blog you have!

  10. It’s looking good. I love the white door handle!!! The bag strap hanging from it, is cute too.

  11. Your studio looks fabulous!! So cheery and colorful! Love that doorknob (I also love Anthropologie!) You’ve done a great job – everything looks super!… Donna

  12. cup hooks are a great idea lucy, and your work space is lovely. are you still using your wall?

  13. Oh yes, it gets used regularly. In fact, despite the heat, I was out there most of yesterday cutting and sewing, and I just started putting blocks (or, in this case, triangles)up on the wall. I get into that zone too, I set my iPod on shuffle, and just lose all sense of time. I feel so renewed today, ready for a new week at work, and hopeful that I can spend a few evenings back out there on this quilt :o)

say something nice...