Accomplishments: Non-Fiber

August 27, 2009

I finally got pictures off of my camera. Finally. I came here to make my big post when I realized that it would be just too bloody big.  I’ll be splitting into two different posts – a Non-Fiber related post and one that’s devoted to the six billion cowls and hats that I have made during the summer.

First, I’d like to quickly update on my NoSpend week. We made it through the first three days despite the BoyDevoursAll fiasco. I did go to the store with the remaining cash I had left over from grocery shopping and bought him some dried fruit and nuts. I am going to just pretend it was part of the original grocery transaction however, and I still came in several dollars under grocery budget. There was miscommunication and grieving – it happens.  I did some creative things with rice and broccoli and the tomatoes out of the garden which weren’t exactly delicious, but definitely serviceable. My mom brought me some fresh blackberries, so instead of making a second batch of zucchini bread, I make blackberry cobbler! YUM!  I just started marinating my tofu in pineapple juice and tamari, and I have to go coat it in coconut soon. Did I say “YUM!”? Repeat that a couple of times for me.

First category: Carpentry

Carpentry? Why, yes, I may be a wee little girl but I am moderately skilled in the ways of power tools and metal pointy bits. Thanks to my handy-man mother and my time working backstage on sets! I pretty much am limited to a small pink tool set that I got when I moved out, so I don’t do much unless I get the chance to get to my mom’s. In July I finally made it over to create a beautiful set of spice racks and to bedazzle an old, cheap kitchen cart.

Kitchen Cart

I’ve been looking for a kitchen cart for awhile. One thing about vegan cooking is that it tends to require a LOT more kitchenware than someone who just fries some steak and boils a potato for dinner. I’ve got lots of pans, pots, a wok, a blender, a food processor, etc… I also don’t have a pantry of any sort. My drawers and cupboards were all ajumble and just frustrating to use. I decided to de-clutter the heck out of my kitchen –  I gave most of our now-useless wedding presents away, and just boxes of stuff. However, I still wanted to create a kitchen space that was most useful to me. I needed extra counter space! Badly! Preferably moveable counterspace too. I didn’t want to buy a new island because of the cost and the waste. It’s really hard to find something that useful and that modern in second hand stores, so eventually we found a beaten up base model and extra parts and over the course of several months acquired the necessities for creating a moveable kitchen cart. I have to say that I am ashamed that I don’t have before pictures. It didn’t even occur to me! I am so silly. After a lot of refinishing and cutting and sanding and ohhhh the coats of varnish, behold:

Kitchen CartI wanted to make it black since the original plan for our kitchen was a black and white theme. While our landlord let us paint everything else, he refused to let us pain the kitchen – not even to touch up the white! Sad, but true. So we varnished it to be approximately the same colour as the spice racks and just left it in all it’s wood grainy goodness. The sides fold out! Voila! Triple the work space!

Spice Racks

Again, I should have taken pictures of the whole process, but considering how long it took for this to even make it to blogdom, it’s probably okay that I didn’t. Mom and I went hunting at Bring, this amazing recycling center that sells everything and found some cute little molding panels that were just the right size for spice rackage. Originally, I wanted something more akin to a standard spice rack, but like everything else in my life, we bought the moldings and then didn’t get around to making it for a month. We pulled out the bits that we had and had no clue how we were planning to put them together. This is what we came up with:

Incoming Pictures 077We just made little boxes and hung them on the wall. So simple and it took maybe ten minutes tops. Then I decided to hammer in some small nails to hang utensils that I use frequently. I have never been happier with my cooking situation! It still needs some serious work. Things are rather unorganized, but that’s just because I’m taking it slow in buying up storage containers.

Second Category: Sewing!

I love to sew, but I don’t do it very often. It’s hard for me to get my sewing machine out, clear off the kitchen table, set it up, find the iron and extraneous sewing notions….you get the picture. We don’t have any space for my sewing stuff, so I don’t do it often. It also isn’t like knitting which I can just pick up for ten minutes and then put it down. I can’t sew while I spend time with Matt. So I just don’t do it.  I found some great charcoal grey fabric at St.Vincent that I just knew had to be a work skirt. I cut out the pattern six months ago. When I finally pulled down everything to work on it, I discovered that my machine is broken. I know what’s wrong with it, and I know how to fix it but honestly, it’s such an old, bad machine that it’s not worth the cost to fix it. I’ve got my mom and grandma keeping an eye out for another machine for me.

I was determined to get some sewing done that night, and decided to handsew the skirt. I’m not the best at sewing. I’m too impatient and I’ve never really learned the fine details, and while I know how to do things I don’t know why I’m supposed to do them that way. It seemed like a good idea then to start at the very beginning. I’m really enjoying it so far! It takes a lot of time, but I really like the result. Slowing things down is really helpful. I decided to use a ruler and draw lines to make sure that my seams are straight. Well, brilliant! I should’ve been doing that with my machine too since I’m so slapdash about it all. I have made the most beautiful darts:

SkirtDart2SkirtDart

I’ve got it all sewn together, I just need to hem it. I plan  on finishing the hem tonight while hanging with my man.

Skirt

And that’s it for non-fiber crafts. Tomorrow or the next day will see a LOT of pictures of me in my garden wearing lots of different knitted items.  It will feature less rambles as well.

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2 Responses to “Accomplishments: Non-Fiber”

  1. dixiebelle said

    Wow! Great job on the kitchen cart, and really like the fold out sides, and the handles…

    I also don’t get to sewing very often, because of being busy with my kids, but also, our spare bedroom is currently my husband’s office as well as spare bed in there for now, and I can’t set my machines up! That is my dream… to one day have that room all to myself and my sewing stuff!

  2. Christephi said

    Oooh, I’m really impressed with your kitchen cart! I’ve wanted one of those forever, but they’re kind of pricey…at least for us.

    I’m lucky enough to have my sewing equipment set up in our bedroom…such a blessing! But I am very impressed with your hand sewing skills! I’ve had my own sewing machine since I was 8 years old…but I don’t know how to hand sew at all. It seems like there’s some secret to it that I haven’t figured out yet. Great job!

    Oh, and I can’t wait to see your knitted things! I’m not an accomplished knitter, but it’s my craft-of-choice for cold winter evenings! (Or while nursing a newborn, which will coincide with winter this year).

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