Curtains for 2019

…and lamps and tables, too.

How are we at the end of another year. 2019 started out with a rearranging of my sewing room, though I didn’t do as much sewing as I had hoped. I did make a massive dent in my mending queue, and I did in fact sew one new garment. But I really hoped that 2019 was going to be the year I fervently dove back into sewing clothes for myself.

Instead my new table served me well for a number of painting sessions, which is exciting in and of itself.

I know that my choices around work, tilted the life scale toward longer work hours at the expense of personal creative energy in the evenings. I’m confident that those were the correct choices, most of the time. Now I am ready to rebalance that scale to reclaim a bit more of that creative time for myself.

This doesn’t mean that 2019 was devoid of crafty projects, instead I directed the sparse creative energy I did have toward home projects that would benefit me and my husband.


Blinded by the light [no longer]

New bedroom curtains to block the light on those long summer days.

Ok, sure, these bedroom curtains were made during the dark winter days immediately following Christmas. Details. They will be useful NEXT summer. 😀

I found the fabric at the soon-to-close Bellevue location of Pacific Fabrics. This is the SECOND Pacific Fabrics store to close in 2019. While I am thrilled to have purchased this fabric and the grommets at 80% off, my heart aches for this brick and mortar sewing store. I took my first sewing class – on sewing corsets – at the Bellevue location. That class demystified corsets and by extension costumes for me. Suddenly I understood that a complex garment’s engineering takes place in the pattern pieces – the sewing just assembles those pieces together. I used the personal corset pattern from that class to make my Elizabeth Comstock costume. And then I dove into the world of pattern drafting to better understand how to engineer those patterns in the first place.


Dress code: Tie required

Curtain ties to hold back the drapes when a muddy dog enters the house.

While staying at an AirBnB this summer, I was smitten with the host’s solution for tying back their long curtains with nothing more than a small hook and a strip of fabric with two loops on the ends. I had leftover fabric strips from when I hemmed these curtains, and now I had an affordable way to hold the curtains back.

A single-prong coat hook + 2 snap-into-place grommets.

Rock on!

Hollow glass-base lamp filled with blue, purple, and green rocks.

We had two tall display cases filled with rocks, minerals, and fossils that were given to my husband when he was a kid. The gifter was a geology professor. Some of the stones had labels, but many of them had lost their identification in the ensuing 20+ years of storage. We wanted to repurpose those display cases for other items, but I didn’t want the rocks to just go back into storage.

These hollow lamp bases were available at a couple different stores in town. Pinterest suggests this is a popular crafting project – fill them with toys, shells, or any small meaningful items. I saw them in a Target ad and knew I had our solution.

I wanted the rocks to have a gradient, so after we unloaded the display cases I lay all of the stones out on the table, arranged them into color groups and carefully assembled the lamps. It was like reverse Jenga to ensure rocks were supported and could also be seen. (No one is allowed to tilt the lamp bases because some of the smaller rocks are likely to move…and dammit, I spent a lot of time on these.)

Hollow glass-base lamp filled with green, pink, and red rocks.

[Not-quite] Round Table Discussion

Did you perhaps notice the purple tables those lamps and the houseplants are sitting on? Greg built those. He has done a lot of carpentry projects this year, including three tables. The two narrow tables behind our sofa were built so we would have a place for houseplants in our living room. Greg designed and built the tables, I painted them.

Houseplants on purple tables.

The third table Greg built was a hybrid coffee table & bookshelf. I stained it gray to match our chairs and be a subtle accent in our upstairs office/loft. The books we love and will read forever are getting a place of honor in this rubix-cube shelf. The s-shape of the shelves makes the unit usable from 360 degrees, while also hiding some of the contents so the shelves don’t appear cluttered. Notably the shelves are tall enough to stash a bottle of scotch next to a collection of Ursula K. LeGuin short stories. With the warm reading light, this is one of my favorite spaces to end the day in.


We are approaching our 5th year in this house and I really think it’s developing a character of its own. I have always liked our home’s decor, but since we moved into a new construction, we were hesitant to dramatically transform the space. We simply found places for the decor we purchased for our previous [smaller] townhome. Over the past few years we have accumulated more art, souvenirs, photographs, and furniture – some new, some hand-me-downs from family. The more time we spend in our home, the more personal touches we add.

And now that Greg and I have added furniture and home decor to our list of things we have make ourselves, I’m excited to see how the next five years transform our space.

Happy New Year everyone!


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