Broaching the Brooches

For my second little project that went down when I was home on Hurricane Sandy arrest, it literally took me about 10 minutes and made me super happy.

My Nana passed away in March and after her passing my grandfather allowed me to choose some of her jewelry for my own. Well, I’m kind of a picky jewelry person but I did find a few pieces that really reminded me of her so I added them to my collection.

Some of the things that were so very Nana were a few of her brooches. She wore them all the time to dress up a nice jacket or sweater and liked them so much that my mom started giving her one each year at Christmas.

She had one pin in particular that was very special to me, a small circle that was engraved with her name, Claire. She had lent me that pin on my wedding day as my “something borrowed” and I had it attached to my bouquet that I carried down the aisle. At the reception, instead of throwing my bouquet, I presented it to my grandmother because she and my grandfather were celebrating 60 years of marriage that same year that my husband and I got married.

When going through her jewelry, I chose that pin as well as four other brooches that she liked. Since I don’t really wear pins myself, I decided to use them for a fun project while still keeping them untouched so I could wear them in the future.

I had a couple canvas frames left over from when I ripped the monkey and lion pictures off them for Jack’s room and also had a scrap of neutral fabric left over from my kitchen curtains. So I gathered my materials:

My materials: fabric (which needed ironed), frame and pins. Staple gun not pictured.

I stapled the fabric on to the frame with a staple gun, keeping it pulled tight all the way around.

Ka-BAM goes the stapler


Then, I just stuck the pins through the fabric in a way that I thought was pretty. That was it. Super simple and a snazzy way to display my Nana’s brooches when I’m not wearing them.

Finished project. So easy and so pretty!

I’m not exactly sure where I’ll put the brooch canvas yet. I’m thinking that after I finish my master bedroom update I might hang it or lean it against the wall. I just think it’s a cute way to display my grandmother’s jewelry and makes me smile whenever I see it.

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Feeling a bit Bookish

Hello, hello, hello my fabulous Pocketful readers – I’ve missed you all so much! And yes, I know that sounds a bit lame. But I was home for 6 days straight and at no point did I lay out on a beach or even get any home improvement projects completed, so you know I wasn’t having too much fun.

Actually, I did have a BIT of fun since my husband was home with me and Jack on both Monday and Tuesday. Which means there was lots of comfort food making/eating, TV watching, fire building and all around family snuggling time. So that was pretty awesome.

With Jack battling bronchiolitis, Hurricane Sandy on the rampage and oh yeah me being super sick too, it was a very quiet few days. Our internet was also having massive issues, so I could only get online occasionally which was kind of annoying.

So, now that it’s Tuesday evening and I’ll be able to upload everything tomorrow morning, I’m finally taking a minute to sit down and catch up with my online life!

I DID have a chance to do a couple mini projects during my time at home. One of which made me think of my friend Katie from Words for Worms. I showed you all my den when I first changed things around, but here’s a little refresher on what it looked like before we moved in:

Here’s the den from the old online listing of our house. Nice boombox and GOLD fireplace insert.

And what it looked like once I got my grimy hands on the place:

Back in March after I did my thing.

Well, I was never really IN LOVE with the stuff I threw up on my mantle. I liked it all individually, but it wasn’t really doing it for me perched up there. The mirror was kind of oddly sized and everything just felt a bit bare and sad.

Our main plan is to build some bookshelves in that odd little corner in the room, but that project is way down the list at this point. Also, I’m thinking that corner will be a perfect place for a Christmas tree – so I want to try that out before I made the big decision to start building shelves.

All of my lovely books were still living in boxes in one of our closets, which is just so incredibly sad, don’t you think? So I had the bright idea to bring some of them out and see how they looked displayed on the mantle… and I LOVE the finished look!

Ooh pretty — a roaring fire and a crapload of books!
Front end
Butt end.


Oh and for your sharp-eyed people out there I’d like to point out that NOT EVEN ONE of these books is a piece of highbrow fancy-schmanchy literature. They are my tried and true favorites that I actually like to curl up and read. So, no trying to impress anyone here! Unless you’re impressed with the Harry Potter series, Artemis Fowl, all the Stephanie Plum books and a crapload of chick lit. Actually, if you ARE impressed by that you are totally invited to be my friend because I think we’ll get along great!

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The Hunt for the Perfect Yellow Pillow

Be warned, I’ve been on a bit of a home decorating kick the last few days. So I have a few random home décor posts that I will be writing and posting over the next week or so.  The first of which is about my hunt for the perfect yellow pillow.

Some of you may think I’m pretty lame for obsessing about a stupid pillow when there are more important things to talk about, like poverty, world peace and how David Beckham is incredibly hot.

I can’t help it though, something gets in my head and I just get totally fixated. In this case, I decided that my house needed a happy yellow pillow (or two). It couldn’t just be ANY yellow pillow though, it had to be the perfect yellow pillow.

I found a couple options online, but they were either not exactly what I wanted or way too expensive for a stupid pillow.

DwellStudio Gate Citrine Pillow ($80) source
Trina Turk Down-Filled Pillow, Palm Springs Blocks ($105 for two) source









Outdoor 2-Piece Square Toss Pillow in Yellow/White ($62 for two) source
Haze Mimosa Pillow, ($175) source









I was at the point when I thought a trip to the fabric store was in order. But then when I was walking through Target an angel choir started singing (and it wasn’t just the holiday decorations that they put out in early September):

They may be napkins, but they are PERFECT!

Yep, yellow napkins from Target. And the best part was that a four-pack was only $9.99! So I snapped those babies up and skipped down the aisle. No, I didn’t actually skip because I’m a grown up and typically behave well in public. I shook my booty a little, that’s all.

Anyways, since I’m sure you are just dying of curiosity on how I transformed these napkins into the pillows of my dreams I put together this lazy and half-assed tutorial.

How to Sew a Pillow Out of a Pack of Napkins:
Supplies needed: 4 pack of napkins ($10), bag o’ fluff ($8), sewing machine, pins, thread, and needle for hand sewing. Time needed: about an hour-ish, depending on how fast you are with the sewing machine and whether you need to replace the bobbin.*

Admire the pretty fabric. Decide that it’s kind of wrinkly so bust out the iron. Now a real professional gal would totally wash these before sewing them, but I skipped that part so that I could finish this project while Jack was taking a nap.
Flip the fabric so that the wrong side is out and pin it every so often to keep it from scooching around while sewing it. Make sure to put the pins horizontally, otherwise you will stab the crap out of your hand when you’re guiding the fabric through the machine.
Sew baby, sew! Remember to leave an opening big enough for your hand to fit through on one side.
When you finish sewing, take out all the pins and flip the pillows right side out to check out your handiwork. Oooh, empty pillow bags.
Grab your bag o’ stuffing and fill the pillows through your handy little hole you left (you DID leave a space, right?!). Fill them up more than you would think you’d want them to be, because they tend to squish down over time.
Last step, grab a needle and thread and sew up your access hole. You may want to go with a thread that matches the fabric, but I tend to like to finish in a contrasting color for funsies.

Yay, done! And it totally only took about 1/2 of a Jack nap time from start to finish (aka 1 hour or so). I love the finished pillows AND since I had most of the stuff on hand the project only cost me $18 total. So much better than the inspiration pillows I was drooling over.

Here’s the finished look, be prepared to oooh and ahhhh:

Yet another photo bomb by Potter. He kind of matches the couch though, so I’ll allow it.

Love it! Did you do any super quick projects over the long weekend? Have you ever found a pack of napkins that you just couldn’t resist sewing into pillows?

*About replacing the bobbin, I don’t know why but every single time I need to replace it I end up cursing up a storm and throwing stuff around the room. I can put together Ikea furniture in a ridiculous amount of time, but the stupid sewing machine kicks my butt!

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