Saturday, September 06, 2008


It's interesting how we humans are so very much creatures of habit. This is true not only in daily things, such as tapping my toothbrush twice against the side of the sink after brushing, or Mr. HalfSoled always having Mini Wheats for breakfast, but also on a larger scale: a seasonal scale. It's like clockwork. Summer winds down into fall, and I start itching to clean out my house. Destash. Donate.

I have a theory, actually, that people in modern Western civilisation suffer from depression, boredom, apathy, and stress partly because they are suffering a conscious disconnect from the natural world, while still being unconsciously affected by it. If we weren't affected by its cycles, or if we were aware of them and embraced them, I think things would go a lot more smoothly for us.

Anyway, this is all to say that I've been mucking out the old HalfSoled stables, and thoroughly enjoying it. (The only problem is that spiders keep creeping in to the piles of stuff I have carefully organised and sorted, and freaking me out.)

The other day I found several cards that I had stashed on top of my bookcase. They had been sent to my children by a lovely kind blogger and I had put them up to avoid damage. I searched for an album to put them in, but to my dismay there was no room for them. What to do?

I don't know what you'd do in this case (I suspect you'd probably go buy another photo album, which would take less than an hour and cost less than ten dollars) but what I did was make my children a bulletin board for their mementos from afar. Here it is:

It's a fairly simple project, and you, too, can have one just like it (possibly not featuring Strawberry Shortcake, but to each his own). All you need is:

- a foam core board about 20" by 30"

- lightweight cotton fabric, 45" wide, approximately 1 meter

- batting cut to the same size as your foam board (I used Thinsulate because that's all I had)

- about 6 meters of 5/8" grosgrain ribbon

- hot glue

- $2,500 sewing machine to make pretty hearts. Totally worth it!

This project gives me major destashing points. I had all these things lying around, with the sole exception of the grosgrain ribbon which I bought for $0.75 per meter at a poorly lit Fabricland while REO Speedwagon serenaded me tinnily from a small radio sporting a huge, cornea-threatening antenna. (After all these years they still can't fight that feeling, in case you were wondering.)

Lay the foam board face down on the wrong side of the fabric, and trace around it. Add 2-3" on each side for wrapping and glueing, and cut out.

Baste the batting to the base fabric, keeping in the lines you marked in step 1.

Cut a pocket piece 2" longer than the base fabric, and about 8" wide. Mark the centres (by folding fabric in half) of both pieces, and then the quarters (by folding in half again).

Hem the top edge of the pocket, and lay the grosgrain ribbon along it. Stitch along both long edges of ribbon. Embellish with your very expensive sewing machine.

Lay ribbon across base fabric in a cross-hatch pattern, pinning at junctions.

Use costly sewing machine to make little embroidered hearts at junctions, to tack them down and look oh, so pretty.

Pin pocket to bottom of base fabric, matching centres, quarters, and edges, and pleating extra fullness into pocket edges as needed. Baste. Tie off all threads. Press whole shebang.

Lay fabric face down on table, place foam core board atop it. Hot glue around the back edge, wrapping the fabric tightly around the foam board as you go, to stretch the ribbons on the front. Trim and miter corners.

Turn over to admire your work and realise you've forgotten hangers. Crochet some chains and with difficulty hand-sew them to the back of the fabric, cursing yourself for doing such a very thorough job of hot-glueing.

Hang on a wall, preferably with a level.

Adorn with lovely postcards from Denmark, if you're lucky enough to have some, and if not then make do with a few woebegone photos of your family standing in front of the Grist Mill, or sitting under an orange tarp as rain hammers the campsite.

And when the craze sweeps the continent, you can say you saw it here first.


Dave Hingsburger said...

Hmmm ... I saw the title 'pin ups' and I almost didn't read, expecting a 'glamour photo' of you in a shawl wearing VicSec ... didn't want to get the palpatations at my age. Thankfully Strawberry Shortcake doesn't do that to me.

kate said...

I love ribbon boards.

Gwen said...

I really like this. Great job.

Karen S said...

Heh heh heh ... I started at seeing the obvious Danish post cards! How cool!
I love the board! Really a cool idea!

knititch said...

what a lovely girlish idea. very cute. you get a lot of things done. good for you. i want a sewing machine too.

lizbon said...

How cool is that!

And - ahem, I just adore the last item in your list of supplies, and I had been wondering if they still couldn't fight the feeling. Wimps, those REO Speedwagons.

Bethro said...


And Mr. HSB has the right idea. Mini wheats are delicious and keep you regular.

Or is that private and not for the internets?

Penny said...

Very neat, especially the little red hearts - you totally needed the $2500 sewing machine to make that.

Tabatha said...

That is awesome! I love the hearts.