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Yellow Suitcase Studio: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Post - Suitcase Stories: Great Grandma's Hat Box

At Christmas I received a suitcase that belonged to my great grandma, my sister also received a something special that belonged to Great Grandma!

From my sis -
"Like Michelle, I also received one of Great Grandma's suitcases for my Birthday (which happens to be close enough to Christmas so I got it then). Auntie K loaded up this lovely hat box with some fun sewing supplies including a new iron, fabric, thread, and new scissors! She always spoils me!"

 Love the stripes!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Frame Makeover - DIY Dry Erase Board

Last December I got a frame at a white elephant gift exchange in desperate need of a makeover.

Here's the before....

and the after!

Much better! I saw the idea on a couple other blogs to write on glass or plexiglass like a dry erase board. That's what I plan on using it for (ha need to get some markers) and also for just decoration in my craft room.

Here's my process:

The first thing I did was to clean it up. I took out the nails that were holding the image in. I glued on a couple pieces that had cracked and were really loose. I also used steel wool on the back to clean up stuff that was flaking off.

The next step was to prime and spray paint! I used Rust-Oleum's painters touch 2x cover primer and satin summer squash. This is the same color I used on my peg board and chair makeover.

My husband got and cut plexiglass to fit the frame for me.

For the inside of the frame, I wanted to use a piece of a vintage flowered bed sheet that I love. So I cut out a piece of cardboard to fit in the frame. I used spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the cardboard and make it nice and smooth. Then, wrapped the edges around the back and stapled it to the cardboard.

On to the fun part - putting it all together! 

I used 2 glazier points on each side to hold everything in the frame.

In its new home!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Loop & Line Designs

My sister-in-law, Nicole, recently started up an Etsy shop that I think you should check out! Her focus is customized clean graphic maps.

Design is everywhere!

Here is a little bit from her:
"Right now I have neighborhood maps of Minneapolis, but I am going to be starting on Milwaukee, and Chicago neighborhoods soon. Also, I can do custom maps of any neighborhood as long as I have the address. I am making one for my friend Keri this weekend.

I am also working on some outline skyline prints. Right now I have Minneapolis and Milwaukee, but I need to figure out what other cities I want to make.

I really wanted to to be working on something where I was doing actual design and I figured Etsy was my best option. (plus maybe I could make a little extra money.)

Plus, maps are awesome! Especially when you can look at one and point out to someone that that is where you live. :)"

Find Loop & Line Designs here:

Show her some love!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Freebie: Printable Whale Valentine

Happy Friday! I have a new free printable for you!

Whale you be my valentine?

Download Here: Free Whale Valentine Printable

Download and print on card stock. Then cut along dotted lines. Print double sided to use as a postcard or only print the first page to use as Valentines or use as a print to decorate!

 Ha! I don't like red and turquoise or anything.... And yes we have a Superman figurine in our kitchen!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Suitcase Stories: Great-Grandma's Suitcase

The best and favorite Christmas gift I received wasn't something that was on my list. It wasn't something I was expecting. I didn't even know it existed. And it's perfect.

It's a navy and white (one of my favorite color combos) suitcase that belonged to my great-grandma!

One of my aunts held on to my great-grandma's suitcase because she always loved it and wanted to display it somewhere, but never found the spot. So, she passed it on to me. I'm so incredibly grateful that she kept it! I have so many suitcases, but this is the only one with a family connection. It's is never going anywhere.

{I love that it still has the travel tag with her handwriting!}

My aunt also included this fun photo of my grandma, great-grandpa, and great-grandma (from left to right).
{check out all that tinsel!}

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inspiration at an Antique Mall

Hi friends! Lately I've been stuck in a funk - feeling a lack of motivation, direction and inspiration. Also a general case of the blahs. Anyone else?

Today I had to just get out and do something a little different than my normal routine. On second thought, I don't really I have a "normal" routine! I went to an antique mall I hadn't been to before and found a lot of inspiration!

I took a bunch of photos on my phone of things that stuck out at me for whatever reason. They're not the highest quality. I hope you don't mind!

I was drawn to a lot of yellow things:

{I almost want to go back and get this chair!}

{how cute are these spice jars!}

I love vintage linens!
{Love how the striped fabric was turned chevron on this apron}

{kitty fabric!}

{scrap quilt}

{Love the nautical vibe of this apron}


My husband loves Superman things! I thought he'd like this:

Of course I saw some suitcases!

{cute train cases}

{little suitcase}

And a bunch of other miscellaneous things!

 {what a sweet stove!}

{so many rolling pins}

{Christmas tree stand!}

{I'm on the look out for a dress form that I love}


{chalkboard on stand}

{Great Lakes map decoupaged onto a small table}

What do you do when you're stuck in a funk and not feeling very motivated or inspired?

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tutorial - Too Big Sequin Blazer and Skirt Turned Party Dress


Sequins are so in right now, but not in my budget! Challenge accepted. The diy-er in me knew I could figure out something that wouldn't cost too much. I scoured thrift stores looking for anything sequiny or sparkly that I could make something out of.

And I found it! A large sequin blazer and skirt. It was $25, probably the most expensive thing I've bought at a thrift store, but compared to the $$$ dresses out there it was a steal.

Here's the before - 

The first thing I did was remove the sleeves and shoulder pads with a seam ripper, starting with the lining of the jacket.

Next I measured from the top of my shoulder to where I wanted the waist of the dress to be. I took this measurement (14.5 in.) and I used pins to mark it all the way around the blazer.

To prevent less sequins from getting everywhere, I sewed two seams 1/4in. apart and then cut the blazer between the seams.

So I ended up with this:

I tried it on and the arm holes were way to big for me. I compared it to another dress of mine to see how much needed to be taken in. I turned it inside out so I could pin/sew both the lining and the main fabric and the seams would be inside.

Once that was fitted, I sewed the top to the skirt. I didn't have to do any modifications to the skirt which saved me a ton of time. I pinned them right sides together making sure to overlap the front pieces and stitched below the worn out elastic waist of the skirt.

Here's the inside after they were stitched together:

And the right side:

Yes, there is no shape to it.... yet! I didn't want to bother with a zipper so I used elastic. It's not the easiest thing to get on and off, but for ease of sewing and time it works!

I hand stitched the band of the skirt up using a blind stitch - encasing the seam and making a slot to put new elastic.

I used 1" wide elastic. To determine how long I needed the elastic to be -  I measured it snug around my waist and added an inch. I pinned one end down and threaded the other end through the waistband using a safety pin and skinny knitting needle.

*Honestly, this part was tricky. I had to try a couple times to get the elastic all the way through. It was frustrating. And I didn't know if there were any twists in the elastic since the fabrics were so thick. So there might be a better way to do this step. Maybe sewing the elastic to the skirt band and then hand stitching it up. *

After I threaded the elastic through I used the sewing machine to stitch the elastic ends together. Then I hand stitched the opening closed.

I hand stitched the arm holes with a blind stitch. I also did a couple stitches to tack the v-neck so it stays together.

There we go! This looks better :)

I paired it with some black tights! No other accessories needed besides a smile!

Sparkle sparkle! I wish I had more places to wear this to....

I still have quite a bit of left over sequin fabric from the bottom half of the blazer and sleeves! Haven't decided what to make with it yet. Any ideas?

P.S. Thanks to my sis for taking pictures of me in the dress!

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