Monday, July 22, 2013


Hello, dear reader! Happy Monday! I am officially in a state of limbo, having finished my full-time job last week and ready to begin graduate school in about a month. I graduated from college a year ago in May, planning to take one year off before continuing onto graduate school. Today, as the year is coming to an end, I can confidently say that I'm very happy I took the time off. Besides getting acquainted with a new (and beautiful) part of the country, saving up from a year's worth of working, and having some time to take a breath from school, I have learned a lot about myself.

I'm one of those people who loves school, and I was surprised to discover that I behave pretty differently when I'm not in school (i.e. how I take care of myself, motivate myself, and in general structure my life). After having been in school for as much of my life as I can remember, how could it not be exciting to discover a new layer of myself?

Up until this year, I was kept plenty busy with goals I was trying to attain. They were all so natural, just following a path that had been laid out for me by teachers, parents, institutions, and (at some point) myself. In many ways, it was so easy to for me to get through because goals were so clearly laid out for me. You know: If you want to get an A, you need to do this homework; if you want to get better at piano, here are the ways you should practice. Surely it's not always so simple. But in general, someone was telling me where to be, what time, and how to be prepared for it. That I can do.

This year, my schedule and goals were a blank slate. I chose when and where to be, what to learn, and how to evaluate myself. That... I was not so good at. It involved a lot of sifting through myself to figure out what's important to me and how I can best use my talents to serve the world. And though I learned a lot, I feel like I've just barely scratched the surface.

I know, I sound like an early-twenty-something off to find herself. But that's what I aaaaam! Sigh.


SO. In these few weeks off, I'm studying, practicing, and trying to finish up several little projects around the apartment, starting with these pillow covers.

This black and white pillow below (from CB2, a few years ago), was our only couch pillow. It's SO COMFORTABLE, but it's old and dirty (please observe), and it doesn't go with the room. Conveniently, I have these darling napkins which I like so much I wanted to display them. Plus, I've had them for months and never used them because I don't want them to get dirty. Obviously it was time to use them for something else.

I don't have a sewing machine, so I used heat-bond hem tape on 3 sides of the cover, put the pillow inside, then sewed up the final edge by hand.

I'm sure you don't need a photo tutorial, but I want to include it to emphasize how easy this was :)

Iron the napkins well. Line them up together, face to face. Lay a piece of hem tape JUST inside the hem of the napkin. If you put the tape directly on the hem, it will have thicker, bumpier fabric to bond and won't be as strong.

Now proceed to the next section.

And continue until you've finished 3 sides of the square. Be sure to fold the corners under evenly so they look neat. It helps to iron them exactly how you want them before adding the tape.

Then turn it right-side-out, and iron well once more.

Slip the pillow inside, and sew up the edge. Voila!

I also made this darling little 2-tone cover the same way - with one yellow and one white napkin. For this one, I actually bought a pillow form from Michael's. These napkins were smaller, so I think it's only 12 x 12. (Better photo above.)