Simple Sewist Succeeds with Stripey Slipcovers

Ah, nothing like alliteration on a Sunday morning afternoon. I’ve gotten back to sewing and learned something valuable. I wish someone had told me this from the beginning! Striped fabric is the way to go for those of us who are straight-hem challenged. Specifically, an upholstery-grade striped canvas. No stretching, no slipping around and built-in guides. I had a lot of fun making these pillow covers (I also made the tapestry-looking one) with about $10 worth of fabric from Fabric Guru, and frankly I think they look pretty good.

“But Layla,” you say, “that’s such a light stripe! Surely your cat and dog will ruin your beautiful hard work!” I thought about that and put these foldover slits on the back. I can just slip the covers off and wash them, and I didn’t have to deal with the hell that is installing a zipper.

This whole project came about because A and I wanted to have a curtain up in the doorway to our living room, from the little entry way. There have been a few break-ins in the building, so we didn’t want all of our business on display when the door is open or when a delivery person comes. The tricky thing about sewing a curtain is just maneuvering a massive quantity of fabric, but it turned out fine and looks pretty nice. Yay sewing!

Abe’s Penny Postcards for my Thoughts–er, Wall

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Anna Knoebel, the publisher and editor of Abe’s Penny, a sort of lit mag via postcard or micro-magazine. She had read about my great delight over some other postcards and thought I might be interested. In addition to being incredibly flattered that she read my blog and reached out, I fell a bit in love with this idea. Postcards of art and literature! Just little nuggets of beautiful! So Anna sent some over, and up they went. (Now that I’m working from home, beautifying is in full swing.)


Ugh, A's sneakers in the background. Don't look please.

These are really pretty. Some have kind of a dreamy quality like my friend Sarina’s photos. And I like having this kind of interactive art–yes you’re allowed to take them off the wall and read them if you’re over. So, essentially, thank you Anna. And readers, fill your homes with postcards of art and literature.

The Palm in My Hand, a.k.a The Time I Tried to Raise a Houseplant

A tiny little tree grows in Brooklyn

I’m not a gardener. Dogs, cats, boyfriends, nieces I can nurture and care for, and they’ll blossom in my presence. But one time I killed a cactus. I managed to keep a bodega bamboo plant alive for about two years, and that’s my single plant success stories. My orchid got infested. My African violets just died.

Still, living around the corner from a (plant) nursery, I’ve been so wanting something green in my home! So today I wandered in. The ponytail palm and some sort of ficus immediately caught my eye, and their $10 price tags were pleasing. (I thought they’d be a lot more, because house plants are for fancy people?)

Recalling some article, somewhere, that said ficus aren’t the easiest, I told the man working there that I was looking for a houseplant that would be very hard to kill. He tried to point me toward the succulents, but I wasn’t falling into that old cactus trap again. I asked about the two I was eyeing, and he said the ponytail palm just needs to sit on a windowsill and be watered ever few weeks. Weeks! Sold.

Arnold Palm-er? My Little Pony-tail Palm?

Now, my readers, I’d like to name this plant. I think I’ll form a stronger attachment and take better care of it if I name it. Like a baby! What would you call this guy?


That’s One Bad Yam Pajama-speak for help, and I need yours, ya freeloaders. Filed under awesome things that come across my desk (actually One Bad’s, I think) is a box of postcards of vintage Penguin Books covers.

That’s just a small sampling. I have at least 100 of these. I also have a very bare wall behind my TV and lots of lovely molding that kind of sold me on my apartment. So my thought is get s bunch of cheap postcard frames and line the crown molding on that wall with the covers.

But should I maybe put them on the big blank expanse behind the TV, arranged all asymmetrically and perfect? Should I decoupage something? Should I make little false book-boxes and fill them with thematic gifts for people? Ha, that last one obviously wouldn’t happen. Mekkin, if you’re reading, do you want to lay claim to them for something in the wedding?

Clearly, I’m overthinking this. I just think I have an opportunity to do something really cool with these. I’ll at least consider any and all suggestions. Thanks, friends.