Why hello sunlight!

When we decided to purchase our current house, I was disappointed that it lacks vaulted ceilings. Our realtor put the idea in my head to install a skylight to open up the ceiling. So that’s exactly what I just did. Not only does it make the ceiling feel more open, it makes our previously dark living room nice and light. Our covered back porch prevents the back windows from getting much light. Now we have plenty of light. Check out the before and after photos to see what a huge difference the skylight made. We had a 4′ x 4′ Velux skylight installed with a solar powered remote controlled light filtering shade. While we were having a hole cut in the roof, we also had a Velux sun tube installed in the laundry room which doesn’t have any windows. It’s awesome!  All work was done by Design Skylights and I must say that the end cost was very reasonable.

The before view looking towards the back of the house. The window and door look out to the covered porch. The room is lit with a flash so that you can actually see it. Bonus if you spot the hidden cat in this photo.

The after view, lit only by the light in the room due to the skylight and windows.

The light filtering shade will be very handy during the hot summer months. The shade is solar powered and operates using a remote control.

A view of the sun tube in the laundry room. The light is not on.

The outside view. The sun tube is the glass dome on the left.

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Making a laser etched notebook

I attended another laser etching workshop put on by Women.Design.Build and MAKEatx.  In a previous workshop we etched pint glasses and in this workshop we etched cardboard covered moleskin notebooks. Because I already have a number of notebooks for notes and drawing, I decided to etch a notebook for my sister. In preparation for the class, I drew a design using her name and scanned it into a jpg file that could be converted to black and white and loaded into the software that controls the laser.

Hand drawn design for the notebook cover.

A shelf full of laser-etched goodness at MAKEatx.

Love the mustaches on sticks and the jackalope.

A jackalope etched notebook made before the workshop.


The notebooks were placed in the laser and the cover weighted with large washers since the cover is a bit lightweight.

The laser doing its thing.


An awesome idea for a notebook cover made by one of my friends at the workshop.

A french bulldog cover, made by another friend.


My notebook, ready to send to my sister.

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Hand stamped infinity scarf

Two infinity scarves.

Sometimes I’m not so sure where my time goes, but I do know that I finally have a craft project to share! Now that we’ve had like two whole fall days in Austin, I decided it was time for a new scarf. I’m pretty bad at wrapping traditional scarves around my neck and looking fashionable, so I decided to make an infinity scarf, which is a loop scarf that you can typically wear as a single long loop or short double loops if it’s cold. It’s hard to mess up wearing a loop. There are a number of tutorials about sewing an infinity scarf. I read quite a few and relied on this video from Craft Gemini to show me the step where you have to join the two ends to form a loop. It can be a bit confusing if you don’t take your time. More on that later. My Supplies:

  • 1.5 yards of knit fabric, pre-washed and ironed as much as possible
  • Hand carved stamps (stamp blocks carved with a speed ball cutter)
  • Fabric paint in a few colors
  • Standard sewing stuff – matching thread, sewing machine, etc.

First I decided on a design using tear drop shapes, sketched them on my stamp blocks and carved three separate stamps so that I could use them in a variety of patterns.

The three stamps I carved, tear drop shapes.

Then, I tested them out on some paper to make sure they stamped well.

Stamp test!

I cut my knit fabric in half, so that I had two pieces of fabric, 1.5 yards long by 24 inches wide. Because you fold the fabric in half length wise and sew, this gives a scarf about about 12 inches wide (minus seam allowances). I got a nice dark brownish/grayish knit fabric with a small weave.

Knit fabric

I then used my stamp set and fabric paint to hand stamp a design down the middle of both pieces of fabric.

Three fabric paints – linen, light green and light blue.

For one design I only used linen and green paints.

For the other design, I used all three colors.

If you do this, make sure to put something under the fabric as you stamp, the paint will seep through in some places. The next step was sewing. The first step to make an infinity scarf is to fold the fabric length wise, with the correct side of the fabric (in my case, the stamped side) touching. Then pin along the whole length of the fabric, but leave four inches on each side not sewn so that you can connect the loop in a later step.

Fabric pinned length wise. I measured in 4 inches from both ends and used a pin to mark the spot where I would start and stop sewing.

When it comes time to sew, make sure to backstitch a bit on both ends so that your seams are secure!

Annie the cat helps me sew. Or really just gets in the way.

Remember to start and stop sewing four inches from each edge and to backstitch to secure your seam.

After the fabric is sewn lengthwise, the tricky part begins. Definitely view the video I mentioned above if you are unsure about these steps. First, turn the fabric so that the correct side is facing out (the way it should be at the end). Notice the four inches that aren’t sewn on either side. Position the fabric so that the seams match and there are no twists in the fabric.

Fabric, turned so that the correct side is on the outside. Seam is lined up so that there are no twists in the scarf.

Next, you have to pin the ends of the fabric together, which is what feels a bit tricky. This is the part where you actually join your scarf into a loop. You start with matching corners and keep the correct side of the fabric facing in so that it touches the entire time you are pinning. Continue to pin around in a circle until you hit the other corners. The extra four inches you left on each side of the scarf is what allows you to do this – the rest of the fabric ends up being contained in those 8 inches after you are done pinning.

Pin the fabric, starting from matchin corners with the correct side of the fabric facing in and touching.

Pin around the entire circle until you come to the other corners. You’ll then see the main part of the scarf coming through the 8 inch opening. That part of the scarf has the correct side of the fabric facing out.

Then, you sew. Start at one corner and go to the other. Make sure to backstitch at both ends.

Sewing the two ends of the scarf together.

When you’re done, you’ll flip that section of the scarf so that the right side is facing out for the entire section. You’ll have an eight inch section left to hand sew to complete the scarf.

After sewing the ends together, you’re left with an 8 inch section to hand stitch.

Pin the opening closed using the same seam allowance you used on the rest of the scarf.

Pinned and ready to hand sew.

I used a slip stitch to close the seam, with help of a tutorial from Michelle patterns. Then, I positioned the scarf so that the seam was positioned in the back. Lastly, I wore the scarf around town. You can see the loop in the scarf on the left and the view of the scarf when it’s flattened out on the right. I’m quite happy with the finished product!

Make your own hand stamped infinity scarf - lauramakes.com

The finished scarves.

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