Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Smitten Revisited

First I want to say a BIG thank you to Kari and Kijsa for telling others about my "Creativity Showing"! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the honor. (You can see their blog here!) I've had such wonderful feed back regarding many of my projects. Thank you all for your kind and generous thoughts, they are very much appreciated.

This past weekend, while I was out and about in McKinney, I visited Karen Dawkins in her new store Smitten. She has some beautiful new things. I could have really over spent my budget very easily!
This is her front window...so much to see before I even entered the store!

I love these pillows and right after I took this picture a woman snatched up the one with the little album on the front. I think all of these will go fast!

Of course, being partial to pillows, I love these embroidered ones also!

And...there were more pillows as I topped the stairs...

and more on the bed upstairs. There is just so much to look at while you're there.

Karen has a wonderful store...and if you are in McKinney be sure and stop by. (I can't believe I caught the lady buying that pillow. She really liked it.)

Best news is Smitten will begin offering craft classes in the shop. They have converted an area upstairs as classroom space.

This cupboard is filled with some of the craft class samples. Seems they were offering 6 or 7 different classes.

I'm sure you can call the store and find out more info regarding time and fees. The phone number for Smitten is 972.529.6994.

I've been sewing again for Emily today (her big move is Friday...so I'm under the gun!) I'll keep you posted. I have four cushions compete...4 more to go. (I finished the bottoms of the couches first - at least we'll have a place to sit!)

Till then,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monogramed Shade

As you remember I declared the Library at Miss Janice's house completed last week. (You can see the full project here.)

We were both happy with the changes we made on the curtains. I made these curtains for her in early 2003 and they fit her room at the time, but with the new floor and all the changes...I felt a little more sophistication was in order.

We were thrilled when we found these black and white curtains lying in a heap at a local flea market event. We didn't buy them immediately though. Emily initially purchased one for her new place and Miss Janice seemed a little unsure of them for her room. When we made a trip to the house to unload our stuff and held Emily's curtain up to the window, we immediately returned and purchased the other five we'd left behind.

I really liked how they dressed up her library but continued to feel something was lacking. I knew for sure I wanted to cover up the rod in some way. (That thought is still rolling around in my brain. I have some ideas I'd like to "pitch" to Miss Janice on that topic.) However, while reading Kari & Kijsa's blog they had a treatment on a shade that I thought would be perfect for the old pull down shades that were currently on the windows. (You can see the inspiration here on their blog.)

We went to Hancock's on Saturday to look at the various trims and settled on the two different ribbons for the edge of the shade. Miss Janice was "tasked" with fusing the two ribbons together...but she ended up having to glue the ribbon set to the shade.

She liked the contrast of the two different ribbons with the curtains. However...I still wanted to take the shades "up a notch"!

Still thinking of Kari and Kijsa's shade with the initial...I found a really pretty H on the Internet and traced it onto the middle of the shade and painted the design with acrylic paints. (This was after printing it onto fabric and trying to iron the cut out onto the shade! Didn't work, so plan B was to trace and paint.)

I loved the look of the H and Miss Janice was over the top about it's look and style. (By the way...her last name does begin with H. I know the inspiration shade had an H on it also.)

Once the paint dried we hung the shades back up and admired the work we'd put in on them!

Here is the "after" picture (compare it to the two at the beginning of the blog.) I think it looks beautiful with the curtains and the ribbon trim.

Still thinking through my thoughts regarding hiding the rod portion in the middle. We also purchased a tassel for the pull and she'll affix them with some of her vintage buttons. All in all I think the project turned out beautifully (although it will continue to be a work in progress.)

Thank you to Kari & Kijsa for your inspirational blog!

I'll keep you posted about what I'll do about that "naked" center piece of the rod showing!!!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 (New Living Translation)

Someone once said, "When your memories are bigger than your dreams, you're headed for the grave."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Project Dilemma

Well, Emily is set to move into her new Carriage House next Friday, and I'm supposed to be recovering all these cushions (before then!)

She got two small wooden couches (which are really similar) but both of them have pretty ugly cushions and I'm working on recovering all of them the same.

I covered the two pink seat cushions first

and I'll do the seat cushions for the stripped couch next.

Emily hasn't decided on how she wants to back cushions to look - whether the same or just similar. I also am not sure I won't have to get more fabric (this was just a piece my friend gave to me...it had 7 yards!)

Here are two of the finished cushions....more to go before Friday!!!

But...as I was about to begin another cushion I saw this little stool Miss Janice bought this past weekend. I was just a little curious as to what was hiding under the ugly fabric on the top?

I had already looked through some of the fabric I had left over from other of Miss Janice's projects and found this piece I thought would be perfect for the stool. She's going to use it with the chair I recovered for her (you can see that project here.)

WELL....much to my surprise this is what I found underneath! Why cover this up? I immediately had a vision as to how I wanted this stool to look.

So...a little bit of elbow grease to clean up the bottom and then some paint and a stencil finished off the edge.

Next...some more brown paint, fabric extender, her favorite letter....and a steady hand....

What 'cha think?
I haven't run this by her yet...so it may still be recovered in the original fabric I chose, but I'll wait and see what she thinks. I'll keep you posted! (Hopefully Emily's not going to catch me blogging about Miss Janice's stool and NOT sewing her cushions!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apron Swap

I am part of the Flirty Apron Swap -- A vintage remake. We were tasked with finding vintage linens and to remake them into an apron for our "secret" partner. I began this Apron Swap knowing I had plenty of "vintage" items that I could use to create something wonderful. I knew this was going to be my favorite swap because I love creating with vintage fabrics and embroidery finds. I just had to wait to know who would be assigned to me and to learn what her likes/dislikes and favorite colors were going to be before I started sewing.

I was so excited to receive my email from Shawnee as to who I would be sewing for. I went immediately to her blog and began getting to know her and her family. Imagine my pleasure to know she was a Christian stay-at-home-mom of 3 little girls!!! Since I have 3 girls (not so little anymore I might add) I was excited as I began planning my apron.

I had a new stack of recently laundered and ironed tablecloths plus items I've had for awhile. I had a pretty half of a tablecloth I purchased at Canton and was anxious to use it in some manner. This small piece has looked so forlorn and disgusting when I pulled it out of the big cart, but a little bit of soaking and some time on the grass in the sunshine - it looked almost new! I dug deeper in my pile and came up with a damaged full tablecloth that I thought would look good on the reverse side. The two colors were complimentary and I wanted to create something that was a little more "elegant" for Miss Solidia!

I knew right away I did not want a gathered waistband (we moms have enough gathers around our waists!) and I had enough fabric with the two tablecloths to create a pleated apron. I also found a really pretty embroidered piece to place in the front of the apron to dress it up. My middle daughter, Emily, caught my excitement and she knitted two special dishcloths and I buttoned one of them onto the apron. The buttons were created to cover some of the more "loved" areas near the waistband. Here is the front and reverse side of the apron I made for Miss Solidia.

I finished the edge on one side with ruffled ribbon and the other side I used the original edge of the tablecloth. Once I completed my apron...there was still half the pink tablecloth left. I decided to use the rest of it to make aprons for two of her girls. I enjoyed creating matching aprons for the younger girls. There was just enough left to finish these two.

I also wanted to create an apron for her older daughter, but knew from my own "daughter" experience that older girls want to be just a "little different" than their younger sisters. I found another piece of a complimentary tablecloth that was also in bad shape and was able to cut a utility apron for the oldest. I used the other half of the embroidery piece I used on her mother's apron and another small piece of embroidery for the pockets.

All in all, I enjoyed creating aprons for this sweet family. I used every bit of the fabric from the tablecloths I started with. I cut around the holes and rust spots as best I could. There was very little left once all were sewn up.

Here are all the aprons ready for mailing. I created little book bags to put each individual apron in along with recipes that were age appropriate for each recipient. I gave all the bags to my husband to mail on Friday...but somehow one got left in the truck! YIKES!

We didn't find the lost book bag until the weekend, so he took it to work with him on Monday to send "quick" on Monday. I think all should arrive together by Tuesday!

This was definitely not part of my plan (and I was so worried the littlest one would feel left out if the package arrived and there was nothing for her)...but all should be well.
Since I already made "mother/daughter" aprons - don't think I'll enter the next swap! This was fun and I look forward to more swaps in the future!
I just received an email from Miss Solidia and one package has arrived and she is holding the gifts for the girls until the last one arrives. She said she will post pictures on her blog this weekend, so once I see them up I'll post a link so you can see my new blog friend and her lovely family!
Till next time,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Porch Time

This is my favorite time of year. So is summer. Oh...so is fall! I think the best part of living in Texas is being able to be outside most of the year. I know, I know...people complain about summers here, but I love the heat. A quiet shady spot is always refreshing and reminds me of summers when I was young. We didn't have air conditioning, we sat outside. We didn't know it was hot!

I have this wonderful glider on my patio. We found it in a junk yard in Arkansas while driving back from a mission trip in Tennessee. It was a great find and I was so happy we were traveling in our truck. Just tied it on top of the ladders and tools (along with an old green 1950's sink.) We truly looked like the Beverly Hillbilly's with all this stuff piled high on the back of the truck.

Some really ugly orange and brown plastic cushions came with this glider, but I decided to make all new cushions and pillows to create a move vintage look and feel. I enjoy sitting outside reading and watching the birds in the yard and gliding. It's an easy place to take a nap or just spend a quiet moment.

I also have recovered the cushions of my "WalMart" swing. We've owned the swing since 2001 and the cushions were looking pretty tired and worn out. I used fabric from my stash (didn't buy expensive sun fabric) since the swing stays protected on the porch. I still have the winter plastic cover over the swing - April showers and all. I place all the patio cushions on the swing and pull the cover over when I know it's going to rain. Once our rainy season is over I don't have to worry as much. I keep an eye on the weather - the patio is only covered with shade cloth to make sure I put them away in case of rain.

There is also a shade area in the back that I can sit and enjoy my bluebonnets...still blooming in the yard and garden.

Yeah spring! I love being outside....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Library Finished

As you remember...we began this project with delivery of the lumber (of course the actual start was moving everything out of the room!) This was Miss Janice's craft room, but had fallen in status to the "catch all" room and needed a good make over. Since we took out the carpet across the hall...this room just looked tired and outdated, or rather not in keeping with the "age" of the house!

Mike and Peter pushed themselves to finish the floor in one Saturday, along with the first coat of stain, due to a bridal shower scheduled for the next weekend. We knew we only had one week to put the room back together before the shower.

Once it was laid we taped off the border area that would remain the lighter pine color.

Mike, Emily and I got the stain on the floor that evening. Once it dried I came back and put down a coat of sealer. It looked good in initial pictures, however I didn't do enough stirring of the product and it did not look like this when it completely dried. It looked flat, dull and incomplete. I knew I'd have to put another coat on the floor...but the time table of the shower was dictating our actions...so we put the room back together.

It was a rush, but Ashely and I got the pieces of furniture back in place and unpacked a couple of book boxes to make the room look put together, but we knew...another coat of sealer meant removing the furniture again!

Shower over...Ashley and I moved all the furniture back into the hallway so I could put another coat of sealer over the floor. Ashley was very diligent in making sure we kept the product stirred and directing me in covering the floor evenly with the sealer.

Now that we were no longer under the pressure of an event - we had time to leisurely put the room back together. Miss Janice was able to touch up the walls where we pulled nails out. Peter and Emily put the quarter round down to finish off the floor and we touched up the white paint in the room.
Ashely and I brought back the furniture and then began unpacking the book boxes we'd stacked in Miss Janice's bedroom. We knew many of boxes were filled items we'd packed up from the original move of the bookcases, but there were also a lot of boxes Miss Janice had not gone through that she brought from her dad's house when he passed away. We left those boxes for her to decide what was of value to her (although we did pull out a lot of older books that we wanted to use in the library.)
One last item i felt needed to be changed were the curtains. I made them in 2003 for Miss Janice and they fit the feel of the room at that time, but I knew I wanted a little more sophisticated look and feel for the room since it was going to be a real library for her. These are the original toppers she had over the two windows in the room. You can also see them in the pictures above as we worked on the floor.

This Sunday afternoon we went to the Red Barn Antique sale and there was our answer. Six Waverly panels - offered at a discount...and a greater discount if we bought all six! Emily bought one (she will be moving into a carriage house in the historic district in two weeks...more on her decorating later) and Miss Janice purchased five.
We took them home and hung them right away. What do you think of the difference it makes in the room? We will still have to figure out what to do with the middle of the rod that shows...couple of ideas rolling around in my brain. I would also like to update/decorate the shades. Always a project in my mind!

Now to the room reveal....Miss Janice loves suitcases and has many. They had been stacked in the foyer, but I moved them to the shelves above the desk and moved the others into the room to use as displays.

Right side of the room as you enter....

Desk area...

Seating and bookcases....

Suitcase used to hold various books...

I enjoyed creating this room in every aspect...from the floor to the drapes. I hope you will enjoy you peak into Miss Janice's 1917 house. SO...till the next project...the bedroom makeover! However, that will have to wait until after the wedding. Much to do around here, along with Emily's move into the carriage house, then we can begin a new project at Miss Janice's.
Tomorrow I hope to reveal my aprons for the apron swap. Have to wait until my "partner" receives her package!