Wednesday, March 24, 2010

She’s Back!

Yes, she’s back.  My muse that is.  My SEWING muse!  I didn’t know that I even had a muse.  But I must have, because all of a sudden, I’m really enjoying sewing again.  And (knock on wood) I haven’t made any drastic mistakes.  Yet!  You know, the ones were you have to get out the seam ripper and tear apart half of your project and cuss words just flow from your mouth and you get a horrible headache and finally you’re so disgusted with yourself that you shove the entire project in a closet, stomp on it, and try to forget that you ever started it……… yeah, those mistakes.

So yesterday, I was wandering around the house and I suddenly looked at this…….


….and thought “I am soooo sick of that fabric.”  Do you do that ?  With textiles I mean.  They really begin to wear on me after a few years.

So… project, which I really have no time to start!

I started digging through my stash  of fabric and found this yummy linen that I purchased last year and never used.  And some drapery sheer fabric that was down to the last little bit.

And my new favorite word came to mind.  SLIPCOVER!


Just a few months ago, I never would have attempted this.  I think maybe you just have to go at it with a fearless determination and “just do it!”


And here is after.  I really really want to paint the frame on that mirror.  But that is going to require a small small brush and hours of work so as not to paint over the twigs.  I best wait on that project.  6a00e54ee60a16883400e54f2cd6148833-500wi

This pillow was an easy fix.  Fortunately, the back was a solid color, so I just flipped it over, and hand stitched this over it.


I already had most of it assembled.  I just sewed lace around the edges of the burlap.

And this pillow


I just slipped a sham over that I was no longer using in the bedroom.  I changed the drapes to a solid chocolate.  And painted over the bench with more of a taupe color and glazed it. Hung a cute little cone over the mirror, and really changed the look of this corner.





Yep, if that green frame were cream, I would be totally satisfied with this little project.  For now…..

I’ll share the small changes that I made on the opposite wall with you in my next post.

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Keep Your Napkin In Your Lap!

I remember those words from my mother when I was a child.  “Your napkin goes in your lap, not on the table.”

Well…..I’m assembling 150 napkins for the wedding.  I HOPE that they will be “table view”worthy when I’m through with them and not need to be hidden in anyone’s lap.

So what are the criteria when you are making that many of anything?

  1. Must be affordable
  2. Must be easy and fast to assemble
  3. Must look FABULOUS
  4. Must reflect our rustic theme
  5. Fabrics must be easy to work with

I started with one of my favorites.  The good old flour sack kitchen towels from WalMart.  You get five towels in a pack for $5.50.  You will get four napkins out of each towel.  CHEAP!

I prewashed all of my towels and then pressed them smooth.  Folding in half and then half again as I went.

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After they are cut (or torn) into four pieces, each piece will look like this.  This will leave you two raw edges.  The one directly opposite  the selvage edge I turned under and hemmed.  The other raw edge is where I will attach my ruffle.

For ruffles…….cut a piece the entire width (45”) of your cotton fabric, and 4” long.  Here again, I tore all of my pieces, it does stretch your fabric a little, but……150 napkins!!

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Here are your two pieces of fabric.

At this point, fold your ruffle fabric in half and take it to the sewing machine, stitching shut at the raw edge.

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Piece shown is folded but not sewn. 

Then…..I sew the ruffle to the napkin.  No pinning, no measuring, I just take it to the machine and ruffle as I go.  The first couple weren’t too perfect, but I am getting better as I go.  Double top stitch each napkin.  It makes the ruffle lay nice and flat.

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And here are your finished products.

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Aren’t they pretty!  The total cost per napkin…….95 cents each!!  Cheap Cheap!!

You could afford to make a set of these for every occasion!  If I were making them for myself, I might add rick rack or other trim.  More is better?

I started out leaving a raw edge on the back, where I sewed the ruffle on.  THEN….I thought hummmmmm   French Seams!

French seams…..some how I missed those along the way. 

Until I read this great tutorial  HERE!

Thank you Georgia Peachez!

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And isn’t that so much prettier than those raw edges.  Am I going to go back and redo the others? NO!!

If all you’re doing is sewing up 150 napkins, you may just go nuts!  At least that’s my excuse for throwing in little extra projects along the way.

I had this project in my head for awhile.  I purchased some vintage pillow cases at a reasonable price, but the cases had little holes in them.  Enter this project…….

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When I saw that cute paisley/floral fabric at Hobby Lobby, on sale no less, that pretty well did it for me!  I LOVE LOVE these pillow cases!

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Is there anyone who DOESN’T love rickrack?  I think it’s just one of the cutest all-time, long-time trims!

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I used the French Seams on these also.  No raw edges here!  So much prettier.  Now I don’t even want to spend the money on a serger!

These cases will be going to the Rink to be sold.  Along with a coordinating throw pillow which I have yet to start.

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I also finished up my little arm lamp slipcover with a white trim.  So much cuter.  It was just the perfect touch!

AND……here’s a biggie for me!  I have been looking for one of these for YEARS!

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The little over the headboard lamps.  They are SO hard to find.  I wanted one to hang on my tree bed.  And there it was… Tuesday Morning, after years and years of searching!  For $14.99!  They could probably hear me squeal with delight all over the store!

So….it seems that the words “pretty” and “cute” are the theme around my house right now!

Have a wonderful week!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

At The Rink


Today, we didn’t leave the house.  It’s SNOWING!  I can’t believe it.  oh well…

Anywho……here are the two painted pieces that I finally finished.


The fold down chairs.  With a couple of Heather’s canvas paintings and one of my pillows.


And the end table.


The crackled top turned out well.


Love the fleur handle.


Another table runner.  The first one sold fairly quickly.  This one is $58.00.  A little less frou frou.


But if you want frou frou……I got ‘ya covered!  I love the sheer fabric that I used on these ruffles.    $68.00


This pug picture is wonderful.  I think he’s priced at $110.00.  The frame alone is gorgeous. 


In another booth….I loved this display.  So Spring-like.  Now if Spring would only come and STAY!


I love the shape and patina on this watering can!


If you live in the OKC area and attend the Decorators Show House this year, you’ll be seeing a piece of Heather’s art work.


The designer requested a whimsical poodle in these colors.  She (the poodle) is apparently HUGE.  Can’t wait to see the room she’s in.  I think any poodle this impressive deserves a name.  Don’t you?

That’s it for today.  Unless you want pics. of the snow.  And I think most of us have seen enough of that this year!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Passion for Posies & A Beautiful Mess!

A sewing frenzy has begun at Bella Manor!  I only wish this really WERE a grand manor and I had ladies to help ‘cause I have a LOT to accomplish in a relatively short time for the wedding.

I have been experimenting with my posy making skills to see which ones I like the best for various projects.

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Here’s one of my favorites so far.  I am finding out that scrim  is a wonderful wonderful fabric for projects like these.  It’s lightweight yet has just a little body to it.

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I like this little cutie for appliqué projects that I will probably have.  This one took a few tries before I decided on the best way to make it.  Again, I used scrim.

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These were probably my favorites.

Here’s a little layered posy.

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Okay, so I love this one too.  They look best if you use several different fabrics.  This one has linens, tulle, and printed cottons.  Love the look that the frayed edges give the little lovelies!

This one was probably the most trouble, and my least favorite.

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Although, now that I see this photo. I’m liking it much much better!

So what am I using these for?  Various projects for the wedding.  BUT……one of the most fun projects will be the special handmade “thing” that I will be making as a gift for the girls who will be serving food and helping us with the wedding.  I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil their surprises!  Lets just say that I think they will each one be very unique and personal and I hope that they love them!

Heather and I finally hit the fabric store this weekend and started picking up bits and pieces of this and that for our table decorations and projects.

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Yummy silks, dotted swiss, printed cottons, and laces.

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That gauzy scrim that I was showing.  It was so inexpensive that I bought yards and yards of it. 

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Petite daisies and other florals.

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We loved these tiny velvet posies.  And of course, you can’t beat rick rack trim!

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I’m beginning to pull out my vintage hankies.  Also in the picture above.

So…..these fabrics will be used in small ways throughout the wedding decor.  The back drop is so dark in the barn that we decided to go a little brighter with our colors.  I had previously envisioned paler pastels.  Table cloths will (hopefully) be your basic white.  We’re still shopping around for those.  I couldn’t believe how much they wanted to just RENT them for the day!

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I experimented with this little candle today.  I purchased that burlap strapping at Hancock's for .79cents a yard!  WOW!  What a deal.  What else can I use it for…….

I still need to make some kind of cute little tag to hang from the front.  We plan on using plenty of candles to kind of brighten the barn up a little.  The only thing is, they must be battery operated.  YIKES!  Expensive!  I’m scheming on that one too, though.  I’m thinking of buying really cheap white candles, hollowing them out some in the center, and using the less expensive battery tea lights.  I still have to sit down and figure how much that would save us.  It’s a plan though!

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I love the way that our vintage brooches are looking with everything.  I could just leave these sitting out all of the time, they’re so happy looking!

We have completely changed the look of Heather’s dress.

Our “look” if you will is kind of vintage inspired, country boy meets city diva.  If that makes any sense.  In other words, it will be a mixture of vintage, burlap, lace, tulle, satins, and…..everyone is wearing cowboy boots.  Yep, even with their dresses. 

So here’s the new dress pattern.

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Now this one feels RIGHT to me!  Less formal, a little flirty, more of a tea length.  I’m going to make a couple of petticoats to go underneath with tulle ruffles on the bottom that will peek out.  I think it has that vintage vibe that we’re going for but is still just dressy enough.  I’m actually looking forward to this one!  Maybe it’s because it feels more like an art project than just sewing a dress.

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So what a beautiful mess my house has become.   Bright colors and pretty posies everywhere!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Waiting For The Paint To Dry

Really!  I’ve been working on a couple of pieces of furniture.

Like this piece.


They are the old vintage fold down chairs with slatted seats.  They’re taking FOREVER to paint.  So many nooks and crannies.  And then I can’t fold them down to finish them until the paint dries blah….blah….blah….

Anywho, they are going to be super duper cute!  They’ll be distressed and glazed and the inside back of each chair will have a big number painted on it.  As long as this  thing is taking me it should sell for a bazillion dollars.  It won’t, but I just feel like it should.  :)  I know, I know, spray paint, right?  But we just kinda like the way the brush strokes look when the pieces are dry.  Especially on this vintage stuff.


This is a cute little vintage side table with drawer.  It’s also on wheels.  CUTE!  The top is decoupaged.  I still have to crackle and glaze.  Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.  The glaze will, of course, really darken up that printed paper and give it a great old look.

Both of these pieces will head to the Rink!  Sooner or later!  I had intended to have them ready tomorrow.  Huummm……..that’s not happenin’!

While I had everything out, I’m painting this piece, for myself.


See, no worries, I still love my color!

I’m really trying to get rid of things that I don’t consider “me” any more.  Although what “me” is, remains a little unclear.

My persistence and patience finally paid off.  I found one of the little oriental lamps that I have been wanting since we went on our trip last fall to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.


They had a collection of them in this very kitschy, eclectic little restaurant and I’ve been on the lookout ever since.


Here’s mine.  I love the way it looks sitting on top of my vintage seed box.  The total contrast in styles but the perfect colors.  Some goofy person had painted the shade.  Other than that, it’s in perfect condition.  And here’s the best part.  All of the others that I had seen were selling for around $75.00.  Another dealer, and friend, at the Rink, sold this one to me for what she had paid for it.  $10.00!!!!!  I was so thrilled, not to mention grateful, that I could have jumped up and down!   I just love my little kitschy cool lamp!


What is my style anyway?  CRAZY!

While I had the camera out…….


The newest look on the little mantel in the living room.


What do you do with your vintage books when you don’t have a single book shelf?  I put mine in giant urns.

The larger mantel upstairs is also undergoing a change. 


Hubby’s vintage camera collection is coming out of the closet.


I think it kinda fits the decor of this room. 


Sorry about the quality of these pics.  This room never photographs well.


Loved this pic. that I found at Hobby Lobby not long ago.  Printed on burlap.  I tell ‘ya……that store can be a independent retailers worst nightmare.  I would bet that by this time next year, we’ll be seeing all of the industrial type looks that are so popular with the number and letter craze at H.L. for a fraction of the cost. 

Other things that will be finding their way out of my house for good……


The last of my black plate collection.


This pair of candle sticks.  These are actually going to be a little hard to let go of.


This giant sized lamp which is ALMOST tall enough to be a floor lamp.

I guess I’m going for the vintage, chippy, shabby, collected over time by a blind person with no regard for style other than what she likes……..look.  Yep!  That’s it! 

Have a great Friday!



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