Monday, October 31, 2011

~ Water Colors ~

 I spent my Saturday late afternoon/evening in search of ... a project.  

I had not been to the beach in a while, so ... the beach it was. 

After a few stops along the way, it was already sunset by the time I got there, so I took lots of pictures as the sun was going down. I scrolled back over my work and was happy, but not thrilled.  By this point it was starting to get dark and that caught me by surprise.  I was quickly putting away my camera when I looked up and saw ... this ... in the sky.

It was dim enough that I was struggling a bit to even see what was in the view finder.  But I clearly knew where to point the camera.  Yesterday morning when I downloaded the pictures I was actually ... stunned

Today I remembered about some very very simple (read: cheap) frames I had purchased before I moved.  I have ink in my printer and I am good to go.  I am really enjoying the inexpensive nature of this new art for my home.

Free for the taking ... every ... single ... day.

Linked to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Tuesday's Treasures
White Wednesdays

Sunday, October 30, 2011

~ The Most Haunted Place on Earth ~

Wishing you a day of Spooks and Thrills.

Chocolate and Chills.

Wrapped, of course, in vintage frills.

Happy Halloween from New Orlean's Square. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

~ Autumnal ~

Fall can sometimes be a hard season for me ... you know ... decoratively.  I've just never been an orange and brown kind of gal.  But this fall ... my first since moving to a slightly more fall-ish kind of enviornment ... I have tried to give it my all.  Mixed with a little blue, of course. So, I am good to go for Feathered Nest Friday.

I have spruced up my dining room table to reflect the season.  I love this ceramic pumpkin which always looks like an oil painting to me in pictures.

 I gathered some actual fall leaves from the front of my house.  Seriously, none of those leaves have ever seen the insides of a Michaels.  True story.

 I made some actual pumpkin bread in my very own, honest-to-goodness, oven.  With some orange juice in the recipe.  Yum.

And now all I can think about is this:

We now have less than two months until Christmas. So I decorated for that (emotion) also.

Tell the truth ... you are starting to think about Christmas decorations, aren't you??

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

~ Slip Sliding Away ~

Continuing with the saga of my last post ... here is the evidence that I did not listen to myself when I vowed never again to personally slipcover my furniture.

The sofa and love seat seen here were upholstered in a lovely floral tapestry ... in 1991.  Some time around 2005-2006, I grew weary of the lovely floral tapestry and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted white slipcovers. (Hence, my link to White Wednesday!) I looked into having them sewn for me but the man with the pins in his mouth had retired and everyone else was was too expensive.

Then one night while we were talking with some friends in our living room, I zoned out of that conversation and started having my own.  In my head ... I think.  It went something like this: "YOU could make the slipcovers, you know you can.  You just have to be patient like before.  Only much, much more patient, but that's beside the point. If you can get the fabric at a decent price, you HAVE to do it.  C'mon, everybody's doing it.  You'll be really cool if you do."  I'm not certain I even said good-bye to our friends as they left. I was in the zone.

 As luck would have it when I went to Home Fabrics the next day they had the very white denim I was looking for, it was on sale for, like, $3 a yard and there was just enough.  The zippers for five ten cushions almost cost as much as the fabric.  Clearly it was meant to be. My biggest worry was finding enough piping in the right size.  Let me just say that without my #12 foot on my Bernina sewing machine, I could have never tackled that much covered piping. That there's a lot of piping.

I did use my same system of only working in the mornings (I am a morning person, let's face it) and never working once I was feeling frustrated.  It took me almost a full month to complete them both. My living room looked like a construction zone the entire time.

I had a huge dilemma in the end as to whether or not to do a pleated flounce or a ruffled one.  I went with the ruffles and never looked back.  Also ... if you noticed that I go for that "dressmaker detail" of using buttons for the opening as opposed to zippers, there is very good reason for that.  I'm afraid of zippers.  (And I have a wonderful buttonhole attachment for my Bernina.)

Since then, I have stuck to slipcovering pillows.

But, I never say never anymore.

Monday, October 24, 2011

~ My Slip is Showing ~

I have always started to salivate when in the presence of slipcovered furniture.  At one point many, many years ago, I paid a man to custom make slipcovers for me and was absolutely facinated by his work.  It was a surprise to me that he didn't take the furniture with him, he cut the fabric in the exact shapes ... in some sort of a whirlwind ... while we stood and watched.  My children were most facinated by the fact that he did this while holding approximately 157 pins in his mouth.
 Several years after that, I happened upon a good quality wing chair and ottoman in a very unpleasant looking fabric for a whopping $35 at a yard sale. (Hence, my link to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday) I decided it would be a grand experiment for me, using the wing chair the talented man had slipcovered as a guide.

I cannot begin to tell you how excrutiatingly hard it was for me as a sewing project (I like to cut pieces of fabric into smaller pieces of fabric and sew them back together ... that's what I like to call a sewing project)  but I developed a system where I would work on it in the morning until I hit some sort of a snag, and then I would just go back to it the following morning.  It took me about 2-3 weeks to finish. Thank heavens for "shabby chic" which allowed for a certain amount of looseness and imperfection.

I went on to slipcover every pillow I had ever purchased (I cut up a mattelase spread for this one, utilizing the scalloped edge to my liking) but I swore I would never again slipcover furniture.

I lied.

Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

~ Surveying the Landscape ~

When I first saw this picture online at Better Homes & Gardens, I believe my heart skipped a beat. The pale blues and greens had me at "hello", but then I found my eye kept coming back to the landscape painting over the bed. I have always loved landscape art, but I felt like I knew this painting more personally. Oh yeah ... I do.

This painting which hangs over the dresser in my guest room has a very similar structure and I cherish it.

I bought it for a whopping $15 at a thrift shop years ago. Later I had it reframed for much more than that. The tole-painted bucket was also a steal on the bargain table at Anthropologie. Also years ago. It's place in the guest room is somewhat temporary while holiday decor takes over my pseudo-mantle.

I can't talk about landscape without a picture of the actual landscape just a hop, skip and a jump from my home. I walk this way every morning. I actually do not hop, skip or jump. I just walk.

I do love the landscape around here.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

~ Where was I? ~

 I took some time off for a little R & RRobust fun and Recreation.  Trust me, no rest at all was involved.  The question is ... where did I vacation to?  Was it to a cool and woodsy cabin in the mountains?  Noooo.

 Was it a warm and arid trip to the desert? Ummmm ... I don't think so.

 Was it a stay at the ocean?  You know I love the ocean.  But that would also be a "no".

 Perhaps I went duck hunting.  Think again.

 Oh ... I know ... maybe I went to jolly old England and stayed in a quaint cottage?  Nope, I'm afraid there was not enough time for an overseas adventure.

 Which also rules out that trip to a castle in Bavaria.  Oh no. This was just a mini-vacation.

Or perhaps I should say a ... Minnie ... vacation.  I spent 2.25 days at the Happiest Place on Earth with my oldest daughter, Ms. Gee.

And boy, do I feel happy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

~ Butterflies ARE Free ~

 My title may be a reference to a 60's movie with Goldie Hawn, but try not to let that date me, and cause a flurry while you rush to find a calculator. I just noticed that I had more than my share of butterfly pictures.  All of the quilt ones are from a sample I did at the store in AZ where I used to work.  The whole purpose was to make them in different styles ... and yes they actually went into the same quilt.  Odd, but true.

 This picture is of a sidewalk I walk on every single morning here in SoCal Land.  More butterflies.

 More fabrics.  More fun.

 A "Butterfly Bench" ... also on my morning walk. My grandkids are quite enamored of them.

Butterflies are also Bright!

This is all in honor of the fact that it could possibly be back in the 90's this week.  It just seemed wrong to post any pictures of the frost on the pumpkins.

Happy ... whatever season you want it to be.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

~ Inspiration from the Southland ~

I spent the most lovely day today with a group of fellow bloggers from California.  We toured the oh-so-lovely shops of Old Town Orange and filled our bags to the brim with even lovelier ... free ... stuff, aka "swag".  We had a delicious lunch and listened to Mark Montano answer questions about crafting and publishing.
 As you can see every single detail was exquistely attended to.  (Although for the record ... I had Diet Coke.) It took me a half hour after I returned home to rummage through all of my goodies and a much shorter amount of time to consume some of them.

I would like to thank Paulette of Summerland Cottage for inviting me and then taking me under her wing once I was there. 

The theme was Inspire * Create * Connect.  I was definitely inspired and I cherish the connections I made.

Eh ... two out of three ain't bad.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

~ Fall Feathering ~

Oh ... it's Fall all right. For one thing, I'm freezing after yesterday's rain.

For another thing ... I got out these guys.
I'm feathering my nest (at this party!) with some Fall ... friends.

Next stop: A Pumpkin Patch.

A real one.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

~ Crisp ~

Here is a tip for the day, whether or not you are a sewer/quilter/crafter. This tip is for anyone who fancies herself "a wearer-of-unwrinkled-clothing".

Best Press is the only thing I starch with. No yucky white residue and it comes in lovely scents (or a lack thereof, if that's what you want.) My favorite scent is Caribbean Beach which I buy by the gallon.

I use it consistently to stiffen up a background block in order to machine applique on it. I also use it to put a nice crease in my sleeve.

All Good.
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