Tuesday, May 17, 2016

If it Weren't for Bad Luck....

Hello friends! Lately it seems that if it weren't for bad luck, I would have no luck at all. I've also heard that bad things sometimes happen in threes but in my case it has been happening in many multiples of threes.....one right after another. But last week there was a bright spot.....a spur of the moment conversation that led to a lovely day spent with a friend roaming antique and vintage shops and barns and a yard sale. I found some lovely, reasonably priced items and they came home with me!

"Oh happy day!" came out of my mouth more than once on this joyous day of shopping and having lunch with one of my dearest friends.  We had a ball!.....

My best find was several yards of this beautiful dark ecru, hand crocheted edging. It was all folded up in a plastic bag with no price tag. The woman told me she would have to call the owner of the booth to find out the price. Later on she told me that the booth owner was also having a yard sale down the road so that was our next stop.

I bought several of these beautiful towels on the $1.00 table. When I got home and opened them up I realized they were as big as bath towels. Some of them had patterns of fleur-de-lis and shamrocks. I did have photos of them but I lost them in a very bad photo transfer which ended badly for me and deleted 1,000 plus photos from my phone. I haven't quite gotten over that yet.....

This very large table scarf was also on the $1.00 table but it had a tag which clearly said $40.00. It was gorgeous and I wanted to bring it home with me. I asked about the price and it was also $1.00 so of course I purchased it.

Here you can see that it is monogrammed. I love imagining the history behind items like this.....It is a very beautiful piece with no stains, holes or damage of any kind.

We stopped at another antique mall and I found this white edging. There are two very long pieces. I'm sure I will put it to very good use!

I also purchased this large, gorgeous ecru tablecloth. It was the most expensive thing I bought all day and was only $16.00. It is in excellent condition with one very small stain. I have been working on that stain and it is barely noticeable now. I couldn't even locate it this afternoon.

I also found a few bags of very pretty lace and edgings. I did not even open the bag they were in. I like to go home and open a few surprises while checking out my loot. This bag of sweet lace was a nice variety of some good-sized pieces. :)

I fell in love with this large table scarf. The edging is exquisite. This piece, although lovely, has a small tear so I will most likely use the lacy edging in a sewing project.

Some miscellaneous lace edgings, eyelets, lace and a large doily.....

I had such a wonderful day roaming these shops. We stopped for a nice lunch and I tried Parsnip Apple Soup. I haven't ever had it before and was more than a little curious. There was a very nice lady behind the counter and she asked me if I would like to taste it and I said, "yes please!" My next words were, "I'll take a cup of that with a half of a turkey sandwich." It was delicious!

We made one more stop before heading home. I didn't want the day to end. I didn't have one bad luck experience all day.......until I had been home all of about fifteen or twenty minutes. I was eating something and my dental crown fell out. It was a Thursday evening of course and the dental office I go to is closed on Fridays and all weekend...Can you guess where I am going in the morning?

Oh well, tomorrow is a new day and I have a very good feeling about it!........Good night friends!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sweet Dreams--An Upcycled Project

Today I was trying to come up with an idea to use (upcycle/repurpose) some wide mouth mason jar lids and rims that I purchased by mistake. I could've just taken them back but what fun would that have been? Finally after much thought I came up with a mini dream catcher idea that actually turned out much cuter than I dreamed (no pun intended).

The first dream catcher that I worked on was this white one. I dug out my stamps and began stamping away. I have a huge pile of white cotton fabric strips that I made from some vintage bed linens. I knew they would come in handy some day.....

I made the second dream catcher out of light beige sari ribbon. I wasn't sure how it would take the stamp but it turned out rather well.

I tied on some strips of ivory tulle with the sari ribbon. I think some ivory or ecru lace would work really well too and will add some to the next ones I make.....

Though these dream catchers are not quite finished, I am quite happy that they turned out so well the first time I put one together. Usually new projects take a bit longer to plan and even longer to execute. I still have to decide how to embellish, though I think with these, less embellishment may be more. I will also have to attach a hanger of some sort.

I suppose these aren't truly dream catchers as there is a piece of fabric behind the lace doilies to hide the lid. Since they are supposed to filter out and catch bad thoughts and dreams while the good dreams pass through, I am afraid that maybe even the good thoughts and dreams might get caught in the fabric too. I tend to worry a lot.......

 As ornaments though, I think they would look very cute hanging on a wall. The lid is about 3 1/4" in diameter and the entire ornament measures about 11" from the top of the rim to the bottom of the fabric strips. I will be making more of these for sure and in several sizes.....

Well friends, it's getting late and I still have a load of laundry to do. I hope you have had a nice evening. Happy Weekend....Sweet dreams......

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Every Time a Bell Rings....

Good evening friends! Have you been hearing bells ringing? Since my angel post on Tuesday, (here),  two more angels have gotten their wings and although they are pretty labor intensive, I think they just may be my favorite thing to make. Since I do not work with a pattern, they are seldom ever the same size and details are generally different. So this post is just to highlight some of the pretty lacy details of all three.....

The white one on the right was the second angel to be completed. Her gown and ruffles are made from repurposing a vintage table runner. I removed the lace to use the fabric for her gown and then added the lace as a ruffle at the bottom and around her neck.

A better look.....

This canvas tag was first covered with a piece of stretch lace I had in my stash.  It is machine stitched (zig zag), then the stamped words, buttons and lace scraps were added.

This little lady is my favorite so far. She has a wide lace ruffle and lots of other lacy details....you know I love lace!

Lots and lots of lace!

Her sari ribbon-wrapped halo is sweet. Her ribbon at her neckline is also sari ribbon and I love the way the silk frays. Such a shabby sweet look.....

I really enjoyed creating this angelic trio. The entire designing process is so much fun when you love the colors, textures, and materials you are working with. Also, it appears that my love for neutrals is running rampant these days. Neutrals seem to soothe the soul.....at least they do for me. But neutrals AND lace--now that's just heaven!

"Earth's crammed with heaven. But only he who sees, takes off his shoes."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Moms are Angels

You may or may not believe this when I tell you.....but there are angels right here on earth. Moms! Since Mother's Day is right around the corner, it only makes sense that at some point I would get around to creating a special angel in honor of Mother's Day!

Many of my angel ornaments are constructed from paper but some of my more recent angels are a combination of paper and fabric. This particular ornament is mostly fabric though the wings have a paper base because I was afraid two layers of this fabric would be too heavy.

Her dress is stitched down each side with zig zag stitches. She has lots of pretty vintage lace embellishments. The ecru lace on the bottom of her dress is nicely aged and perfectly stained in very small spots. I love that look......the lace around her neck is a three layer, dainty ruffle and very sweet. She is very lightly stuffed with polyfil.

Her wings are a layer of fabric topped with 2 layers of tulle and stitched (zig zag stitched) on to a paper base for support. For her halo, I wrapped a strip of torn sari silk around a piece of wire. It looks perfectly tattered....the tag also has lace, a lace heart and button embellishments and "moms are angels' is hand stamped to look slightly imperfect. Boy is it ever difficult to make something look imperfect.....when you are really trying. But if you aren't trying........

Here she is making herself comfortable on a pile of just ironed linens.....

She looked so pretty that I had to snap a couple of photos. In this photo you can see that I have attached a bow made from tulle and sari ribbon to the curled wire hanger. The tulle is a difficult to see but it hangs quite long with the sari ribbon and adds a shabby, sweet touch to my angel ornament.

The idea to make this angel popped into my head last night at a pretty late hour so I stayed up until it resembled the image in my mind. This made for a pretty late night or should I say a pretty early morning and a very short night. But that's how I roll......if I had gone to bed before nearly completing her, I never would have been able to fall asleep.

Today I spent the afternoon with my very own angel on earth--my mom! She has been recovering from some serious health problems,  had some long hospital stays and rehabs and I am happy to report that she is actually better now than she was the last year  prior to becoming ill. I took her to PT this afternoon and then we did a little shopping. Prayers were answered and I'm feeling very blessed!

"All God's angels come to us disguised."
James Russell Lowell

Update: more photos....HERE!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Coconut Cream Banana Trifle

Banana Coconut Torte

I never seem to be able to leave well enough alone! I try something, I like it and feel the need to tweak it. It all started with the common coconut poke cake that is posted all over the internet. 

Basically you bake a white or yellow boxed cake mix according to directions on the box, then bake, and while still hot, poke holes all over it with the end of a wooden spoon.

The recipe I tried said to mix one container of cream of coconut with one can of sweetened condensed milk and then pour over the top of the cake.

Then using a container of cool whip, frost the entire cake and then sprinkle a package of coconut over the top.

It looked and smelled amazing.....but I was a little disappointed that it seemed to lack coconut flavor throughout the cake. Also, the entire package of coconut on top may have been a bit too much!

Then one night while having a conversation via email with my blogging friend Kitty (who blogs at Kittys Kozy Kitchen ), she told me that she made a coconut poke cake but she added the cream of coconut to the cool whip not the sweetened condensed milk. So I decided to frost it Kitty's way.

Somewhere along the line, I thought it would make a delicious trifle and thought why not add bananas and a package of coconut pudding as additional layers in the trifle? It turned out to be a good decision!

In this photo you can see the sliced bananas and the layer of creamy, coconut pudding! (It was a box of Jello Instant pudding. I prefer the cooked puddings but couldn't find a box in the store in coconut and I did not have time to make my own, so instant it was!)

I built my trifle by spreading a dollop of the cool whip/cream of coconut mixture on the bottom of my trifle dish. To that I added a layer of cake broken into bite sized pieces. Then I added a generous helping of the coconut cream pudding, followed by the cool whip/cream of coconut mixture and a layer of sliced bananas and completely covered that layer with shredded coconut. I repeated this two more times (3 layers in all) and garnished the top with a strawberry.

It looked pretty and delicious when it was layered in the dish!

It tasted oh so good!.....and everyone loved it! I did not bring any leftovers home with me for good reasons!

I love trifles! It is a fancier way of presenting a cake and certainly an easier way of toting a layered cake to a special event. The layers can't slide in the dish! I have at least 4 trifle desserts that have become family favorites over the years! 

I will leave you with a link to Kitty's Coconut Cake. ( Click Here ) I like adding the cream of coconut to the whipped topping! Thank you Kitty! 
If you get a chance to visit Kitty, you'll have to check out her other mouth watering recipes as well. I think she may just have a tea cup or set of dishes that coordinates with every dessert she whips up!

Have a lovely day friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Teacup Swap Reveal

The latest addition to my teacup collection! So pretty..... let me start at the beginning......

Stephanie who blogs at The Enchanting Rose recently held her 8th Teacup/Mug Exchange and I cheerfully participated. Stephanie's post with links to all of the participant's posts can be found HERE!

I was delighted to receive the most beautiful package in the mail; beautifully wrapped and just a lovely collection of little gifts including the sweetest teacup and saucer which also came with a coordinating larger plate. I have been using it for a dessert plate, breakfast or luncheon plate. It's the perfect size!

This package of treasures was sent by my newest teacup swap friend--Kelly Deal whose blog is  Dreaming of Vintage. I have spent quite a bit of time reading through some of her posts and scrolling through her photos as I have been a follower of hers for quite some time and have admired her work which is usually very vintage inspired. This explains why her cards, tags, etc are so appealing to me. She uses some similar items in her projects that I use and her work is just wonderful! You will have to check her blog out for yourself!

My gifts were all wrapped up in a Paris box which is a gift all by itself. I absolutely love these boxes and use them to keep some of my sewing and crafting supplies in.


After.....All the treasures I found inside my box....two sweet little tea themed dish towels which are hanging on my stove, a bag full of a variety of teas to try (and I have a new favorite!!!), A cute little pink Paris notebook and package of tissues, a sweet little white ceramic dish, two embellished tea mug mats, a tea strainer, a fabric tea wallet which has already been packed and found it's way into my bag.....a lovely, handwritten note from Kelly and of course, the beautiful teacup, saucer and plate. I love the design on the cup-- pretty, dainty, with a vintage feel. The bird is so cute!

Once I had opened everything, and oohed and aahed sufficiently, I packed everything back up in the sweet little box and admired it some more....

I sat it on the end table next to the couch where I was sitting and admired it all evening! Truly!

Eventually I realized that in order to drink some tea in that sweet little cup, I was going to have to dismantle my box of goodies.....and I did!  AND I am so glad I did! My first tea in the cup was a Lady Grey Tea and I loved it! So I have a new favorite tea!

Thank you very much Kelly for this parcel of pure perfection! I loved every item that you chose to include and I felt completely pampered by your thoughtfulness. It completely made my day!
Since I have placed the cup, saucer and plate in my cupboard of all white dishes, I am greeted with it every morning and of course I think of you!

I sent a teacup package off to Deborah Montgomery who blogs at The Beautiful Matters. She has a  section on her lovely blog specifically for Tea related posts which is where I headed first!  In my excitement to get her package sent out in a timely manner, I had everything wrapped before realizing that I forgot to snap photos of each item. So once Deborah's post is published, I will edit my post and add a link to her photos. I did manage to photograph the wrapped items and the teacup....

Update:  Visit Deborah's Teacup post here!

All wrapped up and somewhere to go.....

My husband actually found Deborah's teacup in an antique shop we were shopping in while picking up my daughter in Rhode Island. I fell in love with it, violets, platinum edging and all.....

Deborah, Kelly and I have already exchanged some emails and I look forward to getting to know both of them! We share many similar interests!

I cannot wait for the next teacup swap....Stephanie does an amazing job of organizing this event for us and I am so thankful!  Much thought, time and effort goes in to planning and coordinating this event so Thank you Stephanie from the bottom of my heart!  Imagine all the newly formed friendships!......167 participants this time around from all over the world! So remarkable!

I don't know who said this, but ain't it the truth.....

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy tea, and that's kinda the same thing."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Faith, Hope, Joy--Heartstrings

Good morning friends! Today I am sharing a newer version of my embellished heartstrings. It's certainly no secret that I love hearts. In fact, if I have scraps of fabric leftover, sometimes I will just sit (while watching TV) and cut out hearts. You just never know when a fabric heart will come in handy, either for applique, or stitching and stuffing, or stringing them along....

Just in case you don't believe me, here is a small sampling of my pile of hearts....

Anyways, back to my heartstrings.....these are so easy to whip up and can be hung over doorways, windows, over the doors of a hutch, tied around a planter or basket. They really add a pretty touch to whatever you hang them on. Plus, they can easily be customized by adding stamped sentiments, quotes, etc. Some ideas: Home Sweet Home, Home is Where You Hang Your Heart, Welcome Friends, Welcome Baby (this would be cute in pink or blue flannel hearts!). The possibilities are endless really!

Easy steps to make your own:

1.) Determine how many hearts you would like to string along......lol!

2.) Cut out two heart shapes from fabric for each heart. You will also need one heart shape cut out from fleece batting for each heart. I used fusible fleece because I have many, many scraps of fusible fleece..

3.) Decorate the top fabric layer of each heart using buttons, bits of lace, fabric, sentiments stamped on fabric, and ribbons. I added the tulle bow at the very end, after the heart was completed. (Note, I ironed on the fleece interfacing after the heart was embellished. If you have lace that could be damaged by ironing, either add the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the back of the heart or use sew on interfacing, Just pin securely when you stitch the three layers together.)

4.) With wrong sides facing, stitch all around the hearts with a zig-zag stitch, I started my stitching on a trimmed area so it would not show where I started and stopped. Check the backside to make sure all of the edges are enclosed in the stitching. If an area needs to be restitched, no worries. Stitch it on the backside. The extra stitching just adds to the shabby chic quality of the heart.

5.) Add ribbon or tulle bow at top of each heart if desired.

6.) Stitch the hearts to a length of twine, ribbon, torn strip of fabric. (I used recycled sari ribbon.)

7.) Tie a loop in each end of ribbon so they may be hung.


Not only is this project easy, it can be completed quickly. Do the heartstrings below look familiar?

These are in my blog banner. Here you can see some batting exposed. Sometimes I let it show sometimes I don't. Sometimes I used pinking shears, other times I use regular scissors. There is no right or wrong way. 

My wish for you my friends:  faith, hope, joy! Have a wonderful weekend!

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