Thursday, May 17, 2018

It's Time for Tea!

I once again participated in Stephanie's Tea Cup/Mug Exchange. (Stephanie's blog is The Enchanting Rose.) This particular time I had a million reasons why I shouldn't take part but I could not let the opportunity pass me by because  it really brings me so much joy. I decided that life's other less joyful intrusions were not going to keep me from playing along.

I received the most beautiful package of gifts from sweet Sarah who lives in NY and blogs at Lilacs and Springtime. This treasure trove included a lovely blue and white tea cup and coordinating tea bag holder, (I have a small collection of tea bag holders that I often find while strolling through vintage shops so I happily added this to my collection!), some delicious cranberry tea, chocolate covered biscuits (YUMMEEEE) one of her lovely apron creations and matching kitchen towel, a hand-crocheted doily, some handmade goat's milk and lavender soaps made by her husband, a lovely set of notecards which coordinated perfectly with the apron fabric, a pretty vintage styled hankie and the nicest book of one minute devotionals. The colors of everything in the package were so pretty together so I just laid everything out on my table and looked at it......

A closer look at the apron--it is so, so pretty. I absolutely love the fabric and the lace! The towel is very sweet too! She has a lovely ETSY shop which can be found here: HERE!  Hand sewn, hand knitted and vintage items........

I love handmade soaps....these will stay in my kitchen too! I haven't opened them yet. They smell heavenly and I love the wrappings.

Isn't the hankie pretty?

Here is a better photo of the towel and doily! I LOVE, LOVE them both!! As many of you know, doilies are an obsession of mine!

Thank you very much for this lovely gift Sarah! It was so thoughtfully put together  and perfect in every way! It arrived on a Sunday which surprised me and totally caught me off guard. The box was filled with surprise after surprise, and each item so carefully and beautifully wrapped! The handmade touches made it even more special!

The recipient of my tea cup package was another sweet gal, Barbara who does not have a blog. She lives in Texas. I think this might have been the first time I have sent to someone who did not have a blog. I usually like to snoop around the blogs to find out what they like and dislike so this time it was a bit more challenging. In the email from Stephanie, it was listed that Barbara liked murder mysteries and that she had hosted some murder mystery parties so I decided to use that as a theme for my package that I sent to her.

I found the perfect teacup from Victorian Traders (I'll show you why in a moment...) and I collected several other little treasures to add. As many times as I have participated in these swaps, it never fails that I begin wrapping before I think to photograph. This swap was no exception so I will have to defer you to Stephanie's reveal post to see the other goodies that got wrapped and missed my photo op.

Below, you will see why I thought I had found the perfect cup for Barbara!

At the bottom of the cup are the words, "You have been poisoned." I also found a tea cup murder mystery book to accompany the tea cup. It was called The English Breakfast Murder by Laura Childs.

Maybe the next swap will be the one that I remember to photograph everything before wrapping!

I received the sweetest, most thoughtful thank you note from Barbara last week and I am delighted to let you all know, that despite the words in the bottom of her tea cup, she is still alive and well after her first cup of tea in it!!! LOL!

It has become my little ritual after receiving my new tea cup from my exchange partner to make a cup of tea in it the evening it is received. I always look forward to this part!!! It is a nice time to reflect on the entire experience of the exchange.... and well....a little chocolate biscuit on the side doesn't hurt either! ;)

It is so nice to have "met" two new friends-- Sarah and Barbara, and I am fondly remembering all of the friends I have met over the past many exchanges I have taken part in.  I would like to close by thanking Stephanie for graciously hosting all of these wonderful exchanges (she's an angel!) and for bringing us all together for tea! Sip and enjoy friends!

PS Head on over to Stephanie's Tea Cup/Mug Exchange Reveal post which  can be found HERE!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Bird in a Nest

Hello friends and welcome spring! I think it is now safe to assume that spring has finally arrived in our neck of the woods! Yeah! It seemed like a long, cold winter of endless snowstorms and though we still have some cooler temperatures sticking around, it will be hitting the 80's by Wednesday! No gradual warm up that's for sure but I am not complaining! Bring it on!

I have not been able to blog in the last several weeks but I actually did begin this post on April 15th and never finished it. Life has just been very busy, but a good busy and hopefully after the next week or so, things will calm down a bit and I will have more time for my blog. I have so much reading to catch up on......

I started this wreath a few weeks ago and ran out of flowers so it has been sitting on my table unfinished. It was really getting in my way....I finally hung it on my door to get it off the table while I work on the finishing touches. It's a gift and I want it just right. I was looking to create a kind of wild flower effect and at first it was mostly white but then I added some yellow and really liked it.

I love blue jays and the person I made this wreath for is also fond of them. Blue jays have spunk and they are fiercely protective of their young. I respect that. Once you have been dive bombed by a momma jay you don't forget it!

Many years ago we had a nest of blue jays in some pine trees on the side of our yard. The babies got too big but were not yet flying and they all fell out of their nest. They were incredibly plump, with downy, fluffy feathers and so cute! They were hopping all over our lawn and I happened to be outside with our dog and apparently too close for mama's comfort. Mama jay came after us and it was an experience I will never forget. After I took the dog inside, I came back out and sat on the front steps. Momma jay seemed okay with that until her babies came hopping over to me. She started her little dive bombing routine again but this time she brought some back up. I think it must have been her mate!

Did you know that blue jays mate for life? I love that!

I added some twinkle lights as you can see. I hid the battery box in the nest but need to get some more spanish moss to fill in the nest so I can hide the box and wires.

So this is what I have been working on here and there....among all the other things that have been going on. It was also the Tea Cup Exchange (Stephanie organizes it and blogs at The Enchanting Rose. ) I received the loveliest package containing my teacup last Sunday and I sent my package of goodies out on Tuesday.  The contents will all be revealed sometime in May when Stephanie hosts her usual roundup after everyone has sent and received their packages. It is always so much fun! I've been enjoying my new tea cup and tea! More on that later.....

Enjoy the rest of the weekend friends! We have sun! I hope you do too!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Making Babies!

I've been busy making! The method I used involves some cute cuddly star printed flannel in pinks and blues,(so dreamy) some lace and other trims, ribbon and a few other small but important embellishments. These were just so much fun to make!

It started when a friend of mine asked if I made baby ornaments. I've given it some thought before but hadn't found time to experiment. I accepted the challenge and headed to the store to purchase some flannel. I had an image floating around in my head.....

I started by making one girl and one boy. They turned out cute enough but I decided to make a few changes and tried it out first on the girls. I made five. One of them has a tag attached that I stamped "blessed." It is difficult to see in the photo but the tag is attached to the dress with a tiny pink wooden clothespin. You'll be able to see it better in another photo.

Then I cut out the pieces for five baby boy ornaments.

I found the teeniest little pompoms and decided they would add a cute touch to the baby boys' night caps. I stamped this tag with "it's a boy."

I love their little gowns. They remind me so much of the little flannel nighties my mom made for my daughters when they were babies. They were so sweet! I saved every single one!!!!

Some of these are already listed in my ETSY shop. I plan to offer some ornaments with a stamped tag and others without. The one I made for a friend was stamped with a date of birth. I think they would be such cute package tie-ons for a baby shower gift or given as a surprise gender reveal gift to an expecting grandparent!

My next batch of baby ornaments will be made from some white flannel and eyelet lace. I look forward to making them later in the week.  Although these do not work up quickly and do require many steps to complete, they are a joy to create and truly a labor of love!

Tomorrow and Wednesday is supposed to be very warm, near 70 on Wednesday.....YAHOO! I am planning to open the windows, wash them and do a little spring cleaning! Spring is in the air!!!! 28 days and I am counting......are you?

Thanks for stopping by friends! Have a wonderful week!


New White Baby Angel Ornaments too:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Floral Straw Hat Redo

This is one of those projects that once completed, I regretted not taking a before photo. A friend of mine mentioned to me that she had a straw hat decorated with navy blue dried flowers, hanging on an inside door in her house. She told me that the flowers were looking old and faded but the hat was still just fine. She wondered if I could remove the old flowers and reuse the hat. She also said that she would like a shabby/vintage feel to it. Of course I was up for the project  but I knew I would not get to it until after the holidays. She gave me the hat and it was indeed very tired looking and in need of a lift. I removed the old dried flowers, the grosgrain bow and most of the Spanish moss but some moss remained because it was really glued on and I was afraid of tearing the hat.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do so I set out one afternoon cutting many circles from some sheer fabric in several different sizes. I also cut some from tulle and nylon lace. I made the flowers using the technique of melting fabric edges over a candle flame. There are many good how-tos on Youtube, Pinterest, etc. I have used this technique before and it creates such a pretty, romantic flower that is perfect for a project like this. If you want to learn the technique, search for a video on Youtube and watch it. I have watched many over the years and each time I watch, I learn something new. You must choose silky fabrics/synthetics or the flower will go up in flames. Don't ask me how I know!  I always make these over a small votive candle right next to the kitchen sink filled with water. I have also burned my fingers as the melting fabric can get very hot! NOT a project for kids!

In the photo above, you can see the large flower with the yellow pin holding the layers together. I made a bunch in various sizes and placed them all around the hat to get an idea of how many I was going to need. In the end, after much gluing,  I made a couple more flowers because I saw some slightly open spaces in the placement that really bugged me. Though I was not going for a totally symmetrical look, I did want a somewhat balanced look.

More flowers and more I added some small purchased flowers for color.

Then I began the process of gluing and adding some pearl centers....

The open space I mentioned is on the right side of the hat.

So I added a few more white flowers to fill in the open space.

A view of the other side....

The bow was made from a piece of lace that I purchased in a lot from an antique shop. It was the perfect length. I added a layer of the sheer fabric (that I used for the flowers) and a layer of tulle to the lace bow. Not only does the tulle support the lace bow so it doesn't get droopy but it adds the loveliest shabby/romantic/vintage touch to the hat as well.

,,,,and here is is all wrapped up and ready to go back to its home and place on the door.....because when all is said and done, "home is where you hang your hat."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Wreath for All Seasons and Some Hearts

I have been enjoying some time creating these heart pillow/ornaments during our recent cold and storm spell. You see, the frigid cold as in zero temperatures and double-digit below zero wind chill factors does not agree with me at all. The older I get, the less I am able to tolerate that kind of weather. In recent years though, we have been rather spoiled by much milder, winter temperatures and not nearly as much snowfall. I was caught very off guard the week of Christmas with snowstorm after snowstorm and then the frigid temperatures.

I found myself retreating to my sewing area where I discovered that cranking the thermostat and creating hearts from beautiful fabrics, laces and ribbons actually warmed the heart. Sipping nice hot beverages from my collection of sweet little teacups helped too!

I created the two burlap and cotton floral hearts first. I tagged the first one "be mine" which is obviously a Valentine sentiment. The second heart I tagged "love you" which is a little less specific to Valentine's Day allowing its use for other occasions. But truly, either could be used year round depending on the decor. The more I accumulate STUFF, the more I appreciate items that can be used for more than one special holiday or occasion. I simply do not have the space to store single holiday-use items anymore.

You may recall my rag wreath that I made  and posted HERE back in August. I had it hanging on a door in my back hall until December when I decided to move it to my dining room. Talk about a year-round decorative piece. I have had more fun changing the look of it just by adding a small ornament or two.

Here it is all plain and simple. For Christmas, I added an ivory Santa Claus...

and some gold stars.... achieve this white Christmas wreath. I loved it! So after completing some Valentine's Day Hearts it occurred to me that I could easily change up the wreath to become Valentine's Day decor.

This is a heart I made a few years adds a romantic charm to the wreath.

Then I tried the burlap hearts in the wreath....

and the floral hearts too.

I loved them all! I'm already thinking ahead to Memorial Day/4th of July.  Little did I know while tying all these rag knots to a wreath form, I was actually creating a year round, very versatile piece of decor that will change with the holidays and seasons! My biggest challenge will be keeping it dust free!

Thanks friends for stopping by. For those of you following me on IG, this is all old news but I do appreciate all of your support, likes and kind comments. It's wonderful to have multiple platforms that allow us all to stay in touch and up to date with our latest projects! Have a lovely weekend!