Monday, March 30, 2015

Honoring the Past

......and a Heart in Pieces

I may or may not have a problem. I don't know for sure! All I know is that I cannot take my mind off vintage linens and lace in all its crisp, white and beige glory.

If you have been following me, you know that I found an amazing source for purchasing vintage linens. My initial thought was how wonderful these items would be for reuse in sewing projects. BUT the problem is they are too perfectly beautiful to cut up and I seem to have formed an attachment to them. This is not good! Why? Because I am going to need a bigger linen closet!

My newest pile of mostly white vintage treasures

My first purchase from the antique shop netted many off-white/ecru linens. My second visit is mostly all nice, bright whites. Included are three pieces of beautiful Irish linen, one of which is a long table runner. So beautiful!  I washed them all and loved ironing each piece.

 During the ironing phase, I admire each piece and imagine both the creator who painstakingly crocheted lace onto perfectly sewn linen and the users of these fine linen masterpieces. Eventually the thought occurs to me that somebody gave them up, tossed them aside for mere pennies. These pieces already have value to me in the non-monetary sense.  I am sentimentally attached and I know not a thing about the creators or the users except the romantic notions I conjure up in my mind while I am ironing.

The satisfaction I find in this process is equal to that feeling of losing myself in a good book or movie.

A heart pillow in the planning pieces...."the before photo"

Last night I did find a lace runner that had a couple of torn threads so I cut it up to use on a pillow. (The pieces are shown above.)  It was hard to make the cut.....I think the key is to find less perfect pieces (perfectly imperfect) to use for sewing and crafts. I will keep collecting these perfect, charming and timeless pieces for myself and others who share this love.

Maybe I don't have a problem after all. Maybe it's just my way of honoring the past. Sure sounds better than having a problem......

ps checking back at the antique shop later today!

"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely
explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart."
Martin Luther King

Linking up with:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Hearts Are in the Right Place

Gratitude and Heartfelt

I finally completed the second of two heart pillows that I blogged about earlier in the week.  I thought I would have a couple more completed by now but I didn't realize how time consuming the finishing touches would be. It was also a very busy week both in my virtual and real worlds. Unfortunately, the real world sometimes take precedent!

I woke up to snow falling once again and it was a little disheartening. I was trying to photograph my heart pillows so I could get them up on ETSY and it's so dark in my house, the photos were not great....a little sun please???????  

Anyways, my hearts are finally in the right place....the finished pile! 

Have a wonderful day everyone and if you have any spring weather to share, please send some my way! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stephanie's Teacup Exchange--My Cup of Tea!

I arrived home two weeks ago today and found this delightful package waiting for me!
I sat it on my sofa, opened the box and the gifts inside were wrapped up in my favorite autumn colors! Notice how it coordinates with the quilt on the back of my couch? The little stickers are Easter themed and very sweet!

The first thing I opened was this lovely card from Karren who blogs over at Oh! My Heartsie. Please pay her blog a visit and leave her a comment. Tell her I sent you!!!! Despite some challenges that she was faced with during the swap, she still put the nicest package together and shipped it off to me. It was wrapped with loving care, a sticker on each little gift.....To think that she was able to do all of this during a difficult time made it extra special. It is so appreciated Karren! Thank you very much!

Next I opened this sweet little gift bag that contained a trio of stickpins. They are so pretty. Opening all of these gifts was reminiscent of opening my Easter Basket as a youngster. Easter Bunny used to leave us a combination of candy and special little gifts. Oh what fun!

Take a closer look!  

My next surprise was the little decoupaged Easter egg! It was the cutest thing!

Here is my beautiful mug! I love it Karren! Thank you!

I love the flowers! No matter which way you turn it, it is perfectly lovely! You will note the ecru doily underneath. It was also included in my package of goodies! I collect doilies and this ecru doily is delicate and dainty! I already cheated and used it in at least one earlier post!

......there are more little treasures! The little package of mini eggs did not last very long!

I received note cards, a notepad and some cute little Easter tags. Hiding in the back is delicious Earl Grey tea!
After opening all of my gifts, I made myself a cup of tea in my brand new cup! It was especially delicious!

Karren, I can't thank you enough for sending me such a lovely package full of sweet little surprises! The package was thoughtfully wrapped and a complete joy to open!......just like my Easter baskets when I was small. It is wonderful to feel that kind of youthful, even silly joy as an adult. I will cherish each and every item you chose for me Karren! I am so happy to have met you through Stephanie's Teacup Exchange and look forward to reading more of your blog!

The recipient of my teacup package was Debbie Harris. She blogs over at She Graces Her Home in God's Beauty! Over the past year I have enjoyed getting to know her through her kind, supportive comments and her posts! She makes me laugh out loud and she has brought a tear or two to my eye.  Her posts are inspirational and they have encouraged me on more than one occasion. The lovely music she has on her blog just completes the experience!

Last, but certainly not least I have to thank Stephanie for orchestrating this teacup/mug swap for us! She blogs at
The Enchanting Rose! 
I don't know how many of us participated this time, but I believe the last swap had 60 participants! She is definitely a hostess with the mostess! If anyone has doubts that one person can make a difference, visit Stephanie's blog (which provides links to all of the participants and their stories) and judge for yourself! The pure joy and wonder we grown ups experience from both the giving and receiving of these gifts is genuinely heartwarming! Stephanie, we are so blessed to have you in our midst! THANK YOU!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's All About that Lace.....and the Linens!

My Sewing Space

Over the weekend we drove out of town to a well-known chocolate shop to purchase Easter gifts. While we were there, I sat down to drink a cup of chai tea latte and my husband enjoyed a cup of herbal tea, We made our purchase, drank our teas and left to head back into town. I wasn't quite ready to head home so my husband suggested we stop at an antique shop before going home! Am I ever glad we did!

My kitchen table looked like this after I got home with some vintage linens that I scooped up for a song. In the shop were baskets of linens, doilies, etc that were packaged in zip lock bags. Many bags contained 5-6 pieces and they were marked $1.00. You should have seem me with my arms full of plastic bags. They were slippery, I kept dropping one after another but it didn't matter because I was in hog heaven! 

I washed them, ironed them and folded them neatly. Then I just admired them.The tablecloth covering my kitchen table was also one of my purchases. I fell in love with it and it was in pristine condition! Look at the lovely inset lace. It is a beautiful shade of ecru.

Sweetest little linen and lace doily.

There were two of these pieces, one larger than the other. It reminded me of fish nets (in the nautical sense) So it only seemed natural to pair the two......

Start fish are lacy, I love the way it looks here.....

....and here. Got my brain gears a cranking and spinning.

There were many varieties of cocktail, luncheon and dinner napkins....all in excellent condition.

Here are some sweet doilies....theses were in a baggie with several other items for $1.00.

These are placemat sized and they are very pretty!

These are quite pretty too!

This was one of my favorites! Another tablecloth. The linen was of such beautiful quality. That one's a keeper too!

 ...and the reason I posted this photo at the beginning of the post is because I used some linens to create just a pretty sewing spot. I sewed yesterday trying to complete some heart pillows for my etsy shop.
The sweet little pincushion was given to me by Debbie who blogs over at She Graces Her Home in God's Beauty. It is darling and it has really come in very handy.

The one on the left is not stuffed yet, obviously!

They too look nice paired with lace or linens! 

All in all, a very nice Sunday afternoon! I was pleased with my purchases! So pleased in fact, that I went back today and got another whole stack. But that's another post.

It's late and I have to work tomorrow so good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sew Noteworthy

Tonight I was feeling a bit too tired to sew but I wanted to do something other than watch TV. I am not much of a fan of night time TV. 
Realizing that my supply of notecards was running low, I decided on stitching up some envelopes and coordinating note cards. It's a quick, fun project and doesn't require a whole lot of brains. I'm running low on brains tonight!

All this project requires is some pretty printed cardstock and some equally pretty scrapbook paper, some glue and a sewing machine. I got 3 huge pads of paper (Craftsmith) at Michael's right after Valentine's Day. I paid very little because it was on clearance. 

The first step is to determine the notecard size. This batch is the size of a small thank you card or invitation sized. Measure the card stock to be twice the size intended for the notecard (because it will be folded in half), lightly trace (or you could use Cricut) and cut out the notecard. Fold in half. DONE.

To determine the size of the envelope, we need to keep in mind that there will be a seam allowance. Depending on the size of the zigzag stitch, you should add at least 1/4 inch to the width and length of the envelope. We do want the notecards to fit in the envelopes once they are stitched! 
Cut the enveople in a vertical rectangle about double the height of the card  plus an additional  2 3/4 inches.

The top 2 3/4" is folded into a triangle. The rest is folded in half. 

I love the look of mismatched but coordinating prints. 
Once you have the envelope folded, head on over to your sewing machine and stitch up the sides. I even stitch on the begin on one side and stitch the side, the bottom, and the last side in one continuous swoop! Then flip over and stitch around the two folds of the triangle.

Be creative! It's fun to add a bit of the notecard paper to the envelope. Here I punched a heart from the black print and attached the top part of the heart to the envelope.

Here's a closeup so you can see the stitching. Be sure to backstitch at beginning and end so the envelope stays sewn. Trim loose threads.

On this envelope I glued a flower that I cut out from the notecard paper.

As you can see, I still have to stitch up the polka dot envelope. I left it unstitched so you could see the shape of the envelope before it is sewn. These are cute, so easy to make and they can be used for all occasions. They also make thoughtful gifts. Stitch up a set of  6, tie them up in ribbon or lace....

...and you have the sweetest set of notecards to give or to keep! You can be as creative as you want, adding additional lace, trim etc. to the notecards. I have even added fabric cut outs stitched to the front of the notecard and I have stitched all around the sides of the notecard.  If you plan to mail them you'll want to keep the weight in mind. It's not fun to receive a note with postage due!

This is a fun project to do with the kids too. Add some fun trims, paper cut outs, glitter... and they will be all over it!

Now I am getting off my computer, making myself a cup of tea and resting the brain. Tomorrow's a new day and I have new fabrics to play with.....

"Make something cool everyday even if it is something small."

Linking up with:

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pillow Talk

This is a pillow I have been working on. It's one of those projects that has been sitting on my ironing board in pieces ready to sew but just never quite making it to the sewing machine--until tonight! Please tell me that you too have projects in pieces just waiting in line to be finished..............PIPs (projects in progress).

This heart pillow has some lace, some of which is vintage. The fabric is also a vintage moire taffeta in a pale peach. You may recall that I made some slippers from this fabric a while ago too.

I love making heart pillows and have given them as gifts. I have a few of my own that I have hung as ornaments or used as pincushions. This one has a bit more detail on it. I made a shabby 9 patch (faux) quilted patch, and even put in some random stitches to make it appear quilted. I love tiny details and love to include these little touches in my work. "Heartfelt" is hand stamped onto a piece of fabric, frayed and stitched in place for some additional shabby appeal. I hope to have several of these in my ETSY shop soon.

The bow is made from a torn strip of muslin and two strips of ivory tulle. Tulle is one of my favorite
fabrics to work with. It lends such a lovely, delicate, romantic touch to the pillow. I use tulle on lots of sewing and craft projects and it makes the prettiest bows on wedding and shower gifts. I keep a couple of yards in white and ivory on hand at all times. 

I love the little spray of vintage flowers in ivory, peach and pale peach.

What inspired me to finish my heart pillow this evening? Well, this morning one of my blogging friends (Diane from Lavender Dreams) emailed me to let me know she had featured me on her most recent blog post.  Some time ago, I made her a heart pillow after she left me a very sweet comment under a post about another pillow I had made. So I made one for her and mailed it off to Florida! How nice to see how she has been displaying it in her home. Click here to read Diane's post. It put a smile on my face!

Her post is entitled "Beautiful Friendships". She is referring to all of the wonderful friendships that she has made while blogging over the years. I know exactly what she means as I have met some of the loveliest ladies in blogland myself. We share daily or weekly details of our busy lives with one another and soon it just starts to feel like a conversation among dear friends. I could sit down and chat with many of these ladies over coffee and tea and feel completely comfortable-- as though I have known them for years. 

Diane and I stay in touch weekly, sometimes daily and I always look forward to hearing from her. If I am away from my blog for too long, Diane will email me and make sure everything is alright.  I check in on her as well. 

So tonight I was inspired by my friend to finish this little heart pillow. She gave me an unintentional nudge that I absolutely needed and I am grateful. Many thanks for your your very sweet and timely post Diane. Heartfelt thanks!

Now to tackle all those other projects in pieces! 

Link to Diane's blog:  Lavender Dreams

Linking up with:

The Enchanting Rose

Fluster Buster

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Ice Castles

Where did I go..... just when I thought I could not take one more minute of winter snow or ice? We drove about two and a half hours north to view mountainous piles of snow and ice! BUT it was worth the drive and even the walk in some pretty cold temperatures. I took these photos with my phone. We were at the Ice Castles in Lincoln, NH. It is a beautiful area and Lincoln is of our favorite places to go in the "North Country."

Though it is near the end of the season for these Ice Castles in NH, they were still a magnificent sight and I was totally captivated by the beautiful ice formations as we walked around. There was some rather dramatic music playing which added a nice touch to our tour.

You can imagine my camera clicking away.....there was something  to photograph in every nook and cranny. The sky was a greyish blue but there was plenty of sunshine too so the combination of light and sky made for some interesting backdrops in these photos.

In these next few photos, the sky appears to be in various shades of periwinkle. It really was very beautiful!

I swear the larger ice structure in the photo above has a face! I can see it, can you?

This tower of ice reminded me of the mountain in The Grinch movie! See below too!

We went on a weekday and it was mid afternoon, so there were not any crowds. I have heard that it can get quite crowded and it must be difficult to get any photos of the ice structures without people in them. I was glad that I was able to get quite a few without people standing in front of them or walking through.

This cave was pretty amazing though the photo above is a bit blurry.

I would not want to have one of these icicles fall on my head! They were enormous and they looked sharp!

It looked like a gigantic tree of icicles. Looking up, it was so beautiful!

Just outside the cave full of icicles was a chair made from ice. I sat for a moment--a brief moment!
I am used to a heated seat!

OK! I admit it! I went there and I sang that song! Let it go!

Here my husband is heading into another ice cave.

We walked through all of the caves and castles at least three times. I really wanted to view them in the evening when they use beautiful colored lights but we didn't really want to drive all that way back in the dark. We also had some shopping to do at some outlets on the way home. So we left but decided we would come again next year during peak season and stay the night.

Don't you just want to walk through the entrance to this ice cave?

My hands were frozen because I was not wearing gloves.  The sunlight made the screen on my phone so dark that I could not see what I was photographing. There were times when I wasn't even sure if my phone was in camera mode...... I am lucky that I got any photos at all.

As we were walking back to the parking lot a family was getting out of their car. A little tiny girl, perhaps two or three years old was dressed in full Elsa attire and was just mesmerized by the sight of the ice castles! How magical for that little girl and for all of the kids (and kids at heart!) lucky enough to catch this sight!

For more information, locations of ice castles closest to you and a view of photos that are far superior to mine, CLICK HERE! If you click on the link HISTORY at the site there are three videos that can be viewed that were filmed in the ice castles. If you have not seen the version of LET IT GO (with a children's choir singing in the ice castles) it is worth the view. The young lady featured and singing in the video has an amazing voice! I think it's my favorite version and I have heard many.