Monday, October 31, 2016

Another Tea Cup Exchange

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Stephanie graciously hosted her 9th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange and I was so, so happy to participate once again. 
Today is the reveal day..... and I am excited to reveal the contents of  the very lovely package I received from Debbie Harris who blogs at She Graces Her Home in God's Beauty. In case you are not aware, she is also mom to our tea cup swap hostess!

My package arrived and much to my surprise and delight,  I recognized the return address as belonging to someone I had sent a tea cup to some time ago! 

I took my package out to the back porch, sat on my wicker love seat and proceeded to open it,  fully planning to enjoy opening every little treasure! Pink and gold was the theme! Just look how pretty everything is!

It was the loveliest collection of pink and gold! Feast your eyes on this pretty teacup! It is exquisite!

......and the little gold spoon! It has a sweet little rose on the end of the handle. I fell in love with it! I had been in my favorite antique shop earlier in the week looking for a gold spoon as I realized so many of my tea cups are edged in gold. Debbie may not know it yet, but she has started me on my latest collection: my gold spoon collection!

You may have noticed the beautiful gold and ivory accessories. They are beautiful and make such a perfect table setting. Debbie purchased these from Stephanie's Etsy shop and they are just stunning! If you haven't stopped by her shop, here is the link! So much prettiness!

In this photo, note the fabric flower on the left side of the mug mat. It's a bit difficult to make out here but there are pink stones set in gold. It matches so perfectly!

It's a little easier to see here!  I just kept looking at it over and over again! 

Here are more treasures!....some delicious white loose leaf tea (YUM!), chocolates (which my husband and I devoured) and a book, "Vintage Tea Party." I have been enjoying this book in the evenings after dinner. It sits on my end table in the living room and I read and reread the interesting facts and history of making tea, the proper way to make tea (I've been doing it all wrong for years!) and so many delicious recipes.

Last but certainly not least, Debbie included a jar of her homemade Raspberry Preserves. I had it on my toast every morning until it was all used up. It was delicious! I cannot believe that I have never tried my hand at making jam.....Debbie has inspired me to give it a try! I think I will start with raspberry jam as it is one of my favorites!

I was so touched by the generosity of Debbie's gift and the thoughtfulness that went in to putting this perfectly pink and gold package together for me! It happened to arrive on a day that I was feeling a bit weary and overwhelmed, so to say that it lifted my spirits immensely is an understatement! 

Thank you Debbie for these lovely gifts and the sweetest gift of all--your friendship! You are such an inspiration to me!
Now, I'd like to introduce you to Martha who blogs at Martha's Favorites. I was given her name in the swap and enjoyed shopping and sewing for her! 

I stitched up a few things to include in her package.....

and sent her the tea cup that you see pictured above. You can read all about it here!

I look forward to reading more of her blog and getting to know her. I've seen some gorgeous tea cups posted on her blog. Fuel for my I need more fuel.....;)

So another tea cup exchange has come to a close....I'm already looking forward to the next. As always I am very thankful to Stephanie for putting this swap together for all of us to enjoy. As my collection of tea cups grows I am reminded that my collection of friends is growing at the same pace. That, my friends, is a blessing!

Linking this post up with:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, October 15, 2016

That's a Wrap!

Hello Friends and Happy Fall! It's a bright, sunny fall day here in NH and it's a bit cool! But that's OK because I recently made this comfy, cozy wrap/shawl/poncho and it's a perfect layer to the morning coolness that we experienced outside this morning.

I stitched this up in about an hour from a blanket/throw I purchased on sale at Joanne Fabrics. I believe I ended up paying a whopping $13.99 for it. I love wardrobe pieces like this: budget friendly, functional, practical and well.....fashionable too!

I asked my husband to go outside this morning and photograph me wearing my new wrap and he was only happy to do so!

I wrapped an orange and brown scarf around in sort of a cowl neck. I always wear scarves! This one was made by a friend of mine several years ago. Please forgive my ratty jeans and sneakers!

The photo shoot started out with a serious tone.....

....and at about this time my husband started joking with me.....I'll spare you the details!

Abrupt end to my photo shoot.....couldn't find my straight face after that. 

As I mentioned earlier, this is a perfect lightweight layer for a fall day and I plan to wear it all week as it's supposed be a little cool.

How did I do it? Since I have made ponchos before I knew that I could fold the blanket in half with the fringe at the bottom and cut up the middle of the top layer to make an opening. But I also wanted to cut out an actual neckline. I looked around the house for a neckline to copy and couldn't find one of my ponchos to use for a template. So I googled "making ponchos from blankets" and sure enough several popped up. I direct you to the link of one of my favorites--Click Here. I love the way she uses a plate for a template as I do the very same thing. My large pizza stone comes in very handy when I need a larger circle.....Another link that shows a similar project--Click here. She also uses a plate as a template!

Basic Supplies, I later decided to add bias binding to the front cut edges and neckline.....

I got right down on the floor for this project!

I determined the middle of the blanket (poncho front). In this case it happened to be the fold line and I cut right up the middle of the top layer until I reached the plate. Please note: only 1/2 of the plate is actually on the blanket for the template)

Then I cut around the 1/2 the plate, removed the plate and cut straight across to remove piece as pictured below.

I finished all cut edges with a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine.

Then I folded over the finished edge 1/2" and pinned all the way around.

Using a regular straight stitch (and using a variegated orange, brown thread) I stitched the folded edge all the way around. I could have stopped here but since my blanket was not wool, ( it was light acrylic) I chose to make an extra trip to the fabric store for some 7/8" wide bias binding tape to finish my edge. It made a very neat edge as well as added some structure to the lightweight fabric particularly around the neckline..  See below:


Front opening edges....If I find time to make another poncho, , I may bind all of the outside edges. This is not visible from the front, and was intended only to stabilize and hide the raw edge.

I added the chunky faux wood button and a snap to the inside front to help keep it slightly asymmetrical when closed.

I love it!

After I had finished stitching this, I got this idea in my head that if I purchased another identical blanket, I could cut a nice, wide matching scarf from the fabric. By cutting in the opposite direction than I did to make the actual poncho, (in other words, fringe side to other fringe side) I could have had a nice wide, coordinating, fringed scarf. When I went back to Joann's the blankets had sold out. Sad face! 

I recently bought some pretty fleece to make a similar wrap. The pattern is asymmetrical but shorter than this poncho and it also has a chunky button closure. I hope to get to that this week.

Time has a way of getting away from me these days. I actually made this poncho a couple of weeks ago and started writing this post a week ago. In the middle of all this, I had an overnight commitment out of town, lost a couple days, had some other things to catch up on and was able to take some time today to "wrap up this post!

I hope everyone is enjoying some beautiful fall weather! Here in NH, it has been especially sunny and the foliage is always! Fall in New England never disappoints! 

Have a nice weekend!