Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rags to Riches

I call this my rags to riches wreath! I love wreaths made up of either torn fabric strips or pinked fabric strips and they add such a homey touch to the home. This particular wreath is ivory 100 per cent cotton fabric with nylon tulle and lace. The bow is wide vintage lace I picked up at a favorite antique shop.

I started it one evening about a week ago but this is as far as I had gotten. So night before last I decided it was time to start working on it again until it was finished.

Sitting on the couch in front of the television, I began....one knot after another......

Yesterday morning I began again here....it was starting to look like something.....

I added some tulle and lace which gave it some texture and interest and I love the look....

My couch, my dining room and I were covered in fabric lint, threads etc and as I trimmed up pieces that look a bit too long I had little tiny pieces of fabric everywhere! Even my black dog was covered in ivory lint.  It was well worth the effort and the mess though. At the moment it is hanging on a door in my back hallway but I have not decided where its final hanging place shall be. If I leave it on the door I am going to have to make another because just to the left of that door is another door! It could end up in either my living room or dining room....who knows?

What else have I been up to? I stitched up this sweet little tea wallet and pair of coordinating mug mats.

I used the leftover fabric scraps to make an angel ornament....

Then if you recall I made a Paris pillow a couple of weeks ago and planned to make some more....here they are:

They don't have hangers yet....

But they each have their own tags....

I may make each hanger a little differently....

Here you can see all the pretty various laces I used....

I love lace....bet you hadn't noticed.....

Then I ran quickly into my local antique shop last Monday and I found these beautiful tea cups. I should have walked right by them because my very large tea cup shelf is full.....but I loved them and they were dirt cheap and in mint condition....  Bargain!.... I know, right?

The matching saucers are very pretty too! I have been sipping tea from these beautiful cups all week!

What have you been up? Hope you are enjoying some beautiful summer weather! It started out cloudy this morning but turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny day! I am loving it!

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Page Turned

Last weekend we celebrated my birthday. My youngest daughter arrived Thursday morning from Rhode Island, my middle daughter arrived Friday morning from Martha's Vineyard and Saturday morning my oldest daughter and son-in-law drove up from Boston for the day. We all went out for a nice lunch and then we went back to our house for cake and ice cream. It is always nice to have all of the kids home on the same day which is not always easy given their busy schedules. I enjoyed the day  so much and did not waste any time ruminating on how fast I am flying through my 50's.

It was a nice few days visiting with my daughters. Sunday my youngest headed back to RI and I hopped in the car with my middle daughter to go spend a few days on Martha's Vineyard. We had a leisurely drive down, stopped at some stores--Christmas Tree Shop, Trader Joe's and grabbed a bite to eat along the way. We drove onto the 7:30 ferry and headed upstairs to sit outside on the deck. Once we started moving it was a little bit chilly but it was a gorgeous evening and we enjoyed watching the sun sink gracefully into the sea.

The weather forecast was not promising but I did not let that dampen my spirits. I was looking for some relaxing time away. I had gone that Tuesday unexpectedly to the hospital for occipital nerve blocks to the back sides of my head for unrelenting headaches. I had been having one headache after another since Easter but they were getting longer, more intense and more debilitating. Monday I was down for the entire day so I gave in and called the hospital Tuesday morning and they got me in right away. I was skeptical but I noticed results right away. The next morning I woke up with no sign of a headache. Normally I would awaken around four or five in the morning with pain so severe I would have to get up quickly and begin my ritual of trying to stop it dead in its tracks or at least prevent it from becoming a day long event. So it was indeed strange to wake up the first morning after the injections and not feel any head pain. I spent the next four days trying not to overdo it, afraid that I might make a wrong move and somehow cause the headaches to come back.

The first night on the island,  I slept so well. The windows were open, it was raining ever so gently, with the nicest breeze.The sound of the falling rain, wind and one very pouffy, cozy comforter lulled me into a deep sleep.

The next day it poured. We braved the rain for a while, dodging in and out of the little shops in town. We ate lunch out and then decided to go back to her cottage because the rain storm was now more of a monsoon and my raincoat was soaked through. We curled up in her living room under the comforter and watched episode after episode of A Handmaid's Tale. Later in the evening my daughter baked us some fish and we enjoyed some wine and turned in early hoping for better weather in the morning.

The next morning we went for a long walk, did some shopping, and had a nice lunch. That evening my daughter treated me to my birthday dinner. We went upstairs to eat at the outdoor bar overlooking the water. It was beautiful. The sun was out, clouds were clearing and it was nice and warm.

My daughter sitting at the bar

Lobster Risotto 

I enjoyed the best lazy-style lobster dinner that I have ever eaten in my life! It was beyond delicious! And for entertainment we got to enjoy another sunset right before our eyes as we dined.

After the clouds moved away, the moon appeared in the sky. I really was in no hurry to leave. It was very relaxing sitting outside by the water.

The next morning my daughter dropped me off at the ferry for a 9:50 boat. It was a spectacular day and to say I was sad to be leaving was an understatement.

I dragged my overstuffed suitcase rather begrudgingly onto the boat and headed back to reality. It was a much needed restful few days and I got to spend some time with my daughter before she heads off on a two week Alaskan adventure in early August.

I got home last Wednesday from Martha's Vineyard and here it is the following Monday and I am still headache free.....I stopped being so fearful about overdoing it and in fact moved my piano into my living room yesterday, vacuumed, washed all of my living room windows and curtains and felt only a slight twinge of pain while looking up to rehang my curtains. I am hopeful that I have turned the page and entered a long and pain free chapter in the story of my life. So far, 58 is looking good.....this quote that I found on Pinterest sums it up nicely.....

"There comes a day when you realize turning
the page is the best feeling in the world,
because you realize there is so much more to the 
book than the page you were stuck on."

Taryn Malik

Have a wonderful week. It's a gorgeous, sunny, last day of July here in NH! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dreaming of Paris

Good evening all.....Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We have been having some beautiful summer weather, though yesterday was a bit on the humid side and we did have some rather strong thunderstorms. Today was exceptionally nice with lots of sun, blue skies and low humidity. I could take several months of this kind of weather!

 Yesterday I printed some pretty French floral graphics on to some fabric for use on some decorative hanging pillows. (Graphics purchased from French Paper Moon.) I was anxious to start the first pillow so this morning I cut pieces of lace and arranged it around the pretty pink flowers. Since it was so nice outside, I wanted to get some fresh air but later in the afternoon I returned to my pillow in pieces and began putting it all together. It went together well but took plenty of time to get it just right.

The pillow measures 8" x 6"

In addition to some beautiful laces from my collection, I also used torn strips of sheer curtain panels for the side bows and hanger.  The main fabric is painter's canvas which I love to work with as it adds a perfect soft, rustic touch to vintage projects, especially those with lots of luscious lace.

I am very pleased with the way it turned out. It was a "trial pillow" as I have three more copies of the graphic printed out on fabric. I am anxious to begin another.....

I love the Paris tag. Initially I had stitched "PARIS"  onto a canvas tag. I had cut the word out of some fabric that I had and I stitched it to the tag with some fusible fleece under it because I wanted it to pop. Once done, I did not like the look of the jet black print on the tag. It was just too dark for all the pretty pink and cream on the pillow so I decided to cover the tag with a piece of the sheer fabric to see if it would minimize some darkness in the text. I stitched it on and then restitched around the word "PARIS" to give it that quilted look. It worked just as I had hoped. I love the way it looks on the pillow with exposed stitching and of course the loose threads. I think it adds just the right amount of shabby to the pillow....

It can be hung on the wall, on a door knob, placed on a shelf or as part of a vignette or just about anywhere.....

I even like it right where it is--sitting on my dining room table! 

Tomorrow I will get crackin' on the other pillows. Hopefully they will not take me as long to complete as this one did. I have quite a stash of lace to choose from so I will challenge myself to make them all one-of-a-kind. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Good morning friends and happy Friday! Hope you are all well and enjoying some summer weather and activities! It's a tad dreary here today but after the day I had yesterday complete with a headache from hell, the lack of bright sun is a good thing for me today!

Today's post is titled You win some you lose some....so I'll begin with the win!

You may have noticed my teacup shelf above! ;)  I have been hunting for one of these for over a year. I have found a few that have been refinished in various shops but always in the wrong color. I have added my name to  call lists in shops that told me they would call me if they got one of these shelves in. No calls!

So one morning as I headed out on a junkin' trip with a friend, I told her my main mission was to find a teacup shelf and that was really the only item I was interested in! We arrived at our favorite shop (about an hour's drive) and walked in the front door. As I turned my head to the left, I saw this shelf sitting up quite high on a display and I really could not believe my eyes. We looked at it, the price was right, $40, but it was so large. I wasn't quite sure if it was too wide for the spot I had in mind in my dining room. We both agreed I should grab it so luckily the woman that owned the booth was standing right there and she got it down for me and put it up on the front counter so I wouldn't have to lug it around.

Mission accomplished!!!

Now the only problem was that we can easily spend 3 hours in this particular shop and I found the item I was looking for in the first minute.....hmmm, what to do with the 2 hours and 59 minutes left?????

Well, I found these two little beauties and as you can see, they came home with me. You can even see them sitting on the shelf. These dessert sets were in a locked case marked 40% off so I could not resist!

This set, marked Haviland, Limoges, France, is so pretty. Though it isn't my typical, edged in gold teacup, I fell in love with it and knew I had to add it to my collection.

I love the dainty floral print and scalloped edges. The shape of the teacup is sweet as well.

Then there was this dreamy teacup and dessert plate! I love the aqua color and the pink roses! It's Victorian Bone China, England.

I am going to use these! In fact, I have already used this one!

The last thing I grabbed at this shop was this pretty platter and set of four dessert plates because it was a clearance item and only $5.00 for the 5 pieces. How could I resist?

I don't think I bought anything else that day but I was so very happy with my teacup shelf purchase! I was not sure if I should paint it or leave it as I found it. The stained finish is beautiful and in excellent condition and I do have other dark wood in my dining room. So for now, I will leave it, as I found it in all it's glory!

Now for the lose......

So yesterday I was finishing up some final touches on this bag (made using Janice Pope's 2 hr Purse Pattern) that I had stitched up the night before for my ETSY shop and I decided to do one last ironing job as it had gotten a little wrinkled after sewing the button on.

I should have left well enough alone....truth be told I probably should not have even gotten out of bed yesterday morning. In the middle of the night I felt some familiar twinges of pain in my neck which usually signals me to get out of bed immediately, go downstairs and grab an ice pack and sit on the couch till the pain subsides. But I ignored it because I was too tired to get out of bed. So I woke up with a doozy of a headache that persisted all day and even into the evening.

I was bound and determined to finish this bag before an early afternoon commitment. So I was almost done, not feeling good at all, the phone rang, I answered the phone and it was a call that took way more time than I had, then my dog barked to go out (mind you I had already taken her out twice and all she did was sniff around the yard) and by now I was feeling very rushed, I ironed it and left the iron on the straps a little longer than I should have....I scorched and melted the straps in a few places. The outside fabric is a woven rayon and I still had the iron set on cotton. RUINED!

On top of my headache, I was heartsick! Talk about adding insult to injury....

I guess I didn't really get a great shot of the damage, I was actually able to scratch off some of the damage on the straps.... and I suppose someone unsuspecting might not even notice, but I know it's there. I guess the silver lining is that I now have a new hand bag. It still needs some ironing touch ups in a few places but I am not going there today......

It could have been worse I suppose. I could have rendered it damaged beyond use. So in this case, I guess my loss was really my gain...... at least that is what I am telling myself so that I don't cry! Well, I am off and running, got lots to do today so.......

Have a wonderful holiday weekend friends! Enjoy!