Saturday, April 26, 2008

PBK Spies

These little bun-buns hang in Charlotte's room.

When I was trying to decide how to decorate the nursery, the toss up was between birds or bunnies. Bunnies won out, for now. But since we call Charlotte many pet names, including Little Birdie, they may show up in her room some day.

We created her soft green room, with pink and white accents, almost two years ago now. The wall art was easy-peasy. Scrapbook paper and a bunny silhouette. I found three 8x10 frames on clearance at Target for $1.10 each. Cut, paste, voila! Shortly thereafter, Pottery Barn Kids came out with these:

And Charlotte also has pink and white toile crib bedding. Was someone reading my brain waves??

Later, I did her 4 month silhouette. I thought about doing it in pink, to match her room, but I stuck with traditional black and white. Now, PBK came out with this:
Last year, I started Little Birdie (my crafting biz). I made felt ponies, including my pink bird.

Now, PBK has the Penelope bedding collection:

I love it. But, it's just eery. Right? Is it possible that Pottery Barn Kids has some sort of satellite link up to my nursery cam? There are spies, I tell you, spies.

If they come out with a vintage collection of "Charlotte" pillowcase dresses featuring birds, or even little black scotty dogs on them... well, I'm disconnecting that cam!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dreamy Dress

Well, that might be a stretch, but the dress is made from a pillowcase. It's my first clothing creation. And it's for Charlotte. I have sewn many a curtain, but never clothing. It's an itch that I finally scratched.

(Please forgive the poor photo quality, these pix were taken at all times of the night and day.)

Made from this pattern, it started out as a thrift store find. Mmm, nice and soft.

Only problem was that the design ran horizontally. None of the original seams could be used, so it came down to just two squares of fabric.

I pinned. I hemmed. I put in french seams on the side. Oh, and in between all of this was a lot of sweat and tears. My grandmother's sewing machine is super, but hasn't been used in a while. (Grams has been gone 15 years.) The bobbin thread kept breaking mid-seam. The machine needs a tune-up. Note to self: it would have been faster to sew the whole thing by hand. And there would have been less crying. (Ever feel like you just don't know what you're doing??)

There is a casing along the front and back with elastic. No problem. There is double-edge bias tape along the armscyes. Problem. Pins are helpful, but having a wide foot and feed dog for a narrow bias tape is torture. And then there was the thread breaking... After a trip to Ma's house to just finish it up already, it is now wearable. As Charlotte grows, this can morph into a shirt when worn with shorts or pants. I'm loving it. C can't yet tell me if she likes it. I'll have to teach her the baby sign for "Thanks for the dress, Mommy. I love it!"

Prediction: More pillowcase dresses in our future. And now that it's done, it seems like it was all just a dream.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"V" Not For Vineyard

This is my most recent embroidered monogram. It was a gift for a dear friend, Vickie. It, too, came from my book. The monogram is on linen and mounted in a 4 inch hoop.

This should work well in Vickie's home, due to the grape theme. I also learned that the girl can refinish furniture like nobody's business. What can't she do?? (She's a wife, mother, school teacher, business woman, refinisher, all-around organized.) Another lesson in accomplishments in a friend that I can aspire towards. I think that is why we have the friends that we have. There's always characteristics in our closest friends that we hope to attain for ourselves. At least, I think that's what makes a friendship great - the inspiration to be better in some regard. Those friendships have contributed to how I've learned to be a better mom... a better wife... a better person. So...

Thanks, friends.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Christmas in April

This photo is copyright to Martha Stewart.

Isn't it lovely? Based on this apple, I had to have Martha's Christmas with Martha Stewart Living - Decorating For The Holidays book. She offers so many amazingly big ideas, but I like the small detail of a decorated apple. This will happen at my house for Christmas. After all, we know I'm probably not going to get around to ice sculpting a dog (page 15) or making a gingerbread gothic cottage (page 82) - although it's stunning. But glitter coat some walnuts and almonds (prettier than you think) - I can do that. Or make some sparkly pinecones, count me in! I think I just like the word sparkle. Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle. Yup, I do like that word.

I also purchased the companion Christmas with Martha Stewart Living - Craft and Keepsakes For The Holidays. This one shows me how gild a bowl (page 54) and make orange-sable dough (page 77). I think I just gained 3 pounds reading the recipe. It also gives me the step-by-step guide to remake the snowglobes for Charlotte's past birthday. Only a few of the favors turned out well, as I didn't use Martha's glue. Most of this information is probably available on her website now because the books are 9 years old. But my, new-to-me, treasures are from the thrift store. These books were never even used because they give that little craaaack when they're opened. Now that's a pity.

No matter how you feel about Martha personally, that girl can craft.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Vintage-y Finds

Here's a sampling of a few treasures that I have collected. They all bring me cheer.
- The bunny box is from not old (it's from Pottery Barn Kids) and is on loan in my daughter's bunny-themed nursery.
- The white hobnail jar is a Target find several years ago (currently housing diaper pins).
- So is the pink cup in the middle (which is used as a pencil cup in my craft closet.)
-The butter pat dish is from an antique store. (It is home to several small pairs of earrings in the bathroom.)
-The tiny pink cup is a recent thrift store find. So dainty.
-Aaaaannd, the fabric was scored yesterday at, you guessed it, a thrift store. It's a sheet that I am planning to turn into a smock-type dress for Charlotte. I have never sewn a piece of clothing from scratch, but this vintage sheet may just inspire me to take the leap. Here's a closeup my lovely vintage fabric:And can you believe that in surfing a few blogs today, I found it here also?! (Look for Wednesday, March 5, 2008 titled, "Going To Pieces".) Fun blog.

You'd like more closeups?? No problem.

I enjoy breathing new life into older items. The romantic in me always imagines the stories an object could tell, if it had a voice. Even my wedding ring is an estate ring from the 1950's. The band is worn thin and I think about the many years this ring has already been part of marriage. Maybe someday, (aah, more romantic notions) some of my personal items will find their way to a thrift store or a yard sale and someone else can add to the history. To me, history only adds to the value.

Monday, April 7, 2008

"S" not for Superman

At least I don't think Superman would care to have his "S" hand embroidered, curly style, on linen. Actually, I made this for our home. I'm pleased with my first attempt. There are so many more that I want to try from my new book. When the Compendium of Ancien Artistic Initials for Vintage Style Monograms arrived, it felt like my birthday. Characters, emblems and fonts... Oh My! Where to start? So. Hard. To. Choose.

To me, anything embroidered just feels better. Similarly, my father always said that food tasted better on nice dishes. So, occasionally, we'd pull out ma's good china and light a candle on the dinner table. He was right! Meatloaf, yum. But meatloaf on china, de-li-cious.

Maybe I should hang a bunch of monograms in the kitchen, and when I burn dinner, no one will notice!

{Edit: The monogram is on a five inch hoop.}

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lively Poppies

It was time for a few more poppies. In addition to my red poppies, here are a few bright blue ones. (See, I'm still stuck on blue these days...) Soon to follow: cheeky pink, milky white and maybe a surprise or two.

I've always had a thing for poppies. Since it's the state flower, my out-of-state Grandpap used to call me his 'California Poppy'. He even had those wispy V.F.W. poppies hanging from the rear view mirror in his truck. When we buried him, they were in his hands. No one has called me "Poppy" since he passed away. I miss it. I miss him.

They are such happy little flowers. I think Grandpap would like my poppies. I hope that you do too.
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