Thursday, September 29, 2011

ONLY 4 MORE TO GO!

Just a reminder to register to win the
MY WHOLE HEART FOR MY WHOLE LIFE
pillow!
 Only 4 more followers needed so time is running out!
Six days ago I was at 270 followers.  Now, I am at 296 with 23 entries for the pillow.  
I hope you'll register by leaving a comment - I'm almost there!

Click here to go to the GIVEAWAY post and enter!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SO MUCH MORE THAN PUMPKINS

What a fun night - and it was about so much more than just making a fall craft.  My willing participants are a group of friends I've had for almost 30 years.  We had a great time making these pumpkins, encouraging each other along as we talked about our day, our families, and in some cases, stories from long ago.  We met when our kids were preschoolers and now those same kids are adults, about the same age we were when we first met. 
One of the songs we listened to while stitching away . . .
I'm sure lyrics like this helped with the reminiscing . . . "children get older . . . I'm getting older too".

Here are some photos of this rainy, fall night all nestled in with a pile of burlap, some thread, some sticks, and some wonderful, "old" friends!
 Ready and waiting!




Sometimes just a simple night with old friends, who know everything about you and love you anyway, is the best kind of night there is!


A complete tutorial for these pumpkins can be found on Martha Stewart's website where she used linen, silk, and velvet.  So, I may not be done making pumpkins . . .

Sharing this on Faded Charm's:
WHITE WEDNESDAY
and
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Monday, September 26, 2011

FABRIC PUMPKIN PARTY

Tomorrow I'll be getting ready for a 
FABRIC PUMPKIN PARTY
with some of my best friends!  

                 We're going to get together to make some of these!                                                                                                                               
There's nothing like a chilly, rainy, fall night with friends working away on a project!  So I'll be spending the day getting ready for these ladies, preparing the fabric and getting the supplies all ready - not to mention fixing something good to nibble on while we work.

I'll also be fixing up the front door for fall.  Here are some of the pictures I'm looking at for inspiration.
It's going to be a fun day getting ready for company!



     

MY SPIDERS HAVE THEIR DAY!

Hello!  
I'm busy cleaning my sewing room today.  It is HORRENDOUS!  
 But, that's okay, because it's a sign that it's being used!  

So, I took a break to check one of my favorite sites, the Graphics Fairy, and had a wonderful surprise!  Karen was "bragging" about my Halloween Spider Bottle!  So, while I go back up and fold, sort, and vacuum up threads and stuff, I'm going to just re-post Karen's write-up here on my blog.  She's one of my all time favorite blogs and to be featured there is a fun thing for any blogger!  Hope you can take the time to make some of these creepy bottles for your own Halloween decor!  She also featured the Fall Luminaries shown under my bottle.   They look great the way they are . . . but, I wonder how they would look with a spider silhouette . . .

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

Brag Monday - Creepy Spider Bottle & Fall Luminaries

It's time for Brag Monday #104! Once again I'm bragging about two more projects from the last Brag Monday party.



First I'm bragging about this fun Halloween Spider Bottle made byNan at You Could Make That! She used the Vintage Spider Image, for this creepy piece! She has a full tutorial on her blog so that you can make one just like this, and you don't need a white bottle to do it!



Next I'm bragging about these fabulous Fall Luminaries, crafted byPoppy at With a Dash of Color! Aren't these darlings?! She used the Lady Silhouette Image for this project!


See the great graphics at The Graphics Fairy!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MY WHOLE HEART BURLAP PILLOW AND A GIVEAWAY!

My last post showed several projects I have in mind for our bedroom.  One of them was this burlap pillow below with a sweet saying printed on it.

Since the pillow will be going on our bed I think the size of this pillow from Ballard Designs is perfect - 36" by 14".  Theirs is also made of burlap!  However, their price is unbelievable - $79!!!  The Ballard pillow is reversible - the front says Good Morning and the back says Good Night, in French!  It has a surged, black flange edge.  I don't have a surger, so I just have a plain edge.
Bonjour Bonne Nuit Burlap Pillow 36 x 14 inch
BONJOUR BONNE NUIT BURLAP PILLOW from BALLARD DESIGNS - $79 
So here's the little tutorial for making your own pillow.
Squeeze out a little dollop of black and brown paint - about half the size of a Hershey's Kiss.
I used a blend of the two colors because I wanted it dark enough to show up on my brown burlap, but I didn't want it as harsh as solid black.
 Mix them together well.
 You'll need a stencil brush and stencils.  I got this set of stencils at Joann Fabrics for about $4.  I think the more industrial looking font looks better than the curly-cutesy ones.
Then, I layed out a piece of painter's tape across the pillow so my letters would be in a straight line.  Load your brush, then pounce it a bit on the plate to get off the excess paint and start stenciling your words.  Be sure to think it through, line them up, leave a space between words, and spell correctly!  It would be easy to get caught up in the painting and misspell a word.  Also, with this stencil anyway, it was very easy to reposition the letter and add more paint if it didn't turn out dark enough.
I made two pillows and the second pillow was even easier because I just put the tape on and lined up with the first pillow.
Now they're both ready to be made into pillows!
Much burlap lint later . . .

Done . . . now I'm anxious to work on that headboard . . .

But, wait!  There's more!

The second part of my post title speaks of a GIVEAWAY.  I'm getting close to 300 followers.  After 100, and 200, I had a giveaway - so, it's only right that I get ready for a giveaway after I hit 300!  So - here's the plan.  I got a little carried away while making this pillow and decided to make two of them.  One of these pillows will be given away to one of my loyal followers.  Additionally, I made a lavender sachet pillow to tuck in with your package, so it will smell beautiful when you open it up!

To qualify for the giveaway, which will happen as soon 
as I hit 300 followers, you need to do the following:

1.  Become a follower - (Some of you check my blog faithfully through email updates etc., but have never become a follower.  Only followers are eligible to win.  So, just click the "Join this site" button at the top of this post and follow the directions given.)

and

2.  You must leave a comment on this post telling me where you would put the pillow in your home.  If you're already a follower, just mention that in your comment.  If you're a new follower, tell me that too!

plus

3.  Get an extra chance to win when you take my button on the top right, mention the giveaway and post the button on your own blog.  Then, to make it count as an extra entry, you'll need to leave a separate comment letting me know you've done that.

So, become a follower, leave a comment, join me in celebrating 300 followers and this could be yours!



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Friday, September 23, 2011

A CHANDELIER, BARN BOARD, AND OF COURSE - BURLAP

My husband drew the line at a canopy of any kind in our bedroom.  
In the guest rooms?  Fine.  Our bedroom?  Nope.  
But he didn't say anything about a chandelier.

See that chandelier?  In a bedroom . . .
Guest bedroom with pink floral bedding
See this pillow with the sweet saying?  I'm guessing it's burlap . . . 
See that headboard?  Made of barn board . . . 
What do I happen to have on hand?
Barn-like boards . . .
An old brass chandelier screaming for a make-over . . .
and, of course, TONS OF BURLAP!

Hello weekend!

Hello projects!

So, in between practicing with Norma, and working on my bergere chair, I think I need to tackle one of these projects - with a long-term goal of 
doing them all!

This.  Is.  Bliss.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

BLUE TO WHITE

A couple days ago I started in earnest on these two pieces of furniture.  
The blue piece is now white and I like it so much better.  It makes the whole room softer.  The chair, however, is deep into a complicated surgery.  I think it's chances are good.  When I got the chair (remember, it was only $9.99!) there was no back cushion, but I think there probably was at one time.  Because there are no marks in the back, it was probably a loose cushion.  Like the lilac print cushion below - just bigger.  These are such great french bergere chairs!
French Laundry Home "La Jolla" Chair Old Hickory Tannery "Olivia" Chair          
                                 
So, first . . . 
 . . . I pulled all the upholstery off the chair, took the box cushion apart, and painted a turquoise color here and there on the frame.  That way, when I painted it white and then distressed it, some of the blue would show through.  I'll have some close-ups of that when I get it all waxed.
 Now the frame is painted and the rest is in the raw.  I have some ideas about what I want to do with the seat cushion, arm pads, and back cushion.  This is going to be a fun project!
  The cushion is "down and grey goose feathers".  I knew I would feel better if I cleaned it, so after googling around I felt pretty safe washing it and putting it in the dryer with a few clean tennis shoes.  It turned out beautifully - nice, full, and fluffy.
I'll be covering it in this beautiful, nubby linen.
So, here's the hutch!
     
So, much better!
Now, to the sewing machine to work on my chair!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CHALK PAINT AND SOME FANTASTIC BIRDS


I haven't posted for a few days and it's because I've been working on these two pieces of furniture.  
I got the blue "hutch" painted using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Old White and I love it.  

Then.  

The chair.  

The upholstery is off the base (it was very creepy under there).  The cushion has been dismantled, and, thinking I had enough paint left I started painting the frame with Old White.  I thought wrong . . . I ran out of paint.  

Shoot.

That's expensive paint and I really didn't want to order any more.  Then, at just the right time, along came a wonderful blog visitor (Thank you, Elizabeth!) who was thoughtful enough to tell me about making your own chalk paint . . . she thought I might be interested!  She thought right - and I'm passing that information on to you, just in case you're interested too!  You can read about it here.  

So, that's what I've been up to instead of blogging for the last 2 days.  

Meanwhile, I have a great book to tell you about.  This is a book I've looked at off and on since it was published last January, and I finally ordered a copy for myself.   The author gives complete instructions and patterns for making all of these birds and more.  They look like challenging, patience-testing projects, but I think the finished products are well worth it.  
This woman makes some fabulous, quirky, stuffed birds.  They are realistic in many ways - for example, their size, shape, and poses.  But the quirkiness comes in with the fabrics they're made of.  I think they're wonderful and I'm looking forward to the day my book arrives in the mail and I can think about making one myself.   
I saved the best for last.  The owls are my all time favorites.   Aren't they awesome?  
This one is made entirely from a cloth flour sack - what a conversation piece!  With one of these in the room, you'd never feel alone!

Abigail Patner Glassenberg also has a great blog if you're interested in seeing more of her work.  

Now, back to that chair . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011

INSECT JAR - TRIAL RUN #1

  Before the girls arrive for a night of creepy creativity, I thought it would be a good idea to have a trial run.   So, first of all, here is another look at my model right out of the October issue of Country Living Magazine:



 I tried out a "Spider Jar" using a clear glass bottle with a clear glass stopper.  This is the perfect jar for this project and it came from Goodwill for only $1.99.   This jar is about 12" tall and 5" wide.
 I want to try doing this project two ways - painting the inside for one piece, and the outside of another. Tonight I'm working on one that is clear glass, so it will be painted on the inside.  It's a perfect jar for this because the stopper is partially hollow.  If it was solid glass you''d have nowhere to put the paint but on the outside.  Remember to check for that when you're out looking.  I've often thought that a certain cake plate or candy jar would be good, but the stem would never get any "inside" paint.
 So I put several tablespoons of white acrylic paint in the jar, added about the same amount of water, and blended it all with a long brush.  Then, I rolled the jar around in my hand to cover the whole inside.  You may need two coats depending on how much water you use.  I think one coat will do for mine.
Then, do the same thing with the stopper.  Any paint that gets on the outside of the stopper or jar can be washed off after it dries.

Then for the spider graphic!  I got this great taratula off the Graphics Fairy here




  I sent it to the printer after decreasing the size a bit.  As you can see above, 100% it was WAY too big - it filled the page and my jar isn't that big.



But, 60% was just right.


Then, cut it out as close to the hairy legs as possible, since you don't want too much of the white printer paper to be showing. 



Ideally, none would show, but good luck with that!   Then I attached the spider to the jar using an Elmers Glue Stick.

So, after spraying with gloss polyurethane, it goes under a cloche for now.  I'll wait until the inside is completely dry to put the lid on.

I can't wait to add more, but right now, I hear Norma calling!

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