Thursday, June 25, 2015

I ♥ Estate Sales

You may be wondering what I have been up to this past week, or perhaps you haven't missed me at all, it is summer after all, and we do have lots of fun things to do and less time to share them. At least that is my excuse!
I haven't just been busy in the garden, although I did spend most of the evening weeding and primping the garden last night. There is so much to be done and it has been hard to keep up between rainy days. I couldn't bear to take the clover out of the sides of this old basket of marigolds though. It just seemed so pretty and charming to me. I guess I like my gardens with a touch of wildness :)
 But on to the subject at hand, this is as much of my bedroom as you are going to see today.  You see, I was playing hookey at some estate sales this morning instead of cleaning.  What can I say? It is summer and some hookey must be played! I'm so glad I did though! I found these two old quilts, all hand stitched and in patterns I have been coveting but simply don't have the skill / patience to tackle myself. 
 The one with the large appliqued flowers , (does anyone know the pattern name of this?) is full / queen size. It has a couple teeny holes but is otherwise in lovely condition.  I have seen these quilts for years and have always wanted one. Now I have one!
 The grandmother's flower garden quilt, Oh be still my heart!, is a twin size, but I don't care at all. Some day I will no doubt have grandchildren and they can snuggle under this beautiful quilt when they come to see us. Or I'll use it on the end of the bed or in the living room.
 Here they are together, I am thrilled as can be. They were a whopping $45 each, which I will admit, I almost never spend that much while estate saleing, but I couldn't buy the fabric for that amount, let alone tackle these patterns! I feel like I got a steal of a deal :)
 I also found this green depression glass butter dish for .75,so pretty!
And this enamelware pitcher with the graceful handle was .50   Cute farmhouse style accessories for a song. The pitcher is sitting next to an old brown bowl that I scored for $1 earlier this spring. 
I also got several boxes of old buttons for under $5. When I say boxes, I don't mean shoe box size. This was the mother lode of buttons!  We took a quick look through them and ...well, that's a whole other post ;)

Have you been to any good sales lately?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Heart Banner Tutorial

Better late than never right?  I promised this to you by the end of last week and then just couldn't get it done.  Ah well, onward and upward.  This is such an easy little banner you will no doubt be saying "I could have figured that out on my own" nevertheless, here is a step by step.
1. You will need three pieces of fabric for each heart. I used  one  4" square scraps of  quilting fabric, a leftover scrap of eyelet and one 4" square of light cotton batting for the middle. The batting gives the shape some body.  You will also need 1/2" wide bias tape.  You can make the back the same fabric as the front, use a plain white if it won't show or do a different print. Use what you have! This is a great way to use your scraps.
2. Cut out a heart shape, or any shape you want to make for your banner. This technique will work for almost anything. Flowers, (like the ones I did for my office below!), hearts, maybe pumpkins for fall or apples for the beginning of school? 
3. I made a heart shape pattern on card stock so I could just trace around the pattern and all my hearts would be the same size. It is about 3 1/2" tall. Trace around the shape with a fine point disappearing marker. You can also just use a pencil to mark the back piece of fabric where it won't show. I am not left handed, this is my simulation of tracing the heart while I juggle a camera. I looks a little wonky, but you get the idea :)

 4. Stack your fabrics with the two quilting fabrics right side out with the batting sandwiched between them.  I don't even bother to pin them all together. The batting does a pretty good job of keeping the fabrics from slipping, but if you have a problem go ahead and pin. Then line up the outline of the heart with your needle and start sewing the three layers together.
 I like to use the decorative stitches on my machine for this. I think it just adds another layer of detail and it's fun to use them since I seldom get a chance in my regular sewing.  If you would rather, or you find it easier, go ahead and use a straight stitch, it's totally up to you.  This is how it looks sewn together.  Now trim off the hanging threads.....
 And 5. trim around the heart.   I like to use my pinking shears because it gives a pretty edge and keeps the edges from fraying.
  I like to use 1/2 inch wide  bias tape for my banner. It usually comes in a 3 yard length, You can cut it to any length you want.  I cut mine in half so my banner is 54" long. 
 6. Find the center of your tape and center a heart on it.  I usually make an odd number of hearts so I can straddle that center with the rounded parts of the heart. I also just like how odd numbered items look.  Pin the hear to the tape and then pin the rest of your hearts evenly on each side. I always just eyeball it, but if you want to measure, you can.
 7.  Now just sew a straight line across the part of the heart that is on the tape.  I usually use white thread because I find it is hardly noticeable with the bright colors I use.
 And you're done! I'm keeping this patriotic banner because July 4th is right around the corner, But I have a few multicolor banners in the shop if anyone wants one.  This is a fun little project and so easy to personalize. 
 I'll be back soon, (I promise!) with some more frugal wedding decorating tips:>)  Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kathy 1- Chipmunks 0

I have come to the conclusion that I am not your ideal social media user.  I have a Twitter account that I barely use, I have started on Instagram, and I love it, but I just don't think to photograph things often enough. My facebook page gets checked periodically and this blog has been woefully neglected. Still, I soldier on and enjoy the interaction I do have with you, but real life has to trump all that.
Right now I am totally distracted by the garden.  The planting,
the trips to the farmers market to Buy. More. Flowers.  Can you ever have enough?
The gazing at the roses just beginning to bloom.
 The garden right now is taking up an inordinate amount of time. I seem to be obsessed with sunset colored blooms this year, like these begonias.
 And these...whatever they are.  I saw the color and had to have them. The sun was so beautiful on these this morning!
 And as for the score in the title. Well, these are just a few of the berries we have managed to get before the chipmunks Score! They are absolutely gorgeous and bountiful this year.
 I  also wanted to let you know the heart swags that I made back in February made it into the June issue of Australian Homespun magazine!  I was so excited when the editor contacted me wanting to include this photo.  I made these on a whim and got such a sweet response .  I have a few swags that will be in the shop by the end of the week, but I will also be doing a tutorial in a couple days so you can make your own. :)
What's distracting you from social media right now? ;)

Monday, June 1, 2015

In the Garden

It's been a beautiful Spring so far and here we are suddenly in June. I remember longing for this weather and it seems like just yesterday that it seemed it would never be here. Blink and the year is half gone, one more reminder to savor each day!
We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with my eldest daughter flying in for one day, (we got am amazing rate on airfare so it was well worth it!), a big family cookout and just lots of family fun and love. Since then, we have been concentrating on getting the garden expanded and planted.  Michigan just passed it's last frost date for planting so we are really just in the beginning stages of planting the vegetable garden.
Fortunately, we have perennials that start blooming and making things beautiful fairly early. These Siberian iris are one of my favorites. They line our picket fence and have bloomed profusely this year.
 Their deep purple flowers are more petite than regular iris and each stalk has 3-4 buds so they are lasting a long time.
 They bloom next to the snowball bush and it makes a beautiful pairing! I took these photos as the sun set one evening last week. The light was beautiful and I just had to capture how lovely the garden looked.
 Like lilacs, I don't remember ever living in a house without a snowball bush. My grandmother had them and so did my mother.  I have always loved their big creamy white balls of soft petals and even the way they make a drift of white when they begin to fade. It's a very fast growing bush and ours is about 9 feet tall after only a few years.
The strawberries are going to be amazing this year too.  They are loaded with berries and some are just beginning to turn pink.  The annual race against the chipmunks will begin soon. Sometimes they win, sometimes we win.  I'm hoping this is a year we win and get to eat the berries :)
Happy June! How does your garden grow?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Woke up Like This

Well, ok, and had a shower, did my hair and put on some make-up for once. What I mean is, I woke up 57 today.  I went to bed 56 and woke up 57 and, although I hate having my picture taken, there comes a time when you realize this is as good as it gets and, (curse you Sir Isaac) gravity isn't going to reverse, and even though you feel 17 inside, (most days) you better get that picture before another 10, or 20 years passes because you will look back and wish you had a decent picture from when you were "younger". Have I perfected the run on sentence? Yes, I think I have.

 A couple weeks ago Earl actually said, "you know, we're pushing 60", which got him the stink eye and the comment that I am not actually pushing anything, thankyouverymuch. Sixty can take care of itself.

Am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with Birthdays? On the one hand, cake, presents, special fun. On the other hand, wrinkles, creaky joints and wondering if it's time to touch up your roots.  All kidding aside, I am grateful for another year. I find that as the years pass there are some benefits to getting older. For one, the aging is mostly on the outside. I still really do feel young but with the added bonus of 57 years of wisdom and experience.  I am kinder to myself, I care less about outside opinions and more about who I am inside. I am determined to grow older gracefully and keep learning. I know that, even with 57 years of "wisdom and experience", I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. I also have a lot to give.  So Happy Birthday to me.  It's going to be a wonderful day! My youngest daughter is coming to spend the day with me, Earl is taking me to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants tonight, and this weekend my oldest is flying in for a day and we have a big family cookout planned. I think the older we get the more days we should get to celebrate right?

Got any big plans for the weekend?