Monday, July 27, 2009

PRODUCTIVE WEEK

I have worked practically full time all summer, so it's a wonder that I've accomplished anything on my to-do list. I always have high hopes of completing some major projects around the house in the summer, but I have decided to take pleasure in the little accomplishments this year.

finished curtains made from tablecloths
kitchen curtain

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did some rearranging of accessories
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got those wall words hung - thank you Kelly
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went fabric shopping with Kelly--in a factory
kelly fabric

fun fabric
and in a barn behind the factory
barn
it was fun and different
check out Kelly's finds
barn fabric
my purchases at $4 a yard
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got to dream about my next sewing projects
the tapestry may cover the dining room chairs
the bird fabric may be Roman shades or shower curtain
the fringe fabric may be curtains or pillows
$4 a yard! unbelievable
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No pictures but I also had fun going to Hobby Lobby (three times), T.J. Maxx , Office Max, Home Depot, and the tile store. I didn't have fun frosting Tessa's French door, but at least all the windows in her room are done--well almost. I have a few embellishments to add.

FELTING

Tessa and I learned how to felt yesterday, and we are both obsessed with it. Other than avoiding getting stabbed with the needle--which sounds easier than it is, trust me, the one with the band-aid on her finger--it is so easy and fun. We have made the cutest pins, and fear that the flower on the lapel and pocketbook and wrist and whatever is going to be our new trademark. I just know that in ten years from now, we will look back and wonder what we saw in these. At least that's what Kelly and I wonder when we look at the photos of craft projects from the eighties and nineties. I'm sure you all remember puffy paint and . . . no, I will not go there.

The book we bought from Hobby Lobby is chock full of ideas, and the old and new selections of wool provide plenty to work with.

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pins

orange felted pin

pink felted pin

brown felted pin

blue felted pin

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

INSPIRATION: FABRIC AND FRIENDLY ADVICE

I've already mentioned my love of all things Ikea many times and could probably feature a favorite item every week for a year. It took me a while, but I have finally hung the curtains that I bought there in March and recently finished making the curtains from the fabric I bought there at the same time. If you can't tell, my summer goal is to get all my windows dressed!

I knew the minute I saw this pattern below that it was the *one* for Tessa's room redo. I had been looking for some time, but nothing had caught my eye. I did not want to settle. I am so glad I waited.

tessa

I stared at the curtains below for a long time on two different occasions trying to picture them in one of my rooms. At $39 a pair, I couldn't afford to buy them just because I loved the pattern--which I did. At my last visit, I finally decided on two pairs to either use on the two front windows downstairs (kitchen and living room) or . . . I wasn't really sure of the or. When I got home, I didn't really love them with the downstairs furniture or paint, and they were not long enough--surprising for Ikea. I ended up using one pair in the spare room/office and one pair in the nearby bathroom. Oh, I am crazy about them and wish they were in my bedroom so I could stare at them more.

office


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It's a good feeling to accomplish these little projects over the summer. I'm not sure the big ones, like replacing ceilings and renovating bathrooms, will happen, but at least some curtains are hung. I do believe that the motivation to tackle any creative project starts with the inspiration.

Blog World is great for inspiration, but there is nothing like a real visit to a real home with real people with real kids and real dogs and real succulents and stuff like that. I have what other bloggers can only dream about--and that is connections to--let's just say Blog World's equivalent to an energy drink! Yes, I visited Edie at Life in Grace. Go ahead and drool.

The house tour was fun and colorful and a real experience in mix and match and take a chance and be yourself and go ahead and shock the neighbors one more time. You just have to smile and leave happy--yes, you do have to leave. She's not taking borders at this time.

Anyhow, she did give me permission to share one of her decorating secrets: group like things together. Sounds simple, huh? Well, a few pictures are worth . . . well, I'm not sure what they are worth.

I could see what she was talking about with these candlesticks.
Impressive.

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Kinda thinking that she could do better with this grouping.
Probably shouldn't say anything cause I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings.

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And totally did not get the canned goods on this living room table.
Yes, they constitute a grouping of like things.
And she is *who* everybody wants to be like and all.
Not sure I could pull it off.

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The towels I get.
They probably would not look so good without the pool though.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

KITCHEN WINDOW

I finally got around to making some new curtains for the kitchen. Because the windows are so gigantic, they are very challenging. The only place to buy anything long enough is Ikea which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Of course, it would be a better thing if there was one nearby. I do not consider Atlanta or Charlotte nearby.

I happen to have a collection of Ikea lace curtains--one because I love lace, and two because they are so cheap, and three because they are actually too long for my windows! I also buy tablecloths on clearance after Christmas, because they, too, are long enough and wide enough to be used as curtains--and they are obviously, washable.

the before treatment with Ikea lace and Martha Stewart tablecloths
this window is next on my list



the trunk of goodies to use



the after kitchen curtains using Ikea lace, Martha tablecloths,
and Hobby Lobby trim which is just hanging with the curtains




another shot




up close, loving it



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IS THIS DEGAS AMAZING OR WHAT?

A friend sent this to me today, and I couldn't resist posting it. She told me not to ask her how she did it, so I won't. I really don't have time to learn anything new right now anyway! Thank you, Trudy!



Monday, July 13, 2009

Comparison

I am trying to figure out a good system to upload photos to blogger using my new camera. On a friend's advice, I joined Flickr and have been uploading from there. I am having all kinds of issues with the html coding when it comes to text. It will appear on my compose page, but disappears when it is posted. It is a real pain. That's probably one reason why I have not been writing much. It is just too time consuming and annoying to wrestle with coding. Admittedly, I really am not that bright. It is true that the resolution though Flickr is so much better as you can see below, but it takes twice as long. I would welcome any suggestions.

uploaded from my computer
uploaded from Flickr

DINERS, DRIVE-INS, AND DIVES: COOTIE BROWN'S

Summertime and new experiences seem to go hand in hand. The last few weeks, I've spent almost all of my tv viewing--which isn't a whole lot--on the Food Network. One of the shows that has been particularly interesting is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Each show leaves me wishing that I had some really cool restaurant to frequent. I would love to try something different and feel happy to pay the bill instead of wishing that I had stayed home and cooked a baked potato.

After our trip to Doe River Gorge on Saturday, Terry suggested eating at Cootie Brown's in Johnson City. Now, I have driven by that place many, many times, and I have not been impressed with what I saw. See for yourself. The sign is--let's just say--less than inviting. I'm not kidding; I always figured they served up roadkill.

But after watching DD&D, I was itching for a food adventure. And did we get one! Not quite as spectacular as the 700-foot zipline into the water earlier in the day, but an adventure none the less.
The rag tag bunch of us decided to eat outside where the kids could just hop out the window at any given moment to play in the planters.

The menu contained all kinds of interesting fare as you can see below. Terry and Aleshia split the amazing burrito and Tessa and I split the jerk chicken, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and Caesar salad. I am trying to forget the mashed potatoes, because they were very odd. We all tried them in an effort to identify the secret ingredient, which the waitress finally divulged as being some kind of cream soup. I did not want the recipe. I added a baked potato for Tessa instead.


I rarely spring for dessert, but was once again inspired by Guy on DD&D and the fact that I had a blog post in mind. Several of us shared the raspberry and key lime pie slices.
The inside was just as colorful and fun as the outside, although lacked the windows to dive through.

Finally, you may ask why that mysterious bag of water is hanging in the window. Lucky for us, we've lived in these parts for a few years and have been educated about such things, so we were able to eat without the stress of wondering. The theory is that the water bag keeps away flies. It seems to have worked because we were not bothered by any--although I would have gladly given up the mashed potatoes to any hungry insect!

RANDOM SUMMERTIME PHOTOGRAPHY

I recently bought a Canon Rebel and have been enjoying more random photography. I do wish that I had the time to figure out all the capabilities so that my photos look like the ones that I drool over in blog world. But for now, I must be happy with point and shoot.
My friend Renee has invited me to participate in her Random Summertime Photography party. I am always happy for the little extra motivation to post. My friends and family all got into the act on Saturday when we visited Doe River Gorge. I told them that I needed random, and they were all full of suggestions. I hope you enjoy!


The boys were more than happy to bring their critters by for a photo shoot. I don't think I've ever seen a frog in progress quite like the one on Aidan.


I think this is a fabulous use of old windows, doors, and headboards!
It may be my favorite random shot so far.