Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn Adornment

Although our weather in the Texas-Panhandle isn't cooperating with the calendar, I've brought fall into our home despite the high of 91 that is predicted for tomorrow.  :}

I'm starting with my fireplace hearth (even though my dining room is where the party is really being held) because I'm linking up to The Lettered Cottage's Fall Mantles Party! It's my first blog linky-party - and I'm excited to be participating! :) 
   The plant and red-fire-bird were joined with a few pumpkins and an owl ("hoot hoot!") because, what says fall like pumpkins and owls? I've had the orange pumpkins for a few years, but found the green one a few weeks ago at our local Tuesday Morning - I like how the shape/color is different than the other two, but it has the same finish!

Close ups of the two sides. :) A little something Orange/Green/Red on both :)

Ok, moving into the dining room:
 My kitchen cart has this cute candle holder (a gift from my mom-in-law) complete with apple cider tea-lights, I get a waif of them whenever I walk by. Makes me smile. :) 

 The buffet has a symmetrical look this season, I'm liking the simplicity of the candles surrounded by corks (this is how I used the hurricanes for the first year I had them, so it is a little sentimental for me).

One of the few decorating things Brad brought into our home when we got married were these rock-bottomed name-place-holders (You can see the "rock" base below). :) I hadn't used them until now, but I had fun making some cards with fall themed words on them - this one says, "Thankful."

This pretty gold bowl was a gift from a couple from church, and I filled it with my traditional fall dried-bean-mix adding a few pine cones and acorns my sisters collected for me when we were in San Antonio (Thanks Laura and Anna!). A fun mix of things that make me think "fall" with no other purpose than making me happy and occupying my cat (apparently? I've found a few acorns in corners and under furniture since this has been out).

Now the table, seriously - this makes me happy.
 I LOVE IT. :)

A few gals from church make fun of me because every time they have come over to my house I have had a different centerpiece. I told them they need to come over more often! :) But what can I say, I get board and like to switch things up! I don't have money to go get manicures/pedicures but decorating is just as relaxing for me, I'm a strange cookie and I'm be the first to admit it. :)

I bought the table runner last winter from World Market, it was on clearance for $10 (I think? I can't remember clearly at this moment) -I've been saving it for fall and was a little afraid I would forget about it, but thankfully I did not! :) It has a dark plum background and a "garland" of white roses, pears and leaves.

Here is another name-place-holder, this one reading "friends." Joined by a candle holder from my great-grandma Ivance and a thrift-store votive. 

 The great wooden bowl is another thrift-store find, this one from Lititz PA from my recient trip to visit friends. I was really excited when I saw it, thinking it was handmade in an exotic country - I picked it up and saw a "made in china" sticker, oh well - maybe not a one-of-a-kind piece, but it has been a fun addition to my house. :) The bowl is filled with pears, which aren't real but have fooled many people so far - they are another thrift-store kind hailing from Minnesota. 

I didn't realize how many thrift stores, from all over the country, contributed to this table until now.  :) 

Here is # 3 of 4 name-place-holders - this one reading "Family" Something about fall just makes me thankful for my family, maybe it is the upcoming holidays or the start of school, but it happens every year. :) 

My trio of wooden candle holders don't match perfectly, but coordinate perfectly - one of my favorite looks. The one in the front left was made by my dad in his high school shop class! :) My grandma gave it to me a few years ago and it it one of my all-time favorite things. The tall candle stick is from Ikea - love that place. And the votive-candle-stick....
...was a Amarillo thrift-store find, I purchased it alone and it wasn't until I was putting together this centerpiece that i realized it holds my (Chicago thrift-store) votive holders perfectly! Sarah was very happy upon discovering this - it's the small things.

 Have you set your "fall" table yet?

The autumn adornment doesn't stop there - no my friends - I have a little touch of fall in my front room too! (I have told myself that I am not allowed to buy anymore "Fall themed decor" but must have fun with what I have until I have more surfaces to decorate.) :)
 My new sewing table, when it's not in use, provides a nice surface for a few little things.

 My cute pilgrim couple, another gift from my fabulous mom-in-law, make me happy.  I realize they may not be for everyone - Brad thinks they are kinda creepy because they don't have eyes. 

I hope you enjoyed the fall tour of our home - I'm hoping the weather starts to cool off soon, but until then I'll just keep burning my apple cider candles and pretending it is crisp and cool outside. :) How have you welcomed fall into your home?

The Lettered Cottage

Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting Ready for Michael: Sewing Projects, Fabrics, and a Gift

Excitement doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about beginning these projects for my SON! :) I am thrilled.

The Plan:
  • Make a Crib Skirt (Using this tutorial but adjusting the pattern to make the skirt shorter)
  • Make Bumper Pads (Using this tutorial)
  • Make a Quilt (Using the same pattern I used with following the same pattern I used with Lucy's quilt, Amy Butler's Play Time Quilt)
  • Make Swaddling Blankets
The Fabrics: 

Lucy and Michael will be sharing a room so I really wanted their "colors" to be coordinating but still very feminine and very masculine - my goal is to have Michael's bedding/quilt so "boy" that you do not think even for a second, "Is it for a girl?"

It didn't take long for me to realize that it is so much harder to find fabric for a boy than it is to find fabric for a girl. Brad and I didn't want Michael's (or Lucy's) fabric to be "themey," and we were able to stay away from a theme with girl fabrics (there are so may options/colors that are distinctly feminine but not distinctly a theme) but found the choices more difficult this time around. I finally found a fabric that would be a great inspiration/jumping off point for his quilt. And although it was an animal print, it didn't read "Zoo" to us at all. :) Success!

 (If you would like the names of any of these fabrics, let me know and I'd be happy to find them for you. :))

I've already started the quilt! It is turning out really well so far - I haven't decided what to do about the backing and binding yet, I think I would like to bring a little more green into the quilt - but we will see what I'm able to find. :) 

I decided to make the bedding (Crib Skirt and Bumper Pads) more generic so that I can use them for future sons. The moment I saw this argyle I knew it would be perfect!
This argyle will be the main fabric on the bumper pads and will be the accent on the crib skirt. I haven't found the fabric I need for the piping on the bumper pads and the majority of the skirt - I'm hoping to find a green fabric that matches/coordinates well with our rocking chair and storage boxes in the kid's room (all the storage items I have are "Sage" from the Koala Kids line at Babies R Us, so they are gender neutral). I'd love a polka dot (you know me...) or maybe a stripe, but again - we will see what is available. :)

Next up, swaddling blankets! We loved wrapping Lucy up "real tight" when she was a newborn - she actually slept swaddled until she was about 7 or 8 months!  I was given three beautiful home-made blankets at a baby shower that were the perfect swaddlers. So my mind has been set on making my own for future kiddos. :)
These flannel fabrics make me smile and they match Michael's quilt perfectly. :) Lucy's colors are pink/green/grey and I think Michael's are shaping out to be Orange/Green/Blue. :) There is a lady from church, Emily, who has a surger - and she is going to show me how to use it and let me borrow it! Can't wait! 

fyi: the green plaid is very similar to the shade of green I'm looking for for the skirt/bumper pad piping.

Here are all the fabrics we have so far: :)

Oh! And Emily, the same sweet lady who has a surger - gave me a beautiful gift last week: 
 A stunning sewing table! It belonged to her sister-in-law and when she downsized and moved she gave the desk to Emily.

The desk is complete with: 
  A Singer Touch and Sew Machine - this thing is a beast. It has been maintained beautifully and runs so smoothly!

 The sewing desk has this neat "nook" for all of the essentials that you need to keep close by!

 And a spacious drawer for other do-dads :)

I've been having fun playing with this machine - never did I think I would enjoy having two sewing machines but so far it has been an amazing luxury! :) What a gift! Thank you Emily for encouraging my creativity with this stunning family heirloom - I love it!

Well, that wraps up this post. Are you like me? Do fabric and sewing machines make you happy?