Monday, February 16, 2015

Retail Therapy

I completely do not know what happened to this post! The whole thing disappeared without warning. I am attempting to recall what I said and what places I had been to and what sites I had linked up to but I am struggling. If anybody has a clue how to restore please let me know. For now this what I can recall:

I live in New England and there has been mucho snow! We needed a break and so shopping it was! We went to Vintage Thymes Monthly Market. They are only open three days every month but boy do they pack a lot into that three days!

My 16 year old just loved this vintage wedding dress:

They were celebrating Valentine's Day and love was in the air.

Vintage Thymes hosted a guest exhibitor that I first learned of on a trip to Cape Cod. Her items we lovely and made me long for the sand between my toes.

Simply Vintage

We stopped at several different shops in the old converted WinSmith Mill.

I had a nice conversation with Deb at Diggin Daisy's who was having a sale on anything Italian made in honor of Carnavale. I picked up some lovely glass wear and couldn't beat the price.

Bluebird Studios inspired me with a frame and paper flower.

I found another treasure at the Vintage Peacock.


When all was said and done we headed home with our treasures.

I filled my $5 pitcher with some grocery store flowers and put up the garland I made. I used paper paint samples from the home improvement store and punched out the shapes. I sandwiched twine between the disks of paper using my glue gun to form the garland. I draped it over the mirror in the dining room.

I had a wonderful day with my girls and they were so sweet to bring me some flowers to add even more beauty to our home.

Well, this is an abridged edition of what was originally written. My apologies for the mix up. I am trying to get it straightened out. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Linked to Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Your Home Based Mom,  Skip To My Lou, Cupcakes and Crinoline, Huckleberry Love, Lamberts Lately

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thinking Outside the Box

My dining room was finished a while back (see it here). I searched to no avail for lined, apple-y green curtains. I did not want to spend a fortune for them and things I found that were affordable looked like they belong in a child's room. I ordered from different websites and waited oh so impatiently for them to arrive. After getting a several sets that were not the chartreuse (more grown up word) green that was pictured on the websites I finally just kept one of the sets and made it work.

My other issue with curtains was that I did not want tab tops or grommets. I know: picky, picky, picky! The curtains I settled for had the back tabs or could be fed through a rod pocket.

I love the color in this photo but this is not accurate!

First I tried the rod pocket. I did not like the look at all. Because of the weight of the fabric they wouldn't stay pulled back so I had to use the back tabs. I hung them, steamed the wrinkles out and carefully folded them in an attempt to make them hang neatly. I could not get it neat. "It'll do", I thought. did not work! It was irritating me like a bit of sand in my shoe. Rubbing, rubbing, rubbing. Grrr! Constantly. I felt if I just fussed with it a bit more it would be okay. NOT! I should just find something else......sigh.

I am irritated just looking at this picture.

Every night I sat in the dining room, eating my dinner and being majorly bugged by those curtains. Of all the things in the world I could obsess about and this is all I can come up with?!

I decided to finally buy some curtain rings and see if that would not help.

Clipping them at the top made them too long. I tried the floppy look and hated that. The stupid tabs in the back hung over and I could see they were taunting me.

You can see the tab on the right. Grrr!

I had completed two windows when the light bulb in my brain finally got up to full strength. Why hadn't I thought of this before! The hems on my curtains are about the same width as the header so I just flipped them upside down. Those silly tabs aren't going to bother me anymore! Genius!

Right about then I seemed to remember that the idea was not totally new to me. Had I thought about it before and forgot? Did someone suggest that to me before and it just took this long to get through the maze of crazy in my brain? Pinterest? Maybe my friend, Tara, had suggested it. I don't know. I am reluctant to take credit for it, for fear that it may not be my genius. And, if I did have a stroke of genius the pressure to continue to perform at that level is too crippling so I'll move on.

I did not stop there. Once I clipped the rings on the back and put them on the rods I did a little fluffing. I simply pulled the hem open and zshooshed it a bit. Perfect! Well, at least they aren't bugging anymore. Tonight I ate my dinner feeling quite happy with myself. I know you're probably thinking I've lost my marbles and maybe it's a dumb idea but for right now I am happy as a clam. (Whatever that means.)

I should steam the bottoms out again.....
So, what do you think? Genius or crazy? What about you? Any 'outside the box' decorating moments? I would love to hear about it.

I joining these linking parties: The French Country Cottage
                                                 The Shabby Nest
                                                  Nifty Thrifty Things
                                                 Too Much Time On My Hands
                                                 DIY Show Off
                                                 Chic On A Shoestring
                                                 I Heart Naptim
                                                 Tatertots and Jello
                                                 The Girl Creative
                                                  Coastal Charm
                                                  I Should Be Mopping The Floor
                                                  Your Homebased Mom
                                                  Huckleberry Love
                                                 Cedar Hill Farmhouse
                                                 Skip To My Lou
                                                 Cupcakes and Crinoline
                                                 Home Stories AtoZ
                                                 A Stroll Through Life
                                                 Elizabeth& Co
                                                 Savvy Southern Style
                                                 The Turquoise Home
                                                 Lamberts Lately

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Something Sew Small

It has taken six months or so but I finally got the kitchen window treatments completed!

I say that excitedly in type but in reality it does seem more like a statement followed by a less than enthusiastic sigh. It was not a difficult task per se and yet it has taken all this time! I can procrastinate like it's nobody's business.

The kitchen gets sun in the morning from the southeast streaming through the back door and window next to it. In the afternoon we have to wait until the sun moves around to the other side of the house. We don't get good natural light until late in the afternoon. For these reasons I really don't want to cover the windows much. A "dream home" for me would be one where no window treatments were needed at all.... like this:



I knew I wanted to mount the treatments high enough to just cover the window frame at the top but not obscure the light. I wanted them clean looking. The hardware needed to be simple. When shopping I realized that curtain rods would be a major problem, especially at the window adjacent to the back door. The old window treatments were on spring rods fixed inside the window frames so I never gave it a thought before now. Come to think of it, maybe that is why I had done spring rods before-I really can't remember.

The window frame almost touches the bathroom door frame. No room for
a curtain rod.
I really want extra colors in the kitchen to come from accent pieces leaving the foundation neutral. I also wanted something that could be washed. I looked at several semi-custom valances to buy but all of them were dry-clean only. I have a smaller kitchen and grease, smells, ect. need to be washed away occasionally. And, well, we're messy. I realized I was going to have to bust out my sewing machine partly because I wanted something I could launder that still looked nice and partly because I was too cheap to pay what they wanted in the stores. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying I am not a seamstress. I can sew straight lines....sometimes. (I use dressmakers chalk or washable quilting pens and draw on my fabric sometimes if a straight line is proving too difficult.) I found a fabric that I thought worked well with the wall color.  This is what I settled on. I had a Groupon coupon that I used to purchase my fabric making it very affordable!

I scoured the internet and found the shape of the valances I wanted. I did end up modifying it a bit.

This was my inspiration.

I measured the windows (width including the window molding) and went to work. The three windows were roughly the same, give or take an inch, or so and I adjusted for that on each valance as needed. I took some craft paper and drew out my pattern based on the smallest window making sure to leave enough for a 5/8" seam allowance. I also added 31/2" to either end for the wrap around. Each valance will have a return on both sides back to the wall to cover the mounting board. Before cutting the pattern out I folded my paper in half  to be sure that the pattern was perfectly symmetrical.  I pinned my pattern to the fabric and cut out my piece then cut out a piece for the lining. Right sides together, I sewed the pieces leaving room open at the top to turn it right-side out. I clipped my corners and notched the curves so that everything would lay flat. Once that was completed I turned it right-side out and ironed it smooth. At the very top I sewed the loop part of hook-and-loop tape to the lining side of my valance closing up the opening I used to turn it out. I did not want to put the hook side of the tape on the curtain for fear that it could catch on the fabric and pull it when I wash them.

 I did one at a time which turned out to be a very smart move because I pulled a major rookie mistake.  I am working with a geometric pattern and I did not take that into account while cutting my fabric as I was excited to just get going on this. When all was said and done, sewing, mounting, ect. THEN I noticed my pattern was off. Ugh! I know better than that!

Can you see the pattern at the top and the bottom! It still makes me mad!

Well, that took the wind out of my sails.....for weeks. Christmas was on the way and I did not have time for these things, I told myself, so it got put aside. Queen of procrastination. You could catch glimpse of it here in a photo from my Christmas post:

I eventually made it back and completed my oh so delayed mission.

To mount the valances I cut pieces of 1x3 to extend 1/2" on either side of my window molding. I wrapped each piece in the white lining fabric I had used on the valances and secured the fabric with a staple gun. I then used a staple gun to attach the hook part of the hook-and-loop tape to the edge of three sides of the wood.

 I used L-brackets to secure the wood above each window.

You can see the hook-and-loop already attached.

Once the board was secure I put up the valance. Here is where that extra amount of fabric on the ends was important because of the wrap-around effect on the ends of the wood.

Pay no attention to my yet unfinished island.... another project waiting...

I did remake a valance for the window next to the back door. I thought originally that I would dress the window on the door but can't figure out what to do there.

I think it would look odd right next to the window and the height it would have to be mounted at on the door is an issue. For now I am not going to dress it at all. This project wasn't so hard but did require I pay close attention to the pattern. A small floral pattern or solid material would have removed that level of difficulty but where is the fun in that? All-in-all I am pleased with the overall project and glad finally have that off my to-do list.

There are other projects waiting.....

Linked up to: Imparting Grace
                       French Country Cottage
                       The Shabby Nest
                       Chic On A Shoestring
                       To Much Time On My Hands
                       Cedar Hill Farmhouse
                       Savvy Southern Style
                        Lamberts Lately
                       Someday Crafts
                       The Blissful Bee
                       Coastal Charm
                       Nifty Thrifty Things
                       Tatertots and Jello
                        Romantic Home
                        The Girl Creative
                       Sand and Sisal

That DIY Party

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