Ideas and suggestions for window treatments, slipcovers, nursery decor and bedding...and other thoughts and inspirations for your home and garden...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Talk about "Merry and Bright"!!!!

I know you have all been so very busy with Christmas decorating and parties and shopping...and, if you are in my world...working!!! Trying to mix it all in when you have 7 balloon shades to make, 4 roman shades to finish, 2 sweet little girl dresses to fit in before the wedding, kids still in college, and a partridge in a pear tree-well, it all seems to get a little or a lot overwhelming....and then...I like to take a step back and put it all in perspective.

I am so thankful for all the jobs, friendships, family matters, and sewing "emergencies" that come my way. I know that I am never given more than I can handle, though at times, I wonder. And, I hope that I have been able to help make your home a little happier or a little more like you want it-that is my wish. You have certainly been a blessing to me, whatever the part. I wish you the Merriest Christmas ever!!!

And, I look forward to the New Year with lots of new ideas to "make and do".

I wanted to share a few pictures of my latest projects....and my "partridge in a pear tree!"~Debbie

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Stockings are's Christmas time soon!!!

This is the time of year that your sewing speed determines your income....well, sort of. Decorators are calling, individual clients are calling....people are getting their homes ready for is really a fun time...and, then, the week before Christmas, Bobby and I push everything out of the way and hide our "work stuff" so that we can host a little family meal for a few of us...and...boy, would I love to be getting my house ready, too!

Bobby and I are planning some ideas for our house-and I hope maybe next year will be the year....our family is growing and I want to be able to host a family gathering or, that is our plan...could there possibly be enough time to get it done before next year? But, for now....I will do my best to finish the dining rooms and family rooms and bedrooms I have promised...and, really, the weeks get faster and faster the closer it gets to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I've included some photos of our "nook" space at "On the Square Antiques" in Troy. We have added a few vintage Christmas decorations to go along with the club chair and ottoman that I slipcovered in a cottage style floral Waverly fabric, prewashed and dried...also a valance in matching and coordinating fabrics-great for a home office or craft room. A few black painted side tables and a black cupboard with hand painted detail on the doors are also included in our Cottage and Cabin booth in Troy.

I have added some cabin style Christmas stockings to our spot inside Old South Antique Mall in Dothan...these are made from a charming tattered vintage quilt and burlap, and backed with cream homespun. I will take special orders on stockings using your quilt or fabrics of your soon!! And, Happy Decorating!!!

A Special Song...

A great beginning to my day...a friend with a delivery of "wine ice" and gifts wrapped in vintage wrap-and inside, vintage Holly Hobbie Christmas glasses, a Mary Engelbreit sewing caddy with a vintage needle card tucked inside...later in the morning, calls from my daughters...and late in the afternoon, a visit from my son who surprised me with a bouquet of fall colored daisy mums and a card...what a great visit, and we ate cake!!!!

But just after noon....I had not heard from Mom or Dad-I thought perhaps they were being sweet and letting this day pass quietly-as I wished. My Mom had asked to take me to lunch, but I had some deadlines of course with this date being so close to, we celebrated instead at their home with a super meal last week-with gifts and all, so it was not really a big deal about today...although, Mom had mentioned that Dad had called my sister and sang "Happy Birthday" to her the week before..........well, was I jealous??? Maybe....but, I really am so happy that Dad is doing so well without his oxygen...his health has improved and all seems good. So, call it "jealousy" or "just glad to have him here to talk to", I wanted my song, too...

Anyway, I called Mom (to ask for my song)...and, she immediately put Dad on the phone-

He sang! I was perfect!

I have another friend who perfectly described my "bubble"...she said that I loved life in my "bubble world", and she is right...God has truly blessed me with a wonderful husband and children, a brand new grandson, a super terrific family, the best of friends, and a life that I love living and look forward to each day. I thank Him for the continuous work and jobs he provides for me and my family...and for blessing us with talents and artistic abilities that we use to support ourselves. In today's world, with so many people without jobs and hurting in other ways...I know that I am truly blessed...and I have truly lived a charmed life. And, for this, I am thankful. And thanks, Daddy, for singing for me...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween and Other Issues...

It's been a busy October in my world...and, obviously the blog has gone by the wayside-but sometimes, just sometimes, you have to cry "calf-rope" and realize you just can't do it all!! Our "St. Louis" daughter came for a visit and brought her boyfriend-and, it was great!!!! All except the part where I tripped over the electrical cord and flew through the hallway only to land on my arms-full force!! OWWWWWW!!!! And, I mean that. This accident happened the day before Allie and Chris were to arrive-so, as you can imagine, I was cleaning the house and preparing partial meals (so I would not have to spend their entire visit in the kitchen). I was finishing making a chocolate cake (Allie loves chocolate...and, don't we all!!) when I remembered that I wanted to give Bobby the necessary measurements to cut boards for the roman shades that I was trying to complete-so, you see, I was cleaning and cooking and working when I remembered that I must then run to my workroom to get information...keyword (run)...So, as I hurried around the corner, I forgot that I had moved the fan, and...that's when it happened-always in a hurry to do one more thing.

Bobby just happened to be inside...and he called out "can you get up?"...and I called back..."NO"...I think I knew I could get up, but I could not hurry....So, he has offered to get me "Life Alert" so I can be safe-"ain't it great"!! Anyway, Bobby finished making the chocolate icing for the chocolate cake-and, he loved every minute of "what do I do with the rest of the icing left in the bowl? Eat it?". The rest of the day I spent moaning and groaning, but assuring myself that since I could move my arm, it must not be broken. But not only did I injure my left arm, but also my right pinkie finger-so you see, both arms-kind of hard to do any kind of sewing or cooking or... tie your shoes...

Anyway, Bobby helped me finish the roman shades that night. Allie and Chris arrived and we had a great visit! I just moved extra slowly. And, do you know it is difficult to do anything...and I mean anything, without full use of your arms-left or right.

And, two weeks later, I have been working ever so carefully and slowly-but making accomplishments-and, that's a very good thing. I don't think I have that insurance that pays when you can't know, the duck.

My biggest accomplishment since "the accident" has been the eight- one and one half width drapery panels- lined and interlined-with a fabric tape sewn down the lead edges...the fabric was a beautiful green herringbone stitched silk. Bobby and I installed these panels in a master bedroom in a home in the Garden District in Dothan.

Since then, I have been making dust ruffles, tailored bedskirts and all sorts of down filled pillows and shams. I will try to take new photos soon to share.

And, Happy Halloween...from the baby....and Honey...have you ever seen a cuter "pooh"? That's another thing-there is not enough time in the world-I certainly misplanned my timing to retire...???? Can I ever??? But, I wish I was-retired- so that I could spend my days playing with this sweet pumpkin.

Speaking of Grandmothers...I found these vintage cross-stitched "Grandmother" poems...and, added new fabrics to make pillows-perfect "conversation" pillows for a rocker or sunporch swing. These pillows and lots of other new finds are available for sale at On the Square Antiques in Troy.

I enjoy blogging when I get a chance...hopefully it won't be so long before my next. Be careful out there and don't can accomplish more if you take it slower sometimes...


Monday, September 28, 2009

Dining Room Drama

Dining rooms make the perfect backdrop for a dramatic window treatment...usually one of the most formal rooms of a house-it makes sense to play "dress-up." These dining room windows turned out to be just the right ones to treat with a more formal style. The clients chose a beautiful cranberry silk fabric...and wanted to pull the drapery panels back to showcase the tassel trim. I added detail with goblet style pleats that are shown attached to the drapery rings. The drapery hardware that the clients chose included an eight foot rod, carved finials, fluted brackets, and smooth wood rings all finished in antique black with gold highlights...which shone against the tan wall color and picked up the other black and gold accents in the room.

These panels were lined and interlined, giving the fabric more body and protection from the sun. The clients and I also chose to add extra length for a beautiful puddle, again adding more drama.

As my client expressed, she could use the panels to make a dress like the one Scarlett O'Hara made from drapes in Gone with the Wind... now that's dramatic!!! It was truly my pleasure working with clients as nice as this couple.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ode to a Very Interesting Lady

So there is much hype out there now about down-sizing, simplifying, cleaning out, organizing...and, I agree, there comes a time when we all just completely run out of space. It is truly so easy to accumulate things (especially if you tend to have any interest in the arts). I know only too well that after living in the same house since 1979 and raising three wonderful children, you are bound to have tons of clutter. But, if you have any life at all, why, oh why, would you or how could you, possibly find the extra time necessary to de-clutter your closets or drawers. What with ball practice, piano lessons, school, ball games, science projects, church, choir practice, meal preparation (sometimes), and work (including late night painting and sewing projects)---who has the time to clean out drawers??? Not least, not right now....especially not right now with new baby grandson...I already feel there is not enough time to spread around to my family. I have a grandmother and an aunt who have recently moved into assisted living spaces....both whom I would love to visit-but there is no time between work and responsibilities. I think I haven't visited my parents in over a month...and, then there is Allie in St. Louis (Happy Birthday Allie!!! We love You!) Now, that is a trip--a very long trip to St. Louis.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand...clutter...and, what to do about it.
I have a dear friend who helped me see through all the worry of "too much stuff." We met at her house to discuss a project, and as we carefully entered her garage (you would not have believed it!), I realized it was not just me. We literally had to weave through the tables, chairs, armoires, fabric, old clothes, get to her door-and guess what she said? "Excuse all the stuff, but I see art projects in all of this." I felt as if I had met someone with a kindred spirit of sorts. Because I could see the art projects, too....the pieces of furniture were beautiful, but had missing parts or were damaged in some way. But, she knew that the repair and, or re-do would result in something much more beautiful. It was so obvious-only artistic people could understand!! And, from that point on, I decided that I was truly artistic-maybe a little different, but artistic, none-the-less.
I still have an "almost nervous breakdown" when a client wants to come to my house-you see, right now, I live in my workshop...and I work in my home. Bobby is trying to remedy that for us...and I believe, all in good time, he will. I want to have a separate space for all my "art projects" so I can have family get-togethers in my home. That is my "dream life". But even then, please don't look in my drawers or closets-unless you, too, can understand my potential "art projects".
To me, this photo showcases a lady whose life was full and busy and interesting and symbolizes a complete life-maybe a bit messy, but interesting. And, whose life isn't a bit messy now and then...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Perfect Complement ...The Perfect Compliment

The installation is complete for this cute breakfast room! Bobby helped me finish this project this afternoon. And, the clients are so excited!! The window treatments and accessories totally complement the decor of this room. The kitchen/breakfast room is painted a warm sagey green and is accented with black tile, appliances, and furniture.

The clients chose a tailored board mounted valance style for the windows. The valances feature black and white toile paired with black and white check. Accents of a sage green fabric cording and covered buttons add detail. We mixed the fabrics again for reversible placemats with tiny cording and reversible napkins. To complete the breakfast room, I made chair cushions with double knot ties of black and white check and accented the covers with the sage green cording.

The photos of the clients' kitchen/breakfast room showcase the existing decor. I think the clients' choice of fabrics and window treatment style add to their room's classic look. And, the window treatments seem to have been there always. To me, this is the perfect "compliment".

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vintage Cupboard Re-Make

I love vintage furniture...and could not resist this piece with the hammered strap hinges. I purchased this bottom kitchen cabinet and enlisted Bobby to attach the upper portion with cubbies to add height. A distressed mustard finish with black flecks and " Ta-Dah" ...a great cupboard for a French Country Kitchen or storage for a mudroom or office.

This cupboard is now for sale at Old South Antique Mall in Dothan, Alabama.

The Other Side of the Tracks

So before my son Brantley finished his one year music technology course in Nashville last year, he phoned home to let me know his plans for the next year. These plans included attending Troy University, which I thought would probably be a good idea. Brantley also told me that he and Jim, a friend and lead guitarist in The Park Band, would be looking for a place to rent. Well, I know all about places to rent-Bobby (my husband) has these places. Anyway, I started thinking about a way that... 1) Brantley could move out, and 2) it would not cost us a fortune.

Bobby seems to be a terrific landlord. I sort of "stay out of it" and things run smoothly. He always keeps his houses rented, and for this I am thankful. But I did know at this particular time we had this particular house that was not rented...and, it had not been rented for a few months. We were actually in the process of thinking about what we could do with this big, old was in desperate need of a re-do. But a re-do on a house this big would cost lots and lots of time, not to mention the money that anyone would need to spend, even "do-it-yourselfers" like us.

That night at supper, I shared with Bobby about the telephone call from Brantley. And I casually mentioned the big house...Bobby thought it was an ok idea, but we both agreed that Brantley and Jim probably would not go for it. We laughed at the thoughts of mentioning the old house to them...and at what we thought their reaction might be. You see, this big, grand house is not so close to the university, nor is it in the best of areas of town. But it is beautiful and big and kind of conjures up memories of watching Animal House-the living room would host the perfect Toga Party!!

Surprisingly, Brantley and Jim liked the idea! As a matter of fact, they agreed to help with the basic re-do...

which included lots of cleaning, painting, tiling, cabinet making, sanding and staining hardwood floors, wiring and installing ceiling fans, ordering and installing blinds, and mowing. The boys have moved in....and the house is not even totally finished, but it has come a long, long way.

As a matter of fact, when they moved in...the main bath (clawfoot tub) was not functional. So no problem-they showered at the neighbor's house. Isn't it amazing how young people figure out ways to work things out...I love this.

We have spent the last couple of week-ends working on the kitchen. Tonight we moved the refrigerator from the dining room to its proper place in the newly tiled kitchen. We also hung a couple of wall cabinets. Bobby has to finish the plumbing for the sink, hopefully tomorrow. I really believe the kitchen is going to be the best room in the house-if only I had taken "before" pictures. And, we have not spent a fortune...the kitchen cabinets, for example, came from a demo job at the lake (the owner thought they smelled like fish). So Bobby installed new cabinets at the lake and brought the "fishy" ones home where we cleaned and painted with a fun, faux antiqued treatment.

There is still, and will be I am sure, lots to do to bring this grand house back to its proper place...after the inside is complete, I hope Brantley will move on to the outside. The big wrap-around porch could use some help. But for now, at least, the house is in much better shape and the boys have a place to live that is affordable, even if it is "on the other side of the tracks."

Be sure to check out The Park Band...their debut album, Peace of Mind, comes out September 18...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

White Linen Slipcovers

White linen...the fabric of choice for slipcovers in the latest issues of home decorating magazines. I recently completed a slipcover for a sleeper sofa using a medium weight white linen-prewashed and dried (this is a definite must do--otherwise, your investment will shrink with the first cleaning).

I think the finished slipcover looks beautiful in its new space...and, although this project almost did not happen-my client is thrilled with the result.

The problem was my client's fear of having the sofa moved from its location-a second floor bedroom. And, as I stated earlier, the piece is a sleeper sofa....very, very heavy. It seems that there were issues when the sofa was first delivered to the home--there was damage to the beautiful hardwood floors.

But, I require the furniture piece in my workshop. I'm not willing to travel and set up shop in someone's home or beach house....I prefer my own space. It may not be the most efficient use of time or space, but it is my time and space and I work best when I am happiest. And, I am happiest at home in my shop.

So my assistants, Bobby and Joe (my husband and son-in-law), were able to remove the bedding hardware from the sofa and deliver the piece to my workshop. After I completed the slipcover, I was able to go along for the installation. Bobby and Joe re-attached the bedding hardware, I added the slipcover and took a few photos...and, there was no damaged flooring. A perfect ending with a happy client!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Show (or in this case, "Work") Must Go On

My latest sewing project " for pay", my real job, has been to make slipcovers in navy blue duck canvas for a chair and ottoman, and as well for a two piece sectional. This has been an odd group to slipcover...not the standard pieces to which I am accustomed. But, I think they are coming together and will make the young client very happy. The chair and ottoman are antique pieces with cute wood feet and arm details-which of course need to be exposed! I made the skirts short and tailored, and for the arms...a corded opening with ties.

The sectional, on the other hand, is a new upholstered La-Z-Boy sofa. It is actually two loveseats separated in the center. And, it has two unique curved extra large seat cushions and a slightly curved back . I am working on "part 2" of the sectional now and plan to finish it today or tomorrow. One other thing about the sectional is the semi-attached back cushions...I usually try to talk my clients into allowing me to separate these, therefore having a separate cushion to slipcover with a zippered closure. This piece, however, is brand new with tags still attached. I hate to ask the client...well, I did ask, but she said "no". So, I proceeded and made an allowance to encase the puffy semi-attached cushions into the back of the slipcover. All said and done, it turned out least part 1 turned out great. And, part 2 is on its way to the finishing stages.

I must hurry now and finish! And, as much as I want to go to my grandson's homecoming, "...the show must go on." I will visit with the baby this evening.

Sweet Baby Grayson

The baby is here....the baby is here!!!! "Honey and Poppa" welcome our first beautiful grandchild. We are so happy to have him to share and love. Baby Grayson will come home today with his wonderful parents wearing his baby bunting and this baby boy bonnet. He will be wrapped in this lightweight white cotton blanket with cotton trim detail. Much, much love to our precious little one!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Baby Bunting...Poppa's Favorite old shirt?

Looking for the perfect lightweight, soft, cotton fabric for a baby shouldn't take much fabric to make the gown....something maybe in blue...and, there, in the closet...the old work shirt....I'm sure it has been washed one hundred times at least. And, it is so soft, and it is cotton, and maybe, just maybe there is enough fabric.

Perfect...the sweetest drawstring gown for baby with a few tiny buttons and detailed cotton trim. With love from Honey and Poppa...