Sunday, March 30, 2014


Here are some home projects I have completed lately.  I have been turning my attention to those projects that I've been meaning to do for some time.

Our old house staircase has been in sad shape since I removed the blue carpeting that was there when we moved in 15 years ago!  I am not a fan of carpeted stairs and couldn't really afford a nice one anyway so I painted a runner.  Easier said than done!  The taping was really challenging because the stairs are all wonky and it was hard to keep a straight line.  I finally had to put to rest that it would be perfect and fudged some areas but it is definitely an improvement over the old scuffed up stairs.

I just completed two slipcovers for the two chairs in the sitting room.  They were covered with my first two attempts (many years ago) of slipcovering before I had any idea of what I was doing.  I invested in this DVD from Shelley Anderson who makes slipcovering look so easy it is criminal!  I cannot tell you how much I have watched this DVD over and over and have marveled at how perfect her slipcovers turn out.  Plus I am envious of her Juki industrial super zippy sewing machine.  If you want to do a slipcover I cannot recommend this DVD highly enough!  I even purchased her advanced slipcovering guide to tackle the arm chair with telephone arms.  I did not know they were called telephone arms but the front of the arms do have this ear shaped piece that curves inward that does look like an old fashioned telephone (the kind that only people of my age would recognize!).  Let me tell you those arms plus the heavily scrolled back were challenging little suckers!

I am pretty pleased with this one and I love the knife pleats.  It was relatively straight forward and very much like the chair that Shelley does in her course.  I made a cute vintage barkcloth pillow to accent it which I love.

Here are those telephone arms and I found that if I fitted one piece and cut a matching one for the other side that was the best way to keep them identical.  They are very prominent and they really need to be identical and let the rest of the slipcover fit to them.

Now I had the bright idea that I would do a scalloped hem on the skirt and I learned another thing:  Aways put vents in the corners!  I had the whole thing done and the skirt was too tight.  I was not going to take that whole thing off since I had already serged the seams so I ended up cutting the back corners and putting in a ruffled vent.  It doesn't look awful but it is not ideal and it really bugs me right now.  I do like the scallops but the knife pleats were easier.

I also screwed up the band and the seam shows in the front instead of the sides where is should be.  I ran out of fabric and was not going to buy more so I will just live with it and it will remind me not to make that mistake again.  Speaking of fabric, I used drop cloths from Home Depot.  Would not recommend that again.  Each drop cloth is a different weave and shade of color and you never know what you are going to get!  The quality is not that good and for all the time and effort that goes into these things you are better off buying decent fabric.  I should know better.   The pillow I made from an old Waverly print.

Having both chairs with the same slipcover does make the room look more united.  Next up I will paint that table in the foreground with some homemade chalk paint.  It has lovely details that should not be covered up.  Thanks for suffering through my slipcovering/DIY woes and victories!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mom's Last Thrift

It's been almost a year since my mother passed away.  I've had a lot of time to reflect on the things she taught me and most certainly one of the pleasures we shared together was thrifting!  She was a clothes horse but never paid full retail price as she was the Queen of the thrift store find and way before it was fashionable too.  Even as sick as she was towards the end, she called me one day and said I found a cute jacket for you so you need to come and get it or I will mail it.   When we were going through her closet I found the jacket and remembered how she had described it.  It still had the tags and original pricey price on it from some boutique down in Florida.  I took it home with me but had not worn it because the color did not suit me.  However,  a little Rit dye did the trick and now it suits me fine!  Mom would be pleased.

It was really a sort of yellowish ivory which did not look good with my coloring.

I used Rit Pearl Gray dye.

Like this much better and I attached one of Mom's favorite pins for good measure.

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Soldered Art Books

Here are my latest soldered art books all finished.  I covered the spine of the mushroom book with a remnant of a vintage shriners collar that was all hand beaded with gold bullion beads and fringe.  It has that old velvet look like old stage curtains.  These are really fun to make...lots of steps!  I especially love the juxtaposition of the creamy plaster pages with the hard metal of the covers.  If you are interested they are in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wedding Bliss

In keeping with my wedding theme I have created this soldered assemblage shadow box using a vintage cake topper.  I thought it would be a unique shower or wedding decoration for a vintage style wedding. 

This can be found in my etsy shop 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I have been playing food stylist with some of my meals lately.  It's fun to remember which meals I liked, the recipes I used and what worked and did not work.  Since I am a visual person, having my iPhone handy to take pictures in the kitchen works fine and dandy.  Here is what I have been making lately.

My new favorite light meal or hearty snack:  I use Ezekiel whole grain flour less bread,  a smear of mayo and thin slices of ripe avocado with a bit of salt and pepper.  Inspired by this cookbook.

This was Sunday dinner:  Oven baked sweet potato fries (I toss in olive oil and a bit of cayenne pepper for a kick), brussell sprouts roasted with pancetta and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and marinated flat iron steak on the grill.   All yummy!

By the way, did you notice who is also interested in this meal?!

This was my lunch the other day:

Simple mixed greens with sliced strawberries, leftover chicken and a tiny chunk of cheese.  Vinaigrette.

I have always wanted to make a Tres Leches cake and finally did and it was delicious!  It is so moist and vanilla-y- almost like ice cream but still a cake.  I loved it.  The recipe I used was from The Pioneer Woman and was very simple.  You just have to make time to chill it but it is a perfect do ahead dessert.

I used fresh raspberries instead of the maraschino cherries she suggested (not of a fan of those).  I will definitely be making this again.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What did I make today?

Some recent soldered work.  For the Scarlett O'Hara lover:

The flip side
 For the Jane Austen lover:  A little soldered charm brooch on a silk velvet hand stitched bow:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sharing Something Special

I have finally unpacked and displayed my Mother's shell pin collection.  We lost my Mom last April and every time I started to do this I stopped because I knew it would be too sad.  Now I was ready and it was so wonderful unwrapping each one and remembering them being worn during different occasions.  You always had to be careful during hugs though as some of these are deadly sharp!

My mother started collecting these many years ago and most are vintage (many I purchased for her either on eBay or luckily finding them at flea markets or yard sales).  A few my mother actually made and those are just as beautiful.  She actually spent a week one summer teaching my daughter how to make them and they had a wonderful time.  I know material things are just "things" but sometimes they can be a powerful link to special memories.