Archive for the ‘Home Dec’ Category

Blogger’s Quilt Festival


Welcome to my entry in the blogger’s quilt festival! Those of us who can’t get to Houston can blog about a favorite quilt instead! Then we all go visit each other’s quilts – too much fun – click on the badge abouve for more info!

One of the focuses of this festival is the story behind the quilt, so I thought I’d show you folks the last pair of bed sized quilts I made – 5 years ago! We had just moved across the country, from Newark, OH to Redlands, CA. In fact, I created a little diary about our journey to share with friends and family, and posted it here, feel free to take a look!

The boys new bedroom was the 1st room I decorated – I wanted them to feel excitement about the new home, so we talked about how to decorate it while driving cross country. The idea we hit on was to make it feel like the southwest, since we had a short but fun visit at the Grand Canyon during our cross country trek. Each boy bought a poster of the Grand Canyon and a dream catcher to hang while we were there, and I painted the walls, and made some stencils with Kokopelli and other primitive Native American type figures:

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Although I had sworn off making large quilts, because the free motion quilting I do on them takes so long and is hard to manipulate with my Bernina (lovely though she is), I really wanted to make the perfect quilts for those beds! It was quilte a struggle to design, as I’ve never worked with these types of motifs, but I got it designed, with a row for each boys name. I was lucky enough to have a couple of yards of PFD fabric with little Kokopelli’s on it, which I dyed, along with some other earthy Southwest colors…and here’s the result:

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The boys have used them every night for 5 years and they’re still going strong!Thanks for stopping by!

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Getting it done.

Big surprise…the more time I spend surfing the web, the less I actually get done! With the countdown to vacation at 10 days, I’ve really got to put my nose to the grindstone. I kept blog reading to a bare minimum yesterday, only reading the blogs I’ve put in a special category called “1st read”, the others will get read at night when I’m relaxing on my chaise…isn’t that why they invented laptops?

Speaking of the chaise, last Friday I got a bee and my bonnet, and found bamboo blinds for lots of $$$ off at Bed, Bath & Beyond, had the hubby install them, dyed fabric for some side panels, had hubby install some fancy picture lights above the 2 quilts that have been sitting unused in my house for months, and the living room is pretty much complete! I’ve hung a couple of quilts in the Dining room, but those will change, hopefully sooner then later. Here’s the before and here is the after:

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Now, I’m putting my nose back to the grindstone!

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Warning! Picture heavy post!

I have one of those houses where you’ve got the soaring vaulted ceiling, and the living room is open to the dining room. It’s a doozy to arrange furniture in it, I’ve NEVER been happy with how it’s been arranged, the whole 5 years we’ve lived in it! Here’s what it looked like 4 years ago:

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A little while later I made some curtains to replace those hideous vertical blinds, and this is how it stayed for 4 years, except for the continual moving of the couch and chairs in the living room.

4 years later, my oldest son is taking ‘cello & trombone lessons, and the younger one is also taking ‘cello lessons.Also, my husband practices his trombone at home at the end of the most days. In order to encourage the kids to practice most days, we have them leave their instruments out, and everyone has been practicing in the little transition zone between LR & DR, and leaving their instruments and cases in the DR, like this: (wish I’d taken a before picture…but big surprise, I never wanted to take a picture of the cluttered mess that it was!)

PracticesIt occurred to me that we ought to be using the DR as a MUSIC room, as we only dine in it about 4 times a year, but it wasn’t until 6 weeks ago that I figured out how to make that happen. All I had to do is switch the DR table with the library table in front of the window! Then, my husband built 2 cello stands (and I discovered the joy/horror of how sticky spray glue for foam & fabric can be when added velvet & foam to the inside of the boxes) so the cellos could stand upright safely. I was amazed at how open and airy the room felt! And now there was more room for practicing folk! Finally, the space was arranged for how it was really used…and the 4 times a year we DO use the DR, all we have to do is pack up the instruments and switch the tables! (HOLD on, pictures are coming)

THEN, a MONTH ago, that curved screen, 14 year old TV gave up the ghost with some sparks and more than a wiff of ozone!

So sad 😉

Amazingly enough, I had more than enough money in my business account to justify actually buying a fancy dancy flat screen TV (that, plus they’re really come down in price and we got a terrific deal). Although the $$$ from our salaries in our “real jobs” is spoken for 7 ways til Sunday, the money that I earn as an artist either has to go back into the business – or, I decided 5 seconds after the TV exploded, it should be spent on fun things. So, although I feel incredibly guilty buying an extravagant TV, I justify it this way! Plus, I ignore my dear hubby so, he should at least be able to see what show he falls asleep in front of each night while I’m upstairs sewing and ignoring him! So, with the new TV I really needed get the room closer to my vision of an ideal LR.

infinitum!I’ve been in a funk the past couple of weeks, and realized that I needed to do some de-cluttering of my surroundings. And as my hubby has some free time, I decided we needed to go to Ikea to get ONE more book storage unit, and by combining it with the 3 storage units we were using for storing the bulk of our books  in our bedroom, we could have an awesome media wall. Combine that with my awesome as-is Ikea chaise purchase with the perfectly dyed slipcover – I’ve spent the past 3 days moving over 1000 books downstairs, and moving around literally about 1/3 of all the furniture in our house to new spaces (and discovering 5 year old dust piles! eeewww!) Now my downstairs looks like this! Edit: Actually it looks like this – I made new curtains a week later!

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Looking down from stairs

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All this is from the Bonde series (most discontinued now) I just had to buy one of the tall double bookshelves on the right

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Each of these cupboards holds, no joke, 200-300 books!

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Arranging these will be performance art...I can see me fiddling with these shelves ad infinitum

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Stirling, who makes himself at home in EVERY chair/couch!

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My knittin gbooks - maybe I'll start knitting again, right here!

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And beautiful agapanthus out my window!

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Ignore the brown leaves - hopefully these are going to recover from the dreaded tenting!

I never want to leave home! NOW!!!!! I can get on to creating!!!!!

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Well, I’m still working on the big book switcheroo, but I couldn’t wait to show you pix of the newly dyed slipcover. I LOVE being able to dye fabrics – often times, you can set out to do something, and get exactly what you wanted…and this my friends is exactly what I wanted! My favorite shade of green, with some texture – not too little, not too much!


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I KNOW that I will be sharing this space with Stirling – he loves to sit in front of the window and watch the world go by!

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Getting unblocked

Lisa Call wrote a post about being blocked last night (scroll down it’s at the end). I wrote such a long response to her that I though it blog worthy, as it speaks to where I’ve been lately!

I too get blocked when I have so many things that I want to do, and some silly thing gets in my way. One way that helps me is to physically clear up/clean out something that’s been bothering me. Some of it was forced upon me, and right now what I’m doing is reorganizing a large portion of the house…projects that I’ve been wanting to do for a LONG time, but finally had the extra $ to buy the extra bookcase and the husband has a day or 2 free to help with the large moving. A trip to Ikea yesterday netted not only the extra bookcase we needed, but *insert choir of angels singing* a chaise lounge for ME! My beloved Gigi (my maternal grandmother who passed away when I was in college) had a pink satin chaise lounge in her bedroom, with a pink satin down duvet (I called it a “puff”) that I used to sleep on when I was a girl. It has created a very fond place in my mind for chaise lounges. On our way to the checkout we stopped at the as is and lo and behold:

image (except it didn’t look like this, it was an unslipcovered, footless version.) Although I originally was going to make a slipcover for it, after a check on the price on the white cotton slipcover, that also made it’s way into the basket. The slipcover is now in buckets on my back lawn, being dyed a crumple green. I CAN’T WAIT!

What also helps and doesn’t cost money or needing hubby’s time is cleaning/re-organizing the studio. If there’s too much clutter, I find I can’t work. If it looks like this:
Then WooHoo! wild animals can’t drag me out of it. So I decluttered the studio yesterday, and this would have been enough to get me back on track if I didn’t have this other huge project to get to – so I’ll get that done and then ShaZaam! I should have 2 really nice spaces for creating in and relaxing in after creating!

I’m back to sorting books for the big book move of 2009! Posts to come!

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From this:


to this:

office-chair-recoverThis took about 3 hours, start to finish (oops plus the 5 days to get the 2nd yard of fabric sent!) What’s neat about this project is that it’s an easy introduction into both upholstery (for the seat) and slipcovering (for the back) and takes a blah black office chair to WOW!

What I used:

  • 2 yards of decorator weight fabric (my choice designed by the fabulous Jessica Jones, available to purchase at J. Caroline)
  • 1 yard lining fabric
  • a 1″ thick piece of high density foam that’s 0.5-1″ larger than the seat on all sides
  • fluffy dacron batting cut 2″ wider  on all sides
  • muslin cut a good 4″ wider on all sides

Tools you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Staple gun

Now, I’ve done a few upholstery projects before with a manual staple gun, and I’ve had to have my husband help me with that part – my hand gives out after about 10 staples, and there’s lots of times we have to pull out and reshoot the staple because it didn’t seat properly. When I started wrapping quilts around a frame, I almost went insane. BUT since I was making a little bit of money with my little business, my hubby went to a local auto upholstery supply store and bought me a pneumatic upholstery stapler:

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Rainco R1B 50-16 50 series upholstery stapler

Seriously, one of the best $125 we’ve ever spent! Of course, this requires a compressor to run, but my hubby has hobbies too, so we’ve already got one of these! We’ve also got a long hose for the compressor, so I can wheel the compressor into the laundry and shut the door, the hose comes under the door, this keeps the noise down.

I’ve created a tutorial filled with photos over at Flickr, go take a look! I describe what’s happening in each picture – make sure to go to the slideshow options and check “always show title and description” in order to see the text along with the picture.

This is my 1st real tutorial, I hope it makes sense. There’s a couple of pictures I wish I had taken, but I can’t go back and take them now! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I’d love to see what you make if you use this tutorial!

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