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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Blog Shoppe now open!!!!!

Well, I finally quit procrastinating and opened my Blog Shoppe. You can find the link at the top of my right sidebar. I'm very excited to be starting something new. I work very hard to make the kind of things I would want to purchase, with great care taken to make sure they are very well made. This is really going to be a learning experience for me I am sure but I am ready!!! I hope you will all pop over and see what I have available right now. I will be adding more things as I create them. Away we go!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New slipcover and a little fall decorating

I'm finally getting around to show you the new slipcover I had made for the family room chair. I love slipcovers. You can change out the look of a room with just a quick change. I have been wanting an off white one for this chair for quite a while. The room before just had to much color in it. I know some of you will think I'm crazy, (You can see the other slipcover on the left sidebar) but I really am feeling the need for a neutral color scheme with green (I also consider green a neutral) as the only pop of color.

I know a wonderful woman who lives here in town who will come out to your house, measure and cut the fabric right on your piece of furniture and then in a few weeks bring back a perfectly fitted slipcover. Her name is Maria and you can find her info here. I chose a slightly more tailored look for this chair than I had done in the past. My other slipcovers all had ruffled skirts.

I made the pillows. The burlap one has some of the vintage lace, the flower pin and the vintage jewelry I bought while on vacation in Portland.

I'm so much happier with the feel of the room now.

I recovered the stool for the 100th time ( I change it with every decorating whim) using burlap and a foam stamp. This old chair also need a cover but it will have to wait a while longer. In the meantime I just used a matlesse table runner and a fabric throw.

I don't go to crazy with the fall decorating. I fill my rooms so full throughout the year with regular stuff that I don't want to clutter it up to much more. My big exception is Christmas time and I do go all out!

Here are some of the pumpkins I made. You can find that tutorial here.

This book idea came from several of the wonderful vendors in Portland. Lots of them were tearing the covers off old (or new) books and using them for display. I love the way they look.

I made the runner. I like simple straight sewing the best!!!

Here is a close up of the table display. I use those same leaves over and over every year. They are very hard to find now. All I can get is the ones with all the orange in them, and while they are lovely they don't fit with my soothing color scheme. It's just still to hot here in Phoenix/Scottsdale in October to have those warm colors.

Well that's it!!! My home for fall. Hope you enjoyed the tour! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vive St. Anne

Oh it feels so good to work in the studio again! I've spent so much of my free time working on the house, I forgot how much I love to just in my studio at night and work away. Here is another shadowbox for the studio. I haven't put the title on it yet, but I will be calling it Vive St. Anne. I believe St Anne was the patron Saint of seamstresses in France. Have a happy and creative Tuesday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Art Cards

There is a big Halloween Blog Party going on Saturday over at A Fanciful Twist. And while I am not participating this year, I am really looking forward to browsing all the fabulous parties. I thought this would be a good time to share with you some art cards I made for Halloween. I hang them from wire swags or set them up in easels for the few weeks before Halloween. Each one is made from lots of different images all put together to make the finished piece. I like the old fashioned (hah!) method of cut and paste rather than doing it all digitally. The last one is my favorite. Every single component came from a different image. Don't forget to go over and see all the wonderful parties at Vanessa blog tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kitchen face-lift

I'm finally able to unveil one of the projects that I have been working on for the last couple months. Since tomorrow is Wednesday I'm going to participate in Kathleen's "White Wednesday" I have been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets since we moved into our home 10 years ago, but Mr Desert Cottage has this "thing" about painting hard wood. But after 10 years I finally wore him down, and of course, he loves it!

This is what the kitchen looked like before...

And this is after. It's not a major change but it's enough to where I love my kitchen now. We compromised and I painted only the center panel on each cabinet. Even though there are a lot of windows in the kitchen , (it's the only room in the house that has any natural light to speak of) the new paint did a lot to visually brighten the room and break up all the wood. (The floors are wood to)

Here is another before.

And after. I loved the numbered plates that Jennifer used in her Cottage 8 kitchen and decided to make some of my own. Since they were purely for decorative purposes I printed the numbers out on my computer, cut them out and glued them to each plate. You can't even tell they didn't come that way!

I made the EAT out of paper mache letters and did a real rust finish on them. When you look at them up close they look like real metal letters.

I brought my chalk board out of the laundry room and put it in the kitchen.

Jennifer was a huge inspiration for me. When I saw here kitchen my heart skipped a beat. I've always loved apple green and decided to go for it. So there it is. My kitchen face lift. I just love walking in there every morning.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Tutorial

Oh my gosh, I am so happy to have my computer finally up and running again. It's been a very challenging couple of weeks for me with out my studio or my computer! I had to come up with something to satisfy my creative urges so I got out my sewing machine and these pumpkins are what I came up with. A few weeks ago Deb over at Hummadeedledee spoke about a tutorial for making pumpkins out of sweater sleeves. You can find that post here. I thought it was such a cute idea but I wanted to something a little different. Now I want to share them with all of you because I think they are so darn cute and I know you will want to make some too!

This is the basic shape for a medium sized pumpkin pumpkin. The total length is 16.5 ". The width is 5.5", the stem length is 5" and it's 2 " wide. The bottom tab is 1.5 ". It doesn't have to be exactly like mine, but you get the idea. You can change the look of each pumpkin by playing with these dimensions.

You will need six of these.

Sew right sides together. Then clip your seams all around.

Cut 6 pieces of twine a little longer than the length of the pumpkin, and tie a knot in the end.

Insert the knotted end inside the pumpkin...

and then wrap a rubber band around the short stem on the bottom.

Now turn the whole thing right side out.

Fill your pumpkin with beans...

so that you have a layer about 1" deep filling the bottom of your pumpkin.

Now stuff it!!! I like to use a lot of stuffing. (It seems to look the best)

Now pull your twine up to the top, placing each strand in the center of each panel.

Wrap a rubber band securely around the base of the stem.

Pull on each string so the pumpkin takes it's shape.

You will probably have to fiddle with the fabric by pulling on it too. This will help take out some of the wrinkles at the top of your pumpkin. Just keep playing with it until you're happy with the way it looks.

I put a small rubber band at the top to help hold all the strings in place. Cut off the excess twine.

The next part is an old macrame knot that I learned from my mom back in the 70's but it works great for all kinds of things. Start by leaving a long piece that will eventually become the vine.

Bring the twine down the stem and make sure it touches the pumpkin, then go back up to the top and start coiling the twine around the stem from top to bottom. Keep your coils fairly snug and close together. You will have to keep moving the long piece at the top out of your way.

When you get to bottom cut your twine and put the end inside the loop you created at the bottom.

Now pull on the long piece at the top. It will pull the loop up through the coil and bring the end you just cut up with it. You can cut off any excess that didn't pull up.

Make sure you hold the long piece out of the way and carefully cut off all the extra fabric and twine that is sticking up.

Unravel the long piece that is left to make the vine.

I use FolkArt "CountryTwill to paint the top of the stem. It matches the color of the twine really well once it's dry.

And that's it!!!! Pumpkins galore!!! I hope you enjoy making some for yourself. There are so many lovely fabrics out there to choose from. I'll be back in a few days to share some before and after photos of the house! See you then!
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