Monday, September 11, 2017

Some Burlap, Some Lace, Some Bags and a Garland



I loved burlap WAY before it became popular. Many years ago (and I mean many), I used it for sewing and craft projects.  Back in the day, (this would be the late 70's) we could go into a local feed store and grab the big old burlap bags at no cost. One Halloween, I repurposed a couple of burlap bags and fashioned myself a cave woman costume for a college Halloween party. One bag was used to cut a one strap shift (dress) which I wore over a brown turtleneck and with brown tights because it was a cold night. I used additional burlap to make shoe covers that laced up with rawhide shoelaces. I covered a baseball bat (aka my club) with some more burlap and laced the bottom part of the handle with twine and rawhide. I blackened a couple of my teeth, teased my hair, added some dirty spots to my face and I was quite the prehistoric catch! It's been a love affair with burlap ever since! 

Burlap is such a durable, functional fabric and I like to keep a couple colors on hand. It has become very popular in home decor and fashion accessories and I love the different looks that can be created with it, from rustic to casual and even elegant.

This bag went together easily. The burlap is a deeper, almost golden brown than the usual, natural color. I used some vintage lace edging that I picked up on a fairly recent junkin trip. It was in a zip loc bag full of beautiful crocheted and tatted lace and edgings! Just look at it!


All this in one bag....


Happy face! :)


Happy dance!

Anyways, I had just enough of this pretty edging to go around the top of this tote and as you probably guessed, I used the remaining few inches on the matching zipper bag.




                                                           Inside lining and divided pocket.


                                            Matching lining in zipper bag and metal zipper.

                      The bag below is one I stitched up to match a tote I made some time ago.


I posted this bag in an earlier post. I used the same  fabric on the inside lining of the zipper bag.


Then a couple nights ago, I sat down and constructed a simple shoulder strap bag pattern in several sizes. I stitched up the first one night before last.  It measures about  10" x 11" if I remember correctly. I love it!


This particular size is perfect to take on a junkin trip, to yard sales or craft fairs--when you don't want to carry much in because you plan on carrying lots out....you know what I mean. I like hands free shopping and only bring necessities with me.....like cash, checkbook, and my credit card! This will easily fit all of that plus your wallet, phone, etc.


The long strap is constructed from fine wale corduroy. It can be tied in a knot and carried as a handbag.


The lining fabric is a beautiful bold floral and I wanted to add a piece of it to add a little color and interest to the outside of the bag without taking away from it's simplicity.


Here is some of that beautiful lining I told you about. The colors are rich and vibrant. I just happened to have a button the exact color! Good thing I practiced using the button hole foot a few weeks back! My sewing machine needs to be serviced and is presently sitting in the trunk of my car so a couple of weeks ago I bought a Heavy Duty Singer to have on hand for those times when my other machine is not in service. I used my new machine to sew this bag and I am not in love with its plastic button hole attachment. I can't wait to get my other machine fixed! The button hole was easy enough to stitch but my button did not want to sit properly in the attachment because it was too thick.


This bag has an inside pocket made from the red corduroy. The little patch is stitched on with a zig zag stitch which adds to the casual look of the bag.  Mixing fabric textures is fun to experiment with and in this case,  the burlap, corduroy and decorator fabric all compliment each other nicely.


Here's my pile of burlap bags! I've got other projects in progress too! I am hoping to get some more fall decorations made too! but while I'm here I will share one last project that used a bit of burlap.


I made a shabby garland with some fall colored cottons, painter's drop cloth, burlap, raffia and tulle. I made raffia bows for each end but it was tough getting it all in one photo.....and the lighting was bad.


I am making one more for the other doorway in the room.  I was really hoping to hang some over my windows too but I don't think I will have time to make three more!

Well that's a wrap for now! More later! 

Prayers for all affected by the hurricanes.

Goodnight friends!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rags to Riches


I call this my rags to riches wreath! I love wreaths made up of either torn fabric strips or pinked fabric strips and they add such a homey touch to the home. This particular wreath is ivory 100 per cent cotton fabric with nylon tulle and lace. The bow is wide vintage lace I picked up at a favorite antique shop.


I started it one evening about a week ago but this is as far as I had gotten. So night before last I decided it was time to start working on it again until it was finished.


Sitting on the couch in front of the television, I began....one knot after another......


Yesterday morning I began again here....it was starting to look like something.....


I added some tulle and lace which gave it some texture and interest and I love the look....


My couch, my dining room and I were covered in fabric lint, threads etc and as I trimmed up pieces that look a bit too long I had little tiny pieces of fabric everywhere! Even my black dog was covered in ivory lint.  It was well worth the effort and the mess though. At the moment it is hanging on a door in my back hallway but I have not decided where its final hanging place shall be. If I leave it on the door I am going to have to make another because just to the left of that door is another door! It could end up in either my living room or dining room....who knows?

What else have I been up to? I stitched up this sweet little tea wallet and pair of coordinating mug mats.


I used the leftover fabric scraps to make an angel ornament....



Then if you recall I made a Paris pillow a couple of weeks ago and planned to make some more....here they are:


They don't have hangers yet....


But they each have their own tags....


I may make each hanger a little differently....


Here you can see all the pretty various laces I used....


I love lace....bet you hadn't noticed.....

Then I ran quickly into my local antique shop last Monday and I found these beautiful tea cups. I should have walked right by them because my very large tea cup shelf is full.....but I loved them and they were dirt cheap and in mint condition....  Bargain!.... I know, right?



The matching saucers are very pretty too! I have been sipping tea from these beautiful cups all week!

What have you been up? Hope you are enjoying some beautiful summer weather! It started out cloudy this morning but turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny day! I am loving it!

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Page Turned


Last weekend we celebrated my birthday. My youngest daughter arrived Thursday morning from Rhode Island, my middle daughter arrived Friday morning from Martha's Vineyard and Saturday morning my oldest daughter and son-in-law drove up from Boston for the day. We all went out for a nice lunch and then we went back to our house for cake and ice cream. It is always nice to have all of the kids home on the same day which is not always easy given their busy schedules. I enjoyed the day  so much and did not waste any time ruminating on how fast I am flying through my 50's.

It was a nice few days visiting with my daughters. Sunday my youngest headed back to RI and I hopped in the car with my middle daughter to go spend a few days on Martha's Vineyard. We had a leisurely drive down, stopped at some stores--Christmas Tree Shop, Trader Joe's and grabbed a bite to eat along the way. We drove onto the 7:30 ferry and headed upstairs to sit outside on the deck. Once we started moving it was a little bit chilly but it was a gorgeous evening and we enjoyed watching the sun sink gracefully into the sea.


The weather forecast was not promising but I did not let that dampen my spirits. I was looking for some relaxing time away. I had gone that Tuesday unexpectedly to the hospital for occipital nerve blocks to the back sides of my head for unrelenting headaches. I had been having one headache after another since Easter but they were getting longer, more intense and more debilitating. Monday I was down for the entire day so I gave in and called the hospital Tuesday morning and they got me in right away. I was skeptical but I noticed results right away. The next morning I woke up with no sign of a headache. Normally I would awaken around four or five in the morning with pain so severe I would have to get up quickly and begin my ritual of trying to stop it dead in its tracks or at least prevent it from becoming a day long event. So it was indeed strange to wake up the first morning after the injections and not feel any head pain. I spent the next four days trying not to overdo it, afraid that I might make a wrong move and somehow cause the headaches to come back.

The first night on the island,  I slept so well. The windows were open, it was raining ever so gently, with the nicest breeze.The sound of the falling rain, wind and one very pouffy, cozy comforter lulled me into a deep sleep.

The next day it poured. We braved the rain for a while, dodging in and out of the little shops in town. We ate lunch out and then decided to go back to her cottage because the rain storm was now more of a monsoon and my raincoat was soaked through. We curled up in her living room under the comforter and watched episode after episode of A Handmaid's Tale. Later in the evening my daughter baked us some fish and we enjoyed some wine and turned in early hoping for better weather in the morning.

The next morning we went for a long walk, did some shopping, and had a nice lunch. That evening my daughter treated me to my birthday dinner. We went upstairs to eat at the outdoor bar overlooking the water. It was beautiful. The sun was out, clouds were clearing and it was nice and warm.



My daughter sitting at the bar


Lobster Risotto 


I enjoyed the best lazy-style lobster dinner that I have ever eaten in my life! It was beyond delicious! And for entertainment we got to enjoy another sunset right before our eyes as we dined.







After the clouds moved away, the moon appeared in the sky. I really was in no hurry to leave. It was very relaxing sitting outside by the water.

The next morning my daughter dropped me off at the ferry for a 9:50 boat. It was a spectacular day and to say I was sad to be leaving was an understatement.




I dragged my overstuffed suitcase rather begrudgingly onto the boat and headed back to reality. It was a much needed restful few days and I got to spend some time with my daughter before she heads off on a two week Alaskan adventure in early August.

I got home last Wednesday from Martha's Vineyard and here it is the following Monday and I am still headache free.....I stopped being so fearful about overdoing it and in fact moved my piano into my living room yesterday, vacuumed, washed all of my living room windows and curtains and felt only a slight twinge of pain while looking up to rehang my curtains. I am hopeful that I have turned the page and entered a long and pain free chapter in the story of my life. So far, 58 is looking good.....this quote that I found on Pinterest sums it up nicely.....

"There comes a day when you realize turning
the page is the best feeling in the world,
because you realize there is so much more to the 
book than the page you were stuck on."

Taryn Malik



Have a wonderful week. It's a gorgeous, sunny, last day of July here in NH! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dreaming of Paris


Good evening all.....Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We have been having some beautiful summer weather, though yesterday was a bit on the humid side and we did have some rather strong thunderstorms. Today was exceptionally nice with lots of sun, blue skies and low humidity. I could take several months of this kind of weather!

 Yesterday I printed some pretty French floral graphics on to some fabric for use on some decorative hanging pillows. (Graphics purchased from French Paper Moon.) I was anxious to start the first pillow so this morning I cut pieces of lace and arranged it around the pretty pink flowers. Since it was so nice outside, I wanted to get some fresh air but later in the afternoon I returned to my pillow in pieces and began putting it all together. It went together well but took plenty of time to get it just right.


The pillow measures 8" x 6"

In addition to some beautiful laces from my collection, I also used torn strips of sheer curtain panels for the side bows and hanger.  The main fabric is painter's canvas which I love to work with as it adds a perfect soft, rustic touch to vintage projects, especially those with lots of luscious lace.


I am very pleased with the way it turned out. It was a "trial pillow" as I have three more copies of the graphic printed out on fabric. I am anxious to begin another.....


I love the Paris tag. Initially I had stitched "PARIS"  onto a canvas tag. I had cut the word out of some fabric that I had and I stitched it to the tag with some fusible fleece under it because I wanted it to pop. Once done, I did not like the look of the jet black print on the tag. It was just too dark for all the pretty pink and cream on the pillow so I decided to cover the tag with a piece of the sheer fabric to see if it would minimize some darkness in the text. I stitched it on and then restitched around the word "PARIS" to give it that quilted look. It worked just as I had hoped. I love the way it looks on the pillow with exposed stitching and of course the loose threads. I think it adds just the right amount of shabby to the pillow....





It can be hung on the wall, on a door knob, placed on a shelf or as part of a vignette or just about anywhere.....


I even like it right where it is--sitting on my dining room table! 


Tomorrow I will get crackin' on the other pillows. Hopefully they will not take me as long to complete as this one did. I have quite a stash of lace to choose from so I will challenge myself to make them all one-of-a-kind. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!