Merry Making

Thursday, December 23, 2010

All the shopping and sewing and planning is done. Let the Merry-Making begin!

Pineapple Crate Coffee Table

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I have been mulling over different ideas for a coffee table. The space is limited, so I wanted something smallish. I also wanted casters, well, because I LOVE casters. I love being able to move things for cleaning and casters make it so easy.

On our last trip to the Goodwill, we decided to wander over to furniture before we left. Low and behold, A Pineapple Crate. Now, I do not know how it got here, nor how one would store prickly pineapples in this crate, but that is what it has stamped all over it!

Manly added some casters, I added a vintage tray and Voila!

Total cost: $51.99
Crate: $19.99
Casters: $32

Plus it was a lot easier than some of the other crazy ideas I had, all including casters. Of course.

Mary Waiting In The Garden

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Waiting for the birth.

Taking A Break

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taking a wee break. Be well. Xo.

Oh, How Things Change...And Stay The Same.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My girl. Will still wear dresses I make for her...

On A Walk

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I found this lovely branch. And now, Autumn greets each cold morn...


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The first Pumpkin Pie of the season. It only looked like this for a few seconds. Everyone dug in before it had even cooled. Yum. Warm pumpkin goodness topped with toasted pecans and vanilla whipped cream. Wish you were here.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lots of pillow making. I only use bits of fabric I have thrifted. Once in a great while, I will allow myself to buy fabric retail, little bits I can't resist.

The linen fabric I purchased from the great sale bin here. The paisley fabric is a bit of leftover from the curtains I made a few months ago. I found that fabric at a consignment store. I did not love it at first, but now, it's golden color makes me happy to be in this room. I just covered one of the many guest bed pillows with this envelope style pillow. Merry the Wonder Beagle requires frequent washing of all sitting areas.

On the chaise is a duvet I stitched from a tablecloth I found for $4 at Target. I couldn't pass up the yardage, knowing one day, it would find it's destiny. From one tablecloth I made two shopping bags, a small duvet, and an envelope pillow. I think I used EVERY scrap of fabric. Love that.

The vintagey pink pillow is some fabric that used to be Cameron Diaz's old curtains. It is a long, silly story about how I came to have these curtains in my possession. It is vintage, so it is fragile. Where the sun hit the curtains, the fabric just crumbled. I washed and dried the fabric several times to make sure everything that was going to rip, did. I was left with a good chunk of usable fabric. I stitched together another envelope pillow with a bit of thrifted cotton lace.

The brown fabric with red and teal was another thrift store treasure. It was a panel curtain for french doors and had the same sun damage as Cameron's curtains. This piece had tons of good fabric, I even added a few vintage Bakelite buttons. I am trying to make the chaise area a bit comfier. I think the space is starting to warm up, just in time for the cold weather...

The couch is usually draped with a white tablecloth with a crochet trim, as the weather turns, I was looking to warm up the room since we haven't found the perfect rug yet. I found this tablecloth guessed it, the thrift shop. It is a thick linen and in perfect condition. I can't bear to cut it, just yet.

It is raining outside, so come cozy up with a cup of Caramel Rooibos and a handmade pillow. It is warm and cozy inside The Hen House.

The Spider.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Spider and the Fly
by Mary Howitt

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there."
"Oh no, no," said the Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do
To prove that warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome - will you please take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature," said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say;
And bidding good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead."

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, -
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head - poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
Within his little parlor - but she ne'er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er heed;
Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

We have had a bit of a Spider Epidemic here in The Pacific Northwest. Of course, this follows the Great Mosquito Epidemic of 2010...It is fascinating watching the spider condominium building up around the yucca. The bigger ones eat the smaller ones until there are only a few HUGE spiders Lording it over The Manor. Personally, as a sweet treat to all stinging critters, I can't wait for a good cold snap.

Autumn Comes

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Autumn

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them --
The summer flowers depart --
Sit still -- as all transform'd to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, --
Their presence may be o'er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh'd our mind,
Shall come -- as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind -- view not the woods;
Look out o'er vale and hill-
In spring, the sky encircled them --
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn's scathe -- come winter's cold --
Come change -- and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne'er be desolate.

Preparing for Michaelmas

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Small Spaces

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Small spaces means creative solutions. Lots of celebrations around here, which means lots of lovely house guests. Years in an ashram has made it so that I can only cook for a crowd, so I like it. A lot. I love to feed people and warm their bellies with fresh food. So bring on the crowds!

When the house is filled to the gills, this little nook serves as a make-shift guest room. It is really the couch smack dab in the middle of the living room and major house highway. I hope this little screen provides a bit of privacy. The light in the room was warm and cozy as the dark Autumn rain flowed in musical sheets from the skies. I hope it lulls our guest into a sleepy, foresty dream land.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Time to finish. Ok. Go.

Lots Going On Here

Thursday, September 9, 2010

There has been a lot of nesting happening in The Hen House these days. My thrifty nature has dictated every move. In the laundry nook, Manly hung this shelf I found at the Goodwill for $1.99. I altered it a bit with some leftover spray paint and a strip of oil cloth. I thought the oil cloth would make for easy lifting from the shelf and easy cleaning, and it does. The jars are jars I have used for flour or other dry goods over the years. My new favorite storage container is the glass milk jar. I keep a few and take a few back for the $1 bottle refund. I use a powdered laundry detergent which I purchase in bulk or in cardboard boxes, to avoid the dreaded plastic bottle. I use vinegar as a softener and brightener for whites. I also use the baking soda for a bright lift to heavily soiled loads. I wish I could get Borax in bulk. I use it for tons of household cleaning and a bleach replacement. The cute bee container was a Marshalls find. They had a whole line of them. I wish I could have purchased more...Oh well. I have this one. I am able to purchase baking soda in bulk, I just bring my container in to the store for a refill. No waste at all!

All the sewing is the first bit of a new line of Home Goods I am working on this week: Napkins, Tea Towels, Pillows and Bulk Bags, etc. Most of the fabric is re-purposed, but I couldn't resist this Far, Far Away pattern. Rapunzel and The Owl and The Pussy Cat are the two I settled on, but I want them ALL. I always like to put a little hand made detail, like embroidery. What do you think?

Trying to keep my hands busy...

Look What I Learned!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Finally. After years and years of finding alternatives to buttons and zippers, I just took a class. I learned to do it. Quickly. I can't believe I wasted all that time! Sheesh. Anyway. I had this bit of vintage fabric, which I LOVE. I finally settled on a pillow case. Better to see it everyday than wait for the perfect thing to make, which never appears. So, here we are. A vintage floral pillow case with Bakelite buttons. AND button holes. Which I now know how to make with ease. Next up? Zippers. That's right. Zippers!

Bittersweet Thrifting

Friday, August 27, 2010

I am a thrifter at heart. I love a deal. A really good deal and a really good "find." We just moved to this city and I have been hunting around for good treasure hunting spots. We found a great place. The only problem, was he knew what he had and he wasn't giving it away. That is okay, because we have found some great stuff. Really great stuff.

Yesterday, we saw the sign. The sign of our times. Closing. Sad.

However, the next line said 50% off. It is bittersweet, because although I knew we find some great deals, a great store and a great store owner would be gone...

Here is some of the booty. The Girl Child scored BIG on vintage dresses. More on that later.

There were bits of vintage cloth that will soon be a pillow cover, pink gingham apron with ric-rac. Oh, my.

A polka dot teapot and sweet room divider. Tins and fancy yardage that will soon be funky curtains for The Boy Child and a vintage style dress for The Girl Child. Tin mirror. It was all just too much and too cheap. My fingers will be busy sewing! Yippee.

It was a good day. Wish you could have been there. Xo.

Go Do It

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thrifted Home Decor

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There is a spot in the television area of our home that has been blank. I found a really great art print that I love and have been trying to find something interesting to place in the blank space. I really love the Make Art Not War print by Shepard Fairey and wanted the right thing for this space. While kicking around a consignment shop with the Girl Child, I spotted these empty film reels and thought they might do the trick. I like the fact that they are a little different and in various colors. One is a cool silver blue and each one has one interesting quality. The set of five was $8. I would be happier if it were $4, because I am so cheap and love "The Deal." I like them, we will see if the man agrees. What do you think?


Monday, August 16, 2010

has given me so much. The last few years have been rough. My entire life was dismantled, career, friends, reputation. Plus, I was recovering from an injury and surgery for much of this time. The injury was the catalyst for the dismantling. Then, my boy wanted a dog. He always wanted a dog, I was just too busy and worked too much and thought it would be unfair to the animal if we were gone all the time. Then the dismantling occurred and I found myself with long hours to fill. I figured this would be a good time to get him the dog he always wanted. I had time now. The thing is, the dog bonded with me...Oh, she loves the boy, but she and I? We are connected. We are connected in a way I never knew could happen with an animal. And truth be told? I like it. A lot.

It Is Official

Saturday, August 14, 2010

She is Twenty.
I can remember seeing her for the first time. She came four days after my 23rd birthday. I thought I was so ready. Heehee. I cut her cord myself. That always catches my breath, even after twenty years. We buried her placenta under the mango tree. We no longer live on the ocean in the islands, but I bet those mangoes are the sweetest mangoes on The North Shore...Just like her.

How To Be Alone

Via Andrea

Hand Made Birthday

Monday, August 9, 2010

This is just part of the Girl Child's 20th birthday gift. Kind of stuck on the next thing. Bag? Slip? Petticoat?

ALL the elements, save for the thread, was thrifted. I love finding new uses for fabric that was just sitting in a dusty thrift store. The fabric is really funny, with a group of people ready to take a horseless carriage ride around Central Park! I mixed it up a little by adding the orange gingham waist band, I used a chocolate brown binding for the hem. I despise hemming and find every alternative possible...

I hope she likes it.

Birthday Love

Sweet treats.
Just for being born...
These are from
Root Beer Float
Chocolate Mint
Vanilla(My Fave)
Red Velvet
Peanut Butter and Fresh Jam

A Gift

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This is just one of my lovely birthday gifts. It is a Fiesta Pitcher my Girl Child bought for me in the most lovely shade of grassy green...Xo. I also LOVE that she used a piece of packing paper from our move and a bit of lace from the sewing box with which to wrap the gift. A girl after my own thrifty, recycle loving heart...