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Monday, December 24, 2018

white christmas

Sending warm wishes from my home to yours...
This is my Sanibel house decorated for Christmas...

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas
surrounded by all those you love!!!
My family is all in West Virginia and Pennsylvania but we will be together in spirit.

Friday, December 21, 2018

a stitch in time

I have loved quilts my entire life. The colors, the detail, the craftsmanship and the time worn texture. Quilts tell a story and document history. Each quilt is a treasure and a work of art. I have collected beautiful quilts for years, then I discovered a "new" classification of quilts known as cutter quilts. I saw a stack at a tag sale in WV many years ago. They cost next to nothing due to the horrible condition. The name, cutter, comes from the fact the only purpose for these damaged quilts is to cut them up for craft projects. I have piles of cutter quilts and I always have ideas for them, especially around the holidays.
I have made so many things out of my precious cutter quilts. Some have become gifts, some I have sold in my shops, many are proudly displayed in my home and others were featured in magazines. Here are a few of my Christmas favorites...
I make angels in several shapes and sizes. I keep the silhouette simple so the quilt can be appreciated. I don't hide the imperfections, I embrace them! The hair is fashioned out of yarn and the wings are doilies.

Santa is always a popular character.

And I have made many stockings...

...adorned with tiny Shiny Brites.

For those who believe antique quilts shouldn't be cut no matter the condition, all I can say is that giving old quilts new life allows them to be appreciated for years to come. Hopefully they will become tomorrow's heirlooms!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

try this...

I wanted to add a little something to my last post. When it comes to making a holiday wreath, it becomes extra festive when you can make it interactive. Like providing something special for someone special!
I took the vintage Christmas cards I had selected for the wreath and made them into cones. I taped the edge to secure and wired them to the wreath form.

I filled the paper cones and cups with small individually wrapped candies.

When guests visit (or every time I walk past the wreath) you can reach in and have a sweet treat!

Fun right?
You can apply the same ideas to your Christmas tree. Give til it's the holidays!!!

Monday, December 10, 2018

favorite things wreath

To make a "my favorite things wreath", I started with a simple artificial pine form on a wire base.
I used green florist wire to attach my items, like this precious gumdrop snowman, to the form.

I use wire instead of glue so I can take the wreath apart in the future and it won't damage the items.

Tea and demitasse cups are terrific for wreaths because it is easy to wire them to wreaths by the handles. 

I made tiny bird's nests out of strips of vintage floral fabric.

Vintage Shiny Brites always look terrific in wreaths!

And I love mixing unexpected items together, like miniature bottle brush trees, wooden spools of thread and buttons.

To attach handkerchiefs, gather the fabric in your hand, cinch with a rubber band and wire it onto the wreath form. 

Then I tucked in some colored pencils in coordinating colors.

The finished wreath is so pretty!

I mentioned in my last post that I was hesitant to make one of these wreaths for a magazine article. Just because I love them it doesn't mean that other people will. I was worried that it would be criticized for being silly or unsophisticated. But I pitched the idea to my editor and she gave me a chance. Little did I know that it would be one of my most popular articles! Readers even made "their favorite things wreaths" and sent pictures to the magazine. I received loads of emails too! Goes to show that it pays off to follow your heart...

Monday, December 3, 2018

a few of my favorite things

One of the most popular projects I ever developed for a magazine article was one I was very reluctant to write. I love to make things that are really sentimental. This project was based on the song lyrics... "these are a few of my favorite things".
I wanted to make a wreath made out of my favorite things. So the first thing I needed to do was come up with my list...
vintage figurine ornaments
tiny mittens
demitasse cups
birds and nests
glass ornaments
small bottle brush trees
holiday ephemera
pretty colored pencils
old buttons
The easy part was coming up with my top ten favorite things. Now it was time to turn this beautiful pile vintage treasures into a wreath. Stay tuned...! You'll see the finished project and I'll share why I was reluctant to put this in a magazine...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

pretty pairings

After my last post, I was inspired to indulge in color again in an unexpected way. I think most of us strive to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table. I want to encourage you to dig into your stash of pretty china and create a beautifully colorful tablescape.

This beautiful pitcher is the inspiration for the table.

All the colors of transferware I pulled are found in the pitcher.

Normally I would separate my transferware and use one, maybe two, colors at a time.
Not to mention the fact that I almost exclusively use brown, grey or black transferware in the fall.

However, the colorful floral centerpiece featured in my last post really inspired me to push the envelope!

Get thinking outside the box. And don't forget to pour a festive glass of bubbly pink champagne!
Happy Thanksgiving...

Friday, November 16, 2018

smells like fall

I am a flower girl.
No matter the season!
The last post made me remember the flowers I had out for the shoot.
I am very traditional in many ways, but I don't truly think there are specific flowers for each season. This is a prime example. Pink and purple and orange for a fall centerpiece...

My best friend Freddy, who is a brilliant florist, introduced me to a love of vibrant colors. My home is a wash of cream and beige but I have embraced a pop of color!

I wish I could bottle and share this scent. The entire house smelled like heaven. Or at least what I assume heaven must smell like.

I will happily showcase this cheerful color scheme for Thanksgiving.

I am loving color!!!
Sending warm and colorful wishes to everyone...