Fixing Love Seat

See any problem with this love seat, besides the disappearing cat? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

See any problem with this love seat, besides the disappearing cat? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Fixing Love Seat

Let’s face it, any seating that has separate cushions is an opportunity for a disaster - or in my case, a disappearing cat.

This love seat is den central, the favorite sitting area and evening work station, which means my lap top computer is nearby. It’s a standard two seat love seat with two cushions on the bottom and two, saggy back pillows. The pillows are cat favorites because they can shape themselves into the pillows but they are not good for back, or head support for a sitting person.

I shopped around looking for something in a similar size but a solid bottom with no luck. I even considered replacing the love sofa with two easy chairs but then the two cats who like to sit with me would quarrel over the limited chair space.

So I had the love seat reupholstered. The lady who did the work was a little curious about why I wanted the bottom in one piece but she understood why I needed the backing to be solid.

“These pillows barely would hold anything,” she said as she moved the original, smushy pillows around.

After selecting a nice neutral cream fabric that is complimentary to the rest of the den, I hauled the love seat to the upholstery shop. When I returned, two cats were sitting where the love seat used to sit, looking at me as if I had just made their favorite spot in the world disappear.

A few weeks later, the finished love seat was back.

I was thrilled. It now has a solid backing and I no longer sit between the two cushions with pillows stuffed in the separation.

Oh, you thought the cat sat there?

No, the cats each like to have one side of me so I was the one sitting in the middle. This way I have a comfortable spot and each cat can claim a side all to themselves. See, Boo Boo already is claiming his spot in front of Cat Mischief Lap Quilt Quilted Wall Hanging.

Back and love seat bottom now solid pieces. For some reason, the cat doesn’t look impressed. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Back and love seat bottom now solid pieces. For some reason, the cat doesn’t look impressed. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

If you are wondering if there is a connection between the cat’s name “Boo Boo” and cat mischief, let me put it this way. If I hear something getting knocked over, I don’t even have to look, I just say 'Boo Boo Bartholomew Trouble!”

And yes, cats do know their names.

Charlotte

Fresh Picked Early Daffodils

After 3 days from being picked, the early daffodils are starting to bloom. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

After 3 days from being picked, the early daffodils are starting to bloom. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Fresh Picked Early Daffodil

The forecast was for record-breaking cold weather with a dollop of snow after the forecasters said we would have an early spring in mid-Missouri, USA. Greenery was starting to pop up in my garden including one of my favorite spring flowers, the early, old-fashioned daffodils sprinkled through my one-acre hillside garden.

These daffodils have been rescued from several old house sites with the owner’s permission. They are not big, or fancy, their claim to my heart is that they are the first daffodils to bloom in spring, a promise of more flowers to come.

When I heard the forecast, I headed outside to see if there were any daffodils getting ready to bloom. Although they can often make it through snow, I wasn’t so sure about record cold temperatures so I picked a few already in bud form.

Once inside, I trimmed their stems to the same length and placed them in a 5-inch porcelain flower vase that easily fits on a tray on my den coffee table.

These are the early daffodils right after they were picked. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These are the early daffodils right after they were picked. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

After the first couple of days inside, the early daffodil buds started to show progress as the sweet yellow flowers made it to the blooming stage.

I have two kinds of very old-fashioned daffodils in the vase. One is the small, early daffodils and the second is a double daffodil no longer available on the market. The double daffodils are not as reliable as cut flowers, you can see the one on the bottom left is drying up faster than the one in the center. Although I know the double ones sometimes don’t develop as cut flowers, I included these two in case they made it.

Second day of sitting in my tiny flower vase. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Second day of sitting in my tiny flower vase. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

I also gave a friend a tiny bouquet of these early daffodil buds for her kitchen table. She said they are all open now and greatly cheered her up during this last winter storm.

There’s a third different kind of daffodil getting ready to bloom. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

There’s a third different kind of daffodil getting ready to bloom. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Wait, looks like I have a third kind of daffodil getting ready to bloom with the early daffodils. See the white daffodil bud?

Fun to try to guess what color this will be once it blooms.
Early daffodils are one of those wonderful spring blessings like in this spring blessings lap quilt throw, a sign that cold weather should be almost over and a promise of warm days in the garden ahead.

Charlotte

Pantone 2019 Color: Living Coral

This is the closest I will get to finding living coral in the midwest. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This is the closest I will get to finding living coral in the midwest. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pantone 2019 Color: Living Coral

Not that this makes any difference to how I decorate my ecclectic house and practical wardrobe but I do find the color of the year selections interesting. Pantone, the self-proclaimed global authority on color, has declared "Living Coral" the color of the year for 2019.

"Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow, Pantone 16-1546, Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment," according to Pantone’s news release.

New Jersey-based Pantone picks a new color each year based on socioeconomic conditions, fashion trends, new technologies, as well as new trends in the realms of lifestyle, art, music, travel, and of course, social media.

This year, with technology and social media ever encroaching on our daily lives, Pantone thought it was the appropriate time to turn to nature and its beautiful colors. Not surprisingly, colors in nature have been the choice for the past few years.

If you struggle with the actual color, here is a bag that has both the pink color at the bottom and coral at the top.

For my brothers who wonder about some colors, the coral is at the top. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

For my brothers who wonder about some colors, the coral is at the top. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

"Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities, and this is particularly true for Living Coral," Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement. "With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord."

According to Pantone, the engaging nature of living coral "welcomes" and "encourages" lighthearted activities, and its authenticity enables connection and intimacy.

"In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind," Pantone said in the news release. "Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Pantone Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color."

Sherwin Williams 2019 Color: Cavern Clay

This paint company’s take on the coral trend for walls. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This paint company’s take on the coral trend for walls. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Now a couple of decades ago when I was re-modeling my house, I asked the designer helping me with wall colors to pick a warm, inviting, a bit of a “hug” color for my bedroom. The color she picked was terracotta, which is a lighter version of the Sherwin Williams 2019 color.

Cavern Clay SW 7701A “is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together creates a desert modern aesthetic.

“This warm, earthy hue is both casual and refined. It can be the backdrop of a playful, welcoming dining room or kitchen when paired with bright tiles, warm stone and sculptural greenery. Complementary materials include leather, simple woodgrains and indigenous cacti in contemporary, sleek gardening planters.

Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in. Envision beaches, canyons and deserts, and sun-washed late summer afternoons—all of this embodied in one color.” It’s not a coral color but it sure is close.

We have one handmade quilt that has a coral tone to it, Embroidered Sunbonnet Baskets. If you like to stay on trend with color, this is a quick surefire way to update your bedroom in style!

Charlotte

Enjoy Last Flowers

Pink Knock Out roses keeping my little coffee table office company. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pink Knock Out roses keeping my little coffee table office company. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Enjoy Last Flowers

Have only one or two flowers still blooming in your garden? Take your cue from the Japanese and celebrate the beauty of those flowers by bringing them inside, especially if it is just one flower. One flower can look very striking in a flower vase where everyone can enjoy it. If they are small flowers, put them in a tiny vase that compliments their size.

I did not plan to bring these two pink Knock Out roses inside. They were inadvertently brushed off their mother plant, still in bud form, and I didn’t have the heart to toss them. At this time of the year I have only a few plants still flowering, giving these roses a special place amongst my wildflowers.

Brushing off a tiny, 1.5 inch water-full vase, I now have them on my den table keeping my ceramic pencil holder and ladybug candle holder company. They have opened slowly, giving me time to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of this modern rose.

The pink buds have bloomed, giving the little flower vase a burst of color. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

The pink buds have bloomed, giving the little flower vase a burst of color. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

When everything is in bloom, it’s easy to overlook the details of one flower. The end of the growing season is a good time to appreciate what we have and to look forward to the beauty of next year.

Charlotte

Repairing Quilt Tears

Even with stabilizing backing, stretch fabrics can develop wear spots and tears.

Even with stabilizing backing, stretch fabrics can develop wear spots and tears.

Repairing Quilt Tears

Every once in awhile, we get to see one of our custom quilts returned for repairs because they've been well-loved and used. That was the story behind this round custom quilt made out of t-shirts and other favorite clothing.

One of the shirts, a polkadot pink with white dots, tore along the longer side. Another couple of wear spots were developing on the short side of the block. The customer asked if there was some way we could replace the torn block with a new piece of clothing.

Taking a close look at the finished quilt, it was not possible to tear out the pink polkadot fabric so we did the next best thing. Selecting a piece of sturdy, all cotton gross grain cotton ribbon, I sewed the ribbon on two sides over the long tear to keep it from moving. Securing both sides will reduce either block from tearing and will hold the torn side together.

The same ribbon was sewn across the shorter side to cover the newly-developing wear spots.

Grossgrain ribbon is an excellent way to reinforce worn spots and repair tears.

Grossgrain ribbon is an excellent way to reinforce worn spots and repair tears.

Since several other quilt blocks had ribbons either in or along the side of the blocks, the purple gross grain ribbon fit right into the rest of the blocks.

If you don't want to use ribbon, you can make your own ribbon out of fabric reinforced with a stabilizer to ensure the fabric ribbon can handle the pressure.

The complimentary purple gross grain ribbon color blends right in with the rest of the blocks.

The complimentary purple gross grain ribbon color blends right in with the rest of the blocks.

It was fun to see a custom quilt back and so well-loved. As I tell customers, quilts should be used, not stored away somewhere. And if there is a tear, there's usually a way to fix it!

Charlotte

Making A Love Seat Cover

My front porch love seat with it's brand new blue, ever so soft love seat cover for $3.50.

My front porch love seat with it's brand new blue, ever so soft love seat cover for $3.50.

Making A Love Seat Cover

I am so tickled with the results I had to share. Do you have an outside love seat that's seen better days?

Mine wasn't bad yet but it was - well, orange. More of a terra cotta, ceramic plant kind of orange but orange, and a plastic nevertheless.

This plastic orange love seat works well in hot summers but not so much in cold winters.

This plastic orange love seat works well in hot summers but not so much in cold winters.

The front porch love seat was fine for hot summer days but it looked out of place after last year when I repainted all of my garden benches a wonderfully uplifting blue. They now stand out nicely among the greenery, or winter drab, and give Bluebird Gardens a bit of a nod.

My formerly-red garden bench had a new back added and a couple coats of blue paint.

My formerly-red garden bench had a new back added and a couple coats of blue paint.

Although I knew I would eventually have to tackle the front porch, for winter I just draped a soft tan throw over it so I could sit out on the bench and watch it snow, or rain, or just sit.

Although it was warm, the throw moved around a lot and still didn't look quite right.

A temporary tan throw over the orange love seat was hard to sit on without losing the throw.

A temporary tan throw over the orange love seat was hard to sit on without losing the throw.

How hard could it be to find a blue love seat slip cover, I thought to myself. Well, it was not an easy search. There are a number of beige, brown and black ones but few in the matching blue. I finally located one for $229 not counting $14.95 shipping.

Not wanting to spend that much money on a seat cover that may be visited by squirrels, birds and my grungy pants, I started looking through local thrift stores hoping I might find something there that was better than orange. Yes, my expectations were pretty low but anything would have been better than the plastic orange.

These two pre-owned 50x60 inch throws were the perfect blue color for $4 for both.

These two pre-owned 50x60 inch throws were the perfect blue color for $4 for both.

At the local Goodwill store, I found two 50x60 fleece throws originally from Walmart in the perfect blue color. I thought I would have to sew the two together to have enough fabric but I wasn't sure so I picked both of them up.

A few pins in the right place and I cut off all four throw edges to give it a fit at the corners.

Cutting off the 50x60 inch throw corners and sewing them gave the love seat a finished look.

Cutting off the 50x60 inch throw corners and sewing them gave the love seat a finished look.

I added elastic all around the edge. leaving each of the corners with a gap in case I needed to adjust the elastic tension:

Leaving the back of the seat cover open at the corners allows me to easily adjust the elastic.

Leaving the back of the seat cover open at the corners allows me to easily adjust the elastic.

Not only does it nicely fit in with my other garden benches, but I made two, one for when the other one is in the wash.

Total price? $7. The fleece blankets were $2 each, then I used about $3 in elastic. If I deduct that from the $245 I was initially going to spend, that leaves a nice little account to buy plants. It's a family joke, I grew up learning several different ways to do math and one of my brothers calls that my "gardening math."

I'm going outside to sit on my new front porch blue bench and dream about what new plants I will now buy. On sale, of course!

Charlotte

 

Pantone 2018 Color: Ultra Violet

This purple English primrose is ultra violet, the official color for 2018.

This purple English primrose is ultra violet, the official color for 2018.

Pantone Color of 2018, Ultra Violet Pantone 18-3838

Every year, Pantone, Pantone Inc. a U.S. corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, designates a color of the year. Their Pantone Matching System is used by a variety of agencies, primarily printing, to designate exact colors.

For 2018, Pantone designed "ultra violet" as the color of the year. "A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.

Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection."

Very creative writing to describe a color. I like any flowers colored purple, don't you?

Charlotte

Christmas Decor Repairs

Christmas decor repairs 1.jpg

Christmas Decor Repairs

My kitchen counter looks like a mini yard sale for Christmas decorative items, only none of them are for sale. These Christmas favorites are getting repairs before I put them away for next year.

Christmas decor repairs 1.5.jpg

As part of my after Christmas shopping, I pick up some basics to have on hand for the repairs:

Paintable wood filler

Clear glue

Permanent black marker with two different size tips

Paint set

Small paint brushes

Gold and silver spray paint

Clean small lids for mixing paint

Howard Feed 'n Wax

A variety of felt pieces, usually Christmas colors get used the most.

Paintable Wood Filler

One of my favorite items, paintable wood filler, is very versatile. I can actually replace missing tiny wooden pieces by making new ones with the wood filler, then painting the new piece to match or blend in with the rest.

Also on the list, clear glue or white glue that dries clear. Super Glue is too messy, I end up with more of the glue on my fingers than on the item I am repairing.

Christmas colors felt is also handy to have in white, Christmas red and green, and black. Little ornaments with broken heads get glued back on and wrapped in a tiny scarf to cover their broken parts.

For the wooden items, Howard Feed 'n Wax gives them a nice hydrating treatment. Actually, I keep Howard Feed 'n Wax handy whenever I move things around, the beeswax and carnauba oil helps to keep my wood beautiful with very little special care.

This wooden angel lost one wing and part of her wooden halo when she was knocked to ground.

This wooden angel lost one wing and part of her wooden halo when she was knocked to ground.

Halo and wing made from wood filler has been painted with gold paint, ready to get back to angel choir.

Halo and wing made from wood filler has been painted with gold paint, ready to get back to angel choir.

I also keep a little container of paints I can turn to for minor repairs. If I need to mix them, I use a little bottle cap to mix the amounts, rarely do I need to mix a lot. If I need more paint, then it's time to splurge on paint sample bottles!

This little wooden horse now has a new right ear and paint job. 

This little wooden horse now has a new right ear and paint job. 

Some years I have waited to make the repairs at the beginning of the holiday season but now I like doing it right after. This way I remember what repairs need to be made and they are ready to be placed into service next year as soon as the season starts.

So which one are you, do you make Christmas decor repairs before Christmas or after Christmas?

Charlotte

Handmade Cards Art

This  bluebird  was painted by the signer of the card and was turned into a lovely thank you card I was lucky enough to get.

This bluebird was painted by the signer of the card and was turned into a lovely thank you card I was lucky enough to get.

Handmade Cards Art

Although it is becoming a - well, dying art - handmade thank you cards are still a favorite in my house. They are art, unique and stories in and of themselves. 

As we enter the extended holiday season, when some people still teach their children to write thank you cards, here is some inspiration to save your favorites.  To continue to appreciate these lovely pieces, there are several things you can do with these works of original art to repurpose them and keep them in your life:

1. Use as book marks. Instead of turning down the pages to mark where you last left off in a hardcover book, use a card to mark the spot. That way you can still enjoy the card and keep the book pages from getting creased.

2. Mark recipes you want to try. I love reading recipe books but don't always remember a recipe I want to locate again later. When I find one I want to find again, I pop in one of these cards so I can easily find it later.

3. Frame the cards for wall art. This is one of my favorite uses of handmade cards art, especially if you have several in the same theme, such as I did.

It doesn't have to be only a theme, find something that unifies them - maybe they are all the same color, or by the same author.

If all else fails, add a unifying element by placing them all in the same frames.

Love the elegance of this thank you card, a handpainted bird on an old book page in french.

Love the elegance of this thank you card, a handpainted bird on an old book page in french.

The thank you card that inspired me to shop for frames at our local thrift stores was this small bird card by a teenage boy.

I kept all of the cards intact so I can still read the inside messages.

This was a thank you from a young man who drew this bird free hand.

This was a thank you from a young man who drew this bird free hand.

Here they are, all three framed bird thank you notes hanging together off my kitchen:

The picture frames are also each different but are all in silver tones and compliment the cards.

The picture frames are also each different but are all in silver tones and compliment the cards.

Who said you had to pay a lot for original art? You probably have some right in your own mail box!

Charlotte

How to Add Daffodils

Found this bunny basket at a local Salvation Army and removed all of the plastic decorations.

Found this bunny basket at a local Salvation Army and removed all of the plastic decorations.

How to Add Daffodils to Baskets

Over the years, friends have asked me how I make these flower arrangements in baskets and vases and they are quite simple.

This rabbit was not planned. I was looking for flower vases at our local Salvation Army store when I ran across this little rabbit basket. Originally it had a plastic burgundy hat, old ribbon around it's neck and some grey plastic bib, all quickly removed to reveal the charming black-eyed bunny.

Whether it's this rabbit basket or just a plain one, it's easy to add spring daffodils or any flowers of your choice. Find a glass container that will fit inside the basket to hold water. I picked one up at the Salvation Army store since I wasn't sure what I had at home.

Wash it out with hot water and let it dry. If you use soap, make sure it is washed out well or the soap can make the flowers droop faster.

Don't worry what kind of container you use, although clear or light colored is better than something dark.  Once the flowers are added, it won't matter what you have them in because the flowers will cover the bowl.

I enjoy a mixture of daffodils from my garden, or you can make a bouquet of the same flowers.

I enjoy a mixture of daffodils from my garden, or you can make a bouquet of the same flowers.

The trick is to cut the flowers so that they have room to bloom but won't fall over. I will test cut one to make sure I have the right stem length, and then cut the rest.

I also use clear florist marbles placed around the flowers to keep them standing upright in the glass vase in the basket.

No problem if you don't have the florist marbles, rocks or even washed driveway gravel will work.

Once you add the marbles or rock gently around the daffodil stems, don't forget to slowly add room temperature water until the container is full.

Place the flowers in marbles, or rocks to keep them stable, then add water in a container.

Place the flowers in marbles, or rocks to keep them stable, then add water in a container.

For 20 years or more, I used to take these cut flowers into my office's coffee room. I'm still getting adjusted to being retired from that job so I placed the bunny where I could enjoy it, on my den coffee table.

Bunny basket holding fresh-cut daffodils on my den coffee table.

Bunny basket holding fresh-cut daffodils on my den coffee table.

The forecast is for cold temperatures and possibly snow over the next few days. I will enjoy these signs of spring with my tea as winter makes it's last stand outside, or so I hope!

Charlotte

Pantone 2017 Color

Some "greenery" items already around my house, so odd to be on the cutting edge!

Some "greenery" items already around my house, so odd to be on the cutting edge!

Pantone 2017 Color "Greenery"

For those of you who like to be on the cutting edge of cool, the provider of professional color standards for the design industries has declared the 2017 "it" color as "greenery." My newspaper editor background tends to fume just a tad with the proliferation of non-words in our current vocabulary but I like this new word. I would have been fine with just "green" but "greenery" has extra panache.

Pantone defines "greenery" as "fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature's greens revive, restore and renew." If you know me, you are undoubtedly not surprised that this is a favorite color of mine. A visiting friend recently noted how nice my furniture looks in my sea of wintering over inside plants. I do, and will continue to contend, that adding something living and green will spice up any room and home decor, any time of any year.

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director, put their color choice in context. While the colors last year - baby blue and baby pink - "expressed the need for harmony in a chaotic world, Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively year for amid a complex social and political landscape.

"Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose. The tangy yellow-green speaks to our desire to express, explore, experiment and reinvent, importing a sense of buoyancy. Through its reassuring yet assertive vibrancy, Greenery offers us self-assurance and boldness to live life on our own terms, during a time when we are redefining what makes us successful and happy."

Pantone calls this color "nature's neutral," noting it compliments a wide range of color palettes. Adding Greenery to interior furnishings can "created the illusion of bringing the outdoors inside and provide a sense of respite."

I love green, from the living kind to greens in quilts, this green sleeping cats throw is a personal favorite.

The last time a shade of green was designated as an official Pantone color was 2013, when the darker emerald green was featured.

For those of you wanting the exact color match, Greenery is Pantone 15-0343. 

"Greenery" has always been "in" at my house, whether inside or outside.

"Greenery" has always been "in" at my house, whether inside or outside.

Live plants that can easily add that color to your home decor include geraniums, herbs, philodendrons...oh, anything live and growing looks wonderful.

How about that, I am finally in style!

Charlotte

Closet Sewing Room

Bluebird Gardens sewing room is in a closet where I can close the doors and leave projects out.

Bluebird Gardens sewing room is in a closet where I can close the doors and leave projects out.

Closet Sewing Room

As we brainstorm gift ideas, this is one that my mother used to talk about all of the time. She wanted a room - not even a room, just a place - where she could set up her sewing machine and leave it up without having to take it down every time we needed to set the table for dinner.

So when I set up my Bluebird Gardens office, I remembered those conversations and chose to make a closet into my sewing area.

It's about twice the size of a regular closet. I added shelves so I could keep my smaller fabric stashes organized by color. I also added a little light under the lowest shelf to give me more sewing light.

The sewing table is a butcher block top with ceramic legs from my mother's old sewing room. I have plastic bins on the right holding the things I use the most when sewing: different-sized elastics, fabric glue, filled bobbins.

My sewing machine stays out all of the time now with the sewing spool holder my brother made when he was 9 years old hanging on the wall behind it. A small bench that tucks under the sewing table when not in use gives me seating room in front of the machine. When I am finished with using the area, I close the folding doors without having to put the sewing machine away.

I forgot how much of a luxury this is until a friend was renovating an old bedroom and wanted some suggestions on how to make it into her craft room. Wish you could have seen her eyes when she saw my closet!

To turn a closet into a sewing room, you need a sewing table and chair that will fit into the space when not in use; lighting over the sewing machine and doors that can be closed. Shelving is additional and can be added over time.

Charlotte

 

Paint Stick Snowmen Ornaments and Gift Tags

 

I saw this charming handmade snowman ornament at a local crafts fair. Who doesn’t love snowmen in their holiday home décor and have a pile of paint sticks gathering dust somewhere!

One of my friend’s husbands bought a Let It Snow Throw for her for Christmas so one of these little guys will be on her package as a gift tag. She can then add it to her Christmas tree later as an ornament and memento of this year's Christmas.

These snowmen were made out of the shaped tip of a paint stick with the hat brim cut out of the rest.

Painting is simple. The charm comes in the details including placement of the dots for the mouth and the little white highlights on the hat.

 These examples have a fancy metal wire hangar but something simple would work just as well.

Fun easy project to do with kids of all ages!

Saving Rose Buds


We've all had them, lovely gift flowers that sooner, or later, start to loose their beauty. Instead of adding to the compost pile, cut off the buds, dry them, then display them where you can see them every day and relive the good memories they generate.

You don't need a fancy bowl, I made this one from two thrift store finds. And don't leave these in a living room corner where you see them as you go by, I have mine on my kitchen island where I can see them, and enjoy them, every day.

In the next few posts, I will show you how to dry the rose buds and make the container.

What have you used to dry your flowers?

Charlotte