Showing posts with label pillows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pillows. Show all posts


Of Fabric and Forgiveness ...

So ... I am not saying that I am actually forgiving Blogger ... let's just say it's on probation. However, it did cooperate with me this morning on a (private) family blog post so I am willing to give it another chance. The picture above is one that got eaten a week or so ago, of my dining room curtains. I really looooove that fabric ... so ...

I used some scraps to cover a pillow in my family room.

All right ... so I am not completely thrifty and self sufficient. This pillow (cover ... I only paid for the cover) is from Pottery Barn. But it was on sale people, let's not forget that.

In other sewing news, I am actually doing some quilting (for myself) for the first time since I moved. I cannot explain why it is that it took me so long. It seriously made me a little teary to sit down at my machine with a quilt top that I started in 2009. I am loving how it has come together and (if Mr. Blogger continues to cooperate) I'll post some pictures soon.

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Guest Who?

So ... I must interrupt my absolutely riveting account of my summer vacation, to let you in on a big fat secret:

I am a guest blogger today over at Be @ Home, a fun website devoted to Fun Stuff to Buy. For your home and other interesting places. In my debut as guest blogger, I am expounding on the glorious blessings of pillows. You know I love pillows! Heaven knows I have blogged about them here and here and here.

Take a look-see and let me know what you think. And then buy some pillows for goodness sake!

You know you want to.
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Like a Hole in the Head ...

So ... I went to Target today. To buy one of those little basket dealies that holds chlorine tablets for my swimming pool. Because the old one basically disintegrated.

I found one. I bought it. But ... unfortunately ... that's not all I bought.

I also bought this swell pillow in these swell colors which I pretty much didn't need. At all. Ever. "Was it on sale?" you ask with a bit of cynicism in your voice. Oh ... yes siree ... for a whopping 15% off. Please know that I am aware that means bumkus. It was just a start of my rationalization process that ended when the woman in front of me in line was buying the exact same pillow.

So, it's pretty clear that I was destined to buy it.

Please don't let me go to Target again.

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It's a Pillow Miracle!

So ... I have had this fabric since sometime last summer. Upholstery type fabric. Reversible type fabric. Gooooood fabric.

When it finally came time to actually sew up said pillow slipcovers, I discovered that would not have enough for all four of the pillows I was planning to cover. The store that I purchased the fabric from last summer is a discount fabric establishment that carries ends of bolts and other paraphenalia. I don't know why I even attempted to go and look for some more ... now 5 or 6 months later, but I did and I naturally made Ms. Gee go with me for moral support. We scoured the store front to back and top to bottom to no avail. But then ...

... just as we were leaving I spotted a small amount of this luscious woven goodness hanging on a rack with other remnants that were 2 yards or less. The exact amount I needed, by the way.

And I just want to say that it's not the first fabric surprise of this kind that I have experienced. I also want to say how grateful I am for small blessings.

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Next: Banjos!

So ... Ms. Gee and I have been hanging out in The Kingdom together. Our "Dueling Berninas" system is actually more productive than what you might think. Yes, there is much raucous laughter and a lot of talking to our own selves ... only to be questioned by the other one about what was said and then needing to repeat it ... but progress is made. Seriously.

Keep in mind that Ms. Gee is working on far more complicated projects than me. Her's involve zippers and linings and algebraic equations. Mine involve 1/4" seams. Hers will turn into chic one-of-a-kind handbags and will be featured on her Etsy Shop. Mine will turn into Pillow Slipcovers to be featured in my living room (and in a future post) and these red/green babies will be a class sample to be taught here on April 22nd.

I am well aware that my whales have been hanging on that wall since last summer. I swear to you that I have made progress on them (they are hand appliqued) and are really, truly my next project to bring to completion. Really.

In the meantime I will savor every moment of our dual reign in The Kingdom. There are only a couple more weeks to enhale all that mother/daughter goodness. After that it's back to talking to myself ... and then having to answer myself too.

And that is just too much for one woman. Truly.

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On the Fringe ...

So ... in customary fashion, as soon as I got done with the PPC Quilt, I wanted a break from cutting up fabric into two inch pieces. Which naturally took me in the direction of ... pillows. (Duh.) As you may or may not know, my name is Mary and I am a pillow-holic. As part of the 12-step weaning process, I now only make pillow slipcovers.

I purchased the fabric and fringe for these beauties -- and sewed them up -- in just a matter of a few hours. I payed three times for the fringe than I did for the fabric. I broke one needle in the process. Still and all, a lot of bang for my buck.

I will be happy when the fringe settles down a bit. I probably need to wash them, but I'm putting that off because I am too busy enjoying them.

I can think of many obsessions that are less healthy than a pillow obsession, can't you?

Eh, too bad I have some of those obsessions too.
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Once Upon a Time ...

So ... this story could easily be mistaken for one that involves a little blond girl and some porridge, but in my case it involves a larger brunette and her Marshalls. Although I think I would really like some porridge.

The story begins several weeks ago when I needed to go to my Marshalls (aka HomeGoods) to exchange a shirt that PDaddy received for his birthday that was too big. (I also bought myself a sweater ... which fits in later.) When I brought it home, we discovered that the new shirt was ... you guessed it ... too small. Back to my Marshalls I go to get yet a third shirt. It's a little too small again, but we're keeping it. Let's just say that just right is mostly fodder for fairy tales.

In the meantime I discovered that my new sweater was way too much like another sweater I already owned. Back to Marshalls. Ooh ... I could really use some new super-comfortable-but-still-highly-stylish shoes to trek the hills in Seattle. Once home it takes me about 20 minutes to figure out that the super comfortable part is also fodder for fairy tales.

Back to Marshalls.

Having already decided to take only pre-broken-in shoes with me to Seattle, I head straight for the pillows. (Always comfortable ... always.) I find these down-filled beauties. I come home, I put them in the family room. I live happily ever after.

I used to be a person that had a hard time returning things. Apparently not anymore.

How about you? Are you a returner?

Are you as glad as I am that I never saw the same person at the return aisle twice?

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Don't Sass the Teacher ...

So ... it was my plan a couple of days ago when I last blogged, to post pictures today of my latest red/green project.

Uh .... not so much.

Truth be told I haven't touched it in the last two days. But trust me ... it will be charming and delightful when I do.
And that is because the intended recipient is more than charming and delightful.

So, in order to buy myself some more time because I am not yet done (or even a whole lot further along) with it than I was two days ago, I offer the following tutorial. I love to use this trick on any ruffle that is longer than a breadstick and thicker than a breadbox. Who wants to put deep grooves in ones hands while trying to gather with one or two strands of basting thread? Not me, I'm telling you.

The trick is to use string. As you can see I have my two-years supply of string because I consider it an essential part of my preparedness program. Attach the string to the fabric (which is a double thickness btw) with a large zig-zag stitch. (If it's too small the string won't pull through it with ease.) I love to use my Bernina #31 foot which holds everything nicely in place, but a simple open-toed foot would work. Then ... pulling just on the string and not on the threads ...

Voila! Gathering with grace. Ruffles with refinement. Pillows with panache.
Now that's your lesson for today. You all get stars on your foreheads.

Any questions?

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running on empty

So ... it appears my blog has turned into a brag-fest about my adorable, precocious grandchildren.

Eh ... get over it.

As you can see by the above picture ... the crib is now empty, the knick-knacks are back in their place, the floor is free of random pieces of cereal, and the hearts of the current residents are heavy indeed. We have our memories, however ... including the following:

On the last night that Miss Dub was with us, PDaddy and I were asked to babysit while Mrs. Dub spent some time with Mrs. Jay. We distracted her while her mommie slipped out by letting her jump on our bed and land in the large pile of pillows. Except that on the last jump, she overshot the pillows and smacked her head into the headboard. (Hmmm, is that why they call it that?) We quickly applied some ice (never an easy trick with a 17 month old) and enjoyed the rest of our evening without the assistance of paramedics.

The next morning when she woke, she immediately offered forth a recounting of the entire story. It went exactly like this:

Nanny. Papa.

Yep. Nanny. Papa.

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Nesting Instincts

So ... my mind is rather scattered at the moment, but I will try and pull some coherent thoughts together.

I like birds.

I know that they are ... like ... all the rage right now as a decorating devise. And I am pretty certain that I like them more right now because ... I see them more right now. Is that how it works? However, I want it on the record that I purchased the above pillow about 8 years ago. So, I am ... like ... way ahead of my time.

One more thing. I really, really like my own baby birds. The fact that they have flown our nest to other nests in scattered parts of the country doesn't mean that I still wouldn't personally catch worms for them. Or sit on them.

Or even applaud them for flying.

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Last Chance !

So ... my bargain hunting weekend knew no bounds. And yes, I am well aware of the fact that as the "bargains" add up, they lose something in the definition. But ... hey ... individually there is no doubt as to their bargain-ness.

If you are lucky enough to live in the Valley of the Sun (aka Phoenix and surrounds) you are probably aware of the bargain-basement mecca known as Last Chance. If you live somewhere else and have vaguely heard of Nordstroms ... then you may also be aware of Nordstrom's Rack. (It's where anything not sold at Nordstroms or returned to Nordstroms, goes to die.)

Or so you thought.

There is one last rung on the descending ladder of Nordstrom's Stuff. One Last Chance. One more place for merchandise to be thrown about by crazed shoppers, making it pretty much unsuitable for purchasing. Unless of course you are patient enough to search for the hidden gem, uncover the seeminly ugly duckling --that is in reality, a rare beauty. (Preparing oneself for this venture involves much deep breathing and a few calisthenics.)

In the past, Last Chance only carried clothing (shoes were always the first place to forage through.) But lately they have carried some household items as well. On Saturday I did my exercises and gathered my strength ... and was richly rewarded. I uncovered these pillow shams (with tags that said "Bloomingdale's Home" -- go figure) for less than 5 bucks a piece. Are they not so charming?

I also uncovered a swell pair of Cole Haans. But that's another post.

What's your best Last Chance find? If you don't live here ... how much do you wish you did?
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How Do I Love Thee . . . ?

So . . . here is my contribution to the *Romantic House Tour. Those members of my family who are reading this may be shaking their heads, and those who are linking here from the tour have only one question, I am sure.
Where the heck is the Pink?
Let's face it, I'm more of a Blue kind of gal.
So I love my living room (above) because . . . well because hardly anyone ever goes in there and it stays really clean. That's why I had the courage this year to make those white slipcovers. Just in case you are thinking I am an experienced slipcover-sewer -- au contraire. These represent one of the hardest months of my life, but I love them. I also love the oil painting that I inherited from my mom. I spend time in this room on the phone to my children. After I have sanitized myself, of course.

These chairs divide my family room from the kitchen and I have always loved them. I made the pillows on them and embroidered the words "Sit" and "Stay". I want to make sure my guests are clear on what I expect of them. The armoire was a purchase from a neighbor who was practically giving it away. Another favorite.

I am a quilter and this quilt in the kitchen is one of my favorites because one of my daughters pieced it out of some scraps. It was years after that when I got into quilting in an obsessive way, but this one seldom does time in the closet with the umpteen others I just rotate. The vintage tablecloth is my most recent find.

Aaaah. The Sewing Room. PDaddy (my husband) refers to it as "The Kingdom". I do love it. Naturally, before I took this picture, I scooted six piles of stuff to the other side of the table and . . . yes . . . I see that I didn't scoot it far enough. It's always covered in scraps and threads and 15 different rulers. This quilt is one I designed and made about a year ago as a class sample in machine applique. It gets a rotation at home for awhile.
So . . . there you have it. Pretty sparse as other homes on this tour go . . . but I like it that way. Thank you Karla, for letting me know about the party.


True Confession #3

So, I'm torn as to what of two confessions would qualify for the coveted #3 spot: 

My computer hates me . . . OR

I have an unnatural obsession with pillows.

Because there is such an obvious link between the two, we'll just deal with them both and move on to other, more random confessions at another time.  So . . . my computer hates me.  Just me.  Even though he uses the same computer, it doesn't hate PDaddy (although, truth be told, it could treat him better too.)  Several days ago I went to make a comment on this blog and I filled in my user name and password before I noticed that there was NO icon to click in order to publish said comment.  So, I gave up on that temporarily and went to publish a new post on my blog.  Once again, I filled in the appropriate gobble-de-gook to sign in, but alas there was NO "sign in" icon.

So I did what every computer-literate woman in my position would do . . . I made Sonny-boy come and fix it. Sonny-boy has the patience of a Saint, but the best he could do was to sign me up with a new server.  That night when PDaddy got home, we made the discovery that his side of the same computer worked fine and dandy. And that's when I learned that our computer has a personal vendetta against me.  Just me.

Pillows don't hate me.  They love me and I love them. They are soft and fluffy.  My computer however, hates my pillows.  On Monday I published a post with 3 pictures.  By yesterday the bottom one (which was of a pillow) was somehow erased . . . erradicated . . . gone.  I am going to try and fool my computer today with a picture of three (3) pillows, hoping their combined strength can ward off the computer's evil influences.  Only time will tell.

I will save more of my pillow-obsession-confession for another day.  I will only say that at this point I mostly just slipcover existing pillows to avoid being taken over by them.  At Christmas my children held a "pillow-intervention" and threw out (actually, gave to D.I.) a large number of my back stock of pillows.  I suppose this is akin to flushing contraband down the toilet.  It didn't help much.  As long as they stay away from The Stash, I will be able to make more pillows.  I already have.

Did I mention that Sonny-boy and the Mrs. are moving to Spain for fun, adventure and a sweet architecture job?  What the heck am I going to do then?