Sunday, February 28, 2010

Peace and Love at Heart and Home

Good day to all of you! I hope  you had a nice weekend! We spent a lot of time outside, walking the beach and running errands. I even squeezed a trip to Home Depot into our schedule and picked up a few more drop cloths. I've got another big project coming up that I'll share with you in a few days!
Also, I am so relieved...we replaced some equipment, and the computer problems that have  plagued us since November seem to finally be solved. Hurray, and thank goodness! If I haven't been by to visit in awhile I promise to come by soon. Some sites just would not load, and we were having all sorts of difficulties that should be behind us now. I will keep my fingers crossed!

With some of my away-from-the-computer time  I have managed to get a few things on my list done! Some of you have already seen the  chair with it's new drop cloth slipcover (if not, go here to view). Before I started that I sewed up some faux "Anthropologie style" pillows for my girls as Valentine's gifts. They were fun to make, and I used materials I already had, so they didn't cost me a thing. They were made with scraps and lots of love!


I used remnant material from the bedding  I made for daughter number one.
Her room has lavender toile and mattress ticking fabrics
 for the bedding and a draped bed canopy.
 She's my romantic, Jane Austen-loving daughter.
 I thought rosettes would be just the thing for her pillow.


I cut strips of fabric and gathered them by hand in the center.


A quick zig-zag stitch around the edge helped stop the unraveling you see up there!

I made some rosettes out of leftover t-shirt fabric, too. 
Then I added buttons from the button box for a fun detail.

I just happened to have pillow forms stashed away in the mess in my sewing area.
I can't believe I found them in there.
That is one area that really needs my attention,
but since it's downstairs and behind a closed door,
it gets a lot messier that the rest of the house.
I plan on redoing the space and really improving it
one of these days.
Now I'm just happy when I get it vacuumed!

 The polka-dot fabric is from 13 year old Miss M's room.
She's into everything 60's inspired, and loves the Beatles. 

I thought a peace symbol would be perfect for her,
and used swirly purple fabric on the back.

This represents our favorite quote
 by Richard Starky (aka Ringo Starr):
"Love and Peace, Peace and Love"

It's a perfect sentiment for today.
 I wish it for us, and for all of you, too!

 Thank you for stopping by today. Come back soon!
Remember to feel free to join in on Wednesday Gratitude, just a few days away.
You can post about anything that makes you happy and makes your heart sing!

Until next time,
I'm linking to It's So Very Creative at It's So Very Cheri,
Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts

Thanks so much ladies!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All Covered Up at Heart and Home

Hi there! I'm back and just in time for Show and Tell Friday, at Cindy's Romantic Home., and the Remodelaholics Anonymous meeting. Thanks for stopping by, I do appreciate your visit. Thanks also to everyone who participated in Wednesday Gratitude, it's always so interesting to read your insightful and thoughtful posts. I look forward to it every week, and encourage you to join us if you haven't already done so! There are no restrictions on what you want to post, and I love company!

I also want to let you know that I'm excited and honored to be featured today at Julia's fantastic Hooked on Houses. You really don't want to miss her site, but beware: one look and you will be hooked for sure.

Now, some of you may remember this project in the works from a few posts back:

My new little green chair was in need of a slipcover to make it fit in to the decor better, and I'm proud to say I actually finished it! Hurray and thank goodness just in time, because I was getting close to pulling my hair out!

This was not the easiest shape to choose for my first ever slipcover. All those curves and the rolled arms had me scratching my head and pulling out threads more times than I care to admit!.

I did get some helpful hints from out there in the blogging world, and I appreciate the pointers and the comments from you my blogger friends!  But still, I trust you not to look too closely. There are a few trouble spots, but I've redone them so many times I don't think they're going to get any better.
 So I'm just going to call it a day and say this project is  done.

I think the whole thing turned out pretty well considering
 I didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into!

When I found myself in a jam I just took a deep breath and carried on. That seemed to work, because I didn't get too rattled over all my mistakes, like I usually do.

The fabric drop cloths were easy to work with,
and for $9.00 you can't beat the price! 

In a house full of people, a spoiled dog and two cats, a cover that's easy to take off
and wash with bleach is the best kind.
I figure I can't go wrong with fabric that is supposed to absorb paint!
So, now I can cross this project off my to-do list. That feels so good!
I'm going to make a few pillows with the left over material, and then get started on some painting.
Every time I cross one thing off the list, I always seem to add two more!
Do you do that too?

Thanks for visiting, and hey, let me know you were here! Until next time,
Stop by for a visit at Cindy's Romantic Home.
I'm also linking to Remodelaholics anonymous meeting #8.
And a big thank you to Julia, at Hooked on Houses!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #4 /The Fog Clears at Heart and Home


Greetings! It's time for 
Wednesday Gratitude,

and I'm grateful that you're here for a visit today! I hope you'll stop by and say hello to the other participants, and consider joining us next week. We celebrate what makes us happy and our hearts sing with Gratitude every Wednesday!  Mcklinky will be up by 6:00 PM PST every TUESDAY. I'm also joining in Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage.

I want to share something with you that is small, but has transformed my life! I am very thankful for the difference it's made for me every day.

Those of you of a certain age will get what I'm talking about, and will be able to relate to my story. Those of you younger than forty who are reading this and maybe feeling a teeny little bit smug, well, just you wait, someday you'll get it, too!

 One day I was feeling fine, minding my own business, admiring the landscape:


The next day, out of nowhere, I noticed that things were not as clear to me as they used to be:

Everything nearer to me than my outstretched arm looked kind of foggy.

Reading anything up close was a problem.

Reading anything up close with low light was impossible.

Ordering off a menu in a romantic, candle lit restaurant was out of the question.

A pair of these suddenly became very important to me.

I began to rely on them daily, and purchase them regularly, whenever I saw a pair that I thought "looked good". None of them looked good. I thought they just made me look old.

I had a pair for the car, and a pair for my purse.

 I had to wear a pair in my Italian class at the college,
around all the twenty-somethings with perfect vision.

In class, I thought they made me look really old
Especially after la professoressa asked to borrow mine, because she had forgotten hers.

I had a pair stashed in every room in the house, and had spent a small fortune
on a collection of every style and color.

If only I had such a varied and colorful collection of designer shoes.
It was sad, and it was getting out of hand.

Two months ago, after ten years of +1.00 readers,
I decided to take control of the situation.

It took me a few weeks to find the perfect combination, but I was determined.

Finally, now I can reveal my secret:

Mono-vision contact lenses have changed my life! I am transformed!

Now, instead of using both my eyes to almost see things,
 I use one eye to clearly see things far away, and one eye to see up close and personal.

Somehow, my brain and eyes figure it out, and I don't have to think about it!

I can read a book again, without my readers.

I can see the world around me, too.

 Just as clearly as I did with my regular prescription lenses, before.

I can see things near and far, and sort of far, and really far, and close and really up close.

When I'm shopping I don't bring items that cost $89.00 up to the counter to purchase,
 thinking the price tag says $34.00.

I can admire the scenery, and tell the difference between ivy and poison ivy.

I can see what time it is on my watch,  and see the numbers on my cell phone!

I can order off a menu without looking like someone's granny. 

 We can eat at dark, candle lit, romantic restaurants more often.

I am truly thankful to the genius who figured this wholo mono-vision thing out.

Now, if only I could hear better.

How about you? How are you handling the part of being alive
 that says we have to age ?

I'm kicking and screaming, all the way!

I remind myself daily to have gratitude, and hope that eventually
I will learn to age with grace.

Because, considering the alternative, I'm really thankful I'm still here!

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation." ~Brian Tracy

Until next time,

I'm linking to Transformation Thursday, at Shabby Chic Cottage. Thanks Gina!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Heart and Home Covers Up!

Howdy everyone! Hope you're having a great day, I'm so glad you decided to stop by for a visit today.

 Let me start by telling you how much I got done this weekend! Shortly after I posted my Gratitude post about technology, my computer zonked out. It made a loud pop as I was about to send an email, and boom, the screen went dark and that was the end of it. Now, it's sitting on the floor in the office, with it's innards removed, looking  like a leftover prop from some science fiction movie. My hubby and his brother Uncle D are trying to fix the problem. I'm borrowing the lap top that is generally reserved for Miss M. I am stumbling and tripping all over the place on this thing! But, because I didn't really have access to a reliable source of technology this weekend I managed to accomplish so much. I think from now on it might be a good idea to establish some sort of weekend moratorium on computer use . There's so much time in the day when you're not sitting in front of a monitor, blogging away the hours! I actually got to sit here and read for awhile:

Then, Hubby and I bonded as we filed our taxes. I told him it would probably only take us 45 minutes. It took us 45 minutes - and 4 hours! During breaks away from receipts and the IRS, I cleaned the house and did a bunch of laundry (fun). I baked two banana breads and a batch of oatmeal sugar cookies. I made a Sacagawea Native American costume for Miss M's class presentation. I got to watch a couple of tivoed  "What Not to Wear and "Say Yes to the Dress" shows with my girls.  And I prepared good, hearty meals for my loving family (well, we did have pizza on Saturday night!).  In addition to all that, I managed to start a project that's been on my to-do list since early January.

Do you remember this  green chair?

I bought it right after Christmas, and was eager to start using it in the living room. The color and pattern of the upholstery was all wrong, in my opinion, (see living room in photo above) so I decided to make a slipcover for it.

I purchased a pack of two fabric drop cloths at The Home Depot for around $9.00. What a deal for all that fabric. I laundered, bleached and dried it before I started cutting it into pieces.

I really had no idea what I was doing. I've sewn a lot beautiful dresses and costumes for my girls over the years, and many pillow covers, curtains, bedding etc. for my home. But I've never formally learned the rules because I've never had a sewing class. I'm just "self taught"!  Most often, I figure it out as I go. I just layed the fabric on the chair and cut a loose pattern and then stitched those pieces together.  This method has worked out okay, so far.

I started with the easy parts: the chair bottom T-shaped cushion, and the ottoman. Now comes the tricky part and I'm a little intimidated.  But I'm going to figure this out, and I'll share the results with you when I'm done!

If anyone has any pointers on how to create the curve in the rolled top, and the arms, I sure would love to hear from you! I'm not sure how to stitch the whole thing so the fabric doesn't just hang straight down from the arms. While I'm okay with a loose slipcover, I don't want one that's messy and looks like it's not fitted at all.

I'm going for a "shabby chic" look, with less of an emphasis on the shabby part.

At this point it's impossible to tell what will come of this! I adore the texture of the fabric, it's a bit like a rough linen, and the color is perfect - just what I had in mind. I plan on making some throw pillow slipcovers too, when I'm done with this. I've got leftover burlap from my table runner, and also more of this drop cloth fabric. I'm loving the idea of some tiny little ruffles somewhere.  I've got to get back to the sewing machine while I'm inspired!  So, that's all for now my blogger friends.

Thanks lots for stopping by, remember to leave me a comment and let me know you were here! I love hearing from you, and I really would love any advice you might have on the slipcover.

Until next time,

Remember Wednesday is Gratitude Day, I'd love for you to link in!
Today  I'm joining DIY day at ASPTL and Trash to Treasure Tues. at Reinvented. Thanks, Kimba and Kimm!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mini Home Tour at Heart and Home

Hey there everyone! How's it going? I hope you've been having a good week and I'm glad you're back. I'm happy to be sharing with you today. If you missed Wednesday Gratitude, just scroll on down,
 and do try to join us next week. There's room for everyone!

I'm joining Show and Tell Friday, at Cindy's Romantic Home. If you've never been by to visit Cindy's blog it's something you must do, as soon as you're done here!
You'll be so glad you did,  Cindy always has so many beautiful things to share with us!
 There's also a home tour party going on at  Transforming Home , and I am excited to join! Come along as I take you on a partial tour of our home, starting in the entrance area, hitting the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and master bath . Hang on to your hats, this will be quick!

First, this is the view from the front door entrance, looking to the right. This is the dining area with glass sliding doors to the rear deck.

Directly ahead and to the left are the stairs leading down to the lower level and bedrooms. ( I have been wanting to replace that oak stair railing since we moved in here 10 years ago.) 
To the right of the dining space, and down one step is the living room. This is what it looked like awhile back. There is a fireplace to the right with windows flanking it.
You can see that and the latest mantelscape here.
In this corner of the room, there are french doors which lead out to the dining deck. We use the deck most of the year. We've even sat out there during rainstorms to watch the sky!
 It's like an extra room and I love it! (if you want to see more, go here.)

On this side I have a big project pending: bookshelves, hurray! I've got to get busy and start painting as soon as the weather dries out for a little longer. I've also got a new chair for this spot, but it needs a slipcover which is another pending project. Do you have as many things on your to-do list as I always seem to?
 I feel like I never catch up!

Directly beyond the dining room is the kitchen. The entry is open to the living room. The door at the end of the counter leads to the outdoor dining deck.

To the right of the kitchen where you enter is the baking center,
with an extra sink, storage, and the pantry.

 To the left, on the island, is a second oven, shelves for cook books, and closed storage. The door on the left of this picture leads to the back deck. There are eleven doors in this house that lead to the outside!

The eating area is in a large popped out "bay window". There are windows on all three sides, with a view to the creek, and the redwood forest, and the valley beyond. I love it when the sun streams in these windows in the late mornings and afternoon. And I love the chandelier, which I found in an antique (junque!) shop.

This is the view of the kitchen from the eating area. You can see the entry area and the hall beyond through the opening to the left. The side hall leads to the family room, office/guest room, guest bath and laundry room. Directly beneath on the lower floor is where the girl's rooms and bathroom are located.

I keep my everyday dishes in a hutch, rather than cabinets. I bought this pine one about 30 years ago, at an unfinished furniture store. I never realized how much I would love this piece of furniture,
and how many different uses it would have in my homes!
The window over the farmhouse sink looks out to the back deck and the garden below.

Here's the other side of the kitchen island, with the cook top and warming drawer. I don't like cooking with my back to friends and family,  I love having the cook top in the middle of the room. This way, when I'm cooking I can take part in the fun, too!~

I chose carrera marble for the counter tops which I absolutely love. Everyone tried to talk me out of the marble because they said it would stain, scratch, and age over time. I think if it's good enough for century old homes in Europe, and Grand Central Station in New York City, it's good enough for my kitchen! I chose a maple butcher block top for the island, and yes, I do cut on it. The floor is Italian tumbled travertine. The paint is bright orange, yep, orange. Different for sure, and I love how it warms up the space. By now its almost become a neutral color in here!

Eventually we would like to replace all the carpet in the upstairs rooms with wood floors.
I would love to install wide-plank reclaimed heart pine. That's on my "someday" list!

Let's head downstairs for a tiny peek at the master bedroom.

Here's my favorite spot, where I can read or take a little "beauty rest". At least, I used to do that, before I started spending so much time on the computer blogging!

The alabaster lamp and the antique wicker chaise were found locally at one of my favorite vintage shops.

Okay, that's all! Now we're heading to the master bath.

From the bedroom/bathroom door is the view of my beautiful tub, in the master bath.
 The tub is in the same bay window space as the eating area directly above.
I still need to paint the rest of the windows and trim in here, and all over upstairs.
One of these days I will start on that. Maybe this spring?
Looking back toward the bedroom, to the right are the sinks and storage cabinets. His and her sinks and cabinets, the only way to go if you ask me. It's the secret to matrimonial harmony!
 The windows look out to the lower back deck and the yard beyond.

To the left of the tub is the open shower, with all the shower heads.
There are eight of them!  We had visions of tropical rain forest showers, I guess.
It is fun to use them all at once, but you know what, I hardly ever do. This tile is limestone, and most of the floor is electrically heated, which makes it so nice in the mornings!

If you are interested in seeing more of the details of any of these rooms you can go here:

the Living room at Christmas
Or you can click on the pictures in my side bar!

Okay, that's it! I told you this would be a quick tour! 
I hope you enjoyed your visit. it's been fun showing you around.
Thanks so much for stopping by, I love having your company. I especially love hearing from you,
 so don't be a lurker - leave me a note!

Come back again soon. I've got some great projects ahead! Stay tuned.
Until next time,

For other home tours be sure to go to Transforming Home. Thanks for hosting, Danielle!
Thanks also to the lovely Cindy, at My Romantic Home, for Show and Tell Friday.