Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pillow Book Holder Tutorial and Winter Continues

One of my my dear sisters in law, (I have 5of them) was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer, with a lesion that began on a hand.  Doctors say it was fast growing and necessitated taking parts of her skin, and sections of arm that needed to have skin grafts.  She then had to return to surgery for lymph nodes that were affected, just 2 weeks ago.. On top of it all, was her birthday on Valentines Day, so to remember her and to give her something she could actually use as she recovers, I tried to find ideas for making a book pillow rest.  I saw the triangle shaped things on the internet, but they just didn't inspire me.  I looked through Etsy sellers, and there was one very ingenious one, but rather than wait for it, I plunged into my own version.  I took an embroidered pillow sham from my surplus linen collection, and first made a linen pillow to fit it and stuffed it with poly fill. 

 For me, practicality always is the first consideration, so I had to make sure it was a removable and washable cover. Then I selected pink ribbon, to make the stays that hold the book binding, and chose stretchy lingerie lace for the page holders. If I had narrower lace, I would have used it, but still recovering from my sinus/cold/ crud condition, I opted to use what I had. I simply attached the ribbons securely top and bottom.

 Velcro is used on one of the ribbon stays, here I am placing and adjusting.
 And I saw alot of pillows with an eyeglass pocket, so I made mine by attempting to create a bound/pocket variation. I made a slice in the fabric, constructed a linen envelope to attach to it on the inside. If I had made the pillow sham from scratch, I would have done this before it was constructed, but I had to work with what I had. So it is not the prettiest of pockets, but it does the job. I think the fact that it is internal to the pillow sham, might protect fragile glasses better. What do you think of my idea?

I cut a slit for where the glasses pocket could be placed. I used some ironing tape, and pressed the edges under, in prep for a zigzagged ribbon to cover and support the pocket edge.

 Notice the velcro on one side of the two ribbon stays.  You slide one side of a larger book, and then open the velcro side and adjust.  The book stays pretty secure, though the pillow is a bit puffy, so it might take some breaking in.

 I made a little ribbon bow for up top to cover the velcro I sewed along the edges to keep the sham closed up top.
The book I picked up at the Library Book sale, for my sis in law was "Oprah", by Kitty Kelly.  A tell all, and not very flattering view of her.  I am fascinated by Oprah, always thought she has led a pretty feisty life, I skimmed this book, hoping to bolster my admiration for the lady.  Sadly, alot of the book especially in the later sections, show how being a billionaire has corrupted her life and thinking.  The new network My Own, was briefly mentioned as her future endeavors.  I have only watched a little bit of her channel, but you have to give her credit for fighting for her vision. 

At the risk of showing how portly I have become this winter, here is the skirt I started last fall.  I blogged about getting this fab designer, Kay Whitt's book, and plunged into making a "patchwork" pieced skirt of her design.  It was an a-line fitted design, and to compensate for my girth, I added inches on each panel.  Well, the reason this skirt sat on my sewing table for so long was that I had to take it in, 2 times, that means on each panel!  Finally, it was still too large, I added an elastic waist band, that eases the extra fabric around.  And I discovered it was a bit too short, so a row of green cotton and lace extended it a bit.  I am not known for wearing red. but when I found the green and brown piped shirt at a thrift store, I decided to use up the pieces of brown, red and green calico I had laying around.  Hubby thinks it is perfect when I want to dress up as a clown's wife (remember, he is color blind) ...I like it, it has personality!  Maybe it would be good for a spring luncheon, or for housecleaning...Whatever, I was glad to finally finish it.

Well, this is February 27th, and I have officially been sick for 4 weeks now.  On my second antibiotic, I just can't shake this sinus thing.  Maybe I will still get my flu shot, cause I just don't want to go through this again for awhile!

Ending with a beautiful shot of our trees after the last 2 major storms, it began with an ice coating, then full blown storm, then, big trees all around us crashed our electric lines, so we were without power for 2 days.   Nothing like 40 degree inside temp to speed your recovery from a cold...! Our elderly neighbors suffered the most, we made them food on our gas stove, and got them groceries...so glad we have a working fireplace, it helped, though even that has it's limitations.

Watch for a recipe and tut, see ya next post!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter woes, our remodel continues

  I have been so under the weather for the past 2 weeks, I barely sat at my computer at all. It began with a sore throat, moved to a full blown sinus infection and today it has left me with no sense of smell, or taste and a mostly stuffed up head. But the antibiotics are only on day 4, so I guess there is hope. As my cold takes it toll, the weather has finally allowed us to see patches of grass again. And all the water and ice have found some new ways into our house. In the midst of my travail, we finally jump started a boarded up first floor bath, that began it's journey in 2007. Yes, that year we had high hopes, and quickly tore the room down to the studs, only to find that a complete replumb, rewire and new window were in order. A few items were done over the years, but the big push came just these past two weeks. I was too weak to be of much help except to critique each days work. Our friend Andy weathered my snorts and criticsm, and I think we got a beautiful, mostly finished bath as a result. I dreamed it almost exactly as it stands now, so not bad for having foresight. You be the judge. Here is the journey in pics:

I stalked this mahogany vanity for over a year, and finally got the owner to separate it from the larger set.


We decided to recycle the existing porcelain tub.  Drywalling and ceiling were completed last summer, no pics for some reason exist!

The first tiles, set the tone!  Half my tile budget was the mosaic glass, but such a great design element!  I saved money cutting them into the squares for the floor and using them in a border saved the cost as well!

We ran out of field tile, since I had purchased a close out.  I knew it would happen, but not sure how it would affect the design.  We purchased plain white 2x2's and Home Depot, to finish the shower area.  I think it worked just fine!

 Don't you just love the pinwheel design on the floor!  It just sparkles most of the day!

Ahhhh, finally a first floor guest bath! 

So after only 4 years, a few hiccups along the way, and a miserable sinus infection, and tile install for the past 2 weeks, voila! We have a bathroom, just short of a few more touches, including needing an electrician to resupply power to the room. I plan to paint the wooden frame around the glass, and get a cabinet made for the closet space we stole from another room. (not shown) The glass just sparkles in the light, and makes our eclectic furniture and stained glass window just pop! I really like the pinwheel floor design, to save tile we had to lay straight instead of on a diagonal. Definately worth all of the suffering.

Watch my next post, it won't be so long this time, I will post a easy tutorial on making a bed rest book pillow holder. I made one for my sister in law who is recovering from surgery. Stop back soon!

Linked up to these two and more on my Where I Party Page!

 http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/The DIY Show Off

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