Tuesday, January 27, 2009

antique teacups and plates jewelry drawer

I'm so happy about my new jewelry drawer.

This is a project I admired in the now no longer Blueprint magazine and have wanted to do for ages.

It is simply velvet fabric (or in this case a velvet blend) cut to fit the size of the drawer and the china pieces. It's hard to see here but the fabric is a deep eggplant shade- very pretty.

All of the antique teacups and plates were found over several years but 2 quite recently in a local shop.

I'm also planning at some point to assemble shadowboxes with jewelry that was part of the same story.

It is certainly nice to have one very pretty and organized drawer in my dresser. I love the romance of dressing up and taking care to spend the time choosing the accessories.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Insecta Fantasia

We visited The Newark Museum today to see Jennifer Angus' Insecta Fantasia at the Ballantine House which is the museums restored 19th century Victorian mansion. The exhibit was stunning and I can't stop thinking about it.

The artist arranged some 5,000 preserved insects which are pinned to the wall in kaleidoscopic patterns all over the wallpaper of two rooms in the victorian home. The insects patterns evoke textiles from the period. She also creates a fictious narrative involving two children of the home as amateur entomologists.

The artist uses the insects as characters to play out fairy tales under glass with beeswax settings such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Princess and the Pea...
Insects are under cloches arranged with vintage spools of thread, under convex glass frames against the wall. And, also in a dollhouse on the floor. There are many varieties of insects and the colors are rich and gorgeous.

I was only able to snap this one photo before I was told I couldn't photograph the exhibit. I had not see any sign so I didn't know. I really wish I could have taken more. The museum gift shop only had one book for the artist and it didn't relate to this exhibit.

Here are some photos I found on the artist's webpage and some more details about the show.

I really want to go back again and luckily I can as the exhibit runs through June and is only about a 20 minute drive for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the strawberry apron

Come June our front yard will be covered in strawberries. Last year was our first year here and we were astounded by the gorgeous and delicious strawberries. We had to pick twice a day during peak and there were hundreds actually I'm sure we got over a thousand strawberries. This year I plan to have a strawberry party and invite friends over to pick and make strawberry desserts.

Ms. S will be walking then and it will be so exciting for her to pick the strawberries. Little M absolutely loved picking and of course eating the strawberries.

So, in honor of our strawberry patch and as a little present for Ms. S's birthday which is coming up I made her a strawberry apron.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

small linen basket

I recently ordered Zakka Sewing: 25 Japanese Projects for the Household after seeing quite a few projects that I wanted to try.
I started with this small linen basket which is lined in a swiss dot and has batting between the layers. It gave me an excuse (not that I needed one) to try out one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine which actually is hearts however, I did them upside down.

This basket is small about 4" but quite good for carrying small things like a tiny hand sewing project, finger puppets or clothespins.

One of the pluses for this Japanese book is that the directions are in English.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

my heart is filled with hope

what a beautiful speech
what a beautiful poem
looking forward to the future...

Friday, January 16, 2009

rocks with sweaters

Let's face it. It's cold out there. Well in the northeastern US it is.

Dear friends of ours gave us rocks as a gift.

A whole beautiful bagful one day last summer. They were moving to London and had already carried them from England to NY and well one of them didn't want to cart them back to England.

They are from Cornwall near the ocean and there are so many stunning ones. I really should have photographed the 'naked' ones for you. Some of them have these great details like there will be a beautiful single white swirly stripe or multiple stripes amongst a shadowy gray or a perfectly shaped oval or the one with the eight on it which happens to be my favorite number.

Someday, I plan to mail some of them back to my friend, who was slightly distraught that her husband gave away their rocks, with a few other pleasant handmade surprises. I think perhaps for her birthday which happens to be 2 days before mine. I am pretty sure they don't read my blog so it should be a happy surprise.

So yesterday, I decided to give felted rocks a try. It's basically wrapping the rock with wool roving and then getting it warm and soapy with warm water and well, soap, smoothing it and then putting it in a stocking and the washing machine. Okay, here are directions

Here are the ones that came out. A few got tossed out of the stocking in the machine... not sure why.

So, there you have it...rocks with sweaters

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

mary jane slippers

I have always loved Mary Jane shoes. They are the 'it' shoe for little girls and big girls with little girl hearts. Last year I found this pattern on PurlBee and immediately knew I wanted to make them.
Almost a year later I have my slippers.
With the temperatures in the teens and more time spent indoors this was the perfect project to make and start enjoying in the Winter. In January when things are sort of blah, the bright colors and soft shoes are perfect for a little pick me up.
Go ahead and knit yourself a pair- you won't be sorry.
All the details of yarn, needles are the same ones you find in the pattern.

Friday, January 9, 2009

finally friday

I couldn't think of a title for this post so please forgive this silly one, ok?

So, the baby is sick- coughing, runny nose and I think teething too. She has been having trouble sleeping. Poor girl! The night before last I only had three hours sleep. Yikes!

M only had school one day this week as it was cancelled on Wed. (he usually goes 2 mornings) because of ice (which there was not much of).
Okay, but all in all it wasn't really a horrible week. Just long! I got used to those short holiday weeks.
So, how about some sweet things to brighten up your Friday.
I have been working on inventory mostly this week

I've been doing some appliques (here is a sampling)

And, some sewing of smocks (actually made 2 of that pink one so four all together)

Some mailing out of birthday invitations and thinking about party decor etc.
Someone is turning 1 next month.
We customized the invite with our info. but found the layout here.

And... knitting another pair of slippers because I wasn't all that crazy about the fit on these ones. I still wear them though. Am crossing my fingers that the news ones are done next week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the dollhouse

One year for Christmas when I was a young girl Santa brought me a dollhouse. Santa or rather Mrs. Santa (okay my Mom) pieced together and painted this dollhouse for me and now as of 2 days ago it is now in my home and my room. I'm thinking of putting it in the attic though today and surprising the baby with it when she is a little older (or should I put it in her room now?)decisions...

I spend part of the morning playing with my dollhouse and memories of playing with it surfaced and it was just wonderful. Such a delightful moment in time as I took out each doll and chair, brass bed and bedding, the pie, a little vase and cups, sink etc.

I've noted that a few pieces are missing: the table, the boy doll and baby doll but it appears most of it is there and intact.

There is also a pretty needlepointed rug that was made by my Aunt Lillian. I would never have remembered that she made it had this not come up in conversation recently.

My Mom ripped the rugs out because they were old and most likely yucky. Carpeting was more in style then.

Right now I don't want to do anything to it but, someday I may remodel it. Then again maybe I won't for history's sake.

How can you not love the spinning wheel?

Note: This year Santa brought the kids this dollhouse which is a bit more sturdy and can withstand rougher play.

Monday, January 5, 2009

cinderella, found in the attic

About a month or so ago, my Mom brought me a little find from her attic. My light switch cover from when I was a baby. How amazing! Scarlet and I just love it. I wonder what else was in my room....

This might say something about my Mom and I because this is the exact type of thing I would have bought in a antique store/etsy/ebay had I been looking.

When I sat to write this I remembered a post of Emily's from when she had a really great day thrifting and after a search I found she has the matching lamp.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

owl sweater

I realize I have yet to complete the two sweaters I began this fall in earnest and then let fall by the wayside but this sweater is making me so crazy/happy and I really want to knit it. The pattern will be free on Ravelry soon. I hope it is not too hard to do because I really want to give it a go. Now I've got to figure out how to justify buying the yarn.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new year, new dress

A new dress -cut out and sewn for my baby girl.
A perfect way to start off the new year.
The dress just needs a hem and the tie to be put through the casing. Done
Happy 2009 everyone!