Saturday, December 26, 2009

TRADITIONS


No one has ever called me traditional. And at 1:00 a.m. on Christmas morning I decided the heck with the stockings and hung the presents on the mantel. Good enough. I even included the shoes and accessories.


I told myself that this year would be different. I would start shopping in August. Silly fool. I was scrambling away ordering items online at midnight because I ran out of daylight to get to all of the stores. I wanted to be the seasoned hostess, smiling and ready when my guests came, but I was carting home my ham 2 hours before they were scheduled to arrive. I wanted to bake, although I confess I don't like to. And bake I did. I also ate a lot of it and had to bake again. I wanted to spend a lot of time wrapping pretty packages with bows and ribbon. I had to face it, I'm not really good at wrapping at all and although I have lived almost half of my life, I can't tie a decent bow. And in an effort to have a color scheme going in a fashionable sense with my gifts, I chose shiny red and gold glittery wrapping paper. Glitter everywhere, my hair, my face and any place I touched. I gave up and went to the drugstore for the plain old paper stuff. No ribbons or bows. And I think gift bags are the greatest invention since microwave popcorn.


I've have spent the past 23 years having children pulling me out of bed to unwrap gifts on Christmas morning. This year my adult son (who does not live at home) said he would be over at 10:00 a.m. for the big event. I then had 2 adult children whining at 8:00 a.m. that tradition had been broken by this male lout, but they quickly forgot it and went back to bed. Having been up over an hour, sticking my hand in various cavities of a turkey, I now sat with my 3rd cup of coffee, drumming my fingers on the breakfast table and waited for the children. Tables turned.


I made out like a bandit in the gift receiving area. Somehow I feel it might be a celestial reward for all the things I attempt to do at Christmas to make it more magical, and then fail at. The Husband gave me a gorgeous pair of Coach boots with a matching scarf and gloves (the boots are too small but he did manage to hang on to the receipt for an exchange). Emily gave me a pair of flannel pajama's (which have been totally ditched since the M word took over my life) and warm snugly socks from Brookstone. She obviously thinks I am always cold... Abigail gave me a bottle of Chanel No. 5, and I'd like to have a little discussion with the saleslady who talked her into it. I apologize to any of you that like it...it smells like baby powder gone bad. And one of my sons gave me a new laptop (this is the same son who wouldn't give me $5.00 in the airport one time for a magazine). He might have taken pity on the fact that the laptop I share with The Husband gets stolen right out from under my nose because "I have it all day". And finally, there was one gift I didn't get, and that was having Kevin home for Christmas. He was shipped back down to Florida for the golf season, so it was our first year not together as a family. Worse for him, being alone while us together. But we talked to him today, and while we are in the middle of a blizzard, he was out on the course, hitting a few balls. I am sure that is a tradition he will grow to love.


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

PINK SATURDAY: MY PORCELAIN ANGEL

Good morning! I am joining Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturday. It has been a long tome since I have done this! I am finally starting to get to my Christmas decorations and yesterday I pulled out one of my favorites, my porcelain angel. And she is a bit pink...

She is also a tea light holder and looks stunning at night. Unfortunately, I'm not too hot at taking night pictures so I couldn't get a good one for you!

In sharing a Christmas tradition, mine is very short and sweet. As children, on Christmas Eve, all seven of us would rush up to the corner where the church was, just a half block from our home. There we attended Midnight Mass, sometimes in our pajamas under our coats! On our way home, we ran, the excitement was too much. We hopped into bed and prayed for sleep so morning would come quickly. I am sure all of us dreamed of the presents that awaited us under the tree!

With this post I want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. May you have peace, joy and love and all things blessed.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY: MEETING CI NDY (aka APPLESTONE COTTAGE) IN BEAUTIFUL GALENA, ILLINOIS!

This past weekend The Husband and I stayed at a B & B in beautiful Galena, Illinois in celebration of our 23rd wedding anniversary. We also celebrated meeting a fellow blogger and her husband, Cindy from Applestone Cottage, and Dan. Cindy and I had been in cahoots about meeting for some time since we are two of the few Midwestern bloggers in our little community. So we agreed to meet in historic Galena, Illinois, which is very close to the Illinois/Iowa border, situated on the Mississippi River with the Galena and Illinois rivers running through. It is about a three hour drive for each of us from different directions. Galena was home to our 18th president and 9 time General, Ulysses S. Grant. The town boasts 19th century architecture and 90% of it is on the National Historic Registry. Above is a beautiful B & B, not the one we stayed in, for I neglected to take a picture (see Cindy's post for that) and I thought this one would do. Pretty isn't it?
Here is the room we stayed in Friday night, the biggest in the home. I absolutely loved it for I have stayed in B & B's where I could lie in bed and touch all four walls. I love the big four poster bed. It was high enough to get a nosebleed.
And a gorgeous gas fireplace to keep us snugly all night long, well sort of, but I will explain that later.
Off we went for dinner and settled on a little pub called Benjamins. I had a scrumptious veggie sandwich made with fresh foccacia bread and The Husband had beef brisket.
I wish I could say we sat holding hands and staring into each other's eyes, but the reality is that The Husband watched a basketball game on one of the televisions and I doodled on the paper tablecloth with the crayons provided for bored adults that whine and squirm in their seats.
One glitch at the B & B. The above room became a bit chilly overnight, given that our temps slumped down to the single digits and the only heat in our room was from the fireplace. This particular room was used as a kitchen, separate from the main house and later connected. I actually felt fine the next morning and sat outside the room on a cute wicker filled porch watching the little birds flit from one flocked evergreen to the next. The sun was beginning to warm everything up and I admired the rose garden and all the pretty statuary. But alas, the husband whined and repeated several times, "Jane, it is 60 degrees in here!!" He was adamant about changing rooms so I had to give up the rose garden and little winter birds and move to another room which you can see in the pictures above and below. This room was quite nice and how much time do you spend in the room anyway? I did encounter a problem with the down pillows as I am allergic. My eyes puffed up a bit and I spent most of breakfast sneezing between bites of the gorgeous croissants stuffed with crab meat in a delicate white sauce. That in addition to a delicious apple tart and fresh fruit, all served on Spode china, the Christmas Tree pattern, of course.
We met Cindy and Dan at a restaurant named Vinny Vanucchi's, and if you guessed Italian, you are right. We were a little nervous to say the least about meeting virtual strangers and then being stuck with them all weekend, but they turned out to be the nicest couple and as would have it, we had an absolute blast all weekend. Never a dull moment. Cindy is exactly as she is on her blog, down to earth, funny and cute. Dan is one of the nicest guys I have ever met and he and The Husband hit it off really well. I know a lot of bloggers say that when they meet it is like they have been friends forever, and this was definitely the case here.
So off we went shopping after Cindy and Dan checked in to the B & B. The shopping area was so quaint and festive, done up in all it's holiday finery.

And there was a bit of play fullness in the air. This is one of several snowmen flanking the outside of the shops.
This was a very cool shop that we stopped in. In the store windows were children that at first looked like those mechanical mannequins you sometimes see, but they were real, busy decorating cookies, well, er...actually eating all the decorative candies instead! The Husband bought a large cloche here as he has been wanting me to make a floral arrangement in it for the conference room at his office. This is going to be a lot of fun.

The husbands were directed to go upstairs to a special 'Men Only' room, where they could watch sports on a big screen television and help themselves to cold beverages. Cindy and I, being quite like minded, let them enjoy the Man Cave for about 5 minutes before we disregarded the rules and entered the male domain. Here we are posing with our seat warmers, as of course all females who forcibly enter are required to sit on the hard bleachers.
Back at the ranch, Wendy, the owner of Annie Wiggins (our B & B) was preparing for a progressive dinner which was starting at her home with beverages. A gifted seamstress, she made this beautiful period costume and was quite proud of it.
She posed for a picture in the parlour for me. Look at that fancy bustle!
Later she showed me her sewing room, her favorite place in the house.

Isn't it wonderful? Look at the bolts of fabric! This really makes me want to sit down and start sewing on that new machine I have that is gathering dust.

After having cocktails in the parlour and joining in on some parlour games with the guests of the progressive dinner, who were quite a nice bunch of people, we headed out for dinner and settled on this restaurant.
Tasteful but casual, I was too busy tucking in to my Pasta Puttanesca to pay much attention to what anyone else was having.
After dinner we grabbed an innocent bystander to take a group photo of us.

When we got back to the Inn, Wendy pulled me aside and led me to the dining room where she had the table set for breakfast. I had been admiring her collection of Johnson Brother's Old Britain Castles and so she had set the table with it rather than the the holiday Spode. I was so touched. Cindy has more pictures of her collection. I loved her napkins rings which were fashioned out of silk flowers with the stems bent around the napkin. What a neat idea!
You can see her buffet with some of her pieces on it. The dining room was just beautiful! The following morning, breakfast was french toast stuffed with a cream cheese and orange marmalade filling. Oh, heaven. She is a wonderful cook.
After packing up the next morning, my eyes even more swollen from the down pillows, we headed off to a sports pub to watch the Green Bay packers beat the Chicago Bears. Now how ironic was that? Cindy and Dan from Wisconsin and The Husband and I from Chicago. There was some friendly rivalry but we all remained friends.
During the three hour game, Cindy and I talked non stop. We had so much in common and after 2 days of sharing time and meals, we were best friends. After a bite to eat, we parted ways with a promise to meet up again in the summer. When that happens, I am going to have the room that looks out at the rose garden and little birds and I am going to bring my own pillows!!
I am linking up with Susan who hosts Outdoor Wednesday and Susan from Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday. You can go to their blogs by clicking the icons on my sidebar. Thank you all for visiting. I am off to make my rounds of all the events!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

O (NAKED) CHRISTMAS TREE & AN ELF STORY

Friday I went to my favorite garden center and bought our Christmas tree. This has always been one of the highlights of the season for me. Walking down all the paths surrounded on both sides by trees in all sorts of shapes and sizes, the Christmas music wafting through the air. I feel like I am in the proverbial winter wonderland. That day I stood examining a rather nice specimen when a tall young man in a red velvet cap trimmed with white fur came up to help. I gestured to the tree. "Oh," he said. "Fir Elton John?" I thought I hadn't heard him correctly. I looked around a bit helplessly. Santa's helper thought I was eyeing the tree across the path and darted over. "Spruce Springsteen!" he declared. I noticed we seemed to be the only ones in the tree section and it made me a bit uncomfortable. I took two steps back into..."Douglas Firbanks, Jr!" Santa's elf was beaming from his seven foot head to his toes. I quickly settled on Fir Elton John and while the elf made himself busy writing up the ticket and tying up my purchase, I walked toward the beckoning warmth of the shop, and stopped on my way to look at the wonderful array of wreaths, already decorated with ribbons and pine cones. "And that would be Wreatha Franklin!" a voice behind me said, pointing to the one I was holding. I didn't have to turn around to know who it was. He was standing with my tree, wrapped in cording, the stem covered in burlap. It was then that I noticed the ears. Poking out from under his cap...they were baby pink and pointed. I gasped, but he didn't seem to notice. I pointed out my car to him so that he could begin tying it to the roof while I went inside to pay. A few customers milled about and the employees, though wearing the red and white fur caps, looked decidedly normal. I did a quick check of their ears. Everything looked fine. When I got to the counter I said I had a ticket for Fir Elton John and Wreatha Franklin and the shop girl started laughing. I joined in. Then she repeated it to the girl at the next register and she started laughing along with the customers in line. I was feeling pretty merry by then, garnering all that attention and all. I handed my ticket over. "See," I said pointing to where my friendly little helper had written down my order. Well," she said. "You have a Douglas fir from aisle 16 and a decorated wreath from aisle 2." She then picked up a microphone sort of thing and requested an employee to go outside and ready my tree for pick up. "Oh, no!" I said. "There is a nice, er... man out there helping me." The girl continued ringing up my order and said "I'm sorry Miss, we have only one person working this afternoon, his name is Earl and,....oh! There he is now!" I walked outside in disbelief. Earl was a short balding man with a cigar clenched between his teeth. "So where is your tree ma'am?" he asked in a gravelly voice. I told him it was probably tied to my car by then, but looking through to the parking lot, I could see it wasn't. He snatched my ticket from my hand and growled for me to follow him. There was my tree in aisle 16. It didn't look like it had moved. I looked around in all directions. No sign of a seven foot elf. "Yes, this is it," I said weakly. "Fir Elton John." Earl gave me a sideways glance as he started tying up my tree. "Yeah, and I'm the Earl of Spencer!" he said hauling the tree over his shoulder. He followed me to my car and after a lot of heaving and grunting, managed to get it tied to the roof. I got in my car to drive away and looked back at all the trees, the overhead lights beaming and making it look like a lit up forest, an enchanted forest if you will. Then I caught sight of something bobbling in and amongst them. The tip of a red and white cap over the top of the trees. And then a pink face with pointed ears poked out and with a wave of his hand I heard, "Have a magical Christmas!"
Hello snow!! I woke up to this beautiful sight. Unfortunately, it is the slushy type that will probably be gone soon. But the first snow is always exciting. And that is my little car that didn't make it in to the garage last night (and I just had it washed last week). But it is the first snow and that is always special. As long as it stays on the ground for a little while... And as you can see, I have my tree. It is a little loppy on one side but this actually works for me because I have that part near the wall where the radiator is and it doesn't block it. We had a busy weekend, including an Open House for my brother in law and his wife who are visiting from Vancouver, so we did not get the lights on. I say we but I mean HE. I do not do lights and until HE comes home tonight from work, I can't trim the tree. But I am going to do my decorating. I have invited said brother in law, his wife and her parents over for dinner (oh, why do I make things hard on myself?) so I really must rush. And I have heard some bloggers say that they are scaling back on their decor because of time constraints and so they can relax this season and I am going to pay some heed to that. So I am off to carry my boxes upstairs and start to decorate. Now, if only I had a seven foot tall elf to help me...

Monday, November 30, 2009

VINTAGE CHRISTMAS MONDAY

I am joining Joan at Anything Goes Here for Vintage Christmas Monday. This is a fun event that Joan is hosting every Monday through Christmas. You can visit all the girls participating by clicking on Joan's button on my sidebar. Thank you, Joan for hosting this event!!
These little angels are from The Vermont Country Store, which has a marvelous catalog and website that sells all things from the past. A lot of items like old fashioned sweets and confections, home and beauty products, and my favorite, old fashion flannel nightgowns for our cold Midwestern nights. Heaven! I remember these little candles from when I was a little girl. My mother had them and I think she may have gotten them at Woolworth's. She didn't drive and the closest town was about 10 miles away. So we walked, my mother leading her six little ducklings to a corner along the highway where a bus would pick us up and take us to this town. I remember that besides Woolworth's, there was a Sears where we bought our appliances, and a Fannie Mae, which was not on the itinerary. After shopping in Woolworth's for things like socks, underwear and toiletries, we were rewarded for good behavior by having lunch, which was inevitably grilled cheese, or hot cocoa at the snack bar. I think of those days when I see my little angel candles. In fact, I ordered three more because the head broke off one of them. She is not looking too appealing headless.

I also have these reproduction ornaments that are just like the ones hanging on my Dad's tree now, only his are the real deal. Again, I remember examining all of the ornaments on the tree once it was up and just loving the glittery pictures and script. Weren't the ornaments of our childhood just so fascinating? I took these pictures last Christmas as alas, I have not even brought my boxes upstairs yet. And...I am going to do a thorough cleaning of the house before I do. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with so many thing to be thankful for, but I had a lot of cleanup to do afterward. I got Abigail off to school yesterday (sniff sniff), and today I will keep busy with the cleaning and the boxes. Friday I will go buy our tree. :-)
Christine, my good friend from Christine's Home And Travel Adventures had a Pay It Forward Giveaway, and I was one of three people that won. Above you will see the gifts she so generously sent me. How I love getting packages in the mail from my blogging friends and you know, I got to meet Christine last April when she was in Chicago. We had such a fabulous time and I am so hoping we will get together again soon. She sent me a set of four gold chargers and you can see the ornate detail along the rim. The little gold ornaments are actually place card holders. How elegant!
Here you can see a pretty silver box with a verse on it that I love. Inside were these pretty peace dove ornaments that I believe you can put a picture in. Well, I will try. The crochet doily is also from Christine and in the back you can see a gold wreath she made that I put a candle in. It can be hung of course but I think it looks so pretty this way. All of the winners will receive the wreath. She also gave me a cute little ceramic candle holder with two birds on it and it got cut out of the picture. Sorry! I will post it another time...it's SO cute!
And finally these cute letters. Gosh, I hope I smiled enough when I met her...I know I had a great time!
In my last post, I rambled on at the end about the progress of my kitchen at the lake. I had my new knobs and pulls put on. Well, I forgot to post the picture. I don't think anyone noticed!! So here it is, better late than never. As I said, my counters are full of stuff, but I don't stage too often, and I am a clutter bug. I was just sitting there one evening and it looked so pretty with just the pendant lights on, so I took some pictures. Anyway, you can read my ramblings below in that post.

Now I want to tell you that it is my turn to do the Pay It Forward. The first three people to comment on this post will win the PIF. I will send each person a gift(s) and in turn they will have a Pay It Forward and do the same. It is a lot of fun. I have to say that I will probably not get the gifts out until after the new year because of the congestion at the post office, but as you can see from the package I received from Christine, it will be well worth the wait! Now off I go to visit all the people in Vintage Christmas Monday and then I have to clean (ugh). I hope everyone has a great week!! :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & A GIVEAWAY WINNER!

This will be a short post because I, like everyone else, am getting ready for Thanksgiving. I know some of you are much further along then me, but I'm just trying to BE in the moment. I picked Abigail up from school on Friday. That was a great day in spite of the long drive. I get motion sleepiness really bad, and that's okay if I am a passenger. Not so good if I am the driver. So I drove for over 2 hours with the radio blasting and the windows down. Thankfully it was an unseasonably warm day. She was so excited to see me and come home. So today we are off to buy the rest of our goodies for Thanksgiving dinner. We are having dinner here at home and then meeting up with the O'Hara side of the family for dessert. It is going to be a wonderful day. I know every one has different holiday traditions. We have our dinner about 3:00 p.m. The men are usually watching football, Emily is helping me set the table and set everything out and Abby is sticking her fingers in all the food. I thought I would give you my menu since I know geographically we all have a different one. Maybe mine is the usual Midwestern fare, maybe it is based on what my mother had with a few little twists...

22 lb. turkey basted with butter and lemon
Herb stuffing with sausage
Mashed potatoes with sour cream, cream cheese and gravy
Sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar
Corn
Brussels sprouts
Celery stuffed with cream cheese and green olives
Cranberry sauce
Dinner rolls
Chocolate cherry cake

Now you know why we all take long naps after dinner!
We went to the lake this past weekend after missing 3 weekends in a row. Talk about withdrawal! And above you will see the BIG thing I was talking about in one of my recent posts. I finally got my Hoosier cabinet!! After searching high and low, in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, where did I find it! Right here in a Chicago suburb! I am so in love with it. The owner of the antique store said it was probably from the 30's or 40's and it has the original flour bin and sifter. I rubbed this baby down with furniture oil and put a few pieces on it and in it. I'm still not sure what I will display with all of my favorite things spread out amongst both homes. You can see that monstrous Philomena Philodendron found a new home. I have my ironstone tea set outside and my new (old) French dishes inside. I can't wait to decorate it for Christmas!

And finally I took an updated picture of the kitchen because I now have my pulls and knobs on. Wow! Progress. Still a long way to go. Pardon all my stuff on the counters. Nothing staged and I say somewhat embarrassed, this is just me. I am a clutter bug. I have to have my small appliances out where I can see them and use them. The Husband just bought the new crock pot because he wants some nice warm meals cooking away on Sundays, the aroma drifting through the house. I like that too. And it frees me up to do whatever I want without worrying about dinner.
Finally I want to announce the winner of my giveaway. I pulled the number out of the proverbial hat and the winner is Lou Cinda of Tattered Hydrangeas! She will be receiving the note cards by Karen Harvey Cox of A Scrapbook Of Inspiration as well as some other goodies I will be picking out. Thanks everyone, for leaving their comments over the past two weeks.

Here is wishing everyone a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

COLD & HUNGRY

The weather has been cold and rainy and windy all week long. The sort of weather that makes you want to go to bed early and wear woolly socks all day long. It is not close to how cold it will get this winter, but sometimes the first couple of days or weeks are hard to get used to. In this kind of weather, my mood swings back and forth between "Do I want to stay inside, all warm and cozy, read a bit, watch a little television, bake or make a big dinner?" to "I am losing my mind, I need to get out of this house, I don't care if it is to go to the post office and look at Most Wanted posters." Today was one of these days. I already feel the walls closing in, probably due to my ever enlarging bum. Why do we head for the refrigerator every time we are bored? It is a known fact that people do it mostly during commercials on television, so obviously, when there is a break in the action, time to head for the fridge. I do it in the evening when I am lying on my bed reading. I get a little cramp in my side from my changing of positions or I reach the end of a chapter and I think, "Well, let's go see what is happening in the kitchen/refrigerator." (same thing). This can go on all evening long and since I am a well known 'Night Eater', all it takes is a snore or shove from The Husband and I am wide awake, wondering what is going on in the refrigerator. The kids used do do it quite a bit when they were young, the boredom/looking in the fridge thing. I didn't have the affliction back then, being quite skinny from chasing their little butts around all day. But it irritated me because I was in charge of the meals. So after the fifth time one of them would stand letting the cold air out, I'd say, "Nothing has changed since the last four times you looked." (And they usually muttered, "That's because we never have any good food.")
So back to my specific boredom/foodie problem, I thought about putting a lidded jar in the refrigerator with little notes inside such as 'Clean me!' or 'Fold the laundry!' But those are more like commands. I need something like 'Play with the dog' or 'Ask The Husband if he has heard any good jokes'. Nooooo...this would never work. I'll have to think about this.


So in the spirit of keeping myself from going stir crazy this afternoon, I went to Borders. I really didn't need to buy any books, but it sure beat the post office. I'm in the middle of one book and have a small stack. I cannot go to the library as I have, er...abused my card. So, I parked as far away as I could to get exercise, which I personally think would have added up by now and I could just jog to the book store. The whole time I chanted under my breath, "Just one book. Just one book." I don't do well with rules, especially ones I make myself, for myself. But I was determined. Like eating from the fridge when I am bored, buying books is like feeding my appetite another way. However, I did really well. I picked books up, read the front, back, inside jacket, about the author, the reviews, and then judiciously made my decision. And above is the prized book. This is a debut novel written by an author from Jackson, Mississippi, who went to the University of Alabama and now lives in Atlanta. And it has to do with a young woman who graduates in 1962 and comes home to find that her beloved maid is missing. The story also involves two other black maids living in hardship and "...Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk....because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times." One of the reviews called this book a "...button pushing , soon to be wildly popular novel." So I think I did well. And sometimes when your appetite is big, you just have to have one thing, but make it the best. I will let all of you know what I think of the book if I have it finished by next week. But I'll give no hints to ruin it!
My appetite for books was also fed this week with the arrival of the above book and an email from my good friend, Brenda, at A Cozy Little House. She is just the best. I don't think she knows how much I enjoy reading cookbooks! And this is a good one to read because I did spend a bit of time going through it. And I saw it displayed at Borders today, so it must be new and selling well. Thanks so much Brenda!!
And finally, I won a giveaway that I am so pleased with. Sandi from Small Town Living At It's Best pulled my name out of the hat and I won a copy of Mary Carol Garrity's, O Christmas Tree! How excited I was! Best of all, you can see, the book is autographed by the author! How cool is that? Sandi did the tour of Nell Hill's last summer and had two copies signed. She is SO generous! So I have a lot of reading on my hands, a lot to whet my appetite. Now if I can just stay out of the refrigerator...

Monday, November 16, 2009

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS: FRENCH COUNTRY FLAVOR

I was reading the November issue of Country Living when I came across a DIY project that, yes...even Blondie could do. As you know from last week's post, Kathy of Kathy's Cottage is hosting an event called Handmade Holidays. I'm seriously not a crafty person, but I was able to participate last week and I was pleasantly surprised that everyone seemed to like it. (I say that humbly). So, feeling ambitious, I decided to try this project over the weekend. As you can see, it is a table runner. For those of you reading this that can sew, please know that I have had a brand new sewing machine for several weeks and I haven't yet figured out how to thread it.
Visit Kathy and see the list of all the ladies participating in this event. Find all sorts of ideas for thrifty holiday crafts. And if I can do something simple, anyone can.
This is a picture of the tablecloth in Country living. Unfortunately, I have a round dining table, so I decided to take the easy way out and make a runner. I think the 'easy' part of this would have flown right out the window if I had had to hem a round tablecloth by hand. As of yet I have not learned how to use my new sewing machine, but my sister~in~law has promised to help me. If you would like to enlarge the picture from Country Living, click it on and you can skip my directions below.
The project calls for a canvas drop cloth, grout tape and fabric paint. Off I went to our local hardware store and for some reason I asked the man for caulk tape. He searched and searched and had another man help him and I really had them scratching their heads for awhile. When they gave up the search and gave each other 'knowing' glances, I meekly grabbed a roll of masking tape and the drop cloth. I then went to Hobby Lobby for the red fabric paint. When I got home I realized the drop cloth was about 1000 yards long. My table is 46' in diameter. So I now have enough fabric to make curtains for the whole house and reupholster all the furniture. You must wash and dry the drop cloth about three times to soften the fabric. It came out gorgeous. I then measured according to a runner I already had and added 2 inches to all sides for the hem. I then taped where I wanted my stripes by measuring from the middle out. I just eyeballed the space between the stripes. The masking tape worked just fine but to be sure, I ran a warm iron over it so the paint wouldn't bleed under. Then I just dabbed the paint on lightly. After four hours I removed the tape (this is according to the directions on the fabric paint) and then I hemmed it with fusible webbing and pressed it with an iron. Voila!!
I even took a picture of it with the grapes like it is in the magazine picture!! I was really happy about the look of shock and pleasure on The Husband's face when I was finished. While I was working, he kept walking by and shaking his head. He asked me where I was getting these crazy ideas. He sounded like my mother! He was also surprised to learn the fabric was a drop cloth. Before the project started I said I might make some pillows because I had so much fabric and he said, "I'm not lying my head on drop cloth!" Well, we'll see about that!! Please visit Kathy after you leave a comment and have a happy week!! :-)