Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Retro-Themed Kitchen: the tea portion of the garland.

Happy little people drinking tea! This is right over the section of my counter devoted to tea-making. I often stand at this spot while pulling together everything that goes into making and serving a nice spot of tea. And this sign below always cracks me up!
And now let's all sit down for a good cup of the wonderful brew. Shall I pour?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Once More into the Breach! My Retro-Themed Kitchen: the Betty Crocker illustration garland.

Don't you just adore old cookbooks? The thing is, though, in my own experience I have not found them to be particularly great sources of recipes. However, I have a soft spot for the illustrations in them. So one day this winter, I got out my scissors and attacked this old Betty Crocker - - and made a garland for my kitchen cupboards. It is right at my eye level, and is nice and inspiring to see as I cook and clean and such around my little kitchen. Here it is:
The story seems to begin with a lady in an apron planning, then shopping,
then stocking her fridge,
then working in the kitchen,
then taking the fruit of her labor out of the oven, then presenting it to loved ones,

and then repeating that age-old process. Thus, the life of a homemaker! This garland of illustrations reminds me that I am joining the parade of women homemakers who have gone before us. They may have had kitchens that appear slightly different from ours, but they were doing the same thing: serving their families and making (I hope) tasty and healthy food. Onward, my fellow cooks, mothers, wives, homemakers! Once more into the breach!

My Retro - Themed Kitchen: the new wall hanging.

Hi! Things are going well here at home; I must say that the addition of a second child seems much more peaceful than the arrival of the first. I'm still groggy and not as organized as I strive to be, but our days are basically in pretty good shape.
Here are pictures of one of my latest projects: I've made a dear wall hanging for the kitchen. Above you'll see the before and after photos, and then close-ups of the hanging itself.

The fabric was from and all I did was finish off the edges, sew on ribbons, and hang it by a dowel at the top. The little retro images show ladies in aprons doing various everyday household tasks, and the motto reads Domestic Divas Do It All.

I find it greatly encouraging throughout the day as I pass by it doing the billion-and-five domestic tasks that only show if I do not do them!

Oh, and don't be alarmed by the background of the ironing close-up shot: Baby Madeline was under my attentive supervision as she stretched upon the guest bed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Heirloom Baby Card Garland (or, what to do with all those lovely New Baby cards!)

Here's a way to both keep and use a stack of special cards:

Using strong ribbon of whatever length is long enough to display all the cards, make a garland by machine stitching along the folds of the cards. Make sure they all are positioned with the front of the cards facing outward.

To the right, note the penguin toddler pajamas which I mended right before doing this craft. :o) *ha ha ha* I hadn't noticed that they made it into the picture until now.

The third photo here shows a card as it is being stitched to the ribbon: the card is all the way open under the presser foot of the machine.

I made 2 garlands - one which is made of New Baby cards, one of baptism cards. These can be strung up as decorations at her birthday if we want, or on her baptismal anniversary.

I think this is a good way to make use of the pretty cards rather than have them either get lost or languish in a file folder for the rest of our lives...this would be a good idea for wedding cards, too - I could make garlands out of them and string them up on our anniversary each year.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Three Weeks Old!

Madeline is 3 weeks old today!

Rrrring! Rrring! a telephone idea....

I have always wanted a pretty telephone, but alas, along came cel phones. It seems that the designers who make cel phones don't care about the same things I do.

1. So, I cut out a picture from a Victorian Trading catalog of a beautiful (but land-line) telephone that I cannot have.

2.I taped it to the wall above the corner of our mantel shelf, where I now store my phone!

This way my phone is in a fairly central location in our household - no more missing calls or voicemails because the phone was at the bottom of my purse, in the closet, under a pile of sewing! And, this way I get to see the beautiful phone I would love to have all the time.

After Church today

If only it were easier for families to be in photos all together! My husband took this snapshot of our Elena and I still dressed up from church earlier today. Don't you looooove her little white dress with the smocking? This was probably her last time wearing it, and I just had to document it.

Things are going along nicely near our hearth! Newborn Madeline seems to prefer sleeping to eating, so my night feedings have felt luxuriously well-spaced. This is an incredible blessing.

And, we might soon have a completely new household schedule, as it is very possible that my husband will be working the night shift for only a few more weeks!

By the way, all those nesting issues regarding where various nursery - related articles ought to go really did end up ironing themselves out. Hmm, that wasn't a perfectly constructed sentence, was it? do forgive me.

If you are wondering what that thing is right behind my head in the photo, stay tuned, and in an upcoming post I will reveal a useful new idea of mine that has made my life a great deal simpler!

Painting My Childhood Dollhouse Part 2 (the end)

Here it is! I finally was able to choose the paint, do the work and take a photo of my newly-painted childhood dollhouse!

My 23 month old daughter now keeps her small dolls inside it, along with her collection of correspondence from her Maine grandparents.

This project spanned many more months than I thought it would, as we moved across the country and then I gave birth...and painting a dollhouse is a rather low-on-the-totem-pole of importance type project.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the results.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Smart Sewing

I just love this quote:

"It is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew: especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne