Category Archives: home dec

Aside

I’m back from a dream vacation in sunny Italy. I saw so many incredibly beautiful sights and I am itching to turn some photos and memories into art.

Here’s a shot of the view from our hotel in Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples.  Just gorgeous!

The Real World

Saving Spring

Standard

It’s the middle of April after a long and dismal winter. Well, maybe not after winter; it feels like it is still winter here. Temps in the 30’s this morning here in upstate NY and the forecast calls for rain and wet snow.

I decided to cut the few daffodils that have managed to bloom and place them beside my desk so I can enjoy this little bundle of spring while I work.

The snow later would only kill them anyway.

Seriously considering a move to warmer climes.

Studio Luxury

Standard

For most of the last 30 years,  I’ve done what most crafty women I know do: work at the kitchen table when it’s not otherwise in use, the dining room table when there was one, a corner of the bedroom, sometimes even a dank and ill-lit basement,. I was always dreaming of the day when a project didn’t have to be stored away after each brief work session, of a place I could spread out all my pretties and make wonderful art and apparel.

When my youngest daughter flew the coop, I kept her large, sunny bedroom as a guest room. After all, we had just redecorated and it was probably the prettiest room in the house. But it wasn’t long before the space started its siren call whenever I walked by. The practical devil on my shoulder whispered about keeping a comfortable, welcoming place for guests and grandson to spend a night or weekend. The creative angel on the other shoulder chattered on about what a wonderful thing it would be to have a whole spacious room with tons of natural light and space for all my sewing, art and crafting supplies.  After all, I make stuff almost every day and only have guests a few times a year.  Guess who won?

Over the next couple months I started moving things from the dining room, and the basement, and the bedroom (gosh, I have a lot of stuff) into the newly named sewing studio only to find that despite two large closets, I was working in chaos. And so the organization began. I repurposed some glass-fronted bookcases for storing fabric, patterns and books. I purchased a couple taboret type cabinets for arts and craft supplies and then, and then, my wonderful man decided that I really needed a great sewing table/cabinet and for Christmas got me a Koala QuiltMate Plus IV. Let me stop here to tell you about the beautiful quality of this piece of furniture. I couldn’t be more impressed with the design, the materials and the function. It’s just terrific.

So now I have no excuse. I made the perfect place (for me) to get great work done and am feeling very inspired by my surroundings. did I mention how very grateful I am? Oh, yeah.

Black is my new Black

Standard

When I bought my house two years ago the kitchen was red and white. I could live with it, but since things needed an overall upgrade, I went with a snappy new look of black, white and cream. I painted the base cabinets a slick, glossy black and the uppers cream with white trim. I installed new countertops, sink, etc., got new black appliances, and even tiled backsplashes all by myself! Yeah, I’m bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. (then making bacon jam, see previous post) ANYway, all that aside, my favorite part of this new look is the chalkboard. I had a giant picture frame moldering away in the basement, drug it upstairs, penciled in the inner dimensions directly on the wall and got out my chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard paint is fantastic, but keep these things in mind:

  • You need a very smooth surface (might want to sand a bit first)
  • You must lay down at least 4 to 5 thin coats of paint

When the paint was dry, I simply hung the frame and Voila!

I have a small eat-in area in the kitchen that I smartened up with some Tommy Bahama fabric on the table, chair pads and window  The chair pads took a little sewing, and I ran a rod pocket for the curtain and trimmed it out with bias tape, but since the fabric has a very loose weave and fringed just beautifully, I pulled out some threads and left it unhemmed for a bit of a casual air.

A few weeks later I was shopping and heard the siren call of  a set of luncheon plates in the same color scheme. I have a serious problem with china.  Had to bring them home.

Now it’s on to the odds and ends of finishing.