Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Enhancing the Home


I like the way Susan Rios paints a simple little house, and embellishes it with elements of a garden


It is relatively simple to embellish a simple home by using the same things that even your grandmothers of the past used: a tray, a cloth, hand picked flowers in a jelly jar, a teapot and a teacup.

This is what some of the blogs on my blogroll are all about: putting sentimental or dramatic homey things in he house. Being in the house a lot means it is nice to have some changes and give the home a feeling or a mood for a season or an occasion.

The cloth in the tray is hand made, with ball fringe. These are manufactured and sold in nice stores for a very high price, so I decided to make my own and include a tutorial.


It can be made as large or as small as you like and can be a square, rectangle or circle. First cut the shape you want from white muslin.


Then, with a hot iron and the steam turned on, press a one-fourth inch hem all the way around the raw edges.

Fold that hem over so that the raw edges are hidden, and iron it flat again, using the previous hem as a guide.


Then machine or hand-stitch close to the inner edge of the hem; that is, along the edge closest to the inner part of the cloth.  You can stop at this point and use it for a handkerchief or a dish towel, a basket liner, a bread basket towel, or anything you want.

Sew on ball fringe trim all around.  To keep it lying flat, do not pull he trim too tightly across the hems when stitching.


        Finally, press he piece with a hot iron, avoiding getting the iron on the ball fringe.

Using this idea, I have made many other things, including a fireplace mantel cloth, piano runner, end-table cloth, lampshade covers, and curtains.


I have read a little more of this book, "In the Garden With Jane Austen" and will share how you can get a copy for a low price, when I post it on my Lovely Whatever's blog soon.  The book explains that the homes of the past had pathways to ordinary places commonly used by the family, and that these paths were bordered by flowers and shrubbery. Instead of just going out to hang clothes on a line or going to take the trash out, a person would experience walking on a pleasant little path, each one with a style and color and character of its own. There was a path to the chicken coop, a path to he apple tree, a path to the carriage, a path to the swing, a path to the picnic area and a path to the pool if there was one.


  It is so far a very calming book to read and has nice glossy pages of colorful garden photography.

I delayed putting up more posts since Sunday because I was waiting to show another set of house-dresses.  I haven't quite finished them, but hopefully will get pictures tomorrow.   

I found this little wood tray last week at Goodwill.  When you donate, you get a 20 percent off coupon. I used my coupon and got this tray for $1.50.  I had to paint it when I got it home.  I like tin or plastic trays to use when serving tea because they do not get damaged with spilt liquids or foods, but this one is pretty and can still be used to hold things in the house. 


Andrea R said...

What a lovely post!

Thank you for sharing!

anonymous said...

How pretty to use a pretty tray covering for tea and the tray is really pretty with the fretwork around the edges. Reminds me of Victorian gingerbread trim on houses.

Mrs. J.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

How pretty! And what a lovely little tray.

anonymous said...

Last spring I planted a rosebush like the one shown in your post. Its been blooming all summer. Has a wonderful fragrance too and the stripes remind me of the stripes of Christ, for our healing.

Mrs. J.

Katrinka said...

I love the idea of paths leading to the various areas of the yard. This summer especially it seems my feet were always getting wet, even if I waited until after lunch to go out. I could use a path to the clothesline... a path to the vegetable garden... a path to the shed. What a beautiful idea.