Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Find

Hello Ladies, I was in the donation store this morning, looking for some things for our church luncheon after the singing tomorrow, and found this cute teapot. With a 20% donation coupon, I got it for $2.19.  It goes nicely with the florals I've been making for the tables over there.    Tea pots and cups are not expensive here at the thrift stores because it seems no one wants them, so that is an advantage to us when we want to put on something special.

Almost all the china I find at thrift stores is made in England. This one is made in Germany and doesn't appear to have ever been used.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Dresses for Home

Because my sewing is not getting completed as quickly as I had planned (due to so many other things going on around here) I wanted to post something to keep you quiet while you wait ;-)

In the 1980's the dress and textile designer, a Welsh lady named Laura Ashley, said in an interview that the dresses she designed were never intended to be posh dresses; they were intended for the home. However, people loved them so much they used them for all occasions.

I see designer, April Cornell, has similar dresses; loose, casual, mostly cotton. The first dress is called "The Berry Dress" which some people have said is the perfect dress as far a comfort, fit and function. 

The prices of these dresses are very high, but it is nice to dream!

You can order a catalog on the site, which may cost a few dollars, but is nice to have at home.

I was talking to a few ladies who thought it would be a dream wardrobe to have some of these just for every day at home.

This one, of course, is a special occasion dress!

Unfortunately there are no April Cornell sewing patterns, as there were Laura Ashley sewing patterns. A few years ago the fabric stores sold April Cornell fabric, but no more.

Here are some more April Cornell dresses. Also, she sells leggings, usually cotton, that are designed to wear under the dresses.

It would be great to have a sewing pattern for these two dresses! I like the way she designed it to take on the look of a sari. Of all the choices, this is the style I would most like to buy. 

I like the April Cornell models. They look like normal people ;-)

I also like the settings and backgrounds of the home, the yard, the front porch, the garden, etc.

Very comfortable for the home, even  a big improvement on the 1950's "house dress."

Ladies have told me that to make the necklines higher, they fold a dollar store cotton crochet doily in half and safety pin it just inside the bodice. I have tried this and it looks great and provides the extra fabric you need for a higher neckline. It looks like it came with the garment.

Of course I am very fond of toile print, and would like some fabric of every color! It had not occurred to me to use this kind of print for a dress, because I have only seen it used for wallpapers, upholstery and home decor.  Toile print is a story type of pictures shown on the fabric, usually only using one color on a solid background of another color.  I have a curtain made of this black and white toile, with country scenery. 

Do a search for toile fabric prints  and click images, to see the amazing variety. They are also available as prints on dishes, trays, lampshades, blankets, and many other things, although I don't think there is any such thing as a toile print car.

Maybe this post will give you some ideas of what to wear at home if you are trying to dress cheerfully. Those of you who wear jeans might consider looking at the long, pretty blouses that are made to go with pants, because they are like dresses, and if you feel uncomfortable in dresses, you could get used to wearing the long tops over your pants.

Each year when this tree blossoms, I have great plans to make a dress to go with!  I finally got it cut out, and just hope I can get it sewn this year. Those blossoms fade so quickly.

On the way to the grocery store I stopped to take these pictures:
In the distance is the church house and the manse.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. We are caught up in the work of getting ready to host what is called a 5th Sunday Singing at church on Sunday, but I hope to post throughout the weekend anyway. We have been busy with all the other church members cleaning the meeting house, and some of them have been giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. The ladies have decorated the kitchen and banquet room, as well as the ladies room, and have done a wonderful job. We had a lot of enjoyment getting some sale items at Hobby Lobby, which is the perfect place to shop for decorating the foyer, the hallway, and the auditorium.  I hope to post pictures soon. 

Inside the manse, is one little vignette that is a perfect rest for the eyes:
That's Grandma's "vase", or rather, a part of a punch bowl set that she used as a vase.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Artificial Flower Arrangements: A Link

Before I move on to posting on another subject, I would like to leave a link to Jennifer Decorates, a video channel I have been watching. Because we moved here from Texas, I really enjoy this lady in the South. I've been so busy I haven't had time to sit down and look through all her videos but I did enjoy the one on arranging artificial flowers.

I wanted to show how one of the artificial bouquets I made goes with a painting by an old friend.

In the original Home Interiors catalogs back in the 1970's they showed how to take a painting and reflect various elements in it, such as color, objects, theme, by placing various things around it. A shelf would be hung beside or beneath it, sconces beside it on the wall, or a figurine and florals on the shelf, containing the colors and theme of the painting.

Since I am now concentrated on necessary sewing, I have placed my box of florals in a container to show you what they look like when not being used. Placed in a container, they provide color in any area of the home.
You could keep  your supply in a bucket, making it look like they were just picked.

The next picture is not really an arrangement, but a place I've found to put the florals and still use them:

These are very old fake flowers, some of them from Home Interiors of the 1970's, which shows how quality they were. Others are from Dollar Tree and the 97 cent display at Walmart.

These are foam blocks from Dollar Tree. I turn them over and around and re-use them from other arrangements:
The container is from about 20 years ago, a Goodwill find that was a gift from one of my children.
It has a groove inside to hold plates or something like that. I hope to use it that way someday.

I like this mantel decor from Pinterest:

I hope to move on now to videos and sewing.

Thanks for your visit!!
Your comments encourage me so much.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Bouquet of the Day

This bouquet today was made using the previous stems from artificial flowers from Dollar Tree. I never glue them in permanently, and that way I can put them all back in the box and recycle them, without building up a huge arsenal of fake flowers, which can take a lot of room.

 Although it is considered cheap to shop at Dollar Tree, the cost can really add up if I shop over and over for florals, so I keep one box for florals and occasionally if I make something as a gift, might replace it with something else. 

There is one more arrangement I want to make, in a metal container from Goodwill (many years ago, or maybe I should say decades) , and I'm really looking forward to getting up on the next cloudy, dark, rainy morning to assemble it.

It is still cold here, but I've brightened the porch up a bit.

I call this porch "The Ruins".

Also here is something you can do for some soft light around the house:
A led light pillar candle covered in a stick-on sheet of gems, both from Dollar Tree:

 You just peel off the backing and stick it on.

Total cost for a covered candle: about a dollar and a half, since a stick on sheet covers more than one candles.

My excuse for the walls sorely needing a new paint job: It's rustic around here!

In other news, I've been having a lively discussion with someone about the way people misunderstand how husband and wife interact. One of the enjoyable things we have been doing the last couple of years is meeting with other married people, and sharing their life experiences, and showing how husband and wives can understand each other. They all agree you can't follow a book or someone's advice ,  and the best thing is to tell each other what you think and feel, not go to other people expecting them to talk to your mate. Prevalent among these couples is a specialized humor between them, often private jokes that they've made up as a result of a misunderstanding years ago.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Little Bouquet

Hello dear Ladies, 

It seems to be flower arranging season for some of us. We are in the last days of the snow, rain and cold wind, so arranging indoor flowers is so delightful. 

Above, you see three stems of florals from Walmart for 97 cents each. There are 6 stems on each bush.

Here is what they look like from the top:

Sometimes in a catalog I receive in the mail, there are beautiful life-like florals for a $100 in resin, which is a water-look hard plastic.  This is one of them, below from Victorian Trading. If anyone can afford to pay this and has a beautiful hotel or house to decorate, I say congratulations, and I'm all for it!  Anything to make an elegant home.

For some of us who can spend a few dollars, I've tried to make a similar one.

I gathered some things from my Dollar Tree collection (I use the same flowers and styrofoam from previous arrangements because I never use glue in the containers or with the stems in the styrofoam), and tried to make one like the picture.

All the stems are clipped with a wire cutter, and the leaves pushed up close to the blossoms.

Here are some containers I was considering for a choice:

I used the tin pedestal on the left and inserted a styrofoam ball from Dollar Tree (4 in a package for a dollar) to hold the wire stems. 

This amounts to 18 flowers from 3 bushes, which makes a nice full bouquet.

The total cost was $3.00 for this bouquet.

You may notice I have painted the container sage green.

I can remove all the ingredients, put them back in the storage box, to be used again.

There are tutorials online to show you how to place flowers for different arrangements. For a beginner, I would suggest three flowers, with one in the middle and one on each side. Then start filling in the spaces with other flowers. You can make it interesting by using different textures and types as accents. 

I have the ingredients for a bolder, brighter bouquet which I hope to do tomorrow.

Each day I try to take a little time and do one creative thing, even if it is only to arrange some books or pouf some cushions on the couch, and I hope you can find something like this for your own home.

Lord willing, I hope to make another video for you to work by, soon.

Thanks so much for your visits!

Your comments are so encouraging.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

DIY Floral Arrangements

 I have saved  several books with pictures of bouquets that I have always liked, and so, today I decided to make replicas (as close as I could) to those pictures, using Dollar Tree artificial flowers.

I use the styrofoam from DT but I never glue it in the container and I also use the green raffia "grass" to fill in the bowl or container. Above, is a salad bowl, also from DT, used as a container. Using a bowl for the arrangement prevents a centerpiece from blocking people from being able to see and talk to each other while sitting at a table.

Put talker arrangements on shelves and near walls.

Each $1.00 stem has 6 blossoms on it, and so I used one each of baby's breath, dogwood, rose and carnation--12 flowers in all. 

Here are some peonies, roses and ferns arranged in a round gift box, sometimes called a hat box.

There are some helpful videos online showing how to arrange artificial flowers. 

This is something I did after all the housework was finished, just to unwind and relax and give everything a lift.

Because I do not glue anything in permanently, the flowers, green raffia filler and the styrofoam block can be used over and over again.  I clip the flowers with a wire cutter (also available at DT) and store them in my floral box, to be used again in a different color combination. 
Using another combination of flowers here

It is also interesting to find unusual containers (a milk jug, a gift bag, tin bucket, birdcage, hat, tea cup or teapot, mason jar, and many other innovative things) to display the bouquets in. 

All products are from Dollar Tree, and I reuse them in different ways throughout the year.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dollar Tree Vinyl Bag

Hello Ladies

Today while I was out getting groceries I stopped at Dollar Tree for some dishwasher pellets ($1.00 for a bag of 10) and saw their new selection of vinyl bags for a dollar each.Sometimes there are such pretty prints on these things, and this one is bound in a vinyl bias tape type of trim.  

It looks so pretty on the kitchen table with the three bunches of flowers I also bought. Total cost for this "look" was $4.00.  What do you do with these pretty bags?  I will use this one on the door handle in the kitchen to collect the plastic bags from grocery stores, which are handy for the small trash containers in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and sewing room.

I was tempted to get some more for friends, but it would cost more to mail them, so I'm giving you this heads up. You might find these at your Dollar Tree. And please let me know what you do with them.

I like to get fabric like this, or an umbrella with a similar print, or any household thing because it is pretty, and I never know when the trend might revert to something that is not so pretty.

This could also be used as a gift bag for a birthday, wedding, or for a portable tea-time to a friend, with all the food they need and tea bags.

I know someone who puts things like this in frames! Yes, this would look good framed.

Also great for an ongoing sewing project when you want to tidy up and get things in the sewing room out of the way.

Calling on someone who needs encouragement? Fill it with good things and take it to her door.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Renewing Your Mind

Let love be genuine. 
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
 Love one another with brotherly affection. 
Outdo one another in showing honor.
 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
Live in harmony with one another. 
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. 
Never be wise in your own sight. 
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written,    "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The above passage is from Romans 12, written in approximately 55-58 A.D. by the apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome. Often when Mr. S. is asked to speak impromptu and informally, he will read this passage.  It tells how to get along in the family,  in church, and in the world.  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The White Blouse

Here is an illustration of the white blouse revival of the 1980's. This one was featured in the winter edition of the 1987/88 Victoria magazine and was available through the magazine by mail.

The white blouse was a wardrobe staple, loved by ladies from the 1890's through the 1980's. Each year, there were new versions of the white blouse. 

Also here is a picture of a plaid cape in the same issue. 

Other white blouses from catalogs:


Bedford Fair

(not sure)

Here is a list of catalogs you can get in the mail, most of them free within the US and Canada:
Blair, Haband, Bedford Fair, Old Pueblo Traders, Chadwicks, Talbots.

Don't just look at the pictures and say "I like that, and that's what I will order." Learn about the fabric and the other details of it by reading the description given in the catalog just beneath the garment picture.  You will be able to find out if the lace is printed on or real lace, or if it is synthetic or natural fabric. You'll see if it is imported or made in the USA. Coldwater Creek has a digital catalog and is located in Idaho, with branches in other states.  From the description find out about the sizes and the prices.  Sometimes you can eliminate the "want" for something by reading the fabric content.

The best I have found for winter clothing, which is high quality, is Chadwicks.  I prefer to sew summer clothing, so I don't know which catalogs would be the best.  All the catalogs I listed have very good denim, long skirts, poplin skirts and good jackets to match  Click on Dresses and Skirts and go have a look at all of these.

Very recently we took a very quick road trip and saw Mt. Shasta and some of the High Sierra's:

Mr. S. is never happier than when he is driving on the beautiful highways of America and always relishes the excuse to go somewhere. He lived in an era when people here were excited about car trips, visiting as many places as they could, and then discussing it all with friends: "What road was that? Have you been on Route 66?"
As enjoyable as a road trip is, we are ready to stay put for awhile. 

The highway on the way home was very pretty too: