Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun Fabric Animals

I found these cute little handmade fabric animals while going through the old baby toys I saved; they belonged to my children when they were babies.  I kept a lot of the toys thinking someday my grandchildren would want to play with them and I was right.  My first granddaughter, now 5, loved each and every one of them; she played with the toys whenever they came to visit until she outgrew them.  Now she has a 7 month old baby sister who is ready to start enjoying all of the baby toys, which is why I dug them out of the closet.  We will have another new grandchild who will be born in October, those much loved toys are going to get quite a workout, talk about recycling things.

Back to the fabric animals, I made them for my daughter while I was pregnant with her, in those days we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl so I chose a yellow and white gingham check print for her curtains and bedding and used basic colors for toys and clothing.  I designed and made the little animals from original 1970’s fabric scraps leftover from sewing projects my Mom and I made for our craft shows.  Because they had hand embroidery for their faces and paws they were too delicate and probably not safe for a baby to play with, I hung them on the wall over the crib to add color to the walls and also hung them over her baby brother’s crib when he came along a couple of years later.  I remember making and hanging several more animals but so far I haven’t found the rest, too many house and storage moves, they are bound to be around somewhere, I am sure the rest will be found in due time. I need to look for the old pictures of my daughter’s room to see just how many of the animals have gone missing.

It was a great trip down memory lane, one I wanted to share with you once I came across those cute little animals and realized how popular they are again.  Soft stuffed animals seem to be all the rage among the newer creative sewing community, which means my cute little critters are in vogue, who knew?!  I think I will make a whole set using updated fabrics; maybe my daughter will want to hang them on her daughter’s wall.

Thanks for letting me share my journey into a past creative project; I hope you enjoyed taking a visit with me into the world of 70’s fabric toys, I believe 2012 will be yielding some newer soft stuffed animals to keep their retro buddies company in the very near future.

See you soon, Laurette

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parisian Pillows

I finally have a couple of creative projects to share with you, I finished two home décor pillows inspired by the  “Tres Chic” fabric sent to me by one of my readers.  It took me so long to get something sewn, I had a really difficult time trying to narrow down what I was going to make from the  fabulous Paris inspired print, it sparked a ton of ideas all taking more fabric then I had.  I finally decided on a set of pillows, a bulletin board and a matching lamp shade.  There may end up being more projects with the leftover scraps, we will see how it goes and how far I can stretch it by adding in other coordinating fabrics.  It took forever to post these pillows because they did not photograph well no matter what I did with them; I finally threw them on my sewing chair in disgust and walked away.  Upon my return I decided I would just leave them there and take the photo that way, I did my best but the pictures just don’t do them justice, but you get the idea anyway.

First up is a pillow featuring some cream twist satin cording to highlight the “Tres Chic” fabric in the center of the pillow.  I used my stash of coordinating Waverly fabrics around the main fabric to give it some dimension and interest, a very classic design.

I made the second pillow slightly larger using black piping around the center panel and some black beading on each end to give the pillow a little different feel, a bit of classic bling this time, truly “Tres Chic”.

Thanks for letting me share my Paris inspired project with you instead of the landscaping project I originally planned to post.  I will get around to that at a later date, it has a ton of before and after photos which will take me some time to write and format. 

My husband and I are getting ready to take a little trip so I may be away from my computer for a bit, or maybe not, if I decide to take my computer and post from the beautiful California coastline where we will be staying.  Stay tuned and keep watching; you never know what I will share with you next. 

See you soon, Laurette

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

“Tres Chic” An Afternoon in Paris
Corner Café 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winners - Spring Splash Give-away

A big thank you to those of you who took the time to enter your comments or send me e-mails with all your wonderful ideas for the fabrics I recently won in a blog give-away.   

Some of the consistent ideas for creating projects with my winnings were; all kinds of different purses, tote bags, zip bags and baby quilts.

The items suggested which were unique or different I did not think of were; a name badge/passport holder, a journal cover, a ruffled throw pillow, a themed wall hanging, quilted chair back covers, traveling studio bag, a quilter’s apron and my all time favorite, a sewing machine cover.  All great projects and very creative; from those suggestions I plan to make a quilted sewing machine cover, a quilter’s apron, a journal cover and a name badge holder.   With the larger panel I will be making a decorative wall hanging using mixed media techniques and embellishments. 

I am going to be very busy all spring and summer working on the Vintage Notions fabric projects and the Tres Chic Paris home décor furnishings.  Between all the sewing, landscaping, painting and furniture refinishing I need to do, I will have plenty of inspiration for my blog posts clear through to fall.  Keep an eye out for all these great projects as they roll into my creative blog.

My winners:

Quilting Grandma from Kansas won the fat quarter prize for her sewing machine cover, quilter’s apron and decorative wall hanging ideas.

Sheila Galindo won the little bird stationary set for her name badge/passport holder and journal cover ideas.

Thanks so much ladies for sharing your wonderful, creative suggestions with me, I can’t wait to get sewing.  Up next on my blog is a landscaping project my husband and I finished last weekend, lots of photos with this one.  See you soon.  Laurette

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

As you can tell my theme is “Spring” right now, probably because, here in Hollister, California, we really did not have much of a winter, at least we had little to no rain compared to last year at this time.  We did have lots of freezing cold days which put frost on the ground and froze the bird baths and fountains but not much else.  Most of the plants and tress kept right on blooming right up to December and began an early bloom in January with unusually warm weather.  This past week we soared up to a warm 80 degrees, so strange for this time of year.  Because of the early warm weather my plants and trees are already blooming beautiful spring flowers.  I know many of you are still stuck in deep winter waiting for your spring to arrive so I thought I would share some of mine with you until you get it in your area.  Here’s hoping it lifts your spirits and brings a smile to your faces.

So far, every year the first thing to bloom in my garden is my yellow roses, I have one full blown rose and one rose bud.  The other colors are following behind with some buds beginning to form. I have no idea why the yellow one is always first, but I really enjoy seeing its bright sunny color on our terraced hill.

Some of these beautiful blooms are set in pots around the yard and some are growing up on the terraced hill.  Aren't they lovely with all their spring colors showing?  I think I love spring time almost as much as fall with all the bright colors and wonderful scents floating through the air.

Thanks for letting me share my lovely California spring with you, I hope it lifted your spirits just a little bit and made you smile.  See you soon.  Laurette

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Splash Reminder

Just a quick reminder, there are only a few days left to comment on the Vintage Notions project suggestions. Remember… I am looking for unique ideas for creating projects with the Vintage Notions fabric I recently won in a blog give-away. You still have an excellent chance of winning since there have only been a couple of entries.

To enter just click on the February 25th achieve blog titled “A Splash of Spring Give-away” and click on the comment button to leave your suggestions.

The deadline for entries is midnight, west coast time, March 9, 2010 (this Friday)

I hope to hear from more of you by then, don’t let me down. See you soon. Laurette

Give-away posts:

A Splash of Spring Give-away
Vintage Notions
I Won! I Won!

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Tres Chic" An Afternoon in Paris

Recently I received a surprise package in the mail, it was a beautiful Paris inspired fabric produced by Waverly Fabrics; one of my all time favorite home décor fabrics to work with when making elegant items for interior decorating projects.  It was a real surprise because I had not ordered it, with a little detective work I figured out who sent the lovely fabric; I was thrilled and pleased that it was one of my special readers, Kelly, who took the time to pick out a fabric for me she thought I would like and use.  Boy was she ever right, the fabric sparked hours of creative play time in my studio as I pulled out coordinating fabrics (also by Waverly) trims, patterns and my sketch journal.  I now have a huge project pile of fabric and notions all ready to create some Parisian home décor projects.

These are some of the coordinating fabrics I chose to color compliment the French fabric, the colors are cream, taupe, tan, charcoal and black; very elegant and being used in all the current decorating shows on HGTV (my favorite TV show for decorating and inspiration).

Some of the notions and trims (bling), I will be using on things like pillows, lamps, bulletin boards and a few other small projects made from the leftover scraps.

It looks like I am going to have to push back some of my other projects so I can begin creating with this gorgeous fabric and notions.  A big thanks to Kelly for thinking of me, I can’t wait to start sewing and posting the projects so you can see what I made, watch for them all during the spring months.

Wow, my project list is getting longer and longer, so little time and so much to create; I am one lucky gal who will never get board, thank goodness.
Thanks for letting me share my spring surprise with you, look for those Paris inspired projects as I finish them.  See you soon.  Laurette

Inspiration Fabrics:

“Tres Chic” by Waverly (Paris Print)
“Pen Pal” Mardi Gras Collection by Waverly (French words)
“Classica” Collection by Waverly (Large Stripes)
“Collection” The Alexander Henry Fabric Collection (High Fashion Ladies)

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also like:

A Splash of Spring Give-Away
Vintage Notions
I Won! I Won!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Corner Cafe

When we moved from our long time home, we moved into a newer home which had recently been updated, most of the work had been done in the kitchen.  Black granite had been installed on all the counter tops and back splash along with black slate tiles on the floor, the original medium oak cabinets were left in place.  I came from light bright almond tile counters, light almond appliances and mid tone oak cabinets.  My kitchen was an old world Tuscan/wine theme with all the colors of Italy.  My new kitchen just did not fit that look so I changed it up to a corner/café/coffee shop theme, incorporating the black and oak with stainless steel appliance and brushed nickel cabinet pulls.  We added a large granite and oak island to match the rest of the kitchen, with some lovely high ladder back stools at the island.  I re-covered the cushions in a dark red fabric and added some darling fabrics featuring the coffee/café colors I was basing my new kitchen update on; brown, black, slate gray, tan and red.  The new fabrics pulled all the colors together giving the kitchen a more cohesive look.

These are some of the fabrics I used for my place mats and kitchen curtains. The larger prints became individual quilted place mats which I lined with Insul-Bright to protect the granite counters from heat damage.  The smaller prints became the café curtains hanging over the kitchen sink.

The cute little hot pads are reversible and were made from leftover scraps from the place mats; each one is lined with Insul-Bright so they could be used to protect the counters and tabletops from damage. All the little touches really pull the whole room together, of coarse I still have a few more small projects to finish in the kitchen but it is getting there and feeling more like home everyday.

FYI: For those of you who don't know; Insul-Bright is a needlepunched insulated lining which reflects heat or cold back to the source. It is machine wash and dry and easy to sew through.  I love this stuff and use it for hot pads, place mats, oven mitts, ironing board overs, casserole cozies and many more projects. 

Thanks for letting me share my own little café/ coffee shop makeover, I have many more projects to share with you in the coming months, keep watching for several room makeovers, painting projects, landscaping adventures and of coarse lots of sewing and craft projects.  See you soon.  Laurette

I you enjoyed reading this post you might also like:

Paisley Crazy –Room Makeover
Black & White Bling
A Bit of Bling
Fabric Organization

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