Every time we go to market I tell my team, "Don't let me buy panels"! Panels can be so tempting but our big plans to make some fabulous project with them never seems to materialize and they almost always end up on the sale table.
Last spring we had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Janet Wecker Frisch in the Quilting Treasures booth. We told her what huge fans we (and you) are of her work. We reminisced about her legendary Animal Alphabet collections and then we bought her panels.
I have been dying to show you these. I know you girlfriends, and I know you are going to love these.
Janet has combined two of our favorite things, gardening with sewing in these sophisticated and inspirational prints.
There are two sizes of panels perfect for pockets on bags, pillows, apron patches and quilt blocks.
Sewing Seeds is an amazing collection and although I cut a piece of each of the fabrics to take home, models won't be necessary to sell this group
Isn't it amazing how the simplest thing can make you so happy?
I love any excuse to decorate. Case in point, the stairwell which leads to my happy place.
Actually I can't think of a better place to decorate than the place that makes me the happiest. I guess you could say it's my "happiest place on earth"! Who needs Disneyland when you have your own personal place where you can go to dream, create, write, meditate and refuel?
I love walking up the stairs seeing these popcorn filled votive jars and those paper silhouettes, which are apparently attracted to popcorn.
The LED candles have timers which I set to turn on when I get home from work.
To me they say, "Welcome home, come up and play - here, I'll show you the way".
While we're on the subject of happy places, I have a bit of a confession to make. You know how I've been on this creative roll - making dozens of the same project week after week?
Well. I didn't do it all by myself. I had some help.
At first Bianca was the perfect assistant. She was productive, quiet and didn't eat much.
Bianca, can you say hello to our friends? (She's painfully shy).
One day last week I came home early from work and caught Bianca on my laptop, spread out on the couch watching The Addams Family.
The night I found her in bed with Bill was the night she gave me no choice.
I fired her skinny arse!
Yup, packed her up and sent her back where she belonged...Costco.
Ba bye Bianca.
Today I am linking to my friend Beverly's blog. It's Try Pinterest Tuesday where we actually try a pin we found on Pinterest. I found the inspiration for my stairwell there. Pop over to My Sew Sweet Studio and see what great Pinterest ideas Beverly has linked up.
Don't let that cocky smirk fool you. He's really quite shy. I tried my best to get him to show you his cute swim trunks and everytime I got him posed just so and then turned my back to get behind my lens he'd put his hands claws there. Humf. Boys!
Pam brought in her fabulous Sugar Kisses model yesterday and today we hung it. Nothing is ever easy when it comes to hanging a new quilt around here.
First fabric needs to be moved so as to complement the quilt.
Then display pieces need to be carefully selected and placed.
Before you know it half the store has been moved and everything is one. huge. mess.
The next few weeks will be dicey as we try and remember just where it was that we put everything.
Thank you Pam for loaning us your incredible quilt. Thanks too to Annette for carefully selecting each and every fabric that went into our kits and to Lynn for quilting it. I had a very important part in this quilt too (besides hanging it). I picked the pattern! ha
You can feel the excitement building here in our little shopping center. Our very own Starbucks opens on Friday! We've been watching its progress all spring and summer and a few weeks ago the sea trains arrived full of official Starbucks tables, chairs and fixtures. The other night the lights were all on when we left for home and this morning the green umbrellas were set up out front around the shiny new black metal tables. Everything is brand new - no stale coffee smells or dried frothed milk stains. Did I tell you there is a drive thru? We'll mostly just use the walk-up though because it's just steps away. I know it's going to be an absolutely delicious fall and winter with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Peppermint Mochas anytime our little hearts desire.
So I wanted to do something special for my team (I love that word team. Nate Berkus uses it all the time on his show when he refers to his design staff and I think it's perfect. Not just because of Nate's blue eyes and big white toothy smile (sigh), but because we are a team here at The Patch).
As a way to do something fun for my team and to help commemorate this momentous occasion, I whipped up these gift card holders.
Can you stand it? I wish I could take credit for the idea but I can't. I wouldn't know how to design something so wonderful on a computer if my life depended upon it. I do however know how to click to print and I'm an absolute whiz with a hot glue gun and baker's twine. You can find the printable PDF here. I just wanted to share in case you wanted to make some for your team - you know a special teacher, your manicurist, the mailman, bank teller, the dog groomer, the local quilt shop ladies...
One of my favorite things to do is to pull out old seasonal decorations, add a bit of new and hopefully come up with a fresh look we like. I knew I was on the right track Saturday morning when Bill walked by, took a good long look at the beginning stages of my tablescape and declared he liked it. He doesn't always say much either way so I was pleased that he even noticed.
This year these pillar candle holders were my jumping off point.
I had seen something similar on Pinterest and thought they were cute and since I'm big on wanting some height on my tables I thought this might be a fun way to acheive that.
My problem this year was that I must have been just a little too early because I couldn't find pumpkins anywhere.* I could find plenty of Christmas decorations but no fresh pumpkins. I finally found these at Vons in the floral department and they turned out to be just perfect. I paid a bit too much for them because they're organic, but I guess I can make soup out of them after Halloween.
I started by painting the stems with black acrylic paint and sprinkIing the wet paint with glitter. Once the stems were dry I cut several wool leaves from some scraps I had, then hot glued them to the pumpkins, scrunching them slightly before they cooled. I made the tindrals from raffia wrapped wire that I purchased at Michael's.
But the holders seemed too small for the pumpkins so I added a crepe paper ruffle to each holder by applying four or five inches of hot glue at a time to the top of each holder, then while the glue was still hot, bunched the crepe paper up, creating ruffles.
I did two rows around each top. You might want to use the tip of a pencil for this as it is easy to burn your fingers doing this step.
Most of my decorations are old. I love that. You just go to your cupboards and start pulling out stuff that might work and edit until you find a combination that you are happy with - adding just enough new to freshen things up. These adorable paper sunflowers arrived at Strawberry Patches Friday afternoon just as I was leaving for the weekend. I ordered them way back in January and honestly forgot about them, but they are perfect in my little black recycled yogurt pots. I love that they don't need sun or water and will look just as good in three years as they do today. (I think there are six left if anyone is interested).
The napkins were a delightful surprise from Pier One. You all probably know by now how much I love anything with script on it. I LOVE these napkins and will use them through Thanksgiving and then probably pull them out again for Valentines Day! LOVE THEM!!!
Since I only have dishes and accesories for six place settings and my table seats eight I pulled the captains chairs out slightly at each end of the table and put Halloween pillows there. I like how that looks and keeps all my Halloween decorations in one spot. Except for the front entry my only Halloween/fall decoration is right here at the kitchen table. I've never been a fan of holiday decorations all over the house. I know some people decorate every room in their house, but I like to keep it simple and it sure simplifies things once the holiday is over and it's time to pack it all up.
Here are the souces for my tablescape:
Twig Chargers Pottery BarnSeveral years old and no longer available but you could use grapevines wreaths instead for a similar look.
Glitter spiders last year at Pottery BarnThey were sold out but a nice sales clerk let me buy the display ones and even gave me a discount. She climbed a ladder and gathered them from a high up display. So nice!
Black Flower Pots Paul ParisThey're recycled yogurt pots from our trip to Paris last spring.
Sunflowers and wool pillows Strawberry Patches
Dishes VietriI've had these for years. Food looks gross on them but they sure are fun for a Halloween table.
Pillar Candle Holders Pier Oneor World MarketI bought mine at World Market but saw similar ones at Pier One.
* Sunday afternoon, after the tablescape was completed, Bill went to Walmart and found huge boxes full of pumpkins in every size and description. He called me to see if I needed more. He brought back some wonderful ones for our front entry area and said everyone was asking him why he was buying so many pumpkins so early. He just rolled his eyes. = ) What a guy!