mice on the stairs

I’m ready to make over my front hall and stair-case  I pulled some photos from Pinterest for inspiration.

My there are some really creative people out there.

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Holy busy staircase!

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Believe it or not, I’ve been thinking of going with neutral tones on the wall and trim and a traditional black and white stair case.

Kinda like this.

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I bet my cats could arrange for me to have real mice on our stairs.

Of course they would be belly up, with their heads chewed off.

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Wonder how all black would look?

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Maybe a  faux runner?

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Ooohh I’m liking this one, it feels really cottage appropriate.

Mr. Cottage and I are heading to the paint store for some ideas.

Do any of these inspire you?

See you later, Bye!

Kim

fringe

I’ve been keeping my heart busy with projects.  They are all rocking some fringe.

So in the words of the Junk Gypsies  – “If loving fringe is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Yes, I’ve been a crafty sewing freak.

This spring I scored a bit of vintage fabric at thrift shops and yard sales.  Oh and all kinds of fringe too.

Boxes of it.

Oh Yeah!

I made a pair of curtains for the pool side bathroom door.

curtains

Mr. Cottage says I got the ’60’s thing going on here.

Several months ago, I bought a plain little stool at a local thrift shop.

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Painted it one coat of Parisian Grey chalk paint, then a coat of  Grotto with a somewhat dry brush, so that the grey could still show.

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Cut some foam to size.

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Played with fabric choices.

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Too plain, not the right color.

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Nope. Right color, pattern didn’t feel right.

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Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner.

More vintage fabric.

Stool

A pop of ball fringe and the completed project is ready to travel to Coral Cottage South.

I leave you with a few photos from last night.  Mr. Cottage and I were mesmerized by the full moon and feeling grateful to live amidst the beauty of the rolling hills of Virginia.

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Barely there wispy clouds.

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On the other side of the driveway the sun slips behind the trees in a blazing ball of awesomeness.

carysbrook sunset

What projects have you been working on?  Do tell.

See you later, Bye!

Kim

herbal steam tablet – DIY

Sometimes it is the simplest of things that make me have happy.

Here is one of them.

 Herbal steam tablets.

So easy.

You will need:

1 box of baking soda

Essential oils: eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender

a mini muffin tray and muffin papers

Place the baking soda in a bowl, then add a little water at a time to form a creamy paste.  Then add 20 drops of each essential oil and stir well.

Pour into your paper lined muffin tins.  Allow the mixture to dry for a day or two.

Voila you have heavenly scented tablets ready to enjoy in your next shower.

I don’t have mini muffin tins.  I had the wrappers – I know that doesn’t make any sense.  I also used other  small decorative containers that have a pleasing shape.

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Filled and ready to dry over night.

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Store tablets in an air tight container.

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I find these scents to be soothing and restorative as well as pleasing to my allergy suffering sinuses.

To use, place tablet in a location in your shower where just a small amount of the water hits the tablet at a time, otherwise they will dissolve too quickly.  The steam will release the calming scent.

A little herbal information.

Eucalyptus – rejuvenates the mind and may decongest your sinuses.

Rosemary – Reduces anxiety and pairs nicely with lavender.

Lavender –  Calming and reduces anxiety and stress.

I hope you give these a try and that you find a little happy too.

See you later, Bye!

Kim

daddy’s necktie – a creative process

Over a year ago, some friends and I went on a shopping venture, where they helped me nab a big stash of old neckties.  I planned to repurpose them into something.

I’ve pulled them out from time to time and thought about making stuff with them, but as of yet nothing has come to me.

 Or I just couldn’t bring myself to cut them up.

 Or I had some kind of block, or I don’t know –  I just wasn’t feeling it.

Recently my dad gave me a stash of his old neckties.

 I got to work that afternoon cutting them up and repurposing them into their new life.

 I think it was because I could feel a personal bond; I could remember him wearing most of them.

The creative gods said now is the time.

When I create, my heart is the leading force.  I need the process, and the end result to be something that comes from my heart, and speaks to the heart.

Fabric cuff bracelets.

Yep, the old man’s necktie –  one tie,  three ways to smile.

This one I call sun-burst and stars.

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I use lots of straight  free-flowing stitching to achieve a simple style outlining on all the fabric patches.  This is where my stash of fabric scraps come into play.

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  I added a few basic hand embroidery stars.  Vintage buttons from the collection.

Old lace and dreams.

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On this one, the necktie is layered several times with,  lace, ribbon, free form stitching and dare to dream printed from the computer on muslin fabric.

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A golden wing and a smoky glass bead for accent.

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Believe features a sweet little key charm and a clear bead.

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While I work on these pieces, I not only remember my dad wearing these ties, but I also think of the women in my life that influenced my sewing.  My mom,  she tried to be very disciplined in her sewing.  She was a perfectionist that would spend many hours, tearing out her stitches and redoing them until she achieved perfection.  I found her process to be un-fulfilling and swore I would never sew.  My grandmother, sewed out of  necessity.  She repurposed and reused what she had on hand.  I think her sewing sensibilities are what I feel the most when I sit down in front of my Singer.

What is your creative process?  Do you have a special way of achieving your vision?

See you later,

Bye!

Kim

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Visit Night Bird Creations to see more

Moonbeam catching * star wishing * soulful handmade *art for your heart.

weekend at Coral Cottage

Weekends have taken on a new meaning for me.

Switzerland arrives on Sundays with

food for the soul.

Vegetable Soup and corn bread

Vegetable Soup and corn bread

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Somebody got into the pound cake before their dinner.  I’m not naming any names, but that isn’t my hand – just sayin’.

I had mine with my morning coffee – awesome.

Apple cake – I’ll have that with my afternoon tea.

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A new thrift store opened near us a bit ago, I’ve been anxious to go.

 Mr. Cottage took me there on the way to the grocery store on Saturday.

Fire-up the Singer.

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Among my many scores was this skirt.

I removed the zipper, and cut it straight down the middle.

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A piece of black binding with orange rickrack machine stitched, and  a big bold green button.  I’m embellishing with a few embroidery stitches.  This will go around the top of the wrap.

Playing with the design.

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I’ve pinned into place an old zipper, for extra funkiness, and some green pom-pom fringe.

I’m not done yet.

When finished, I will have a one of  a kind new wrap cape, all made with scrap materials.

Switzerland agreed to model it when the project was complete, she just didn’t know what she was agreeing to.  Ha the laugh is on you – girlfriend!

My holiday spirit is usually brimming over by this point.  Not so much this year.

Plugging in the little snowman to my usb – easy and  sweet.

He changes color as the glittery snow falls around him.

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Giving up my 25 year tradition of cooking and hosting Thanksgiving at my house.

That’s a tough one to swallow.  The rest of the family is taking over this year.

 At least this year I won’t have to worry about any of the jokes about turning the oven on –  that’s another story.

The sun is shinning brightly today and it looks as though all things are possible.

My friends embellished my cornbread plate will little inspirational quotes.

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I like this one for today:

Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.

Hope y’all had a lovely weekend.

See you later, Bye!

Kim

Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking

Vintage Barkcloth  and Chenille Stocking

I’ve finished a few sewing projects.

 Holiday stockings, all made with recycled material.

Some of the material is really old, vintage and some new, like the boho gypsy stocking was a skirt that I purchased at a thrift store and took apart.

When I purchased my first sewing machine last year, the first thing I wanted to make were stockings.

 Well, that didn’t happen.  A year later, and few false starts I’m on my way.

Vintage Bark cloth and Chenille

Vintage Bark cloth and Chenille

Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking

Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking

Traditional Plaid stocking

Traditional Plaid stocking

Traditional plaid stocking

Traditional plaid stocking

Traditional plaid red stocking

Traditional plaid red stocking

Boho Gypsy Stocking

Boho Gypsy Stocking made from an old skirt

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy

Boho Gypsy

Body made from vintage fabric, cuff, new

Body made from vintage fabric.

The body of this one was made using vintage fabric, I’ve had for many years.  That piece of fabric on the cuff is new.  It is a left-over scrap from a chair I am reupholstering.

Tropical Red Stocking

Tropical Red Stocking

What projects are you working on?

See you later, Bye!

Kim

sewing holiday projects with recycled fabric

barn raisin’

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Earlier this summer I received a wonderful gift.  Something I’ve always wanted.

 It was hand-made by my dad so it couldn’t have been any better.

Not really a barn – it is actually a Purple Martin house.

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Betsy Beagle supervises the installation.

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Dad and Mr. Cottage working on a plan.

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A job well done.

A pair of blue birds were checking it out the other week.

 Hopefully by spring the Purple Martins will have arrived and moved in.

My dad turned 82 last week, he is still rocking it!

See you later, Bye!

Kim

threads

Threads that bind us together.

Last weekend, Mr. Cottage treated me to a trip to a few craft and thrift stores.

Honestly it isn’t an easy undertaking and I’m really lucky that he is so patient with me.

New embroidery thread.

The colors make me swoon.

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I always lose the color codes, and end up with a tangled mess of thread,  so I’m finally trying to organize and write down the numbers.

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I used a craft punch to cut out the free artist pages from an old issue of  Somerset Studio magazine, wrote the color codes on the back and wrapped the thread as nicely as I could.

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A sewing project using all vintage materials, except the sparkly button is a new find.

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Each piece of old fabric scrap is sewn  to the piping and then the vintage buttons are hand sewn into place.

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Burlap, a few french knots, pom pom fringe

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The plan is to sew the finished piping on an old popcorn or chenille blanket that I plan to sew into a scarf.

Keeps my fingers busy and my mind in a good place.

I purchased this wool blanket from a thrift shop

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I paid just a few dollars, it is in excellent shape.  My intentions were to cut it up and use it in a project, but for now we (the cats) are enjoying snuggling in it so much I can’t bear to take that away from them.

Going to the craft store and seeing  on the cover of  Haute Handbags magazine a bag made by my talented friend Debra of Monnie Bean Folk Art.  She has been published many times.  It felt good to see her work front and center.

monniebean haut handbags

Debra creates folk art that is very different from my glass art, but more in lines with  my mixed media work, and what my heart has been whispering to me to follow.  Debra crafts beauty with her words  and photography from her heart on her personal blog flowersmith-debra.  Her creations and her words have kept me inspired in the past few weeks. I can hear hear her whispering encouragement to me when I am sinking low and I know that her words are the threads to keep me going.

Coming home to a basket full of goodies from the girlfriends and these lovely orange Gerbera daisies.

So sweet.

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The threads that bind us together.  Feeling the love y’all.

See you later, Bye!

Kim

retro re-do

From a box lot purchased at auction came the ugliest lamp ever.

The ugliest lamp - before

The ugliest lamp – before

Or so I thought.

I was going to give it to a friend that I thought would appreciate the design as it was.

 But then I started envisioning a little face lift.  One thing led to another.

It has been so blasted hot and humid here.  The mosquitos are horrid from all the rain we have been having.  It was time for some indoor projects.  But it was hot in the house too.  Mr. Cottage and I each set out to work on some DIY projects for our main living room – or great-room.

Back to the face lift for the lamp.

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ceramic base with teak wood

ceramic base with teak wood

The teak wood was looking a little tired, but after a couple of applications of Old English, better.

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I used spray adhesive to cover the shade in an inexpensive, fun aqua and white polka-dot utility fabric.

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After the adhesive dried, I then glued a green beaded fringe tassel trim.  I pinned the trim in place until the glue had dried.  The trim was the most expensive part of the entire project.

Not pictured, but after the trim dried, I then glued a coordinating trim on the inside to cover the raw edges of  the fabric.

While I waited for all that glue to dry, I finished sewing curtains for the great room, a project I started a couple of months ago.

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New curtains and a face-lift for a tired old ugly lamp.  Not bad, for a weekend project.

Whilst I was working on these, Mr. Cottage was busy with his project.

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Do you know what it is?

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Yep, we got AC.  This is called a mini-split.  It will also heat the room in the cold months.  These units are great for homes such as ours that are older and don’t have room for duct-work.

For now, that completes our great-room make over.

See you later, Bye!

Kim