Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Curtains

I did it!  I made new curtains for our kitchen!  After much dreaming and planning, I decided to go with red gingham.  I've given up on ever having a butter-cream yellow kitchen and have decided to just go with red accents to compliment the dark blue walls.  The curtains are far from perfect, but they were inexpensive to make and they'll do for a couple of years. 
Here is how I did it.
I used flour sack dish towels.  I started by cutting them in half.
Then I folded the sides in just a bit to form the top ruffle of my valances.
Then I added a 3 inch red ruffle to the bottom of each valance and a 1 inch stripe of fabric at the top.  It's hard to explain exactly what I did so I'll just show you the end results.
This is how the valance turned out.  I'd like to do one more for the top to make it just a little fuller.  I'm a beginning sewer, so they are not perfect. I'm in the process of making cafe style curtains for the rod across the middle.
Here was my first attempt at cafe style curtains.  They were not wide enough, so I've started over.  When I get a little further along on them, I will post them. 
Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shelling Huntington Beach

After two days of waiting, I just couldn't take it anymore so I dragged Shannan to the beach. It was cold and windy, but I'm a smart little sheller (okay, maybe not little, but smart). We walked WITH the wind on the dry sand, so as not to get it in our eyes.  Going back we would have to walk against the wind so we dropped down closer to the water where the sand was wet and not blowing.  The waves were huge and bringing in lots of foam and cool specimens--so I made sure to return the next day.
Yup, lots and lots of shells. And not just little coquina shells either! There were scallops, shark eyes, California mussels and I think maybe a nice speckled Pismo clam (but I'm not positive on that one yet). Even Shannan was shelling with me! I'll make a sheller out of him yet, just let me get him to Sanibel Island!

I brought all of my little treasures home in a large ziplock bag.  They were still wet and needed to be air dried.  So I cut the back off of a cereal box, dumped them in, spread them around and placed them outside in the sun to dry.  They dried lickity-split and I brushed all the sand off of them and grabbed a few of my favorites.  When darling daughter got home we went through them.  I let her sort them and she kept the ones she wanted for her collection and we put the rest into my collection.

Oh what fun we had!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Main Street and the Huntington Beach Pier

One of the coolest things we did in HB was to walk out onto the Huntington Beach Pier. 
Shannan and I first walked down to Main Street to check out all the little shops and to eat.  We bought some souveniers and ate at a place called BJ's.  We had walked on Main Street a little bit on Saturday night (St. Patrick's Day) and we couldn't believe how busy it was with college kids running from bar to bar.  Well, once we saw Main in daylight and without it's crowd we noticed there was an Irish Pub right were it had been busy.  An ah-ha moment.  BTW the taxi cab drivers are crazy fast.

After eating and shopping, we decided to walk out onto the Pier. It had different little shops and a 50's diner at the very end (which we didn't know until we got there!)

There was this neat-o shop kite shop on the pier and we bought Autumn a nylon, rainbow pinwheel.

We walked to the very end of the pier, around Ruby's Diner.  They were playing music over the loudspeaker and the song was "You Make Me Feel So Young" and I think it was the Rosemary Clooney version.  If you turn the playlist off (to the right), you'll be able to hear it.

We didn't eat inside Ruby's but after hearing the 50's music, seeing the red booths, neon clock and soda jerks, I wish we had.  It looked so neat-o!  Next time for sure!

Ruby's from the air.
As we were walking, we saw this sea gull and Shannan said, "Oh, he only has one foot."  I hadn't even noticed.  How sad.  But he is banded (around the ankle), so maybe he was a rescue and release bird.

His lacking a foot didn't seem to bother his flying abilities and he was still a handsome bird.  I know they are basically trash compactors but they are still pretty with their white and grey feathers all neat and tidy.
The pier was a fun walk and if there is ever a next time, we WILL be eating at Ruby's and try walking the pier in the evening.

Home From Huntington Beach

What a great trip we had.  My husband's boss invited us to go to the National Taco Johns conference in Huntington Beach, California.  It was awesome!  The only thing that could've been better was the weather.  It was chilly and windy the first 3 days, but the last day was beautiful.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach which was right across from the ocean.  It just killed me the first night not to be able to cross over this bridge to the ocean!  I told Shannan (who doesn't collect shells) to imagine a beach covered in Blu Ray movies just laying there for the taking.  Then he understood.  This bridge stretches across the Pacific Coast Highway and connects our hotel to the beach.
Most of our hotel walkways were wide open.  This is the "Market Place" where there was a small grocery store, an art gallery, a pub and other restaurants and shops.  This fire pit is lite at night and once we saw some people making smores!
Time to learn a little something.  We had general sessions on two different mornings where we listened to motivational speakers, and had meetings about the restaurants.  I learned a lot and sometimes was even able to apply what I was hearing to my own profession.
Shannan the fish whisperer.  They came up to where we were because I think they were hungry.
The hotel grounds were beautiful and very well kept.  There were flowers everywhere!
On rainy days the hotel would set out these blue umbrellas.  You'd pick up an umbrella, walk across the open courtyard, then drop it in the bin on the other side.  I never used one.  The rain was nice.
Pete's Bar was my favorite place.  It had surf boards everywhere, Jan and Dean posters and album covers on the ceiling.  By the end of the week one of our regular bartenders (Dom) knew what everyone would want right down to the lime in one gal's beer!  Our group liked to meet there for "one last round" before bed. 
Record sleeves on the ceiling at Pete's
Jan and Dean!!
These flowers looked like birds!  Crane birds.
The crew took a cab a few blocks down Pacific Coast Highway and we ate at Spark.  It was here that I tasted my first Hefeweizen beer, which is apparently a German wheat beer.  I know nothing about beer but swear I drank more of it on this trip than I did all my college years combined.  I drank beers I'd never heard of and some I had.  Now I want to learn more because this Hefeweizen stuff was Gooooooood.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yellow Canisters

I have canisters on my vintage brain this week.  So, I thought as long as I've been thinking about canisters I'd share the ones I got in June of 2009 at a garage sale in Williston.  The sale was behind a big, beautiful house most likely built in the 1900's or 1910's.
I was surprised that they only wanted 4$ for the whole set!  Score!  I was excited to find yellow canisters because I eventually want a buttercream yellow kitchen (*ahem* with white cabinets).
These "Nasturtium" canisters are in good condition with the outside (largest) one being just a bit more faded than the others.  I store some of my favorite vintage linens, tea towels, tablecloths, etc in them and they live above my cupboards.  I wish I knew what decade they were from.  I'm guessing late 40's but I just don't know for sure.

 "Farmwife at Midlife" http://farmwifeatmidlife.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-makes-it-cottage-random-flowers.html  has canisters, a match holder and breadbox done in the same pattern but red and she thinks they are also from the 40's.  The breadbox is so cool!

Isn't this neat!  I found this cake carrier on Etsy, but it had already been sold.  I have no room for something as big as this, but it sure is fun to look at!

And check THIS out!!  http://kettlekornerkottage.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-addition.html  Kettle Korner has the whole set in yellow!

Photo from Kettle Korner Kottage.  She's got a Hoosier cabinet also!  Oh, Kettle Kottage, you lucky, lucky lady!
Fun, fun, fun!  Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Glass Canisters

I saw these canisters on a blog  a long time ago (can't remember which blog) and absolutely love them! 
I don't know it they are the real deal, from the 30's and 40's or if they are reproduction, but I have three reproductions that I bought at Walmart a few years back and they look a lot like them.
My reproductions from Walmart.  They come with silver lids.
So here is my progress so far.  I am painting the lids with Apple Barrel paint and each lid takes 4-5 coats.  The final coat of red has a drop of black paint mixed in to make it more of a "brick" red.  The smallest lid has all of it's coats and is ready to be sprayed with clear-coat.
The final step will to be to find some cute 40's looking decals for both my canisters and my spice jars.
What!?  I haven't told you about my spice jars!  Well here they are.
One jar is different from the others, so I've been keeping my eyes open for single jars here and there.  Until then, one of them will just be special.

I picked up this spice rack and jars at a garage sale for 50 cents!  Score!  Now I just have to decide what color to paint it to match my kitchen.  I don't cook and therefore don't use many spices, but it is so cute!
Now if I could just figure out a way to cover up that ugly outlet!
Here is the CUTEST spice rack I think I've ever seen from Cynthia's Cottage Design!  Her whole kitchen is adorable.
Of course for serious collectors of vintage kitchen ware there is always the Griffith Spice Rack.  (image from Etsy). 
But I think they would be cuter with fruit labels.
Here is a set from Deluxeville's Blog that have cherries on them.  They are almost the same as the decals I want!
Here are the decals I'd like to get for my jars.
These are from Sweet Gal Decals which is an online decal store.  I'm thinking I'll have my jars washed and ready by my birthday, so may have to do some hinting to my DH.
I will have to pick some larger decals for my flour, sugar and powdered sugar jars.  That will be a tough decision.
Here is a link to Sweet Gal Decals site.  It's so much fun to visit! http://www.sweetgaldecals.com/home.php

Have a Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Embroidery Floss Organization

The bunny tea towel is finished and just in time for the Easter season.
I ended up going back to my favorite fabric store downtown, Bernina Plus, and found a fabric that was a bit more orange than the one I had chosen earlier.  I think it turned out okay.  The orange fabric was of course from their 30's feedsack collection and is called "playdate" by Nancy Mahoney for P&B Textiles.
Here is a closer look at our little bunny friend.

Once he was finished I decided to organize my floss a bit.  Well, apparently I can't organize floss just "a bit"  I decided to do something completely different with my system.
Uff-da! What a mess huh?  But there is a method to my madness, I promise.
I had two large boxes of floss.  One red/pinks through green/turquoise and another blue through brown/blacks.  Well, I didn't want to have to take two huge boxes of floss whenever I go to the lake or over to my Sis-in-law's to stitch.  I've always had my little travel box with most colors, but not every color.  So, I took out all of the duplicate floss cards and put them in one box (my back-up box) and then managed to squeeze one of EVERY color into one large box.  So now when I travel, I just bring one large box with all of my colors in it!
It's easier to explain with pictures.
First of all, aren't these pretty colors together?  I think they are very pretty and cheerful.

My little travel box in the corner.  It's fine for light travel and fits in my travel embroidery box.  Also there are the two boxes of ALL my floss colors including duplicates. 

Here are my duplicate cards.  There weren't as many as I thought there would be, some colors I only have one card of apparently. 
And here is the finished box of EVERY color of floss.  How I got them into one box is beyond me, and there's not much room for any new colors, but we'll see how this works out. 
*sigh* Aren't they pretty!?  I think so. 
Now, I just need to figure out what to do with this box. 
This box is full of odds-n-ends.  Some varigated floss, some J.P. Coats, some very old floss that is hard to work with as it knots up frequently.  Some of this thread came from my Grandma Henderson's collection.  Maybe I'll combine my duplicates and this box together! *lightbulb*
And what on earth is this?  (Duh, it's floss.)  I know it's floss but I've never seen this brand before.  Is it holy floss?   No, come to find out it is vintage floss from France.  I'm not sure where I got this but I have two perfect skeins of it in this beautiful pink color. 
These beauties are Algodon Egipcio made by Presencia, a Spanish company that is now selling in the US.  I found these in at the quilt shop in Bottineau ND.  I only bought the five colors you see here because at 1$ a piece there was no way I could buy them all (even though I wanted to) lol. Just to give you a comparison in price, DMC floss is around 39 cents per skein.  Presencia is pricy but they are lightfast, do not bleed or fade.  I suppose quilters use it for these reasons.

Embroidery floss is always so fun to organize!
Have a Happy Day!