Friday, May 20, 2011

the felt!

You may remember me gushing about this book on this post.

After completing two additional african violets, I finally made my way to the campfire.  Who doesn't love a good campfire?  They really go hand in hand with the summer season.  Here is the finished result:

First, I sewed the three logs.  Each log has hand embroidered "knots" for a more realistic appearance.

Surprisingly, these went pretty fast.  I enjoyed free embroidering the bark lines and was surprised by how much they resembled logs after being sewn up and stuffed.  Quite frankly, I could've stopped there.   (I do have plans in my head of doing an original tree stump in the near future!)

Here's the three finished logs all sewn and stuffed.

Next, came the final piece, the flame.  I opted for standard fire colors of bright yellow, orange, and red.  The flame is actually three separate pieces with three different colors per piece.  

Here's a close up of the flame.  Each felt piece is blanket stitched around the edges and together.  I used red thread for all the colors instead of matching the felt for a little added detail.  Crazy, I know.

Here's a shot from above, showing the three sections sewn together.  The directions have you gluing the three complete flame sections together and then sewing the edges together.  I found the glue to be rather messy and well, my fabric glue was rock hard.  So I skipped this step for the most part.  Instead of gluing, I just used some trusty sewing pins and pinned the three finished flame pieces together and stitched the edges to join everything.  I found this to work great.  

Another view of the three sides.

Overall, I really love this project.  It's easy (I found it a lot easier and faster to finish then the african violets...although, I did make 3 of the violets in a fairly short amount of time, so I may have just really liked the change!)

All that's missing is the s'mores! (Which actually there is a project for them in the book too!)  This would be fun to put in a fireplace you don't use or in a corner of a room.  Maybe even outside for a little non working fire pit for a summer gathering.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

backyard garden projects

Last week, we decided to make another flower bed in our backyard.  This is the first tiny step in what we hope to be a massive backyard renovation.  Two major things we'd like to do include:

1-  Build a new patio.  Either by putting stone pavers over our existing concrete one or removing (which I assume would be very time consuming and not to mention rather backbreaking!) the concrete and laying flagstone in a free form pattern. 
Here's our current patio...

 I really like these pictures of what the flagstone could look like. 

2- building a shed.  The shed we have now is a small plastic one and isn't really too practical for storing garden tools, containers, and really anything other than our bicycles.  Ideally, we'd like to building on the very back of the yard in the far right hand side of the picture below.

Which brings us to our current project of the new flower bed.  We already have a small bed along the left side of our yard, so we decided to put this one on the right side along the rail fence.  We eventually want to make the bed a lot bigger and more in a half circle shape.  Possibly even with a bird bath in the middle once the ground is level.  But for now, we opted for a simple rectangle to get things started. 

First, we started by making shovel indents in the grass where the bed would be.  

Next, came over turning all the grass clumps and digging through and removing all the various objects we find in our pieces, huge rocks, marbles, broken pottery, plastic lions, and the usual things. 

Once the soil was nice and clean of debris, I planted the new flowers I got from Kinsey's mother that morning.  

More plants, including my new favorite: Lamb's Ear (front center)

Rose Campion

Columbine (one of my new favorites)

These are not in our yard, but Kinsey's parents.  I love the circular shape inside the flowers and this dark color.  We plan on getting some in these color for our yard soon.

"Moonless Night" daylilies, which are supposed to have a dark maroon and black flower.  

Here's Kinsey giving the new transplants a nice long drink. 

Here's the finished bed after putting some leaf mulch around the plants.  (The green at the close right side by the post is daffodils.  They bloom along every post by this fence in the early spring.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

early may flower garden

Here's some spring pictures from our flower garden we took recently.  About this time every year, I always wish I could take the next four months off and do nothing but gardening (and crafting of course!).  Maybe someday.

Nice mix of colors on this tulip.

I love the shape and color of this tulip.  We have two of these in our flower bed and they always are the last tulips to bloom.

Ants crawling on the peony blooms.  As alarming as this can look, it's actually a good sign.  It means the flower is nice and healthy.

 Here's two poppy heads getting ready to bloom.  I won't lie - last year I pulled all the poppies out except one because I thought they were weeds.  I definitely learned from that mistake!  Poppies are some of my favorite flowers, so I was pretty disappointed after learning this.  Can't wait to actually see them bloom this year.

I'm not fully sure what kind of flowers these are.  Although I'm pretty sure they're a type of bluebell.

Another favorite tulip.

No idea what kind of plant this is.  I actually thought it was just a weed, but it has such pretty blooms all over and is about 20 inches tall.

Here's our very first ever blossom on our Betsy Ross lilac bush.  We got this from a friend when we moved into our house in the fall of 2009.  It was just a stick when we got it and then just had green leaves last year, and now it looks like an actually lilac bush!

 This sedum I got from the local nursery at the end of the season last year on sale.  I wasn't sure how it would transplant at the time, but it's really growing now.

And perhaps maybe, one of the most anticipated things of the spring garden...our strawberry plants!  This one is getting so close!  Hopefully we can get to it before the rabbits, or squirrels, or birds, or chipmunks, or any other critters that come into our yard!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

living room in with the new and out with the old (table, that is)

We're in the process of rearranging our living room (more on that later!) and needed a new end table for one side of the Klobo (our Ikea loveseat, incase you have no idea what we're talking about...see this post for our re-do of the Klobo slipcover.)
We decided to visit one of our favorite local vintage housewares stores to see what they had to offer. 
We found this little side table with really nice detail.
Here's a close up of the detailing.  
We purchased it for the mere price of $22.  The table itself was painted a really light pink color which didn't quite fit too well in our living room.  So we knew we'd have to paint it.  I was leaning towards a super bright color, but didn't want to overpower the orange wall which it would be in front of.  So I looked around at what leftover paint we had and found a sample color we got for the kitchen.  (Which didn't quite look as we thought it would in that room.  It's actually still on a patch of the wall...we're still figuring out what color we want.  Another work in progress.)  Anyway, the color is called Carolina Inn Club Aqua and is a blue/green color.  

Here's a process shot.  I'm still deciding in this picture if I like the color or not for the table.  

Here's looking down.

I don't think I've talked about our new lamps we got a few months ago, but here's a close up.  They're by Thomas O'Brein for Target.  I love the crackled glass circle shape of the lamps.  I've been looking for lamps similar to these for a while, but never found anything really affordable.  I actually saw a very, very similar style of lamp, only blue glass, in a recent issue of County Living magazine for over $300!  Needless to say, these were much, much less than that!

One of the major things we wanted in end tables were a shelf or drawer to put things on/in.  Often drawers can seem a bit heavy, so this shelf is really nice and open.  The side detail is really interesting here, too.  Just big enough to hold things in place, but not too boxy.  

This is the hot mess that used to be our living room.  Actually it usually wasn't such a mess.  We were in the process of moving things around when I took this quick shot.  The table to the right of the Klobo is the one we replaced.  I love the table (Kinsey actually made this table in high school!), but it's destination in life isn't to be used as a side table.  It's much too big and as you can see, it was often used as a dumping ground for mail and other non important things when we came in the door.  This picture looks so crazy now that we rearranged everything.  (More on that soon!)