Monday, February 28, 2011

Blind hem stitch

It's haunting me...  I want to learn, and I have the tools available to learn, but I just haven't brought myself to do it.  So, my goal for this week is to master the blind hem stitch.  I know I could create some masterpieces (i.e. new pillows) with this stitch.  Just need to give it a try!

This stitch is the one needed to close up that dreaded fourth side of a pillow.  Think about it for a second.  Fabrics down, and using your machine, stitch up three of the four sides of a square, or rectangular, pillow.  Then, turn the fabrics inside out so your pretty sides are exposed.  Add your insert, or polyfill, and then you are left to sew up the final side, all without the threads, or stitching, showing.  You can hand sew, sure, but I want to learn how to do it with my machine.  And so, this is my task. 

Of course, I constantly have 3 children at home in my space, so that makes things slightly more challenging.  But, I look at pictures, or think up ideas in my head and think, "I could do that."  Well, the problem is that if I don't try, I won't be able to "do that". 

I want to create beautiful things, and be a working homemaker, wife, mom of three, chef, housekeeper, architect, soccer mom, gardener, friend and chauffer that I've always wanted to be...

Here are some cute ideas, and inspiration:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

House must-haves

Building our someday/forever house has been on my mind a lot lately.  We're probably looking at at least 5 years from now, but I like to find ideas now and store them away for when the time is right.

Here is a list of my dream must haves:
  • At least four bedrooms (Master plus three bedrooms for our three boys)
  • His and her master closets
  • A hobby room just for me (doesn't have to be large, just a small space where I can have my own computer and writing desk, a place to store my gift wrapping stuff, maybe a space to sew, etc.)  I'm thinking leopard carpet, or something fun!
  • A real wood burning fireplace, or two...
  • An island in my laundry room - for folding clothes and additional storage.  Think of a place to store those big, ugly laundry baskets!
  • Kitchens:  I have no idea.  I like the crispness of a white kitchen.  I picture making breakfast and my boys sitting at the island eating their cinammon toast, or whatever it is they're eating before school.  I want an open floor plan where the kitchen opens into a den, or comfy living space.  But, I don't have the details ironed out with the kitchen plan - it's ever-changing.  Here are a few ideas that I think are gorgeous!  Look at the chalkboard in the adjacent room, very cute!

A farmhouse kitchen!

Or, here is Sarah's take on a farmhouse kitchen:

Is this a pantry?  A butler's pantry?  Wine storage?  I don't know, but wow!

I don't love the yellow, but I do love the farm sink and the lighted display shelving.  Glass doors would help with dust :)  And, how cute are those tole painted kitchen chairs?  Darling!

Same kitchen, but this is the room next to it (if you look closely, you can see a peak of the yellow cabinets).  Think caterer, or hosting a shower in your home!  Not sure how practical, or how much this would be used, but it's gorgeous.  Then again, we're talking dream house, so sure, let's add this in as well!

  • A terrace/courtyard/outdoor living space of some kind.  Not real picky, but just a place where we can hang out, eat outdoors, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors.  Below is a floor plan I found.  I don't love the plan, necessarily, but there are elements to keep in mind for future planning.  Notice: scrapbooking room, outdoor kitchen, and space for a washer and dryer in the master suite. 

And, another plan with some fun elements.  Notice the laundry room, with a folding island and sewing area all in one.  This is probably more practical that the before mentioned idea!

Here is the exterior of this particular plan.  Notice the large courtyard as you enter the home:

And, look at the outdoor spaces off the kitchen and living areas:

  • An upstairs (but I don't want stairs visible from the front entrance) where all the boys bedrooms will be.
  • With three boys, I love the idea of a dorm style community bathroom.  You have to see it to see how darling, and practical, it could be.  This is from the 2011 HGTV Dream Home Giveaway:

Three showers - love it!!

More later, I'm sure. 

P.S. I'm adding the following websites to my favorite lists: 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Une ferme français s'il vous plaît

Translation:  A French farmhouse, please!

I don't want to live in France, and I don't wish to be a farmer.  But, someday, my dream is to build a french farmhouse.  Most days, I'm scouring online pictures or creating my own imaginary dream design for the home we hope to build someday.  I don't know exactly what elements of the 'french farmhouse' appeal to me the most, or maybe it's just the description itself that conjures up imaginary bliss.  I'm not even sure I could find a perfect picture online that I could copy.  Instead, I think it will someday just be a combination of the elements that I'm drawn to, and with any luck, it will be my perfect depiction of a french farmhouse!  Below are a few ideas of exteriors I like.  Of course, these could, and probably will, change tomorrow. 

Picture #1:  Not a farmhouse, exactly, but very French.  Cozy, uniform, and just looks like somewhere I want to live.  Love the rock wall and bronze gutters.  I bet that fireplace is pretty fantastic, too!

Picture #2:  Whether this is the front entrance or not, can't you just picture adding this to a courtyard somewhere as part of my dream house?  I love it!  Wouldn't you want to have morning, or 5 o'clock, cups of joe on this courtyard?  Heaven!

Pictures #3-5:  Just some elements I think are beautiful - maybe I can add some of these in along the way!

The ceiling beams look very farmhouse-ish, love the open shelving (although this would never work, unless everything was display-only), and the overall rustic kitchen:

Large harvest table, french doors to a courtyard, floor to ceiling curtains, and I love the lantern!

A pretty authentic looking farmhouse!

I'll leave you with the below image.  I think I could really enjoy some nice cups of joe in this outdoor space.  Curled up in a blanket sitting next to a fire...  Sounds pretty fantastic to me!

P.S. New cool google website:  Makes me think I can speak French...  Yeah right! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My love of Joe

I have such fond memories from my childhood of my mom and grandma sitting together to visit over a cup of joe.  Something about that strong aroma and steam coming from the cup made it just look comfortable and delicious! 

When I was young, we lived just 22 minutes from my grandma's house.  Often times, my mom would round up my sister and me and we would drive to Mammy's house.  Undoubtedly, Mammy would start the coffee!  We would probably play, or watch tv, and they would sit and visit, enjoying their cups of joe.  I can picture it so perfectly - Mammy would be curled up in her chair with one leg underneath her, and my mom in the recliner next to her.  They would talk and talk and talk, even if they had already spoken several times earlier that day.  It's just a bond that they had, and I was always envious of how much fun they seemed to have.  It's the same kind of bond that my mom and I now have.  Aside from having many of the same interests, the only conclusion I can come up with is that the common bond between my mom and grandma and now my mom and me is that it must have something to do with the "joe".

I probably started asking for sips around the age of 6.  I probably didn't like it much at first, but I kept asking for more.  I just wanted a part of that magical goodness.  Eventually, I guess I developed a liking for it, and as I got older, I was invited to join in on the conversations with them over cups of joe.

So, today, I start each day with my cup of joe, or two, or three...  Then, I might have more later in the day, with an amazing dessert, with my bubble bath, or to wind down in the evening.  I know, it sounds excessive, but it doesn't seem to affect me.  I have no problems sleeping, and it has more of a calming effect on me.  It's delicious, it's relaxing, and I love it.  CiCi does too, and we now have nearly daily visits over cups of joe.  It's our time, and we usually find something unnecessary, yet delicious, to eat while we have our coffee.  We work hard, and we deserve it!
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