Dec 27, 2010

Life as We Know It

Just when you think everything in life is slow and unchanging, something happens in someone else's life and changes yours. I get so bored with my [thankfully] uneventful life full of home-cooked dinners and daily this and that. My very dear friend is expecting her first child. Of course I'm thrilled/shocked/excited, but it's strange how much my friend's 4000-mile-away life is making me realize how unready I am for so much change. I am trying to find peace in the mundane and simpleness of life before an 8lb. persons changes everything. Wishing her only the happiest moments parenthood brings, I am committed to volunteering for decorating, pampering, babysitting, and helping her find the best maternity jeans available. :) And Merry Christmas!!

Dec 18, 2010

It's Christmastime in the City

Ah, the rush of December is upon us.  So much to finish, and never enough time.  Luckily, there is another week before the Big Day is here.  Alas, I could not find my baby tree Thanksgiving weekend, so I chose not to put one up.  Sad day.  As the last two weeks have passed, I have contemplated buying another tree (then I would have two), buying a real tree (going to die), or stick with making this the only year I will ever not decorate for Christmas.  In honor of my love of decorating with my muslin, burlap, olive velvet and toile, I am posting last year's decor.
My dining room before decorations.

After (if I were decorating): The mantle, which would be just lovely with the oil painting we had framed last year.
My [missing] baby tree that would be extra-perfect with this year's ruffled tree skirt and my new olive green toile bow.

Addition to the Wedding Post

Here are some of the beautiful photos!

The happy couple.

My sister would be all over the burlap and muslin-wrapped candles.
They gave away lovely crosses in hand-stamped muslin bags.

Dec 12, 2010

It's Like Getting Married All Over Again!

But without the stress and everyone calling my name and asking me questions.  It's official:  I can now add Wedding Director to my list of favorite things.  Yesterday was Mary's Elizabeth's wedding day at Lake Martin.  The ceremony was held at the Church in the Pines.
 She had seven attendants, and they stood with their groomsmen as couples instead of the traditional girls-on-one-side and boys-on-the-other.  Darling.  Her reception was at Spring House Restaurant at Russell Landing.  The decor was full of simple flowers (hydrangea, lilies), candles, and moss and rocks.  Very simple, very Mary Elizabeth.  The architecture of the building took over any decorations that would have tried to overplay it. 
  I can't wait until I have a few photos from the big day to show everyone!  And I hope I have the privilege of directing another wedding soon!

Nov 25, 2010

Pick-me-up Pens

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  I refuse to say "Gobble, Gobble," even though I have received numerous texts with such message [irritating].  My husband urged me to "make a wise decision" the last time we were in Books-a-Million as he walked out the front door.  Moments later, I triumphantly displayed my "wise decision" in front of him with a giant smile!  These Le Pen pens are my new favs, and I just had to buy a pretty fall palette in Olive Green, Teal, Oriental Blue, and Dark Grey.  Now I color-code all of my notes and make my days even happier.

A few weeks later, I felt the need for a springy set as well!

Nov 24, 2010

A Little Fluff Under the Tree

The Holidays are the perfect time to start blogging, with so much extra time and all... Nonetheless, I used up two hours of my graduate school time and some leftover material to create a keeper of a tree skirt.  So, I present my very first (and second) ruffled tree skirt: one for sister, and one for me!  And one for you if you can decipher my no-sewing-patterns-allowed directions.  (By the way, it always turns out better if you skip the pattern.)

Brown burlap, for my sister's traditional red grosgrain and gold bulb tree.

Tie a 25" piece of string to a pencil (or silver Sharpie for burlap), trace a circle on flat fabric.  Tear four 8" wide strips of muslin (seen here) for ruffles.

Draw a 2" circle in the center of the skirt to cut later.  Pleat/Ruffle the skirt by turning 1" of fabric to the left and 1" of fabric to the right (much like a tailored bed skirt pleat).  After stitching the first layer of ruffles, cut a line to the center.  Continue pleating, pinning, and stitching ruffles until you have three finished rows.

Before adding the top row of pleating, cut out the tree hole.  Lay a scrap piece under the skirt center and pin.  Stitch 1/4-1/2" seam directly on top of skirt.

Make the top layer of ruffles by crating 1" pleats in the same direction all the way around the skirt.  This gives the top layer enough flounce.

Turn the tree hole facing out and press.  Stitch to cover the edges of the fourth row of pleats.  Cut four 1 1/2' long x 3" wide strips for skirt ties.  Stitch two at the top of the skirt and two between the second and third pleat.

Ta-da!  The most precious tree skirt ever handmade.
I used three yards of 45" wide brown burlap.  Since it was leftover, I couldn't be picky; however, I would choose a wider piece next time.  This was a difficult fabric to work with, especially when there were multiple layers.  I had five yards of 104" wide thin muslin.  This was the best to work with because I could roll up the layers and pin them while I stitched a new layer.  I also hand tore my strips of muslin, saving time and irritation trying to cut and hem all of the layers.  The result was a sweet and simple look that will be perfect with my olive, gold, and bronze tree.