Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vintage Crocheted 'Doily' Pillows

When I am out thrifting, I am always
on the lookout for vintage crocheted pieces. 

As a crocheter  myself, I can appreciate the 
hours of work and skill it takes to create 
these beautiful treasures. 

Vintage crocheted doilies, placemats, 
and table runners can be re-purposed 
in very lovely ways. 

This holiday season I was inspired to create 
this pretty pillow out of a large vintage doily.
(You know, because I didn't have enough to do! *grin*)

 It reminded me of a beautiful snowflake! 

To make one of your own, simply trace the doily 
perimeter onto a doubled piece of fabric to use as a backing. 

I simply used a pencil. 

When cutting out your fabric - add 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

Sew your two fabric pieces together,
right sides facing, with a 1/2 inch seam allowance and 
leaving a 6-8 inch opening for stuffing. 

Turn right sides out and press. 

I used a piece of soft woven fabric I found at the thrift store.
This pillow would look equally beautiful with a colored fabric
as the background. 

Perhaps blush pink or soft gray? 

For the next step, you will want to pin your doily 
onto the flattened, unstuffed pillow, right along the edge. 
It is o.k. if the doily is a little larger or smaller, 
just pin it right along that seam line. 

This is where you will hand stitch the doily to the pillow. 
I made my pillow a little smaller than the doily, so 
that it would have a bit of a lacy edge. 

When you are done with the hand stitching, stuff your 
pillow with fiberfill and hand sew the opening shut. 

Hint: don't over-stuff, you want your pillow to be soft
and a little flat. 

Now you can embellish your pillow with whatever you desire. 

Here, I have used a burlap rose that I found at a shop. 

It had a little clip on the back already. I just slipped it 
gently into the crochet to hold it. 

It would be equally sweet with a jeweled brooch
or large button! 
You could even put buttons on both sides, 
catching front and back together with heavy 
thread to form an indentation. 

I also made some rectangular pillows for 
my French Settee'. 

The Large Pillow was created last year
from a crocheted table runner
and a dresser scarf.

(Click on the link to get the directions)

This smaller pillow was my recent creation.

I used the same construction techniques as the round pillow,
(and the same backing fabric).

The larger pillow was backed with a tea-stained dresser scarf,
highlighting the pretty crochet design.

I left the beautiful edges free.

Another lovely use of vintage crocheted table runners
is to use them as window treatments.

Here I have found one that fits my kitchen conservatory window.
I simply slid a thin tension rod in and out of the crochet weave
and hung it behind my reed blind.

(Showing the thin tension rod woven in the crochet...)

So easy and it doesn't damage the piece so it can be used
as a table runner when you want a new look.

A wider and longer one would look lovely as a cafe curtain
using curtain clips.

This is Maggie's favorite place to spend a cold winter day....

I hope this inspires you to take a fresh look at those
vintage crocheted doilies you might have collected
over the years!
For very little money and time,
you can create your own lovely pillows and curtains
found in those high-priced specialty shops.

Happy thrifting and creating, my Friends! 



Won't you join the party? 


Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday, Monday

This is what Maggie thinks of Mondays......

The holiday weekend is over and the Mr. has gone back to work, 
so now I can take a break and relax before the serious business
of putting away all the Christmas decorations begin. 

I am ready to have my house uncluttered...

It's a funny thing - I am so excited to get the house decorated, 
but once Christmas is over - I am so done with it all! :) 

I can see through the glass door behind Maggie,
 that it is a beautiful winter day, 
so let's take a little walk, shall we?

As we step out from the front door, we look to the left
and see the garden gate. 
Let's go this way....

Looking straight ahead we can see the big Holly tree. 
This tree was growing here in 1981 when we first walked 
onto this bit of wild land in hopes of buying. 

It was only a tiny shrub back then. 

Now it dwarfs the tool shed (to the right). 

It is over 30 ft. tall and covered in beautiful red berries. 

Looking to the left of her, we follow the rutted tracks towards
the gate. Champ waits patiently. I have his tennis ball.....

It is a lovely day, but very cold - just above freezing. 
There is a 'high wind' that blows steady along the tree tops. 
Occasionally, a gust will slip down and freeze my finger tips.

The wind makes a lovely, 'Hush - hush' sound as it reminds
us to be quiet and listen..... 

I can hear the little birds twittering around the feeder
 as I approach to refill it. 
All at once a whole flock of Mourning Doves rise in a loud rush, 
their wing's signature whistling announcing their presence. 

I always thought this was a terribly unfair affliction, as they are 
so coveted by birds of prey. 
We have had a Cooper's Hawk hanging around and I have 
seen evidence of a successful hunt of these sweet, innocent birds. 

I like to remind myself that all creatures are Nature's gift, 
and the Dove is a noble sacrifice. 
Perhaps they are aware of this in the grand scheme of things, 
and immediately become companions to the Angels
upon release from this life. 

It is certainly depicted in the great works of art....

The tiny Chick-a-dees, Sparrows, Juncos, and Nuthatches, 
are friendlier and bolder and scarcely wait for me to finish
before landing to steal a treat. 

The Stellar Jays do a very good job of warning the forest
when a predator is around. 

These beautiful, brave birds will mob any interloper and 
try to drive them away. 

Sometimes the hawk is too sneaky and will slip in unawares. 

Champ holds his stalking position as he waits for me
to toss the ball. He has that mesmerizing Border Collie stare.

It was those beautiful, intelligent eyes that attracted me to him
on the Border Collie Rescue website.

He was so damaged by his previous owners that his
foster caregiver never thought he could be adopted,
and after over a year of trying, she was ready to give up.

He was so wary of people and other dogs
 that he had to be kept isolated in a kennel.

Since coming to live with us in 2012, he has lost that wary look
in his beautiful eyes and now he even smiles!

The beautiful sunshine. 

My neighbor's horse barn. 
The horses are all inside eating breakfast. 

Looking out over the driveway gate..... 
Can you see the Raven? 

He is very large. At first, I thought he might be an Eagle. 

But as I zoomed in, I could see his beautiful darkness. 

He's checking me out....

He croaked twice and then flew away. 

Ravens follow predators and they are signs that 
something might be lurking today. 

Then, Whitey gave Champ this look....

And they were off, chasing something way down into the forest. 
They do seem to have silent communication with each other. 

They left me behind....
I quickly made my way back to the house. 

Beautiful day or not, I am alone and I don't take chances. 

I am grateful for my fearless companions, 
but I take them inside with me on their return
and shut the lower gate. 

We have Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and Bears 
(although the Bears are probably in hibernation - 
but this has been a very mild winter). 

My new neighbors (transplanted city folk) have poultry
that they let run free.
They are always attracting hungry visitors :(
If you provide a free feast, they will come.....

So, I will stay cozy inside, content to look out the windows. 
A little warily. 

Once, I didn't pay attention to my dog's warnings
and came face to face with a very large bear. 

Luckily, my dogs were very brave and chased it away. 

Nature is beautiful, but deserves respect. 

When you disrespect Mother Nature, 
she puts you in your place:) 

Like any good Mother would :)

It's a beautiful world. 


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thoughts After Christmas

Hello, Dear Friends - I hope you enjoyed your 
Christmas Day celebrations! 

It is raining here in the foothills of the Cascades,
 in Washington State, which signals a return of 
day to day life once again. 

Rain in the 'lowlands' means plenty of snow in the highlands, 
which makes for a pretty scene and 
gives the skiers in the family plenty to get excited about. 

Although, they have been kept pretty busy with the Seahawks
this season! All of my children are die-hard fans. 

So far we have had a mild winter and the ski resorts have not opened yet, 
but after this weekend and heavy snow in the mountains, 
that will change. 

Christmas Day was unusually sunny and mild
and I captured this photo in the morning
before the family arrived for dinner. 

My two 'Lemon' Cypress trees that I found at my favorite 
nursery a couple of weeks ago. 

I have one other that I bought years ago when it was this size....

You can see it to the left after I transplanted it to a large pot. 

These are lovely evergreens that need a bit of shade in the summer,
and are quite happy in pots. 

My table umbrella provides this one with shade in the summer. 

A bit of gardening trivia when I am missing my time outdoors! 

I want to thank all of you for your Dear Christmas Wishes, 
especially for my daughter, Heather, who I am 
happy to announce, did spend Christmas Day with us. 

Her wonderful doctor stayed on duty through Christmas
Eve to get her ready for release, albeit with a 'port'
in her arm for intravenous administration of 
her antibiotics! A home health nurse came
to her home on Christmas Eve to teach her and
husband, Eric how to administer the medicine
themselves, so she can be an outpatient. 

We have to give gratitude to these dedicated
medical professionals who daily go above and beyond
for the well-being of their patients. 

I put Doctors and nurses right up there - one step below the Saints. 

So here she is, on the far right, with some color in her cheeks finally,
and a big smile on her face. 
These are 'my girls', from left to right. 
 Erica, my son Gabe's wife, (our soon to be new Mommy),
my youngest daughter, Jennie, 
my new daughter in law, Jen (Dustin's wife),
and our little patient, Heather, complete with big red bow. 

These are three of my favorite guys,
Eric (Heather's), youngest son, Dustin in his 
Seahawks Christmas sweater, and son, Gabe. 

I can't tell you how happy these smiling faces make me! 

My daughter, Jennie, snapped this of my favorite guy
and me. xo

He has been my sweetheart since I was 13 years old - 
we have spent 45 Christmas' together! 

I still have the ID bracelet with heart charm that he gave me
that first year. <3

We have been very blessed!

But with picture time over, it was back to work! 

Here I am rolling out biscuit dough to serve with dinner -
glasses perched on top of my head. 

The 'girls' set the table....

We always begin the meal counting our blessings. 

Everyone has a favorite one to share, 
and with the New Year just around the corner, 
we share our hopes and dreams for the coming year. 

Then we open presents (we draw names at Thanksgiving). 

Even the pup-dogs get treats <3. 
Weenie-Baby, my daughter Jennie's mini-dachshund. 

Everyone gets sent home with a plate of food,
 two of my decoupaged candles,
 and a big plate of cookies. 

You can see that I had to bake plenty! 

Now the clean-up is done, the house is too quiet, 
and the Mr. and I are relaxing for the weekend, 
holding sweet memories close to our hearts. 

It was a wonderful Christmas. 
Even the paper-whites bloomed on time! 
(They were so strongly scented that it was a bit much at times!)

Now it is time to look back on the year we leave behind, 

and make plans for the new. 

(Can you see the tiny hummingbird on the Alder tree branch?)

Time to make those New Year's Resolutions. 

In these quiet hours, I will be thinking of mine. 

I know one of them will be to pay closer attention to 
the beauty and blessings around me. 

I had the strangest dream last night. 
I dreamed that I was gathering up pennies that 
were falling from the sky! 

Pennies from Heaven! 

I found this poem when I researched what that could mean....

I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground.
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I found. 

Found pennies come from Heaven.
That's what my Grandpa told me. 
He said Angels tossed them down, 
Oh, how I loved that story!

He said when an Angel misses you
They toss a penny down, 
sometimes just to cheer you up
to make a smile a frown. 

So don't pass by that penny
when you're feeling blue,
It may be a penny from Heaven
That an Angel tossed to you. 


Here's wishing you Pennies from Heaven in the coming year, 
Dear Friends! 

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