Thursday, May 27, 2010


Since I've not been commuting to New York City any longer, I've not been able to drive daily past my favorite collapsing barn. But last Saturday, on the way to a tent sale at a nearby antiques store, I had to get another photo for old time's sake. It is certainly looking greener around here!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Room Redone

You may remember back in March when I was discussing my plans for the then lemon-yellow guestroom. Well, a mere 2 months later, just in time for "the season" (we live in a tourist town and our friends & relations are behaving accordingly -- great excuse for us to be tourists too), the plans have been (mostly) executed!

All of the furniture was either left behind in the house or repurposed/found old furniture of ours so I only had to buy paint and fabric -- my kind of a redo! I still don't approve of that ceiling fan and have plans (and fabric) for a red-and-white-triangles quilt (of my own design, hence no links to patterns -- sorry!) but this is the most-liveable room in the house, thus far.

It has a nice view of the One Big Tree and the window box of impatens.

Checked fabric for pillow shams (which were meant to go with the planned red and white quilt, not this one) from Brooklyn General. There's still a little bit of random stuff piled near the door but this room is mostly organized.

The curtains are of a combo of my favorite fabric ever (sorry, can't find a direct link at the moment) from purl and some checked linen from mood (that linen was a bear to sew!), lined with cut-up sheet. I wanted to leave the tie back in the middle of the curtain so that the gingko pattern would still show. Here's a detail on flickr.

Our new (or semi-new -- she's been with us for 2-1/2 weeks now) kitten, Beeker, approves. Especially since she can easily see out the window from the bed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Buttons, Buttons Everywhere

Lots of button-related posting for today. I've put up 4 styles of cross-stitched buttons over on etsy.

Also, I'm working on a summer cardigan (Marigold Sweater from Interweave Knits, Summer 2010) and, due to my extensive button collection, can't decide which buttons I like best for it. Any opinions?

vintage red plastic (from Tender Buttons -- designed by a store employee pre-1960's)

peach glass

pink ceramic with imprinted flowers

white victorian shoe buttons

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Sunny Afternoon

It's overcast (again) here this morning so I thought I'd post some photos from a recent sunny afternoon. Don't get me wrong, I and my garden are certainly grateful for the rain. I'm just going to have to look for a dose of sunshine somewhere other than outside. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Metropolis, Again

I know this is off of my usual crafting / house topic but it is such a major event (to me) that I think it's worth mentioning.

The latest version of Metropolis, including footage found in Argentina in 2008, is spectacular! Although it seems as if each year a new version of Metropolis is released, every time with new materials, this latest footage is well worth a look. Even if you were hesitant about the 2 hour version (it is a silent film, after all) this 2.5 hour version feels shorter than any of the older versions. It makes more sense and has far better / more exciting pacing. Particularly during the sequences of the workers' revolt. Where before they tended to get a little tedious and rushed at the same time, now they are actually suspenseful. Several characters are given more clear places and functions in the plot. Not to mention the whole new dimension added by being finally able to use Fritz Lang's original score. And how often do we get to see footage from a 1927 film which was thought to be lost forever?

Well worth the trip to Film Forum, if you're in the area! (I also hear that the film is soon to play in theaters around the country)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hopelessly Addicted

I can't seem to stop making these! I've never made such and un-fussy quilt before. I just cut the strips freehand and started grabbing (mostly at random) and sewing. Lots of fun! Although I do think that I need to try a value quilt as I seem always to sort fabric by color rather than by value and it sometimes makes my designs difficult to read. And, let's face it, these value quilts are just really fantastic!

Must stop sewing as I ordered a bit more fabric early last week and if I don't stop sewing soon, it won't make it into the quilt at all! I'm going to switch off my machine, put down my scissors, and take another trip to the post office to see if the fabric has come in.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Giving My Scissors a Workout

I'm finally making a log cabin quilt! I've always been fascinated by log cabin quilts (my parents even have one made by my great-grandmother) but never quite had the right inspiration / spot for one. But now I'm going full-steam ahead! The color-scheme is based on this stained glass window which we saw in Paris last fall (I know, terribly silly to look at Tiffany glass in Paris when there is far more of it to be found in NYC but it was still fun to see even though it was a tiny exhibit). The internet photo doesn't really show the colors off to full advantage but you can use your imagination to see that the glass is actually golden yellow and peachy pink.
It's all going to be cut into strips soon (except for the neutrals in the middle which will be the center sqares for the cabins) and I'll have to have my scissors sharpened.
The quilt will eventually be for my daybed (my 10th birthday gift) which is currently at my parents' house in Oklahoma. How I will get it to Upstate New York is yet to be determined but I figure that the quilt will take some time so maybe I'll have time to come up with a plan.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Window Film Versus Fabric

As I know I've mentioned before, every window in this house, when we moved in, had a minimum of 2 layers of curtains/window shades, in most cases 3 layers. And, of course, the bathrooms were no exception.

Before and After.

I read about this idea on Melissa's blog two years ago when she first posted about it but I wasn't sure about how it would hold up so when I decided to redo the bathroom window coverings, I decided to buy some manufactured window film. This was, for me, a big mistake. I just could not manage to make that window film lay down flat. It's all bubbled and funny looking (it's in the downstairs half-bath but I don't have a photo of that one just now). Although I do like how much light it lets through the window. So that's its plus side. But if I were to have to choose again, I'd choose the fabric-and-starch method every time.

When Melissa posted her fabric idea again, with an update on how hers was holding up, I had to try it. I did everything exactly according to Melissa's instructions. It looked funny and blotchy for a little while (photo above) but, by the time the starch had dried, I felt very happy with it. The only place I deviated from what she said she'd done was to trim the edges with a razor rather than marking the edges and removing the fabric to trim it with scissors -- I just didn't want that extra step so I trimmed it in place. In case you're wondering, here's a link to the fabric I used.
The room is now much more bright and cheery although, unfortunately, still bubblegum pink and with formica sheets glued to the walls and peeling down.
Thanks to Melissa for the great instructions! I don't know how she has time to figure these things out with her three children but I'm certainly happy that she does!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Over the Past Weekend

Some more great friends came to visit (photos of their room soon to come -- hopefully the sunny weather will hold out so I can get some good shots this afternoon). Coffee was consumed (by most) from the new Italian coffee maker given as a housewarming by generous friends the weekend before. (Patrick has always used an electric percolator -- which isn't supposed to make good coffee anyway -- which I bought for him for his high school graduation!)

Impatens were planted in the sadly neglected window box (when we moved in, it contained 10-year-old fake greenery).

A cute old bench was found in the basement and given a shady new home under the One Big Tree.

A lawnmower was purchased and the "lawn" mowed by Patrick (as you can see, there really isn't much grass but it was still growing quite long).

Poppies were identified (by the ever-wonderful Melissa) and promptly, upon being given proper recognition and a proper weeding, burst into full bloom.

Lilac bushes were admired, in lieu of our own giant lilac bush at the corner which had to go.

Walks were enjoyed.

And ice cream consumed.

And, last but not least, a compost bin was built (according to the directions in this current favorite). We managed to buy only 1 sheet of plywood for the whole project, using salvaged lumber for the rest. We also found a gallon of orange exterior paint which had been abandonned at the paint store and was subsequently sold to us at a steep discount. More photos to come when I've managed to paint the completed bin (when finished, it will have 3 tiers like the one shown here, plus the lid, which does, since this photo was taken, have a complete roof).