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Treasure Tuesdays

September 7, 2010

I’ve decided to start a new feature called Treasure Tuesday where I post a little treasure that’s new (or new to me) or even a collection of treasures with a theme.

This precious little pitcher came from TJMaxx this week and it falls under my new appreciation of what I think of as modern vintage. Looks like an antique but it’s clean and new, and had the bargain price of $2 and that wasn’t even a markdown.  Its not exactly a toile, but it has sweet rose blossoms on a busy background.  Its fluted too, and just look at that handle!  In Ireland, it would be called a jug.

I can’t quite decide if it’s blue or purple, but after I put the purple scarf-in-progress near it, I’m thinking purple. I might use it for straight knitting needles or keep it clean and pristine for milk, syrup or something else from the kitchen.  It’s a treasure!

I’ve moved!

September 2, 2010

I decided to go over to Blogger due to the myriad of options for customization. You can now find me at

hotpinkpeonies.blogspot.com

Work in Progress: The Craft Room

September 2, 2010
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I’ve gotten alot of work done in the little sunroom at the front of the house.  I’ve decided it will be a craft room / studio space since it is so sunny and light.  French doors on one side face the neighbor’s pool, and windows on the other side look out into my little courtyard.  I think if I place a chair in the right spot, I’ll be able to sit and knit while watching birds at the birdfeeder and that thought makes me very happy.  There may be cafe rods at the center of these windows the next time you see them though.  When this room is lit at night there is not alot of privacy.  The french doors on the other side of the room are definitely getting sheers, but I haven’t quite decided about these windows yet.  And don’t mind the box of empty boxes in the forefront of the shot, but it does show that I’ve gotten some work done!

courtyard view

This week I got all the yarn loaded into the knitting cupboard which is pretty exciting, although the books and notebooks of patterns don’t fit.  I think I have a plan to solve that problem although it requires some work in my master bedroom.  I did get alot of the boxes that were in this room unpacked and that feels good.  The knitting cabinet used to be full of canvas bins with yarn organized by weight, but since the stash has gotten somewhat larger in the past few months, I decided to do the mounding technique that alot of knitters use.  I never thought the shelf would be this full! 

 

Sorry for the photo quality – clearly I need to use a tripod!  This shelf doesn’t even include cottons, acrylics, crochet thread, 2 chenille cones, or my tiny fiber stash for spinning.  You can definitely fit more in by not using bins or containers though, so I’ve learned an important lesson.  I’ve also learned I need to put a moratorium on yarn purchases!  The next big decision is seating.  For a no-cost solution, I have an old black wicker chair in this room now and it needs a cushion.  I’m thinking of using Heather Bailey’s Peonies from the Pop Garden collection, since this room is where alot of HotPinkPeonies crafty-ness will occur.  And the green background to this fabric looks nice with the already green walls.  A pillow in this would also look nice if I decide to paint the chair white or, saints preserve us, hot pink!

 

My other option are two brown garden chairs that I got at Target this spring when most of my furniture was still in Virginia.  They are not necessarily all that comfy for long term sitting, but it would make a cute conversational area against this wall.  My option for pillows for these chairs is a Michael Miller fabric from the Lagoon line called Bird Swing.  It has a brown background, so it looks great with these chairs.  A big shout out to Material Gal on Etsy - her prices are great and the selection is even better!  I got both these fabrics from her.

Decisions, decisions.  I’m leaning towards the black wicker with the hot pink peonies fabric.  I mean really, who are we kidding?  What do you think about these two choices?

In search of inspiration or is it really procrastination?

August 31, 2010

My recent search for inspiration is really thinly veiled procrastination.  It is not an easy job to fit 1800 square feet of stuff into about 1200 square feet and as much as I am trying to rise to the challenge, it is sometimes kicking my butt.  Its not a tough decision to choose whether to attempt to squeeze 4 more 3 cubic foot boxes of kitchen goods into an already full kitchen, or to hop on the internet and find dreamy photos of beachside cottage homes or brightly colored fun crafting studios.  Off to the internet I go!

from CoastalLiving.com

One great place to find color combination ideas and inspiration is Coastal Living.  They provide beautiful photo galleries full of ideas for kitchens, living rooms, outdoor rooms, small spaces and just about any room you’d be looking to redecorate.  They have one collection of coastal styles that is organized by color scheme – you can choose blue and white, seaglass, citrus, whites only, pastel etc.  The above photo is from the seaglass collection.  As much as I have not wanted blue to be a part of my decorating scheme, I have to admit I’m drawn to the concept of seaglass colors.  Somehow a washed out cobalt or teal is not blue in my head.  Weird, I know!

I’m also finding loads of color inspiration from some of my favorite fabric-related websites.  Along with most of the world, I’m crazy about Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner and Heather Bailey.  The Amy Butler site has a series of inspiration pages where they show the fabrics in real settings.  There is also a page showing her studio, which is not as bright as I would have expected.  Perhaps a neutral palette allows for more creativity?

Amy Butler fabrics in blues

 

Anna Maria Horner’s blog includes some great project ideas and she seems so nice and personable.  When you walk into a fabric shop, you don’t necessarily think “Hmm, some person just like me who likes to quilt and sew came up with this great design.”  You just think “Oh I HAVE to have that.”  Don’t you?  She has some free projects on her blog that I’d love to try once I get the studio all set up and can actually use my sewing machine.  I think the dog leash pattern will be first!  She also links to Flickr groups where her fabrics are turned into wonderful things by crafters everywhere.  Lots of fun to check those out!  This is the promo for her new fabric line to be released this fall.

A new fabric collection!

And then there’s Heather Bailey.  She’s a girl after my own heart – just look at the hot pink peonies!

Pop Garden fabric by Heather Bailey

Her blog is fun to read too and she links to photos of projects created with her fabrics.  She and Anna Maria Horner are both designers for Free Spirit Fabrics, and you can find their full collections here.  Wish they had a gallery like Amy Butler, but you can find FO’s out there on Flickr and other blogs.
There’s my procrastination for the day.  Off to unpack some studio boxes and get the cabinets in there re-organized.

Nervous Knitting is Productive Knitting

August 29, 2010
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My sweet 6 year old niece had surgery on her foot on Thursday and I took the day off from work to provide moral support for everybody.  Two grownups managing a two-child family is great, but three grownups is even better.  Between the three of us, the princess always had 2 adults watching over her and my nephew always had someone with him too during his normal daily activities.  I am working on a pattern to be published later this year, and taking this project along helped get me through all the waiting.

Would you believe I knitted an entire skein of Lamb’s Pride Bulky between about 10 am and 4 pm?  I haven’t been able to spend such a large block on time on knitting in ages and it was definitely soothing to the nerves.  Our little princess came out of surgery fairly well, although we forgot that the anesthesia makes her naseous.  All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete is in a new building and the rooms are practically suites, they are so big.  There’s a pull out couch & a pull out chair for overnight guests (aka Momma & Aunt Ellen), another guest chair, 2 tv’s and a mini fridge, in addition to all the usual things you’d find in a hospital room.  All their rooms are private rooms, which is a huge blessing and the nurses and staff were all amazing.  I’ve spent many days and nights in various hospitals on the East Coast (always as a visitor, never a patient) and I have to say they are top notch here.  The patient gets a 42 inch flat screen tv (which of course now she wants in her bedroom!) and they’ve got tons of movies to watch, an activities cart that comes around everyday with games and crafty things.  If you have to have a child in a hospital, this seems a good choice.

Anywhoo, the Lamb’s Pride Bulky is great to work with, although there were some limey green fuzzies on my black tee but I presume that’s from the mohair. No big deal though.  I used a neat trick I just learned where you knit a bit, then roll it and add one stitch from the cast on edge to each stitch – creates a very cool hem.  And do you like how I match the couch in the Princess Patient’s room?  Too funny. 

 

 

Hmfph. Those pictures looked better on my phone.  I did finish the entire skein and really wished I’d had another.  It looks like this project will take 3 or perhaps even 4.  But its a secret project, so no more info here.  No sirree, not till its ready!  Her royal Patientness is now recovering at home, and luckily her pain is manageable with the drugs so far. Nothing breaks your heart like seeing a child you love in a hospital bed.  T minus 3 weeks till surgery number 2.  Insert a big sigh here.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Vintage Family Linens

August 19, 2010

While we were up for my dad’s wedding, my sister and I took some time to go through some of the boxes of linens from my mom’s side of the family.  We found some real treasures and it has certainly fanned the flame of my love for vintage items.  When I moved to Florida I thought maybe I’d try to go a bit more modern in my decor, but I can’t ignore my love of cabbage roses, toile and hand embroidered or crocheted lovelies.  Here’s a few of the cutest things we found. 

Blue Irish linen embroidered hand towels. Why didn't anyone use these?

My favorite find - cock tail napkins. See his little drink? They are too cute.

A hand embroidered breakfast bib with bunnies. How sweet is that?

A set with table runner and several round cocktail napkins, embroidered with bluebirds.

As much as we loved unearthing these beautiful keepsakes, it was a little sad too.  I dearly wish I’d taken the time to go through them with my mom when she was still alive and we could have talked about who made what, or what special occasion something was used for.  Some things I know, like her mother quilted and my dad’s mom did both knit and crochet, but there is so much that I don’t know or just don’t remember.  It makes me listen that much more to my dad when he talks, in the hopes that I’ll remember and be able to pass on family details.  I also am going to try to make notes to keep with my vintage linens, handmade items and other treasures especially since some are family pieces and others are things that I’ve purchased.

A Familiar Voice

August 17, 2010

Today is my day off and I’ve rewarded myself by sleeping in and having a lazy morning of websurfing and coffee drinking and doggie tummyrubbing. In an effort to actually get something done today, I downloaded a new book from Audible.com because i m desperately trying to stay away from the tv. I’ve read or listened to several Anne Perry books, but realized that I’ve never read the book where Charlotte & Thomas Pitt meet.

So I just downloaded The Cater Street Hangman, uploaded to the Ipod and … The narrator is Davina Porter! I adore listening to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in audiobooks. There are two Outlander books that aren’t available through Audible, so I bought the paperbacks and the funny thing is, that as I read them, I heard Davina Porter in my head. She has a delightful accent, and adds just the right tone to the books. She adds character to the narration, and I just adore her. This is a better treat today than a bowl of ice cream!

I’m off to unpack more boxes from the big move, and get lost in a murder mystery from 1881 with one of my favorite voices.

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