Tuesday, March 27, 2012

monogrammed leather clutch


ok, so i've kind of been on a roll here lately with the projects.  i have ADD when it comes to making things.  i swear it's like a disease sometimes and i can't help myself.  i don't watch tv, read mags, or do anything relaxing really, i always have to be doing something.  working in the garden is relaxing to me, but i'm still doing.  the project du jour is a monogrammed leather clutch.  can you guess where i got this leather?  i'm not even going to say it because i'm starting to annoy myself with saying it so much.  i'll just use its initials, TS.  i was looking for leather and i walked in and there it was.  for some reason, my friend and i had the idea that we could walk into an upholstery store and by leather by the yard like regular fabric.  let me spare you, you can't.  you have to buy leather by the hide and the price generally starts at $200 per hide.  this was an experiment and i was not willing to pay that, so you can only imagine how happy i was to find this leather remnant for $7.95.  i may stop shopping anywhere else.  i mean, what's the point?  it all ends up at the TS anyway.  this leather is scrumptious.  it's good leather, the kind when it gets scratched, the scratches can be buffed out with the natural oils in your fingers.



my friend has a monogramming machine and we have been inspired to try to make these, but we're unsure if her machine can handle leather yet.  in the meantime, i took my piece of leather to a little shop and the owner gladly monogrammed it for me.  i brought my piece of monogrammed leather home, cut it down to size and sewed up the sides.  the leather was a little slippery to sew, but it was fun try something new.  i left the top edge raw and un-sewn.  look at that, i never thought i'd be making leather goods.  whadda ya think?  thumbs up?  thumbs down?  i'm unsure.  for those of you who have any leather crafting experience, do you pin it?  it's rare for me to pin stuff when i'm sewing something, but in this case i think it's necessary, but then you'll have holes in the leather?

happy tuesday!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

tablecloth skirt


this is one of the easiest projects i've done in a while.  i found this beautiful tablecloth at the thrift store. of course, right?  i carried it around with me and almost put it back.  what was i going to do with it?  my friends convinced me to buy it to turn it into a skirt for my girl.  okay!  that's all i needed!


i cut a hole in the center of the tablecloth, and folded the cut portion over to create a little tunnel for the elastic (real technical, i know.  i'm sure there is a "fancier" name for making tunnels for elastic).  i then sewed along the part of the skirt i cut, and inserted the elastic.  and done!  i didn't do the best sewing job, but no will ever see that part.



here it is on my all american girl!  she's wearing a little boys denim shirt and her favorite shoes.  she's all attitude when she wears these boots too!


i wish i was her size so i could wear this outfit!

smiles,
amber




Friday, March 23, 2012

the fairy garden continued


thank you all so much for your kind words and emails from my last post.  i guess the guilt we feel as mothers is universal.  it doesn't matter if you are raising young children now, or your kids are grown, or if you're a stay at home mom or a working mother, we all feel it and for different reasons.  your thoughts and stories were greatly appreciated!  now let's get on with the fairy garden.

i haven't told you guys this, but operation purge 2012 is taking place right now.  i'm in spring cleaning mode and i'm going through everything in my house from top to bottom, garage included.  while working on my closet, i found the makings of a fairy garden that i purchased a couple years ago.  that gives you a good idea of the state of my closet, gardening supplies in the closet, not good.  remember, how unorganized i am??  

this is an aerial view of the property.  i bought the fence, arbor, bench, mini pots and rakes at this charming nursery by my parent's house.


my daughter and i found this house the other day at a local nursery.  i think it's actually meant to be a terrarium.  we picked up various small scale plants and included a couple bonsai trees,



and these mini roses.



i made a little sitting area for the fairies so they can rest after a hard day of gardening.



the "pool" is meant to be a bird feeder, one in which you just have a dish of bird food?


we had to get the pillows for the fairies too. 


 i made a fence of roses so the fairies can have some privacy while swimming.



we need to get more fencing, hopefully it is still available.  we may add a couple more plants but, we want to see how this fills in first.  i wish landscaping my backyard was as simple as this!

happy friday!






Tuesday, March 20, 2012

i let her down

i contemplated not publishing this post because i want this place to be a source of inspiration, but at the same time i want it to be real.  this is my real life i write about here, not just things i make and thrift store finds.  i'm trying to get a little more personal, something that is hard for me because i also want to respect my family and mostly, my daughter's privacy.  so where do you find that line, that line of sharing enough so people feel a connection, but not sharing too much?

this post was supposed to be about this little fairy garden my daughter and i made yesterday.  i was going to give you lots of pictures of this charming, everything mini, garden, but i'm going to tell you about what happened before we/i made the fairy garden.  just because, because it's not always happy and smiley around here, most of the time it is but i mess up sometimes and yesterday i messed up big.  this is not a pity party either, so no comments about what a great mom i am, okay?  i'm just being real with you.  so, on with the story.  i wish i was a better story teller.  

to some of you, this will seem petty, but not to me.  it's not a big deal, but i can't tell you how bad i felt to make my daughter cry, not because she didn't like the way i was disciplining her, not because i didn't buy her something, but i made her cry because i disappointed her.  i let her down.  i missed a big part of her ballet performance at school.  my husband and i miscommunicated or had a lack of communication about her ballet outfit and i was late.  she was crying before i got there and was dressed in someone else's ballet clothes when i arrived.  i just missed it.  all the other parents were there, some moms and dads, and when it was my girl's turn neither her mama or her dad were there.  it is not a serious ballet class, about 10 girls and they put on a little show for the parents at the end of the session, but it is still special for them.  my girl got over it quickly, by the time we were leaving school she was all smiles, but man, i felt like such a jerk the entire afternoon.

i tried to make it up to her.  i pulled her out of school for the rest of the day and we had lunch at our favorite mexican restaurant.  i let her bring both her babies into the restaurant (big deal to her) and afterwards we went to the plant store, where we got the flowers for our fairy garden.  she was totally into it at the plant store and then could care less when it came time to put it all together, another fail.  my hopes are that she will come around and this can be her garden that we can work on and maintain together.  i hope i haven't burnt her out on gardening already!  i thought it could be fun for her to play with her barbies with it while i work on the rest of my garden instead of the standard plastic barbie toys.  maybe barbie likes to garden?

my girl is such a lover and forgave me very easily.  we ended our day in the usual way, with stories, and hugs and kisses, but it definitely was one of those days that i wish i could take one moment back.  i wish i would've kept driving to school instead of turning around to get the ballet outfit or better yet, not plan my day so tightly that the littlest thing can throw off my entire day.  it seems silly, i know, so many other things to worry about, but little kids have big feelings and it's awful if you're the one to hurt them.  

i've still been making it up to my girl today, overcompensating for my bad move yesterday i guess.  today we had breakfast at panera, i took her to get her haircut at a kid hair salon i'd rather not go to, and then we rounded out the afternoon at the library. when i'm feeling it, i'll post the rest of the pictures of this pint size garden.

xo,
amber


Saturday, March 17, 2012

my chemistry project...

it worked!  there was a little more elbow grease than what i was hoping for, but not bad!



the baking soda/salt concoction really worked.  you literally watch some of the tarnish come off.  i didn't follow the directions perfectly.  sometimes i get so excited about stuff and i rush through things because i want to get to the end result quickly.  i put the baking soda and salt into the foil lined dish before adding the water and it spattered and spit and made a mess all over my black dining table.  just beware, if you're like me and have a tendency to jump the gun.  everything still worked fine.  some of the silverware was soaked twice and some i gave a little extra loving from mr. scotch brite.  i wouldn't take a scotch brite to silverware that was a family heirloom, but heck, this bag 'o silver was cheap and i didn't care if i messed it up.  know what i mean jelly bean?


before


after


 an "S" for little miss S.  perfect.

i ended up with:

11 random knives
13 random forks
12 random spoons



now on to the stamping, if it turns out to be a disaster, which is highly likely, i won't report back.  if it turns out great, you know i'll let you know!

happy st. patty's day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

what came home with me

the past two fridays i've had amazing luck at the thrift store.  last week i got a neiman marcus fur stole in new condition. this week i happened upon all this goodness.  a bag of silver, which i will be trying this on because i'm not into polishing.  then i will be trying to stamp it with my new metal stamps/punches to look this, except hopefully mine will look a million times better.  wish me luck on that one!  the bag of silver had four complete place settings of random patterns.
i also scored this wool cape and j crew seersucker pants.

 i even got the floral ralph lauren fabric and the awning stripe fabric.  it's weird how it all works together.  do you think about where donated items from the thrift store come from?  i do.  in this case, i wonder if the same person loved this color palette at one time and donated all these items.  or is it a quinky dink?  anywho, hope you all have a fun filled weekend!  if you have any experience stamping silver, drop me a line.  i'd love to hear your tips!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a trial run

nothing like pie day to get you out of a cooking rut.  it's been a while since i've done a cooking post.  i haven't been cooking much lately, nothing worth writing about anyway.  pie day is fast approaching, which has motivated me to make something, something delicious.
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i've never made a pie, they freak me out.  i have memories of my mom crying and cursing pie crust.  to minimize my pie crust anxiety i decided to make a galette.  i have to say, no tears were shed while making this galette crust/dough.
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this was my trial run and it was delicious, not a crumb left. now, i just need to figure out how to transfer it from the baking sheet to the serving dish without breaking it! i almost cried when that happened. recipe can be found here .   if you're free on sunday come to pie day.  it's being hosted at the most adorable store in encinitas, owned by the hippest mother-daughter duo around.

 happy thursday, friends!

Friday, March 2, 2012

old school... literally


this is one of those things that i feel really lucky to have.  i feel like the person that sold it to me didn't really know what they had and i didn't either really until i went to hd buttercup last weekend.  or maybe she just thought i was a nice girl and could tell i would put this old school scroll to good use.  it's from the late 1890's.  i've had this rolled up in a high place for about a year.  


sometimes i buy things and i have no idea where i'm going to put them, but i buy them because i love them and know they will eventually find a place in my home.  you don't come across stuff like this everyday, so when you find it, you have to snatch it up!  i bought this for the colors and fonts on the front page, but there is so much more inside.  i think when i redesign my blog i want it to look like this green and blue page, except not green and blue, more neutral, black and linen maybe?


back to the scroll, there are about twenty pages in almost perfect condition.  the back of the school scroll is the same as the front with the green background a blue text.



hd buttercup, the store i posted about last, had tables full of pages like these, but they weren't as old and one page there cost about what i paid for the entire scroll.  i've contemplated taking the scroll apart and framing the individual pages, but i can't do it.  i think it needs to stay in original form.  each page is about 3' x 5'.


 have any of you ever seen anything like this?



i never had.  i think the final resting place for the scroll is in my daughter's big girl room, when i get around to re-doing it.  you can see what i have in mind for the rest of her room on this pinboard.


other items i saw at hd buttercup were vintage maps.  i also bought this about a year ago.  it looks really gross on my builder grade, vanilla paint, but imagine against bright white, planked walls :).  i'll get there eventually.


i'm not so sure this is vintage because the staining or the overall yellowness seems exaggerated.


but then this is how it's backed, which makes me think it's older.


i don't really care how old it is, i just know i like it.  what are your thoughts?  reproduction?  legit?

hope you all have a fun weekend planned!  i will heading back to LA again for my grandfather's birthday and hopefully a little flea marketing on Sunday... if i can twist my husband's arm!