Embellishing My Jean Jacket

DSC_0001Most of you know I am an art quilter. I paint, collage and thread paint my quilts. I’ve never been much of a traditional quilter. But let me tell you…English paper piecing is addictive!! I picked up these little paper kits free at many quilt shows and thought oh that’s nice. Then I watched a demo at the Paper Pieces booth at one of the AQS shows and was hooked. My mother is addicted too. It’s nice to share addictions with those you love. :) I’m not going to show you a detailed class on how to do this, but if you are looking for a total portable way to quilt on vacation or visiting the kids, go to their site and you will learn lots. They sell every kind of paper to create these little marvels. It’s kind of a light weight card stock that you baste your fabric around them, press and starch, and then hand stitch together. Check it out or go to your local quilt shop and they will give you a lesson.

I keep a little kit together of everything you see above plus threads in neutrals, needles and my fabric choices. Easy peasy.

Us quilters create things that we think, OK, what am I going to do with this now. I put together these English paper pieced fussy cut flowers and stopped myself to get a plan. I love denim jackets. I have bought 2 at resale shops that are my go to jackets come cooler weather. I love to wear vintage brooches on them and I am always surprised at the compliments I get when I wear them. Soooo, I decided to embellish the back of a jacket.

DSC_0003This is the back side of a flower. You can see the 1 1/2 inch paper pieces inside. You can also see the basting stitches that keeps the fabric snugly around each piece. The next step is starching.

DSC_0005Everyone raves about Best Press. It leaves no residue and smells great. I spray and press each basted flower. The next part is removing the basting and removing the paper pieces. They are reusable. You don’t baste through the paper, just the fabric.

DSC_0002Here are the flowers without the paper. See how they keep their shape? You can use any spray starch you like. I just have been using Best Press lately.

Now for pinning the flowers on the back of my jacket. I had some doilies that I had picked up at a yard sale, so I added those too.

DSC_0007Simply pin your collage to the back of the jacket. I sewed inside the center of each middle hexagon. Then I sewed the outer edge of the flower. Then I used straight and zig zag stitches to sew the doilies down.

And here is the completed jacket. I am so happy with it. I plan to embellish a few more. I’ll do something different with the others.

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DSC_0004I added some extra doily to the inside of the pocket flap and left it loose. I used to wear the brooch on my collar, but now it looks great with the doily.

DSC_0005We would love to see some clothing embellishment ideas from you. We’ll even put them on the blog. Lets see what you can come up with. Have a great day.

Oliver’s Monthly Photo Shoot: 4 months

Our boy is growing up and growing BIG! He has teeth coming in, rolls over to his tummy in a heartbeat and is starting to laugh more and more! He’s becoming such a ham… and is still a great sleeper. We are lucky parents!

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And just to revisit the growing process this past third of a year… here’s 1 month old again:

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and two months…

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three months…

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and our big boy today at 4 months :-)

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As you saw in Mom’s last post, O also recently experienced his first swim in Tellico Lake with many more sure to come in his future. Later this summer he gets to meet the other side of the family on his first plane trip up to Minnesota. Pretty exciting days for this little guy!

 

Family Fest Over The Fourth!

DSC_0003Whew, I’m finally recovered from one of the best times in a while.  Seventeen of us were together here in Tennessee for the 4th of July. Everyone of our immediate family was here except my brother Steve and his fiance, Bridgett. We’ll see them next month at their wedding. We had both guest rooms filled, my mom had guests and my sister, Jody and Ed and their four kids stayed at a local hotel. There were no rentals available this year in Tellico Village. We’ll get on that earlier next time.

I really wanted this family gathering to go slick without me exhausted…ending in a company coma. I listened to Lindsey’s advice and assigned each family a night of providing dinner in whatever way they wanted. I highly recommend this option. It worked out wonderfully. I kept up on dishes, ran the dishwasher frequently and kept lunch stuff out everyday with the help of my sister, Jody. I did use the ever popular red solo cups and heavy paper plates as much as possible. We had leftovers everyday from the previous dinner which made lunches easy. Lots of salads of course. I also made some nasty good desserts so we always had something sweet. My sister-in-law, Kathy and brother, David provided a big candy bowl throughout the whole visit. We had drinks in a huge cooler in the mudroom and iced tea kept in the fridge. No one went hungry. Ed and Jody did burgers the first night with corn on the cob.

DSC_0036Grandpa Huntley made the corn cleaning fun. He is getting help from Abbie, Patrick and Andy.

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Roger spent months planning for this visit. We were both very excited. We purchased an outdoor movie screen, projector and sound system. He even came home from our neighborhood yard sale with a Karaoke machine…which I wasn’t too excited about, but it was fun! People started arriving Wednesday, then Thursday and finally Lindsey and Chad and baby Oliver on Friday afternoon.  Wednesday night was “Despicable Me” and was our trial streamed movie.

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DSC_0072We were very lucky with the weather. It was cool and the humidity was practically gone. We watched “How To Train Your Dragon” the next night. I loved those animated films. So good.

Finally Lindsey and Chad and Oliver arrived. Great grandma and grandpa couldn’t wait to see him for the first time.

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DSC_0025He was the best baby the whole time.

We did so much that I”m going to stop talking and just let the pics tell the story.

DSC_0056Me and my sis.

DSC_0032The newlyweds, David and Kathy. We celebrated with a little wedding cake. They went to Vegas last Nov. and had a beautiful wedding.

DSC_0022The newly engaged, Jon and Kenya! Sounds like another gathering in the spring.

DSC_0043I forgot to mention…2 grand dogs. Thats Alivia and Andy with Ollie and Anna. You can’t see Anna there…but she is. Ollie is an old girl and thinks 7 month old Anna is a pain. She put her in her place a few times. Ollie preferred to stay here.

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Other times were spent at the beach, the lake on the pontoon… in shifts of course. Oliver was well suited up for his first lake excursion.

DSC_0133Love those baby legs!

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DSC_0146 He was a little surprised at first and then was very happy. Grandma is out there in the wings, but Chad was on it. No worries.

DSC_0162Then he needed an after swim nap.

DSC_0028Grandpa time.

DSC_0101Alivia and Abbie with Oliver.

DSC_0098We also had S’mores…gheesh…I’m getting tired again just reminiscing.

Last but not least. the whole family.

DSC_0096 It was all so much fun and I hope it can become a tradition. Family traditions set wonderful memories for the kids that they will hopefully pass on.

I’m going back to bed now. Toodles.

 

Gum In The Dryer

I had 2 weeks of wash to do when we got home from the Orlando Volley Ball Tournament. That is usually the first thing I get done after a trip. I have never experienced gum in the clothes dryer ever in my 39 years of washing for this family. But the hubs evidently kept gum in his back pocket and I had no idea. When I removed the dark load I was shocked to find the walls of the dryer coated with minty melted gum and white paper shreds everywhere. So I thought I’d pass this little trick on to you all. I grabbed the Goo Gone, after alerting him to the problem, and generously soaked some paper towels. I kept rubbing away at every bit of gum and got it all out.  I could not believe that there wasn’t any gum on the clothes.  Goo Gone is the way to go if this happens to you. I was very impressed at how fast it cleaned up the mess. I wished I would have taken a picture…but I was a little hot under the collar.  All is well again in the George home.

Now we await the arrival of family members that are coming for the Fourth of July. Nineteen of us and 2 grand dogs in all . I went to the grocery store today and had to ask for help to get both carts out to my car. BOTH CARTS!  That was a first, but the  cupboards were pretty bare. I’ve assigned  each family a dinner night that they get to prepare. We are soooo looking forward to having everyone here. We have some real surprises in store for everyone. More later! I’m off to decorate for the holiday.

 

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Back From Orlando

I don’t know if I mentioned that my hubby, Roger, is a volleyball referee. He does tournaments all over the country and around our neck of the woods. Orlando popped up as an opportunity and I said “book it!” I was ready for 8 days in the sun. We stayed at a wonderful Sheraton Resort in Lake Bueana Vista. We actually went a few days early so he could have some fun in the sun before the referee job started. We went to Disney Animal Kingdom for the first time and I really loved it. You felt like you were in Africa. We checked out the Animal Kingdom Resort and it was so beautiful. If your room is on the back side of the resort, the giraffes and zebras come by for a visit. Of course every inch was done Disney Style. The decor was totally African motif. The lighting was beautiful. Lots of art installations and viewing areas to see the animals that freely roam the grounds. All the staff were in safari attire. I would love to spend some time there.

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The first thing we did was get on the Safari. That was really fun and you get to see free roaming animals in their own habitats. One of the giraffes

stood in the road for awhile, so we just waited and took some great pics.

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This is the Animal Kingdom “Tree of Life” Its pretty amazing. Animals are carved covering the entire circumference of the tree.

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The Safari was beautiful. We saw Lions, Silver Back Gorillas, a Cheetah in a tree, and everything else that you see in the movie, “The Lion King.”

You wander through Asia too with all the detailed decor and restaurants and animals specific to that area. Rog road on the Himalayan roller coaster that includes a Yeti that tries to get you through the pass. I’m a roller coaster wuss, so I took pictures. I have never understood why people get a rush from feeling like they are going to die.

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DSC_0173 He loved it! Disney sure knows how to make you happy. The place is meticulously clean.  The atmosphere makes you feel like you are really in these beautiful foreign countries… Ahhh Disney.

 After a day of fun, we headed back to the pool… Ahhhh the pool. We enjoyed some relaxing time and an adult beverage.

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I’m getting better at selfies!

Our Family is Growing Once Again

We are very excited about the engagement of Jon and Kenya. Jon is our son and Lindsey’s brother. No wedding plans as of yet, but ideas are getting tossed around. We are so happy and love our new future daughter in law.

uG3j2bGhrsp74_nVIKilLcH-1uUF_TOtBYJ9nPWA-ObkUSewQvh08ZWR-_aaJon and Kenya have bought a house and have been looking for some ideas to decorate. Boy they know how Linds and I love to do that. They bought a 3 year old house. So that makes it so much easier to get started. Kenya wanted to step out of her box of neutrals and add some pops of color. She and Jon like modern yet zen too. Sooooo here we go. Rog and I spent a weekend helping them paint and showing both Jon and Kenya how to do the job. Even Rog painted. (It’s not his forte’) He did a really good job too.

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I just had to take this photo. Kenya is a neat freak and I’ve never seen anyone vacuum out the dishwasher. But everything was sparking when she got through.

DSC_0014Two walls were done in this blue. They plan to lighten the back splash some day. We also talked about adding brushed nickel hardware to the cabinets.

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DSC_0009 The happy couple.

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A sunny yellow was applied to 2 focus walls and a very pale grey to all the rest of the walls throughout the down stairs and the master bedroom. They used the cobalt as 2 focus walls in the master. The house is full of bright white trim throughout. The colors looked so fresh. Their couch is charcoal and they plan to use a black and brushed nickel kitchen set. I don’t have pics of the place done and decorated yet, but after we left, they went to work getting the whole place decorated. It looks cozy and very zen. Rog and Jon did get the flat screen on the wall. It’s a man thing. I swear they would have done that first if we would have let them.

Then after the decorating… they added this.

DSC_0021Isn’t she a cutie? She is a beagle baby and spoiled. They are working very hard at puppy training. They are making good progress and we love her. Jon was raised with a Beagle, so I’m not surprised they ended up with one. She was a rescue pup. She is a lucky girl to be in such a loving family.

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Kitchen Cupboards in Annie Sloan Paint

tellico new house 022This was the original kitchen when we bought our little nest in Tennessee. I had a vision. And this is how it rolled out.

bedroom green & kitchen 005Then we had the big house additions and overhaul. Walls were removed from the right of the front counter. Can lighting instead of track.  I always wanted a tile back splash and white cabinets in this house, but we waited  2 years after we put in the new granite and white granite sink in and all new appliances. I had this wallpaper from a previous home, so I added it to brighten things up. My cabinets are a white wash  solid oak. The color was a very pinkish grey. So after discovering Annie Sloan paint, I decided to redo the cabinets. One thing I swore I would never do again after painting the cabinets in a house many years ago in oil base enamel. What a job that was. Annie Sloan needs no prep except a clean surface. You use a clear or dark wax when finished. So I started with Annie Sloan Pure White.

DSC_0011My granite has white, black, grey and brown. I forgot ot mention that we put in the marble back splash a few months ago. So the painting started.

DSC_0009Again…what a mess. I think the worse room to tear up is the kitchen. I completed these two banks of cabinets to see how I liked it. Plus, I am trying to do things at a little slower pace. I have to remember, I’m retired. I have the time. I actually did do a practice board and it looked pretty good.

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The completed look was nice. You can sort of compare the original cabinets on the right to the new one.  But… I hated them. If anything, it should have been a light grey rather than brown detail, but I wanted pure white. I went back to my Annie Sloan store and told the owner my plight. She was surprised it darkened that much, but the wax can does tell you that it will. Polyurethane will also darken the chalk paint. So she advised I use this product that she carries called ” Artisan Enhancements” by Aloha Coatings. I bought the Clear Topcoat Sealer. So back to square one. But no problem. The wax had cured almost a month and she said the chalk paint would go on without any prep once again. That is the big reason I love this paint so much.

DSC_0234 I used two thin coats of sealer on the completed paint and the finish is wonderful with a soft luster. I am very happy with the cabinets now. Even with the restart, I went through 3 quarts very slightly thinned Pure White. The paint can be very thick and they tell you that you can add a little water if needed. It goes on like butter.  I used 1 1/4 cans of the top coat. Love this stuff and my new cabinets.

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Isn’t she pretty. It was kind of a dark day when I shot this. But it really is a pure white. The back splash is a white grey marble. I used a brushed nickel hardware.

DSC_0237That white spot above the cabinets is the new socket for the lighting we had done above the cabinets. I will get that painted yellow soon. My yellow isn’t really that bright in real life. It’s a happy color.

DSC_0235So happy…and happy its done. By the way all the products are water and soap clean up. Can’t beat that. Also low VOC. You can check out Annie Sloan paint  here. Check around for a store in your area. The owners have to go through intense classes to carry the products.

Girls Weekend

Last weekend was girls weekend in DC. We did include Chad and Oliver of course for most of the festivities. We just couldn’t be without them. Lindsey, Natalie and Carly grew up together. They lived across the street. Needless to say, Sue and I shared advice and all that goes with raising kids. Natalie has one son named Gavin and Carly has a daughter, Sienna and twin boys named Graham and Landon.  Needless to say, they left their children home with their fathers for a well deserved vacation. I flew in Thursday so I could grandma sit my sweetness, Oliver. It was so fun and he was good as gold. He has sure grown in a month’s time. I went home with a worn out left arm from his weight.  He is a healthy breast fed baby. Sue, Natalie and Carly arrived around 1pm Friday and came straight to Lindsey’s house to meet  baby Oliver.

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We all relaxed from traveling and  enjoyed Oliver. Lindsey got home from work, Chad arrived and we all went for a wonderful dinner together and much conversation.

We planned the weekend and tomorrow was visiting the city of D.C. Carly had never been there.

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DSC_0047This shot wasn’t easy, but we tried. I had a few fad shots that I attempted. We had a lot of laughs over my selfies. Never shoot up!

DSC_0037The moms.

DSC_0070I loved the architecture of the Native American Museum. Lots of water, and such beautiful sandstone exterior. We toured the inside and Oliver had lunch.

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Chad had a little problem getting Oliver’s sunglasses on right. He’ll get it figured out. :) He’s such a good dad.

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What do you think of that Grandma S?

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Lindsey brought this great blanket and we all took a lunch break. Food truck food is the way to go in D.C.

DSC_0149Lindsey and Chad at the Capitol Building.

DSC_0153Natalie, Carly and Linds

DSC_0157Sue and I

DSC_0142We had the perfect day. There was even a breeze.

DSC_0143What do you think of my first selfie? I need practice. I won’t show you the worst ones. Whew!

DSC_0181Ice cream time. Oliver spent the time rolling over.

DSC_0173Sweet baby eyes. So precious in his Tigger hat.

DSC_0206This was the big thrill heading back to the car. The presidents motorcade sped by on the way back from the presidents speech at the Children’s National Medical Center. It was impressive. The secret service officer there yelled at us to get back and the whole crowd went silent. They do a great job of taking command of a crowd. Well, this ended the day in D.C. for Chad, Linds, Oliver and I. The other three headed to the monuments and we went home to give Oliver a nap in his bed and prepare dinner. Chad made the whole dinner. Grilled vege and chicken skewers with grilled pineapple. What a great hubby! Lindsey, you are a lucky girl! So am I.

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DSC_0215We decided to spend the day at the outlet mall the next day. Chad kept Oliver and it was a shop a- thon. So good to all be together again. It was a great time. Needless to say, Natalie and Carly were in close contact with the little ones at home. I joined them just for the photo.

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New Jewelry Too

I actually got the urge to create some new summer jewelry items. I really took a break from my etsy shop with all the health issues I was going through. I decided to destress wherever I could and still intend to stay in that mantra. OOHHMMMM! Namaste. :)  I have been walking and finally did get 8 lbs off (more to go). I do yoga at home and should get back to class, and of course the kayaking is both our new exercise regimen. It’s so nice to find exercise that you can’t wait to do. Anyway I digress. I’m simply going to show you some of my new pieces.

DSC_0020Green Aventurine and Amonizite

DSC_0002Summer colors in glass and Turquoise and Howlite

DSC_0010Czech Glass in Lime opaque and clear

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Resin Zinnias in coral.

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Sodalite and Czech glass. Most of these bracelets have a magnet that is so strong it will close itself. So easy. Well that is a glimpse of what I have been up to.

And now I’m off to see my little Oliver. Whoohooo…grandma can’t wait.

Our First Kayak Trip To Abrams Creek

Our neighbors , Barry and Jan, who got us interested in Kayaking, invited us to go  with them on Sat. We went to Abrams Creek about 45 min. from our house. We started on the river and paddled to get to the creek. We were hoping the Mountain Laurel was blooming when we got there…and it was. By the way, we drove our cars the 45 min to get to the river.DSC_0002This is Mountain Laurel and it is so pretty. Every bud looks a bit like a pie scored into pieces. You can see them floating on the creek like little cups.

We paddled for about 1/2 hour before we got to the creek. Kayaking is such a zen sport. It gives you such a  peaceful, happy feeling. Roger hopes I don’t start hugging trees. I do love nature though. It gives me all my ideas for my quilts.

DSC_0006That is Barry on the left, then Roger and Jan to the right. We couldn’t of had a more perfect day. We are entering the creek here.

DSC_0007This was the first time I took my Nikon with me. I kept it in a Ziploc bag and I have this great storage compartment behind me that stays dry. I was a little nervous about dropping it into the drink…but I didn’t. I really feel stable in my boat. I am surprised how confident I feel in it. Hope that doesn’t come back to bite me. The water is so shallow in the creek that you can see all the huge rocks on the bottom. The water is so clear.

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 We kept paddling and looking at flowers and all the beautiful scenery as we went along.

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DSC_0029Rog in his snazzy new boat.

Here started a little rapid area that we went through to get to still water and get out for a bit. Jan was first to go through.  Unfortunately I was the only one that couldn’t quite get through the current , so Barry gave me a little pull. It’s amazing how strong that current is and how hard you have to paddle against it to get through it. You also have to aim your boat right , but the current just didn’t let me. You have to aim through the huge rocks. Very fun.

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DSC_0027Jan on the other side. You go girl!

DSC_0030Roger going through successfully. Anyway we all made it.

So we all turned around and came out. I got stuck on a few rocks, but got off without a problem.

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DSC_0036So we paddled to a little shady spot and got out for lunch. Rog ate all the sandwiches in the boat, so I had an apple and power bars. He did leave me a few bites. He was a hungry man!

DSC_0040Here we are! This is one of the best things we have taken up and probably the most affordable! He really found us some nice kayaks. We are very happy with the equipment.  Barry and Jan are kayak and camping animals, we will be kayak and hotel wussy’s.

DSC_0043So back in the boats we go and start our paddle home.

DSC_0044We did a 5 mile kayak trip when all was said and done and we felt pretty proud. Let me tell you, we slept like logs last night. Monday we are planning to go to Lake Fontana. Talk about beauty. August we will have a 3 day overnight with the club at Lake Fontana. Tomorrow we will just go for the day if the weather is good. I LOVE KAYAKING!