Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fall & Sewing Room Rag Banners

Last week I became inspired by the arrival of fall to make some banners for my home. I thought I would make one for my sewing room and a fall one for my mantle.  It was so much fun and allowed me to match the numerous beautiful fabrics that are out there and play with colors that blend and match. I simply love all things fabric.

The first one I made was for my sewing room. I had already made the pink Etsie and Me banner for my sewing room several weeks ago. You can see that one in the photo below, but the rag banner hanging below it was the one I just completed.

I'm going to share a small tutorial on how to make this.  Here is the list for assembly:

1 /4 yard of 5 different fabrics.
two spools of decorative ribbon that coordinated
Bias Tape or Jute Cord the length you want the banner to be

I then laid out my fabric and cut with my pinking shears 2 1/2 strips the width of the fabric. Each strip measured 2 1/2 X whatever the width of 1/4 yard wide is. Don't have a tape measure handy to give you the accurate measurement right now. But they don't have to be precise. That's the beauty of it.

Take your bias tape or jute cording (I used black bias tape for the Etsie and Me banner)  and tied it to a knob and stretched it across and tied it to another door knob so I could work easier. Taking each strip and folding it in half I came over the top of the bias tape and pulled the ends though the loop, not pulling it not too tightly as you want to see the color of the fabric on the loops. I put one color of fabric on and then another until I created the pattern I liked best. I then went back and cut my ribbon and attached it in he same manner.  I put my fabric in order of the way I wanted it to look.  I think it turned out great.

Here is the fall one that I created for my mantle.  I loved the colors in this one too. The pumpkin banner that I bought at Kirkland's goes well with the rag banner I made.

Here is the detail of my fall garland.  You can see my fabric selections.

My niece, Tiffany Clark made her fall. One also. I thought I would share these so you can also see some variations in mixing colors.  Loved hers too. 

 The pom pom garland that is in the picture below, I also purchased for another project.  But I love it!

Get busy and decorate your home for fall.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Beautiful Baby Shower

We are so excited that we are having a new grandchild.  We don't know the sex so it will be a beautiful surprise.  I will be sharing pictures to blogland when he or she arrives. 
Today I did want to share with you the shower that five of our relatives and friends held for our daughter in law last month.  It was simply beautiful and one of the prettiest showers I have ever attended.  It was held at the home of Kathryn Black a dear friend of ours and she and our friends did everything just right.  Below are a few pics.
I don't think Kathy would mind sharing these pictures with you as her house is simply beautiful.  Along with all the wonderful things they all did for the shower, it will be a nice treat just to see how she decorated her beautiful home.

This is the beautiful layout of food that was prepared by all those wonderful ladies.  There were chicken salad croissants, petifore’s, sausage balls, nuts, cheese ball, fruit kabobs, and so much more that I can't even remember.  So much food that it was simply beautiful.  As you can tell she used her kitchen bar as the serving table.  Notice the beautiful little silver blackboard on the easel.  It says:
Ten little fingers,
Ten little toes,
Two little eyes,
One little nose
Boy or Girl,
Nobody knows.

The wooden baby bassinet that is painted gray was made by Kathy herself with a
 pretty initial B on it for our last name.

  Notice the beautiful banner behind them that says Baby Burch.  My sweet niece, Tiffany made that to go over the baby's crib. And the sign under the table that says Dream Big Little One.

Our son made this sign for her to take to the hospital with them when they deliver. Everyone at the shower signed it with their best wishes as everyone that visits the hospital will do also.  Then they will hang it on their front door after they come home.  This was my daughter, Meg's idea and she got her brother Brock to make the sign for the shower.
These are some the cousins, big and small that came to the shower.  I don't know why we didn't get a picture of our sweet hostesses.  I feel so bad that didn't happen.

More beautiful cousins!

So many gifts to open. 
This is our son, Brock and daughter-in-law comparing tummies.  We are looking forward to seeing our sweet little one around November 29th. 
Thankful hearts around Thanksgiving!  Wonder what it will be?  Only our good Lord knows!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Best Dressed, Manners, Beautiful Homes & Savoring Moments

Today, I thought I would poach a subject that is near and dear to all Southern bred women and really to all women, best dressed, minding your manners, creating a beautiful home, and savoring your moments.

I have been following a wonderful author for about 25 years, Alexandra Stoddard. These are just a few of her books.  They helped me develop my sense of style. 

  • Daring to Be Yourself
  • Living a Beautiful Life
  • Open Your Eyes
  • Feeling at Home
  • Choosing Happiness

You can find her website at: www.Alexandrastoddard.com. Some of her ideas are right in line with things my mom has taught me and some thoughts that I read on a previous post from French Garden House blog.  French Garden House was speaking on French and European women I thought these all applied to the Southern women of the south and just women in general. 

Also check her out here: http://frenchgardenhouse.com/blog/french-lessons-6-tips-for-living-like-a-french-woman/

We need to take these to heart as we are losing some of these beautiful characteristics of a Southern woman with the fast route of fast food; stretch pants and just living sloppy in general! 

Everything I know about gracious living I learned from my mother, Margaret Reames Holland as she had an incredible sense of style too. She taught me “pretty is as pretty does” and to always act like a lady, to create a beautiful, warm and welcoming home, and to invite friends and neighbors over for her Southern desserts. I miss my mom every day and only wish she had been around to help raise my children with my husband and me.  Her style, attention to detail and her recipes were wonderful!  When she walked in a room, everyone turned to notice.  I so miss that.  I know few women that have that presence of self-confidence. 

BEST DRESSED.   I try to never go anywhere without make-up on and some accessories, ever.  Looking nice and stylish is very important to me.  I guess my mom’s sense of style wore off on me.  I may not have the most up to date clothing on sometimes, but being confident in what I am wearing is so important.  Buy the best you can purchase.

French Garden House blog mentions that there isn't a single woman in Europe who would go outdoors in sweat pants, unless she's jogging, period.  Everyone has a fashionable coat, a scarf, and great shoes. What a way to do it!  For Europeans, looking good is a way of life. Even a quick trip to the market requires a certain level of chicness.

Some of my mom’s rules:

1.    There is no excuse for not taking care of yourself. Even if you are stressed, you will feel so much better if you find some time to do your hair and makeup and use some body lotion. You will be able to give back to others once you do this.

2.    Find YOUR style, realizing that the most popular style may not look great on your body. If this is the case then revert to the styles, colors, shapes and fabrics that work for you, stick with those. Trends come and go, what fits and looks good on you is forever.

3.    Always make a habit to buy the best you can afford. Investing in cheap fabrics looks just that, CHEAP. Invest in the real thing such as real cotton, linen, cashmere and silk. There are some polyesters on the market that look amazing these days, just shop wisely. The key word is "look amazing."

4.    Fit is KEY. If your clothes fit poorly take them to a tailor/seamstress and have them professionally tailored. If your pants hit the floor take care of that hem.  If something will never fit your body right, donate it.

MIND YOUR MANNERS. My mother always said that perfect manners are essential to be a true Christian Southern Lady.  Pretty is as Pretty does! Inside and out!
I remember putting my foot on the pew to straighten my white socks in my white patent leather shoes at church, only to be pinched softly by my mom.  I never did that again!

·         no swearing, cursing or using slang language, seriously!

·         good posture makes every woman look classy, and slimmer too!

·         smoking is never elegant, if you have this habit and can’t break it, do it in private.

·         leave lots to the imagination such as low-cut, skimpy and tight clothes are not for you! No one wants to see your hinny, or your chest exposed.

Southern women use their beautiful things, and are so adept at creating little beautiful vignettes almost anywhere. Try a beverage bar.  Coffee and soft drinks are always welcoming when guest arrive.

You will not very likely find paper plates when true Southern women entertain. They use their antiques, their silver, and their best glassware for guests.

CREATE BEAUTY AT HOME. You don't have to live in a large home to have a pleasing home, it's not too difficult to make your home welcoming and a nice place to come to. Bring some beauty to your world.  I try to have fresh flowers when possible when I entertain.

Flowers don't need to be all that expensive, you can pick up a little bunch at the market, or cut a few flowers from your garden. There are times that I clip branches from our front garden and call it an arrangement, they look beautiful. I’ve even decorated with branches in my chandeliers. 

SAVOR MOMENTS. French Garden House wrote that the whole concept of picking up a coffee and drinking it while driving somewhere is so foreign to European women.  When they drink coffee or tea, they make it an event. You can do the same. 

In America, we enjoy our fast food, however when you have a guest savor the moments that you have together, sharing, talking, smiling and encouraging your friends/guest.  They will cherish these times you shared together and remember them for a long time.  Plus, your relationship will blossom from these savored moments.

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Southern's Love for Fresh Lady Peas

I wanted to share with you all a true Southerner's love of Lady Peas otherwise known as Creamette 12.  They are the sweetest of peas available.  Many, many varieties are grown by the South Georgia farmers, such as Pink Eyes, Zipper Peas, Little Lady Peas, Crowders and Purple Hull Peas, however the Lady Pea is by far the best!  My children love these peas and when we have a family gathering they always ask for me to make some.  I try to keep my freezer stocked with these peas.

Our love for these peas started a long time ago in Middle Georgia, Columbus to be exact.  My husband's momma and my mother cooked them all the time.  They used to be more readily available to the housewife back in the 50s and 60s.  Now you can't find them unless you go to South Georgia to a farmer's stand.  Even down south where my best friend grew up, you must get in line with the local farmer (if you are on his good list) and put your name down to get how many bushels you want to put up and there is a limit you can ask for. 

In recent years, I would go south with my friend to her home town and we would get lady peas and put them up and then bring them back to Atlanta frozen.  Then I would stock them for the winter in my freezer.  This is a practice that I still do, however this summer we were not able to do this as her freezer there went out.  So, recently when visiting South Georgia for a funeral, we stopped at a local farmer stand on the way home and they had a refrigerator with one bushel shelled for sale.  This is so rare this late in the season since it was September.  Of course, I snapped up that bushel for $32.00 and asked my hubby to go next door for ice for our Costco cooler to get them home. He's always accommodating to my whims, at least usually.

When we arrived home, this was my freezing preparation process:
  1. Put peas in a very clean large bowl and wash, taking out any trash you might have in gathering.
  2. Put a large stock pot on to boil using a double stock pot with strainer.  If you don't have a double stock pot with strainer don't worry. I used a regular stock pan for years and just strained the hot water off with my colander instead of the strainer inside the stock pot.
  3. Add peas and bring to a boil and boil for 6 minutes.
  4. Make sure you don't put too much water in as it will over boil.  Just cover the peas.
  5. While the peas are boiling, remove the skim that forms at the top, but you won't be able to gather it all.
  6. While the peas are boiling prepare your sink by cleaning it extensively.
  7. Fill it with cold water, enough to cover peas 
  8. Add enough ice so that the water is ice cold.
  9. Strain peas and only add peas to the ice-cold bath.
  10. Let peas sit in bath for a good 5-10 minutes making sure they are ice cold before removing.
  11. Start filling quart size Ziploc Freezer Bags for individual servings. Add a tiny bit of water and start to seal the Ziploc by folding over the bag expelling the air from the bag.  The water will help to push the air out.
  12. Place in your freezer after you date and label the bags.

While everyone has a different method of freezing, this one seems to work for me.  I have frozen peas for years this way and it always works. You never want to put them in the freezer while warm as they will sour.

Look for your peas soon as I believe the fall crops will be coming out at local farmer's markets around Georgia.  They will go fast! You will be so glad in January you did.

Happy Freezing!

Monday, August 28, 2017

My New Sewing Room,

WELCOME to my NEW Sewing Room!

My husband decided that the Art Room we shared together was no longer big enough for the two of us because he is taking some art consignment work now and doing more and more of his art. So we have made a monumental effort to separate the Art Room into two rooms, one being my Sewing Room and the other will become his Art Room.  He has moved out!  Sorry to see him leave, but so glad he's only moving to the Art Room and out of my space.  Now I can sew till my hearts content. 🎔 

As soon as you walk into the room there is a long file cabinet that we got from Ballard's Back Room in Roswell over 10 years ago.  We have two of them and used them back to back when his art was in this tiny room with me.  But he has moved his out and mine was then placed against the wall under the bulletin board. Which the bulletin board is full of our family and favorite sayings, etc.  I think this is why I love this room of our home.  It has a lot of pictures on the board and makes my heart sing!

The small book case in the back houses more ribbon in the bins and also craft supplies in jars.  Below is my knitting yarn and decorating ribbon used for wreaths, etc.  Of course, on the floor is scrapbooks that I haven't put away yet. 

In the center of the room is my new (rather old used) table that I just purchased Saturday from Encore in Peachtree City.  It was only 67.50.  I love it.  I moved the round sisal rug up here and put it on top.  It gives me a place to do my work while sitting in my two chairs that also came from Ballard's Backroom.  We acquired all this furniture in the room from them at the same time when the room was originally created.

This corner above houses some of my to do items in the black bucket, paper that I use for wrapping, etc. and a green tin that holds my small collection of yard sticks and some embroidery supplies.  My husband put up the two antique paper racks that I had mounted on the file cabinets before.  I love them up here as they now are not only usable but also pretty.

This is between the two windows and is an old sewing table base that I pulled in from the yard.  It was on our back deck to hold beverages when we entertain outside.  It has a piece of granite that my friend Kathryn Black gave me when her son-in-law was getting rid of a supply that someone else gave him of odd pieces.  It's now holding my Silhouette machine.

Also the pink canvas above has my wooden initials mounted on the canvas.  It was originally red as I work for Chick-fil-A Support Center and had it in my office until we moved across the street.  Anyway I painted the background pink and love it in this new space.

The lamp initial is just one of those peel and stick initials on the shade.  Love it! 

The armoire in the background holds all of my scrap booking supplies and my green laptop that helps me with my embroidery machine.  I have room to slide over the cream chair and work in that space when needed.  I want to get back into some scrap booking soon so the new/old center table will assist me with that.  I love the centerpiece that I created.  It's a wire manikin and is covered with ribbon of all kind and pinned at the waist with a beautiful ladies pin.  I've had it for years but put it in the cream bowl and covered the inside with old pearl buttons to the top for a beautiful base. Also, the old Singer at the top was one of the first electric machines invented and was a gift from my son-in-law. He said it was over 100 years old. 

This is the closet of the room.  Inside it houses my embroidery machine to the left, my surger in the middle and on the right is my Singer sewing machine. I made the covers out of the Ballard's Design fabric ten years ago. 

Here's my Singer on the right side of the closet.  I love the thread holder that my husband made about 25 years ago as I have always loved to sew.

To the right of my Singer sewing machine is a place where a wonderful craftsman, Ray, built my shelving in the closet ten years ago where I put my wrapping paper.  It has separators and needs to be straightened out as I have too much paper.

Also my Singer was purchased in 1973 and still works beautifully except the bobbin winder sometimes gives me fits.  So I purchased a bobbin winder (the white case in the background).  I think it was $15.00 at Hancock Fabrics.  Love it!  So easy!

You will also notice the closet wiring that is normally used to hang clothing on.  I used it for my curling ribbon collection. I can just put it on there and it reels right off when I need it. 

This is the left side of the closet and I have utilized all the shelving in the closet.  I have a green bin for each of my children and what hasn't been scrap booked already is in there for future use.  I separated all our pictures and memories years ago and each of our two children have a green tub and their clothes and other items have a larger tub under our beds.  Even our grandchildren, myself and hubby have their own tubs. 

The chair was purchased at the Furniture Liquidation Store in Forsyth, GA for only $35.00.  I had it recovered in a fun fabric and have loved the way it turned out. 
I also love the chair to use in the morning when I am able to do my devotions.

The antique little black tea stand on the right of my chair has some sewing items such as seam rippers, needles & pins in the organizer there on top.  I also have a little book there on the second shelf that I use for keeping up with all my fabrics, paints, pictures, etc. of each room of our home which is useful when I go shopping.

The window treatments are fun.  I also made them ten years ago.  The molding at the top was done by my husband and the window treatments are held by wooden pegs and ribbon.

These 2 large cabinets were given to me by our best friends and that's where I store all my fabric except the upholstery/drapery fabric in the back cart that is also old and spray painted black.  I've tried to make the Sewing room consistent over the years and purchase only green/pink/black items to go in.  Seems to be my signature color.

I have so enjoyed sharing my new Sewing room with you!  I hope I have inspired you to make a room to call your own. I'm sure since I only moved in two weeks ago that I will have some new organization inspired ideas as I check out Pinterest in the next months.  I'll try to keep you posted when that happens! 

Happy SEWING ladies!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ELVIS Birthday Trip 2017

Today I'm going to share my post about our trip to Memphis to go to Graceland!  I surprised my husband for his 70th birthday to venture out on a total surprise for him.  He had absolutely no idea where we were going but just a long weekend trip.  We left on a Saturday morning in July and started driving toward Birmingham.  He guessed several times where we were going, however didn't put it all together until we got on the other side of Birmingham.  Then he saw the Memphis signs and guessed our destination.

You see he and I both are huge ELVIS fans!  When we were young married and he was in college, our hobby together was to go to ELVIS concerts.  Yes, he saw him in concert in person all over the southeast 13 times and I saw ELVIS 9 times.  It was a great experience to share together.  When ELVIS died I was only 26 years old, and we both were devastated. 

I had made our reservations at the new hotel in Memphis, The Inn at Graceland.  It was a beautiful hotel and was decorated in true ELVIS style. 

When we arrived late Friday afternoon we were hungry and ready to eat, so we decided to check out Marlow's!  It seems that you go to the Conciere Desk and ask for a pink cadallac to go to Marlows and they pick you up there at Graceland. We had the best ribs I believe I had ever eaten plus the driver was awesome.  It seems that when he was a teenager, he had a girlfriend that lived behind ELVIS and she taught ballet.  ELVIS wanted her to teach Lisa Marie how to dance so he put a gate up between her yard and his and she could come and go between the yards to give her lessons.  He also said that they used to sneak over to ELVIS' pool and swim at night when they thought no one was watching. They got ran out numerous times, only to return again and again.  Funny stories he told. 

He also said that when we got to Marlow's that we should ask for CJ (I believe was her name) in the gift shop and that she dated ELVIS.  He said we should ask her when we meet her specifically "what ELVIS gave her on their first date". So when we arrived we went to the gift shop and met her we asked the question.... She said that ELVIS rented a movie theatre and they were sitting watching the movie.  He asked her what her favorite color was, she said red.  He excused himself and she thought he went to the men's room only to return shortly afterwards.  When they left the movie, he presented her with a burgundy Pontiac Lemans right outside of the theatre.  He said burgundy was the best he could do that late at night.   

This was us at the Graceland gates after dinner.  Graceland is literally one block down from the Inn. 

Close shot of the brick wall at the gate. I thought it was really cool all of the signatures and sentiments to ELVIS written on the wall.  It's a great piece of grafheti.

As you know today is the anniversary of his death so I would really love to be there today, but not possible to go back right now.  They say that they line up the afternoon of his death anniversary and everyone walks by the memorial garden on the grounds and pays respects until everyone in the line, no matter how long is able to pay respects.  Sometimes it's 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. the next morning. 

This was a photo of ELVIS in one of his cars at the new ELVIS pavilion across the street from Graceland.  It's a beautiful new complex and has all of his cars, outfits, memorabilia, and other star's outfits that had beautiful sentiments said about ELVIS and his music.  It was a great place to spend several hours just going through all his stuff!  You actually board a bus to go over to Graceland from his site.  The airplanes were also here to go through. 

In the automobile display room these were signs on the walls and were huge.  I thought the one above was great since it told the story of the American Dream and how it spoke of American's freedom.

Its strange ELVIS was a very shy person, but was always self confident in his talent.  That's why he was able to sell himself to the world as a great artist. 

These pics of the gold suit, his early guitar and shoes show the 50's & 60's style of ELVIS and his eccentric sense of style.


Once we reached the house, there is a room outside, where ELVIS and Pricilla had their wedding reception, with more memorabilia in it.  I caught a glimpse of this baby blanket that was Lisa Marie's.  It had this writing on it and thought it was so precious.  It says:
To Lisa
Long Beach Arena
I love my Lisa
Wednesday August 15, 1972 

This was Pricilla's Dune Buggy they used to go all over the property with.  Loved it because it was PINK!

Then on to the next stop.  Near the airplanes you can board a bus to go to Sun Records in downtown Memphis.  You will need to ride the Graceland Inn bus back to the hotel.  Sun is where he made it big and cut his first records beginning July 1954. 

History of Sun Records

ELVIS and Sun Records history

This is my hubby in front of the infamous Sun Studio building.

We had such a fun time on our 3 day weekend.  It was a packed, fast, fun weekend trip and my husband loved it all as did I.  I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of ELVIS and his world as it was in the 50s, 60s & 70's and what they have done with it today.  We still mourn ELVIS but so grateful he left behind a ton of music for us to enjoy.  Thanks for viewing my post and hope you return for more fun adventures next time.