Friday, January 30, 2009

For Fun--A Guessing Game

A bit of my own contest here.  Can you guess how old I am in this picture?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Valances

The other pictures from the big installation last week.  This valance is in the pantry.  The valance below is one of two in the great room.  The one in the kitchen looks the same as the pantry except it is in the same fabric as those in the great room.
The funny thing about window treatments, which I personally do not like (go figure), is that they can add so much to a room without being intrusive.  Take these valances, for example.  All they really do is add some color and 'finish' the room without taking over.  They are not blocking any light or taking away from the view.  So even if I like bare windows, I will continue to make them for my clients because I can see the difference they make in a space.  It kind of takes it from just a house to a warm and inviting home.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I am teaching 2 girls to sew; the one at the machine just turned 8 and her sister is 11,  
and once a week, for two hours, we work on different projects.
Yesterday, Gabriella wanted to make a sleeping bag for her 3 American Girl dolls.
Isabella at the ironing board.  She hasn't quite grasped the notion that sewing and ironing go hand-in-hand.  I'll keep working on it.
The 3 dolls in their new sleeping bag.
Gabriella putting herself in the sleeping bag along with the dolls.
 Isabella sewed a label onto the pillow she made.

Be sure to scroll down for the One World One Heart Giveaway.  The post is from 19 January.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Fabulous Barn Sale

Yesterday, Debbie and I drove up to Temecula to the La Maison Rustique Barn Sale.  As always, it was a blast.  

Debbie, Mary, Sherri and me

Alice, Mary. Sherri and me
Wonderful words that pretty much sum up the Barn experience!
Lots of treasures and trinkets that need new homes
Playing dress up

Friday, January 23, 2009

These window treatments were just installed at a client's house here in Coronado. I've been working all week on this job. I 'made' sheers for 23 windows. Really what I did was either shorten or add existing widths together or both. I really do not like working with sheer, ever. It was quite a challenge. Anyway, some of those 23 windows have top treatments as well. The shots above are in the living room, dining room and the powder room. Next time I'll post the other valances in the family room and kitchen.

Be sure to check my post from 19 January to enter the One World One Heart Giveaway for a chance to win the daisy pillow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pillows From Various Vintage Pieces

All of these pillows are made from different vintage components. The top photo is an old rug. It wasn't the easiest pillow I ever made, but fortunately I have an industrial machine that makes it possible to sew heavy items that would break my regular Bernina. The second picture is some kind of crewel work and looks great as a pillow. The next shot is of pillows made from a vintage "Wizard of Oz" bedspread. I also made roman shades from this piece. The last pillow is made from an old embroidery sampler. All of these vintage pieces were purchased at swap meets or thrift stores in San Diego. There are so many treasures just waiting to be picked up and given a new life.

Be sure check out my last post and enter to win the daisy pillow. Just leave a comment and tell me you want to be included.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World Giveaway!

One World Giveaway!
Enter to win Below.

I'll be giving away this wonderful "Button On" Daisy Feather Down Pillow.

Please leave your "Comment & Info" on This Post to enter.

Drawing will be held on Febuary 12, '2009

Thanks for your entry!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Beeswax Canvas Collage With Tricia Samsal

I've just returned from my class at Paper Tales in Point Loma.  Tricia Samsal came in from Arizona to teach us how to make a beeswax canvas collage.
While the table was still neat and clean...
Me with Tricia
In the process
And, ta da, the finished product.  

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I made these beautiful pillows yesterday.  The fabric is a 100% silk taffeta, white and beige stripe with French script in gold.  I used a small, gold braid trim in place of self-welting.  These are for a client in La Jolla and fabric, at cost, was over $400.  Not inexpensive pillows, to say the least.  They did turn out very well and I know my client will be pleased.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Custom Lamp Shade and Famous Last Words

Sally Dixon Martin, a fabulous interior designer here in San Diego once asked me if I could do a custom lamp shade.  I said, "Sure.  How hard can it be?"  Well, let me tell you, it isn't easy. It is very hard to tell from the photograph, but this lamp shade was huge!  First I had to take apart the existing shade so I could figure out how it was done and how to re-do it.  It involved sewing and gluing and was in no way an easy thing to do.  For my first attempt, I was pretty happy with how it tuned out.  I am pretty sure that Sally told me the client whose home she was working on and for whom I had done this lamp shade was being shot for Home Companion magazine, but I either wasn't paying attention or I forgot.
You can just imagine my surprise when I was in Bay Books and there's my lamp shade on the cover of the magazine!  I was so excited.  I bought the magazine and as I was walking down the street, everyone I met (no one I knew, of course) I showed them the cover and told them I made the shade.  Thinking back now, it was pretty funny.  I couldn't help myself though.  I was just so excited and wanted to share it with anyone I saw.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Yesterday, I decided to at least paint my mannequin bright pink.  Luckily, I already had a can of spray paint.  It looks so much better just wearing a new color that I may leave it like this.  I am actually torn because if I want to use it to display my starfish necklaces, it would be better left plain.  On the other hand, the possibilities to really fancy it up are, well, endless.  Decisions, decisions!!!!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 8, 2009


A lovely gift from Joy.  



Okay, this is a bit of a departure from the usual treasures I pick up in the alleys of Coronado.  However,  I just couldn't pass it up.  Of course,  I have no idea what to do with it, but I feel certain there must be some really cool idea that I'll come up with.  As with everything I find, I  figure that I can always put it back in the alley for someone else to pick up if I just can't decide what to do with it.  It just seems that for it to actually go into the trash is a bad thing.  If anyone has any ideas for transforming it from 'trash' to 'treasure,' I am more than open to suggestions.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Part 3 Of The Really Big Job

This is the master bedroom.  I did the headboard cover, the pillows shams (both in the black and white silk gingham,) the duvet cover (just like the ones in her daughters' room,) and the box pleated bed skirt.  That skirt took me three days to pleat.  Literally.  Partly because I didn't know what I was doing and partly because she wanted the pleats to be 2 1/2" or 3 1/2" exactly and I couldn't seem to work it out so that it was the right size.  Anyway, it turned out very well, but what a pain.The headboard and shams.
After doing this skirt, I finally understood why box pleated skirts cost so much more than tailored or even gathered.  They are a ton more work.
This chair in the bathroom was basically just decorative.  If you notice it dips in the seat area.  That's because there isn't a cushion there.  She just really liked the way the chair looked in the bathroom and putting a "doily-like" cover over it allowed her to keep it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Part 2 of My First Really Big Slipcover Job

These slipcovers are the second ones I ever made.  There were two chairs, an ottoman and this sofa.  Remember I was still in the very early learning stage of making slipcovers and was so unsure of my abilitiy that things would take me forever to do.  About a year after I did this woman's house and I actually felt like I knew what I was doing, I seriously considered calling her and telling her that if she bought the fabric, I would re-do all of the slipcovers.  I never called to make the offer and she never contacted me to tell me that they had fallen apart.  I always wished I had done a better job for her.

This was her daughters' room.  Again, everything was in white:  the duvet covers, the beds and the pillows.  After a while, you do start going blind with all the white.

I can't seem to get any more than 5 pictures on my posts, so next time I'll show you the master bedroom.  She actually had me use a black and white silk on a couple of the things I made.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Slipcover--Before & After

Remember I said you can slipcover any piece of furniture, regardless of how ugly it is?  Well, here is a perfect example of that theory in practice.  This 'before' is an old, not-so-pretty chaise,  worn and in need of some TLC.  It either was destined for the alley (where someone like me would have rescued it and re-did it to sell) or it had to be reupholstered or slipcovered.  The 'after' is much, much prettier and is now in Orange Blossom, an adorable boutique on Orange Avenue in Coronado. 
I prefer using buttons on slipcovers instead of zippers.  
It is hard to see in these pictures, but the buttons and the welting are of a green/white check for a contrast with the bright pink.
When slipcovering a piece with tufting, generally your just ignore it.  You can't really tell once the slipcover is installed that it is even there.