Thursday, May 28, 2009


Everywhere I look, I see jars of buttons.  I happen to love buttons, so this doesn't seem strange to me.

A mayo jar, a vintage canning jar and large pickle jar all provide homes for some of my collection.
Assorted vintage buttons.
These brass buttons came from a ship wreck that I dove on.
Mixed in with these jars of buttons are jars of beads and shells, which I also happen to love.
Even a vintage tin box provides storage space.
In the Planters Peanut can is pink sand and shells from Cat Island in the Bahamas.
Vintage and not-so-vintage shell buttons.
Vintage glass buttons.

Do you think I might have a sickness?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This slipcover looks a lot less busy in person.  The good thing is it does hide dog fur much better because of the busyness.  And my client has 2 black labs that adore the furniture!
When I first delivered it, this is the skirt length I had made.  It never occurred to me to ask it she wanted it shorter.  She did wanted it shorter, so I took it home and shortened it.  A bit of a pain, but not that horrible.  All I had to do was take the skirt off, cut off the extra from the top, re-serge it and sew it back on.
It really does look better with the shorter skirt.  And she was happy.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I did these slipcovers for a client in Rancho Santa Fe, though looking at the pictures and the colors in the house, you might think they live in Boca Raton or Palm Beach.
The good thing about ultra suede is it is indestructible.  It is made of polyester and can be washed without shrinkage.  It doesn't wrinkle.  It is soft like suede.  The not-so-good- thing about it is the cost.  The fabric for this sectional was $90 per yard and I think I used about 45 yards.  Not inexpensive, to say the least.  There is plenty of fake ultra suede out there that is just as durable and at a fraction of the cost.  Those fabrics are not as thick as the real thing but look almost as good.  And they are much easier to work with, at least as far as pinning it goes.
Sewing ultra suede is easy.  Pinning it is not.  I meant to take my leather thimble when I went to cut this job, but I forgot it.  Big mistake.  Not even half way through cutting, I had to ask my client for band-aids.  It is really hard pushing pins through the fabric and it got to the point that my thumb was so sore I needed the band-aid for extra padding and to help me be able to get the pins in.  I kept thinking, oh this is going to be a pain to actually make, but the needle in my sewing machine was fine.  It was just my poor little thumb that had trouble.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Just a quick post about Market in the Garden, taking place 2 weeks from tomorrow, here in Coronado at Jane Pollock's beautiful ocean front home.  Click on the link for more info.  Or contact me, Debbie or Jane and one of us can fill you in.
And I just had to post this picture of the prickly pear margarita I had last night at Miguel's.  It was so pretty.  And tasty!  Joy, Jane, Debbie and I went for dinner and to do more brainstorming for the event.  It is going to be just fabulous, so if you are in the San Diego area, make plans to stop by.  There will be something for everyone.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I had a client who wanted roman shades, but didn't want to pay for roman shades.  So I came up with this alternative.
There were three windows in the room.  Instead of making them identical, I decided that switching up the fabrics would be cuter.  I based the idea on signal flags.
The problem with these shades is they have to be  hand-rolled up to whichever buttonhole level you want them to hang at.  It was kind of a pain.  They look cute but function-wise, not so good.  
I did the ones in the sister's room a little differently, but the same idea.  Again, the hand-rolling proved to be a big, fat pain, and not something you want to do on a daily basis.
Closer view
(Notice the snow outside the window.  This was a client in Chicago.)
Another client who also wanted romans and thought they were too expensive.  The bad thing about this one was it's a baby's room and the mother wanted to open and close this shade every time the baby napped.  Talk about a pain!
This one was basically going to stay up, so not as much of a hassle.  She had the wall painted to match the shade.
This shot and the one above were folded-up rather than rolled.  Again, rather a pain to deal with on a daily basis.  When people are determined to save money, though, using common sense and trying to explain the challenges of the faux shades, doesn't usually work.
On this last shade, the ties were sewn into place.  The shade was never meant to be closed all the way.  The floral piece is not longer enough to actually cover the window, so I came up with this idea.  The window is a french window and when the client wanted more light, she just opened it up.  Plus the view is of the neighbor's brick wall, so blocking most of that view was really what she was trying to accomplish.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


When I first started my custom home furnishings business in Chicago in 1991, I did mainly window treatments and bedding.  People kept asking if I did slipcovers and it finally occurred to me that I should maybe learn to do them.  At the time, I had no furniture that could be slipcovered.  At least that's what I thought then.  Now I know that practically anything can be slipcovered.  In any case, I didn't own anything that seemed appropriate, so I went to Betty's Resale Shop and came home with this ugly chair.  It only cost me $12.  Now this chair wasn't what I was picturing as the type I wanted.  I was working in a fabric store at the time and we had this big, puffy, over-sized chair and that's what I wanted.  As you can see from the picture, this chair wasn't that at all.  So I decided to cover it with batting, in an attempt to make it puffier, and because you can't just have batting under a slipcover, I had to upholster it.
Keep in mind that I had no clue how to slipcover anything, let alone re-upholster it.  I have to say that I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  Although the chair looked pretty good in its 'naked' state, it really couldn't be without a slipcover because I sewed the arm fronts and other parts of the chair by hand.
I must have taken the skirt off because it is obviously not tucked up under the new upholstery.  I decided then that upholstery was not my calling.
Although the chair was no longer as sleek and clean (and I use these terms lightly) as it started out, it still wasn't the chair I wanted it to be.  I also learned then that if you want a puffy, over-sized chair, you had better start with a puffy, over-sized chair.  There really is only so much one can do to change a chair's overall appearance.  
And that's where a slipcover comes in.  The finished chair looks nothing like the original.  I think I said in one of my first posts back in December that by the time I actually got to this chair, I had already done 2 benches (my first slipcovers for $), a sofa, an ottoman and 2 chairs.  I always was partial to this chair, though it wasn't so comfortable.  The cats loved it and made it their own, which was fine with me.  I've yet to get that big, puffy, over-sized chair I was trying to create.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I got a wonderful surprise yesterday from Karyn at French Charming - this One Lovely Blog Award.  Thank you so much.  

I've recently discovered many new blogs and am constantly amazed and inspired by all the talented bloggers out there.  So, per the 'rules' of receiving this award, I will name my last 10 most recently discovered blogs that I am loving.  They are, in no particular order:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who's given it to you, along with the link to his or her blog.
2. Pass the award to 10 other blogs.  contact those bloggers to let them know they've been chosen for this award.

Have fun and enjoy your award!  I really hope you choose to play and keep it going.  But if you don't, that's okay too.  Just enjoy your award in any way you wish and know that I think you have a very lovely blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The first 3 pictures are obviously the before shots.  This is the kind of chair that I am not crazy about slipcovering because there is no separate seat cushion.  That just means there there is no room for an kind of error.  

Side view
Back of chair
Front view with its new "dress"
Side view
Back view, with buttons.

This chair is going in a bathroom.  The fabric is a matelasse with a natural color linen welting and buttons.  This fabric just gets softer and softer the more it is washed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The 6 winners of my Give Back give-a-way are:

Pretty Things
A Bit of Pink Heaven
The Vintage Rabbit
A Vintage Mood

I need each of you to e-mail me your mailing address.  I still haven't quite figured out what your gift is, but I promise it will be good!  It might also be helpful to me if you could include any info, like favorite color(s), likes or dislikes, that may help me in my choice of gift for you.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Well, another direction is more accurate.  I made these sea star (apparently star fish is an incorrect term) necklaces at Christmas time.  Most people love jewelry and I decided I'd make something that was relatively easy to make and could be sold for a price that everyone could afford.  Each necklace is different, some with tiny bottles, some with silver charms, some with pearls or other beads, some with all of them.  These charm necklaces were a big hit.
A closer look.  This was with silver glitter, the tiny bottle and a clear bead.
My new idea is to use sea glass.  I have been busy wrapping the pieces of glass so that they can be attached to the chain.  Not the easiest thing to do because the glass varies a great deal in size and shape.  Still, I think it looks very pretty.  I've also been making dangly beaded charms.  These necklaces will have a decidedly more beachy feel to them.
When I made them the first time, I used only silver, pink and aqua glitter.  Look at all the colors I have now!  These sea star charm necklaces will be available at Jane's event on 7 June here in Coronado.  

Today is your last day to leave me a comment on my Mother's Day (100th) post to be entered in my give-a-way.  I'll be choosing 6 (yes, SIX) names, so leave me a comment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A wonderful surprise arrived in the mail from Canada yesterday.  Sandy sent all these treasures:  cupcake magnets, cupcake stamps, a journal, a candle, and best of all, a heart she made.  It came wrapped in pattern tissue, which just the other day I was wondering where I might get some without destroying a pattern I might use someday.
It's just so pretty!
Hanging on my oh-so-messy bulletin board.
I discovered I have a bird's nest right on top of the light above my front door.  Every time I opened the door a bird would fly out from under the awning and I couldn't figure out why.  I finally looked up and saw that there was a nest.  I got a chair and stood to see if there were eggs.  I couldn't see into the nest but took a picture anyway.  As you can see, there are three eggs.  I am trying not to use the front door as much so I do not disturb the mama bird.  I can't wait to see the babies.  
Yesterday at Dana's house.  I am wearing one of her fancy hair ornaments.  Very summery and festive!

And last, but not least, be sure to check out my Mother's Day post for a chance at my give-a-way.  Just leave a comment on THAT post and I will enter your name into my drawing.  Although it is a thank you to all of you that have been reading my blog for the last 5 1/2 months, you need not be a long-time follower to enter.  I will be accepting entries until midnight on 15 May, so leave your comments!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MY 100TH POST!!!

 This picture of my mother and me was taken in June of 1966, right before my 6th birthday.
Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of my 100th post and to thank everyone who has been reading about my work and adventures for the last 5 1/2 months, I am giving back to you.  Leave me a post and I will add your name to a drawing.  I haven't yet decided what I'll be giving, but it will be something I make just for you.  I will choose 6 (the number just came to me) people to 'thank' with a gift.   You can leave a message, on this post only, until 15 May to be included in the drawing.  I will have my neighbor's daughter pull names from a hat, so the order in which you leave your comments is not important.  Good luck to everyone  and thanks for your continued support.  I have enjoyed getting to know you through your comments and by enjoying your blogs.  It is a great community of very talented women and I am honored to be a part of it.