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Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to make a petaled fabric flower

1.To make this frayed petaled flower you first have to make a pattern for the leaves.

                                        2. Draw two petal patterns  like this . Make one a little  smaller.

3. Cut out five petals in each size.

4. Close the dart and zig zag it closed and zig zag the edges of the petals.

5. Here are the  ten sewn petals.
6. Cut out a circle as a base for the petals. It should be small enough to sew the petals on .

7. Glue the petals to the circle. Let them dry.

8. Now whipstitch the petals to the circle from behind.

8. Sew a button to the center to secure all the petals to the circle. You can attach the flower to a headband or pin now.

Linking to:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Family Day in Santa Barbara

A funky RV parked at Santa Barbara beach
Sunday Richard and I and the girls decided to go to Santa Barbara. The weather has been gorgeous here in the Southland so we decided to get out of the house. What luck that we have had such gorgeous weather the week my sewing machine has been in the shop! I've been spending a lot of time outside and thought I might share some photos my daughter took with my new camera. Santa Barbara is about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles. It's a great place to spend the day with your family. There is a nice zoo, the beach, a botanic garden, good places to eat, a bike path and nice places to shop. And of course there is the Mission which is one of the most beautiful of all the Missions in California in my opinion. In July there is a weeklong Fiesta where there are traditional Mexican Ballet Folklorico dancers as well as a parade and rodeo.

Riding the historic carousel built c. 1910

The carousel building across from the beach

Hunting for shells at the seashore.

A surfer at the beach

Father Junipero Serra One of the monks who founded the Missions when this stretch of California was a lonely outpost of Spains' empire.

The Mission Fountain

Mission Santa Barbara 1782
The beautiful interior of the church.

Mission Santa Barbara

Playing at the Mission Fountain

A cross in the mission cemetary

Tombstone for Sister Vicentia who died in 1868

Stopping for a coconut macaroon on State Street

A peek inside Anthropologie on State Street

Sunday, January 23, 2011

French Industrial Style decor

 I just have to share some photos of French Industrial Style, a style that is a celebration of French mid-century factory pieces . Many of the items are repurposed from old factories and used in new ways. An old cart might become a shelf or coffee table. It's gotten pretty popular lately, you can find reproductions online at the big decor stores but I prefer to keep my eye open at flea markets for this style. I think this style is great but it needs a little softening for my taste. I would mix it with traditional French style pieces covered in utilitarian fabrics like burlap and rough linen. I would love to incorporate more pieces like this into my decor. When I bought most of my furniture about 7 years ago I was into the French country / Shabby Chic style which I believe has become a bit dated. So I have been slowly adding little touches here and there. I have a big project I am working on one of  my walls which I will be sharing in a few days when I am finished. Below are some photos of things from the internet which I feel epitomize the style.

An oversized vintage French factory clock

I love this pillow case which is from a factory which I used to live near in the Herault region of France.

I love this settee with it's burlap cover from Hudson Goods but I fear it's too delicate in a house with four kids and two dogs in it. Maybe someday..

Vintage chandeliers aren't French Industrial but they soften the look.

This stool is from Anthropologie

The yellow Chesterfield sofa also from the Anthropologie catalog.

I love this coffee table from Restoration Hardware

I would love to have this  island in my kitchen.

The French Factory stool

Large typesetting style letters by French designer Eric Besson.

The French bistro set, always a classic.

 A really old beat up piece like the one above is a fabulous item to  throw into the mix.

A poster for a Jean Prouve show. He was a French Industrial Designer from the mid- century era.

A chair designed by Jean Prouve.

These metal chairs would be nice softened by a wood table.

A cart from England

This is a patchwork chair I took a photo of at Les Puces in Paris last year. I love this idea and want to make something like it. I like when traditional items are modernized like this.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Making an ironing board cover : No sew method

My finished cover

I found a great wooden ironing board at my favorite local vintage shop. I sew in my dining room and usually leave my machine and ironing board out and I don't like the way metal ironing boards look. Not to mention the new ones are really lightweight and tip over so easily. With a one year old always exploring the house I needed an ironing board that wouldn't tip over easily and of course I didn't want to spend a fortune on one from a store like Restoration Hardware. As much as I love Restoration Hardware. So I found this wooden one for thirty dollars and  loved it. The only problem was whoever owned it before just tacked a new covering on when the old one got gross. It must have had over ten layers of fabric and batting on it. So this wooden ironing board sat in my dining room for a good six months with its' stained, torn, and strangely puffy cover. Isn't it funny how you notice somethings' flaws when you first buy it but after living with it for a little while you kind of get used to it? Like relationships I guess. Well, the other day I decided " This is the day I am going to do something about this ironing board. " And so I did. And here is how.

First you need a wooden ironing board. They are to be found mostly at flea markets. This is what mine looked like for six months. This i-phone photo actually makes it look better. Trust me it was GROSS!

Turn it over and pry off the tacks.

Do you see how many layers of fabric foam and batting there are? Some of the batting was actually great quality and pure quilted cotton so I put it aside for future use.

Cut out a piece of your chosen fabric this way: Lay the ironing board on top of the fabric and cut the fabric with about a six inch allowance.

Now hammer the fabric down with upholsterers tacks, being careful of any little feet nearby!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

vintage toys: wooden kitchen

Vintage and thrifted toys look better than most new ones unless you spend a small fortune ; they are cheaper than new ones and they are good for the environment as well as your decor. I lived in an upwardly mobile area of Los Angeles after my third child was born and I learned from other mothers in the area about all the terrible hidden dangers of modern motherhood. Some of the mothers were close to hysteria but some had a point. What were some of the dangers? Let's see.. vaccinating your child could cause potential bodily harm , bit if you decided to go on a spiritual retreat to India with your yoga instructor and should decide to bring your nanny and baby because your husband had to actually go to work, well than maybe it was OK. Letting your fourth grader ride his bike a few blocks to school  was an invitation to child molesters and you were risking him being run over by a car, letting your child walk a few doors away alone to visit a friend  was also questionable , not buying organic throw away diapers from Whole Foods was a sign that you didn't understand the danger of dioxins, but actually using cloth diapers was well, a little TOO granola, unless you hired a diaper service. Not buying all organic baby food was a sign you didn't care about your baby, but actually making and freezing your own was considered a quaint but old fashioned and labor intensive notion.  And buying plastic toys was out of the question : didn't everyone know about the dangers of BPA's ? 

Well fast forward eight years and one large recession later and maybe some of those women have come down to earth a little . I won't know because I moved away . And here I am washing cloth diapers in my washing machine but still wanting beautiful wooden toys for my current baby but not wanting to spend two hundred dollars or so to buy one from a chic and ecologically friendly website or catalog.  Healthy living and a pretty environment shouldn't be only for the rich. I started looking for toys at thrift shops and flea markets because  I don't like the way a house full of plastic toys looks.  With a little foot work there are lots of great children's toys to be found at thrift shops, yard sales, Craigslist and the more expensive flea markets. I spent 25 dollars on the little wooden kitchen below and my baby and I both love it! And to be honest I do buy the occasional plastic toy once in awhile. Barbie will forever be a fixture in a house were four daughters have lived! Oh yeah, and it's fun to make Barbie clothes too.

What would you rather have in your living room, a toy kitchen like this Fisher Price one above or a nice wooden kitchen? Seriously. this piece of plastic is about eighty dollars. 

This red wooden stove from Pottery Barn is adorable but for 250$ it had better be!

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