Welcome Home

My most recent posts have been about change. We have discussed physical change, dreaming and making a home. I have encouraged you to day dream and this is wear we come together to share. I have asked you to think about and to make notes about your favorite flower, color and places you have loving memories of. Now it is up to you to add these life touches to your surroundings. If you choose a neutral background for a wall color, you can add touches of the colors you love in places live pillows. Your favorite flowers can be replicated in silk at a reasonable cost. The places you have fond memories of can also be added. If it is the beach, gather some shells in a pretty bowl or basket. If you love the woods, have fun with pine cones, acorns, or a few feathers you may have found. There are laws that forbid us keeping feathers from owls, raptors etc. But we are allowed others. Black and white photos can be stunning. The thought hear is to create a grouping. You might decide to make this your focal point. A focal point is like a movie screen. It shows what is most important to you. In our home, the focal point is the shelf Patrick made. It holds heirlooms and is a place to display a quilt. If you love the city, have fun looking for items like a little statue of the the empire state building. Black and white photos of city scapes can be added. Just like ingredients come together to make a delicious dish these express your taste. Have fun looking in a thrift shop, flea market and dollar store. All living things evolve. A home is also a life story telling of memories, interests and what is important to you. In our home, music is important so instruments are a part of our home. Patrick has a framed copy of sheet music. It is a song his grandfather sang often. If you have decluttered then you will have a place for expressing yourself. Joy! You do not have to physically change your address. What I am encouraging you is to express yourself and the person you are. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this time together. God bless the special place you make for yourself and others called home. Trudy

Beginning Anew – preparing for leave taking

As you begin thinking about where you might be going it is important to clean and organize where you are now. This is the time to close this chapter of your life.  You have a lot of decisions to make.  It is also time to clean where you are living now and to decide what you want to bring with you.  Packing for a move is the perfect time to make room for the new that lies ahead. Begin with the area you sleep in now. That way you will have a clean organized place to rest! There are lots of resources available on line and books to help you with this organization.  This is a great time to create a pretty memory box. You will be going through items and finding treasures. If you have children, you could encourage them to choose a few special items for their memory box.  This is a wonderful way to teach them about taking care of treasures and how to let go of items that they have outgrown.  Make a special box of toys or clothes they have outgrown and take items to a charity shop together. It is in the doing that the lesson is taught.  The words need actions to take them to heart. 

At one time in our married life we had been moved out of state by the company my hubby worked for.  A health issue caused us to have to move back to Pennsylvania.  This situation forced hard choices to be made.  What helped me was to find a home for some things with the friends I had made in the area.  One neighbor was happy to receive a sled and a child’s table and chairs. Another took an old oak dresser and to my delight she removed the legs, added castors and put on a butcher block top.  This she used in her kitchen.  Seeing others happy made my transition much easier.

When doing my spring or fall cleaning, I would always keep a charity bag near where I was working.  This has always helped me to keep control on clutter.  I make my own gifts by baking or sewing.  I have grouped baking items in a specific spot and all my sewing supplies in another.  If someone shares fabric, I wash it immediately and add it to the bookcase I keep fabric in.  If someone shares something I cannot use it goes into the charity box.  If I know of someone who can use it I also share but do so without pressure. It is vital that when something enters the house it be useful and has a place.

Move through out where you are and keep only what you truly love, that you use regularly, is needed for daily life or is a treasured heirloom. Things are meant to be used, keeping something because you feel guilt is not something to move forward with.  Try to find someone who would love it or donate it to charity. It will bring value and joy to another’s life.

I hope you have been following my encouragement for planning for your new home. I will share my dream list with you:

1. Sunlight
2. Porch or somewhere to sit with flowers
3. A Home Church
4. An eat-in kitchen
5. A spot where I could sew and not have to take down my sewing machine

Vital – Affordability — A place where we would be comfortable and be able to live within our means.

I would say that the kitchen was the most important room to me. We love to have folks around our table. This home allowed us to create a country kitchen by using the original dining room. We did this by purchasing only lower cabinets and a free-standing pantry. I had a china cabinet for my dishes. With faith we moved. With the help of Patrick, family and friends we made a home.  God has truly blessed us and we have been here going on 30 years. Your list will be different.  This was my dream.  Know yourself and learn what is important for you to live and find the mission God has planned for you. I will be praying for you.

Blessings, Trudy

Beginning Anew

On my last post I shared the story of being part of married couple for over fifty years.  I have had fun looking at different blogs on the internet about home decor.  I noticed a lot of similarities as I viewed a lot of lovely homes.  Then I read about the interest in organizing your home and even information on minimalism.  We are, all of us, constantly encouraged to see beauty and to create an atmosphere of a safe, ordered haven for ourselves and those that we share our home with.

In the years of my employment I have had an opportunity to visit many young families beginning to make a home.  I decided to share with you my thoughts and ideas to assist you who may be creating a new life in a new place?  This may be a first apartment, or maybe starting over in a new role in your life.  Life is always moving forward.  Change is a part of life. There is a book called “Who moved my cheese?”  by Spencer Johnson that deals with the human resistance to change. Change to our minds can mean uncertainty. We know the situation we are in, the loss we have experienced, and we may be very reluctant to change. Scripture explains to us that “To everything there is a season.” Ecclesiastes 3-1.  Flowers bloom, they nurture our hearts feed other life, then die.  If you are facing a change it is my hope that in some way, I may help you discover more about yourself, encourage you as you move forward and remind you that “we walk forward in faith.”2nd Corinthians 3-7.

To create a place that you call home requires you to discover what you delight in. What brings you joy?  All you need to start is a piece of paper and pencil.  Please do not think about finances at this time. This is the time for dreaming.  What is your favorite color?  What is your favorite flower?  Where are you happiest; beach, woods, mountains, lake side or city-scape?  Take time and ponder times in your life you were really happy. Where were you?  I have lived in many different places but my guide to creating a home always was guided by remembered times of love.  It is very important to my well being that I have some chairs for folks to sit and a small table to serve refreshments. My husband needs a recliner and a lamp. We both need a bed.  This would be our list of basic needs for furniture.  Most manufactured homes and apartments come equipped with a kitchen and bathroom. Many also have blinds or curtains included also.  What about a refrigerator?

Please think about things you need.  OK, now think about your wants. You need shelter. You need to be able to pay to have a place to live, for electricity, food and water.  These are necessities.  A TV, air conditioner, dish washer, fan, are wants.  What is important is that you have what you need to live. You then budget the funds coming in with meeting these needs. Waiting for a want is definitely worth meeting needs.  I am speaking from my heart when I say this is the foundation of a home.  Having expenses is part of life. Living above your means is not compatible with a happy home. 

The true magic of a beautiful home comes from the harmony that greets you at the door. This atmosphere is created not by beautiful things, but by feelings.  I found a chair at a flea market. All I did to it was to purchase some gold skeleton leaf decals and use a staple gun to create a new seat cover.  Almost 20 years later I am still using this chair.  It has given friends a place to sit with me. It has allowed me to share time and company.  A little 10-dollar chair. 

The $10 Chair

Please make a list about things that bless your heart.  With this list I will work with you as we

Please make a list about things that bless your heart.  With this list I will work with you as we brain-storm ideas to create your own little house of blessings.

Believe in the One who believes in you.
Blessings,
Miss Trudy

Easter Table

Easter Dinner Table
Second Photo Easter Table

Hello, it has truly been a special week. We had a beautify church service on Holy Thursday. I had my quiet time on Good Friday. It rained heavily last night. This morning we had choir practice and everything we saw on the way to church was the beautiful first green of Spring. Joy!
When we got home, Mr. Pat helped me make potato salad, corn pone and boiled the eggs for deviled eggs. Tomorrow we will cook ham in the crock pot. I hope to make a pie tonight also. I set the table so I could share a photo with you. I want you to know that it is a come together table scape. The cloth and napkins are from the thrift shop. Mr. Pat cut an empty wax paper
cardboard roll into 1-inch pieces. I hot glued a strip of fabric I had to make napkin rings. The centerpiece is my loving tree from Valentine’s day. I added a nest and eggs. My plates were a trade. I traded four blue and white plates for the four white ones. I truly enjoy these as a base for my collection of dishes with roses. I took three of my little tea cups and filled them with treats and a little bird. I tied a little ribbon to the handle. The beautiful antique table runner is an heirloom gift from a church friend. At one end of the table is a lady bunny sewing a quilt. Her little baby rabbit is in his cradle near her. The lady bunny was a gift and the tiny baby bunny was from my childhood. There is a little wagon full of carrots, thrifted ducks and another bunny from my childhood. Another church friend hand painted a little rock with a rabbit and chicks. The only things I purchased were the little birds, nest, eggs and treats. All that you see is a happy little collection gathered over time at very little cost. I truly wish you a joyous Easter Sunday. Mr. Pat, Patrick and I wish you and those you hold
dear God’s blessings. Miss Trudy

Spring Blessings

The completed flowers

I have lots to share with you. As you can tell from the photos, I have been happily stitching. I will start with the wreath on the font door. I bought the twig wreath at a thrift shop. I wrapped it with some lace. Since our anniversary is coming up, I used the strand of pearls and gold ribbon from the crown made for our fiftieth anniversary. Some baby’s breath and forget-me-knots from my wedding flowers. The pretty cross was a gift. The little cross stitch heart I made has two wedding rings and our Initials.

Joy! Next I found some old cushion covers and took them apart and made seat cushions for my porch rockers. I cut my geraniums that had overwintered in the kitchen. Putting the cuttings in some of my bottles with a little plant food and they all rooted. I filled my 3 window boxes with fresh potting soil and the cuttings. I set them on the porch. I found a white rabbit pillow that I made last year. I next took some scraps left over from the church quilt and made a strip pieced heart. I appliqued the heart to a white pillow. I had enough fabric to make a square table topper. The last piece was not big enough so I sewed a border to each side and made a rectangle table topper for the small table by the front door. The cost was to purchase some potting soil for my window boxes. JOY! By the front door is a flower pot of spring bulbs. These were planted last fall and I am so happy to see this touch of spring! For the small entrance table I brought out my apple bird house from the kitchen.

Lastly, the very first pictures show how I made a fabric daffodil. The library offered a class on making flowers from fabric. I took pictures for you as I went along. Patrick picked a flower from the garden for inspiration. I wanted a smaller circle so I traced a little tea cup. I cut out five circles which I folded into triangles. Knot a long piece of thread and sew a running stitch through each triangle base. Use the same thread for all the petals. When you pull on the two threads they will gather. Knot the thread. The next part was my own idea. I cut a rectangle, gathered it then sewed the two ends together to form the center if the flower. If you want a yellow daffodil, use yellow for the petals and make the rectangle a little wider. This will create the trumpet. I made leaves from green scraps. The secret here is to make the base of the leaf wide enough so you can turn the leaf to the right side. Sew the center to the petals then sew the leaves. A circle of felt tidies up the back stitches and lastly sew on a little pin. These make nice thinking of you gifts.

I want to share with you that it is possible to do a lot if you play with ideas. If you do not have fabric, visit the thrift shop. I have used men’s shirts to create with. Think about lace or buttons you could salvage from other things. Table cloths are another fabric source if they are cotton. Even if there are stains, you can use the good parts. It really is fun. The only caution I share is not to go overboard. Use what you have so there will be room in your scrap basket. Happy Spring!

Blessings and Hugs,

Trudy

Fabric and Dried Lavender

This week lent begins. I open with some thoughts from the Sermon on the Mount. As we journey together towards Easter I will offer some thoughts to reflect on. I hope you will walk with me in scripture and prayer.

I searched my fabric stash and found a piece of lavender pin dot that was enough to sew my Easter jumper. I am not a seamstress. I have really bad memories of Home Economics. In 1960 a new self healing zipper came out and so did the back of the jumper I was wearing. How about a fashion show modeling a blouse with front facing buttons down the front – yes another cause for blushing, truly! So I avoid zippers and more than one button hole in my sewing. Well I had to come up with a solution because I really like wearing jumpers and folks who know I sew share fabric with me. My answer is “Two Tops”! This is how I do it. I cut out the jumper pattern. Next, I mark with a water erasable pen transferring guides. I cut out the front and back pieces. (This pattern did not have a separate skirt). I unpin the pattern and set aside the fabric. I then lay out the fabric for the lining. I pin the pattern pieces onto the lining fabric. This time I want only a top. I cut out the pieces allowing enough length for a hem. Taking the lining fabric to the sewing machine I hem the front and back pieces. Next the main fabric (the lavender) is sewn wrong up any darts, tucks etc. The front and back pieces are joined at the shoulders. The lining is also joined at the shoulders. Now lay out the front and lining wrong sides together and pin. You will stitch the pieces wrong sides together starting at the under sleeve across the top and down to the under sleeve of opposite side. Leaving the side and back open. Turn wright side out. Now you sew the side seams and the back seams. A hand turned hem completes the jumper. This technique works on one piece and top and bottom jumpers. JOY!

When we last visited I showed you a picture of a nest I found. Well there are so many wonderful ideas for Spring decoration that I got inspired. I decided to add texture to my nest. I had saved some dried lavender and a dried rose. I crushed these, painted the nest with white glue and began to add these to the nest. I even had a few feathers I could add. I am happy with the result. I used what I had and had fun. Joy!

Have fun and think spring! God Bless, Trudy

Spring Home Touches

“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Forsythia is pure undiluted, untouched joy.”
A. M. Lindburg

February draws to a close and my thoughts turn to adding touches of Spring to my home. In the kitchen I changed my table cloth to a blue fabric with yellow roses. I placed my favorite blue bottle in the window with the forsythia flowers. My valences and sink curtain are blue gingham.
I plan to use the old milk glass bud vase with the small branches from the back yard as a carrot tree as Easter nears. I made blue and yellow patchwork potholders. My tray has a piece of blue cloth with a blue and
white doily on top. These are covered with a plastic piece cut to cover the
inside of the tray. I found a picture of a nest with little blue eggs and put it
on the shelf Patrick made for me. I found a dear little bird at the thrift shop
and placed him in front of the nest. I hung a Miss Indy quilt. I will take a
picture so you can see. Miss Indy told me that the little stitched pansy was
her signature. I am thrilled to have one of her quilts.

This brings me to today’s topic. I share with you an idea to turn a plan pillow cover into a seasonal touch in the room. I stitched a chocolate bunny that I will button to the plain pillow front. I hope to make another topper for my pillow for summer. I will take pictures of the topper as I create it just like I did for the bunny. I will also change my old postcards for antique Easter ones. If you get to an antique flea market look at old postcards that were sent as greetings long ago. Imperfect ones are really affordable and truly delightful. I use the same frame and change them out. If you want one for Halloween that will be more expensive because fewer were sent. I really enjoy collecting them because they are affordable, beautiful and my entire collection fits into one small box. Joy! Have fun and think spring!
God bless, Trudy

  1. Place pattern on paper side of fusible web.
  2. Trace pattern and cut out.
  3. Remove bottom layer of paper and place onto fabric and fuse with iron to wrong side of fabric. Remove paper.
  4. You now are ready to applique by machine or hand and add finishing touches.

Spring touches about our home.

Happy New Year!

It is always a bit sad when it is time to tuck away Christmas. This year was not nearly as sad because I planned ahead for the changes I wanted to make. I took pictures of some of the things I have done and will share them with you. It is very important to me that you understand that this was done without my leaving home and using things I had.

First this fall I made new living room curtains from sheets. I had some blue gingham and made tie-backs.

curtians

I had a finished a snowman quilt and hung it from the shelf Patrick made.

nowman quilt

My wedgewood dishes are blue and white. Patrick worked cleaning out an old house and he choose these dishes for me as payment. Joy! I put light blue candles in my grandmom’s wooden candle holders. I placed my pieced tree and a hand carved bird in front of my tree.

couch and quilts

I placed a quilt that has lots of blue in it on the back of the sofa. The cover on the sofa is a painter’s drop cloth.

Drop cloths come in three sizes, and each time they are washed they get softer. My coffee table and the quilt ladder were made locally and very affordable.

coffee table

To finish I did a walk through to be sure there was no clutter. In the kitchen I left my shelf with my snowman up and put a blue and white tablecloth and blue gingham valences in the kitchen. The cloth and valences are home stitched. I sew neat old white buttons on the valence hems.

snowman shelf

The little pair of gloves hanging from the snow shelf were Patrick’s when he was little. My mom got them for him. Can you find little Patrick on the shelf?

Here is a view of my kitchen.

See if you can use what you have and make small changes that make you smile. I made the casing for my snowman hanging and hung it on the front door to say welcome.

Patrick's Snowman
Patrick’s snowman

I hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun!

With very best wishes for blessings in the new year, Trudy