Monthly Archives: March 2012

WIWW: Base Layer

Tyler decided that pool season opened on Saturday. Mama will not be in the pool until Memorial Day, but I’m more than happy to sit on the deck and watch him shiver.

pleated poppy


Friday, the last day of Spring Break, I took off work. In the morning, I did some nitty-gritty cleaning (ceiling fans, under the beds) and in the evening we went to see the Hunger Games. OH SO GOOD.

Sunday Jason and I went to an outdoor jazz fundraiser auction thing. I wore my favorite summer knit dress and a necklace of my grandmother’s. She probably got it on one of her travels, as it is NOT something I ever saw her wear.


The skirt is actually layers of knit ruffles. It’s very comfortable.

Aaaaand Wednesday:

Thanks for keeping me honest! See you next week.

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Rise of the Machines

For Christmas 1978, my father bought my mother a sewing machine.

Those of you who knew my parents – I’ll give you a minute to stop giggling.

My mother does not engage in the domestic arts and crafts. She does not sew, knit, crochet, embroider, or weave. She’d much rather be watching football/basketball.  Or having unmedicated dental surgery.

Anyway. The machine sat, unopened, unused, squirreled away in the attic or a closet, for the next 20 years. And then I found it.

I had to recruit my maternal grandmother, Nena, to teach me how to sew. HER machine was a cast-iron Singer from the early 20th century that she’d had converted to electricity. It used glass bobbins!

The first time I took my machine to be serviced, the repair people ooooohed and aaaaahed. They told me this was a Very Nice Machine, one of the best Singer ever made, and that I’d never need another.

The only downside? The instruction manual is in Italian first, German second, and English third.

And in case you’re wondering if my two semesters of German in college helped me understand the highly technical instructions, the answer is no.

My sewing skills are pretty amateur, considering I’ve had the machine for over a decade. My frustration with sewing is not the stitching, it’s the ironing, and the pinning, and the MORE IRONING.

Recently, I resolved to be more like my grandmother, a woman who made Martha Stewart look lazy and slovenly. Part of that resolution will be learning patience with ironing so that I can develop mad sewing skillz.

I made this dress last weekend, and my next sewing project will be a small curtain for the front of a short bookcase. Wish me luck!


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WIWW: 85 and Sunny

It has been gloriously warm and sunny all week! And after I realized that my death-warmed-over symptoms were from allergies and not a cold, life got much better.

And now for a peek back at what I wore this week.
pleated poppy


Throughout last week I pulled out my summer clothes and packed away my winter ones. It was like shopping for free. This skirt is one of my favorites – soft and comfortable.

Over the weekend I made this dress (so did Lindsey, it turns out!), and wore it to work on Monday:

I added a shrug because my office is not 85 and sunny.

Tuesday I wore a cardigan that was seasonally inappropriate. Ten points from Gryffindor!

It’s an open knit, but a warm yarn, so I was hot most of the day.

And today I am in search of a yacht to lounge on.

See you next time!


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Front Porch

To recap…..

I took one of these:

And recovered two of these:


To be near this:

And here’s the finished product –

Put a pineapple on it! They’re even centered – I measured and everything.

I am thrilled with the seating area. The kids have totally tried to hijack it, which is the ultimate seal of approval at our house.

The house faces east, so in the late afternoon it’s a shady spot to relax after a long day at work. Like I needed one more reason to look forward to 5:00…


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If you give a hoarder a free chair…..

This is a story about my front porch. But, like so many of my stories, it starts with free furniture.

So, we got four of these chairs as part of the Great Furniture Grab of 2012. They are black iron with a vanilla chenille fabric on the seat that had seen better days. I liked the ladder backs and loop handles, and all the chairs are in great condition.

This was our front porch (you knew I’d get there eventually):

It looked like this on the day we moved in. And it looked pretty much like this until last week (plus the gas lamp).

Jason and I love that gas lamp. It’s my favorite thing that we bought for the house, and most days I wish we’d hung it inside so we could enjoy it more.

Then it hit me.

Why not put a couple of the black chairs and a table on the porch so we COULD enjoy it more?

I moved two of the chairs out front, along with a small iron folding table we had:

Cost so far: $0. This was good. Jason and I sat out front almost every evening for a week. I decided it would be worth a small investment to make it a little nicer.

My idea:

Fabric: Tommy Bahama Indoor/Outdoor Harbor Court in Mojito,
Rug: Gabbeh Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Green, Home Decorators Collection
Citronella Candle: Home Depot
G&T: Essential

This weekend: EXECUTE IDEA.

See you Monday!

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WIWW: Here Comes the Sun

On Saturday, I gave Tyler Claritin and wore flip-flops. Must mean spring has arrived.

pleated poppy

Thursday morning the whole group wanted to be in the photo:


Friday was all about being comfortable – and, of course, getting extra hugs from my Bear:

Saturday I dressed for painting furniture in the driveway!

Sunday we went to church:

And on Monday I dressed like a painting of the desert in a cheap motel room:

Tuesday I experimented with a navy-lime-lemon combination:

See my hair? It’s FANCY:

Today the high is supposed to be near 85! But my office will still be set to “morgue.”

Bonus shot of jewelry:

Next week is spring break down here. See you then!

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Glazed and Confused

If there’s one thing I love, it’s Jason.

If there are two things I love, they’re Jason and free furniture.

Some friends of ours were getting rid of extra furniture, so I swooped in an picked up a bookcase, a bedroom set (bed, tall dresser, long low dresser), a coat rack, and a set of chairs.

“This week, on Hoarders….”

ANYWAY. The bedroom set was in great condition, and very well-made, but it looked…..dated. And the finish was dinged up. It was, in short, a perfect candidate for my very first glazing project. I read a ton of tutorials online, but tried to follow this one from All Things Thrifty as much as possible.

I selected the headboard as my first victim, er, guinea pig.

I slapped on two good coats of my trusty Zinsser spray primer, and two light coats of flat white Rustoleum spray paint.

Here, it already looks much better, but I was trusting the glaze to really bring out all the details.

I asked my friend April, Goddess of Painting, to help me (and share blame if it was a disaster). We mixed four parts glaze to one part black paint and began to work.

It was surprisingly easy. I was kind of shocked that I didn’t totally ruin the piece. You just brush on the glaze mixture, and wipe off the excess with a damp rag. The glaze sticks in the crevices and dings. Magic! In the picture above, you can see the before/after – the bottom half of the picture shows the piece glazed, the top half is unglazed.

The whole process took about an hour, I think, but we were being very slow and cautious.

And here’s a detail shot:

Jason and I put it in Tyler’s room yesterday afternoon:

Because this bed doesn’t have a footboard, his room feels much bigger.

Glazing is not that hard! It’s a bit more work than simply painting a piece, but the results are fantastic and unique. I am excited to tackle my next glazing project, which will probably be the tall dresser in Tyler’s room. Stay tuned!


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