crazy quilting, decorating, gardening, cooking and my fun adventures along the way........







Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sajou, Dovo, Gingher or Grama's ~ Whats Your Fave Pair of Scissors?



Hi Friends!

Have you received your 2014 Summer issue of "Crazy Quilt Gatherings"?
Pat has created another beautiful issue to savor with a cup of tea and some of Pam's Moms cookies ~ you'll find the recipe in this issue!
I wrote an article in this issue called "Scissor Selection" where I asked you to tell me about your favorite scissors,is there a brand that you prefer or is your choice a sentimental one?

Please do leave me a comment with your answer!

My scissors are like good friends I never get tired of. Each project I use them for makes them more endearing to me.


I have to say overall, Dovo is my top choice. I just discovered them this year when my husband gave me a set for Christmas. They make the most remarkable high pitched sound when you cut with them just like Grama's did.

Dovo is a German company started over 100 years ago making razors and are still making precision products.

For beauty, it has to be Sajou. Mom gave me this beautiful pair of the faux Ivory handled ones ~ they are like holding a delicate treasure in your hands. Sajou scissors are made in France.
Maison Sajou was a vintage French haberdashery company from the 1800’s. In 2005, Frederique Crestin-Billet revived the company.



When I started my crazy quilting adventure 15 years ago ~ my teacher suggested Gingher scissors, John James needles and glass head pins.

Every birthday and holiday I would ask for a different kind of Gingher scissors so each pair I own was a gift from my kids or husband making them extra special.


Gingher’s were made in Italy and Germany then and with 15 yrs of constant use; they have never needed to be sharpened. I have heard folks complain about the ones available now.

Gingher does have great customer service, for $8.00 a pair including shipping, they will sharpen and repair your Gingher scissors and send them back to you in tip top shape!

Here are some tips to keep in mind so your scissors will be in tiptop shape.

1. Apply a dot of oil to the assembly and blade area occasionally.

2. Keep your blades free of lint

3. Store the blades in a case or sheath when not in use

This list might help you choose the right pair for your needs

1. Hardanger/Embroidery scissors ~ small and sharp for fine threads, these include the stork scissors we all love

2. Serrated scissors ~ helpful in griping slippery or silky fabrics as well as cutting through layers of cotton fabric

3. Metallic scissors ~ metallic thread will dull the blades of your embroidery scissors so it is always wise to invest in a dedicated pair if you use metallic threads

4. Gingher 5 Inch Craft Scissors ~ although these are great for fabric, I use these for paper in my studio

5. Appliqué Scissors ~ the larger side of these scissors pushes away the bottom layer of fabric creating tight cuts along the edges of appliqué work

7. Double Curved Embroidery Scissors ~ a must have for machine embroidery coupled with a good long pair of tweezers

8. Thread Nippers ~ these are especially good for thicker thread or yarns but work beautifully for fine threads as well

9. Button Hole Scissors ~ such an interesting pair of scissors; they have an adjustable hole in the top center of the blades to control the size of the hole

The Winter 2013 issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings has instructions to make a Fancy Tool Keeper to store your scissors.

That familiar pair of scissors is as delightful as a best friend to anyone that plays with needles and threads and we all have our favorites.....tell me what are yours?

 
......a perfect mess of thread, silk ribbon and projects to finish

 
Close up of the Bible Cover I felted for my granddaughter's christening.

 
 Juliana already knows it makes her Nanni very happy to see her enjoying the Word of God!
 
Have a beautiful day friends ~ I'm off to the garden!

 
Here are links to the scissor company's I mentioned in this post ~
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Martha Stewart Craft Space furniture, Take A Tour of My Place, Redecorating Idea's And Strength Finders Inspired Class by Whitney English

Hello friends!
Are you all as glad as I am to say good-bye to 2013?
A new year, a new start, I could not be happier!


 2013 brought with it a lot of changes including to my home.
Repairing termite damage lead to one thing and then another ~ how about a little tour of my home?
 
I'll show you some of the many changes that we made but please keep in mind ~ I'm far from done!
Come on in!
 
 
We had to bring the front door out from its original position so I was able to create this wall of hooks as you walk in. I LOVE it!
 
 
To the left as you walk in ~ there is a tiny bench to tuck shoes under and a place for hats, gloves and a purse.
 

I got the swivel hook from Decor Steals.

 
Here is our sitting room. Mom had the cushions on the wicker sofa recovered.
I love the tiger print fabric on the chaise!


 The Dimplex electric heater in the corner was purchased last year at Electric Fireplace Direct.
 I highly recommend the Dimplex brand.


We purchased this Duraflame for our 1st floor bathroom9photo below) and its not nearly as efficient.
My husband installs HVAC equipment and was shocked at the money the Dimplex electric heater
has saved us in heating oil.

 
If you walk out the French doors in the entry sitting room ~ you'll find this little patio.
The front of our house is to the left ~ we don't have a front yard.
Our house was built in the 1800's when horses were still all the rage, lol!
That's our garage straight ahead.


Looking over the patio you see one of the garden rooms in my backyard.
When I came home from Charleston last spring ~ I immediately tried to create a Charleston style garden but sadly it is covered with that white stuff we have to deal with here in New England.

 
I completely redesigned our kitchen in 2007.
Our cheap stock cabinets were falling apart so decided to go with better quality cabinet but less of them. I added a pantry by bringing out a wall you see in this photo.

 
Panty door is to the right.
 
 
Here is the inside ~ still begging for better organization but otherwise the best improvement I have ever made in our kitchen.
 
 
 This is the kitchen standing from the pantry area.

 
Adding the pantry meant bringing the fridge and surrounding cabinetry to this area that used to be our dining area. We had just enough space for this small table but its cozy and I love it!
Our four kids are grown and three have long since moved out so it's the perfect for the three of us.


This is the kitchen looking from the entry sitting room.

 
I wanted to mention the school house lights I choose for the kitchen. They were hard to find seven years ago but my Mom always taught me to choose classic designs and these have proved to be timeless.

 
The same goes for the subway tile. Since I didn't need a lot ~ I purchased a very nice quality. It has little cracks that run through it. It was funny because when you first buy them the cracks aren't there. As we were carrying the boxes of tile in the house they were making cracking noises like it was the Fourth of July! I called the company and they assured me this was normal.
In case you noticed ~ I do have the fleur de lis upside down ~  I liked it better that way!
 
 
Another idea I want to share is built in's. This was where our 130 year old house and the 26 year old addition meet. It is right before the pantry in our kitchen area.There was enough space behind this wall to create this built in.
 
 
There is a shut off for the upstairs shower in here so we had to be able to access it quickly.
We had this simple piece built for the cookbooks.It slips right in and out quite easily.
I would encourage anyone to look around your own home for places and spaces you can do this.
I have one more example to show you when we go upstairs.
 
 
 
 
This is our living room. When we moved here we took down several ceilings and left the original beams exposed. A few years ago, we painted them white.
I hope by next year to be able to replace the red floral slipcovers with a grey ticking fabric.


 I've never been a fan of red but fell in love with this fabric. Seven years later ~ my love affair has ended!
 
This is a built in we added for magazines several years ago.
I collect old rulers and they are perfect to keep the magazines from flopping down.
This is to the left of our bookshelves above.
 
 
 Jayke and Teddi completely bored. If you have been reading my blog for many years, you might remember we had another dog named Jake that looked exactly like this Jayke.
He passed away and two years later my daughter Ashley rescued this Brittney Spaniel.
They look the same, same breed and his name was Jake!
Ashley changed the spelling to Jayke but we all knew he was our gift from God after the painful blow of loosing our first Jake.

 
This is the dining room ~ more red that has to go but on a sunny day it is such a bright cheerful room.
We added cedar plank ceilings when we first moved in about 30 years ago because my husband didn't know how to sheet rock. You can still catch the cedar smell when the seasons change.

 
 

 
This is our downstairs bathroom.
I keep this bark cloth bag on the back of the bathroom door to hold extra soaps etc.
The claw foot tub is my little piece of heaven!
(this is a terrible shot of my bathroom ~ sorry)
 
 
 

This is our tiny stairway that brings us upstairs. I just stained them dark and still have to do the handrail and decorate the wall.

 
Here we are upstairs in out equally tiny hallway! I just painted the walls this light grey this weekend.
I am in love with the saying on the wall that I got on etsy.
The rolltop desk was my Grama's when she was a little girl which makes it about 90 years old.
All the way at the end of the hall is the radio cabinet my great granddad bought for the family when Grama was little. He described to me how he would pull up a stool and sit in front of the radio trying to get a signal in.



We are now in the bathroom and another room that had a redo.
I still have to do another coat of paint, add trim and finish the sink among other things.

 
We used the very cool but inexpensive subway tile from Lowes with a light grey grout.
 It is classic and just the look I was hoping for.


And here we are about to enter my dream come true! It's tiny but my JOY none the less.
My knees were no longer allowing me to go up and down 2 sets of steep stairs to do laundry in our basement.
We took out the bathroom linen closet ~ our bedroom closet and little office area was on the other side. This is what it looked like before ~


And after ~ what was the closet is now a tiny hallway to my new laundry area!


This is another example of adding a built in. In the photo above this built on is on the left.
The wall this is on is a bearing wall and was constructed with 4x4's when the addition was built allowing us to add this built in deep enough to hold towels, my vase collection etc.


What was my bedroom closet is now where my washer and dryer live!
I still have to organize it but already the open shelves have just been amazing!


These are the two big windows across from the washer and dryer. It's bright and sunny in here all day and in the summer you can hear the fountain from the back yard.

 
The new laundry area left us without a closet in our bedroom.
One of the blogs I follow Old Town Home had recently added a closet to their bedroom which inspired me to use a similar plan for our bedroom.
The other side of this closet wall is the new laundry area.
I haven't painted the closet yet ~ in fact my entire bedroom is getting a new paint job this year as well as the ugly brown furniture painted! I'm thinking a dark grey color but that's another blog post!



I still have to add shelves for the shoes and purses on the closet to the left.
The bins at the top are used for seasonal clothing.

 
One night I was in a really crappy, winey mood and ordered the  Joy Mangano hangers on HSN that they swear will change your life.
The next morning I was so mad at myself for getting sucked in to buying hangers!
Lord knows ~ there is no hanger shortage in my home !


 
Can I say folks ~ they are AWESOME!!!!
I have bought two more sets since. I expanded the space in my closet by 1/3 and was able to hang my sweater that had been in a basket under my bed.
 
 
Just down the hallway is my sewing room/studio. Just after Christmas the on-line store Home Decorators was having a big sale on the  Martha Stewart Craft Space furniture.
Good bye Christmas money, Hello Dream # 2 come true!
I got two craft carts and the craft table.
Everything comes in pieces but if you take your time and have an electric screw driver ~ it's really very easy.


The two carts ~ lined in felt and solid as can be. Nothing like the stuff I had from Michael's!


This is the table with the leaf folded down ~

 
And here with the leaf out ~


This is the other side of the room. The next big sale I will get a final piece and be able to get rid of all the clutter on this wall!



My little Teddi Bear loves being in my sewing room, thank goodness!
We sure spend a lot of time here!


This is the closet I use to store my fabrics. I used two of those shoe holders from Kmart and they are perfect for fabrics as well as shipping supplies for etsy and ebay.


Here is the inside of the drawers ~ honestly each drawer holds so much!
Every time I open one of these drawers I think of my crazy quilting pals who have gifted me with many of the items in here through the years ~ Pat, Maureen, Nicki Lee, and Pam
It's like opening a drawer filled with love.

Buttons ~
 Trims ~

 
Metal, glass and vintage plastic findings,


Beads and sequins ~
 
I love this vintage doily and escargot shell Vic made into a pin cushion for me  ~
 
 
Here are some of the things I've been working on ~

Fabric books ( these aren't done yet )  ~



Crazy Quilted pouches ~

 
 
 Nightlight ( this and the pouches are made from Pat's patterns) ~


This might be a fun way for you to package a special Valentine ~

 
 These are gifts I gave to my friend during the holidays but is a fun way to wrap a gift for any occasion using netting sewn shut then glue paper cutout, ribbon and trims for further embellishment.


I used wax paper for this one ~




Felted pins for the family of a beautiful girl who passed away ~


A hand dyed onsie for my granddaughter Juliana ~

 
Isn't she a beauty! I made her bow from my husbands old t-shirt .

 


 Bookmarks ~

 
Felted pieces added to old pins ~
 

My pal Pat made this for me as a Christmas gift, isn't it gorgeous!

 
Its a cigar box that now holds felted pieces ready for embellishment.
 
 
I can carry it downstairs easily to work on items while spending time with the family.
 
 
One more big change for 2014 is this!
I started a year long class based on the "Strength Finders" book.
I honestly believe everyone should buy this book and take the test on line, free if you buy the book, to find out your top 5 Strengths.
 
 
Part of the class is keeping this year long journal.
I will be talking more about this as the year progresses ~ it's exciting and for me a long time coming!
 
 

Here are my Top Five Strengths ~


Would you believe it has taken me hours to write this post! I really miss blogging and vow to update much more this year.
I miss all of you!
I think my blog is officially "Old School" not at all as fancy as some of my fellow bloggers.
I hope you don't mind if I keep it this way ; )

Let this year be the year you change all the things that need to be changed ~
Embrace the things that don't.

This is a quote from Whitney English ~ the designer of the DayDesigner journal and person I am taking the course from.

" Don't be afraid to abandon goals. Sometimes, we set goals for other people, and find out about halfway through trying to accomplish them that those goals make us miserable. The wise thing to do in this situation is to just abandon the goal, start focusing on something that better reflects your core. This takes courage, but you've got it in you!"

I love you all!