Sunday, June 20, 2010

A little footstool redo

I gifted my retro footstool, the one from the ken, to Ali's mom who fell in love with it on one of her many craft-day visits preparing for Ali's wedding. It fits better with her decor anyway! I've missed having a place to park my tired feet at the end of the day. My plan was to go thrift. Go for bigger (so that I could use it as a table as well as a footstool). And, of course, that it be, or at least wind up looking, Chateau Gahan adorable.

So this weekend I popped into Goodwill and saw this for $7. Possibilities galore with this little gem.So I channeled one of my most favorite bloggers, dottie angel, who does such simple, sweet things with vintage linens, and came up with this slipcover. It doesn't come close to having the handmade charm and detail that her pieces do, but I think I did OK in my attempt to create her feel. (And bottom line was that I wanted this to be an afternoon project, no painting involved. Done in a few hours kinda thing.)

I cheated big time on the gathered skirt. I used a bed skirt from IKEA, cut off the top portion, pinned it to the stool for size and then took it off and put it aside.
Then I took a crochet-edged table runner, cut it up (had to do this in order to make the edging work within the size of the stool), and added a hanky and crocheted doily. I hid some of the seams with white rick rack. Then sewed the gathered skirt onto this top piece.
Mr. Gideon was the first to test it out. (And no worries if he gets it dirty, since I can simply take it off and wash it).
I'm diggin' the size of it, and that it's the perfect height for my rather low chair. It turned out to be a very relaxing afternoon of sewing, listening to Prairie Home Companion on NPR, drinking iced tea and staying cool.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Love Lasts

NOTE: This might not be as heartwarming as my Carl Bray story, but it's pretty darn close. I just love it when people reach out to others with acts of kindness or recognition. Makes me want to be a good person.

Anywho . . .

When I headed off to college in the summer of 1978, I took with me a poster that wound up living with me through all four years of university life. It was a poster of an Oneida silverware ad. I'd seen the ad in a Seventeen magazine and loved it. Turns out that when the ad appeared many months down the road, it was accompanied by a small-print line that offered a poster sized reproduction of the ad for a mere $5 plus shipping and handling. Apparently I wasn't the only one who fell in love with the image of a lovingly worn teddy bear.

When I arrived at Ohio Wesleyan University, it was tacked up on the wall above my bed, and continued to be through four different dorm rooms. The edges turned tattered and riddled with holes.

After graduation, I framed the poster and hung it in my first apartment, then my second apartment. I kept the poster up until Harleigh and I moved into our house in 1999. Then, in a rather what-was-I-thinking moment, I decided that it had lived a good life and I was ready to send it off to Goodwill.

I'd long since forgotten about the poster until her senior year hit. With Harleigh going off to college, I was nostalgically reminded of heading off to school and the things that made me feel connected to home and just plain happy. I wanted this poster back. On the off chance that I could find it, my intention would be to get it framed and give it to Harleigh for her dorm room. But wasn't quite sure if she'd go for that. So I told her that I was trying to locate it, just to see what her response would be. "Oh, Mom, I remember that poster. I loved it and wondered why you gave it away."

And so I googled 'til I could google no more; for close to a year I searched and searched. In desperation I called Oneida last week. Ya know how sometimes you get a customer service person whom you just connect with? The conversation that ensues takes you back to the old days when you got a person right away and they were truly there to bend over backwards to do whatever it took to make you happy? Well, dang it, I got JUST that person!

I told her my story and the first thing she said was, "I'm going to find that poster for you. I know exactly which one you're talking about. Give me a few days. Give me your phone number." Well, that afternoon I got a call . . . "Dawn, this is Cathy from Oneida. Got your poster and it's in the mail. So glad I could help!" And it arrived, and a flood of memories washed over me. This poster is a tad bit different from the one I had. Mine had a picture of a spoon at the bottom, the "Love Lasts" sentiment was actually on a silver disk on a necklace around the bear's neck, and the ribbon was pink. But I love that it IS a little different; sorta Harleigh's version of the "poster that will follow you throughout your college years."Wondering what kind of thank you I can send to Cathy. Perhaps a picture of Harleigh standing in front of it. Not sure, but this gal will so be acknowledged for something she did out of the goodness of her heart.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quiet on the set!

Went out today to grab lunch. This is the conversation that ensued between me and the guy behind the lunch counter when I was paying.

He: Excuse me, Ma'am, but are you a movie producer?
Me (with that "what the heck" look on my face): Uh, no. Do I look like a movie producer you know?
He: No. You just look like a movie producer.
Me: Really? Well, I think that's cool. I'd like to be a movie producer.

I left shaking my head and smiling. Me. A middle-aged woman in a large man's shirt, polyester pants, fake Merrells, white socks and a headband in her hair. A movie producer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Patchwork Cup

So . . . I keep seeing cute things to send to school with Harleigh. Hafta be careful though because while she's been forced to live the girly world of Chateau Gahan for the past 18 years, her dorm room is all hers and ALL her taste, which happens to be a little different than mine.

So my tactic is to buy something and then set it out on the counter. If she reacts "that's cute, Mom!" then I offer it up to her. In the case of this small patchwork mug, I got a reaction that means it's being packed up and heading to Statesboro!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Have Tag Will Travel

Miss Nancy, Ali's adorable mom (Ali — the bride whose wedding I did up in Dahlonega) sent Harleigh these darling monogrammed luggage tags. How cute are these? She is an amazing seamstress and has one of those fancy embroidery machines (she made and embroidered all the napkins for Ali's wedding!). Harleigh says this is one of her most favorite graduation gift, perfect for a gym bag and computer bag, both of which she'll be toting off to college!

Look how cute the backs are with contrasting fabric!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oneida Melamine Plates

We're just starting to buy all the stuff that Harleigh will need to furnish her dorm room. Bedroom bedding, rug and window treatments are done. Towels, still need more. Kitchen and living room stuff, think we'll tackle that on check-in weekend. Her dorm room is two bedrooms, each with a full size bed (and its own door), a living room, bathroom with double sink, and kitchen (sans stove). Not what I remember having back in the day.

When I saw these melamine plates with daisies on them (and I do have a daughter who LOVES daisies), I knew they'd be perfect for her kitchen. Couldn't pass these up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ottoman Slipcovers from a Vintage Bedspread

Remember how excited I was about my new slipcovers? Well, it turned into a rather frustrating mess. When I originally bought the fabric to hand off to the upholsterers, I asked two times if I should wash it first. They assured me it was not necessary. So I'm thinking that they're going to make the sllipcovers super oversized to allow for shrinkage when I wash them. So not the case.

We call the big ottoman "Gideon's throne," and because he sleeps there a lot, it was the first of the slipcovers that needed washing. Shrunk so much I couldn't even get it back on. For two years I've covered it with a quilt. And the chair slipcover . . . needless to say it needs a good washing, but that ain't gonna happen (so I've taken to covering that as well). I figure that soon enough I'll replace both pieces with inexpensive IKEA slipcovered pieces.

On the day before Harleigh's graduation my mom was at the house to help get everything ready. When she asked what she could do to help, I charged her with something I knew she could accomplish with her eyes closed. Got the sewing machine set up and handed her a vintage bedspread I had on hand. Within an hour she had cut and sewn me a cover for not only Gideon's Throne, but for a little round naugahyde ottoman I keep under my coffee table. Voila! Instant Chabby Chic cuteness. Thanks Mamachita!

Friday, June 4, 2010

No Pictures is a Very Good Thing

So . . . there's a very good reason that i haven't shared any pictures of Ali's wedding. And it's a bigee. Southern Weddings magazine will be featuring Ali's wedding in the upcoming issue! Past issues of this magazine were inspirational to Ali and me as we planned her wedding and reception. Keep your eyes open for it on the newsstand, I believe in August. What an honor!!!!! (A big thanks to Ali's photographer, Jill Thomas, for making this happen. She made the submission one day and heard back the next that they wanted to include it in the issue they're working on now!!!

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