I remember back in my late teens and early 20's when a jean jacket was a staple in every girl's wardrobe. And it appears that it's becoming the case with this generation. Harleigh chanced upon one at Old Navy that she deemed the perfect shade of denim (a lighter version very ala '80s). A week went by. And when I went to buy it, only XLs remained. The sales girl told me, "Ma'am, when you see something in Old Navy, you have to buy it. Coming back a week later and hoping it's there is a real gamble. A week in Old Navy time is like a year." A few phone calls later, and she had one on hold at a mall not too far away.
And in typical GahanGirls fashion, I added a vintage brooch, a daisy (Harleigh's favorite flower).
I've loved creating a home for my daughter. And in that home, the collections have always been appreciated. The morning after a sleepover, a house full of girls, breakfast enjoyed on mismatched vintage china with cloth napkins, cereal milk in a ceramic pitcher, a roaring fire in the fireplace, and lots of afghans to wrap up in. The love and care I put into making cozy and homey experiences was never lost on the girls, who could never seem to get enough of the girliness of Chateau Gahan.
As Harleigh has grown into a young woman, away from home, I adore that she is wanting to create her own atmosphere of home, even if it's in the stark bedroom of a dormitory. This coming Fall she'll be moving into a four-bedroom duplex with three other girls, and she is most anxious to set up house, and is starting collections of her own. One, that I've begun for her, is her desire to collect big and pretty mugs. Her collection is off to a great start, with the bird one from Hobby Lobby and the other two from Anthropologie. My hope is that she has these mugs for her whole lifetime, that one day her daughter will be amongst friends, in jammies, up in the morning, drinking hot chocolate from big and pretty mugs, wishing that they lived in a house as homey as Miss Harleigh's.
The lovely Tiffany blue and cream pitcher I've had forever took a nose dive early this week. I had pulled it down from the study shelves to use for Karla's shower and when I did, the pitcher was unglued from the base. I tried glue of every kind, but nothing seemed to work. With a little bit of floral tape, I was able to keep it whole through the shower. Once home, I put it back on the shelf but had my doubts that it would remain intact. Well, home that evening, rounded the corner, and there was the pitcher, in a zillion pieces on the study floor (poor Gideon must have been quite shaken when that sucker hit the ground). But the base — on the floor as well — was unscathed.
I've held onto this globe just 'cause I like the colors. I'd taken off the stand because it was red plastic. Cradled now by the new base, and topped off with an old wooden drawer knob, the world couldn't look any better.
It will not be that long until we have a baby in the family! Karla, my stepsister and lovely mom-to-be, is expecting.Not since Harleigh toddled around have we experienced all the joy that comes with having a child in our midst. Today I, along with four of Karla's dearest friends, hosted a baby shower. Despite the fact that said friends are all from out of town, it came together perfectly!
As I've shared in past posts, the nursery fabric is birdies in shades of brown and green. I used the fabrics on a number of items. And carried the theme of birds throughout. Burlap spoke to me for this event, perhaps because Karla is having a boy, and so choosing a fabric with a little bit of "toughness" seemed the right direction to take. I made this wreath, initially thinking I'd hang it on the front door of the hostess' house, but it found a home someplace else.It wound up on a wall over my trusty bedroom night stand (a piece of furniture that has gotten a ton of mileage for things other than bedside surface and storage) which I brought along for the hostess' foyer (newly married couple, new baby, new house = not a lot of furniture).There were store-bought flowers used for my various vintage baby planters, but at this time of year there's nothing like filling big ceramic pitchers with flowering tree branches. For the napkins, I chose to sew squares of nursery fabric and fabric from my shower gift onto ripped muslin. Simple and pretty. And once laundered, a nice keepsake for the newly expanded family. Plain paper cups got a dose of fabric squares; even cups have to wear the theme! For outdoors, the directional signage leading to the site was birds taken from the nursery fabric, projected onto foamcore, then cut out, painted, and given wire legs. A bright yellow balloon was also a cue as to where to turn. In a crepe myrtle at the entrance walkway to the house, I tucked a bird and nest. A single blue egg as a reminder that we've got a little boy on the way!! At a church council meeting last Sunday (where every month a different council member is in charge of supplying lunch and opening the meeting with a devotional), Charles set out the plastic utensils, and as he taped a fork, spoon and knife to each cup holding the utensils, said he'd had a brain child the night before as to how to put out the utensils without putting them utility-side up (which means everyone touching the part you put in your mouth). Thank you, Charles, for this idea. Put that to good use! (Used the same fabric from the cups and napkins, paired with the burlap). Here are some of my vintage planters. I love finding these in thrift stores!! And for my gift to Karla, I truly wanted to do something handmade. She and her husband Lynn are two people who appreciate art and craft; their home is BEAUTIFULLY decorated with meaningful works of art. For Baby Bean (as the little one has come to be known), I made this mobile. My inspiration came from Dottie Angel, one of my all-time favorite blogs. I bought an old lampshade, tore off the shade, leaving the metal frame. Wrapped the frame in ripped fabric (the same fabric that I then used on the napkins, cups and utensil holders), covered a branch in burlap, adding buttons and fabric flowers, topping it off with a felt bird. I have a ways to go to become adept at felt work, but I know that Karla appreciates the love and care I took making it.
Gideon is four today! I left our dog walker a note, along with a special clover necklace from the birthday boy. Hopefully she'll bring one of his BFFs over to play. That always makes for a special day for our little man. Here is a close-up of one of the elements for this coming weekend's baby shower. So much fun to handcraft so many of the items. This evening I'll be focusing on the cups. This morning out my kitchen window . . . it looked like a fairy garden.
Gideon has a birthday coming up on Thursday — St. Patty's Day! Thought we'd get in the spirit this past weekend with an over-the-top green bow tie. I'm so glad dear Giddy inherited his "mom's" dry sense of humor!
This Spring Break (for Harleigh, not for me) is true to its name. In the 70s today. Heaven. Dropped the girl off this morning at a college friend's house, to meet up with 6 others, heading up to the mountains for hiking and camping. Perfect weather for their excursion (although tonite will be chilly). Once home, I immersed myself in readying for Karla's baby shower next weekend. Sewing to finish (evidenced here in a shower project that utilizes her nursery fabric — the one with the little birdies). A gift to finish making. Decor to craft. Painting of things. It's all coming together. Took a brief break and went outside to prune and prod, discovering the sprouting perennials, the hints of Spring. And, of course, Spring is not complete without the Japanese Cherry outside my kitchen window. Cut back come shoots at the base of the tree and gave them a place of grace on the living room coffee table.
All of the small event planning work I've been doing has been so rewarding. I love filling my evenings and weekends with sketching, brainstorming, staging/photographing and crafting. And this weekend was the bomb! Granted the house is in shambles, mostly because my new craft table is home, but unassembled, and so what would all happen on that glorious work surface is spewed out into the study (sewing machine and ironing board) and the craft room computer table and dinette table (cutting, hand-stitching, websurfing for ideas). Poor Gideon doesn't know where to go, since sleeping close to me means wading through piles of fabric and maneuvering around electrical cords. It ain't pretty.
Worked on machine-stitching napkins for the baby shower on March 20 as well as hand-stitching some felt items for my shower gift. My ironing board, as you can see below, did double duty not only for ironing but for measuring and ripping fabric. And . . . this weekend I was honored to be asked to be wedding coordinator for Devon's wedding in September (which Ali Harper is shooting!)! And . . . Ali's wedding made the Southern Weddings Magazine blog here and here!. Can you see why I'm on a high?
Was doing some thrifting yesterday for some items for the upcoming baby shower and chanced upon this vintage desktop letter holder. Did the test "will I regret it if I leave here without buying this?" and there was a resounding "yes" in my head. Love old maps and their colors. And this caddy even has some rust spots, which I like. Using it as a vase for some silk flowers (until real ones bloom!).
I haven't been sending Harleigh the number of care packages I imagined way back when I planned for her migration into college life. She'll be ending her freshman year in May of this year, and this is the first fun package I've sent (the others have been retainers left from a weekend home, a new pedal for her bike . . . so not fun care package stuff). With the box I'm sending today, I can't even take credit for it being a "love and miss my daughter and want her to know I'm thinking of her" package. It was prompted by her needing her softball glove for a co-ed intramural team she's been asked to play on and her sunglasses left behind on her birthday weekend. The poor child just has to have some fun things packed into a box of expected items.
So I tucked in some gummi savers, one of Gideon's bandanas from a grooming visit (with a note from the pooch himself telling his favorite girl that he's giving it to her because he knows she likes peace signs and hippie-girl things), new socks, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters catalogs, a teen celebrity magazine, 3-D White toothpaste (the BEST toothpaste for whitening), gum, a McDonald's Barbie toy, nail polishes (Sally Hanson Wet Cement and Commander in Chic, plus a Justin Bieber purple — although I didn't splurge on the $7.00 bottle of purple from the actual One Less Lonely Girl Justin Bieber line). And I made a card with a picture I found of a ribbon-crafted peace sign on a chain link fence. Oh, and her sunglasses and glove and softball . . . what she really needs!
"Our house was not unsentient matter — it had a heart and a soul, and eyes to see with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benedictions. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out in eloquent welcome — and we could not enter it unmoved."- Samuel Clemens
I am probably the most content person you'd ever want to meet. I have a decent job working with people I like, a loving family including a swell Old English Sheepdog, a home where nesting and curling up on slipcovered sofas is required, and a life rich in creative crafting and daydreaming. I someday want a cottage at the beach where my grandchildren can bring sandy feet into the house, wet bathing suits can dry on the front porch and everything we need to get to is a bicycle ride away.