Monday, August 30, 2010

Sewing... sewing... and more sewing.

This has been a very crafty week for me. I have spent countless hours going through my stashes of tutorials, deciding which project would be right for me. The sewing machine has been stowed away since the move, but now it sits beautifully on its table, waiting for the next work load!
Let me begin by stating that I have somehow misplaced my pin cushion. Granted, it’s truly a piece of crap that should have been tossed long ago, but it did store my hundreds of stickpins. So, for sewing project number one… a new pin cushion.
I went through my collection of fabric and picked a set that would do the job – a burlap/type look! Sewing one of these takes absolutely no time, so to make it worth-while, I appliquéd some circles on top.
Here is the finished pin cushion, which I believe turned out nicely!

Next, seeing all these beautiful fabrics spread out around me inspired me to make something else that I LOVE… An OWL. These little guys are everywhere you look. ETSY is filled with thousands of owl items. So, I pieced my fabrics together, cut and sewed and appliquéd my way around to form a little stuffed owl to house my quilting pins… he’s pretty cute!

My next sewing project – a lap quilt. I just received my Amy Butler fat quarters, and I’ve found a patchwork pattern that I simply adore! You just can’t go wrong with Amy Butler fabrics… 
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

yoga through my eyes...

When I went to my first yoga class, it looked a bit like this.

I was prepared to learn a breathing technique that would relax my mind, body, and spirit. I was excited to learn ‘stretching’ poses that would lengthen my five foot nine inch frame… Also, I believed I would engage in some ‘serenity’ that would put my body at peace.

After my first yoga class –
I appeared to have been soaked with a water hose (and I’m not a sweater).
My face was red. Correction, my face was beet red.
As I left the meditation room, I appeared to have Parkinson’s Disease… for my entire body was shaking and my legs were more than jello-fied…
It was quite funny.
Now… I have been practicing for some time, and have such a lovely experience with the entire process. Doing some research on the benefits should be enough to make anyone want to get engaged. Though my fantastic, and highly trained instructor WORKS YOU TO THE BONE… it’s a fantastic feeling when you hear that familiar music appear to which you begin your wind down…. The last five minutes are like taking a glorious nap on an autumn day (outside in a hammock)!!!! You clear your mind, then your peel yourself off the floor to head home, feeling more rejuvenated than any massage or facial could provide!

Research from the Mayo Clinic…

Friday, August 20, 2010

Today has been a good day!

It is Friday.
I woke this morning at a wonderful time, walked outside to enjoy my cup of coffee and saw that my gardenia bush had produced the most beautiful and fragrant bloom! That started my day off perfectly!

My husband and I have the ENTIRE weekend off and have great friends coming to town - super excited about that!
My glass drawer pulls finally arrived in the mail today, and I couldn't be more pleased with how my dresser looks. 
I tackled the assignment of making a letter art picture using free images on flickr - It reads - 
Hutchinson Est. 09
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It's getting blown up into an 8x10 and framed for our family room. 
I AM SEEING JACK JOHNSON SUNDAY NIGHT IN CHARLOTTE!!!!! I'm not sure I will be able to contain myself ;-)
Thursday, August 19, 2010

A day of crafting... perfection.

It has been some time since I have had a crafty day, though my husband would beg to differ. As my blog is making it's way into the 'blogging' world - I felt the need to add another tutorial, as so many others have added to their blogs - helping me along my way. 
A new craze on home decor lately has been the use of embroidery hoops. People are using them for wall hangings, filling them with beautiful fabrics, flowers, or anything they choose. So, I thought I would give this a chance, and had PLENTY of scrap fabric to fulfill the project. 

So.... what you will need to make my version of the hoop wall art - 
2 embroidery hoops, I chose 2 different sizes.
embroidery floss and needle
birdie template (i just hand drew mine because it was very simple)
any fabrics of your choice
trim of your choice
2 small buttons
hot glue gun 
(and patience)
First - I took my hoops apart and gave them a quick coat of Rustoleum white spray paint, and let them dry for about an hour.
I started by cutting out two birdies using two different fabrics, then two wings with contrasting fabrics. 
Cut third fabric to fit your hoop. (I used two different background fabrics, and stitched them together with my lace trim... you could only use one fabric if you would like.) When your fabric is cut to size, applique your bird with the embroidery floss. 
I used a batting fabric on the back of my main fabric to give the bird some puffiness. This step could also be skipped. Once your bird is sewn on, flip your fabric over - and it should be an outline of the bird. It will look like a mess of sorts - but no one will see this. 
Now, applique your wing to the bird.
I then added my hoop around the fabrics and closed it tight. You should pull on the edges of the fabric sticking out to make sure you won't have any wrinkles. 
Trim the edges of the fabric sticking out... and for the worst part... with your glue gun, glue down the edges of the leftover fabric to the underside of your masterpiece :) 
Once your hoop is complete, add your button to complete the birdie.
and, voila.... 
For my second hoop - I used the same concept as the first with contrasting fabrics and the trim... and I love it! 
Lastly, hang your artwork! I used twine to create a hanger - and placed my two pieces in my thrift room! Such a fun and quick project... even with hand sewing! 
I hope you enjoy this project if you decide to make your own. There are so many different ways to add that something special. I currently am loving the fabric flowers that we are seeing everywhere - and those look AMAZING inside one of the hoops - pinned onto beautiful fabrics. 
-That could possibly be my next project....  :) 
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A visit to the Biltmore Mansion

We are very excited and grateful anytime someone comes to visit us in South Carolina, but when we get a trip to the Biltmore - plus a visit from David's mom, Jane... we are super excited!!! I have been wanting to visit this place forever - as it reminds me of Buckingham Palace, and I finally got my wish this past weekend. We woke early and spent the entire day touring the home and hearing the amazing stories about the family, walking through and admiring the amazing gardens - having lunch on the site, and ending the day with wine tasting at their winery... delish :) 

The containers of flowers were beyond amazing. I was told that the Biltmore staffs 15 florists, and they are on call ALL THE TIME! Fresh flower bouquets are in every room of the house... ( i want that in my home...)

This is a breathtaking view from a window of one of the bedrooms. And for the record - the house has 43 bathrooms. 

Admiring the views on the terrace with my hubby :) 

David and Jane

The Italian Water Gardens. Needless to say, when we got home, David had decided he wanted a water garden! As long as he can find me these African Lilly Pads - he can dig up the yard!!! I seriously just wanted to get in the water and jump from pad to pad - They were amazing. This garden was also filled with lotus flowers in every imaginable color... it was truly stunning.

Tons and tons of grapes hanging from arbors along your walk through the gardens.

This is an idea I really want to incorporate in my garden. They have used a wine bottle as a planter! 

This is one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken... yes, i'm proud of it! The picture speaks for itself - it is yards and yards of sunflowers beside a tiny, twisty road that leads to the winery. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful road to travel! We stopped so I could take a picture - and it took everything for me to get back in the car. I could have stayed right there and been perfectly content :) 

Ahhh, the winery. I must admit - the Biltmore can make some tasty wines. And we should know because we samples just about every type they offer. My favorite and what we brought home with us - A limited release Malbec. We will open and enjoy it on another special occasion! 
Friday, August 13, 2010

Eating Fresh

There is something very special and fulfilling about eating the food you have grown! 
Our cherry tomato plant is booming... every day there are handfuls of bright red, delicious tomatoes. 
Here in South Carolina, the farmers markets are loaded with fresh grown vegetables... and you will have no problem finding a farm stand - they are everywhere! It's wonderful! 
I have the pleasure of being married to a man who can make DELISH dinners! Seriously, this man can cook! These are a few of his signature dinners made especially for... ME! 

tilapia fillet & lobster ravioli with pink sauce
eggplant parmesan with skinny spaghetti
steak with half potato, caramelized pearl onions and mushrooms, ceasar salad
steak ceasar
tuna steak over rice, grilled pineapple and broccoli
Unfortunately, this one is not ours... though I wish it was. 
Peach Salsa
Whole Foods (the best grocery store on the planet) made this, and listed all the ingredients - so i'm just trying to make it to taste exactly the same!!! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The perks of living near water...

Duncan Park
This is the view we have while walking down our street. It's absolutely a beautiful street to live on, and we were so fortunate to find a house here! The street is lined with magnolia trees and gardenia bushes... so the aroma in the air is sometimes so wonderful that it's overwhelming. The best thing about our street...there is a lake at the end!!!! So a very short walk with our pups - and they get their very own swimming pool :) And trust me, they would live in water if they could. 
Yesterday evening - I grabbed my camera and we headed out with the pups on leash. It was that time of day when the sun is setting, and all that daytime heat is gone... leaving you with that perfect temperature. 
Emme loves the ducks... She would make friends with any person or animal on earth! Sweetest little thing ever! 
Such a big boy! 
I always tell my pups - you have no idea how great a life you both have... you could be stray pups... with no mommy and daddy!!!! They really are the most spoiled pups in the entire world! Both have been to the beach and played in the ocean, they get treats (good treats) all the time, walks about everyday - which include swimming in the lake, car rides alllll the time, and a mommy and daddy who love them more than life :) 
Sunday, August 8, 2010

My garden grows!!!

pink swirl round hibiscus
large orange hibiscus

It's amazing to plant something so deep into the ground - wishfully waiting that it will take root and grow into something beautiful... 
To me, gardening is so meditative. I get more pleasure watching my work thrive than with anything else. And another plus- you are making beauty in your own yard! 
After 2 short months of living at our new house, I will share of few of my flowers with you.

cone hydrangea
knockout roses
crape myrtle tree
tons and tons of cherry tomatoes
round pink swirl hibiscus
hibiscus blooms on the tree
my thriving flower pot
garden frog - i swear this guy brings luck!
from the flower pot - this bloom is
larger than my hand!
potted lavender


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