Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sunny and quiet

I had a little quiet time at home by myself today. Both small Bears have gone back to their respective schools this week, and today is one of the days they are both in class. I took the GB to her preschool and then went to Trader Joe's for some grocery shopping. It's so much easier to shop alone. Ever since they have both started attending school I try to save my grocery trips for those mornings when I am alone.

I got everything I needed and I also treated myself to some flowers. I try to bring my own flowers inside the house as much as possible during the growing season but I can't do that in January. I was thrilled to see that they had daffodils and tulips in the store already! I picked out some beautiful orange tulips, only $4.99 a bunch! I was so happy to find them. I brought them home and put them into this bright green spotty jug on the kitchen table. They are just so cheerful!

I just love my little jug. I bought it over the Christmas holidays at Home Goods, a home-decor/housewares store which sells the prettiest, most unusual things. I found this charming item in the very back of the store where they have the clearance sales; it was only $4! All of us Bears were shopping that day and we didn't see anything else we urgently needed but I really wanted this little jug. At that price, it would be silly not to buy it! It found a home on the shelf above my stove with other crockery treasures.

I had about an hour from when I came home with the groceries until I had to leave to pick up the LB at his school. I needed to put away the groceries and get the slow-cooker set up to make our dinner and by the time I was done, I had about forty minutes left. Not much time to myself but I sat in my sunny living room and enjoyed the quiet. I thought about some projects I have in the mental queue.

I've been planning some sewing projects, including new placemats that are taking shape in my mind. In the above photo, you can see the edges of some vinyl placemats on my kitchen table. These are old, very inexpensive and starting to fall apart. I have searched high and low, in every discount store in my area, and I just can't find more like them. So I decided I would make some instead. I've decided to use oilcloth, and found the perfect patterns for my strawberry-themed kitchen. I bought two patterns, to make them reversible.

I bought this oilcloth from an Etsy seller, PookieBags, who creates adorable bags from oilcloth and also sells oilcloth yardage. I bought one yard of each pattern, plenty to make four large placemats. I will be using the dimensions of those old ones as a guide, so they will be roughly 19 inches by 15 inches. They will be easily wipeable and certainly very bright and cheerful.

I am also thinking about some patchwork. I have long wanted to learn a technique called English paper piecing, which can be used to make beautiful, neat hexagon patchwork. I bookmarked this tutorial on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog months ago but have been feeling a little hesitant about trying it. I don't know why but it seems a bit intimidating, even for someone like me who has a fair amount of sewing experience. I will try it soon, though.

The Bear gave me some beautiful cotton fabrics for Christmas this year. Well, to be more accurate, I ordered them for myself for him to give to me. Sometimes that's necessary to make sure I get what I really want. Maybe that doesn't quite sound gift-y but the fabrics are pricier ones I can't find easily in my local chain fabric stores so they were also an Etsy purchase, from the fabulous Sew Deerly Loved shop. Kerri sells all the big names in Japanese import fabrics and other beautiful quilting supplies. I ordered from her clearance/end bolt category, where you can find some incredible bargains on smaller cuts of fabric.

I chose to buy some of the less expensive items because I wanted a fun assortment and didn't need a lot of any one pattern. I'm in love with all of them, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly partial to the ones with strawberries.

I'm also rather fond of this Lecien Old New 30's print, Deers in a Meadow. Aren't those tiny deer just adorable? Oh my. Oh dear (deer)?

I think I'll use bits of this to make something for the GB. I've been thinking about using the paper piecing method to make a hexagon patchwork purse for her. I haven't designed it yet but I have a few ideas. If I can get this method right, it could be done in time for her Easter basket...

I had to run out to pick up first the LB at his school and then the GB at hers, and now we're home. He's doing some math work and she's having a rest time. The sunshine went away, unfortunately. There is a large storm system making its way across the western US tonight and the clouds have rolled in ahead of it. We may get some snow. I am hopeful. I wouldn't mind a little time stuck inside with a crafty pursuit, especially since tomorrow is the Bear's day off from work.


  1. I love it when the daffodils and tulips start going on sale, they feel like spring is coming. It's really cold and sunny here to but I'd take that over damp, wet weather any day.

    Love those fabrics - I look forward to seeing what you make with them!

    Gillian x

    1. I know, I walked into the store and there were right near the entrance just calling out to me! I didn't expect to see daffs and tulips already, I was thinking I wouldn't see them until February.

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  3. Those fabrics are all darling! And so is that jug. Tulips are my favorite flower. Maybe because they always say "spring" to me and I'm always so darn ready when Spring comes.

    I'm thinking by your love of that jug and those fabrics that you may like some of the stuff on this website. I got there and drool quite often. Sadly, they don't sell any of it here in the U.S. boo hoo

    1. Thank you, Jenny! I love tulips too. I love those bright pinky-red lipstick-y colored ones most. I was sooo happy to find these yesterday. They had orange, yellow and white. The orange seemed the most cheerful to me.

      I have drooled over Greengate many a time! I love it so much. There's a blog called Yvestown where the blogger had a Greengate giveaway a few weeks ago, but it wasn't open to people in the US, which was disappointing. I would love to own some of their items someday though. Yes, I love my little dotty jugs (I also have a red one) and all manner of stuff like this. :)


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