Sunday, May 1, 2016

Retro Kitchen


Hello! I hope you've had a good weekend. Thank you for your comments recently; I'm mostly feeling better now. We are heading into the silly season now that the school year is almost finished and my head is already spinning just a little bit. There are three weeks left, and they are jam-packed with activities, performances and recitals, not to mention a few medical tests and appointments for the LB (he's on a thrice-yearly schedule and we've come back around again). I'm keeping calm, for the most part; I like to be busy, as you know, and most of this stuff is fun. It's hard to believe we're back here again, though; wasn't it just August, the start of a brand-new school year? Time is kicking my butt, apparently. I may be a little scarce in blogland for the next few weeks, but I'll do my best to keep up with reading yours and updating my own.

This weekend, in between finishing up school projects, attending the final guitar lessons before next week's recitals, and trying to get a little housework done, I managed to frame my latest cross-stitch project and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. The design is Retro Kitchen, from Stitchrovia on Etsy, and it's meant to look like retro kitchenware items in a sampler layout. I first saw this design a couple of years ago and fell in love with it; I knew it would be a nice addition to my own retro-flavored kitchen decor. I sure do love old kitchen things.


Do you ever frame your own stitching? I do it sometimes, mostly to save money. I won't pretend to be good enough to write a tutorial, but I think I do it well enough to work, if that makes sense. I figure that if I do some of them myself, then I will feel better about having the others done professionally. It's all about balance, for me. This project felt like one I could do myself; the fabric is basic 14-count Aida, not linen, and the design area fits nicely in a basic 8-by-10 wooden frame (which I ordered from Amazon). I started by ironing my piece (on a clean towel, with the back facing up), spritzing with plain water to help steam the wrinkles out.


The Bear was very helpful to me in the framing process. He likes doing this kind of thing, or maybe he's just being nice; either way, it was good to have him on hand. He used an X-Acto knife to trim a piece of cardboard to slightly smaller than the frame size, to leave room for the fabric thickness around the edges of the cardboard. Then I wrapped the fabric tightly around the cardboard and tucked it all in neatly at the back, taping the edges down to make it flat. I have done this a few different ways before, sometimes using pins all around the sides, or doing big basting stitches with a needle and doubled thread across the back in both directions, but wide packing tape worked well. Maybe not the most elegant framing job, but okay. My next linen piece will get more pampering.


He didn't seem to be trying to get away very quickly, so I had him help me hang it too. He is a victim of love.


We hung it on the end wall of the breakfast nook area of the kitchen. There isn't a lot of wall space in either the work area of our kitchen, or the eating area, but I've been looking for ways to add color and interest where I can. I like the way it looks here, especially because you can see it all the way from the family room, which is open to the kitchen. I love that there are big solid areas of color in the sampler; you can see the defined shapes from far away and it looks crisp and bold. I like the way it looks with our made-by-me kitchen curtains too - bright and cheerful.


I've mentioned in previous posts about my sampler that I changed a couple of colors, and I'm really glad I did, especially the red canister in the middle, which was supposed to be dark orange. I love it with a red item right in the center, since my kitchen has lots of red in it. I really enjoyed stitching this sampler; it was easy and fun, and I'm really happy with it. I have a couple of smaller items planned for the kitchen (also designs by Stitchrovia) and I think I'll hang them on the other side of the window. They're totally retro too - a cute little teapot and coffeepot pair.


While we're in the kitchen, I wanted to show you my vintage-potholder display, which is on the wall perpendicular to the one with the window where I hung the sampler (you're looking through to the dining room and living room here; the big window above is at the front of the house). I was given two more potholders for Christmas and I recently added them to the original four I had hanging here. Most of them came from Etsy, but I found the smallest round potholder (the one at about nine o'clock) in a local antiques mall. They're all old, from the 1940's or 50's, and all are hand-crocheted. They're all gently used, which I really love. I like to imagine the people who made them, and used them, long before they came to me.


There are so many beautiful vintage potholders out there, but I'm trying to limit my collection to ones made in red and white, to go along with the color scheme in my kitchen. I have a strawberry theme and lots of red. Green seems to come with the territory where the rosy potholders are concerned and I like that too. I was trying to crochet some of my own, you may recall, but I have so much trouble crocheting with thread. Gosh, it's just really hard for me and they look very messy. I will keep trying; it would be really nice to have a few of my own up there too. I think I'll feel very accomplished when I finally master thread-crochet. I'll certainly enjoy the pretty potholders.

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Thanks again for the thoughts you've shared lately. I'm glad you liked my seedling color palettes; if you haven't tried PicMonkey for photo editing or collage-making, I recommend it highly. I hope you have a good week. Hello and welcome, new readers and followers!

39 comments:

  1. I love it! The colours work so well in your kitchen and I share your love of retro kitchenalia. I'm really impressed that you framed it yourself. I always get mine done professionally (only three so far) but it's expensive and I do wonder if I could do it myself but I'd hate to mess it up. Good job! X

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  2. I love it Jennifer. It turned out well and reminds me a lot of the things my mom had in the 70's kitchen I grew up in. 🙂

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  3. Love the stitching piece, it's perfect, very you and it looks lovely in your kitchen. Nice job with the framing too. The potholders are a great touch as well and that strawberry print is beautiful. You have a very good eye for making your home look welcoming and cosy. I shall look forward to seeing the other two pieces you'll be making. I'm always surprised how soon your summer holidays start, lucky you. We have two and a half months to wait for ours yet. I hope the last few busy weeks go well, it's always frantic isn't it. And I hope LB's medical tests and appointments go well. CJ xx

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  4. Well done, Jennifer; it looks beautiful in your lovely kitchen. Your pot holders are gorgeous too - do you use them or are they just for decoration? Lucky you being so close to the end of the school year; we've a way to go yet. Enjoy all your end of year activities and fingers crossed for all the medical tests. xx

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  5. Your retro stitched piece is perfect for your kitchen! Love the simple frame, it coordinates so nicely. You have a nice touch in your decorating Jennifer.
    Wendy

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  6. Absolutely lovely!! The colours are perfect

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  7. It's the perfect place for your sampler and it does go so well with the curtain. Oh I do love it when you've put so much work into something and it really hits the spot.

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  8. What a beautiful job you've done, it looks so retro, the colors are perfect. Hope the next few weeks don't wear you out too badly.

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  9. So far I have only framed my own stitched pieces, and gave them away as gifts, but they were not as fine as your beautiful pieces. The Bear did a fine job helping, too :) I was startled to realize that you already are in the last run of your school year until I realized that many in our family are planning to go on a two week camping trip starting the last week in May :) I too hope that this extra busy time of year goes well for you, especially LB's tests. Although I have made thread crochet bibs for all my grandchildren I have never done anything as grand as the potholders you are collecting. They really make a lovely display, and I think it is interesting to wonder who made them and if they enjoyed using them. Take a deep breath...and I hope you and yours will be well and have many happy days, Jennifer xxxx

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  10. You have some fabulous stitched pieces now in your kitchen love the retro colours very groovy ☺☺ May the next few weeks go along smoothly for you all ♥

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  11. Love your sampler and your potholder collection - retro is very "in" and cool!

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  12. What a gorgeous cross-stitch your Retro Kitchen turned out to be, Jennifer. And beautifully framed, with the curtains picking up the colour. When I did a lot of cross-stitch I often framed pieces when they fit a commercial frame, and like you I tried lacing it across the back, and also used packing tape. Whatever works, I say. Your pot-holder collection is totally adorable, and beautifully matched. Happy collecting!

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  13. I just love that cross stitch. It is a great design and your tweak of the colors is perfect!

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  14. I love the way your stitchery looks framed and on the wall next to your curtains. They look like they were made to be together. You are very talented at decorating and making your home a place that everyone feels welcome. I can imagine being in your kitchen with a cup of tea and a cookie or muffin! It just looks happy and homey. Great job framing it too and The Bear looks to be a professional picture hanger. I've made a few thread crochet pot holders and your'e right, it can be fiddley, but I love the way they look when they're done. I hope you have a happy and stress free last few weeks of school. How I remember those days.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  15. A beautiful project evoking lots of lovely memories of a bygone era. You have a talent for making your home warm and inviting. Hope all goes well with the next round of medical tests and check ups. Enjoy the hectic weeks ahead of you and relish in the thought of a wonderful summer break. Take care.

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  16. It looks great Jennifer, gorgeous pops of colour. Hope the next few weeks go smoothly and all is fine with LB's tests. Sam x

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  17. it's beautiful Jennifer. hope all the tests go well, and that the next few weeks are more fun than frantic. x

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  18. It's absolutely lovely Jennifer and reminds me of the 1970s kitchenscape I grew up in too. Your kitchen is becoming a really special reflection of you. Thank you also for the tutorial. I've almost finished my Midsummer Sprigs sampler, worked on grey linen, and I'm starting to think about framing. It sounds as if you have an enjoyable few weeks ahead of you before the long summer holiday and it's comforting to hear I'm not the only one to think that time is passing far too fast!

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  19. You've done a great job with your latest cross stitch project and it's the perfect design for you with your love of retro kitchenalia. I'm looking forward to seeing the next couple of pieces you'll be working on.

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  20. Your stitching project looks wonderful all finished and up on the wall. The Bear is a keeper!
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  21. I love the stitched piece and I'm so glad you hung it. I looks perfect with your adorable curtains (love that fabric, would love to know where you purchased).

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    1. Hi Dawn, thank you. That fabric came from Fabric.com, about two years ago. It was from a line by Moda, called Milk Cow Kitchen. I think the specific fabric's name was Strawberry Flowers, or something like that.

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  22. It's lovely Jennifer and how nice to have an assistant to help you with framing and hanging he's proud of your work that's what it is, your kitchen looks lovely with the vintage pot holders and your sampler. :) xx

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  23. I really like your retro kitchen sampler, particularly the sugar bowl in the middle (if that's what it is). I really would like to have such a bowl. I bet the Bear enjoys being a victim of love! Wishing you a good week, hopefully not too mad with end of term activities. x

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  24. Your sampler came out magnificently! As a child of the 50s it really resonates with me. I also love your hotpad collection. I made one that I think you could do.. let me know if you want the pattern. Thanks for your input on my blog post.. I went in and removed my whiny complaint about the lack of comments.. lol. I think I'm just depressed about the kids moving away. I hope your two don't move far away someday. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  25. Your cross-stitch is fabulous, Jennifer. Well done you - and Big Bear. I'll be thinking of you for LB's medical tests. :o)

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  26. Hi, it's a great piece of work. I like that you have put your own stamp on it by changing a colour to fit in with your deco. And thank you for the tip on framing. I pick up frames from car boot sales and charity shops and it's been a challenge putting in my work. Never thought to trim the board though, what a good tip.

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  27. I hear you in the busyness! Hope life slows for you soon :). I love your sampler it looks perfect in that spot. Well done framing it yourself I am not sure I would be so brave.

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  28. Lovely retro stitching, and beautifully framed too. It does look great in your kitchen, and a good idea to change the colours a bit. I hope all goes well with LB's tests and that you find things go smoothly over the next few busy weeks.
    Helen xox

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  29. That's adorable Jennifer -- and it looks just perfect in your kitchen. I love your pretty potholders too -- they make me want to find some retro patterns and make a few!

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  30. That sampler is just gorgeous Jennifer. Love it in your kitchen x

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  31. Beautiful work. And a lovely addition to your kitchen.

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  32. Hey Jennifer,
    I love, love, love it! I have a very similar coffee pot in Betty. It leaks, but it's a great accessory for the old girl.
    Leanne xx

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  33. lovely! your kitchen has so many cheery decorative notes to it! thanks for showing us!

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  34. Great cross-stitch project....goes perfectly in your kitchen! (I know this is hard to believe, but once upon a time, I was even more smitten with counted cross stitch than I am with knitting....even did shop samples for Ginnie Thompson originals back in the 70s). Nothing like a good sampler!!! :)

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  35. Hi, it's a great piece of work.
    ___________
    bloom tattoos

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  36. I just love this piece Jennifer. Your husband (I hope you don't mind my saying this) has very capable hands and is clearly helpful and patient. A Keeper, but you know that already! The cross stitich is very cheerful and cosy, the shapes are perfect, and everything says 'Welcome'. Love your home made curtains too, you are clever! Hope your son's tests go well and smoothly and are all good news X

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  37. Oh Wow. This is really great retro! I love it.

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