Do you see the little black bear sitting in the corner of our oak settee? We call him Momma Bear (yeah, I know - him/her). He sits there all quiet as if he has nothing to say. But, as you will soon see, he has plenty to say.
I made him the fall of the year my mother died. In the fall of 2001. I made him while I sat spellbound as the lives of many changed forever. I had been dealing with my own grief over the death of first my brother-in-law and then my mother in the spring of that year. I felt I had a head start on dealing with grief, so I sat mesmerized as the whole country dealt with loss. And I sewed.
Sewing always relaxes me, just as cooking does.
My first thought was to make a single bear who would sit in a corner much the same way this one now sits.
One turned to two and two turned to four.
The fabric I used? I had just enough to make the four I needed. I carefully chose the colors from my selection by their wear. The fabric began as clothing that had belonged to my mother. The pattern fabric was a nightgown she spent a good deal of her final 6 months wearing in the nursing home where we had to place her. The black fabric was a jogging suit she would often wear to visit our fathers grave when she was able.
And I began cutting and sewing. The more I cut, the more I sewed, the more I cried.
Finally they were complete. Four identical bears made from the clothing of our mother. Just in time for Christmas. I wrapped each one identical.
Each of my brothers and sisters got a bear of their very own. Except I forgot to make one for myself. So, how did I get this one? He is the bear that belonged to my older sister, Sister, who died in June.
This is my oldest sister, Sister with her Momma Bear.
My baby sister, Renee with her Momma Bear.
My baby brother, Kevin with his Momma Bear.
My middle sister, Becky with her Momma Bear.
Just a reminder in this stress filled time, some of the best gifts come from the heart and don't cost a dime.
All my love and hoping each and every one of you has a Glorious and Merry Christmas.
I couldn't resist. (the title of this post) Picture me smiling at the thought I made you smile.
I redecorated our fireplace mantel. Not sure I am completely through with it. I know I have a MERRY CHRISTMAS sign I want to place on the wall above the mirror, but I can not find where I packed it.
Here is what the mantel looked like for Thanksgiving and fall.
close-up view of one end of the mantel
side view of the entire mantel
And here is what it looks like this morning. I was inspired on many levels. I saw some pink and pastel color ornaments at Sams club and liked the way they made me feel. There is a new baby in the family, hence the 'baby' hues. I have always wanted a 'White Christmas'. I found some faux ice chips that I fell in love with. And I wanted something simple, quick and easily put together, easily packed away. So, here is my take on all of that.
How often have you had someone do that to you? Smell this, and then they stick something awful smelling in your face under your nose.
Well, I am usually the one who is doing the 'smell this' routine. While looking for Holiday scents this year, I ran across one that I decided must be in every room of the house.
Cashmere Woods by Glade. The first word got me, some of you may know I have a weakness for Cashmere. Once I actually smelled it, I was hooked. I do not generally like sweet scents, I prefer scents that have a more musky base.
I bought all I could at the local Walmart and then it was like they quit stocking it. During Black Friday, I discovered a multi-pack at Sams Club. If you haven't smelled it, do. In my opinion, it has a nice warm earthy smell.
Speaking of smells, I hear Mindy at Primtiques & Poetry has a nice assortment of candles. I am really wanting to smell the Citrus & Sage. Here are the varieties; Spiced Apple Cider. Pumpkin Vanilla. Dutch Apple Pie. Sweet Almond Creme. Gingerbread. Glazed Walnut Spice. Vanilla Pound Cake. Citrus & Sage. French Vanilla Bean.
If you haven't made it over to Mindys new store. Go. I haven't been able to get away and since I personally don't drive I end up worshiping from afar. However, from the pics I have seen it looks to be a true treasure trove.
Wishing you all the best this week. Don't forget Canton is coming up. Enjoy the day and stay warm.
Wishing you all, each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Rod and I will be enjoying Thanksgiving today with one another. We have come to look at Holidays as times we can enjoy each others company and re-connect.
We are having a simple menu of turkey, potatoes with mushrooms and onions, stuffing with chicken & apple sausage, baked sweet potato with cinnamon & honey and a butter green salad with grape tomatoes and homemade croutons in a vinegar & oil dressing.
I am going to try not to overeat, but I have no intention of fighting the urge to nap.
I am sharing some pics of our Gathering Room with the Thanksgiving dining table set for two.
The china is Stangl Starflower. The glassware I do not know the maker, but they are vintage yellow crystal and pick up the yellow in the dinnerware quite nicely, I believe. The silverware is vintage plate, but the name slips my mind at the moment. The napkins are vintage damask in celery & gold. The placemats are a set in brown faux suede I picked up at Walmart some years back. I like the way they play to the feel of fall.
The plant in the corner is from my Sister, Joyces funeral. I haven't found the exact pot I want, so I have not re-potted it yet. The stand it is placed on we purchased in Houston. It has a marble top and a brass railing. It is marked on the bottom "Made In France".
Our curtains are just plain old canvas drop cloths we washed a bazillion times.
Jax and Shooger are loving the house. They are also loving that furniture is starting to appear here and there so they have a comfortable place to rest. I am not sure what Shooger was watching. Since we moved into this house, she frequently stares off into space like she is watching something, but nothing is there. There are rooms she will not go into and she hates to be left alone in a room. As for Jax he will just suddenly begin barking at thin air. Rod and I think the house might have restless spirits. Though they appear to be friendly and appreciative of what we are doing.
Enjoy your day and give someone a hug! Love ya' Troy
excited that the gathering room is moving along in time for Thanksgiving .. thought i would share before and after pics of the fireplace ..
i will be stripping the tile around the fireplace after the first of the year .. the concrete planters to the side will get rosemary trees .. the wild asters in the jar on the mantle grow wild in the back of our lot .. the topiary were gifts from sherry .. love the fireplace logs .. i am going to add some petrified rocks i have aroudn the front to hide the base of the log unit ..
hope you have a beautiful day ..
love ya' troy
linking to Faded Charm for their White Wednesday .. thank you Kathleen ..
"how hard do you want to work next week" .. that is what he asked me when he was at canton last .. "why?" i asked .. knowing what he meant was we would be working long hours and with a deadline .. "we have a client who wants 104 pillows for the nutcracker show" .. "100 and 4?" .. "yeah, one of the designs they only want 4"... "that's why we are in this, isn't it .. call sherry and get her input".. i said ..
104 pillows in 7 days .. we did it .. all 3 of us (rod didn't get to help until the 3rd day in).. working together .. we are so proud .. proud that we didn't have to farm out any of the work .. proud that the only casualties were pricked fingers and sore backs .. it felt good .. but i don't want to do it again .. not in 7 days .. would love to have another order like that, but not the deadline ..
so this is what 104 pillow shams look like ..
in case you ever wondered .. in case you ever have to guesstimate .. 3 people working long hours (sometimes until 10 or 11 at night) can manufacture 104 pillows in 7 days .. that's measuring, cutting, trimming, serging, washing, drying, pressing, printing, pinning, sewing, gathering, sewing, unpinning, serging, turning outside, washing, drying, inspecting, folding, stacking, counting, packing and finally shipping 104 pillows, 832 pieces of fabric in 7 days .. what a feat! ..and that doesn't even take into account the normal every day stuff that goes on in the lives of 3 grown adults with grandkids and other household responsibilities .. and we are all over 50 years old ..!!
don't forget.. this weekend is canton .. if you are in texas and have not made it to canton this year, now is the time to do it .. this weekend promises to be perfect canton shopping weather .. lows in the mid 40s and highs in the high 70s to lows 80s ... rod is doing canton by himself this month .. sherry and i stayed behind to continue working / sewing and creating ...
our booth is in arbor 2, spaces 217 & 218 ..
raggedy ann and andy .. i have never seen them in brown .. they are large .. at about 32" tall .. they are homemade .. cool .. i love their fall look ..
one of the new pillow designs we are offering .. Mr & Mrs ..
the Mrs to our Mr ..
hope you are having an exciting fall .. we have some new designs coming up for fall and winter .. and are working on some cool things for the spring ..
the house has gone on the back burner for now .. we are living there and working there .. but we are not too concerned about decorating or anything until we get finished with the december canton and back from our illinois trip .. since we will be gone for a week, we haven't moved anything of any real value into the house .. basically just kitchen stuff and bedroom and bathroom stuff .. and the sewing room ..
well, i am off to the sewing room .. have a beautiful day and weekend ..
canton last month was awesome .. so many people and the sales were brisk ..
the trailer loaded for canton ..
a pretty hand sewn cutter quilt we had for sale ...
chairs stacked with pillows we make in our sewing room ..
more pillows and slipcovers ...
after canton we started working on the house .. painting the rooms we felt were most important .. we painted and got the sewing room together so we could keep sewing ..
the sewing room before .. the room measures approximately 13ft by 17ft ..
rod spraying the first coat .. every room in the house is going to get a coat of country white while we decide what to paint the final coat ..
the room set with cutting counters and sewing machines ..i didn't get a good picture of the hardwood floors, but they turned out beautiful and all they needed was a good cleaning .. we used orange glo ..
i am starting a blog on the house .. the title is la maison a l'ouest .. the house on west .. i will be keeping a journal of sorts about the house .. check it out .. follow it if you like ... our plan is to take it and go step by step on projects and let you know what it cost us to do things the way we did them ..
here is a picture of the fireplace in the gathering room with it's first coat of country white ..
and here is the view from one of the master bedroom windows ..this room is upstairs directly above the sewing room .. it also measures approximately 13ft by 17ft .. i placed the bed so it faces this window and for the moment the bed is in the middle of the room .. this street reminds me of the street that deadends into the house in hope floats .. this street deadends into our house ..
enjoy the weekend and thank you for following me ..
since the house has two living spaces with fireplaces .. rod and i decided to make the lower living space a 'gathering room', at least that is what we are calling it .. this room will be anchored with our dining table and mismatched chairs with additional seating around the room for guests and visiting .. the entire room will get painted white .. the hardwood floors will be cleaned and waxed .. the fireplace will first be painted white and then over time, stripped down to the original wood and waxed ..follow me ..
this is the entrance to the room from the front hall ..
the fireplace .. it will be painted white for now .. eventually, it will be stripped and waxed ..
i scratched the paint on the tile of the fireplace revealing what i knew to be original green tile underneath .. eventually, all the paint will be removed from this to reveal the tile .. the same tile was used in front of the fireplace .. and i have a 5 gallon bucket full of these same color & style of tiles that i have carried around for the last 7 years .. how is that for fate?
rod says the current color of the fireplace surround is deep purple .. i see black .. love the detail of the mantle .. can't wait to see it white ..
i also scratched one of the columns of the fireplace .. at least 6 coats of old paint .. love the wood grain underneath ..
from across the room, near the kitchen .. any angle .. i love this fireplace ..
the entrance to the kitchen area is highlighted by built-in bookcases on either side of the entryway .. the original french doors for this entry are missing .. my plan is to wallpaper the back of each bookcase with some vintage small print wallpaper i have ..
i love the paneled detail of the entry into the kitchen area ..
this wall, once painted will be the perfect spot for our collection of blue bonnet paintings .. seated along the wall will be primitive wood benches for seating, books, plants and the like ..
there are two windows in this room ..they will eventually be replaced .. but for now, just cleaning them up .. between the windows i have a very large mirror that will rest against the wall with a daybed/cot in front of that facing into the room ..
jax and shooger, unsure of their new surroundings .. shooger absolutely HATES walking on the hardwood floors .. ( i took the measuring tape over this afternoon to measure the rooms and forgot to measure .. i will get the measurements of the rooms and add them to the posts later)
i love the front stairway of the house .. i took loads of pics of the whole house .. so bear with me and i will share as we go along and i will tell you what i envision .. luckily, for the most part, rod and i are totally agreeing on the look of the house .. so it seems to be fate ..
did i mention how fated the house was .. we felt as if God winked at us .. the house was never listed with a realtor .. while house hunting, we drove by it twice and commented on how it needed someone to clean it up .. and how huge the lot was .. the owner listed the house once, on craigslist .. the week sister died .. and he never listed it again .. rod and i decided that what we needed was a duplex, so we could work on one side and live on the other .. we were thinking side by side duplexes .. anyway, i checked realtor.com ... the local papers .. barely missed out on a couple of cute ones .. decided to check craigslist and did a search on duplexes for sale .. it pulled this one up .. almost a month old .. the guy said he hadn't listed it with a realtor and needed to relist it on craiglist .. we were so afraid something would happen before we could close on it, so we stayed as quiet as church mice while we negotiated with him .. i was about to bust a gut the closer we got .. anyway, it is ours now and we are so excited ...
so .. here are pics of the stairway .. you enter the front door and the stairway is off to the right side a little with an entrance into the downstairs living room to the left ..
the stairway originally had carpet, but someone pulled the carpet up and instead of removing all the little carpet tacks, they just tacked down thin paneling over the stairs .. so we are going to work on removing that and removing the tacks and then sanding and waxing the stairs... the wood is pine .. we may leave the railings white and not strip them .. unsure yet .. but we are going to start off painting every room we can white or off white ..
there is a little closet with a 3/4 size paneled door under the stairway ..
love the simplicity of the railings, they remind me of a farmhouse ..
the landing at the top of the stairs will serve a bench well .. maybe a mirror above it to reflect the light ..
love the light that floods the stairwell .. i am thinking just sheer gauze type curtains .. if that ..
view from the top of the landing looking down into the 'foyer' .. ha! just realized we have a foy'yeah ..
there is also a cool stairway down the back side of the house leading from the upstairs kitchen ..