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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DIY~ Patchwork Fabric Covered Hangers

Last week I was faced with a challenge on how to create a one hour historical presentation that would be interesting for both children and adults.

I find that the best way to keep an audience interested, no matter what the age group, is to make it interactive.

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While the question and answer formula works well I also like to appeal to the senses of touch and sight. I wanted to do this by sharing my collection of antique clothing. But some of the pieces are quite delicate and I was racking my brain as to how to carefully display it without damage.

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I came upon the idea of what is, in essence, a slipcover for hangers. It provides a soft foundation for fragile fabric.

(Some pieces needed additional support so I used clothespins for security as pins could possibly damage the fabric.)

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Several recent projects such as a pioneer dress, patchwork napkins, log cabin tablecloth and Big Woods pillows had left me with several large scraps of fabric that I was unsure of what to do with. There was not enough fabric for any type of large project but I didn’t want to just toss the lovely leftover Andover Fabric into the rubbish bin either. 

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Hanger slipcovers, created in a patchwork design, were a perfect solution.

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You simply tape two pieces of 8 1/2” x 11” printer paper together and generously trace around a hanger to create a pattern.

From there you get a good idea of what size fabric you will need.

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In my case I wanted to create rectangles of fabric that measured 7 1/2” x 17”.

(This measurement will fluctuate depending on the size of the hanger used. )

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You will need two rectangles per slipcover.

Let me state that you can absolutely use just one single piece of fabric. I created a patchwork base simply because I did not have enough fabric pieces that were long, or wide, enough. 

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From there you will place the two rectangles, with their right sides together, and pin the pattern to the fabric. Then simply cut out the shape.

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Remove the pattern, repin and then sew the two pieces of fabric together on the two curved sides. Leaving the bottom unsewn and a 1/2 inch gap open at the top for the hanger to slide through. I had done a simple stay stitch at the top prior to joining the pieces to prevent fraying but you can also just “pink” your fabric or use fray check.

(The scissors were inserted to show the top gap.)

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Clip the curves of the fabric so that they will lay more smoothly. Take care to not clip through the stitch.

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Flip the fabric right side out and make sure it fits over your hanger. If all is well remove the hanger and iron the cover flat and then hem the bottom. I used a decorative stitch but a simple straight stitch will do.

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Then once again reinsert your hanger and you are finished!

This was such a quick project. I was able to complete 8 covered hangers in approximately two hours.

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No two are alike.

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Yet they all coordinate quite well together.

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It was a perfect solution to a problem.

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Of course this project leads into another “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” scenario.

I’ve been thinking about creating some neutral lace covered hangers for special tops in my everyday closet. Using the technique similar to the Christmas stocking I created last year.

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Wouldn’t an entire closet of such hangers be lovely?

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Do you have special pieces of clothing that could benefit from this easy solution?

Laura

Linking to:

Monday Social, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,Make It Pretty Monday ,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, Share Your StyleCreative Ways, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace,The Charm of Home, Foodie Friday, Link Party Palooza, The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, SIOMT, Sundays At Home

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunbonnets and Smiles

Have you ever had your face ache from smiling too much?

It feels SO wonderfully special.

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Yesterday, at the Laura Ingalls Wilder 150th birthday celebration I didn’t stop smiling for over four hours.

Everywhere I turned there were happy people.

Happiness is contagious isn’t it?

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I just wanted to soak up ALL the happy.

These awesome ladies were from the Log Cabin Village Museum.

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They were overseeing butter making demonstrations, sampler crafts, “Little House” paper dolls and other wonderful pioneer inspired activities.

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This darling wee pixie created a waterfall of joy in my heart.

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Oh and these sweet girls…sigh. The eldest was wearing her mom’s dress from the 70’s. That’s what I call a lifelong Laura fan.

I also have to talk for a moment about that bundle of boy cuteness. He was SO good with all the littles and my mom heart was turned to mushy goo.

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There were also several awesome cowgirls at the event. This was fitting since it was held at the National Cowgirl Museum.

You should have seen this vest in person. It was made from a sumptuous pinstriped velvet. I wanted it!

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Here are the winners from the Laura costume contest.

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I am SO glad that I didn’t have to decide who won because everyone was SO cute!

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I had set up a display of antique clothing that people could touch and appreciate a wide variety of handiwork.

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There was also a table that held a few pictures, antique dolls and some of my foreign language “Little House” books. A family attending the event, who were originally from France, appreciated the French version.

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The day ended on a truly sweet note.

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I know several of you inquired if I could share the presentation itself. I never want to disappoint my dear treasured readers. However, it was an hour long interaction with an enchanting, standing room only, crowd.  I was a bit… delightfully overwhelmed. (This was a small section of the room.)

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I’ll see you in a day or two with some spring inspired projects.

Be joyful!

Laura

“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” ~ Philippians 2:2

Friday, February 24, 2017

What’s Brightening My Day Right Now ~ Vol. II

Right now I am focusing on being thankful for even the littlest of things.

Here’s what’s brightening my days right now.

My dear friend Nicola sent me three lovely old glass molds. While I will eventually use them for their intended purpose for now they make a pretty vignette that helps keep our cut organic dill fresh.

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Nicola and her husband Patrick were dear mates of Mr. Decor’s while he was stationed in England. I of course have now claimed them as my own wonderful friends. It’s been far too long since we have seen them. (This was Sweet Guy’s christening.) But I hope we get together this July when we travel to England.

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The sweet springtime hyacinths and daffodils greeting me in our garden are SO cheerful.

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They are a day brightener to be sure.

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We use honey to sweeten many things here at Storybook Cottage. I have to be honest that I bought this bottle of Bumbleberry Farms honey at HomeGoods just for the adorable bottle. But it is SO good in tea and oatmeal.

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Tracy and I are celebrating 41 years of friendship this year. She recently came by plane to brighten four of my days this past week. Come to think of it, she is a LIFE brightener.

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A wee package arrived at Storybook Cottage containing Beatrice, The Book Mouse.

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Beatrice was lovingly handcrafted by my dear and talented friend Louise.

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Beatrice joins Bertram, who was a Christmas gift. Louise does not have a shop, but does take orders. If you need a wee mouse of your own feel free to leave her a message in the comments below.

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I’m gearing up for my presentation tomorrow at the National Cowgirl Museum to celebrate the 150th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Next week I will share some of the things I made for the display.

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Lastly, a deep and heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who left such sweet comments and comforting thoughts regarding Franz' s passing. They are truly bright pockets of sunshine on a gray day.

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I’d love to know what is brightening your days,

Laura

Friday, February 17, 2017

And In The End…

…There will always be a question as to who really rescued whom.

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Two weeks ago we shared that our beloved Franzie was ill.

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We had a stretch of warm weather that had him rallying a bit and we took advantage of this gift to enjoy all of his favorite things.

Walks.. err… rides around the neighborhood.

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Cheeseburgers

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Watching the ducks at the local park.

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Enjoying his first ice cream cone.

You can view the funny video HERE.

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But despite all this I could see the pain increase in his eyes.

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He valiantly still tried to follow my every move. But his legs began to give out more and more.

This past week I carried him everywhere so that he could continue to do what he loved best~ be my faithful companion.

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Franzie was never a vocal dog.

He would lift his right front paw when he wanted to be picked up.

This and many more sweet, small signals between us became our own love language.

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A few days ago he warmed his old bones in the dappled sun while I planted a few spring flowers.

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Even with such pockets of happiness my heart knew and began to shatter at the unspoken words I did not want to hear.

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My beloved friend lived the truest meaning of unconditional love and loyalty everyday.

Nothing I did for him will ever equal this precious gift that Franz gave to me.

He will be deeply missed.

The very best thing I can do in Franz’s honor is to encourage you to adopt a dog (or other animal) that nobody wants.

The neglected and abused.

The older dogs.

If you’re real special, there are also sickly dogs that need a good foster home.

I promise, PROMISE, PROMISE that they will reward you 1000 times over with their loyalty, kindness, and love.

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Miss you sweet boy,

Laura