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Monday, July 17, 2017

Fun Fabric Business Card Holders

Later this week I will be headed to the Haven bloggers conference in Atlanta. It will be my first time attending. I am hoping to gain knowledge on how to create a better blog for you, dear readers. It is also fun to think of the possibility that new friends might be made.

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I wanted to offer a fun presentation for my business card that was also useful. The back of my business card is blank and so with the pencil it is a handy way to jot down a note or two. The fabric case can also hold several other cards that may be collected.

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I simply just cut two rectangles of fabric. One of vintage sheeting and one from felt leftover from the sequined Christmas tree skirt project that I made last December.

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The fabric rectangles measured 3 1/2” by 4 1/2”. (This measurement is for standard sized business cards and can be easily adjusted.) The two pieces of fabric were joined together with a zig zag stitch and the edges were carefully trimmed with pinking shears.

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Bakers twine was simply wrapped around the fabric case and topped with a pencil. The fun pencils were originally regular size, found at WalMart, and easily cut in half.

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I may not be posting much for the next two weeks. I will continue to work on switching the blog over to WordPress for the next two days. Fair warning: the site may be down for a day or two.

The conference then runs Thursday thru Saturday.

Sunday, the Fashionista and I will fly out to New York for our long awaited college graduation celebration.

I do plan to post our adventures on Instagram and the DTA Facebook page if you would like to follow along.

Does anyone want a postcard?

Laura

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Celebrating the Bicentenary of Jane Austen

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 will mark the bicentennial passing of one of the worlds most beloved authors, Jane Austen. Celebrations honoring Miss Austen are being held the world over.

Jane Austen 12/16/1775 ~ 7/18/17 

Both drawings of Jane by Cassandra Austen, the author’s sister.

In England, where Miss Austen was born and lived her entire life, there is an official website dedicated to the yearlong celebrations of all things Jane: http://janeausten200.co.uk/

Many of the sites where Jane lived and wrote about in her novels are also hosting various events.

The village of Steventon in Hampshire, England is where Jane Austen was born and spent the first 25 years of her life. The charming village provided inspiration for her novels such as Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice,  and Sense and Sensibility. Sadly, the rectory where she lived with her family was demolished but the church where her father, George, and her brothers, James and Henry, were rectors (ministers) still stands.

Once Jane’s father retired from the ministry he moved his family to Bath, England in 1801. They lived at 4, Sydney Place. Her father passed away there in 1805. The family would stay on until 1807. The healing waters of Bath would influence Jane in her writings of Emma and Persuasion.

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The town of Bath has a Jane Austen Centre and will host several events this year honoring Jane.

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In 1807 Jane, her mother and sister, Cassandra, would settle temporarily in Southampton, England. They took a house in Castle Square, on the site of the Juniper Berry pub. This home was close to where Jane’s brother, Frank a naval captain, and his family lived. Her writings of Mansfield Park have a certain effect from the time Jane spent here. 

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The family would then move to Chawton, England in 1809 to live in the former bailiff's house on the Chawton estate. Jane would live here until her passing in 1817. The Jane Austen Museum is now housed in the lovely 17th century brick home. It is considered to be her literary home as several of her novels were published during the time she lived here. Sense & Sensibility was published in 1811 and followed by Pride & Prejudice in 1813 which was an instant success. Mansfield Park was published in 1814 and Emma in 1815. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were both published in 1818, a year after Jane's death in 1817.

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Jane Austen's funeral was held in Winchester Cathedral and she was buried in the north aisle. There is a small plaque at the location.

Of course many of Jane Austen’s fans will want to celebrate but be unable to travel to England. Here are a few ideas so that you may host your own Jane Extravaganza. We’ll begin with links to past posts I’ve created to help you celebrate all things Jane.

Hosting a Regency Era Tea would, whole heartedly, be Jane approved.

Morning dress, fashion plate, hand-colored engraving on paper, published London, July 1815.:

The post includes recipes, links to favors and the finer points of the era’s rules of etiquette and decorum.

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Decorations for your party may also include a Jane Austen inspired mantle.

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It is an ode to Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

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If you wish to dress in the Georgian/Regency Era you will love “Becoming Jane”.

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It shows step by step how to transform tablecloths and modern sunhats into period appropriate attire.

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I have also gathered many of my favorite ideas from around the web on a Pinterest board titled “Jane Austen’s Party”. Be forewarned, everything is so fetching you could end up spending hours in Janeful delight.

Jane Austen Inspired Wedding Shoot

Now my fellow Janeites here are a few images of  our celebratory high tea honouring Jane Austen’s bicentenary from the Decor To Adore Instagram page.

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I will once again be working on moving the Decor To Adore site to WordPress this week and it may be down for a few days.  In the meantime updates will be made on Instagram and the DTA Facebook page.  

The domain www.decortoadore.net will not change.

Drinking tea from pretty tea cups brings out my lighter side!                                                                                                                                                      More

   Just for fun, please tell me your favorite Jane Austen inspired novel or film in the comments. 

Laura

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Snapshot ~ Slipcovered Antique French Chairs

Oh there is nothing that gives a cool and easy summertime vibe more than slipcovered furniture.

I recently had my antique French chairs covered in antique French m├ętis.

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The chairs were found a few years ago at Round Top. They sported their original dark wood finish and 100+ year old dusty and dirty needlepoint upholstery.

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After I removed 10 million staples the chairs were given a makeover with paint and upholstery.

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While I still dearly love the aqua linen fabric I was ready for something neutral. Slipcovers were the way to go.

I decided upon the design and it was executed flawlessly by August Blues Slipcover Studio. The upholstery fabric is from an antique m├ętis (cotton/linen) sheet I found in France a few years back.

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The sweet buttons are my favorite detail.

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While photographing the chair I went over to the window to draw up the blind to allow more light in. As my back was turned I gained a model. 

Rudi was so sweet I couldn’t resist. He even gallantly stayed put as I moved the chair to and fro.

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A WordPress announcement: After weeks of research and a few harrowing days dealing with the domain transfer and other coding gibberish I believe I am ready to hit the button on transferring the Decor To Adore website from Blogger to WordPress. If all goes according to plan the only difference you will encounter is to see a fresh design layout, experience a quicker loading time and the ability to read DTA on any mobile device. DTA will still be found at www.decortoadore.net

That said, I am doing this all on my own. I opted to try and torture educate myself with learning a few new skills. I will go on the record to say that graphic designers are worth every dollar they charge to overhaul blogs. I have no desire whatsoever to begin a new career. A decision Rudi fully supports as the lengthy process cut into his walking and petting time.

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So fingers crossed, by early next week, we’ll all be enjoying a new experience.

Laura

Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Snapshot ~ Our New Flooring

I had wanted to do a big, splashy reveal post for our new flooring. But summer has arrived and it is in full swing. If I waited until everything was cleaned and decorated and the house was empty of teenage boys… well it would be a good month or two maybe never for that post to be possible.

So a good summer snapshot of the renovated spaces will have to suffice.

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Let’s get the product details out of the way first.

After months of indecision we finally settled on “Geneseo Porcelain Tile” in the new 12” x 23” size. It was laid in an offset brick pattern.

The grout lines were created at 1/8”, the thinnest possible. Warm Gray tile grout with sealer was used.

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Now here is where I am honest and say that in my heart of hearts if our budget would have allowed it I would have selected a natural stone installed in a chevron pattern like this:

Dual vanities with storage cabinet between, love the limestone in herringbone

But we had to be realistic in that this is not our forever home. We plan on moving in three years. We also have a kid to put through college. The floor above would have been about $15,000. So, after scouring several stores we settled on what we felt was the best choice for our budget of $5,000. For the 600 square feet we needed to cover that was a GREAT price.

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The demo and installation was done by two very capable and talented gentlemen. They knew what they were doing, had all the right tools and it still took them almost a week of 10 hour days. I shudder to think that it would have been at least a month, without a kitchen, if Mr. Decor and I had attempted this massive undertaking ourselves. #knowyourlimits.

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Because Storybook Cottage is an older home and Texas comes with shifting soil the challenges, twists and turns were numerous.

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I actually had to go to bat for the workers as their boss tried to insist it was “taking too long”. I had to play the snooty interior designer and tell him that I had overseen countless installs in my career and they were right on track for the condition of the home.

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It is always very important that workers are treated fairly and the impossible is not expected in our “I want it now!” society. It just adds stress which is not good for the worker, the client or the project.

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A positive working environment is so beneficial. I was happy to hear the men singing along to their favorite music and enjoying the lunch and snacks that I provided. They truly thanked me with a job well done.  

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In addition to the kitchen and breakfast nook, the pantry, family room, a 1/2 bath, and the small entry all received new flooring. We are delighted with the results.

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I hope you are enjoying the summer snapshot series.

Laura

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Divine Way To Dry Dishes

I always hand wash my pieces of antique china and silver. I had been laying the wet dishes out on an ordinary dishtowel to dry. I like the ease of being able to place the used towel in the wash afterwards as opposed to continually cleaning a plastic dishrack which tends to become a mildewy/germy mess.

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Recently, I came across a stack of vintage linen dishtowels. I love how quickly they dry. I remembered that I had been wanting to make some fancier dish drying towels.

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I dug through all of my vintage fabric scraps and began sewing strips together.

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The front and back pieces of fabric were joined together with a bit of machine embroidery.

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A small detail that makes me smile.

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It was a labor of love to select all the fabrics.

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Creating a happy match to the fronts featuring vintage linen calendar towels.

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So many of the colors made me smile.

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If you would like a dish drying mat to bless your house you can find them HERE.

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There are several colors/patterns available.

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May all your housework be made happy.

Laura