Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do you call them "mug rugs" or "mug mats" ?


No matter what name you use,
these fun little *mini-quilts* are
becoming all the rage!

They are just the right size to hold a mug
of coffee or tea & a cookie or two.

Very Easy & fun to make, they give one a
chance to practice free motion quilting &
help to use up scraps in our ever growing stash...
"resource center".

My husband says mine looks like
a "dry goods store".





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I used an Embroidery Library machine embroidery design on

the mug mat & I made the matching bookmark

to send along with this gift to an

online friend who is a Bible teacher & lecturer.

Can you guess who???




The following photos are to explain how I hand sew my

bindings to the back of any quilt

so that the stitching doesn't show.

First, bury the knot beneath the binding &

come up into the folded edge.

Take the smallest bite you can out of that

folded edge. If you keep your needle right at the

side of the fold, then go back down right next to it,

your binding will wrap around snugly &

will pull over, hiding the thread.



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I was taught by some very experienced quilters in Florida...


(Houston Quilt Show prize winners)

to always stitch down the mitered corners, too.


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I use snap-fold hairclips to hold my

binding in place while I stitch.

So much nicer than getting stuck with pins!



I'm joining Kim's weekly

Wow Us Wednesday


at her beautiful blog

Savvy Southern Style.

I'm sure there are many much more "wowing" projects

to be seen over at her place, so be sure to follow the links.

Thank you, Kim, for hosting this fun & inspiring meme each week.

Thank YOU, too, for stopping by The Gazebo House.

You're welcome to visit anytime!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Florida pictures

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Its "Snowbird Season" in Florida!
We gladly joined the flock & spent 6 wonderful weeks
in the warm sunshine.

I'd like to share some photos of our vacation with you.


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Just look at that sky!
So different from the cold, grey of Ohio's winter.


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This is where we spent MOST of our time,
outside on the lanai, relaxing by the pool & hot tub.
It felt so good to just bask in the sun!


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We stayed in this lovely home,
which belonged to friends of ours
that have, sadly, passed away.
Their children graciously allow us to use it each year.



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I'll take you on a little tour of the main parts of the home,
saving the bedrooms for another day.



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The is the living room you enter into from the front door.
She loved anything Oriental & her home is
filled with beautiful objects from all over the world.

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This china cabinet is just full of Meisen porcelain, Llradros & Imari pieces.

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Check out the leopard chair....don't you just it?!






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This darling little 3 tiered shelf held a collection
of beautiful teacups.
I was afraid to even touch them,
for fear of breaking one.



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This is the family room & adjacent kitchen,
where most of our time was
spent, when we were indoors.



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Lots of vibrant, strong colors...so different from my home
with its cream & beige & pale blues.


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The huge Oriental chest, below
is FULL of Waterford crystal,
candlesticks & vases.


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This little seating area off the kitchen was ideal
for breakfast & lunch.
The wrap around bench on one side
will accommodate several people.


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We had good friends join us for supper
shortly after arriving.
I used a tall apothecary jar, full of seashells
as my centerpiece, in lieu of flowers.


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The everyday china is Franciscan Desert Rose pattern.
I loved the big PINK flower salad plates!!


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She has a wonderful assortment of all the pieces.
Look at that darling coffee & tea set below.

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These are just one of her MANY sets of dishes.
(I think I counted 6, total)
She was a true dishaholic!

I'll show you more in my next post,
as well as some shots of the bedrooms.
Now, lets sit down & eat!

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I'm joining The Tablescaper for her weekly meme,





I hope you'll visit her & all the other participants to see some lovely seasonal displays.

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House.
Our doors are always open for you,
no matter where we are!

fondly,
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EDIT: After publishing this post, I learned that Sunday, March 27th is Shell May's (The Raspberry Rabbits) birthday & Donna (Brynwood Needleworks) & Jillayne of A Fine Seam are hosting a virtual cyber birthday party for her! What nice bloggy friends!

All they ask is that you include a bunny rabbit somewhere in your post, link up to the party & then go wish Shell May a very "Happy Birthday" on her fun blog, The Raspberry Rabbits.



Here is my bunny picture for her!





Wednesday, March 23, 2011

National Quilting Day & Mug Mats!

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In honor of February, having been National Smocking Month,
& March 19th being National Quilting Day,
I want to share with you some of each.

Remember, while on vacation in FL,
I got to meet Donna who is the creator of the beautiful blog
Brynwood Needleworks.

She is such a sweet & generous soul...
we hit it off immediately & found we
had many things in common.

Here she is, above, holding some smocking
that I explained how to do.
I left some pleated fabrics with her,
along with some smocking books, too.
I know she'll be showing off her talents
in this form of needlework soon.

Did you know she used to own a needlework shop
called "Stitches"?

The first time we met was at Panera's &
she gave me this darling quilted mug mat
that she had made, since it had a coffee shop theme going.

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How thoughtful & so very appropriate!
Its
the perfect size for a cup of something hot
& a little cookie or two.



I have it sitting right next to my keyboard &
I remember Donna & my fun vacation each time I set a cup on it.


(I wish you could see her fabric stash...WOW!)

I also got to meet Carol from the pretty blog

Serendipity.
Doesn't she look like just the softest, gentle, grandmotherly type person?

HA!
Don't let that exterior fool you!

She is a spit-fire with gorgeous nails, oodles of lovely jewelry
& stylish clothes.
She is full of fun & mischief & lots of laughs.
She has an acerbic wit & a delightful sense of humor!


I was in awe of her gorgeous quilts (and DISHES!)
that I got to see when we visited her home in Sarasota.

She gifted me with this delightful mug mat, below,
which now sits beside my sewing chair...
another spot where I frequently
sit with a cup of tea.


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Notice how she utilized the fancy
stitches on her machine to do
some of the quilting.

Donna held a Mug Mat swap on her blog.
If you click HERE ,
you can see ALL the participant's mats.

My talented partner
was Sandy M.
from the beautiful blog,
Vintage Sandy
who sent me this intricately wrapped package:


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It smelled WONDERFUL, even before I got the tissue pattern papers opened.

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Lots of scented goodies inside, like pretty napkins &
Victoria Rose tea
from Miss Molly's Tea Room

PLUS...

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TWO beautiful mug mats...one for me & one for Ms. Caroline,
so we can enjoy our tea parties together with them!


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The backs are just as pretty as the fronts!

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Here is the pastel, vintage looking one I made for Sandy M.

I can't think of a nicer gift than
something handmade,
specifically for you.
Thank you so very much, Ladies!!!

fondly,



I'm linking this post to Kim's


at her beautiful & inspiring blog,
Savvy Southern Style

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Black & White & Fun All Week!

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We had my husband's son & his family visit us from Chicago this past week.
He's a computer guru & finally got my computer

cleaned up for me!
Yea! I can upload photos again!!


He suggested I buy a larger external hard drive to store all my photos.
My new Nikon camera does such detailed pictures that they were taking up all my space.

I'm thrilled to be back to blogging!

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These photos show various spots around the kitchen that I set up for my guests' convenience.
The coffee/tea/hot chocolate station was available to them all the time
& they could just help themselves whenever.

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I had lots of fresh fruit available & an assortment of teas in my Longaberger tea basket.

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This cute single layer display rack was only $3 at a thrift store.
It was originally a hideous Colonial BLUE.
I painted it...
what else? ...Oil Rubbed Bronze!
I ♥♥♥ how it turned out!


My new apron & oven mitts from my DD match beautifully with all the black & white damask pieces.


I had chocolate chip cookies tucked inside this cute little container.
They sure didn't last long!


Sadly, I broke my teacup which is the base to the teapot
after only one use... I wanted to cry!

I've glued it back together but its for display purposes only now.
*sigh*

I used all my black & white dishes & table accessories.
The placemats are from the Jaclyn Smith collection at K-mart,
the little black dishes are from Big Lots
& all the white ones are American Antelier
(Bianca Leaf & Bianca Fruit & Bead).

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Silverware is Napoleon Bee from Horchow
The Napoleon Bee glassware was a prize I won from Libby at her blog,
I bought 2 of these long trays at our local discount shop, Marc's for $2 apiece.
My Nifty-Thrifty Tuesday bargains.

Now I'm kicking myself for not getting more!
They are perfect for setting out little appetizers or desserts
such as this lemon pound cake over which I served
sweetened strawberries & whipped cream.


Another Nify Thrifty find was this little rooster for only $1.


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I almost forgot to get a "before" picture, I was so excited to get started spray painting him.
I saw the one that One Simple Country Girl
painted & thought "I can do that!"

Its amazing how the carved details show up after several
coats of white spray paint.
I used American Accent's color,
Heirloom White.
Its a little too creamy for me, so I'll be giving him a
second coat of a brighter white but for now
he sure looks nice!

I'm joining Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life

for her Table Top Tuesday



Also Linda's @ Coastal Charm's



and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday




Thank you, Ladies, for hosting these fun events week after week.I wish I could play with you every single time.
A special thanks to everyone who stops by The Gazebo House!
I'll be by your place to visit real soon.


fondly,

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