As a craft lover I'm promiscuous. I really need to spend time doing lots of different crafts. In past posts I've talked about this but, I mention it now because even though I've been quilting since high school, I don't have much to show for it. I do, however, have a lovely stash of fabrics. It gives me great pleasure to get them all out. I view each fat quarter as a work of art. I think of my fabric stash as a gallery of fabric.
Besides this wonderful pile of pinks, greens and the odd blue is a few project patterns picked up at the numerous craft fairs I've been to over the years. I never got round to making these ones up. I have started others not shown here. One currently on the go is a very pretty quilt called Noontime. Using printed foundation paper, fabric is sewn together along the printed lines on the paper for an accurate placement of all the points. I enjoyed sewing the tiny blocks by hand in front of the TV. I still have to sew together the last block and then put it all together using the sewing machine.
I tend to sew smaller quilts because they are able to be machine quilted at home. It quite expesive to have them done professionally and I don't have the skill to hand quilt. The two I machine quilted myself are almost complete. They just need binding. The first one I made has buttons sewn on one of the blocks to cover the fact that I didn't line up my points very well. But I think I'll take them off and live with imperfection. The second one was done as a study in creating contrast and using all my absolute favorite fabrics.
I did start a large quilt, when I took a class in machine quilting. But as you're starting to notice, I've done a lot of starting and not much finishing of quilts. However, it was a revelation to learn how to draw with my sewing machine. I particularly like the lilies. It might make a nice center for a quilt hanging or a large quilt.
The block was sewn with the fabric layered on batting. My lines are very squiggly but I still love the effect and my quilts only have to please one person, me. I don't know if I'll ever get around to making it up into something. That doesn't matter to me because it's having something that I can get out and look at whenever the mood takes me and gives me joy.
I think of my boxes of fabric as boxes of possibility. They inspire me every time I sort through them. As a writer, they give me creative energy. The pretty colors and patterns jump-start my imagination.
So while I have justified my casual approach to sewing projects the situation is, I don't have any out where I can enjoy them everyday. Now I need to focus on completing quilts. My plan is to finish the binding on the unfinished quilts this month. When they're done, I'll post pictures on Instagram (which is also linked to my Facebook page) of them displayed in my shabby chic guest bedroom/study.
Romance is deeply connected with nature. Country drives, walks in parks and picnics are great ways to connect. But for every day sense of romance, faux greenery that looks good all year round, provides the ambiance I want.
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen a faux Fiddle Leaf fig that I purchased recently. It's about 1.2 meters high and makes an empty corner come alive. After I photographed it, I walked around my house and took photos of all the faux plants flowers and foliage that I use and was surprised at how much it was. So I thought a blog on this might be interesting to some of you.
You don't need to have a green thumb to have a home filled with lovely looking plants. The faux kind do need some maintenance but they don't die if you leave it for a while. Like regular house plants they need dusting but that's it. There's no watering and risking floor or furniture damage, and you don't have to fertilize or repot them. You don't have to worry about plant's light requirements, finding a window with the correct aspect means you might have a plant where it's not convenient or even looks nice with the furniture plan. Faux plants are happy in any situation.
My tour starts with the entry way. On the console table, sits two arrangements of magnolia stems and a posy of mixed greens. A delight every time I come home. I like using the three different textured vases that are linked though their grey/silver color.
The formal lounge doesn't have a lot as it opens directly off the entryway. On a side table I've placed a a small flowering plant, sorry don't know what it's supposed to be, but I liked the white flowers and a cute little box in a basket.
The dining room opens from the lounge and here I have an arrangement of flowers on the buffet. I did a little trick with the orchid in the vase, and put lights inside so that it looks like it has glowing roots. A vase of eucalyptus leaves, look like the real thing, and a posy of something with tiny white flowers creates visual interest because of the contrast in the size of the flowers. On the dining table is a faux box and an arrangement of roses and foliage.
In the kitchen, there's little pots of faux Sage either side of the stove. Next to the sink is a watering can full of faux stems and roses. I really love having flowers next to where I'm working. It makes it feel for like a restaurant or something like that. I like the farmhouse style for the informal areas and the watering can brings it.
Family room, and my sitting room has the faux Fiddle Leaf fig in the corner. Next to the TV is a vase of faux tulips and on the coffee table another orchid. Above the TV is a Magnolia wreath from Joanna Gainse's shop Magnolia. On the crystal cabinet I have stacked two plants into a white pot.
You'll notice by now that nearly all the flowers in the living areas are white. I find they make the overall effect in the house restful and cohesive. In the bedroom and bathrooms I have smaller plants but they make a big impact on the way each room feels.
If you like to live in a place that has houseplants but like me want them to look good all the time without any fuss, keep your eyes open for bargains and end of season sales. I paid a lot for one of mine and got a real bargain on the biggest plant in my collection. I didn't get them all at once but over time have collected a surprising ( to me ) amount. It wasn't until I did this photo journal that I noticed how many.
I hope you've enjoyed this faux plant tour and that you've picked up a couple of ideas along the way to fire you're imagination. Thanks for dropping by.
Collecting tea sets has given me so much pleasure. For years I have always ventured into antique shops while traveling through country towns in search of a bargain or a vintage set that I find so beautiful, it can’t be left behind. I enjoy the energy of antique shops which are laden with history and beauty. It lets me time-travel to an era where beauty married with function to create gorgeous furniture, fabrics, and china.
This photo contains my entire collection. You’d think I have more for my twenty years of collecting, but I really have been careful, budget wise, to not buy every pretty little set that draws my eye. It must be around $30 or less so that rules out a lot. Also I restrict myself to one matched set per holiday. That means there's a lot more looking than buying, but that is where much of the enjoyment lies.
I have also found lots of pretty teacups and saucers in thrift shops, but they aren’t always matching. What I do, is pair them up with a complimentary plate. I will even buy mismatched cups and saucers too. If the pattern is pretty and it’s only a couple of dollars, then why not. You’ll notice that I have set up quite a few mismatched china sets among the few that do match.
I don't care very much about brand names. Of course it's lovely having a Royal Doulton set in my collection but what is most important to me is the pattern and shape of the cups. It's the visual pleasure they give that I value most highly.
I’m inspired to blog about my love of pretty old china because I recently bought a dinner set that I found at the Salvation Army thrift shop. The country scene etching in brown and blue called to be taken home with me. It’s not a full set, only plates, and cups without saucers, so I got it very cheaply. The scene is as pretty as can be. It’s called Castle On A Lake Brown Multicolor and is made by Johnson Co in England. I ask you, can a romance writer pass that up?
I have at times got the cups out and used them. This resulted in a few casualties, so I’ve put the best ones away for safe keeping. I will get them out for occasions though. A ladies afternoon tea is a perfect occasion. A lace tablecloth and strawberry sponge. Can you see it? But for every day I love using some beautiful new cups and saucers given to me by friends and family for birthday and Christmas. I love drinking my afternoon tea out of those.
At the moment, I have my collection tucked away in a kitchen cupboard, but I’d like to display them somewhere. I have a crystal cabinet that I have a lot of crystal and glass in at the moment, perhaps I’ll designate a shelf for the collection. I think some shelves in that corner could be very nice also. I’ll give it some thought.
This post has links for your information only. It’s not sponsored or partnered commercially. However, I am a romance writer and do have links to my books for sale at Amazon. While I write contemporary romance I do love a heroine who treasures family heirlooms and antiques. The elegance of yesteryear is so easily brought into modern day with tea served in an antique cup and saucer set.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.