If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today my first grandchild turns five.

I wasn't sure I was ready for her when she got here.

We became friends as soon as we looked into one another's eyes, though.

With her around the days seem brighter and there is never a dull moment.

She constantly shows me a new perspective of the world.

The simple things become adventurous discoveries.

Everything sparkles when she smiles.

Her laughter makes the sun shine brighter.

Wherever she is, everything seems to dance on ballerina tiptoes and tap out a staccato beat.

She is so excited about turning five.
I'm not quite ready


Why do I feel like I need to have something to show for my day?  Isn't it enough to just get through the day sometimes?  Somehow, though, I feel like I need to have something to say that I've DONE. 

Today I did a couple of loads of laundry.  How do two people dirty up so many clothes?  I watered my flowers.  Can it continue to stay so very hot and dry?  I read a little bit of my current book.  Why can't I just sit down and read it without feeling guilty? 

Then, I went downstairs and worked on a little craft project for my classroom, did some touch up painting to the floral watercolor frames that I'm still just not quite satisfied with, and straightened a wee bit.  I attached the cheapo shower head that I picked up at a yard sale last week ($4 for something that retails for about $16 and the package had never been opened!) to the downstairs shower.  Then, I made an apron for my favorite chef. 

Hope he likes it!

At any rate, I did feel like I got SOMETHING accomplished.  So, I won't have to go to bed feeling like I wasted away a day.  I guess that is the thing.  We have so precious few days; so, I don't want to fritter one away and wish I could get it back.  That would be ridiculous wouldn't it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Foods

We LOVE fresh foods here at our household!
Mike and I both have a passion for growing things and gardening is something we share.  He doesn't really understand why I spend so much time on flowers when it isn't something that is edible.  I maintain that flowers are food for the soul.  My flowers are realy suffering from having so many days in the high ninety degree range and no rain.  The good news is that our late garden vegetables are starting to bear fruit!

There is nothing tastier than fresh veggies!

Last summer Mike and I nearly killed ourselves with growing a HUGE garden.  My back has never hurt so bad as when I picked all those green beans and squash!  So, this year we decided to scale back.  We still love the fresh foods - especially the produce.  So, that meant we would have to visit the farmer's market, pay more at the supermarket, or visit a local grower.  On Sunday we took a trip to the Anderson's in Rockvale, a local truck/produce farmer.  We found a good buy on green beans, got some potatoes, onions, peppers, and these lovely eggplant. 

When Mike and I first started dating, he had a couple of eggplants and asked me to cook them.  Well, I had never cooked them before and had no idea what I was doing.  The recipe that I found for eggplant parmesan required that I sweat out the slices, batter and fry them, and then prepare the casserole.  Well, let me tell you, that is for the birds!  The casserole tasted yummy but it sure was a long process and a lot of trouble!

The other day I ran across a recipe that I have adapted a bit to suit my tastes and we think it tastes just as yummy as the multi-step, long process recipe did.  You can find the recipe HERE.

(By the way, don't those eggplant look beautiful sitting on my new dish cloth crocheted by my brilliant daughter?  Thanks, Bridgette!)

More Pillow Talk

Yesterday was my second attempt at creating simple, comfy pillows for my bay window seat.  I have always envisioned such a place as a retreat or a cozy niche for reading and relaxing and I got a start at creating such HERE.  In my mind I see:
relaxing rural scenery - got that
comfortable seat cushion - got that
perch for books, drink, snacks - got that
light-weight coverlet for snuggling - need that
a few pillows for leaning and reclining comfortably - now I've got that! 

A couple of days ago I worked on a different kind of pillow from anything I've ever made before.  I had seen the design in another blog and decided I would give it a whirl.  You can read about that HERE.  I was pleased with the way it turned out even though I thought I was putting a lot of work into it at the time I was working on pulling up the gathers.  Sometimes the detail makes up for the extra effort and this is really one of those times. 

I don't know whether I was inspired or whether I felt as if I was determined not to let the pillow project whip me.  I was a bit frustrated with the monogrammed pillow that I created the other day because my sewing machine pitched a little hissy fit and didn't sew the applique as smoothly as I desired.  In fact, if I had an abundance of supplies instead of just a few scraps, I would have thrown it out and started anew.  As it was, I just accepted that it wouldn't look perfect and figured that one of the grandchildren would probably get chocolate or something on it anyway and lived with the imperfections.  I guess there are times when something needs to bring us to the realization that imperfection is what makes everything unique.

When I was out shopping for fabric a few weeks back, I ran across a couple of beautiful linen prints that I thought would coordinate well with the seat cushion and draw in the other colors of the bedding, art, and needlework in the room. 

My two fabrics selected for my pillows.

The pattern on the fabric is quite large and busy, so I knew the pillow would have to be extremely simple. 

I searched through some blogs and sewing websites and came to the conclusion that I needed something simple with a fringed edge or maybe just a flanged edge.  I decided to go with a simple flanged pillow to take advantage of the print without any further fussing.  The fabric is a bit heavier weight anyway; so, I knew that it might get bulky in the seams if I wasn't careful. 

I hate that this photo makes the pillow look sort of limp and lumpy but I wanted to show how it looks alone with nothing to compete with the pattern.

This photo does it more justice and shows how it coordinates and contrasts with the window seat cushion.

I just love how it looks old and worn and as if it was handed down by your grandma or great aunt.  I have good bit of fabric left and I might make another one to go somewhere else in the house.  Hmmm...  Should it go in the back bedroom?  Should it go in the den?  Should it go downstairs in that bedroom?  Decisions.

While I was in the pillow making mode, I decided to tackle another pillow project.  I discovered an old vintage matelasse coverlet in the closet right after I moved into Mike's house.  It is a bit worn and has some places which I plan to patch somehow.  We kept it folded at the foot of the bed and used it all winter to pull up when the nights were especially chilly.  I do want to repair it, though, simply to preserve it and keep it from further deterioration.  It is oversized - probably for a king-sized bed and is a hefty weight.  So, it is warm without being too bundlesome like a comforter would be.  Recently, I found a bonus that went along with the coverlet - two matching matelasse pillow shams.  One of them has some stains that I couldn't get washed and soaked and treated out. 

Most of the sham looks beautiful, however.  So, I decided to repurpose the fabric into a smaller, 'leaning' sort-of pillow for the bay window seat.  At first I was going to cut it all up and add fringe or some sort of trim.  Then, I realized that I would be sacrificing the nice scalloped edge that already existed.  Since the stain was primarily on one end of the sham, I decided that I would just cut it down.  I accepted that I would have to have a seam if I was going to have a scalloped edge all the way round the perimeter and set to work figuring how I was going to make this work. 

Eventually, I decided to just cut the sham down to about fifteen inches in depth - leaving the nineteen inch width.  I cut the opposite end's scalloped edge off and opened up the stitching and sewed it all together.  Then, a little zig-zag stitching to prevent the scalloped edging from fraying and I had my new sham.  (Plus, I have a bit left for another project.  I'm thinking I could applique over the stain and have something wonderful.)

Looking really closely at the bottom edge, you can see the seam joining the new edges.

I just love the texture of the design in the sham and how it enhances the print of the window seat cushion!

Mike told me that he didn't want me to get too much up prettiness there on the window seat because he is afraid I will "pretty" him right out of the room!  I think these three pillows do make this niche one step closer to my relaxation haven pictured in my mind's eye.  Don't you?

Here is a shot with the blinds closed because the sunlight is bright today.

Doesn't it look inviting?

I had my breakfast there this morning. (I did open the blinds but at that time the sun was just too bright for my camera skills.)  Soft and inviting is how I see this little niche.  I think of it as something a little like this:

In reality, though, it will most likely look more like this on a regular basis.  Here it is complete with a pair of Mike's socks and my night shirt and lotions where we are scurrying around trying to get off to work!

Still, the invitation is there...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I have become a blog fanatic, I think!  Having the summer off has spoiled me this year.  I get up with Mike and we share breakfast.  After he is out the door to work the salt mines (No, he really does work at a warehouse, but I like that saying.  I wonder if that really is the drudgery that it has always sounded to be?), I sit down with a cup of coffee and sip and surf through my favorite blogs and check out their links and favorite posts and...  Before I know it, I've whiled away quite a bit of time.  I've convinced myself that it is far cheaper than perusing magazines but I'm not so sure if I were to consider the time I've spent lifelessly sitting and staring at my laptop screen.  On the bright side, I've collected some fabulous ideas!  Plus, I've shared them with my family and they have enjoyed them as well.

One of the more simple and fabulous ones I discovered and share is one where cute decor for the door is created out of brown craft paper and paint.  I think the first tutorial I stumbled across and decided I needed to try is found HERE at Calling All Sleepyheads, where she crafted an adorable pumpkin for the door.  Then, I was linked HERE to Melony's Cleverly Creative Girl, where she crafted an adorable flower and several other seasonal pieces.  Don't you just love their simple, cute, eye-popping designs? 

Well, I shared this concept with my daughter, Bridgette, and she certainly ran with it!  She is preparing for a Beach Bash birthday party for five-year-old Lillie.  She wanted some cheap, ahem, large, inexpensive, cute decorations for the party.  This idea appealed to her and this is what she crafted:

Notice how big this guy is!  He covers the entire front door!

Here is another of her cute door decorations:

Are you already swaying to the music and sipping a tropical drink?

This is another cutey:

I'd wear a hula skirt,too, if I thought I'd look this adorable!

I was a little bit intimidated by all Bridgette's success at first but the idea of cheap, affordable and simple projects just overcame me and I had to give it a try. I knew that I wanted something that would be versatile and not just a one time use.  After all, I might find that this project is more difficult than it seems and I certainly want to get my time and money's worth out of it.  My daughter-in-law, Jessica suggested a sunflower.  So, here is my rendition:

I started off with just the flower created with the paints.  Then, after leaving it to dry overnight, I decided to outline the petals with a permanent marker.  I think it really made a big difference.  I'm wondering if I need to get some large cutesy ribbon to hang it with as a better accent.  Hmmm....

Now, I just have to decide where I'm going to hang it.  Should it go on the front door as shown above?

Or should it go on the back door?

Of course, if I decide to put it there, I probably should make a companion for the other door don't you think?

Maybe I should just hang it on the front door.  I like that flip-flop birdhouse hanging in my twig wreath.  Of course, I could hang the birdhouse on the wall and create a couple of big flip-flops for both back doors! 


I think I've got some hangups!


My friend, Angela, and I ran across some bargains this week.  We stopped in to Hobby Lobby to get me some fabric.  Lillie had informed me that she might need some pants like Jessie's (of Toy Story fame).  Lillie seems to think that she might want to be a cowgirl when she grows up.  So, of course, she would need pants like Jessie's, her favorite cowgirl!  The cow-spotted treasures turned out not to be such a bargain but I did get by with less than I first discovered. 

A pattern for chaps was going to cost me upwards of $12.  So, I bought a pajama pattern and adapted it as best I could.  The 'Jessie pants' turned out cute but you will have to wait to see them because I want at least a little bit of a surprise for the birthday party!  I'll try to get pictures and post more about this project later.

Angela and I found other bargains galore, though!  One of the treasures that Angela discovered and scarfed up is a simple wall hanging/sign.  Here is how it looked when she walked out of Hobby Lobby with it:

It is cute and might look nice in western decor somewhere near the front or back door or perhaps on the porch.  But, for a cowgirl, it would make a great statement piece, Angela thought.  Since the plaque was only $1.30.  She decided Lillie needed it.  So, she adapted the simple steps Suzanne over at Just Another Hangup spells out in her Plaque Attack tutorial found HERE.  The finished product looks like this:

Didn't it turn out cute?

Angela and I found a couple of more bargains and I got something to mimic another of Suzanne's great ideas.  You'll just have to wait for more info on these, though.  I want to have a finished product to share first!

Pillow Talk

I think a home must be just like the people who live inside it - ever evolving and reflecting the personalities within.  Or, maybe I'm just wishy-washy and never satisfied and always wanting change and more and more. 

Since I have moved into my sweet hub's home, I have really just been trying to claim it and personalize it and make it feel comfy.  The upstairs living area was pretty much a blank slate when I got here - well, not exactly blank, I guess.  There was the screams from the busy wallpaper and the cries for a new coat of paint from other walls begging for an update.  However, there was very little furniture and I could easily just walk in and start dabbing and rolling paint on the walls to transform the beautiful bones of the house into a fresh, updated, friendly space.  That all sounds pretty easy but it is an ever evolving process, to say the least.

Combining the belongings of two people is always a bit of a challenge.  Then, making everything seem to coordinate and mesh together in a planned manner makes things even a bit more of a challenge.  Add into the mix that I certainly didn't want this house to be like my last house because I realized that it was a reflection of only me - mostly feminine.  For example, the front door was periwinkle blue.  I had considered painting it a lovely pale pink rose color until my then-college-aged son informed me that if I ever had hopes of a man feeling comfortable coming into that house, I'd better not paint the door pink!  So, it became periwinkle blue and I loved it! 

Living here in what I still refer to as 'Mike's house,' I have been much more cognizant of color, florals, and frills.  I consistently consult him and that is usually a great thing because he has exceptional taste (after all, he did choose me, didn't he?!) and instincts.  I even tease him from time to time and refer to him as Martha Stewart.  Recently, my talented and wise mother came over and helped me to make a cushion for the window seat in the bay window.  (You can read a little about that HERE.) 

I knew even before the seat cushion was completed that I would want to add a couple of throw pillows for leaning.  So, on a recent trek to the fabric store I found a couple of pieces to use for contrasting pillows there.  (I know I was looking for fabric for another project, but this just seemed to jump out at me and tell me it needed to go home and live on the bay window seat!)  Both fabrics were only $2.99 per yard at Sir's Fabrics and the remnants I got had a couple or three yards in them.  So, I'll have extra fabric if I should need it for another project. 

I saw this unique pillow crafted by Suzanne over at Just Another Hangup.  She even gave a tutorial HERE for making it.  So, I decided to try this style for one of my linen fabric pieces. 

Originally, I had in mind that I would need a tan and cream zebra striped piece but this fabric had that touch of blue which coordinated so well with the blue in the seat cushion and I was quickly swept away by it.  I simply followed the clear and easy tutorial that Suzanne provided and my pillow turned out beautifully, I think.

Don't you just love the gathering along edges?

It turned out to be a wee bit larger than I had anticipated.  Yet, it is just the perfect size for leaning.  (I've tried it out this morning while I was drinking my coffee and finishing up one of the books I promised students I would read this summer.)

When I finished that project, I noticed that I had a pile of scraps left from the window treatments Mom helped me finish for the front bedroom.  (You can read a bit about that project HERE.)  Before I started, my scrap pile looked a little bit like this:

I also had a couple of larger scrappy pieces of the dobby-striped and a couple or three yards of the plaid.  So, I decided to put this to good use and draw the coordinating fabric from the window treatments into a pillow for the bed.  I knew that with all that pattern going on I would need something fairly simplistic.  I also knew that I wanted something unique and personalized.  So, this is what I came up with.

The entire pillow is made of scraps.  The plaid center is what was left after I made the bias ruffle for the curtains.  The border strips were long pieces from a larger scrap left from making curtains at my last house.  The monogram appliques are just little scraps that were left from the two projects.  So, the entire project was just something that was saved from the trash. 

I think it looks great with the other pillows I already have on that bed and really brings a customized and more personalized look to the space.

I guess you noticed the rose floral piece of fabric lying there alongside the striped piece.  That is probably going to be part of today's projects.  I hope it turns out as well and goes as simply as this one did!
My crafting room is calling!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Window Treatment

Don't you like that phrase?  I think it sort of sounds like taking your windows to the spa.  I'm not sure that my windows are at the spa stage, yet; however, they are slowly, but surely getting some special attention. 

We began renovating this house before I even moved into it.  We lightened the den walls, covered the dated, overwhelming fruit wallpaper in the kitchen, and set about revamping the front guest bedroom.  Down came the wallpaper border and I  rolled on a new coat of paint.  We have been slowly and steadily reclaiming the beauty of this place and trying to do so on an extremely low budget.  Ergo, I have been the wallpaper stripper (with some help from Bridgette in one room), the painter, and the decorator - with consultation questions directed to MS (Not THE MS - Martha Stewart; Mike's initials are also MS).  Since I didn't want to close in the light airiness of the bedrooms, I simply hung white sheer panels to filter the sun until I could figure out exactly what I wanted.  They were free hand-me-downs from my mother and mother-in-law and worked into the decor and budget wonderfully.

The front bedroom is the roosting place for the granddaughters when they come to visit.  So, it has taken priority on the make-over list. 

Here is a before picture.

I had in mind this nice floral print with pinks and greens and making it seem like a garden.  I could see a nice girly quilt and just sweetness in my mind.  Remember, we are working on a budget, though.  So, after moving my Great-Aunt Mae's furniture in there, I simply threw the red coverlet I already owned on the bed to cover it up and accessorized it with my poppy quilt that Granny made me which had pinks and reds in the flowers. 

Well, as soon as MS (Mike) walked in, he commented on how he really liked that red bedspread and how warm and friendly it seemed and how welcoming it felt and how it brightened things up...  So, I realized that the red coverlet had to stay... and there went my sweet pink florals and frills.

From there on, I have been searching for ideas and ways to still incorporate a little bit of my wishes into that bedroom to make it feminine and soft and sweet.  I ran across a nice plaid which would coordinate with the coverlet and isn't too, too much red and had the added bonus of featuring a nice blue (my favorite color) within the plaid. 

My friend, Kathy, came to visit one day and said she had just the fabric to coordinate with the red coverlet.  She gave me yards and yards of this wonderful floral print with shades of red and pink and cream.  So, I thought I had the base to start from in finishing the room. 

See how well it looks with the poppy quilt made by my Granny?

Now, if only I could figure out how I wanted the window treatment crafted.  It needed to be finished looking but not heavy and overpowering in a small room with two large windows.  So, I browsed and searched and shopped looking for just the right thing.  I collected sample fabric swatches from here and there. 

I drooled over photos of room renovations in magazines, online, in other folks' blogs, in model homes, in homes on holiday tours.  Yet, nothing seemed to just stand up and tug at my heart.

Then, one day I was surfing renovations folks posted in blogs and noticed some curtains which featured a bold floral, with a small accent ruffle of a coordinating print and an attached valance in yet another coordinating print which was trimmed in fringe.  There it was.  Something which brought life and pattern into the room!  So, I made a mental picture in my brain and thought I bookmarked the website and promised myself that when I had a little time and some extra money set by, I would create that using this idea as my inspiration. 

Well, my friend, Angela, inherited some new furniture and wanted to find fabric to recover her new chair cushions.  So, we scooped up my mother - a retired professional seamstress - and trekked off to Sir's, a fabric warehouse store.  (You can find out more about Sir's HERE.)  I meticulously, with great detail, and lots of hand motions, and word imagery described my mental picture of my window treatment  for the front bedroom to my shopping partners and asked them to store it in the back of their minds so that if they ran across something in their own searches they could pull it for me.  Evidently my description wasn't quite as clearly done as I'd thought because their mental image did not seem to match mine.  Their suggestions were attractive, but just not what I had in mind.  Finally, after my shopping partners had made their own selections, had their fabric measured and cut, paid for their treasures, and were waiting patiently on a bench, I gave up and had a couple of prints measured.  As the girl was measuring the fabrics I had picked for throw pillows on my bay window seat in the master bedroom, I noticed a beautiful print on a nearby table and scooped it up at the last minute.  I told the girl that I would take all that was left - two-and-a-half yards at $3.99 per yard.  I had no idea what I would do with such a large print, but it was just too beautiful not to go home with me.

Here it is with all my sample swatches and pieces atop of it. 
See the beautiful blue-and-white urn with the soft flowers (peonies?) filling it and the moire swirls? 

This impulse purchase wound up being the centerpiece of my window treatment in the granddaughters' bedroom.  When I got home with the samples I'd collected and the impulse piece and spread them all across the bed to see what I could use with what I already had purposed in that room:  the red coverlet, the Granny quilt, my blue and white pieces, the green lamps, etc.  The impulse piece just kept tugging at my heart for its femininity and softness as well as the fact that it featured the pinks and the blue-and-white urn within its print and a soft moire swirled background texture. 

On another day, I happened to be in Hobby Lobby and ran across some trim with glass beads on the clearance rack priced at $3.99 per yard. 

So, I bought three yards and hoped that would be enough for the fringe-type treatment at the bottom of the valance part of my dream window treatments - still didn't know for sure what fabrics I was going to use but with the beads being a color that could be nudged either toward a dark pink or a soft red, I knew I could use it somewhere at some time.

I began digging through what I had here already to see if I could find something to go with that softly, feminine, impulse piece for the contrast at the top and the ruffle for the bottom.  I still wanted something that leaned more toward pink than the bold red.  I first found some left-over fabric from where I'd had some curtains for my last house's guest bedroom lined and pulled it out.  It was this tone-on-tone stripe with a small, butter-yellow dobby (or red dobby, depending on which side one chose as the 'right' side) and a moire background swirl to it.  Just enough subtle pattern to coordinate the reds/pinks and the creaminess of the wall paint color might be highlighted with the buttery dobby. The tag on it said I'd paid $3.99 per yard for it on clearance originally.  Then, I accidentally tripped across a piece my mother had given me when she was doing some cleaning and purging.  It features a plaid, lattice-type design with two tones of pink/red and two tones of blue and has a nice sage green leaf thrown in for good measure on the cream background.  It's tag said she had paid $2.99 per yard for it.

Colors were right.  The prints coordinated with my impulse piece.  Both of them seemed to be perfect for what I was striving toward and the cost was in my range - free! 

The left-over, subtly-striped lining fabric was a bit worrisome because its size was limited with only about ten inches of the full width of the fabric.  So, this became the obstacle to work around, I thought.  First, I cut my impulse piece in half, matching up the print so that both pieces would be identical and the pattern of the blue-and-white urn full of peony-type flowers would fall in the exact same place on both pieces.  This left me two tiny little strips - one about three inches long and the other about an inch long.  I knew that I needed to get the most out of this print so that the image would carry out the soft feminine sweetness I was yearning.  Next, I measured the striped fabric and cut the longest piece I could that was the full width of the fabric - only about ten inches.  Still, that would work to give me a header, a rod pocket, and a valance sort of feeling.  Then, I turned to the plaid and began cutting bias strips to make ruffles at the hem.  There was so much of this plaid that I figured I would use it as the lining.

My next move became to join the bias pieces and make two ruffles for each panel.  I stitched the bias pieces together to make one long piece.  (Why is it that one has to stop and think about how the fabric should lay in order to make a long, continuous piece instead of mitering it?)  I also had to stop and look closely at the plaid to try to match up the design in an effort to hide the seam.  I wound up missing the mark a little and if you are really, really nosey, you can find the seam where the plaid doesn't exactly match.  Then, I ironed the long bias pieces so that I wouldn't have to hem it and it would be nice and heavy at the bottom of my panel.  Next, I ran two long gathering stitches on the cut edge of the folded bias pieces and began to draw it up to form gathers.  The ruffle is twice the length of the panel and that was plenty of fullness for the folded bias ruffle. 

I knew that I would need to fold my main panel back so that the seam of the lining wouldn't show.  So, leaving the selvage attached, I pressed back about one and a half inches on each side in addition to the selvage.  Then, I stitched the ruffle to the bottom of my panel.  Now, I just laid my lining out on the table and spread the ruffled panel on top. 


The plaid showed through the soft background of the panel and I was afraid it would detract from the soft image and distort the beauty of the impulse fabric piece.  So, back to the drawing board I went.  Then, it hit me, I could probably use an old sheet and not even have to go the fabric store!  So, upstairs to the linen closets I trekked and found one that I thought would work.  Brilliant!  I cut the sheet to be the correct size and then had to re-cut because I had mis-measured.  I knew that I wanted to fold the curtain fabric down so that there was no chance the lining fabric would show at the header or the rod pocket.  So, the sheet/lining was a much smaller rectangle than the panel. 

I also realized in this measuring and re-measuring and cutting and re-cutting that I had not added enough to the striped valance fabric to include a header.  Rats!  Not a huge problem, I still had some short pieces.  I could just try to hide the seams in the header and at the bottom of the rod pocket.  Quickly, I pieced all of this together and pressed it out nicely, also pressing up the long bottom edge as a hem.  I stitched the beaded trim on and used that stitching as the hemming of the valance bottom edge.  I ran out of bobbin thread at this point and decided that I had come to a good stopping place for the day.

If you look really closely, you can see the seam on the left-side of the vertical stripe piece hanging down showing where I had to piece the header/rod-pocket part.


The next morning I was dithering round and about to head back down to my sewing/craft room when Mom called and offered to come over and assist with finishing my curtains.  Yippee!!!  Of course, I took up this God-sent offer and my trip downstairs included a little bounce!  The cavalry to the rescue!  Thanks, Mom!  After lots of measuring, and thinking, and planning and more thinking/measuring/planning, we began by attaching the striped piece to the top for a valance.  Then, we attached the lining to both sides of the main panel.  Next, we sandwiched the ruffle between the lining and the top panel and stitched the bottom edge.  We turned it and gave it all a good pressing.  At this point, Mom is serving as the seamstress and I am the pinner/presser. 

Then, we realized that we could have a taller, fuller header if we simply made the rod pocket go between the valance piece and the main panel piece.  So, we picked out the stitching where we had put the two together at the top.  Mom simply stitched the raw edge of the lining down to the back of the main panel to keep it from gapping and drooping and slipping (the valance piece would hide this row of stitching from the front anyway).  Then, we hand-whipped the top edges of the valance piece and main panel together using a blind hem-stitch.  Then, Mom stitched the bottom of the rod pocket at the 'ditch' of the pieced place on the valance and the top a wee bit higher and just large enough for the dowel to slide through.  She also made a button-hole slit by hand for the rod to slide out of so that there would be no raw edges showing on the sides.

We measured increments of eight inches and Mom whipped some little plastic rings in strategic places on each side.  I ran a piece of ribbon through these and tied them up together to form the swagging dip in the center and on both sides.  Mom had to remove the bottom ring and move it up a couple of inches so that the ruffle would peek out a bit more. 

Here is Mom moving the bottom ring of the first panel. 
Do you think she is hiding from the paparazzi like she mentioned on THIS PROJECT?

Then, we went upstairs and hung them.  Mom decided she needed to baste/tack the sides so that the edges would look more like draping instead of drooping.  Voila!  My beautiful window treatments! 

They are exactly what I invisioned - all soft and elegantly feminine and light and breezily airy. 
I just love them! 

Lets look a little closer at the details...

Here is the beaded 'fringe' on the dobby valance piece where it accents the main panel.
Isn't that elegant?

Here is the ruffle peeking out of the 'swooping' to finish the bottom edge.
Isn't that sweet?

Let's take a walk around the room and look at how it is progressing.  Here is the bedside table that is near the door.  It was my kitchen, breakfast area table at my old house; so, it could be a nice place for tea or a tea party.  What is left of my childhood Blue Willow tea party set is waiting there just for that.  (I think I'm going to hang a mirror over this table.  How do you think that will look?)

There are photographs of our sons when they were sweet little boys sitting there, too.  The lamp was one that had a lovely antique floral painted shade when my children were little but monkeys jumping on the bed or something of that nature broke the shade.  So, I bought the green one for it when those monkeys went out into the jungle on their own and used it in my office at my old house.  I thought it worked well in this bedroom with the green in my Granny's poppy quilt.  Then, when I found the ginger jar lamp in the storage room here at Mike's right after we moved, it seemed like divine intervention that they should be together.  Since the little antique lamp is smaller, I stacked a few family history books for it to perch atop and these lamps balance out the bedside lighting.

The print on the distressed board above the bed was a gift from my friend, Beth, after she spent a week with me when she lived in Abbingdon and I lived in Peytonsville.  She found it and said it reminded her of my children.  So, I thought it had to go in this room, too.  The needlepoint poppies on stripes pillow was a bargain find at Tuesday Morning one time years and years ago.  The large pillow is made from a flour sack that was once my Granny's or maybe even her mother's!

The cross-stitch piece of the boy with his teddy bear was stitched by my mother for my son, Bryan, when he was a little fellow.  (I hope he never wants it because I really like it here!)  He had a similar bear that was his sleeping buddy from birth.  The plates and the inspirational tile are from Olde Time Pottery or Hobby Lobby and I picked them up for less than $4 each.  The tile says, "We hold our children's hands for a little while, their hearts forever."  The print on the right is a Marvin Stalnaker one and it looks like Bridgette did with her hair full of ringlets when she was a wee girl.  (She also had a beautiful velvet coat and hat which my mother smocked for her.)

This bookshelf was an inexpensive unfinished kit that I got at Home Depot and stained and put together years ago.  I knew that I needed to put some picture books in this room for the granddaughters to read or have read to them.  So, the main purpose is to corral those.  It also is a great place to display some of my blue-and-white pieces and photos of the children and grandchildren.  The little walnut stool that the basket is sitting upon was crafted years ago for my children by my Daddy.  All of this is a little bit cluttered and at some point I will weed some things out and use them elsewhere.  For now it houses plenty for little hands to touch and pretend with when they are visiting.  Take a look at that first shelf.

The teapot on the left is a piece that I picked up at a discount store years ago on sale,  I begged for a greater discount because the lid was missing and got a real bargain - $1.50!  The little box was a find at a flea market for less than $2.  The plaque was a gift from my friend, Christi.  How true is that?  We tend to think that feminine is soft and passive but aren't most of the women you admire, while feminine, also strong women?  Don't we all want our daughters to be strong women?  The plaque is flanked by two of the strongest, yet most feminine women I know, our daughters holding their first-born daughters.  I can already tell that all four of these girls will be strong women and I'm proud that we had a part in raising each of them! 

Notice the top shelf?  That purse night light is one of those frilly, girly things that just makes this room fitting for our granddaughters.  I got it at a half-price sale at Hobby Lobby several years ago because I loved the swirly fabric, the fluffy fringed top, the beaded handle, and the curly feet.  The grands like the soft glow that warms the room when they sleep in there.  The green bottle belonged to one of Mike's grandmothers.  It does a great job of bringing that strong green accent color to the opposite side of the room from the lamps.   
Aren't they gorgeous together with all the curves and points?

The side table pictured here is actually a plant stand with a tile top that is may favorite blue-and-whites.  I got it and another one similar to it for $10 years ago on sale at Tuesday Morning.  The antique wooden and metal milk crate behnd the chair is something I got in high school at an estate auction.  It went off to college with me and has lived with me ever since.  It houses a few toys that were once my children's and a few picked here and there for the grands to play with when they visit.  This antique platform rocker was also a gift from my Great Aunt Mae.  It, the bed, the bedside table, a dresser (which needs a new top), and the bedside table were painted this 1970's-trendy antique speckled green when I got them.  The cabinet-making class where I worked years ago, and Mr. Milton Ryan, their teacher, refinished the pieces when he was teaching my two children in high school.  They are the original beautiful honey-maple color now.  The rocker squeaks when you are rocking your baby to sleep and you don't even need to hum or sing them to sleep!  I've rocked many an hour there.  It will probably be my next project because the fabric is simply wrapped around the cushions covering another hideous print and safety-pinned together in the back.  See?

Being nosey again?

This little bench was crafted by my Daddy when my children were little and sits between the closet door and the entry door.  The cross-stitched piece hanging above it is something I made for Bridgette when she was a little girl and she has never asked to take it with her and I have never offered to give it to her.  I think it looks really nice here, though.  I may frame a  couple of small pieces of artwork by my favorite artists, the grands, and hang right above the bench.  I also think I need to make a little quilted sort of cushion for the bench. 

I have a couple of throw pillows started using the scraps from the window treatments and will toss them on the bed or in the rocker.  I think this room is finally coming together, don't you?  Any other suggestions?

Now, I wonder how close these window treatments really are to following the design of my inspiration photo?  I didn't bookmark it like I thought I had.  So, even after about an hour of sipping coffee and searching one morning, I haven't found the inspiration photo!