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

Monday, September 30, 2013


We've been waiting on Somebody...

Somebody had us anxious and concerned.

Somebody finally made an appearance...

And after it all, Mrs. Somebody Else still looked beautiful...

And Mr. Somebody Else looked ultra-excited...

Do I see a golden glow?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

One of the l-o-n-g-e-s-t days ever!

Yesterday was a long one.

I know it had to have more than twenty-four hours in it.

The morning dragged on for a week... at least.

The afternoon was slothful... at best.

The evening went in s-l-o-wwww... mmmm-o-t-i-o-n.

We got a few text message updates...

And each had an exclamation point at the end!

Finally, finally, finally...




All seven pounds and twelve ounces of him...

Every twenty-one inches of him...

Each decibel singing at high volume to the angels.

And we rejoice!

From the tips of his crooked little toes...

To the top of his dark, peach-fuzzed little head...

We cherish every little bit of him...

Every amazing squeal...

And every intense stare...

Makes us feel awash with a love we never knew we could experience.

We are grateful, excited, thrilled, and awestruck with you little man!  The eons of time that yesterday took was worth every nanosecond.

Welcome to the world little Harris Fulton!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Aunt Mae's Dresser

Years ago, when I was a young woman and striking out on my own, my great aunt Mae gave me several wonderful pieces of furniture, linens, trunks, and treasures.  My Granny drove to Mobile, Alabama and hauled her and the gift treasures back to me - but that is a story for another day (and a fabulous one it is when you hear it rolling off Granny's lips).

Part of the furniture collection was a bed, bedside table, rocker, and dresser that was hers when she first married years, and years, and years ago.  She told me that it had a maple finish when she got it but she had paid 'good money' to have it sprayed the lovely antique green finish that I first encountered.  A lovely sight it was, I might add.  Seriously.  Furniture was not something I had in abundance and it mattered not one whit how it looked to me at the time.

Over time, however, the green-ness of it sort of got to me.  For a while the entire set was stored in the barn at one of our former houses.  We had furniture that was a more pleasing color and which worked better in the rooms we had.  Then, when the children were in high school, they needed a project for their cabinet making class.  So, this set became practice pieces for refinishing.  They did a pretty nice job considering what they had to work with - after all, this wasn't finely crafted antique furniture.  The dresser wasn't a piece that featured storage room, so it was again stored out in the barn for a time where the moisture and elements caused some cracking and releasing of glue on the laminate top.

When I moved to my previous home, it became the TV stand in the bonus room.  So, it was covered with TV and the top didn't matter.  Then, when I moved here, it became an extra piece in the junk clutter sewing/craft room.  Recently, however, we are doing some shifting and moving things around and I also had a bit of an itch to do a little painting.  I must admit that I was really inspired by Lake Girl Paints because I found a table just like the little bedside table in the downstairs bedroom and made a note to make that a future project.  Then, I got a flicker of an idea with this dresser...

Here is the BEFORE:
in all her glory...

The bones are good.  The finish is okay.  Simple and sweet.  But the top is yucky.  See...
pretty battered

You can also see that my first tool of destruction is also perched and ready for action there.  I spent a bit of time scraping and wedging the corner underneath the laminate and lifting and prying and scraping some more.  When it was all removed, the boards underneath were a bit rough but sturdy.  So, I decided to sand off the glue and rough bits and when my hands had cramped to the point of numbness and my arms were aching, the top looked like this:
lots of knot-holes and wood variation

I decided I would just give her a coat of paint.  Mike and Stephen suggested that I get some wood filler and fill the knot-holes and the biggest gouges.  So, having a coupon for a free eight-ounce tub of paint from the Spring Color Palette, off I trekked to Home Depot.  What a venture it turned out to be.

Sitting in the parking lot, I dug out my coupon and realized I needed to be at Lowe's instead!  So, off I trekked across town.  (Don't judge.  You will be old and forgetful one day, too.)  The lady at the paint counter encouraged me to select any color I desired from one particular wall.  Wow!  The choices!  The decisions!  Finally, I picked Cream in my Coffee and decided to splurge on Moose Mousse by Valspar.  While the nice lady mixed, I located the wood filler.  Then, I went in search of some furniture wax and found some good old Johnson's.  Next, I remembered that Stephen's birthday was upon me and he had mentioned wishing for an electric sander.  So, over to the tools I marched.  Of course, with a sander, one is going to need sand paper as well.  All this to say, a trip to the store for a free tub of paint and a six dollar tub of wood filler wound up totaling over seventy-five dollars.  How does that happen?

My next step with the Aunt Mae dresser was to fill the knot-holes and gouges.
Looks like a big old mess doesn't it?

After a couple of doses of putty, and plenty of time for it to dry out a bit, it was time to do a bit of smooth-off sanding.
Even after the sanding and a wipe down to remove the dust, there were some dips and uneven places.  I decided I liked the look of some rustic-ness and wanted to move on to painting.  I taped off the stained edges which still looked pretty good using some Frog Tape.  Then, the entire top got a couple of coats of the lighter color (Cream in my Coffee).  I let this dry overnight.  The next afternoon I took a deep breath and plunged into the creative aspect.  First, I found a piece of lightweight cardboard and measured off a diamond in the size I wanted - about three inches across and four inches tall.  Then, I measured the top of the dresser and marked the center point.  I centered up my cardboard diamond and traced the edges.  Then, I taped it off.  Following the line marking the center-most point, I laid my cardboard template out and marked dots to indicate where each successive diamond would go across the center and taped them off.
the first row

I carefully painted a couple of coats onto this row of diamonds.  As soon as the second coat had been applied and sort of began to set, I removed the tape.  I told myself this was a good idea because many of the blogs I'd read and pinned on Pinterest suggested this but actually, I was just too eager to see how it was beginning to look!
Dappled with afternoon sunlight makes her look so cheerful doesn't it?

I continued to add diamonds going up and down using this same process of laying out the cardboard template and making little dots.  Then, I would tape off the area stretching pieces from one corner to one dot, etc.
lining the diamonds up row-by-row

Soon it was time to start adding the connecting diamonds and adding the partial ones to the edges.
starting the connecting rows

Here is my purdy cardboard template in action preparing to line up one diamond after another.
Sort of looks like a chaotic mess, huh?

With each row, I grew more and more excited.  I liked each step progressively and would pause to ask myself if I should just leave it as it was because it looked pretty good like that!
Kind of has an argyle look going on here.

The photo above shows how I used little strips to create diamonds and connect the corners of the previously painted ones.  The process went pretty quickly and I got all of them painted between the time I came home from work and before I went to bed...and I didn't even stay up late!
Diamonds are a girl's best friend!

If you look closely, you can tell that all my diamonds are not precisely the same.  If I had it to do again On my next piece that I embellish with a diamond pattern, I will probably trace off the first diamond and use a yardstick to draw out straight, even lines from top to bottom and across from side to side.
The glow from the over-head light is almost as strong as the one on my face!

I left her to dry overnight.  Then, I dragged her back out onto the deck and gave her a little sanding with a fine-grit sanding block.  I just wanted to knock down the edges of the painted diamonds and distress the corners and edges a wee bit.  Then, I rubbed on a couple of coats of paste wax and buffed it to a soft buttery sheen before moving her into the bedroom with the bed, bedside table, and rocker.
Ready for a tea party!

A closer look at the front which required no attention...

Here is a full shot with the mirror above it.

I think Aunt Mae would be pleased.
I know I am!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I recently completed a few baby gift projects.  So, I thought I would share some photos of the gifts I crafted for my friend at work and tips of them as work-in-progress.

Rick-Rack Receiving Blankets

I used the tutorial Suzanne created over at Just Another Hangup and adapted it a wee bit.  I kept with the same size of a full width of fabric and about a yard and a quarter of fabric torn to be a square and a couple of packages of rick-rack.

I also used her fancy template (a plate) and a rotary cutter to round off the corners.  Next, I laid the rick-rack near the edge of the fabric and scooted in about a couple of inches from the cut end of the rick-rack and began to sew.
Then, I just guided the rick-rack and fabric and stitched about a quarter-inch in from the edge of the fabric.  If I had chosen jumbo rick-rack, I was careful to sew at least a quarter-inch and for smaller rick-rack I stitched more near the one-eighth inch mark.  The rick-rack curves nicely around the curved edges at the corner.  Then, when I got to the end of a pack of rick-rack and had to start with a new piece, I sort of let the cut end fall off the edge of the fabric.  The photo below shows how I gently pulled it down off the edge and started a new piece to creep onto the edge and begin where that other piece 'fell off.'
I lifted the second piece up to show how the first was 'falling off.'
Then, I simply lay the second over top and continued stitching like the photograph below shows.
It is important to follow the edge of the fabric when stitching this and ignore the rick-rack edge.  This technique is one I use with piping to make it sort of disappear into a seam and to prevent having a raw edge or too much bulk.  Then, there is just a matter of trimming the long tails of unnecessary rick-rack off to make a neat edge.  This leaves a nice 'splice' and when the project is finished, one can hardly tell where one piece ends and the next begins and there is no bulky fold or stiff sealant.
For this project, I sent the pieces of fabric with my daughter, Bridgette of Goody Stuff and she did a bit of embroidery personalizing and returned it to me.  Then, I just took the two pieces of fabric and pinned them with right sides together and stitched just inside the row of stitching that held the rick-rack on the fabric leaving a place about five inches unstitched.  I used this as the hole for turning the fabrics right side out.  Then, I gave the entire edge a good pressing with a hot iron.  To finish it off, I simply top-stitched about an eighth-of-an-inch from the fabric edge.
The finished product looks polished and professionally done and was really quite simple.  These blankets are great personal gifts for a new baby and give a bit more to swaddle and tuck than most of the receiving blankets available for purchase.

The weight is just perfect, I think.  However, if one wished for something a bit more heavy as a coverlet, a quilted fabric could be chosen.  I like the use of flannel on one side but I also think they are nice with just two soft coordinating cotton fabrics.
Here is how this particular receiving blanket looks in the sweet little one's nursery.

The other receiving blanket I made for my friend was made with two soft cotton fabrics.
Dots and Stripes
I went in search of something to coordinate with her owl theme for her little one's nursery and the turquoise and white dresser they had painted to use as sweet clothing storage and a changing table.  I discovered the trendy turquoise and white chevron stripe first.  Then, I wandered round and found the chocolate brown fabric with multi-colored circles.  Since they had chosen not to know whether the baby is a boy or girl, I needed something rather gender neutral.  I thought this might be cheerful and fit the requirements.  I had thought to use the unique turquoise rick-rack I knew that Hobby Lobby sold.  However, it turned out to be a bit more toward a blue instead of leaning toward a greenish turquoise.  So, I stuck with my fabrics and found a contrast in a warm color for the edging - orange.  This particular rick-rack is a jumbo size and I was a little leery of it but it turned out just fine.

After I had torn my fabrics to get them squared up nicely, I used my plate template and rotary cutter and rounded the corners.  Then, I decided to put a simple C monogram applique to represent the child's last name.  I found a simple child-like font online using my iPad and took a screen-shot.

Then, I traced the outline of the letter onto a piece of freezer paper with a marker and cut the shape out.
Next, I ironed the pattern onto a left-over piece of fabric.  (Since I had a couple of projects in mind, I bought a yard and a half of the fabric instead of just a yard and a quarter.)  The shiny side of the paper was adhered to the right side of the fabric.
I cut the fabric out in the shape of the letter.  I knew that I was going to simply use a bit of no-sew fabric tape to adhere this to the blanket so that it would be soft and supple.  However, if I had wanted something to have a bit more body and shape to it, I would have ironed the wrong side of the fabric piece to a piece of iron on fusible web and attached the C applique by pressing the fusible web to the blanket fabric.
I peeled the freezer paper away and, using the fusible hem tape, I ironed the fabric C onto the contrasting fabric side of the blanket.  Then, I just used a contrasting thread - orange to coordinate with the rick-rack - and zig-zag-stitched around the edge of the fabric applique.
From there I simply put the two blanket pieces - right sides together - and stitched around the edge leaving about five inches unstitched and open, turned it to where right sides were out, pressed it, and top-stitched the edges.

Burp Cloth

For this project, I have contracted with Bridgette at Goody Stuff and had her applique a cute little owl on one side of the pre-folded diaper.  Here is a shot of the work-in-progress:
She has a fancy-schmancy machine to do a multiplicity of cute designs that she programs into it and with a little threading of the needle and a push of a button, the project comes out looking stunning like this:
I measured the center portion of the diaper and cut a strip that width plus a half inch by the length of the diaper plus a half inch.  Then, I stitched rick rack to the long edge of the fabric strip just like I had for the blanket.  I turned the stitched edge under and pressed it and turned the raw edge of the short edge under a quarter-inch and pressed it.  I lined up the pressed strip and pinned it to the center of the opposite side of the diaper from the owl applique.  Finally, I top stitched the folded edges at one-eighth-inch from the pressed edge and called it a completed project!
This leaves the burp cloth looking polished and finished on both sides and it is absolutely adorable, I think!
Here is the blanket, burp cloth, and my version of Just Another Hangup's
  Maggie the Taggie in my friend's nursery.

Having new babies join our family - even our extended 'work family' - is exciting and heart-warming.  Being able to welcome them into the world with a sweet and simple gift gives us the opportunity to start making memories with them for years to come!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Color of Blood

I know I might have mentioned it but we are expecting our first grandson - just in case you didn't already know.

I have done a bit of stitching for the little fellow.

For one project, I crafted some cute rick-rack receiving blankets.

I also stitched up a couple of sweet little outfits.

I would show each new creation to Mike as I finished it up.

After a while, he expressed a bit of concern.

He was afraid that I was crafting too many sweet little things.

I think his exact words were...

"I think you are going to make this little man a sissy."

So, I picked up some little booties...

I also found a sweet little knit hat...

Then, I added a couple of appliqued garments...

I tucked it into a simple brown-paper gift bag with some orange tissue and some white tissue and added a card explaining the situation to the little man's parents.

Because Mike said, "I believe you need to give him some kind of gift that will remind him that his blood runs orange."
I think his parents understood.

(Thanks to Bridgette over at Goody Stuff for the sweet little bib and onesie appliqued with the infamous orange and white checks!)