Thursday

Vintage Lace Dream Catchers - Fresh Living

I have an obsession with antique laces and dollies.  Whenever I get a few extra dollars I am looking on Ebay or my local antique shops for collections of hand stitched dollies.  Believe me, I am thankful for my understanding husband.  I am on the lookout for ideas to use these little bits of treasure...and decided to use a few of my favorites to make a collection of dream catchers for my guest room.


They are super simple to make and there are no rules to the creativity allowed in this project!  I have designed a simple embroidery pattern called Follow Your Dreams for the center of the largest catcher, for those of you who like handwork as much as I do.  If you are new to embroidery, don't worry...I'll post a few stitching steps to help you.  It's pretty easy!

The materials you need for this project are....

a wood embroidery hoop 
a lace dollie 
scissors
ribbon
lace
beads
feathers 
trinkets
needle 
dmc floss 
glue
fabric tracing pen
small 5" square piece of muslin
leather strips
  

the first step once is to find a lace dollie.  As I mentioned my favorite place to find them is on Ebay.  My second favorite place is at our local antique shop.  You may be one of the lucky ones who has a grandma with a stack of them in her closet just waiting to be reborn.  Where ever you find them, pick one that is either slightly larger than your hoop or one that fits inside your hoop with space to spare.  Let me explain...

There are two ways to display your lace in the dream catcher hoop.  You can either stretch it out over the sides of the inside hoop for a tight look (like the one with Follow Your Dreams embroidery) or you can set the lace inside and "lace" it to the frame (see picture below).  It totally depends on your dollie and how you want it displayed.  If it is a heirloom and you do not want to damage it in anyway...it is best to "lace" it onto the hoop.  If you are ok trimming the excess off the edges, then stretch it into the hoop.

 
The best way to "lace" a dollie onto the hoop is to pin the edges tightly to the wood hoop where you want them.  Then with a coordinating floss tie off the end at your beginning point. Loosely loop the floss through the openings of the dollie and pull just enough to get the tightness that you desire.  Once you have laced it all the way around...take out the pins holding it in place and secure the outer hoop over the edge of the inner hoop and clamp it down tight.
If you are wanting to embroider the Follow Your Dream center, the template for the pattern is posted below.  You can print off the picture and size it to the small embroidery hoop you are using.  Mine was a 4".  Use a fabric template marker to trace the design onto your muslin.  My favorite tracing marker is the Pilot Frixion Erasable Pen.  I love it because it gives me a fine tracing fine and erases with light heat from my iron.




When you are done tracing it is time to get stitching!  

Back-stitch - This is the most basic stitch of embroidery.  You start by going about 1/4" forward on the line you are stitching and go up from underneath through the line and then go down about a 1/4" from your beginning point.  Repeat this over and over again to complete a solid line.  

French Knot - To make a french knot go up from the underneath of the stitch and pull the floss tight.  Wrap the floss around the needle three times and push the needle through very close to the spot where the floss came up.  Gently pull the needle through working the knot loose from the needle and pull tight to make a perfect french knot.


Laisy Daisy Stitch - This stitch is used for leaves and petals in many patterns.  You start at the base of your leaf and go up from the bottom of the stitch until the string will not come any further and then go back down close to the spot you came up through.  As you pull it through it will make a large loop.  Pull the string until it makes a loose loop.  Take your needle from the underside of the stitch coming up at the top of the petal.  Hold your needle in place and place the loop string over the top of the needle and slowly pull it tight.  Then tack the "leaf" down at the top!

Glue on feathers with fabric glue and let dry.  Cut around edges to make a circle.  Pin to center circle of dollie and using a sewing machine or a hand stitch, zig zag stitch your embroidery piece to the dollie.  Go slow so the dollie doesn't bunch.  After you have the stitch sewn onto the dollie it's time to stretch the dollie over the inside hoop and secure tightly with the top hoop.  

Once your dollie is either stretched or laced onto the frame, it's time to embellish your dream catcher with lace, ribbons, leather, jewels, beads, and feathers!

To get the lace look for a fraction of the cost of ribbon by the yard, I purchase a yard or two of several styles of bolt lace that I like and cut it into strips. I figure it is about a quarter of the cost of pre-cut lace by the yard.  I like to cut the strips into 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch strips depending on how large the hoop is and how much space needs to be filled in.


Tie on the lace and fill in with ribbon, fabric strips, leather strips or anything else you like. To attach feathers to the leather strips slide three or four beads onto the strips.  Find a few feathers you want to attach and using your fingers hold the quills against the leather strip. Slide the beads down over the feather quills until they are snug.  


Once all the spaces are filled in and the dream catcher looks perfect to you...it's time to tie on a hanging loop using the leather stripping and it's ready to hang.  Hang on your favorite wall and enjoy sweet dreams.  Follow your dreams...they know the way!
 






Monday

Charish - White to Bright Style Challenge

Last week I was asked to participate in the White to Bright Design Challenge for the fabulous on-line shop Chairish.  Chairish is where people who love unique design buy and sell gently-loved furniture and accessories and a fraction of the original cost.  

I was asked to choose from their vast collection of accent chairs, stepping away from the neutral white pallet that so many people have in their homes to bold with color.  As always, love vintage, texture, and color, so I choose these matching Mid-Century Bergere Parlor Chairs from Chairish accent chair collection.  
Once I found the chairs I loved,  I looked for a floor rug that would bring the color of the chairs to the room along with a touch of the bright whites. The green in these chairs popped against the Vintage Indian Rug, with it's rich mixture of jewel tones and bits of white.  The investment of  a great accent chair is a simple way to add a little color without making a large investment. 

I paired the chairs and rug with an Antique Carved Entry Table, a Woven Ikat Pillow, a Vintage Starburst Clock, and a Antique Office Lamp...all available at Chairish.com.   

I hope this board inspires you to look past the boring neutrals that so many of us have in our homes and add a little bit of unique style to your home!

Friday

Raspberry Bread Pudding

This week our local produce stand offered a case of raspberries for a steal!  The problem is there are so many yummy things to make with fresh perfect berries I couldn't decide between a pie or bread pudding...well my hubby made the decision for me, and I made a tray of my favorite raspberry bread pudding complete with a caramel vanilla sauce over the top. 

If you can't find fresh berries, frozen will do as well....




Raspberry Bread Pudding

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 loaves aged, white bread
1 quart heavy cream
3 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla


Directions:

In large bowl combine cream, sugar, egg and vanilla. Cut bread into 1 1/2" cubes and add to cream mixture, coating bread well. Let stand 30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes to allow cream to absorb completely. Careful not to break bread cubes apart. 

Fruit Filling

Ingredients:

5 cups frozen raspberries

1 cup sugar


Directions:
Combine raspberries and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  If you are using frozen berries, drain well before adding the sugar.
Layer a 9x13 dark baking dish 3/4 full with bread mixture, pour fruit filling over bread mixture, spreading evenly, top with remaining bread ( I save my best looking bread cubes for the top). Bake 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm. Top with vanilla sauce.


VANILLA SAUCE

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup butter

5 tablespoons flour

3 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup sugar


Over medium heat melt butter, and add flour stir 10 minutes until it has a nutty aroma, do not brown. Add salt, cream and sugar and boil till mixture is thick, remove from heat adding vanilla. Serve this wonderful sauce cold.


I hope you love this as much as I do...half the pan was gone in one night...and the other half for breakfast the next morning!!!  


Buttermilk Blueberry Cake

This week has been week one of our summer vacation with our Washington kiddos...and we have been having a blast!  We stay up late partying and of course they wake up early wanting something yum to eat.  This morning we decided to break all the rules for breakfast and eat cake....


I found this recipe for Buttermilk Lemon Blueberry Cake and had to try it because first...it's summer and berries are a plenty...and second it has lemon....and third...it's cake.  You can find the recipe at Alexandra's Kitchen.  It was quick dump and mix recipe that we all got into....but best of all...it was sooo yum!


So stop by the farmer's market this weekend or your local store and pick up some fresh blueberries and of course some buttermilk...and whip up a little cake for breakfast this weekend!

Saturday

Big Charming August

Happy August!  This is when summer gets super exciting as we wrap up the last of the vacations, days at the lake and get ready to head back to ...shhh...school!  It's also the time to wrap up the summer projects and get ready for a fabulous bunch of fall projects. 


Yesterday I finished my Big Charming Quilt by Denyse Schmidt.   It was the perfect no-stress summer quilt and I am soooo excited to have it hanging in my house...ready for our next picnic!  If you are looking for a quick and easy quilt to make this is the one!!!  

I hope this month goes by slow.  My kiddos are coming for a few weeks...we have a family reunion and a couple of camping trips yet to take before we have to get back to school and start waking up at 5:30 every morning.  Yuck!  Enjoy the rest of summer......


 
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