Friday, April 30, 2010
This custom pillow made its way to Switzerland (by way of France) as a wedding gift for some very special friends. The pillow is made in all white cloth and vintage handkerchiefs, and embellished with vintage buttons. The gift was personalized with hand embroidered satin stitch initials of the bride and groom.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I remember both my mother and my grandmother wearing aprons when I was growing up. My family grew up on a farm, and my mother was always hard at work, either in the garden or the kitchen, and she always wore an apron during the day. Whenever we would visit my grandmother, she would be wearing an apron, too. Now I make aprons, and I try to design them with a balance of practicality and personality--why not look cute while you're hard at work?! The top 2 apron has been sold.
When my daughters, Shanna and Christina, were in middle school and high school, they would always lay on our living room floor to watch TV. They would grab all of the pillows off of the sofa, and sometimes even their beds, to make themselves comfortable. Whenever their friends came over, there would be kids, pillows, bowls of popcorn, and glasses of Kool-Aid everywhere!
So I decided one day that I would create some big TV pillows for my daughters, so they could lie on the floor without having to collect all the pillows in the house. It so happened that I had a stack of old blue jeans--most of them didn't fit, had gone out of style, or had holes in them, and I just kept them around as scrap. But I thought that denim would be durable enough to withstand a bunch of kids lying on the floor, and I could create a patchwork pattern that looked nice. Besides, what's more comfortable than an old pair of jeans? It seemed perfect.
I gave my daughters their floor pillows as a Christmas gift, and before I knew it their friends were coming over for sleepovers, and they would all try to share the two pillows--it was like a pile of kids on my living room floor! When there wasn't a pile of kids in front of the TV, my husband would "borrow" a pillow for himself, so eventually I made him one of his own. Of course, when the girls' friends would come over, they would take his, too!
When it came time for my daughters to graduate high school, I made several of their friends a TV pillow of their own. Who would have thought such great use could come of an old stack of beat up blue jeans?!
As a little girl I was always fascinated with my Mom's embroidery work. She would make the most beautiful pillowcases and dresser scarves with just a simple needle and colored thread. I would just sit and watch her four hours, amazed at how plain linen could become something so unique. When I got older, I asked my mother to teach me how to embroider. This was no easy task as she is left-handed, and I am right-handed. So, we sat face-to-face for many hours, and eventually I learned to do it myself. I've enjoyed embroidery ever since. It's a great way to sit and relax while keeping your hands busy and doing something creative and productive. When my daughters were growing up, they would do the same thing I did with my mother--just sit over my shoulder and watch. Even their friends and the neighbor kids would come in after school and end up sitting and watching me, asking, "How do you DO that?" I would always say, "Very carefully and with a lot of patience."
In our third home, we had a door between our kitchen and entry way that we liked to keep propped open in the summertime in order for fresh air to circulate through the first floor of the house. For a long time, I just had it propped open with a brick I found in the garage. One day, I looked at the brick and decided it looked ugly against the backdrop of my cozy kitchen and cheerfully decorated entry way. So, I picked up a pencil and a piece of paper and drew the shape of a seated cat. I'm not sure exactly what inspired it--perhaps our family cat at the time, Samantha, was sitting nearby. In any case, I took my paper kitty pattern, found some scrap material, dug out my giant bag of cotton stuffing, and before I knew it my first kitty doorstop was born. From then on, people would come to our house and chuckle at our little doorstop friend. From there, I started making kitty doorstops as gifts for other people, as well as for other locations in our house.