The Happiness of Crafting

Fifteen some years ago, I purchased this side table for $5.00 because I loved the lines and the bronzed metal drawer pull. And that was that. Whatever grand idea I had never went anywhere, and the table collected dust in the basement.
Cowboy Table_Before www

Last spring, I was quite taken with a block of vintage cowboy fabric, but without an idea of what to do with it, until I remembered the battered $5.00 table in the basement. Hauled up the steps, a quick trip to the hardware store, and…

Table Redo supplies www

ta dah! 
Table Redo After www
A year later and I’m still excited over this table’s transformation. The last project to so affect me were these egg warmers, which I adored to the point of carrying them in my purse for ages, should the 

Egg Warmers www)
conversation turned to the quandary of keeping soft boiled eggs warm.

Oh, had the table fit into that purse.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Snow Day Redress

The mid-week snowstorm was a big surprise and with the roads slick (my least favorite driving condition), the perfect day to stay in and accomplish some major domestic clean-up. But no sooner did I think such a thought, than it was nudged to a back burner and replaced with a most brilliant way to spend a snowy day: redressing Scarlett, my mannequin.

I’ve long thought how to change Scarlett’s form from its unflattering concrete gray to something more colorful, and within minutes of the first flakes falling, I figured it out.

From a bag of vintage scraps

Vintage Scraps Bag

I cut out shapes, dipped each into a mixture of decoupage paste thinned with water, and randomly covered the form.

Mannequin_vintage scraps_in progress

The redressing took a day, which seems a long time for such a carefree project, except the cleaning up part added considerable time – which brings me to this after-thought suggestion: Cover the floor and tabletop with plastic before beginning any project that includes dripping paste.

Scarlett Redressed in Vintage!

Mannequin_vintage scraps_turq2 turned (Medium)

In all her glory, Scarlett showing off the first of my new line,

Domesti-Chic · Limited Editions

Recipe for Happiness_full pic (Medium)

AM Logo with clothesline

I so thrive on the creative process. Whether inspired by a bag of scrap fabric or a recipe, it’s the excitement of the possibilities I find energizing. Now to reserve a bit of that excitement and face the maelstrom of domestic duties still simmering on that back burner.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Vegetable Vases inspire Vintage Va-voom

With the sudden appearance of one leaf on the yard, then two hundred, tunnel vision set in and all I could see was the dining room’s table covering needed to be changed out. From sunny Fifties fruit to something more…fall-ish.

I’ve had this quilt topper forever and having not once made a move toward sewing it to a backing, I decided instead to use it as a tablecloth.

Last night was the covering’s inaugural with a dinner for four. I set out to buy a bouquet for a central vase arrangement, but the grocery’s selection wasn’t great and the cost not worth it. Then I saw the price of green peppers, 4/$1.00.

Instead of a single vase, the hollowed green peppers served as individual vases at each place setting. I bought a flowering mum plant (cutting the blooms from the stems) and 4 colorful peppers to add some bam!, as Emeril would say. So easy and so beautiful.

Pepper vase 3 [640x480]

Love it when a spontaneous inspiration turns out much better than the plan.

Pepper vase 1 [640x480]

With the dishes cleared, the topper is a marvel of fabric squares dating from the late 1930s into the 1950s. At first glance, it looks like a haphazard placement of florals, but stepping back, you can

Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 1 [640x480]

see there’s a sense of design to her selection of square placement.

Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 2 [640x480]

The size of the topper is large/queen, so we’re talking a lot of fabric scraps that had to be of a certain size.

Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 3 [640x480]

So fun how she decided to include two squares of the cowboy fabric. Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 4 [640x480]

The borders aren’t finished, so there are lots of threads dangling, which one day/some day, I will or not get to. Actually, retaining the raw edging retains the mystery as to why this topper was never completed. When next guests are seated around the table, I’ll ask this very question. What a great conversational starter! What do you say? Chiming in welcome!


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

a Taxing Spring Cleaning

The idea starts out with the best of intention: to toss mail and receipts and articles of interest and notes-to-self into a box, which I will go through and organize at a later date. But the box multiples into boxes, which become a part of the architectural landscape of my creative space, and thusly, become invisible.

This Landscape Filing System is ridiculous, and I know it, and yearly I strive to do better, especially at tax time, when the boxes need to be sorted through.

box of go throughs

I always get the job done, but in the “getting there,” I need a creative diversion to balance the intensity of left-brain focus.

This year’s diversionary project began with this table. Purchased about ten+ years ago for $5.00, I’d envisioned its transformation many times, but never followed through. Until……………………………

Cowboy Table_Before [640x480]

I paired a vintage block of cowboy material with a serape-stripe remnant, which led to a quick trip to the paint store to match the turquoise saddle and the red blanket, with a stop at the glass store for a quarter-inch topper. Three days later……………………………………

Cowboy Table_fabric_paints [640x480]


Cowboy Table_After [640x480]

Happiness is this table. Were you to see it up close, it’s not perfect, but it’s steps above my usual bar of “Good Enough!” If only my taxes and the computations required could answer to the same conclusion.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!