Thursday, July 25, 2013

DIY Tropical Curtains

My favorite picture of my Auntie Hilda was taken during a Christmas celebration sometime in the 1950's.  My Auntie looks beautiful and Uncle Earl is quite dapper but the star of the scene are those amazing curtains in the background.  I really wanted to recreate that same feeling in my living room and dining area.  After much searching, I was unable to find just the right curtains which meant I was going to have to make them myself.

Let me start by saying I am NOT a seamstress.  That being said, I was super excitied to find a detailed online tuorial on Textile Love.  So detailed in fact, that it was broken down into three seperate entries. They can be found starting here.

After determining the amount of fabric I needed I placed an order with Barkcloth Hawaii.  Nyna is great to work with and made sure I was happy with my order.

Trimming the panels to proper length.
My dining room table proved to be the perfect work surface.  With both of the extensions in place it was nearly long enough to accomodate my unhemmed panels.

All ironed and ready for the lining.
For the curtain lining I cheated and used off-white flat sheets that I purchased from a local retailer.  They were really affordable and already hemmed so that saved me a few steps.

Just like the picture on the tutorial!
The instructions called for a blind hem down the sides of the curtain panels.  I've never even switched out the foot on my sewing machine so this seemed like a daunting request.  I was sure I would severly mess this up and ruin my fabric.  I resorted to a strategy I almost never use...I read the instructions for my sewing machine.  Let me tell you it was like some sort of voodoo.  Everything worked like a charm and looked fantastic!   

Wow!  That actually worked!
My curtains are designed to soften the room.  They don't close over the windows but hang at the edges of the windows.  Privacy isn't an issue and the view is far too nice to obscure.
I'm so excited with the final result! The pinch pleats were much easier to do than I had anticipated. All in all, it was a lot of work but totally worth it.
'Til we meet again,
Ms Adventure

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Feeling Lampish

Well, this weekend has turned very lampish and it's only Saturday!  As you may have gathered by now I have a severe lamp problem.  Is it really a problem?  I guess that depends on who you ask.  Most folk would say "yes, it's time for an intervention".  So, without further hesitation here is the haul from the last two days....

The first find is the gold TV lamp.  This little gem was filthy when I found it yesterday at a garage sale.  I LOVE that it has a built-in planter!  I paid $1 for it and giggled when I saw that it is stamped '24K Gold' on the bottom.  It cleaned up well, shining so bright now.  I can't wait to get some fake greenery in it!  I rewired the lamp but will need to tweak it a bit as the shade doesn't want to sit straight.  I'm thinking a cardboard washer may do the trick.
Lamp #2 was purchased this morning at the local American Legion Hall.  They were having a rummage sale fundraiser for the veterans programs.  I spotted it right when I walked in the door just sitting on the floor. I wasn't super in love with it, more of a strong like.  It has jewels embedded in the porcelain base and I don't have any jeweled lamps yet.  At $9 it was a little bit more then what I wanted to spend on it.  However, it was raising funds for a good cause and this is where the problem comes in...I needed to 'save' it.  Do I have room for it in my house?  No.  Did I already have a shade for it?  Yes (I have a small pile of lamp shades laying around the house).  So off I went with it.
The base was in poor shape with corrosion and rust.  After some quality time with some #0000 steel wool and a can of gold spray paint it was looking pretty good.  The black jeweled base sparkles after a good scrubbing.  I rewired the lamp and added a vintage shade. 
The final lamp I actually picked up a few weeks ago at an estate sale in Minnesota.  A beautiful little black cat lamp with a planter!  I paid $5, which I thought was a steal.  I added it to my little lamp rejuvenation party today giving it a good cleaning and new wiring.  The shade was in my lonely shade collection.  I've been looking for the perfect base for the pale pink venetian lamp shade.  I think they look fantastic together! 

We all have our "things".  For some folks its jewelry or purses.  For me it's lamps, lots and lots of lamps.  What's your weakness?  Do you have any collections?
'Til we meet again,
Ms Adventure