Saturday, May 3, 2014

~handmade beachy summer pillows~

hello friends,

Well the little warm spell we had up north this past week sure put me in the mood for summer!! 
Today is cool and wet, but at least we know what we have to look forward to.

Anyways, all that sunshine really made me think about the beach and the ocean, and I thought I would show you some of the beachy and coastal inspired pillows I’ve been working on recently.

This is my “beach” pillow, I love the simplicity of it. Here it is in white.
 I’m also making this in the prettiest aqua, 
and another ~surprise~ colour {wink}.



The starfish is one of my favourites!!


I love the white on the natural background.


They look great together too!


I also pulled out some of my blue grainsack style pillows. 

Although I originally designed these with french country cottage chic in mind, I love how well they fit with a beachy themed decor too. 


I think the side ties are a nice touch. {I also make these in red and charcoal stripes}.


All of these pillows are made on a durable natural canvas with envelope closure at the back {except for the side ties}, and are listed in my raggygirletsy store.

And here’s a pretty shell just because….




Thursday, April 24, 2014

~grandma’s vintage dress repurposed~

hello friends,

Today I’m going to show you how you can repurpose beautiful vintage fabric into pretty and functional home decor and gift items!

Here’s a little ~sneak peek~ ‘cos I know you want to see the after first!!


{*please note, these photos were edited to reflect the true fabric colours, but as others of you are experiencing blogger is making all the photos darker....*}

Some time ago a friend asked me if I would sew her something from a vintage dress she had kept from her grandma. She wanted something that would be a keepsake, but more useful than a dress.

Being a lover of all things vintage I was excited to see the dress, and it did not disappoint.

{I remembered to snap a quick photo.}


They sure knew how to put a dress together back in the day, it was so well made with tucks and pleats and pretty covered buttons. I almost want to call it a frock, it just seems to suit it better than dress!

just look at the details…



Sewing dresses is fidd-il-y stuff, so hats off to the seamstresses who create such beautiful garments!

The fabric is so pretty too!
 Bold flowers and embossed stitching.


Well it was a little challenging to work with, with all the tucks and seams and pretty details there wasn’t a large piece of fabric available.

The largest piece I could salvage was a 12x16” panel for a pillow cover.


I used a smaller piece to make a lavender pillow~


~and popped an offcut into an embroidery hoop.


I couldn’t bear to part with even the scraps and since I love raggy bunting so much, I made her a little mini bunting with the scraps.


My friend loved it and there’s still a large piece of grandma’s dress left for another project one day!
I put off making that first cut for a long time, what if I wrecked the dress?? Yikes!! 

But working with vintage fabric you truly end up with something unique, all the more special when it has a special memory attached like this dress did.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

~finding my groove again, party decor and bunting~

hello friends,

Sometimes we plan a blogging break, other times life just comes along and knocks the stuffing out of you! That’s how it’s been for our family this past year, and I’ve wondered how much to share here, in my “happy place“. 


But this crazy thing called life does happen, and if there is one thing I know to be true from this past year, it's that we’re all dealing with something! 
A sorrow. 
A challenge.
 A story. 
Your story.
We all live in this real world. And sometimes that is just plain tough.
 So I’ll try and give you a little snapshot of this past year in our family.

 my three kiddos

Early last year a longtime favourite verse was so impressed on my heart, 
“Be still and know that I am God” {Psalm 46;10}
Little did I know how meaningful those words would become in the months ahead.


In early January 2013  my 19 year old daughter became very ill, and deteriorated quickly.  She was ultimately diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. There is nothing more devastating as a mamma than watching your child become sicker and sicker and not knowing what else to do. It has been a slow journey back to health, a journey we still find ourselves on. As some of you may know my daughter is developmentally disabled, so this brings with it some extra challenges. 

Hot on the heels of her illness crisis, my 17 year old son sustained a concussion playing volleyball. It ended up putting him out of school for the remainder of the school year, and out of sport for even longer. It was a tough, tough time, we adopted a cautious approach to his recovery and are so blessed to see the way he has fought his way back.

We muddled our way through all this and it seemed everytime we were about to draw a deep breath, something else was around the corner:  injury, water damage and repairs, rear ender....

 I started to enjoy a “normal” day for what it was, just plain old “normal”
I didn’t need extraordinary or wow, just normal!


We were feeling pretty worn down and looking forward to a fresh new year.

 This January “courage” was the word on my heart. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I didn’t want to be courageous anymore. Hadn't I been courageous? 
I wanted peace. rest. refresh!
 Anything but "courage"!

In late January I underwent major surgery, not at all how we pictured 2014 starting. I am doing great, but it will be some time yet before I resume my normal activities, like hauling furntiure!!


The amazing thing is, when life just keeps coming at you, you truly are stripped bare of pretence. My faith has been shaky at times, but surer too. I have gotten to know people a whole lot better by being a little more real with them. I don’t understand it all, or any of it really, but I have known God's grace through this time, sometimes just for the next moment. And that is enough.

There have been bright moments along the way! 

Our daughter graduated high school in June 2013,  and we were involved in advocating to get a new adult program started in our community, that she is now a part of.


We had a fun little teaparty with her friends to celebrate.


It was so much fun putting together a girlie teaparty, using mostly vintage and thrifted decor items.


the vases, linens, cake stand, tea cups, and mason jars were all thrifted goodies I already had. 
I love these mirrored balls.


vintage china teacups


and lots of yummy treats


bunting made from pretty vintage linens


Yes, I’m still in love with stripey paper straws! We served lemonade in these mason jar mugs.


We also celebrated my Dad’s 70th birthday western style:

You can see I had a bunting thing going with these celebrations! This one I made from bandanas. 


we used bandanas to wrap the cutlery too! Yup, we used a lot of banadanas!


painted mason jars and white baby’s breath blooms


a sheriff’s badge for the birthday boy


those mason jar mugs again, with cowboy black and white straws this time!


We vacationed on the beautiful Oregon coast during the summer.


gorgeous unspoilt beaches


and epic sandcastle building…


We got to visit with extended family, and I participated in a couple of vintage markets.


Although I have not been blogging this past year, if you follow me on
you will know I have stayed connected. 
This creative world that we share has been such a lifesaver to me when I’ve needed a break, to just soak in the beauty and creativity you have shared, and for that I thank you all!! There have been many days I have opened instagram to find just the words of encouragement I needed for right then in that moment.

These past few weeks I’ve been sewing up some pillows and making raggy bunting and it is just so energising to be creating again!! Thanks for sticking with me and here’s to lots more beauty and creativity ahead! 

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, I hope that in sharing some of the “real” stuff in my life this past year, that you leave encouraged.

“His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me” 



Friday, April 26, 2013

~barkcloth and vintage fabrics~

Hello friends,

Well we are enjoying a couple sunny days here in Vancouver, still seeing our fair share of rain but the sunny days, they are just awesome!

 Life just looks a whole lot better when the sun is shining!


Today I wanted to chat with you about barkcloth. 
Have you heard of barkcloth?

 I hadn’t until a couple years ago when I met Ms L and her amazing collection of barkcloth fabrics.

Wikipedia describes barkcloth as “a soft, thick, slightly textured fabric, so named because it has a rough surface like that of tree bark. This barkcloth is usually made of densely woven cotton fibers. Historically, the fabric has been used in home furnishings, such as curtains, drapery, upholstery, and slipcovers. It is often associated with 1940s-through-1960s home fashions.”


Now Ms L has been collecting vintage fabrics forever and when my friend, Colleen of Vintage Home, set up for us to pay her a visit, I was all there!

Piles and piles of barkcloth and other vintage fabrics, all laundered and ironed and neatly folded. 
Ms L purchases barkcloth drapes and painstakingly unpicks them and cuts them into pieces of fabric.

 She told us of one pair of vintage curtains that when unpicked had money sewn into the hemming. 

Wish I knew the story behind that! 
Who sewed it in there? 
What were they saving it for?


Just look at this gorgeous emerald brocade…


I was really along just to take a look, but couldn’t resist and came home with a little stash!

 I plan to make some pillows for my beachy living room, I’ll show you once they’re done!



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

~weathered wood and beachy inspiration~

Hello friends,

Today I’m missing summer and I thought I’d post some inspiration photos from last summer.

These were all taken while we were on vacation on the beautiful Oregon coast.
I hope you enjoy them, especially if you’re also longing for summer days again!

I got to play around with weathered wooden chairs and gorgeous hydrangeas.



Such a pretty colour…


A perfectly weathered fence by the beach.



I just love all the nautical elements down by the ocean.

weathered floats


rusty old crabbing baskets


canoe ride anyone?



Stairway dappled in the sunlight... 


don’t you love the driftwood stair rail?



Hope you enjoyed this little piece of summer!


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