My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box
somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be
wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From
your thoughts, you can create greatness.This is what I need to remind
myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with
gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes
to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create.
Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but
how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around
you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgmental,
love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter shots and January outdoor pillow covers

Well, hello, there!

How have you been? Surviving these cold winter months (if you live in that climate, that is)? How about the start of a new year?

Well, I guess it's sort of the end of the start of the new year, huh? I, like many of you, have been busy, as always, but I've still been working on some projects. I can't wait to get started on the really BIG ones, though. I've got some fabulous chairs to refinish, some tables, a bench...a lot on our plates, all while Noah is still remodeling and refurbishing things in the house, like the 116 year old staircase we are re-doing (we wouldn't be if it hadn't already been done with boards, not stair treads, in the 80's). So there is a lot of measuring and cutting going on behind me right now, as a matter of fact...

Anyway, I finally got my winter outdoor pillow covers done, almost just in time to change them for Valentines day, but I finished them Monday. Of course, like all my others, they are playing double-duty. I'm showing you the January/winter side now, and will reveal a surprise in February.

I am hopefully also finishing up some stenciled throw pillows for my couch later today, and I will share those with you soon, as well.

So, I pretty much made these the same way I made all of the others in my Fresh outdoor Autumn porch decor post. I just lay my pillows onto the fabric I want to use and trace with a disappearing ink pen. Before I sew them together I figure out what I want to decorate the front with and assemble all of that on and sew that to the face of the pillow, then I sew them up leaving a very sturdy hemmed opening at the bottom to remove the pillow for storage. I like to use twine for the closures and just hand sew knotted pieces of that evenly spaced to tie shut.

*(View the photos in a separate gallery by clicking on them for better views and to page through like a slide show.)

First I wanted to share with you a few shots I got after the rain froze on our pretty...

Now for the pillows...

I wanted to do a white on white neutral pillow using a natural winter theme. I took some of my greenery from the baskets outside (I've left all of the greenery minus the Christmas decor for January in the hanging baskets outside). None of it dried out as of yet due to the rain and soil that's in them, so I had nice flexible branches. I had never done this before so I practiced a little. I definitely wanted the stem of the branch to be in the image and wanted it in white so I poured out some white acrylic craft pain and sponged it on. The first try dried too quickly, as acrylic paint tends to do, so I didn't have the greatest transfer of my image. I mixed in a little water and worked quickly and I think it turned out pretty good. It's a little heavy on the paint in spots, but I decided I kind of liked that. It has a very organic handmade look. Just what I was trying to achieve, really.

I wanted a little more than just plain raw-edged Osnaburg as my decoration, so I decided to pull out some white satin ribbon and detail the edges. I glued the ribbon on, tucking the ends for a tailored look, using Liquid Stitch (it really works!) and let that dry. When that was dry, I decided I wanted a little more of a natural earthy feel to off-set the delicacy of the ribbon, so I pulled out the twine that I was planning on using as the tie closures and measures four pieces long enough to tie together into knots at all four corners. I glued the knots down a bit and let them dry for a few, then sewed each one on with a zig-zag setting on the machine using a neutral colored thread. (I know, I know...a bit more trouble than I thought, especially for an outdoor pillow, but I had a vision, ok? :)

As for the vintage toolbox and lantern...I just left the greenery and pine cones in and left it natural, neutral and wintry.

I just thought it was important this year to keep something fresh and colorful (or natural) on our porch even in these winter months. It gets dark so quickly, and is so cold some days you don't even want to go outside. So, when we do have to go out, and while we are longing for warmer days, it's nice to come home to a welcoming porch, I think!

How have you been beating the 'winter blues'?  Any projects in mind? Anyone out there lucky enough to be taking a vacation somewhere sunny and warm?

Well, that's it for now, but I've got some Valentines projects under way and I can't wait to share them with you! Do you have any special plans in mind for the Most Romantic Day of the Year?

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend...(and don't forget to stop by my sister blog confessionsofathinkaholic-ns.blogspot, I've just posted some new stories to warm you up)!


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