10 Things To Do With Vintage Sheets

PicMonkey CollageLast weekend at one of my favorite thrift stores I ran across a stack of vintage sheets. I’m pretty sure most of them date from the 60’s and 70’s based on their bold unapologetic color and pattern (which I happen to love.) I bought this stack of Euro shams without any grand plan grand plan on what I wanted to do with them.DSC07953

In the back of my mind I was thinking how fun they they would look as a mixed match set.

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This photo by Teawagon probably says it best. (Actually her Flickr feed is full of all sorts of amazing ideas as is her blog Tea Wagon Tales.)

The more I looked around the more I found great things to do with vintage sheets so I thought I would share a few of my favorite ideas.

One big plus about using sheets in any kind of sewing is having a large expanse of fabric that is wider than almost any fabric you can buy. I love to use them for quilt backing so no seams are required.

db61880b8196bd878762b9712e401330This makes them great for making large items like these shower curtains seen on  A Country Farmhouse

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or this cute children’s tent by My Cakies

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But there is no need to stick to household items these dresses by SOHOMODES are so much fun for springtime.

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And for the boys, how about these ties I found at Kitchcafe

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Sew Mama Sew had the bright idea of making pajama pants out of this pre-softened fabric.

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With smaller scraps how about some cocktail napkins like these by Design Sponge

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or cover a lamp shade like Nature Mom.

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and when your done with all that not even the smallest scrap needs to go to waste, make a happy quilt like Katie’s Kitchen Blog

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or a colorful rag rug like Blue Corduroy Photo

With all this creative inspiration I’m thinking I may have to run out and buy a few more vintage sheets.

Found it at the Market – Doria Chandelier

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A few weeks ago I found this amazing chandelier at my local thrift store for just 20€ ($22.) It was in great condition but one of the glass pendants was missing (probably broken.) I figure if it was one of the inner ones it would not show too much, no big deal. It was a great find but I was torn since I really wasn’t looking for a chandelier. After a bit of thought I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I didn’t have enough cash on me so I had to run to the ATM and hope it was still there when I returned. Fortunately it was. I paid for my score and just as I was loading it into the car one of the thrift store employees ran out with the holding the missing pendants, it was fate!

 

DSC07306The chandelier measures 15.7″ (40cm) in diameter 3 tiers of tubular textured glass pendants (50 in all) each with little flecks of amber in the glass.

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The chandelier had a tag showing it was manufactured by Doria so once I got home I did some research and found this one which is very similar for $3,200, WHAT? Now admittedly 1stdibs has super high prices but obviously some one is paying them or they wouldn’t be in business. Still, I could not believe my 20€ light was selling for $3,200.

1st dibsSo I decided to take my search to more reasonable sites like Ebay and found this exact match for only $975

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So worst case I would only profit $950 off this little beauty, that is if I were willing to sell it.  But I think this one is a keeper and a pretty great bargain for only 20€ ($22.)

I guess that trip to the ATM was worth it.

It’s Friday, High Five!

The New BohemiansPhoto via Justina Blakeney

Late Monday night my family returned from an amazing vacation which I shared HERE and HERE and you would imagine I would be refreshed and ready to get back to work. Unfortunately, sometimes you need a vacation after the vacation. Tired from travel and a little hazy from being on a ship for a week I now faced ten days worth of dirty laundry for four people.  This giant pile of laundry took three days to wash and dry in my tiny Barbie sized washer and dryer, but ladies and gentlemen, the laundry is done! (well at least until the end of the day.) So high-five for getting the vacation laundry done and hopefully getting something useful done next week.

Here are a few more high fives for the week…

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1. Decor8 recently reviewed LA-based blogger and designer Justina Blakeney début book, The New Bohemians. It looks like a winner and with gorgeous photos of rooms like the one above it is going straight to my wish list!

2. The trailer for Fashion Icon Iris Apfel‘s Documentary, ‘Iris.’ Can’t wait to see this movie, she’s a fire cracker!

3. Works by textile artist Marna Lunt, you can even commission your own. Love the stitched details!

4.  This Floor Cloth DIY on Design Sponge. I have made these before as area rugs but I love the idea of using them as flooring, as a renter this could come in handy.

5. The jewelry designs of Tel Aviv based Etsy shop Shlomit Ofir.

For my locals: There is a nice little market in Neuendettelsau that is worth a visit and remember to mark your calendars for the biannual Nurnberg Trempelmarkt  on the 8th and 9th of May, this is one you don’t want to miss.

It’s good to be home,

Maggie

Cruising the Western Mediterranean – Spring Break 2015 Part Two

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I wanted to split this post into two parts because the next stop on out cruise was Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember and it did not disappoint. With a population of over 1.6 million people I was amazed by how clean the city was and the amount of green space within the city center. It is also clear that the city takes great pride in its art and architecture.

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The main reason I wanted to visit Barcelona was the architecture, especially the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city. Guadi’s designs are radically different from those of his contemporaries influenced primarily by forms of nature.

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These buildings with fluid lines, organic shapes and brightly colored tile work are truly original.

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But the structure I most wanted to see was the still incomplete church La Sagrada Família, it has been under construction since 1882. Gaudí  worked on the church from 1883 until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original ideas. The building is financed mostly from donations and the contributions of millions of people over the years and now has a planned completion date of 2026.

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From the exterior La Sagrada Família is highly detailed with stone carvings that remind me of a drip sand castle.

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On the inside while the design is still organic (representing trees) it has a much more geometric feel. We were told on our tour that this was so that the interior would not be distracting.

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I’m distracted. I think I may like the interior more than the exterior, which is hard to believe.

Gaudí architecture is not the only sight to see in Barcelona, the city is full of beautiful buildings and tile work at every turn.

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Barcelona was definitely my favorite stop on the trip.

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Our last port was Marseilles, France which we decided to visit on our own, just walking about and seeing the sight.

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We strolled the pretty harbor.

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Checking out the ancient port

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and the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization

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and the Cathédrale La Major, which was breathtaking.

We followed our sight-seeing with a yummy lunch at a street side café which was right across the street from a little flea market (I of course did some shopping.) Finishing the day off with a cup of coffee and some WiFi before we headed back to the ship for our final cruise into Genoa.

While Genoa was not technically part of our cruise itinerary we did spend the night prior and the night after our cruise there so we were able to see the old town and the harbor which were quite nice.IMG_3995

For our first cruise experience I would give this one an A+. While we may have only spent a day at each port we were able to see so much and enjoy out time by letting someone else do most of the planning and organization. The excursions allowed us to see places we may not have known to visit if we were planning on our own. If you want to save money you can plan your own port visit but sometimes I find that my time (and worry) are worth the extra money so I’m glad we did them.

Special thanks to MSC Cruises and our awesome ship the Splendida for making this an amazing trip,

And to my children who never tire of having their picture taken.

Blue Steel!

Cruising the Western Mediterranean – Spring Break 2015 Part One

DSC07648Cefalù Palermo, Italy

Hello all, Have you been missing me? Hopefully not too much. I have only been gone a week but it seems like a month. I have missed you but I will admit I have enjoyed the break. Since I have been away a bit, I thought I would share with you what I was doing while I was gone.

This year for spring break we took a seven-day cruise around the Western Mediterranean. One last big trip before we move back to the States this summer. This was my family’s first cruise and overall it was a great success. We chose a cruise for the ease of seeing many places on one trip and because we traveled with another family and the logistics of getting seven people around Europe would have been daunting. My husband who was initially not keen on the idea of a cruise and being “herded,”  loved it. “This is great, we don’t have to do anything!” were his exact words. I am usually the one that does the planning so I’m not sure what he would normally be doing but he was probably just glad not to hear me stress about anything.

The first port on our cruise was Rome, Italy

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We made stops at Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square

The Colosseum…

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and the Pantheon…

Rome was lovely and we were excited to see some of these amazing monuments but it was also very crowded with tourists. This may have been due to the fact that we arrived the day after Easter which is a peak time for visitors.

I actually enjoyed wandering through the streets and the amazing lunch we had more than braving the crowds at the historical sites.

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After spending the days exploring the ports each night we cruised and woke up to beautiful coastlines like this one.

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Or next port was Palermo, Italy where we traveled to the nearby town of Cefalù. This little town sits on a rocky coast that could not be prettier.

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We spent the day walking around the town, viewing the cathedral, and enjoying the views from the beach.

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After another night at sea and a little on board entertainment

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We arrived in Valetta, Malta. Malta was one of my favorite ports. This prosperous island nation was bright and sunny, boasting 300 days of sunshine per year.  This means Malta is one of the few places in Europe which are “green” all year round. A bonus for English speakers, Malta was formerly part of the British Empire so it is a great stop for picking up books and magazines in English.

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That’s our ship, the Splendida, at the port of Valetta, Malta.

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My son is a Titanic fanatic so this cruise was a dream come true for him, fortunately it ended better…

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A few shots from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, Malta.

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and the gates into Mdina.

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Most of the buildings in Malta featured these lovely painted bay windows that I could not get enough of.

and of course a little British influence the kids loved.

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Hope you are enjoying the photos. I will share the last three ports tomorrow so I don’t overload you.

Comfort Works FRIHETEN Slipcover Review

DSC07397 You may remember about two weeks ago I shared that I was contacted by Comfort Works, an Australian based slipcover company, about reviewing their slipcover for the Ikea FRIHETEN sofa. In my last post I shared how the ordering process works and my fabric choice, Kino Orange. Well guess what guys, my slip cover has arrived and I couldn’t be more pleased. I chose the orange for a big change and I got exactly what I was looking for.

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What a big change from before, I switched out a few accessories and got a totally new look.

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The slipcover arrived just a few weeks after I placed my order and was well packaged in its very own storage bag. A great presentation when opening the box.

 

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In the bag are all the slipcover pieces neatly folded and each piece is well labeled with a tag on the inside seem that says which part of the sofa it should be used on. Genius!

The minute I pulled the slipcover out of the bag I fell in love, the Kino Orange was perfect. I was also impressed with quality of the fabric, I could tell it was durable and did best of all it had very few wrinkles even after being boxed and shipped. The slipcover was also very well made, the seams are sturdy all the raw edges are surged to keep it from doing any unraveling in the wash.
Although it was little more work to install I chose the Snug Fit slipcover because I wanted to have the option to change the chaise from left to right if I needed to. I also loved the fact that the Snug Fit looks like new upholstery, not a slipcover. In the end I did not have to take the FRIHETEN completely apart, just remove the arms and back so the new slip cover pieces could slide over.

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The install was fairly simple, the hardest part being disassembling the sofa. My only complaint was that it would have been be nice if the slipcover included some instructions, not detailed but at least a note that each piece is labeled and the screw holes have to be cut by the installer. I emailed my contact at Comfort Works to find out about cutting the holes and she was very helpful but if there had been some instructions included I would have been able to get right to work.

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The install is pretty straight forward. Most of the pieces fit over the sofa parts like a fitted bed sheet. It does require a little push and pull adjustment to get the seams lined up with the corners but it’s not rocket science. Alone, I was able to disassemble the sofa, install the slipcover, and put it back together again in under an hour. So not a huge project and probably even quicker if you have a helper.
Here is and video of the install where you can see exactly how it all works.

So now that the sofa looks pretty and new I guess you want to know what I think of my new slipcover, this is a review after all.
First the good stuff…
As I said the quality of the slipcover is exceptional and the pieces fit as described “Snug” on the sofa, you would not know by looking it was a slipcover. I love the fact that it looks like I had the sofa re-upholstered.

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I chose to add cording to my slipcover which I think adds to the upholstered look and makes the sofa look more expensive. The additional detail is a step up from the Ikea streamline seams and gives the sofa a more traditional look.

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I also love that the new back cushion covers are full fabric on both sides, for some reason (money probably) Ikea chose to skimp on this so the cushions cannot be flipped. Now if one side gets soiled I can flip it over until I have time to get it in the laundry.
Now for the bad…
Well actually I have to admit there was nothing really bad just a few things I might change to make the slipcover better.
There were only two things I see that could be improved upon on my Comfort works FRIHETEN slipcover and both are very small. The first being that the piece that Velcros around the lower part of the sofa pull out could be a little tighter. I had to pull my Velcro to the very edge of where it would attach and it still seems a little loose which make it wrinkle some. With the rest of the sofa looking tight and upholstered I would like this piece to look tight too. Since I sew I think I might add another strip of Velcro along the edge of the existing so I can tighten it a bit.

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The second issue I found was on the bed compartment cover. This piece is optional so this would only apply to those who bought the cover and would only be seen when the bed is pulled out but I wanted to address it since it is an additional charge. The design of this piece is different from the sofa cushions covers in that it only has elastic on the front and sides, not the back. Unfortunately that means is does not fit securely around the back part of the bed cushion and causes it to pull at the back revealing the original sofa fabric. I am sure this is done so that the bed mechanism still works properly but it would be nice if they could add a Velcro tab or a strap that goes around the back that would keep this cover secure. Like I said, this is not a big issue since this would only be seen when pulling out the bed but if you’re paying extra to order this piece it is because you do care that the pull out matches.

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Here is a view of the full bed compartment with the slipcover on.

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I am extremely pleased with my new Comfort Works Snug Fit FRIHETEN Slipcover. I would wholeheartedly recommend Comfort Works Slipcovers to anyone who has Ikea or Pottery Barn Basic furniture but also anyone looking to have a Custom Slipcover designed. The customer service at Comfort Works was great any question I had, they were happy to answer. The shipping was fast and I had a brand new slipcover in just a few weeks from start to finish. And most importantly the quality of the Comfort Works
slipcover is exceptional and the price cannot be beat.

Full disclosure: Comfort Works provided me with a FRIHETEN slip cover for this review but there was no paid compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s Friday, High Five!

leeannyare-stylingleeanneyare-photolarnienicolson-diningroom copyBusy week of packing and getting ready for Spring Break. Packing always makes me nuts because I never feel like I have anything to wear or the right shoes, or the right combinations of clothes for the right weather. I don’t know why I get so worked up about it because in the end it really doesn’t matter. I pack all this stuff and I  always seem to end up wearing the same comfy outfits everyday. I guess I am just not a fashionable traveler, if I know we are walking all day the comfy shoes always win, in my head I think I’m going to be cute and fashionable everyday but really I just want to be comfortable (as long as no one is taking a picture.) The good news is today we leave for our Mediterranean cruise and the packing is done whether I look cute or not.  Big high-five!  My husband gives to high-fives because he always has to hide while I pack to keep from getting yelled at.

Here are a few more I found this week…

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1. The photo above part of a sneak peek from the April 2015 Inside Out Magazine featured on Desire to Inspire. The caption says it all, ‘flying colors.”

2. If you are thinking this week will be a week of leisure here is an info-graphic that may come in handy. Here’s How Long It Takes To Binge-Watch That TV Show You Keep Hearing About

3. A Beautiful Mess, these girls rock and their April Fool’s documentary trailer had me rolling.

4. Interiors Addict shared these DIY ceiling roses made with rhombus ceiling tiles you can order online. I love that they have a bit of a masculine feel that would work perfectly in a boy’s room, and they look cool too.

5. Dior and I, a documentary which gives a glimpse into the mysterious world of Haute Couture as it follows the first eight weeks of a young Raf Simons’ tenure as designer-in-chief at the house of Dior.  See the trailer HERE

For my locals: Market crazy is about to happen! Easter must be the kick off because this weekend is full of great markets, many of which continue until Monday due to the holiday. My favorite at Wornitz is Sunday and right on the way to that one there is one in Aurach. In the other direction there are two in and around Schwabach Here and Here.

Maggie

Taming of the Rug Fringe

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I’m sure you remember my new(old) rug from my master bedroom post and as much as I love it, there is one little problem.  After having the rug a while I notice that my bare feet kept getting tangled in the fringe on one end, very annoying in the middle of the night in the dark.  As I looked closer I noticed that one end of the rug had a twisted tight fringe about 4″ long while the other end (the annoying end) had a 6″ cut fringe that was full of tangles and loose threads.

After talking to a rug dealer I learned that the tight end was the looped around the loom while the other end was cut once the rug was complete. The biggest problem (other that getting tangled in it every night) is the loose end can begin to unravel over time, if this continues into the rug’s pattern it is very expensive to repair. So I decided I needed to do something about this mess…

DSC07486After doing some research I learned that knotting the fringe on the loose end of the rug would keep the weave from continuing to unravel. The knot that I used is fairly simple and looks like this. If you would like more detailed instructions on how to tie fringe you can find it HERE

After about an hour of knotting I ended up with a nice even row of knots but an uneven fringe.

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Fortunately my fringe was extra long so I use my quilting ruler and scissors to give it a trim.

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After a nice haircut my fringe is feeling much more manageable.

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and my little late night footsie are very thankful!

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Jonathan Adler New for Spring 2015

modern-furniture-turner-vitrine-spr15-jonathan-adlerPhoto via Jonathan Adler

Recently on my Friday High Five I mentioned that the New Spring 2015 Jonathan Adler catalog was out. I am a huge fan of Jonathan Adler and while most of his line is way out of my price range I always find it inspiring. From my favorites like his reproduction Chinese Chippendale chairs to his newly designed animal sculpture I always find something I love. Here are a few of my favorites from the new line up.

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It’s Friday, High Five!

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Crazy busy week but it is finally coming to an end. We have company coming in town tomorrow and a Mediterranean cruise the following week so I have tried to get ahead on top off all the regular craziness. I have blogged my little heart out so you guys won’t miss me too much. I have finished projects for others so I can get them out and on their way.  Today I must scrub the house (good times.) But the good news is, come tomorrow if it didn’t get done, too bad! Time for a break before the real chaos begins…THE MOVE.  So high-five for a couple of week of R&R to preserve my sanity.

Here are a few more high-fives I found this week…

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1. This week Season 7 (Part 1) of Mad Men is streaming now on Netflix, I’m on episode 4. In honor of one of my favorite sets of all time I thought I’d share Interior Design’s Mad Men Set Design slide show. When they sell off the set, can I be first in line, pretty please?

2. When I first moved to the Seattle area, years ago, Domino published a Seattle shopping guide in their magazine. I hit every store on the list and they were amazing. With our move to South Carolina looming I’m thinking Domino’s Charleston city guide might come in handy.

3. Society 6 presents illustrator Guillaume Cornet’s Parisian Neighbourhood a 75 hour illustration in under 2 minutes. Could watch this over and over again, so amazing.

4. Bradford Shellhammer home tour on Refinery29 is full of color and so is his new e-commerce site, Bezar. The online shopping site features feel-good, design-minded accessories, art, and home decor that’s full of color, just like I like.

5. Feeling a little nervous about committing to mural wallpaper? How about a hanging it as a large scale art like this one in  Vogue. For me the plus, I can take it with me when I go, if it will fit on the truck…

For my locals: Saturday there is a fabric market in Nürnberg, I missed it last year but maybe this year I can squeeze it in. I am a total fabric junkie!

And while you’re in Nürnberg remember the Easter market continues everyday until Easter.

Have a great weekend.

Maggie