Drop Cloth Valentines

I've got two chairs in my living room that I really love and that desperately need to be reupholstered and as I don't know the first thing about upholstery and being that I don't have the dollars for the high price of having it done professionally, I got the bright idea to make up some slip covers for them using painters drop cloths. There are tutorials out there for the process, and you don't need to be an incredible sewer to make one; you do, however, need to possess the patience of Job! After much pinning and trimming, cutting and ripping, fitting and refitting; mine ended up in the trash, sent off in irritated silence. I was only happy that I hadn't spent lots of money on some gorgeous material for the job.

Needless to say, I still had about 3/4 of a yard of the drop cloth left over which I've held onto for crafting of some sort and it really came in handy for these little Valentines Day conversation hearts. Wanna make some? Here's what you'll need:

scrap fabric
paints (doesn't need to be specifically for fabric; I used acrylic)
dried lavender
essential oil (I used sweet orange)
embroidery floss
heart cookie cutter or other template
small funnel or demitasse spoon

Aren't they cute? And they smell wonderful! I mixed several drops of sweet orange essential oil into the lavender before I spooned it into the hearts. Be sure to pack it in pretty tight before you stitch the heart closed. I put one in my purse to keep it smelling sweet and they'd be a perfect little gift for your special valentine! Or....you could get crazy and make something a little bigger like the ones I made below also using up my left over drop cloth.

Get crazy girl....homemade valentines are the best!

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Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

As I get closer to opening up an online storefront, I'm thinking more and more about how I'm going to send out my products. I'm a firm believer of, "it's all in the packaging" and since i've been known to make a purchase based on how it's packaged and because I've been totally thrilled with receiving a gift that's wrapped in some clever way, this is kind of a big deal. I do have a few ideas rolling around in my head and I've been totally inspired by what I've seen on Pinterest; even created a board for it. Just take a look...

little glassine bags from oh, hello friend

magazine page turned gift bag from zakka life

brown kraft paper and doilies from callaloo soup

printed linen from design sponge

Aren't these super cute ideas? My head starts swimming when I think about how to put it all together. Have you ever been thrilled by the packaging of something you've received? Kind of like a cake that so pretty you don't want to cut into it, ya know?


Hang In There Beautiful!

I know I'm not the only crafter out there who's heard about the wonders of chalk paint though I might be one of them who's a bit behind in trying it. I first read about it over at Miss Mustard Seed while drooling over her gorgeous creations and now I'm seeing blog posts pop up about making your own. Crazy. Anyway, I have a neighbor who has some great distressed pieces of furniture and I had told her about the paint a while back and don't you know that a couple of weeks ago I was at her house and she'd redone a gorgeous cabinet with it going from black to a French blue and it looked terrific!

She used the Annie Sloan brand of paint which seems to be fairly popular and I found a store that carries it just up the street from me ~ woo hoo! So I hooked myself up with a sample pot of a color called Provence and a tin of the dark wax (thought I bought the clear...oh well).

And what do I choose as my first piece to distress? The very humble though ever resourceful....clothes hanger. Silly, I know, but I was totally inspired by this photo from Pinterest which originated from a blog called Finally White.

I love the sturdiness of wooden hangers and it's mostly what I use for the clothes in our closet and I happened to have some extras to play around with. The first three I made were done with acrylic paint; an ivory base topped with lilac, and it was a pretty straight forward process.

I lightly sanded the hanger first then put on two coats of ivory paint, let it dry, then two coats of lilac paint

Used a sanding block for this and there's no right or wrong way to the distressing. I just wanted to be sure to see some of the ivory and some of the wood.

I used individual clear stamps that get put onto a clear acrylic block and I had to be sure to put them on backwards since I flipped it over to stamp the word. Then I let the ink dry before I rubbed in a light coat of the dark wax so that the letters wouldn't bleed.

I'm soooo happy with the finished product! And I love the idea of finding a fun little word on my hanger when I'm getting ready for the day. Frou Frou indeed!

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New Year...New Projects...New Possibilities...

It seems like the older I get, the faster the years go by. I think it's because I pretty much hit the ground running each morning and before I know it, the day is done, it's time for bed and on to the next day. So it's no surprise that, kitchen calendar notwithstanding, the new year is upon me and I'm faced with looking ahead at new projects and new possibilities.

First things first, I've updated the look of my blog ~ it was time for a change and one of the things I really want to do this year is open an online store so this was kind of in preparation for that and I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog which is driving me crazy because it has to be just right you know?

I'm excited though! Excited about working on all the projects swirling around in my head, about finally listening to ~ and doing something about ~ the many dear family and friends who've encouraged me to sell my work. Excited about making a space for myself and discovering more about Annalea this year; of letting go...letting in...going deeper. And sometimes, for me, it's easier to do that when I've got a new little pretty to wear.

Hello jewelry and fabric stash. Hello Pinterest inspiration. Hello new necklace!

I had the chain, the fabric, the burlap (don't toss those scraps yet) and the cool button. I actually stitched the chain to the back of the fabric flower which I sandwiched together by sewing the button on first. Each circle is two layers with the one on top being slightly smaller than the one underneath. The last circle was put on with fabri-tac after I attached the chain to hide the stitches and give it a clean look. A toggle clasp in the back finishes it off.

Love love love it! Quick to make, pretty to look at and the perfect "just because" gift for a friend.

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