Monday, October 26, 2009

the return of the KING

Our King has returned! Darren is home--he's safe and reasonably sound. Generally speaking, I don't focus on family for my posts here, but I can't help it. We're happy, we're relaxed, we're together.
First night home--we showed around to see some of the projects we had been working on. I'm sure I've mentioned how the patio Darren built is our favorite place to be. He had mentioned he'd like a new fire pit, so the kids and I built this one the week before he came home. We spent Saturday getting reacquainted around a warm fire.

Going through the bags he carried back from Iraq.

In his best Forrest Gump impression: "And then they gave me a bronze star . . . again."

Every military family believes they've got the hardest working, best soldier the Army/Navy/Marines/Air Force has ever produced and we're no different. We're proud of our soldier--so glad to have him home. We pray for the safe return of all of our service members. We also pray that President Obama continues to take his time to carefully exam the future plans for deployment of additional forces anywhere in the world. They aren't just "forces;" they're sons/daughters, husbands/wives, and dads/moms. This military spouse appreciates careful consideration where her husband is concerned.
Thanks to each of you for your support during his deployment.
Thanks, too, for your indulgence!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I love this time of year. I'm happy to feel the chill--I'd rather grab a sweater! Here's how we've welcomed the change of season at our house . . . Can you believe I grabbed that candelabra out of the hands of someone who was about to toss it to its death at the dump? Umm . . . "Excuse me--you're not throwing that away are you?"

More mums, please!

Love this triple tier display. I grabbed this sideboard at that Busy Bees consignment event I mentioned several weeks ago. I think they'll do it again in the Spring--I'll keep you posted.

The spooky mantle--adorned with the holographic "family" portraits, gilded pumpkins, corn, nandina berries and leaves. I think we'll age those frames--too white.

Okay, the white linen curtains in our bedroom have been on my list for a while. They're lovely and simple, but for the winter months--impractical; sheer and light weight--we need some insulating qualities in this room (it's the coldest in the house).

So, what's a girl to do?
It seems this girl always reaches for the burlap. My plan was to make curtains out of burlap--it's affordable, easy to work with (you don't even need to hem it) and it has the great look of linen.
Well, I can't do that. I need the 120" curtains--a minimum of six! So, I can forget about those.
Oh no I can't.
I went shopping for fabric. I found this great sage green/blue burlap--I love it! Look at this:

That's how it looked at night, but this is how it looks in the morning light:

I love it even more! The glow in the room is lovely. I am struggling with two issues, however. One--I was hoping for a little more privacy (you can see the burlap is still very sheer); Two--it smells. Burlap has a definite odor, but this time it's worse. I think it has something to do with the fact that we've got our gas fireplaces on--they seem to exacerbate odors.
For the sheerness, I've added the original linen curtains behind the burlap. For the odor, my friend Jennifer, sprayed them with diluted vinegar in hopes of overcoming the odor. I want to believe it's better.
The true "fall back" plan, however is the BEAUTIFUL sage blue/green velvet I also purchased . . . more on that later!
I hope you all are having fun preparing for this wonderful season. I'd love to hear what you like to do differently this time of year. Leave your comments here, please!
Thanks for your indulgence!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What I've done so far . . .

It's Monday morning and I'm accountable:

(1) general cleaning--some done . . . more to do (always)
(2) recover dining chairs--done (see pics below)
(3) supervise kids in their efforts to do their share--they've been a huge help! more to do.
(4) new curtains--some done . . . I'd like to hang some in another room--we'll see.
(5) clean closets--I cleaned out our only "real" closet--looks great. I went thru our wardrobe and changed over to the Fall/Winter attire.
(6) donate/consign clothes--set aside the donation pile and the consignment pile.
(7) supervise kids in their efforts to do their share--really . . . a HUGE help!
(8) decorate for Autumn--yes, yes, yes! I love Autumn and the decor! (pics tomorrow)
(9) general yard work--hmm, not so much . . .
(10) a few special projects aimed at surprising the returning hero!--check one off the list, but so much more to be done.

Here are some pics and tips for one of the easiest projects you can tackle.

How to recover the seat cushions of an upholstered chair:

You'll need scissors, a staple gun, staples, a screwdriver, and the fabric you've chosen to use for your project. That's it.

First, you need to remove the seat from the chair--usually four screws.When using upholstery fabric, you can refer to the numbers on the side to determine the direction of the pattern.This is the reverse of my fabric. You can see the bunch of flowers I used as the center focus for each cushion.
I laid the seat cushion on the reverse side of the fabric, centering the design.

Then you wrap the fabric around the edges and prepare to staple the fabric in place.
It's best to fold the edge of the fabric under, so it doesn't pull and fray.

Begin by stapling opposite sides of the fabric--the staple the remaining sides (saving corners for last). Take your time wrapping the corners so you don't bunch the fabric.
Reattach the seat cushion and there you go!

I think the eight chairs took a total of three hours.

There's more to do--I'll share more pictures tomorrow.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

check list

okay, here's my idea--if i tell everyone in the blogosphere what i hope to get done before darren returns (in "6 days and a wake-up")--maybe i'll feel accountable.

(1) general cleaning

(2) recover dining chairs

(3) supervise kids in their efforts to do their share

(4) new curtains

(5) clean closets

(6) donate/consign clothes

(7) supervise kids in their efforts to do their share

(8) decorate for Autumn

(9) general yard work

(10) a few special projects aimed at surprising the returning hero!

so here goes . . .

hold me to it!

thanks for your indulgence and prodding!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

running in place . . .

trying to take my mind off of things.

i've got so much to do before Darren returns (only 9 days!)--i'm overwhelmed. the kids and i want everything to be perfect. it won't be.

i've gotten a few projects taken care of--cleaned-up some of the gardens, added the fall mums, started to recover the dining room chairs, hung some art--that sort of stuff. the things that won't matter to Darren at all.

then there's this little event we've organized (Spectacular, Spectacular) in the hopes of having hundreds of folks clamoring for space in the classes we offering. no so.

wah--poor me. more to the point--poor instructors. i feel horrible that so many did so much to bring this event to fruition, but i couldn't get the participants to sign-up.

hope you all are making things happen! feel free to help me prioritize! feel free to help me!

Monday, October 5, 2009

other stuff at hodgepodge

Lest you think all we're doing here at Hodgepodge is preparing for SPECTACULAR, SPECTACULAR--I just thought I'd reassure you that business as usual is going on, as well.

Hodgepodge (and ARTifacts) are here for your shopping pleasure!

Halloween decor is moving quickly! We still have some fun stuff in stock, but it's dwindling quickly. Our Haunted Memories pictures are a hit again this year. If you haven't been in the shop to see them, you need to drop by. There are a few in the window. At first glance, they look like old, black & white family portraits, but a slight step to the left or right reveals their "inner beauty." Really, can't do them justice in words--they are a must see item! Mix them in with your family picture wall and wait for the reactions! We have other stuff you might want to see, too. Just take a few minutes to drop-in.

Don't know if I've mentioned or you've already noticed there is a Hodgepodge fan page on Facebook. There's a link on this blog--somewhere on the left. I often update that page with info about inventory, special discount offers, pictures and more. If you haven't already joined as a fan--I encourage you to do so.

I'm also tweeting now, too. Special offers are most likely going to arrive in a tweet, so you may wish to sign-up for those, too. Don't worry--it doesn't happen very frequently. I don't use my mobile device for any of that stuff, so you won't hear when I'm picking-up my dry cleaning or if I dropping the kids at little league. It'll be Hodgepodge related stuff. There's a link to that on the left, too.

As for other stuff here at Hodgepodge--please keep the 6th of November open. That's my Holiday Open House event for my customers. It'll flow over into Saturday, the 7th of November, but Friday night will include food and special discounts!

The weekend prior, Saturday, Oct 31st, will be Fright on Franklin, a trick-or-treating event sponsored by the City of Clarksville. More information to come on that later.

In the meantime, thanks for your indulgence.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jenni Bowlin, Rebecca Sower and Kathy Thiessen at Spectacular, Spectacular!

I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm sure it won't hurt to mention again . . . Jenni Bowlin will be at Spectacular, Spectacular!

She will be teaching two classes only on Friday night, October 23rd--during our Big Top Event.

Visit this post on our Spectacular blog to see the projects in detail. Jenni and her creative team of friends will also have a booth in the Midway during the Big Top Event, as well as all day Saturday. The only day to meet Jenni, however, will be Friday night during the BTE--as she's got to run out the next day for a family wedding! (I still can't believe she's joining us!)

Next and truly spectacular news, Rebecca Sower will also be joining us for the Big Top Event!!! She will be bringing a stash of her creative items and have them for sale in a booth on the Midway. Again, this is one night only!

(picture borrowed from Rebecca's blog)

If you're not already familiar with Rebecca's creative work and gentle spirit, I encourage you take a minute to visit her blog. Once you do, you'll understand.

Last one to mention in this post . . . Kathy Thiessen. I met her for the first time two days ago when she stopped by the shop to give me this:
She was also dropping off a load of items for HER booth on the MIDWAY!

Kathy is absolutely wonderful! I wish I had more time to spend with her, but I was busy (thank you Saint Anthony!) with customers. Since her all-too-brief visit, I've had time to take a peak at some of the items she's brought for her booth and they're GREAT! I've also had time to take a look at her book and I love it! I'll post more about it later, but I want you to know I'll have it here at the shop for your perusal. Kathy will have her books at her booth and will have a book signing during the Big Top Event.

So, in case you haven't figured it out yet, you don't want to miss the Big Top Event! Your registration for Spectacular, Spectacular is all you need to gain entrance to this special event. The event will be catered by Jane Burney of the Lovin' Spoonful Cafe, we will have live music (more on that later)--it will be a very festive atmosphere!
Don't forget to sign-up now for Spectacular, Spectacular--you'll save money and you'll be entered in a drawing for a $100 shopping spree at Hodgepodge! (See the previous post for details.)
Thanks for your indulgence!
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