A super busy week!

This week was super busy at our house, it was the first week of summer for the kids, we had Father’s Day, we had friends over for diner (we had to dust the neglect from being so busy during the school year off of the whole downstairs) and I sewed like a mad person!
The first couple of pictures are from a decorating project I have been meaning to work on for a year, and only just now gotten around to. In the midst of it all, we’ve also been thinking about other ways to liven up our space. The idea of decorating has just got me in the mood to make even more changes, although I think my friend has had a part to play in this too. She’s recently transformed her outdoor space with this carport shed combo that can help to house her cars in all kinds of weather. She does have a garage but that’s full of clutter. It looks amazing! She’s just got me in the mood to really change my living space. But first, we must complete this decorating project that we’ve been meaning to do. We bought a lovely antique shelf the last time we were in Germany (3 years ago I think) and it lived in the entryway of our last house as a coat hook since we didn’t have a hall closet. In this house we put the shelf in the living-room but it sat empty for the last year until this week.
Last Saturday we took the kids canoeing on the James River, and popped into visit some friends and take them diner – I was massively surprised when my friend gave me the most lovely gift ever – a 24″ reproduction 17th century wooden doll! I am eventually going to dress it in something fancy, but until then I knew it would live on my living-room shelf.

Of course the doll couldn’t be all by itself up there, so I went shopping in my garage to find extra things amongst all of my stored decorative stuff. The big round mirror is one of my favorite things, the little saying plaque is a present I gave my husband on our 10th wedding anniversary and has sort of been a joke we have said to each other even before I found a plaque with it. The print is one that reminds me of my favorite stories as a child – we used to read “The Magic Faraway Tree” when we were little, and I imported a copy from England to read to my own kids it was so special to me. (It is by Enid Blyton and I highly recommend it.) The copper bits are the kid’s little fists from when they were each only 3 days old, and then I added a few little filler things for color, balance. and presence.

Under the shelf I added an old engraving we recently got at an antique show (we love to go antiquing on weekends, sometimes I swear we can’t possibly only be in our 30s!) I re-framed the print in a sale frame from Michaels and added a new acid-free mat. The butterflies were presents from Paul, he brought them home to me from a business trip recently and I hung them there for safe keeping and decided they made me happy there and so they stayed! The candles and sticks were more in my own garage shopping. The framed picture that is next to the lamp always makes me smile; it’s of Paul’s college roommate, my older sister, Paul, and myself, on Splash Mountain in Disneyland the week we got engaged. Our faces are so funny and it reminds me I am a fun person on days I forget! (I didn’t want to show a close up in case it broke a copyright law or something.)

We made costumes and cake this week too. The kids love to dress up for movie premieres that they have been looking forward to, and they are avid, “Avatar, The Last Airbender” fans. I decided to kill two birds with one stone since I will be back at school this fall and won’t have time to sew Halloween costumes; the kids said the Airbender costumes can double for both Halloween and dressing up now, so I am being extra proactive for this Fall. I can’t post pictures of them wearing them yet because they want to wait until after the movie’s opening, but they look so cute and were made almost completely from my insane stash of fabric. (you can see the costumes in a wad on the kitchen table in the background though) I made the costumes in only 2 days though, and it was a little too much for me – 2, 3 piece costumes including making the pattern left me feeling a little burnt out!

But I had promised Emmie she could make a cake, so in my exhaustion I supervised with my camera rather then actually helping her, (here she is adding homemade apricot freezer jam as a filling.)

She did a strawberry cake with apricot filling, and I added lemon juice to the store frosting to make it taste slightly less synthetic.

This week I discovered that my 9.75 year-old son has the same sized feed as me, mine are just mutantly wider. Paul took Friday as leave since it is our last weekend before I start a 5 week summer class, and the kids go to summer day camp. I should have lots to post about class, since it’s a craft class. (5 days a week, almost 4 hours a day!)
And then finally today we went estate sale shopping, and Paul found 6 of these little bird place-card holders for $12

In my house we have a unplanned bird thing (the silk drapes in the library have birds on them, and they tend to pop up in accessories.) Anyway, my napkin rings are lovely little birds nests that I stick jellybeans or M&M’s in to look like eggs

Since Paul is a genius he thought it would be cool to have little birds to fit in the nests……..

It’s like they were made for each other! I can still fit a few jellybeans along with the place markers so the mama birds can have eggs. I have decided that this Fall at school I am going to screen print some napkins and place mats with bird related things, and make the accidental theme a little more official (especially since I only just noticed that the “Magic Faraway Tree-ish print has a bird and a nest in it too, I knew they were in the picture, I just forgot to think about how they tied into the other bird stuff in the house!)
Anyway, I am going to try to be better about posting more then just once a week! But that will all depend on how big a commitment my class becomes, so I will cross my fingers I still will have time to breathe!

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden