Goodbye, Hilltop Farms

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I’m sad to report that the amazing Hilltop Farms will be closing for good this weekend.  Not only is the property itself beautiful, but their plants are, by far, the best in the area and the store inside is full of interesting gift-y items like pretty soaps, hand-made jewelry and cute housewares.  Last summer, Chris from Hilltop planned and planted our front garden area, and put in five beautiful Leyland Cypress trees in our backyard.  We have shopped there many times since we moved to the area and are really sad to see it go.  To me, it’s an example of why it’s important to shop local and support businesses that make a difference in your neighborhood.  In this box-store, strip mall, soul-free Wal-Mart-Applebee’s-kinda world, unique stores keep things interesting, and I wish that the people who own them could all be rewarded with long, lucrative careers.  I hope the Hilltop fellas emerge with something new and exciting soon.

Coated Cotton Fabric

So, last week, I was browsing at some garment-district stores for ideas for my kitchen curtains.  I found some cute white, flowery eyelet fabric that was inexpensive and perfect.  I took a swatch, checked it out in the kitchen, re-measured the windows and went back to the store yesterday to buy it.  As a fabric junkie who doesn’t sew nearly as often as she should, I promised myself that was all I would buy.  Then I saw this on the wall:

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It wants to be in my apothecary, Sleep No More downstairs bathroom, which is still in the planning stages, but I know I want to make it gothic and weird. At $21.95 a yard, and since I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with it yet, I only bought one yard. I might frame it? Wallpaper a wall with it?  I don’t know yet, but I love it!

If you know of any great coated cotton fabric projects, I would love links!

Weekend Update

Despite the heat, we Larsens had a super productive and really fun weekend!  We kicked things off on Friday night with an early evening showing of Monsters University with our awesome nieces.  Loved it!  Then on Saturday morning, we were lucky enough to have Chris’ dad come out from the Poconos to help us get rid of the rest of the tree laying in our yard.  And I know I’m not the best photographer, but the pictures I have of the tree really cannot capture how big the piece was that fell.  The diameter of the trunk at the bottom was probably 18″?  Maybe more?  My father-in-law thought he had a quick hour job in front of him and he’d be on his merry way.  It was more like five hours, but the fellas got it all done.  And the morning started off rainy and gray — I asked Chris what they would do if it rained all day?  “Cut the thing up in the rain, I guess” was the answer.  These Minnesota fellas sure are handy!

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Most exciting to me, I got my Roman shades completed and installed! shades1

Well, I still need to braid the cords and attach a doo-thingy to tie the cord to in order to hold them open, but that will be easy.  I won’t lay out what I did to make them — there are far better instructions out there than I could provide.  This particular style/pattern/set of  instructions came from the Singer Big Book of Sewing  .  I like basic books with lots of pictures for this stuff 🙂  They took forever, but were so worth it.  Mostly because I love them.  But also because all fabric, hardware and supplies came in well under $500, which for 3 fabric shades is unheard of.  And I have enough lining fabric left for another project.  Some patterned shades that I have liked in catalogs are as much as $600 EACH!  Since spending $1800 on my front window treatments was NOT an option, off to Mood went I.

For comparison, here is a before and after of the front entry way:

Things are coming together!

I’ve been getting tired of the stairway being a barren, empty place, so we hung up some GORGEOUS pinch-pleated drapes my fabulous friend Julie made.  She was upgrading her bedroom look and I was the lucky recipient of these beautiful things!  Seriously, if I had endless vacation time, I would go down to Louisiana where she lives and move in for a week and make her teach me how to sew like she sews.  It’s like … magical.   I had to hem them, as I don’t have 9 foot plantation windows to cover, and though I kinda butchered the hems when compared with the original, you can’t really see the bottom of them and they serve the purpose.

We also got some of our Steve Keene’s hung up and a newly re-potted plant (see below) ties the whole little area together.

Something snapped this weekend (maybe heat-related?!?) and I got so tired of not having things on the walls, not having little areas finished that we just tore through some stuff.  I have been saying — “oh, I will do this after THAT because if I do it before it might get messed up while I do THAT” and then I realized that we will NEVER be done, so might as well start making things cozy!

One of my last chores on Sunday evening was to re-pot some plants.  I like this picture because this is not something I ever could have set up in our NYC apartment.  And I like it also because my wine glass is in it, and I believe that most housework goes much better with wine.

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Thanks for stopping by!  Leave a comment if you like what you see….