Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Creative Reuse: Dinner Napkins from Pillowcases

Before I dive headfirst into my holiday decorating, are you all ready for a creative reuse? I've got a good one for you!

At the start of my vacation, my mom and I stopped into the Ralph Lauren Home outlet and found several king pillowcases in the 'Cote d'Azur' print for $6.48 each pair. Immediately, I knew I could use the print for something other than pillowcases. The print was reminiscent of a Robshaw-esque block print, but for a fraction of the price.

Each package contained 2 king pillowcases that measured 20" x 40". Using one of my mom's existing fabric napkins as a template, I began cutting 16 equal-sized 14" x 14" squares from the 4 large pillowcases.
The fabric was doubled so that both sides of the finished napkins were printed (that is, no "wrong side" showing). I ironed each square carefully to make pinning and sewing easier.
This is where my very talented mother comes in. Mom turned each of the printed squares wrong-side out and pinned the template red napkin to both to guide her stitching.

Using a simple straight stitch, Mom followed the edge of the red napkin and sewed up 3 1/2 edges of the square (as if she was making a pillow). She left a small opening so the napkin could be turned right-side out. Each napkin she sewed I turned right-side out and used an awl to make each corner clean and sharp.

Back under the iron these napkins went!

Next step? A trip back under the sewing machine's needle--this time to using the embroidery stitches on the machine to finish off each with a blanket stitch about a quarter inch from the edge. This final stitch closed up all the open seams and added a professional look to my 8 finished napkins.

...Ready for the final product?
$12.96 and a little bit of team effort resulted in 8 handmade napkins that look much more costly. This project would make a cute Christmas present for newlyweds or those who just settled into their first home.
Hope you like them!

Monday, November 29, 2010

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation

Here's a photo recap of my vacation, spent in Connecticut and Maine--enjoy!

We spotted a giant dinosaur on the way to New London, CT:

and stopped for some Thai food after showing Adam my alma mater.

On Wednesday night, as we headed to my grandmother's, we stopped at Bob's Clam Hut on Route 1 in Kittery, Maine.

Adam ordered the "Clams 2 Ways":

Thanksgiving Day at Gram's:

We skipped the "doorbusters" on Black Friday and headed to some local antique places. Here's what I found: "Back Roads of New England" by Earl Thollander, a gourd-turned-vase, a set of pinecone notecards, and a Nymolle cup (I wrote about Nymolle here!).

Saturday, we stopped in the Old Port section of Portland, Maine.
I really enjoyed Blanche and Mimi on Middle Street.

While I was sorry to see my vacation and my time with family go, I am happy to be back with you all. Now, let the Christmas decorating begin!

Friday, November 26, 2010

TGIF, 11/26/10 Edition

("Multiple Leaf Print Arrangement" by Jessica Baker)

Today, you are likely heading out to begin your holiday shopping like most Americans. We, too, are on a mission today: to find some undiscovered [read: cheap and vintage] goodies here in "Vacationland". Perhaps I'll have some to share with you next week.

On tap for me this weekend:
  • Traveling home after a lovely weekend with my extended family in Maine
  • Enjoying leftovers (because, let's get real, they're pretty great, too)
Hope you've all had a great Thanksgiving with those most dear to you.

Let the holidays begin! 'Til Monday, friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has meant more to me with the passage of time, especially as I've grown and moved away from my parents and extended family in New England. The holiday serves to unite family and friends that may be divided by great distances, while also representing a time of reflection and quiet contentment.

As we each spend today giving thanks for all of the blessings in our lives, I want to give thanks to you, dear readers. This blog gives me a creative outlet that I wouldn't otherwise have. Thank you for spending a few minutes with me each day here at Meet Me in Philadelphia. I hope you know just how blessed I feel to share a bit about my little life with you all, whoever you may be.

Wishing you a wonderful, blessed and happy Thanksgiving today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving at Thanksgiving

(via Martha Stewart)

In the midst of the holiday blitz, I forget just how fortunate I am.

I have always had enough, always more than enough.
I've always had a job, a place to live, food in my refrigerator, clothing in my closet, and heat to keep me warm. These most basic needs are often overlooked because they are simply that: basic. What is so easily forgotten is that, for many, these basic needs are left unmet.

This morning I am heading to the grocery store. It will likely be brimming with stay-at-home moms and kiddos filling their shopping carts with all the necessities to make Thursday's feast memorable. I, too, will buying food for Thanksgiving.

I'm proud to donate food to help improve a stranger's holiday feast.

If you want to make a donation but don't know how, here is just a few organizations that could benefit from the support of caring people:

In the Philadelphia area: Philabundance
Nationwide: Feeding America

And for a local impact, search for food banks in your area that could benefit from your donations or your time.

I hope that we all give what we can this holiday season to ensure that more Americans have a happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

TGIF, 11/19/10 Edition

("Autumn Sunset" by Eyvind Earle)

Bring on the weekend!

Last night I watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (I'm a sucker for childhood nostalgia) and became incredibly excited for the week to come.

Why? Well, the boy and I are beginning our vacation starting at quittin' time today. We're heading to the great state of Connecticut to spend time with my parents before moving on to our holiday with my extended family.

Wishing you all a host of fun late-fall activities this weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Commence with the Christmas-listing!

Perhaps like many of you, I am a list maker. I make lists when I'm bored or anxious or overwhelmed or just lacking discipline. This time of year my list making goes into overdrive.

I make lists of decorations I'd like to make, gifts I would like to give, cookies I'd like to bake, and gifts I'd like to see under the tree. Even though Thanksgiving is still a week away, I've already sent out my Christmas list to Adam and my mother, who will circulate it accordingly.

Is that weird, a 26-year old sending a Christmas list?
Look, I am notoriously hard to shop for, and my lists provide the necessary guidance.
That said, here's a sampling of the things I've included on my list:

Do you have any items on your Christmas list?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Purl Bee's Linen Thanksgiving Napkins

We aren't hosting Thanksgiving next week, but if we were, I would have prioritized this linen napkin project from Purl Bee.
(via Purl Bee)

Could you imagine wowing your guests with napkins trimmed in the full spectrum of colors? I certainly could. Since I'm not hosting, I'll save this project in my files for the future. For more info, see the easy-to-follow directions here.

Do you have any Thanksgiving decor that's still in your queue?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hable Construction Brooklyn Studio Sale!

Do you have your Black Friday weekend shopping plans firmed up yet, readers?
No? What is wrong with you!? (kidding, kidding)
But, seriously, if you don't, I recommend checking out Hable Construction's Brooklyn Studio Sale on Sunday, November 28th from 11am - 5pm!

Certainly you know Hable Construction, the fabulous company that produces many of the best printed fabrics, pillows, totes, and soft storage bins out there. Surely you've seen their touch in the following spaces:

(via Southern Living. Check out the whole house tour. There isn't one thing I dislike about this home--so cozy and unique!)

(A sofa upholstered in 'Clover Poppy,' featured in House Beautiful)

(Jorey Hurley, part of the Hable team, shows off her patterned storage bins. Via Design*Sponge)

(Rinne Allen's home via Design*Sponge. Notice the lovely Hable-covered wingback chairs)

(Lena Corwin's beautiful sofa covered in Hable's 'Green Bean Beads' fabric)

Could you use a little Hable in your home?

I won't be able to attend, so I didn't want to keep news of their sale to myself.
If anyone in the New York area goes, please report back on your findings!
I'm dying to see what treasures are to be had!

All the important details:
Hable Construction Brooklyn Studio Sale
Sunday, November 28th, 11am - 5pm
The Old American Can Factory
232 Third Street #E105, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Monday, November 15, 2010

Great Gifts: Art with Heart

As the holidays roll around, it's nearly impossible to escape the barrage of "gift guides" in magazines or on t.v. or the internet. Included in many are lists for the "person who has everything".

Got a oligarch to buy for this holiday? Is money no object? Why not buy some art with heart.

Tonight, RxArt is holding their annual auction in New York, which features pieces from Ed Ruscha, Nate Lowman (MK Olsen's former-bf), and Alex Katz, among others. All of the proceeds from the auction go to support RxArt's mission, which is "to place original fine art in patient, procedure and examination rooms of healthcare facilities to improve otherwise sterile environments through contemporary art, promote healing, and inspire hope in patients, families and staff."

Of course, I'm being a little cheeky here but if money were no object, I'd snatch up any of the artwork for a fantastic present:

(All Points, 2008, by Ed Ruscha)

(The Dream Songs, 2008 by Duncan Hannah)

(Get Naked, 2010, by Nate Lowman)

(Twilight 1, 2010 by Alex Katz)
(all via RxArt)

Get your American Express Centurion cards ready, and give a gift with heart!

Coming Around to Wallpaper

(via Domino)

Growing up, I thought wallpaper designs were limited to the country rooster-type patterns that I saw in the homes of family and friends. This just goes to say I was very adverse to wallpaper for a long time. But anyone who pays even a little attention to interior design knows that the world of wallpaper extends far beyond these styles!

I'm definitely coming around to the idea of employing wallpaper in my future house, thanks in no small part to these lovely uses of printed patterns:

(Lisa Borgnes Giramonti's foyer via her blog A Bloomsbury Life)

(A sunny bedroom designed by Jonathan Adler)

(Barrie Benson used de Gournay wallpaper in this dining room via Domino)

(via Lonny)

(Lulu DK's customized foyer papered in her "Bloomsbury" print)

(Katie Ridder-designed wallpaper in Country Living's Green Home)

(Miles Redd utilized Wes Anderson-approved Scalamandre wallpaper for this bathroom)

Could you commit to a wallpaper print?
Or are you convinced that it should be avoided at all cost?

P.S.: My ottomans are not ready yet, friends. I know you are waiting, like me, with bated breath for their arrival. I promise to share them just as soon as they are back!
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