Champagne tastes,caviar dreams….and a 7-Up budget

I love working with really beautiful fabrics and NOWHERE can I find more gorgeous stuff than on ebay.
Now, I do all the sewing and upholstering. Taught myself because how hard can it be? We teach this trade to inmates and it is one of the few that they really excel at. I’m at least as smart as some fabric, a pattern and a sewing machine. My mother did her own drapes and upholstery, so it only follows that I can, too.

Drapes, shades…all I need is a work surface and a t-square. Got that. If I need a visual aide, I can go to You Tube. (I saw a beautiful half round swag made by hand by a burka-clad lady. If she can do it, so can I!)

I have my eye on some really pretty-to -me red toile for the kitchen. I don’t have a dishwasher but I have space for one…where I’m keeping the trash. I HATE a trash can sitting out in front of God and everyone else. So the toile will just be gathered on a rod and then Scotch-guarded against filthy hands Trimmed out with a pleated ruffle and some piping.

The window over the sink–what a view. I can see into the law offices across the way and the roof of the building next door. NOT my idea of a great view! Those lawyers–all I can say is I am glad I went to law school and glad I decided not to practice, because their faces all look cranky all day long. So I’m going to smock the top of the curtain (easy peasy. You just buy smocking tape and draw up the strings. Easier than tying your shoes.) Then you sew a tape with the little rings, so I can draw the curtain up into gentle puffs (not huge, tight, elaborate White House poofs, this is a KITCHEN after all). The bottom will be finished with a pleated ruffle and some piping. Under that, on another tension rod are two lace panels.

Can’t you just see it? Fresh,pretty and totally happy. The toile has birds and butterflies and flowering branches in a nice not primary red, with pinks, burgundy, claret and ivory. Just a lovely piece of fabric that makes my heart sing.

The kitchen itself is painted a cornmeal yellow with white cabinets with LOTS of storage. I have a cabinet for my cookbooks (I took off all the dust jackets because they were just too noisy). My knobs are green glass, there is lots of bead board (I love bead board. It looks fresh and lovely and Victorian, all at the same time). My sink is cast iron and sage green (got it for a DOLLAR years ago. It was supposed to be avocado but the color was off and couldn’t be sold).

My counters are wood, from a pair of winery doors. We had the same counters at the Coffee Scoop and they wear like iron. The floor is from the old Stratford school, so it is golden heart of pine and 100 years old. My regular dishes are white, but I have some specky dark red ones, too. My friend Nusan and I went to WalMart and found a rooster mat for in front of the sink…now THAT was a funny outing! We took our shoes off and tried out all the mats they had. Some were too scratchy and some were too rubbery but the rooster one was just right. Then we took ALL of the rooster ones down and tried them all out. I bought the one that was just right. And really, doesn’t everyone do this? Judging by the looks we got, evidently not!

The red accents in the kitchen echo the crime scene red in the library, so you get the colors in varying amounts in each room. I like the way that looks, instead of every room having a totally different color scheme. Unity. Continuity and it just is easy on the eyes.

THIS is the part I love about moving into a new place. The nesting and decorating. All the whacking holes in walls—okay, sledge-hammering holes was kind of fun, but an awful lot of work. Saving the original plaster….LOTS of work with no end in sight. (I was up on a ladder with plaster washers, screwing the good plaster to the original lathing. THEN I was taping fiberglass tape over cracks. Then we had a honest-to-God crew come in a plaster the whole place. No drywall. Plaster. Watching them work was truly a thing a awe and beauty.)

Well, now I’m off to put stuff away. I’d like to get my sewing room put straight away, because I’ll be working in there for days on end. The sewing won;t start until the whole place is put to rights. No reason to make more messes.

SO if you come over, expect to see chairs and loveseats that not only don’t match, they look horrid. Beyond horrid. The sleeper love seat is a hideous floral but it is a lovely shape. The two art deco chair are comfortable but one is sort of peach and the other is a hideous, glow in the dark green. The wing chairs–one is claret and just fine but the other is an oatmeal tapestry weight fabric and all it has going for it is beautiful bones and great construction.

Oh, did I mention that I’m putting in a bookcase in the guest room? The piece was a bead board closet with no doors. It is lovely and came from my Grandma Martha’s house. We painted it white and woodgrained the base. It will go on one wall and the bed will go catty-cornered in front of the windows, so it will be the first thing you see. That room is cornmeal yellow, too. I have a chair I bought FIFTEEN years ago that is exactly the right color yellow, with little pink roses and different green branches and leaves. The rest of the room will play off those colors but I haven’t found fabric that sings to me yet.

So off I go. I feel like a little sparrow, searching for twigs and string for my nest….and I am SO HAPPY. I love this part!

Robert Duncan is one of my favorite painters.

2 thoughts on “Champagne tastes,caviar dreams….and a 7-Up budget

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