Monday, June 11, 2018

 New Baby...New Blanket

A new baby in the family  - and time to make a baby blanket.   This blanket was created for my new great-great niece.   Through the years my sister's children, and their children, and now their children have called their blankets "lola".   Back in the 1980's I started making blankets for gifts for family and friends...and here is the latest.   I love that so many of the blankets are still tucked away even though the babies are now young adults.   Here is the process of how the blankets come to be...

In years past I was able to find "quilt panels" that often featured a nursery theme.   Sadly, they are no longer being manufactured - or if they are, I cannot find them.   So, I chose a plain pink pre-quilted fabric.  I used a washable marker to write the name and birthday  - and then embroidered it with a simple chain stitch.   Each stitch is a little prayer and wish for the new baby!
Next is to find a backing fabric to "re-quilt " over the back of the blanket to hide any embroidery stitches that show through...and to provide a comfy fabric to add warmth.   While out shopping for fabric I sent my wonderful husband down another aisle in the fabric store to look for a backing fabric....and since he is still over the moon that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl he thought the fabric pictured above would be a good choice.
I was able to talk him out of the football theme and found this adorable flannel fabric for the backing.   I marked 4 inch lines down the length of the quilt and machine stitched through all layers to hold everything together.
This can be a little tricky to keep straight lines as the fabric bunches up as the work goes on.   Turning the quilt around and doing it from another direction frees up the fabric to move through the machine easier.
Then the raw edges are bound with satin blanket binding - while this is a little slippery to work with it seems the babies love the feel of the satin - and that's the whole point.  Making a blanket they will love to cuddle with for years to come.
Here are some photos of blankets from the past....

First one I made...I made a pillow, too!
Back then I used regular quilt binding....
I loved when I was able to find the panels with decorative ideas...
These babies are all grown up now....
But, as long as there are new babies in our family I know I will continue to make the blankets!

Do you have any traditions you create when a new baby is born?  Thanks for stopping by today...please leave a comment - and have a great day!

Friday, June 1, 2018

June...let the summer begin!

The year is flying by so fast...hard to believe it is already June.  
Decorating patriotic style sets our home up for Memorial Day, Flag Day in June, and continues right up until 4th of July.  The red, white, and blue decorations always liven up the house and to me, they scream SUMMER!
The wreath on the door is one I have had for a few years. As I mentioned in some other posts, a lot of my wreaths really faded because in our last house the sun was constant on our front door.   Now in an apartment home I won't have that problem.   The ribbon was replaced last year, so it still looks fresh.   I had to switch out some of the blue flowers as they faded to a funny looking purple blue.   The red hat is a replacement for a patriotic bird house that used to grace the wreath.  It faded beyond repair so I picked up this hat ( 6 to a packet at Dollar Tree...I think they are favors) and it works perfectly.  
This is our foyer - I love the red/white/blue rattan stars - picked those up at Pier One.   A shout out to Ann at On Sutton Place for sharing such great printables for each season.   I purchased a frame ( once again, Dollar Tree) and am enjoying replacing the print for each season.

The other side of the foyer gets some patriotic pride with the LAST Boyd's Bear I own.   Wow...I had a whole slew of them and enjoyed decorating with them through the years.  But, times change - and people downsize and have to get rid of even things they love.  I was so surprised at our yard sale last year that the Boyd's Bears did not sell.  I had them marked 5 dollars apiece ( 3 for 10 !) and still they did not sell.   I ended up giving them away to children who visited the yard I know they have a good home.  This little guy was stored away in the "Summer" box and I was happy to see him.
Dining table gets a simple decoration - that is the flag that used to fly on our front porch...just wrapped around another Dollar Tree decoration.   When I worked in the school library I loved using the faded flags from our home for decoration in displays about Memorial Day, the Civil War, and other patriotic themes.   I just borrowed the idea for our dining table.
The kitchen gets some sass with bowls and plates that I put in with my plain white dishes.   The little star cookie cutters with the red/white/blue ribbons were napkin ring favors for a 4th of July party one year.    They look cute tucked into various spots around the house.

The kitchen sink gets a flag and some star cookie cutters...and an old toothpick flag decorates the stove.

Was not quite sure about these red/white/blue pillows - I used to change out the pillows on our screen porch and used these for June and July.  Now our screen patio is a different color scheme and I thought I would try them in the living room.  What do you think ?
Another one of the cookie cutter stars...and patriotically wrapped Dove chocolates.  This was NOT a good idea as I tend to pick one up WAY to often!
I had a bunch of little flags so I try to tuck them in wherever I can...
On the porch I kept the one flag pillow on the chaise...and then added flags to the pots of flowers and herbs.
I was used to my old screen porch with steps down to a patio that got LOTS of sun.   That is where my herb and flower garden used to thrive.  Here we have the screen patio which we adore...but get only late afternoon sun. I thought I would try from herbs and flowers and see how they do - so far, surprisingly well.  The zinnias are getting buds, the herbs seem to be doing ok, the begonia was a gift from a friend...
And I am thrilled that the basil is taking well as the mint!   I had to clip some of both today before they got too "leggy".   Hopefully the plants will continue to thrive as the summer goes on. And, that sign made it from the old house to Our New Vista.  It was the truth there and it is even more so now.  We love our new apartment, being retired, and enjoying life together.
Thanks for stopping by - please leave a comment and let me know how you decorate for summer ?   Do you go with a patriotic theme?  Or a beach motif?   When out in the stores ( ooh...a new At Home opened here and I am obsessed with it) there seems to be so many items for out door living.   Do you enjoy a porch, a patio, or a yard.   Love to hear about your world. 
Thanks - have a fabulous summe !

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Happy May

Happy May !

May is so beautiful as everything begins to bloom - and this month always reminds me of lilacs in bloom.   As a young girl in a Catholic Elementary school May was the "month of Mary" and each classroom had a "May Altar".   It was the custom to bring flowers to decorate the altar as mentioned in the lyrics to this hymn "Bring Flowers of the Rarest"
I can still close my eyes and smell the lilacs on the May Altar, the long window shades flapping in the breeze, and the anticipation of May Crowning - when the statue of Mary would be crowned with flowers.  They are happy when creating a wreath for the month of May it had to be a lilac theme.

Of course...May is also the time for Cinco de Mayo - and since we were having guests close to the date I decided to do a Mexican themed table and make Chicken Santa Fe for dinner.
For my centerpiece I used a rattan tray I had from Target, a colorful plate from my collection, flowers placed in a pot that a friend made back in 1975 when we were in college, my repurposed/spray painted candlesticks ( one on a custard cup as a riser), a maraca that I had since high school - LOL - and the little figurine that was a gift from the guests we were having for dinner.
 I used natural color place mats topped with colorful flower and butterfly mats.  Plain white dishes, red salad plates, and mixed up the colors of the napkins.   The small glasses were for margaritas and the blue stemmed glasses held water.  All glasses were in my collection and purchase at Dollar Tree.
I thought it looked good for a fun dinner with friends.  I did not remember to take a photo of the Chicken Santa Fe....but it looked great in a blue and tan baking dish.  I am still new to this blogging world and have to remember to take more photos of the preparation...and the recipes!   We topped the chicken/corn/black beans/salsa and rice with avocado chunks, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.   A simple salad of mixed greens with strawberries and mandarin oranges and crusty bread filled out the menu.  For dessert...banana layer cake with cream cheese frosting, walnuts, and banana chips - yum!  But the best part was sharing a great visit with old friends!
So - do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo ?   What do you do to make the occasion special?  Any memories of Parochial School and May ?  
Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!
Enjoy the "merry month of MAY"!!! 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

April Showers!

April Showers!

Well, Spring has finally arrived here is Pennsylvania!  Yesterday and today have been lovely - though a little TOO warm with temps going into the 80's.   That is how it happens sometimes...we go right from winter into summer.   Tomorrow the very warm weather goes away and the forecast is for a very rainy couple of days ahead.   The perfect time to take away the Easter wreath from the door and get ready for April Showers.   This was a simply decoration to put together - I found the spring green umbrella at Dollar Tree and picked up some spring flowers there, too.   A piece of ribbon from my leftover crafts and it was ready to go.   I love the way it hangs perfectly in the center of our door...but don't like that it covers the peephole.  But, since we are in an apartment now it really does not matter as we usually know who is at our door.  We have been loving apartment living and all the new friends we have made!

Once the warmer weather showed up it was time to "lighten up" the pillows and decor in our living area.   I found this end of a bolt at JoAnn Fabrics and it contained all the colors to pull together our furniture and look lighter for Spring and Summer.  I had to work around this end of the bolt, but I got it at a good price and I knew I could make it work.  
I was able to pair it up with this navy blue fabric - still have some of this left over from when we bought the chair and ottoman in 1993!   This fabric covers the dining chairs, too.   
By using the navy scraps as the back of the pillows I was able to make a few pillows and a nice sized table scarf out of the fabric.
 I like the way the table looks light and airy - and I love having a table with a cloth there to hide the floor outlet and be a hiding place for anything else I don't know where to put!
 Here is the long loved navy chair and ottoman...I switched out the dark brown pillows for Spring green to pull everything together.
Still not sure of the pillows on the sofa...and in moving things around and getting the screen patio ready for the season I moved some plants outside...which made some space inside.   Moved one of the dining arm chairs to a corner near the window and am living with it until I see how we like it there.   So far, so good - and I am thinking I have just enough fabric left to make a pillow for that, too.   A project for next week - as we have been sick with a cold/flu? and are just starting to feel better and back to normal.

Do you change your decor for the seasons or keep it the same all year ?  Let me know and post a comment below - I would love to hear from you !  Until then, enjoy the April showers wherever you are...even if they are SNOW SHOWERS!

Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Easter and Spring !

After what was the last (hopefully!) snow of this winter it was time to get Our New Vista decorated for Easter and Spring.   The wreath above has been an Easter favorite on our front door for many years.   The eggs that were on the wreath were a beautiful pastel crackled style...and after our move some of the eggs fell off and I noticed that since the wreath had been on our front door in full sun for a few years some of the eggs looked faded.  I could not find the same kind to replace them, but found these glitter eggs at Target ( a GORGEOUS new Target just opened up near here) and I think they really pop!  Now that we are enjoying apartment living I think all of my holiday wreaths will have a longer life as our door is inside.  And, we are near the building elevator so that means that everyone who gets off at this floor can see the wreaths - and I get lots of comments about them.  I love this wreath because it does not have a bow...the bunny and daffodils are perfect by themselves.
Step inside our foyer and be greeted by Spring!   The lovely art was downloaded from the wonderful blog On Sutton Place  Ann from On Sutton Place allows downloads of all kinds of beautiful prints and chalk art.  I just printed it out and put it in a Dollar Tree frame.
Near the closet and Powder Room is another "old" decoration - this basket of snowdrops and crocus has been a staple in my Spring decorating for years.  Each year when I stuff it back into the SPRING BOX for storage I think "this is going to get crushed", but it always revives itself.  Just like our gardens after a long winter!
The Dining Room table has some simple tulips, a Ukrainian Easter Egg ( called a Pysanka) and some candles.   I found these silk tulips in clay pots years ago and put them out for Easter...and keep them up until it is time to "summer-ize" my decorations.
Here is a better view of some of my treasured eggs.  These are wooden and painted to look like the traditional eggs.   I treasure these as they belonged to my mother-in-law.  She passed away at much too young an age shortly after we were married.  I love bringing out anything that belonged to her...and I like to think she knows that she is remembered with love...and the things she enjoyed are still bringing joy.
Here is another view of the well as my little bunny keeping watch.  This table has had many uses in the MANY years we have had it.  Purchase with our dining room set as a server in 1979. it has been a room divider, a sideboard, and now a sofa table.  I would live to have a large buffet lamp on this table, but there is no floor outlet near.  I have one floor outlet on the other side of the room and don't want to run a regular extension cord under the area rug.  If you know of any flat, under the rug, extension cords please leave a comment below !!!

Since we downsized I have a lot of eggs that I used to use all over our bigger I have been sticking them in plants and some other spots all over the house.
Coffee table gets a simple tray ( used to be brass, spray painted it with crackle silver to "go" with new decor) with tulips and nest.
I walked around with this tulip plate for several minutes before finding a spot for it.  I always placed it in my kitchen window over my sink and enjoyed the way the sun illuminated the colors.  Well, no more kitchen window....but blessed with TONS of windows in this new apartment home ( it is called The Vistas!) so I placed it on this table where it can catch the light.

The snow is slowly I put some things out on our screened patio, too.  I cannot wait for the warm weather so we can enjoy this lovely space!
Just a little Easter fun over the stove....
and this little chick cookie cutter that was my grandmothers.  I never met her, but I am so glad I have some of her kitchen items and say a prayer for her when I use them.
Palm from Palm Sunday is put out every year behind our crucifix...I also made little palm baskets to pin on our coats for next Palm Sunday.  My dad always made them and now my sister and I carry on the tradition. I was decorating I looked out and saw these visitors.  So beautiful.  This is a soybean field behind our building and my guess is they were looking for any food they could find.

That's it from Our New Vista - thank you so much for stopping by!  
Do you do a lot of decorating for Easter?
How long do you keep your "EASTER" things on display?
Please leave a comment....and have a wonderful Easter and a beautiful Spring! 

  New Baby...New Blanket A new baby in the family  - and time to make a baby blanket.   This blanket was created for my ...