Fall Inspirations from Daily Life

I love having a camera on my phone, so I can snap a picture of beautiful things that cross my path. Here ate some the sights and vignettes that caught my eye recently.

Ribbon-embellished throw pillow

Love this throw pillow.  It reminds me of the ribbon-bordered curtains I made for our bathroom.  I would love to try doing this on some pillows for the bedroom.

Ribbon-bordered throw pillow.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

Ribbon-bordered throw pillow.

Beautifully accessorized bedroom

This is the window display at Plantation on Hayes St. in San Francisco.  It is lucky that I usually walk by early in the morning, when they are closed, or we would be bankrupt by now!  I love everything in this store, including the pillows and nightstand accessories on this bed.  This will be my inspiration, as I work on my bedroom.

Beautifully accessorized bedroom.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

Beautifully accessorized bedroom.

Elegant grey loveseat

I’m also on the lookout for some seating for our bedroom – a loveseat or a nice armchair and ottoman.  On the list is this Chloe loveseat (also comes in a chair) from Macy’s.  I like the elegant classic look that is still comfortable.  That’s our baby J modeling for me on the chair.  Yes, he insisted on taking his shoes off in Macy’s.

Chloe loveseat from Macy's.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

Chloe loveseat from Macy’s.

Urban garden patio

I frequently bemoan the lack of space and greenery in our back “yard.”  I was lucky enough to go to an event recently at a lovely home in Laurel Heights, and I was inspired by the back patio, which is although small and paved over, still feels lush and inviting.  I snapped some pictures for ideas when we get around to working on our patio!

Lush urban patio.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

A little fountain makes the space so calming.

Lush urban patio.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

Potted trees add greenery to the patio. The warm colors in the stone pavers brighten up the space, too.

Lush urban patio.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

A little cut-out for plantings softens up the corner.

Lush urban patio.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

The vines growing up the wall are so lush. Beautiful fountain, river rock, and bench.

Lush urban patio.  Spotted by Jewels at Home.

Small trees in the corners give a sense of greenery and softness.

“Jewels”

Stenciling on Fabric – Lampshade and Pillow

Have you seen these fabulous pendant light drum shades at Room and Board? I’ve been drooling over them for years, with all the gorgeous prints and colors. They’re a splurge at several hundred dollars a shade, but they are really beautiful. Go check out all the beautiful and funky prints they have!

Zinnia Cool Pendant

Galbraith & Paul drum shade from Room and Board in Zinnia Cool pattern.

As always, I was wondering if I could make something like this myself, and in browsing ideas, I found some great examples, including this one from Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. She did a beautiful job on her shade and had great instructions that helped me conquer my apprehension about this project!

laura's lamp

Yellow floral stencils on a lampshade by Laura at Some Kind of Lovely Ride. A perfect DIY inpsiration!

I was so excited to get started, I rushed to the craft store to pick up my supplies and get to work! I stenciled the lampshade in my craft studio and while I was at it, I also stenciled a piece of fabric for a throw pillow. I used Laura’s basic instructions and discovered a few tips along the way, so here’s how it went:

Supplies:

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Supplies for stenciling on fabric.

  • Stencils – I used Mini Peony and Mini Mums by The Crafter’s Workshop.
  • Stencil brushes or sponges – These sponge “pouncers” are inexpensive, easy to use, and washable for reuse.
  • Paint – I had a variety of acrylic craft paint around, and I did mix some to get the colors I wanted. It’s optional, but I also added some “textile medium” to my paint, which makes the paint more flexible when dried. This wouldn’t be an issue for the shade, but I thought it would help on the pillow. I mixed the paints in paper bowls.
  • Tape – I used painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place and mask off any areas of the stencil I didn’t want to use.

Stenciling

Basic stencil:

  • Tape the stencil securely in place
  • Put a small amount of paint on your pouncer. If you load on too much paint, it will run under the stencil and smudge your pattern.
  • Lightly dab through the stencil, moving only up and down. Don’t brush side to side, as this will also make paint run under the stencil.
  • Carefully remove the stencil and blot the back on a clean piece of paper to remove any excess paint
  • Repeat!
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Tape your stencil in place and lightly dab on the paint.

Adding a color:

  • Wait until the first color is completely dry.
  • If you are going to overlap designs, like I did, think ahead about which color you want to be “on top” and start with the colors that are on the bottom.

Finishing the fabric:

  • This is not necessary for a shade, but for a pillow or other fabric that will be touched and possibly washed, you’ll want to set the paint. When the paint is thoroughly dry, iron the stenciled fabric from the reverse side with a dry iron on medium-high for three to five minutes to set the colors. You can repeat this on the front, laying a thin cloth over the stenciled fabric, so the paint doesn’t stick to your iron.

Finished stencils!

Here is how the shade looked before:

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A simple drum shade. Pretty, but I wanted to add some color!

And here’s the finished shade:

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Drum shade transformed with floral stencils in blue, green, and silver. I dare say, I like this better than the inspiration shade!

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The random pattern of stencils gives a different look from every side. And it makes it easier, because you don’t have to worry about lining up the pattern.

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Lit up at night. No, I’m not tired of looking at it. Can you tell?

Here’s the finished fabric. I’ve got a lot of pillow projects lined up, so I should work on those soon!

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The stenciled fabric, on the bottom, will be a throw pillow for the daybed. The colors coordinate with the hydrangea print paper I found. I’m making desk accessories and some other projects with the paper.

“Jewels”

This project is shared at:
The Shabby Nest

Decorative Pillows to Sew – Idea Book

Inspirations for Pillows

Happy Mother’s Day! (Well, for many years, I didn’t find this day happy at all, because it made me feel my mother’s absence even more, but with three little ones of my own, it is happy again, and I celebrate the many wonderful memories of my own mom, whose creativity and talent are constant inspiration for me. So, if this is a hard day for you, hugs! And I hope it will get better.)

I’m making some throw or accent pillows for our home. Sewing straight lines is a doable project for me, and I like to make pillows using some of the same fabrics that are in other parts of a room (such as the upholstered chairs in our dining room and my craft room), to tie the space together.

With a beautiful fabric, a very simple pillow design will work well. There are also many ways to add interest and details to your pillows, and I’ve been collecting some of those ideas to try:

Embellish with Ribbon:

Ribbon motif pillows

By Caitlin Wilson Textiles. Click the picture for details.

grosgrain ribbon pillow

I like this pattern shown at Better Homes and Gardens. They used fusible web to attach the ribbon. Click the picture for more pillow ideas on their website.

These ribbon details on simple pillows gives a classic and elegant feel. You could also do a simple square.

Use Contrasting Fabric on Back:

reversible throw pillows

I love the look of a different color on the front and back. This picture is from Grosgrain, where Kathleen has some tips on making a quick pillow cover.

Embellish with Buttons:

button pillow

Add a letter or other pattern with buttons. This is a beautiful example by Peggy at Letter Perfect Designs on Etsy. (And I’m not just saying that, because it’s a “J”!) Click the picture to see more beautiful button art!

3-D Felt Embellishments:

butterfly pillow

These three dimensional felt butterflies are so sweet! Click the picture to see the tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens.

Piping/ Welting:

pillow with piping

This pillow is made by Weego Home. Click on the picture to see their stunning collection.

A stunning print like this would be beautiful on its own, but I love the piping detail. Here’s a tutorial on eHow for applying store-bought welting or piping. I’d love to learn how to do that!

Silhouette:

silhouette pillow

This incredible pillow by Weego Home is cut velvet appliqued on linen. I think you could get a similar look with painting on fabric, though obviously, it won’t have the rich feel of this original. Click to see their collection.

Pieced Pillow:

pieced pillow

I like the use of panels made from two fabrics, especially the way it is asymmetrical. This pillow is from Anthropologie, though it is no longer sold.

These are some of my favorite ideas – what are some of yours?

Hope to post my new pillows soon!

P.S. Don’t forget that there’s a May Giveaway. Comment on any post by May 15, and I’ll select a winner to receive a custom wall initial.

“Jewels”