Navajo rug update, halfway there

by brae  

I now have one half of the Navajo rug completed, plus a little bit more.  I'm at 102 hours of work, so the total stitching time should be around 204 hours.  :D

And, a little cutie break.  Hickory Dickory Dock.  Sydney is hydrating so he can successfully run up the clock.  ;D

Bay window curtains, part 2

by brae  

I spent my day off from work for Presidents' Day awaiting the delivery of a new mattress for my real life bed and putting together the bay window drapery in the Heritage.  The mattress is super comfy, by the way.  :D

With the drapery pleated, I needed to get the panels ready for installation.  To keep the drapery in shape and contained to the proper width, I glued strips of paper at the tops.

Next, I had to address the curtain rods.  I left them out of the pelmet topped windows since they wouldn't show anyway.  For the support brackets, I cut the backs from some metal brads and shaped them to hold the curtain rod.

They are fastened with glue as well as being placed between the window trim and the wall for stability.  I chose darker metal than the rod just in case they show after the curtains are in place.  The darker metal wouldn't attract your eye the way silver metal would.

I used aluminum tubing that you can find at most hobby stores and shaped it to fit the bay window brackets.  I added some super glue gel to keep the rod from shifting or coming loose from the brackets.  For the ends, I glued in decorative jewelry headpins.

I glued the curtains to the rods along the paper reinforcements.

To have the curtains raised off the floor just a little, I slid a scrap of plywood under the bottoms for support while the glue dried.  I used fairy lace tiebacks on the outer panels but I liked the look of the inner panels left straight.  This way, grandma doesn't have to reach over the table to untie them every time she wants a little privacy.  ;D

Love!

With the table and chairs in place, it really sets the mood.  First, with the curtains in focus.

And, then with the furniture in focus.

It really adds so much warmth and softness to the kitchen.

While taking photos, I finally captured a nice shot of the dining area chandelier.

Okay, I am just about ready to put the ceiling on permanently.  :D

Bay window curtains, part 1

by brae  

Thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions for the bay window curtains from my previous post.  A friend on another forum pointed out that it really set the stage for the kitchen table and chairs.  That was what I was missing.  With the plain window, your eye is drawn to the view.  With the curtains, your eye is drawn inside to the furniture.

Awhile ago, I acquired a Millie August Magic Mini pleating tool.  It creates pleats too large to use on the curtains with pelmet tops, but I decided to give it a try on the free-standing drapery.  The instructions indicate you should wrap the fabric around the metal slats, steam iron and then let dry inside the pleater.

I wanted a bit more movement to my draperies, so I wrapped the fabric and steamed the pleats as indicated but then removed the fabric right away and pressed the drapes by hand.  It made the pleats uneven and softer, more realistic in my opinion.  These aren't meant to be formal, starched panels.

I propped the fabric in place to see if I liked the look of it the way I had the paper mockups.  Yeah, they're pretty great!  :D

More to come...

Kitchen pelmets and curtains, part 2

by brae  

After installing the pelmet and curtains for the casement window, I worked on the curtains for the double working window.

These are a much better length than the casement window curtains, but I still plan to leave the short ones as is.  :D

I love the way the fabric looks from the outside, too!

I decided to leave the pelmets off the bay windows since they weren't as complementary with the green paper.  I didn't want to add another fabric into the mix or obscure the nice detailing of the interior bay window trim.  It's also a limited space with the table, chairs and chandelier already taking up a lot of actual and visual space.  My first impression was to leave the space open.  If I add anything at all to this space, it will be plain white curtains on metal rods.

The easiest way to try things out is with paper mockups.  A few folds in plain white paper give the same impression as pinned and shaped curtains.  I propped the mockups in place and was surprised by how much I liked them.  It really dressed up the space.

Here is the space without anything on the windows.

Now I just have to make the final decision whether to add the curtains or not.  Opinions?  :]

Kitchen pelmets and curtains

by brae  

Other than a rolling shade and some paper curtain mockups, I've never made window treatments.  I decided to give it a go for the Heritage.

A great resource in general is the book The Design Directory of Window Treatments by Jackie Von Tobel.  It's a book for real life sized decorating, but the ideas are marvelous and could be translated into miniature settings.  And, the book comes with a CD of the designs in black and white drawings so you can color and manipulate to your tastes.

I also did a google image search for ideas and discovered that the terms pelmet, cornice and valance all mean similar things.  Though, it seems valance might be fabric only and the other two have some sort of structure under it.  Either way, I decided a pelmet/cornice would be the way to go.

An excellent book for miniature window treatments is Curtains by Sue Heaser.  I've used her methods here with a few alterations.

Since there was already a lot of pattern and color in the room, I opted for a plain rectangular shape built from bass wood and mat board.

For the casement window, I made the pelmet 1/2" tall.  The pelmet for for the double window is 3/4" tall.  I thought the thinner measurement didn't look right on the wide window.

I covered both pieces with the same fabric I used to upholster the kitchen chairs.

I think they add the perfect amount of decoration to the windows.

To make the curtains, I used the pin and spray method using a piece of foam core board and fabric stiffener.  I started with the casement window curtains since they require less fabric.  If I decided this was not for me, then I wouldn't have wasted very much fabric.  I used printed cotton fabric from Hobby Lobby, and it worked really well.  I used the selvage edge of the fabric for the bottom hem which kept the bulk to a minimum.

This method creates holes in the fabric, but these can be worked back into shape with your thumbnail or a pin.  While working the holes out, I ended up with a few dark spots.  But, what's a spot or two on old curtains?!  :D

I used fairy lace I bought at the Bishop Show one year for the tiebacks.

I glued the curtains to the pelmet.

I then glued the pelmet to the window frame.

The curtains might be a tad too short, but I like them well enough not to start over.  Maybe grandma washed them once and they shrank.

I had fun making these and now that I've tried the techiniques I know what to improve on the next time.   I've also made the curtains for the double working window, but those are still drying on the board.  :]

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