Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. Patty's Day Decor for $1

I think window clings are so much fun for the holidays.  I never stick them on my windows, but sure find lots of other things to decorate with them.

Using only 1 sheet purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1, here are all the things I was able to decorate:

A Hurricane filled with Christmas Bulbs.  I also stuck some gold heart paper doilies in as well.  I'll probably put some candy in on St. Patrick's Day, but I think it would be a bad idea to fill it this early.

A smooth cookie jar.

Some Dollar Tree plates that I have in this rack all the time.  I'm not sure you can still get these, but any plates will do.

Wouldn't this be fun for St. Patty's Night dinner?

I tried to put this on my hand soap bottle, but it was so old - I decided to find something a little fresher looking.  The idea is for the hand soap, though.

I think the clings stick the best if you clean your item with windex, wipe the back of the cling with your cloth, and stick on while they are both still slightly damp.

Clings come in so many festive designs for each holiday.  I especially love all the hearts for Valentines Day.  And what a fun way for the kids to be involved in the decorating.  The really nice thing about them is they don't take up much storage space - and they are super cheap!

Thanks for stopping by,


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a Tough Job but Somebody Has to do it!

If you've been a follower of mine for very long, you know that I had to quit posting for some time.  I wasn't going through a depression or anything.  Our family's circumstances just necessitated that I find work for awhile.

At first I tried to keep up with posting, but then my sons' basketball seasons started and there was no time for blogging.

It is sooo good to be back, especially since the place I worked was such a drag and so depressing.  I uploaded this video for you to see the dreary environment I had to work in all day.

(There is a glimpse of me dancing in the back room.  I'm the little short woman at the back.)

To make matters worse, I was chained to my desk and only permitted to leave when it was quitting time!

Who would want to stay?

Yep, that's yours truly!

The truth is - I had a great time at my job.  All of those young people I was dancing with in the back room became my very good friends, even though I was the same age as their parents.  They are all very quality young people, and I love and miss them a bunch. 

Our family's circumstances have once again dictated a change, and the best decision was for me leave my job.  So, I'm back at home - blogging for as long as you'll have me and I'm able to be here.

And to my sweet friends at OBU - Muuwaaaah!

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, February 27, 2012

Home Dec Sewing 101 - Cutting Fabric Straight

Several young ladies in my life have asked me about sewing.
Since I am right in the middle of helping My Baby Girl sew the nursery for her baby girl - who should arrive around May 1 - I thought I'd do a few tutorials on sewing.

Today's tutorial will discuss:

how to cut fabric straight
what is the selvage
what is a repeat  
a few tools a home dec seamstress should invest in

If the fabric design you have selected is a solid, a small print or a  busy-but-subtle pattern, you can use a carpenter's square to run along the side of the fabric and mark, or cut, across the top edge.  You could also cut the fabric on a grid. Decorator fabrics come in 54" widths and are usually wound onto a tube.  Dressmaker fabrics, which may be what you choose to decorate with, will come in 45" or 60" widths, and are usually folded in half and wrapped around a bolt.  If you are using dressmaker fabric and it has a crease - never assume that the crease is in the right place.  Lay out your fabric, match the side edges together, and iron a new crease. Also, don't try to get the top edges to line up perfectly before you make the cut. The crease down the center from the factory may be off and there could be a considerable difference at the top, once you get the side edges lined up.

When you do iron in a new crease, do it with a light touch. You will eventually want to iron out all of the creases in your finished product, thus you don't want to create one that will be difficult to remove.

Tip from Ellie:

When I'm sewing curtain panels, I pull up the rug in my entry, tape a long strip of masking tape lengthwise on the floor, and then tape off my cutting lines - using a carpenter's square to ensure I'm cutting the fabric at 90 degrees in relationship to the side.  I then lay my very long pieces of fabric lengthwise on the floor and match up the creased edge of the fabric with the long piece of tape.  I can now cut my panels by laying the fabric across the cutting lines to use as guides.  This is much easier and more accurate than measuring each panel individually.

Sometimes when the design on the fabric is more prominent, you'll notice that it does not line up with the weave of the fabric.  This means if you cut your fabric with the method above, you will likely end up with a pillow or panels where the design runs downhill.  To solve this problem, line up a ruler with the design near the top of the fabric and make your cut there.  Now use a carpenter's square to cut the sides at a 90 degree angle.  

Another way of making a straight cut on fabric is to pull one of the cross threads completely out of your piece.  This will leave a little channel and you can cut along where the thread was.  This is especially important if you wish to fringe the edge of your project.

What is the selvage?

The selvage is basically the finished sides of the fabric.  It is almost always best to trim about 1/2" off of each side to get rid of the selvage - unless it is important for your repeat.  (See below)  The selvage is a tightly woven area that keeps the sides from raveling, but it can affect how nice your curtains hang because it is a tighter weave.  If you leave it on, your seams may pucker some.  With most home dec fabric, you do not want to wash it first because you want to allow the fabric to keep its nice, crisp appearance.  Should you ever need to wash your finished project, the selvage might shrink more than the rest of the fabric.  It is just best to trim it off.

What is the repeat, then?

When you look at the design printed on a fabric, you will notice that after a certain number of inches - the pattern repeats.  If you measure between the design and when it starts over, this is called your repeat. When you are sewing wide projects like panels for wide windows, tablecloths, bedspreads, etc., you will likely want to "piece" more than one length of fabric together.  When purchasing your fabric, it is important to know what your repeat is because you will need to purchase extra fabric to ensure that you can match the horizontal designs from one length of fabric to the next.  I will post a tutorial on that in the future.  Sometimes you'll need to keep the full selvage in order for this to work out, but we will discuss that another time.

Finally, there are a couple of tools you should invest in if you plan to do much sewing of any kind.  They are:

A rotary cutter
A self-healing cutting mat
A clear ruler designed to be used with a rotary cutter.

Your sewing will be much more accurate with these tools, and your hands will thank you very much.

It can be daunting to sew items for your home that are larger than a pillow, but YOU CAN DO IT!  It just takes breaking down the big projects into smaller, more manageable projects.  (I feel like the Home Depot here!)

So, are you ready to make some lined curtain panels?  In the next tut, I'll show you how to determine how much fabric to purchase.

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, February 26, 2012


Today I decided to share a quick little recipe I created to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I don't think it will get me a guest invite on Rachael Ray or anything, but it is pretty tasty.

Here in the South we looove our Sonic Drive-Ins and we love the Limeades they sell.  If you're not familiar with what a Limeade is - it's essentially a lemon-lime soda with freshly squeezed lime added.  Of course, it gets even better if you have a flavor added, such as Strawberry or Cherry.    

Since it is not always convenient to run to the Sonic, I decided to try my hand at creating a recipe to make at home. It is really too simple to even call a recipe, but I think the results are satisfying and the ingredients easy to find.  (No special syrups to order, etc.)


1/2 Lime
12 oz. Lemon Lime Soda, room temp. or only slightly chilled.
1   Popsicle in your choice of flavor.

Cut the lime into wedges and squeeze all but one wedge into your glass.  Drop these squeezed limes into your glass as well.  Also, cut the popsicle into pieces and add only 1/2 to the glass.  Fill the remainder of the glass with the lemon-lime soda, leaving a little room at the top.  Gently stir until the popsicle is mostly melted.  Top off with the remaining popsicle pieces and garnish with the remaining lime wedge.  If you have cherries, strawberries, or other fruit to add - all the better!

The red cherry cubes made a lovely and elegant drink for our Valentines Day dinner.

This would be really fun at a kids' party using different colors of popsicles, or how festive to use green popsicles for the upcoming St. Patties day?  Also, you could opt for sugar-free soda and sugar-free popsicles to make a pretty yummy treat with very few calories.  Finally, the cost per limeade is about 40 cents.

I hope you will try this and let me know what you think.  I wonder if Bomb Pops would work for Independence Day.............hmmm.....

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Confession of the Sole

So, today I have a confession I'm not sure I can even bring myself to share.  Even my best friends do not know this about me!  I sincerely fear once they do know - they will question whether or not they wish to remain my friends.  

OK, so here goes:

(I'm hiding my face as I write)

I wear lavender socks!

I know you are thinking - "Yeah, so?"........

.......but here is the thing.......

I wear them everyday!!!

If I am wearing a red/black top, jeans and black boots - I am wearing lavender socks.

If I have on my brown pencil skirt with high heeled suede boots - Yep!  Lavender socks.

Sweats and workout shoes.......Mmm Hmm.......lavender socks.

Isn't that a little weird?  
What on earth would possess me to do that?

Well, here is the thing:  It has nothing to do with The Lavender Tub, but everything to do with comfort.

You see, I have this thing about tags in my clothes, sleeping on wrinkles when I'm in bed, and socks whose seams hurt my feet.  I seem to be really sensitive to these nuisances.  In my defense, I have a sister who suffers greatly with fibromyalgia and can barely tolerate anything that puts pressure on her skin.  Our mother must have had issues with this too, for she cut the tags from all of our clothes.

Anyhow, at least 8 years ago we made a trip to South Carolina to visit family.  On one of our shopping excursions I found a pile of socks without seams on a clearance bin.  Now mind you, they were expensive socks and I was absolutely delighted to find them at such a great price.  Problem:  the only color left was lavender.

Because I am a woman who loves beauty, but values comfort even more - I purchased 8 pair of the silky cotton, seamless, lavender socks to wear when doing activities that are tough on my feet - like working out.  What has occurred over time, however, is that when I go to my drawer full of different colors and styles of socks - if I know that no one will be seeing my socks - I grab the lavender ones every time.

Which brings me to

Desire #2 of The Lavender Tub:  to be a blog about beauty, but not at the expense of comfort and daily living.  I see so many pictures in decorating medias where, for example, a sofa or bed is filled with gorgeous pillows.  It makes a lovely picture, but in real life it creates an environment where others do not feel comfortable for fear of "messing up" the pretty still life that has been created.  While I hope to share pretty scenes and decorating ideas in this blog - I also want to strive to make sure they work in a live family.

I realize this was probably more than you really wanted to know about me.  I have no doubt I will not be able to get away with wearing lavender socks as much as I did now that my secret is out.  (My poor friends - they still have to claim me!)

Thanks for stopping by.  Just kick your shoes off at the door and come on in, unless........perhaps you have a quirky secret too!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Loving Lavender In A Duck Egg Blue World

Hi Lavendears! 

I've missed you sooo much and can't wait to hop back into The Tub and start Splashin'!

I decided a fun way to relaunch The Lavender Tub Blog would be to start with a few confessions:

First of all,


(my amazing and lovely husband whose name is not really Edward [OK, another confession] but I call him this because he really is like Jane Austen's Edward Ferrars you read about in Sense and Sensibility)

                     .......did not buy me the House of The Lavender Tub for our anniversary as I lead you to believe here.  

In fact, until I took writer's license and fabricated that story - it had never crossed his mind - nor mine.  We did take possession of it about the time of our 9th anniversary, but our anniversary was not given a single thought when we purchased the house.  Furthermore, when we found this house Edward was quite turned off by the dated lavender bathroom and thought we should keep looking.

  What?!!!  Gasp!!!  I know, right!

After some desperate begging on my part, Edward agreed to overlook the out-of-style room and vowed that he would never use it, thus I could do with it as I wished!  


So the fact that lavender was not in style then, and is not in style now - really doesn't matter.  What matters is you can find beauty is what you choose to find beauty in whether the rest of the world is on board or not.  If you enjoy Goldenrod, Avocado and Turquoise together - don't let anyone take that from you - we don't all need a Duck Egg Blue and Espresso Brown room to be happy.  And while my Edward isn't going to be featured in the February issue of Romantic Spouses - I live knowing that this man would lay down his life for me and will always give me the best he has to offer. 

Desire #1 of The Lavender Tub:   to be a blog about finding beauty and contentment in what you have and what you can make of what you have.

Thanks for stopping by!  I can't even tell you how excited I am that you are here.

Please join me tomorrow for a confession that's a little on the quirky side....what can I say.