Simple Decorating

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Yesterday we hosted a Christmas gathering for our neighbours.  We live in a semi-rural area and often the annual Christmas function is the only opportunity we have to get together.

We were mostly on the verandah, however, I had cleaned and set up the living area in case of inclement weather.  Although it is still November I did want to have a simple, Christmas-themed decoration.

2012-11-25 01 I put this centrepiece together using a crystal salad bowl and some silver balls which are normally used on the Christmas tree.  It looked really pretty and effective.

2012-11-25 02Here you can get a good view of one the tablecloths that I have converted from a rectangle to an oval to suit the table.  You can read more about the project here and here.

The Linen Cupboard


As promised in my post from yesterday, I have finally finished the linen cupboard that I started back in about July.  It was not a huge task as I tend to regularly check my linen and cull any excess that cannot be otherwise used, either by me or someone I know.

I finished it all apart from the 3 tablecloths that I set aside to refashion to fit the oval table.  This is how I left it.

Most of it looks fine, apart from the 4th shelf with tablecloths, placemats and serviettes in no particular order.


Here is the close-up of the shelf to be done.


All finished – the tablecloths are in 3 piles.  One pile of cloths for the table when it is round, one for the extended oval table and one pile of ‘other’ cloths.  These are 3 small square one suitable for afternoon tea as well as 3 bigger cloths for the outdoor table and 2 folding tables which we sometimes use if we have a bigger gathering.  The serviettes are on the same shelf as the tablecloths while the placemats are on the shelf below.

Now I am off to make some more wool wash and hope to post the recipe and instructions here tomorrow.

Re-fashioned and Ready


The last few weeks have a bit of a struggle blogging-wise as there seems to have been limited material that I have felt like writing about and most of it did not really lend itself to adding photographs.

In the spirit of simplicity I have been working on my sewing room – finishing some projects and working through my ‘to do’ list.  Yesterday I finished the last 2 tablecloths which I had set aside to alter from rectangular to oval to fit my current round dining table when it is extended.  You can read my initial post about this project here.

After the success with the damask cloths I decided to do the same to a plain pink cloth and a polyester lace one that I use as an overlay.  The pink one was fairly straightforward but the lace one was a little trickier.

2012-10-12 01I ended up cutting the hemmed edging and then re-stitching it onto the re-shaped cloth which worked well.

I am now looking forward to the opportunity to use these pretty and functional items.

2012-10-12 02The only thing that remains to be done is to finish sorting and re-organising the linen cupboard which was the activity which precipitated this project in the first place.  More on that one with before and after photos tomorrow.

Do you re-fashion or re-purpose linen in order to extract the maximum use from it?

Decluttering Meets Damask


I have decluttered my linen cupboard several times over recent years but there were a couple of damask tablecloths which defied decision each time.

We now have a small round table which extends to an oval but both of the cloths are rectangular and one is quite large.  About a week ago I had a blinding flash of inspiration.  I am unlikely to ever have a large rectangular dining table again so I decided to cut the cloths to fit my existing table and enjoy using them rather than storing them for some vague reason.

This is the larger cloth on my oval table.  My mother gave this to me and I am fairly sure it belonged to my great-grandmother.  What would she think if she knew I was taking to it with a pair of scissors?  Probably happy that it was going to be used rather than stashed in the back of my linen cupboard.

I made a pattern of the tabletop, worked out how much drop I wanted and set about cutting out my ‘new’ tablecloth.

Here it is hemmed, pressed and ready for use.

Then I started on the other cloth which I planned to make to fit the table when it is not extended and is just a small, round table.

This cloth was much smaller and when I cut the biggest circle that I was able, it was still a bit short on the overhang.  So, I decided to increase the diameter by stitching some extra fabric on.  I cut 12cm wide bias strips from the leftover fabric which you can see below.

I then sewed them into a continuous strip and edged the cloth with it.  You can clearly see the join but I am not particularly worried as I now have a usable cloth for my round table that I did not have before.

I have now been inspired to re-look at my collection of tablecloths and see which ones I really should be keeping and how I can re-fashion them so that they are able to be used with my current table, either as a round or oval.

What have you given a new lease of life to?