Monday, March 30, 2009

Sew Mama Sew Book Review! Kitchen Linens

Check out the book review I was honored to do for Sew Mama Sew, my most favorite online fabric store and blog! That team is all crafting genius! by EllynAnne Geisel, The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, Sharing, and Cherishing the Fabrics of Our Daily Lives and it is right up my alley!

To celebrate finishing my book review, I set out to make my family this pretty picnic mat (click here for tutorial). The day my family spent flying kites in a wet field, I knew we needed one of these, but it was reading the section on picnics in this book that made the idea a reality.

My philosophy for both shops, Modern June and Oilcloth Addict, is that small things in life help to make big memories. I know EllynAnne feels the same way. Linens of all types evoke fond memories. I can not wait for the next nice day! I am so filling up that watermelon picnic basket with some good food to enjoy on a sunny day. My goal everyday is to cherish the making of each memory.

After you read the review be sure to leave SMS a comment, they are giving away 6 copies of the book! Good luck!

Then, you have to go into your linen closet and pull out something cherished and lovely and use it. I dare you, you deserve to have nice things around you every single day! Set the table with your best linens and enjoy! No guilt, just pleasure!!

chalk cloth tags and pot lucks

So, check out my latest tutorial on Oilcloth Addict for these fun and easy chalk cloth tags. I made them for the pantry/laundry room, but I just had to steal one for our homeschool picnic today. Fun, right? Think about the possibilities. If you are going to a potluck you could not only label your dish, you could also leave a set of chalk cloth labels for the hostess. Now that is a hostess gift I would love to get.

I'm doing a give away of materials for you to make your own sets. Leave me a comment on the OCA chalk cloth tag post, and if you are one of the first 10 peeps to leave a comment, you will get a free kit.

It's all been a great big lie!

I am shocked. My mom just confessed that the FAMILY recipe for irish soda bread came from 1980's magazine. She totally lied to me when she faxed the recipe in 1995. I have long lost that fax, so today I called her for the recipe. We have a big homeschool picnic today and that would have been so perfect to do with the kids. Here I am thinking I am about to pass down a recipe that is 100 years old and the dang thing came from a ladies freaking home journal. What else has the woman lied to me about!

I am so calling my Aunt Anne for the right recipe, she is nun, she won't lie to me!!! I know it is silly but I think I might just have to shed a tear or two over this. Darn PMS. So for today I will cheat like my mom has done for decades and use any old recipe that I find on the inter-nets! I am so disappointed.

This recipe from looks the most like my Great Grandmother Moylan's soda bread. I used to make it with her all the time, especially around easter, it was a spring staple. I am off to bake. But I am still mad at my mommy! ; )

Sunday, March 29, 2009

goody good gift

One of Maddies friends turned 12 today and we needed the perfect gift. The family is very down to earth and not into the that typical Disney tween thing at all. They have often given Maddie handmade gifts from the heart for her own birthday, so I knew a Target trip would not do. I liked the challenge, a lot.

While roaming a fabulous new mega Jo-Ann store, I had a great idea, Maddie and I could make our own doll kit. So, this morning I set out to find a great tutorial for handmade dolls. Maddie and I agreed on the super cute Pint-Sized Pocket Dolls from the goody-goody blog.

I downloaded the pattern, dropped her tutorial into a doc, and printed them out in color. Maddie then grabbed an array of bright cotton from the scrap bin, and I gave her some of my yummy linen stash. Next we hunted the studio for needles, embroidery floss and a hoop. We totally forget the stuffing--oops--good thing she lives across the alley! We tied it all up in some rick rack and had ourselves a super crafty kit.

I can't wait to see Mimi's handy work. Don't tell Maddie, but I have a kit for her too! I'm going to give it to her tomorrow after school.

So go get off the computer and get to getting crafty! xoxox

Saturday, March 28, 2009

spring cleaning in the Studio

I was supposed to sew all day, getting all those orders out and creating some new things for the upcoming Spring Bada Bing show. But that didn't really happen, instead I spent the day cleaning the studio. I started at 6 am and finally finished up around 6 this evening.

Even though I am tired as hell, the studio looks great. Clean and clutter free, well as close to clutter free as it gets down here. At least MY stuff is tidy. I do share that space after all, the man might not work down here anymore but his stuff remains. I try not to notice or speak of it. In his defense the man cave was shamelessly wiped from him bit by bit. Someday I will get every square inch all to myself. (insert evil laugh!) mah ha ha ha!

The great thing about a big clean up like this is finding all those UFP's (UnFinished Projects). Who knew I have enough half aprons cut and ready for the stitcher. On my "to do rack" I found enough oilcloth aprons to stock the show, they just need pockets, I can handle that. Totes, holy moly, do I have totes, tons of totes cut and ready for stitching!

I also did an inventory while I dusted and reorganized the shelves. Since my last big clean things had gotten out of hand, now that everything is in order I can see I have a good amount of product in stock. Surprise! The usually suspects are ready to go, now I can spend the next three weeks doing orders and creating what I really want to make instead of what I should make.

For me, the great thing about preparing for a big kick ass craft show is that I get all those half done projects done. Yeah-for- done!

Think of me tomorrow, I will be sitting my my clean studio sewing my fingers off!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Apron Storage!

When you have a vintage apron habit like mine you need to find a good place for your stash. Not all of them can hang up looking gorgeous, so my latest storage solution is to place them in my new oilcloth trays. I have separated the aprons by colors, but I am thinking that a basket for the full and hostess aprons would be better.

So my oilcloth tray tutorial for Oilcloth Addict is making the rounds, and have both given us a shout out. And the basket lining made it on the the fantastic website Craft Gossip! Thanks for the support!

Stay tuned there are a few more oilcloth projects for the pantry still to come!

Craft Social!

Here is a message from our local crafty girl, Dawn of Lark Studio...
Hey everyone! If you are looking for something fun to do tomorrow night (Friday 3/27) on the cheap - we are having the first BYOC Craft Social (bring your own craft) at the new JoAnn's in Midlothian from 7:00 pm - 9:00pm. The cost is $5. You will be able to play with some of the crafty gadgets I have in the classroom - Cricut machine, YUDU screen printer, Knifty Knitter to name a few. Plus just hang out and socialize with other creative folks, possibly help or get some help on your project!
You all can find me there next to the YUDU screen printer. I will be the one thinking I might need one at home! They look so fun.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

right place, right time!

The coolest thing happened to me yesterday while I was working on project for the pantry. For the longest time I have wanted to paint the can we keep the cat food in, a purple can with kittens all over it just isn't my style! I realized that I had the perfect color in the shed. Who know?

Well, while I was out there painting the can a car came up the alley and stopped at my back gate. The woman in the car, Bonnie, rolled down the window and told me that he had lived in our house from 1966 to 1976 and she wanted to thank us for taking such great care of it. After spending a while chatting over the fence, I invited her in. (now I see why I made myself clean up that mess of kitchen the night before, can you imagine if the pantry was still strung all over the house. Yeah, not good!)

You should have seen the look on her face when she walked up the back steps, I thought she would cry right then and there. She told me about her son, and how he tumbled down those steps as a toddler leaving a goose egg bump on his forehead. The same steps where we take our annual easter photo!

She told me what the kitchen was like. The cabinet that we hung up in the dining room, the one over the desk, that serves as our arts and craft storage used to be her only wall cabinet. Below the beloved cabinet was one of those big farmhouse sinks that I go ga-ga over when I am roaming Caravati's. I knew this house had to have one of those.

While in the kitchen we debated how old the house is, our deeds having different dates on them. Bonnie grew up in this neighborhood, along with her 87 year old mother. Her mother played in my house as a child, after the Carr family had it built in 1927 or 1933. The house next door was built a few years later. We always assumed they were built at the same time since they were built by the same builder and are so similar.

We chatted about the ugly windows that used to be on the front of our house, they were horizontal crank windows, not the skinny louvered windows found on old sun porches, these were three large sections of glass. They were horrible!!! Bonnie's daughter, age two at the time, crawled out the window and was found down the street some time later by a very upset mother. Needless to say she was pleased to see we finally replaced them 40 years later.

There are many more stories to tell, I will add them on this post later. It is 8:00, time to get to my regularly scheduled day. More soon, promise!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

oilcloth lined baskets

OK, I am so ever loving tired today. I was up really late getting the pantry loot out of my kitchen. I didn't want to wake up to it today so I did it all last night. Bad idea, now I am worthless. Better to have messy kitchen then have a mom that is a mess!

Check out the linings I made for my fabulous alley find. I found two of these great baskets in my alley before a neighborhood clean up day. I couldn't let the beauties go the way of the landfill.

So last night I lined them with some great oilcloth, check out the OILCLOTH ADDICT for the details.

How good looking is this? I love my weathered wire baskets even more. Here are two great uses for my super fun baskets. You could stuff it with laundry detergents, this is so easily cleaned you won't have to worry about spills.

Or, You could do what I am doing and fill it up with Party supplies. I now have all my paper products in one place. Now I can just pull the box down and get the party started. Don't forget to replace your stash after the party so you will be set for your next shindig!

Today I need to make a ton of oilcloth trays in my new color scheme. I will be making them for my kitchen linens. That tutorial made the Craft Magazines blog! What an honor, thank you peeps!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pantry time!

Grab an apron girls it is time to tackle the pantry, finally. My apron of choice is a Modern June dinner apron, with it's three big pockets I can sort the small stuff. I have a pocket for trash, a pocket for kid junk and another for who knows what. This way I can stuff the bits away with out leaving my cleaning area. For me apron pockets are essential.

With that apron on, it was is time to finally get to it. I cleared out the pantry, placing all the like items together. Next I vacuumed every bit of the small room, and scrubbed every bit of it. Then I lined the shelves! I had to line these bad boys, they are old and battered. I did a quickie paint job when we moved in nearly 11 years ago. That paint job is done! They look so great, what a fresh start. I wish I had the time to paint the trim while it was bare. Oh well, next time. Hell, what is another 11 years?

So check out my other blog, Oilcloth Addict to check out the tutorial on how I lined the pantry shelves. Wha-cha think? I am loving it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

happy spring!

happy spring!, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

Mom's say to eat your peas, I say grow them too!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Spring Tablecloths!

Look at the new pretty tablecloths I have in store for you!

Just in time for spring, Modern June now offers designer oilcloth tablecloths. Anna Marie Horner's latest fabric line, Good Folks, has just come out in two great new oilcloths. This oilcloth is different from Mexican oilcloth, as it is smoother, wider and more supple.

Save the Date!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

my sweet hubby

my sweet hubby, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

Earlier, I came home after a long day of Richmond Craft Mafia Biz to a house full of sweet smells. Cupcakes! After dinner (cooked by him) as I was cuddled up in my favorite chair reading a lovely book, and I was presented with this sweet from my sweet! I am a lucky lady!

tableware dreaming

This weekend is insanely busy, but after two weeks of being sick and sequestered I am not complaining. I have lots of great oilcloth tablecloths to make, a book review to write for Sew Mama Sew, an open house and Spring Bada Bing jury duty tomorrow. While it feels great to be up and at it again, you could say I a bit concerned with my resent withdrawal from caffeine! What was I thinking? Can I really do this with out Diet Dr. Pepper?

But as I wind down from a good days work, I found a link to this article in my inbox. Thanks hubby, you knew I would appreciate it, even if it took me 8 days to get around to reading it. This story about pottery icon, Eva Zeisel is a feel good read. What a life story!

I have coveted this gorgeous tableware since Crate and Barrel started selling it a few years back, now I need it even more. You know I never did get china, this would be perfect china for me. Fourteen years ago, when we were about to get married, I was wise enough to know that no matter what China Pattern I picked I would hate it by the time I was grown up enough to use it. I don't even have a clue to what I was even considering. Seems like it had some grey in it.

A middle aged girl can dream, right? Well tonight, I will dream of lovely tablescapes with the best tableware ever created!

Till then I will continue badger my mother to allow me to have hers before she dies. I know that ain't happening, I know that for a fact. ; ) That's ok, I am happy to wait and wait and wait! Heck, I can wait a good 30- 40 years!

Friday, March 13, 2009

winter and spring collide

Can you see the ice on the tree? Silly Virginia weather!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Do you know what I am sick of? I am sick of being sick! It has been two weeks of sickness in this house, we have been taking turns. I know this is normal for most, but homeschooling families are pretty lucky in this department.

I have an ear infection, have you had one as an adult? They suck! Wow, every new mommy should be punished with one so she knows exactly how lousy her child feels all winter long. This really has me down. First I was mean as a snake for days, then wham on the couch near tears with pain. I thought I felt better today, I actually showered so that is a BIG improvement, but now my teeth and jaw hurt and the pressure in my ear is building.

During Maddies 18 months she had about a dozen of these bad boys. Her ears were a funny shape, I was so happy when she grew out of it. She would get cranky to the point of me thinking I should sell her (just kidding CPS) then I would take her in to the ped. and sure enough she would have a double ear infection. This was such a pattern that, now when my kids are really really cranky I say "you BETTER be sick".

Well this week they wanted to sell me! Aren't I pathetic? Save the pity for the family cuz they have to deal with me!

Needless to say I am not working on the pantry makeover this week. Soon, I promise soon! Have a great weekend peeps!

Monday, March 9, 2009

etsy luv for the pantry

There are a lot of great Vinyl Signs for the Pantry! This one if from Sticky Graffiti

Today I am checking out what Etsy has for the Pantry!
I clicked over to the vintage side of Etsy and found a ton of good stuff.

Vintage bread box from heaven!

I really want this great tin! LOVE it!

Sweet vintage contact paper! I'll be lining the shelves with
oilcloth but this is so fun I could not resist sharing.

Little Dutch Girl Canister, how totally sweet.

This canister set in Faux Bois is killer!

Check out the graphics on this set! My mom had something like this!
Mom can you find them? I know you still have them somewhere.

Honestly it doesn't get better than these retro canisters in my favorite color!
OK, I just splurged and bought them!!! Yay!!
thank you Egg Crate Vintage, I have always wanted a set of these.

I could do this for hours and hours. But I won't, gotta go teach the kiddo's!

Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Let the Pantry Madness begin!

Shame be mine...

Even though I had a really wonderful day I am a big cranky butt tonight. I am really tired but wide awake. I am ready for a big project but not willing to get started yet. I know the what the project is, my pantry from hell. What a complete mess. Junk, tea towels, aprons galore, household cleaners and a bunch of Costco bulk shopping is just thrown in. It's a "Quick shut that door before something falls out!" kind of pantry.

I have a ton of great DYI projects for this pantry so stick around this week while I get that pantry in order. I will be blogging about it daily and linking to my OILCLOTH ADDICT blog where you will be able to check out tutorials for each project.

For now, while I am impatiently waiting for bedtime, I am cruising the internet for inspiration. Below there is a link list for my favorite kitchens, pantries and products!

Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn:
Orange Kitchen
Great vintage stove and cool tile counter!
Best kind of Kitchen sink ever made!!!
My dream house and a cool Kalamako oven!

Country Living slide show.
I love the chalk paint on the door, now I like that a lot.

Better Homes and Garden:
message board?
Check lists for stocking the pantry!

ubber organized!
how to video
not a cardboard box to be seen
A 1945 pantry
Dreamy picture
book on the subject

Wish I had...
blue bins
soda can rack

Stuff I need to find:
Lazy Susan
Wire Baskets
lots of oilcloth
a bit of chalk cloth
lots of jars

Just a few of the totally ridiculous items currentlyin this pantry:
Fish Food, we have no fish!
Turkey roasting bags, 8 years old?
Wax for canning, why?
Easter Grass, from last year!
Halloween chocolate kit.
Christmas Gingerbread House kit.
Rock tumbler that doesn't work!
Science project from 3 years ago.
5 lunch boxes, we homeschool!
A tin full of VERY out dates herbal remedies.
Empty tin cans, WTH?
Empty sea monkey house, oh yeah, my favorite!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Just listed

Just listed, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

I just listed 6 really cute aprons check them out!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

life, work and the pursuit of happiness

You may have noticed that my blog has been a lot less Modern June stuff, and a lot more family/life stuff--that is because a tide has turned. In January, while still suffering from Holiday Burn Out, I had the best January a small biz could hope for. That should be good right? I found I had burn out on top of my burn out. Double burn out is not good for the creative soul or for the family.

January was supposed to be about the kids, and getting school back on track. That didn't happen, thanks to the custom tablecloth-palooza. In February, I fought to lessen my load but I unexpectedly lost a great stitcher and assistant to her own creative work, CPSIA happened (depressing), and the orders kept pouring in. Instead of taking better care of the kids, I was working my tush off. The stress of working, teaching, and all the other jobs a wife and mother has was killing me.

What about all the great ideas that I really want to see produced? The new lines just weren't happening. Something had to give. I took down all the tablecloth listings and found relief. (back up now) Two weeks of wrapping things up in the studio was great.

Even greater was the reconnection with my family. Wow, the pay off was immediate, school was great, chores were done with almost no compliant, and loads of fun was had. Since I am not in the studio every night, Don and I are actually eating dinner together and we have started having date nights again.

So what next? Honestly, I am so confused, I'm totally wishy-washy on that subject. I have told friends and family that the business is a hobby again and not on the fast track to becoming something bigger. But, on the other hand, I can't keep my brain from dreaming and wanting to create great new stuff. Silly me feels unloved when my inbox is not full of emails and orders, but I feel very thankful that I don't have to work until midnight every night to get product out. I am very torn. Why isn't it enough to be a wife and mother?

I have a show coming up very soon, what on earth will I have to sell? If I do have something to sell will I have taken care of my kids, hubby and home? This is what it is all about isn't it? Questions, guilt and the endless search for balance. For now I have no answers, lot's of guilt and a quest for balance!!!

xoxox, Kelly

Soapmaking 101

Wow, this looks like a great class guys, check it out:
Primitive Earth Soap Co. will be offering Soapmaking 101 Workshops in Richmond and Charlottesville this spring. In this class, students will learn to make all-natural olive oil soaps at home. This is not a demonstration-only class -- everyone will make their OWN batch of soap to take home with the essential oil fragrance of your choice. $85 covers all materials.

For a limited time, use the coupon code CLASS09 for 10% off workshops and soaps! (Add the coupon code at checkout)
Register online today at

Classes are limited to 10 people.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

lunch and a movie

We have been taking turns being sick. Its Aidan's turn now. To comfort him we are having lunch and a movie today. The movie is Kiki's Delivery Service, and it makes me so endlessly happy. It was the movie that Maddie and I watched everyday after Aidan was born. Those endless days of recovery, nursing, and laying low. I have this great memory of the three of us cuddled up on the couch watching it over and over again. So, here we are again, Aidan in his jammies, Maddie doting on him, and me watching us make great memories!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

comfort food

Yesterday was a wonderful winter wonderland. After a long day playing in the snow, some comfort food was in order. For dinner we made blackened chicken breasts, saffron rice with diced red peppers, french cut green beans and I picked up some gumbo at the Gumbo Truck. Yes, you heard me right I said gumbo truck, Jazzbo's Rollin' Gumbo! We took a long walk and ended up at the truck (and the wine store) for some good eats and good wine. Did I mention that I love my neighborhood?

Cooking tip I just learned: When mixing up spices for your meal, make up a second batch, label it, and have it ready for the next meal! I've only been cooking for 25 years, you think I would have learned this one by now.

I love me some Etsy, The LUX Bath!

I am loved and it feels great! Check out the great review I received from Lovely Yellow Ribbons. I have to say "back at you ladies," you all rock! Lovely Yellow Ribbons mission statement is as follows:

We at Lovely Yellow Ribbons' Glam Gals, desire to inspire all military wives to live, laugh, and love your way through this crazy military life. We will vow to do so with class, sass, and panache

Thanks for taking such great care of your honorable families. Don't forget to take care of yourselves too!

I love me some Etsy too, for some sassy bath products check out this great stuff:

Feeling Smitten's Cupcake Bombs

Every year I buy birthday shoes, this year I got a pair of strappy red wedges.
I need these next two products in preparation for pretty spring feet!

Pretty in Green has some fun foot scrub that I can't wait to try.

This Real Lava Rock Pumice Stone from Krave Nature looks awesome!

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! I love my bubbles. Shop Red Leaf's bubble bath dough looks great! check out all the scents, I will have to try the Plumeria Flower first.

I think I will need to make this a regular blog feature!!! ; )

Monday, March 2, 2009

snow buddies

our snowman!!!, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

Meet Snow Dude! We had a blast playing in Richmond's biggest snow in years!
It's sad to say this is the first snow man our kids have ever made.

Marvin, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

Meet Marvin, can you tell a dog owner lives here? And what a fun dog it is, the kids
had so much fun hangin' out with him in snow today.

worker snow gal, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

The owners of this house are renovating a 100 year old home, thus the tub in the front yard and the pink hammer in "Erin's" hand! We love seeing the old house come back to life again.

You know I love the apron!!! A housewife snow lady would be awesome!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread, originally uploaded by ModernJune.

This bread is so good and sweet one might want to call it pumpkin cake! I've been making this for 10 years now--the recipe makes a lot of bread and is perfect for pot luck dinners. This go round I made a big batch of mini-muffins and a loaf.

1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of oil
2 1/2 of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of raisins or dates, optional

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and oil: mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, spice and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until they dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in dry fruit.
  3. Pour half the batter into each pan. Place the loaves in the oven and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center come out clean, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove the loaves from the oven and immediately turn them out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool before slicing.

When we made this all the time, I used to cut the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, 50/50. It was hearty and still a special treat!