Friday, October 26, 2012

Tablecloth curtains

In keeping with my last couple of projects, I finally finished the curtains that I started a few weeks ago.  I had gotten rather used to them sitting in a semi-folded pile on top of Oliver's crate, but I do think they look better hanging!  They were just so simple, and I'm glad I finished them before the weather really turned to winter here in Cleveland.  Curtains just make everything seem a bit cozier, don't they?

I made them out of some white cotton lining fabric I'd been holding onto for a couple of months, and a teal tablecloth that I found in the clearance section of TJMaxx.  I'm not quite sure what the the tablecloth is made of (it was shelved sans packaging or tags) but I just loved the embroidered detailing...and for around fifteen bucks, it was quite a steal!  Since it was a large rectangular shape, I simply cut it into four pieces (two panels per window) and hemmed the unfinished edges.  To make up the difference in length (since the tablecloth wasn't quite long enough to cover the window) I cut four rectangles of the lining fabric that were about the length of the windows, but with some width to spare (as you can probably tell, I'm not exactly nit-picky with measurements.)  I hemmed the edges, and folded the top edge over two inches to make a casing for the curtain rod.  I picked up some double curtain rods, and that was it!

I just can't get enough blue these days, so I'm loving the added color in my bedroom.  I'm slowly but surely working through my list of home on to the next!  Happy Friday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joy of cooking

As promised, I snapped a few photos of my Pennsylvania adventures, which today consisted of practicing and cooking (pretty crazy, hey?)  Contrary to previous home cooking experiences (I can't even recall the various assortment of "I-just-don't-know-what-happened-I-swear-I-followed-the-recipe" dishes I've served to my family over the years) I spent this afternoon in the kitchen without any major catastrophes.  I made these braised short ribs with this herbed polenta, along with a salad topped with a cumin salad dressing (recipe courtesy of my sister.)  La pièce de résistance (in my humble opinion) was this lovely apple tart.  Mine doesn't look quite as good as hers, but it tasted pretty dang good.  So without further ado, here is a mini recap of my day:

 Okay, technically I took this photo in Cleveland before we embarked on our trip home.  But finding Ollie with his head on a pillow and the rest of him under a blanket (just like a person!) was just too cute to not share.  Just look at that mug!

The view from my morning practice session.  Look at that plant stand my dad whipped up yesterday!

 Mid-afternoon raspberry latte treat made just for me by my lovely sister.

My crowning achievement for the day: apple tart with salted caramel.

 And although he's a bit blurry, nothing says home like a little pug love.  Here, my sister's pug, Abraham, is saying "go to bed and stop trying to take my picture!"  (this was the last of many failed photo attempts.)

With that, I will heed Abe's advice and turn in early for the night.  Happy Monday, and thanks for stopping by!

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Welcome to the new Polka-Dotted Pearl!  What started out as a minor layout tweak quickly became a major overhaul.  Hope you enjoy!

Oliver and I have been spending a blissful couple of days at home.  Pictures to come soon!  But for now, here's an oldie (but definitely a goodie!) for you to enjoy:

{Photo taken from Oliver's modeling debut for the publication Calendar for Sean's Office, 2011}

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Green tea, green top

Hello, friends!  On this (dreary) day, I took a much needed break and enjoyed a cup of Heavenly loose-leaf green tea from a sampler pack Sean sent me last week.  So tasty!  Aren't those tea leaves gorgeous?? 

Perhaps it was the green tea (or the fact that I haven't had much time for sewing lately) but something reminded me of this green top that I made towards the end of the summer and never got around to posting on here.  It was pretty quick to put together, and I was able to do it in a day.  I bought this pattern intending to use of some of my favorite bits of fabric (that I've been hiding away for months, always saving them for some hypothetical, future sewing project.)  Not wanting to ruin these pristine pieces of fabric, I decided to do a trial-run of the pattern, using basic (read: cheap) cotton.  I used some very inexpensive green cotton (it cost around $2 a yard) for the body of the blouse, and some white cotton I had in my stash for the collar and sleeve edges.

In case you were wondering, I haven't gotten around to sewing the pattern again, although I still intend to!  There are a couple of minor changes I would make to the fit (I'm more of a baggy blouse kind of a girl) and I'd like to change up the sleeves a bit for fall/winter.  But overall, the project was a success!  I'd love to make it in a sheer, camel brown chiffon with some gold buttons...doesn't that just sound like fall?  Maybe that will be next on my to-do list!

Happy Monday, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

La maison

Greetings from Cleveland!  My oh my, grad school is busy.  Between practicing, lessons, rehearsals, classes, and homework (what's that again?) I haven't had a lot of time for projects.  But I have been trying to come up with some ways to spruce up the apartment a little bit, and I popped in today to share one.  We don't have much on the walls as of yet, so I hopped onto Google the other day, and sought out some vintage images that I could print and stick on the walls.  Lo and behold, I came across an arsenal of copyright-free vintage advertisements.  (Jackpot!)  I picked out my favorite food-related ads, printed them at the drugstore, and bought some basic black frames at Wal-Mart.  I staggered them diagonally on the wall, along the slope up to the ceiling.

Once all was said and done, each picture cost about $1.25, and the whole set cost about $11.00 Can't beat that!  It was cheap, quick, and easy (right up my alley!) and it really brightened up our little kitchen.

Other than general scholastic busyness, I've been enjoying the beautiful (albeit few and far between) sunny fall days, and finding time to spend with my favorite little buddy, Oliver.  Here is one my favorite photos from this week: Oliver (of course) with two of my favorite fall treats (roasted sweet potatos with cinnamon, and a strong cup of coffee.)

It certainly looks like Ollie has an idea about those sweet potatoes!  I've got some more projects up my sleeve for the coming weeks (I'm just itching to get behind my sewing machine again!)  so I hope to be back with more soon!  Thanks for stopping by!