Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ferre Fourth

Welcoming friends and family with {*a zig zag border stitched, handlettered, acrylic and watercolor painted, with some rubber stamps and ribbon embellishments*} invitation.

And they all know the place.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So I try not to post too much about my "darlings", because you most likely don't care.  But Elsa snapped this picture of Chloe this morning and I thought it was a pretty interesting perspective.  I know, I'm a bit biased.  You don't have to care.  Just look.

I have a lot I'm working on creatively, but a little apprehensive to share just yet, for fear I will spoil some girls camp surprises.  So I planned to post my Fourth of July invites today, but they won't be done until way late tonight.  All my meetings went OT today, so can you wait until tomorrow for my 2011 Ferre Fourth invite?

Hugs, sparklers and glitter sprinkled everywhere!

Monday, June 27, 2011

So Much To Share

So, we've been vacationing in California. It's been amazing and I haven't even wanted to open my computer to post. So much to do to be blogging while relaxing and playing with family. We left this morning at 4 am and I've been planning my July projects the whole way home. You should see my lists. They are long, detailed, and totally scheduled, just the way I like them. I don't know why list making is so fun for me, but when I dream, that is part of the process. I'll catch up with you tomorrow. Promise. We are minutes from home, and I'm excited for the week ahead.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Dresser and Nightstand for June

So the dresser turned out a little different than originally planned.  Remember the bright lemongrass green?  I got my way because I am the mom and purchased a light buttercream yellow.  I found some different pale pink glass knobs from Anthropologie instead of the green polka dot knobs I had originally planned to use.  They match her pink hobnail glass lamp beautifully.  The second choice seemed to fit the whole ensemble of her room much better.  I absolutely love it. 

The nightstand is a favorite.  The orange isn't too bright.  It's from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot.  The color is called Yam.  I painted a dresser for my little sister's son's room last summer.  It looked amazing in his room.  I thought the orange was just right.

June picked out this beautiful knob from Anthropologie.  It was $10 though.  I already had this darling flower knob in dark wood stain that I picked up for $3 on sale from the same place.  I told her I would paint it and it would match even better than the one she wanted.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  Basically this nightstand cost me about $22 from start to finish, including the free nightstand I found in someone's city clean-up pile, paint, stripper, knob and misc. supplies.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Ferre Wish

I would love this Ferre wish to come true, a trip to Paris over at Oh Happy Day, see here:

Never got to make the trip for my 40th birthday as I had planned to do for many years.  Maybe, just maybe, Oh Happy Day will make it happen.  I only need to beat out over 13,000 other hopeful dreamers.  Oh I wish on a star and a happy day...

Yep, I'm a little bit shameless when it comes to a trip to Paris.

The Father's Day Tie: 11th Edition Done at the Eleventh Hour

This year's A Ferre Tale, 2011 edition was made using unbleached muslin and garnished with orange ric rac, cotton quilt fabrics, a fine tip black fabric pen, fabric paints, a small hand made photo book with favorite photos from the past year and rubber stamps.
I made a small plastic pocket and inserted "A Ferre Tale" book that shared the favorite family photos from the year.  I couldn't get all my photos on the tie this year with the extra embellishing, so why not just compile them in a mini book?  It became an interactive tie!

A couple pages from the book.  
I wrote words on the back of the tie that describe Matt as a dad (and there are many), along with a few notes from the girls and me.

I found a line of fabric paint that comes in exquisite colors.  Look here to read about them.  They work on leather, wood, styrofoam, paper, fabric, almost any surface you want to embellish.  And the colors are amazing.  I just picked them up at Jo-Ann's for a few dollars each.  They were a bright addition to the tie materials this year, along with the vintage looking rubber stamped images.
The honored dad of the day.  
This simple guy with a no frills attitude was a good sport to humor us and wear it all day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Gifting

My 8 year old garnished the wrappings below with her own choice of materials.  Great job June.  I was too tired to do anymore trimming of gifts.  June was so excited to give him an apple peeler/corer that she picked out at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I was skeptical that this was a desire of Matt's heart.  She insisted he would love it.  Just as I thought, she was peeling and coring apples for us to snack on throughout the day.  Clearly it was her dream and not Matt's.  Matt can't wait to give her a water purifier from R.E.I. for her birthday in a couple weeks.  The scroll is a beautiful mural, created by Junie Bug herself for her Daddy.  Every Father's Day must include a homemade card in the mix, don't you think?
 I love that the local Harmon's Grocery carries every kind of brewed root beer under the sun.  I'm sure the location off Bangerter Highway has even more of a selection. I picked out several gourmet brands for us to have a family tasting Monday night with him.  He is the best Pop, after all.  The girls chose this great book on basketball for their crazy dad coach.  He loved it.  The moustache box was my little project that I promised I would share tomorrow.  Can't wait.  It might be my new favorite tie.
The morning included breakfast at Grandpa Clair's.  We attended our Sunday church service, I nearly slept through, (Remember how I procrastinate?  I was up until 4:15 am sewing & painting.  The details...)  Then I made his favorite meal of chicken legs (skin and all), rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes, hot rolls, and salad.  We finished off the night with a homemade dessert bar with all the extended Ferres.  I think he was content at the end of the day.  That makes me happy.  Happy Father's Day to all the papas, dads, fathers and any derivative of the word, (not that any read my blog, even my own man doesn't!)  I never did get to talk to my own dad.  I think he's on the road.  Hope he knows how I feel.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Last of the Father's Day Ties: 9th-10th editions

I used another pre-made tie for The Year of Family Travels, 2009 edition.  I took lots of family photographs again and just stitched them on, almost like a crazy quilt.  It was more the colors in this tie (and the part that you really can't see very well with the light reflection) that I really liked, well that, and of course my favorite people photographed! 

Our Life is an Amusement Park, 2010 edition is my most favorite.  It's my most favorite shape, most favorite in color, most favorite design, most favorite family pictures, most favorite theme, and my most favorite year with my family.  I loved this day. Our photographer friend, Amy Little, took these at Liberty Park downtown, and the emotions she captured of our family was magical.  We had so much fun and she is absolutely amazing.  Check her out  h e r e  .
This was a year I had to write a letter to him on the back...but don't even try to read it.
 PS, how do you like my freshly painted entry table below?  It's more blue-ish green teal than it shows.  I hated it at first, but I think it's growing on me.  I wanted to have a splash of color as you walk in.  The color definitely pops agains the milk chocolate wall.  I'm sorry the photograph doesn't show the colors exactly, but you get the idea.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Even More Father's Day Ties: 7th & 8th editions

The ties I share with you today were probably the easiest of the decade.  So if you hate sewing up a tie from a pattern, these may appeal to you.
I used a pre-made tie for this year, I must have been tired.  Our Life with Basketball with the girls began to really take shape this year, 2007.  

The next tie was made of a material called pleather.  No sewing together, no seams or pressing, pretty much the easiest one I've made to date.  I stitched the photos directly on the tie and labeled with archival pens.  This was the themeless tie, the "Nothing in Particular", 2008 edition.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Father's Day Ties: 5th & 6th Editions

I found this fabric perfect for a father's day tie.  The keys come out of the pockets.  The girls wrote special messages to their dad on the back of their picture key tags.  The Keys to Being an Awesome Dad, 2005 edition.
 This ultra suede was easy to cut and work with.  My serger was having problems and at 3 in the morning, I couldn't try to figure it out, so the edging is a little funky.
 I added a toy compass to the front of the tie to match the map theme on the back.  We had just gotten back from Arches in Moab and so I used the national park map for the back lining and labeled the back of each picture on the tie from our Arches 2006 trip on it.  One of Matt's favorite things to do as a family is go on hikes.  This was in honor of his love for the outdoors.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Father's Day Tie Continues: 3rd & 4th Editions

My least favorite tie.  I tried one of those iron on transfer sheets for my pictures.  I think my fabric must have been coated, I could not get the pictures to iron on uniformly.  But it was great year.  It was the first year of documenting our June Bug and lots of playing time, 2003.
 This tie was the in honor of the our house building project.  "La Casa De Los Venados", meaning The House of the Deer of 2004.  Matt built our home, not just contracted everything out, he built so much of it on his own.  In the sweat and heat of summer and the dead cold of winter. I remember feeling so guilty he was plumbing and doing the electrical all by himself.  It must have been exhausting and lonely there on the site for hours on end.  

Just before Father's Day, I went to the site and grabbed whatever was on the ground.  Roof sheeting and nails, electrical caps and wiring, copper pipes, foam, washers, basically whatever looked like I could use it for the tie's construction.  I reduced our house plans to miniature size and on the back wrote all the memories of the year 2004.  It was a tough one.  An emotionally trying one.  An exhausting one.  But none the less, another year in our lives.
PS, look how great the desk looks below my dad's, (Burdell Moody), painting.  The green brushstrokes are the exact antique jade shade of the desk.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The X-7 Layer Desk: Finito!

Remember this post, well I changed my mind about the color choice.
And this post
I never thought I would get beyond this.
So this is why while standing in the aisle at Home Depot to buy the stain for my desk, I had my moment of panic.  I have spent who knows how many hours stripping this desk.  Hours of colorful, gooey latex paint scraped in clumps to the plastic sheeting, stuck in my nails for days, and probably sick from lead paint inhalation.  The orange, non-toxic stripper had me gagging after a few days of working with it, even with a mask.  The electric sander and the old fashioned hand sander, the razor blade, a toothbrush and wooden dowels were all used to remove paint residue from tiny corners, rounded handles and crevices.  

Basically, hours and hours of fun.  What do I want to be the forever shade of this desk?  

I loved the grain of the unknown wood, I thought it was oak, but I don't really know.  I knew I wanted a stain to show off the fabulous grain.  I originally thought onyx.  But then I looked through the glorious samples and debated between an onyx, vintage jade, orange, or a deep hot pink.

The Onyx:  A classic color, but shows dust easy.
The Fruit Punch (Orange):  A statement.  I love orange.
The Cherry Blossom (Hot Pink, the monitor on the website doesn't show it accurately, it's a beautiful pink): A way fun statement, but not very versatile to be a forever color.
The Antique Jade:  A subtle statement, works in every room in my house, my daughters love green (It's going in their room until they leave the nest), I have multiple pieces of jade-ite dishes, and it's just fun.

As on many of those game shows go, I put out a call to my friend, Nanette, the color guru.

"Okay, so go online to the color chart for Minwax water based stains.  Look at the colors, which one would you pick?",  I questioned in my desperation for choosing the perfect color to seep through ever pit, crevice and grainline of this X-7 layer desk.

She recommended the jade.  It felt right.  So I did it.
And I love it!

I think I'll do an oak chair in the cherry blossom next summer to be it's companion.

The Father's Day Tie Tradition

My girlfriend, Julie, jump started a Father's Day tradition for us back in 2001.  She attended church in a small town in the White Mountains of Arizona.  A great wife and mother in her congregation would make ties for her husband every year.  The kids decorated it and presented it to their father on Father's Day, after which he wore the tie to his church meetings the whole day.  No matter how cheesy or gaudy the tie.  Julie took the idea and for a co-op preschool lesson before the end of the year, she made a blank canvas tie for each child's family to decorate and give to their dad.  We did it.  The girls helped me think of funny phrases and memories from the year with their dad.  I painted bold colored stripes and wrote all over it.  I sewed on little hard laminated pictures that corresponded to memories or books they read together, along with a miniture hose to remind them of Matt hosing them down in the front yard and the small baseball glove charm reminding him of the many games of catch they played at Dilworth Elementary on summer nights.  There was a miniature sled, a tennis racket, a bike and a few other little 3-D trickets stitched on.  I loved the whole idea of the Father's Day tie.  It honors Dads in a very personal and memorable way.  Thus, the very first Ferre Father's Day Tie 2001 edition.

And I've never missed a year since.  Ten ties down.  Many more to go.  Matt is the simplest man around.  A no frills kind of guy.  That is why this tradition sounded so intriguing.  Every year he complains that he can't possibly wear this year's tie.  It's too funky.  It's too colorful.  It's too weird.  And every year I tell him he must.  He smiles and then puts it on.  He wears it all day, even to the Father's Day picnic at the park.  And I am never more excited or proud to see it on his tall 6' 6" frame with his handsome face.  Seriously never more proud of the dad he is to my daughters.  And every year, I get more and more free with my creative concept.  Last year was my favorite so far.  But I think this year's will win the new favorite title.  Some years I buy a tie to decorate and some years I start from scratch.

This week I'll be posting a couple pictures every day of ties I've made in the past.  Today I'll begin with the 2001 & 2002 editions.  Then on Monday, I will post the 2011 edition.  I've been dreaming it up for a couple weeks. I usually end up staying up half the night finishing it.  I'm such a procrastinator.
This was a handmade canvas tie I made the next year in 2002, The Salt Lake City Olympic Year and the just a couple weeks before June was born (july 2).  I freehand machine stitched all our names around the pictures.  I took clear vinyl and sewed around to protect the photos.  I just can't get the great color using those stupid iron on laser jet sheets.  He wears it one day, so it doesn't need to be super functional.  I've gotten pretty resourceful with my materials as you will see over the next few days.

What will you put on yours this year?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sweet Robin and a Cinderella-esque Day

Saturday while stripping furniture from their layers of history on my back porch, I turn around to see where these little chirps were coming from, only to find this little robin bathing in a puddle.  It wouldn't move as I came in closer.  I ran inside to grab my camera and quickly snapped this shot, thinking at any moment the bird would fly away. I was less than 6 inches away.   
Nope, it sat right there and stared at me.  It almost seemed to be posing for me with a very stoic face.  The whole day it stayed with me while I worked.  The day had sort of a Cinderella-esque feel.  The weather was fairy tale perfect with a nice breeze.  I waited for the mice to come from under the barbecue grill to talk to me and stitch up some curtains for June's room with birds singing as they tie up drapery sashes with their beaks.  Throughout the day, I heard calls to the robin's mother and her answers back.  Finally, around 7 pm, it walked away and disappeared into the grass.  Thank you Sweet Robin for your company today.  I hope you feel better.

As far as my progress for Saturday, I finished removing the paint from the desk drawers and then went on to tackle June's dresser.  See my progress?  If I were Rachel Ashwell, I would be pretty much done.

I took a razor knife to all these little ornate carvings that were so lost in all the layers of paint.    

The cheap white Martha Stewart layer from Kmart was the first to go.  The worst paint ever.  The brush marks were pathetic.  It stayed tacky for 15 years, leaving marks and indents from whatever I put on it's surface.  I remember thinking when I painted it for my first baby, if it was a Martha Stewart brand, it must be the best.  She offered a great color palette.  And of course, she refinished all her furniture using her own paint.  My first clue should have been the $8 price tag for the can.  The red layer was next.  My in-laws painted it this color for Matt's room when he was little.  Then off came the ivory layer followed by the original butter yellow, which must have been for my father-in-law's nursery.  I think I want to paint it back to this original yellow.  It must have been so sweet.  Clair was the baby in his family.  June is the baby in ours.  It's final, I'm not painting it the lemongrass green she begged for, see how bold the color is here.  Don't you agree?  I'll paint her a chair in the green, but this dresser is going to be butter yellow.

Now who's gonna tell her?
photo courtesy of Amy Little.  Love her.