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DIY Decor: Pillows in Progress, or Making a Beautiful Mess

When you visit a craft fair or art show, you see shelves and racks and cabinets filled with beautiful finished products. Fat colorful coffee mugs rounded to fit the cup of your hand, stunning framed photos of frozen waterfalls or birds in flight, the striking drape of a woven wool and silk scarf: their unique beauty stops you in your tracks, earns your admiration, perhaps even secures your ownership.

What we don’t see at the fair are the hours the artist spent bent over the pottery wheel, the precise balance of brute strength and fine pressure required to throw a symmetrical vessel. We don’t witness the lopsided learning curve or the moment of inattention that sends a blob of clay whirling across the studio. We don’t wait with the photographer, bug-bitten and motionless, in the field, or feel her boot crack through the ice that covers a trail of mud. We aren’t privy to the knotted tangles of thread, the beads lost under the radiator, the two discarded muslin mock-ups in the sewing room.

Or the cat who insists on helping.

Anyone who’s ever made anything knows the truth: The creative process is messy. And hard work makes more art than does inspiration.

The same might be said of love and relationships. Continue reading

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DIY Decor: Pieced Pillow Covers

Pillows may seem like an unusual form of wedding decor, but our venue has a number of long, plain wooden benches.  Adding groupings of pillows will, I hope, create some pops of color as well as soften up the modern lines of the venue’s interior space. Plus, my mother Margaret is a quilter extraordinaire, and I love sewing and fabric arts. Designing and making pillows is a great way for us to collaborate across the miles and share in the fun of the wedding-as-creative-canvas. I also plan to re-purpose some of the pillow covers for home decor after the wedding—another good reason to choose wedding colors reflective of those I love and live with every day. To save money as well as storage space, we’re creating slip-on pillow covers that fit pillows we already own (my blessed mother measured every throw pillow in her house). Each pillow cover we create for the wedding will be one-of-a-kind.

For the pillows featured here, Mom purchased a suite of fabrics online and supplemented from her stash. Most of the fabrics are from the Happiness, Blossoming, and Journeys collections by Kathy Davis for Free Spirit fabrics. I drew the (very rough) sketch to illustrate what I envisioned, a pillow featuring multiple fabrics in stripes of uneven widths. Using my sketch and the fabrics she’d selected, Mom created the beautiful pillow in the rocking chair shown in the large photo, above. The orange fabric, from the Happiness collection, is called “Sweet Words” and features words like “happiness,” “joy,” and “beauty.” Perfect for a wedding celebration!

Our Process

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