Carnation Curtains

comments: 27


Okay, y'all really are scaring me with your scary dollhouse advice. It was much as I feared — people actually saying, "Don't do it!" Egads. I ask you, plaintively, where was this outcry when I was all naive and "Yay! Me and my dollhouse!"? Well, that's alright. It reminded me of this one story that my husband's grandma told us a long time ago. At her retirement home, she had a friend, Mabel, who needed to have her gums scraped. (Now, I don't know exactly what that involves but I assume it's very literal, and, much as it sounds, not very nice.) Mabel was apparently quite worried about this. So the dentist asked Ruth (Andy's grandma), who'd had her own gums scraped with no great drama, to reassure Mabel and tell her what a cinch getting one's gum's scraped really is. Easy peasy. So, as Ruth told it, she immediately went off and found Mabel, who was reportedly quaking with anxiety in her rocker, and said, "Oh! It's terrible! It hurt so bad! They scraped and scraped and scraped! I thought it would never end!"

I will never forget when she told this story. It was one of the few times I'd met Ruth and I was sitting on the carpet, absolutely wide-eyed, looking up at her while she told it, thinking, "That is the cheekiest thing I've ever heard in my life!" Ruth was giggling and giggling at her own naughtiness. She had to be in her mid-80s at the time. This is the same Ruth who, at our wedding, when someone said to her, "My, Ruth, what a wonderful day you must be having, seeing your grandson get married!" replied, "Oh, yes: Get in the car, get out of the car. Get in the pew, get out of the pew." Too funny. She also called me "Maleesha" pretty much every time she referred to me, which wasn't often, but enough to make me bubble with laughter now, whenever I think of it.

Anyway, I know it couldn't really be true that decorating a real house could be easier than building a dollhouse, but I must say that late in the afternoon, when my new vintage curtains arrived, I was much relieved to have regular-sized stuff to play with again. Thanks, Autum! Autum sent me a heads-up a couple of weeks ago when she spotted these pretty cafe curtains on Ebay and told me about them. I ordered them pronto (so love the "buy it now" buttons instead of going through the whole auction thing, etc.) and am thrilled with them, absolutely thrilled. Fighting off the temptation to cut them up and make myself a dress, then get this bag, then go out and solicit an invitation to a garden party, preferably one indoors and with central air, I hung them in the guest room. That lamp is sort of sweet, I think. It's vintage, and has a twin. I love having lamps in pairs.

Curtains2Eventually, I think I'll put the curtains in our room, to go with the quilt (remember that?). I haven't completely flaked out on it, it's just that I bought an enormous box of safety pins to pin the top/batting/bottom together and I can't find the pins. I remember I was sort of shocked at how much a big box of pins actually cost, and am determined to find them, though I have absolutely no memory of even taking them out of the shopping bag. Nevertheless, if I'm anywhere in the vicinity of the fabric store tomorrow, I guess I will get some more, and get this thing finished. I can't possibly have the quilt and the dollhouse and the fall bags and Jeanne-Marie's bookbag and my own bookbag all hanging over my head at the same time, can I? Not to mention Pam's belated birthday present. Unfortunately all I have felt like doing is sitting directly under the ceiling fan until my eyeballs dry out, watching Passport to Europe and pretending I'm Samantha Brown. Love that girl.

This heat's supposed to break tomorrow. It's past time to get something done around here that doesn't involve lying prone with a clicker in one hand and a teacup of frozen M&Ms in the other — that is, if you don't call making it all the way through your TiVo lineup "getting something done." I've been informed that such "accomplishments" really don't count. Jeesh.


Hey - getting all the way through the TiVo lineup IS an accomplishment in my book. The heat is killer - livng in Atlanta I can't imagine not having AC - that's just pure insanity where I'm from. Hopefully you'll get some relief soon. LOVE the curtains!!! Stay cool!

What in Carnation?!

Sorry, couldn't resist :) Love the fabric: it looks William Morris-y.

I can't believe Ruth did that! What a mischievous gal!

Good luck finding those safety pins! My quilt has been in stall mode too. Now that I've finished my back porch project, I can resume with quilting.

Good luck with the dollhouse decision. Personally, I wouldn't do it. Too many other easier, quicker craft projects around to tempt me :)

that counts as an accomplishment in my book!! :)

i prefer 'buy it now' as well, then you actually get what you want! :)

I made a lamp just like that for my mum a few years ago at christmas! It's so happy looking!

Okay, I'm guilty of not raising my hand when you bought the kit, but you sounded so excited I didn't want to throw cold water on your enthusiasm. The dollhouse I have now is the pre-built one purchased after I gave up on a kit that was forever in construction mode. I gave up on it. Go easy on me...

The lamp & curtains were made to go together in a kind of fraternal twin way, even though the lamp has an identical twin.

I once read a book about twins (to scare myself) and there was a lovely story of young, boy twins who felt sorry for a single(ton) tyre they saw propped up against a wall.

And, yes, 'buy it now' any time!

I'm so glad you got the curtains, they look so pretty. Ruth sounds like quite the character.

I love your posts, especially the stories (Grandma Ruth)! You are a great writer and a talented visual artist! I Love your Blog....

Lovely curtains A great addition to any home. Have great fun redecorating.

Okay, I don't suppose you'd be willing to share the ebay seller you got those fabby curtains from???

Oh man, I know all about a g-zillion safety pins--that is exactly where my quilt is now...pinned to high heaven! I hope you find yours, I was surprised too at how much they cost.

Your mini peg post with apron is the kind of 'cute' that brings on fainting spells...really.serious cuteness.

Having a clear TiVo lineup sure feels satsifying-so I do believe it counts!

Beata Basik says: July 25, 2006 at 11:02 AM

Instead of using pins for your quilt, have you considered using a product such as "505" which is a temporary spray fabric adhesive - it comes out once it's washed?

Oh my gosh, your stories of Grandma Ruth cracked me up! I giggled through your whole post.

your curtains are beautiful!

prairiemouse says: July 25, 2006 at 12:39 PM

you've got the dollhouse now,and out of the box, you have to do it!! you can blog its progress. you can do it!!!
love the curtains, love your blog!

I'm hoping that eating lunch and lounging poolside also qualifies as getting something done.
And i'm really hoping you'll buy that clutch. it's so you.

Chris Howard says: July 25, 2006 at 01:36 PM

Isn't that Autum the sweetest gal? I am the proud owner of two of her lovely patchwork bags :)

The curtains look just lovely hanging there although I too long for the days when ladies wore petticoats and hats and "lunched".

Don't feel too bad about not getting anything done. I can't seem to do a lick of housework, cooking or crafting either and I even have central air.

Thank goodness they make such perfect curtains because the dress temptation may be just a little to hard for one to ignore :)

i LOVE dollhouses!!

:) the curtains, beautiful.

Just love your new curtains and little house stories..hugs

Very cute post. I am a little baffled though - cheeky is an Aussie word and every time i use it in the States I get blank looks from people. Same as when I say "Ta" for thank you.


Thanks so much for sharing the adventures of Ruth (and Mabel). I smiled thinking of my own Grandma, who when coupled her sister ,Mim, could be quite cheeky and giggly as well.
I visit your blog almost daily to see the pretty pictures, but now will make sure I read every word, too.
Thanks again!

I just have to say i have just come across your work and wow, i am in awe. You are an inspiration and definately a breath of fresh air!

jeanne-marie says: July 31, 2006 at 02:44 PM

No rush on the bookbag, Ali, really. You have bigger fish than mine to fry. :-) Actually, I found a pair at Mor-mor's house that are perfect. In my childhood home, in Beverly, we had what was called a "maid's room" (honestly -- the house was originally listed with that as a "feature"). It was really a guest room. One year my mom went all out redecorating and that room became a violet (as in the flowers) paradise, from the wallpaper to the bedding to the wallpaper to the curtains to the carpet (purple shag, naturally). That was where my grandmother stayed when she was over (which was most of the time) . . . . since then I've always had a thing for anything with violets on them -- teacups, handkerchiefs, linens. Anyway, I found the two original violet pillowcases at her house and am using one for the books. My library now prints out a slip with everything you've borrowed and when it's due back, so now I also carry a little journal and gluestick to paste the slips in. Once Charlie runs off with the boardbooks they're as good as gone . . .

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at