Friday, July 15, 2016

Fabric Stash Sale - Premier and Designer Lovlies

Please stop by calicodaisy handmade and take a look at all the lovely yardage up for sale.  

A number of new and standard Premier Prints - Zoey, Arrows, Tribal, Swiss Cross - are listed as well as some great interior designer finds I've made recently.  


Especially great finds are the Ralph Lauren Cape Mountain Zebra print in the Panther colorway, a fun abstract "Hexasketch" by Duralee in Coral, and, the prettiest find, is a Maine Cottage Sea Biscuit Porch piece that I'm in love with.  The Sea Biscuit Porch is the prettiest shade of coastal / spa blue.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

calicodaisy: A Full-Time Adventure

I haven’t mentioned yet that calicodaisy transitioned into a full-time studio in February! My lovely transcription career finally came to a close, and the plan of calicodaisy handmade becoming my #1 focus became a reality.   

Now that I’m settling into this big change, the next goal to fulfill is purchasing an industrial embroidery machine and new software.  Larger hoops, larger monograms, more intricate designs, and full-time production require hardier machinery that will also speed up the process.  

In an effort to raise capital quickly but not overwhelm the production calendar with too many orders at one time and to stay as fiscally responsible as possible, the CDH Gift Certificate Capital Campaign is launched!  June 1st has long been my go-date as we are six months out from the holidays, and there is a nicely discounted Holiday 2016 gift certificate edition with a shop date of 12/01/2016.  

The CDH gift certificates are offered at discounted rates based on future order dates.  This will keep upcoming GC orders staggered out nicely and offers you the opportunity for a greater discount in exchange for your wait time.  This cushion of time built in between your gift certificate purchase now and the future date of the actual order date allows me the opportunity to fund my plans now and have time to learn the new equipment and software all while moving along with current productivity and keeping up with increased sales.   

For the full story, please click The Building Fund tab at the top of the blog.  You’ll find all the details there along with a number of options to fit your needs.  

If you are a fan of giving GCs as gifts to coworkers and friends, the Holiday 2016 edition at 25% off with a shop date of 12/01/2016 will be a great option.

This is an exciting time for me and I’m so anxious to get hold of a machine with the largest of hoops and speedier production time.  Your participation in the CDH GC sale is an investment in me, and I very much appreciate your support and confidence in my work.  

Friday, May 13, 2016


Welcome to the new studio office!  This plan has been a long time coming, but making the commitment to participate in the One Room Challenge and complete a room reno in six weeks finally made everything come together.  I couldn’t have done this without Lillian’s help (my assistant seamstress).  My daily accountability when she came to work and the expectation to post progress each week on the blog really makes this gal get on with things!  

After hanging out here in my room, please go to the One Room Challenge site created and developed by Linda of Calling It Home and check out all the beautiful rooms put together by the Featured Designers and then give yourself a few hours to check out the 200+ participants' rooms and all the magnificent work done the last two months to create a prettier world at home and learn how to do it yourself, too.

I am so pleased and happy with my office!  Thanks to Lillian’s great eye for scope and scale and her artistry - the abstract painting above the cabinets, Lillian’s husband’s paint job(!), my husband’s brawn and tool expertise, as well as all the shopping and collecting and storage of said collections I’ve done over the years, the room came together so well.  I had almost everything needed, and, if I didn’t, we certainly made most of it from my fabric stash!  

Let’s go back and see the state of this room when it was painted eight or so years ago and still sparse on furniture.  Photos are courtesy of my old Kodak point and shoot and no real photo training at the time.  The blue wasn’t as crazy as it looks in the photos and I really did love it until a couple of years ago when I wanted a change but didn’t know which direction.  Mostly, I needed a place where I can shoot product photos in an attractive and changeable spot PLUS carry on design work and business in a serene location.  

Let me remind you of the before and my inspiration board plan, and then I’ll take you on a tour of the room.   

The Before:  

The Plan:  

The Now:  

A place for relaxing and reading, visiting, and taking photos of my work.  

All my crafty sewing and home decor books, a few of which include my name and my work!  Miss Ellie sits atop Monograms for the Home, and I adore seeing CDH monogrammed pillow covers and towels in lovely scenes.  

The white cabinets are two of my favorite pieces in the room.  My grandmother had them made for her dining room years ago, and when they came to me, I knew they were just right for displaying textiles and my handmade linens.  You can see just a teensy bit of my best fabric stash in this spot.       

The abstract painting courtesy of Lillian.  Love!  Lillian has old-school Home Economics and Art degrees.  She knows her way around the kitchen, home management, the sewing room, and paintbrushes.  When she came on to work with me, I told her, "We will use all your skills here."  And I do!     

The valances.  My design board shows a different direction for the windows, but I did not love the bamboo blinds in here.  Thinking fast, we changed direction from monogrammed topper valances to linen stationary flounced shades secured with a nubby chevron fabric tape.   

Now we get to where half my work is done (the other half is in the sewing rooms). As this is a working office and photography space, there is a lot of movement in here and schlepping of lights and props, so we arrive at some wide open spaces on this side of the room. The bamboo chairs were a thirfted find last year. I was tempted to paint them shiny black but am so glad I left them in their original state. The seats are covered in a spotty animal print and easily covered again if I like with skirted seat cushion covers.

The desk is a DIY my husband made for me years ago.  I spotted a pipe-legged desk in Country Living way back when and convinced Michael to make it for me.  Now you can do a search for desk legs made from pipes and they are all over the place.  I like being ahead of the game!  I am a fan of mixing materials in a space, so the industrial legs are fun against natural elements.  

The art above the desk includes my babies as they were 20 years ago and some painted art from bloggers I've met in the past. I kept these painted pieces safe for so long waiting for the perfect spot to display, and now here they are. The unframed piece sits in an iron napkin holder used like a display rack. The pin board above the desk is a large frame with a padded inset covered with linen fabric. We ran some twine across the board and attached small clothespins for attaching whatever catches my fancy.

Finally, the blank wall! Everyone who sees the room is in consternation over my blank wall! Are you leaving it white? Why don't you ...? I know, I know. BUT, I have to have a changeable place with as much wall space for wide views now that some of my products have gotten so large. My hope is to have a portable sort of barn door that I can roll in and out and which can cover the still-brown doors and moldings (to be painted white at some point). I can pull in furniture here, too, and buffet height tables for staging. Meanwhile, let me show you what I can do with this space. You'll see it wide open first, then a shot with beaded board behind it, and finally with a decorative wooden panel my daughter gave me. Lillian made the slipcover for my bench, and that, too, gives me options for a white space or a textured stripe.

And now you've made it around my studio office! Quite a lot to feature in a bedroom of a house but so awesome to have this marvelous place to use and now to create a lovely space.

Thank you for following my journey to this point. My greatest hope now is to carry on into the other rooms! If I can go from the blue space above to this in a matter of weeks, there is no reason .... right? .... that the other 13 rooms in this house shouldn't look the same!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Not sure I can express how difficult it is to create for oneself when designing and creating everyday for others!  The cobblers children have no shoes ...   

This One Room Challenge to redo my office seemed reasonable when signing up, as I had been thinking on this change for so long and had so many details lined up ... I thought!  I've been working so hard over the last eight years in my outside job and building my sewing / embroidery business and helping my kids get through college that I've lost a lot of skills I had long, long ago when I knew how to make a pretty home.  I really feel at a loss putting just this room together.  The thought of making these decisions room by room in the rest of the house is quite overwhelming if I think on it long.  It's one thing to have a Pinterest board full of great ideas and quite another to execute them!  

I find it has been easier to be a small part of other ORC participants' rooms.  This year, Kimber is back for our handmade embroidered towels.  The first I ever heard of ORC was when Kimber ordered monogrammed panels for her tropical glam master bedroom redo in 2013.  

Last year, Andrea ordered jumbo monogrammed shams for her lovely Palm Beach Regency Nursery.  One idea turned into the next, and we ended up with monogrammed crib sheets as well as monogrammed shower curtain and hand towels for the bath.  (Once was enough, though.  I broke up with shower curtains shortly after; way too big for my comfort!)  

In both instances, seeing my work in those beautiful rooms is amazing.  I'm used to my items right up under my nose and only see them in micro version on my worktable.  That is why I adore receiving photos of CDH items in their new homes.  I feel like my pieces are bits of jewelry that help finish off all the big decisions everywhere else in a room.   

Back to my studio office:  

Today, Lillian worked on filling and staging my bookshelves.  The idea of photo shoots near the window came to me last week, so we are working on making the shelves in the camera view as pleasing as possible.  My niece blogged about her Guest Room Makeover earlier in the year, and I am attempting to be as chic as she is but not sure it is possible!  

The matchstick bamboo blinds went up, and I don't like them! Ha!  Another week of failed decisions, sort of.  I guess I should say that I can eliminate initial choices and now try new ones.  I think I might try roller shades next.  Working on the monogrammed valances this weekend.    

We started to put up the pendant lights and shades, and then I got nervous about what to do with the cords.  I think I've decided on this cord cover over flexible tube solution.  I am hoping a creamy white linen for the cover will blend in best.   

Well, my to do list is below.  I hope I'm on time next week for the Big Reveal.  Even if I don't get the entire list complete, just getting this far has been a major success.  Wish me luck!  


1.  Paint the walls

2.  Create a SECOND portable backdrop wall with the beadboard.  First one failed. Leaving it plain right now and getting used to the new look.  

3.  Bamboo window blinds

4.  Monogrammed valences. 

5.  Stage white cabinets. Working on staging the open shelves this week.  

6.  Slip cover for bench

7.  Skirts for bamboo chairs. 

8.  Decorative rug. 

9.  Lighting. 

10.  Artwork and accessories.  Still work in progress.  Bookshelves filled.  

Friday, April 29, 2016


A whirlwind trip to Nashville and The Country Living Fair last week meant that I missed the Week Three update of my office redo for the One Room Challenge guest participants.  Weeks One and Two included getting the room cleaned out and painted and working on the feature wall.  I'm still in misery over the fact that I didn't like my feature wall choice and have absolutely no idea which direction to turn!  Going from my blue walls to a pearly gray has completely thrown me off regarding staging photos and working with the wall color.  It's crazy how one small-ish change can create a domino effect of details required to get the perfect photo.  

This was my first trip to Nashville, and I met up with my BFF, Lynda, from Memphis.  A lovely time meeting vendors at the fair and shopping and eating our way through Nashville.  I finally found great food trucks!  I made it to Draper James!  The loveliest boutique you'll ever meet.  As we walked in, I was pretty happy to see a stack of Monograms For the Home on a display table, as some of my work appear in the pages. Lynda reached over to open the book, and the pages fell right open to a CDH applique towel. Could NOT have planned that myself! The sales girls were sweet enough to let me show off the other pages of calicodaisy handmade items.  

I walked away with a little notepad for the desk all wrapped up in lovely DJ paper.  Reese has made beautiful packaging choices.  

Meanwhile, I really have been thinking through the finishes for the office.  I've been collecting accessories for the room and auditioning fabrics from my stash for the bamboo chair seat covers.  What do you think?  Stacked bottom to top are:  Covington's Tuscany in linen, a tropical banana leaf and hibiscus in case I want to go with a pop of color, Stroheim Giselle in Indigo, Thibaut's Haleema (my favorite), and Ralph Lauren Home Antibes Batik. 

So, that's where I am.  My daughter promised to come by this weekend and help me make final decisions.  Monogrammed curtain valances and bamboo shades are up after the seat covers and then the lighting and staging the bookcases.  I see all the beautiful rooms blossoming on the ORC updates, and I feel like mine can hardly compare to the gorgeous finishes going on, BUT, my office is clean and tidy now and will be a lovely spot to greet my visitors.  See you here next week.   

Friday, April 15, 2016


Week Two of the ORC and my studio office makeover has passed with good momentum.  The room is cleared out and the walls are freshly painted Sherwin Williams Snowbound.  Wow!  I haven't had white walls in a room for at least 20 years.  See Week One to check out the blue walls I loved for eight years.  

There have been happy successes – painted room, bamboo blinds purchased, portable backdrop wall found for a deal, valance fabric and style decided, the gorgeous slip cover for the bench sewn. 

There are some frustrations, too – I don't really care for the paint color even after researching my choice for ages before ordering.  There is just a touch of gray to the white, but I feel like the walls look dirty.  My assistant, Lillian, (who sewed that gorgeous pleated cover!) encouraged me to hold out on my concern until we have the place staged, but I long to get on with a crisp white or maybe the creamy Cream Delight shade I have upstairs. 

The fencing backdrop wall is a fail! My cropped photos have the look of being in an old cabin or the backyard.  Not what I expected in the eye of the camera.  The inspiration wall included in my design board is a planked wall painted different hues.  I thought about applying a whitewash or gray wash to the fencing, but I want to go a more refined direction.  After thinking on it for a while, I slipped in a piece of beadboard I have on hand for shoots, and that totally changes the view and works out lovely.  

So, success and frustration but still moving forward. 

My List: 

1.  Paint the walls

2.  Create a SECOND portable backdrop wall with the beadboard.  First one failed

3.  Bamboo window blinds. 

4.  Monogrammed valences. 

5.  Stage white cabinets. 

6.  Slip cover for bench

7.  Skirts for bamboo chairs. 

8.  Decorative rug. 

9.  Lighting. 

10.  Artwork and accessories. 

Next week, I'm headed out to Nashville with a BFF to attend the Spring Country Living Fair.  I may have to double up Weeks Three and Four when I return home as there is loads of work to accomplish before heading out for a week of fun and relaxation.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016


The One Room Challenge.  This semiannual event belongs to Linda at Calling It Home. A number of interior designers and lifestyle bloggers are invited to participate in a six-week challenge of redecorating one room in a home, and everyone gets to follow along week by week watching the plans come to life.  Along with the invited participants, the rest of us can design our own spaces and show off our progress by linking in as guest participants.  The featured designers post progress on Wednesdays and the linking players post on Thursdays.  This is Week One, and the finale will be May 12, 2016. 

Twice in the past I've been contacted by participants to create items for their styled rooms, shams for House of Pemberley and shams + linens for Andrea's nursery at The Glam Pad.  It makes me so happy to see my work included in such lovely spaces. 

As luck would have it, just when I made the decision to get on with redecorating my studio office, this Spring's ORC begins this week as well.  Not being an interior designer myself, I am a bit wary of the commitment, however, I have been planning this makeover and collecting items for ages and have nearly everything needed.  There is just the hard work to put in and the courage to actually execute the plan. 

The studio office before:   

These photos were taken in 2008 when I thought calicodaisy handmade was going to produce monogrammed aprons and totebags and baby items – way before finding my home decor niche.  Remember when this shade of blue was so popular?  I have loved it and really regret painting it over, but it is time for a fresh modern look, and the gray-tinged white walls will be just right for shooting product photos. I spotted a handmade desk in Country Living magazine in 2008 with galvanized pipes for legs and had my husband make one for me.  A long desk to fit a computer on one end and a design area on the other.  

Three coats in and a make-do shoot in progress!  

Pretty much, I have all the hard furnishings for the room.  I plan to slip cover the sitting chair in white.  Two thrifted bamboo chairs may get skirted seat cushion covers and used for desk chairs.  Bamboo blinds.  Linen monogrammed valences.  The slip covered chair and valences will be my personal challenges for the room.  New adventures in sewing! 

At the top of the post, my design board features the overall goal of the space on the left and a number of design details to create on the right, including a portable backdrop panel for photographing finished products.  Please check back each week to see my progress AND pop by the ORC to check out the featured designers' updates and the linking participants updates.