Friday, October 7, 2016


Credits: Visit my Pinterest Guest Room Board to link
through to my inspiration sources.

The Fall 2016 One Room Challenge began this week.  I’m going in again!  

Six months have passed since the Spring 2016 One Room Challenge and my Studio Office Makeover.  Every time I walk into my office, I am so happy to work here and so in love with the increased visual quality of my photographs.  The pearly gray walls and bright white trim make everything pop beautifully!  The best unexpected surprise is the well arranged bookshelves became a beautiful backdrop for my photos.  Who knew?  I thought it would be the “great white wall,” which actually is the one area that doesn’t work for me, so, work in progress …   

With such great results, I immediately set to planning my next ORC room - the upstairs guest room.  I’ve been collecting ideas along the way, and now it is go time.  Let me tell you about my space.  

The guest room is a nice size and was updated when my son left for college back in 2008.  Freshly painted Jekyll Island yellow, it worked well as a combo upstairs office and guest room.  The verdigris iron bed was my grandmother’s, and the ivy green and yellow walls made a sunny and pretty room.  Times change, though!  Now that I need a staged room for shooting photos of my handmade linens, the yellow walls and green bed make me crazy!  With just one window in the room, the lighting doesn’t work and the whole room glows yellow, in all the wrong places.  


The Changing Room - A guest room furnished with solid basics ready for full accessory and bedding changes as needed for product staging.  Three color schemes are planned.  Gray / Butter Yellow, Navy / White, Blush Pink / Gray.  

The Fixtures:  
* Agreeable Gray on the walls.  (This is already complete, and I might really, really wish I went with white.  TBD based on my husband’s tolerance of repainting only two weeks later.)   
* Spray paint the iron bed.  
* New ceiling fan and lighting.  (MUST have a ceiling fan in every room; need constant air movement!)
* Matching side tables.  
* Carved wood panels above the bed.   
* Area rug.  

The Changeables:  
* Bed linens.  A combination of using what I already have, purchasing some beauties I’ve spotted through my clients when creating for them, and sewing a custom monogrammed duvet cover (because I’ve turned down so many requests that I’ve decided it is time to get on with making this happen).  
*  Curtains /  Window Treatments.  I’ve been hoarding yards of beautiful, butter yellow jacquard for two years in anticipation of making full length curtains.  Swap outs will be some sort of valance for the other color schemes and maybe a cornice board if I can swing it.  Window blinds.    
* Lamps. A couple of sets to swap out as needed.  
*  Artwork.  
*  Slip covers for thrifted chair.   
*  Accessories, throw pillows, and blankets.  

That’s the plan!  I’ve done it once with loads of help from my assistant, Lillian, and I am hoping we can pull it off a second time.  Please come around on Thursdays to see my progress, and plan to take some time out over the next few weeks to visit the One Room Challenge site and see the progress of the sponsored participants and the linked-in participants (like me!) who are doing their best to beautify the world one room at a time!  

Monday, August 22, 2016

UPDATE - 12 Weeks of Christmas - Week 2 - calicodaisy gems

UPDATE - 10/07/2016:  Goodness! I fell off the 12 Weeks of Custom Christmas wagon just two weeks in. Though I was very prepared with my list of 12 items to show off over 12 weeks, the actual preparing and processing of the post with photos and fresh samples was a little more than I could swing along with regular shop production.  I’m thinking I should have planned a 12 Months til Christmas presentation!  

As well, we had quite a bit of excitement around here in August as our daughter became engaged over the summer, and the flurry of wedding planning started immediately.  The wedding dress is checked off the list!  It’s difficult to maintain so many trains of thought and creative production at the same time ..... always a learning curve.

I will regroup and plan the 12-Weeks again next year (because, in my field, the 2017 holidays are just around the corner!).  Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering “Where in the world is Michele and her 12-Week presentation?,” here is a coupon code good until 10/31/2016 - the last day for ordering in time for holiday delivery: Free Shipping on orders of $15.00 or more - FSOCTOBER2016   

The 12 Weeks of Custom calicodaisy handmade Christmas enters Week 2. As calicodaisy handmade has a cutoff date of 10/23/2016 this year for custom holiday orders, we are featuring beautiful items each week to pique your interest and entice you to order early!  

Check back here on Mondays to keep up with the weekly postings of trendy and traditional features now through the end of October. Each week special pricing will be listed for the featured items.

The 12 Weeks of Christmas - Week 2

This week’s feature is the calicodaisy gem.  The calicodaisy gem is a simply sweet accent pillow cover embellished with an embroidered monogram or initial in your favorite style.  The gems are offered in both 14” square and 12” x 16” lumbar sizes and both are priced at $28.00.  You can choose any color fabric you like for the cover - in general, and I’ll then coordinate with your color instructions.  

Now that there are thousands of embroidered fonts available, it is hard to show off all the hundreds I have in my library.  On the CDH Embroidery Fonts page, I’m gradually adding samples of the fonts requested most.  Any of these embroidered fonts are available for embroidery on the calicodaisy gems.  If you don’t see the one you would like, you are welcome to request a specific font, and I’ll do my best to find it or digitize it myself.   

The 12 Weeks of Christmas Week 2 Specials -  

1. The calicodaisy gems are listed in the shop.  For free domestic shipping this week on single gems, here is a coupon code:  FSAUG201

2. Bundle Special:  Four pillow covers for $100.00.

3. Gift Certificates at discounted pricing are at The Building Fund.  When you choose the amount you would like, you’ll be taken to a PayPal invoice page.  

Please come back again next Monday to see the Week 3 feature.

Monday, August 15, 2016

12 Weeks of Christmas - Week 1 - Custom Pillow Wraps

The 12 Weeks of Custom calicodaisy handmade Christmas begins!  As calicodaisy handmade has a cutoff date of 10/23/2016 this year for custom holiday orders, we are featuring beautiful items each week to pique your interest and entice you to order early!  

Check back here on Mondays to keep up with the weekly postings of trendy and traditional features now through the end of October. Each week special pricing will be listed for the featured items.

The 12 Weeks of Custom Christmas - Week 1

Featured this week are the new Custom Pillow Wraps.  A marvelous and versatile twist on freshening up your decor without adding new items to the room.  Read all the details that makes CDH Custom Pillow Wraps lovely little pieces of jewelry to finish off your design strategy or freshen up with new fabrics.  

Just like our custom pillow covers, the pillow wraps can be created in nearly any color set.  Tell us your shade of color - in general, and we will do our best to coordinate with your look.  

Seasonal decorating with pillow wraps makes holiday decor so much easier.  Rather than swapping everything out with holiday pillows for the season and then having to put them all away, give your everyday look a seasonal update with a pretty pillow wrap.  

The wraps are reversible and a continuous band around the pillow.  No velcro to catch fuzzy threads and grab at your upholstery, no snaps or buttons to fiddle with.  The embroidered side of the band can be shown off, and, if the pillow gets tossed around and falls to its other side, no worries, the band is as pretty on the flip side as the embroidered side.  Love color block?  Turn the band inside out and go for a solid band around the middle for an updated look.    

See what a pretty change up the wraps make when added to a monogrammed pillow cover.  These wraps were sized to cover the original embroidered design.  January through October, let your letters shine.  In November, display Fall Harvest and Thanksgiving colors.  Put the turkey away and switch out the band to a lovely Poinsettia design, and you are ready for the Holidays.  Versatile and convenient!  

The 12 Weeks of Christmas Week 1 Specials:  

  1. Introductory Pricing on Custom Pillow Bands are already listed in the calicodaisy shop.  
  2. A Holiday Bundle - Set of Two - The “Give Thanks” and Poinsettia Spray designs together at special pricing.   
  3. Gift Certificates at discounted pricing over at The Building Fund.  The posting still features “Christmas in July,” but let’s agree that it really says “Christmas in July until the end of August.”  The GCs are actually sold from TBF page.  When you choose the amount you would like, you’ll be taken to a PayPal invoice page.  

Please come back next week to see what we have in store for you and your gift giving shopping list!  

All Wrapped Up

Your living room is decorated just as you want it.  The custom pillows are placed just so.  It all looks gorgeous and not another thing is needed …. until the holidays roll around or you have a big Game Day party coming up.  You want to dress things up for the season BUT the swapping out of pillows and putting away again can be so tedious.  I have a great solution.  

Pillow Wraps!  Have you seen these before?  I spotted decorative pillow wraps at a market a while ago and put them on my list to design a calicodaisy handmade line. This summer, I put in the time in and designed a pillow wrap I would love to have and embroidered out a number of personalized and seasonal options to get started showing them off.  

First and foremost, the wrap itself is a beautiful small piece of handmade art.  Think of it as jewelry for your existing pillows.  The wrap is tailored to fit a pillow and not slip, reversible so any side can be front and center, and is a continuous band with no messy velcro to grab at your furniture upholstery and gather threads and no snaps or buttons that kids or pets can fiddle with.   

Reversible and pretty all the way around.  The band looks great with the embroidered design showing and equally lovely turned this way or that, inside or out, offering a color-block option when you want to keep things simple.  

Customizable.  Just as for my custom pillow covers, you can choose nearly any color set you like for your pillow wrap - in general, as I like to say.  Show me the color you would like and I’ll do my best to coordinate.  Petite piping would be very sweet added around the edge of the wrap.   

Washable.  Always a good feature.  

The first set of pillow bands are listed in the calicodaisy shop.  I can’t wait to see where client requests and suggestions lead for this new line.   

Friday, July 29, 2016

Christmas in July Gift Certificate Sale

calicodaisy handmade is working toward purchasing an industrial-sized machine. I do long for bigger hoops and more power to create larger and more detailed beautiful designs.  When the big one arrives, the plan is to take in ready-made items, handle duvet covers and upholstery, and move through the work at a faster pace.  

To shore up "The Building Fund," a 20%-off CDH gift certificate sale is on this weekend.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2016:  Take care of a good portion of your holiday gift list purchasing CDH gift certificates now.  At a 20% discount, you’ll be giving your favorite people a lovely gift, the perfect details to be decided on individually.  

The certificates will be sent to you or your recipient as a PDF by e-mail with all the pertinent information included. If you choose to receive the gift certificate at your e-mail address, the gift certificate will be mailed upon purchase.  If you choose the option of sending the gift certificate to your recipient, the gift certificate will be sent out to the recipient on 12/01/2016.

See all the details and the "Buy Now" button on The Building Fund page.

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.