Ruffled Tablecloths

Let's start off with a pretty mosaic today.

I don't know why I wanted to do this! But I wanted an extra tablecloth for our dining table, and I wanted it to be washable with no ironing. I have the other one in this post here. While I looked at fabrics all over town, I still couldn't find anything I wanted that was better than this old sheet set that I've been going to throw out for months now. Then I got to thinking—yeah, yeah, I know, a dangerous thing for me but I did. So I took the top sheet and ripped it into 4" wide lengths and put it aside for a while. (It takes me a while to decide on some things that I know I'll regret due to the intensive labor of that decision.) It took me hours to do the ruffling with my ruffler. I'd do a bit, rest because it was killing my back, do more, rest and so on.

Then later on, I ripped the elastic out of the bottom sheet. Now, understand that this sheet is soft and well-worn after many years of use on our bed. I ripped that into a 56" square. My intention was to do a french-type ruffled tablecloth with ragged edges. While I wanted it a bit "rough", I didn't want it unraveling in the washer or dryer. So what I did was stitch along the edges and let it fray a bit. Easy to do but very time consuming. I could have just hemmed it but I'm not enthusiastic about orderly hems. I wanted a bit of the shabby look. I got it!

These are the ruffles as I started. You may click on this to enlarge.

A bit further along. Okay, not really, but I took it in a different light and I was too lazy to take it out and have to do more photos! I practice on you bloggers. ;-) Enlarge this photo also.

Ruffles and more ruffles. Click to enlarge.

The finished tablecloth. And, NO, I did not put it on the table and properly straighten it out; I was just too tired at that point. Click to enlarge.

I thought I'd never finish! I ended up with 60 yards of ruffles. Click to enlarge.

A closeup of the hem. Click to enlarge.

As it appears on the table. Click to enlarge.

Another side. Click to enlarge.

I love this little respite area. The owner made quite a statement with old wicker, a vintage sewing machine, an old crate, an old chair, a basket of apples and lots of old vintage stuff.

The perfect rose on a cupcake.

An Italian side street in all its quaintness.

An idea for a small picnic, drape a tablecloth over an umbrella.

A rose door hanger.

The yellow coloring on this old building complements the purple wisteria. Beautiful!

A french cottage to rent.

A Missionary Dinner Story

A few weeks ago we fed the missionaries—story a little ways down on this post. Now, in our Church we have young men and young woman missionaries who give up 2 years of their lives to go on missions—men age 19 and women age 21. They pay for it themselves usually, but if a family can't afford it, then the home ward of a missionary will help out. The wards feed them dinners to help out with their expenses but if hubs and I are out at a McDonalds or Jack in the Box, we'll pay for their lunch. They live very frugally during these missions. Some are sent to all of the U.S. states and some are sent all over the world. Today, I'm going to relate a few experiences we've been told about.

Two men we know personally went to Russia or Siberia for their missions. One man said when he arrived he thought he was in another world. Everyone smoked. Most of the members of our Church don't. But he got on a bus to go to a town far into the interior of Siberia. He said there would be hours and hours of nothing but frozen tundra. Then the rickety bus would stop for a smoke break. This was a bit puzzling as they smoked on the bus also, but he thought they'd never get to his destination. It took days on that bus and it was frigid cold. When they did arrive, he thought 'What town?!' There were just a few shacks and he was sent to try and convert them? Several times he asked to come home because he just couldn't get used to how cold it was and the vast cultural divide. But he stuck it out. 

Several year ago, a friend told us that sending a letter to the missionaries in Russia was about $40 per letter!

The other man said the differences were vast also. We have no idea how good we have it here in the U.S. The food was very different, as you would expect. They didn't have much meat. Food was scarce. The toilet paper was so bad it was indescribable. The missionaries would tear up catalogs/books/magazines to use; it was softer than the toilet paper. You have no idea.

Now, I'm going to tell you about our experience the last time we fed the missionaries.

I signed up at the last minute when they needed someone to fill up the calendar. I told hubs we would go to WM and get some orange chicken at their deli but when we got there that morning, they didn't have any so we got BBQ chicken nuggets instead. I took them home and stuck them in the fridge. Around dinner time I took them out, put them on a foil-covered pan in the oven. They arrived here as I was pulling the pan out of the oven. I forgot to spray the foil and the chicken stuck! I said a few mild expletives, told hubs to set the table with 4 wet washcloths and told them dinner was ready. I also told them they would have to pick the foil off each chicken nugget! I wasn't about to do all that work. As missionaries are sweet and kind, they agreed. What a dinner we had to talk about the next day. I told hubby he knew this was going to be a blog post, right? He just looked at me. I did not do this intentionally to blog about. I was in a hurry and simply did not think. :-) I'll remember to spray the foil next time...if they ever want to eat with us again.

I think the owner just threw a tablecloth or huge pieces of lace over this chair, but it's gorgeous no matter how she did it.

Just cute little cottages.

I'd love to cover my garbage can in my kitchen like this but it's plastic and I'm not sure it would look this great after I did it. Isn't this adorable? Looks vintage.

White, red and pink bedroom. Lovin' it!

An exquisitely packaged gift.

Darling little coin purse someone made.

I love polka dots.

Exquisite portrayal of oranges.

Why don't we do this more often? Picnic in our back yards.

Another lovely bedroom for you. Notice the lace on the sheets.

A scrap bow for a gift package. Very creative.

I just wonder where people find these pretty outdoor rugs. All I can find are the generic beige/brown ones at WM and Home Depot. And we all know how I feel about beige!

I'm even picky about the pencils in my house. No, these aren't mine, but I only buy a certain brand of pencils and a certain lead in it. Picky, very picky. ;-)

Wow!!! What gorgeous colors adorn this home.

Oooooh, it truly is. I hope your day is lovely. Mine usually are and when they're not, they still are.

Recognizing and celebrating the choice to make a difference through Jubilee Furniture!

I’ve mentioned before how amazing my volunteers are – but have I ever told you how inspiring I find them?  No?  Let me do so now.

First, I want to remind you there are three – don’t even need a full hand to count to three – only three Jubilee Furniture/Outreach Community Ministries employees.  Yes – all three of us work full-time and yes, we typically work more than 40 hours/week.  But even if we worked 60 hours every week we couldn’t do what needs to be done: picking up, off loading, arranging, pricing, assisting customers, and oh so many more things, by ourselves.  Nope – no way, couldn’t be done.

That’s where volunteers come in.  A good percentage of our volunteers are retired.  Makes sense since we need help during the week.  So, when do people retire?  Some as young as mid-fifties – but most in their sixties and seventies.

Here’s what I find so inspiring.  When I think about myself – less than a month from my 54th birthday – in ten or 20 years moving furniture, dealing with customers (thankfully generally wonderful), working in a dingy, hot (in the summer) cold (in the winter) warehouse for zero pay – I’m not sure that’s how I want to spend my “golden years.”  Yet I’m extremely grateful others see giving back, contributing to a greater good, staying active – physically, emotionally, and mentally, as important and what’s so inspiring to me.

Additionally, these intelligent, active older adults who volunteer at Jubilee (as well as other places – their churches, food pantries, other non profits) – are dealing with health issues, family crisis and a multitude of other things which constitute life – and doing it with grace, humor and a positive attitude!  Are they some sort of “super” humans?  No – regular Joes (and Josephines!) – not a single super power among the group.

Though you’ll need the super power of taking in a vast amount of amazing, quality, used furniture this week!  Wow – there’s a ton of stuff to show you and it’s not even everything “new” that’s been donated!    Remember, we’re open Friday from 1 to 8 and Saturday from 9 to 4.

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gorgeous lighted curved front curio cabinet priced $245

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fabulous Room and Board sofa in mint condition EXCEPT for front seam coming apart.  This is the third sofa we’ve received with this issue – and I don’t believe they sell this style of couch any longer because of the tendency for the seat seam to come undone.  Priced at only $95 this is a steal but you gotta get creative about the rip (which all Jubilee Furniture customers are known for – being amazingly creative!)

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super dark (almost black) stained oak small hall or entry table priced $55 (Crate and Barrel chairs next to it are $40 each)

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Remember Marshall Field’s?  These pieces are from Field’s – both are in great shape though need to be cleaned – loveseat is priced $95; chair $50

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fabulous micro-suede sofa with dual recliners in great condition priced $295

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wonderful cane back side chairs (seat cushions need to be spot cleaned) priced $50 each

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lovely green color fabric on this sleeper sofa priced $85

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it’s not too late to invite friends/family over to dine out or simply sit on your deck/patio and enjoy the cool fall weather – and you can with this black wrought iron bench priced $35; round wrought iron table with four chairs priced $95; additional matching chairs priced $17.50 each; smaller black table priced $20

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amazing drop leaf table with 2 leaves, 6 chairs and table pads all for $345 (blue seat cushions are attached to chairs)

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lovely Thomasville buffet priced $125

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great smaller side chair for $65; matching sofa for $95

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four piece sectional – both ends recline – note rips along back of one piece but otherwise in very good condition – priced $135; square butler’s table priced $35

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neither photos does justice to this unbelievably gorgeous Pennsylvania House two piece secretary w/hutch priced $295

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we have two Pablo – tube top – lamps priced $35 each (they retail for around $120) but the white shade has some dirt smudges and the gray shade has a small rip – so not sure what can be done (I couldn’t find replacement shades online)

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wonderful wooden outdoor glider with cushions priced $45; side table for either $15 or $20 (forgot to write the price down!)

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fabulous cedar chest for $135

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wonderful lighted roll top desk for $185

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great wingback chair is priced $65

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top needs to be refinished but this is a cool retro buffet priced $65

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we’ve decided to sell all of our books (paperback, hard cover, children’s, all books) for 25 cents and we have a good amount available

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all these pieces are from Vermont of Winooski and are solid rock maple and in excellent condition (tops all have protective glass) – one piece is missing one drawer pull – six drawer dresser is priced $75; smaller cabinet with one drawer and two doors is $35; three drawer dresser w/hutch is $55; desk with two hutches is $85

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I am so in love with these Henry Link bamboo, painted pieces – you can’t not smile when looking at them! – they do smell musty though – the desk with hutch and chair is priced $225; the six drawer dresser is $175

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here’s Nate (one of my amazing, inspiring volunteers!) putting together a king size brass bed with headboard, footboard and side rails priced $135 (brass is tarnishing is various places)

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fun blue checked slip covered wingback chair for $45

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fine sofa – but needs to be cleaned – is $55

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gorgeous glass and brass oval coffee table for $95; matching end table for $65

The other thing I’ve noticed as I’ve considered my fabulous volunteers is they’ve made a choice – a conscious decision – to find things they’re passionate about and stay involved.  Sure you may occasionally find them rocking on their front porch – but you’re much more likely to find them tying a mattress to the top of someone’s car or sharing the best place to get something reupholstered or explaining how your purchase is helping others through Outreach Community Ministries.

Oh, and for Gordon and his fabulous wife – celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary – but not until they’ve taken the young mom from their church to the grocery store, and helped an immigrant get his driver’s license, and visited a fellow in jail…

As corny as it sounds – every day you, dear reader, have choices as to how to spend your time – much of it probably eaten up by your job – but what of the rest of if?  What about when you’re no longer working?  The way my volunteers have answered these very questions is an encouragement and inspiration to us all.

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