Show & Tell Friday: Monogrammed Straw Hats

For over a year now, I have admired several posting in my “embroidery group” of monogrammed floppy straw hats. I bought one last summer, hung it on a hook and never monogrammed it until last week when I had a customer bringing me straw hats to monogram.

Knowing they were on their way with the straw hats, I thought it would be a good time to get my floppy straw hat out so I could use it as a “tester”.  Remember in the sentence above I said that I hung it on a hook?  I guess I forgot to mention that since then I caught Hallie “Audrey Hepburn” Parker using it one day back in January or February to play.

My floppy straw hat  was nowhere to be found by the time the customer arrived.  My only hope was to drill Hallie when she arrived home from her last day of school in hopes that she remember where she put it when she was finished playing.  You can imagine how that went with an excited eight year old on her last day of school.  She could not remember where she put the hat on that cold winter day when she pranced around as if she was “My Fair Lady”.

I looked in all the places that I thought a little girl with lots of junk filled tote bags would have put a floppy straw hat.  I finally gave up on my search.  I  just figured that I would have to practice on one of Kenny’s (the husband… my husband) straw hats that he wears to cut the grass or get a new straw hat to practice on.  It was right about that time that the little girl had to practice her piano.  Like she always does, she wanted to make a deal with me…..she would practice her  piano IF  I got down the ukulele that was on the top shelf in her closet.  Really…a ukulele?  She wanted to play that ukulele that she had to have from one of our cruises to Cozumel. It’s been in her closet forever.  I forgot we had it.  I thought that was WEIRD, and I have been long over making  deals with her, BUT the top shelf of her closet was the one place I had not looked for the straw hat.  AND…………….


Right  next to  the little purple ukulele was the floppy straw hat.  Funny how God does that, huh? It’s also funny that it was so high and behind a pile of folded jeans that there was no way Hallie could have put it there.  It must have been Kenny because I WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED where it was if I put it there.  Hehe!

Audrey Hepburn was such a classic beauty.  She can be found photographed in many straw hats.  I would like to think that if monogramming was the craze back in the day of such a Hollywood Classic  that she too would have had her straw hats adorned with her set of initials.

If you have a tightly woven straw hat and would like me to monogram it, please contact me.  I am monogramming one day a week.  If it is a rainy week, I may monogram twice that week.  LOL!

For tips and/or a step by step tutorial on “How to Monogram a Straw Hat” click here.

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Show & Tell Friday: The PINspiration That Started it ALL

Pinterest is a woman’s best friend and a husband’s worse nightmare……or at least that is the way it is in my house.  Y’all know how I feel about Pinterest: LoVe, lOvE, LOVE!!   However, I must say that I only thought I pinned a lot, but I see some of the pinners that I follow have pins in the thousands and ten thousands.  I think I must be a picky pinner.  I have discovered that my pins must have links attached to them with detail about the pin.  I occasionally will pin a photo only, but I  usually like the pins that come attached to a working site.  There is nothing more disappointing than a great pin without the recipe, buying site, or DIY directions attached.  It’s through Pinterest that I have found some wonderful blogs to follow.  There are so many talented bloggers out there.

This particular pin below is from Amy who has a BEAUTIFUL blog, Playing Sublimely.  I must say that this wall is what put me on a mission of Operation Kitchen Cabinet Redoux.  It was my PINspiration.


PINspiration prayer wall from Playing Sublimely.

I know you’re probably thinking that how did a chalkboard wall lead me to redoing my kitchen cabinets, getting new counter tops, an addition to my island, etc…..  Well, it was just one of those things that happens when you begin to think of one thing and it leads to something else and so on and so on.  I had pinned his pin because I thought it was a genius idea to have a chalkboard prayer wall.  It just so happened that I had a tall skinny wall that I thought would be perfect for this.  I am a big fan of writing prayers to Our Father via a prayer journals so this was going to be one way that I could get my children to write their prayers down.  I also thought it would be a great way for us to be reminded daily that He is always in control and that we should be grateful of each day regardless of what comes our way.

One night after the Christmas excitement, Kenny and I found ourselves in Lowes or Home Depot.  Bored out of my mind in there, I wondered into the paint department and  just so happened to be asked if I needed any help.  To my amazement I heard the words come out of my mouth, “Yes, I am looking for chalkboard paint.”  It just came out like a cuckoo bird coming out of the clock on the top of the hour.  So, there I was with chalkboard paint in hand.  I figured how hard could this be……I have painted a few walls in my time!

Once I got home and read the can, I discovered that there were directions on how to prep the wall because for the best results for a chalkboard wall, the walls should be SMOOTH!  Smooth as in no texture on the wall.  This could NOT be correct.  So I hit the best invention since sliced bread for more information on it; Pinterest.  Surely, I would find other chalkboard DIY directions there.  So I searched: CHALK PAINT ……..not chaldboard paint; just chalk paint.  And from my ignorance a new project was born as well as a future blog post.  I had NO idea there was such a beautiful creature as chalk paint that did not require sanding or stripping the old paint off of the surface.  Finally there was a way for me to redo my old white cabinets, and it seemed like one project that  I could handle doing solo. (Solo as in no help from my husband.  I also needed to use doing it solo as my leverage to get those long-awaited for marble counter tops.)  Also thanks to my ignorance, I discovered that there was no other better way to paint a “chalkboard” wall without prepping the wall and making it smooth.  It’s at this part of my story that leads me to… Pinterest is a husband’s worst nightmare.

Above is the wall prior to the chalkboard paint.  Notice that it even has a wall phone on it.  Yes, we may be the only family that still has a wall phone.  We lived through Katrina and had phone  service before we had electricity and had both long before we had Internet and cable.  It’s important to me to have land line communication even if the wall phone is a decorating faux pas.  Please don’t judge….ha!! I NEED MY COMMUNICATION!!!!

Kenny had to patch the wall.  He rerouted the phone to the other side of the wall which WAS our butler’s pantry between our dining room and kitchen.  It since has received a make over which I will share in a future post with the kitchen.  As you can kind of tell, we have an open floor plan in our house.

He had to sand the texture off of the wall.  Then he applied something he called joint compound to make it a smoother texter. I called it spackle.  I would believe him and not me on this one….LOL!!!  The compound made the wall smoother than it was but it is not totally smooth.

He then had to sand the joint compound and prime the wall.  Can you say “dust”!!! The dust from the sanding step was almost unbelievable.  I’m not sure you can see the BLACK grand piano that is the neighbor to the wall under construction.  Thank goodness that half of the piano was covered with one of our Christmas trees and a tree skirt.  Yes, I started this project right after Christmas and before I had taken down the decorations.  I thought that was brilliant on my part. Don’t you? As if the Christmas aftermath isn’t enough of a mess in a home.   In my defense, Kenny was on vacation and most of my projects become his projects so he was a must. 

This is the wall painted with two coats of chalkboard paint and  with one stripe painted around the outer edges. 

Two stripes around the wall.  I was actually out-of-town in Foley, Alabama shopping with my mom and sisters when this step was underway.  I do love my husband….sweatpants and all!! (above picture..LOL!!) Notice the brown buffet in the background to the left.  It was getting ready for its big make over. 

The wall with two stripes and dots.  I did not trust myself with my handwriting nor my balance on a tall ladder to do the actual writing of verses on the chalkboard wall with actual chalk.  I cheated and used wall vinyl and my Cricut.  Kenny also helped me put that up due to my fear of being that high on a ladder.                                                                                                          

 The bottom of the wall would not have been so bad since I could have done it with both feet on the ground,  but Kenny did the applying of that verse too. I think he had a fear of me putting it on the wall on an angle.  I had the same fear to be honest. 

Here is the wall with both verses waiting for each child’s prayer frame.  Take a look at the buffet to the left.  It is now Emperor’s Silk Red (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).  The Christmas decorations are down too. 

And the wall today……painted, striped, dotted, vinyled, framed and chalked.  Kenny made the frames with pieces of molding so they would lay flat on the wall.  They came out a little smaller than I had envisioned but that left me with a little room for my yearly photo calendar and important numbers and dates.  It may not be as pretty and perfect as my PINspiration, but I love it just the same.  And most of all,  I love that it was the project from a PINspiration that started it all………..

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