Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer days with lace curtain

These beautiful (dry, windy, hot) summer days are going by so quickly. I eat warm yellow peaches every day, two-handed, leaning over the sink, like a greedy child. I shred, chop, or slice zucchini into everything I eat, and still more arrive on my doorstep--zucchini is so hard to love, but it is here in abundance, and I am doing my best. If I shred it into a green salad, I don't even notice it's there, which apart from the garbage is my favorite way to dispose of a zucchini.

Looking for new ways to make a fresh mess, I conducted a little experiment with a white polyester lace curtain from the thrift store. White doesn't seem to have much place in my messy life, and this proper granny curtain was looking a little prim in the window. A little too clean. What with the polyester and all I despaired of being able to dye it, and I was about to go in search of a dirtier-looking one when I suddenly remembered a tidbit gleaned a few years ago from an Annie Sloan book--you can use chalk paint to "dye" fabric. (Maybe you've seen the beautiful blue curtains she made from antique linens and, dang, blue paint. Amazing. There's a picture of them here.) I had some chalk paint in the cupboard already--Folk Art Chalk in a sort of brownish-gray color called "Castle". Annie's instructions say to mix 1 tablespoon of paint with about 1 liter of tepid water--now, I have no idea how much a liter is, so I just put a blob of paint into a bowl and then filled it with what seemed like approximately some water, maybe a half-gallon--and then stirred it with my hands until I couldn't feel the paint blob anymore. I dunked the curtain in there, wrung it out, and hung it on the clothesline, where the hot wind blew it dry in about four minutes.

I ironed it to set the color, and then hung it in the window, where it fluttered very satisfyingly, in a very summer-cottage kind of way, and where it looked properly dingy and not white at all. I can't quite believe it worked--I have painted a lace curtain, and lo, it is good. All of a sudden, anything can be any color I want. Holy cow, nothing is safe.

Off now to eat another peach.

15 comments:

  1. Well, what a clever idea! It looks great! I'll have to tuck this little tip into the back of my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's how I often eat peaches, and mangos too - over the sink so I don't need to worry about the mess. Love the lace curtain, looks like you got a great result.

    I love zucchini or courgettes as we call them here. It's one of my favourite vegetables, I like them best roasted with garlic or just plain steamed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for letting us know about the chalk paint, I had no idea it could be used like that! I have a few old doilies that have rust stains that just don't seem to want to come out. This might be a gentler alternative, as any scrubbing as led to me having to fix parts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lace curtains are the absolute best! Especially when blowing in the breeze.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is brilliant. Love the new look for your old granny curtain. And those blue linen drapes in the link- wow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kristen, I do envy you your clothesline ... how grand to be able to let fresh air dry one's laundry, just like my Mom did when my brothers and I were children. Apparently, nowadays, although my Mom still does laundry (at 98) her neighborhood no longer smiles upon having a clothesline in the back yard. Mind you, Mom has lived in that neighborhood longer than any of the culture arbiters.

    Your paint dyed curtain looks fabulous. Let the breezes blow. And the peaches ripen. xo

    ReplyDelete
  7. A clever idea Kristen. Love lace curtains. I live in a small cottage and have lace curtains. Always very happy with them.Looking forward to having Summer here, in the grips of cold winter here down under so I'm knitting lots and getting lovely ideas from you on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Holy cow, nothing is safe!" - Oh Lord, I almost coughed / laughed up a lung on that one. You did good with that paint/dye job on the polyester curtain. I'll have to remember that one too. I envy your peach availability; I would be a glutton for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful curtains. Now, as for the zucchini. I bake it into brownies and cakes, etc. This way I get my veggies and it tastes great!!!!!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  10. I admire everything you do, and feel certain we would make fabulous neighbors for each other. Would love to send photos of what you've inspired me to make, but do not know how to email you. Wanted you to know that one of the links on your favorite blogs leads to something I'm quite certain you didn't intend. Hesitant to be more specific... Keep on makin magic and posting pictures. It's all fabulous!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! You can email me at MissusJ@gmail.com. :)

      Delete
  11. Wow! I didn't know you could dye fabric with paint! I have plans for some dyeing and bleaching this summer, if nothing else then to make a dress inspired by this one: http://www.makery.uk/2016/08/the-refashioners-2016-rosie/ , though in cotton rather than denim; the latter sounds a bit heavy for summer. Here there's a (sort of) rhyme for litres to pints, 'a litre of water is a pint and three quarters'. We seem to still use both metric and imperial here in the UK. Fabric for example is often sold in inches for width but always in metres for length. Makes perfect sense though! Jen

    ReplyDelete