During our uncertain times, families are focused on building spaces that bring comfort and improve everyday quality of life. Before the coronavirus pandemic, everyone wanted patio spaces that would work for entertaining. Our needs have changed. Work spaces and living spaces are our top priorities.
Now is the moment to take stock of our outdoor patios and porches. What items need to be replaced? Most likely, it is our furniture cushions.
Here’s a crazy idea . . . cover them with drapery textiles. You know, the living room drapes that you are thinking about replacing anyway. Combine these two ideas into one. Find a local seamstress or sew them, either way, before you now it, beautiful new cushions will emerge and the warm textiles will embellish your patio. Now, add a some throw pillows, blankets, lighting, and outdoor heaters. You will be ready for daily living as well as Covid-19 style outdoor entertaining!
It is patio season! Cooler weather is on the way. We are enjoying football games on TV. I am cooking more comfort foods and we are dining on our patio. So . . . now is the perfect time for a patio makeover!
Five tips for a patio makeover on a limited budget:
Select a fall color theme.
Cut and sew patio custom furniture cushions with covers made of repurposed vintage textiles.
Shop at a local upholstery store for additional fabrics for pillows. In Dallas, family-owned, Childress Fabrics has a grand selection of fabrics.
Shop your house for table scape items; ie. lanterns, candlesticks, vases, baskets, table runners, etc.
With the money saved, splurge on pumpkins, dried flowers and candles to decorate the table.
Five reasons the patio project is worth your time:
It’s a clever way to repurpose used drapes when you are done with them.
Engaging in a creative project is meaningful.
Your patio will be original and beautiful.
It is a great money saver!
Happy with my patio makeover! The fabric’s texture, design and fall colors are well-suited for patio cushion covers. Don’t worry if you don’t have any drapes for a patio project, resale shops and estate sales are a great source.
Before-and-After porch makeover . . . just in time for our 4th of July celebration!
As COVID-19 puts most summer vacations on hold, porches are claiming their role as America’s favorite place to enjoy a cocktail and an alfresco dinner. The porch is one of the few places to gather among masked neighbors and friends.
The rewards of devoting some time to decorating the porch will last throughout the summer!
From 0 to 1,800 – This is the number of face masks produced in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Launching a food blog in January 2009, I began sharing my life-long pursuit of cooking southern cuisine at its best! Since then, I have tested and typed recipes, photographed and written about food for my food blog, www.mytexaskitchen.com.
In 2009, a crazy thing happened . . . my original Blue Ribbon Lemon Cake won ‘Best of Show’ in the State Fair of Texas cake contest. This victory led to competing in Oprah’s cooking contests and a guest appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Several years later, my friend, Grace-anne and I competed on a Food Network Show with Bobby Flay.
On March 17th, 2020 everything changed. The coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place orders affected our world. On April 2, a friend called with the news that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins might soon recommend face masks. Although it was uncertain, I followed my intuition, put my food blog on hold and focused all of my efforts on a new line of stylish face masks. Risky at the time, the quick response paid off by vaulting my face masks production ahead of other startups.
Drawing from my experiences with Susan Apple, Inc., an apparel company I founded in my college dorm room in 1982, I took some tools of manufacturing apparel in the 80’s and 90’s fashion industry and retooled them for face masks production. Drafting a pattern, sewing the first sample, searching for local seamstresses, estimating and ordering fabrics and elastic.
Within days, I posted about my new face mask project on Facebook. Years of dedication to cultivating a large Facebook/Instagram following and food blog following gave me the chance to reach a wide audience. It paid off with steady stream of orders. The first face masks were delivered within a week. Since this day, Susan Apple, Inc. has become known as a reliable source for stylish face masks. Orders have been shipped from coast to coast. New orders are received daily.
The coronavirus has presented me with an opportunity to demonstrate that I have the resources and tenacity to manufacture top-quality products in the USA. Best of all, it has given me a chance to provide employment for local seamstresses.
Seizing this opportunity allows me to prove a thesis that I truly believe: people continue to appreciate better quality products over disposable quality so common in our world today. A fact proven by one face mask returned – and that was due to an accidental snip in the elastic. Such a low-return rate is unheard of in today’s global fashion industry.
Staying passionate about what I do is JT Osgood Hayler’s business motto. Her passion is contagious and resonates throughout The Songbird Society. When this coronavirus quarantine is behind us, step inside The Songbird Society and see for yourself!
At my recent appointment at The Songbird Society, I asked JT a couple of questions. Here is what I learned . . .
Making a difference during uncertain times is a stress reliever. In our hearts, we all want to make a difference. It’s in our DNA. During the coronavirus pandemic, we can make a difference.
One of the best ways is by supporting local, family-owned businesses. Simple, easy and the BEST way to give back and make a difference. It is critical for the economic vitality of local businesses as well as our communities.
No doubt there is fear and concern surrounding this outbreak. However, in the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Let’s think long term for a moment. Once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, how will our communities and local businesses look? Will our favorite mom and pop stores still be around for customers?
Making a difference together. During the coronavirus pandemic, we are fighting for the safety and health of every person. We are staying home, events have been cancelled, our world has been turned upside down. With these losses, how are we feeling?
During a recent podcast with Brene Brown, David Kessler, said “It’s good to name the emotion. It is grief.” He advises to find meaningful moments during our days. Very wise advice. While we are searching for ways to do this, one choice is by shopping at local, family-owned businesses(mostly grocery stores, hardware stores, nurseries and restaurant take-outs that remain open). By making this choice, in our hearts, we know we that are making a difference.
Making a difference with fundraising:
Remember the last time you attended a fundraiser . . . who were the business that underwrote the event? Most likely, they were family-owned, local businesses because they can be counted on every time. It’s so easy to walk into a family-owned business and ask for a donation. They continually give back to local communities.
Now is the time to pay it back by supporting local, family-owned businesses with your shopping dollars. Every single shopping dollar is critical. Together, we can make a difference!
Are the savings truly worth it?
In many ways, we have been led to believe that shopping at the big box stores, (not named because everyone knows who they are) are the answer. In good times perhaps they are helpful. During our current economic situation, perhaps there is a better way . . .
Making a difference during uncertain times:
Cooking more frugally
Loving our family and friends
Together, we can make a difference during these uncertain times!