groovy curtains

Yesterday our valley was wiped clean with snow. There was a snow bunny sculpture in the field behind our house. This morning it rained, punching down that smooth, soft layer into a pocky, slick mess. The once-bunny is a phallic lump, melting by the hour. Now the snow flakes blow sideways and then stop mid-flight to steer the other way like a beautifully choreographed dance.

surprise snow storm on a walk home from friends

My two cats and dog all sit within a few feet of me, their ears back as they try to interpret the whispering wind. It is unsettling and exciting at the same time. Spring knocks on our door.

sunny sunny hike with Ruby and Alice

I can feel this shift in energy as Margot giggles and dons flip flops declaring it is SO warm at 38 degrees. The seed displays are up, friends plan camping trips. And I have this urge to freshen up spaces.

Being that this is our new home, there are plenty of opportunities to transform. Of course we can’t do anything to the main house until June but, oh man, we are dreaming about it. In the mean time, we get to spiff up our apartment, embracing tiny adjustments to improve our feng shui. A well placed plant disguises the litter box in our living room, a shifted kitchen table allows for easy bunk bed access, the removal of chairs allows for some negative space around those cast about books and dolls.

One of the first things I wanted to change were the window treatments.


In addition to not being a blind fan in general, I have children who have become quite adept at turning anything into a toy. I am not sure why it feels fun to wrap their bodies in the stringy apparatus but every time we neglected to hoist it up high, one or both of my kids would step right into the lasso and start wrapping. Once, I had to cut it off of Margot. Anyway. I made curtains!

Margot and I talked on Saturday while Ruby napped and Andy worked on our new chicken coop and his new painting studio (my handy man!!). She turned to me and said, “mama, when are you ever going to make me that pink and orange skirt? And that shiny pink long dress? And fix my sun-moon costume?” I have been saying I’d do these things some day for so long now, as she watched me stitch things for other people every day. On this day I said, “How about right now?” And we peeled out to the studio.

I made her skirt and she was so over the moon about it, immediately stripping down and spinning (sorry, no photos!). We had so much fun sewing together, just she and I. I fixed her sun-moon and then asked if she’d mind if I started in on my curtains, the ones I’ve been wanting to make for over a month now. “No mama!” she squealed as she spun on one foot.

Holy smokes, it felt good to sew long, straight and fast. I sew so much detail work these days with tiny, precise stitches, seam allowances and thread tensions. On this bright afternoon, I floored it and felt the six yards of fabric zip into curtains, wind in my hair.

I found the fabric at Selvedge Studio (Red Work Renaissance by Chloe’s Closet for moda, #32620) and just fell in love. It reminded me of my happy curtains that we sold with our house. Rockin’ textiles are so inspiring. I just couldn’t wait to work with this fabric.

Deets: One inch top hem, four inch bottom hem, one inch side hems. I opted for the clips and rings because it is easy for my kids to open and close the curtains.

Have you noticed how hideous and expensive curtain rods are? In my opinion, they are most all gawdy and clunky. I wanted a simple, streamlined object that would hold curtains. I didn’t need finials the size of my head or faux-finished marble. Being that I am married to one foxy electrician I thought I’d use conduit and then asked him to think on a bracket. He came through with a brilliant idea.

PhotobucketThey are called 1/2″ EMT minis and are available at electrical supply stores, 25 cents each.

I cut the conduit down and spray painted those the whole shebang turquoise while it was snowing, which was hilarious.

four 1/2″ minis, conduit and spray paint for two 60″ curtain rods: $8

a few nails in the plywood held the conduit in place for spraying

I needed something to finish off the ends and, for real, I didn’t have a clue what I’d discover and then I remembered I spontaneously fell in love with and purchased four glass knobs at an antique shop in Ennis a few weeks ago! When I brought them home, Andy was all yeah those are awesome but what can we do with only four knobs? Well, darling love of my life, check it.

A magic collision of divine awesomeness.

PhotobucketWrapped in bubble wrap, I shoved those mo fos in the ends.

When we first moved into this small space the novelty and excitement carried us. A few weeks in, the challenges darkened our enthusiasm a bit. And now, I am so happy to report we are in our new groovy groove: sleep is happening, we are all getting the quiet personal space we need. It took some work to get here and, oh, it feels fantastic. Andy even brought up the possibility of staying in our little apartment for a while longer…hmm. I’m not so sure about that but I am really thankful to be here now. I wrote about our funny everyday and the surprising, bewildering moments of happiness I have in this week’s mama digs: our story. I had fun writing this essay and I am happy with it as I feel like it really captures Us, Now.

I love my new curtains.


And the creatures they frame.


happy hump day out there!

36 Responses to groovy curtains

  1. Delhibound says:

    Those curtains ARE bang! Love them and the end caps!

    Your mama digs link is broken :(

  2. My super talented friend, your endless ideas amaze me. Blinds are yucky, and your new curtains are very yummy.

  3. kendra says:

    so smart! love the blue and red and those endcaps!

  4. flagladytoo says:

    I love the new curtains! And the rods are awesome! Great idea!

  5. LOVE.

    And your conduit just rocked up my business.

  6. Kristianna says:

    Aw, man, I love that fabric and all its faux embroidered out the ying yang goodness. Perfect.

  7. Louise says:

    Love the curtain rods and the turquoise with the red. Awesome!

  8. What a difference those curtains made! Adorable! I’m just learning to sew, but isn’t it so sweet to share that with our daughters? My girl was tickled pink when I made her a tablecloth and a set of napkins for our Valentine’s day tea party (just her and I). Such a great way to remind them how special they are and how much we adore them! Your apartment is so cozy, can’t wait to see what you do with the house!!!

  9. Oh I just love your ingenuity! Don’t you love repurposing? I used a lot of electrical pieces to help make a fountain/water feature out of a galvanized watering can. I think the best part was confusing the guys at Home Depot and then having them want me to bring the finished product back.

    I digress….You rock. Simple enough.

    And I love the material and how it softens and brings balance and beauty to your little nest. You did a great job. And yes, spray painting in the cold has to be wickedly entertaining!

    :) Jennifer

  10. Perfect! And the fabric *is* scrumptious.

  11. ctb says:

    oh alice. running and smiling or snoozing on the sofa, she has my heart.

    yea, miniblinds are super yucky. just yanked one down after looking at it for a year and half with total disgust. now i have a long cutaint tucked into short curtain until i come up with something better. this post was great motivation for me to finally solve that with something i l.o.v.e.

    so thanks for that, friend :)

  12. ctb says:

    ahem, ‘cutaint’.
    yea, i meant to type ‘curtain’.

    but am peeing myself over the unintentional crudeness of that typo. kinda sums up how i feel about miniblinds.

  13. BRH says:

    Love, love, love those curtains! And go you on the rods. Looks wonderful! :)

  14. TRB Holt says:

    Brilliant idea for the rod & brackets! AND the curtains are too cute…love the color contrasts!

    It always puts a smile on my to see photos with Alice, Sam or Olive in them…OH Ruby & Margot too!

    xoxo, Mom

  15. Yay Nici! I’m in a pinch and needed this post more than anything! Now I know how I can make my own curtain rods. Thanks.

  16. Very nice job on those curtains!!!
    I love the Selvedge Studio too! Thanks for the link. Happy Thursday!

  17. Zoe says:

    I’m with you on the curtain rods so I love this idea. I think it’s something even we can do (the husband and I are somewhat DIY-challenged).

    Your essay was a wonderful read. Your girls are adorable and how much fun will your life be when Ruby can come up with some zingers of her own? I hope she winks just like Margot too.

  18. You are a genius! And sooooo stinkin creative! Send some of your creative energy my way please. :-)

  19. Minnesotagal says:

    So cute!!!

    We are, all three of us, late sleepers. Bean doesn’t get up until 8:30! So we have blinds covered by room darkening shades covered by pillows where the light wants to sneak in. I love the light, gauzy look of those but there is no way I’d survive with sun peeking in at crazy early hours!

  20. Katie says:

    The new curtains rock!

  21. Annie says:

    Love how you pulled it all together.

  22. megsplegs says:

    i love the new curtains! so glad you and margot were able to carve out time to be together & create two fabulous projects. i’m dying to see margot modeling her new pink and orange skirt. :)
    your new space is totally cozy & i am totally impressed with the way your fam has put your personalities right into all the little details.

  23. megsplegs says:

    oh, and those curtain rods & mo fo’s totally rock. you the shit, diggy!

  24. megsplegs says:

    and i totally need to stop saying ‘totally’ so often.

  25. Jenny V says:

    Nici…those are beautiful and the torquoise is such a lovely touch. Well done, Dig!

  26. rebecca... says:

    ,,,okay, now that you have your lil abode “digs” all cozy and such, have room for 1 more? (smile). I wouldn’t do that to you promise, but I look forward to one day making my way to big sky MT for a visit and to meet YOU, nici holt-cline, the ever talented one!,,,

  27. Kelly Cach says:

    Oh my goodness….love the fabric….so much!!!

    And I did the same thing with my kitchen rods….used extra drawer knobs instead of the too long & ornate things that came with them (but kept them……like for future school projects for the kids :). YAY!

  28. I’ve been fantasizing ( among other things) of simplifying and moving to a much smaller space.
    Back to the beet lovin- I promis I will send you the Tangled Thai salad recipe with beets. You’ll flip for the dressing. Let’s just say almond butter and coconut milk. Seriously amazing taste!
    Enjoy personality of your curtains- blinds are so lifeless

  29. Malissa says:

    I adore your curtains, rod, and glass knobs! So lovely and creative. I also love Ruby’s tousled, blonde hair, your big fat cat and the coziness of your space. :)

  30. Joycee says:

    Came over for a bran muffin recipe and then I started jumping on the trampoline and taking a hike and now I’m hooked on Montana and watching your girls grow up! I’ll be back later to snoop some more…

  31. Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this blog post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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  33. MeiziTang says:

    Thanks for Fruta Planta, made me thinner and even more beautyful!definitely like it!!!!

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