Monday, July 31, 2006

Handmade Recipe Pouch

Recipe Pouch(click photos to see detail)
Here's the handmade recipe pouch I made for Kim as part of the What's Cookin? swap. Kim likes pin-up girls, so I used this fun fabric that was originally a thrifted pair of pants! Varigated red white and blue thread, and red white and blue ribbon to close. I had wanted to applique the letters, but my alphabet stamps were too intricate, so the 'recipes' is blue ink I stamped on the fabric (made for fabric, so it's washable).

Back of pouch:
Recipe Pouch, back
The back side shows the cute face of the sailor girl, and the famous legs (was it Rita Hayworth? Her face curves around to the front side of the pouch).

Recipe Pouch interior
Anchor and sail boat fabric interior. You can see the top of the recipe cards visible. Note the varigated red white and blue thread. I usually turn under seams but I experimented this time and just used a decorative stitch instead. I think I like the traditional better, but it's all a learning process, you know? In fact, I cut this out with the intention of it being a tri-fold, but the measurements were off somehow, so I folded it up and handstitched the edges closed. It works this way too, it's just not what I had envisioned.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Recipe card swap

Kim (my partner in the apron/recipe card swap) should receive these today, so I'm going to go ahead and post.
Vinyl recipe card, front (click to enlarge)
I really wanted to have fun with the recipe part of the What's Cookin' Swap, so I made three non-traditional cards (plus sent extra recipes, written on my own regular recipe cards).
This one is vinyl, with metallic pink thread, ultra fine pink glitter, and copies from one of my vintage recipe binders. Tuna Casserole, hence the fish.
Here's the back side:
Vinyl recipe card, back

The first version of this card I backed with fabric, but after it was all done I realized I had sealed dog hair within it (oopsie. Story of my life). You can't just take out threads and re-stitch because the plastic is pierced and it's about impossible to match again. Sewing on vinyl is tricky anyway, I don't have a walking foot so I have to stitch over tissue paper or the needle will stick. This is one of those projects where one can't expect perfection. I really think this has possibilities though. I just submitted a query to Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine for an article about this--cross your fingers they accept the idea!

Other ideas for vinyl recipe cards:
*cookie recipe and float colored sugar crystals within
*cake recipe with pastel colored sprinkles within
*spanish rice recipe with rice granules and a tomato sauce or bouillon label on the back side
Get the idea? It's a recipe version of the snow globe!
Or I can see vinyl used for postcards and invitations too. Vinyl is my current obsession.

My second card is a bit more traditional...with a twist.
Recipe card on paper
This one is a stamped card but I stitched around it with metallic thread and added a fabric gingerbread man. My swap partner is more meal-oriented than dessert oriented, so instead of cookies I wrote out a recipe for Ambrosia Salad with a metallic pen that matched the thread.

I'll wait to post the third card (she hasn't received it yet). Because I was so late in sending her package, I included a package of goodies (Yoshida Teriyaki sauce, two bottles of Kim's favorite Louisiana Hot Sauce, a garlic chile sauce, Hello Kitty Strawberry Marshmallows, clear bra straps for her 'passion' side (her blog is Passion and Art), a really cool bird-shaped orange peeler, a fun kitchen scrubbie with a face on the package, and a mini dust pan and wisk broom for more kitcheny goodness.

And then I made a pouch to hold the recipe cards. I'll post about it Monday so this isn't so long-winded today.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Craft Fair

For any of you in San Diego, there's a Punk Rock Craft Fair tomorrow, July 29th, and Sunday, the 30th, at the Che Cafe at UCSD. Bands, goodies for sale, and rubbing shoulders with fellow crafters.

Photo Friday

Not a booth shot, but a vintage family photo.
Me and Mom
Me and my mom, at my grandparents' home in Coronado. Here after waking in the morning, sleep clinging to my eyes, both of us comfy in our jammies. Not sure why were staying there--I know we lived there when my mom was ill with hepatitis, but that may have been earlier. This is one of my favorite pics of my mom and me together.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chocolate Apron

Julia Junkin Apron, Chocolate theme
I love Julia Junkin designs. One year for Christmas I bought my friends Queen-themed dish towels and wine-themed napkins. This is a new apron I just bought for myself, with a chocolate theme. Ya gotta love it! She has lots of fun dishes too--especially for serving appetizers, etc. I have some with lemon designs, but she has olives and other goodies too. She has cookie jars and a bunch of fun inspirational stuff.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Unique Quilts

I posted recently about the book, "The Quilt that Walked to Golden", by Sandra Dallas, but I didn't post any photos. I couldn't resist these two pics. Like this quilt made from clothing labels!
Quilt made of labels
The caption (page 115) says, "Libbie Gottschalk spent thirty years covering a quilt with hundreds of clothing labels." How amazing is that?! And it looks great too!
Then there's a necktie quilt!
Necktie Quilt
page 109 "An Indian woman in Montana works on a quilt top made from men's ties"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Halter dress pattern, 1972

Halter dress pattern, 1972
I love love love this pattern, but it's way too small for me, and I'm not well enough versed in how to alter a pattern to make it larger. (31-1/2 bust ain't gonna cut it!). It's so timeless though, and the cut so flattering. I may take a class in pattern alteration, and I would love to learn how to make a pattern off a favorite item of clothing. I need to copy a jacket and a pair of shorts right now, and I don't know where to begin.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Vintage book

Beautiful Joe
I like the idea of collecting vintage children's books. I have a few--more for the illustrations or for sentimental value than anything a collector would value. This book is a hand-me-down I either got from my mom or my cousins. I'm surprised how this was one time a classic, yet now few people seem familiar with the story.
This copy was printed in 1920, but the first printing was 1893. Basically the dog version of Black Beauty--about the cruelty of cropping ears, etc. I read it once, it made a huge impact, and I was never able to read it again. But then I could never even see Old Yeller again, so I'm a total softie.
Illustration, Beautiful Joe
Children's book illustration
This is from the back of the book jacket, advertising popular children's books by Grosset and Dunlap, 1920.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


San Diego County Fair Food
A nice representation of summer--the San Diego County Fair. Just pick a day and eat your way through the place! Apple slices with caramel, Tasty Chips (homemade potato chips sprayed with vinegar), corn on the cob with chile-salt, Indian Fry Bread, Teriyaki on a stick, gingerbread, cinnamon rolls...and of course deep fried everything (even Snickers).
I love this picture.


I added the 'before' version of my Tie One On apron to that previous post. It's a 70's era shirt that I cut up and collaged onto the apron. Just thought I'd let ya'll know I updated the post.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Photobooth Friday

Ninth grade. My (unsuccessful) attempt at sexy. Look at the baby fat cheeks. Geez. That shirt was crisp muslin with embroidered cardinals on the bodice. Surprisingly, I still have it--even then I thought it might look good in a quilt one day.

More photobooth goodness over on Andrea's blog.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Carousel joy

Capturing the brass ring
Just for fun, a photo of the old carousel in Balboa Park, adjacent to the San Diego Zoo. From the outer stationary animals, you can try to capture the gold ring.

Sort-of a nice analogy for life, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's Frickin' Hot Here!

It's Frickin' Hot Here!
It's grossly hot here. I live in the east county, so the average temp is in the 90's right now--not too comfortable without A/C. I grew up here, and I remember summer being dry and yummy, not the humid tropical stuff we have experienced recently. Humidity has reached saturation at times, and we get big water droplets, thunder, and lightning. I like the storm part, but not the sticky icky heat part. Here is my poor black kitty, Terry, trying to cool off. He climbs into the refrig every time the door is opened.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pattern Brand Awareness

Most people know that vintage patterns are sized differently from current patterns, but those of you who sew clothing may not be aware how sizes in current patterns vary from company to company. Hopefully you know to choose a pattern off your measurements versus the size you normally wear in purchased clothing. I sew a far larger size than I purchase at the mall.

One of the best pieces of advice I have gotten is from the book Power Sewing, by Sandra Betzina. You can find more details in this book (I recommend it), but the gist is this:

New Look and Style patterns: true to your measurements (go with your full bust measure)
Butterick and Vogue: true to your measurements
McCalls and Simplicity: run larger. Choose a pattern that matches your upper bust measure). I've had to choose up to two sizes smaller with this brand.
Stretch & Sew and Kwik Sew: realistic measurements
Burda: flattering European cut, also true to measurements

Monday, July 17, 2006

Paper Design

Negative Space
This is a design on paper I made using cut shapes in black construction paper onto a white background. This was a project in an interior design class involving noticing negative space. I like this so much, I think it would be nice to recreate it in fabric, as a small quilt.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

For the love of all things wrapped

I have always loved wrapped clothing--tops that tie on the side, sarong-like skirts, dresses that are all one piece and wrap-around. When I was in dance, I even wore wrap-around leotards. Now I'm obsessed with vintage patterns that wrap. I love this one from 1968. I can't wait to make it.
Vintage Dress Pattern, 1968

This idea, of a full piece of fabric and three arm holes, fascinates me. This pattern from 1969 is a bit too prim and proper for me, but the concept is interesting.
Vintage Wrap Dress Pattern, 1969

Here's another version of the three armhole thing. Karen tells me her mom made this for her, and it still brings on bad memories. Imagine it in thick polyester. Eeewww. Still though, it intrigues me. Maybe as a swimsuit cover-up?
Full wrap dress pattern

Here's a similar one. I bought this off ebay but haven't received it yet. I love that the one in the middle appears to be made with a towel.
towel dress

Here's what appears to be a mock version of the wrap, probably early 70's. I don't own this one, I just grabbed the photo off ebay.
Wrap Dress Pattern

Friday, July 14, 2006

Apron and Recipe Card Swap

Well, today is the big reveal! I got this cranberry and orange aloha fabric (my color and style preferences) apron from Meredith.
Apron Swap Received
(it seemed apropos to photograph it in front of a tropical mural)

Close-up detail of the ruffle on the pocket, and the cute pineapples stamped onto the orange.
Close-up detail swap apron

For recipes, she sent full page mustardy-colored cardstock--I prefer this. I use full pages in binders, or my recipe box uses the larger 4X6 cards versus the standard 3X5. I am also glad she sent two desserts and a dessert-like bread. I bake more than anything else, so this makes sense. And I can't wait to try them all!
Good choices.
Recipe Swap

And what of the apron that I sent, you ask? Uh, I suck. I missed the deadline. I'm still working on it. I do have to say that I really really like it so far though, if that's any consolation. I also missed two friends' birthdays, as I'm still working on their purses. Arrgggghhhh. So, I'm off now to my sewing machine....

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Photo Friday

My mom and her sorority
(click on photo to enlarge)
My mom dominates this photo--she's the beautiful one seated on the right, with her coat draped on the chair. She was, and still is, a tiny little thing. The group was a sorority just to get together, versus associated with a university. My mom never even graduated from high school. She got married at 17 instead. That's what people did then. She is, however, one of the smartest people I know. I haven't asked her the year this was taken, but I'm assuming she was in her 20's which places this in the mid to late 40's.

More photo goodness on Andrea's blog.

Makai at Dog Beach

Makai at Dog Beach
Ocean Beach in San Diego

This photo makes me smile. He's such a sweet boy. I love the paw prints in the sand.
I love staying here. These are new clients--I went over to meet them and they gave me their house keys. Happens all the time. It's so comfortable here--little beach house full of surf and travel memorabilia.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Look who showed up

New Kitty #1
Somebody dumped this little girl at my mom's house last week. She was skinny and filthy and famished. She's a little shy, but hopefully she'll come around. She came to the right house. Two days later, her brother appeared.
New Kitty #2
This is the SWEETEST little boy. He purrs constantly. He showed up skin and bones and filthy dirty, and so small you had to pet him with your index finger. Now he's growing like a weed,and has a big round tummy. I plan to make him my own inside kitty (yeah, three I'll ever find an apartment).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jamaica, 1985

No sewing to show right now, and jury duty is adding to the mix. So, what the heck, why not post another photo? I'm revealing my age with this one.
Jamaica, 1985
Trip to Jamaica with my friend Missy and her brother Fred. It was wild to drive from the right side of the car, and shift with my left hand...and try to figure out how to negotiate circular streets when everything was, in my view, backward. I loved that dress I was wearing. Jamaica was so third world, I grew tired of being harassed for money. But travel was new to me then. I think I would enjoy it more now. Perhaps I'll return one day.
So many places to see in the world...
People to meet, things to do and learn about...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Window Shopping

So many fun things to buy, so little cash....
but it sure is fun looking.
From Mahar Drygoods, this collaged suitcase, too wonderful for words, collaged in illustrations from children's books.

Another item from Mahar Drygoods, the epitome of cuteness--a pig-shaped rattle.

Cute little crocheted bag from Bella Dia.

And then sometimes you just have to talk about the Sundance catalog. It's up there with Anthropologie in the I-could-spend-a-million-dollars category. But then spending a million dollars probably wouldn't be too tough for me...
But I digress.

My God look at this Oak Necklace

Or this Kacho-e necklace with a bird on a branch.

Or for the moms out there, the simplicity of this necklace is lovely.

Or how fun are these spinner rings?

Or this quilt with concentric circles. Gack! It makes me sweat, it's so divine.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Silver shapes

These are charms that I made myself! I took a jewelry class yesterday at the Shepherdess, involving stamping words onto metal. I freehand drew shapes onto a sheet of sterling silver, cut them out with a jeweler's saw, then oxidized them with liver of sulphur. (click on the photo to enlarge)

These are going to hang from a small quilt I'm making that has a vintage seaside theme. The wave shape has an interior cut, and is stamped 'surf'. The starfish says 'sea'. Both were texturized with a hammer and bent. I may end up making a seahorse also, but this is a tedious process. Fun though!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

For the love of the seam ripper

I have said that I need a seam ripper surgically implanted somewhere on my body so I'll always know where one is.

Unfortunately, I seem to constantly need to use one.

Next month I'm taking a class to make a tool caddy that hangs around your neck so you always have the little suckers available (meaning the ever elusive scissors and seam ripper).

And boy can I relate to what Susie Sunshine has to say on the subject:
"In this house, seam rippers are a lot like store employees-you can never find one when you need one because they are cowering in a corner-so there was a considerable amount of muttery profanage as the entire project was disassembled using scissors from a manicure set and a stick pin.

A new piece was pinned and cut and sewn back in place with plenty of fucks and damns."

Yep, couldn't have said it better myself.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Organza Quilt

Organza Quilt
A 'journal quilt' (meaning a small size) that I made in my art quilting class. It somewhat loses its character in the photograph--up close it's quite fun to look at. It is a composition of red eucalyptus leaves, fabric scraps, a torn rose petal, cranberry-colored thread, green and rust-colored yarn, and green tissue paper, all sandwiched between cream-colored silk organza. The organza is 'fused' together with a book-binding glue. I left the area of the fabric with leaves stitched and in a natural state versus glued down.

Organza quilts are meant to be hung in a window and therefore seen through. I was so conscious of getting the kitty in the photo that I didn't get the top of the quilt in the viewfinder. The quilt is hung from a stick, adding to the natural elements. On the left are some gold-covered leaves that I found at a thrift store, hanging by embroidery and varigated thread.

My teacher made a really interesting organza quilt that was basically pockets of sea glass. Here's another of her quilts. Check out her site, there is some fun stuff there.

(to be clear on the depth perception here, the quilt is small and is hanging on the sliding glass door so the light can shine through it. The cat is outside the door. So the cat is farther away and the quilt is close to the camera...)

Photo Friday

My mom and her first born (my brother Rog), 1944.
Check out that old bassinet in the background, the old windows....
My mom's beauty. She was 19. (you can click on the photo to enlarge it)
Mom and Rog, 1944

Photobooth Friday is the brain child of the lovely Andrea. Though one is really supposed to post booth photos, I like to post old family photos too.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Gift giving

I try to give personalized gifts. I try to spend some time really thinking about a person and giving them something unique. I'm pretty proud of what I gave my friend Scott for his birthday a few days ago. Scott is Duke's dad (the dog in my banner). He and his wife Jen have become far more to me than just my clients--we're good friends now. But it's so difficult to figure out what to give guys for their birthdays.

Well, Scott loves Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, so I made him a homemade version. I used this recipe here. There are other copycat versions out there, like this, that is heavy on the almonds, and this one I really want to try that uses lemon extract and orange zest.

The cookies were yummy, and he seemed really pleased. I also gave him a bunch of pics of Duke. Did you see the movie Amelie? I don't remember the details anymore, but in it there's a garden gnome that someone takes pics of all over the's the gnome at the Eiffel tower, here's the gnome here and there. Well, Duke is my gnome. Jen says he must have been a model in a former life. Anyway, I figured I'd share this idea in case it sparks something for you too.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Book recommendation

I read an enchanting book, "The Piano Tuner", by Daniel Mason. See my review on my other blog.

Homemade Charms

Charms front
My first attempt at collage charms, and learning to solder. These I made recently in a stamping class. These are microscope slides that have been cut in half, small paper collages are put inside two pieces of glass, then copper tape is used to secure the glass together. The copper is then covered with solder. The writing is from a dictionary purchased at a 99 cent store (a nice source for collage materials). The ocean images are actual photographs I took at Sunset Cliffs. I experimented with different sizes of copper tape on which to solder, so this was all just a learning process. I was really surprised that I preferred the wavy tape--one I didn't think I would like. I thought I was going to prefer the wide tape, and I didn't like it at all. Hence why one needs to try all methods.

Here's the back side.
Charms back
I obviously need to practice my soldering, but not bad for a first go round. The rainbow here is a real photograph I took while driving (!) down highway 52 (a freeway) one afternoon. I am planning others to make soon, and will use them to embellish a small quilt I'm entering in a contest. More later....

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