Thursday, August 31, 2006

Flapper Potholder (Hot Mitt Monthly)

Gack! Finally another post. You all know my own computer crashed, but even the LIBRARY'S weren't working this week! Hence my slow-to-post this week.
So here I am at a copy center.

I recently purchased an old booklet from the 20's with bias tape patterns.
Bias tape booklet

One of the patterns inside was a hot pad with the face of a flapper.
Bias tape patterns
The booklet calls these "Blondie" or "Brownie", depending on hair and eye color.

I uploaded the pics to Flickr, and Jennifer from the Felt Mouse mentioned that the theme for August for Hot Mitt Monthly is to make a potholder with a face. The timing was perfect. I opted to make a redhead (natch!). I found some really fun swirly fabric to resemble hair--sort-of a Louse Brooks meets Dilana from Rockstar Supernova.
Flapper Potholder

The pattern says to paint on the facial details, but I thought a combination of applique, embroidery, and thread would be more permanent.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Vintage Betty Crocker Ad, 1951

Betty Crocker Ad, 1951
I just purchased an old Woman's Day Magazine on ebay. Even the ads in it are priceless (you can click on the pic to enlarge it and see the detail).
I suppose I should be like Mary of My House is Cuter Than Yours, and post my own version of the recipe for these Peach Puffs...
but in this case....


Friday, August 25, 2006

Photo Friday: My dad, hurdles:1939

Eek, Friday is almost over, and I just realized I forgot to post a pic. I don't have time to find a booth shot, so I pulled out a pic I happened to already have saved on Flickr. This is my third post today, so please make an effort to do a scroll down after this :).

My dad on the left, his twin brother Frank in the middle, and their friend Pat, messing around at Coronado High School sometime in the 30's. The charms next to the photo are tiny track shoes and trinkets that were awards from track events. One reads, "Pole Vault Class 5 (I think that's the number) 1939", and on the front a symbol that looks like someone jumping over a pole, with "Metro League" engraved beneath it. The other reads "Pole Vault 500 Class" on the back and on the front, "SD Counties Meet". The charms are one of most treasured possessions, and currently hang from the rear view mirror of my SUV.


Today I finally went to check out the Cookbook Store. Imagine! A shop just filled with cookbooks! I envisioned all sorts of lovely vintage booklets with whimsical illustrations, but I was disappointed. It was a mass of stuffed boxes, heaps and stacks, and an overall mess. No vintage booklets, very little information. I left empty handed. Sigh...

Treated myself yesterday to a sandwich from a bakery (Solunto) in the Little Italy section of San Diego. I gotta tell ya, bread like that just makes life worth living. Man oh man.

I have had (much to my friend Melinda's horror) a life-long love of bugs. I can't envision myself with a career involving them...only because I can't see past the Natural History Museum and walls of pin-stuck creatures on a wall. No thank you.
But I am openly gleeful to see the season's first June bug (the little ones, that is), I love bees and fuzzy black caterpillars, and yesterday I was in awe of a huge butterfly flitting about in the garden. I was more in awe when a tiny grasshopper landed on my shirt.
A grasshopper!
I hadn't seen one in years. Too, last week I saw a praying mantis and just stared at it with joy.
A praying mantis!
Wow, a remnant of childhood. It seems we're such an asphalt jungle here now...growing up to be another Los Angeles...and natural elements just aren't a daily occurence anymore.
So I enjoy the reminders that all these creatures still survive regardless of our intrusion. Yesterday I also found a dung beetle, drowned in the birdbath. It was so beautiful, with irridescent green wings...that I seriously tried to figure out how I could craft with it. I mean, people used to make portraits with butterfly wings--why not beetles? But I left it alone.

I've been taking the dogs I'm sitting to the beach or to Fiesta Island every day. They're old and choose not to stay long, but I'm using this time together for photo opps. The plan is to make glass slide ornaments for Christmas presents. Actually one ornament with multiple slides and photos on both sides.

I went to Nordies today and did a bit of shopping. It's not often that I find myself in a mall anymore. Shopping of late seems limited to thrifting, ebay, and an occasional Zappos. But sometimes a girl needs a Wacoal bra and some good cosmetics, so Nordies is the place. I discovered a Tom Ford body oil by Estee Lauder that, despite the slow-to-absorb oil is just such a yummy spicy scent. I was sniffing my hands for hours!
But that's why the stuff is sold out.
And then of course the make-up department happens to be adjacent to the of course I had to make a little trek through there and drool over the 40's-inspired Seychelles Mary Janes(which I would post a pic of were I not on this a#!rg&*?! Mac) and Merrill tennies.
So many things to buy, so little incoming cash....

Ironically, Summer is almost over and it just never felt right this year. I'm actually looking forward to Fall. Tomorrow I'm going to try to crash a Saturday course at a community college involving clothing pattern and apparel construction. I hope I get in.


Ooh, fun stuff I just purchased from A Very Mary Design. I am so pleased. Bird magnets, bottlecap magnets, and a wire bookmark that hangs on the binding.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Raggedy Ann and Andy Quilt Pattern

I'm glad to see Raggedy Ann and Andy making a comeback in popularity. There is something so sweet, so traditional, so hometown Americana about the pair.
I found this cute quilt pattern in a booklet of 17 Quilt Patterns, called "Aunt Martha's Favorite Quilts" (no date indicated).
Thrift store find--95 cents! 
Raggedy Ann and Andy Quilt

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Random thoughts and occurences

Why is it that you can buy chocolate-covered raisins, regular raisins, organic raisins, vanilla yogurt raisins....and no one sells sugared-coated raisins? You know, the ones I have to dig out of the box of Raisin Bran and then throw the flakes away? Or cinnamon raisins? Those would be yummy too.

Now you too can duplicate Angelina Jolie's tattoos. You can now purchase a tee shirt with copies of luscious lips' art and the placement thereof.

I got my hair cut today for the first time in almost a year. My hair has gotten so long now, that cutting it would destroy my identity or something. But it was getting scraggly on the ends, and I really needed a boost. So I tried a new guy (hello, stylist) today (scary), and he really did listen when I said not to go nuts. I got long layers that feel good and I like the way it looks. I am starting to get a touch of gray, so I asked him if maybe low lights would work. He said not so much. So he used a semi-permanent rinse and made my hair auburn. Almost brown. It is naturally a strawberry blonde--almost a gold. I went into work today, and the first person to comment was a guy named Hank who is loveable and popular, even with a biting tongue and dripping sarcasm. He's the type to tell you that you look fat or your skirt is hideous. Anyway, I was walking out of the breakroom, and this is what transpired:
Hank: WHAT did you do to your hair?
Me: I colored it. And cut it. Why? You don't like it?
Hank: It's so pretty! What else did you do?
Me: Oh, it's just blown dry. Usually I don't take the time.
Hank: It's so pretty!
(then he added with a smile that it's usually a rat's nest...but coming from Hank, let me tell you, that made my day).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fabric Recipe Card

I have never made an ATC (I didn't even know what artist's trading cards were until recently), but after receiving a fabric postcard recently, I decided to try the idea--but with a twist.
I made a recipe card.
(click on pics to see detail)
Fabric recipe card
I layered fabric and copied images (from cookbooks onto fabric). Layering where one chicken is visible beneath the lemon was intentional--I like the multidimensional effect. If you don't want that, just back the top fabric with muslin.

And on the other side, a lemon chicken recipe.
I don't have a fancy stitch on my machine to bind the edges, so I just used a straight stitch back and forth several times. I like the effect a lot.
Fabric recipe card, back
The center is a stiff interfacing--I used Peltex, but there are other brands with a similar function. You can stitch the top layer right onto the product if you want to. So it's a combination of fusing and sewing. (sorry the scan isn't fully showing. If you click to enlarge you can see it fully)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Topsy Turvy

I had intended to post about my topsy-turvy doll anyway, but it was ironic that Amy of Angry Chicken recently posted about these dolls also. See her post here.
Topsy Turvy Doll
I just pulled her out of storage, so she's a bit dirty, but still in good shape. My parents bought her in Louisiana in the early 60's. She's a white girl on one side, then flip her upside down, and she's a Mammy.
Topsy Turvy Mammy
I always liked the Mammy side the best.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Another great vintage dress pattern

Vintage Dress Pattern

Friday, August 18, 2006

Photo Friday

Wow, Friday again already. I had an old photobooth pic of my mom, but I have misplaced it. Eek. So here's a non-booth but very special old photo of me and my grandmother (my mom's mom). (click on photo to enlarge)
Nanny and Me

This is one of my favorite childhood photos. It's filled with sweetness, gentleness, goodness..
Even now my eyes well with tears at the innocence lost.
I was at the San Diego Zoo with my beloved 'Nanny'. It has been 32 years since she passed away, and still my love for her is powerful. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and miss her terribly.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Groovy Illustrations

Well, I tried to scan the pattern today, but the scanner had issues. If anyone needs more info on the pattern, feel free to comment here (include your email addy so I can reply) or email me (link on the side here). Just for a peek though, how cute is the ship?
Polynesian bag pocket

So...instead of talking about the bag yet again, I thought I'd share this fun cookbook before I give it to my friend Roseanne.
Vintage cookbook illustration
Note the fun quilted skirt.

Roseanne collects vintage children's cookbooks--how cool is that? What is really nice about her collection is that she places more value in the character and the illustrations than in first editions, mint copies, etc.
So I figured she wouldn't mind that this copy of "Cooking Adventures for Kids", by Sharon Cadwallader, copyright 1974, is a former library book.
I got this at the library's used book store for $1 or something. Illustrations by Diane Devine.
These can't help but make you smile. (click on pics for enlarged view)

Illustration, 1974
Fun wood detail.

Dinner Illustration
Whoa, check out the duds!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I didn't get a chance to scan the pattern yet, so in the meantime here's an update on the two kitties that were dumped at my mom's house last month. All fat and happy on a pile of clean laundry.
Two kitties
The little girl is a bit shy, so I've named her Violet. The little boy is a little runt, but with personality plus. I've named him Oliver (he's on the right). He is one of those one-in-a-million kitties--the ones everyone wants to take home (like my black cat Terry). Constantly purring. She hoards toy mice.

So glad they showed up at the house. They're de-fleaed, but I still have to get them shots. Until I do, they get the back of the house versus co-mingling with my two boys. Terry is old and I can't risk any problems. They're quite content climbing drapes and knocking stuff over :).

And while I'm mentioning kitties, I may as well show off That Baby. Note his cute toes that look like they have black nail polish on them.
That baby

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wristlet for Lisa (no peeking, Lisa!!!)

Down to the wire, I finally got my wristlet for the wristlet swap completed. Lisa hasn't received it yet, so I hope she is still surprised. It is, as you can see, a bit non-traditional.
Bag untied
Bag knotted

I guess I like being a bit different...unique. My partner is Lisa from Cupcakes, but the site is still under construction, and she doesn't have a blog, so I had to guess a bit. I got the impression that she might be a bit of a hippie chick, so I thought she might like this Polynesian bag pattern, the same one I made recently for my friend Amy (see the previous post here).

The wristlet theme was to indicate where I/the sender is from, so I got this awesome San Diego fabric (only available at Rosie's Calico Cupboard, for anyone interested).

Bag front: (Coronado Bridge, downtown skyline, Star of India, border with Mexico, Panda representing San Diego Zoo)
Bag front

Bag back: (La Jolla Cove, Cabrillo Lighthouse, Hotel Del Coronado, USMC, Flamingoes at the zoo)
Back of bag

For the lining and some goodies inside, I went with the cupcake theme. So I blended our two worlds, and hopefully in a way that will make Lisa smile. Cupcake fabric with Shamu (Seaworld)pocket.
Bag lining

Inside, I put a brass San Diego keychain (you know, something you would put in a purse) with dolphins on one side, and a palm tree on the back. Also a leather lipstick case with an embossed dolphin and San Diego on the other side. There's a little mirror inside. Also a multi-color ink pen with a lip gloss top. Cupcake design gift bag, and some cupcake pics on postcards from Ikea.
Goodies 1

And for cupcake goodness, I found these awesome pink-striped liners, and two types of organic sprinkles (I hope they didn't melt in my car). Also a postcard of La Jolla Cove.
Goodies 2

I also attempted to make her a coin purse with this awesome cupcake fabric. I got the pattern and the frame off Unfortunately, I ruined three frames and finally just decided to send Lisa the frame and maybe she can figure it out. Eek.
Coin Purse
Fun batik lining:
Batik interior
I really hope Lisa isn't disappointed that I chose to give her a bag that hangs from the wrist...versus a zippered pouch. I hope she's pleased. The bag is also reversible, so she can have a cupcake fabric exterior instead if she desires.

Some of you have requested I scan parts of the pattern. I will do that tomorrow--I'm late for a dinner date. (no, sadly it's not with a guy).

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Bag from Kelli!

A belated thank you to Kelli who sent me this bag (Amy Butler Nappy Bag Pattern) as part of a trade. As with all other aspects of my life right now, I am behind in sending her my half. But I have fun plans for her, oh yes I do.
Bag from Kelli

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Notable Quote

"A lot of what I say to our fans is 'stop worrying about trying to fit into the status quo of what is beautiful and what is politically correct. Believe in yourself and stick to what's right. If you want to be like me, then be like yourself.'"

Marilyn Manson
(who ironically has the most beautiful woman in the world, in my opinion, as his wife)
as told to Lucky Magazine, supplemental fashion edition,
September 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Photobooth Friday

Random photobooth shots
Random booth shots. Why are the edges torn--did I toss away the ones I didn't find 'good enough'? Why are so few of my photos dated? I guess I assumed I would always remember. How could I forget? I assumed the details and events would be etched into my memory, yet I forgot. These are from high school, that's for sure. But what made me climb into a photobooth that day? What about my outfit or my attitude was so special as to make me want to freeze it in time?


More booth goodness here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Something that makes me smile right now

Raspados stand
Ooh, snowcone stand close to my house. They have a bunch of flavors of fruit puree and things like sweetened condensed milk...all poured over crushed ice. These are to die for! I like the pina y coco (fresh pineapple and coconut). Perfect on a hot day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Huge news!

Patricia Bolton, editor of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine, called me yesterday--they want me to submit an article about my vinyl recipe cards! Can you believe it?! I've had a few things published before, but this is a national publication, paid, and the first time I'm writing about my own art! This is amazingly exciting! And in such a great mag too!!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My wristlet WOW!

I received my wristlet today (as part of the Wristlet Swap) from Jessica of Finny Knits. I am still in a state of delighted shock. Holy flippin' cow, look at how killer this is
Wristlet Swap

The theme for this first swap was to indicate where the sender lives. Jessica lives in Northern California, so she concentrated on the wine country.
Wine fabric
I love the square shape, the color, the size...EVERYTHING. It so totally rocks.

But as if this weren't enough, it arrived stashed with goodies!
Wine goodies!
A corkscrew, a really cool bottle topper, and glasses charms (none of which I owned previously, so it's bitchin).

And THEN, for the piece de resistance, she enclosed a dozen handmade, self-photographed and painstakingly matted,with paper sheets between each for protection... cards--pics of Sonoma County, all wrapped up in a pretty satin ribbon. I tried to scan the lot, but the scanner was acting up, but here's an example of the loveliness:
a starfish
Jess' starfish

and an old fire truck
Sonoma County fire truck

Monday, August 07, 2006

Leah Kramer
Leah Kramer, of,
The Grove
at her book signing at the Grove (a yarn shop in San Diego). Leah's book is Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts. I'm dying to buy a copy, I'm just too strapped for cash at the moment. She has projects from vintage craft books as well as new crafts she got off the craftster site.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Little Atomic Bag

Little atomic bag
I made this bag for my friend and co-worker, Amy. I had seen this vintage atomic drapery fabric at her house and loved it. When she brought it into work for me to have, I about stopped breathing. She said she liked it, but had nothing to do with it.
I decided to give a bit of it back to her,and made her a small bag, using a vintage Polynesian pattern from my pattern collection. I figured it might be a fun bag to throw keys, chapstick, and cash into for a day at the beach (she surfs). I didn't realize until after I finished it that it's actually reversible! Pretty cool.
Here's the inside pocket.
interior pocket
I chose a funky pinkish aloha fabric to bring out the pink in the atomic print. I hope she likes it.
Portion of the front:
Front portion of atomic bag
and of the back:
Back portion of atomic bag

Friday, August 04, 2006

Photobooth Friday

Old friends
I don't remember crowding into this photobooth with three friends (only my teeth are visible in the back). I can't even imagine where this might have been taken. A drugstore? The fair? I was 'best friends' with the girl to my immediate left, and this group of us (together with a few others) were tight throughout Junior High (when it was still called Junior High versus Middle School), and then into the first part of High School. I am assuming this is a pic from high school. When I became a junior, I got involved in the swim team, modern dance, student government and a bunch of activities that led me to different friends. I completely lost touch with all of these girls. I know my former best friend is now a college professor (a far cry from the 'stoner' she was at that time). One of my brightest memories with this group is going with them house to house one Christmas and singing carols. When people actually did that and it made homeowners smile.

I wonder why people always feel compelled to make funny faces in photobooths, while they 'make nice' with handheld cameras?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Favorite Salsa

I live very close to the Mexican border, so it goes without saying that my taste in food is influenced with that spicy zing. Yeah, on occasion I enjoy a fresh mango salsa or a salsa cruda, but more often I prefer verde salsa--the green type with tomatillos. This is easy to make at home in your blender, and is great with chips (I like homemade flour tortilla chips), or add water and use as an enchilada sauce. This recipe is from my friend Alicia.

Tomatillo Salsa
10 tomatillos, husks removed
2 or 3 serrano chile peppers (or one habanero if you want it hotter)
1 clove garlic
Boil tomatillos in water until skins come off with a pop. Blend all ingredients in blender or food processer.
Add one chopped medium-sized onion
and about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

And I have to admit, my all time favorite salsa is a vinegar laden canned variety (I guess the white trash version). This is from a recipe book my mom got in the 70's. A local radio station (KFMB) used to mail these booklets out all the time. I love this so much that when it's around, I'll eat salsa burritos (as in salsa rolled up in a tortilla. I know, it's sick, but I love it so).

KFMB Salsa
1 large can solid pack tomatoes (cut up)
1 can can green ortega chile peppers (cut up)
2 bell peppers, diced
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 small glass red wine vinegar (about 1/2 cup)
Mix all ingredients together and chill. Can be used as a cold sauce on hot meats, or as a tasty dip with Fritos or corn chips).