Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Same ol', same ol'

Still no computer (thank God for libraries), but I had to tell ya'll about my recent trip to the Japanese store. I swear, even mentioning about it now just makes me stop breathing. Anytime I question whether I've lost my passion for life, all I have to do is realize there really are still some things that just send me over the edge. I just wanted to browse. I actually managed not to buy the lovely washcloths I would like to make a softie with (I'll end up getting those eventually), or the adorable mini clothesline for portable drying of laundry (good for trips, etc), or the soaps in all the cute animal-shaped bottles...

But then I went into the bookstore.

Oh.My.God. I mean, I couldn't have been more thrilled with a new puppy or a diamond. I took my package to my car, delicately lifted my precious book out of its bag (yes, I managed to only buy one), and out loud actually gasped. It is just too wonderful. I'll post pics as soon as my computer is up and running again.

In the meantime I've finally been productive (hmmm, coincidence that summer has begun? I think not). I'm making a small organza quilt, having tons of fun with a vinyl quilt, and am maybe going to have an apron done for this month.

So in other words....
I'll be back.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Forced Break Time

My computer is toast (yeah, again). Until my brother comes to the rescue, please tolerate my absense (and don't forget about me!). Hopefully I'll be back soon (this typing at the library thing gets old, and I'm not able to post pics).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rambling thoughts and lazy beach days

I had a camera with me, and I wanted to take photos...but I was too shy. The images would have been so interesting too--glimpses into a pocket of life. Bustling and movement and color. Evidence of the character of a place. But I couldn't do it. When I first started college, I took some black-and-white photography classes, and the instructor was old school. We learned Ansel Adams' techniques. And we learned about etiquette. About asking for permission. In my instructor's opinion, photos of people should only be taken with permission. That's all well and good, except now I tend to only photograph animals or inanimate objects. My photos of people are posed. And you lose something sometimes when you lose the spontaneity.

I'm house-sitting in Ocean Beach right now, in a little one bedroom house that I love. I stay all over the city, and some places feel okay, some places are uncomfortable, some places are a second home, and some places I just thrive in. I love this place because I just always FEEL better here. Parrots squawk early evening, birds roost in the trees, and the garden is so full of flowers it seems fairies should dwell here.

I usually work Wednesday nights, but I was lucky enough to score last night off, so I went to the local Farmer's Market. This market starts at 4pm and goes into the evening. This is what I wish I had pictures of--the life, the character of the place and the people. I bought apricots that were the sweetest I've ever tasted. Maybe I was more observant because I was thinking of my camera. Or maybe I was just so happy to be there, tasting homemade jams and cookies, watching guys carrying skateboards and one particularly intersting pair of shorts featuring a face on each leg.
Other sights:
so many buckets filled with fresh flowers
tables of organic fruits and veggies, including fun things like zucchini blossoms (must learn how to cook with these)
couples with dread locks walking dogs
puppies everywhere (OB is very dog-friendly. After all, they're the ones with Dog Beach)
tattoos everywhere
corners and niches filled with impromtu musicians, trying to make a dime
one amazing band with a violinist, a cellist, and a guy on the accordian.
Kettle corn popping
two hippies seated on the corner, wrapping sage. Best thing next to the parking lot vendors before Dead shows. God I miss those.

Another really great thing about this neighborhood is they have a program where you can leave unwanted items in the alleys. It is the coolest thing ever. I picked up four garden ornaments (cracked but still useable, especially considering I mosaic), and a tall metal garden shelf for my mom. I drove out to my mom's house to unload the shelf, and locked my keys in my car. WITH the spare set! DOH! So much for a free shelf--the locksmith was $50. It would have been one thing had the guy showed up with a slim jim or something, but I swear all he had was like a coat hanger. I'm thinking, well I could have done THAT. Oh well.

Because I'm not home, I won't be able to post a photo this Friday. I will try to post later, if I can get my computer to work again. It's back to its old tricks. I might have to opt for credit with Dell. We'll see...

After the Farmer's Market, it was still light enough outside (I love Daylight Savings Time) to take the four dogs to the beach for sunset.
That in itself was magical.
I was home early enough to still catch most of American Idol. Pretty good overall, and both finalists were winners in my book. But can you believe Clay Aiken?! He's so cute now! What a metamorphisis! Kind of gives a girl hope (for blooming, I mean).

My last night here, so I guess I'll enjoy the moments. Maybe I'll fill up the bath and use these mango bath crystals they left for me...
ah, this is what I'm talkin' about!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Share a Past Project Thursday

Blue Quilt
Both an old project (SAPP) and an unfinished one (UFO). My first quilt (it's for a Queen sized bed), started when I was either a junior or a senior in high school. I think I just made up the pattern myself and sewed squares to form the pattern. It was supposed to be a gift for my friend David, but I had problems with it. The stitching is okay, but I made the mistake of using flannels and they unraveled out of the seams...so I just stuck it in my closet and it has sat there ever since. 

Apron and Cooking Meme

The good folks organizing the What's Cookin'? apron and recipe swap have requested we answer a few questions.
1.   first apron (that you can remember): I think I may have had a plastic kid's apron. I want to say it was a Wonderbread one, but I may just be imagining that. Maybe it was just polka dotted. Yeah, it was opaque plastic with multi-colored dots and a little ruffle. I'm sure I have it somewhere still.

2.   last (most recent) apron: I bought another apron off ebay with an owl-themed fabric. Here's a pic.

3.   dream/favorite apron: A little naughty hostess get-up might be dandy.

4.   dream sewing machine: I want a Janome Gem because so many people have told me that's a good portable (well, if we're talking dreams, I guess vintage Featherweight). As far as an everyday machine, I'm not really sure. I'm not into computerized--I like simple, basic, long-lasting. Right now I have a vintage white (early 40's) in a wooden cabinet.

5.   what do you put in your pockets? or what strange thing have you ever found in them? Oh geez, I love pockets. I used to use an apron for my sewing stuff, because I'm forever losing my metal ruler and my transfer pen...but I ended up filling them so full they'd be uncomfortable if I leaned against anything. So I started keeping my sewing stuff that I need at hand in a plastic box atop the machine. But I'll always find something to put in the pockets.   

6.   condiment(s) you can't live without: Does chocolate sauce count ;). I love mustard with horseradish in it. Mustard with cranberry is also tasty. I absolutely loathe loathe loathe Miracle Whip.

7.   do you wear more showy aprons or dutiful ones? Um, maybe dutiful gets the vote, but most of my apron collection is collected for the fun of it versus any other reason. Right now, sadly they're in storage. I'm between homes, as they say. My predicament just lasts longer than most.

8.   favorite cooking gadget: I love me some gadgets. The zester I got from Pampered Chef totally rocks. My whisk rocks. So does my, crap what's it called? The thing you make pie crust with. I buy quality stuff. I love vintage Bauer, but that's dishes not gadgets. I've considered opening up a store that sells kitchen wares--that's how much I love that stuff. I want one of those plastic tubes that takes the outer peel off garlic. Speaking of gadgets, for sewing I love bodkins.

9.  cooking gagdet that promised the world but didn't deliver: Are there any? Maybe some of those funky ones advertised on tv.

10. a recipe that you know by heart and any stories behind it: Pinto beans. Make it all the time. Learned it from an old friend of Mexican heritage.
Or Chinese Chicken Salad--also from an old friend, and a recipe that everyone always wants a copy of. Except an old boyfriend I made it for once, who thought uncooked ramen noodles were white trash. Whatever. Can't please everyone.
Or stacked enchiladas--from a neighbor we had in Louisiana when I was a kid. Always the perfect potluck item. Unfortunately, my family doesn't have the fun stories like in Sweet Potato Queens, or the book I'm reading right now--All Consuming Passions (about a foodie). Maybe our stories were just lost over time. If a family has stories, however, those really are treasure to hold onto.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Recycled Materials

Just a couple more things about rugs before I go on to another topic. I love using recycled materials. How cool is this necktie floor runner?!
Necktie Floor Runner
This is from Eco-artware--read about it here (actually, it was by 2nd Hand Made, and published in the Eco-artware newsletter). Eco-artware is a fun source for products made from old bike chains, typewriter keys, etc. The instructions for this floor runner are no longer on a link through this site, but I think it's probably made like this.

Here's another option with neckties.
Necktie Rug
This is actually an art piece by Sandy Voss.

Towels! Another source of material for rugs (in addition to neckties, pantyhose, fabric scraps including thrifted sheets, etc) is towels. Instructions for braided towel rugs here.

If you think braided or crochet rugs aren't contemporary enough to suit your style, there are lots of designs available. This sunflower is from Leisure Arts Leaflet 2820 (1996)
"Rags to Rugs Book 2".
Sunflower Rug

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Blogging Help

Can anyone tell me how to add permalinks to each of my posts? I've tried to read through the blogger forum, and I don't get it.
And how do those of you on blogger versus typepad add categories to your blogs?
Thank you.

Rag Rugs

When I posted recently about crocheting plastic bags into a rug, Sue of Sue's Joy commented that I had brought back memories of her grandmother making braided rag rugs. Coincidentally, Jennifer of The Felt Mouse just made a rag bag, and Hillary of Wee Wonderfuls made last month's Tie One On entry by crocheting fabric strips also.
Then I came across this vintage pattern sheet that was my grandmother's.
Cartwheel Rug Pattern
If the envelope I found with it is its mate, my mom (by my grandmother's address listed) guesses the date to be 1943. The post mark was all of one cent. The pattern is a mail order item by Alice Brooks Designs, sent from the Household Arts Dept in San Francisco.

This is my favorite design. A simple single crochet.
Crocheted Rag Rug Pattern

It was war time, and this required people to use what they had. Here's a pattern for recycling stockings into a rug.
Rag Rug from Nylon Stockings

Rectangular braided design (there is also a pattern for the more traditional oval design), and pansy hooked rug.
Oblong Braided Rug and Pansy Hooked Rug

Crocheted Squares design.
Crocheted Rag Rug in Squares

For the love of owls

Vintage Owl Potholder
My mom has collected owls for years. I never really 'got' it until recently. Perhaps the fact that so many bloggers love birds, and that there are so many wonderful vintage bird fabrics, etcetera....or maybe it's just that owls have come to symbolize my mom. Regardless, I am starting to collect a few owls here and there. I have a few aprons, and some fabrics. I just bought this vintage potholder (or oven mitt, as they say in the UK) for my mom as part of her mother's day gift. Isn't he cute? And what do I see when I look at it? I think neckties of course! That I need recreate this with neckties! As well as this vintage pillow pattern here. This screams neckties to me!
Owl Petal Pillow

Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Get Well Wishes

Sending get well wishes and prayers out to Barbaro, who was hurt in today's Preakness. God it just turns my insides into a knot. I hope he's going to pull through. Those race horses are so fragile. What a shame.

Let's hope he's going to be okay

I found a little baby o'possum at my back kitchen door last night. That's not unusual (we get skunks, raccoons, a very occasional fox, and coyotes), but the little guy was having trouble walking. These things always seem to happen on weekends, holidays, and after hours. Anyway, I didn't have any luck reaching the wildlife rescue people, so I put him in a box in my garage until I could get in touch with someone. I said a few prayers and hoped he'd be okay (or she...I don't know). Today a volunteer came to my house and took the little guy home to, hopefully, get him to a healthy place. He didn't seem to have any visible wounds, so we're speculating he tumbled out of the flower bush onto the concrete. We're hoping the damage isn't permanent. It's really cool that volunteers are all over the city who take in different breeds. Each volunteer specializes in a specific mammal, bird, or reptile. This is the second time I've called them--the first time I took them an injured dove. I know a lot of people are squeamism about o'possums because of their rat tails, but they are gentle creatures who do not carry disease. I actually am really fond of them. My mom feeds wild cats, so the cats and the possums just tolerate one another. And for those of you who hate coyotes, realize that nature needs a proper balance of predators to prey. Open your heart and try reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Prodigal Summer". As much as I respect coyotes, I still don't want them munching my kitties. When I hear them or see them, I just make a lot of noise and try to shoo them elsewhere. And please, for the sake of all living things, do not use chemicals in your gardens. There are so many quality organic, non-toxic items on the market.

Look what I'm working on!

Recycled bag mat
Just started this floor mat of recycled bags. Right now I'm just playing around, trying to get comfortable with crochet again (it has been decades since I did this). I've learned that bulges from too heavy weight bags just adds a "folk art" touch (or so I'm telling myself). I went ahead and broke the "rules" and am combining different bag weights. My favorite, surprisingly enough, are the little bags the newspapers come in. After this, I'm going to try a tote using only khaki-colored bags (Cost Plus bags are my favorite ones).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Photo Friday

In honor of Photobooth Friday but posted the night before because I'll be away from the computer.
Me and Terry, 1991. (the photo is dated 1992, but I think it may have been taken in 1991?)
My boyfriend at the time was taking a photography class. He matted and framed this print and gave it to my parents for Christmas.
me and Terry
Terry was one. Today he's an old man that has developed three white whiskers.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Share a Past Project Thursday

Like last week, I work tomorrow morning, so I'm going to post late Wednesday night. Please feel free to post your own past projects too. I think it's fun to see what tangents we got off on, or how far we've come.
This is a pastel drawing I did a few years ago in an art class.
24" X 31".
Pastel Collage
The quantity of time and the amount of work I put into this was insane. First we had to make a collage of organic shapes using magazine and newspaper pages.
Then we had to recreate our paper collages in pastel. Holy crap. I wish you could see the detail I had to capture. Overall, I am pretty pleased with the product.
It was very difficult for me, and tedious. I had the paper taped to a door and newspaper laid out on the floor to capture all the chalk dust. I decided, after all that work, instead of just having the thing collect dust in storage, I went ahead and had it framed. Shoot, why not hang my own art on the wall? I need to get a better photograph of it. My current quilting teacher photographs her work, then copies these pics of her own stuff onto fabric. She then incorporates these images into new work. I really like that idea.

Thrift Score

Thrift store score
I've been obsessed with thrift stores lately. It's cutting in on my abiltity to pay bills, so I'm trying to cut back a bit.
Yeah, right.
I decided to stop by one on my way home, and look what I found. At first I thought $3.99 was a bit steep--by thrift standards, that's high for a necktie. But I really liked the bird and fruit print and the unusual color, so I figured I'd get it anyway. It wasn't until I sat it down to look through some clothing that I saw the tag. HERMES. Whoa. I may have to put this one on ebay, I haven't decided yet. The metal seashell chain belt I initially picked up for mosaics (I could never use it for its intended purpose. No matter how skinny I could get, I will never have an hourglass waist. I do have a pretty nice rack though, so I guess it's all a trade off. Just sayin'). I think I may instead use it across a door like a door harp, or even as a curtain tie-back. I'm not sure yet. Fun finds though.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fabric Postcard Gift

The most amazing thing about blogging is finding people with whom you share interests, where you can gain inspiration, where you can bounce ideas....and in the midst of that find some new friends. People who don't blog don't understand how meaningful relationships can become even though they are "cyber". People who don't blog think those friendships don't count...they're not 'real'.

The fact, however, is that while many acquaintances are made, there are a couple of people with whom (well, I'll just speak for myself here versus in generalizations) I have felt a connection...a feeling of knowing them for years...knowing they would indeed, if we lived near to one another, would become 'real' friends. For me, one of those connections is with Sandra at Croque-Choux, and the only reason we aren't hanging out laughing together or creating together is because I live in California and she lives in Paris. I love her fabric collages. She does a lot of Artist Trading Cards (ATC's). I posted this one of hers back in November (because I was so moved by it), and she wrote to me and offered to send me a gift.

Today I received this fabric postcard.
fabric postcard
(click on the image to see the detail)
Sincerely (I am not just saying this to suck up or be polite) SINCERELY this is one of the most amazing things I have ever received. She must have a sixth sense, or a psychology degree or something, because she couldn't have chosen anything more appropriate. I am all about natural elements and color. Sunshine, and butterfly symbolism, and the written word. It's so perfect. The back is also fabric, and has an inked message and two lovely stamps from France.
Thank you so much, Sandra. I love it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Shop DIY

How cute is this?! One of the many items available at Salty Gal's Etsy shop. Support your fellow bloggers and DIYers.

Vintage photo necklace by Kathryn Riechert. She has a website here too.

I just bought this bookmark from Button Kitty.

Awesome stoneware pendants and buttons of Mommy Coddle.

Record book by Kate Black. She also has ephemera buttons to die for.

Who are your favorites?

Sewing Felt

Felt Booklet
Vintage booklet printed in London. No date listed, but I'm assuming 1960's. I'm getting interested in crafting with felt again. When I was a kid, I loved making Chrismas ornaments and potholders out of felt. The Humpty Dumpty on the cover is a pin cushion.

Handkerchief holder
Handerchief case.

Child's Bedside Mat
(click image to enlarge)
At first I thought this was a table runner, but evidently it's a rug. What an odd combination of characters. Gina from Patra's Place and I were just talking about golliwogs (black face characters). That was a term used in Australia and the UK, but one I had not heard in America. Politically incorrect now, but there are many collectors now of (what we in the US call) Black Americana.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Random Thoughts

Why aren't there any drive-thru pizza places? A slice, a side salad, a soda. It would be perfect.

Having people say "Happy Mother's Day" to me, when I never fulfilled that dream...
that really sucked.

It costs ten bucks for a quarter tank now. I drive 25,000 miles a year. Ouch.

Art Quilt

Mini Art Quilt left side
Mini Art Quilt right side
My first attempt at a "journal quilt" (in two pics because I used my scanner here). This was a class project involving torn strips of fabric, arranged and then hand-stitched. Mine is supposed to be a statement about the disappearing American Dream of buying a home. I was okay with it until I say what my classmates made...then I felt lame with a capital 'L'. Oh well, I'm learning tons, so it's all good. There's a key on there, and a button from Julian that is like a cut log with bark. I was going to stitch some words, but I'm over it. Next!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pumpkin Stuff

I posted a fun recipe on my other blog that you might want to check out. It really probably belongs here, but it is out of a book...and that's a book blog. Too, that blog needs a bit of love these days.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thrift store find!

Thrift Store Find of the Week
By the time every other Friday payday rolls around, I'm itchin' to burn a hole in my pocket. I can't really afford to just blow cash, but sometimes a girl just NEEDS a good thrift fix. Here's my find for today--two yarn trims and some needles.
Total cost: 35 cents!
Of course I didn't stop there (uh, more like $60 later) but it's just so much fun. Yeah, I know, how much does one person need to accumulate? But the hunt is just so damn much fun.
Rosette Maker
Another find, $1.65. Apparently unused cookie maker. I had one of these at one time and lost some of the pieces, so I'm glad to have one again. Anything that even resembles Funnel Cakes (fried dough dusted with powdered sugar) is okay in my book.

Photo Friday

Tijuana 1943
Tijuana 1943.
How amazing is this? I was digging through a box of my mom's photos, and came across this, still pasted down on black paper in an old album. This is a few months after my parents were married. From the left, my dad on the donkey, my aunt Mary who is now 91 and has lived in Mexico for over two decades. My dad's Mom, Novella (in the scarf), her sister Marion (such a nice lady), and my mom. My parents met in high school. They married when she was 17, and he was 21. I guess that wasn't so unusual then. They had three boys, then when those boys were teenagers they had me. My mom says there is another photo taken the same day, where she is astride the donkey, but I haven't come across that one yet.

My apologies for the incorrect pic up earlier. I tried again to reload Picasa, and the correct pic WAS up when I closed my computer...then they pulled a switch-a-roo. So aggravating. I have tried and tried to get Picasa out of a corrupt state (unistalled, reinstalled...)yet still the problems persist. According to the forum, I am not the only one having issues. You'd think Google would put more effort into getting it right. Anyway, thanks to Flickr, here's the pic. You can click on it for a bigger image if you want. That's the one thing about Flickr I don't like--the pics are just too small on the page.

I am having fun looking through old photos and sharing them with you. I have decided to participate in Photo Booth Friday, even though most of the photos I share will not be booth shots.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gifts in a Bottle Tutorial

I am actually posting this before I send it, so if my recipient happens to read this...my bad. I hope it's fun to receive anyway. It's just that a lot of people have asked me to post this.
Gifts in a bottle
I can't take credit for this idea--I learned it in a stamping class. I want to share it lest some of you don't know that the post office allows you to mail goodies in bottles. I most often do this for birthday gifts, but a 'just because' is good enough reason for something fun like this. The really cool part is all the comments you get while you're standing in line at the post office, not to mention the gasp at the receiving end. Here's one I sent to Mary.

The key here, is to examine who your recipient is, and include items specifically appropriate for that individual. What does he/she like to do (travel, sew, knit, read, etc)? What fun goodies can you use to symbolize these interests (toys, etc)? This about pop! bang! in your face celebration. Think balloons, confetti, party favors.
Besides birthday gifts, other ideas might be:

Party invitations. A co-worker of mine sent out invitations to her son's Pirate Party, using 16 ounce coke bottles, filled with a bit of sand, chocolate coins, a pirate sticker, and a scroll listing a treasure map to the party.

A (literally) message in a bottle to a loved one. A love letter.

Goodies from a trip, sent while traveling.

Holiday wishes. Maybe even Christmas cards. I can envision tree-shaped confetti, red and green ribbons, a hand-calligraphied card....
Would be adorable for easter with how-to eggs in a Martha stewart fashion, a bunny-shaped cookie and/or cookie cutter, pastel confetti, a stuffed bunny, maybe a tiny Peter Rabbit book...

Gifts for a baby shower (bib, rattle, small stuffed toy, etc)
Gifts for a gardener (gloves, seed packets, decorative stakes, etc)
Gifts for the artist (pastels or chosen medium, gift certificate to art supply store, rubber stamps, inks, collage materials, etc)
Gifts for the crafter/seamstress (fabric, paper, pincushion, shrinky dink pins you've created, patterns, bodkin or other useful tools, trims and ribbons, buttons, etc)

A 'just because' or 'I'm thinking of you'

The possibilities are endless! Use your imagination.

Okay, here's how you begin.
1) Choose your bottle. Plastic, obviously. Any size will do, depending on the size and quantity of the gifts you want to mail. I prefer clear bottles so goodies are easily seen. The idea here is to make this look like you somehow magically managed to get the goodies inside. Bottles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I like huge Shasta bottles, but some water bottles are really huge! Or some water bottles are really tiny. Choose whatever works for you.

2) Peel off the label, and remove the glue residue. You might have to use a solvent. Make sure the bottle is thoroughly washed and dried.
Bottle tute step one

3) Where the glue had been, use a box cutter or exacto knife to make an incision (careful!), trying to make as small a cut as possible to get the items in but still be able to cover it up at the end with your mailing label. Make cuts on either end of the incision, so you have a three-sided box-shaped flap that you can stick your hand into. So the idea here is to make a cut large enough to slide your hand in, but small enough to hide at the end.
Bottle opening

4) Start with a bit of filler and keep adding. You need a base filler of something like:
curling ribbon or shredded ribbon, paper strips, easter grass-type or tinsel filler, etc along with things like confetti, unfilled balloons, crayons, birthday candles, etc. Make it pretty. Make it fun. Consider holiday colors, or the recipient's favorite colors, or something theme-appropriate.
Bottle filler ideas

5) Bring on the gifts, baby! Have some wrapped, some unwrapped and visible. Think of how this appears on the finished exterior--the point is to have cute toy faces, etc sticking out on all sides, remembering the area of the incision will not be visible. Take your time--it takes a while to get items faced correctly and to fit everything in just right. I end up taking knitting needles at the end and cramming in more paper tinsel in places, just to make it look properly festive without covering up the gifts. I drop in stars or other confetti through the top and distribute it around. Think fun, fun, fun!
Goodies for Will

Gifts might be:
small books,
small stuffed animals,
party favors (little trinkets, horns, etc),
gift cards to a favorite retailer or restaurant or fast food place,
tickets to a concert/movie/theatre event,
makeup (as long as it isn't going to easily get damaged or spill)
regional items to share where you live if it's far away,
recipe cards with hand-written favorites,
buttons (both sewing and the pin-on type),
sewing patterns
sewing, cooking, or other small booklets of interest
cupcake liners, decorating sugar, cookie cutters, or other kitchen items
lottery tickets
if applicable,
yarn or fabric
Gold dollars or Susan B. Anthony coins
something handmade-by-you
Even if it's for an adult, toys are a must. I like to include little wind-up toys.
Novelty candy is also a must Or candy that says something (Look, Sugar Daddy, 100,000 dollar bar, lollipops, etc). And special candy too (truffles in a little wrapped box, the recipient's favorites, stuff regional to you, etc). The more goodies the better (duh). Especially chocolate (double duh).
You might want to include a card.

Stay away from breakables, anything really valuable, liquids, chemicals...just use common sense.

6) Glue the lid on. Just run white glue or tacky glue on the inside of the cap and screw it back on.

7) Use clear two-inch tape to cover incision. Cover incision with a mailing label, preferable a home-made one (rubber stamping works well for this). If unsightly areas where you cut still show, cover them up with stickers.

8) That's it! Just mail it.

This one is going to the UK--so mailing abroad is even okay! Pretty cool, huh?
Gifts in a Bottle

This one I'm making is for a guy who mentioned on his blog that he hates having a birthday because he's uncomfortable with all the attention. I told him it's his special day and just enjoy it already. I hope he likes the goodies I'm sending. Kaleidescope for wanderlust and travel interests, wind-up toy, gecko flashlight all from Cost Plus. Almond Roca and See's sucker are good USA treats. Novelty candy is super fun, so I added Butt-Ugly Martian candy (that really is the name) from the 99 cent store (seriously, how fun is that?!). San Diego magnet is pretty, regional, but not cheesy tourist crap. I'll include a San Diego-themed gift card. Pirate rubber ducky. Dollar bill kleenex....Most important gift is the handmade bookmark, made especially for him. I'll post that item later (not quite finished yet, so I'm not going to seal my bottle).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Share a Past Project Thursday

It's Wednesday night, but I'm going to go ahead and post this now since I work tomorrow morning. Besides, it will be Thursday by the time most of you read it anyway. It's already Thursday a lot of places. Project: Glue-decorated frame.
glue frame
Photo of my friend Wayne and myself at the employee holiday party a few years ago (2001?). I had a temporary color on my hair, and really liked it darker. I decorated an inexpensive flat frame by drawing shapes on the front and sides with white glue (more difficult than one would think. You should be able to make out a few hearts and the sun at the top middle area. But doodles are fine too). After all the sides were dry, I painted it black. When the paint was dry, I rubbed it with gold paste to highlight the shapes, and give it a metal solder effect. A fun item that makes a great gift or even a craft a kid can do at a party. You can seal it if you want to, or add other embellishments like charms or stones or whatever you like. Note any glue tip can be made more fine by setting a piece of clear tape at a diagonal to the tip and rolling it...making a funnel shape for the glue to dribble through. This entire craft I learned from Aleene's Creative Living--I wish that show was still on television.
glue frame side
One side of the frame--sort of graffiti-esque.

Rebecca rocks--she's got her knitting posted.


Photo from San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper that just cracked me up. Dog with a dinosaur (such a bumer that Flickr sizes either too small like this or too large and then I lose my links side. I have much better luck with Flickr than with Picasa lately though, and you can click on Flickr's images to see a larger size).

Special Places

Eucalyptus Park
On one of my many blogging excursions recently, I came across a "places that are important to you" post. I don't remember where I found this or who wrote the topic, but it got me to thinking about places I've labeled special at one time. This is a park by where I grew up. When I was in my late teens and early 20's, the spot behind the ranger station was my meditative zone. Few people ever ventured back there, so I'd find a cool spot on the grass, and I'd journal.
Eucalyptus Park
So many moments of introspection. I hadn't been back there in as long as I can remember until I went there the other day to capture these pictures. Time has taken me to new areas and I've found new spaces that I now hold close, but this place will always fill a special meaning in my heart.
Eucalyptus Park

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Honey, do you need a valium?

Apron booklet
I think Threadbared has the right idea--sometimes you've got to pick up vintage patterns and booklets just for the illustrations or photographs. Like this creepy lady with the Stepford stare and dishpan hands.

Post script: When I was in my early 20's, I worked for a pharmacy and drove all over San Diego delivering meds to convalescent hospitals, rehab places, psych wards, all the lovely stuff. I'm anti-drug anyway, but when you repeatedly see nurses issue the title line here, and act as if drugs are some sort of panacea...it's really repulsive. When a guy in a rehab center tried to jump me at one delivery, I called it quits. I don't know how doctors and nurses manage. I was in Urgent Care recently, and there was a woman in there whining and complaining--it was her way to gain attention. That would just drive me nuts.

Because, like, that's the way we talk

Southern California is its own little universe. People speak differently here, and growing up in the midst of it, I find it quite endearing. Granted, different regions everywhere have their own colloquialisms. And I think it's fun to learn those. My mom says things like "tell him to go fry ice", "butter wouldn't melt in his mouth", etc. But that's a whole other topic.

Only in Southern California will a NEWS report contain words and phrases like (and I am not making this up) "gnarly crash", "eeewwww", "what's up with that?", and "the guy" for a description of a perpetrator.
I love that.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Necktie Owl Coin Purse

Owl coin purse
I don't have a digital camera, so I just laid this on my scanner. Little coin purse made with four necktie pieces. Wings and interior are Save our Children designs. Two vintage pearl button eyes. I still need to add a clasp, and perhaps some yellow thread to accentuate the beak. I was just playing around and this is what developed. This was intended as a gift, but it's not to the level of perfection that I require when gifting. The trouble with neckties, is that if a pin catches at all, the fabric easily snags and sends a diagonal run across the entire section. Grrr. It's still fun to try new things though. And the fact that I'm experimenting without the crutch of a pattern is a step in the right direction.

Now where was I?

I wish there were a link where I could just click and see all the comments I've made. I end up flitting around from one blog to the next...finding new links that take me to new places...and I end up far away from where I started.
And I don't know how to get back.
Sometimes a post will dwell with me for awhile. Like the rude comments someone got recently when she considered eliminating comments from her blog (I intend to post about that at some point). Or the post where someone took a walk in their neighborhood, got off the trail, and passed a house with a yard filled with topiaries. Topiary House, she called it. Who was that? Does this ring a bell to anyone?

Vintage Knitted Toys

Is 'knitted' a word, or does 'knit' just take care of all the conjugations? Hmmm. Well, you get the idea.
I still don't know how to knit. Even after Heidi offered to teach me and I hesistated because I'm too fat right now. Sheesh. But I think these are really cute. No date is listed on these booklets from the UK. Penguin posted for Melinda (of course).
Vintage knitted doll, ball, owl
Vintage knitted doll, clown, penguin

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Productivity finally comes a callin'

I FINALLY got off my ass today and started a sewing project (to be announced soon). I have been so exhausted. I don't know if it's the "May Gray" or weird work hours or depression or PMS....
Who knows. But the sun came out today and it motivated me to actually get going on a project that has been staring me in the face for weeks. Hopefully I can actually be productive again this week versus just wanting to sleep all the time. I have a mini quilt to do for my class, I never did finish my Tie One On for April (sooo close), and I have a couple of gifts that I need to get out of bags and onto the sewing table (or floor, in my case. My God it would incredible to have a real honest to goodness studio space. Sigh...hopefully one day).

Shopping, anyone?

Ah, from seriousness to fluff. Ain't that always the way.
If I could have (one of) the perfect job, I would be writing for a magazine, and would have to do a monthly list of new items on the market, cute things to buy, etc.
I can't always afford to buy stuff, but I love getting ideas, getting inspired, and just longingly looking.
Adorable idea of piecing an edge. Pieced Tank from Free People. Posted by Picasa

  Posted by Picasa
Also from Free People, cute canvas slip-on tennies. Love these.
Madras, Indigo and Floral

cute tee from Alloy, that says, Chillin' with my Gnomies Posted by Picasa