Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Mail!

Wow, I received a package from Liz of Oziahz. It completely surprised me, and was a nice little boost during a hectic week.
I'm not sure what I did to deserve this wonderfulness.
I guess it's a thank you for a couple items I sent her for Christmas.
Ya gotta love two thank you packages in one week though!

Liz knows I love to collage, so check out this fun stuff she sent!

transparencies! Metal heart, ring, and key for embellishing. 'Awake' tea (ha! Yes, I need that), and a funny magnet. Also a really cool pen (Liz finds the coolest stuff), and a necklace that I think is a good luck symbol for Pacific Islanders.

But that's not all!

Incredible postcards. LOVE the fortune teller one. How many faces can you make? Famous trick donkey, and a representation of Liz' home state.
And, duh, yummy chocolate always completes a package!

Thank you soooo much, Liz!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sewing Vinyl

If I were to describe myself, I would say I'm a "natural" type.
Just a hint of granola.

Meaning I like natural fibers in natural colors.
I love environmentally friendly textiles, like Fox Fibre.
I like leaves prints or leaf shapes. I like earth tones.

How then is it that vinyl is also a love?
Man-made plastic is quite far removed from all I've just described.
Maybe it reminds me of the shiny burgundy patent leather shoes I so dearly loved in third grade. I don't know. I just think sewing vinyl is fun.
At least the clear vinyl is fun.

You can buy clear vinyl in fabric stores under the heading "table covers".
Some people also use it for book covers, baby bibs, and beach bags.

Check out this "futuristic" apron pattern from 1966.
This must have really been avant garde at that time.
Futuristic Apron, 1966

Or this tres chic tunic from 1973
Vinyl Tunic Apron, 1973

Or the funky food dome from this accessories pattern, 1967
More accessories, and simple aprons, 1967

Come on, that's fun, right?
I think so.

I just made an apron with vinyl accents. I hope CPS Magazine sees fit to publish it. We'll see...


Saturday, February 24, 2007


In this digital age, good old-fashioned snail mail takes on a special quality.
When it comes from Jen, she takes it to a whole new level.

Jen just doesn't send thank you cards or holiday cards...she sends festive packages.
For the New Year I received a cracker (as in the pop! gift tubes), and yesterday I received a thank you card box of goodies.
I don't have a digital camera, so I won't be able to capture the type of images that were posted to her own blog, so I'm borrowing from The Felt Mouse here...

Incredible mini Chinese food take-out-style gift box, tied up with a fun paper flower, then filled with chocolates, a chocolate dipped fortune cookie... adorable card in a Chinese red envelope...

...and the piece de resistance...
a homemade fortune cookie--felt with an Asian print lining, and a message printed on twill tape: "Follow Your Dreams".

My God, how cute are these?!!
Thanks, Jen!
Read her post here.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Photo Friday

No booth photo today, so instead I give you this adorable photo from the 1920's, of my mom and her brother 'Deano.'
You can click on the pic to enlarge if you want to.
Mom and Deano, 1920's


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Awesome salad!

Chinese Chicken Salad

One large bag precut shredded coleslaw with carrots (5-6 servings size)
partial bag precut shredded red cabbage (for color)
2 packages Oriental Flavor Top Ramen (uncooked! Just crunch up dry noodles)
1 bunch (six) green onion tops (meaning the green part only), diced
6 Tablespoons sesame seeds (less expensive if you buy the container in the Asian section of the market)
6 Tablespoons slivered almonds
2 cups grilled or Teriyaki chicken pieces (you can use the bagged precut strips from the deli section of the market)

1 cup vegetable oil
7 to 9 Tablespoons Rice vinegar
1 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons sugar
2 packets Oriental Flavor seasoning mix (from the Top Ramen)

toast the sesame seeds and the almonds for 5 to 10 minutes in a low temp oven (about 300 degrees)

Assemble all items right before eating. Cannot hold or save because the salad will get soggy.
If transporting to a potluck, keep dry ingredients (noodles, seeds, almonds) and dressing separate.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shout Outs

My blog isn't about advertising for others, but I really want to thank a couple of people who have gone out of their way to help me out recently.

I want to thank Lani (and her assistant) at for having amazing fabric selections
Roxy hibiscus fabric, and Kona cotton
like this pink-on-pink Roxy fabric that I just purchased.
But also for taking the time to go through all their Kona cottons in order to find the solid pink that best coordinated.
I'm making a little girl's dress, and I think this is going to be adorable.
You guys rock.

And also to Donna of for suggesting this Curly Hearts fabric for my entry to this month's Tie One On.
Curly Hearts fabric
I will instead be submitting my apron to Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine.
Donna always gives me excellent customer service.
Thank you!


Monday, February 19, 2007

Pictures of Mexico

I haven't been on a vacation in about three years.
Too long.
It's raining here today, and I am antsy to plan a trip to Mexico.
The Colors of Mexico
I love the bold colors.
This is a restaurant in Cabo San Lucas.

Billy's House
A friend's house in Todos Santos provides a lovely play of light and shadow,
while a mop on the table makes up a still life.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Photo Friday

No booth photo to post today, but I do have this fun image from the 60's, of a little German boy with his cone on the first day of school.
There is just something about this photo that I love.
School Cone
(click on image to enlarge)

This tradition in Germany is called "Schultüte".
I only found out about this recently, when Jen forwarded me a photo off Flickr.

Now I am obsessed.

I think it's a fun tradition. Festive. And the images are addicting.

According to Wikipedia, these cones are given to children on their first day of school. They are filled with candies, pencils and other school supplies, toys, etc.
"It is given to children to make this anxiously awaited first day of school a little bit sweeter."

I love this photo of an entire class.

Or this pic I pulled off ebay (in completed auctions, or I would have bid on it).

I guess I really shouldn't be sharing this, or you all will grab up the photos I want!
I used to be able to buy bias tape patterns for a song, but after posting about them...I am always outbid on ebay now.
I'm not saying my influence is that vast. I mean, all it takes is one person.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

What do you mean you can't design a room around a cat?

Once upon a time, I considered a career in interior design. Three years and a fortune in student loans later...I left the program.
I dropped out.

If my reaction to the judges of Bravo's Top Design is any indication...
I made the right choice.

Their comments are so lame, so snobbish, so incorrect, it just makes my stomach turn.

Okay, I feel better now. I just had to vent.


More Fun Food

These are just so fun.
I got a big box of recipe cards in a Betty Crocker plastic recipe box, at the thrift store for one dollar--The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library, 1971.
Dolly Salad

The card says, "Come for a tea party and bring your favorite dolly! How many little girls will love to walk over in their mothers' heels for a special little party under the mock orange bush. Instead of the usual cookies, why not surprise them with Rag Doll Salads? To drink? Why, tea of course, generously mixed with milk."

For each serving, place 1 peach half for the body on salad plate. Arrange 4 small celery sticks for arms and legs around peach half. Use 1 large marshmallow for head, raisins for eyes, nose, shoes and buttons and small piece maraschino cherry for mouth. Shred yellow cheese; arrange around marshmallow for hair. Add a skirt of lettuce to complete the salad.

"Friendly Dog Salad"
This just makes me smile.
From Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls (3rd printing, 1985)
I'm not sure kids would be too hip on the prune ear (oops, excuse me....dried plum).


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm nursing a sprained ankle, watching old Project Runways, and spending the date (oops, Freudian slip. I meant to say day) with TWO boys!
That would be a chocolate lab and a golden retriever :).

I hope everyone enjoys candlelit dinners, homemade cards, and heart-shaped candies.

Postscript: I don't mean to sound whiney (sp?). I am content. Truly.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Lost Time

I haven't posted many handcrafted items lately, so I should probably explain myself.
The last few weeks have been consumed with buying another car.

I had to research online--meaning read reviews of different makes and options... Kelly Blue Book information, and consumer comments...

then make some choices concerning which car and where. I had to choose the type and model of car, find the location of the car, and figure out if that's the car I wanted. More research, this time Car Fax reports, and more consumer comments...

then more research to find a lender...
then go look at cars, choose a car, negotiate a price, fill out paperwork...
fill out more paperwork...
drive down to my insurance place for a visual inspection...
then have the dealer repair one of the power windows, drop off the vehicle, borrow another...

it has been insanely time-consuming.

Also, however, it is really a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. An "I did it!"
No man to help me--I was on my own. And I did a good job.
And it's exciting.
What I chose is irrelevant, but it was the right choice for ME!

I also started school again. Just one class, and a creative one, but I will blog about that in a couple weeks. It's pretty exciting too.

I just wanted to tell you why you haven't seen anything handmade in awhile. Don't will soon.


Vintage Valentines

I was going through some of my scrapbooks from childhood, and came across some old valentines.
More Vintage Valentines
I remember every year in elementary school, the students would make some sort of container to receive cards, and we would all give one another these...with our names crayoned on the back or something.

I remember it being so much fun to open the variety box of cards, and choose which design was going to which friend/classmate.
Last year I bought a skateboard and surfer-themed set at (of all places) the 99 cent store, and sent the box to my friends in Indiana. They were stoked to have "extra special cards all the way from California". Pretty cool.

Vintage Valentines
Simple pleasures, sharing, simple smiles...
this is really what it's all about, you know?


Saturday, February 10, 2007

I Heart Hot Chocolate

Ah, my biggest vice.
Chocolate with cinnamon and marshmallows. Ummmm....
Pretty much a nightly ritual.

My favorite brand? Abuelita.

If you want to learn something about chocolate, here's the history. Here too.
It's even healthy!

There's music named Hot Chocolate (no idea if it's good or not), a movie (who knew?),
and a book also (it looks interesting).

And I love love love this gift idea for cocoa in a cone.

Instructions here from Family Fun.
Or Creative Jumble has a tutorial.

Super cute ideas to make reindeer, Santa, or tree versions.

Or vary the idea as you wish: Snickerdoodle cones would have cinnamon and sugar (the ones you can buy already made use cinnamon-flavored chips).
S'mores would have tiny graham cookies or crumbs.
Make them up with mini mint-flavored chips. Or peanut-butter chips. Or whatever you want.
A version you can buy has cherries in it (dried? I'm not sure)
Add hot cinnamon candies. Or a pinch of cayenne.
Tie a lollipop or candy cane to the bag to use as a stir stick.
Maybe add chocolate shavings instead of chips.
Tie with ribbons for a party favor.
I can see this idea modified for all kinds of occasions.
More ideas on this forum.

Recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate
Miscellaneous recipes.
Hot Chocolate Fondue recipe.
A recipe that includes a bit of espresso powder, from the Barefoot Contessa.

And we can't forget the marshmallows.
Toasted coconut marshmallows from the Barefoot Contessa.
And Tyler Florence (speaking of yum) has a homemade marshmallow recipe also.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Photobooth Friday

I'll guess this photo was taken in the 1930's, to match his wife's image that I posted last week.
His name was Burdette, but most people called him 'Doc'.
I just knew him as Gramps.
He was my mom's stepdad. He was a wonderful man.
I've spoken about him previously.

that hat he's wearing? I still have it.

He was a dentist in the Navy. He was known in Coronado for his wild antics--like stealing captain's chairs from the officer's club and taking them home on his bicycle while the powers that be turned a blind eye.
Like showing up on a whim to see my mom, and bringing the cab driver in to play cards all afternoon.
He made wooden scooters for all the kids, and we were all the envy of the neighborhood. I still have the child's table and chairs that he made for me, as well as a bookcase.

My memories of him are of goodness, kindness, generosity, and laughter.
I miss him dearly.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

I heart the Sea World Tower

sea world tower
"Moonlight over Mission Bay".
this photo was taken from the Hyatt Hotel
WRSA official photograph, used with permission

The lights on the Sea World tower hold some kind of magic for me.
They calm me. Make me thankful to live here.

At Christmas time, the lights are a tree.
At other times of the year, especially around Independence Day, they are red-white-and blue.

Many years ago, a girl I knew tried to commit suicide. In a card to her, I enumerated ten things worth living for.
This made the list.

The irony is that I don't even like Sea World (I would explain in detail, but why destroy the moment?).

But the tower...I so love the lights on the tower.

I guess they have recently scaled back on when the 'tree' is lit, and this saddens me greatly. I love the lights--leave them ON!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I heart Kinder-eggs

It seems appropriate, this close to Valentine's Day, to talk about things I heart.

Kinder-eggs are hollow egg-shaped milk chocolate with a surprise toy inside. They are most popular in Germany, but are produced in several countries.

The paranoids in the US have banned the chocolates in this country, lest kids choke on the toys (that are housed in big freaking plastic for God's sake!).

I'm close to the Mexican border, so I can buy the candy there, or occasionally I find it in little mom and pop places that don't know it's illegal.

It is so much fun seeing what toy you get inside.
My favorite was a little wave and palm tree that my ex-boyfriend hopefully still has in his bathroom.
This is a Wile E. Coyote-type character, riding his motorcycle. The wheels really work. So so fun.
I say BAH! to the de-cluttering people. Little goodies like this around me just make me smile all day.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tortellini with artichoke hearts

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm one of those people who writes notes on little pieces of paper...and then I can never find what I need.
So one of the greatest aspects of having a blog is that I can list favorite links and have a holding place where I know I can always find places to shop, etc.

And yummy recipes.

I found this simple pasta dish on (once again) Poco Cocoa.
I left the olives out just like she did. I am definitely not into olives.
This is so quick and easy, because it's hot pasta with fresh uncooked items. Surprisingly tasty.
If you don't want that much tang, well, leave the vinegar out.
This is just a starting point. I didn't blanch the tomatoes, I used raw ones.
It was fine.

A similiar version (with a few variations) is here.

Tortellini, Tomato and Basil Salad

1 pound cheese tortellini or ravioli
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 bunch basil, the leaves torn into pieces
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Red wine vinegar

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the ravioli. Blanch the tomatoes for 15 seconds, then scoop them out. Peel, seed, and chop them into large pieces. Put the tomatoes and artichokes in a large bowl with the basil, capers, and oil.

Salt the pasta water. Add the tortellini, cook until done, and drain well. Add them to the bowl and toss gently with a rubber spatula. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and sprinkle with vinegar to taste. Serve warm or tepid.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Smock apron pattern

Smock apron
I just got this apron pattern.
There's no date listed, but I'll guess it's from the late 1960's.

I mean, really, how flippin' cute is this?!
I absolutely love it, and I don't normally like smock styles.

It could be updated with a velcro tie maybe.
The short version would make a cute summer top.
Love love love.


Sunday, February 04, 2007


There's something magical about party crackers. They just never get old--they are suitable for kids or grandparents.

Jen of The Felt Mouse mailed out New Year crackers (in a mailing tube even!), for a fun and festive alternative to Christmas cards.
I think crackers may have originally been more of a British custom that has recently been adopted here in America.
Not Martha offers a tutorial if you'd like to make your own.

Jen made hers in a green striped/polka dot paper. Check out the goodies!
(image from her blog. Read about it here)

I was so excited to open this, and I love what she included inside. It's so lovely, so totally Jen.

I seem to have lost my feather. That's not like breaking a it?

Thank you so much!


Saturday, February 03, 2007


Cuteness once again from Mahar Drygoods.

The site describes them as something for kids:
Fresh from the bakery of Ana Paula Rimoli, a dessert so sweet that you just want to give it a squeeze! Tuck a Cuddle Cake in Jr's lunch box to remind him just how much you love him, or stick a toothpick flag in the frosting with a special message to greet Little Miss at the kitchen table.

But I can see them as a pincushion or something fun like that. Stuffed into a gift basket or a swap...
What's not to love?!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Photobooth Friday

the pic is damaged, but still lovely.
My grandmother (my mom's mom).
Her name was Mary Ellen.

She has been gone for decades (only 66 years old...too young. I was robbed of more time with her), but not a day goes by that I don't miss her.
I'll guess this shot was taken in the 1930's.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Flapper Friends

Old Photo
(click on image to enlarge)

I haven't posted a photo in awhile.
I purchased this on ebay. Something about it just appealed to me.
It appears to be the 1920's, perhaps school chums.
I love the unposed quality of it, the comradrie.