Friday, March 30, 2007

Are you ready for a challenge?

I have big news!
I am starting a purse challenge!
Every two months, we'll inspire each other with our new creations.

See the details here at I Wanna New Bag (dot) blogspot (dot) com.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Music News

Grrr...My favorite contestant got knocked off American Idol tonight.
Chris Sligh is the only one I would consider listening to on CD.

(ooh, all the following links include luscious sound)

You know who else I miss? Sweet Suzy McNeil from Rock Star.
I was wondering what happened to her today, and guess what? Her CD will be released April 10. I can't wait!

I also love Storm Large. What the what is ladylike? God that song just makes me dance all over the room. Available, natch, on Halloween.

Props, of course, to Danielia Cotton. She has a similar sound. So clear and clean. Amazing.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Vintage lovely lady

I was going to post this for Photo Friday, but I can't wait.
Vintage Photo
I purchased this at the rummage sale.
She may be from the late 20's or early 30's. I love the curl on the forehead.

She has some speckling damage to her face because the mat was not archival.
I still really like her, and wonder how she was lost without a family history.

Speaking of lovely ladies, Aubrey has some amazing posts (probably my favorite blog of all), like this one, about the 'professional beauty'.
No one writes like Aubrey--she's exceptional.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Links about Aprons

I love research. If I could find a job where this was appreciated, I'd be in high Heaven.

I was looking for some information for a freelance submission, and in my search I came across some things I thought might make interesting links for the Tie One On website.
So, just for fun, I forwarded them to Angry Chicken (who runs that site), and also to my friend Jen.
Jen wrote back and suggested I share them here.

free apron pattern

And another free pattern, this one to knit a bib apron.

designer (from Project Runway) apron

Ha! Apron-shaped cake!

whoa, beautiful chenille apron from Calamity Kim.

mag articles
and here , some history of aprons.

apron blog, Amelia's aprons.

not all aprons, but fun site, Jane's aprons.

kid's projects
gardening apron to decorate
handprint apron
towel apron

apron from jeans

dishtowel apron tute

Dutch aprons

Apron Swap
(over for Spring, but hopefully there will be others)

artwork: painted apron (scroll down)

to buy:
and here

The January/February edition of Belle Armoire Magazine had art aprons (scroll down to see pic). Lovely.
These were made by artist Jacqueline Myers-Cho.
She sells her designs on etsy, and also has things like kits available.

*Post script: there has been an unfortunate thread cycling through blogland recently about bloggers who post products in order to get a dollar return.
This has brought the character of some posts by bloggers into question.
I find this terribly sad.

I WANT to read about products you enjoy, sites you enjoy, inspirational magazines, etc.
Does everything have to be questioned? Sheesh.

I post ideas and inspiration because I think that is what blogging is all about.

I assure you I do not blog for profit. If I did, I'd tell you.
Yeah, I (openly) link to Amazon on my book blog. So? Does it hurt anyone? But all the other mentions to stores, blogs, etc are for FUN.

I think we ought to just trust one another and be done with all the questioning of motive already.
That's my two cents.

**PSS: That being said, this whole gushing about the worthiness of a product and pretending it's really your unsolicited opinion...that's wrong on so many levels.

But let's assume that most of us know about ethical and moral ground, shall we?
Again, I assure you that my comments are my own. I have in the past backed a product as a favor (and because I really did like it), but did so with full acknowledgement to my readers, and without payment. I hope PayPerPost goes down in flames.
Interesting post about this on The Spiritual Knitter.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rummage Sale!

This weekend was the 80th annual Thursday Club Rummage Sale.
Of course I scored some fun novelty ties.
Favorite Ties

Luscious Jerry Garcia "Banyan Forest" design, silk handmade plaid by Polo, and World Wildlife fund elephant design (I am making an African animals block right now, so perfect timing)
Price: 25 cents each!

More fun prints:
Novelty Neckties

See more of my finds on my thrift blog.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Photo Friday (a day late)

No booth photos yet again, so I'll share another vintage photograph...
this one in honor of the upcoming Easter holiday that is already on a lot of our minds even now...with eggs to consider dyeing, rooms to decorate, pastel papers to buy, etc.

Do girls still get a new dress every Easter?
That was certainly a tradition when I was growing up.
Even with hat and gloves.

Easter Bunny
(you can click the photo to enlarge the image if you want to)

Here I am with my Easter Bunny.
Actually I'm not sure the bunny was for Easter, but let's go with it.
My oldest brother Rog was always treating me like this--spoiling me rotten with anything I ever wanted.

When I was in 9th grade, he even bought me a horse.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Work in Progress: Necktie Bookmark

I'm so close to finishing this, I figured I'd post it now since it's been far too long since I've posted a handmade item.

I took a beautiful blue necktie and cut the thin end to the desired size for a bookmark. I then cut a heavy piece of Pellon to match the measurement--the pellon will be sandwiched between the fabrics, but I wanted to collage several fabric designs from several neckties atop the Pellon.
So step one was choosing which neckties had appropriate patterns that I could use together.
For Step Two, I laid out the patterns in a pleasing collage:
Bookmark, Step Two

Step Three, nearing the home stretch. I then stitched the pieces to the pellon. All I need to do now to finish is hand-stitching the back fabric to this collage, and it's a done deal.
Necktie Bookmark
The designs were all chosen with intent--this is a gift for a man in the UK.

Because everything is chosen with a particular man in mind, I wanted patterns that held meaning for this man's interests.
The globe represents his love of travel, geography, and world events.
The book for love of words and reading.
You'll see hints of pattern of circuit board at the top and bottom.
The white is the only fabric not taken from a necktie, but from a pair of boxer shorts (the fabric is the Wall Street Journal) representing interest in financial affairs.
Again the theme of money with the hundred, but purposefully there more for America (representing myself, as the recipient is in the UK). This is also why the thread on the words is red-white-and-blue, and the outlining is sort-of like a state.
The wire at the top is three guitar strings I tried to crochet together, for his love of music.

I think it's a fun item to make, and I enjoy putting this kind of thought into my projects.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Jigsaw Sweaters

Fun idea to mix and match knitted clothing patterns, from the May 1951 issue of Woman's Day Magazine.
I can see taking vintage sweaters and cutting them apart, can't you? How cute!
Jigsaw Sweaters

More Jigsaw Sweaters


Sunday, March 18, 2007

A couple sights around town....

Cookie Cutter Trees
Big rusted cookie-cutter shapes make an interesting composition hanging from a tree outside The Country Loft, a quilt shop in La Mesa.

Old sailing ship housed in a boatyard by the Chula Vista marina.
I hope she's in for restoration.
Beautiful lines and details.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Swap of the Century!

Jen of The Felt Mouse is a self-proclaimed swap addict. Obsessed with challenges, she jokes that she's in need of a 12-step program.
The fact of the matter is that she just seriously rocks at giving.

She and I have become very good friends in the last year. Bless her heart, she puts up with my novel-length emails on a daily basis. I feel as if I've known her forever. It is these types of connections for which the benefits of blogging are near and dear to my heart...and how being part of this community is best defined.

Jen and I decided to do a swap between just the two of us. A 'Just Because' swap.
No parameters were established. No minimum or maximum dollar amount. No questionnaires, no lists, no hints. Just send what you think the other will love, and include something handmade.

Well, ever the late one, mine is still in progress. Hopefully I will get hers out next week. I received mine however, and I think I fell into a mild state of shock. In fact, it's the end-all be-all of swaps. I doubt I will ever swap again. Seriously. Nothing will be able to compare.
I will do my best not to elaborate the details with cuss words and exclamation points.

First this big box arrived at my post office box. Not being able to wait, I opened it immediately.

Oooh, licorice right on top.
This is looking gooood.

(I apologize for crappy photos. I am probably the only person on the planet still without a digital camera).
My anticipation was killing me...had to devour let's just move on, shall we?

The wrapping is exquisite, creative, beautiful. Jen could make a living as a professional gift wrapper. There are such things, you know.
Wrapping by Jen
Check it out: wrapped in Asian newsprint and embellished with chopsticks, thick paper (I thought it was a paper bag at first) wrapped with ribbon that was laced through an I-Ching coin, two packages wrapped with fabric (one had a cute fan on a string, and the other a really cool stamped faux metal...I can reuse all these things in collages), and some beautiful paper tied with a leather string and a shank button. Love it!

Okay, now the fun part--what's in 'em?
goodies from jen

Celebrating my love of decorative thread, a set of six Sulky rayons (drool). How cool is that?!
The pretty red chopsticks that topped the newsprint package,
a headband that Jen covered with necktie fabric! Hello...the amazingness!!!
An adorable little Valentine sucker from Chuy (her chihuahua who looks a lot like the label here), and some lip-shaped magnetic memo clips that I have had on my 'gimme' list that Jen must have psychically read.

But that's not all!
more goodies
Eek, vintage mail order apron pattern (that I do not own yet nor have I seen before despite my huge collection) with PINEAPPLE-shaped pockets and a matching potholder. Lurve (as Finny would say). Roses too, but please...the pineapple so totally rocks. I want to find some yellowish plaid a la Jeffrey's dress

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the gift reveal.
Japanese frickin' bodkins (my favorite sewing notion). Just too perfect for words.
This girl did her homework, I tell you.
To die for orange and gold paper for my collages. Gorgeous.

Then...more more more
Vintage candy cookbook, really cool book of collage ideas (including paper), and an awesome 1981 cookbook from the LA Times (back in the day when their Home section rocked). My mom grabbed the cookbook and hasn't stopped looking at it yet!

And still the gifts continue ya'll!

(oops, sorry for the blurry)
Knowing I love Mexican hot chocolate, Jen treated me to a gourmet variety.
Then she used her psychic powers again to determine that I do indeed need additions to my collection of Hornsea mermaid mugs. Lurve again...
How did she know????
And here's a better view of the necktie headband.

But wait, we still have one more gift to open. The piece de resistance...the handmade item.

Whoa. How adorable, uber cute, totally personalized, thoughtful, utterly perfect....
A tote made from neckties!!!!
Necktie Tote from Jen
(this post was getting so long, I did a mosaic of pics here, but you can see more detail on my flickr page, and Jen is sure to post better pics with a better camera too)

Detail: note the turtle tie tac!
It's cool how the background fabric is like a suiting material, and the corners are reinforced with tie fabrics also.
Necktie tote, detail

So, thank you a million times Jen! I hope my gift to you is equally pleasing.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Photobooth Friday

I'm sure I have more old photobooth strips somewhere, heaped in boxes under old cards and letters and memorabilia. Until I find these treasures, I thought I'd go investigate locations of photobooths in San Diego.

I had heard there were two photobooths at Belmont Park, so today I went to check it out. Belmont Park is home to an old wooden roller coaster, thankfully saved from demolition and another dreaded hotel project when the community rallied to its support back in the 80's.

Today I had envisioned that on a weekday the area would be calm...that I would be one of few people walking around. As I was driving toward Mission Beach, the fog was rolling in off the ocean, giving the sky a white hue. I imagined I would find an old photobooth, like something out of the Twilight Zone, emanating out of the mist.

That was not to be the case.

While I'm glad the roller coaster was saved, and I love the night skyline with its curves lit up in lights, the daytime offers cheesy fun zone fair stuff--not really my idea of a good time.
The photobooths may have at one time been the good ones, the old school ones...but today I just found a digital version within an arcade.
It was my childhood in the mist, disappearing.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Continued Inspiration...

My tendency to browse catalogs and ebay for ideas and inspiration certainly isn't limited to children's clothing.

For now I'll just share one that haunts me.
Perhaps because I so love border prints. Or appliqued borders. Or embellished borders. And pics like this get me thinking...

I love this skirt with the train border, from a vintage photograph I saw on ebay, of some ladies seated at a diner booth.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sewing kid's clothing...ideas and inspirations

I would love to be able to sew for my own kids, but I don't have any.
So I have a bunch of projects planned to make clothing for my friend Jen's kids, especially her four year old daughter.

I love browsing catalogs and places like ebay for inspiration.
And I love the idea of getting wild with mixing up a bunch of fabrics.

Like these fun examples from ebay:

Here's a cute boy's tee. It all comes down to fabric choice

eek! Look at this adorable Oilily Owl Bag!!!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Cupcake Class

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jen and I took a
3D Cupcake Animals class at
Amy Malone's School of Cake Decorating.
The class was Jen's gift to me for Christmas--an incredibly creative idea that combined fun and doing something together.

We all brought our own unfrosted cupcakes, then using dowels and skewers we anchored two or three together onto foil-covered syrofoam...and started decorating.
It was a blast.
We made a bunny, an owl, and a lion.
Here are examples of the classwork:
Cupcake Class
The bunny was embellished with jelly beans in frosting grass. The owl got a plastic cap and a paper diploma. Those bunny ears are just frosting piped over drinking straws!

One student was particularly creative--the candy flower in the mane, the three-dimensional eyes...
Cake examples

Amy Malone also demonstrated a shaggy dog.
The dog is placed atop a sheet cake. She later piped bone-shapes around the edge, and added a water dish. Too cute.
Amy Malone decorating

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Saturday, March 10, 2007


Whew! My mom and I made it through all 18 quilt shops this week.
It was fun--it's so interesting that each shop carries different brands and designs of fabric. That makes it so much more inspiring.

Our bank accounts are a bit lighter, but it was oh so worth it.
I sure hope we win one of the prizes!!!

I took a couple photos, but for now I just want to share this comic that made me laugh out loud in store. Thank you to the nice man at Quilter's Paradise in Escondido that made a copy for me.
Fabric funny


Friday, March 09, 2007

Photo Friday: Nanny's Garden

Well, no booth pic today, but I was inspired to post this photo of my grandmother after reading this past post by Edge Effect.
Nanny's Garden


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Goodness abounds despite Blogger woes

Hmmm, maybe blogger was having a glitch yesterday, because posting wasn't as difficult today. Another blogger told me they flagged her account yesterday, and today all was well again.

So who knows...
Then again, this post should have taken about five minutes to create.
It took over half an hour.
I had similar troubles when I used to post my photos using Picassa (also a google product) and they "upgraded".
I switched to Flickr and it was good all around.
I fear Typepad may cause just as many delays, but now more than ever I'm thinking I may have to consider this avenue.

Anyway, other than blogger, the universe seems to be blessing me lately
(could it be all those multiple viewings of The Secret? Hmmm...)

First I sent a copy of one of my booklets to someone (her request), and in return (though nothing was expected other than thanks) she sent me a card with $5 in it.

Then I lent someone one of my patterns, and in return she too sent an adorable "Thank you Sew Much" card with $5 in it.

Then I sent a copy of the first page of instructions of one of my patterns to someone who had lost hers, and she sent a nice card with $7 in it.

I'm kind of liking this pattern here.
Actually, I'm teasing. I was blown away by the thoughtfulness.
I would link these nice ladies' blogs, except none of them have blogs to credit.

And THEN, Heidi (aka Spiritual Knitter) out of the kindness of her heart sent me this adorable strawberry fabric after I mentioned recently that I want to make a quilt in strawberry themed fabrics.

And she also sent one of her adorable felted flower pins (she sells these in her Etsy shop). These are felted from recycled sweaters--I love that idea.I either have to make a bag to put this on, or it would look super cute on the lapel of a blazer!

Thank you everyone!!!


Monday, March 05, 2007

My latest indulgence....

Camper shoes.

On the downside, I have been forced to finally migrate to the "new and improved" blogger.
I hate it.
My computer is so old and slow that it's nearly impossible to even sign in.

After nearly two years, I am considering ending my blog venture.

We'll see...


Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's time for the shop hop again

If you live in or near San Diego County, the third annual Cruisin' Quilters Shop Hop started yesterday.

The event lasts for one week, and requires a visit to 18 quilt shops. Each visitor gets a 'passport' which is stamped by each shop. At each store there are raffle prizes (I've already won three quilt magazines, and my mom won a quilt pattern), usually a plate of cookies and coffee, freebies, more freebies if you purchase something, a free block pattern so you'll be able to create a sampler quilt upon finishing, and just an all-around good time.

Participants who have their entire passports stamped are eligible for huge prizes.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

New handmade goodies? Uh...I got nothin'.
Please be patient with me. It has been a hectic month, but I'll be back at my sewing machine tomorrow.

Until then, let's chat, shall we?

Are you watching American Idol?
Um, what happened to Kelly Pickler?
Is she channeling Dolly Parton?
She looks to have aged thirty years. I don't get it.

Chris Sligh--you so totally rock!