Monday, July 30, 2007

Vintage illustrations

Vintage Hawaiian Coloring Book
I'm drawn to vintage coloring books for ideas--especially for quilt blocks.
I haven't made anything yet, but I'd like to one day.

At the Road to California Quilt Show earlier this year, one of the vendors had a quilt displayed in which each block represented a California Mission.
I think, if I remember correctly, the blocks were embroidered.
Anyway, the designs were from a coloring book.

This Hawaiian one is especially fun because it has an image of a Maypole.
Inside are children from various nations (Samoa, Japan, and The Mainland).
The illustrations are just fun to look at.
This book is not dated, but is probably late 50's.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Angela Moll gives a whole new definition to journal quilts

Words on fabric utterly inspire me.
I have kept a journal since I was in the sixth grade.
I've saved almost every letter I've ever received.
If I were to transfer them to fabric, what a great way to memorialize the moods, times, experiences.

Angela Moll writes and paints on fabric, cuts the work apart, then restitches the pieces back to gether into these amazing quilts.
See Angela's website here.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Sewing with towels, 1967

Beachwear from towels, 1967
(click image to enlarge)
Normally when I post a pattern to one blog, I don't post it to another, but this one was just too good not to cross over from
my purse blog onto this one.

Words can't adequately express how much I adore this pattern.

Look at the towel pattern on the pants at the right--seriously, how fun is that?!
Eek, it just makes me giddy!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar's sixth sense, etc (*revised)

Have you guys seen news about Oscar, the cat of death?
Fascinating stuff.
Oscar lives in a nursing home, and has a keen sense of who is within four hours of death.
Staff is able to notify family so they may be present, while Oscar offers his curled up body on the bed as comfort.
Read more here.

Other stuff:
I'm addicted to So You Think You Can Dance (go Lacey!).
Last week, Enrique Iglesias sang.
I think Enrique is one of the most gorgeous men on the planet.
But dude!
Did you really have to show up in jeans and a baseball cap?

I was talking to a guy at work about dating, and he said it really turned him off that women always seem to want to know what kind of car he drives.
But you know what? Our aim isn't gold digging.
Uh, note to guys: you car is akin to your shoes.
In other words, it says volumes about you.

For me, if you're driving an '80 Honda Civic, uh, maybe you're frickin' cheap.
If it's a Rolls or a Jaguar, you're probably pretentious.
See where I'm goin' here?
Ditto dirty sneakers or foo-foo Italian loafers.
Just sayin'.
Personally, I'm all about Land Rovers and boots.

Best tip on how to meet men, from Finny:
"Tip: For you women who feel you're not getting the proper amount of attention at the usual shopping holes, go to a fly fishing shop and tell them you want to try on waders. And then prepare yourself for the most ravishing level of attention received outside of a Maserati dealership".

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An American Classic

Thumbprint Cookies with Sour Cherry Jam
Way back when I was in elementary school reading Betty Crocker's Boys & Girls Cookbook, I perused recipes for thumbprint cookies.
This cookie has been an iconic element of American kitchens for decades.
I only recently tried it, however, probably because I have only recently come to have a taste for jam.
Go figure.

Only now can I eat a jelly donut, or jam on toast (preferably berry preserves rich with watered down and strained stuff. Oh no).
I still cannot, and never will, stomach it together with peanut butter on a sandwich.

No pb & j for me.

Also, for me peanut butter must be natural, and super chunky.
No shortening additives. It has to have oil that needs to be stirred in.
For baking, however, that shortening is necessary. Natural just doesn't add the correct texture somehow.
I like Skippy's Superchunk for baking.

I take my peanut butter very seriously.
But I digress.

Peanut butter cookies with a well of jam in the center?...I guess I could try that.
The key is to use excellent quality jam, like D'arbo--an amazing gourmet variety out of Austria (available in specialty grocery stores, and Cost Plus World Market, as well as several online sources).
I love D'arbo's sour cherry flavor.
Seriously, seriously amazing. Unreal.

There are many versions of this cookie.
This one is from the book Lip Smackin' Jams and Jellies, by Amy and David Butler (no, I don't think it's THAT Amy).

Peanut Butter "preserve prints"

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces sour cherry or strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugars and beat until mixed.
Add the peanut butter and beat for 1 minute.
Mix the egg and vanilla together and add to the butter mixture. Beat until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Mix together the flour, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter,
and on low speed mix until all of the flour is incorporated.
Refrigerate dough for 1 to 2 hours.

Scoop cookie dough balls (about 2 teaspoons in size), and roll to form 1 inch balls.
Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart from each other.
Make indentations with a spoon or your finger in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden in color.
Place the cookies on a cooling rack, and prepare the preserves.

Heat the preserves and strain.
Place cherries or strawberries in the center of the cookies. The remaining juice should be reduced by boiling for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Cool the thickened juice for 1 minute then spoon over the top of the fruit.
*(note: I skipped this heating step. I just used the preserves right out of the jar the old school way. It was fine)

Store cookies in an airtight container, single layer of cookies.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

No completed projects yet, but lots of ideas...

I'm working on planning several projects simultaneously.
Like sewing this cute halter (by Amy Butler), using the Lollipop fabric I posted about earlier.

And I did decide to use the Mod Pillows pattern for the ring bearer pillow I agreed to make for a co-worker's wedding.
Her choices echo a black, white, and pink theme, so I chose to sew most of the petals with this fabric:

I have some bags planned, using the Veronica bag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs.

It's a small purse pattern, but oh so cute.
I'm going to add Timtex to give them stiffer sides.

And I also joined in the Art Doll Hat Swap.
Heaven forbid I ever complete something before the very last minute.

Needing creative dust sprinkled my way...


Monday, July 23, 2007

History in an envelope

I purchased this Kaumagraph embroidery pattern with designs for trapunto,
Vintage Kaumagraph Trapunto Pattern, 1945

but the real jewel is what was inside the envelope.
There was an old letter from the USO, dated 1945 (the date of the transfers also)
USO letter
I don't know anything about the scrapbooks referred to here--do you know what those were?

But also inside was a drawing of how the lady who owned this pattern was going to use it to decorate a dress:
designs ideas

This fascinates me.
Did she ever complete her big plans, or did this join the pile of unfinished projects?
It's doubtful she completed the dress, because most of these transfers are unused.
Who was she?
Just a few lines on a piece of paper can invite so many questions.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vintage fun

Chef Towel
I recently purchased this cute embroidered floursack towel on ebay.
I thought the design might be an old Vogart embroidery pattern, but I haven't been able to determine which design number.

My mom says it reminds her of an old French chef cookie jar she had in the 60's or maybe even the 50's.

I'm pretty sure the embroidery design is old, but I'm not sure how old the work is.
All I know is that I think it's adorable!
Kind-of matches the carrots I recently posted.

I have decided to go back to incorporating my thrifting and ebay finds onto this blog,
and am going to stop the Secondhand Swag blog.

Too many blogs, too little time...

And I get the most traffic here.
So there you go.

Yay to being back online!!!!!

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Local Garden Tour

Hydrangeas in multiple colors offer an old-fashioned romance to a garden.
The shabby chic, if you will, of the floral variety.
(click on image to enlarge)
Yep, I'm still having to type at the library, so this is just a tease...
I'll go into more detail later.

Last month, as a belated Mother's Day gift, I took my mom on a tour of six local home gardens, organized by the San Diego Floral Association.

Three were in Mission Hills, and three were in Point Loma, including the historic Rosecroft estate (I couldn't find a working website, but some pics are available here).

These gardens were groomed over decades.
They were lush, with little niches for sanctuary with tables and chairs.
There were bronze sculptures, heritage blooms, and running streams.

I was amazed that people live in these beautiful resort-like environments,
some with phenomenal views of the city.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I've been without internet access where I'm staying, and I'm going nuts!

It was working fine at first,
then the screen came up with all the icons, but clicking onto the internet just came up with a 'cannot display this page' message.
So...after my unplugging and plugging cords back in, uh, it isn't working at all.


I called mobile repair services but the cost is too high.
I'm hoping it's something really stupid, like something is unplugged,
and the owners will have no problem returning to online status when they return from their trip.

Anyway, excuse my absence.
I hope to be back to posting daily (or close to daily) very soon.

On a brighter note, one of my photographs has been published in Flickr's Schmap Guide of San Diego.
Lifeguard Sculpture
Pretter cool, huh?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Fair Fun

Fun Zone
(click to enlarge)

Bright colors and sounds.
The sounds of summer...

Fun Zone

Curious George

Fair Food

Fried Fair Food
The Fair is all about yummy fried food.
My favorite is Tasty Chips--homemade potato chips spritzed with vinegar.

I haven't tried the Fried Avocado, Fried Cola, Fried Snickers, Fried Twinkies, or the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich.

But I'm willing (especially the avocado).

I love the pink Gingerbread house, the "Barb's Better Buns" booth, the Indian Fry Bread, the roasted corn, and of course the sliced green apples with caramel.
But I always buy an artichoke sandwich from Roxy--a local restaurant in Encinitas.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Inspiring Images

Well, this is supposedly a crafting blog.
To, uh, showcase all my crafty sewing stuff.

Right now...I got nothin'.

Internet inspiration, though--I got tons of that.

Like this amazing art collaged apron by Calamity Kim.

And this too.
Kim's website here.

Button bracelet made with men's silk ties, from Tiger Lilly Shop (etsy)
I love creative ideas like this!

And how fun is this slide?!
As seen on Flickr.
It is labeled Rutschkopf (I'm not sure if that's a word for playground or something).
It's in Sweden, in Karlskrona.

Hysterical vintage embroidery transfers from Floresita.
You really need to read about them!
I am determined to find a copy of these!

And, just because...
a gratuitous pic of the cute Makai
Makai--wet dog at Dog Beach
Pretty good for a cell phone pic, huh?

Yes I will, I will, I will be crafting again soon.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Lounging and hoping...

Until 18 months ago, there was a really fabulous radio station out of Los Angeles called The Lounge.

I have varied musical tastes, from folk to reggae to about anything in between, but I whole-heartedly support independent radio.
I want live people and call-in requests, versus a robotic soundtrack and a list of required playlists.

The Lounge had fun lounge music, dedicated fans, and great events.
My friend who lives in Burbank said he always wanted to swing dance with them.

It's tough to keep independent stations afloat, however, and Mexico reclaimed their signal.
Fabulous 690 AM is now yet another Spanish language station.

Hopefully one day The Lounge will resurface on the radio airwaves.
I am one of those hopeful 'lounge lizards in exile'.

Until then, listen via internet streaming
Martini in the Morning.

You can join and support their efforts.

And they actually still have events , so if you live in (or are visiting) Southern California, put on your dancin' shoes.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sitting at the Surf Shack

I house-sit in a variety of places around San Diego county.
Sometimes I stay in million (plus) dollar homes, with lots of amenities and square footage.
But the homes I would probably choose to call my own (given the opportunity), and the ones in which I feel most comfortable, are often the one-bedroom cottages.

Let me tell you, charm and character in a home are incredibly important.
The house I'm in right now is filled with surf paraphernalia: tropical-themed paintings, huge seashells, tikis, ceramic mermaids, photos from island vacations.

I feel safe here, I'm able to sleep here.
It's charming.

I have been taking the dog to the beach every day.
The other day I was walking around Fiesta Island, and it was like being in a commercial--a fish was leaping out of the water like a skipping stone, music was playing at Sea World during one of the animal shows, two men kayaked beneath a low-flying plane, a skier did tricks behind a speed boat blasting rock music...
An ice-cream truck played a ding-a-ling version of La Cucaracha....
It was surreal.

The one part of my living at the beach in which I am out-of-place is that most residents are early to bed, early to rise folks.
Most residents surf, and that often means paddling out around dawn.

I am NOT a morning person.

I rarely go to bed before midnight, even when my alarm is set for 5 am for work.
I tend to get too little sleep, so when my days off come around, I like to sleep in late.
It's a huge luxury.
I've been like that since I was a kid, so it's weird to me to be the only house with lights on after eight. Odd.
Friday rolled around, and the neighbor started sawing, hammering, six f'ing 52.
I was in hell.
Thank God he at least didn't turn on his radio until later in the day.
But this neighborhood is like that.
The people across the street are up on their rooftop deck breakfasting at 6:30.

That being said, I made an exception and got up early on the fourth of July to take the dog to Dog Beach.
We got there by 6:30, and I was so glad we did--the parking lot was already filling with motorhomes.
By the time we left at a quarter to seven, the adjacent beach was being dominated by tents and canopies, and parking spaces were non-existent.

I stopped at Robertos for a breakfast burrito, then a drive-thru coffee shop for a banana mocha.
Aaaaahhhh....I love this California lifestyle.
My poor car interior is no longer black, but sand.
Oh well. Small price to pay for joy.

Later, I was able to step outside and see most of the fireworks from the pier.
I like the ones that look like sparkling waterfalls, or the ones that make a sound like sizzling bacon.
This year there were ones that cascaded like five-petaled flowers.
I hope you had a nice 4th too.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

More Photobooth Friday

More Fair fun...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

an early Photobooth Friday


I couldn't wait all the way until Friday to post this.

I wrote in a poem on this blog a couple of years ago,
about giggling girls in a photobooth, making faces....

I reconnected with old friends at the San Diego County Fair tonight.
There were tears of joy, a restored comfort, and the rest of the world ceased to exist for a few hours.


Such a long story, but we chose to meet up the photobooth.
Where so many meaningful moments have played out...

I hope someday we'll be old and gray and still meeting at the fair,
decades of friendship memorialized on little strips of paper.
Posted by Picasa

Labels: ,

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sometimes you just need a little sand on your nose

Posted by Picasa

Makai is a good boy.