Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thrifting, auctions, and gifts

Okay...just a quick hello before I get back to the sewing machine.
I am not a fast sewer.
Even if I was, I don't see how people finish so many things when there is work and errands
I mean, yesterday I worked five hours, rushed up to the north county for more fabric, got my taxes done, and spent two hours at the dentist's office.
Not much time was left for sewing.
How do some people do it???

Between appointments I had a few minutes to kill yesterday, and made a stop at my favorite resale shop.
I got this set of 27 dominoes for $2!
I don't know anything about age or quality of dominoes, but I do know I want to learn about collaging on dominoes to make pendants, magnets, etc.

On another fun note, I just got this today in the mail (an ebay purchase).
I love it so!
Dis-glo Whistle
The Dis-glo Whistle. It lights up when you whistle! (excuse the light reflection from the scanner)
Ha! This just makes me giddy.
The suit! To use for "rollerskating"!
Love love love this funky 70's memorabilia.

Speaking of mail and 70's, the ever magnanimous Mary Ann sent me yet more goodies in the mail.
Can you believe it?!

Vintage necktie patterns.
Like Mary Ann said...who knew?!
Sew your own neckties
(click on image to enlarge)
Three neckties: McCall's #2568, 1970
Tie and Ascot: McCall's #3434, 1972
I think the model here cracks me up the most.
Oooh...foxy (lol)

She also sent me several pet-themed greeting cards, from the
etsy shop Good Morning Sunshine.
Pet cards
Pet cards 2

Then today I received yet ANOTHER package from my fairy blogmother--a cache of seven pretty neckties (not scanned right now because I need to get back to sewing).
Geez, Mary Ann--you spoil me!
Thank you.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How To Turn a Shirt into T Skirt

Eek, sorry for my absence.
I am madly sewing this week...will show you my efforts this weekend.

Until then, enjoy this DIY from ThreadBanger.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Video Sunday

Sara Bareilles, "Love Song"


Friday, February 22, 2008

Photo Friday

Saddle shoes
(click on image to enlarge)
I'm not sure if I was napping here or what.
I do know that I was at Nanny's house, and that I loved my saddle shoes.
I know I would fall asleep with them on.
And Nanny always repeated the story that I would have my feet pajamas on, ready to crawl into bed, and I'd beg, "Pleeeease Nanny...can I try them on ONE MORE TIME?"

So off would come the sleeper so I could parade around again in my black and white shoes.
I lived with Nanny for about a year while my mom was really sick with hepatitis.
She never really got any better with bed rest, she finally just dragged herself out and up because she had little kids to raise.
But Nanny's house always held some kind of magic.

I love saddle shoes to this day.
In high school my friend Roseanne had a clunky pair of red and white saddle shoes.
When Nike came out with saddle shoe tennis shoes, what? in the 80's? I was so excited.
I guess they represent a memento of childhood, so they still make me smile.
And this photo makes me smile too.
Aah, to be back on Nanny's porch...


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Me...I'm rooting for the rocker nurse

Okay, you guys already know I love my tv.
Truth is, it's just more fun to craft or sew with the tv on.
So, that being said, are you watching American Idol?

Granted, most of America is pissed that Josiah didn't make it,
especially in light of the fact that several of the contestants, ahem, aren't altogether amateur.

And Project Runway...gotta love that show.
If you read Blogging Project Runway, those of you outside the UK can also watch video from Project Catwalk.
So so good.
This season's Project Runway wasn't (I say thankfully) filled with as much cat fighting, but we do have a new adjective.
Love him or hate him, Christian just cracks me up.
Oh my God, he is so fierce...he's beast--you just don't know! (wink)


Wow--look what I got!

Holy cow, what a swap the Sweet Goodness Hanging Hearts turned out to be.
Cindy couldn't have made anything more personalized and perfect than the hanging hearts I received.
Here's a side-by-side of the front and back of my hanging heart (I stole the pic off Cindy's blog)
Can you believe it?

She copied five family photos of mine that I had posted here on my blog.
I only have a scanner (I WILL be buying a camera soon), but imagine five hearts strung together with pieces of lace. Cindy said, "I connected the hearts with pieces of lace making sure that they all were able to spin independently of each other so they were a bit like a mobile."
The top:
Top of heart mobile
The base with a pearl 'B':
Base of heart mobile

On the back side of each pink fabric heart is a collage of sheet music, buttons, and crocheted doilies.
Back of heart mobile
The doilies represent Cindy's own family history, with her memories of a great aunt who often made them.

And that's not all!
Gifts from Cindy
She sent a doggie magnet, pink ribbon candy, a crocheted heart pin, and a necktie daisy pin!
I am overjoyed with this package.
Thank you Cindy, for being such a fantastic swap partner.

My hanging heart is going to be displayed year round.
I love it!

You can read Cindy's post about the project here.

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Monday, February 18, 2008


I get inspirations from craft books, magazines, catalogs, and just looking around in the real world.
Sometimes something will just give me a jolt of excitement and spark an idea.
I love that feeling.

When I look at certain items (clothing, handbags, quilts), I sometimes see neckties, or how I could use necktie fabric to recreate them.
And that's inspiring to me.
I see neckties in two of Sweet P's awesome designs:

Thanks to Blogging Project Runway for the photos of the collections at Fashion Week.
(go to the link to see zoomed images of these and all the other designs presented)

I'm a big fan of environmentally friendly textiles, and Eco-Spun intrigues me.
According to the eco-glossary of white apricot:
Learn to love Eco-Spun! It is a high-quality polyester fiber which is made from 100% certified recycled PET (soda/pop) bottles, that is capable of keeping about three billion plastic PET bottles out of the world’s landfills each year, saving over half a million barrels of oil and eliminating 400,000 tons of harmful emissions which contribute to global warming, acid rain, smog, etc.. In fact, the amount of petroleum saved annually by using post-consumer bottles instead of virgin materials is enough to supply power to a city the size of Atlanta! Eco-Spun can be found is many textile products, including clothing, blankets, wall coverings, carpets, auto interiors and various home furnishings. It takes 6-20 bottles to make a sweatshirt, depending upon the weight, size and blend of the garment.

I love whimsical items, like the novelty kitchen gadgets by Boston Warehouse available at Target.
I mean, come on, how fun is this monkey-shaped vegetable peeler?!
I can think of so many gift baskets that could use a toucan beak can opener, or a pirahna pizza wheel...

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Video Sunday

Still good after all these years...
Nelly Furtado, "I'm Like a Bird"


Friday, February 15, 2008

Photobooth Friday

Andrea inspired Photobooth Friday.
She says, "the very thought of squeezing into a tiny booth with my family and taking home a souvenir strip or two (or TWENTY) makes me all giddy-like inside."
She wrote project #131

I am so thankful that I grew up in the days of the old analog booths.
My childhood is filled with fond memories of drugstore booth shots, and of cramming into fair booths with groups of friends.
The newer digital booths don't hold the same charm.
And I'm definitely not talking about Apple Photobooth programs either.

This is nostalgia, childhood memories, a piece of past I hope we can keep alive.
Wikipedia info.
More history.

If you want to find photobooth locations near you (both old and new-type machines), click on the locator section of the Photobooth Blog.

Recent NY Times article about photobooths.

"Photobooth: Timeless Self-Portrait Vending Machine", by Tim Garrett.

Collections of images:
*The Photobooth Chronicles
*Wade's Photobooth Gallery
*Startling Moniker
*Lost and Found photos website
*Found Photos
*Photobooth Project
*Flickr Photobooth group
*Flickr Photobooth Friday group

Stumble Upon is a website that offers photobooth-related links, and a chance to meet other people that also love photobooths.

Photobooths in Pop, by Mixup

Books available:
Photobooth by Babette Hines.
And American Photobooth, by Nakki Goranin and David Haberstich.

Build your own: DIY on Instructables.

The Expressive Photobooth, a sort-of Candid Camera/Punk'd-type prank thing.

Or, for a wedding or big party, you can rent a photobooth.
Or here is another company that rents booths. Vintage booth rental here. Several companies are available--check the web.
Ha! There's even the Photoboof!
Wouldn't that be cool?!

Items to buy:
*Stained glass picture frames from Whispering Willow
*Handmade albums for your booth strips, from
the etsy shop of Freckled Nest
*Necklace frame from Fred Flare

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Will you be my Valentine?

I have a steady stream of regular readers to this blog that make this ride all the more worthwhile.
I appreciate every visit and every comment more than I can express.
Especially when they stick by me through computer problems and problems with posting photos.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And a special thank you to Nannybird Crafts for sending me this email button today.
Pretty cool, huh?

I cruised the internet for fun Valentine links today.
Like the goodies at All Pop: kitsch and curios from around the world.
The shop (read the blog too) has great vintage Valentine images, as well as items like stickers, and kids clothes with Valentine appliques.

Crocheted heart tutorial at Bella Dia.

Make your own cookie cutters, from Instructables (but posted by Baking Bites, and linked on Not Martha).

Valentine's Day makes me think of pink cakes or cupcakes.
The idea of fresh strawberry frosting intrigues me.
It's something I want to try.
Ummmm...this recipe looks good.
Another recipe here.
A different version here.

Speaking of strawberries, Suse of Pea Soup makes these luscious knitted bookmarks.
She has generously shared the instructions, but I purchased some from her directly.

Laura of Rick Rack Ruby makes Necktie Strawberries.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thrillicious: 2008 SoBe Life Water Super Bowl Ad

This just cracks me up.
Advertising must be a fun job.


Jen sent me a link to Apartment Therapy website, and this amazing pillow made from clothing labels.
I had written about sewing with labels before, but the style of this pillow is a new twist. I love it!
Previously, I embellished an apron with labels.
And I mentioned a lady who made a quilt from labels.

And while I'm thinking about it, there's something else I wanted to share.
I was at a grocery store the other day, and up front, beside the handicapped parking spaces...
two spaces for Hybrid vehicles only.
I had never seen that before.

Hmmm...homemade recipes for Girl Scout Cookies...
from my favorite, Baking Bites.
Tagalongs (the name of one of the dogs I'm watching right now. And yes, he was named after the cookie)
a kind-of Thin Mints

Make your own personalized (um, adult content) Conversation Hearts (from Brownie Points blog).

I am so sad that Court TV changed to Tru TV.
Tru sucks sucks sucks.
I miss my Court TV...

Sorry for my absence here. I've been having horrible migraines.
Too, I'm without a scanner, and all my stuff to scan is at my mom's house anyway.
So bear with me...

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hanging Heart

I don't normally join swaps.
Sometimes I don't have the time, and even if I do, I get all stressed out about whether or not the recipient is going to be pleased.
So I usually save myself the grief.
I couldn't resist, however, signing up for the Hanging Hearts Swap.
I was really lucky too, and got Cindy is Crafty as my partner!

The valentine could be made with anything, and it didn't even have to be heart-shaped.
The only real requirements were it had to be smaller than 8" x 10", and it had to be able to hang.

I threw this together far too quickly before deadline, but I think it turned out okay.
It involved a lot of prep work (finding images) that took time to come together.
But I tend to wait until the last moment regardless...

I knew right away that I wanted to make a heart-shaped container.
I didn't want to use fabric, because Cindy often works with paper and collage.
I wanted to make something inspired by her style.

But the question was paper collage under glass?
Under wax?
Under vinyl?
Atop aluminum?

Ultimately, I decided it made the most sense to use gel medium on posterboard (similar to what I did for the art doll hat).
As a side note here, I prefer gel medium (available at stamping stores, among other places) over Modge Podge.
Modge Podge, though less expensive, tends to leave too many brush lines.
And it stays sticky sometimes.
I don't use it at all.

Okay, but as I was saying, I chose poster board, even though the end result wouldn't be much of a container unless you just want to stash something light like a love letter.
I was going to cut two heart shapes and blanket-stitch the edges with a fun yarn, then it dawned on me that lacing versus stitching would be corset-like and thereby more in keeping with
a va va va voom theme.

I found some red chenille at Tuesday Morning (there went my pink and yellow idea...oh well), so it worked beautifully.
I considered leaving the lacing at the front, but no one wants a broken heart on Valentine's Day, so I put it off to the right side only.
I formed the two hearts into almost a cone shape (a shape I love), and attached a tail of German game tiles spelling out LOVE, as well as some wired buttons as a nod to Cindy's love of Button Fairies, and a symbolic key to one's heart (the latter a gift from a fellow blogger to use in an instance just like this one).

I started browsing magazines and clipping words applicable to love.
I found images that felt like a Valentine (candies, heart-shaped things, red roses...), then added more stuff from my stash--a copy of a vintage Valentine I received as a child, sheet music with a hearts theme, a copy of an illustration from Alice in Wonderland (a rabbit wearing a cloak with hearts all over it), a Queen of Hearts card from a foreign deck, and a newspaper article about symbolism of the holiday.

There is also a paper doily, a Tootsie Pop wrapper, a Love postage stamp, the paper from a Hershey's Kiss candy, gold paper, silver paint, heart-shaped jewels, and who knows what all else.

The great thing about collage is that you can layer and layer.
You can combine thicknesses of ephemera, build up glue to add texture, then go over it with paint to bring out the detail.
You can pull parts of the paper away, or sand it to give an aged effect or for added interest (the funny part here is that Cindy though one part got damaged in transport and 'fixed' it. Oops, lol).
You can add wax to areas, add thread and yarn and cement them with glue like resin.
You can embed charms, sequins, mushed up tissue paper...
The beauty of collage is flaws can look intentional, and mistakes can turn into work well done.
It's forgiving, and it's fun.

Of course I had to add a necktie daisy, since Cindy has been inspired by my love of sewing with neckties, and makes her own necktie chokers and daisies now.
A Side of Hanging Heart Collage
I left the 'petals' longer than normal to show off the fun tie fabrics, three of which are hearts themed.

I didn't intend to collage the interior, though my first step of the process was to line it in a silver mesh for added interest.
I ended up having so many good images that I figured, what the heck!, and I added some to the interior.

My favorite is the cupcake with the I Love You candles.
Also Louise Brooks, a vintage bird paper (the actual envelope that my 60's apron came in. Yes, sometimes I don't use copies), and I can't remember what's on the fourth side oh yeah, three strawberries glued together to mimic a heart shape.
I had other ideas for ephemera but ran out of room--like copies of a love spell, and a recipe for heart-shaped cookies.

I was not able to take my own photos of the valentine, so thanks to Cindy for letting me use the ones on her Flickr page and her blog.
You can read her blog post here.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Last year, as I've written about previously, I reconnected with a dear friend I have known since fourth grade.
We kept in touch through moves to different schools, then different states, but lost contact around 2000 or so.
So reconnecting again, stronger than ever, has been incredible.

Too, I reconnected with three women that I had a falling out with for about a year and a half, but women I have known since the early 1980's.
So again, pieces of my heart healed.

I also reconnected with a co-worker I knew in the late 70's.
That has been interesting, and who knows where it will lead.

But yesterday, I got a letter (a REAL letter, not an online version) from a girl I was best friends with since first grade.
We were so close, that we spent every day after school together, and our fifth grade teacher, Miss Barto, actually took us aside one day and told us we really should expand our social activities at recess instead of just walking around the playground holding hands and talking.
I remember thinking, uh...why?

It shows how innocent we were, huh?
We weren't concerned with boys or popularity yet.
We weren't worried about make-up or diets or brand names.
I had never even heard a cuss word at that time.
Are kids today more sophisticated or cheated?

Anyway, Anna's letter is such a fun thing to receive.
Her family moved a couple of years later, and she went to a different junior high school, so we discovered different friends and experiences.
By the time she was 23, she was married with three kids.
I was living at the beach, partying, and dating different guys.
We were on different planets.
So we lost contact.

But the connection, the foundation, we built as kids remains.
I mean, I've never been the kind of person who had acquaintances and called them friends.
My friendships are intense, no holds barred.
They are as close as family.
So hearing from Anna further brings another piece of the puzzle back to my heart.
It's phenomenal.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Kiss it and make it better

Ha! These boo-boo bandaids seem like a perfect item for a Valentine gift basket!
Available from


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Video Sunday

Let's listen to world music today.
Here's an amazing video from Camila. Todo Cambio.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Photo Friday

I posted an incredible photo earlier of my Aunt May.
I copied her face when I made the art doll hat.

I just came across two additional pics of her.

This one is dated 1930.
Aunt May, 1930
She was 16 years old.
Additional writing on the back was torn off when it was removed from an album (there is residual black paper).
Too bad. I'd love to know more of her history.

And this one, dated May 21, 1932.
Aunt May, 1932
I assume it was her high school graduation.
She was 18 years old.

I never knew her.
She was my uncle Pete's sister, and he was only related by marriage (married to my dad's sister Jackrose. Yeah, I know, what a name, huh?).
She was an incredible seamstress, and worked in alterations at Marston's Department Store.
Wow, I'd love to have some of her creations.
She died relatively young, and all that was scattered or lost.
But the images remain to treasure.