Thursday, August 30, 2012


My mother sent another package and here are the featured craft elements.  First up, the fabrics:
 Four florals in what may be chintz.  I like the two matching prints on the right.
 These three are nice.  There are over four yards of the black and white Rorschach-y print.  It may be too heavy for clothing.  I'm not sure.  Anyway, I threw everything in the wash.  It had a bit of a grandma's trunk smell to it.

She also sent a pile of patterns.  Lots and lots of patterns.  Most are for kids or bags.  I guess my mom found a yard sale where the lady supplemented her income by making and selling bags.
And hidden among them was this gem:
 Love!  I really have to learn how to expand vintage patterns to accommodate my increasing self.

She also sent a bunch of different notions, like these applique animals.  That elephant is so furry.
 And some rainbow fringe, gold rope, and flowery bits:
And all the buttons!  I love those little pink ribbon ones.
She sent one other craft-related thing, but I will share that later.  Good stuff!  Thanks, Mom!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dolly Exposed!

Meet Dolly.
She was made for me by my students in Japan about ten years ago.  I added her to my daughter's toy bucket months ago and was just going through it last night to determine if any of the toys could be played know, looking for choking hazards, etc.
 Dolly's eyes are glued on and her bits are put together with tiny little stitches.
 My name is even stitched onto the back of her Japanese, of course.
But here's a secret about Dolly.  She's anatomically correct in two ways.  They gave her a bellybutton.
And a butthole.

Monday, August 27, 2012

In Bloom: Bird Dropping

The birds are hogs.  They eat like little piggies and they make a mess.  They drop all the seeds all over the yard and then this happens:  volunteer sunflowers.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Burning the Quarter to Midnight Oil

I couldn't quite make it to midnight, so at 11:45pm last night, I called it quits.  I was working on that motorcycle biker-chick apron for my coworker.  I started sewing at about 10:00pm.  I only had the bodice portions gathered with the top and bottom edges in place.
 I had to make bias binding for the halter straps, sew skirt darts, sew skirt to bodice, sew the waist straps together and to the apron, sew the two apron sides together, and then top stitch everything.
I still have to finish making the bias binding (I only cut it out, I did not fold and press) and then attach that to the apron.  I also have to remove all my gathering stitches.  I started to do that last night, but when I dropped my seam ripper and it rolled across the room, I let it stay there and went to bed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Slow Progress?

Remember that needlepoint kit I found a while back?  Well, I've been working on it...slow and steady.
 I tried some purple, some pink, and some orange.  I also dabbled in some white on the flowers:
But, as per usual, I did not read the directions very thoroughly.  For the purple and most of the pink, I separated the provided thread into three separate strands and I stitched with one of them at a time.  Had I read the directions, I would have seen that I was to separate them into two threads and one thread and then I would have stitched with the two thread grouping.  
 Maybe with this angle, you can see that the orange and some of the pink is thicker:
 Also, I don't like those splotches of blue on the rainbow.  They are supposed to be birds.  I think they suck, so I am stitching over them.  With two stitches you can't see their outlines, so that's good.  I should really learn to read the directions all the way through.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tomato Central

My garden has been overrun by the two tomato plants -- one yellow heirloom of the normal-sized variety and a cherry tomato plant.  My zucchini is trying to escape the garden, but I got one good-sized zuke this weekend -- that may be it for the season, though.  Here's the latest grouping of veggie pickings:
 So then I diced them up and sauteed them in olive oil.  I added some sea salt, ground pepper and some fresh herbs from my garden:  thyme, marjoram, and oregano.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thrifty Fabric

It was another weekend of no sewing.  Blaaaah.  I have so many things I want to make, but there never seems to be any time to make them lately.  Plus my craft room is a disaster.  I need to rearrange it and clean it and I really wanted to do that this weekend, but it didn't happen.  Oh well.

What did happen was a trip to the Goodwill.  It was one up in Roseville.  We hadn't been there before, so it was a bit of an adventure.  I sometimes wish I had better adventures.

Usually the fabric is hanging up in the towels/curtains/bedspreads section, but this time there was a bin of fabric...near the towels/curtains/bedspreads section.  I found this batch of fabric in that bin:
 Not bad, right?  I bet this all came from the same person and it looks to me like someone was going to make a quilt with it.  I could be wrong, but these coordinate pretty well.  There were even some cuts that I did not buy that went along with this theme.  Anyway, the purple basket weave on the right cost $2.99 and there are about 5.5 yards of it.  All of the others were $1.99 and, I think, with the exception of the second from the left, that these were one yard cuts. The teal one was two yards.  

There was also a yard of this:
It's a lot brighter in person, but I took a shot of it with a darker setting so that you could see the details.  

And, finally, there's this gold and black upholstery-type (brocade?) fabric for $2.99.  About two yards of fancy!

So that's it.  I also bought a vintage coat, but that's in a bag for the dry cleaners.  Maybe when it comes back all clean and nice I'll take a picture of it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thinking of You

Dear Bra,

Today is the day!  I hope you find a good home and raise some cash for a good cause!

Your Maker

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I recently checked out what sort of keywords are directing traffic toward the blog.  I get the first one.  I did that apron with the half-naked Christmas men.  I get that.  What I don't get is the fourth one.  Balls touching?  Is that from the dingle ball lampshade?  That is so weird.  And why are people searching for balls touching?  That cannot be a pretty sight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


On Sunday we went to try out some Pumphouse Creamery ice cream in Minneapolis.  I had a root beer float...pretty tasty, but, I swear, there were little chunks of actual butter in my vanilla bean ice cream.  Weird.  Tasty, but weird.  We also noted that there was a cool movie theatre, a vintage store, and a sewing shop all in the same neighborhood.  Yay!  All the things we like in one location.

I didn't bring my camera, so no pics of the shop.  It was called Sewtropolis and it was pretty cute.  The lady complimented the Devil Diaper Bag and gave me a brochure of classes (hint hint...zipper class...hint hint).  Maybe I should take an alterations class, though, because I don't know how to do that at all.

Anyway, while there, I picked up an Alma Blouse pattern by Sewaholic.  I recently started reading her blog and she's been featuring some finished Alma blouses.  

I'm going back to work in a few weeks and my wardrobe is pretty skimpy right now, so a new blouse would be great.  I recently found a pencil skirt at the Goodwill:
Woven within the light and dark browns is a very fine blue.  An Alma blouse in that same hue may be just the thing with this skirt.
View A is cute...  Plus the length of it would be good, because I have to start figuring out how to cover up my new mom belly.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Media Mail 3: Babycrafts

 The third and final book in last week's surprise package of craft books is The Complete Book of Babycrafts, which was published by Arco back in 1981.
This book is chock full of goodness.  It starts out with a knit section and, if I could knit, I would be sure to place my child in an embarrassing outfit such as this one:
I love the little one!  So cute!

Speaking of cute, what about this wooly bear caterpillar coat:
What a funny thing.  How would this withstand Minnesota winters?

I think I'm really interested in making Puff, here:

And I like this owl, but those eyes are freaky!

I really love this!  I've seen these floating around Pinterest, but this one is pretty neat with the flower garden on the side.  It just slips over a folding table.  So nifty! I think I'm going to make this one, for sure!

I also like this coat...

And then there is this:
A clown pajama bag!  And wouldn't you know that I have one of these from when I was a kid:
Very crazy!  This fella now hangs on my craft room door and holds interfacing.

So those were my three books from the media mail package from my friend, Brain!  Thank you, again! I think I'll get the most use out of the babycrafts book!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Media Mail 2: Wild Knitting

Wild Knitting.  Yes, it is quite wild.
 There're animal carcasses.  That armadillo blowing in the breeze is definitely wild.
There are wild clowns on the loose.  Get those crazy loons locked back up!  
 There's...holy dress holes, Batman!  There's side boobage!  Definitely wild.
Okay, okay, so the book was published in 1979, so there has to be some sort of disco reference in it, right?  

The thing that really made me gasp and agree that this is the wildest book on knitting I will ever encounter is the following...
 Seriously.  I took the Lord's name in vain and that is not something I do lightly.  Well, that's a lie.  I do that all the time, because I am a heathen, but this photo had my Puritan ancestors quaking in their graves!

I really don't understand what is going on in this photo?  Is she in a brothel?  Why is he leering over her like that?  Ack!  Is she even alive...her eyes seem sort of dead!  Double Ack!

So wild.  But then there were some un-wild things, like this toucan hat for your kid:
That's pretty cute.  Needs some better colors, but it's still cute.  And if I could knit, I would definitely make duck feet:
Or tiger feet.  So much fun!

Thank you, again, Brain, for a fabulous treat!  This book was so great to look through!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shoe Inspiration

I have very particular tastes when it comes to buying shoes, especially shoes for work.  I like Mary Janes or T-straps and sometimes ones with a strap around the ankle (do they have a name?).  I think it's because I feel like shoes without those added means of enclosure (like plain old pumps and flats) are too loose and fall off too easily.

Anyway, I'm heading back to work in a few weeks and my shoe collection has really been decimated recently.  I got rid of a bunch of things that didn't fit or shoes that were somehow busted.  So I've been trying to replenish my supply.  Usually I wear the same pair of black shoes every. single. day, but I've decided to mix it up with some colorful shoes.

Enter my latest pair:
 Yellow!  Or honey, I suppose.  Wildflower, not buckwheat.

I first ordered them in blue, but they were too small and didn't come in a larger size, so I tried this color and they're lovely and perhaps more practical for work than blue ones.

While they've been in transit, I've been considering making a dress to match.  Perhaps it'd be too matchy-matchy, but I think the combination of this hideous (in a good way) yellow floral with that gold fabric that I used in the pieced pillows will work really well together.

As for the pattern...I mentioned that I own Colette's Ceylon pattern and I think that it would work really well with these fabrics.  The waist and shoulder/back sections in the gold and the rest in the floral?  Is it too much?  All the fabric was cheap cheap (from my mother at yard sales), so I wouldn't be breaking the bank to give it a try.
Of course, I know what I'm like...I'll get the dress done and it will take me six years to do the buttons. Oh, but buttons covered in the gold fabric would look really nice going down the front.  I don't have that button making tool, though.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just really too ambitious and I should just be happy that I have time to make a PBJ for dinner at night.