Here are some projects I've been working on. I decoupage some wooden shoes with Sweetheart candy fabric, and a few bracelets. I wish I'd take a 'before' photo, but I only have so many hours in a day.
I really hope these hold up all right. I used about 4 layers of ModPodge, but I've never decoupaged shoes before, so I'm not sure what to expect.
I even sculpted little Sweetheart candies out of Sculpey and attached them to the shoes. The trickiest part was getting the fabric even over the slender portion of wood in front of the toes.
I was having trouble with rounded bracelets and paper decoupage. The fabric conforms much more easily.
Violet's Aunt Roxie gave her this adorable heart outfit. She's kissing her puppy toy, in case you wondered.
She really likes the dress. I'm glad.
I can hardly keep her in shoes....she outgrows them every few months! At night, she says, "Mama, pwees shoes off." I take the shoes off, and she says, "Socks off, Mama." I take the socks off, then she worriedly says, "Feet on, Mama! Feet on!"
Do you see her poor little black eye? It's her right eye. She walked smack into our table. I feel like people are looking at us in the grocery store thinking, "That woman must beat that poor, adorable child."
I hope you all have a nice Valentine's Day! We went to the Dallas Zoo yesterday. Photos coming soon.
I wanted to make something for Miss TwoTwo, but I wanted it to go quickly. So....I limited myself to 30 minutes. Whatever I could do by then, that's what she'd get. I've been trying to recycle/upcycle things instead of donating them lately.
I took an old sweater of mine I accidentally shrunk. It's fuzzy mohair and a soft periwinkle color. I placed a sleeveless dress that fits my daughter over the front and cut around it. The turtleneck stays the same, it just becomes a big turtleneck. I cut the sleeves off to match sleeves from one of her sweaters. I just guessed. I tried to make the curve of the sleeve match the curve of the armpits.
Turn inside out, and sew the side seams. Turn sleeve inside out, and sew the bottom seam.
Sew the sleeves onto the body and you're done! It took 28 minutes from start to finish. I am a big fan of instant gratification some days.
Now....if you want to get fancier, play around with some felt.
I used iron on adhesive paper, and cut out shapes with felt. I ironed that onto the sweater, then sewed around by hand with embroidery thread. I sewed buttons onto circles of felt for eyes. She's really into owls, so it was a hit.
I made Christmas tree skirts out of vintage Christmas tree skirts. GET IT???? Tree SKIRTS. I made Miss Onederful's out of a mini-tree skirt. They were just the perfect size. All I had to do was sew on some snaps.
I really get a kick out of the little retro animals. So kitschy.
She calls it her Cwidmus Twee Dess. And I had to make mistletoe pigtails clips. Of course. Not like she really has any shortage of kisses available.
Another project.....a sweater coat made of recycled Christmas uglies.
I bought $10 worth of Christmas-Threw-Up-On-Me sweaters at Goodwill. Then, I cut out panels and sewed them all together. And I sewed bells on it......cheesy Christmas goodness!
We went to North Pole of Texas with some friends. Who knew we had a north pole? It's located in a teeny tiny spot called Pine Tree, Texas. This is set up in front of someone's HOUSE. This photo only shows a fraction of the spectacle.
Miss Onederful was so excited about riding the train she was jumping up and down yelling, "Choo CHOOOOO!" There were multiple trains running at once. These people have built in tracks permanently installed on their property. Crazy. What must the neighbors think?
Blurry photos...sorry. There was a nativity scene with live people, goats, donkeys, a lake with elves driving boats and jet skis, a huge drive-through Santa's toy shop with living elves and a human Santa passing out candy, elves in mini race cars.....it was sheer madness.
Fake elves always seem a bit sinister to me. You just wouldn't believe this place unless you saw it in person. You might expect this at, say -Disneyland. But in someone's front yard in the back woods of Texas?
I worked really hard to finish up a commission for a neat lady named Allison. She wanted a wedding portrait of the Dia de los Muertos-style skeletons dressed in their wedding clothes.
I'm glad I got it finished up before Christmas. From the photos she sent, it looked like they had a fun rockabilly wedding. She really liked the painting! She even gushed. It makes me so happy to paint something someone else really wanted....it makes me feel like an Art Elf.
I made a couple of batches of orange jams. (I used recipe #2.) I don't like marmalade because of the bitter peel. So, I made orange jam.....some plain, some with rosemary, some with star anise and cinnamon bark.
I hand-calligraphied all the jar lids.
So as not to waste the rinds, I made candied orange peel. I dipped half in dark chocolate. I blanch them 3 times to keep them from being bitter. It takes a while, but it's a really easy recipe from Giada de Laurentiis....she's so cute. Grapefruit is really good this way, too. I keep wanting to try Meyer Lemons, but I can never find them around here. I think the bright yellow lemony color would be so pretty with the dark chocolate. You could arrange them with the chocolate in the center on top of a cake to make a big, sugary sunflower.
These things always take longer than I think they will. I really wanted to make them, though. I like to give gifts that are homemade and consumable. That way, you're giving something that won't just junk up someone's house. It doesn't always work out, but I try anyway. Miss Onederful and I smeared giant pretzels with peanut butter then dipped them in bird seed. We were so happy to see these 3 bright red cardinals enjoying them. We hung them in the tree just outside the window where we eat breakfast. Cardinals are so.....I don't know, inherently cheerful, I guess. It always makes me happy to see one darting past.
I hope you all get some time to spend with your loved ones, snuggled up with cocoa and a good movie or a book, and some beautiful music playing, and bellies full of tasty things. That's my favorite part of the holiday, anyway.
I'm so grateful for all you readers out there....I feel very fortunate to have made so many new friends through my blog. Thank you for sharing in a little bit of our life...I really like knowing you're out there!
I thought I'd share some autumn photos from the past week.
I made Miss Onederful a few fall outfits. I took the plastic turkeys from one of the previous Jar-Openings and turned them into hair bows.
We spent a lot of time out in the woods.
I found owl print mud boots on sale at Claire's for $15---wheee! Isn't that moss nice and carpety?
Check out these crazy orange mushrooms. I want to snatch them up and saute them in butter. Then I'd probably fall over frothing at the mouth then expire.
I think our raccoon friend has been washing his dinner in the pond again.
I wish it would stay autumn forever.
I'm not sure what these berries are, but the color reminds me of my friend Amy for some reason. I crushed them and made ink from them one time. Unfortunately, I think they were still fermenting, because I bottled them in old vanilla bottles, and they exploded and made a HUGE mess.
We still have lots of insects even this late in the year. I liked how the corner segments of the wings look like stained glass.
Adam and I went to Miss Onederful's preschool's Thanksgiving luncheon. She was so excited to see him there. When he walked in, she screamed, "Daddy! Daddy!" and attached herself to his leg. I, on the other hand, am chopped liver. Actually, I think she's just used to me...I'm like wallpaper. Adam is special.
I made this out of an old dance costume. We call it her Turkey Suit.
We spent many hours at the doctor's office this past week, too. Adam got a sliver of wood shoved really deep into his hand. The hand surgeon said that wood doesn't show up on an xray, so he wanted to just wait and see what happened.
We ended up putting a stinky, tar-like salve called ichthymol on it, and it popped out in a few days.
Miss Onederful got attached to some leaves and wanted them to come live inside with us. I made more silly clothes.
I let her pick out her own clothes one day.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and get to be with the people you love.
Normally, I insist that Miss Onderful eat primarily healthy things. This week, however, there has been quite a bit of candy corn in our diet.
I finished her Candy Corn dress just in time. I bought thrift store corduroy pants and sewed on extra ruffles. Yes, she's eating candy corn AGAIN. She pronounces it, "Eee Koh". Yesterday, I made her scrambled eggs, strawberries, and a pumpkin waffle. She pushed the plate away, pointed to the candy corn jar, and said, "No, Mama----Eee Koh."
I went exploring in downtown Greenville with a friend and we found "Petticoat Junction". Well, it was there anyway, it's not like we discovered it, but it was new to me. It's in Greenville's old train depot. Aren't these autumn bicycles cute? The store has jewelry and clothes, but my favorite part was the 'paint your own ceramics' part. That would be a fun Little Girl party.....everyone paints an ornament or something. The prices were reasonable, and they had a big selection of bisque pieces.
Miss Onederful's school also had a pumpkin patch....she picked out this one.
We've been trying out lots of her thrift store costumes. She liked the wand, but not the scratchy witch dress. The sleeves were itchy.
I'm jumping around here, but on my outing with a friend, we saw a new winery! Look----it's practically related to my blog.
We were irritated by this sheer laziness. What a beautiful base for a lamp post. What utter sloppiness in painting the concrete. Can't we have anything nice?
There were little pony rides. Poor pony.
We stopped for a very rare Happy Meal. We're washing our hands. Washing your hands is a very Big Deal when you're almost two. It's even better than french fries.
I'm trying to make a big effort to take more photos of me and my daughter. As moms, I think WE are usually the one with the camera. A mommy blogger (what is her name??? argh) recently started a project called 'Get Behind the Camera', or something like that. It's to encourage us to get in some photos with our kids. There are so many days when I think, "Oh, no----I don't have on any makeup, I've got oatmeal on my shirt, my hair's a mess." I'm trying to get over that.
As a child, most of my photos are of just me, or me and my dad. I wish I had more images of me and my mother. I LOVED seeing what she was wearing, her hairstyles and clothes, what kind of food she was eating, what book she was reading, what her apron looked like....things like that. I want to remember what it was like on the other side of the camera, too. So, even though I don't always like having my photo taken, I'm trying to remember that my little girl might really enjoy seeing these images later. Also, I don't want her thinking she only had one parent! So-----get in those photos, moms! Your kids will love it later.
Hello hello! It's a special day around here....the first Sweater Day of autumn. I get so excited about the first day cold enough to send me into the sweater stash. It was 42 degrees when I woke up this morning!
Look at that gorgeous recycled sweater coat with a liripipe hood...it's from KatWise on Etsy. I think I have a new obsession coming on. She does some amazing things with used wool.
I spent part of this weekend organizing my piles and Piles and PILES of paper mess.
I'm getting better about getting rid of out-of-date magazines, but I still have all the important pages I rip out of them. So, I bought one of those accordion-shaped folders and sorted everything by categories.
Now I have things packed away into neat little slots.
Now I can deal with all of these scraps at my own leisure. Oh---and isn't that a pretty 1960s floral bedspread I found at a thrift store?
Rawr! Here is a silly shot of us at Bass Pro Shop with the big bear.
Miss One really enjoys the play area at our local library. The tree is her favorite.
Do you ever plan on one thing and then end up doing something entirely different?
I ran into town for some milk and to stop at the library, then ended up driving about 2 hours in the other direction. I didn't really even know why---I just wanted to escape my 'normal day'.
(In the interest of enjoying the holiday weekend, I'm making this quick, and not color-correcting any of my photos. I'm sure you understand.)
Miss OneDerful and I headed over to Canton, Texas. That's the place famous for their humongous Trade Days, but it was not occurring that weekend. I wanted to see the town without the thousands of people that descend on it for the Trade Days. It's a cute place. This giant sign made us pull over immediately.
This hamburger joint seemed so....hmmm....happy and colorful and sort of nostalgic. It took a really, really long time to get our drive-through order, but I think they made it from scratch. Normally, we eat really healthy foods, but we threw caution to the wind and had corn dogs and bunny burgers. (Tiny burgers, not burgers made from bunnies)
We drove over a large lake with some huge lily pads.
I had to take the photo out of a moving vehicle, but you get the idea, at least. Bald eagles live in this area, too.
Isn't this cute?
We went to a few yard sales. I found this adorable vintage Christmas fabric. I think I'll have just enough to make a little holiday dress for Miss One. That even looks like our cat.
On the way home, we passed a magical peach orchard. Well, it wasn't really magical, but hey---it seemed pretty special. The cloud was full of all these puffy, happy clouds, and the peaches were like bright Christmas tree balls.
I'm not sure who these people are, but I wanted to take a photo of the homemade ice cream stand. They had fresh strawberry and peach ice cream for sale, along with orchard peaches. We tried the peach ice cream and it was delicious!
On a country road, we passed this gnarled old tree. Doesn't it look like something out of a fairy tale?
That night, we went fishing in our swamp. The full moon was a deep, dusky orange as it rose. It was the first time we've gone Full Moon Fishing. It was kind of eerie.....the beavers and snakes and owls were out. It's a bit startling to hear something slithering past your boat and not be able to see it.
It ended up being a really nice, relaxing day. Do you ever do that? Skip your 'to do list' and just take whichever path looks interesting? I'm glad I did.
I take a million photos then get behind on processing them. Do you?
I had a fun day of thrifting and browsing downtown McKinney with my friend Stacy and her little buddy Carter. Isn't this a fun sign? I'm a big jackelope fan.
We saw a horse cop! Equestrian policeman? What IS the proper name for those gentlemen? Anyway, he was nice to let Stacy hold Carter up and pet his horse.
Miss One gets excited when a shop has a dog. I do, too.
Carter took a photo of us....he's only 3, so he did a pretty good job!
Later, we went to Stacy's birthday party. Miss One tried on a friend's hat....isn't that adorable? She was fascinated with Stacy's tortoise (hiding in photo). Stacy's very nice husband got the tortoise out so Miss One could pet it.
I made Stacy an apron for her birthday. She likes aprons, and ruffles, so this worked.
I'm glad she liked it, because ruffles are a pain to sew. I glittered a big white rose and made it into a pin to attach to the bodice.
McKinney had some nice plaster eagles on their squire. I liked the nest being built on its wings.
And on the way home, I laughed when I saw this sign. Texas businesses frequently mix up things that shouldn't be mixed. Like donuts and firearms.
This has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I saw this poor little critter at White Rock Lake. Adam and I rode our tandem bike for a few hours, and we were surprised to find this beside the sidewalk. That's a ferret, isn't it? What in the world is a dead ferret doing beside a bike trail? Do they live in the wild? Maybe it escaped and got hit by a bicycle?
As a bonus photo, I'm sharing this one. I found this bizarre head sitting in the parking lot of our local grocery store. Who disposes of a beauty school practicer head in the Walmart parking lot? That's just weird. What's even weirder is that I saw two different people pick it up, look at it, then decide to put it back down on the ground.
We met up with my mom, aunt, and grandmother for an Early Easter. Little Miss Bunny picked dandelions and hunted eggs for the first time.
I filled her eggs with Cheerios. I made the tutu--that sucker is hand-tied and took forever.
She seemed to instinctually know how to put the eggs in the basket. Isn't that funny? We didn't help her at all....she just plunked them in there.
Miss One took a break with Granny, her great-grandmother. Aren't those cheerful quilts? The one on the left is from her other great-grandmother, and made by a sort-of family member named Mrs. Keeling that makes gorgeous quilts. The one on the right is a fuzzy wool quilt made by her Bubbie. What a lucky little girl to have so many quilters in the family! They keep us cozy in the winter and happy on summer picnics.
She shares some Cheerios with Aunt Roxie.
Cooling down with some Bunny Milk. It was a wonderful day spent with family. Are you sick of all these 'my kid is adorable' photos yet?
I've been gone a while, huh? I sure have oodles and oodles of photos to share. I had a fun weekend in Dallas with old friends. We started out at Dallas Heritage Village. It's a bit confusing, because it's also called Old City Park. What gives, DHV/OCP????
This is the Millermore House.
The village serves as a sort of 'reenactment town' and museum. Many historic building from the Dallas area have been purchased and moved onto the site. During the year, historical actors participate in Olde Things. I made that up---the Olde Things part. But---that's basically what they do.
While we were touring the old mansion a door suddenly blew shut, ushering us out onto the porch. Also, it was NOT a windy day. We found out shortly afterwards that the place is supposedly haunted. Oooooooh! We didn't get the actual moment. We're recreating the scene--I don't look sufficiently scared, do I?.
On a side note, isn't it odd how our notion of a "mansion" has changed? While this was a beatufully restored old home, it seemed odd that would have been one of the largest homes in the state. Our current homes seem so decadent when you view the previous generations' living quarters, don't they?
This painting gave us all the willies. The tour guide wasn't a 'regular', and didn't know much about the haunting, or what this painting was supposed to commemorate. We guessed maybe the house was haunted by the poor little boy eaten on the beach by his St. Bernard.
There was some amazing decorative hair work that was popular from Victorian times to around the end of the Civil War. People would take hair from deceased loved ones and make elaborate displays from it. I wish my photos were clearer. It was dark in most of the rooms, and everything was under glass, so it caused too many reflections. I had to lighten most of these up in Photoshop.
It was so intricate and beautiful, but a bit odd. We tend to sweep death under a rug in our society, don't you think? I wish we didn't. It seems as though that would make grieving much harder. We're so ready to "hurry up and get over and get on with life". Hiding a very natural part of life-sadness after losing a loved one-seems so unnatural. Here is more info about that macabre pastime if you're interested.
The rooms are sectioned off with waist-high sheets of plexiglass, so I couldn't maneuver to take better photos.
Here was the Music Room. The old harp was beautiful. It's nice to think of how involved families used to be with each other. They'd sit together, sing, read, whittle, embroider--whatever. The modern day 'family room' with a blaring TV and junk food seems so icky by comparison. I should be careful at these places....they make me all preachy and nostalgic for a time I didn't live in. I forget about the lice, the outhouses, the scarlet fever, the starvation---you know, the good old days.
The furniture seemed so tiny and rickety. People were so much smaller back then. Isn't this a glamorous little settee?
I really like red upholstery with intricate woodwork.
Isn't this GENIUS? It's by Mekko Alatalo for the "Company". I guess "Company" is a company. That's kind of confusing.
It's technically titled "MomSkirt", but I think I prefer "House Dress".
I think I feel a PROJECT coming on! I would want more and larger windows, though. And embroidery or patches on the outside to look like a door, some flowers, maybe a window box. And I need ideas for more 'underskirt' toys for Baby. I like the pom poms on this one, but I would like more of a variety. Any thoughts?
I'm posting this a bit after-the-fact, but I had the most fabulous Friday!
I met an internet friend in person....Stacy. I met her through my blog when she said 'hello'! She has recently started a blog: Play Pretties. She, her mom, and this adorable little quiet MuffinBoy named Carter met us for breakfast, then a thrift store spree.
I was so excited to meet Stacy in person. I find it strange to make friends at this stage in my life---I left my 'former life' to move out in the middle of nowhere for my husband's job, I work (only occasionally) from home, I live pretty far from all pre-existing friends and family, I stay at home with my very young daughter, and I don't have much of a social life. So....meeting friends has become like dating...without the men. It's a bit nerve-wracking, I have to say. What to wear? Where to go? What to do? Will I like her? Will she like me?
However, it was a relief to find her to be such a fun, sweet, pretty, bright, intriguing person. Oh---and she liked thrift stores! Thanks, Thrift Store Gods! ( I went back and capitalized those, just to be sure not to make them angry. Because then they might not let me find good junk.) ((Perhaps I should apologize to my mother The English Teacher and the Grammar Gods for starting too many sentences with 'because'.)) Stacy felt immediately like an Old Friend. She had on the most gorgeous coat with these huge vintage buttons and ginormous pearly ring and skeleton/piano key necklace. We even have really similar bookshelves....always a sign of a kindred spirit! The books on them, I mean...not the actual bookshelves. Although I'm sure there are "Ikea-type friends" out there. I'm just more of a "Library-type friend".
I found many thrift scores, but these were some of my favorites:
never-worn super pointy toed red hoes, perfect for Joan-like Mad Men ensembles
a belt buckle kit for super wide belts with fabric of my choosing--4 for $2.50!
an adorable strawberry pitcher...can't wait for summer and red gingham
a fun box purse to re-purpose This is the inside lid...isn't that fun! Thanks, Enid, whoever you are. The text is hand-painted, by the way. I like the fogged up old mirror. Almost 55 years old! Who knows what great people applied lipstick using this purse. I like thinking about the previous owners of items like this, don't you?
A new friend.....I'm so HAPPY!!!!!! I feel like I'm in 1st grade and have a new hopscotch buddy.
Oh, my wintery goodness-----my friend Camille sent me to Wooden Soldier. The tiny clothes are exquisite! Beautifully made, too.
Just look at those adorable little muffs!
This cocoa brown is lovely, too.
And the PINK! That little souffle of a hat is adorable.
reminds me of this:
A bit evil, yet? Sort of baby vampire-ish. By the way, does anyone recognize this artist? I am quite drawn to his/her work, but I can't for the life of me remember who this is. I've had these in a Favorite Folder for years, but none of the file names lead me back to the artist. I've Googled all the information in the text, and no luck, either.
So sinister. And gorgeous, but in a Morticia-Adams of the future sort of way.
Do y'all care about fashiony things? It makes NO sense for my life since I take care of a tiny person and live in the woods, but I'm obsessed with clothes. Making them, buying them, looking at them. I used to do costume design things for theater, and I miss it.
Here is a froofroo dress I made. I took a vintage fitted slip, then sewed layer after layer after layer of lace ruffled on it.
I made an extra fall of lace on the back into a small bustle. 'Cause everyone wants their butt to look bigger, right? What was I thinking? I also found some great herringbone tights on sale. T-straps look so happy and retro and go with almost anything.
The prettiest assymetrical necklace from my friend Sandra.
I made a bauble bit by attaching a bird and nest pin to a thin headband.
Hello there!Come on
in…..feel free to have a complimentary manicure.
I stocked up on some cheapo Fall Colored Polish for the
Mix and match---a different color for every finger if you
want! Aren’t these great satiny shiny autumn shades?
Help yourself to some sweets from the candy jars.
I’ve slaved over the cauldron making a batch of Witch’s
Brew.Nah---it’s just regular tea with a
drop of green food coloring.Looks
delightfully nasty, though, doesn’t it?
First cup goes to the hostess….Vanessa!Drink up, Miss V--- Mooowahahaha!!!!
Tea leaf reading? Yes, please. Let’s see……I think that’s a giraffe over there
by the handle.(tilt your head to the
left).I’m going to say that means a
long life.Or a long neck, but I think
you’d prefer a long life.
Up in the top (between
and by the yellow flower) I sort
of see a ‘W’ and above that an owl or a raven.That portends an encounter with a gentleman whose name begins with “W”.And the owl indicates you’ll be particularly
clairvoyant this Halloween—perhaps between
Oh, dear!There seems
to have been an accident.
You, too, can trap the Wicked Witch of the West…….just stuff
some socks and shove the ends under a clunky piece of furniture!
I also like to give silly vampire teeth to all the photos in
my house.This is “Vrampa”.
spice Jello pudding----mmmmm.You can
use it to make a scrumptious no-bake cheesecake in a graham cracker pie shell….autumnlicious!
Creepy crawly rotties on the windowsill.
Hello there, little friends!I like to collect acorns on walks and draw little faces on them.Aren’t they friendly?I think I’ll start leaving them on
sidewalks.Maybe some kids will find
them and think the fairies did it.
These were originally Hedwig bookends, I think.I prefer them standing guard over my studio.
Time for Apple Fortune Telling!
Back in Ireland
young women would try to peel an entire apple in one peel.They’d throw the peel over their left
shoulder, and the shape of the peel was supposed to spell out the first letter
of the man they would marry.
Mine looks like a lower case ‘a’ for ‘Adam’, don’t you
agree?Yes, you agree.
Another way to predict the future was the cut the apple in
half at and count the seeds in
whichever half you held in your palm.
One seed = bachelor/old maid
Two seeds = early marriage
Three seeds = portends a legacy
Four seeds = wealth
Five seeds = journey by sea (or emigration)
Six seeds = fame
Seven seeds = wish fulfilled
Eight seeds = gosh, I don't know, and that's what mine had!
Look!I finally have
a pumpkin!Like Vanessa, I also had a
bit of trouble with my pumpkin vines this year.They were lovely and thick, then poof!They shriveled up as if cursed.So I’m grateful for this lone survivor.
Ooooh----POST WITHIN A POST!!!
Here’s a quick “Halloween Rug Tutorial”:
Buy up some of the cute seasonal rugs available
from Big Lots, Dollar Store, Target, wherever.I chose 6, but any even number will work depending on the size you’re
after. Lay them out on the floor to try out different configurations
2. Sew them together with heavy yarn using a
zig zag or blanket stitch.
3.Voila!Instant Large Halloween rug!
frazzled from all this activity.I’m
going to go knit for a while.
forgot to drag out my Halloween jewelry.Do YOU have seasonal jewelry too?It’s so much fun to have special holiday jewelry, dishes, etc.
Moving on to the next room….here’s my mantle right now.I like to change out the book I keep on the
big gold easel.
Every holiday, I drag out my holiday books.I actually have trouble finding many
Halloween books (though I nab them when I can) so I collect spooky, fortune
telling books instead.
Here is a neat old book from the 1950s…part journal, part
autumn nature poems.Grab a feather for
luck if you’d like.
Doesn’t this page warm your heart?
I’m also a big fan of the vintage book, “The Witch of
Hissing Hill”.It’s about an evil old
witch who raises mean-eyed, staring, spell cats.Then, one day a gold ‘happy kitten’ is born,
threatening to destroy her witchy reputation.
I am still expanding my collection of Creepy Things In Jars.
Look at this gigantic Black Widow my husband brought me as a
slightly weird but I guess romantic sort of gift.
Clyde J. Cat slinks about in a sinister fashion.Up to no good, I tell you.
Pyromancy is using fire to predict the future.I’m not exactly sure how that’s supposed to
work, but fire is always mesmerizing to watch.
There is a form of divination called ‘capnomancy’, which is
fortune telling based on the patterns of smoke.Boy, people used to have a lot of time on their hands, didn’t they?
I think this is telling us me that it’s past my bedtime.
October makes me want to knit. I just found this gorgeous pattern here at Ravelry. All right, this is WAY too ambitious for my skill level, but wouldn't this be perfect in a deep pumpkin color? I really like the red, too, though. But I already have a velvet little Red Riding Hood cape, so I'd rather branch out and make something more autumny.
(nice shot by chiarscuro blog)
Boy, I love October. It's the best month, in my opinion.
This was a WEIRD weather day a few years ago. I did NOT use a filter...the light was just that crazy. It was a stormy day, but the sun broke through at sunset in a brilliant orange color. I've never seen anything like it since.
I bought this to paint a while back. Isn't that a cute little pumpkin? I really like it on that velvet. It had the most twisty, rustic stem, don't you think? The curly tendril is perfect.
I was making this sundress a few months ago. I finished it, but forgot to take photos. Here's the end result. I added a big cameo in the front. I'm glad I went with a single ruffle instead of a double layer. I have to wear a slip under it because it's eyelet, but I'd rather do that than line it. It's just too hot here for a lined dress. I'm happy with it. It's very floaty and comfortable. It's a great dress to slip on when you need to get dressed quickly but still look nice. It's my version of sweats.
I was happy to see a box of Cracker Jacks with the original packaging
style. Getting a prize in the bottom of the box was so exciting! I
wish more products would release retro-type labels and presentations.
They'd look great in a bright, retro kitchen, wouldn't they? Or just
line them up on a shelf in a nautical themed room.
I've been hatching up another Halloween idea. I have so many scraps of
holiday fabric I can't bring myself to part with, so I thought a crazy
quilt might be a good use of them.
Quilts can be wonderful, but they can also border on The Granny and be too fussy.
I like the fun, free-form look of crazy quilts.
This isn't trimmed up yet, but it's my first attempt. It's kind of a
mess, actually, but I've never made one before and I'm in the process
of playing. It's a nice, brainless activity to do at the end of a long
day of art or sewing. It lets you just fiddle and let your mind
wander. There are no rules or patterns-you just cut and sew and turn
it around and sew some more until you fill up a square.
Here is a really cool quilt that went up on Bunte Auctions recently. Isn't it intricate? The color choices seem so unusual to me.
Ooooh....this pretty bird quilt was featured in Vintage Vogue.
The above and below closeups are by Roxanne Langan. Aren't the old velvets and the creative stitchery scrum-diddly-umptious?
This little frog was from a Victorian quilt.
Some of the embroidery on the Victorian quilts was amazing.
Mine won't be that ambitious. Also, I'm going to machine quilt it, and
not add all the hand embroidery. It's just going to be a quick (well,
hardly) project made of scraps to give crazy quilting a test run. If I
enjoy it, I'll make a more detailed one the next go round. I
frequently like to do a simplified version of a project first. That
way, I can see if I enjoy it, iron out any major kinks, and get a
general feel for the subsequent project.
I dreamed about a dress made of old men's ties. In the sketch on the right, the ends would be left in the classic pointy tie shape. On the left, they'd be cut off to an even hem. Don't you love it when you literally dream up a project? On a recent roadtrip, we passed this bit of Texana. Isn't that a fun Texas-shaped waffle? These shoes make me giddy. From the brown gingham to the lighthouse painted panel on the back to the shells by the toes, I don't know what I like the most. I have a pair of old Candies mules that I might repurpose. I think a circular painting of strawberries on the back of the heel might be fun. I'll take photos and let you know what I come up with.
These Brat dolls are really, really creepy. Look what someone did to this one! I have big plans for it. Just you wait. Just you WAIT! And I also have big plans for the hair bobbies. I bought MORE cheap placemats from Big Lots and turned them into bags/purses. I think this will be my diaper bag this fall. Or maybe my library bag. I've been saving this chocolatey cameo for something special. It almost looks like a delectable bit of Halloween candy, doesn't it? I went embellishment crazy. I drug out all kinds of lace and pompon and fringe scraps that have been languishing away in a fabric box. Isn't it amazing how just a smidge of extra frilly bits can really perk something up? My friend Marcia keeps me supplied with fun vintage buttons, so I try to put them to good use. I sewed this one into the center of a lace rosette I made. These shiny orange buttons came off a garage sale blouse I bought just for the buttons. Ooooh...fall is close! Can you feel it in the air? Costume and candy night is just around the corner!!!
I decided to indulge in my Halloween shopping craving in a cheap sort of way. I bought $1.50 placemats from Big Lots and turned them into pillows. Place right sides together, sew around 3 1/2 sides, turn right side out, then stuff with pillow stuffing. Hand-stitch the rest of the side closed----and done! Pretty instant gratification. Woohooo---I got all this for $11.00 at Goodwill. I loved the shape of the simple white coffee mugs. The crystal lamp base is adorable. It has one teeny tiny chip, but I like small cracks and things. I think they add character. The pink plates have fruits around the edge and match my latte bowls. This is such a delicate, pretty saucer. Are those bluebells? I loved this miniature cabinet. I have it sitting inside a life-sized version. I keep my candles, essential oils, and tea things in it. I have way more tea things than tiny cabinet, so I'll probably have to find more storage.
I like fascinators. What a lovely hint of the past to wear on your head. They're so elegant but flirty, and they're a wonderful accessory for an evening event where you need a bit of flair. They're not as 'all-out' as a hat, and they don't mess with your hair as much. So, when you need a punchy hair accessory that smacks of Old Hollywood, make a fascinator your go-to object. They're over-the-top, frequently gaudy and obnoxious, but I'm all ABOUT that! There are some truly hideous fascinators out there, but that's fine with me....I like 'em all. If someone has a huge, feathery thing on their head with pokey bits jutting out, there's a 99.9% chance I'm going to like them. (from BD Designs) (from PhoenixBess on Flickr) Isn't that nice, delicate millinery netting? Where can I get my hands on some of that stuff? They look lovely with an up-do, but they're great with long hair parted in a low side part, too. Also, for the short-haired folks, the variety made on a slim headband slide on easily. Or, if your hair looks like all-out-crap, twist it into an elegant chignon and pop in a fascinator comb. (from WeddingRumors)
I recently attended a wedding, and darn it all if I didn't forget about fascinators. I think a wedding is a great place to wear one of these. Most people rarely have an event where hattage or fascinators would be appropriate. Weddings, dressy cocktail parties, gallery openings, the opera/theater/ballet (but small ones only, please---don't block the person sitting behind you), or a fundraiser would all be good venues, I think. Why oh WHY can't there be more opportunities for dress-up in our lives? (from StyleDownUnder)
I kind of make it my goal in life to find a reason to wear silly things on my head. And put them on my daughter's head. And my pets' heads.
I've been sewing a lot lately. I just finished up a romper for Miss Baby from a retro pattern our friend Marcia gave us. (Thanks, Marcia!) I finished the white eyelet dress, too, I just need to photograph it. I made view #1. Isn't that cute retro fabric? I worried the ookiness of the polyester will make her skin crawl, but so far no complaints. I made myself a matching scarf out of the rest of the fabric. Maybe the polyester DOES make her sad. Oh wait---no it doesn't. I also whipped up a quick breastfeeding cover. I hear them inelegantly referred to as 'hooter hiders', but I suppose that is an accurate description. Isn't this great fabric? If I'd had Mister Baby instead of Miss Baby, I might have done the nursery in a red, blue, and gold circus theme.
This is a good tutorial on how to make a retro-styled swimsuit by repurposing an old mens' shirt. Actually, it's pretty silly in some spots, but I really like video tutorials. You might want to skip the bad musical number, though.
Oh oh OH!!! It's time for Halloween costumes!!! I've been browsing through new Halloween sewing patterns and daydreaming. Geishas are always fun, and a nice variety of colorful fabric is usually available. (Hey--guess who makes this pattern?) This one is so beautiful I could swoon. It reminds me of my friend Sandra. I think she used to like those drop waists and low-slung belts. I want to drown in that gorgeous olive satin. As soon as I'm done posting, I want to go wrap ribbons around my hair. I can't wait until Miss Baby grows some hair so that I can get her all coiffed up. I think it would be fun to go as Robin Hood and Maid Marion, but I don't think that would fly with my husband. Aren't men cute in longboots? I already made a long red velvet cloak, so it wouldn't be a stretch to get a matching dress and headband and belt. Who am I kidding? I have a small baby. I'd be covered in unmentionables in 10 minutes. Maybe in a few years.
Oh...and not to mention that most of these are light years beyond my sewing ability.
(not my baby) It's Knitting Club day at the library. I'll be working on getting a pair of Babylegs started.
(not my baby, but I'd happily nab that chair) They're cute little legwarmers that make diaper changes a LOT easier during chilly months. Oh-wouldn't you just LOVE to have a giant ball of yarn like this? Where the heck would you put it, though? I always wanted one of those gigantic balls of rubber bands. Or twine. I'm impractical like that.
(no idea where this image came from....if you know I'll credit it) Some people think it's crazy to knit in the middle of the summer. However, I find knitting so soothing and fun I want to knit all year long. Also, when it gets cold, it's nice to be almost done with a sweater or another cool-weather project.
I'm not done with my sundress yet, but I'm working on it. Linings are hard. For me, anyway. More on that later. Have a great Friday. My husband's off work---I didn't realize that until just now. What a nice surprise!
Do y'all remember Ranger Rick? It was a nature magazine for kids, with a raccoon mascot. I was always so excited to get that magazine in our mailbox. Have I mentioned that my husband always wanted a raccoon cap?
And did I also mention that he wanted to make it himself so that the little paws and head would still be attached to the hat? He did NOT kill this animal---it was roadkill. (I know.) He came home one day while I was cooking dinner and said, "I can't be delayed....I have to hurry up and go get this raccoon that was just run over." He left while I was still chopping tomatoes thinking, "What???"
He put the poor wee beastie in a few garbage bags and it has been living in my freezer for 3 months. Yes, my freezer. That we put people food in. I forgot about it at one point and was looking for some steak I had frozen and opened the bag and got a nasty surprise. Did I mention that's my favorite knife in the above photo? I was none too pleased about that. Adam had never skinned anything before, so he looked up directions on the internet. There were all sorts of weird directions on home taxidermy from 'spray out the flesh in a heavy powered car wash' to 'rub the animal's brain over the skinned hide'. I'm not even going to tell you what he ended up doing. All I can say is that at one point, he was pulling off its sad furry skin over its own arms and head like he was taking its t-shirt off. I'm not sure how he even managed to preserve its teeth. Shouldn't those have stayed in the skull? Now we wait for it to 'tan', I guess. It smells funny.
Adam keeps saying, "If I can find three more raccoons, I could make a pair of gloves where each finger has a complete hand on it!" So now I am always pointing in the opposite direction saying, "Oh look, honey, there's a hawk with a snake in its mouth." on the lookout for freshly run-over raccoons.
I visited an old friend at my past family reunion, and had the opportunity to meet her two beautiful granddaughters. I decided they needed some extra frilly girly things. Not that they don't already have them, but who doesn't like getting a tutu in the mail? There is a Tutu-tutorial over at Mama Doodles. I make mine a little differently. I make a shorter trip of tulle since I'm making this for a very small girl. I guess you could make the tutorial's tutu for a tiny kid, it would just be long. She could grow into it. I just prefer a shorter, stand-out-ier one. I'm calling this one a 'Mermaid Tutu' since it's summer and the netting has sparkles in it befitting a Sea Princess. You can't see them in the photo, but they're THERE, darn it! I think this would be adorable worn over a bathing suit. Can't you just see a little mermaid prancing through the sprinklers? ...and matching 'little sister mermaid' headband. Crud. Does that look like a bit fluffy moster eyeball? I wanted to use some of the great vintage buttons Marcia gave me. Now that I see it, though, I'm afraid it looks like a monster headband. Oh well. Maybe it's a Cyclops Mermaid Headband. They have those under the sea too, don't they? I want to learn to make a pair of THESE! (These are from Pink Taffy Baby.) Ooooh! I just found PettiskirtStyle.com---what frilly goodness. Isn't that CUTE? Pettiskirts are tons more work than a tutu, but I think I'll learn 'cause all that extra froth is WORTH it! These are special, no? Shoot---I'm tempted to have a matching mother-daughter pair. This has the beginnings of a great black standard poodle costume, doesn't it? Ohhh....Halloween, here we come! Or a pink poodle? Have you guys started your Halloween costumes yet? I was talking to my friend Camille last week---here daughter is one month older than Miss Baby. Anyhoo--we decided that the whole reason we HAD children was to make Halloween costumes. So we had better get to work!
It's Sewing Class Day at our wonderful local library. Marcia is our instructor extraordinaire--every library should come equipped with a Marcia. I LOVE sewing class...I just wish I could make it more often. It's hard to lug all the sewing stuff AND all the baby stuff around. I'm imagining a long, floaty sundress out of a cream colored eyelet. Maybe I'll add some extra ruffles at the bottom. I love maxi dresses, but I prefer ones that I can wear a bra with. Most of the ones I see at the store are tanks. They're lovely, but it's nice to be able to wear a bra without straps showing. And strapless bras are a pain, don't you think?
I lost my photos of these works in progress, but at least I have final photos: I made a butterfly outfit for Miss Baby. It includes an orange and white tutu, a headband, and comfy felt butterfly booties. There are great instructions for the booties at Heather Bailey's bitty booties tutorial. I sewed a long (24") satin tube, strung elastic through it, and hand-stitched the ends closed. Then I sewed on a butterfly. The booties were fun. They were surprisingly easy, too. The hardest part is pinning and sewing the top of the booties to the sole, but it's just because they're so small. I think I'll be making several of these. A pair for every outfit! Next time, I think I'll make the soles out of a few scraps of soft leather. Oh! Maybe I'll make some little lace-up ballet slippers...wouldn't that be cute?
I felt like sewing today, but only a lacksadaisical, half-baked sort of sewing.
Here are my super instant gratification T-shirt pillows.
I took 2 graphic-style shirts, which have a habit of shrinking. That is, if you're lazy like me and refuse to air-dry things and insist on throwing everything in the drier.Find 2 pillows you're bored with. I LOVE pillows, but I get tired of them. Anyhoo----cut out a rectangle slightly larger than the pillow from the shirt. Turn inside out, stitch 3 sides, turn inside out, stuff in the pillow, and hand-sew (or cram along the machine) the last side, and viola! You're done.
Did I ever show you my red riding hood cape? I finished it last year, just as it was getting too warm to wear it. It makes a GREAT pregnancy cloak, though. That sucker would fit over me even if I got TWICE as big!
It's lined with faux-satiny red fabric. So cozy!
I'm still REALLY pregnant, huh? Well, I'm off to lunch with the O.B.s (the Old Broads). They are being so kind as to drive in from Dallas to celebrate the upcoming baby. Oh boy---yummy lunch and good company!
Anyone else out there in a gift-making frenzy? I've been putting together aromatherapy pillows for the midwives and staff at the birth center where we'll be having our daughter soon. They reccomended tube socks filled with rice then tied in a knot to use during labor. You can microwave or freeze them. They're used to drape across sore, contracting, achy parts. And to warm the baby up after she makes her entrance from cushy-toasty-warm uterus into the cold world of winter.
However, I thought a tube socks seemed a little.....well, manky. Obviously, it would be a new and clean tube sock, but a sock nonetheless. So, I thought I'd make us some nice, cozy velvet ones. And, while I was at it, I thought it would make an appropriate gift for the baby-delivering ladies. They measure about 18" x 6" inches.
I sewed the interior bags out of plain white cotton. I sewed a few channels into them to help distribute the rice more evenly, then sewed them up. I made a 'pillowcase' for the rice bags out of velvet, then added strips of velcro to keep the bags shut.
To make them extra fancy and pretty, I embossed designs onto the velvet. These have king and queen of hearts cards, and snowflakes. (Note to self and others attempting the same project...emboss the velvet BEFORE sewing the bags shut. It leaves you lots more room to manueuver.)
-Heat your iron to cotton setting if using cotton velvet, synthetic if using a polyester-based velvet.
-Decide where to place the design, then spray the right side of the velvet with water. I get it fairly wet, enough to get into the pile of the fabric, but not dripping.
-Place the rubber part of the stamp rubber-side up, then place the velvet on top of the stamp, with right side of velvet and rubber side of the stamp touching. You should now be looking at the backside of the velvet.
-Press the iron firmly over the stamp portion. Do not move the iron around. Just press it firmly and leave it in place. Check every 10 seconds or so to see if the water has evaporated. I usually found 15-30 seconds worked, depending on the fabric thickness.
- Remove the velvet from the stamp, and voila! Embossed designs! (Practice on a few scraps first, since you can't 'undo' embossing.) These can't be washed, as it would remove the embossing. That's why I made the rice bags as interior liners.
These are embossed with snowflakes and butterflies.
The top pillow has a mermaid and seahorse, the bottom has Victorian roses. I SWEAR these look 10 times prettier in person. Velvet is so hard to photograph. Tips, anyone?
These have Celtic knotwork designs. I promise you therey are crisp and handsome in person. I made a set of faux-mitter 'pocket warmers' to throw in your coat pockets for cold winter walks.
Celtic horses, then stars and a moon man.
Ok, my photos are horrible. Here's a much better example from Wendy Stamps. Isn't this gorgeous? The more flat space on the stamp, the bolder (and I think better) the result of the design.