Friday, October 24, 2008

It's been sooo long...

Swamped with school, work, kids, life.  You know the drill.  I have not been making anything or lifting my nose from the grindstone (except a little bit).  I have been swimming 1000 yards three days a week, which is pretty exciting for me.  The Arizonans think it is much too cold to swim but I think 80 degrees is plenty warm, plus the pool is heated.

Just a link today to my new favorite thing: bento boxes.   I ordered a panda one in a moment of weakness and am waiting with bated breath (a friend asked if it is for the kids...... ha!).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What to do with a rickshaw

So, I had to buy this of course and I brought it home all excited because when do you see rickshaw fabric?  It must be old because who would do that nowadays and then I started to worry that it might be culturally insensitive and now I am thinking that I won't be able to use it for anything.  Am I crazy? Or is it fine and I can make zippered pouches or whatever and no one will think twice about it?  What do you --my half dozen (I think, but maybe it is just five) -- readers think?

Friday, September 5, 2008

3 inches across

So at 10 o'clock at night I am going outside to get the sheets that I hung up to dry (I am tired and it is time for bed and of course I have not made the bed).  My clothesline is under my patio because the sun would quickly destroy my clothes here in the desert.  I see something on the ceiling and had to show you one of the things that goes bump in the night.

Not that big you say?

You know when the spiders need red eye reduction you are in trouble.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My goodness, I have been doing a lot of not much lately.  I have had no luck at the thrift stores and have not felt the need to create much.  I did revamp some clothes to wear to my internship (which started today).  And I took lunch in my bento lunchbox which was a great success.  So I am just checking in and showing you my boys in their new hairstyles.

I did give my studio a good cleaning and managed to give a great big pile away on freecycle.  Here is a picture in the dark of my lovely bits that I cannot seem to give up yet--they look especially nice without all the cobwebs.
Off I go now to do my homework--loads of reading and thinking about great big social problems.  

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Burst of Craftiness

School must be starting soon because I am feeling the need to make stuff.  While out thrifting yesterday, I found this flannel and corduroy in perfectly matching colors.  Probably somebody else's project extras and since this green is pretty much my favorite color I had to get them.  I usually wait a few weeks to several years before I do anything with my fabric but I felt like these needed to be in a quilt and right away.  I gathered the lace myself from a huge spool of double edged eyelet and put a needle punched cotton batting in the middle.  Then I washed it and look how nice it turned out!  I almost like the corduroy better than the printed flannel side.

I know the colors could have been boy or girl but the eyelet was crying out to be used.  Now I need to find a recipient--sometimes I want to have another kid so that I can make more cool baby stuff and keep it but I am thinking that is not a good reason to have a baby.  I feel certain that the months of barfing would make me rue the day I ever made a cute baby blanket.  Not to mention the whole other person to take care of for the next forever!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wallpaper spectacular

Here is one of those things that the thrifter dreams of,  a roll of the loveliest paper in mint condition for a ridiculous price.  I gave a piece of it to the friend I was with at the time of the find and I am going to frame a panel for myself and put the others up on Etsy.  This paper is so lovely with dense hand screened colors and such big juicy flowers.  Does anybody know what kind of flowers they are?  They seem kind of made up, I would probably call them cabbage roses.  Can you imagine a whole wall done with this?  beautiful.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to the Real World

So we are back from Seattle and came home to no internet or phone service (on Tuesday) which was not fixed until Friday!  It was a terrible and tragic time. 

 All better now though.  :-)

Today was the first day of school and I put my daughter on the bus and drove the boys to school--first day of Kindergarden for my youngest and no picture--sigh.  He was pretty stoked so I hope everything goes swimmingly for him.  I am wandering aimlessly around the house not wanting to do my chores or my exercise routine or clean up my studio or anything really.  I have not yet completed reentry from vacation I think.

So, here is my favorite vacation purchase (actually I have several but this one is for today).  A bento lunchbox in my favorite colors.  Ta daa!

I am doing an internship this year for school and need to take my lunch at least some of the days.  It is pretty small but there is room in the bag for more if I need it and really eating a little less would be good for me, right?  I have more fun stuff to show later after I get my studio cleaned up so send your best cleaning vibes my way--k?

edit:  the lunchbox is by Zojirushi and can be found here

Sunday, July 20, 2008

12 foot bar of pyrex

I am leaving on a jet plane tomorrow and in the process of cleaning and tidying I got the idea that all my pyrex would cover the top of my now cleaned off kitchen island.  Yep, it does.
Any how, I will be gone to Seattle for a couple of weeks and probably won't be posting, but I am taking the laptop so you never know what I might do.  Tra la!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The hunt for the unexpected

My daughter had an extra long piano lesson today and so my boys and I got to really take our time at the thrifts this afternoon.  I found some good weekly reader books and a great little ottoman covered in yellow/gold naugahyde.  Then I found this piece of upholstery fabric.

It is enough to recover the ottoman but I am not sure that I can bear to put this into harms way (of feet and such).
This was sewn and then hand trimmed it looks like.  Can you see how great it is?!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The wildlife is leaping about

You know it is the monsoon season when the ground is thick with creatures.

And now for something completely different.

Here is the before shot--an ultrasuede jacket from the 50 cent rack.
Ta daa!  My new purse for traveling.  I really like it but I wish I did not always have to carry so much stuff (I am secretly a boy scout and must be prepared for everything).  
Those front slits are actually the pockets from the jacket--I am thinking of putting buttons on them so stuff won't fall out.  What do you think?
The inside has lots of pockets and one is perfectly sized for a Moleskine.
Now I have to clean my house but I am thinking that wardrobe inspiration might be too strong to resist.  

Friday, July 4, 2008


I found many vintage patterns at a thrift store for a song and bought them all up.  Then I got them home and wondered why I bought them.  I read the blog A Dress A Day and think I just got on the bandwagon for old patterns.  Anyways I decided to put them on Etsy and sent a link to Erin over at Dress a Day.  Then all the lovely readers came and began buying the patterns--I love that they are going to a good home.  (The two patterns pictured are still in my shop.)
I wish I could get some of that red and white print for me--are they llamas?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moving along

Here is my pile of 5" squares--I figure there are about 500 of them which means I can make a king size quilt.  I am thinking that I will have this professionally quilted.

There is a rough layout--I have put the colors in groups of four with the browns surrounding.  I am not sure the design shows but I think it doesn't matter.  I have to put some more strips together so I can see it a bit bigger.
Now I have to figure out a backing fabric--of course it will have to be thrifted or something that I already have.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I have been dreaming of a linen quilt.

Pile of washed linen clothes from the 50 cent rack at the thrift store.  About $8 worth of clothing--mostly 100% linen but some are linen/cotton blends.  (that shiny grey there is a lining)

Buttons, zippers, labels and cut up linen fabric.

Close up of the lovely pile that will be a quilt.  I am going to do 5" squares in a random pattern.  after I have cut up all of this I am considering adding a few embroidered squares from my hankie/handtowel stash.
I am cutting up the squares now and will be posting the results soon!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What do you think of this?

So I made this out of a felted sweater.  It was gorgeous yarn and probably very expensive sweater but I got it for 99 cents and threw it in the wash.  It shrank up really small and sturdy so I threw it in a  pile for a few months and then pulled it out and made this basket.   I folded the edge down and put some strapping band  inside to make it hold it's shape and sewed it all together with wool yarn.  Is it good or too lumpy?

Friday, June 6, 2008

More desert flowers

When you live in the desert you have to pay close attention to things in order to see truly beautiful things.  This is some sort of weedy vine in my weed patch that I love because it is green.  Sometimes I think I should more carefully arrange the plants and cultivate orderly blooms but I am not much of a gardener in  a more moderate clime, and working in the yard here involves heatstroke, so, you know....   
I have been busy with the kids in swimteam and I joined the gym and have been going for a month now (yay me!).  I think that I am starting to see windows of opportunity for crafting/sewing/studio time.  That is good because this summer is going by fast (summer starts here in May with the hotness and all).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What should I do with this?

Of course I got these at the thrift store, in a bag, in seemed promising.....?
Bathroom set with hardware added in black marker.
Dining room and living room furniture.  The book shelf needs books and the planter had some dried play dough in it but the flowers had long since gone.  On the table is steak and potatoes, a loaf of bread and one very tiny knife, (because of course there is only one chair).
These are the babies that came with the set--the pink one is actually a little bit pinker than that. And then of course the raccoon.  Can't you just imagine the little girl that played with these? 

 They were poor and couldn't afford the doll house so she just used a box but every inhabitant of that humble house was welcomed with open arms and loved equally.


I got this in a bag at the thrift store--it was in pieces and I was not sure what it was but it seemed cute and you know how that goes.  I only glued the major panels together--all the painting and small pieces were already on.  It is missing two small pieces on the back at the bottom but otherwise seems complete.  The painting is really nicely done with only a few splotches (must have been done by an adult).   The thing is, it really isn't my style in terms of collections.  Do you think I should Etsy it?  Or do any of my ever expanding reader list just love it?  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Meme & Softie

This little yellow guy was sent to me from Janet in the softie swap from crafty daisies.  
My boys have been trying to steal him for a couple of days now.  Thank you Janet!

This little brown guy is my contribution.  He is made from a mohair sweater and his eyes are old bridal gown buttons--talk about recycling!


I have been tagged by Susan to tell you all about me.  The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. what was i doing ten years ago?
I was at home with my  1 year old daughter, spending a lot of time being thrifty.  We lived in student housing and were always on the edge of broke--happy times!

2.five things on my to do list today:
It is Sunday so I will spend lots of time (#1) resting and (#2)relaxing--I have a couple (#3 & #4) of sewing projects to work on and I will go to church (#5).

3.snacks i enjoy:
Hmmm, there are a number of snacks that I enjoy so much that I cannot keep them in the house:  those japanese peanuts with the different crunchy coatings (sesame, soy, etc.), just about any kind of cookie,  and spicy hot trail mix.   I also love dried cherries with dark chocolate, surprisingly I can limit my consumption if the cherries and chocolate are separate (not chocolate covered cherries).  I like apples, and raspberries are my all time fave.

4. things i would do if i was a billionaire:
Buy my mother a house, pay all our student loans and mortgage and car off.  Put in  a swimming pool and do a few remodels.  Pay for the kids college.  I don't know if a billion will cover that much any more!  Design a program to help people who are involved with CPS--parenting, job skills, etc.  And most importantly start hanging out with other rich people so I could guilt them into donating substantially to worthy causes and easing up on consumption.

5.five places i have lived:
 Okinawa, Japan (alas, I was only a baby). Honolulu, Hawaii (I played Chinese jump rope all the time).  Seattle, Washington  (Home and I love the rain). Knoxville, Tennessee (middle school, high school, some college and I don't have an accent).  Sunnyvale, California (the armpit of the world).

6. people that i want to know more about:
See, now this is where I drop the ball--since I have only 3 readers and 2 of them have done this meme I am going to leave it up to my mysterious non commenting readers to unmask themselves and join in on this meme.  Let me know if you do or leave your answers in the comments--I would love to know more about you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh my goodness!

  I bought this piece and it was smooth, a little bit stiff and had obviously been folded up for a long time but it seemed to be cotton (inside and out) and I love that old fashioned pink.  So I threw it in the wash and look what came out.  So soft and drapey!  I have enough for two baby quilts so I just need to figure out how to trim them--I am almost thinking that a simple bias binding would be enough--what do you think?

Monday, May 12, 2008

I made something!

I found a full length skirt at a thrift store that I haven't been to in a really long time.  It was $1 and I had no idea what I would do to it but almost right away I visualized  an apron--it is a nice sturdy polyester and the embroidery is too so I know it will wash well.  I used the waistband for the neck strap and a scrap for the waist band which has a button.  The other half of the skirt will make another apron but I will use ribbon for the ties.  Almost no waste as the zipper was salvageable and in my stash for a future project.

The only bummer is no pockets but I used all of the material and I would have to do inset pockets so as not to cover the lovely embroidery and I am too lazy right now--I can always put them in later, right?

I will put the other apron up on Etsy next week.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ground meats....Intriguing? Discuss.

So, I am thinking not so much intriguing as....hamburgers.  Too bad this one has a bit of something dried on the cover.  These pictures just thrill me so much--the colors and the captions and then of course the foods.  Sigh.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I got a bunch of these booklets at my favorite thrift--1956 and they knew all about low calorie didn't they?  Your eye ranges over the jellos and salads and vegetables and then rests on that meat right there.  Then you think maybe it is not meat but some kind of unattractive casserole and you look closer.'s meat--lots of it--and rather fatty.  Not sure how that fits into the low-calorie category or actually the tempting category either.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I am supposed to be writing my paper

Actually, I tried to post this a week ago but blogger was not cooperating (for 3 days!).  I got 8 of these squares and some plain gingham ones to go with.  I do have to finish two of them but I think I actually will go and get the pearl embroidery thread and do it because I love these!!  You can see the others over on my Flickr account. 

Well, I have a final I have to finish tonight and a presentation on Thursday and then I am done for now.  I get the whole summer off which I can hardly believe.  I have an enormous list of things I want to do--new work wardrobe, this chicken scratch quilt, linen quilt (hmmm, I am not even a quilter, what gives?), more covered buttons, perhaps another pop-up book, lots of apron dresses, lots of bags, moving my daughter's sewing table into my studio so she can sew with me and much more.  I will begin with a huge clean up of my studio and put piles of stuff that I must use in order.

but first I must finish school...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

desert flowers are tiny

Out walking the dog today, I saw these flowers on a fence--such lovely detail.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Delicious package

All right, all right, all right--I have heard the teeming masses and am posting something new.  This is a lovely package I got from Barbara as a 'just for no reason' occasion. Thank you so much!! I have ideas swirling around in my head to use these in some weird assemblage but school is bearing down on me so it'll have to wait.  Of course the fabric has to be an apron, but all in good time, right?  I am sending something back but haven't decided what is a fitting reply to such cheesy goodness.

Anyhow, I have two weeks to get two papers written and swim team just started for the kids and I am very tired so, not sure if I will get much up here for a bit.  But May 1 is my last day of school and then I am freeeee for the summer.  (hope I make it!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

This card cracks me up--obviously I can't send it to my Grandpa, unless he is willing to give it back to me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Ok, thanks for the feedback (woo hoo more than 3 readers!).  Tell me now what you think of my new (to me) idea.  
#1  I am going to concentrate on making my apron dresses and bloomers from newborn to size 4 (or 5?) in vintage fabrics and trims and buttons.  

#2  I will perfect the apron dress and all its permutations with the fabric I have now and will acquire more from my usual sources.  

#3  I will sew these as time permits while I am in school and list a few on Etsy as I feel like it. 

#4   I will scope out the children's boutiques here in town as I have time.  

#5  Then when school is out and I have a decent inventory, I will make appointments with said boutiques and show them my wares.  

#6  I will ask if they are interested and if not, why.  
I am washing a great pile of fabrics right now and will iron them tomorrow and begin cutting out soon.  I have to fit in some homework sometime, but after being in kind of a fog for a few days I am feeling it lifting.  Does anybody else get that fog that just blocks positive feeling and action??  I hate it and rail against it and I never can figure out what dispels it.  I think tonight it might have been seeing part of a PBS pledge week special on brain exercises and how you have to think yourself out of a rut.  So I just decided to pick a path and go down it, hence the apron dress thing.  I know other people make them but I like to make them and think the simplicity of the design really works with the fabrics--plus they are comfortable for the little ones.

So now the danger is my waking up in the morning and thinking that this was not such a great idea and what does it all matter anyways.  
So, once again I ask for your opinion--
good plan or problematic plan?  
Are the apron dresses enough or are the more complicated ones better?  
Is the dress and bloomers enough or do I need to do headbands or bonnets?  
(I should warn you that I never liked the headgear that came with outfits for my daughter and they are awfully fussy to make.)  
But maybe the outfits really need something more?
Of course, I assume that I will drop the apron dresses after a while but I am thinking that concentrating on one thing and getting it really right might be a good strategy for me. 
 See how I am convincing you all that I am right?

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Ok, so heres the deal:  I have an enormous stash of fabric that I could never use up for my own consumption.  Most of it is vintage and pretty nice stuff.  I really like to make what I think are gorgeous children's outfits in unusual combinations.  I cannot seem to give this stuff away.  I have my Etsy shop and sell very little there--I don't know if it is me or the venue (probably both).  I am very reluctant to go out and sell my stuff in person (see: rejection, fear of).  So I started this blog as a way to meet people and maybe make connections but that does not seem to be working.  I am a mediocre blogger and picture taker and not really a very good commenter on other blogs.  These are all traits that don't bother me in my real life (I am hilarious and well spoken out here) but are a detriment to making connections in blogland.   

Case in point: this dress is beautiful and if I had a girl who could wear it -- she would (if it killed me).  Do my 3 readers think this is cute?  Would you buy it if you had a size 3 girl child laying around at home?  
Any advice for me?  Hmm?  Buck up Pasha! thoughts?