Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mom-mom's Attic

This past weekend I got to spend some time with my grandparents and even got to explore some nooks and crannies of their home. I've always been a big treasure hunter (you'll find me with a metal detector on the beach when I am 80!) and one night I was talking about the sewing I have been doing my mom-mom piped up and said that my great grandmothers sewing table was sitting right behind her seat. She said she never looked in the table drawers! Say what!

So I happily moved furniture around so we could explore. We found wooden bobbins, lots of buttons!, some scrap fabric that is still in good shape and a ton of crocheting needles. Some are even made out of bone. I guess I'll need to start crocheting.

I was also privileged enough to explore her attic . And that's when I spotted these old frames. Oh, the possibilities! Can you see it? I already have a plan for them. This is going to be exciting!

This has to be continued at a later time. I still have more stuff to share, but the husband is home and we have some boxes to sort through.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whirlwind Adventures

My life has been a whirlwind lately. Between family visits, bridal showers, reuniting with old friends, job interviews, and moving apartments I haven't had much time to devote to the computer.

I'll have to take the time and download pictures from my camera soon. On there you'll find the bridal shower presents I made for my cousin, grandma crafting hand-me-downs (!!!!), and the latest sewing project.

I got adventurous and tore apart some thrifted purses to find out how they were sewn together and then continued to make my very own patterns! I am in the testing phase now. But they are currently all packed up with the move. Not that we moved far. Just next door in fact. Double the windows, slightly bigger, and a more feasible layout all for the same price. All in all, a much more pleasant living experience. My plants are thanking me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Tote

Even though I have yet to see a green blade of grass growing in my back yard, I have been bitten by the Spring Bug. The weather this week should have the country side greening up with temperatures staying above 60 and sunny. I got so excited about the weather Sunday night, I decide to utilize some of my thrift finds to create a springy tote. With warmer weather comes outdoor flea markets!

I repurposed a $1 thrifted bed sheet. Used some interfacing from a thrifted jacket I recently tore apart (I am learning how to sew clothes, so I wanted to see how it was put together.) And then made the delicate buds from a ladies hankie found in a drawer of the hutch I just purchased at Salvation Army. *I realize those are all fragmented sentences. It just looks better typed up this way*

The sheet must of been well loved. It is so soft.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday of Fun and Thrifting

Some fun was had by me this weekend. Even though the snow is still around from Thursday's snow storm, I made my way over to the local Flower and Garden Show at the community college. I was offered a job at a lavender farm (too bad it's 45 min away!), chatted with a couple that recycles old silverware and their work they do at the local farmers market, and snapped a few photo's (always with permission).

Isn't this elephant planter the cutest! I wish I could find this thrifting. I guess I am liking the orange in the environment of browns and greens. This was placed on the bottom shelf of the latter, but after speaking with the shop owner we decided it's place belonged on the top self.

They were selling these solid wool felted pumpkin and apple pin cushion's for $12 a piece. They looked so good piled in the wash basin that was priced at $68.

And part of the exhibit was tabletop decorations put together by local groups. Even though I think this one could be improved upon I loved the Wizard of Oz theme. See the yellow brick road leading to the Emerald City?

Afterwards I headed in town towards my favorite thrift store. And I was very lucky in getting a few choice grabs. Because of the snowy weather and St. Patrick's Day, not many people were in the store. My best find was an oatmeal colored, crew neck, cashmere sweater in my size for $1.50. Couldn't get any better! I also grabbed these supplies.
The most expensive item was $2.00 and that was the large cone of twine. I figured it would come in handy for binding packages or labels to things. The polyester green polka dot fabric was $1.00 for 2 yards. The rolled remnants were $.25 each. There was a bag of white cotton eyelet trims for $.75 and then I found a bunch of zippers for $.10 a piece. I also picked up a zippered change purse for $.25 that I ripped apart last night to see how it was put together. I am going to make a few changes and try to make my own pattern today and sew my own version.

And all this week I have been working on the 3 year quilt project. I started hand quilting/embroidering the top to the backing. I use a thimble but I decided I need a few more. My finger tips were getting sore from pushing the needle through all the fabric. I then resorted to placing band aids on all fingertips, which helped some. But I need a few days rest on this project for my fingers sake.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

How could you resist?

$3.50 flowers? That's what I am saying! And when the flowers are bright orange rannuculuses it's a no brainer even when we just had the discussion to cut back our grocery spending even more! I just had to share since they are so pretty.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I made some progress on the cow embroidery project. I used a different fabric I had in my stash to see how the stitching would turn out. Its a medium weight cotton twill I picked up on sale in the deco fabric section. And it's cheaper than linen. I am still up in the air about it all. I got my JoAnn's coupons in the mail yesterday. I'll use the 50% off for some real linen and see how it goes. I always test things a million times if it's my own design. I just don't want to waste my time and effort some something sub par.

Anyways- meet Clover Bud!

She reminds me of a happy little cow that just freed herself from a 4-Hers grasp at the county fair (when Dad wasn't around). Just off the fabric you can imagine a poor little 7 year old rubbing his backside from falling backwards. She just likes her freedom that's all. In addition she probably just stepped into the ring and onto nice, new, soft saw dust. Cows love the feeling and can't resist to be a little feisty and run around. I should know. I have had many 4-H projects do just that same thing. Leaving me to rub my backside.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New inspiration

Last week I was running my errands and a thrift store was on my way. I said "why not?" and stopped in for a brief visit. And I am glad I did because I found the cutest metal hutch for sale. Awful color, but that's why us thrifters are blessed with seeing potential!

It cleaned up quite nicely. Before it was a mustard-y/green. But the mustard must have been nicotine because now its a faded sage green with a hint of yellow. The color still doesn't do anything for me, so I am considering a deep red. But alas, we are still renting and the remodel will have to wait until we have a well ventilated space. Until then it is sitting in our mishmash mess of a living room. Which is OK because we are living like college students until we purchase a house. No sense buying furniture that won't match or fit into a new home! And in case you are wondering the milk crates are stacked and acting as end tables. :p

But it fits all my crafting supplies and fabric. It's fulfilling its purpose and that is a good thing.

This weekend I also picked up the book Sew U by Wendy Mullin with Eviana Hartman. It's the basic "how to sew clothing" book I have been craving. I finally understand how to read a pattern. It is not Greek! And understanding the basics of how fabric acts on the bias, weft, warp, etc... was a great for me. I mean I knew all the terms, but not what they really implied. Oh, and how to finish an edge. I never made garments before because I don't like unfinished edges and I don't have a serger. This book shows three different alternatives.

I can't wait to get started. Also while thrifting I picked up this ugly styled house dress with the most beautiful black and white print for $2. It's a few sizes too big for me, but a perfect item to try and refashion into something I would wear. I love the challenge of it! It's actually a hand-made item too. But the fabric is quite thin and it I wore any underwear you'd see it. So I also must make a lining for it or buy a slip. I haven't worn a slip since I was 6.

Once I refashion the item I'll show before and after pictures. It's a beautiful day today and plan on spending most of it outside!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Sewing machine suggestions?

Jeff has warmed up nicely to the idea of me purchasing a new sewing machine. We made plans to save up money for one in our budget. This is very exciting for me.

Now the search begins. I have been very fortunate to have Free or nearly free machine to use, so I am in sticker shock at the moment. However, I wanted to ask for recommendations on machines to look at.

The machine I mentioned in a previous post was a Pfaff 2038 or the 2056. What I really like about this brand is their IDT feature that feed both layers of fabric simultaneously. And I always thought it was my fault my points never matched up (well maybe some of the fault lies with me but... still).

My new sewing machine must be able to do free motion sewing and have a needle stop up or down feature.

I really want a machine to help me with my quilting and I will attempt my first clothing project in a few weeks. I really like the idea of making my own clothes. We'll see how that turns out. I hope its not a romantic notion and I enjoy doing it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Quite Mooo-ving

This is my second attempt at embroidery. I think she turned out rather stunning.

I have been inspired by the Martha Stewart Bird Embroidered Quilt. I want to do the same thing but make it a cow theme. I already decided on 6 cow designs that I drew up (this being one of them). The embroidery will be done in a pallet of blues and greens with this silver mixed in. I'll probably use the 6 cow designs 5 times. This will equal the 30 squares needed.

I made this for my mom. I wanted to make sure it would turn out ok. I used a linen-like material found at JoAnns. I wouldn't want to work with it again. It was hard to sew and keep square. I hope real linen handles better.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Eye Candy

There was suppose to be a large rummage sale downtown this weekend or at least that's what my new city's calendar of events said. I got up early Saturday morning and set off only to find a very empty downtown. After some investigating I found out that the building where it was suppose to be held had a fire a few months ago and they canceled the event.

Since I was downtown I made the best use of my time and visited a few thrift shops. I am now going to visit the World Treasures Thrift Shop for any and all sewing supplies. The box of crochet thread immediately caught my attention. So beautiful in its own right. Not that I crochet, but maybe I will just keep them bundled up and continue to admire them. They also had a box of zippers and sewing notions for $.10 each! One of my bullet points on my to-learn-to-do list is sew in a zipper. Now I need to order the zipper foot for my machine. I found it on eBay.

And at the GoodWill a few blocks away (where they have the best clothing you would actually wear yourself) I found the most amazing kelly green linen table cloth with 6 matching napkins. It's a dream come true. It's a little too big for our current table but would fit nicely on a buffet or a picnic table. Bring on the warmer weather! And I also added to my collection of bedsheets to use as quilt backings.

The lovely sun shiny daisy sheet was still in its original packaging of 25+ years. When I opened it up at home an overwhelming smell of gaseous plastic filled the air and it was promptly put in the washer. Jeff seems to think I contaminated our home with asbestos.

And while browsing the racks for cashmere and wool sweaters I glanced over to the skirt rack and saw this beauty. My immediate thought was to turn it into an apron. The pattern is screen printed on and I thought it was rather Russian-esk. Turns out my hunch was correct because it was made in the Ukraine. Close enough. The kicker of it all is that it fits me. Maybe I'll keep it and wear it as a skirt.

Now I need to buckle down and finish a few of the projects that are taking up much needed space in my sewing space but I wanted to share my great thrifting finds from this weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Sewing Machines and Pin Cushions

I just looked through all the sales information the lady gave about that sewing machine. Making the document folder made me realize all the faults in my current (but free) machine. Gah. I still have to figure out exactly what features I want but the one that seemed to fit best was $1600 on sale. Eeek!

I told Jeff all about it. His eyes glazed over. Then he asked how much it was. I told him. His eyes bugged out. He told me he could get a sewing machine just as good for half the price. I looked at him with a puzzled look. He responded: It's called China.

I retorted that he bought his HUGE TV. His arcade computer. His expensive mountain bike. His surround sound speakers. You know what he said.... "That was pre-marriage sweetie. The slate is wiped clean now!" Grrr!

You know what I did with all my pre-marriage money? I paid my student loans. Such a grown up thing to do wasn't it!

I'll just tape this brochure on the wall above the desk so if he ever wants to surprise me with a really great gift he knows which one I want. A girl can wish can't she?

I'll leave you with a picture of my pin cushion since it seems to be the "thing of the moment" here on the crafting blogs. It took me five minutes to make, but I had to sacrifice one of my new condiment canning jars. But I love the storage ability.