Friday, June 29, 2007

Birds, birds, birds.

I finally finished my black bird purse. The finishing touch was done with some black bias tape I found thrifting today for $.25. Yay!

So let's do the run down on materials: thrifted linen skirt for the exterior, thrifted polka dot interior, old house coat fabric for the pockets, 2 zippers that were thrifted and shortened, and the $.25 bias tape for the top edging and handles. The only thing that is new is the interfacing.

It's all about the birdie love this summer. And whoa! what a summer. Fourth of July already? I'm leaving tomorrow to head to the parents to be joined by Jeff parents for a good ol' crab boil with pasta, steaks on the grill, corn on the cob, and homemade ice cream. Yummy! Then over to Lancaster PA for a few days to enjoy fireworks and "the biggest outdoor market" ever (so says the husband). I can't wait. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

PS. Jeff restored all my bookmarks (there were lost in the Great Blue Screening on June 2oth) so I can finally catch up on reading everyone! I am going to need another day added to this week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Recent Activity

I have been slowly working on getting another purse done. It's been quite a process. Made from all thrifted fabrics. One linen skirt, a black and white polka dot interior found as yardage, and a black and white floral print taken from an old house coat.

I really love embroidery. I love that I can take my sketches and turn them into fabric art. Here's my little black bird.

Two 12'' zippers are found in the interior. (They were actually 20'' zippers that I had to shorten.) I chose the light contrasting fabric to line the pockets so it's easier to find what you are looking for. I have a minor pet peeve about dark lined pockets inside purses.

And I have tried my hand at wire wrapping. I have been finding these great vintage buttons lately and really wanted to stretch my imagination on displaying them via wearable art. This was my first attempt using a thrifted 12K gold necklace, gold filled wire, and two tiny crystals.

I guess it turned out alright. I have a bigger plan in mind for the other three matching buttons, but practice makes perfect.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

birthday and swap goodness

Where did last week get to? Isn't sunshine and great weather the best?

I need to follow up on my birthday still. Jeff really was in tune to my "want" list this year. I was very surprised to see the following two prints all wrapped up.

Aren't they so pretty? I had been eyeing them for months over at BunanART's etsy shop. I just love her style. I have always had the image of a kitchen gallery wall in my mind. So I have been picking up inexpensive food related prints/paintings to make it someday. The only thing that has to match is the subject matter. I may try to make all the frames either light or dark, but that would depend on the colors of my future kitchen. These prints are really great. They look like the real painting!

Since I last wrote I got blue screened by my laptop and somehow lost all my bookmarks. So all my lovely crafting sites were lost. :( My blog reading has severely decreased. I need to find everyone not on my little blog roll and add them now. But I did manage to catch the swap Katie is hosting over at her blog See Katie Sew. Swap what you have in a flat rate box or envelope. I think the deadline was yesterday but she did post that she needed another person to make it even. Go check it out if you are interested.

And I got my partner for the Yellow and Orange Swap! Yippee! We have been emailing back and forth and it looks like another great match up. Her name is Elsie and already has been successfully making and selling aprons and pillowcase dresses. But she has no blog. :( Let's encourage Elsie to get one up and running so we can all be inspired by her!

Before I wrap this up and don't want to forget to annouce my birthday give-a-way winners!
I asked my husband to pick 2 numbers between 1 and 18. He said "one" and "nine". The second time he choose the first noter. So congrats Trying Momma and Jenn Maruska! I don't have either of your email addresses , so go ahead and send me your address to and I'll put the items in the mail.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Birthday Party!

It's a day of celebration for sure. We are celebrating my 6th anniversary of my 20th birthday. It's a good day. I didn't have to work today so I headed into town to find some beads to finish up some necklaces I had planned. I also hit a thrift store and an old "antique" place. The antique place is really just an old building piled full of junk. Lots of sorting and searching must take place to find something good.

I did find a box of half finished sewing projects and came home with a few good fabric prints. The following is a handful of fabric samples from a special order only fabric rack.

The receipt in the bag dates the circle fabric to 1984. Not too terribly long ago, but then again I was 3 years old. In the top right corner you'll see a blue and white print. That is actually an old flour sack! Score 10pts for me! I love coming home with stuff like that. It has some discoloration but I hope a good soaking will take care of that.

I was also surprised by a couple of my fellow bloggers who were kind enough to think of me on my birthday!

Lindsey made me one of her very beautiful necklaces. I am wearing it today. If you would like to get yourself an early (belated) birthday present, you can find these here.

And my lovely Canadian crafter/author/blogger Ann-Margret sent me two different fabric prints. I think I'll be making some fabric headbands out of these.

But it wasn't all fun and games today. I did set up another photo shoot and added some items to my Etsy shop. (Who am I kidding? Photo shoots are FUN!) This pincushion fabric came from a vintage apron I picked up a few days ago. I altered it to become an apron to tie around the waist and have just the right amount of fabric leftover to make a pincushion. You'll never get another one like it!

I thought since this is my birthday that I would do a little give-a-way! I'll throw in some of those fabric remnants I found today and a few other odds and ends like vintage buttons. You'll have to make sure to wash the fabric when you get it. I'll pick 2 names my next post. But who knows when that will be. Just leave a note!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thrifting finds

I have been checking out some thrift stores lately. I found some odds and ends today, but they are in the washer getting freshened up. Last week I made a special trip out to a quilt shop. Along with the quilts she sews, she also sells vintage sewing supplies. This lady has more buttons than I have seen in my life. You try sorting through five gallons of buttons at a time.

Here's a few of the treasures I came home with.

I bought this apron too. It was patched so I got it for $.50. I used it when I canned those strawberry preserves. It worked well. It is a full apron that ties around the neck, but I made just use it as a waist apron. I liked it that way best. And I also picked up the cover your own buttons for $.05. I have always wanted to try that out.

My sewing machine hasn't seen me in a week. I think it misses me. But it's summer time and now-a-days it seems like there is always something else to do. But I do have some projects in the works. I have been working on them a little at a time. However, I just purchased everything I need to make this found over at Megan's "the scent of water" blog. So yummy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer Swap

I don't have too much to report. I have been a very busy lady in the non-crafty sort of way lately. Between moving friends, going on an impromptu trip to Atlantic City, starting a new part-time job today, and thinking about my up coming birthday I haven't spent too much time at the sewing machine. Though, I have been to the thrift store and came home with a few cool vintage fabrics, ribbon, and buttons. I'll have to take pictures soon.

But my main reason for posting today is to remind everyone to head over the Sweet Goodness Swaps before Friday and sign up for the new Summer Swap! Color theme is orange and yellow. Come on. Everybody is doing it.

Friday, June 8, 2007


I love strawberry season (which is almost over here in MD). One whole flat of strawberries later.....
I even threw some single layer in a cake pan and froze them. Then put them in a freezer bag so we could enjoy strawberry smoothies all summer long. The home made ice cream I made is divine! I changed the recipe up a bit, so I'll have to make it again to make sure I remember everything correctly. I'd love to share it because it came out with a smooth, rich, velvety, creamy texture we all love.

We are going out to the u-pick place again this evening to get a couple more flats. At a little more than $1 a pint, it's worth stocking up on. More jamin` will certainly take place in our household!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

To Do List

Amanda over at everylittlething tagged me to share my to-do list. That was awhile ago, but I just remembered. And since then my to-do list has gotten quite long.

  1. Make some strawberry jam. Yesterday Jeff and I went driving over the mountain to find a u-pick stand. We got there just at closing, but they were nice enough to give us 45 minutes of picking time. We ended up with a flat. When it was all said and done each pint cost a little over $1. Very nice compared to the $4 pints they already had picked. So they are sitting on my stove waiting to be processed. I may go back tomorrow and pick some more just to freeze so we can enjoy strawberry smoothies all summer long.
  2. Yesterday I cut out 8 bags to sew. I'll get to this project sometime.
  3. Repaint my old frames. I had found these old frames in my mommom's attic. I love the color red, so I got some mistint paint from Lowes ($5!). I painted them all up. Hung them on the wall and now I don't like them. Even though it is the yummiest color red, the hue is not what the room needs. Maybe a spring green grass would be better. All the light maple wood in the room was crying out in angst at the red.

4. I want to start compiling some recipes that highlight the flavor of my favorite fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. So if you got a good one and want to share, send me an email. It's a summer of cooking exploration!

That's all I want to right down at the momment. I don't want to scare myself with the long list. But I will encourage Christina, Katie (who just posted a new fabric challenge), and Dinah to share their lists.

I have to say something about my new Etsy shop now. I am completely speachless at all the postive responses I have received since it has opened. From family and friends, to all you online crafty friends, to complete strangers that have found my site and expressed their satisfaction through kind notes and sales. Thank you so much! It really is satisfying for me.

Inventory was getting low so I added a couple of zipper pouches this morning made from some vintage fabrics and thrifted sheets. I don't even look at new fabric in the store when I go in for supplies. The thrill of the hunt is really what I crave!

Monday, June 4, 2007

New Doors Opening

This photo I took last week gave me inspiration to make the zippered pouch seen below.

I had been very busy this weekend. Making items. Doing little photo shoots. I find taking photos very fun. I like searching through my fabric stash and using them as back drops. Then I search through my supplies to find props. Sometimes the pairings are quite by accident. I like those happy accidents.

I made a few of these mason jar pin cushions too. I actually cut into my most favorite flour sack fabric. I love the red and blue combo. And the flower print is so dainty and feminine.

I have also been busy setting up a Paypal account which lead to setting up an Etsy account. I thought I would join all the selling fun! My husband helped me come up with a store name. We chose "The Cherry Stem". This is an inside joke between us now. One early evening we went to get some ice cream. I stole his cherry off his sundae when he made a bet with me. He told me that he didn't think I could tie the cherry stem in a knot with my tongue, and if I did accomplish the task then we would buy my new sewing machine the next day. (What budget?) A whole eaten sundae later the 1/2 inch cherry stem was tied in a knot. And to make the story even better the knot was shaped like a heart.

So if you have a spare minute go check my Etsy shop out!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Finished Products

I got a few things finished since last week. And what a busy week/ weekend it was. I dug into my stash of linens. Mostly recycled from old dresses. I made a few zipper pouches. This one is constructed of completely reused items.

And I finished the linen bag I was embroidering. I really like it's shape. It is a very balanced purse. 100% linen on the outside with embroidered design, fully interfaced, fully lined, 12 '' zipper, 2 smaller pockets, magnetic closure, and reversible if wanted. Fits wonderfully over the shoulder.

I really am pleased with how this came out. I need to make another bag like this. I love the vintage sheet I used for the lining. It's so soft to the touch.

Now I need to clean up the sewing/craft/office/storage/my closet space room. I was promised that the computer with Photoshop would be set up once we could see the desk. My husband makes my life better through technology!