Friday, March 30, 2007

Bed of roses

Jack is totally "two" right now. Our days are currently filled with thousands of questions, "What's this mommy? What's this?". There is also plenty of stalling. Particularly at bedtime. Sometimes when he is having a hard time winding down at bedtime we all lie in our big bed together, his father snores, and he and I talk about our day. This has now translated into him asking to "lay in the flowers" every night when we attempt to put him to bed. Our bed linens are always covered in flowers of all sorts (mostly roses) and I think it is so sweet that he calls our bed "the flowers."

However, the bossy part of being 2? Not so sweet. I will be happy if that passes quickly.
It's been raining cats and dogs today. It has given Jack a chance to wear that thrifted vintage Peanuts raincoat and watch the rain. He enjoys watching the rain, but the big thunder? Not so fun. When it first started this morning he was in his room playing with his train table and he came running down the hall faster than I have ever seen him run saying "I need the Dandy! I need the Dandy mommy!" I explained that it was thunder and that everything was ok. Now he says "just dunder, not scary," everytime it thunders.

I have another stinking sinus headache and am off to rest a bit. We are going to a big auction tonight and I need to be thinking clearly!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I can really tell that spring is here, because I have had a splitting sinus headache for days. It finally let up a little around 1 30 this morning, but man was it a long night! Good thing I finished the new napping pillow yesterday, I am going to need it today. (And sadly, no playing outside for us today until this pollen/mold/whatever settles down a little.)

You can see what I meant about the dotty fabric from the last post here. This is that Ebay fabric, and the dots are just TOO big. They really overshadow my flowers. The hunt for tiny red dotted fabric still continues....
I also found this apron in my stash drawer while rummaging for a different fabric, and whipped up an apron tote in about 10 minutes. It wasn't the prettiest apron (a bit too mauve for me), but it does make a cute tote. The floral fabric has the cutest cherries on it. A VERY, VERY easy and satisfying project! (Even a totally novice sewer can do this.)

This idea came from The Vintage Chica. You can see hers here .
It occurred to me while piecing it together that this would also be an easy way to make smocks for kids. If I can find another apron to cut I will show you how to do it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Under my nose

I dropped Jack off at school this morning and headed off to the thrift store. I was there a few minutes before they opened, so I decided to see what the fabric store nearby held. I have been looking high and low for some more of the dot fabric I used in the chicken quilt . (I bought some off Ebay that I thought would be close, but the dots are still too big. And I need more of that fabric!)
Just imagine my delight when I discovered a treasure trove of those 1930's reproduction fabrics that I love and adore so much! I almost fell over from the excitement. And how cute is that umbrella fabric?
Speaking of fabric stores, do you sewers out there know that there is trouble in River City? Wal-mart is closing their fabric departments, Hancock Fabrics are closing a large number of their stores, and apparently Hobby Lobby is no longer going to carry fabric either.

Honestly, all of that surprises me because it seems like more women than ever are sewing, but perhaps my vision is a bit skewed. I have no idea how some people are going to buy fabric locally anymore given all the closings...

I am off to start the next napping pillow with some of my new stash!

P.S. If you are a knitter or a crocheter, go see the Vintage Chica and join her Project Hacky !

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's the little things

Currently, it is the smallest of things that are either a) making me crazy or b) making me really happy. Isn't that always the way? A tiny little pincushion for a pin cushion swap? Making me crazy. I have tried 4 different ideas already in an attempt to make one I am truly satisfied with! LOL
Martha Stewart thread eggs. Also making me crazy. These are the only two I have managed to make. There is something about the diminishing diameter of the egg that makes it impossible for me to keep the thread tightly spaced as you near the halfway point of the egg. Of course Martha's minions never mention these things, do they?
Martha Stewart pipe cleaner baskets. Also making me crazy. I made about 6 of them and then quit. The baskets themselves are easy enough to assemble, but I am not crazy about the result. The dyeing part? Forget it. Impossible. At least the way I tried it. I couldn't find RIT dye in the right colors. I tried food coloring (and kool aid), neither of which really stick to the nylon of the pipe cleaner. The pink one is made from purchased pink pipe cleaners, the blue one dyed with food coloring. I tried green also, which for some reason does not
Making me happy was finding this Teletubbies pillowcase at Goodwill for Jack. Jack loves the "Tellies", and Teletubbies stuff is pretty hard to come by. (And forget about retail, they make nothing Tellies anymore!)
Also making me happy was finding the yard finally covered in tiny little violets. When Jack discovers them he yells out "Purple! Look at all the purple!"

And since Jack was up late and then up very early this morning, I am off to try and nap before the lawn mowers start humming.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Flea Market Sundays

Today was not a jump up and down with excitement day at the flea market, but, I am still in that honeymoon phase because it is just so nice to be able to go again. It even rained on me a little, and once I got over the panic that a bird had just pooped on me, I didn't even notice the fat raindrops. I picked up this sweet little pair of bunnies, and the apron they are sitting on;
and this great vintage cookie jar (minus the lid). It is a little hard to see, but it is tri-colored with red, white and yellow paint and lambs and bunnies and ducks on it. It is currently filled with daffodils and on the kitchen counter.
And my silly kid has been spending a lot of time standing on his head. He was in trouble this afternoon, and I scolded him by using his entire name. "Jack (middle name) Smith!*" And he replied with, "Who is Smith?" So I said, "That is you silly! Your name is..." And then he says, "No silly! my name is 'the baby'!" It still makes me laugh.

*His last name is not Smith. My last name is still up for debate. How's *that* for interesting? LOL

Saturday, March 24, 2007


The weather is "fantastic!," yea for that. (Jack loves words like fantastic, balance, and excellent right now.) We have a/c in the van again, yea for that. We took Jack to a train show this morning, where I finally found some Thomas patches so I can make my own Thomas gear for him, yea for that too! All in all, it has been a good Saturday thus far.
I finished making my version of the bunny bag in the newest issue of Cotton Time. I think I am going to lower her eyes and nose.
A photo of the one in the magazine.
Jack helped me put together some Easter colored pom pom garland, made from a huge bag of pom poms we found at the thrift store. Your eyes are totally drawn the orange one aren't they? I dare you to try not to look at that one! LOL

Other than that, I have a few more quilts brewing in my head which are dying to get out, but I really need to get some cat chow and work on getting a certain someone's wedding present in the mail! Back tomorrow with flea market Sundays.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Mohair yarn + vintage millinery flowers + Target giftbag heads + glass glitter + vintage ribbon + corsage pins = new Easter wreath
4 cute napkin/placemat ice cream sets + Italian tags = So sweet!

(That placemat picture has some wierd perspective thing happening. Remember those drawings you used to make in art class, with the X in the center? Those were always my favorite, so I left the photo as is.)

Oh, and don't forget to sign up for the pink and green swap!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


On Page 70 of the April, 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living is a "good thing" that suggests covering a bowl in double sided tape and then wrapping it with mohair yarn to make a bird's nest. I tried it. It was dismal failure. The yarn would only stick for about 2 circles of the bowl, then it was done.

I loved the idea though, so I made a fabric bowl out of cotton duck, then sewed the mohair yarn to it using a zig sag stitch. I added a little decorative pink bunny stitch to the top edge. (You may have to enlarge the photo to see that stitch.) Quick, easy and highly satisfying. I cannot say the same for the rest of the Martha Stewart projects I have been attempting from that April issue.
And my goofy photography assistants. The cat is sniffing his head. Don't ask me.

Speaking of asking me, several people have emailed to ask how the Huskystar C20 is working out now. I really only have even more good things to say about that machine. Threading is so easy that I am not afraid to switch thread colors on a whim. Using decorative stitches? Couldn't be easier. I love the quilting guide. I love the stay stitch function (which is just one button touch.) It sews through 4 layers of cotton and one layer of batting to make the little quilts like butter.

The biggest difference is how much *more* sewing I am actually able to get done. I can sit down and sew for 5 minutes here or there because the machine is always ready to go and easy to get started on. No fiddling required. And the extra functions do a lot of work that I used to have to do by hand. So, my rating is still an enthusiastic 2 thumbs up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Flea Market Sundays

The flea market this week was sparse because it was cold! cold! Temperatures were in the 30's and it was windy. We braved it anyway, with hats and mittens on. Sometimes the best treasures are found when it is cold and empty. Who could resist that cute bunny with Easter quickly approaching?
And ornaments always make my day. (P.S. I see you there!)
But this was definitely the best find of the day. And it's big! Usually I just pass them by because I can never afford them. I had a little extra cash in my pocket from selling Jack's outgrown stuff on Craigslist, and by the second time I walked by this I decided it was worth asking the price. $15? Sold! I am trying to decide if I want to do something about the rust, or if I like it just how it is. Usually I end up leaving things just as I bought them...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wiped out

Oh my. What a day. I am too tired to think really. 2 Craiglist pick-ups, one big train show, stuck in parade traffic, one thrift store, trains, trains and more trains. Oh yea, and a little snow.
One cute thrifted bracelet.
More Japanese paper houses, bought in a giant box of train stuff from Craigslist.
And one more finished quilt, that I am totally NOT feeling the love for. Those strips were supposed to be cloud-like in the sky, ocean-like at the bottom, and some sand on the very bottom. Too modern for me? Too blah period? More than once I have considered circular filing it.

Oh yea, and 3 not great pictures. Pfffft. "The sun'll come out tomorrow..."

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Jack and I were in the thrift store yesterday and there was a middle aged woman sitting on one of the couches. She was talking to us, and I just assumed she was talking to Jack, so I didn't pay very much attention. Turns out she was actually talking to me. What she said was, "Can I tell you a joke?" I immediately said sure, then I had a moment of wondering if it would be appropriate for a 2 year old. So here was her joke:

What did the mayonnaise say to the refrigerator?
Close the door! I'm dressing.

For some reason that just made me laugh and laugh. Maybe it was the oddity of someone in the thrift store asking and telling me the joke, maybe it was relief (!) that it was suitable for Jack, maybe it was the silly joke itself, but it totally made my day.
And, of course, I picked up more tablecloths. I swear they are the only thing I can find at the thrift right now! What a problem to have, eh? I am REALLY looking for some Pyrex with the Dutch/Amish pattern.

The pink and purple one is in great condition. The one with the roses is in terrible condition. It is really stained, and if you look closely you can see that it has a fugitive dye problem. (There were dark colored circles on there once upon a time, the remainder is evident in the bottom left corner.) It is boiling in the kitchen sink as we speak.
There are little scenes like this all over the house right now. (Including a quilting project that has sat on the kitchen counter untouched for 3 days, been a busy week.) Jack has also discovered that he can use his step to turn on all the light switches. He moves up and down the hallway turning every light in the house on! Must be something about pressing buttons, because he also must push the doorbell at least 20 times before we enter the house every time!

Good thing my sense of humor is still intact this week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Long Awaited

The doors opened on the Kalico Patch for the retirement sale this morning. I was first in that line of course. (My sweet husband even went with me.) I was able to buy 1/2 yard each of the 25 gorgeous 1930's reproduction fabrics you see here.
Karel Owens, the owner, said she will still be selling her 30's fabrics at shows and via the internet, but I haven't yet been able to find a website for her. I will be sure to ask her though and pass along that information if anyone wants/needs it. I think she will mostly be selling pre-cut put together kits for quilting though.
Nothing will replace being able to go into her store to touch and see all those gorgeous fabrics lined up though. Nothing. She will be open for only 3 weeks, and I am sure I will be visiting again in the next three weeks. Aren't they lovely? Will I have the nerve to cut into them?

If you are local and plan to go, you might want to call and see when someone will be there. It's a bit unpredictable! (If you aren't local and see something you really need to own, shoot me an email, I am always up for a trade.)

P.S. The photos should enlarge if you click on them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More goodness

A wonderful surprise package arrived in the mail yesterday. 4 of these gorgeous blue shutters, which I am already envisioning with new fabric and little glass to find the perfect place for them. (I have an idea already!)
And look at these darling cards she included in the box! So, so cute. Thank you so very much Heidi!
Leslie was kind enough to do a little swap with me for this Cotton Time. There are so many terrific projects in there, and I have looked at it least once a day since it has arrived. Thank you Leslie!
Last but not least, my gift tags arrived from my Glitter gift tag swap. I haven't yet figured out who made which tags, but they are lovely.

My mail box certainly has overflowed with goodness this week. Don't you just love those weeks?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stop and Smell the Tulips?

My cup is totally overflowing with goodness right now. I seriously could have shown you 10 different awesome things in today's post. Instead, I want to enjoy Jack stopping to smell the "roses" for the very first time. Even though he is almost 2 and 1/2 now, everything is brand new to him this year. He is really discovering the world with a whole new set of eyes and ears and big vocabulary to really convey what is in his head!
Plus, you get a behind the scenes peek at setting up for a photo shoot around here!
Discovering that the petals are soft, and that there is pollen inside the petals.
Discovering that they don't smell particularly like anything, and making sure to tell mama to smell them too!
The photo that would have likely been the only one on the blog, if I had tried to take photos while Jack was napping. I am so glad I didn't!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Long time no see

Hello again! I have been working like crazy on my latest little quilt. And the weather has been lovely, so we have been outside a lot. Jack is really into going to the park right now, so that is eating up most of my mornings. We got up this morning and went to the flea market. It was so awesome just to be back at the flea market, that I didn't even care that it wasn't the greatest buying day. The sun was warm, and Jack was perfectly content to ride in his new "fancy cart", as he calls the new stroller.

I picked up the towel above because I could not resist the graphics. The middle part is pretty well destroyed though, lots of kitchen use, and I have to decide whether to cut it and use the graphics on something else, or leave them as is. Choices, choices.
Another tablecloth of course. (Sick of seeing them yet? There are loads more, lol.)
A few yards of this totally awesome bird fabric. How cool is it? I can hardly wait to cut into it.
And, last but not least, my latest little beauty. I was totally inspired by Tiff's little chick quilt, so I did a version of my own. This one is quite a departure for me, since it is red, yellow and blue, but strangely enough, it is my favorite yet.
I hand appliqued the chicks (I left the edges raw, just like I do with the tee shirts), made their legs with one of the fancy new stitches on the Husky, used some thrifted napkins for the red borders, used every last scrap of the red and white polka dot fabric I had (if you look closely the blue chick is on a 4 square block, I had to piece the polka dots to have enough for the twelfth square), and made one different little chick out of a blue 1930's reproduction fabric. Jack calls this one the "bawk bawk bawk quilt".

Cheep! Cheep!

P.S. I realized as I was making this quilt, that despite the fact that my quilt collection must have over 30 quilts in it, I never see vintage doll quilts. Is it just me? Are they out there somewhere?

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Some weeks run so much more smoothly than others. I feel like I have plenty of time to do the things I need to do and the things I want to do. This has not been one of those weeks. (Or maybe even months.) I feel like the calendar is overflowing, and I am trying to do 10 things at once. You know the drill the right? Sew on the quilt binding, make dinner, entertain Jack and tutor the neighbor kids, all between 5 and 5 15 pm.

Today's fun included dental appointments, where Jack got his first tooth cleaning. Our dentist is great, and she let him sit on my lap, so he did pretty well. (It helps that he was completely enamored with her little pot of tooth polish.)

Anyway, I am ready for life to slow down a bit!

I am almost embarrassed to say how many photos I took of this last quilt before settling on this. I couldn't get the light right, I couldn't think of a creative display, blah blah blah. There she is in all her crooked glory. (Binding sewn on while teaching geologic time scales, lol.) I think the key may be to make the squares larger than needed, then to cut them down and piece them together.
And, for fun, an Irish Lad
And an Irish Lassie. Picked up at that estate sale where I bought the big Halloween cat.