Sunday, April 29, 2007


It seems like everything I found this week came in a group of more than one. Not that I am complaining, I love an instant collection! Above is a group of brightly colored noisemakers. I think I will use them as part of the Independence Day decorations. Oddly enough, I happened to pick up a December 1999 issue of Home Companion at the same sale, which featured a collection of noisemakers. That made my heart sing just a little.
My husband spotted a shoebox just filled with old glass bead decorations. What a good eye he has! I love them all so much I sat in the car digging in the box instead of moving onto the next sale on my list. Cue that heart singing again.
The cutest tea towel ever. And in very good condition. My meager tea towel collection is finally growing. I suppose they saw a lot of use and thus weren't long lived, unlike the tablecloths.
And last but not least, the tablecloths. A bit hard to see in the sun dappled grass, but they are lovely. Sometimes I can go weeks and weeks without seeing any tablecloths at all, not even ones I don't really care for or are too expensive, and some weeks there are so many I can hardly choose.

I definitely prefer the latter. How about you? Do you prefer an instant collection or the thrill of the hunt?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Oh wow!

Spring is still doing it's thing all around us, and Jack wakes up first thing in the morning asking if we can go outside. Every day is still filled with new discoveries, the biggest one this week was dandelions. When Jack spotted one in the back yard that had gone to seed he exclaimed, "Look at that cat hair!" LOL
We showed him how to blow the seeds, and he promptly picked every dandelion in the yard to play with the seeds.
Of course, we had to pick up the pinecones. (Which are very sticky and promptly dropped back into the yard.)
And we had to try and move a big brush pile. Look how hard he is pulling!

Thank you for all the quilt love. I did not make them. They are of varying varieties of vintage and varying conditions. (Remember I said I cannot cut them?) I was just thinking I needed to cull the collection a little, as I have a few more lying around that I need to fit into the cabinet. Usually quilts are shamefully cheap around here, and I pick them up here and there and add them to pile. I hadn't really realized what a nice collection I had amassed until Jack was standing in front of that cabinet!

Speaking of collections, I found some interesting things in my travels this morning which I will share with you tomorrow. Happy weekend to all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


While I was tidying up the house this morning, I noticed that Jack was too quiet. When I asked him what he was doing he replied, "looking at the projiks." Since he was in the kitchen, the mama alarm bells went off and I ran in there to see what he was doing.

Silly mama, he really was just looking at the "projiks", or quilts, as grown ups call them. He had opened the doors on the big pie safe and he was investigating each of the different patterns. We went through each one, him pointing and asking what each one was and me answering the best I can about the pattern names or designs.

That cabinet is even bigger than it looks there, Jack is standing on a 12 inch step stool!
And I discovered yesterday that we have an Anthropologie here in town, and of course, I had to go there. Jack was acting up a bit, so my visit wasn't long, but look at my cute new clearance pile apron!

Of course, my having just come from the dentist didn't help much either. I got 2 fillings with no Novacaine*. My husband tried to tell me this was crazy talk when I first brought it up, but I did it anyway. It really wasn't bad at all, but I wonder, was it really that crazy?

*I didn't do it to be a superhero or anything, I just really dislike that numb mouth feeling.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April Showers

It has been a rainy few days here and I was so excited when I found this great vintage umbrella in the thrift this morning! It has one little tear on the seam I need to reglue, but I am going to be styling when it rains this afternoon. (You can probably see the cute details better if you click to enlarge the photo.)
I also picked up this bowl and some buttons for our button collection. There are some HUGE buttons in there that Jack is going to love finding this afternoon after school.

Speaking of Jack, I am getting nervous about how we are going to get him to go to bed when we go to Chicago. We are still really struggling with bedtime over here, and being in a hotel room with him not having a room of his own like he does here at home is scaring the living daylights out of me. Must work out a plan...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

G is for

Let's face it, I am never going to get around to making those eggs that were on the 2005 cover of Martha Stewart Living for Easter, but these are a quick substitute.

Glass glitter on solid paper mache eggs, with some fancy scrapbook stickers for detail. (Stickers are from Target.)

These were my letter "G" for my spring fling swap partner, G is for Glitter. Now I need to make myself a set before Easter 2008 gets here!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Final doll quilt?

I set out to make 6 doll quilts for my ladder, and at last I have number 6 done. This one has been sitting around for a long time, after I got the idea from a magazine advertisement I saw somewhere. I just wasn't feeling it for awhile, and then I had my perpetual decision making problem. I started with the edges of the circle appliques ironed under, but I hated it, so I took them all off and started again with rough edges. Which I do like better, but because I had them ironed first, they are not perfectly circular.

Then I thought I was going to use embroidery thread to attach all the circles, but, let's be honest, I don't actually enjoy embroidery very much right now. So under the machine they went. Of course, that meant the middle bit with the embroidered circles sat around waiting forever. Since I have a rule about finishing one project before I start another, and I am dying to get started on something new, I finally finished the binding while waiting for the parade start on Saturday.
About all I have to say about it now is WHEW! Thank goodness it is finished. (And, I do like it a lot more than I did while making it.)

P.S. Monique, if you are still reading and still need info about the nap mat, please email me through my profile. There is no contact information linked to your comment.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's tradition

Yesterday we took Jack to the Moolah Shriner's Parade. I think this is the fifth year in a row that we have gone, so by now it's tradition. The weather was picture perfect, unlike last year which was broiling hot (in the 90s) and the year before when we had to wear our winter coats. This year Jack loved every minute of it. The motorcycles, the clowns, the bicycles, the candy, and all those cars! The Shriner's parade is certainly heaven for a 2 year old boy.
This year we sat where we could look out on the river while the parade passed by. What a gorgeous view.
I went to an interesting sale yesterday at the local convent. (Yes, that says convent.) I waited in line to get in and while the sale itself wasn't jump up and down spectacular, it was a lovely experience just being there. The Sisters of St. Mary's have been there since 1875 (talk about tradition), and it certainly isn't very often that I go to a yard sale at a place with so much history.

My best treasure was this really amazing old box covered with wallpaper. Underneath the roses is a very art deco wallpaper. It will be put to work holding trims and things in my sewing room soon, but I spent the ride home wondering what other treasures it used to hold.

Speaking of tradition, our annual trip to Chicago is almost here. Just 2 more weeks and we will be at the Kane County Flea Market and IKEA! Wooohooo.

And with that, I am off for one more tradition, Sunday afternoon BBQ. I hope everyone is enjoying a tradition of your own this weekend, even if it is just a cup of tea and a good magazine. (Have you seen the new Country Living?)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quick and Dirty

Jack and I have been watching a robin build her nest very close to our patio door. When she was away eating a few days ago, I climbed (Yes, I had to climb, hence the funny angle!) up and took a picture so I could see how many eggs she had in there. Aren't they gorgeous? Whenever we see her return to the nest Jack always says "look her baby eggs!" Too sweet.
A quick fabric flower ornament tutorial. You should be able to click the picture to see it better.

Step 1: Select a flower image to use as a pattern. I always do a google search for clipart, in this case "flower clip art". I didn't bother printing this one out, it was so simple, I just put a piece of cardstock over the monitor and traced it and then cut it out.
Step 2: Cut out the flowers. I did mine two at a time. If your fabric has been pre-washed you are going to need to starch it first. If it hasn't been washed, the sizing already in it should be sufficient.
Step 3: Put your flowers together. I used 2 different patterns for each flower, and just rotated the front flower a bit so the back one is peeking out.
Step 4: Add a button center. Remember to choose lightweight buttons or the flowers will hang funny.
Step 5: Hang them. I used christmas ornament hooks, but this was tedious. You could sew on a ribbon loop, or just add a thread loop as you are tying off the button threads. Just remember to fidget with the weight of the flower and your hanging method so that it will hang straight and not just flop over. (i.e. If you use ribbon you will need to attach it at the top of the flower and not at the center.)

Et viola! Your very own fabric flower ornaments.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I couldn't wait

The fabric that Natasha sent was really calling me to cut into it right now. Since I just took down all the Easter decorations, I needed some new ornaments for my little tree. So I made little fabric flowers with button centers. They turned out so sweet and they were pretty easy, aside from the tediousness of cutting out tiny little flowers and hand sewing on 26 tiny little buttons.
The tree is not photographing particularly well, and I cannot decide if it is the waning light of the day or if the tree just needs more flowers. It seems to look a lot fuller in person, but sometimes a picture tells a truer story. EDIT: I changed the photo. This one is a little better, minus the chopped off top! I am feeling too impatient to get a perfect photo.

Now I just need to get the china back in the empty china cabinet!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A finally finished project

My pin cushion swap package from Natasha at Rickrack and Ribbons arrived and it was filled with wonderful stuff! A sweet little sewing kit, a gorgeous pin cushion, a tiny charm pack (that is on it's way to becoming a great little quilt) and an awesome piece of fabric that was just what I needed to finish a long overdue project, making a cover for Jack's school nap mat.
The animal fabric is perfect! (I was just about to buy some animal fabric from Sew Mama Sew.)
I made the backside in a coordinating gingham print, and used some bias tape for ties. Finally that awkward thing has a tie so I can tie it closed and it won't be flopping all over when I am trying to carry it and Jack and that load of other stuff we have to tote to and from school each Wednesday.
Of course, when Jack saw it he wanted to try it out. Now if only he would actually fall asleep...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Flea Market Sundays

Since there was no flea market last week and it has been the coldest, rainest 10 day period I can remember, I was really looking forward to the flea market this week. It was a little disappointing, only half full with vendors even though it is warming up and the sun is shining brightly. So most of this stuff is from yesterday, when Dave and I left Jack with Oma to do some solo yard saling. In the pouring down rain!

Above are a set of wooden angel ornaments. I am not sure why, but I am really coming around to the little wooden ornaments lately. Usually I only buy glass, but yesterday I bought 2 sets of wooden ones. The other set is older than this one, but was harder to photograph.
A set of totally cute old Sears canisters. These are destined for the pantry where I use old canisters to hold small package of stuff or to store nuts and things instead of buying new plastic organizers.
A forget-me-not plate. I want to redo the decorative plates and platters on the kitchen wall.
A pile of glass garland. I will restring them, taking off the broken beads and mixing up the colors a little bit more.
The best postcards ever! Pink flowered dirigibles. One was mailed in 1910 the other in 1912. I really MUST find more of these!

Since I started posting more of the flea market/thrift store stuff, I find myself surprised at how true to a certain palette/style I actually remain while wandering around aimlessly. Obviously I am subconsciously drawn to certain things. Maybe that is why when I look at other people's blogs I think "Gee, I never see that around here?" It is probably right underneath my nose the whole time, but seeing it through another blogger's eyes gives me a new perspective.

Interesting food for thought anyway. (Well, maybe only interesting to me.) :-)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fashion Flashbacks

Sometime last year I picked up a Flip & Fold Fashions at a yard sale. At first it was a pure nostalgia thing, "I remember having this when I was a kid!", but I did think Jack might someday enjoy it. He found it in his toybox the other day, and he has played with it every day since.
He calls it "makin projiks", and this was today's last creation. A "towel" (a piece of terry cloth) and cowboy boots. It looks there is 1 on Ebay in case you need your own!
In other Jack fashion news, we let him have a pair of Frog wellies from Target after he fell in love with them. I swear he wears these things constantly! This morning it was the "on the wrong feet and over the pajamas" look.
I took myself on a little "time out" last Friday night to the big antique mall. I picked up 2 big pieces of this vintage (?) nursery rhyme fabric. It's a pretty heavy cotton duck, so a new nursery school tote it is. I cannot believe how much stuff we have to carry back and forth to Jack's nursery school once a week, so a huge bag definitely helps. Now I just need to finally make a cover for the nap mat.

Except that I have somehow injured my shoulder and sewing (let's be honest here, even hair washing) is not possible at the moment. And it is supposed to snow tomorrow. Snow. In mid April in St Louis. Crazy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thrifty Wednesday

I haven't been able to show you much thrifting lately because 1) I haven't been thrifting very much 2) I haven't been very lucky and 3) what I have thrifted is for the Pink & Green swap! Since Jack is at school for a few hours today, I hit the road.

I picked up a pair of these hanging lights. Sure, they are dirty now, but, I am going to clean them up, paint the brassy bits white, and I am positive they will be fantastic! They are heavy, and I think they are fairly old. They are wired with cloth wiring. This one is sitting on a ticking striped sheet I also picked up. I can never have enough sheeting for sewing, and I love, love, love pink and blue ticking patterns.
A very stinky but pretty lavendar quilt. It has a pretty big tear in it (maybe 8 inches long), and I always say I am going to buy them and then cut them up for projects, but I just don't have the heart to do it. All of the quilting and embroidery is hand done, and if it survives the washing machine, it will go in the pie safe with my other quilts.
And an embroidered tablecloth. I don't usually buy the embroidered ones because the printed ones are my passion, but her work is perfect. The back looks as good as the front. I recently saw this bunting on Posy , and maybe those daisy points are destined for some bunting*.

Now if it would just stop raining already. My pictures need the sparkle of the sunshine and so do I!

*If I can find it in me to cut it up. I am really weak about cutting things up. Really weak. LOL It always seems like a waste, but the truth is, it is more wasteful for it to just sit in a drawer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Last week was the kind of week that was really fraught with growing pains around here. Jack spent the entirety of the holiday weekend clinging to his father like a barnacle on a shell in the sea. And we were struggling with how to balance his need for closeness with our need for a small amount of quietness during naptime and bedtime.

Sometimes I just *know* what to do, and sometimes I have no clue. I struggle with finding a balance between doing what is the *right* thing to do and what is the path of least resistance when it comes to parenting. I am perfectly happy to live with imperfection in the objects around us, in my own sewing, etc. but the thought of imperfection in my parenting can really throw me for a loop.

I think this is what has surprised me most about mothering, how afraid I am of making a mistake sometimes. And I certainly have made my share of mistakes! But standing on the edge of a decision is a difficult place to be. In the end, I think it has all worked out ok. Yesterday was a much better day, and Jack seems to be back to his usual self. But oh boy, was it hairy there for a few days.
And a gorgeous platter I thrifted this morning. I paid $15 for it, which is high for a thrift store piece (for me anyway), but, I really love the ruffly edge and the roses in the center and most importantly, the little chip on the edge which reminded me that imperfection in anything really is okay.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"Hoppy" Easter

Hoppy Easter everyone! (Do not ask me what is going on with Jack's hair in that photo, he is in a bad in between stage with haircuts at the moment. LOL)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Under the wire

The pink basket is complete, just under the wire.
The inside worked out better this time. Those little bunnies are actually from a Kleenex .
Jack stamping eggs yesterday. He loves stamps right now. It is the first thing he asks me on the days he goes to school, "get a stamp today?"
And a bit of a stamping disaster. Jack's eyes welled up with big tears when the egg broke, and he was very disappointed that there was no way Mama could put that egg back together.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Well, the Easter preparations are well under way, despite the fact that the windchill today is 22 degrees and it has been snow flurrying off and on all day. For the record, it was 85 degrees on Monday. The eggs are dyed, the food is bought, and we waited an excruciating 90 minutes in line to pay $20 for a photo with the Easter bunny. Ugh.

Above is the pin cushion I made for Natasha for the pin cushion swap. I wish I had taken photos of the process though. I am quite pleased with the result, but there were at least 4 failed attempts before the arrival at this final plan. I should have taken a side shot also, so you could see the embroidery and get a sense of the shape of the actual cushion.
And the needlebook I made to go with it. It has a button hole so it can slip over the button on the center of the pincushion.

With that it is back to work with me, I still haven't finished the pink basket, and I hope to use them as Easter table centerpieces.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sick, but still crafting

It turns out that allergy problem has morphed into yet another case of "preschoolitis", or every time Jack goes to school we get yet another head cold. I need it to evacuate quickly, I have to host Easter in a few days! Anyway, yesterday I was busy turning this paper mache Easter basket into this:
A glass glitter Easter basket!
I have another one I want to do in pink, presuming my head full of junk cooperates. I did a really cute decoupage on the inside which I plan to get a photo of with the pink one.
How awesome is this little tree mini quilt from Shanna at Pink Trees ? It is a 1000 times better than I even expected. Thank you so much! I am going to treasure it forever.
And because no post is complete without a little Jack, this big mess of thread *was* 5 new skeins of embroidery thread before I got into the shower. Apparently he likes to carry around the paper wrappers. I really need to sort out some way to entertain him while I shower. Yesterday he ate half a box of chocolates while I was in there!