Friday, June 29, 2007

Fabric Ball Necklace

After seeing this post today in which she included this link to make the above fabric ball necklace I was sold on Little M's nap-time project for today. It was very easy to make and I used vintage fabric scraps that I've been playing around with lately in various ways. Instead of wire, I used strong beading thread and it worked out just fine. I have to agree on the Blueprint love although this issue was not my favorite so far. I did enjoy the denim fashion and the baby shower story.
Also, now I have a little time left for a nap for me. Or maybe not. He just woke up. Oh well.
Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

heirloom journals

I thought I'd do an artist spotlight today and share with you these lovely journals.
I purchased these two recently. They are lovingly handmade by a girl named Kacie who calls them Heirloom Journals. She takes old hardcover books and replaces the text with blank paper. She consigns through Mackey Blue if you are interested.
I love the little red one whose title is The Story of a Hundred Operas for carrying around in my bag. The other one is titled Come Along... Reading for Meaning and it has amazing graphics.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

items for mackey blue

Here are some of the new items I made for Mackey Blue the past few days. I am in love with the garlands.
'Cape Cod Country' reminds me of cranberry bogs, the sea, the sand and the antique's.

'Neopolitan' reminds me of ice cream, of course. I had a dream the other night about ordering strawberry ice cream. I hardly ever do but, you bet I'm thinking about it now. I'm more of a chocolate type of girl normally.

Vintage button brooch's - some with layered buttons...loving these.

Always making button bobbies...can't seem to stop.

Some more millinery brooch's- also some on Etsy.

Monday, June 25, 2007

reading and crafting

Today I'm feeling torn between kicking back and reading during Little M's nap or doing more sewing and crafting. (And, yes I will sit somewhere other than the floor to read). This weekend I did a bit of both and also watched The Ghost and Mrs. Muir which I found enjoyable and would recommend to lovers of old movies.

The skirt in the photo is one I made over the weekend - a simple a-line following these directions. It went fast and although the directions are very vague it was easy to improvise. I skimped on a waistband and just hemmed it like the bottom and I actually like the simpleness of just the four seams and the zipper on the side.

As you see in the photo I'm a Nancy Drew fan. I read all of them growing up. I can still see in my mind where they were located at the library. Several years ago, a co-worker of mine at a historical photo agency I worked for gave me a huge collection of hardcover Nancy Drew's which I keep at my parents. This one is the only one I have here at home for now.
I'm also reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith and am about to read No One Belongs Here More then You Stories by Miranda July. My friend Kim has read both and rated them over at her blog.

I've been busy doing some crafting both for Mackey Blue and for my Etsy shop which I've updated recently. My sales picked up at the store this weekend which I was pleased about as it was slow going up until now.

Little M and I went to our first Art in The Park this morning. He had fun opening and closing the big box of crayons. He is very into how things work lately. Also, he had a lot of fun pushing shaving cream around a table with mini plastic garden tools and making a belt out of yarn and little rubber foam shapes.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

let's do the twist

I wanted my own picnic placemat after seeing the cute one in Lotta Jansdotter's book and I've had loads of this fabric for longer than I can remember. You might be thinking oh, that book again but really it is such a great book to have with all kinds of smart easy patterns that are also well written.
I made a simpler version by not adding ribbon or sewing separate pockets inside the pocket for individual utensils as just one pocket is enough for me. Today was a perfect day for a lunch time picnic and yes, I did eat more than raspberries but they were just the prettiest of the food items.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

sweet thoughts of summer

Sweet thoughts of Summer:

the boardwalk
salty breezes
fresh tea with mint
farmer's market vegetables and fruits
flirty dresses
swingy skirts
reading books
cool night breezes
catching fireflies
being in nature
painted toenails
carrying a parasol
admiring the flowers
seeing rainbows
free outdoor music

...more days like this

going to art in the park
playing in the sprinklers in the water park
tending and watching the garden grow
going to the library and storytime at the park
spending lots of time on the swings
blowing bubbles
playing in the sand
dipping toes in the ocean

listening to the birds sing

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

lots of little things

2 new bow brooches...Autumn and Eve. Yes, I name these. Perhaps I should give proper names to all items I make.

Key to my Heart Necklace

Handknit and sewn-on elements...a key and a heart locket with scarlet ribbon bow.

This is inspired by the fact that I have an old key I wear once in a while. Everyone always asks me is it the key to my heart.

Started working out a new pouch design...needs more work.

Finished the squirrel scarf modeled by it's new owner who has skipped a few naps this past week possibly due to that drool you see there...

Waiting for birds.

Playing with scraps of fabric

I think I've got a little victorian bug going on at the moment

Monday, June 18, 2007

knit cloth collar

I bought this amazing yarn Saturday and set my mind to knitting it right away that evening. The yarn is comprised of cloth from vintage aprons and other notions such as ric-rac, thread, crochet beads and lace. I've never knitted with cloth before but, I have always wanted to.
It occured to me to knit it into an apron because knitting something from where the cloth came from would be a nice return to it's original purpose however, there was only 45 yards so that was not going to happen. To finish it, I weaved the teal ribbon through as a tie closure. I'm very pleased with how this turned out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Renegade Review

I attended Renegade Craft Fair this weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This year it took place in a different spot which I wasn't so crazy about. The tables were closer together and in a box/grid which I thought made it much more crowded and harder to take in. In previous years it was spread in a big oval around the park which was much more relaxing to stroll around. The fair had a lot of the same crafters that had been there in previous years so there was not a whole lot of new to see. I also felt there was a lot of redundancy. I'd like to see more of a variety in future years especially in handknits/crochet which there is hardly any of, quilting, felting, jewelry and various other forms of craft. However, that said there were a lot of amazing people there. A few of my favorites included The Black Spot Books- amazing journals and interesting jewelry, Lucy's Vintage - stuffies printed with images of patterns and book covers, Betsy Ross - sewing patterns and Wren Handmade whose crochet bracelets and flower bobbies are shown above. I would have loved to buy some items from her and as it turns out when I came home to check her website that she is also a craft editor at MSL. She is amazingly talented.
Here are her animals
My favorite kids tees were these by Girl Popcorn.
Oh, and of course it was great to see and meet in person Emily and Sarah.
I intended to take a lot of photos but, upon entering the fair completely forgot about my camera until I was about to leave.

Next year I hope to apply and share in the fun as a seller.

Friday, June 15, 2007

for keeping out the cold...when it returns

I realize this is not exactly seasonal except for perhaps you Aussie's out there reading my blog and I know you are out there so this is for you! Notice the window is open and the green in the background. The branches are to give the idea of winter but hmm.. I don't think it's quite working....
I made a draft snake, well 2 actually but the other is waiting for me to take a trip to the store for more lentils. All Winter I wanted one but, didn't take care of matters so now I am prepared to battle again the draft when it returns. It is not fun to freeze while typing and sewing. The directions are from my beloved Lotta Jansdotter once again and might I add it was very simple to make.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

crafting on the road

I'm now ready to safely bring my sharp objects with me when I travel. Hip Hip Hooray!
This is another Lotta Jansdotter project. I'm a bit obsessed with this book at the moment. Sure, it's not exactly a home project like I said I'd be focusing on but, rather a 'leave the home project' which is not a bad idea to do once in a while especially with summer around the corner. And, of course one needs to bring along their tools to assist in their making wherever one may go. Here I have scissors, knitting needles, measuring tape, assorted writing implements, a small ruler/knitting needle gauge, a few safety pins, and a seam ripper. These could easily be swapped out for other items like paint brushes, embroidery floss etc.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

trunk sale

Tomorrow, I am bringing my trunk full of goodies that are on Etsy to Mackey Blue and maybe a few other surprises. There may be some wine and cheese as well.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

patchwork potholders

I made up some new potholders this morning (we were in dire need of some new ones).
The pattern is from Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter. It was super easy and quick. There are 3 layers altogether- the batting is in the middle. I love this book. The projects are very cool. There will be more here to come from this book. The kitchen towels I made were from directions in this book as well. I made up another towel in a heavier cotton yesterday.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

4 Good Blocks

Center Square Block from Mailorder # 7

Dear Blocks-

You made me crazy but, I forgive you. After all, I made you much harder then you needed to be. I tried to do it...let's just say it like this...'my way' 7 different times, 7 different ways until finally...yup, I got 4 good blocks.

I know you are not done. You still need your seam allowances finished, perhaps some backing, maybe some binding.

Right now, I want to look at you and admire you the way you are.

Things & people that helped:

-Samoas from the Girl Scouts of Maplewood, NJ that we bought last weekend during our outing there.
-A certain someone (Big M) who helped me figure out the directions.
-Patience from deep inside which I was not born with but, has surfaced in recent years most likely due to Motherhood.
-Seeing Sarah's blocks and pictures on Flickr.

Here is the reward, yup more cookies...homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and a cranberry seltzer that sits upon one of my new coasters.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

on sewing and old photographs

On sewing...I didn't mean to imply that I don't enjoy sewing yesterday because I love to sew. It's just that here it is a lot of setup, stop and go and take down. As I work in my bedroom, I need to unhook the computer, set up the sewing machine, pull out the ironing board etc. and then all the normal stuff- clean up etc. and I don't have much room to work in. I cut on the bed or if it's a small project I cut on the floor. I could use the dining room table but it's too near Little M's room and since I only work when he is sleeping it's not going to happen.
Knitting on the other hand is just pick up the needles and go. If I get a call, I can knit while I'm talking. I can't really sew when on the phone although I did finish up a seam while on the phone with my oldest friend Bridget last week. She was kind enough not to notice or not to say anything.
Since having Little M, I'm super conscious of using my time to it's fullest and I get very serious about my crafting during my free time.
Okay, enough chit chat. Here in the photograph we have evidence of my Mom sewing. My Mom is not crafty. I've had this photo for a while and I pulled it out the other day. I had only remembered that she was ironing in the photo. So, when I reviewed the photos again the other day I noticed that there was what appears to be a basted skirt on that table and sewing notions. Since my Mom was here yesterday I showed it to her and she got all excited because she kind of forgot about it. She hardly ever made anything and barely remembers making this but, she said anytime she ever did make something it looked handmade. I told her that is the charm in it but, I don't think she bought it. She did say that she was in her Aunt Janet's basement so I suppose she had something to do with encouraging the craftiness.

On old photographs:

Last night at Mackey Blue after I had set up and got settled in I promptly got Karen's tin container full of 100's of old photographs and set to looking through every single one of them. When I was about 3/4 of the way through I sort of got this eerie feeling that I was sort of re-working work. What I mean is before making the decision to stay home with Little M, I was a freelance photography editor working at all sorts of magazines. I did a stint as a prop stylist too and before that I worked at an archival stock photography place. As I was going through all the photos memories started swirling in and I was enjoying the old familiar feeling of the photo paper, the smells of the dust and chemicals although in reality they really aren't that appealing. Little giggles emerged here and there: the photo of a really bad makeshift operating room where they actually were performing a surgery (possibly army?) that looked very unprofessional, the photo of an old woman cleaning her snow covered car all dressed up while standing next to her was a very funny snow-woman who looked like her and seemed to have kohl eyeliner on and a fancy hat like hers, the man whose friend/brother is being held on his shoulders with silly grins on their faces. Old family photos have such distinct charm whether their inhabitants be bored, poking fun at each other, getting married, being playful..I always feel a little sad though that the extended relatives don't get to share in these memories.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

knitted for the table

I've been meaning to sew but have only had the energy and ability to knit the past few days. Knitting is more relaxing for me. For some reason when I am knitting, I feel guilty that I'm not sewing plus my head is always so botched up with so many project ideas. I literally have to tell myself... it's okay you don't have to do it all right now. There are plenty of more days ahead.
Anyway, here is the beginnings of handknit placemats. I thought this up and I didn't have to really draft a pattern or anything. It's got garter stitch edging and then it's just regular stockinette stitch. The yarn is from The Fiber Co. and the color is called Sea Green. It is the Organik line which is comprised of 70% Organic NZ Wool, 15% Baby Alpaca and 15% Silk. It is my first time using this yarn and I really like it.

Tonight is my first night at Mackey Blue. If you are local, stop by and say 'hi'

Monday, June 4, 2007

vintage florals

I've been meaning to frame these vintage floral linens since January. One is a kitchen towel and the other is a napkin I bought second hand. I originally planned on more but haven't any others that seem to work with these the way I'd like them to so, I've settled on just these two. They are ready to be hung on the wall now I just need to decide where. That is always a big decision for me.

Friday, June 1, 2007

homemade for the home

Oh, poor neglected house. We have not been on the best of terms lately. You are so hard to keep tidy and clean.

Well, hello there and Happy June. I've been thinking about my home and feathering up my nest a bit so, I've decided to dedicate June to projects for the home.
Of course, there are some other obligations/projects I need to attend to but, I'd like to give a little love and attention here and pretty it up a bit.

Here are the first projects:

new kitchen towels - the peppermint stripes match the curtains I made and the other is french foods fabric from superbuzzy.

here they are staying put with a little help from some bunnies

and w-i-p coasters