Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Tone Trunks

This morning, I was perusing a vintage knitting magazine from 1950 and came across this::

Essentially a KNIT swimming diaper for grown men with BELT LOOPS and A BELT. What self respecting man would don these and head out for a day of swimming? I like that they are a little bit saggy in the crotch region. Do you suppose that someone saw this pattern and decided that it would be the perfect item for her husband or son? God, I hope so. I only wish there had been a photo of him standing, now that would be something to see. He probably refused to stand and insisted on smoking in the photo to increase his manly appearance, if just a bit.

I finally got around to dyeing some wool felt for pin cushions. Here is all the wool absorbing the cupcake colors. I can't seem to mix up a good brown so I'm going to have to buy some because there must be chocolate.

And here is all the wool dried and ready for sewing::

Some new twill tape is in the shop::

Hey let me know if you'd like the pattern for the swim trunks, I think someone you know might look fetching in them...wink wink

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fresh Ideas

We had some friends over on Friday for a birthday party. It was an ice cream social/hot dog cookout. I, unfortunately, got no pictures of the evening, but I do have these::

I couldn't find any napkins I liked, so I bought some white ones and stamped them. I could stamp napkins all day, it's so much fun. I printed some stickers and had each guest choose one and to put on their glass so they could identify it. Also, one sticker was lucky and at the end of the night we gave away a door prize. I'm thinking about offering a birthday package in the shop that would include invitations, napkins, plates and a sheet of stickers.

Some new bookmarks for the shop::

And Mister Windsor the Woolen Owl::

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wrapping Up Summer

We're getting ready for back to school around here. That means lots and lots of mall shopping, not to mention running around from one side of town to the next trying to find the perfect backpack or pair of jeans. I sometimes miss having a little girl who was happy just to be big enough to wear a backpack and who wanted me to walk her to class every day. Those days just don't last long enough. At the same time I miss that little girl, I really enjoy being able to have conversations with this girl who will be in high school in a couple of weeks.

I've been trying to get something made and out of the craft room everyday, even if it isn't until midnight that I finally put down the needle and scissors.

Some new twill tape::

A new yellow friend::

And a little pouch made from newly acquired vintage swiss dot in the nicest shade of blue::

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Time To Bundle?

It's been so cold here the past couple weeks. Unusually so. I don't mind but it doesn't feel much like summer anymore. I find myself tempted to start putting scarves on the plushies, but it's not quite time yet. Soon, though.

Here are some new friends::
Bonita Bunny

and Blue and Brown Bear

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hey! Check this out

So maybe I'm the only one totally excited by this::

My tomatillo plant! These little papery skins feel empty, but the little tomatillos are in there see::


I heard some crazy squawking earlier and went outside to find this little guy in the walnut tree::

He'd apparently disturbed the blue bird couple presently residing there.

The animal party invitation sets are now in the

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hooray for Camping!

I'm back from my camping trip. Even though I love what I do, it is really nice to get away. We camped at Beverly Beach outside of Newport, OR. Our campsite was a 2 minute walk to the beach. It was great being so close to the ocean. We spent 2 days eating delicious camping food, sitting on the beach and staring at the fire. Lovely.

I love visiting the coast, however I am not a fan of tourist activities. In fact, I find them to be very irritating. I don't like huge crowds of people or looking in shops that don't interest me. Jenny says I hate fun, but I don't hate fun, I hate crappy gift shops sporting bad bumper stickers and tie dye. I don't care to look at bronze statues in expensive galleries. I've never been one for window shopping. I prefer to shop when I've got money to spend, so strolling along shops where I either don't want anything or can't afford anything doesn't interest me. I prefer to find little antique and thrift shops, independent cafes and yarn/craft stores.

I'm not a fan of nautical puns as business names either. In fact, all weekend we had this joke about how I'd like to have my own coastal town where there would be no nautical named businesses. There would be no "Pirate's Cove" bar, "Barnacle Bills" "Whaler's Court Hotel" etc. There ended up being a lot of things my coastal town wouldn't have like kite shops, nautical named galleries featuring glass balls and bronze sculptures, and my coastal town would have only one tourist attraction :: the ocean. My town got the name Rules, Oregon. Ha ha.

This is Lydia, she likes green and she's very soft::

Oh and I got 2 requests for these::

so I thought I'd make some for the shop. I've been meaning to make invitations for a long time, so now seemed like a good time.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mini Vacation

We're headed to the coast tomorrow! We'll be camping with friends for 2 days near Newport Beach. Fun! It's like pulling teeth to get me to leave town. I don't like leaving the cats, the house or my craft room, but I think it will do me good to spend some time away.

Here are some new friends::


and Louis, he didn't come out quite as planned, but he'll do.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I made bagels! It was super fun and really easy. I love making things that I would normally buy. It's fun to see how they're made. I will definitely be making bagels again.
Here's a trip through the Chet and Dot Bagel Factory::

After rising overnight in fridge

Boiling in water bath

Getting ready for baking with garlic added to some

After baking, golden brown and delicious

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stocking Up

I have been thinking about the impending holiday season (yes, I know it's only August) and trying to figure out how to make it run more smoothly. Every year, things are crazy around here from October through December and I am amazed if we manage to get the house decorated and the tree up. We spend all of our time filling wholesale orders or getting ready for the craft sales. We always say we're going to start in August, but never do. Well this year it's different. Different, I say! See! I've already got a small pile of stuff set aside for the holiday madness.

We've decided to sell at the Urban Craft Uprising sale in Seattle, because I've heard nothing but great things about it, the Handmade Bazaar, here in Portland and possible Crafty Wonderland's Holiday sale. It seems so overwhelming, but I think if I get things going now, I can do it. I think. I hope. I may be passed out under the Christmas tree with with punch bowl full of eggnog nearby, come Christmas Eve, but I'll some extra cash. I am a little worried about being able to keep up with the wholesale, etsy shop, website and all 3 craft fairs. That's a lot, right? I need a personal assistant.

Some new totes for the shop:
Pandas and Owls. These fabrics remind me of summer so I thought I'd better do something with them while summer is still here.

I'm off to sew!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Change is Good

I designed a new banner for the shop today. It was time for a change. I think I'll make one for here.

These little sweets are in the shop. I love this wool felt. It's really lovely to sew and it takes dye nicely too.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Was Attacked

We went to the farm last evening to get our cucumbers and pick some berries. I was happily strolling along stuffing my face with blueberries when I spotted a delicious berry in the middle of the bush, so I reached my hand in only to recoil in pain as I realized I'd been stung. Suddenly there were 20 bees flying around, one was stuck on my shirt and I was jumping around screaming. I had apparently stuck my hand in some sort of bee construction zone and they weren't pleased. I just wanted that blueberry. Needless to say that ended our visit to the farm. Luckily we were about to leave anyway. The bees aren't winning any points with me lately. My precious little kitty, Fifi was stung a few weeks ago and now this. I appreciate all their hard work but do they have to be so rude?

We made pickles! They look like pickles and I'm pretty sure they'll taste like pickles. These are straight up dill pickles. Straight up.

I managed to get some stuffies and a sewing kit made yesterday, in spite of the attack. The sewing kit is awaiting it's pins, but will be in the shop soon.

This is Kitty the Lamb, so named because I intended to make a kitty but ended up with a lamb.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pickle Crisp

Last night I was flipping through the channels and happened upon The Two Coreys on A&E. Anybody seen this? Well if not, there's no need. It's a horrendous train wreck of a television show. How this got past initial brainstorming sessions, I'll never understand. I'm a little tired of the whole voyeuristic celebrity "real life" television shows anyway, but some of them are at least watchable. The Two Coreys however, is not. First off I feel a little old because it's been 20 years since the Lost Boys came out. 20. Second, I was totally in love with Corey Haim as a teenager though now that's all gone right out the window. He is now a royal moron. He's 35, unemployed, single and from what I could tell, completely obsessed with starring in a Lost Boys sequel. At one point, he was crying because he found out that a sequel is in the works and he's not in it. These people aren't even interesting. at all. At least Gene Simmons still performs and is a total nut, these guys are just pathetic.

Ok, so on to something far more interesting, sewing!
This is my first handbag featuring a successful application of bias tape, whoo hoo! I pretty much want to put it on everything now. I'm trying to think of more projects that require it. I'm thinking coasters, wallets, checkbook covers and soon a quilt.

We're going to the farm this afternoon to get cucumbers for pickling. I've never made pickles before so I'm curious to see how they turn out. Allison made them a couple of years ago and they tasted good but were a little soft, so this time we'll be using 'pickle crisp'. Pickle Crisp! I love that there is an actual product called this.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


So maybe it's not as much a milestone as 100 but this is my 50th blog post. Notable, I say.

I've been practicing the application of bias tape on some little tissue holders. Somewhere along the way bias tape and I parted ways and are only now becoming reaquainted. This is one technique that makes me feel like maybe I am challenged mentally. I've read instructions, watched online videos and studied quilt edges all to no avail, until now, that is. I think I've finally got it. Of course, I've only done two so far. But with only a couple of minor issues. And now I can see why some find it addictive. It looks so nice when done properly.

I remember my first encounter with bias tape, my ex mother in law asked me to apply it to some printed bibs she'd bought. So she brought over her sewing machine and the supplies and said she'd pick them up in a few days. So I sat down thinking 'this looks easy enough' and proceeded to destroy the whole lot of bibs. The corners were the worst. When she came over to pick them up she looked at them and then at me and asked if I was on drugs. I blame her, really, she should have shown me how to do it rather than leaving me alone with my future nemesis bias tape. Well look at me now! Applying bias tape like a real pro, well sort of. See::

I even made the bias tape myself thanks to the instructions in this book.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happy August

It's going to be a hot one here today, I can tell. Well, that and the weather person said so.

This is Prescott Peanut, he's quite happy to meet you!

Yesterday, we happened upon Dove Vivi, a new pizza restaurant, that it turns out is owned by an acquaintance of ours. It was delicious! The crust is made from cornmeal and was so crispy and yummy. I can't wait to round up some friends and go back.