Wednesday, May 26, 2010

long weekend thrifting

Saturday through Tuesday I went down to Arkansas to visit my mom. I'll have more on that later when my film is developed and I have a moments rest from moving out of the loft.

For now, some goodies I picked up along the way...

I seriously think Kaylah and I might have telepathic thrifting powers.

These were all from the antique mall I frequented when I lived back home. It still smelled the same <3 and everything was wayyyyy overpriced! I found the dirty little Cake for a dollar though. The clock is going up in the kitchen, sooo cute!

Another favorite place, right outside of town. Reasonably priced Pyrex :) hooray.

Radical "lace-ups" for a dollar, and a place to put our mail...we're really bad about giving each other our mail, eeps.

Okay, off to Lowes with my man to get more moving boxes!! xoxo

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

tuesday treasury: "rice"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

a little technical: thread

We could chat on and on about thread, you and I. Like, you shouldn't run "vintage" thread through a machine or on important fabrics, it breaks easily and could also disintegrate faster. Coats & Clark's new poly covered poly thread is much more reliable than the old cotton covered poly. And did you know, the colors of thread change with the "in" colors of the season; colors are discontinued as they become outdated, and are replaced by the hot new colors being shown on the runway.

But what I really came to say is, Hancock Fabrics has their Coats & Clark thread 50% off through this Sunday. Well, this happens a lot (the next instance is Memorial Day...and if you're going to stock up then, be sure you also get a hold of the one-day-sale 'additional 10% off your purchase' coupon). However this time was MY time!

mmmm thread candy

If you sew often, and this is especially true for a 'professional' seamstress such as myself, you're going to need lots of colors of thread. It just looks better to match your thread. It's not something people are going to notice. And that's the point. They will notice if your thread doesn't match, and quite frankly, it can look cheap. Professionalism is perfectionism.

If you don't sew often, or mainly for yourself, don't worry about it. Go pick up a spool here or there when you need it. But if you're going to stock up and get the spectrum, promise me you won't go unless it's at least half off!

For anyone who is considering going out and getting a beginners set up of thread, I've constructed this chart, using Coats and Clark's color chart:

C&C thread color chart
Here for the original; warning, it's huge!

Highlighted in red are the spools I bought this weekend (shown above). Highlighted in blue are approximations of what I already had at home. Some of those came in bulk packs so they may not be particularly necessary, but I felt the need to be thorough. Also, I got so many browns anticipating working on trousers in the future. Home sewers not doing blind or docker hems can probably get by on just a couple brown shades.

Hope this helps a bit! I could spend all day lining those little bits of sewing candy into a rainbow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

forgotton hobbies

This past week, several of my college friends graduated, reminding me that, of course, I did not.

I gave up on my photography degree a year ago. But I had given up photography in my heart long before that...

I went to university, knowing very little about photography other than it was my passion (besides being a fashion designer/seamstress, which seemed only slightly more frivolous at the time). My dream was to become a fashion photographer. I can pinpoint the exact image, the Vogue cover of Nicole Kidman shot by Irving Penn, that made me want to take pictures.

Do you know what the professors of fine arts photo classes hate?
Fashion photography.

So, okay, I guess I'll be an artist. That's what you tell yourself. You go through the motions.

It's bullshit. Along the way, I not only lost the drive to graduate college, I lost a hobby, a passion, a (in my opinion) really great potential talent.

Why do I bring all this up (again)? Because it's back.

I have been freed from so many constraints, recently, I find what was once an important part of me coming back.

canon christmas
An investment in my potential...and a very lovely large package from B&H. (no lectures, mom! I used doll money!)

kewpies say "ya gonna shoot this film or what?"
All the film I already had, left over from college. Aught to keep me busy.

ye ole film Canon
And the camera, proverbial dust brushed off. This used to be my mom's. I love it, it's trusty. Will take me a while to get used to again,'s been nearly 3.5 years since I last used it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

tuesday treasury: "cottage"

Life is too short to wait around for treasury spots to open up. This is my answer to the problem.

Hoping to make this a weekly feature on the blog, but we'll see what my pea brain can handle. :)

For the search term "cottage":

PS- If you would like to do something similar for your blog, here is the html code!
<a href="link goes here" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="image URL goes here" height="200"/></a>
The 'height' tag controls the image height--obviously--so if you want your pictures larger or smaller, play around with that number. You could also control the pictures by width, or by width and height, but I feel for this application, height works best. xoxo

Monday, May 17, 2010

hot kitty tips needed


Our boys' food dishes are so ugly. Seriously. I bought that Kermit dish for my first cat (that was...4 cats ago) when I was a preteen. Yikes.

Does anyone have any tips on where to get super cute (either retro or modern, but nothing with like...paw prints...or writing...or primary colors) & affordable kitty food dishes? I'm thinking, etsy sellers, or other online shops? (in-store tips welcome too but don't say Ikea because I am about a million miles from one!)

I thought about using Pyrex, but I haven't found anything small (or cheap) enough yet.

Thank you!

thrifting tip!


If your thrift stores are anything like mine, they love using a grease pencil to price things. And if you are anything like me, you loathe how many amazing vintage finds seem utterly ruined by it!

I was told (by a thrift employee) that simple soap and water would take it right off. Wrong. So wrong.

In comes...


Goo Gone! I love this stuff. Once, when I was a teenager who thought she was going to be a musician (hah!), I got sharpie, lots of it, off of a white electric guitar using only Goo Gone.

I've found the spray gel is slightly less greasy and much easier to use. Spray a bit on a dry paper towel, wipe in a circle, and the grease pencil comes right off. If it's a kitchen item, just be sure to wash off the Goo Gone before you use it. :)

It even works on vintage Tupperwear, you know that nubby texture? I scrubbed with soap and water for a half hour, threw it in the dishwasher, nothing would make that grease pencil come off except Goo Gone.

Yay! Thrifting is a lot less stressful for me since I discovered this. ;)

old is new

New art. [just the cross stitch and the kitty are new. $4 and $3 respectively.]

New Pyrex. [I swear I find this stuff by intuition now. love it. hope my "Pyrex shelf" doesn't fill up too quickly, I don't want to stop hunting it. $2.25 at Thrift Haven.]

New vintage Coach purse. [I think it's vintage and I think it's authentic Coach. loved how they had fake Gucci behind the counter, and this thing was out with all the cheap purses. it was also half off. if anyone has any knowledge/info/links about this kind of stuff, please get in touch with me! I think my mom has her eye on this treasure...and I sorely owe her a Mother's Day present...but then again, I also have to pay rent next month. ;) ]

New roses. [it has brown spotting on the leaves, so I'm afraid whatever killed it before--I cut TONS of dead limbs off of it--might kill it again. it's so lovely though. I just wish all this rain would quit drowning it!]

Have a great Monday everyone. xoxo

Saturday, May 15, 2010

i love my job

[I may not be as skinny as my dress form anymore but I can still work it!]

Hi! Today is my first official day being self employed, and I officially did nothing. Unless you count eating cake (which I made for my two person "retirement party" last night) and watching House.

I think I'm going to make a run to the fabric store and maybe the giant thrift store I scored big at last time for some sourcing. I just really need to get out of the house!

I have a bunch of new products in mind that I need to work on prototypes for, then there's the upcoming craft show (eep! those sneak up SO fast!) as well as a whole ton of alterations.

Some other thoughts I've been having...I'd really love to get back into film photography, and I'm considering getting some new lomo type cameras and a flatbed film scanner. If you have any used equipment you'll looking to unload feel free to contact me. I wish I had a model so I could shoot my vintage line in film, too, but I have a feeling that would be even harder to find.

Friday, May 14, 2010

vintage kitchen

I almost forgot to post these finds from last weekend!

With my recent change in employment status, I really shouldn't have done the kind of spending I did. But, my excuse was that Friday was my last real paycheck, so Saturday should be my last real shopping!


The bulk of it...lots of pastel goodies! And ohhh the Pyrex. The turquoise refrigerator dish was far too expensive, so of course when I found the yellow one for way less, I had to get it. Right? Even if it isn't "my color"! I'm happy to report that a majority of these items have actually gotten good use so far and I love them all. And how cool is that vintage four sifter with the label still attached?!


Not my usual colors, but cute! The cup came from Elsie's garage sale. Thanks E!


Vintage unicorn sun catchers? Yes please! Kind of sad one of them is broken but it still works. Need to get those old suction cup hooks to hang them in a window.


Annnnd this adorable 60s biscuit tin from the UK.

Good news, I finished the Summer line today, finally! Hoping we'll have sunny days this weekend to start shooting, but I'm guessing the majority of it will have to be done the following weekend. Anywho, I'm just so excited it's coming along. It's all kinds of awesome.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

vintage vice redux

One of the exciting new opportunities I've been given is the chance to work with one of the coolest shops in downtown Springfield...

Vintage Vice!

We've got plans to offer in-store alterations, customization, a higher end line of re-worked vintage & more.

My first challenge...70's bridesmaid. Oh yes.

Before. Ok, I kind of loved it. A little bit. I was the only one!

After. Sexy fun summery party dress. Mmmhm.

Hoping I'll be able to feature more transformations here as we continue to work together!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

looking forward to...

...finally putting my growing collection of planters to good use...



...and working on my Spring/Summer 2010 vintage collection.


Happy Cinco de Mayo!



Drum-roll please......

I'm free!!

Freelance, that is. :)

I put notice in at my full-time job on Monday that I would be leaving, and today was my first day as a self-employed seamstress, crafter, and indie business owner. Yay!

I have four more days to "serve" at work between this week and the next, and then I will be diving in head-first.

I'm so shocked and nervous, this is a huge change for me, and not one I expected to happen for a long time. But I have a ton of amazing projects in the works...none of which I can share yet...soon, I hope! I also have an incredible support system of family, boyfriend, friends, blog readers (hi!) and business contacts who I cannot thank enough.

Okay...enough gushing, I think I better get back to work! ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

latest quiltyness

Don't think I've stopped sewing or anything!


A little mini quilt using this pattern. When I saw her block, I knew I had to make one immediately. When I was halfway through cutting out the 88 1.5" squares (actually, I made mine 2"), I knew I was only going to make one.


But it was a great opportunity to practice stipple quilting! So so fun, I love the way it looks like brains on the back (hah!). Don't think I could stand doing it on a full size quilt, though, so I see many more minis in my future (or as Mark likes to call them, "face quilts").

I also couldn't resist the urge to finally break in to my selvedge stash...


Yumm. Thinking of making two identical minis in this manner: the slate grey with the selvedge plus a bit of print (as the above block demonstrates), and then a black or charcoal with just selvedges showing.

I've got work to do!

the girl with no internet



We had an impromptu move last Thursday in anticipation of coming rain. The rain wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be, but it was a great excuse to get settled in to the new house. Which we love.

You know what else I love?


This incredible hutch I found at our favorite local antique mall this weekend.

I had actually seen it a few months ago and considered it at full price. When I saw it had been marked down to $75 last weekend, I was....yeah. I started to need it. But I was alone, and without a truck! When we went back this weekend and it was still there, I knew it was meant to be.


I'm going to add a few holes so two of the shelves are tall enough for the dolls to be standing (I think they look more like a grown-up collection that way and less like toys).


And the bottom is perfect for quilt and works-in-progress storage. Yay.

A couple other loves:


We have lots of neighborhood kitties! A little girl told me this one's name is Echo. He was squirrelin' in our back yard today.


Yard work! I did a bit this weekend for basically the first time ever (besides helping mom when I was little). There are some gorgeous plants at the house but it's completely over grown. Notice the maple trees growing beside the irises? Yeaaah, those are going to have to go! I never knew weeding would be fun. I'm guessing it won't be next spring when it's less novel.

Oh yeah, and about the title? I'm leading a double life. Amazingly productive and disconnected at the house, interneting at the loft. Hence the lack of updates. Hopefully that will get fixed this week!