Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

I love the art work of World War II posters, and this is one of my favorites. Every time I look at it I think about what people have had to go through, give up and do during times of war.

This Memorial Day, I will reflect on the sacrifices brave men and women have made, and continue to make, and I offer my most humble and sincere thanks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bird of Paradise

I love barkcloth and I love
sewing with it. It's like a constant feast for the eyes. I especially love using tropical barkcloth because I think tropical flowers are among the most beautiful on earth.

One of the most stunning of tropical flowers is the Bird of Paradise. It is used quite often as a motif in tropical barkcloth. Originally from South Africa, the Bird of Paradise is as symbolic of Hawaii as is the Plumeria or Hibiscus. I was absolutely thrilled to see a Bird of Paradise last March in Hawaii, and my father took this wonderful photograph.

I can't grow these beauties where I live in Eastern Washington, but between my dad's talent as a photographer and the skills of barkcloth designers past and present, I still get to enjoy them.

Friday, May 15, 2009

These Boots

...were made for working, but their working days are through. A dear friend of mine gave me these old men's work boots and I thought they would look cute with strawberries planted in them. It was a fun way to put a unique conversation piece in my garden, and recycle something to boot!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Storage Ideas

I try to keep my studio organized but I am far from perfect! These ideas do help though.
I love old vases, and I love that these have a tropical theme. They are great for pens and pencils.

These watchmaker tins from Lee Valley (online) are the perfect way to store the hundred and some buttons and buckles I have.

This vintage knitting tote I found on ebay and it is the ideal place to keep patterns that I use a lot.
I found this old tackle box in
a junk store, complete with old fishing tackle inside. I keep my small sewing items in it.

I hope you find some of these ideas useful, and I'd love to know what you think and also what some of your storage ideas are!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Vintage Love Affair

Not long after I started For the Love of Pete I decided I should have a fancy, new, expensive sewing machine. After all, I was starting my own business and needed the proper equipment. I made a few bags and my fancy, new, expensive machine did a great job. It was easy to use and sewed beautiful seams. Perfection in a machine, right? Well somehow I felt let down.
Then I saw an ad for a vintage 1950 Singer and knew instantly that my fancy, new, expensive machine had been a mistake. What was missing from all the wonderful features my modern machine had was soul. The soul that comes from having a history, a past, a connection to other people in other times.
I bought that 1950 Singer and I've never looked back. I have given the modern machine to my daughter because it will be an easier machine for her to learn on. But some day soon, when she has mastered the art of sewing, I'll help her find her very own soulful vintage beauty.