Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thanks, Miss Cherrybubbles!


I wanted to say a big “Thank You” to Miss Cherrybubbles over at Past Life for giving me this award.  I love her blog-it’s  really fun and full of vintage goodness! 

Here is my list of seven facts about myself-and thanks again Andrea!

  • My first real pet was a guinea pig named Snoopy.  I used to take him for walks using a tiny cat collar and leash.


  • In my immature youth I “tagged” a water tower and a sidewalk.  (Bad, I know-and I’m sorry!)


  • I like any and all of the chocolates in a box of chocolates-coconut, pink fluffy stuff, molasses…I’ll eat them all.


  • My favorite number is 19, but I dislike the number four and try to avoid it when I can.


  • I once owned a vintage pea soup green men’s golf sweater that I wore a lot.  (And I mean a lot-it was my favorite!)


  • I wish I could live in Hawaii.  I’d have a palm tree in my yard, and  I’d have coconut shrimp at least once a week.


  • I am terrified (and I mean TERRIFIED!) of spiders.  When I was little, I had a high fever and hallucinated that I was covered with them.  But I can’t kill them-so I catch them with a bug vacuum and put them outside.

Here are some blogs I love and visit as often as I can.  Check them out if you have a chance-they all deserve a stylish blogger award.

Writing with Style

The Musings of Miss 1941

Two Bears Farm and the Three Cubs

(Florida) Girl

Studio Cherie

The Child

Whole Latte Life

Island Dream Life

Niesz Vintage Home...and fabric

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Studio Makeover


I wanted to post a few pictures of my recent studio makeover.  After staring at dark blue 80’s wallpaper for 4 years-I finally decided enough was enough-and I painted, painted, painted!

I love green-and as you can see I went with a green color palette.  I still want to paint my shelves green-and my “ honey-do” still needs to make new baseboards and molding-but other than that the room is finished.

Now I can’t wait to sew and write to my heart’s content!  (After my arms get a well deserved break) :)


studio5 studio6 studio7 studio10studio8 studio9  studio11 studio12 studio13 studio14

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Walking on the Wild Side


Quick!  Grab your sunglasses! 

Amy needed some new clothes today, and look what I got!

I couldn’t resist.  I needed new shoes.  My old ones were pretty well used-most of the tread worn off on the many miles I walk in a year. 

If I filled out a personality survey- and it was analyzed by a team of experts armed with computers-and a shoe recommendation was made-this is not what my result would be.  I am quiet-and a little on the shy side.  I prefer not to stand out in a crowd.  So, maybe something sensible-brown or tan perhaps.  Size 8.

But when I saw these-oh heaven help me! 

And at an additional $10 off-I thought they were pretty sensible after all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apple of My Eye


I’ve pondered this before-that no matter what our chosen craft is, or our artistic passion-what allows us to express our creative vision is possible in part (a big part) because of the tools we use.  Painters need paints and canvas, for example.  Writers need computers-or typewriters-or even pen and paper.  And  I need a sewing machine.  (I suppose I could get by with a needle and thread if I had to, but I’d rather not.)  And not only are the tools themselves important, but our choice of tools, too.

I prefer using a vintage sewing machine over a modern machine.  I own two vintage beauties-both made by Singer.  One is a  full sized model from 1950.   The other-the machine pictured here, is a diminutive “portable”  Singer Featherweight, made in 1946.  I know my choice of stitches is limited to back and forth.  And I know that I have to do without the bells and whistles (very nice bells and whistles, too) that a new machine may have. 


A case in point is shown in this picture of my 1946 Singer Featherweight.  There are no fabric guide markings next to the needle-so I have to use a very unglamorous  piece of tape. (It makes me  wonder what seamstresses did in the old days?)

But no matter.   I don’t mind. 

Scroll Work

Just look at that decorative detail on my Featherweight’s face plate.   They certainly had the right idea in the past- that everyday objects could be beautiful as well as useful. 

Then too, I like the idea that my two vintage sewing machines have so much history behind them.  It’s fun to imagine who owned them before I did, and what those previous owners might have sewn.  Prom dresses perhaps?  Or baby clothes?  I like to think that my Featherweight was given as a wedding gift to a new bride.  Her sweetheart was home from the war, and they were beginning a new life together. 

 Balance Wheel  

Whatever their stories-my vintage machines infuse my work with a spirit that no modern machine ever possibly could. 

Is there a certain “tool of the trade” that inspires you when you work?   I’d love to know:)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Not So Easy, After All


There comes a time in the childhood of every self respecting kid when he or she realizes  that a younger brother, or sister, can be easily led down the garden path- straight into a life of crime.  It’s really a piece of cake-with an Easy-Bake Oven.

My sister received an Easy-Bake Oven for her birthday.  I turned shades of jealous that I didn’t know existed.   When I was a kid, an Easy-Bake Oven was a highly desirable item to have in one’s  toy collection.  The fact that my sister got the Easy-Bake Oven, and not me, made it that much easier for me to  plan a  kitchen crime spree.  She was also 4 years younger-and 4 years more gullible. 

There was one and only one rule where the Easy-Bake Oven was concerned:  PARENTAL SUPERVSION REQUIRED.

I can’t remember where my parents had to go-I just remember feeling dizzy with excitement as I saw that opportunity had come calling.   That, and a sense of danger  knowing we didn’t have much time.

I bet I made my sister plug the Easy-Bake Oven in and turn it on.  I wanted to implicate myself as little as possible.  And I also told her right up front that we weren’t going to bother with any of the little mixes that came with the oven-we were going to make something from SCRATCH.

We worked quickly, (though I don’t recall accuracy being a priority)-measuring and stirring, and then laid out a dozen tiny cookies.  The Easy-Bake Oven eagerly swallowed the miniature cookie sheet-and we waited, bursting with anticipation, for the few minutes it took to bake our illicit treats.

When the cookies were done, and cooled-we discovered in the very first bite that we had done something terribly wrong.  We had baked a batch of rocks.  Honest to goodness stone cookies. 

I panicked!  What were we going to do?  Part of my original plan had been to eat every bit of the evidence (though at the time I don’t remember cutting the recipe in half, so we are talking hundreds of itty-bitty cookies between the two of us.)  I took the first action that came to mind.  I threw the cookies outside for the birds.

I love birds.  I enjoy watching them come and eat the food we provide for them.  But they let me down that day.  Or maybe they had good intentions of coming to the rescue, but they just couldn’t seem to make any headway when they tried to eat our mistakes.  And so there lay our cookies-out in the yard- in plain sight…

I know that I got in trouble.  Big trouble.  I was probably grounded.  Maybe for life.  But I learned a couple lessons, too.  First, the aroma that filled the house  provided our parents with a pretty powerful clue as to what my sister and I had been doing in their absence.  And second - when it comes to baking-following the recipe really is a good idea.  Because baking powder and baking soda are NOT interchangeable. 

Unless, of course,  rocks are what you are shooting for…

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

“Strangers on the Net…”


I’m a Facebook failure.  I neglect my friends-all 42 or so of them.  Some of these friends I really do care about, but for the most part-my friends are barely one step above the  “total stranger”  level.  Just people who discovered me when they were probably supposed to be doing something more productive.

Like me, yesterday.  I should have been sewing.  But I convinced myself that my finger is still in a state of recuperation, and besides, I’m a little afraid of my Singer at the moment.  If I get close to it again, will it try to pierce some other body part?

So I spent (squandered)  some time on the computer-making my usual rounds-eventually winding up at Facebook where I saw a few bits of news that interested me.   I visited the profile page of one of my  friends.  This person had close to 1000 friends of their own.   Anybody I know, I wondered?

I started clicking away, full of curiosity.  I came upon one nodding acquaintance  who had dozens of pictures posted-and I admit I looked at every single one.  Not only that-I started to feel like this person was my friend too, and I wanted to know more about them.  I smiled at the shot of Grandma feeding a goat at the petting zoo (while another goat ate a Kleenex out of Grandma’s purse.)  I shed a few tears over the photo of Junior’s high school graduation as I too wondered where the time had gone.  And I looked at the picture of the recently redecorated living room and thought to myself “ By George, I want a covered wagon lamp!”  (And I don’t do Frontier.)

What I want to know, is why does this happen?  Is it just me?  I don’t know these people, but I was utterly fascinated with their life-their ordinary life, spread out before me in a series of photographs.

Now, would anyone like to see a picture of my finger?




I received this very much appreciated award from the wonderful Move Over Mary Poppins.  Thank you so much:)

Here are 5 things I love:

  • Kissing my daughter’s sweet face. I know to everyone else she looks like a young woman now-but I still see her as my baby.
  • My Aunt Olga’s Ice Box cookie recipe.  I don’t make them often, because I eat too many in a very short amount of time.
  • My parents.  The older I get, the more I realize how lucky I am.
  • Hawaiian sarongs.  I must own about 25-but they are all so beautiful and unique, and they remind me of beloved Hawaii.
  • My blog friends-I really do love you all:)

I would love to know 5 things that any of you want to share-so please post the award if you like, (you all deserve it) and tell me:)

And if you have pictures-all the better;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

If the Truth Hurts…


I had a nightmare last night.  Someone was holding a dog, while another person held a gun, point blank up to the dog’s chest.  In my dream I closed my eyes tightly, and covered my ears-and thank God I woke up before…  I apologize for the brutality of my nightmare-it left me feeling shaken and nauseous to say the least.

I know where this nightmare came from.

Yesterday I wrote a post about a friend and the terrible loss she is facing.  After I published the post it weighed heavily on my mind.  I was afraid of how my friend would react if she happened to see it (which I doubt, but still.)  This morning I asked my husband for his opinion and his advice was what I already had given myself-remove it.

I try to be honest in my writing.  I am finding that honesty is what makes good writing.  It’s easy to put lovely phrases and impressive words down on paper, but are they honest words?  And if they are honest words, are they hurtful words? 

I realize that not everything I write has to end up as a blog post-even if it makes an interesting blog post.  I’m not ready to put the feelings of those I care about on the line.  So for now I think I’ll stick to lighter fare.

And continuing in my quest for realism-I decided to take a picture of myself to post here so that all of you will know who you are dealing with.  My blog friend Kim over at The Child posted her lovely photo, and that inspired me to do likewise. 

Plus…it provides me with a story to tell…


When I entered the house, it should have been  my idea of heaven.  Room after room of antique furniture, vintage dishes, old jewelry and clothes…everything right there for the taking.

The cost?  One Grandmother.

The funeral was over and as I recall, a light rain was starting to fall.  I  still remember my Grandma’s casket-a beautiful burgundy color decorated with delicate flowers.

Back at her house, we started to divvy up a lifetime’s accumulation of stuff.  I chose a blender-still in the box,  a mega pack of toilet paper (my husband and I were newlyweds-living on a pretty small income) , a desk…and a mirror.

My Grandma had several mirrors in her home-but the one I chose had been hanging in her dining room for decades.  I figured that during that time, every one of my relatives had looked at themselves in it.  It represented all of us.

That’s the mirror I used for my self portrait.  I think my Grandma would be happy.


In all honesty, I think my Grandma would say “Why don’t you stop playing around with that camera and go make something of yourself!”

My Grandma was a very honest woman.



Image sourced from the net.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hunt and Peck

Earlier today I sewed through my finger while I was making up a bag.  Boy did that hurt!

I owe many of you comments, but I am not good at hunting and pecking-so I’m going to quit for today and try again tomorrow.

Do you think I can  use this as an excuse to get out of any type of work for the rest of the day?  :)

I love you all!!