Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Festival 2011

We had the much anticipated Fall Festival last weekend and here are a few photos from our booth.
This is the left side of the booth.  You can see the chalkboard in front and we had the blue tarp up only when the sun was shining in on that side.  The popular mobile from scraps of fabric and with paper birds is on the right. I never imagined it would have been as popular as it was and it has a new home now.
This is the right side of the booth.  See the vintage make-up case!  When Micah saw it he said, "my Nana had one of those."  I took down the small basket of Christmas ornaments on the second day, it just seemed to clutter the space.
This was on the right side of the tent.  The ironing board was a favorite find of mine.  Below it are a couple of baskets, one with discount items.  The sticks hold my sisters pin cushions and scissor fobs.

The vintage suitcases were a lucky find.  They all just happened to match. 
We had a great weather.  It was in the 70's both days...gorgeous!  It is always fun to see other appreciate all your hard work and we had fun talking to people.  We are considering more craft shows so I'll keep you posted about those!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fall Festival countdown!

A close friend of mine, my sister and I are doing a booth at a nearby fall festival the last weekend of September.  We had a booth last fall as well and I really enjoyed making items for the booth and the challenge of setting it up.  This year I am even more excited since our booth will be slightly bigger and in a better location and I've had more ideas in my head about how to set it up!  Here are some of the things I have been working on for the booth.
These are fabric rosettes to wear as pins or to put in your hair or on your purse. 
This one has plaid wool for the leaves and many of the others have burlap leaves.
These are double-sided cloth napkins made from vintage sheets.  I love the old colander they are in, its a really thin metal and has a rustic finish, of course I picked it up at one of my favorite thrift stores.
These are key chains or luggage ID tags.  They have vintage sheets and vintage fabrics on them and two of them have kitschy poems on them.
 This cracks me up and so does this one...
I thought these would be great charms for a backpack or purse too.

These are the bookmarks I've been cranking out.  The pieces of fabric are old quilt pieces that were never assembled. 
The little tin cup is a measuring cup. 

I added some crinkly ribbon to the edge of the buttons.  This genius ribbon is inspired by my sister's creation.  Its aged hem we age it is out little secret!  These are a few of the things I have been working on for the fall festival.  I'm focusing on smaller items this year.  I think they are better received than higher priced, more time intensive projects. 

A note for the Grandparents, I would've included a picture of AJ at her new hand-me-down dressing table however she didn't want to pose for a picture.  Someone at church passed down a dressing table to her Sunday and she had a fit over it.  She cried when I told her Dad would bring it home later so I had to pull the car around and load it up myself.  She was juiced up on cake that we had at a reception after church and it was dangerously close to nap time so loading up the table and taking it home in the moment seemed more prudent than listening to wailing all the way home and all through lunch and all through nap time routine!  Sometime you just gotta do what works! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What you can find at a thrift store (or church yard sale!)...

Here are some of the treasures I've picked up in the recent months.  I've discovered that I love a church yard sale.  The older women who usually run them are generally always so graceful and kind and the atmosphere is usually a kind one.  The prices aren't outrageous either since they aren't just in it to get your dime!  Mostly they are places where you can find old stuff which is why I love going!

This mixer cover is a little frayed on the edges but I love the embroidery!
This is an enamelware teapot from Poland.  I have used it to heat water in, I hope that's safe.  Anyone have any wisdom about using old enamelware and whether or not its safe?
This is about six yards of fabric.  I just love how vibrant it is and the white polka dots are so fun next to the strawberries.  I've got to figure out what to do with border print fabrics since I have two cute ones. 

And here's a picture for the Grandparents, the other night I went to get in bed and I always keep a roll of toilet paper next to the bed for tissue.  As I went to go to bed I discovered this nice little nest of tissue.
I knew that AJ had Micah's belt earlier in the day and had been hanging it over the edge of the bed "fishing" but I didn't know she'd actually made fish!  And yes my bed is unmade (I know this would make my MaMa roll over in her grave) but I just see it as airing out the sheets during the day!!

Happy day to you and happy creating!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Been busy!

We have been busy enjoying our summer, so whenever I've started to blog I just couldn't get myself to commit to it!  I'm loving other things right now and as Micah says, "its there to serve you, you're not here to serve it!"  But here are a few things we've been busy with...

Dreaming of the garden, planting the garden and now...

Keeping up with the garden...mostly shelling peas...
 Waiting for those Lima beans to come in...
We've been visiting family...

 Playing in the sprinkler and having birthday parties with cousins...
        and resting on the floor with Grandma when feeling pooped out...

I've been busy making aprons...which have yet to find a home...and I'm still mulling over the idea of opening an etsy shop...

This one has a detachable front panel and pockets behind the panel.
This one has a crochet bird on it.  I love this bird and the peach color of the pockets.
 So we have been busy with the things we love the most, being with family, being together, growing food and sewing.  Hope you have been busy with the things you love as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Very favorite muffins and great summer shirts

Last week I made two batches of my very favorite muffins and have been asked for the recipe a few times so I thought I'd post it for easy reference.  I've been making these muffins for about three years and they are so full of so many filling good things that they stick with you until lunch time.  I really liked them when AJ was a tiny baby because you could eat them with one hand and they were great for nursing since you are always snacky.

I added mixed berries to this batch and they were really flavorful.  
The recipe is from a complimentary organic magazine that our local grocery stores hand out. 

Blueberry-Walnut Wheat Germ Muffins:
Makes 16
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (i use whatever i have on hand)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
(I also add 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds)

1.  Preheat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, combine flours, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt (and ground flaxseed if you want it).  Stir in walnuts.   In a medium bowl, beat together egg, oil, honey, and molasses.  Beat in milk and vanilla extract.  Add liquid ingredients to dry, stirring just until mixed.  Fold in blueberries.
2.  Line muffin cups with paper liners, and divide batter between cups.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy!

Now on to the sewing.  I haven't been able to do as much sewing lately because of a persistent virus that has plagued AJ.  I think we are finally over the hump.  But here are a couple summer tops I've completed.  The pattern is incredibly easy and it fits just right.  Its from Colette patterns and found here.
I've completed two and plan on more since they are a great summer staple.  I have to rave about the fit because the measurements that I took to match up with the garment came out perfectly and the neckline is not too low cut which is a problem I often have.  With a two and a half year old I stoop down, bend over, and generally flash everyone every now and then, and this top does a good job of giving good coverage.  The black one with the floral print (fabric from Joann's) is a chiffon top and feels so soft.  However the blue one below (thrifted fabric) is my favorite since it is even softer and more casual.  I'm pretty sure the fabric is rayon.  I wore it yesterday and just loved it. 

We will be spending some time vacationing in Alabama with family this summer so I need a few breezy, sleeveless tops to beat that muggy Alabama heat!  Well have a great day and happy sewing!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My "new" chairs and AJ's sunhat

A few weeks ago I found a couple of new kitchen chairs.  We have a modge podge of kitchen chairs and a couple of them are getting kind of squeaky and sway a bit...two bad signs for chairs.  I've been on the look out at thrift stores and antique stores for a couple more chairs that will last longer and look like something I'd want in my house.  I found two a few weeks ago. 
They appear to be oak and also appear to be antique.  I like to call them my "farm house chairs."  They have this interesting wire reinforcement.  Most chairs I've found like this are really shaky and squeaky.  These are neither.  They are so incredibly sound and sturdy and I think it is all due to the wires.  I don't know if an individual added the wires later but I would LOVE to know the story behind them.  Wouldn't you?
The spindles were what first drew me to the chairs and then the grain of the wood was so beautiful and rich.  I'm not sure if its something to mention or brag about or what but if you're curious they were 15.00 a piece.  I think its a steal and the thrift store where I found them supports a transitional housing group so I feel good about giving them my money. 

Of course AJ wanted up in the chairs so I thought it would be a good time to take pictures of her braids (which I LOVE) and her new sun hat (which of course she refuses to wear!!).  The sunhat is a pattern from a book by Emma Hardy "Making Children's Clothes."  It has adorable clothes and has been a good book to have when sewing for a small child. 

She has an itchy nose in this picture.  This morning as I was getting ready for church and leaning over the bathtub washing my hair I could hear that the house was very quiet, too quiet.
I quickly stepped out of the bathroom and called for AJ.  She yelled something indistinguishable and I went into the kitchen.  There she was with a measuring cup on the kitchen table and a whole box of baking soda overflowing out of the measuring cup and on to the floor.  She said, "I'm baking!"  I would have taken a picture but was pressed for time to get to church and it was a lot of baking soda to get up.  We wiped and wiped it.  Our floor and table is still grainy.  But on the bright side the baking soda got a couple of stubborn spots off our kitchen floor!

Little hands had a hard time not taking the hat off so I promised her a couple of rabbit marshmallows.  Something I try not to do but really wanted to take these pictures of her.
This picture shows the other side of the hat but it also shows a pitiful bottom lip demanding those rabbit marshmallows!!  Well happy Sunday and happy sewing this week!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial day fun and new aprons!

We had a great Memorial Day.  The weather was perfect and we ate two meals under our shade tree in the backyard.  AJ had requested ice cream so we were happy to oblige and it was the epitome of happiness to watch her enjoy her ice cream cone. 

Buster loves to pace around the table and beg for a taste.  We had BBQ pulled pork and ribs from Winslows BBQ and we always love it.  We fancied up some canned baked beans with a little BBQ sauce, brown sugar and ketchup and boiled some corn. 
She's catching that drip of ice cream.  After she sat at the table for a while she wanted to sit in her swing and eat her ice cream.  That was pretty cute too.  She was as happy as a lark let me tell you!

For the past two weeks I've been making more aprons for the Peacock Cafe in Leavenworth and here are the five I've completed. 
I call this one the "Chick chick apron." 
The embroidery on the left is hand embroidered and the chick was done with my sewing machine.  I just sketched a basic outline and went over and over it with stitching.  Most of the fabrics used in my aprons are reclaimed linen from some really unflattering women's dresses.  I have to tell you that most of them already look like giant feed sacks before I deconstruct them. 
This picture does not do this apron justice.  I love the chocolate color of the fabric and the pale pink of the tea towel is beautiful along with the pale gray stitching on it.  The linen ruffle was cut from a really weird pants outfit that would've been completely see through because the weave is so loose.  But it makes an absolutely perfect ruffle on my aprons. 
It is really hard to photograph my aprons by hanging them up but I hope you can tell that this one says "Home."  There are few words that I think evoke such deep nostalgia like the word home does.  It has wonderful, rich nostalgia for me and I hope for most people.  I also think it evokes a deep sense of longing to belong somewhere.  I think it is perfectly suited to an apron.

This is my patriotic apron.  There is some red stitching detail on each pocket.  I was asked to make some aprons look patriotic but had a hard time coming up with something that I didn't think looked hokey.  Any suggestions?

You can see some of the red stitching detail in this picture.  The flowers I add are always detachable and can be worn on a shirt or a purse as well.
This might be my favorite apron out of this bunch.  The "Chick chick" comes close.  I love, love, love white linen and shell buttons.  Love it!  The embroidery also turned out just how I wanted it to.

The flowers are made from some chiffon fabric that I cut into circles and singed on the edges with a candle.  I think they look like brown poppies. 

I really enjoy creating these aprons out of old garments.  The linen is usually softer and on most of the 
backs of the aprons I used vintage sheets.  I hope to get a few more aprons done before I hand them over to be sold.  They take a good chunk of time to create since I want to feel inspired by them as I sew them. 

I don't really know how to "sign off" on my posts so I guess I'll say..."that's all I have to say about that"- to quote one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump...well whatdaya expect, I AM from Alabama!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Make it Work challenge and AJ's new do!

I have another reason to sew this weekend (as if anyone really NEEDS a reason to sew) and its the Sew a Straight Line blog's Make It Work challenge.  For some reason these types of flickr pool contests light a fire under me and help me crank out my sewing projects.  Go figure.  The first one I completed was a thrifted granny shirt that I picked up for 25 cents.  Now no offense to any one that might consider themselves in the "granny" category but the way I know this shirt is "granny" is because as I was checking out at the thrift store the cashier (who was most definitely a great grandmother) held up the shirt and said, "that's a really pretty shirt." 
It needed some de-frumping.  I took off the buttons, took off the white embroidered modesty panel and resized the whole thing. 
Scallops on garments is a trend I've just noticed.  I love the scallops on this Meghan Nielson skirt.   This will most likely be my next sewing project. 

The next top I finished I pieced together from three different patterns.  Here's the patterns:

I used the pockets from the Cynthia Rowley pattern, the main body from the vintage pattern, and the wide straps from the Butterick pattern. I also cut off the main body of the vintage pattern to make it into a top rather than a dress.  I have never "remixed" patterns before and am really glad I tried this.  I now know how to put inset pockets in the side of a garment.  Turns out its not hard at all!!
This is the end result and I'm pretty happy with it.  I probably would've taken it up on the sides had I not already sewn the pockets in.  Live and learn.  The white fabric is just white muslin and the triangle in the middle is from some fabric my Mom gave to me.  Recognize it Mom?  I am glad that I gave this challenge a whirl since it now helps me look at the individual pieces of my patterns differently.

I can't blog without mentioning the little sweet pea.  She has become attached to a new hair do and I think it is the cutest thing.
She recently watched the movie The Rescuers (a childhood favorite of mine) and the main character wears two ponytails.  AJ wanted her hair to be like "Penny's." 
Pointing and saying "I want the mickey mouse magnet."  AJ and I were making cookies for a friend that was coming over to visit and she loved helping.  The shirt she is wearing is another peasant top that I've made for her summer wardrobe.  It has these cute chickens with scarves on it. 

And here's one final photo of me during my "photo shoot" with Micah.  Whenever he takes my pictures for the blog he always does some kind of paparazzi shenanigans.  This time he was singing the song Paparazzi while clicking the camera at lightening speed.  It never fails to get to me.

Well that wraps us up for this Saturday!  Talk to you soon!