"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do you sew?

I've mentioned before how back in the day I was the Fabrics, Sewing Notions, Patterns & Art Needlework Buyer for The Halle Bros. Co. in Downtown Cleveland, OH.  It was a dream job for someone like me who loves to sew & loves fibers.  Put that degree in Weaving to work!   At one point back then, I'd even sew suits for myself...structured with jackets & all that.  Lots of skirts & dresses...much of my work wardrobe was hand sewn.  Back in the late 1970s...it seemed to me that a Fabric Buyer should do that for herself, no?

I also loved to give handmade gifts...quilts...toys for kids...Christmas stockings...you name it...if I could sew it, I probably did.  I also LOVED to buy fabric & patterns.  LOTS of patterns...you never knew when you'd NEED that one for the perfect gift, right?  Well, fast forward 30 plus years...and many of those patterns are still here.  Unused...needing new homes.  I've been listing them for sale in my Etsy shop.  That's where you'll find the out of print Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy pattern above as well as many other patterns. 
Yes, I had plans to make this apron...I'm not sure why...must have been the kitty in the doorway of the house on the apron bib.
This quilt isn't my style anymore...but it's a fabulous pattern that has that 1970s vibe.  It even includes a "Vogue American Designer Original" label to sew onto the finished quilt.
LOTS of patterns for kitchen stuff...and more aprons...which I never wear...but they sure are trendy these days.
I was quite into buying patterns for tote bags...never made these, however.
And, of course...Easter crafts.  Did I ever actually make these?  Nope.  But I could have!  The little bunny family with their carrot house is too cute for words.
These and so many others are now available to go to new homes.  It's time to destash big time around here...and vintage patterns & other items will continue to be added to my shop as I get through it all.  Did I mention that my Mom had an even bigger pattern collection than I had?  And, of course, now it's all here.  I've donated so many of her old patterns...most for clothing...but some will also be added to my shop.  Some are just timeless designs.  Some are just fun retro looks.  Maybe shoulder pads will come back one day...could happen!  I'd have just the right pattern then. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Object of Her Attention...

...on a snowy afternoon last Thursday...was the handsome fellow below.  Howdy Mr. Cardinal!
It was a gloomy day, so this was the best I could do with photos...even after editing them.  But you get the idea...Sunny was fascinated by Mr. Cardinal...and he sat there...flew away...and returned several times.  Good kitty entertainment, especially since she can't get any closer to him than this.
I certainly wouldn't want him to become kitty snax!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Patchwork Pincushions

Little pincushions like this have been one of my favorite sewing accessories since way back in the 1970s.  I was very into patchwork piecing & quilting back then.  I still love it & have been bitten by the sewing bug again.  My first little project is hand piecing & sewing these pretty patchwork pincushions.  They are my adaptation of the Grandmother's Fan pattern and are stuffed with sand.  The sand helps to keep your pins & needles nice & sharp.  They are incredibly sturdy and I've been using mine for over 40 years.  They still hold up & add a nice pop of color to my sewing area.
Every single stitch on these pincusions is lovingly done by hand.  No machine sewing...just hand stitching...one tiny stitch at a time.  I find this stitching time quite relaxing, actually.  The fabric is very good quality cotton calico...some vintage and some more recent...and all quite pretty.
These first 3 pincushions are now available to purchase in my Etsy Shop.  They make great little gifts, or maybe you need a touch of pretty color for YOUR sewing area.  I'm headed back to my studio...the fabric is calling me!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dyeing again...

I've been feeling like dyeing things again.  And playing with paper.  So I spent some time mixing up colors & dyeing tags to use in my journals.  Tags always seem to need ribbon, too.  I didn't have much ribbon left after the holidays...but I have more on order as I still feel the need to DYE.  I can't get enough of the surprise of the colors once these things dry.
I dyed up enough tags & ribbon to package some as sets for my Etsy shop, too.  Packaged them up in cute little glassine bags, tied with more ribbon & a metal rimmed tag, too. 
I was even able to add a few new sets of ribbon & some more ribbon rainbows. 
So that's what I've been up to lately...along with clearing stuff out to donate to the Volunteers of America & some people through Freecycle.  It's so much fun to open more of the boxes that have been packed away for years here & see what is hiding inside.  Some of it I can use.  Most is still in great condition & since it seems the Vof A are sending trucks around every 4-5 weeks now...the timing is perfect as I'm really working to get more organized & less cluttered around here. 
More vinatge stuff will end up in my Etsy shop soon.  I was going to blog about a fun childhood treasure I listed late last night...but it SOLD today.  I'll show you a pic anyway...it's "Trunkey" the Key to the Cincinnati Zoo. 
You'd buy this key & then insert it into little story boxes around the Zoo to hear about the animals.  Great fun for kids of the 1950s...at least it was for me.  I still have mine from the Cleveland Zoo...not sure I'm ready to part with it yet...but who knows. 
Thanks for visiting my blog...and I'd love it if you visited my shop, too.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A very Sweet Valentine's Day...

Valentine's Day started with me baking this pair of brownie hearts for my sweetie, Phil.  Boxed brownies, as I'm baking challenged, but I did make Cream Cheese Frosting from scratch.  You can't see it here, but each heart is about 6" across at it's widest part & is about 2" thick.  He was thrilled!

Then, you know it's gonna be a good day when a package with this special gift wrap arrives via UPS.
It was tough, but I waited for Phil to get home from work before I unwrapped it.  There are no chocolates to compare to See's from CA.  None.  They are THE best!
And there are no better See's Chocolates than their Dark Chocolate Lemon Truffles.  Yep...that's almost an entire pound of those yummy confections.  The one truffle that is different is because Phil tried to get a couple that were not lemon into the assortment, which you do by percentages.  He hoped for 2 of this milk chocolate truffle, but he'll have to settle for this one lonely piece.  Of course, I'll share the lemon ones...which will be rationed out very carefully as these are a once a year treat for me.  Thanks, my dear...they're as sweet as you are with just a bit of tart thrown in, too!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras !!!

The other day I received a wonderful package in the mail.  It was the charms from our Mardi Gras swap in the ArtCharms Yahoo group.  I adore Mardi Gras after living in Texas for a couple years...and had to play in this swap so I'd have a bracelet of Mardi Gras charms.  I love all the purple, green & gold...and I'm thrilled there were masks & a King Cake & babies from inside the cake, too.  This bracelet is a real celebration of Mardi Gras!
I'll be cooking at home as usual...a nice pot of Shrimp Etouffee...so we'll celebrate in the best way ever...by eating & enjoying the holiday. 
BTW...we enjoyed some fabulous Chinese take out on Sunday to celebrate the Lunar New Year...it's the Year of the Snake.  I'm thinking I'll make Phil some Chicken Piccatta for Valentine's Day.  We used to go out to enjoy holidays like this...but it's too damned COLD here in Ohio...so I'd rather cook what I can & get take out for the rest.  I give up on trying to cook Chinese...I can't do it as well as this wonderful Chinese restaurant we found here.  I just have to trust that when I ask for no MSG, they actually do it.  Usually, they get it right.
So...HAPPY MARDI GRAS to all y'all!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


We got a recumbent exercise bike for Christmas/Hanukkah.  Phil is using it at least every other day...I'm still struggling to breathe, so I'm not on it much...yet.  However, it's a favorite perch for Sunny when she wants to PLAY!

We have these little foam discs from a "gun" that shoots them as it makes obnoxious noises.  Luckily, throwing the discs is just as much kitty entertainment as the "gun" is.  You can see Sunny watching a disc as it moves toward her in the pic above.

This is what happens when she misses it.
But most of the time she catches those blasted foamies...or she swats them across the room.  This kitty should try out for the Kitty Olympic volleyball team.
I haevn't been very creative lately...the January crud really got me down.  Good news is the cough is gone & I'm starting to feel almost human again.  Hopefully I'll have some art to share soon.