Sunday, April 18, 2010

vintage finds #2

As promised, here's the second installment of my good vintage fortune over the past week. During a visit to the thrift store the other day, I rescued this bag from the bottom of the craft bin. $1.98.

Inside were all these wonderful trims! The standard rickrack, of course, but some unusual color patterns and some labels I've never seen before. (You know how I love the labels.) And the tapes and ribbons with patterns woven in - what a find! Some look to be really old, but in good condition.
I love this one, but look what it's wrapped around - a great old needle card!
I've often wondered what would happen if I wrote away for one of these offers, and included my ten cents postage. I mean, there's no ending date, right??
There were, of course, lots of bias tape and hem tape. In the days before sergers, these were necessary to keep seam allowances from fraying. This was a new one on me, though: bias tape, packaged in a little box, with 2 tiny wooden spools of matching thread!
A few laces and ribbons, too. This lace was one of my main reasons for buying the bag. It's been removed from something, and has buttons, either from the same garment or planned for a new one, attached. Waste not, want not! It's nice, strong, heavy lace and in great shape.
This was also new to me: some of the ribbons were bound with a metallic label, and the layers were separated with cellophane. Hm.
If you've read this far, you must have some interest in vintage trims. Here's the sad part of the story - some of the trims have rust spots from pins. So I beg of you: go to your great grandmother, or great aunt, or whomever you stand to inherit vintage trims from someday. Ask if you can help them "organize" their stash, and as you do, replace the cheap pins with the kind that won't rust!!!
(Or, if you're still reading, you may have no interest in trims at all. You might just be my friend, for which I am thankful!!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

vintage finds #1

We had the cause and opportunity to visit the library a few days ago. And a trip to the library often means a trip to the library's used book store. They have a sewing and craft section that supports my vintage needlework book habit.

On this particular visit, I only had $6 in my pocket, so we had to make some tough choices. This one almost didn't make the cut, but I'm so glad it did! My first thought was that it could replace my other, larger, more delicate stitch reference books. It would easily fit in my knitting bag. Seemed like a good use of $1.

Later, as I had the opportunity to examine it more closely, I saw what an amazing reference it is! I wanted to find another copy for my friend Maya, so I started checking around on the internet. I was amazed - all the copies I could find were $42-100!

1. This one will be going on the shelf, not in the knitting bag;
2. Maya, I love you, but you're getting photocopies of interesting pages; and
3. I totally ripped off the Friends of the Library bookstore. Sorry!

(Did you notice the #1 in the title? hee hee - there's more later!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

snail habitat

As I expected, the snail needed a house. So here's the house in the book, and the house we made. Not a bad replica, if I say so myself. Lydia has since added artwork on the walls. Thankfully she was content with bubble wrap in place of an actual bubble bath… it's the little things in life that I appreciate. ;)

Here's Lydia dressed as Angel Cat Sugar, complete with the pink purse to use to carry the snail home.
One modification to the pattern: The snail didn't want to sit up well, so I added that ruffle thing around the bottom like a real snail. Now we know why real snails have that thing, I guess. I would not hazard to tell you in detail how I did it; I just did a row of single crochet where I wanted it to go, then did 2 sc in the back loop of each sc around.
Oh, and the snail needed a purple bow, too. So rather than a boy snail named Cinnamon, as in the book, we have a girl snail named Pretty.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

little snail

On a recent visit to Barnes and Noble, Lydia bought the Angel Cat Sugar book A New Friend. In the book, Sugar rescues a snail whose home was destroyed in a thunderstorm. (Heavy stuff.) Before we even left the store, she was looking around for a snail, in order to act out the story. I could see snail making in my immediate future, so after she went to bed that night, I found a cute snail pattern.

The next day, I whipped up a little snail to match the one in the book. There's a lot going on around here, as always; even though it only took a short time, I didn't really have the time to spare. But Lydia will only be four once. And look at that face! (I may have opened a can of worms, though - in the book, Sugar also makes a house for the snail…)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

five observations regarding poison ivy

Now, if you know me, you know that I am a firm believer in finding low-cost, all-natural (typically labor intensive) solutions to your lawn and garden problems. So when I saw the poison ivy just beginning to leaf out this spring, I suggested that I don long sleeves and gloves and dig it all up, from the roots, and be done with it. But my loving husband, who knows how acutely allergic I am to poison ivy, talked me out of it. Instead, we bought poison ivy poison last night, and today I emptied a 1.33 gallon jug of the stuff on our property. I have no delusions that I got it all - after a while it all starts to look alike, so I'm sure there's some I got twice, and some not at all. And I only covered the area right around the yard. But maybe it was enough to make a dent.

Some observations:
  • Why does poison ivy love the same living conditions as wild muscadines, blueberries, blackberries and other somewhat useful wild plants? No matter how selective I was as I sprayed, I kept hitting other plants. Oh well - I also discovered as I worked today that we have a truckload of baby muscadine plants!!
  • If you have dreams of buying a wooded lot and clearing an area in the middle to build your house, I can tell you from experience: Don't expect to have a great lawn right away. The forest wants your lawn back, and will creep back in if you let it.
  • Poisoning poison ivy seems ironic.
  • If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we come up with a varmint that eats only poison ivy and fire ants? Maybe I should just buy a goat. They don't eat fire ants, but pretty much anything else.
  • You can't drown a cow ant in poison ivy poison. Cow ants are like the Chuck Norris of bugs.
Oh well. That's done, and also the garden is nearly ready to plant. I think we've probably had our last frost, so the planting will probably take place next week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

it's alive!!

So far it's just a green haze over the top of the hay, but it's little baby GRASS! Remember the yard work last fall? Well, a very wet, cold winter set in before it could be finished. Just last week it finally dried out enough for our very talented and generous guy with a tractor to come and smooth it out. We spread grass seed and hay, and prayed it would take root before too much more rain. Lo and behold, it did!

Here's the front yard:
And the back (no pile!!):
Here's the beginning of the garden, in its new home. It's hard to tell, but there are little baby strawberry plants in this square.
The sugar snap peas have not done well - old seed. Only about half of them sprouted. Oh well, better luck next year, and we'll enjoy what we have.

Monday, April 5, 2010

the critters go on a field trip

A late Happy Easter to you all - I hope that yours was as full of faith, family, friends and CHOCOLATE as ours!

Just thought I'd take a moment to share some photos from the April 2 First Fridays in Florence, AL. Even though it's 3 hours away, we make the drive to visit with family, get out on lovely evenings downtown with the other vendors, and maybe sell a few things.

I've not been there long enough or consistently enough to be assigned the same location every time, but I really liked this spot. I think I'll ask for it again. The owner of the shop we set up in front of was very hospitable.

But my favorite perk about this spot? Its proximity to this landmark:
Yeeeessss, people, we were one booth down from Trowbridge's. And it was warm enough out, there was a constant stream of people headed in for ice cream cones. Incidentally, right next to Trowbridge's is the relatively new Rosie's Cantina, which smelled heavenly. You know what they say - location, location, location!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

*sigh of relief*

The blouse and scarf are finished, the hoodie hem is no longer "floopy," and Lizi's Easter ensemble is finally complete!
We were uncertain what to do to decorate the scarf - the Putumayo shirt has screen printing there. But my girl found the awesome monogram iron-on at Hobby Lobby. Good eye! It's even velvet-y.

Here's the front view:
And the back:
Egad, that's a lot of ruffles. And I hope she doesn't burn up in it. The one Easter that I make a long-sleeve dress, it's supposed to be sunny and 81 degrees! (And this is not our final answer on hairstyle, by the way.)