Sunday, December 28, 2008


~found some adorable vintage trinkets~ they make me wonder how their previous lives were spent. Were they in a fancy home? Did they share a room with 2 sisters? Were they tucked away in a velvet jewelry box?
I don't know, but they sure are beautiful:

I put a pretty picture of Marie Antoinette in this one.

I loved that movie so much, I was just thinking of re-watching it this weekend. I thought it would be cute to put a picture of a pug on the other side, since she loved pugs so much. I just got "duchess" with Kiera Knightly, and can't wait to sit down and drool over the costumes and adornments.
more "tresors" to come!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

when I think...

of the work that I do, this passage often comes to mind. I like how it talks about seeking wool and flax, and making the linen garments. I have always known this proverb to be a model for what I would like to be. She is has strength and fortitude, but is also loving and kind toward her family and the poor. She is a smart businesswoman and an entrepreneur.

Proverbs 31:10-31
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many daughters have done will, But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

It just makes me feel strengthened to meditate on that every once in awhile. I remember reading that before I was married, and even though I couldn't relate to the part about the husband, it still meant a lot to me as a woman, and as a mother. I waitressed, mowed lawns, made art, did filing jobs at the college I attended - whatever I had to do to make it work. There is something so honorable about working with your hands and providing for your family.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

holiday break

Yay, holiday break from work...onto crafty lovliness for 2 weeks straight. I was working on some wintry skirts today, and had the perfect piece of fleece-like houndstooth leftover. I looked at the size of the leftover rectangle, and thought it would be perfect for a ruffly scarflette:

I am loving these soft and cozy fabrics, and have several more capelets in the works too. So many little time.
I've also been spending a lot of time thinking about working out, but for some reason thinking about it doesn't seem to firm up any body parts. Last year at this time I was embarking upon the Biggest Loser competition at work, and I always seem to get motivated at this time of year. I quit the gym I belonged to because it wasn't convenient, but I am signing up for yoga and salsa classes in January. Fun, relaxing, and a workout. Should be fun and Lord knows I need to get away from my work table sometimes. Happy holiday break everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


When I looked at this treasury this morning, I knew it would hit the front page, but did I go in and change my quantity since I have more of these flourishes? no. DOH! I got up from my leisurely Sunday afternoon nap, and looked at the FP, and I'm thinking how familiar it looks, but my item is not there. From the comments it looks like it was there for about 5 minutes before it sold. oh well, I hope it was pretty for a minute or two.

I've really been in a white and blue mood lately. I normally tend toward tea stained lace, but I've got all this white lace and was looking through my many tiny drawers, and happened upon these flourishes I've been wanting to use for a long time. It was the perfect storm when I found the blue paper to photograph it on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

something old, something blue

mmmmm.... I love old things and I love aqua things. I've been pairing these small vintage skeleton keys with hand linked beads for awhile now, and I just got a bunch of new lovely beads to try this with. I think I'm going to do a you-tube video showing how to do this type of simple linking, and I want to do one with the more complicated wire wrapping also. When I was trying to learn how to do this a long time ago, I had a hard time finding resources, so I'm really excited about doing you tube tutorials. They are addictive to watch and I'm hoping addictive to make!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

tis the season

I never get tired of pictures of vintage children:

...or sparkly rhinestones for that matter :)
here's another ornament to get you into the christmas spirit:

get yours here today!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I've been wanting to try shirring for a long time, and I don't really know what took me so long. It is so easy! I read somewhere a long time ago how to do it, and just had never tried it. I'll take some pics of the steps and do a tutorial soon, in case you've never tried it. I am always thinking of ways to make clothing that will fit many different bodies (oh, the joys of online selling), so anything with elastic that's adjustable helps me to reach that goal.
This dress style will fit about size 8 up to a size 12. Now I just need to go through and draft patterns for a small (4-6) and a large (14-16). Usually I'm lazy and wait until someone orders a different size before I go to the trouble of making other sizes. I used to be a 12, and now am about a 10, thanks to all my sickness lately.
I've had this white seersucker type fabric for about a year, and finally found the perfect project for it. It has little silver metallic threads that give it a really special quality:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

leonard nimoy, paul stanley, tim burton, and frida kahlo

I spent most of the week making halloween costumes for other people. My hubby was spock, my daughter and her friend need handpainted tshirts with the KISS logo on them, and another of her friends needed a Betty Rubble flintstone blue dress. (sorry no picture)
So, I didn't have any ideas for myself. I haven't dressed up too often over the last few years, but my husbands band was playing on halloween night, so I figured I had an excuse.
So at the last minute after finishing everyones makeup and hair, I thought about Sally from Nightmare before Christmas. I've wanted to do this costume for several years, but never got around to it. I love the idea of 'stitching' yourself together. So with about an hour or so left before we had to leave, I whipped up a patchwork dress, checked the internet for images of Sally, watched a couple of you tube videos of someone applying Sally rag doll makeup, and proceeded to get ready.
This is why I would love to be on project runway someday, because I like the pressure of sewing/designing really fast.
Start to finish here are my times:
Betty Rubble dress: 30 minutes
2 KISS stencils: 1 hour
Handsewn patches over a dress I own: 1 hour (I didn't get a full length shot, but I'll take some on madame coco and post later)
Spock costume, wig, ears and makeup: 2 hours
The spock costume was the most time consuming, and I had to actually BUY things. Gold rick rack, a girls pixie wig that I had to cut to look like what it was supposed to, and my hubby already owned a blue shirt.
(Prepare yourself, it's kind of scary looking) {Drummer Conrad from Cordial Spew on the left}

He was so excited to live out his life-long dream of having a star trek costume. He made the tri-corder thingy and the phaser gun himself.
Also, a most awesome idea that I may have to 'borrow' someday, Conrad's girlfriend went as Frida Kahlo! Totally brilliant. I forgot to take my camera to the show, but she was lovely. Hey, I'm an art teacher, what can I say?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


there's something about green. It goes with everything, seriously. I once had a pair of dark green flats, with a slightly pointy toe, that went with everything I owned. It sounds weird, but it's true.
This polka dot fabric is one of my favorites, and of course, very hard to find. I have a secret supplier, but it took a lot of research and digging.
Still deciding what crafty direction I want to go in... I always love making clothes, but that's hard to do online, since everyone's body is different. I would like to do something on a small scale, like toys, or needlebooks, housewares. Something that has variations, though. I don't like to do the exact same thing over and over again.
Also, my friend Kelly taught me how to knit last year, and I know the very basics, but I've been looking for a knitting group I could join to sort of hone my skills. Kelly is a knitter extraordinaire, but with a 3 year old in tow, it's hard for her to be a knitting teacher also! I found this really comprehensive list on another local blog, so I'm going to check some of them out:
culled from various sources...
this is my list of Omaha area knitting groups located in public areas.

The Blair Stitch Project
Washington County Extension Office
1718 Washington Street
Blair, Nebraska
Beginner knitters and crocheters start at 5:30-7:00
Advanced and beyond meet from 7:00-8:30

Sit n Knit
String of Purls
Countryside Village
8721 Shamrock Road
Omaha, Nebraska

Hooks & Needles
Westgate Plaza
3457 South 84th St
Omaha, Nebraska 68124

SECOND Tuesdays:
Knit Night
Borders Bookstore Cafe
Shadow Lakes Towne Center
7775 Olson Drive
Papillion, NE 68046
7pm-9pm SECOND Tuesday every month

FOURTH Tuesdays:
Plattsmouth Purls
Plattsmouth Public Library
401 Avenue A
Plattsmouth, NE, 68048
6pm-8pm FOURTH Tuesday every month
Kids welcome

Whole Foods & Fibers
Whole Foods Cafe
10020 Regency Circle
Omaha, NE
6-8 pm

Sit n Knit
String of Purls
Countryside Village
8721 Shamrock Road
Omaha, Nebraska

NE Knit & Crochet Guild
W Dale Clark Library
215 South 15 Street
Omaha NE
10:00am - 2:00pm

thanks jeepchick!
Hopefully I can attend some of these, because I really want to be better at knitting (I want to learn to knit in the round)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a new season

Lately I've been toying with the idea of totally revamping my life. Being sick for almost 6 weeks kind of forced me to realize that I don't have to work and create constantly. Things will be taken care of and the bills will get paid, even if I'm not a one-woman slave shop. Weird, because I really didn't know I needed a break until I took one.
I really appreciate feeling good right now, because for so long some body part was hurting. It was strange how every day or so there was a new symptom, and just as the old ones got better, the new ones perplexed me.
So, I am now taking some contemplative time to decide what it is I want to do. Make stuff, of course. But what?
I want people to look at the things I've made, and have that sense that a lot of time and thought and creativity went into this. I want them to be swept away by the adorable-ness of it all. I want to be able to have a voice that runs through everything that I do, and not list and relist stuff and make and remake stuff just to make money.
There has to be a better way. I want to actually enjoy what I make, and usually that doesn't happen if I make more than 2 or 3. Sometimes only one.
So I now commit to myself to try and find a new path, where I reach back into my childhood imagination and believe that anything is possible, and remember all the small but very important things that I loved.
Small things, scraps, buttons, thread, old things, aqua things, ribbon, patterns, dolls, fabric, paper, photography. I will add to this list of things I'm intrigued by to get my mind rolling a little more.
Do yourself a favor today. Slow down, take a breath. Make a list of things that make you happy. Sometimes it's a little scary when we don't even know or remember these things.
Sometimes we just need to turn over a new leaf, and be excited about a new direction.
Who knows, maybe I'll start a whole new line of something, or open a new shop. ??? Ok, two shops is enough for now, but I do need to get more bloomers finished in different colors, and get them photographed! I think I've been procrastinating because I know I'll have to be my own model, which is a hassle and a little unnerving sometimes. It's so much easier when I can throw something on Madame Coco (mannequin), like skirts and dresses~ Of course there's no better model than little sweet Bailey:

these bloomers are from the same fabric line that the ABC dress is from, Holly Holderman. I think these are probably some of my all time favorite prints! Too bad they discontinue fabric lines after awhile :(

now back to the sewing machine!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Super fun and exciting Omaha mixed media workshop plans!

Can you feel the excitement?!
so we are doing a 'run through' of the mixed media crafty project with the etsy street team girls, and I'm still teetering at the edge of doing the workshop in November/December, or waiting until after Christmas... Who knows, maybe it will be hugely successful and thousands of people will sign up, and connections will be made, and it will all be worth it!
here's my sample house, but now I'm thinking of a zillion different styles this could be done in.

I think my next one will be dark, a little spooky, with vintage images of lovely ladies, with vintage lacy goodness, and lots of pearly buttons...
One of the girls had a great idea to make it like a mini- gingerbread house, except the cool thing would be that it's a permanent decoration you can get out every year. We would use beads and things rather than real candy of course. I love this idea!
If you are a crafty girl in Omaha, please leave a comment if you'd like more information :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

stripey 'gronk'

I made this little stripey friend today:

I thought a little customer of mine would like it, since the fabric matched the dress I made her. (She's got ABC fabric for ears:)

My hubby said it looked like a gronk, which may or may not be the name of some creatures he saw on sesame street years ago. I was surprised he didn't have a Star Trek reference for it. (He's a little obsessed and watches old episodes all the time). It's filled with rice like a bean bag, and was super easy to make. I may do a tutorial for anyone if you'd like to make one for your little ones. It would be fun to add hair, and arms, or hairy arms...
Also, some of you may remember me wishing a happy birthday this summer to my friend whom I didn't know how to reach. Well, she's getting married and she got a hold of me! Yay! Since I've been doing such 'wedding-y' type corsages and ring pillows lately, I thought I'd send her a little surprise in case she needs a little pretty to wear.
ciao girls!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

be good...

~to yourself! I bought myself some lovely roses the other day, and I rarely do things like that. I am getting an enormous amount of enjoyment out of them.
I think I'm finally at a place in my life where I am enjoying the moments.

so do something good for yourself this week. Have a quiet cup of tea, go for a nature walk, wander through a dept. store by yourself and don't worry about what time it is or who you have to pick up, or the laundry that needs to be done, etc.
Now, back to my desk, and I am going to breathe deeply today while I work!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

organization 101...continued

As I look around my studio, I notice that I have a hodge-podge of containers, furniture, and contraptions that hold various supplies. Some of it was given to me, some things that I found were free, the rest was cheap.
I was at an antique sidewalk sale a couple of years ago, and the colors in these tin containers spoke to me:

They are imprinted on the bottom with "Made in Holland". I'm not sure how old they are, but they were $8 for all 4 containers, and I would have paid more. The designs are raised imprints, and you just can't beat the aqua blue and pink combination! I store my tiny flowers in one, SOME of my huge button collection in two, and some tiny hardware in the big one.

Recognize that little cabinet these tins are perched on?

I got it for free from a guy we went to buy some tiles from. It had been sitting out in the rain, and had some old, rusty tools in it. Even after lots of sanding, you can still see the distressed surface, but I love it anyway. It holds all of my rick rack and ribbons and embroidery thread. Major transformation, I'd say. I spent about $10 on paint (in my favorite color, of course) and about $8 on the lovely porcelain knobs.

Monday, September 08, 2008

upcoming events

I'm organizing a mixed media art workshop in Omaha, and I'm really excited about it! The idea is to have participants make a handmade ornament / artwork, for themselves or for a gift.
I think people really appreciate the thought and care that goes into a handmade gift. It means so much more than just going and buying something (probably something they might not even want or need)
So the 'working' date is November 8, which is a Saturday. I'm getting the venue squared away this week, so I will know a little more about the exact times soon.
I'll be giving you sneak peeks about the projects soon. So if you live in or near the big "O", please think about reserving your spot. There will be a listing in my etsy shop so that everything will go through paypal. It's going to be a fun, comfortable, and social way of creating art!
...also, as promised... here's my little caddy for the rick rack. It used to be all mangled in a pretty big box, and now it's all pretty and organized:) **Check out the chartreuse velvet rick rack! It's to die for!!!!

and a new little house design, just because...

see you soon girlies!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

country girl at heart

I spent the morning getting out of the city and found some wide open spaces. I had some fun with the little sweeties at the farm getting pics:

And I 'freed my mind' as I sung along with some tunes through the country roads... so good for the soul!

~and the little ABC Bloomers that I made last year have done so well in boutiques that I am now making them in adult sizes. They won't have ABC's on them though!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"fall" cleaning

I know it's supposed to be 'spring' cleaning, but I am always and forever trying to get organized. I hate the feeling of wanting to work on something, and I can't find that bag of pinbacks, or that rhinestone trim (had that problem yesterday), or that bit of brown lace. I think I have an extremely organized personality, and I do like things in order, but sometimes things are in a chaotic state. Add to this law of the universe the fact that I live in a small house, and that I do way more than one craft, and you've got a disaster waiting to happen.
So, for the past couple of years, I have tried various ways to get organized. For awhile these procedures may work, but then the stash gets too big and overwhelming, and I have to rethink it.
This week I decided that plastic bags of various laces and ribbons crammed into an overflowing basket was not workin' for me anymore. (Sorry I didn't take a 'before' pic). But, I was only using ONE of these baskets that slide onto a large bookcase, along with other baskets with other craft goodies in them.
Now, the laces and ribbons are all wrapped on pieces of cardboard, organized by color, of course, and pinned to stay in place. (Similar to the way they are organized in the fabric store):

Notice, also, that now the lace collection takes up TWO baskets as opposed to the orginal ONE basket. I thought it would take up less space, but it takes up more. Oh well, that's the price I have to pay I guess. But it's such a joy to look for a trim and be able to actually find it without digging for half an hour :)
So, next time I'll show you my rick rack box!
The most important thing about organization working though, is the maintenance. So just as with all of my vintage ribbon rolls, as soon as I get the lace or trim I need, I HAVE to remember to wind it back up and put the pin back in! Please leave comments of your favorite organizational tricks!! I need them!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

back to school

sorry I haven't posted for a bit, my pets. I went back to school, and the first week was a lot of meetings, and getting my room ready. Yes, I have a room! It's a portable, which I've never had before, and it's awesome. I have control over the thermostat, have a private bathroom, and it's quiet (except for recess, because the playground is right outside my door). But no worries, I love it.
It feels really strange to only work 2 days a week. So I've been busy designing some more kids dresses that are historically inspired.

I couldn't find an example pattern that had the little drawstring thingys at the hem, so I made it up. It wasn't that tricky, I just wanted to make sure I could pull it off without it looking like it had a billion seams or something.
This reminds me of a recent episode of Project Runway, where one of the judges told a designer "Satin should look like no human hands have touched it, and that looks like 20 pairs of hands have been all over it". Ouch. Poor guy, the models had to buy the fabric, and every designer knows it's ALL about the fabric!!!
I would have been yelling advice about what not to get at my model as they were running out the door to go shop. I would LOVE to be a contestant on that show. Not that I went to fashion design school or anything, but it would be so amazing! You have to think outside the box. There is no box!
I once made a dress out of rafia. It was like a fishnet web of tied knots, and it was really cool. I used to make wire sculptures of the female form too, and some of them had skirts on the bottom, so they maybe could have been wearable. Painful, but wearable!
Oh, then there was the year that my husband and I went to the Groundhog Prom, which is like this crazy event in Omaha where adults can go dressed as anything they want, so I made a full length dress out of aluminum foil. It was a bit hard to sit down, but it worked. I ran out of time to make Kev an entire foil jacket, so I just covered the lapels of a suit jacket with foil, and made him a bow tie out of it. Then he had an Abe Lincoln style top hat out of foil too. It was pretty hilarious.
Halloween is just around the corner. hmmm, must start thinking....

Monday, August 11, 2008


All the stars were finally aligned today, and I actually got some decent pictures of clothing - indoors!

this apple orchard dress available here
usually I can't get good pictures of anything except macro shots. I'm learning!
busy busy busy- back to school tomorrow. Not to worry my little crafty pals - I'm only working 2 days a week, the rest of the time I'll be in my shabby sweat shop, sewing and smiling away!!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

destination: omaha

have you ever thought about taking a vacation in your own city? We haven't really been anywhere this summer, so last week we went to the henry doorly zoo, which we live 5 minutes from but I haven't been there in like 3 years. It is the biggest tourist attraction in our state, I think.

So the other nite I spontaneously suggested that we take a walk by the riverfront, and my daughter got really excited. (It's so boring at home) For $3 each, we took a boat ride around the fountain that changes colors, and you can see the downtown skyline from there also. I can't figure out my camera still, so all my shots of the skyline won't be shown here :)

who needs to leave town? I think I'll save gas and stay here this summer.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


after church I took a 2 hour nap. Even though I slept about 10 hours last nite. Lately I've been choosing to sleep over crafting. I guess sometimes we just need to rest. It has been a restful summer for the most part. Happy napping dears!

Friday, August 01, 2008

dog days of summer

You'd think I'd have more time to blog since it's summer break, but sometimes I don't want to post because I don't want to end up complaining. No complaints really, except health ones. It's kind of funny actually, because I went to the doctor yesterday, for some strange symptoms... heart palpitations, head fuzziness, stomach issues. Of course they don't know what's wrong, so they try to attribute everything to stress. I'm like, HELLO! I've been on vacation for the last 8 weeks, I sleep in every day, I love what I do and I create on a daily basis. I have an awesome daughter, a loving husband, and friends who care about me. I'm not stressed!
Anyway, they drew blood and they are going to check my cholesterol, etc.
On my end, I'm going to continue to try to eat healthy foods only, and exercise more. Also, I actually hit a sales record in July, between the 2 shops. Amazing, really, because July is known for not-so-great-sales. May was horrible, June was better, and July rocked!
The new shop has taken off much better than I even expected, and I'm wallowing in vintage seam binding over here. My daughter helps me wrap the bundles and puts a little flower on each one. I'm still crazy for fabric and ribbon flower brooches:

and I'm really enjoying the childrens clothing also:

and yesterday was an old friends birthday, and I can't find her email anywhere. We don't stay in touch all that much, but I've been trying to find her info forever! Happy birthday, Alice!