Monday, April 15, 2013

Springtime at the Flea

Springtime weather has finally arrived in the midwest and with warmer weather comes the flea markets. I thought I'd share a few of this past weekend sites.

Mother Nature & Father Time always create the best distressed finishes.

I feel like I should know exactly what she is, but I don't.
There's always nice framed art there.
Then there were these creepy babies.
Cool old store display pieces.
Old lamps that have seen better days.
I can't pass up the opportunity to take a photo of a neat old purse.

Pretty painted glass shades.

Play kitchen appliances.

What a sharp looking old piece of luggage.
Julia was there.
  And Mel too.
  A crude little Gypsy fellow.
 Someday I'd like to restore an old trunk.
 I bet some fun times have been had on this bike!
 What regal chairs!
 A clever sign, but I didn't see any ladies flocking there to buy the new models.
 A floral dog :)
 Old glassware and an old fan with super shiny brass blades.
I told myself last year if I lost enough weight I'd buy one of these pretty dresses. Hmmm... 15 pounds to go. It seems achievable. Wish me luck!

Please keep the good folks in Boston in your thoughts and prayers tonight and in the coming days and weeks, as another city tries to heal from a senseless tragedy.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Timeless Fashions

In looking for the perfect Easter dress I was reminded of an article a while back at RedbookBest Dresses for Your Age. Do you subscribe to Redbook's online publication? They have a lot of fun fashion related articles. I was reminded how timeless some fashions are as I flipped through their examples.They recommend The Shirtdress for the 20 somethings.

Look at this example from the 1940's.

Redbook also recommends this Little Black Dress for 20 somethings.
Compare that to this fun example from the 1960s

For women in their 30s, Redbook recommends a Shift Dress.
Here's another fun example of a shift dress. This one is from the 60's.

For women in their 40's they suggest this Lady Dress.
And if you sew, with this vintage pattern from the 50's, you could whip up your own.

For a more subdued suggestion for the 40 crowd, Redbook offers this Sheath Dress example.
And here's another vintage pattern of one practically the same.

Have a Happy Easter! Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Scissor & Craft Tool Caddy

So here's the dilemma - I have these scissors lots of scissors! Sewing, non-fabric, pinking shears, scrapbooking... And then there's the tools, pliers, wire cutters, wire curlers, a pattern notch cutter... You have that same dilemma too, right?
I needed something to keep them in that was portable, so if I was hand sewing or beading at my work table I could just place them there with me, and yet keep them organized and out of the way when I wasn't using them. So here's what I came up with.

A vast improvement from what I started with.

I know... Crazy!, right?

I started with my scissor assortment, laying out the various sizes. My sewing scissors were the longest. The scrapbooking scissors are shorter, but thicker. 

I made sure the box I selected was taller than my longest pair.

Then decided on the size of the hold that needed, so I measured them at the base of the handle. Then measured out a piece of paper the size of the box.

I drew out a grid of one inch squares on the template, cut paper scraps roughly the size of the holes and placed them on the template to decide on the placement of the holes.

After cutting the holes in the template I used it to transfer the placement to the box itself, and using a craft knife I cut the holes.

As I cut the holes I decided I wanted to reinforce it, so I used my template to cut a piece of corrugated plastic that I had the same size as the box. (That stuff's great for purse bottoms too. Collect them after the election, they're abundant and best of all, FREE!)

I cut the corrugated plastic large enough that it fit snugly inside the box, then cut the holes in it using the craft knife.
I tested the caddy before I started covering it just to make sure it would work as I had envisioned, (not all of my bright ideas do!).

I selected the fabric that I wanted to cover it with, measured it out big enough to cover the top and sides. I sewed a zigzag stitch around the edge, then turned it up sewed in a casing.

 I used a thin cord that had as a draw string, put the box in it and pulled it tight to gather the fabric up around what would be the bottom of the caddy.

Now, how to get the holes in the fabric? I couldn't just simply cut the fabric. I considered doing that and using some Stop Fray on it to prevent unraveling, but decided a better solution would be to sew a button hole at each spot. To do that, I placed the template on the top of the box with the fabric in place and hand sewed an X at each spot with contrasting thread.

Once the buttonholes were in and clipped. I permanently tied off the draw string on the bottom. I removed the contrasting thread X's, what I could anyway, you can see small pieces of it were left behind. I probably should have used all white, as the remnants of wouldn't be so noticeable.

 I also added some scalloped ribbon trim to dress it up. (I just whip stitched it in place.)  It holds all of my scissors, craft tools and even my magnifying glass.
 I can just move the whole thing to my work table so if I'm beading or whatever I'm working on I have whatever tool I need at my finger tips without searching around or digging through a pile. 

It freed up space on my little tray. So I could better organize it too. I had this cute vintage green container that held the monster buttonhole attachment to my Grandmother's old Singer. I decided it was the perfect little storage container  for my sewing room. I removed the attachment that it held and filled it with marking pens, awl, screw driver, my measuring stick and other implements of construction. 

What organizing problems have you tackled? I'd love to hear your ideas and solutions.

Thanks for stopping by! :) 

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