Thursday, May 4, 2017

To Market, To Market!

Goodness, it's been a long time!  Guess I've been having such a great time substitute teaching these past few months I've forgotten about blogging.  Now it's time to switch gears and get back into Market Mode--because this Saturday, May 6, is opening day for the Des Moines Farmers' Market.  I confess it is probably my favorite day of the year; I look forward to it like kids look forward to Christmas.  Yes, it really is that much fun.  I will be there 18 out of the 26 Saturdays between May and October and am looking forward to another great season.  Our Market is the best!

Here are just a few of the journals I'll be bringing with me--I have been working hard for the last few months to create a big inventory with a varied selection.  This year, I'll have some journals with lined paper available at Market.  You'll also find some other new items in my booth besides the journals, some collages and art prints.

Always a favorite are Little Golden Book story journals: they have 40 blank pages, pockets at the front and back, as well as all of the story pages spaced in with the blank pages.  These are great to use as a journal, sketchbook, small scrapbook, or as a unique guest book too.  Here's an example of just one of the Golden Book journals I'll have available.  This is actually the first "Beauty and the Beast" Little Golden Book I've had:

This "Freedom" journal also contains all of the original book pages (which are full of simplified descriptions of our political system which seem naive today) as well as blank pages and pockets:
Vintage school books are among my favorites to make into journals.  Both of these are 1950's covers:
Journals make great gifts for teachers, graduates, and moms....if you'd like to shop in person this Saturday, you can find my booth on 4th Street south of Court Avenue, near the new downtown Hy-Vee store.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

What Would Mary Wear?

I'm very saddened by the recent death of entertainment icon Mary Tyler Moore.  When I went to college, I enjoyed having cable TV for the first time (my parents were too cheap to ever pay for it, can you imagine that?  Yes, I grew up having only 4 channels!) and I made the most of the opportunity to watch The Mary Tyler Moore show almost every night on Nick at Nite (when I should have been studying or sleeping).  I had some vague memories of it from when I was a small child, but since it ended in 1977 I didn't really have the chance to appreciate it.  But as an 18 year old, I loved it.  I loved Mary's apartment, the fact that she was a strong, single gal, and I loved the seventies styles she wore with such aplomb.  So as I was sorting through some of my vintage pattern stash, I selected several that I thought only Mary Richards could do true justice for.  So I thought I would share a small, lighthearted tribute to the effervescent gal who really could, and did, turn the world on with her smile:

Simplicity #6842, copyright 1966:  Mary would have rocked any of the versions of this sweet  mod dress, perfect for one of her many disastrous dates.

McCall's #9332, copyright 1968: This falls in line with the simple lines from the early years of the series, similar to the pleated skirt Mary wears in the first episode during her interview with Mr. Grant, when he accuses her of having spunk--which, of course, she did!

Simplicity #9889, copyright 1972:  Young contemporary fashion perfect for the career woman of the 1970s, similar to much of Mary's wardrobe in the newsroom.

Simplicity #8092, copyright 1969: Mary could wear this to work and then out on the town, with or without the jacket.

Simplicity #6621: Copyright 1974, this is similar to the pantsuits Mary wears during the later years of the series, after she's moved into her fancier apartment.  Her style evolves from the first season to the last, just as Mary does.  But she is always the same in essentials: spunky, strong, sweet, caring, and yes, still single.  I'm so glad the writers didn't marry Mary off.

Thank you, Mary Tyler Moore--thanks for the laughs, the memories, for all the laughter and tears you provided to generations throughout your career.  You will be greatly missed by your fans.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kitchy Kitchen Prints

I'm a sucker, or rather a collector, of novelty fabrics.  It started with typewriter prints, then eyeglasses, then sewing prints, and my latest favorite is kitchen prints--perfect for making aprons, something else I love.  Thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.  Apparently, Michael Miller Fabrics shares my obsession with nostalgic kitchen images, because all three of the prints you're about to see are from MM Fabrics.  And they're all fabulous! 

First up is this happy print, Fifties Kitchen, seen here sewn up in (what else?) my favorite flapper apron: 
It was that happy little stove that drew me in; it reminds me of the stove in my Grandma Sayers' kitchen, the stove upon which she cooked all sorts of delicious meals.  She was a wonderful cook and also a wonderful seamstress!  I still have the Barbie clothes she made me when I was little.  Of course I still have them--who gets rid of their Barbie stuff?!  Anyway, this print is so cheerful and happy and that's how I feel when I look at it.  Which is the whole point, right? 

Coming in a close second, is Kitchenette--with a different, but equally wonderful vintage vibe: 
Did I have a conversation with myself about "how many kitchen fabrics does one really need"?  Well, yes, but it was a short conversation.  As you can see, these prints are so different that they really can't be compared.  So obviously I needed both of them.  (This apron is available in my etsy shop in case you are interested.) 

Last, but not least, is "Home Ec."  Which is how I still refer to what is now called "Family and Consumer Science" at our local high school.  It was, it is and it always will be home ec to me.  Check this out: 
I haven't quite decided what to make from this yet.  I'm considering kitchen curtains or a table runner.  In the meantime, I enjoy looking at it.  It's good to let ideas stew for a while.  

Thanks for looking, hope you've enjoyed.  For your own shopping information, I have purchased my yardage of these prints from various etsy sellers that I can't quite remember--but a quick etsy search should get you what you want if you need some of these prints for your own collection.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Pretty Flowered Aprons

Sewing is one of my greatest joys during the bleak winter months.  I HATE winter; truly, I detest cold.  My body recoils from it and mostly what I want to do is sit in front of the fire under warm blankets and watch TV (which means I fall asleep in about fifteen minutes.)  However, my sewing room is cozy and a wonderful retreat from the cold world outside.  And because this January has been particularly harsh, disheartening, and sad....I need to spend as much time sewing as possible.  Here are a couple of aprons I've made recently:

I used this 1944 pattern, Simplicity #1162, with a some slight changes:

As you can see, I substituted a much more utilitarian neck strap than what the pattern shows; as adorable as that bow is, I felt like it would get in my way and bother me--because aprons are made to be worn!  A big floppy bow really isn't my style.  Also, I'm horrible at making or even tying bows, so my fear was that I couldn't actually create a pretty one.  The floral print fabric is certainly pretty enough on it's own anyway. Instead of an embroidery transfer as shown on the pattern, I added some decorative stitching at the top of the bib, waistband, and on each pocket.  I also put on two pockets instead of just one.  This pretty fabric is from Joann's; I've noticed that in the last year or so, Joann's selection of cottons has greatly improved.  Their "premium" or "artist's" brands are entirely comparable to quilt shop fabrics.  A closer view of the decorative stitching detail:
I love this little scallop stitch; most of my sewing is done on my Singer, but I also have a Brother LX2500, which is a very handy little machine that has a good variety of stitch patterns to choose from and this one is my favorite.

Initially, my plan was to make this apron from one of the vintage feedsack fabrics I found at an estate sale last fall, but there wasn't quite enough.  Instead, I returned to my trusty flapper apron for the feedsack fabric:

I say this is feedsack fabric because that's what I think it is; I can't be entirely sure.  The big blue pockets are leftovers I've had for a couple of years.  Again, I like pockets on my aprons!  This one will be available on my etsy shop very soon.

And one more feedsack flapper, another print from the same estate sale (nothing better than buying a whole bunch of fabric at once!):

This one is already available in my shop, in case you are in need of an apron.  It's hard to tell in this photo, but this one has a large pocket in the middle--it's the same fabric as the rest of the apron so it blends right in.
Thanks for looking!