Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas from Texas via Etsy

Texans may like to think of themselves as a breed apart and maybe that's true, but when it comes to creating, we have much in common with the rest of the world. Here, I've chosen a few holiday items to spotlight from Texas craftspeople.


A clever ornament made of corks: the Dallas Cowboys-inspired wine cork reindeer ornament from CorkyCrafts out of Fort Worth, my old home town.


There's still time to create your own stockings for loved ones using the McCalls Crafts 2991 Sewing Pattern: Christmas Stockings from sewandsewpatterns out of Rowlett, a Dallas suburb.


Tags are always useful, and this shops carries some adorable ones, these the Candy Cane Christmas Gift Tags from CharonelDesigns, out of Frisco, another Dallas suburb.


How adorable is this? Wouldn't your daughter or granddaughter or niece look adorable in it: Girl's Elf Shoe with Bells shirt from JillysMomMadeThat out of San Antonio


I love felt, and these ornaments are stunning: Bead Embellished Felt Bird Christmas Ornaments from Quilting Frenzy out of Converse in the Texas hill country.


Finally, one of my own: a pair of button icicles from Sumpn Sassy out of Kingsland, also in the hill country.

That's enough for today. Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Texas crafting.

Ta, y'all.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Button Ideas

Pinterest is wonderful for finding ideas, and for finding people who share your taste and who find ideas of their own. Here are a few button ideas I either found on Pinterest or pinned myself.

This is such a lovely addition to a lampshade, which could be done in many styles. Here it was made for a little girl's room, but fashioned in all white it would be stunning in a cottage-style living room or a feminine bedroom.

This combines two of my favorite things: buttons and redwork. Imagine a button-mounted redwork card in a sewing shadow box. It's definitely on my to-do list!


When it comes to buttons, even too much isn't enough! This lady on Flicker has a spectacular collection.

More of her collection. I've begun putting my buttons in jars and displaying them on a window ledge in my studio. It's not a patch on her collection, but from little acorns oak trees grow.


I made this from an old frame, an old linen napkin and a collection of buttons. I used the blue to distinguish from the wing and the body. I'm not sure it works but I'm not going to change it now.

I love this bouquet, and yes, it too is one of mine. It was ever so much fun making..


Another of my creations: I took a discarded silk pillow, in perfect condition, and added the etcetera abbreviation in vintage buttons.


This one I've sold, but I still love it. I used the Kate Spade ampersand as an inspiration and stitched the buttons onto another rescued pillow cover, this one a Ralph Lauren gray denim.

I could go on for days but I'll pause here. And it is a pause, not a full stop. Tomorrow's another day, and if not tomorrow then one of the many tomorrows to come.

Ta, y'all.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stockings Part Deux

In my embellishing of stockings, here's the second one.

In toto.

The cuff.

The cuff close-up. It's not apparent in this shot but I've also done bullion stitch flowers on the center pink section.

The toe: here I've incorporated beads with the stitching.

And the heel: just a little corner of a web here and a bigger beaded spider.

I'm happy to say I consider myself finished with these stockings. They were fun doing, both then and now, but I think next I'll make one completely from scratch. Maybe a cream felt with embroidery stitches…well, we'll see.

Ta, y'all.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Christmas, anyone?

Yeah, I know it's a little early. And don't we hate that we can't even get through Halloween before the stores start dragging out the Christmas paraphernalia? (Or is that just me?)

For crafters, it's never too early to start creating Christmas. Lately, I've been working on finishing the embroidery on a pair of stockings I bought in the '80s. I loved them when I bought them--they were the English chintz so popular at the time--but, as I'd been given as a gift a lovely book on crazy-quilting, I looked at these stockings as a blank canvas. I did enough embroidery and embellishment then that I called them done. But then I began to rethink, and rework, them.

I don't have photos of how they were either when I first bought them or before I started this last round of embroidery. (These pictures were taken at different times of day. The one on the left is more true of the color of the chest so I'm guessing more true of the stocking as well.)

Today I'm just showing the left stocking. This is a close-up of the cuff section. I highlighted some of the vine and flowers with embroidery, using chain stitch for the vine and bullion for the flowers.  

 The spider web I did in stem stitch using black and gold thread and the spider is beaded. (In crazy-quilting, a spider is for good luck.)

I always think of these bullion flowers as a row of soldiers, side by side.

The toe….

The heel. And voila!

Second stocking tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Vintage Linens

I'm a sucker for many things vintage, linens among them. And I live in the perfect area to indulge that weakness. Llano county in the Texas hill country is demographically an old county with almost 40% of the population over the age of 60. That may make driving a trial of patience, but it also makes a prime area for estate sales and thrift shopping. Somehow, in the midst of all that once-loved treasure, embroidered linens is one I invariably find in my searches.

This one shrieks midcentury with its graphic shapes and purple beets. 

Though more elegant, this one's still a typical mid-century design, maybe later than some of the others.

These have to be from the fifties. They have such an exuberance about them, such a feeling of, I dunno, happiness? sunshine? joie de vivre?

I'm guessing '50s on this one too. I would love to see the set it must have come from: silver, dishes perhaps, maybe glassware and um, what else? Cookware? Pots? There were probably at least five to the set but I can't come up with a fifth. Maybe it'll come to me later.

And this lovely set, a bridge cloth and eight matching napkins, must have graced many a ladies' card game in the '50s and '60s. I can imagine it now, four ladies at a table, maybe two tables set up, different linens on each, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres?

These are all from my Etsy shop, SumpnSassyOldStuff, a small smidge of what I have available there and an even smaller smidge of what's available on Etsy itself. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

To Line or Not to Line

That's the question!

A while back, while at one of my fave thrift stores, I found a plain ol' unlined lamp shade. I'd been wanting to do a button-covered lamp shade for some time.

This is one I'd done earlier. It's not what I consider a truly button-covered shade, but it was a beginning. Button-fetishist that I am, I hate to see vintage buttons glued and most of what you see online are made that way.  We as a society like things done quickly. I, as an individual, chose to hand stitch each one, this time onto a band, which I then stitched on to an existing lamp shade.

And so I found a shade I thought perfect for all over coverage. Not too big, so fewer buttons and less stitching

Inside, it looks like one of those collapsible shades that come with lamps in boxes.

Here it is with buttons. Turned out to be a heckuva lot of buttons, a heckuva lot of sewing, more than I bargained, anyway.

Okay, I'm not completely finished stitching on buttons, but I'm close enough to think about whether I should line the thing.

Here's the inside, showing the stitching.  I bought a yard of china silk to line it with and made a pattern of the shade before I began sewing on buttons so I'm a couple of steps ahead if I do go with the lining.

The shade, in situ. This isn't the lamp I intend to use it on or even to display it for photographing; it just happens to have a globe that holds the shade in place for now. (Besides I totally love this lamp.)

Whaddaya think? Should I or should I not line the shade? I'd love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Old Linens

I love old linens. For me, they bring up images of ladies from another generation who embroidered,  crocheted and knitted. Luckily, I live in an area known to have the oldest population in the U.S. and am generally able to find any number of discarded lovelies. I picked up a few at the thrift store today, which  I'll sort through and post pics of tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some on offer in  my SumpnSassyOldStuff shop and some which I've already sold. They all came either from thrift stores, yard sales or auction, my fave places to noodle around in.

A lovely embroidered rick-rack-trimmed set of three. These are definitely dish towels and I love their bright colors. I used to keep a towel hanger with one of these on it beside my kitchen sink.

These are handkerchief-weight linen with embroidered silhouettes and tatted lace. They'd be lovely in a guest bath.

Can you imagine the work that went into crocheting the edging on these gorgeous pillowcases? I remember that my mother could do work like this in no more light than that cast by the tiny television screen.

The following are pieces I've already sold, but which are still lovely examples of things I've found.

This is a lovely embroidered pink linen. I'm in awe of the skill that so many of this generation seemed to think unremarkable.

These were pristine, never used. The maker had drawn a line for her crochet design and then didn't follow it. The line was still there, showing what was meant. For me, it made them even lovelier, demonstrating how whimsy can take one unintended places.

This was a beautifully made gingham apron with cross stitch embroidery and pleated waist. I could imagine a '50s housewife wearing it on a Sunday. It was clearly only for special days.

This was a real find! Fifty beautifully crocheted matching linen napkins: again, for anyone who crochets, the amount of work involved is staggering to imagine.

Another of my lovely hand towel treasures, this one yellow linen with a gorgeous lace accent.

And yet another, with scrumptious cutwork embroidery.

Still more--As you can tell, I have a passion for hand towels!

This green was gorgeous!

And the cupid design on this one was quite special.

I'm lucky to have a thrift shop nearby that treats finds such as these so beautifully. They're always carefully laundered and pressed. If I find a stain, as sometimes I do since they are vintage items, it's quite easy to remove the stain with the Biz and Dawn method. 

What do you look for at your favorite places? Would love to have your comments!