Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Thrift Pillows

I didn't go to one single thrift store last week! Which is probably good cuz I do. not. need one single item more than I already have--unless it's wool sweaters. Those I can't turn down.

So, failing any new purchases, I thought I'd share some old ones with you. I love pillows, though I don't use 'em as much as I once did. This first one I bought in Port Townsend WA last spring. It was four bucks at an uptown antique store. I waffled on buying it, but my friend--gotta love her!--convinced me that it was worth the suitcase space. And it was, and it is. I had to remove all the old stuffing; it was yucky deteriorated foam, and I pulled off the yarn twisted cord; it had seen better days.

But look at the back. I think that worn velvet is cooler'n anything new would be. And the buttons on the corners? They're handmade, also from Port Townsend.

This 'un I made ages ago from a thrifted needlepoint. The fringe, well, I spent a nice penny on that from a cool warehouse in Dallas.

Another thrifted needlepoint turned into a pillow. On this one the fringe was a remnant, so it was cheapish anyway. It's too small to be much of a pillow and like an idjit I had a down pillow form made for it--also from that cool warehouse.

Mostly the pillows in my home are down--except for the Port Townsend ones. The brown needlepoint I used fiberfill, the two below I left as I found them.

These I got at a really neat thrift store in Port Townsend--yep, same trip, same suitcase coming home.

I think they're supposed to be sachets, at least the smaller, but I also think they look cool on my guest bed.

This one I made from a thrifted cross-stitch. Actually I stitched a sampler exactly like it back in the '70s as a gift for a friend. (The design I copied--yep, that's what I said; I copied it--from a $125 pillow I saw at Cowgirls and Lace in Dripping Springs.)

Copied this one too, though I actually stitched the sampler myself. (It was something I started in the early '90s and didn't finish until I saw the original pillow at C&L.)

I found the vintage linen dish towel this was made from at my fave thrift store in Ft. Worth--Thrift Town on Jacksboro Highway. The zipper is hidden on the side/bottom (depending on which way the stripes go).

This needlepoint came from a Plano thrift store, located at Av K and 18th St. (Sorry, can't remember the name.) This is probably from the '70s. I'm not sure how long the green, gold, orange color scheme lasted, but I remember doing bargello as late as '78. The needlepoint was a buck, and I used fabric I already had and a thrifted fringe to make it.

And then there's Raggedy Ann, also probably from the '70s. (I say this because of the orange welting.) It's currently listed in my Etsy shop here.

Raggedy Ann I got in a box lot at auction. Back in Dallas, my best friend from high school--nothing better than old friends--and I tried to visit Miles Autry Auctions weekly. Lots of stuff I coveted there, not much I could afford. But the chair in my office here I also got at Miles'.

This last one was an estate sale linen table runner I embellished with eBay fringe. Of all of these, it was probably the easiest to make (except the ones thrifted as is, of course).

That's all for now. Ta.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Check this out

My sis Daisy has posted a tutorial on her blog Little Sassy Sews for the cutest little matchbooks.

She also has them listed here on her Etsy shop as a PIF (pay it forward).

Check out some of her other items as well. I love this little dollhouse rug.

And how about this tissue cozy? (She even has it monogrammed with my initial. How cute is that?)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Didja ever...

Do something so stupid you feel that if you were in battle of wits you'd be unarmed? Sometimes it's as if I'm walking in a daze. I just listed a PIF on Etsy, or sorta kinda did.

Last fall, I signed up to buy something using the moniker TexNan. Then my sis decided we should both open shops each using a sassy name, ergo SumpnSassy. Okay, I'm doing fine here, right? So, well, I haven't used the TexNan shop since, haven't opened it, haven't done diddly with it. But yesterday I checked out some of the PIF listings and found these

They'll work great for a style of tassel I haven't made in quite some time, mainly because I didn't have an adornment for it. I've used turquoise earrings on ones I've made in the past, but had run out of those.

Okay, I actually got three sets of the earrings Briesboutique had listed and decided as payment I'd list a PIF. (I listed two in December but had done nothing since.) I've been playing around with paper lately and made some bookmarks and hangtags, which I think are pretty cool.

When I log onto Etsy my username and password are all filled in automatically. I just click Sign In and it takes me to my Etsy page. So I click Add a Listing and it asks me for payment options. I'm thinking, "Well, I haven't done any this year, so maybe it's a yearly thing?" and I do as it asks. And I go through the whole listing and it ends showing me with one item in my shop. Huh?

Of course, what I did was list my PIF in my TexNan shop, which, dang it, wasn't s'posed to be a shop. And with that listing there it'll draw no attention whatsoever to my 'nother shop. I don't even have policies or a banner or anything there.

Guess I'll go take it out of TexNan and move it over to SumpnSassy. Twenty cents it'll cost, but hey, I can afford it.

What I hate is how stupid I feel. (So why'm I sharing this with the whole wide world--or rather the part of it who've found their way to my blog? Beats me.)

Ta ta. y'all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a party!

Saw this at Claudia's blog and had to join in. Bella Casa is throwing an Etsy party and giveaway. For those of you with shops, stop by and list your shop/blog, describe what you make and any other pertinent details. For the rest of you, check out the cool shops! Which is what I'm about to do--good thing Tom's making dinner tonight!

Monday Faves

I haven't spent much time on Etsy lately, but these are items I saved as favorites over the last few months. (If you didn't already know I like yellow kitties, you surely will now.)

This first is an ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals) I bought as a Christmas present for a friend: Mid-Century Orange Cat from bestiaryink, and she has another copy for sale now.

Next is a Hand-dyed Cat Ornament from twentypoundtabby. You gotta know I'd like her shop. (Wonder if she's got her twenty-pounder on a diet. BTW, Max lost a pound!)

Another ACEO--Cat in his Usual Position--from 5erg. Love the whimsy of this one. (I tend to be drawn toward the whimsical.)

Last is a handpainted domino from awesomebydesign.

That's all for now! Have a terrifical Monday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Thrift

I actually made it to a thrift store last week. My sis Ginge, my SIL Sunny and I went into Austin, Sunny and I keeping Ginger company on her way to a gynie appointment. On the way back, we hit a Goodwill in Round Rock. And I mean we hit it! Ginger and Sunny aren't thrifty kinda gals, but they put up with a lot for me. They actually helped me look for wool sweaters to felt. I mean, when I was done and knew I had way overspent myself, they kept looking. And when I say overspent myself, I made it home with $3 in my pocket, and Ginge bought my lunch.

So, I came away with 4 sweaters--had to put an equal number back cuz I hadn't checked my available cash before I left the house and I never carry a checkbook and Goodwill doesn't take credit cards. But, along the way, I found this:

Isn't it cool? Two ninety-nine. Looks way more expensive, doesn't it. (I told you I have a vase obsession. And they don't all have to be McCoy or Bauer or California Pottery.) I'm sure this one is relatively new, though it appears hand-thrown to me. Either way, I like it, I like it, I really really like it.

And this one I unearthed when I dug out Christmas. I knew I'd stored some decorative items in the Christmas boxes several years ago and hadn't found them when I pulled out decorations the next few years. Scaling back, it's called. So this year I figured I'd drag out every box and winnow what I'll use from those I won't. In doing so, I found this vase, which I'd totally forgotten. Now I love it all over again.

While I'm on the subject of vases I've thrifted, I don't think I've shown this one before. I usually go for seafoam green/turquoise but I loved the glaze on this one. It and the one above are both McCoy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rejections and other trauma

Last fall I got another rejection on my completed mystery novel, but this time it was a good 'un. Honest, it was. The editor said my writing is "strong and clean," and the story is "close to being right." However, the changes he suggests will take a major rewrite.

I believe him when he says my focal character isn't driven enough, although I specifically built her that way because of the psychological trauma she's endured. And yes I know readers want focal characters who move the story rather than being moved by it. I envisioned this one as being isolated, avoiding conflict...and yes, passive. That's how I believe a person might become, reacting to the trauma my character lived through. But if the market dictates different, then darnit that's what I'll give 'em. Somehow I hope to be able to keep her true to her past but more what the market requires.

Anyway, all this to say that normally I'd have started rewriting immediately. This time I haven't. Of course, I have a good excuse. Many years ago I found a writing book that became my bible: Dwight Swain's Techniques of a Selling Writer. He boils down the pertinents of writing so succinctly and so readable and his techniques work so well that I've focused all my energies on following them.

My excuse? I lent my book to a friend a while back. Actually I think I gave it to him. So I decided that before I set my shoulder to re-writing I ought to buy another copy and remind myself of Swain's techniques. That's what I'm doing now.

I find the time to read a few pages before bed each evening. It's like opening a chest in the attic to find treasures you forgot you stored there.

I may not get this book rewritten in time for the editor to even remember his crit, but regardless I feel when I do start my revisions/rewriting, I'll be better prepared.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hotel Silver

When I was seventeen, my sis Billie and I went on a train to visit another sister in Minnesota. Because we were poor as dirt, Mama packed a lunch for our trip up. While there, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes so on the trip back by myself--Billie having had to return earlier for school--I was a little more flush financially cuz I'd had a job while there.

So-o-o I treated myself to the dining car. I don't remember that we even looked in on the way up--we were just a couple of children in a totally new environment--but on the way back, different thing altogether. I was a woman of the world, though hampered by two things--cash and diet--so I ordered tea and toast. That's when I fell in love with railroad/hotel teapots.

Later, in my first real job, I'd lunch at a downtown hotel in Grand Prairie, Texas, and there too tea was served in a nickel silver hotel teapot. Love those teapots!

I found this one at an antique store in Lewisville a number of years ago. Somehow tea tastes better from it.

The outside I keep polished with the hot water/baking soda/tin foil method, but I was having a devil of a time keeping the inside clean, tea being the stainmaker it is. Then I found on the 'net a method which works great: fill the teapot with plain white vinegar and let it sit for 8 hours. (I had to do that a couple of times at first.)

All it needs now is a cozy. Ta da!

As a serious tea drinker, I want easy access to refills. I found the pattern for this cozy online--though I've searched, I'm unable to find the original link. I used decorator fabric for the outer layer, which gives it more bulk than I originally intended, but it works.

Isn't the internet wonderful for answering questions? Not everything works, but this cleaning method sure did. And the tea cozy. Now I'm off to finish breakfast; I've got a pot of tea getting cold!

Fave Monday

Today's the day to choose a favorite from Etsy. I've been having browser troubles this last week so haven't saved many faves, but here's one I uploaded some time ago.

This is Helena and her Bird from Sycamore Moon Studios. I think the artistry is amazing.

Check out these other pics:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I've been busier'n a...

Barefoot boy on a red-ant bed! Lots of things to post about today, starting with:

The "Proximidade" award Claudia presented me with last week. It's a cool award--thank you, lady!--that focuses on one's proximity to others through blogland. Recipients supposedly have charming blogs. And I am honored that anyone would find mine so, especially someone like Claudia whose own blog is so charming.

I found this further explanation on the net:
"Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming' say its authors. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I'm supposed to choose blogs of my own to honor, and I will, later. (Procrastination? What's that?)

Also, I learned this morning that I won a ring from Claudia's Etsy shop. Here's her post. Thank you, lady. I love your rings!

Yesterday was my sis's b'day. She's the grandmother of Jaden whom I posted about here, and she's come down to visit this weekend. Last night she spent with my SIL--we lost my brother to cancer last year and have all banded together to help my SIL through. Billie is especially being terrifical cuz she, who hates to call anyone on the phone, makes sure she calls Sunny twice a week. Billie says she can't be much use practically but she can make people laugh. (Jaden doesn't fall far from the tree! Nor did his mother.)

So, since my SIL, my sis Ginger, and I will be sharing our weekend guest, I thought I'd share pics of my guest bedroom, today being Saturday and my guest bedroom being mostly thrift-decorated.

I showed this art deco lamp on another post but here it is in its natural habitat.

And here's its residing place.

This chest was a gift from my MIL when Tom and I were first married. It had been painted many times by the time we got it and we painted it many times afterward. Twenty or so years ago, Tom told me that if I didn't get rid of it he'd put it out for trash pickup. Because it was a family piece, I lent it to my niece, who then lent it to Billie, who decided to strip it. She discovered first the tremendous grain pattern, then a lock with an 1880 patent date. At that point, I decided to take it back. I know; I'm horrible! I had it professionally refinished, and I've since used it--in various houses--in the entryway, then in the LR and finally, in this house, in the guest BR.

This is a pic of the bed. Sorry for the blurriness; I didn't break out my tripod this morning. The headboard Tom and I bought thirty years ago. Yeesh! I'm sure it'd look great painted, but yunno, I do love wood grain. The pillows all are thrift found, though not the doll. That was handmade by a very dear friend.

This bedside table was a thrift find as was the lamp. The small tray I bought new in England in 1976. I know; some of you weren't even a gleam in your daddy's eye back then. Can't see it too clearly, but below the table is a wagon in which I keep reading material. Never know when a guest might want a novel.

This is our honking analog tv. According to the guys who installed our satellite, this tv will outlast cockroaches! Anyway, the dresser we're using as a stand one of my sisters--Alice--bought ages ago. When she married her new hubby and moved into their new home, her MIL--a designer--suggested she perhaps not bring the dresser. I used it as a sofa table in my last house, but it makes a pretty good tv stand. (It also could probably use a coat of paint--see the patches I can't disguise?--but I think that adds to its charm.)

Lastly, my best ever trash to treasure:

After our much-loved Maine coon cat Murphy died in 2000, Tom and I couldn't bear to think of getting another cat. After about a year, I found myself enchanted by yellow kitties. I'd never had one. We weren't actually considering getting another; I just thought they were cute. Then, dinner at Ginger's and we heard yowls from outside. Ginge lives on the lake; a lot of people dump cats out there. Well, we lived on the lake too at the time, but not so many people dumped them on our road. Anyway, since she knew one of her cats was outside, Ginge went out to check. And found that her cat was protecting her territory against an invading yellow kitty. Max was around three, three and a half months old and he was scrawny and unfriendly. And we took him home. He now rules our house, as cats do.

Now, I have laundry to do. I've missed y'all!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Etsy Fave Monday

I love how Claudia of Cloud Nine Creations chooses an Etsy item to feature in her Friday blog so thought I'd do the same on Mondays. I love the whimsy of this pillow and the colors. It sorta kinda reminds me of MacKenzie-Childs.

The painted pillow comes from artzysusan. Check her out.

And this is me, signing out.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thrift Saturday

I like how bloggers choose a day of the week to feature a particular subject. I choose today--Saturday--and thrifting. I don't do as much as I once did. I have far too much stuff as is and, while some I've met on the 'net can do very well selling large projects, my area and my talents preclude me. So I'll focus on past thriftings.

Today is the reading chair in my office. I picked it up at auction about oh, I dunno, maybe twelve, thirteen years ago. It was in a sad state but had an excellent frame. Apparently the previous owner had cats she couldn't control--as if any of us can--and the back upholstery was shredded. Since we'd already bought our lake house where we planned to retire, I decided to reupholster in denim. Didn't do it myself though I have upholstered much smaller projects. The upholsterer was dismayed by my choice of fabric, said it was obviously an expensive chair, but I prevailed. Though the denim has lightened in places, I still like the look of it.

The table, lamp, clock and monkey beside the chair were all thrifted too, though the clock maybe not so much thrifted as antiqued. I paid $45 for it more than thirty years ago, which was a fortune for me. But I totally fell in love with it and it was in that interim when I had no one to worry about but myself. I've never regretted it one single second. (That was also the only time I've ever traveled abroad. Never regretted that either, not one time in the three years it took me to pay for the trip.)

The lamp I found at a DAV thrift in Dallas--also a while back. (You might as well consider that said from now on, unless I specifically say different. *g*) The table was my first faux marble. Not a great job, though I thought it was at the time. Tom put on such a nice topcoat that though I marble far better now, I refuse to change it. The monkey, now he's a recent purchase. I got him at a Horchow Finale last summer, also in Dallas on one of our yearly visits to the area when I see my old shoppin' buddy. (She's not old; we've just been friends for a long time!) The monkey was $5, and since Linda has a monkey kinda theme in her MBR, she picked one up immediately. Me, I had to think about it. Eventually he convinced me.

And that's all, folks. I got chores to do.

P.S. I just learned I was included in a gorgeous Etsy treasury. Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I've been tagged!

By Jean Elizabeth. Thanks, I think.

So here goes: seven random, maybe weird things. Most will be random, few weird.

One, I'm sorta, kinda middle of eleven children (five is sorta kinda).

Two, I and two of my sisters were published in romance back in the day. (My last book was out in '89; both of my sisters published into the 'nineties.)

Three, hmm, well, one of my bestest friends I met through writing in the late eighties and we've had weekly phone dates pretty much since then, but I never met her face to face until 2003.

Four, I'm a total eclectic in reading and movie/tv watching. I love Jane Austen and Doctor Who, Dick Francis and Will Smith. I rarely read fantasy but one of my fave authors is a lady I met on Mystery Writers Forum ages ago--Linnea Sinclair. Try her, you'll like her stuff!

Five, two of my sisters and I talk on the phone practically every morning and sorta kinda exercise by bluetooth.

Six, my sisters and I--six of us--go away every year for a weekend. This year we're planning on Eureka Springs AR.

And seven--gotta save the best for the last. I've been married twice but only had one husband. Even though, legally, we were divorced for four years, we were only apart for a year so we celebrate our original anniversary (our second was April Fool's Day; who wants to celebrate that?).

Now, for the tags: I'll start with my niece Amanda. Then my sister Daisy. Then Claudia. And Ange. Then there's Kobus who does a great trash to treasure blog. And Patti, a dear writing friend. And finally Maire.

Wow, that was an exercise. Now I think I have to comment on each of the blogs to let them know they've been tagged? Hey, it's ma first time.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ten years ago...

I was saying goodbye to my old world. Early retirement brought me to the Texas hill country and a totally different life, which suddenly included the internet. I'd always shied away from it for fear I'd become obsessed. I am an obsessive personality!

And I did--become obsessed, that is. I found Mystery Writers Forum immediately. Couldn't find a better bunch of people. A group of us formed our own special circle; them I'm still in touch with, though sporadically.

I stayed with the forum until it closed several years ago, though at the end I wasn't as active as I once was. I don't know where everyone went from there; I'd become sort of disenchanted with writing and have since focused my efforts elsewhere. But yesterday I found Maire's blog and Kathy's. Maire--one of my special circle--is in Toronto and Kathy's somewhere in South Dakota (I think it's the South one). Both are old MWFers.

Gotta love the 'net!

Friday, January 2, 2009

And so it begins

I didn't start my moderate regimen yesterday. I know, it was the very first day in 2009, but it was also still the holidays, so I gave myself a break. Today, well, today, I begin. moderation. And that means the internet too.

I've been working on several tassels and finally finished a few I think I'm happy enough with to post on Etsy. If I do post these, I'll be stretching it out over the next couple of days and working on a fourth that's almost complete.

It takes me a loong time to do tassels. Felting, not so much, but I'm waiting for supplies for that. So it's either tassels or pillows, both of which can be time-consuming.

I really like this first one, but I started with a purchased tassel, something I got at a sidewalk sale in Austin very inexpensively.

This is one I did at my sister's behest. My whimsical tassel now listed on Etsy has gotten a goodly number of views--no purchases, just views--so she thought I should try a MacKenzie-Childs approach. Didn't quite make it, but it lead me in a definite direction.

This last is my attempt at a Valentine tassel. I'm not sure I'm there yet either. May do another differently.

Have a great day!