Monday, August 30, 2010

Etsy Texas Crafters $5 Monday

I'm a little late getting this posted, but the Etsy Texas group are having a $5 Fifth Monday sale. To see a listing of items offered, go to Etsy and do a search for the ETC5 tag .

I've chosen a few items to tempt you:

These hair clips are by lilwawabutik. She calls them Hello Kitty Korkers. Cute, aren't they? I can just see them in a little girl's hair.

Love the fabric in this Vintage Yellow Rose Mini Wallet by The Yellow Rose.

These Turquoise Teardrop Earring Charms by Wild Moon Design are wrapped with sterling wire. Five dollars will get you one set of charms. (I have a small pair of silver hoops these would look gorgeous on. Better hurry; they may be gone soon!)

I'm loving this Cobalt and Yellow Glass Bead Bracelet by Simply Raeven. At $5, it's a deal!

This handmade Goat's Milk Soap by SophieCls is $5 for one bar. Gotta love it!

I'm really liking this set of Button Hairpins by Texas Eagle, though truthfully it's making me think, "I can do that!" If you can't though, five bucks is cheap, cheap.

This is only a small taste of what you can find today. Why not check us out?!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Button Fever

My friend's downsizing. For some, that might mean moving into a cottage sized for one. For Carrol, widowed for more than ten years, it means a 2400 sq. ft. house, bigger than any I've ever lived in!

But, lucky me, her downsizing means I inherited a box of buttons. The neat thing about Carrol's button box is that these are the extras that come with garments, and she's never stinted on the quality--or the cost--of her clothing. There are some gorgeous buttons in the collection.

Which has started me thinking about buttons again. (As if I ever stopped!) And started me tooling around the 'net again. (Ditto on the earlier parens.)

I think I referenced this pillow in a post I did a couple of years ago, but really, it deserves another mention. You can find the tutorial here.

Love the way these buttons have been woven together to make a coaster. Check here for the tute.

Another rendition of the woven button coaster. Looks like crochet here, doesn't it? The tute's here.

These buttons I made a while back. Love the look of them! They're called Singleton buttons and you can find the how-to here. (They look pretty darn cute at the top of my guest room shower curtain, which I will show one of these days.)

These Dorset buttons are similar to the Singleton--both are made with plastic rings. Pretty darn cool, aren't they? Get the tutorial here.

And these are Sharpie-painted. Again, I'm enamored. Info here.

For the final button magic, this necklace is a stand-out. Info here.

Time to fold clothes. Ta, y'all.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I worked my bum off last weekend, focusing on my friend's gift. If you'll recall, I used as inspiration this pillow I found on Letter Perfect's Etsy site.

Lovely, innit? She used a darker burlap, which wasn't available at the store when I got mine. So once I'd finished the lettering I felt the buttons didn't have the oomph they needed.

There were other problems with this version, which I mentioned here.

So-o-o, back to the drawing board. First I outlined the lettering with embroidery using a green perle cotton thread: green because of the green and cream check I put in the back. Still it needed... something. I was off to the 'net to find inspiration.

Anthropologie has this:

I like the double poms, but I was working on a deadline and I'm not an expert pom maker. Then I found this, still at Anthropologie.

Tassels I can do, tassels I excel at (IMOHO). I unraveled some burlap threads and made a couple of tassels, then made a couple more using the unraveled burlap and the embroidery floss from the front. Voila! Two per corner.

And here she is, all done.

The front...

And the back. Okay, she looks a bit wonky on the back, but she isn't, I promise. I'm a worse picture-taker than I am pillow-maker.

I'm linking this to Cheap Chic Home's Fabric Fun Thursday.

Check her out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The End Result

Yesterday I posted about a couple of projects I've been working on. I've finished both, one I'm fairly happy with, the other not so much.

This was a new St. John's Bay straw bag I picked up dirt-cheap. It had a plain blue ho-hum lining, which I decided I could change out easily.  (Turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. :P )

I picked up this fabric from Etsy and translated one of the flower images into a button design for the front of the bag.

It's a loose translation; I wanted to use all MOP buttons and didn't have that many greens and blues. Still I think it turned out kinda cute.


This is the inside of the bag, post transformation.

This project I'm reasonably pleased with. Not totally, I'm too much of a perfectionist for that, but, as we Southerners often say--sometimes maybe too often--it'll do.

The next project I'm judging thumbs down. It's meant as a gift for a friend, needed by next Tuesday.

I really don't like how it turned out, reason being that I always over-think projects and thus shoot myself in the foot. I decided that in order to have clean seams I'd make a bag, one side burlap, the other muslin, which I could turn inside out with the seams caught inside, then seam the resulting package together. Good in theory, not so great in practice cuz I wound up with a double-bulky seam. So I either have to rip this thing out, resew, and serge the seams or come up with another quick to make idea.

I'm thinking I'll be doing some ripping this weekend.

And with that, I'll sign off. Hope y'all have a weekend filled with better things than re-making pillows!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Am I Doing?!!

I'm linking this post to Cheap Chic Home's Fabric Fun Thursday.

Stop by and check out all her fabulous links!

It's been over a week since I last posted and even I couldn't say how I've kept busy in the meantime. I made--and listed on Etsy--another rag-quilted tea cozy.

I'm liking this one much better than other I made, perhaps because of the fabrics. I bought a charm pack by Lila Tueller and put them together along with a green liner.

This green fabric is one my sis Ginger passed on when she cleaned out her fabric stash. I cringe when I see how even more cluttered her cleaning has made my studio, but as this is the second time I've used this particular fabric I shouldn't complain, should I? Now if I could just get around to using the others I got from her as well as all I've collected my own self. :P

I've also been working on a button-art straw purse, which I'd hoped to finish today, but apparently won't. The button art--a flower and leaf--is completed, the liner is done, and now I simply have to sew the liner into the straw. Easy, right? Well, not so much. I tried sewing it, but since the straw is stiff and I can't use pins, and since the purse itself is cumbersome, the liner fabric kept slipping. I tried using masking tape, tried stationary clamps and finally decided to hand-baste the lining in place. Maybe tomorrow I can get it stitched in.

Another project in the works is a pillow for a friend's birthday. With this pillow, I'm flattering (as in imitation being the sincerest form of) this lady who does such beautiful work.

The pillow I'm making for my friend is burlap, no ruffles. I've all but the last letter stitched, then need to put the pillow together--before next Tuesday when the GGs again meet for lunch. I'll take a picture of mine once it's done, as well as one of the above-mentioned purse.

Now, I need to get back to basting the liner into said purse.

Ta, y'all.

Monday, August 2, 2010

At what age...

Should one consider himself too old to make major life changes?

The Hub and I have been thinking about moving back to Pennsylvania. Me, I never thought I'd see the day when I'd consider returning, but in all fairness, Hub came back to Texas for me and has lived here for the last thirty-five years. And he's missing life in Pittsburgh. As am I, truth be told. (Actually, we're only thinking of living there part time, with a home in Pittsburgh and a condo in Texas.)

Last week, during breakfast at a local diner, I was having a poached egg and a piece of dry rye toast. (Okay, I'll admit it: I'm always on a diet.) But I was telling Hub about the first time I ever had rye bread.

I was twenty-one when we moved to Pittsburgh. He'd just gotten out of the service, and I was at heart a country girl who didn't know diddlysquat. It was a real adventure for me: taking the street car into town to look for a job--all by myself. I remember stopping for breakfast at a drug store lunch counter and ordering dry toast. (Even then I was on a diet.) The waitress misheard my order and brought me rye toast, liberally spread with butter. And yes, I swear it was real butter. I know this because, being the timid soul I was back then, I said nothing, just ate that mahvelously delicious toast and fell in love with rye bread. (I had my first poached egg at that same lunch counter and my first English muffin.)

There were a lot of firsts for me in Pittsburgh. By the time I came back to Texas, I'd become an adult person. I realized when Hub and I were talking at the diner that I was born and raised in Texas and grew up in Pittsburgh.

We've been looking at houses on the 'net and found one we both like. There's just the two of us; we don't need a lot of room, and this one doesn't have much: it's 884 sq. ft.: two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen, LR, and an unfinished basement. But it's next door to the house where we last lived in Pittsburgh. I clearly remember it had a cherry tree in the back. (It ticked Hub off cuz the cherries would drop on our car. He felt they should trim the branches over our drive; I felt we should park the car in the garage cuz it was a lovely tree!) It's a good neighborhood there, and the houses on that side of the street back up to a wooded area that's part of a park.

Tons of potential here. I think it would make a perfect cottage for two. Of course, I'd tear out the hedges and put in a charming cottage garden--Pittsburgh has such lovely dirt!

We'll probably never do it. Our number one roadblock is our cat. Last February, Max was diagnosed as diabetic. Turns out, though, that his problem was the food we were feeding him. A diet of canned cat food has kept his blood sugars stable, but wet cat food's not something you can leave down for him to snack on all day. In order to give him the calories he needs--he's a big cat--we feed him four times a day.

As a result, we never both of us go away at the same time for more that half a day. And buying a house in one city and selling one in another would involve lots of leaving Max behind.

Other roadblocks? It would be hard for me to leave my family, but I'd be here for the summer and phones work just as well from Pittsburgh to Texas as they do within Texas.

Another roadblock is our age--moving was a lot easier when we were young and after Hub's heart attack last year, I fear what the strain would do to him. (That's last on his list of concerns, highest on mine.)

First on Hub's is Max. For those of you who don't remember, take a look at this:

Isn't he cute? And did I say big? And scary sometimes. (He frightened one of my cleaning ladies so badly she wouldn't come back!) No way we could get a pet sitter, and I wouldn't ask my sister, whom Max likes, to come in that often.

So for now we'll just dream. And innit strange that when I daydream of living in that house I'm twenty-nine? And cute. And weigh 105 pounds! And did I say cute?

Oh, well, except for the heat, we've got it pretty good here in central Texas. And Max is a luverly cat...most of the time.

Ta, y'all.