Monday, April 26, 2010

one seam smock dresses

Late last summer when I really started sewing I made my first-ever dress for Marlowe. Now that summer is almost here again I can't wait to make her dozens more. They are simple, easy & she loves them!
Of course her baby needed one too! Now if I could figure out something as easy to make Roland!

Friday, April 23, 2010

horsin' around

This time of year, in Louisville, you find horses on about everything. Because you never know where the future will lead us I wanted to make sure I had a little bit of Louisville to always keep with me. Moving here was a giant leap for me & my family & this place (rotten Ohio Valley allergies and all) will always be very special to me. Enough waxing nostalgic. Here's my artsy craft idea:
This free local magazine Underwired had a great drawing on the cover this month. I grabbed a handful at the grocery store and brought them home.
Then inside I found this Derby Month Calendar:

My plan in to cut out 3 of the cover images and frame them. Then display them side by side. Not sure what to do with the calendar page yet. Maybe I'll frame one of them as well. I'll share pics once I'm done. Weather permitting; I'll be on the search for cheap frames tomorrow morning at local yardsales!
And since we're talking about horses. Check out this cool postcard I picked up at the Mellwood Arts Center.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

pretty trays

I bought my first tray in Asheville, NC during our 2nd anniversary get-a-way. I was a new mom, away for the weekend, and this tray caught my eye in an antique shop. I think it was the little boy that made me fall in love with it.

Then this tray was given to me by my mother. I think she saved it from being thrown away at a friend's house. It's pretty banged up but I love the seasonal art work. p.s. I'm not one of those crazy coke collectors.
And now I want more. They're kitchy, and useful. I use the Uneeda tray as an "empty your pockets out & throw your keys here" catcher in my kitchen. For those of you paying attention; that is a calculator watch. My husband thinks it's the coolest thing ever & I agree just so he doesn't give me a hard time about collecting junk.
The Coca Cola tray lives on my dining room table until I find somewhere where she's needed more. For now she gives my birdies a place to perch. And is a great way to transfer food to the grill for an outside picnic.
That's it for now. Until I find more. Have you started a new collection?

much better than bills

Today was one of those days where I was really happy to get the mail. Inside were 3 of my favorite magazines. These are magazines I read cover to cover, like the way I used to with my mom's Cosmo when I was 12 or Jane in my 20's...I've changed a lot & so have the things that make me really happy. Here are 3 of them:

Simple & Delicious this mag plans out a week of meals for you, complete with grocery list & estimated costs. Bonus: my mom gave me a subscription for Christmas.
All You their tag line is "Enjoy Life for Less" & they help you do it. Last month one of the  featured coupons was a free Rimmel product ($5 value). Their website is equally FAB plus I got a year subscription for $5 on it. So worth it!
Better Homes & Gardens do I really have to say anything? It brings joy. Pure joy. Bonus: I worked for Meredith (BHG's publisher) for years. We got free subscriptions to their magazines as part of the benefits package. I no longer work for them, but I still get the magazines every month. shhhhh...

Monday, April 19, 2010

I want it!

This weekend kicked off the Derby Festival so we spent most of Saturday watching Thunder over Louisville. I did however find time for a new Martha episode and guess what she previewed just in time for Mother's Day:
Hey Brian, look at this oh-so-conveinent link: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z   Wouldn't it look fabulous next to my favorite cookbook?

You haven't had eggs until you've cooked them "martha style". I'm just sayin'...

Friday, April 16, 2010

the history of aprons

I make them, I wear them, I love them. Aprons. Most days I rush home from work & head straight to the kitchen. Aprons have saved my clothes from countless flour spills, soup splashes, oil pops & tiny wet hands. This morning my mother-in-law emailed this to me & I had to share it with my fellow craft-a-billies.
Here's a pattern I purchased a couple months ago when she & I were at JoAnn's. It was originally $8.95 (on sale for 99cents)
And here's a pic she sent of a very similar vintage pattern from McCalls:
*Notice it's only 25cents and a size medium is 14-16! Ah, the good ole' days.
And this is the history of Aprons:
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids..
And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes. Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

pretty pots full of love

I had to share my friend Heather's lovely craft she did with her kids this weekend.

She bought loads of 99cent flower pots from Wal-Mart, spray painted them white ($1 spray paint) & bought a set of acrylic paints (15-20 for $9.99) for the  kids to decorate them with (which she says she has tons left over for even more projects!).

I love cheap, creative, kid friendly projects and I'm moving this one to the top of my list!

The stand she's displaying them on came with the house (bonus!) and for the record Heather; I wouldn't paint it either. I love it.
p.s. her girls are too adorable for me not to share their pic with you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I adore these bags!

Are you still using plastic bags? Stop it! Here's a good reason why... Neela Bags! They are fantastic. They are super cute, super easy to carry and oh yeah, good for the environment.
I have the market pack in raspberry (shown below). It comes with 5 bags that easily fold up in the lunch tote. Makes taking all your bags into the grocery store super easy. And I always get loads of compliments on them. Plus, you get a super cute lunch bag out of the deal.
And the insulated tote in Kelly Green. I use this for picnics, road trips back to the Carolinas, & when I have to bring potluck dishes to work. It's huge.

Full disclosure: I'm not getting anything from Neela for posting this. I just really love these bags & I wanted to share them with you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One man's junk is this woman's treasure!

I love junk. It could stem from the frequent weekend trips to the Anderson Jockey Lot we took as a family growing up. Sharing boiled peanuts with dad, 3 for $10 bootleg cassettes, airbrushed t-shirts, and chickens & puppies & lizards for sale!
Or it could be the 6am yard sale/Goodwill circuit I took with mom almost every weekend in the spring & summer. Weeding through people's stuff; looking for lost treasure.
One of my favorite things about Louisville; the yard sales & flea markets! They are abundant and unlike SC; they last ALL DAY! From Friday to Sunday; sun up to sun down; these people are yard selling. And I love it. 
Here are a couple of things I picked up this weekend at the J-Town Mall of Vendors (sort of an indoor flea market) that make me happy.
These antique books were 50 cents each! With my love for all things old, tiny, and paper-how could I pass them up?
One is a brag book for little pics of your cuties and the other a day planner. I have no idea if I'll actually use them but...Love! Love! Love!   

Hi Good buddy! Hipsters hold on to your ironic trucker hats; the belt buckle. It's big & old & dirty and it's a beauty! The subject matter sold me on this piece. Originally $15; it was marked down to 25 cents! I had to have it.

So fellow craft-a-billies; leave me a comment! I'd love to hear about your favorite flea market find. Kathy, I know you must have a dozen of 'em!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

fancy flower vases

My kids love to pick flowers for me. They have a gift for picking the most beautiful bloom...right under the bud. No stem. This weekend my son Roland picked the only bloom in my garden. I smiled, said thank you and through gritted teeth tried to figure out a way to enjoy my beautiful yellow bloom for a few more days. The stem wasn't long enough for a vase & then, it hit me! I have a dozen close to empty kid's medicine bottles, tons of fabric scraps and a hot glue gun! I'll make my own kid sized vase! It took all of five minutes, here's how:
Grab one of the dozen close to empty, or outdated kid's medicine bottles in your cabinet.

I think the clear ones look the best once they are dolled up.
Wash them out real good. And try and peel off the labels the best you can. (really not that important- we'll be covering them up anyway).

Now that you've got your bottle, grab a fabric scrap & a pair of pinking shears (fancy scissors for you craft-a-billies). And plug in your hot glue gun. Cut the fabric to fit around your bottle. If the label is still on (depending on the thickness of your fabric) you may want to cut the length to go around twice.
Dot a line of glue down the long length of your bottle. Then press your fabric and hold. Martha always says to keep a little bowl of water by your glue gun & I agree. Hot glue + fingers = ouch! Wrap the fabric around the bottle and glue the end. Add water, tiny stemmed picked with love flower bud, and enjoy!