Can you believe it? Yeah, I know, I am actually trying to stick to my word and work on my sewing every week! Well, the above may look completely primitive and simple, and that it is. But at the very least it is something, which is better than nothing. Okay, are you ready-do not laugh! Here is one badly sewn patchwork zakka inspired placemat:
I decided that I AM TRYING to make things look primitive and "folksy" so that when they turn out that way I can be happy. This was more of a "learning, experimental, use my scraps placemat" than a "special placemat for VIPs to eat off of placemat". I did learn a lot and it kept me busy while James was fiddling with a new thrifted camera. I am sure many of you have seen the Japanese craft book from where my source of inspiration came. Here is the exact photo that inspired this madness:
A little different, but I said inspired, right? I got this book at the nearby Japanese superstore yesterday. I went with Casey and her husband-thanks for taking me guys! Casey also gave me a birthday present yesterday-the cutest knitted object I own:
a knitted apple cover! Thank you, Casey!!!
Yesterday morning James and I hit up the best estate sale I've ever been to! So much stuff, and the majority of it pretty reasonable. If you remember, I've been doing my reading and those lessons paid off. Some of what we bought (total amount spent including a couple things not here $12):
not pictured is a medium sized enamel tub and an awesome "food umbrella" (covers food during a picnic).
I grew up junk shopping with my mother, sisters, and aunts and it is one of my favorite things to do. I really hate "shopping" but "Junk shopping" seems different. Here are some things I've learned:
1 .Look in magazines, books, or even blogs to get ideas of what kind of styles you like. Try to identify some of the key items, textures, and color schemes and write them down. For example; I love the style of the rooms featured in Japanese craft books. I noticed that many of them feature enamelware either as storage receptacles or planters. I notice that many rooms are decorated with plain linen or muslin fabric with bits of patterns used sparingly. When I am shopping I look for all kinds of enamelware and linens (even clothing) that I can cut up and sew into something. This seems to be common sense but I think many people don't pay enough attention the raw materials that go into making a room look cool.
2. Collect things that aren't collectibles. My mom has so many strange collections; vintage dice, old pincushions, children's tea sets, and so many more-the thing that makes them cool is that they are everyday objects that someone once loved and grouped together look amazing. If you collect something unpopular but beautiful, your collection will be cheap and unique.
3. Be prepared to dig. Everything cool I ever found was found under something, behind something, in a smelly old box, or covered in a pile of dust. This seems like common sense but while observing other shoppers, I notice that most do not do this. I found the cool teapot in the garage, under a table inside a box-and it was $1. The wire basket was covered in cobwebs, hanging from the rafters in the basement and was 50 cents. I found an old enamel tub for $2 sitting inside a box of trashed papers.
4. If you love the object but don't need it-think of another way to use it. Can you make it into a shelf, tabletop, or storage crate? Can that awesome too small vintage dress be made into an apron, kid's skirt, or shoe bag? Sometimes something is so cool and such a steal you have to make it work.
5. Don't spend more than $5 on an item you love but don't know what to do with. If you hold the item, shop for several more minutes-can't think of how to use it and it is $8-put it down!
Of course, every one is different but this is what I try to do.
I am working on new stuff for the shop today-and also seeing my sister's new engagement ring! Yay Lindee! I must be getting along...hope your weekends are fabulous...
Last night we went to "last thursday" a kind of flea mart/arts and craft street fair on Alberta. The sights you are about to see are what we saw as we walked around.
-coolest car ever
-yes those ARE mickey mouse ears
-clowns performing at their house (24th and Alberta)
-random alley house
-Dale, coolest booth master ever! Cheap junk and even gave me a free hankie that I liked so much. He really "gets it"-you know?
-horrible mix of too much patchouli incense and lavender essential oils (those booths need to go!)
-lilac bunches by the bucket full
-fresh chopped garlic
-Chanel No.5 on the woman in the seat next to me during my bus ride to work
-LU brands "pims"; dark chocolate covered wafers
-Lunderberg Brand wild mushroom and herd risotto (from a box, but good and organic!)
-cucumber, red bell pepper, and avocado slices on seven grain bread
-an americano from Coffee Plant
-"Come Back from San Francisco"-the Magnetic Fields
-"Kelly Watch the Stars"- Air
-"Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying"-Belle and Sebastian
-cold concrete on my feet (barefoot season has officially begun)
-wool felt and stuffing (sewing project!!)
*question for you-so do you like me responding in the comments? Is anyone reading them or should I respond via email-let me know what you think...*
So I was going to post about this lovely breakfast Jame's and I enjoyed on Sunday morning and never got around to it....Nice crepe place on Alberta; it seemed junky, French, and relaxing-in the best way.
I am working on things a lot around here. I sold some shop stuff and still have swap stuff to work on-this list is neverending! I really hope to post a sewing thing soon-I need more time in the day....
I've been having "those kind of days" recently. I am in love with the sun and can't stay online for more than five minute intervals-what a great intro to this five meme I was tagged with-
Five minutes to yourself: how would you spend them, ideally?
drinking coffee outside on a sunny day while reading a magazine
Five bucks to spend right now; how would you spend it?
duh-coffee and a magazine
Five items in your house you could part with, right now, that you hadn’t thought of already?
-my coffeemaker (it's all about the french press)
-half of my wardrobe
-leave in conditioner
-most of my pots and pans
-the gas bill
Five items you absolutely, positively could never part with in your house?
-my awesome old junky pink chair
-my collection of virgin mary statues
Five words you love?
I am sorry-I can't do this one *I don't love five words*
I am not tagging anyone as I am too lazy!
Sun is shining, spring is really here and my shop is updated with a bunch of prints! That is right, prints-go and check it out! I won't completely bore you with details, but I've been hard at work and I am hoping some of you will want one in your home. Oh yeah, and after this week, no more dahlia anything! I can't say for certain-but I hope to retire that motif for at least a while.
I've had so much fun; neighborhood roaming, a jaunt in Saint John's, holga photos at the "clown house", coffee with a friend, breakfast at a crepe place with James (review+photos tommorrow)-ah the sunshine is good! I did have one problem, though-gasp----
I completely ruined the brownie. The wounds are still fresh, I really don't want to go there right now. I will tell you about it another day.
I hope your weekend is going well and that spring has reached your house!
-This photo bought this evening at a thrift store for 50 cents. I love it, can't take my eyes off the wonderful color of the frame.
-My neighbors, yes the sunshine has brought them out into the world!
-the crazy marionettes hanging from the ceiling of Esparza's restaurant-I have no photos, but you can check out this blogger's post.
-My new Country Home (not be confused with Country Living) and new Domino mags (this one isn't quite as good as last months)
-beautiful flowers purchased at a nearby market
-the very close BBQ stand, don't eat the meat-but love that BBQ smell!
-the aged leather case of my new old camera-smells musty and well loved
-the most indulgent fatty chille relleno dinner from Esparza's
-the worst americano I've ever had! Even if you are crunched for time (which I was ) DO NOT buy espresso from Coffee People-yucko!
-tzatski and pita for lunch
-Summer Sun, my favorite Yo La Tengo record
-my new cell phone ring-can't work the darn thing-help me turn it off!!
-these soft cotton fabrics from my Mom, soon to be my newest sewing accomplishment!
-the hot iron as I iron piece after piece
-red, orange, and white block prints paint; I a mixing to find just the right pink for my current project (photos this weekend!)
-the crisp paper and slight indentations of this beautiful card set from mav's etsy shop. Thanks to Aunt Joyce who supplied the birthday funds for these!
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. I am going to cuddle with James now and watch the VERY LAST EPISODE OF SIX FEET UNDER-TEARS, TEARS!!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! It was lovely, more on that later-I'm kinda "birthdayed" out-you know?
James was nice enough to get me some art supplies for my birthday. As I am sure many of you can tell, I have no technical (or any other) artistic training but I like to do my fair share of dabbling. Above is my first attempt at a block print. I think I like the idea of experimenting with shapes and color as opposed to actually trying to carve a "picture" into the block. The number "9" has always been a big deal to me, probably because I am one of nine children. I'm constantly finding myself drawn to numbers and letters and patterns. During my lunchtimes walks I've been snapping photos of interesting tilework. This was something that was roaming around in my head for awhile and I'm happy with the result. Many more experiments to come.
Of course, I just had to see if it would translate into card form. I'm happy with the "hello" cards but hate the colors on the "A" ones...
I am so knee deep in swaps right now-it is ridiculous! I have so many ideas for my shop and sewing is coming along, too. James just informed me that he has disc three of the last season of "Six Feet Under" so I gotta jam on that! Hope your Easter was fantastic!
yeah...I know. It's five senses friday. anway.........
-part of a wonderful birthday gift from my in-laws (thanks Lesa!)
-this book from the library. It has inventive ideas, Martha at her very best.
-Junk Style, also from the library, is my newest inspiration source
-the piercing WIND!
-"tiny cities made of ashes" the version by SunKilMoon. The original version by Modest Mouse will always be ny favorite, but this version is haunting me right now.
-creamy broccoli soup
-cheap green tea, celestial seasonings, it's what I have in my cupboard for now
Happy Easter to all! Tommorow is my birthday; 24 seems too old and too young at the same time. I might be gone for awhile or I may feel like sharing, who knows? Goodbye for now....
bulletin: to make both of our lives easier and to cut down on emails-I am taking a cue from many other bloggers and answering your comments in the comments section. So next time you stop by, check it out and see a little note I've left! Thanks for the kind comments you leave, I really love them.
I can't ever have a favorite color-or even colors-but some colors that I am really "into" (at least this week) are green+red. Not Christmas red and green but colors like this!! Very "Amelie" green+red. There is something so vibrant, alive and inspiring about this combo. I've been told it's because I am an aries that I am drawn to these colors. Hmm....can you imagine-me an aries?! I know, a procrastinating emotional blogger is an aries-stunning, huh? *note the sarcasm here*
Back to green+red-the new Country Living is full of it and my eyes are just glazing over when I stare at the yummy goodness. (Okay-I realize it is unnatural for a 23 year old to have an obsession with this magazine, but I DO.) I've placed my lovely weathered wooden "A" (gift from my Aunt) on my bookshelf to try and recreate my own happy version:
I smile each time I walk by.
On the sewing front, thanks for your wonderful tips and suggestions! I will be scouring the library this Saturday-list in hand. I actually even made another pillow last night, but it just looks so funny I cannot post it yet. I want my next project to be this:
a pear shaped potholder from the December Cotton Paint mag. But now I am thinking that if I really want to learn, maybe the pattern should not be in Japanese! (whoa-note that it is also green+red!) Maybe I will make something like these (from the same mag)
Yeah, I think I could manage these.
Oh yeah, and I'd love to make the area above my desk look like this:
This photo is from Country Living-but I've seen something similar and much cooler here. I have a lot to go work on, so I'd better go...
What colors are you loving?
So, I've noticed that lately I've gotten myself into this whole "I am bad at sewing" mantra which basically means that for the past two months I've abandoned any sewing projects for other things. This is a load of BS that I tell myself because I am scared of an imperfect project. OK, I realize that nothing I do is even close to perfect or will ever be--but I grew up around a woman who works wonders on a machine and having no real training myself I feel less than enthused about making a fool of myself.
My first job was working at a fabric store, more than half of my sisters (I have seven) can sew and I thought it was just something I could do. A few attempts worked out and gave me the idea that it was easy to sew. Oh, how wrong I was. Several more failed attempts made me stop-but now I am beginning to see something. If I read about things, I can do them. As stupid as this sounds-it is true and last night, after reading some encouraging tips online I busted out the old machine and made this pillow from some extra handstamped fabric I had.
A pillow is not hard, this I know-but the idea of getting over the intimidation of "sewing" is my biggest success. I decided-from now on-every week I am going to tackle (however small) a sewing project. I have a giant stash of fabric-really big! And I need to put a dent in it. I just need to muster up the patience to sit, read, try, and learn-and well-if I could learn how to knit I will learn how to sew! Wish me luck...I'm off to work now
-Oh yeah-Can you recommend any good sewing books???