Thursday, February 25, 2010

it's like my very own game show

Thank you for playing along on the debut episode of the 'What's she doing to those vintage tablecloths now?'

You may recall this doily factory project and it's related guessing game.

There were many clever (and inspiring) guesses as to 'What is this?' and I'm pleased to announce the correct answer came from cherrypit. I can only imagine how she combined keen investigative skills and an unrestrained love of vintage fabrics to come up with her theory:

"... I was thinking if they were a little smaller they would make delightful  napkin rings ... perhaps with a vintage button or two. I can see them with an oversized white linen napkin."

 Well done! Cherrypit, a set of custom vintage tablecloth napkin rings are yours!

And don't miss this! There's a really great giveaway going on at 521 Lake Street. If you're a fan of Cath Kidston, you'll love it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three facts this blog has revealed about me so far:

1. I sew.
2. I love vintage fabric.
3. I save things.

Here's a collage of all three of those things combined -- the 'I save things' portion being the part where I've saved every photograph of every item I've ever sewn using vintage fabric. You know, so when my life's work is archived by the Smithsonian, it'll be an easy job for the curators.

Now a fourth fact has been revealed.

4. I hallucinate.

(if you click on this photo, it will become ginormous.)

I emphasized my sewing of the patchwork variety since that's been on my mind lately as I continue my quest to 'sew through' my vintage fabric stash.

In addition to full-on vintage tablecloths, vintage yardage and barkcloth drapery panels, The Stash includes boxes, bins and baggies (baggies are so ... not vintage but don't worry, they're hidden from view) of bits & pieces, sorted by type and size, from larger 'chunks' on down to little pieces. I love to put all the colors and patterns together like a colorful vintage puzzle.
I haven't made one of these quilts in a couple of years so I have one in the works now although I'm not sure yet if it'll become a little lap quilt or maybe a patchwork tablecloth.
(a tablecloth made from tablecloths -- what will she think of next?)
I'm kind of leaning toward tablecloth.

Here's a sneak peek of something new from the product development department of the Doily Factory. Can you tell what it'll be? If you have the first correct guess, I'll make one just for you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

the state of thrifting: arizona

I've spent five of the last ten days visiting my aunt in Tucson, Arizona where it's sunny and warm. Most of the time. Things didn't get cold and rainy until the day I left so it all worked out. We spent some time at the Tucson Gem Show because lately I've been getting the urge to make vintage-inspired jewelry! (Must be due to the 6-square-inches of empty space I've created in the Doily Factory by using up a microscopic amount of my fabric stash. No, wait -- that can't be it because I've filled up twice that much space with new-to-me vintage fabric.)

I exercised 'extreme' self-control and brought home only a few strands of glass beads in aqua and jadeite green along with some pretty, carved medallions. And lots of ideas.

Please bear with me as I veer off-topic for a moment but here's one of those new-to-me vintage fabrics I mentioned. I've never seen this one before. Mid-century, square-dancing farmers!

I also spent some time trolling Tucson thrift stores (things seemed a tad overpriced compared to where I thrift at home) and antique malls (bought nothing but still like to browse). Knowing I would have to ship it or squeeze whatever I purchased into my puny carry-on suitcase restricted my purchasing a little and provided support for my Crafty Resolution #7. I did find a few things for my etsy shop, PeppermintBark. Just waiting for the box to arrive. 

Remember the old days before air travel became what it is now? You could fill a big box with vintage treasures, seal it shut and check it as baggage for free. And without having to remove your shoes and belt, unpack your laptop or display your creams and potions in the clear plastic Baggie of Judgement. One airport security person looked at my jam-packed ziploc bag and asked "Is all of this just for you?"  Ow.

Now it's time for me to get the Doily Factory up and running again, which in my dreams, would look something like this. Year round, of course.

Hope you have a terrific weekend and a sweet Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

the family jewels

Nearly 20 years ago I inherited my mother's costume jewelry collection, most of it already vintage by then since she'd had many of the pieces for most of her life. She was a bit of a note-writer, attaching handwritten messages to some of the pieces, reminding me when or how she came to have them.

She had a little of everything and these are some of my favorites.

I love this faceted amber glass necklace. The note with it says "My father gave this to me in 1929. Photo taken wearing it." I hope I have that photo somewhere. And for those of you doing the math, my mother was born in 1920 and I was a later-in-life surprise for my parents. That's all I'm sayin'.  :-)

This little necklace is my favorite -- more faceted glass. I always admired it when she and I would look through her jewelry box. The note with this says "I'm glad you like this. I wore it as a young girl."

There wasn't a note with this Italian mosaic necklace. The tiny details on it are amazing.

Two sweet pins. A pretty celluloid bouquet from Japan and a googly-eyed Scotty in a turquoise top hat.

And this is the 'Mysterious Mary' pin. No note and no idea who Mary was. But I think I'll keep it in case the mystery is solved someday.