Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I think I'm thrifterstitious.

Somewhere along the line I've developed a little nonsensical ritual of following the Exact Same Route Every Single Time through the thrift stores I frequent and it has nothing to do with efficiency.

Here's the thrifterstitious part -- because if I change my route through the store, it will somehow affect the outcome of my shopping. I'm just sayin'...

You never know. 

And good thing I stuck to my route because all kinds of vintage treasure turned up.

Like this vintage Hendryx birdcage. This may be the thing that sends me back to selling on eBay if I can even remember how to do that, it's been so long.

Pretty little vintage embroidered flower baskets that will get transformed into lavender sachets in the Doily Factory.

A sweet vintage embroidered tablecloth in yellow & blue, also destined to become sachets.

Wave after wave of delicate, detailed vintage crochet which, as my mother used to say, I need like 'a hole in the head.' (I know!)

This terrific vintage feedsack quilt top -- all hand-stitched by a very industrious vintage crafter. 

There are so many fun prints on the quilt top that I made my own little quilt with them. A digital quilt, I mean. That still counts, right?

And my favorite piece of all -- just 10 cents. 

Hopefully these fabrics will make it through all steps of the De-Dirtification process and come out clean & damage-free. 

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

About that gizmo

Several of you asked about the little prized possession I shared on my Where Bloggers Create post -- the eraser gizmo.

  I'm the youngest child and only girl in my family and both of my brothers were already in high school by the time I started kindergarten. The gap in our ages meant they were old enough to be out of the house and on their own before I finished elementary school. 
My brother closest in age to me was a genius, literally. He was intellectually gifted and to a little sister, that meant there wasn't anything he couldn't do or make or explain. 
Growing up, he was fascinated with electronics and was always building something from his collection of tubes, transistors and parts & pieces from the insides of the technology at the time, televisions and radios. 

The smell of burning solder coming from his bedroom meant something was 'under construction' or on fire.

the Ejector Seat in action

He made this gizmo for my mother about 40 years ago, when he was a teenager -- it's a whimsical and funny combination of the things we associated with his interests -- a soldered wire guy driving a car made from an eraser and electronic parts. Complete with sproingy ejector seat! My mother kept this little sculpture safely tucked in a drawer until she passed away and it became mine.

Not long after that, I also lost the brother who created it. And suddenly it went from charming memento to prized possession. Funny how that works but it still serves as a sweet reminder of simpler times.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Inside the Doily Factory for Where Bloggers Create II

I am not much of a 'joiner' as joining usually requires some sort of pajama-less participation, often at a specific place and time which usually ends up being a conflict with my hectic thrifting and sewing schedule. The pajama-less part being particularly iffy.

But look at me grow!

I'm joining in on Where Bloggers Create II, hosted by Karen Valentine of ***My Desert Cottage. Less than a year ago I didn't 'blog' or ' join' and now I'm doing both in the same day. And yes! In my pajamas!

Welcome to the Doily Factory.

As a longtime watcher of HGTV, I have learned by now that open spaces need to be divided in 'zones' and I have two of them: The Sit-and-Think-About-It-While-Online Zone (on your left) and The-Stand-&-Make-Things-While-Occasionally-Sitting-at-the-Sewing-Machine Zone (to your right). 

This is the side where many deep thoughts occur. They usually involve doilies or vintage tablecloths but are very deep nonetheless.

Please take note of the living, breathing paperweight on the vintage desk.

On the rare occasion no deep thoughts are available, I can stare into my vintage  fabric cabinet until one comes along. 

Many vintage fabrics have moved into this area, also known as Stash Heights. It's an older,  close-knit community filled with lots of colorful flowers. And a few yo-yos.

I think this is the only time this chair has ever had its picture taken without a handmade pillow on it. 
Please step over to the Making Things area of the Doily Factory where white walls and natural light work best for me. White walls keep color from reflecting onto the fabrics I'm working with -- I find natural light is the best stain detector for vintage fabric. 

I like to keep little bits of vintage inspiration all around including a reminder of one of my favorite places on the planet, San Francisco.

This dusty little gizmo, made from an eraser and old electrical parts, is one of my most prized possessions. That's a vintage photo of my parents, B.C. (before children).

More inspiration whenever I look up. 
 In the middle of this board, there's a tiny, long ago photo of my mother and me. In party hats. 

Click to enlarge this mosaic
And just some bits and pieces from around the place where I make things.

There are over 450 bloggers sharing the spaces where they create and you can see the complete list of Where Bloggers Create II participants on the right sidebar at ***My Desert Cottage.

And a huge *THANK YOU* to Karen Valentine for organizing this event -- I can't wait to check out everyone's creative spaces!
Hope you have an inspiring weekend!

Monday, June 14, 2010

 Eleven yard sales and 75 cents later, this is what I ended up with.

And it was from the first sale of the day. Timely too as I can use a little inspiration right about now.
A side trip to the thrift store netted this which is just what I needed.

That's right.

Christmas is right around the corner in the Doily Factory and I'm cooking up some brand new ideas based on some old favorites. 

Hope your day is shiny & brite!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Please be seated.

   Meet my latest project. And I totally understand if you have to look away.

It's pretty bad.

I didn't know the previous owner of my vintage dining room chairs but I think it's safe to say he or she may have chosen practical over pretty when deciding to cover the chair seats in what looks and feels like '70s carpet. Of the indoor-outdoor variety. 

(I might also add that the leaves to the table were wrapped in pieces of variegated green shag carpet.)

Fortunately, the price for the entire set was extremely affordable (free!) so I got over it pretty quickly.

I've been browsing around for some vintage fabric to replace the carpet seats and finally found some on eBay that was large enough and met my criteria for price (low), color (brown), motif (floral) and age (old). 

Unfortunately, that was almost a month ago and up until this afternoon, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever see it. Have you ever had that feeling about an eBay purchase?

But now it's here, safe and sound and in need of some ironing, I see, after loading the photo. All for $7.99 + free shipping.

I know! 

I just need to unearth my staple gun out in the Garage Where Cars Can't Park. Although doesn't a shiny, new electric staple gun sound good? I don't know anything about them but I never let that stop me. 

Here's one more weekend project. No staple gun required.

Have a rosy weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

sashaying around

The Doily Factory has been humming along lately with little stacks of these rolling off the assembly line. 

Is it really an assembly line when there's only one person doing the assembling?

Sachets or fancy ravioli? You decide. 

Making these lavender-filled sachets is perfect for my self-diagnosed short attention span because they pile up quickly which makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

I made these from a tattered and stained vintage dresser scarf with lots of 'good parts' left to use. I have to wonder what some of these old linens went through to end up looking the way they do.

I always admire the time and effort that went into the embroidery on these. Thank you, Anonymous Stitcher from the past. Your work is lovely. And enduring.

These were made from a dainty vintage tea towel and one lone napkin. Someone was so meticulous -- every little stitch is perfect.

These are from a pretty white-on-white vintage doily embroidered with grapes and leaves. 

And now, a special request. 

Please make this weather stop. I want to wear sandals. 
Thank you.