Monday, July 30, 2007

Velvet Strawberries

After discovering this blog which is called "Velvet Strawberries" but about so much more - I decided to search for my gigantic velvet strawberry pincushion which I KNEW I had put somewhere very logical. Of course it was in a drawer labeled "Vintage Pinks." Where else would it be?

Now I know for sure that I have a second one somewhere completely different. It's a teeny tiny velvet strawberry on a velvet ribbon bookmark. I'm still searching for that one!

Edited to add: FOUND IT!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Our Ohio cousins came to Phoenix for a visit! From left to right we have James, Will, Kaitlin, Matt, Alex, Dan and August.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Whatever Happened to Beanbag Frogs?

When I was a girl I used to love going to church bazaars. There would be row upon row of yoyo clowns, crocheted potholders and beanbag frogs. I also remember stuffed snake toys, sock monkeys and the woodworked toys created by the "grandpas" at the church. These might have been trains or trucks with lathe-turned wheels. Of course the "oven rack puller-outer" and the "round tuits" were readily available. My brothers always located the clothespin guns that would shoot rubber bands at their sisters.

The best were the Christmas ornaments. Felt ornaments decorated with beads and sequins, crocheted snowflakes and clothespin angels covered the trees. A little later in the late 70's there was a huge trend toward quilting and soon patchwork and calico ornaments joined the rest. A quilt was usually displayed for a raffle and the lucky winner would go home very happy.

A delicious meal was served and we would go home with several plates of homemade treats (usually something that was the "Special Recipe" of one or another of the "Women's Guild" members.)

These items were lovingly created by hand with donated supplies by the members of the church in order to support a building fund or missionaries.

Those days are gone. But why?

The last church bazaars I have been to were the "booth" type arrangements where "vendors" purchased a table and set out their wares. Hardly anything was handcrafted, most was manufactured. There were candles and purses and cosmetics and kitchenware. I discovered some jewelry and knitted baby items that were handcrafted but it still felt like shopping from an individual vendor and not a group effort.

Plates of homemade treats have been declared "illegal." Supposedly, food prepared for the public must be made in certain ways with certain health standards and since home kitchens can't all be inspected and monitored, the goodies are gone.

Raffles are now considered a form of "gambling" and in many cases are no longer allowed.

At one bazaar (not even called a bazaar anymore, but a craft fair) I purchased a sock monkey. I was delighted to meet the woman - a grandma - who made it, but honestly I bought it more for the irony and the kitsch value rather than a genuine appreciation for the handcrafted quality of this item.

Well, I can't change things but I did a little bit to remind myself of the fun of the beanbag frog. I discovered this vintage pattern and decided to make it up as part of my "frog theme." I love how it turned out and I am afraid that I may also have to make the turtle.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Something Fun!

A vintage Simplicity pattern of felt appliqued zodiac signs. I think I bought these on eBay about five years ago. Cute!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

While I was at it....

...I made another messenger and zipper pouch with a celestial theme. I think the batik binge is over.... Time to purge.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Did You Guess "Messenger Bag?"

I know - that one was too easy!

Here is the front....

And the back.

I had some of the froggie squares leftover so made a zipper pouch to match.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I have a new "use it or lose it" attitude with regard to my far-too-large stash of sewing supplies and fabrics. If I can't think of something that I want to make RIGHT NOW with the item at hand, it goes into the "donation box."

I hesitated at these batik fabrics...

Then I plunged in...

What will it be?

I Heart Paul Potts

Just in case you haven't seen this....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Still Decorating

In an effort to bring more original artwork into my home I purchased this floral from Susan Brown. I spotted her artwork in a magazine (sorry I can't remember which one, can anyone help?) and located her on the internet. The first paintings that I liked were sold, but Susan graciously offered me this one. I have hung it in my dining room. What do you think?

Are you wondering about the chest? It is a vintage optometrist's case. It is filled with lenses! Want to see? This is what the insides of the drawers look like...

Let's look a little closer...

Any suggestions for what to do with the lenses? I have about a hundred - many sizes and thicknesses.