I made a quick little set of embellished kitchen curtains when we lived in LA a couple of years ago — two floral-print tea towels with buttons sewn to the center of each flower. It’s a fun, easy project, but today I came up with an even simpler version for the other set of windows in our kitchen… so the button-flowers can live over the sink while these new ones hang out at the end of the room, replacing a heavy beige home-dec fabric set that came with the house that really wasn’t us at all. It’s just a few pieces of fabric switched out, but it feels like a whole new room — light, bright and open. I’m so happy with them!
I found these Oregon state map tea towels at New Seasons here in Portland and got the idea to embellish a couple of my favorite places on them, like my gocco-quilt square project last year. Between ironing, stitching on little ornaments, and adding clip-on cafe curtain rings (found at Fred Meyer for $1.99), this was a 45-minute project at most. I started by choosing a few buttons, sparkles, and charms I like:
I picked the blue star for Portland and the amber-colored sparkle for my favorite place to visit, Mt. Hood (west slope).
Then I added a few fun bits to the Oregon state seal at the top of the design, too.
I did each of the four panels the same way and I want to add some more embellishments in other places I like when I have more time… but for now I just wanted the old ones gone and the new ones up, so a few twists of a screwdriver later, success!
I’m a lover of maps, but any fun, vibrant pattern would do nicely. Add any types of embellishment you like — besides the buttons, sparkles and charms I picked, rick-rack, beads, lace, or ribbon stripes could be fun. Or just clip the towels up as-is and call it good!
Speaking of maps, I gocco-printed two rounds of cards — silver Oregons and red USAs — for the Obama postcard party tomorrow, and Pearl permitting, I’m hoping to print two more in new colorways tonight. Thanks to Sarah of The Obama Craft Project for writing up the party today, and snapping this photo!
If you’re in Portland and have time to swing by Tandem and write a few cards, that would be great! We’ll be there from 11-2. I’ll be the one with the dark-haired baby girl, the Gocco printer and the frequently refilled cup of coffee. Hope to see you!
Before I start in with a chatty weekend-and-crafty post I wanted to follow up and mention that the daisy chain tutorial I wrote is up on CraftStylish if you’d like to check it out… grade-school crafting redux!
Wow, this weekend was over way too quickly, and Monday crept up fast. We were out and about a lot now that I think about it. Pearl and I volunteered on Friday afternoon to register people to vote, outside the Race for the Cure registration, which was great. Thank you to the eight people who took the time to update their addresses or register in Oregon for the first time, before picking up their triumphant t-shirts and race stuff! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table to say hi and that they were excited to vote (yay)! And huge congratulations to each of the racers and the Komen organization for another wonderful and super-successful fundraiser.
On Saturday, we walked all the way up and down Hawthorne to browse a bunch of our favorite vintage furniture stores for cool stuff, and finished the afternoon with a trip to the soaking pool and a dinner for four adults and two four-month-old girls (always a risk factor — but it turned out to be pretty easy, especially since we outnumbered them) at Bernie’s Southern Bistro, which I have always wanted to try as a bona fide Southern girl. It was good, even by my picky Southern standards! And then we had to get an ice cream cone at the end of the night (I picked Cascade Glacier’s Huckleberry Heaven — which was delicious!). Yesterday, we went to Sellwood to walk around, waited out a very long, very un-Oregon wild rainstorm with a slice of pizza, and picked up a 1970s Fisher-Price Activity Center that I used to have for Pearl. She already loves it and bats wildly at the spinning parts and the bell.
Today I am making a huge batch of tomato sauce following Amanda’s awesome recipe,
working on some things and finishing another project for next Sunday’s CraftStylish tutorial post (hint: it involves jewelry-izing one of these favorites),
…and making my gocco screens for the postcard party!
Speaking of gocco: I noticed in my stats that my post from over a year ago has been getting a lot of looks these days as (sadly) gocco printers and supplies are on the wane again. I’m going to do some research and try to find some good resources and stores to recommend and write up a fresh new post as soon as I can. Long live gocco!
Here’s a quick round-up of some crafty stuff I’m excited about this week — first up, the Flower Power Challenge contest over at CraftStylish! Just make something flower-y and cool and add it to their gallery by Sept. 30 for your chance to win some pretty amazing Crafty Chica-themed prizes — all the details are here.
I wrote up a few quick tutorials for crafty flower-type things over there this month so please check them out if you’re interested, contest-wise or just for fun! Last week’s was a fabric applique-embellishment project:
and this upcoming Sunday’s revisits a grade-school favorite, making beaded daisy chains! (update: here’s the direct link.)
I also fell in love with a new (to me) craft site this week: Obama Craft Project, brought to you by the lovely duo behind Sewer-Sewist. They spotlight tons of inspiring crafts for change in all genres and often offer patterns or share links for making your own versions. Submit yours to the site or to their flickr pool to become part of the collection!
I met Lise this weekend at Crafty Wonderland when she was registering people to vote, and saw the awesome Obama hat she’s designed and knitted.
On that note, I wanted to mention that I am hosting an Obama postcard-writing party here in Portland next week, if you’re interested in writing a few cards to voters. I wrote about my first batch over here, but for this round, I am going to get crafty and gocco-print some map images, like this Oregon quilt square I printed last year for my Modern Heirloom Quilt in CRAFT: magazine.
I’ll bring the gocco printer and a big stack of cards for people to write, but please bring your own cards (handmade or souvenir) if you’d like to, along with pens and some 27¢ stamps. I’m bringing Pearl, and it is definitely baby- and kid-friendly if you are traveling with a crew. I’ll take care of sending all the cards out in a batch by September 30 to save postage and extra trips to the post office. If you’re free, please stop by and please spread the word to friends who might be interested too. Thanks!
3041 SE Division St., Portland
Friday, Sept. 26 from 11am-2pm
Hope to see you!
I had a photo-heavy post all planned out with some beading and jewelry-making projects and stuff to share, and then my childcare fell through today… so that (along with a fair amount of planned work-work) was scratched off the list and pushed until tomorrow. But now that Pearl is taking a little nap I do have time to gush about something awesome and show off a few pics of that instead!
I saw Diane for lunch on Monday which was lovely as always. And she brought me three ziploc bags of her amazing stash of vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric… and, well, wow.
Here it all is, in stacks — with a white thread spool down in the lower left for scale.
You might want to look at the large view of that one on flickr, if you are as obsessed with vintage fabric as I am, anyway. The patterns! I didn’t have time to do any close-ups yet but I’m hoping to show off a WIP using some of it soon…
I have been admiring it and arranging it and rearranging it incessantly. It was hard to pick a favorite until I spotted this square:
I found that handbag, which is one of my dearest treasures in this life, on eBay a few years ago. I’ve always wondered what the original prints featured on it might look like… and then I spotted my little koala bears peeking out of this piece. Awesome!
I love, love, love vintage Lilly stuff. I have at least a dozen of her dresses, six or seven a-line and wrap skirts, two crazy maxi skirts, that handbag, two yards of silky fabric I randomly found, a bikini, a scarf, the beautiful baby quilt Pam and Marie made for Pearl, two pairs of pants, and a pair of extremely loud zebra pants that are Andrew’s exact size, but that he won’t wear. Some of it is in this dusty old flickr set of Lilly randomata. I can’t believe I haven’t added any photos to it since 2006 (until today) — but I guess the whole moving back to Portland, most of my stuff in storage, maternity clothes thing put a damper on exuberant Lilly-wearing and photographing.
Anyway, that era is now over! Viva Lilly! and thank you from the bottom of my heart, Diane!!
Teaching at Crafty Wonderland on Sunday was lovely and it was really fun to see all the earrings and other sparklies that people made! (And we got Burgerville for lunch so I had yet another round of sweet potato fries… yay.) My youngest beader was three and whipped up a very fancy pipe-cleaner bracelet, and I got some great photos of him and his many fellow crafters throughout the afternoon. I’ll post them tomorrow and write up some more fun jewelry-making stuff then.
But in the meantime, I’ve been wanting to post about some little sewing projects I’ve been doing for fun lately, and this set was an instant favorite:
I visited a very dear baby last week in North Carolina for the first time — he’s the guy I made the little whale appliqued shirts and onesies for last year — and I wanted to sew some new pieces for him to wear. So first I sewed this pair of 12m pants using Burda 9772, which I’ve used to make pants for Pearl in the 6m size. I love that pattern — it’s quick and easy to sew, doesn’t take much fabric, and I think it’s super cute — and it goes up to 3T, so I think it will be a go-to for quite awhile! Then I cut little leaf appliques out from the scraps, and fused them on a onesie with steam-a-seam 2. I love how they turned out and I can’t wait to see them in action.
The fabric is a cotton/bamboo blend, and I’m totally blanking on the manufacturer — Robert Kaufman, maybe? I got it at Cool Cottons here in Portland. It’s silky and crisp and lovely to sew with, and I am definitely eager to use it again for something for Pearl.
Speaking of the always-excellent Burda, I just got an email from BurdaStyle that they have their first-ever free downloadable kids’ pattern up on their site, the Sophia. It’s adorable! The size range is ages 2-5 so I am very excited to make Pearl the set when she’s a bit bigger. Lovely work as always, Nora and Benedikta!
I usually stick to crafts around here, but the nice thing about having an ad-free/labor of love/personal blog is that you get to talk about whatever you want… so I feel like writing about voting today.
We are big fans of Barack Obama, and after a busy summer I’m finally finding some time and energy to volunteer for his campaign. One of the easiest (and baby-friendliest) things I’ve done so far is write postcards to fellow voters here in Oregon. All the details are on the my.barackobama site if you are interested in doing a few for your community too, but hurry — they need to be in the mail by Monday, September 15. (If you’re here in the Northwest, our beloved Fred Meyer has a bunch of souvenir postcards that are perfect for this. The ones at the Hawthorne store are upstairs with the books and magazines during their wacky renovation.)
I’m a bit too shy for going door-to-door or calling people up, so something like this is just my speed. Writing ten postcards was so quick and easy, and I’m donating to Crafters for Obama and bringing Pearl along for some data entry at his Portland headquarters, too. Another thing you can do to help out, if you are so inclined, is to donate supplies or food to your local campaign office — mine, on Division St. here in Portland, is asking for basics like paper towels, paper plates, food, napkins, and toilet paper. And if your preferred candidate is someone else, I’m sure a couple of minutes of internet research will give you plenty of ideas on how to help there too.
On a non-partisan note, if you are as excited as I am to vote in this fall’s election, please take a few minutes to make sure that your registration is current. Here in Oregon, the last day to register or update your address is October 14. I’m sure every state has different deadlines and cut-offs, so double-check that you’re all set as soon as you can.
Off the soapbox, now — see you next week for some craftiness!
Hey, it’s been awhile! Pearl and I made a quick trip to North Carolina for a whirlwind week of grandmama visiting, hurricane ducking, hushpuppies, Locopops, and a side trip to Richmond for good measure — her fifth state in four months. And now we’re back, just in time for me to teach a free Bead Simple solo earring-making workshop at the Crafty Wonderland DIY table this Sunday!
I’m bringing along my vintage beads and findings,
plus some chain for making longer, swingier earrings if you want to get a bit more adventurous.
Just stop by, grab some pliers and pick out your favorite beads, and make yourself something pretty to wear home. I’ll have books for sale if you happen to need one, and I’d love to sign one if you already have it!
Meanwhile, there will be fantastic handmade things from 40 crafters to browse… one of my favorite artists, Jill Bliss, will be there with her work, and you can check out the complete list of vendors here. Hope to see you!
Bead Simple earring-making @ Crafty Wonderland
Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. in Portland
Sunday, September 14 from 11-4