Friday, February 27, 2009

Ads That Don't Make Sense

Yikes, I want to apologize in advance to anyone who was frightened this morning by the very scary mannequin in the 'beauty lace wig' ad on my sidebar. (Shudder.) Adsense by Google is usually pretty good about what they choose, and I've found their content to be typically appropriate for my blog. However, this morning when I saw that detached, long haired head with something filmy growing out of it, I had one of those gasp-out-loud moments! I'm hoping there aren't a lot of keyboards with spilled coffee on them out there!

The thing about Adsense is, I find myself wishing I could click and see some of their more intriguing ads. But as you know if you have ads on your blog, that's one of the things you agree not to do. (There is a way to view your own ads through your account on the site, but when I was reading how when I first signed up I remember thinking, "Wow, that's convoluted" -- as in, time-consuming.)

Despite a great increase in all you wonderful visitors to my blog lately, my clicks are disappointingly low. I'm interested to hear from others who have ads: how's it working out for you?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stitching Pretty

I found a lovely but stained, embroidered napkin and just knew I had to do something with it. You know how that is. I cut it into a heart shape and then immediately felt terrible about discarding the lovely turkey stitching, done by hand of course, that was the trim.

So I decided to use the trim border as if it were piping. I sewed it in between the seams and was very pleased with the results! The green looks so fresh to me!

The interesting flap of fabric over the right side of the heart was a necessary embellishment due to the way the fabric was stained. It's always fun to figure out a way to salvage the best! I think when I begin using it I'll tuck a sprig or two of lavender into the "pocket."

I couldn't resist adding a photo of the heart with an Amy Butler fat quarter in the background -- more cheery, fresh green!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Honda Hello

I ordered some wonderful vinyl decals from Tasty Suite the other day: "Goodnight" for the space above my bedroom door, in midnight blue, and this awesome door knocker for, you guessed it, the front door. They arrived in a flash!

You should go see -- right now they're giving away a brick red "Hello" decal with every order, which is just gravy, and I had what I thought was a fun idea for where to put it:


For some time now, I've been wanting to stop advertising for Honda on the spare wheel cover on the back of my CRV. So, I peeled off all but the "H" (no easy task) and then applied all but the "H" from Tasty Suite's free decal.

If the decal holds up to the weather I'm going to get even more creative with that space in the near future!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mardi Gras Memories

When Julia posted a video of the Carnival revelry in Cologne, Germany she brought back memories of my one and only celebration of same, way back when. Being from the west coast USA, the Mardi Gras celebration was something I'd heard of but never participated in. So, I was in for quite an education in how to beat the winter blues, German style! The guy on the horse above just about sums up the general tone. He always makes me laugh and remember the day.

I lived just outside of Cologne during the Reagan administration, and the subject of Reagan's foreign affairs, especially with the USSR, was always hot topic in Europe. These photos are of floats and "costumes" that went walking by on stilts in 'downtown' Cologne's Carnival parade.

I remember barhopping all over the city on Weiberfastnacht all alone, because my then-beau, a Cologne native, was a butcher and his parent's shop was very busy due to all the activity in town and he couldn't get away. He had promised to meet me at the bar by his shop as soon as he could; by the time he arrived, I had consumed enough of the skinny little glasses of beer called Koelsch to be sharing a pickle with a woman I'd just met. (It really wasn't as weird as it sounds.)

Here's a cool photo of the huge Cologne Dom cathedral that I took standing below it:

I spent so much time walking the streets of Cologne when I lived there; I can still close my eyes and feel, and smell, and hear being there.

So there you have it: my one and only Mardi Gras celebration, and it wasn't even in America! And now, living in Colorado, we don't recognize it, either. So, for all of you reading who are celebrating this week, have one for me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Textiles, What Else?

I've been tagged by Coralie to pick the 6th picture from my 6th folder and post it, then blog about it, so here we go:

Last year my husband took an art appreciation class and I accompanied him one morning on his assignment to visit an art museum. He needed to photograph some of the artwork and we lucked into an exhibit that is just so up my alley: Designing Women, all about the textile artists of postwar Britain. It was brilliant.

This photograph is of a piece of fabric designed in the early '50's by Jacqueline Groag. I googled her to tell you some more about Groag, and came up with this fantastic blog and post: The Textile Blog: Jacqueline Groag.

Now, instead of tagging six other bloggers, I'm going to extend a invitation to the friends reading this post on my Facebook: tag, you're it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Peony Pleasure

*I* was the lucky winner of Coralie's One World, One Heart giveaway on her beautiful blog, Vintage Cottage Home.

I won these lovely napkins, a set of four, featuring a favorite bloom of mine, peonies. They arrived yesterday and it was like Christmas in February!

Do you think the flowers are meant to be wild roses?

I think they look like peonies. And, since peonies have been my favorite for the last couple of years, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!


Thank you Coralie, from the bottom of my heart!

P.S. The broken china mosaic plate in the last photo was done by my son when he was 10. I love his sense of color!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crazy Quilting


For the last week or so I've been working on this crazy quilt pillow, and I finished it last night. What I love about this medium is that it's all handwork, so I can sit in my favorite chair and work on it while my son plays with his video games or watches sit coms in the evening. It's almost like being together -- and better than nothing!

This pillow is my first attempt at crazy quilting. I had never tried most of the stitches and was also experimenting with color combinations. I used many vintage fabrics and antique trims but also some that are newer.

I wish I'd used more solids and less patterns.


I also wish I'd taken the extra step of ironing in between each piece so they would lie flatter.


In short, I know this pillow isn't a work of perfection, but I like it anyway. Sort of the way I'm satisfied with the kind of family togetherness mentioned above. I guess I'm pretty easy to please in both respects these days!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Reminiscing

I found some of my earliest incarnations of tiny, hand sewn decorations from ca. 1993 and photographed them for you all in honor of Valentine's Day.

As you can see, I'm fond of non-traditional colors. This one is edged with an amazing French tassel trim in the palest of blue-greens. Above is the front; here is the back:


This next one is made from a blue and white damask and edged with blue quartz-like beads; this was my very first try at adding bead work to anything!


I decorated this pale blue satin heart with with peachy trim and gorgeous vintage wedding dress beading. In front are antique silk millinery roses. Like the blue and white one above, this was designed to hang from a doorknob or hook.

Happy Valentine's Day to All


Here's some Valentine's Day Blog Candy for you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Have A One World, One Heart Winner!


I have chosen a winner, using the random number generator, and have contacted her via her blog; I will wait to hear back from her before posting the details. This may take a while because (HINT) she might be sleeping now as she is overseas.

She wins this small pillow that I made from vintage and antique fabrics, and I hope she loves it!


I have very much enjoyed the experience of meeting all of you who entered my giveaway, and even those who didn't that I visited as I entered contests myself. I will be back!

As soon as I hear back from the winner, I'll post a link; stay tuned!

UPDATE: That's right, the winner of my pillow is Janet of Beadyjan's Crafty Creations! The pillow will now be making its way "across the pond"!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Romance Week, Part 1

Happy Valentine's Week! Boy, there are a lot of 'bah humbug' attitudes towards Valentine's Day out here on the Internet! Some people complain it's just a painful reminder of being single. Others call it a Hallmark holiday. Well, I guess it's those things too, but I've always thought of February 14 as "hearts and flowers day" and enjoyed the reminder to put romance at the top of my list at least once every year.

I think my favorite Valentine's gift of all time was this one, which my husband gave me for Valentine's Day 1995: it's a book called Love Letters: An Anthology of Passion


I can't improve upon the words of the publisher: "My weary mind turns for refreshment to the thought of you as a dusty traveller might sink onto a soft and grassy bank."

These tender words, written by Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet in 1853, offer just a hint of the rich collection of lovers' correspondence preserved in Michelle Lovric's Love Letters: An Anthology of Passion. This slim volume is overflowing with excerpted quotations that are artfully arranged around paintings and line drawings with a Victorian flair, and every passionate word is carefully attributed with names, dates, and details.


But the excerpted quotations are only a fraction of the book's appeal: the real draw is the letters that Lovric tracked down and photographed in museums and libraries all over the world. In the tradition of Griffin and Sabine, these reproductions are tucked into envelopes and must be removed in order to be read."


Don't forget that my One World, One Heart giveaway ends this week -- comments must be posted by clicking on the blog entry you'll find here only - and no later than 11:59 p.m. MST (GM-7) on February 11, 2009.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ephemera...Everywhere!

I've been going to town with putting together ephemera packs while I destash. I'm especially having fun with some male themed kits in anticipation of Father's Day.

Here's a more modern one that I call "Little Boy's Pocket" - when I put it together, I imagined it could be things you might find while in the laundry room emptying jeans! This is available from me on eBay.


Another couple remind me of my father and his time serving on a Liberty ship during World War II.

There is some pretty spectacular pieces of ephemera from that time period in both kits. You can find both of these, and many more, in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Upcycling at its Best


I found this incredible vest that someone who is very talented with a needle and thread created from a graphically-pleasing (=gorgeous) antique quilt.

So often you see people selling "cutter quilts" and while it pains me to know it will be cut up, I'm thrilled to find something like this vest that is a work of art in itself. Aren't the fabrics used in it classic?

It's lined in luscious black satin. On sale now by me on eBay!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Banner Day

Today my Etsy shop sales reached 20 and my "hearts" reached 40! For many these numbers might seem sparse, but I appreciate each and every sale, and every heart (which means someone marked me as a favorite seller) is a cause for celebration!

There are so many fantastic, beautiful, fun, and artistic gifts and items for sale on Etsy that I am just thrilled and honored to be in such great company!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Remembering the '80's


In the '80's I was living in the San Francisco bay area and there used to be a nightclub on Columbus Street called Wolfgang's. It was a huge place with an upstairs and downstairs and they held concerts there. When no acts were booked, they catered to those under 21 years old by letting us in to dance with the older, cooler, over 21 crowd. (Besides the disco called the IBeam, this was one of the only places you could legally get into in the City if you weren't of age.) They'd stamp your hand so you couldn't get a real drink, but that was really okay because it was cheaper to drink at home.

At some point, Wolfgangs started an ad campaign where they'd bill their weekend DJ and video nights as "Dance Dance"; when you attended, instead of a hand stamp they gave you these nifty little buttons. In the beginning they just said, "Dance Dance #_" but later they got more creative and did different artwork and such.

Soon the Kabuki Theater, another place that opened its doors and provided a DJ and a dance floor, also started having "Dance Dance" nights and, subsequently, buttons.

Actually, I'm thinkin' now, I'm not sure which was first - Kabuki or Wolfgangs. Anybody know?

In honor of Crafting With Cat Hair's 1980's Craft A Long theme, I'm posting this Dance Dance memorabilia, with a couple of other classic '80's swag mixed in, for your viewing pleasure.

Damn, I'm showing my age!