Monday, February 27, 2012

A New Use for Vintage Hankies!

Wow!  Marsha Greenberg is one talented clothing designer -- on a large or small scale.  When I say small scale, I really mean small scale -- try Barbie size, for example!  Although Marsha does design women's clothing, I know her for her vintage handkerchief designer line.  It's amazing.

In 2011, Running Press published Hankie Couture:  Handcrafted Fashions from Vintage Handkerchiefs, which features 125 gorgeous dresses on Marsha's custom-made doll.  The book features a pattern to get wanna-be hankie dress designers like myself started.   For vintage handkerchief collectors or admirers, this book is eye candy overload.

Marsha Greenberg also sells her handmade creations and her book through her colorful website. 
Visit her by clicking

Do you have some vintage hankies?

"And I give unto them eternal life;  and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Vintage Find

I love stamped samplers, don't you?  This Retirement Sampler definitley gave me cause for a chuckle when I read the sentiment at the bottom of the embroidered picture.

This sampler includes cross stitch, satin stitches, daisy stitches, french knots, and stem stitching on an ecru linen-blend background material.

I often wonder why the stitcher didn't finish her project by either framing the piece or stitching it into a pillow.  Many of these stitched pieces can be found on etsy and ebay left unframed.  Then, I remember that I have three finished pieces of needlework in my closet that have not been framed or stitched into pillows.  When I finally finished them, I was tired of the pattern, or I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to do with the piece.  Perhaps, that's what happened with this one. 

My favorite part of this piece is the kitty who will not be disturbed regardless of what changes are going on with her homeowners.

Here's what I've been working on this week. 
Do you like them?

Have a wonderful weekend.


"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 
for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."
Romans 1:16

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dinner with the Family

You'll have to set out your tablecloth if you read this book.  I brought a copy home from my local library and was pleasantly surprised by how well the authors captured my attention.  It wasn't that I expected to be bored -- I just didn't expect to be so entertainedThe Hour That Matters Most:  The Surprising Power of the Family Meal has four authors.  The authors comprise a psychologist, a therapist, and two moms who are the creative force behind the Dream Dinners business model and store. 

I have felt for a while that I needed to make more of an effort to bring my family to the dinner table more often.  My work schedule on some days goes later than my husband's, and more often than not, we found ourselves facing the TV eating supper at separate times.  When my son's soccer season begins, it's even more difficult to bring us together at the same time.  I'm sure that's why I checked the book out when I saw it on the library shelf.  The title hit a sensitive nerve.

The book is a quick read and is filled with Dream Dinner recipes.  Other chapters cover what to talk about and what not to talk about at the table, what benefits eating together will have on your family, and how to prepare frozen dinners for rushed evenings

I know I'm getting my own copy of this book.  If you need a copy, too, click here 

One item that I have included at meal time this past year with great success is the Red Plate.  Every once in a while, when we have dinner at the table, I serve my husband or my daughter or son their dinner on the red plate.  They love this!  Sometimes, we tell the person who has been awarded dinner on the red plate why we think they are special.  Sometimes, my children will try to award themselves the plate.  They've had to learn that they never receive the plate on a day that they ask for it.  Even my middle school daughter who has since dubbed many things "not so cool" still covets the red plate.

My red plate has been in my family for quite a while.  I found several online just like it at ebay if you'd like to get one for your family.

Have a happy dinner with your family.


"And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him (Zacchaeus),
and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house."
Luke 19:5

Do you think Zacchaeus set out his best?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Vintage Find

Scandinavian design in cross stitch can generally be recognized by its reliance on geometric patterns.  Although this vintage pillow case has no specialty stitches like the popular Smyrna Cross, it's still beautiful and striking with the red on white coloring.  I really can't believe that it wasn't taken home as a treasure at the estate sale.  I found it at a thrift store that received all of the estate sale leftovers

It's a great piece to bring out at Christmas or Valentine's because of the red coloring.

And now, Sassy Cat,  you can go back to sleep . . . .

(She really lacks enthusiasm for vintage items, but I find her company quite soothing at times.)

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for visiting!

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: 
he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
Psalm 55:22

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Helping Bluebirds Sing

Recently, I came across this precious needlepoint picture from a new seller on Etsy.  I loved the subject matter -- a whimsical scene of a little girl playing an accordion (I thought that was unique.) for a little bird up in the tree.  The needlepoint was in excellent condition and contained some petit point detailing on the accordion and the bird.  The frame also appealed to me.  The wood has character with its dark stain, oval shape, and carved decorations.

Most of all, I just really enjoyed the subject matter.  I give music lessons every week for a living.  Sometimes my students need to hear an encouraging word when they feel discouraged about their lessons.  Just like the little girl supporting her bluebird's song with her playing, I feel a responsibility to support and uphold my students when they need that extra little push to succeed.

When I think of how many people God has placed in my life along the way to support me, I'm truly humbled.  Of course, in the beginning, I had my parents.  Then, along the journey came friends, teachers, and mentors that all would have special touches influencing certain paths that I would choose in my life.  I don't think any of them were with me by chance. 

God still has supportive people in my life  . . . my husband, other family members, and many dear friends.

Who has God given to you to encourage you along the way?

Philippians 1:6-7
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy."

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."
Henry Van Dyke

To visit the new Etsy seller from which I purchased this item, click here.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Setting Out the Tablecloth

We've had supper together at the table a couple more times this week than we usually do.  My children weren't too happy at first to leave their television show to come to the table,  but after one minute, they had each other laughing so hysterically I had to "remind" them we were trying to eat dinner.

The dining room table where we eat was bought in 1998 at a moving sale.  In its second life with my family, it has moved across the United States twice, survived two toddlers, served as a makeshift desktop/classroom for our homeschooling needs, and endured mass rotary cutting scratches when used as my sewing table.  Needless to say, the table has more than a few scratches, nicks, scars, and dents.  I almost always keep it covered now with a tablecloth.

I grew up with tablecloths.  Mom used them seasonally and underneath her special china that was used for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  Now, I'm a little too busy to keep cleaning and ironing tablecloths every day to put on the dinner table.  I decided to go to my local hardware store and had them cut a large thick piece of plexi-glass the same size as the top of my dining room table.  The plexi-glass weighs much less than real glass and is easier for me to work with when I need to change tablecloths.  The plexi-glass rests on top of my tablecloth and is really easy to clean.  It also wasn't very expensive.  (If you decide to try this, have the glass cutters curve the corner cuts.)

Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy your dinner table . . . with a tablecloth?

(The vintage tablecloth pictured is available in my Etsy shop which you can visit by clicking here.)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."  I Timothy 6:6

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meeting Mollie


Have you seen any of the new Mollie Makes magazines that have come to us from the UK?  I saw my first one shortly before Christmas at a craft store, but with the hustle and bustle of the season had to sadly leave it on the magazine rack.  I finally came across another copy (not at a craft store) and brought it home with me. 

While $12.00 is difficult for me to pay for a magazine, it is cheaper than the Stampington line of publications.  (That's how I justified the purchase.)  I thoroughly enjoyed the patterns, advertisements, articles, and eye candy photography.  It definitely has a whimsical and vintage appeal which drew me to the previous issue.  Each copy also comes with a small craft kit.  Issue 9 which came out right before Christmas had a small Belle and Boo needle case craft kit.  You can see my finished masterpiece below. 

To get a feel for Mollie Makes visit their blog by clicking here.  To find out more about the artist responsible for the vintage-styled Belle and Boo, click here  The artist's blog has printable paper dolls . . . adorable!

I knew Mollie Makes was for me when I saw an advertisement for a quilt shop in Brighton.  This Jane Austen fan just about swooned.

At this point, I have only seen Mollie Makes at my local JoAnn's store and Books A Million.  Issue 9 is pictured, but Issue 10 is already available.  (Mollie Makes lists by issue number not by month.)

Here's my Belle and Boo needle case and the kit's packaging.

The inside of the needle case.

If you've seen Mollie Makes, let me know what you think about it.


"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."  Proverbs 31:10

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Treetop Quartet Crepe Paper Tutorial: Part Two

Ready for Part Two?  I know you can do it!  Part One can be found on my February 1 post.

You will need some Tacky Glue.  I used Aleene's in the gold tone bottle that you can get at craft stores and Walmart.  You also need a small bag of green Spanish moss, also available in the floral section of a craft store.  When you pull off a pinch of Spanish moss, the grouping "sticks" together naturally.  Place some tacky glue on some of the Spanish moss that will be tucked between the layers of the crepe paper.  Keep pinching off small groupings of the moss and adding some dabs of Tacky Glue. Tuck these groupings between the layers until you have as much Spanish moss as YOU like.  I used a very small amount of the moss around the outside edges just because that's the way I liked it.

Take three light pink 1 1/2" circles and 3 dark red 1 1/2" circles.  Stamp your desired image on them.  (I used a music stamp to go with the music theme, but you could use any vintage image.)  Use metallic ink on the dark circle so that the image stands out.  Use brown chalk to "antique" your light pink circles.  Back each circle with either decorative vintage style scrapbooking paper or actual vintage sheet music.  Use decorative edge scissors to cut around the circle.  Adhere light pink circles to red crepe paper and red circles to white crepe paper with the Tacky Glue.


Take four small sticks about 5-7 inches long.  Thoroughly coat one end in Tacky Glue and place between the layers of one of the crepe paper circles.  This will provide the branch for each bird to rest on while they sing.  Each branch should face the opposite direction.  If the bottom branch points left, the next branch up should point to the right.  (As pictured)  While the sticks are drying, coat each cardstock bird image with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze from Deco Art.  It will give the bird images a high gloss resin-look that will help them stand out from your wall hanging.  (I found my Triple Thick Gloss Glaze in the glue department of my craft store.  My 3 inch bird images are Susan Winget Layered Accents from the K&Company, but you could use royalty free images found online printed on cardstock or stamped images.)  Add 1 1/2" leaves to some of the sticks.  (My leaves are made from wool felt cut with pinking shears, but you could also use stickers, ordinary felt, specialty papers, fabric, etc.)  Adhere the birds and leaves to the sticks using Tacky Glue.


Stamp "Let Me Call You, Sweetheart" using small alphabet stamps and black or dark brown ink onto 1/2" wide creme or tea-dyed white grosgrain ribbon.  (I stamped mine in three separate sections -- "Let Me"  "Call You"  "Sweetheart."  I cut the ribbon around the letters.)
Place the ribbon on your wall hanging as desired with small dabs of Tacky Glue on the ends and center of the back of the ribbon.  Add vintage buttons to the center of each crepe paper circle with Tacky Glue.  (Some of my buttons are backed with wool felt.  Each has thread running through the button holes either tied to the back or front.)  Finish off your wall hanging with 7 inch lengths of velvet and gold shear ribbon wrapped around the wire hanger at the top.

Beautiful!  You're done.


"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  I Peter 5:7

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Treetop Quartet Crepe Paper Tutorial: Part I

February is finally here!  I've been waiting for it.


Would you like to make something special this February for Valentine's Day?  I've been working on this crepe paper wall hanging for a little while.  It features a sweet feathered friends quartet with a "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"  singing telegram.

This project can take some time, but can be made quite inexpensively.  Let's get started with Part One.  It will take you more than one day to make this project.

To make a crepe paper circle you will need to cut a 5 ft. length of crepe paper streamer.  Bring the two short ends together.  With a long needle and a long piece of strong thread (double knotted at the end), sew a running or basting stitch about 3/4" inch in from the edge of the long side of the crepe paper.  (You will be sewing through two thicknesses of the crepe paper.) As you pull the needle through the crepe paper, it will begin to form a ruffle.  When you reach the folded end of the crepe paper, knot the end of the ruffled edge, but do not cut your thread.

Now you are ready to form your circle.  The crepe paper will be somewhat flimsy.  I try to form the circle by curving the ruffled part onto itself.  If I didn't pull the ruffle too tight while sewing, the back end and the front end will meet with one layer between.  (If you need some extra fingers to help hold your crepe circle together, try using clothes pins.)  Once your circle is "shaped,"  begin tacking it with your remaining thread.  I tack through all the layers all the way around the ruffled circle.  One of the photographs shows my tacking stitches in red.  These stitches go all the way to the back.  When you have gone all the way around the ruffled circle, finish off with a knot and clip your thread.  You will need three white crepe circles and three red crepe circles.

Using a tacky glue (NOT Elmers -- too runny), add extra fine glitter to your red circles as desired.
I used Cherry Ice Smooch Spritz to spray my white crepe circles, but you could also raid your child's watercolor paint set and with a barely wet brush add some red paint as desired.  (Practice on your extra crepe paper.)  I found the Smooch Spritz in the scrapbooking ink isle at my craft store.
Allow drying time.


Now we're ready for the wire framing.  First, find the "valley" between the two layers of your crepe paper circle.  Your wire is going to hide between these layers.  You may have to cut through some of the crepe to make a continuous layer, just don't cut through your gathered ruffle.  Using 24 gage floral wire (I found it in the floral section of my craft store), begin wrapping around the center of a red circle.  Wrap 4 times before carrying the wire over to the white circle.  Wrap the white circle in the opposite direction you wrapped the red circle.  Wrap around the center between the crepe paper layers about 4 times.  Bring the wire to the top of the white circle and form a hanger between the white and red circle.  Bring the wire back down around the red circle wrapping around once.  Good job!

Add a white circle underneath the red.  Wrap the wire 4 times around the center ruffle between the crepe paper layers.  Your wire frame will seem very flimsy.  Don't despair!  Make a figure eight with your wire by going back up to the red circle and wrapping around it 1 more time in the opposite direction.  Come back down to the new white circle and wrap 2 times around it.  Now add your second red circle.  Wrap around the center 4 times. To secure it to the frame, wrap the wire around the white circle that the new red circle doesn't seem to be attached too.  Come back to the new red circle.  Wrap 2 times.


Are you ready for the bottom row?  Wrap 4 times around the new white circle.  Then, bring the wire back up to the red.  In the opposite direction, (like a figure 8) wrap 1 time.  Come back down to the new white circle.  Wrap 2 times.  Add the last red circle, wrapping 4 times.  Take the wire up to the white circle above the new red and wrap around 2 times. Secure the wire after cutting with wire cutters by slipping the end underneath another loop of wire.  Ta-da!  The hardest part is ALL DONE!


Wow!  I think that's plenty for today.  It's already pretty . . . Don't you think?

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us."  Ephesians 2:4