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Antiques, Junk, Kitsch, Galore!

IMG_2747My antique booth at Knitting Mill in Chattanooga is brimming with new goodies!  My bestie and I are joining forces to merge our little world of junking goodness into a 10×10 square of visual stimulation that is unrivaled.  

My theory on booth items and merchandising are very simple.  What appeals to me!  That is it.  I love to shop a booth that is full of whacky, kitschy, colorful, crazily filled with eclectic things, I like.  If I would not have it at some point in my home….it probably will not be in my booth.  Better yet, if you have ever visited my home….you might have seen some of this junk/collectibles/whackiness in it.  

Cool stuff…..go give it a look!

*the clown portrait is not mine….creepy!

Stitching A Dress!

Paper Dolls…..make me swoon.  Peter Pan collars with cuffs and pleats…..perfect.  Simplicity can sometimes be the absolute best.  As I sit and watch the Grammy’s my love for the music is almost outweighed by my love for the choice of clothing.  A precursor to good music is the intro of the outfit…..and let me just say, some of these fashion choices are in dire need of a citation.  ‘Too’….can come in many forms….and there are so many forms of ‘too’ going on I feel like I’m a ringmaster of a circus.  Style…no doubt creates thoughts long before you hear anything…..  I think I’ll close my eyes.03Lett-Close

Stitchy!

I for some unknown reason have stepped off into a new form of motherhood.  Yes, I have a 20 year old daughter and an 8 month old daughter.  The latter consisting of four legs and full on black fur.  After years of having three Boston Terriers, we adopted the sweetest and cutest French Bulldog.  My family took about a year off from pet ownership between Daisy and Rose. I felt we needed some space, and was actually very resistant to a new addition.  I thought my terrible “twos” were over.  But, as all who know me, just one look at a puppy and I can’t wait to be a surrogate mother again.  Thus, the month of April the stork brought me the most precious little bundle of pure crazy town, Rose.  

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Now at 8 months in she is soundly driving us all crazy.  If I say her name once a day, I say it 142 times a day.  She can destroy anything, yet make us all gooey in the same two minutes.  But, since I am the main caretaker she is with me a lot.  While writing this post, she has turned over her water bowl (large puddle of water is currently in the floor of my dining room) and is now throwing it up in the air.  Everything is a toy.   Ahhhhhhhhhh!  If it is on the floor it is going in her mouth.  Constant fear of blocking her air way with some kind of sewing notion looms in my head all the time.  

My daughter has now coined her the “oops baby”.  At 52, I have this unruly, defies all discipline, obstinate, time-consuming, willful, blossoming flower….and I love her desperately.  The point of all this purging ultimately brings me back to stitching.  With all the chaos this little being brings into our lives…..it also makes the opposite happen to my stitching.  When she is in the room, I oddly can focus in short quips of full on concentration.  No pattern, no guide lines…just me, thread and some fabric.  Even my speed of stitching has accelerated three-fold.  

All of this is to teach us the value and beauty of getting in the zone of “full on focus”.  It is so important to find that little, teeny tiny window of tunnel vision….why?…..it makes it possible to do great things.  Go find you some…..

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Stitchy Quilt Hearts!

 

 

There were some quilt scraps laying on the floor in my studio day before yesterday…..creating the landscape of my ever messy environment.  In an effort to minimize my need to take garbage to the dumpster and sweep the avalanche of notions and fabric scraps spilling on to the floor, I picked up the quilt shrapnel  and cut them into rectangles and started stitching hearts.  IMG_2638272871a1-93ae-49be-a28f-9e706f02fbd2 Then I must figure out what to do with scraps of quilts with hearts stitched on them.    I have had a stash of gold safety pins for quite a while.  The photo is deceiving, but they are gold.  Somehow a “gold” safety-pin upgrades jewelry hardware.  And, I’m a firm believer of the importance of expensive jewelry (insert sarcasm here). Plus, there is nothing better than a vintage music flash card to set it all off.  And……we are approaching Saint Valentine’s Day! IMG_2644-1 (2)Tiny stitches….tiny details…..it all makes my heart skip a beat!

Handmade Stitchy Art Dolls!

 

I LOVE ART DOLLS!  There are so many artisans that make fabulous three-dimensional dolls!  Some of my favorites include Julie Arkell, Junker Jane, and Cecile Perra.  I personally do not own many at all…but, love the creative wackiness that these artisans put into their work.  Many days I can sit and thumb through the photos of numerous art dolls posted on Pinterest for hours.  It is endless….with that being said, I made my first one two today.IMG_2587

IMG_2594In my effort to make something new for First Friday at Chattanooga Workspace this Friday evening, I flew into my studio this morning and started a frenzy of free motion stitching.  Who knew it would be this fun?

 

I spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to get the detail I wanted to achieve.  There were many icky words flying from every angle, for every reason. A garbage can full of art doll shrapnel. At one point my sewing machine needle just blew out!  A little freaky, but enlightened me to the importance (once again) of tightening the screw that holds the needle.  

 

I love the imperfect style of what I created.  Imperfection is one of my strong skill sets.  Plus, I added a little hand stitching just to be a purist to what I love to do.  

 

Then….to slam a little color…..I painted the fabric.  This process also brought on some tense moments, for the paint kept bleeding into the wrong areas….finally mastered that a wee bit better.  

 

Needless to say, the research and development division of my little world was alive and well today.  My little faces seem to be the collision of weird, demonic and stupidly happy.  I made sure they projected “love” in some way.  For that is how they were made.

 

Test your skills….broaden your efforts….and collide all your emotions and skills.  It often is fun!

 

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Stitchy Button Cards Go Artsy!

 

I love vintage button cards!  The graphics and coloring are so “Dick and Jane”….my favorite era of warm and fuzzy graphics!  The contrast between current day button cards (white with buttons sewn on it, incredibly non-creative) versus the one below, is as vast as the Grand Canyon.  The marketing departments of the bygone era had a style that charms me into wanting to actually sew a button on something…or buy it at minimum, just to have a beautiful, artsy button card in my sewing drawer.  If a sweet little girl feeding a lamb can inspire us to step back into a homespun place of dragging out a needle and thread….by golly, let’s bring graphics back to our button cards!IMG_2444

Stitchy work is good for the soul.  In lieu of the hours of politics, bad TV and snow in an area that has no machinery to get it off the roads, lends itself to mucho stitching!  Homespun at its finest. Incorporating my love of vintage button cards and stitching….

IMG_2446Mundane objects can become homespun art. Just as sweet feeding a lamb!

 

Table Scapes With My Old Stuff!

 

The holidays always provide ample opportunity to dig out your dishes, candles, napkins, silver and creativity!  The vintage potholders (idea from pinterest) were all sewn together to make a colorful runner! I have no clue why I started collecting these….but, after oodles of yard sales, the stack of potholders produced enough for this runner.  Remember, matchy, matchy is a big fat “no” for me.  Now to reveal where all the goodies come from….

Dishes:  estate sale 13 place setting, $55

Silver:  totally black when I unpacked some of my mother’s stuff, took a lot of tarnish remover and elbow grease

Candle Containers:  vintage juice glasses (burgundy) and depression glass ice cream bowls, yard sale

Napkins:  estate sale

Chairs: a defunct local college library,8 chairs, $60 total (squeal here)

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Table Cloth: thrift store, $3

Dishes: gift from my friend that owns an estate sale company

Silver:  another box found in my mother’s stuff

Napkins: thrift store

Table Runner:  Doilies sewn together purchased from a thrift store

 Candles:  crystal creamers, family pieces (who needs creamers anyway, that many anyway?)IMG_1714

A mixture of all the same pieces above with the addition of the green stem ware purchased from an estate sale.  I got eight for $6.IMG_1841 2I have such a complete weakness for all things dishes and stuff.  The best part is co-mingling all the thrifted finds and using them.  Everything you pick up, collect or find…..USE IT!!  No matchy, matchy!!!

Don’t Mind Being The Lone Duck!

IMG_1978I have not gotten into the groove of blogging as of 2016…..blog schmahg.   But upon gazing in a blank stare out my bedroom window a few mornings ago….I noticed this lone duck.  This of course made me do some mulling and contemplation about this duck, and myself.

I love the company of family and friends…but, I cherish some time alone as well.  I have always enjoyed stepping feet first into my own zone with no accompaniment.  I can think with free abandon, better…screw up at leisure…create with no influence…and most importantly it makes me focus unconditionally.  I watched this wee little duck swim up-stream all alone for quite a while.  There had to be a reason I couldn’t understand.  Lost?  Forgot something?  Missed a turn?  Bored?  Exercising?  Charting a new path?  Exploring? Needing some alone time?  Mulling life?  Who knew?  But, I knew it would be OK.  The path may or may not be plotted, but the process would be crucial.  The duck looked as if there was a plan….who knew?

Much talk is given to the “lone wolf”, the need for independence, strength and solitude.  Ducks tend to travel in flocks, but there is a sporadic “lone duck”.  Personally, I think this is a tidge more normal.  The need for occasionally swimming out solo to just gather your thoughts is a pretty nice way to achieve a well-rounded sense of normal.  I have decided a lone duck moment/day/week/hour is a good thing.  The month of January  was my lone duck time.  

The psyche is fragile….being alone is healthy.  Find yourself if only for a small window of time….but, strike out on your own lone duck experience!  Could be fruitful…..

 

 

Stitchy Cuffs!

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My latest obsession is stitchy cuffs!  The last few days and hours have consisted of these little goodies.  My fingers are screaming in agony and so is my machine.  Everything is smoking!

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The beauty of handmade is the simple fact that no two cuffs will be the same.  The individuality even makes the finger pricking somewhat more tolerable.  Being a non-rule/pattern follower that I am, plowing through  a pile of quilt scraps, felt and notions and stitching through a whole season of Longmire on Netflix is like handing me a Benjamins on a silver platter.  It get no better.

IMG_1375Find beauty in the random….

 

Furry French Friend!

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I have always been a pet person, particularly a dog one.  After the loss of my love, Daisy, it took me a while to give in to a puppy.  After much debate and self-analysis, Rosalind Renee Lett (Rosie) was welcomed to the family.  My family has an affection for flat faced pups, and Rosie is no exception.

I grew up with a Chinese Pug, my Honey had a French Bulldog, and we have had three Boston Terriers.  But, let me just say, this little puppy Rosie is going to take me out.  Never underestimate the exhaustion that comes with a puppy.  

Here is a short list of the reasons:

1.  she pee-pees and poo-poos at her leisure

2.  she loves to eat the lava rocks around the gas logs in the fireplace

3.  if she declares someone threatening, she will bark until she no longer has a voice or you stuff her mouth with a treat

4. when confronted with discipline, she looks at you with utter disdain

5.  suffers from digestive issues and can only eat hypoallergenic food (which translates to $$$)

6.  hates wearing a leash and will only walk if it is in her mouth while walking

7.  the list is endless

Reasons I am thrilled she joined our family:

1.  she is so unattractive she is adorable

2.  she is incredibly FUNNY

3.  she brings new meaning to “hard-headed”

4. her many quirks and idiosyncracies make her special

5. she snuggles with me on a level I can’t resist

6.  her underbite and lone tooth that protrudes out of her mouth is so charming

7.  the list is endless

 

I guess it is all in balance…..

 


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