Fancy Friday #3 - Remembering Grandma Gloria

Instead of my usual Fancy Friday post, I wanted to take a moment to talk about a special lady. My grandma Gloria passed away last Friday, so needless to say I was in no mood to get fancy or do a photo shoot. She was 91 years old and had a stroke a couple months back that left her mostly paralyzed, and she had another a few days before she passed away that left her in a coma till the end. She was a very special lady and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

Almost two years ago we all got together to celebrate her 90th birthday party in southern California and it was a wonderful event, and I'm so very glad I took the time to travel there as it was the last time I saw her. A lot of people in my family say I take after her and I like to think it's true. I don't know if she ever knew it, but having people tell me that I was most like her out of all the kids and grandkids was always a major point of pride for me. She was always so positive, sharp as a tack, and sweet as could be. Not to mention she was fancy! I'll never forget that she loved bright colors, floral motifs, and beautiful gold jewelry with lots and lots of gemstones. Her hair and makeup were always so perfectly done, even when her eyesight started to get bad. And she always sent me a birthday and Christmas card every single year, perfectly on time and covered in her beautiful handwriting. She was a lovely, fancy lady and I'd be more than happy to turn out like her as I get older. I'll miss her with all my heart. <3 p="">


Meet Gordie!

I have to say I am in hog heaven with this new craft room of mine! There's been a big pile up of personal and business-related ufo's for some time now, so I've been going down the list finishing one business and one personal at a time. Today I finished a special secret project for my etsy shop that's been in my head forever, and to celebrate I took a little me-time and made a gigantic owl!

I call him Gordie since he's so pudgy! He's made from some leftover felt and hand-me-down canvas material. Probably he will end up being a mascot at my craft booth. But! I made him for a very specific reason, namely this:

I know I've mentioned before that I try to run a no-waste sewing studio. This means that every scrap of fabric, felt, and thread ends up in this bin and will eventually end up as stuffing for plushies. Right around when I moved house I noticed that I was not keeping up with using my scraps and the bin was completely full. So I decided what better way to use up my stuffing than to make a giant plushie!

If you want to use fabric scraps for stuffing, be aware that they are much more dense than any fiber fill and can be really lumpy, so what I like to do is lay out a layer of batting and wrap piles of scraps into cuddly little burritos of stuffing (see the finished one at the top right of the photo above). That way they are cushioned and smoothed on the outside and your plushie will stay squishy. 
Is there anyone else out there who tries to run a no-waste studio? I'd love to hear your ideas!

On another note, the same day I made my biggest owl ever I also received the tiniest, cutest, teeniest gift from Johnny:

Goooooo the cuteness is killing me! It's hand-crocheted by an artist out of Vietnam and I can't believe how intricately detailed it is! He was saving it for me for Christmas but I needed a little cheering up (more on that Friday) so he brought it out early and now it lives on the edge of the shelf above my desk!


Fancy Friday #2

Happy Fancy Friday! This week I was inspired by this cute look and wanted to try the whole belt-over-cardigan look:

We were going to a local production of "Reefer Madness" that night, so I thought a fun splash of purple would be nice.

 I got the minidress and belt at a local thrift store for $4 a piece! I added my purple amethyst slab ring and some cloisonne and rope bracelets that also had touches of purple, and a mood ring on the other hand. The cardi is from Target.

 Since we were going out in the evening, I did my eye shadow a bit darker that I usually do with shades of green and black, and I added some watermelon pink wet-look gloss to my lips. The necklace was a birthday gift from a friend.

The purple tights are from Target - they always seem to have a great selection of fun colors. And the shoes were found at a discount shoe outlet for a song! (Haha that's my anklet I can't get off under the tights.)

For my hair I did a simple messy bun with bobby pins and added my great grandmother's art deco comb!
I think next week I'll try doing my nails too. Opinions on the cardigan under the belt look on me?


My New Craft Room!

Welcome to the most image-heavy post on Earth! I wanted to share a complete 360 degree tour of my new craft space that I finished setting up last week! It's my favorite place in the whole world and I know it's the perfect place to inspire me to get creative! Here we go:

When you first walk in the door, this is what you see! In July I'm picking up a jeweler's bench from my dad's old workshop that will sit next to the long desk in the center of the photo. Paper lantern lights and garlands are all over the ceiling and I'll add to them over time I'm sure.

I hung up every piece of art I had (well, actually I have others but they're hard to find frames for), plus some childhood trinkets to make a huge wall of art!

Local artists, friends' work, and random vintage pieces galore!

My wall pocket from jfish designs! The original plants got smushed in the move so I repotted some other succulents and a moose!

Ganesha was the first thing I put up. That's my grandma's portrait above him.

A skeleton I've had since I was little from Mexico, my mother's photos below it.

My high school first place medal and placard in table setting and menu planning from FHA-HERO! Woot! Plus a portrait of my from my friend Aubrey Hebert.
My great-grandma Lometa's portrait! She's where my middle name comes from.

My standing desk, made from 2 Ikea flat files and a 7 foot long drawer unit I got from Lea of Leafcutter Designs. I know us crafters tend to sit around a lot and this behemoth comes up to my waist so I can use it standing up. Tons of art supplies occupy the containers on the top.

The flat files are all super organized and labeled with washi tape!

More office-y goodness!

This is the new machine I got for Christmas, and it's amazing! I never realized how bad my old one was. The desk it's on is one I found for $5 at an antique shop in Oakland, and it has a fold out top and an awesome vintage machine inside, but that's a whole other story...

 My vintage tin collection (just the reds) houses supplies.

 German paper wings from my beau!

 Johnny had this immaculate old Singer in his garage when I met him (yup, it was love), and he moved it up here for me to admire.

An antique dish rack holds my magazines under the Singer.

 My other desk, used for shipping and such. My laptop usually sits in front of the typewriter.

 My washi tape collection is getting a little out of hand. Anyone have some good projects for me to use it in?

 The shelves above my desk hold all my vintage craft-themed treasures.

I know it's a little cluttery, but I have it arranged just the way I like and it makes me so happy!

At least the inside of the desk (which is a lovely solid piece found for free on the street) is nice and neat.

My collection of (mostly) handmade plushies, and my bins of projects to finish. 

Bins of yarn in rainbow order!

Even the closet is totally organized! Etsy stuff, paper supplies, photography accessories, and packaging.

More progress has been made on re-folding my entire fabric stash to fit the new shelf it lives on. The old one was much deeper and thinner, so the shape of the fabric stacks was all wrong. Obviously I still have more to do here, but it's going very quickly.

And lastly, I used to have a little drawer unit with a fold-out top that held all my adhesives and cutting tools, but there wasn't a place for it in the new space so this back-of-the-door shoe holder stores all of it perfectly.

And there you have it! It's not a huge room but everything I needed fit just right. I've never had a dedicated creative space all my own, and I'm really excited to get to work and start doing craft fairs again!


New Collection: Vintage Sewing Machine Toys!

During Johnny's first camping trip we stopped in old town Cayucos to browse some of the great antique shops. I was drawn into one that had gobs of Jadeite displayed by the front door, and wound up purchasing this little beauty from a dear old man who said it belonged to his late wife:

Oh the cuteness! It's my favorite color and it really works! Yup, it sews, and it's only about 6 inches long.

I was so happy to have this to display in my craft room, but I secretly wished I had the instructions for it. But, as fate would have it, during the last couple days of the same trip we went to the antique shops in Paso and Johnny spotted this on the bottom shelf of a display case:

And lo and behold, it was in its original box with the accessories and instructions!

Look at how stinkin' cute that box is! It's the metal details that get me. And as an added bonus, the little girl who previously owned this kit sewed one of the tops together and it fits my Blythe doll perfectly!

The kit came with little cardboard hangers, pre-cut doll clothes, spools of thread, and a teensy tiny thimble. And you see what's sitting next to the thimble? I almost cried because I was obsessed with these when I was a kid and found it lodged in the corner of the box: a Mexican Jumping Bean. It's a seed with a little worm inside and they move around when you hold them. The worm had long ago burrowed its way out, but it's nostalgic to me all the same.

Here's some detail shots and the inner workings of this little beauty! Does anyone else collect these?