Thursday, November 30, 2006


this is it...the last day of nablopomo (national blog posting month). and i did it. kind of. a post each and every day for 30 days. some days i had nothing i wanted to share so i showed you a picture. some days it felt like i couldn't wait to type up my thoughts. either way, this exercise did help me get into the practice of posting more, something i was wanting to accomplish anyway.

some things i've learned...

1. way back wednesdays are here to stay, that is until i run out of pics from vintage knitting books.

2. people feel very strongly about christmas decorations.

3. posting every day keeps the peeps coming back (my numbers are way up!)

4. i like writing and will be doing more of it here and elsewhere...that's all i can say about that.

thanks to all the new commenters and readers and visitors. i hope you come back again and again and again. booth friday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

way back wednesday part 5...the cinco

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

there are limits...

i have one hard and fast rule regarding holiday decorations...thou shall not depict santa and/or jesus more than one time in your display. it can be confusing to the little ones...okay and it's wrong--dead wrong.
in this one yard alone there are no less than 5 santas! christmas appears to have thrown up in this very tiny front yard. particularly disturbing to me is the santa on the motorcycle...with sunglasses. was there a sale on gross-tastic inflatables at big lots or something? i must have missed the memo.

Monday, November 27, 2006

rrcs re-cap...

did you go? didn't you love it? couldn't make it, so you're here because you're trying to track down a fab bag to go with your newest ensemble? well, welcome and check back often for monday posts with bags to make your very own!

this week, for your consideration...

sherbet stripe -- hot pink, lime green, purple, orange and cream stripes.

11.5 " high x 11' wide

100% wool from recycled, felted sweater

$38, free shipping and handling to anywhere in the u.s.

intarsia sweater bag -- heathered forest green with light green intarsia border; embellished with vintage buttons.

10" high x 15" wide

100% wool from recycled, felted sweater

$38, free shipping and handling to anywhere in the u.s.

buttery yellow two handled bag -- crew-neck pocket, vintage mother of pearl button closure, lined with vintage sheeting (see pic below). mostly handsewn.

body of bag is 9" high x 14" wide; handles add 6" to the height of the bag

100% wool from recycled, vintage felted sweater

$45, free shipping and handling to anywhere in the u.s.

e-mail me with questions or to order. please place orders by december 18 for delivery by christmas.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


tree, ha ha tonka state park

Saturday, November 25, 2006

giving thanks...

water tower, ha ha tonka state park
thankful for a mini-break with my guys, hiking in missouri's scenic state park to ruins of a turn of the century stone castle, for clear cave fed streams, for movies, for the meals we shared, for good music, for sunshine and warm weather, for being here for another glorious year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

be there or be square...

saturday, november 25 from 12-9
sunday, november 26 from 12-6
my stuff will be there all weekend, but i'll be there on saturday between 2 & 4 and on sunday between 4 & 6 if you'd like to stop by and say, "hi!"
2727 south 12th street
(intersection of lynch and 12th, catty corner from the brewery tour parking lot)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

book/cover lesson...

my grandmother's next door neighbors are the parents of 10 children. during the summers my sister and i lived with my grandparents. the family of 10 had two boys who were the exact same ages as my sister and i. the youngest, timmy, and my sister, becky, were like two peas in a pod--goofy, lanky and natural comediens. when we put on our mcdonald's muscular dystrophy backyard carnivals, timmy and becky stole the show with their antics.

my sister, now living in germany with her family, has turned her gifts into a job...she is a professional clown.

timmy had a natural way about him and always won in our games of stick ball in the alley, but let me do i put this nicely--he never seemed peculiarly bright.

so when, not long ago, my grandmother told me that tim (minus the -my) had received his ph.d. and written a book on molecular biology, i was more than a bit surprised.

i think this outcome flies in the face of the adage, "show me the boy at 7 and i'll show you the man."

here's a blurry pic (taken with my 110 camera) of the summer gang circa 1976.

back row: me, fred, christopher; front row: becky, sheri, timmy (who knows why the girls are all saluting and the boys look like they're dancing?) my gram shot this picture. she took all six of us to the zoo...on the city herself. what a brave sweetie she is!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

way back wednesday part 4...

these sweaters are fab, but did you notice the TWO typewriters in the background?
blue and red. i am having serious typewriter envy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


i dropped off my inventory last night for the rock 'n roll craft show. during the check-in, one of the organizers wanted to know more about my process, the materials i use and my inspriation. all of this information was to be fed into the computer so that they could properly discuss my work while kindly selling my goods. well, ladies and gents, the queen was at a complete loss for words. because as eloquent as i might be here on this page (hey, you--i see you giggling over there. cut that out!) one-on-one, i'm quite the shy-ster. and at one point i think i actually looked at her and said, "i've been sewing with wool for 12 weeks straight. i don't have anything left to say about that." who knows what she thought of me.

if i had been mentally prepared for the q & a portion of the check-in i might have said some of the following:

1. i love wool and wool by-products.

2. i {heart} thrift store shopping so much! and cannot pass up a luscious woolen beauty. when there are three 60 gallon rubbermaid tubs with sweaters taking up valuable space in the craft dungeon, then one must come up with a use for said sweaters. hence, the idea of the sweater bag was born.

3. who doesn't need a new purse/tote?

4. i like to use up each and every scrap of a sweater. so i start off by using the majority of the sweater for the bag itself. then i use the sleeves to make a number of tissue covers and zippered bags. then the scraps get cut into flowers and sewn into pins. i also keep all of my scraps because the center of a flower can be cut from a piece of felt as small as 1" square. i learned my crafty skillz from my gram and she grew up in the depression. in her opinion, there was nothing too small to not be saved.

5. i still haven't kept one of my creations for myself. i have sold and/or given all of them away. maybe after the holidays i'll treat myself to one really special bag.

6. i hope that when people see my work, they are struck by each piece's simple beauty, utilitarian nature and the whole reduce/reuse/recylce vibe about them. once a sweater has been accidentally washed and shrunken or has a stain in an inconspicuous spot or is slightly moth-holey, it doesn't become trash or something to be cast-off, but, in my eyes, it is transformed into medium of choice. that's when the real fun begins.

if only i'd had my wits about me last night, i coulda wow'ed 'em.

Monday, November 20, 2006

what would laura ingalls do?*

i've written here about our lack of a dishwasher. we only have dial-up internet connection. but we are slowly, painstakingly making progress into the 21st century.

last night we properly installed a new vcr/dvd combo and on wednesday we are, for the first time in our 20 years together, having cable installed.

it is a nothing short of a miracle.

but really, it's all about the fact that i missed gilmore girls two weeks ago, and that is unacceptable. the old, noisy, craptastic vcr didn't tape the episode made all the characters walk and talk in fast motion. we tried to limp through and get the gist of it, but ended up watching the entire hour-long show in about 10 minutes (it was the one where lorelai and christopher go to yale for parents day). it looked like it could have been really hilarious, but was most likely just a transition episode--an extended set-up for lorelai and christopher's trip to paris.

AND, not only did the vcr goof up it's one and only job (the recording of MY shows) but the reception using c. 1967 rabbit ears has become lackluster. yes, you read that last sentence correctly--there are rabbit ears attached to my vcr. are you interested in seeing how your granddaddy watched tv? well you can come over to our house (for the next 48 hours, that is) and it's like the history channel has come alive in our living room!

the fact that we don't have cable sometimes does come up in casual conversation. people, including my mother, will ask us if we saw "project runway" or "six feet under" or "trading spaces" or that story on cnn and we will say shyly (and in the case of my mother, emphatically) that no, we did not see said episode of those popular, ominpresent television shows, because, WE DO NOT HAVE CABLE.

and then that's when their faces change and they look to see if they can detect anything else different about us--the trio of 6's tattooed on the backs of our skulls or the way our third eye keeps peeping out from under our bangs. but, no, nothing. we look normal in every other attribute. we. just. don't. have. cable.

but soon our shroud of luddism will be shed and we can look on the world with clear, fresh eyes.

coming soon...a garage door opener.

now we're just talking crazy.

*i borrowed the title of this entry from the author of greetings from knit cafe. she reports that there are women that often come to her yarn shop and are frantic over some knitting disaster. and she calmly asks them, "what would laura ingalls do?" because really, what would any of us do if left on the prairie with a knitting/homekeeping/cooking dilemma? in the words of tim gunn, we'd, "make it work."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

signed, sealed...

and almost delivered.

each and every purse, brooch, tissue holder and zippered bag is finished, inventoried, tagged, boxed up and ready to be handed over to the awesome organizers of the rock 'n roll craft show.

it feels so good to be finished ahead of schedule! so, so good!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

yesterday's get-up... i'm just begging people to stop and take notice.
yes, those are turquoise fishnet stockings under my lace-edged leggings. thanks for asking!

Friday, November 17, 2006

martha, martha, martha...

seriously, i {heart} martha stewart, but if she puts out one more issue that fills me with more good ideas than i have time, i may have to start ignoring her.

yeah, like that's going to happen.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

pricing must now begin...

no, not pricing the typewriter, but my purses, brooches and more. my inventory list is filled in and the items are all made (okay, almost all made),
which means that this weekend...the commencment of the typing of the tags!
and this is one of the most hands-on intensive steps in my process as the tags i make often have as much work in them as the products they go on. but the tags are so much fun to make! the pricing portion of the show is always a crazy inner dialogue wherein i tell myself that my work is valuable and the prices should reflect the work entailed in making each piece and then the other side of me says that i am alienating my customer base by charging too much. and how do you objectively determine the dollar value associated with something you pore your blood, sweat and tears into?
see? it's going to be a neck-tension-y good time, no?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

way back wednesday part 3...

6th plague of modern-day egypt--sweater boils...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

happy, happy, joy, joy...

let's bring it up a notch, whadya say?

i got pretty much accomplished this weekend. it was another one that was a good blend of getting things marked off of my to-do list and having fun. you know, laundry was washed, dried and folded and i got to go to a housewarming party for some dear friends.

and in the category of new experiences, i'd like to offer this little cocktail recipe i sampled at said housewarming party.

peanut butter jelly shot

1. mix equal parts of frangelico and cranberry juice

2. sip or drink swiftly (in the manner of a shot, duh!)

3. lick lips yummily...

don't forget--tomorrow i will post pics of my brooches! please check in!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

the old lady next door...

that is who i am turning into. the one who complains about things that are none of her business. so, with that being said, here goes.

when you go to a fast food restaurant with a self-serve beverage area, and they ask you if you want a soda and you say no and say you'll just drink water, but use the water cup you're given and fill it with soda, that's stealing. granted, it is the pettiest of petty crimes, but stealing just the same. and please, parents do not do this for your kids. the lines can seem pretty blurry on moral issues to a seven year old.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

testing, 1..2..3...

kelly and i bought nathaniel an ACT prep book today. i didn't know it, but i could have purchased a PSAT book to help nathaniel prepare for that test...but then it all started to seem so silly. i mean was i supposed to buy him a prep book for the IOWA test he took in 4th grade? aren't these standardized tests designed to measure what you know not how much you've prepared? it's a loop of logical thinking really, because it's really all about convincing a given institution of higher learning that they should admit you. and once you're in, then that's all that matters, but it does give me pause. how far do we need to push our kids? when is it all too much?

a friend of mine also has a junior in high school. he has spoken at length with me about how he wishes his daughter would try harder, study more and spend less time in the drama room at school with her improv group and concentrate on getting good grades and plan for the future. he asked his daughter, ally, if she wanted to work at starbucks, because if that was her aspiration, then he could change his way of thinking of her future right now. his comments made me feel badly for his daughter, and i told him so. "poor ally. when i feel that i might be pushing nathaniel too hard, i think to myself about how hard i try in my everyday life. i don't give it 100%, 24/7 and i bet you don't either. do you really go all out, all day, every day, jim? no? then why do we expect that from our kids?"

i also feel badly that i called jim out on this...who am i after all? maybe if i'd tried harder, back in the day, i wouldn't be somebody's secretary. but what good is being successful in your career, if deep down all you wish is that you were happier or that your parents didn't always seem disappointed in you?

Friday, November 10, 2006

the taller they are...

i worked late at the office last night.

on my way back from the copier to my desk, i fell down. not the kind of falling down where you trip a bit and catch yourself and look over your shoulder to see if anyone saw you, but the kind of falling down where you go ass over head and end up splayed out on the floor with a bewildered look on your face.

this morning i woke up with two sore knees and crick in my neck and a lifetime's worth of embarassment, because, did i forget to mention? i fell down in front of two attorneys i work for? oh, yea, that was definitely the way to win their respect.

i can't tell you why i fell my vertigo coming back? am i turning super klutzy in my advancing years? did my high heel get caught in my cuff?

i took today off...not REALLY because i fell down...but that is an extra added bonus.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

mais oui! j'taime paris...

french village drive-in sign
near collinsville, illinois

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

way back wednesday part 2...

want to go for a ride in our oldsmobile, boys?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

rock 'n roll, baby...

for those of you visiting from the rock 'n roll craft show site (and for those beloved everyday readers!), here's a sneak peek at a few of the gems i've got for the show on november 25 & 26.
next week--brooches!

Monday, November 06, 2006

dollar store costume...

during the workaday week, i dress for my role--assistant to the v.p.--conservative, dress slacks, blouses, skirts and mary janes.

on the weekend though, i'm funky girl. for example, on saturday i was wearing fushia patterned tights under my brown leggings, a vintage pink/yellow/cream/brown plaid mini-skirt and a long-sleeved pink crew neck tee under a short sleeve creamy tee with a vintage barbie fashion drawing. during chillier moments, i had on a cream shrug fastened with a oversized safety pin. shoes? my favorite brown clogs.

yesterday i had on black clogs, black cableknit tights, a vintage flouncy black skirt with lime green and lavendar polka dots. on top was a long sleeve black crew neck tee with a slim fit green sweater vest trimmed with lavendar. not an outfit ripped from the pages of vogue, but it definitely earned style points.

i went to the dollar store pretty early yesterday morning. i can blame a tiny misunderstanding i had with the check out girl on my lack of coffee intake, but when that was politely cleared up, i heard her comment to the customer behind me, "and did you see what she was wearing?"

everyone is entitled to their opinion, but must we, all of us, give voice to them all of the time? is the lesson of "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," no longer taught in school? or more appropriately, at home?

i'm a big girl and my feelings weren't hurt. because, let's me honest, i don't wear my "get-ups" to melt into the background. they're meant to be noticed. that would be like saying i got my face pierced nineteen times and i'll be offended if anyone makes comments about that fact. but, people, at least wait until i'm out of earshot.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

pretty party people...

nate & claire
metro high school
2006 homecoming

Saturday, November 04, 2006

kidz lit...

i ate dinner next to a roaring fire tonight. kelly commented that prehistoric man was lucky to discover wood and it's long-burning ability. which made me think about the long winter by laura ingalls wilder, in which mrs. wilder recounts the tale of the winter her family spent huddled in their home on the prairie, grinding wheat seed to make bread and twisting and braiding stalks of hay so that the hay wouldn't burn too fast.

i love that book...and all the little house books,

and the indian in the cupboard series,

and the borrowers books,

and the wizard of oz books,

and the narnia books,

and the harry potter books.

there are so many books that i got a chance to enjoy again or read for the very first time because we shared them with nathaniel and read them out loud. that is a gift that our children give us...the opportunity to re-visit the best parts of our childhoods and revel in the brightest, warmest memories. even a blazing fire doesn't keep me that warm.

Friday, November 03, 2006


these two cuties are doing fine, just fine, after their ordeal on wednesday night (their parents, though, were a bit shaken up).
tomorrow night's homecoming so there's much to look forward to. wednesday night is already fading from their memories.
oh! to be 16 again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

everybody's fine...

the car, however, is not.

last night, nathaniel was t-boned by a driver who blew through a stop sign. the driver's seat was pushed over into the center console...meaning nathaniel was also pushed over into the center console. luckily when the door was impacted, nathaniel's arm was up...if it hadn't been, the arm surely would have been broken. nathaniel and his pretty passenger were both thoroughly checked out in the ER and were cleared to go back out into the world and have another go at it.

lucky, lucky, lucky are we.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

way back wednesday...part 1

mmm...sweater weather.
happy november to you!