Last summer we found an incredible lot of vintage books at an estate sale. Would you believe that we are just now getting around to looking through them? Awful, I know, but there is no shortage of vintage to ponder in our house and sometimes things sit for a while before we get to them.
Jorn and I were reading through this book last night. At first I was just drawn to the illustrations. Greg and I don't ever ask the kids what they want to be when they grow up, I kind of really dislike the question. The kids do a great job of offering that information on their own, they never need to be asked. It's fun to imagine yourself in different roles, or in this case professions, and imagine what a life like that might be like. Jorn really enjoyed reading the book and it was exciting to identify the "professions" that I have held or hold. His eyes really lit up when we got to Farmer and Homemaker, he had never thought of being 'mommy' as a profession! We were happily surprised to encounter Ice Cream Maker too (see that mom and dad, it was a profession!). And, just before I got pregnant with Jorn I had taken and passed the NY State Trooper exam. I was on my way to Police Academy when I found out that I was pregnant so I decided not to go forward with it which is a really good thing in retrospect for obvious reasons, but my intention was to be a Mounted Trooper in the state park system.
What was really interesting was the lack of Greg's jobs. There was no IT consultant, project manager or anything or the sort and since college that is the (professional) world that Greg has basically dwelt in. I found myself wondering how this book would look if it was written now. Do they even write books like this for kids anymore? Maybe these would take some of the places...
A: App developer
I: IT manager
W: Web developer
Later, I found my childhood memory book that my mom had given to me a few years ago. In the book it asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I answered, 'homemaker' and 'the first female player on an all male polo team'. I got the first one down pat and the latter is kind of like being a Mounted State Trooper, right? So there you go.
So, what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you that? Do you wish you were if you weren't? Do you think 'professions' are a thing of the past? Are you grown up yet? ;) Do tell.
I am not a tea drinker at all. But I find myself inspired by tea quite often. This little cup has been lingering around the house for a while so while I was writing up the pillowcase tote tutorial I decided to turn it into a pincushion! I move my supplies around a lot while I am sewing and so far this is an easy way to do that. Before this I had been using the very first thing that I ever sewed on a machine years and years ago which was just a square that I stuffed. It was inevitable that I would always get stuck with pins. I was tired of it.
I saw this idea somewhere (where? does anyone know?) I know Martha has filled stray vintage tea cups with candle wax. (Am I the only one who finds her site incredibly difficult to navigate?) I love that idea too! I am a sucker for stray, adorable, vintage tea cups.
All you do is wrap a good sized bundle of poly-fill in a piece of fabric and hot glue it into a tea cup or at least that is what I did. I really overstuffed it so it is nice and sturdy.
We're on 'vacation' right now, whatever that means in a house with three kids, 58 chickens and two alpacas to take care of, two home based businesses, house guests and one sun-of-a-gun fox that has me sprinting outside and across a field a few times a day! Whew. So, I may be a bit quiet here for the rest of the week or at least I am going to try to be but honestly this blog is a very comforting space for me to take a break from it all, so we'll see. Perhaps I should sit down for a spot of tea? ;)
Did you do your homework? Good, if not, don't worry you can always make it up. A few weeks ago I was completely inspired by these bags made by this lovely lady. So, right away I pulled a pillowcase from my stash and got sewing. In 15 minutes, and I know this because it was 15 minutes before Lost came on and Greg was worried I wouldn't make it back for the start, I had the most adorable grocery tote there ever was! Right away I contacted Heather to thank her for the inspiration and to ask if it would be ok to write up a tutorial. I could tell we were making ours differently, I completely winged the bag, but you know how it is. I wanted to be sure. Neither one of us is inventing the wheel here, there are lots of pillowcase bag tutorials out there, I just hadn't seen one and wasn't basing this bag on one.
So I pulled most of the vintage pillowcases from my shop except for a few (because that would just be greedy) and got sewing! I've made a dozen of these now and I just can't stop. Last year was 'the summer of head scarves' from Weekend Sewing. This year, I predict, will be the summer of vintage pillowcase grocery totes! They take so little time and with yard sales coming up you can really stock up. What's so great about this tutorial is that you will use up ever single bit. There won't be one tiny scrap to add to your "burden", I'm sorry, I mean stash. Plus once you finish one tote you can use it to haul all the other vintage pillowcases you'll start hoarding. So, maybe they will indirectly add to your "burden'";)
So, here you go! I wrote up a tidy PDF for the Vintage Pillowcase Grocery Tote!
It's yours for the taking and hopefully using! I also set up a Flickr group for you to add your totes too because I can't wait to see all the different pillowcases. As a collector of vintage that is really the most exciting part for me. But really, you could make these out of any pillowcase and it would be just as great! I hope you enjoy making them as much as me! Once you have a set of cutie pie totes like this you will never forget your reusable bags again! I'd love to hear from you if you make one and also if you need or think that any part of the tutorial should be clarified.
Oh, and, if your not feeling crafty you can find ready made bags that I have sewn for sale in the handmade section of my Etsy Shop! I add more whenever I can. xoxo Spidey
I have a weekend assignment for you! It's really simple and I promise great reward. Find one pillowcase that you adore, vintage or not, just make sure it is lovely. Don't go to any trouble, just pull one from your linen closet that hasn't seen the light of day much or one from your fabric stash that you've kept aside. Then, meet me back here on Monday for a very simple, very gratifying and very addictive tutorial about what to do with that one pillowcase. Ok? See you then!
That, my dear friends is a Super Stack of Antique-Vintage Knitting Good-Schtuff. I mean Good Stuff. It's not even the whole pile. I can hardly take a break from pawing through it all to blog. I think I almost swooned when I found it. Now, I have to decide if I can let it go...
There are a lot of feet in our house. Big and Small. We are blessed to have a truly beautiful mud room that up until recently has had the unfortunate condition of being the largest tripping hazard in the county. Shoes would come off, flying, and land where they may...usually right in front of the entryway to the house. It was a nasty condition and had bothered us for some time. But I knew holding out for the right "shoe system" would be a wise choice since I really didn't have any good ideas on how to aesthetically corral a family's worth of shoes anyhow.
Then one day a free and BIG cabinet came our way and it just clicked! Pardon the not-so-great "before" pictures. We were so excited to tackle this project we started before thinking of documenting it.
It's a huge and heavy wooden cabinet with big wooden doors. It was ok enough but it was a lot to look at and made the mud room feel "heavy" if that makes any sense. At first I though of putting some pretty wallpaper on the doors or something but quickly realized how messy that would get. So Greg started removing the inner panels for me with a huge question mark look on his face and a plea from me to just "trust me". In this picture above you see the first panel removed.
Here are three of the panels and original knobs removed. And then I just knew what I was going to do. A quick run to the hardware store for some hardware cloth...
and voila! Shoe cabinet!
And a mud room that isn't a mess to walk through but a joy to be in!
You can see in this photo too that we replaced the old ceiling fan that was in the room when we first moved in with this antique one I found at an estate sale. It's really cool. Punched Tin. And quite possibly one of my favorite finds is this head board bench I picked up at a local used furniture place for peanuts.
Total cost for the project $18. $15 for the roll of hardware cloth and $3 for the new knobs (which I still have to paint) We did this in June but I wanted to wait to see if we'd actually use the cabinet or not and I have to say the mudroom is now always organized. I think it helps to be able to see the shoes inside so you know where to find the shoes you are looking for with out having to open the whole thing. It's great for the kids. All their shoes are on the bottom two shelves and the visibility is a huge help for them as well. Honestly, I don't think we'd use it if we had to constantly search and guess. The hardware cloth was just the right fix for this cabinet. It was on it's way to a landfill by the way when a friend stopped at our house first knowing that I love to modify furniture and thought I might have an idea for it. She was right and I love her for it!