Wednesday, February 24, 2010

blog #387 >> Black & White Things I Like

Alright, I'm just going to have to post these to my blog and close a few of these windows. Here's a random collection of mostly black and white things, that I have been completely enamored with lately.

I absolutely LOVE this hat. Unfortunately, it's way out of my price range at $125. But if I ever see any similar fabric, I'm totally making one. It reminds of something Pearl would wear.
Seen here on Etsy.

I found these two lovely dresses on Bliss. They are also way out of my price bracket, but this is why I learned to sew. See them here... and here at makié. (I can also see Violet wearing these dresses.)

And I need to confess I broke down and bought a pair of these socks. In fact I'm wearing them right now. They're just so fantastic! These will be perfect for those long summer Model A rides. And they were only $15. Seen here at Sock Dreams.

Alright, so I like this shirt, but what's really impressive is her hair. How does she do that with her hair?! My hair is about that curly, but my hair is also a daily battle, which usually ends with my hair victoriously remaining in a frizzy, rampaging mess! Some days the best I can do is cage it with a hat. I really wish I knew how she got each curl to stand out and not frizz together... Photoshop?
See cute blouse here. (terrible glasses however... not that I can be one to talk.)

When I think of all the shapes a locket could possibly be, "whale" is not at the top of the list. I guess that's why I'm so taken with this strange and unusual piece of jewelery. I'm sure it must have a remarkable history, although I can only guess at it's true past. Perhaps it belonged to a whaler to enclose a miniature of his wife? Or maybe someone just really loved whales?
Seen here.

If this were my bathtub, I would never get out. Oh, and I'd keep a few battle ships around to play with too.
Seen here.

And here's a place I'd love to visit, although I'm sure it's not nearly this cool today, The U.S. Patent Office. This is why I need a time machine. It's verily a museum of inventions and the resting place of creative ideas. Metaphorically speaking, I image this is what the inside of a brain would look like. And an interesting side note Abraham Lincoln remains the only U.S. president to be issued a patent. Photos above from Shorpy, see here, here and here, and although it's color and I didn't post it, see here.

Another dress I adore, in fact I think I'm going to sew one similar to it for summer, but in blue. Seen here.

Poor house! It got squashed between the buildings! At 6 feet wide, (That's half the width of my living room) I think I might be a bit claustrophobic, but it does seem pretty open in the photos. And it even has a cute little 6ft garden out back.
Read full story at The Daily Mail here.
As they would say "There really is no room to swing a cat..."
However, if the price tag were lower, it would make a swell little home in London.

Found here at Tiny House Blog.

Another random Shorpy photo to admire. Just look at her shoes! This picture makes me want to run into my kitchen and bake a big cherry pie.

And last but not least, instructions from Ruffles and Stuff on how to hack your old cardigan and give it a vintage flair. I can't wait to pull some of my old sweaters out of the closet and transform them. Found at The Sew Weekly.

Alright, I suppose that's enough for now.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

blog #386 >> Baby Chicks

These are my sister's new baby chicks. They're so cute when they're tiny! I would love some apartment chickens, but I think I'm lucky to have my garden.

Monday, February 22, 2010

blog #385 >> A Weekend of Sewing

For some strange reason, all I really wanted to do this weekend was sew, and I got a lot of sewing accomplished. However, I've decided that I CANNOT buy any more sewing supplies. This means I need to find projects to sew with the materials I already have, and since I have a lot, this shouldn't be too hard. It might become difficult when I run out of zippers, and biased tape, but I'm not near there yet. Plus, I have a feeling I'll be making my own biased tape before this is over... or give in and buy biased tape. This has also forced me to organize what I've got. I discovered all kinds of lace, vinyl and fabrics in my basement that I didn't even realize I had, which lead me to all kinds of new ideas. Also, I've found that working within boundaries forces creativity. Normally, where I would just go out and by a zipper, I can create an elaborate button system, or where I usually would resort to hem tape, I can use some left over lace. The possibilities are endless.

This is the tunic I sewed using part of this pattern. Mostly, I loved the shape of the sleeves and how they button. It was going to be a dress, but I didn't have enough fabric, so I decided to make a shirt to go with the skirt below instead.

And this is the black skirt I sewed to go with the tunic above. Unfortunately, I varied the pattern I usually use, and I made it about three sized too big. Either I'm going to give it away or if I can bring myself up to it, I'll just alter it. However, I'm really not looking forward to altering it after I spent over an hour hand stitching the hem. Normally, I try it on a couple of times before I finish. But I was trying to hurry, so I could start my new laptop bag.

This is the new laptop bag I made out of some random vinyl in my basement and a bit of ancient red upholstry velvet left over from my parents 1920's couch. It is perfect. Except, if I ever make another one, I'm going to add a couple more pockets. I'm very excited to start using it. Plus, I got to borrow my dad's upolstry machine. It's not very fancy. It doesn't do any fancy stitches, it does have a zig-zag setting, and it won't even go backwards. But it does go forwards, and it does that one thing VERY well. It works like a well oiled machine. Well, it IS a well oiled machine. It literally sits in a VAT of oil. It's like sewing on a Corvette. It wants to GO! You can just hear it humming and singing, "I want to sew more!" as you're using it. It's kind of a fun machine to sew on, but I wouldn't want to sew a dress on it.

And next time Jo-Anns has their Simplicity patterns on sale for $1, I've got to buy this one!

...I don't think my vow to not buy anymore sewing supplies is going to last very long.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

blog #384 >> Could Live in a Yurt

I'm in love with these yurts right now, and some of them are actually bigger than my apartment. Plus, they're so cheap! $9,785 for the 700 sq ft yurt. That's less than a new car! Just think of all the money I could be saving on rent. I could live in a yurt, down by the creek... yeah... I could live in a yurt. If yurts are good enough for the nomadic herdsman of Mongolia, yurts are good enough for me.
Get more information and see more photos at

You can also design your very own yurt here.

I chose "toast" as my main color toast, simply so I could live in a yurt that was as "cozy as toast," but they have many other color options as well including cranberry, indigo and teal.


blog #383 >> Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Have a cup of tea on me,

Monday, February 8, 2010

blog #382 >> Alarm Clocks

Well, it may be time to find a new alarm clock. After a long drawn out search, I had finally found the perfect alarm clock a few months ago at "The Bins." But last night it started to make a buzzing sound that doesn't go away. Preferably, I only want my alarm clock to make noise when I need to wake up. I have had a terrible time finding the perfect alarm clock. This is probably because I'm insanely persnickety when it comes to watches and clocks. In order to be the perfect alarm clock, it must first and foremost WORK! This may seem obvious, but I have bought clocks in the past simply because they looked neat and didn't try them. Take the chicken alarm clock for example, it was a really swell old West German alarm clock that had chickens whose heads would bob back and forth as it kept the time... only it wasn't repairable. In fact, I think I've bought no less than... hmm... seven? alarm clocks over the years, and none of them have been quite right.

This has brought me to the list of things a clock must have:

1. It must run and keep time accurately as is. Clocks are rarely cheap and easy to repair.

2. It must be analog, no digital clocks for me... I like watching the second hand go 'round.

3. It needs 12 numbers, not tick marks, not Roman numerals, not dots. Numbers. I need something I can read when I'm half asleep.

4. It must have a light so I can read the numbers, or at least glow in the dark hands.

5. It must run silently. This rules out most all wind up alarm clocks that tick, but knowing me, I'd forget to wind it anyhow. So electric is probably best.

6. I don't need a loud alarm clock, the more quiet it is, the better. It doesn't take that much to wake me up. When I had a radio alarm clock, I'd turn the volume all the way down, and even the tiny click of the switch was enough to wake me up. One of the other alarms clocks I bought once was so loud it would scare me awake every morning. I got really tired of waking up with my heart racing in a complete panic to turn it off. That clock didn't last very long. Plus it didn't have a light.

7. If it's old and metal, it cannot be rusty. Even if it works and is rusty on the outside, it won't take long for the rust to spread to the inside, and nothing can bind up those old gears quite like rust.

And here are the best of the ones I found online, although many of them do not fit the criteria above.

Vintage General Electric Alarm Clock – $26.00
I think this is my first pick for a new alarm clock. Unfortunately, it does not have a light up dial, but if it has glow in the dark hands, I might just be able to live with that. Plus, it would go really great with the 40's furniture in my room.

Vintage Intermatic Music Minder Alarm Clock – $28.00
I really like this clock as well, and the radio half of it makes it pretty unique. Also having a radio clock allows me to adjust the volume of the alarm. I'm not sure if it has a light or not, which is certainly a draw back. And I can see it doesn't have a complete set of numbers. However, I really like the snooze timer that allows you to pick how long you want to set it for.

Vintage Westclox Moonbeam Electric Alarm Clock – $12.25
I love the style of this clock. I also love that it wakes you up not only with the alarm, but also with a light. This is very appealing since I hate waking up in the dark. However the clock part is broken, it won't keep time, and although the alarm and light half work on it, I've learned that it is not cheap or easy to get old clocks fixed. This makes it an automatic "no buy" in my book.

Vintage BAKE LITE yellow clock - westclox – $30.00
This clock is much like the one above it, only the clock and alarm part of it work, and the light is out. Unfortunately, I don't think that it's the type of light bulb you can get at the hardware store. However, I suppose you could buy this clock and the clock above this and cannibalize them together. But I've learned that I'm better off buying just one clock that actually works.

Vintage mechanical GERMANY alarm clock Adler – $18.00
I really like these tradition old alarm clocks too. And I like the musical sound they make verses the harsh buzzing sound that most electric alarm clocks make. However, I'm assuming it's VERY loud. It looks loud. I bet it ticks loud too. Plus, I can see that it's not going to have a lighted dial. I would definitely want to try this before I bought it.

Vintage Baby Blue Detailed Baby Ben Winder Alarm Clock – $14.50

I love this little Baby Ben wind-up clock too. But I think getting a wind-up clock would simply lead to me being late to work. Although, I've read lots of great things about the quality of the older Big Ben clocks, which makes me want to get one.

Vintage Big Ben Westclox Electric Alarm Clock – $28.00
In reality this is probably the most practical of these clocks. Everything works, it's electric, it's got numbers, the only thing I'm not sure about is if it's a light up. It's hard to tell, but I don't think it is. It does appear to have glow in the dark hands however... I just wish it was a little bit older looking.

Vintage Pale Pink Westclox Alarm Clock – $15.00
Or if I were really smart, I'd just buy this one. It's exactly like the one I've got now and love, but pink. However, I'm always open to try something new, and I'm not that fond of the buzz it makes at 7am. Also, I'm sort of afraid it will start making the same constant rattling noise that this one makes now.

Westclox 1950 Big Ben Moonbeam Pink Alarm Clock – $30.00
At this point whomever is reading this is probably thinking, "All these clocks are really old! If you're so concerned about finding an alarm clock that works, why are you looking at old clocks? If you're this picky about clocks you should probably just buy a NEW clock." Yes, that argument does have some weight to it. But just because a clock is new doesn't mean it won't break the first month you have it. In fact, these old clocks are much better made and will in the end probably be running years after your new clock is dead. But I know that doesn't always hold true. So here's a new clock I liked that's a remake of the Moombeam models above.

Alright, I suppose that's enough about alarm clocks for now. And I think it's time for me to go and see if old buzzy has decided to quite down for the night, or perhaps I should pull the old travel alarm clock out of my dresser.

Good night!