Archive for the ‘my home’ Category


I didn’t mean to disappear for most of March, but there was some actual spring weather here for a while then, of course, the stomach flu hit and ruined all the fun. Now the snow is back and spring seems far off again. But there is spring up on the shelf if nothing else. There is another reason I was away this month and have been a crummy blogger since January really: I’m pregnant! 20 weeks today. I’m not one of those women who bear this burden well. It’s pretty much bitching and moaning for most of the nine months in my case (apologies to my friends and family for all the whining).  I got down to my studio this morning and was actually shocked at how fast my sewing machine sewed.  So yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done any sewing at all.  And I have a to do pile to prove it. But the first trimester is really over now (not just technically over) and I have some energy back, so things might just start happening again. I hope to be here more than I have been, with actual things I’ve made to show you, but if that doesn’t happen you’ll know why.


I have been waiting and waiting for a stylish sideboard to show up at the thrift store forever. We have a great thrift store for furniture (though they love to slap big ol’ price tags on everything) so I would stop in whenever I only had one baby to wrangle. Then yesterday there it was, finally. It was 40 bucks, not great, but not bad either. The top is scratched up, but it has doors for toys and drawers that my kids can’t work (I ran out of shelves my kids can’t reach).  It’s a little big for our little house, but dammit, I’ve been looking forever, so it will fit.

real silk

My Nana is 105 years old.  There is no way to sum up someone who is 105 years old, even if you have only been in their life for 30.  Nana was already really old when I was growing up, but still took care of me often.  She wasn’t one to complain about being old–it probably wasn’t until last year she even thought of herself as old and because of that attitude she takes no medications, isn’t wheelchair bound, has no arthritis, and just last month moved into assisted living.  But that is only the medical side of things.  She also writes a poem everyday, likes to stay up late, plays a mean hand of gin (she always beat me, but I was 9), believes you can heal yourself by the force of your will power and six vegetable on your dinner plate every night, gave her grandkids iceberg lettuce sprinkled with sugar for dessert, never learned how to drive (from the front seat), climbed trees when she was 80, calls a cell phone a “little phone,” and many other strange and wonderful things.  In the 1920’s she worked for the Real Silk hosiery company selling stockings (and other unmentionables I’m sure).  She worked her way up in the company until she was the secretary to the bossman, then, I think because of an ultimatum from my grandfather, came back to the midwest and got married.  This hosiery mending kit was a little treasure I found in her sewing tin my mom gave me.  You keep it in your purse and those little match-like things magically stop the run in your delicate silk stockings until you can get back home and mend them.  I think it is absolutely fantastic. I’m so excited to get to use this pretty tin and pass it on when I turn 100.

dress up

I picked up two suitcases in the last few weeks.  The big one from the trash and the little one from the good thrift store (not the one with all the hipster employees that snag all the good stuff).  The big one doesn’t look so exciting, but it’s yellow with white polka dots on the inside.  I left it open in the sun for a couple days and all but a little of that old basement smell is gone.  They are both for dress up, which is big in our house these days.  Inspired by the book The Creative Family, I made a little area in the kid’s room especially for dressing up.

There hasn’t been too much action there yet, but my daughter tends to put absolutely everything on at once and that gets a little hot in the summertime.  A couple times I’ve found the little one sitting in the chair right in front of the mirror having his snack.  It’s pretty damn cute. These are old, trash picked mirrors and it’s probably a bad idea to have them in the kid’s room, but oh well.  Our house is so small I really have no choice but to always have my eye on the kids. They will crash and break and then we’ll put something else up. In the meantime, it’s bear slippers and tutus on your head (and nothing else).

I’m still working on things for the shop.  I made a few pairs of pajama pants out of pillowcases for the smaller set (sizes 3-6 months, 2-3T, and 4-5T).  Making pjs out of vintage sheets and pillowcases is the way to go.  They are so soft and so perfect for the summertime.  So hop on over and check em out.


Trash picking is my hobby. Granted, it’s not a very glamorous one and not really all that interesting, but I love it.  And the trash gods (garbage men?) have been good to me lately.  This is the biggest and probably the best thing I’ve ever found on the curb.  It took much help from many friends to actually get it to my house, but I would have lugged it home on my back if that’s what it took.   It has three shelves, but only one at the moment because my kids think it’s their clubhouse.  The drawers actually work and there are two sets of hinges on each door so they can open all the way (270 degrees).  It’s on our porch now and I hope to fill it up with art supplies for rainy days.  But it will be perfect as an extra closet one day.

I know there are other out there like me who sift through trash when no one is looking. Who can blame you–people throw away good shit.  I started a flickr group: trash pickins.  Because you want to brag about what you found, but don’t want to get that look from people when you tell them where you got it.