Is it really Wednesday?
I am so behind!!!!
This picture, posted by Twiddletails at Flickr perfectly describes how I feel. Like I am not making any progress! But, in reality I am. My sewing room is taking on a new order as I sort through and discard things I don't need but have hung on to, just because I am a rat packing hoarder of the worst order!
I am having a BIG GARAGE SALE this weekend!
My once or twice a year I said I would never do it again sale!
Yep, it's gotta go!
I need some room!
I am cluttered up and after moving stuff from the guest bedroom (which is usually my storage space) I really do need to purge!
Spring Cleaning and all that!
So, It will be quiet here until I get this taken care of.
Then I will be showing off my chaos free sewing room and you will be so proud of my great organizing skills!
Please keep me up to date with any coolness on other Blogs or links you think I might like to see as I will be relaxing here at night...sale is gonna be Fri, Sat & Sun.
Hopefully I can make a direction sheet and drop some off at Picasso's Moon. All you Surface Designers might find something to interest you so make plans to head on over.
Now there is no excuse for not having flowers blooming everywhere!
In this case the crafty peeps at Martha Stewart Living give us this craft of the day.
Just cut stem off silk flowers and glue a magnet to the back, about an inch away from stem so that it will be flat. Then place it where you want it, on a curtain or tablecloth and put another magnet on the back of the fabric and they should stick together and then still be removable! Ingenious!
Thanks, Martha & Co for allowing us to live more Artful Lives.
Here's your cup of Calamity!
Sit down and get comfy while I share a little bit with you.
I decided to take a few pictures today before I go needle down on some projects and tell you about what I received in my mailbox recently.
Or maybe I should preface that statement with something like- I bought a few things and then Mother's Day happened and then I bought a few more things and then a few friends gave me some wonderful things and now I am just dancing around happily with my arms and pockets full of love and my face is beaming and I am joyous to my core.
Sometimes my core gets all hollowed out and I start to cave in on myself and that's when I get on my pink bike and pedal fast with hair streaming behind me, pretending I'm on a sea foam green vespa in Paris...
Then I open my mailbox and generosity pours out and I feel blessed and LOVED. Packages from Betty @ She's Sew Pretty totally blew me away!
When I unwrapped it and saw the poodle fabric I had to sit down, for my knees turned to melted jello and my heart began to pound in a frightening manner. I had a brief moment of "wonder if I'm having a heart attack?" before I realized that I was indeed having a heart attack of sorts .
Actually ever since I began Blogging and got my first comment and made my first connection with kindred women out there I have been having a sort of love affair with Blogging and Bloggers and am not sure if I have the words (or skill with them necessary) to describe the feeling of talking with other people who love the same things you do.
When I visit other crafty Blogs and see their latest endeavors or thrift shop finds I am genuinely happy for them.
It's like I was with them shopping or sewing and I can share in that feeling of accomplishment or joy at having salvaged some treasure that someone else fell out of love with.
That is one of the reasons I use old linens and crochet pieces- it extends their life and gives them an alternate purpose.
Instead of being dismissed as an old, ugly doily, it has now become crocheted trim on the edge of a pocket or neckline.
I always love the broken, chipped, stained, paint peeling, dusty, forgotten and forlorn. It reminds me of my Grandfather's bomb shelter or basement where treasure was always found tucked in an old tin or high on the shelf next to jars of rocks from Arkansas.
Betty gave me one of her lovely original pincushions, which you might also be able to find at her Etsy shop. There were buttons and bindings and a funky apron pattern that I had admired and then this bit of crochet that spoke to me and I know it will be happy when I use it in something wonderful.
These poodles make me so happy that I am not sure if I can get over the fact that she gave them to me- could I give them away?
I try to be generous and share but this is beyond belief.
My Mom had poodles when I was young and now she has a black one named Charlie who walks on his back legs all the time. I can just see him all dressed up like this getting ready for a night on the town.
Who is the designer, I wonder?
I love the colors and the groovy hats and chandeliers.
Thank you Betty, so very much. I had actual tears in my eyes and I know how corny that sounds, but it is true.
Next I'd like to introduce Milly.
She is made by Susan Mitchell.
This is her beau Antoine.
He brought her flowers. I had fallen in love with him and ran as fast as I could over to her ETSY shop after she showed them on Flickr. Talk about getting your heart rate up!!
I fell in love with Susan's work a long time ago on Flickr.
She is an illustrator of children's books and "a big deal artist".
I am proud and privileged to own some of her work.
(I bought the grand babies one of her books
and am always on the lookout for new ones.)
They will be so happy here at the calamity cottage.
I have lots of dolls and bears to introduce them to.
Maybe they will have a little tea party to welcome Milly and Antoine into the family. Also pictured is an old vintage yoyo quilt from my friend Sue Handman.
I am not sure what it will become part of but it has a destiny that it has yet to fulfill.
The lovely red riding hood cookie jar was a gift from Debra,
the owner of Picasso's Moon.
I went to knit and bitch yesterday and just relaxed in a cozy chair and had a really nice visit with my friends Barb, Cheryl, and Betsy.
A writer on the staff of The Observer dropped in and we chatted for a while with her and gave her an education of Fiber Arts.
She came back later with her laptop and interviewed us for a story she will write for the paper.
That was charming and exciting and I am happy for Debra to get some publicity and exposure.
It is a very enchanting spot to visit and there is so many beautiful yarns to choose from that it reminds me of the cookie isle at Publix (I'm easy) or maybe I should say the rose garden at Ringling.
Colors of every tone and hue.
Textures from thick to thin and some sparkling with swarovski crystals.
The little houses quilt is what I received from the Doll Quilt Swap III.
It was made by Christie who lives in Australia.
Remember I mailed the chicken quilt to Sweden?
See, I am blessed, right?
You give and you receive.
It is always so much easier for me to give.
Sometimes when I get I feel embarrassed.
I feel really good giving.
My friend Karen says that's because I am a K.
People with names that begin with K are teachers and love to share knowledge. Interesting thought.
So then I bought some fabrics on eBay- yes, I won the wee play by Moda, that I was begging you all not to bid on.
I also got some Susan Branch Tea Party.
Then as if I wasn't already spoiled enough I also received some rick rack and trims from Vintage Cate.
I hope I live long enough to use them all.
If I get hit by a bus or fall down some stairs, y'all be sure and come over to the estate sale.
It will be a doozy I am sure!
Then we have more love from our daughter Lexi and the grandsons: Austen, Hayden and Dylan.
It is tiny and delicate and trimmed with silk ribbon.
The green is my favorite jadeite color.
The pictures of the boys are so delightful and she made the photo holder- I can carry this around in my purse and whip it out like all the other proud grannies!
The card is handmade paper with seeds in it and I can tear it up and plant it and flowers will grow. How magical is that?
Austen is getting so big and Dylan is the cutest baby in the world! Admit it- have you ever seen a handsomer sweeter smile than that kid is sporting?
Hayden is on the left in this one and more of Austen on the right.
There was more love in the way of Knitting for dummies and embroidered linens with birds and then a huge stack of coloring pages- nice job, btw!
They are going right on the fridge!
Are you as tired as I am? I am exhausted! This was a lot of work! I might be too tired to sew now.
Naw, just kidding!
I actually have to get some things wrapped up- I had two more sales at Etsy and am sending off some gnome love!
I am so thankful for this Blog and the opportunity it has given me to share with you and also receive back so much love and support and that means more to me than anything.
except maybe a bit of crochet or a little red.
Thanks for sitting here on the porch a spell.
Hope you come back real soon.
You never know what you'll find at the Calamity Cafe.
Love & Stitches,
The fun never stops, I tell ya! It just keeps on going!
I just added a new apron to the esty shop. It's already sold!
Remember the white linen dress (with the crochet) that I upcycled into a tie on the sides smock apron?
Well maybe this will remind you:
This is the front.
It has a patch of organza with buttons, pins and charms below.
I think I even stuck a penny in there- for luck!
There's that cowgirl, just counting crows and eating petite fours
You would be so inspired wearing this...
Now with modern conveniences like a cell phone pocket...or maybe you could stick some biscuits in there, just in case you get hungry later...
There's always time for a spot of tea.
Or a thrilling game of mahjong with the girls.
Front or back it's all in the details.
and the hanger comes with it! what hanger? why this one, silly!
she's a little bit gypsy, cowgirl, victorian, if ya ask me!
Look into my eyes.... deep....into my eyes.....
buy me now......
and wear me tomorrow......
or I will steal your dogs and pick the flowers from your yards!
wild maniacal laughter .....
oh, come on, I was just jokin.....
wasn't me, done took yer dawg....
I'm gonna go relax before I have ta go to some dang meetin...
see ya tomorrow, sweet calamity lovers.
Stitches & hugs!
Calamity You Know Who!
When Calamity Kim finishes a project she often feels just like a Queen!
It's almost as if she has been locked in a tower, high above the castle.
She is able to look out and see the sky and the birds and the people far below going about their daily routine.
While she sits at her sewing machine high above them, sewing day and night...night and day to try and create some new and enchanting apron to wear, the crowds are unaware that she is so hard at work.
If they knew I'm sure they would come to her with treats of sweet honey and cake and perhaps a bit of ginger tea to quench her parched throat.
I once was told that a wicked old witch had been so emerald with envy of Calamity Kim's sewing skillz that she had put a spell on her which can only be broken by finding the rare and exotic flower of a certain type of orchid that only grows in the far away Gardens of Babylon and creating a poultice from the crushed flower and placing that on the tip of her longest finger on her right hand.
The finger that is covered with callus from sewing without her thimble.
But that may be just a rumor and not true, even though it is often whispered and wondered about here in the servants quarters.
They also whisper that she can sometimes be seen in the royal garden walking about, stopping to smell the newly opened rose blossoms or sitting on a cement bench while gazing up at the moon so blue and circled with silver rings, as it sometimes appears.
No one knows who keeps the keys to her tower.
Once I was allowed to carry up the tray with her morning meal and I could only hear the sewing machine as it ran at top speed through her fabrics.
I stood at her door and listened for a moment and then passed the tray through the opening and set it on the table just on the other side of the door.
I caught a glimpse of her just as she startled at the sound and her cheeks were so flushed and her eyes so bright I thought perhaps she might have a fever.
Perhaps the rumors of a spell were true!
I heard that she was quite adventurous and wild in her youth and would often celebrate into the wee hours of dawn with merriment and laughter.
But I have never witnessed that and I am sure I would have if it were true, for I have lived here all my life at the castle and served the Calamity Queen all my days.
I do think about her quite a bit as I go about my daily chores.
Her sewing is quite legendary all through the country! Why, I even heard of a lady from France once bought one of her aprons!
She had it shipped all the way over there and I heard she dances around the Eiffel tower with it on!
Isn't that something to believe?!!
She used to hop on her horse and ride all over, visiting the people on their farms and giving them small quilts and pincushions and sometimes dolls and hats that she made.
I think that this is one of the reasons that the wicked old witch cast her spell (if it is true at all) because she couldn't stand it that Calamity Kim gave away the very things that she spent so much time and devotion creating. That wicked old witch never gave anybody anything except a headache and she'd cross your eyes if she caught you looking at her sideways!
The King's Guard had taught Calamity to shoot a long rifle when she was still just the princess and she could rope and ride like nobody's business!
I remember back when I was just a small girl myself, and I would sit on the split rail fence and watch as she rode her prize Appaloosa named Crazy Quilt (because she had spots that looked like one) and my heart would almost burst with pride for our beloved Princess.
Once I even got to go to the beach with her because none of the other servants had finished their chores.
I will never forget that day as the sun sparkled on the water like a million diamonds but still didn't get near the shine of her eyes as she spoke to me of her love of sewing and how she had dreams for making many things.
Why, she said that she laid awake many nights just thinking about how to do a certain stitch or the best way to embroider a flower.
So, I think I might just get me a ticket on one of those mighty iron horses they call trains and see if I can travel to the Gardens of Babylon in search of the mysterious exotic flower to break her spell.
Then we could go and play by the shore and she could stop being such a slave to her heartless sewing machine and be joyful and carefree as she once was.
I will keep you informed of my progress as I am taking one of the royal carrier pigeons with me.
It will be a long and arduous task but our Queen is worth whatever trials I must bear to get her release.
Tally Ho for now, my friends and I shall be back before the chicks grow to lay their own sweet eggs.
Wish me luck upon my journey and when you see a flower, think of me and my quest.
Pictures in this story were borrowed from Nyctreeman at Flickr.
Working on pictures of another finished smock now...hope you liked the story... Love & Stitches, Calamity Kim
My Grandmother had these in a small garden beside her house. The larger gardens were filled with iris and roses and tiger lilies and all kinds of flowers for cutting.
The hens and chicks fascinated me and as the chick babies grew out from the sides of the hen, I would break them off and put them a few inches away to become big hens themselves one day.
I was always digging in the dirt and trying to grow something.
I carried countless pine tree seedlings up from the creek and planted them in the triangle shaped area where 3 roads intersected in front of our house in NC.
Back then my Grandfather was a tile mason and he kept a sand pile there. There was also various piles of rock and slate step stones and then flowers started to grow from my seeds.
One pine tree survived and became 20 feet tall before they finally cut it down.
It was around my 40th birthday and it made me sad. I had felt proud every time I thought of that tree and how I begged it to grow- to live and not die like all the others before it had. Even at the age of ten I knew how important roots were.
If you were to drive by that triangle in the road today you would see a big hedge of forsythia my Dad planted and a big flower bed made with railroad ties and all kinds of flowers that my Dad planted after I grew up. At least that's the way it looked the last time I saw it 6 years ago.
In my mind and heart there will always be iris, sweet william, tiger lilies and a beautiful little norfolk pine.
When I look at this picture I feel happy.
I would love to say it is the pottery created by Farmerjulie, but it may be the flowers as much as the lovely vase they are in.
I love flowers but don't like it when they die.
The vase is beautiful and whimsical and I giggle at the thought of her rolling balls of clay and placing them on top of the rim.
I love the feel of clay but it is like the opposite of cloth for me.
I love the warmth of cloth and the texture.
Clay is different-not in a bad way, just different~ wet and slippery, earthy and dirty.
I would have loved to have been a potter. Especially after I saw Ghost.
I bet sales went way up on Potter's wheels after that
hotness, movie came out.
Thanks to another Julie (Jane's Apron) for Blogging such sweetness about my Jane Austen Apron and allowing Farmer Julie to find me.
If you are here now, reading because her link led you to me, then Welcome!
Sit down in that rocker, next to mine and I'll get you a glass of sweet tea and we'll talk a bit.
I love meeting new people through this medium and try to get back to everyone- but if I don't it's because I am up to my armpits in fabric and knee deep in thread and can't be sitting here when I feel guilty because I need to be working on something...
But at night or early in the morning I might sneak over to Flickr or wander the web...
I think I am in love with this image though.
It's the idea of those flowers in that vase that makes me happy. The tulips are gorgeous!
I don't actually need it, even though I may want it.
I would buy it but it seems so selfish to buy myself Mother's Day presents.
Especially when I asked my Mother what she wanted and she said nothing.
I should add that to my sidebar but it's rather presumptuous of me to think you would be interested in my wishes.
I did just order two books- but they are for "work".
Janet Bolton's Grandmother's Patchwork Quilt and a Dover Book of Silhouettes .
I should say another book of silhouettes, as I already have one, if I knew where it was.
I should ask for a personal assistant to keep me organized (as if it would stay that way!)
And I am bidding on a charm square pack of Moda's American Jane Wee Play over at eBay.
funny, I decided to link to Hancock's of Paducah rather than show my ebay find...(so suspicious...please don't look for it-)
I really need this fabric!
I want this fabric!
I am in love with this fabric!
As much as I love this, I will use it right away and make something full of joy with it.
It is so happy.
How could you feel blue when wearing an apron made from this?
Or looking at a doll quilt made from the many prints in the pack?
There is so much new fabric out there that I am in love with, it is difficult not to buy all of it.
I decided to add Moth Girl to the etsy shop and then I can justifiably make my own purchases.
I thought I had a point to this post, but maybe it's just things that make me happy.
In that case it would be negligent not to show you a few more things that I found (and fell in love with recently)
Found here at etsy
Do I need another Japanese Craft Book?
Do I want this one?
I can dream about making paper shoes
slippers for queens
or just too look through
and say to myself
when there is more time
maybe I can dream about this too...
I just love it!
So simple and yet so expressive!
usually it's the dog that gets blamed...right?
Then there are these earrings.
I am so corny.
I love it that they are pennies...
here's my two cents
I have a copper penny bracelet and matching earrings already that I found and bought at a craft show a long time ago.
The earrings are on posts though and these are wires...
Plus, a girl can never have too many pairs of earrings, right?
even when I hardly ever wear them anymore...
how about this
Is it the bloomers that I treasure?
Or is it the entire look?
Kind of Kim Possible...
Maybe I am a spy when I wear this?
Or on a secret mission to buy fabric, undetected!?
Maybe its the glasses? those are pretty cool...
I love the house in the background and the slight suggestion of fog in the air.
Maybe she is running from someone...
maybe ducks are chasing her! or a rooster!
so what do you dream of?
what's in your etsy favorites?
do you go there and dream?
set the vases of flowers on your table where the doll quilts decorate the wall above while you sachet around in yer bloomers?
My son is coming to hang with us for a while and that is the best Mother's Day present I could ever have.
Just spending time together,
making memories to save and look back on.
That is really the only thing that I truly do want.
With all my heart.
I miss him.
He could be a comedian- he can do Adam Sandler and really good impressions.
He's my treasure.
I wish more than anything that I could have the grandsons too, but that will have to wait till later.
Maybe Santa will bring them at Christmas!
in the meanwhile,
I can dream...
using a Daisy Kingdom pattern I created this whimsical garden apron just for you Botanical Betties out there, and you know who you are!
Fits L- XXL, it's comfy and unique and sure to get many compliments whether you are wearing it to the grocery store or over jeans to a movie...
I make the fabric by patch working linen calendars, shirt fronts, quilt fabrics, flour sacks and some vintage embroidered linens.
Then I cut the apron pieces and stitch them together.
I trim the edges with my own raw edge bias made from strips of many coordinating fabrics.
The pockets are cut from lovely embroidered linens.
Then I did some roses with raw edge appliqué and added nicely illustrated seed packets with needle turned appliqué.
The edges will softly fray as this beautiful smock apron gets washed and worn.
One of a kind by me- Calamity Kim!
I have listed several items in my etsy shop.
Please scroll down on the right side of my Blog and click on the link or you can click right here!
I am working on some garden hats and bloomers and rose pins and bags with yoyo's and some more Hanger Girls to sell too!
What? You don't know what a hanger girl is?
Well here's one:
One size fits all!
Romantic, Shabby Chic, English Garden, One of a Kind!
Adjustable gathered top and flouncy, flirty ruffle.
Vintage linen cutwork overlay panel hangs freely above a beautiful blue and cream print with birds and flowers.
The pocket is deep and is lined and has vintage crochet hanging above the image of a jane austen lookalike.
The rose pin can be taken off when apron is being washed.
Turns an average day into a tea party with Jane Austen.
My very own pattern.
finished nicely- ruffle seams are covered inside with bias tape.
Can be worn as an apron or would look great going out with jeans or a shirt beneath.
I made great progress in my projects in the last few days.
Thank you for bearing with me.
I know the silence is hard to take.
Don't think I am ignoring you or that I have run out of things to share, because that simply isn't true!
I found these new Blogs tonight in fact and after saving them with bookmarks I went back and decided to take a moment to link to them so that you can check out the wonderfulness yourselves!
First, let me say, you should know about this magazine that I adore, called Marie Claire Idees.
I was doing a search on it, trying to find where it can be purchased in English and I found this Blog called the French Patchworker that mentioned a bag she had seen in an issue and improved upon.
The more that I read her Blog the more I fell in love with some of her Projects and that's when I found the link to this French Blog that is full of embroidery, cross stiching, quilting and all sorts of lovely handmade stuff.
Then I saw the Atelier Rouge Quilts.
That's when I had to start bookmarking a trail back to these crafty chicks.
I really, really like the one block with the round world and the houses sticking up all around. Reminds me of these at Flickr.
I am filing this away for some future date when I don't have anything else to do.
They remind me of the Little Prince.
Can I go to Paris, now, please?
Maybe I can find someone to apprentice to and learn to be an expert quilter.
Remember when Daniel Day Lewis went to Italy and became a Bootmaker's apprentice?
Why can't I do that, except in France with stitching?
You can go too!
"S'il vous plait"
I was blown away by this series of quilts done by Melissa Vogley Woods.
She is an Artist who quilts and paints and sometimes paints quilts.
I love the literal logs on the boy and the broken dish pattern in the quilt.
She has done lots of gallery shows and I wish that someday I could see her work. For now, there is Flickr and her Website and Blog and that will suffice.
Seeing them up close and in person might just make me so happy that I would implode like a dying star.
Art inspires me and fills me up with provoking images and helps me sort through my desires. What do I want to make today? That is not really the question for me. It's more like what do I feel like making?
If I don't feel like it then it isn't going to turn out very well. I have tried. It doesn't flow. Some projects languish, untouched until the muse whispers, please, oh please; begs to be picked up and finished.
Only after I can see it.
See it in my minds eye.
Some things come together easily and some take infinite time to coalesce into what they will become.
Fusing into the final piece. Becoming something from nothing.
So, I am working and I can't show and tell because it is for possible publication and that is so difficult, my sweet calamities. I have grown used to showing everything and when I have an opportunity like this I suffer from not putting it here for you to see and give me feedback. It has become my habit. So, now I need to break that habit and in the next few weeks I will try really hard to show and tell about other peoples work that inspires me.
My Blog has changed so much since I began it and it has become less personal and more focused on my work.
I don't put as much time and effort into it as I used to and I hope you are not disappointed but will hang on with me while I change direction, and we move to a higher ground.
I used to set up pictures and photo shoots all through the house and I don't have that kind of time anymore.
Even now, as I write this I hear the clock ticking and know that I must finish and get to stitching.
More stitching, less bitching? sounds like a plan.
Happy Monday, sweet bloggy friends.
I just turned the calendar, late to May and it is Cinco de Mayo already! Where does the time go?
I had a stack of fabric just begging to become an apron yesterday.
The apron that has been tumbling in my mind for months.
But I didn't start it.
I heard something else.
A whisper from the muse.
I pulled out the osnaberg fabric and quickly drew a face and then embroidered it. I wasn't sure if I heard her say she wanted to be an appliquéd doll on the face of a quilt or whether she wanted to be a doll with arms and legs and a nice dress.
She ended up being a little doll.
I tried to listen to her story as she came together in my hands, but I was watching Marnie on Turner classic Movies and couldn't think straight for a very dashing and young Sean Connery had me quite distracted.
I kept trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with Tippie Hedren.
Not my favorite Hitchcock Film, I might add.
Anyway, I gave her small arms and legs and then spent more time making the dress than I had on the entire doll!
She whispered that she is really a Jane Austen Rag doll and has her own stories to write.
Maybe she can come live at your house while she writes them.
I am planning to list some things in my poorly neglected Etsy store this coming week. I'd like to say Wed but it might be Thursday.
I have more things to get finished like the Sweeney Todd Aprons and a few more other surprises.
I have lots of needles in my pincushion at the moment and I am feeling as Mad as a Hatter trying to get it all sorted out!
Order shall prevail and I will tame the chaos of my kitchen and laundry and studio and get it all ship shape and put to rights!
Or maybe I will start that apron, so the song will stop singing in my head!
I'm listening to the muse and she is loud!
Have a happy Sunday,
Love & Stitches,
I was delighted to find A Is For Apron's by Nathalie Mornu at the bookseller's shop last night. It is 144 pages of Apron love! Published by Lark books (from my hometown Asheville) and featuring 25 "fresh and flirty designs".
I love the first section of the book which tells a bit of apron history and then the 6 pages of vintage aprons made me swoon!
I have loved aprons since I was a young girl tagging along after my Grandmother as she went about her daily chores.
Whether she was gardening, hanging out laundry or just on the front porch in her rocking chair waiting for the humming birds to come, she was wearing an apron.
My Great Granny also always had an apron on and her pockets held small peppermints or sometimes a quarter or a button and I would sneak my small hand in and giggle as I chose my prize!
My Mom also wore an apron, quickly put on over her skirt and blouse as she came home from work to fix dinner and wash the dishes.
They all were well worn and slightly faded from use.
They symbolize love to me.
So it was delightful to find a new book devoted to one of my favorite things to make. Happy Mother's Day to me!!!
With fun names like Cakeland, Lemon Meringue, Summertime Blues, Marie Antoinette and Fairy Tale, I flip through the book quickly to give it that first mental review.
Yes, it is a good book.
Then slowly more deliberately, I go back and really read each description.
Will I use this book?
Probably some element, like a pocket or a undulating bottom edge.
I am truthfully sad that I am not in it. Big shot apron lover and creator like me...but I realize that I am a novice and have not yet paid my dues. I need to write articles and submit them and then we shall see if I can get an apron in a book!
I will say to keep an eye out for the July/August Cloth Paper Scissors Issue that will have a little art apron from me (how exciting is that?!!)
Anyway, I do like the patterns and some of the fabrics that they used are charming but they are a little plain for me. You know how I like to gussy everything up! I do think that the patterns used are fun and doable by sewers of every level.
Whether it's your first apron or your tenth you could whip any of these in time for your dinner party tonight. There are some sweet children's size aprons and I love the fairy tale one with embroidered mushrooms and a rabbit and flowers.
All in all it is a great book! I'm putting it on my craft book shelf right beside The Apron Book by EllyAnne Geisel.
So, go get yourself one! Amazon has a good price, but if you can't wait for shipping I found it on one of the tables with the new books at the front of Barnes & Noble. Have fun getting your apron love on!
There was a little girl named Betty who loved flowers.
She would gather seeds and root cuttings and plant them everywhere there was an empty spot.
She lived at the edge of a great dark woods in an old Victorian two story house with an attic full of trunks and wardrobes and a basement that had an old wringer washer and a big coal bin for the furnace. The house was owned by her Aunts who were the only family that she had left after "The Great Accident," of which they never spoke.
Betty loved to go to the library and look at the botanical books and garden manuals and would beg her Aunts to send away for every seed and rose catalog available.
She would only draw flowers in Art class.
Or paint them.
Or collage them from bits of colored papers torn with fingers itching to grow something.
Sometimes, she would take the long road home just so she could look at all the flowers her neighbors had blooming in their yards.
As she grew older and her flower gardens became larger, they soon went all the way around her house, which was old and in need of a new coat of paint.
Betty would have helped her Aunts fix it up, but they were poor and quite uninterested in spending good money on something that only the neighbors would enjoy.
Or so they said.
I think it was because they loved the way the paint looked as it aged and crackled and peeled back to expose the lovely cedar wood from which the house had been built.
It reminded them of when the house was first begun and all the handsome carpenter's who had felled the trees in the nearby woods and how wonderful it smelled as their saws worked their way through giant logs leaving piles of sawdust all around.
The Aunts had gathered some of that sawdust and used it to stuff pincushions and rag dolls that they made and sold on Saturdays at their stand down by the road.
They had honeybees and sold jars filled with the honey they collected.
There was often sachets of lavender and pillows filled with rose petals and all sorts of things sewn and embroidered by the Aunts.
The shoppers would see who could get there the earliest because you never knew what you might find at the Aunts little stand.
They said that there was a little bit of magic stitched in them and if you happened to tear open a doll by accident ( like that old hound dog Ajax did when he ran and grabbed one off the market stand table one day!) you might just find bits of mica and tiny poems and good luck wishes written in tiny perfect penmanship on old pieces of parchment. Or so I heard from the old man that owns that Ajax dog!
At first the line was just one or two ladies with their empty market baskets and fat purses and then as word spread through the county it was 20 or 30 ladies all standing around the stand waiting for them to appear in their old beat up station wagon.
Betty loved to hop out and run through the crowd with the vintage linens piled high in her arms till she got to the stand and quickly cleared the dried leaves and spread the cloths out nice, for the Aunts to display their goods.
As the years past and Betty learned how to sew and stitch samplers of beautiful embroidery stitches, she started making things to sell at the market stand herself.
Betty loved to wear aprons and giant floppy hats when she gardened and was often complimented by the ladies when she went to town for supplies.
Betty would wait patiently for the new shipments of cloth to arrive at the mercantile and would look at each bolt of cloth with such yearning that the shop keeper's wife started giving her the scraps and ends of the bolts just to see her face light up with love and gratitude.
She had never had any children of her own and loved to encourage all the young women to appreciate cloth and thread and the potential that was in them to become something wonderful.
Betty would ask her politely to order fabrics with flowers.
Roses, daisies, pansies, anything she could get!
The shop keeper's wife did and soon Betty had enough fabric to start making quilts and aprons and hats and earn more money to buy more fabric and she was so happy.
She would cover the aprons with flowers and images cut from fabric and use scraps of linen and old tea towels.
The garden hats were the best because all the women wanted one!
She could sell all she could sew!
What a delightful way to make a dollar!
She loved to imagine all the plants it would buy and rose bushes and maybe some day she would be able to hire a painter to come pretty up the old house to its former splendor.
I am sharing this story with you because I was lucky enough to be first in line one Saturday morning and I filled my basket with honey, fresh baked blackberry scones, a few pincushions, an armful of fresh cut flowers wrapped in brown paper and a gorgeous apron made by Botanical Betty.
Would you like to see it?
well....maybe tomorrow when I can take it out in the sunshine and get a good picture.
For now, you'll just have to know that it is lovely and has roses and embroidery and bits of this and that sewn to it!
Almost like a trip back in time, to a simpler age when things were sweet and charming.
Toodle loo for now, I must get back to work.
I just thought you'd like a little story since I have been so busy this week and dreadful neglectful on the Blog.
I love you, dearies!
original story by me,
not to be copied or used without permission from me
or there will be dire calamities to you and yours!