Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mama Needs a Brand New Purse

My old Practically Necessary purse is looking a little shabby so I looked through my stash box for something new. I found the assembled Johnny Appleseed purse front and back, a strap, and a loop all made (there's something to be said for half-finished projects!). All I needed to do was make the lining (from the Pentwater chintz), the inside pocket, and finish assembling the pieces. I had a small piece of the fabric cut out and used it to cover a button for the closure.

Mae took this picture of me with my new purse (this one is called "Oh Johnny"). She said it looked best with me off center with the kitchen in the background. I told her to go ahead, I trust her art direction!

School started today - hurray!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Rose for Sarah

My cousin Rose ordered my last "Rose" apron for her friend Sarah who lives in Florida. My mom ordered the original "Rose" apron for Rose! I like to include a hankie in the pocket, which I refer to as "The Forgotten Textile". When it's a match like this one, I'm so pleased. I got a good stash of nice hankies at the thrift recently, so I'm pretty well set to include them in orders for the next few months.

Once the apron is neatly folded I wrap it in 2 pieces of tissue paper and tie it with ribbon. I usually include a Practically Necessary thank you note, but when the apron is a gift that I am sending directly I include a nice note with info about the apron and of course who it was sent by.

One of the details I wondered about when I started PN was the shipping. Did you know that the USPS will send you boxes for free? I order them in sets of 10-25. I use the 9 x 6.5 x 2 size boxes most often. I also print my labels out at home. I print them on paper and use spray glue to attach them, sticker paper is too expensive. When items are paid for on my paypal account it's especially easy, all of the address info is automatically in place and the payment for the shipping comes out of my paypal account.

I'll be sending Sarah's apron out tomorrow, in time for her birthday on August 31st. Happy birthday Sarah, and thank you Rose!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tree of Happiness Award

Catslye passed the baton of Happiness to me, giving me the opportunity to tell you 6 things that make me happy (and giving me the opportunity to stop and think about it, thank you Cat!)

1. Meaningful Work. This is so important to my sense of well being. My meaningful work this summer has been primarily taking care of my kids and it's been a terrific summer. However the fall will bring me back to the ranks of the employed, and I couldn't be happier.

2. My kids. My kids are a blast. Mae is so clever and funny, and I love her sense of fashion and self expression. Leo is my little dear heart, and usually knows when to say something really nice to his mama :)

3. My husband Marc. He is very supportive. He knows how to deliver constructive criticism. He's also a big fan of musical theater, just like my Dad - a nice feature.

4. My gal pals. They mean the world to me.

5. My parents. (I just realized that I need a pic of my Dad on flickr!) They have always been there for me and continue to be an important part of my life (and the life of my kids). UPDATE - just posted a great pic of my dad!

6. Derby Lite. Meeting this group of women has been such a great experience. I'm in the best shape of my adult life, and I have a whole new network of friends - fantastic.

Well what about sewing and Practically Necessary? Let's file that under meaningful work. I love to design new aprons, and make useful things. But the truth is, when push comes to shove (which thankfully has not happened!) I would choose graphic design over sewing. I really like to sew, I really LOVE to design.

That being said, here's my latest order - Florence. I got the vintage 70s fabric at the thrift store (15 yards, a bolts worth!) for about $10. It was my first experience buying fabric that I knew other people would like, that I didn't really like myself. Well, it's grown on me actually, but I wouldn't have bought it to make anything for myself.

I like the disappearing pocket on the bib:

I like the way the label goes with the fabric:

And I like the pretty orange button on the inner bib:

I'm passing the Tree of Happiness baton onto Sew Bettie at Craft Yourself Rich, she's a terrific crafter/blogger I met at the Constructor Craft Fair in Berwyn this spring. Run with it Bettie!

Friday, August 8, 2008

August Blog Catch-Up

I have felt truly "on vacation" for most of this summer. Especially since I found out that I will be going back to my most recent freelance job in September. The news came as quite a relief.

Me and the kids went to Pentwater, Michigan for a few days, this is the view down the pier. It's one of our favorite places, and it just doesn't feel like summer unless we get there at least once. Marc had to miss it, so we are hoping for a labor day weekend visit as well.

My mom and I got a chance to check out my favorite antique shop in Pentwater. I saw what I wanted to see in this pattern - a wrap around skirt with a cute top. I have been looking for a wrap skirt for a long time (why is that a hard thing to find?) What I didn't notice before I bought it is the size, one I had never seen before, an 8PT - the PT stands for Pre-Teen! Oh well, I still took it out and read the directions and looked at all the pattern pieces. I read patterns like some people read cookbooks. I just enjoy reading the directions - a little weird I know.

This might be the prettiest vintage fabric I have ever found (at the same antique store). The selvage reads "Madison Chintz" an exclusive vat colored screen print for C & T fabrics. I just love the combination of colors and floral shapes. I want to make a summer blouse out of it (there's about 3 yards).

Now onto the find of the day - the "Keep Slim" hankie. It was in a box of hankies that came from the collection of a woman with the initials A. S. There were many A hankies, and a wonderful selection, all beautiful and unused. I had decided to buy only one, and this was my favorite.

Mae took this of me at work soon after we returned home. I had an order for the Caroline full, and the Sour Cherries half apron in my in-box.