Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Original 1995 Apple Watch - For Sale

Back in the 1990's there was strong debate over which computing OS platform was the best.  Was it the Apple vs. PC? Some of you may remember those days.  I sure do.  My family was split.  I was a fan of the Microsoft OS because I was working in a "Corporation" supporting PCs, while several other members of my family were teachers in a "School" using Apple products.

Well the war has subsided over the years and no one really cares anymore.  However, back in 1995 my older brother thought it would be funny to give me an Apple watch.  I stashed in my jewelry box and promptly forgot about it.

However, the joke may be on him!  With the release of the new Apple watch, some of these old promotional watches from OS 7.5 have surfaced and sold for up to $2,000 based on the condition.

So I am putting my prestine, unworn, been hiding in my jewelry box gift, up on the worldwide web for sale.  I hope someone will love it and enjoy the story behind it.

To purchase follow this link

P.S. I tried to use Big Cartel for a shopping cart, but Google isn't returning it in a search so I'm posting this entry to see if that works.  Test time!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ribbon Flowers Inspired by Nicholas Kniel

I travel quite a bit for my non-blogger "real" job. Occasionally, I get to indulge myself and hunt down cool places to visit on my travels. That's how I found Nicholas Kniel's awesome ribbon store in Atlanta. In fact, I think I may have just insulted him by calling it a ribbon store. The place is heaven.
There are spools and spools of wonderful fine ribbons and perfectly complementing embellishments. Many are vintage like the crab apples and leaves in the flower pin pictured.
Nicholas was working the day I visited and was a treat to meet. I picked up a couple of vintage embellishments I fell in love with and he helped pick matching ribbons that I probably wouldn't have had the eye or talent to select, but were, in fact perfect!
These velvet buds, vintage leaves, and vintage stamens are so elegant.

I took away a wonderful tip from Nicholas that I will share with you.

It is so obvious and so true.

His advice has resonated in my head while crafting ever since meeting him.

His ribbon's aren't inexpensive and I was a bit stunned at my total as my purchases were rung up and was debating not buying it all.

It may sound like salesmanship but I took his comment to heart. It was something close to, "if you use cheap ingredients you end up with a cheap looking product."

His ribbon and embellishments are so elegant that they take your breath away. And he was also right that I would be able to make a lot of flowers from what I purchased.


Try his advice for yourself.

Use the best products you can afford to use and you'll be amazed at the difference in the quality of what you produce.

These pins add a bit of spring to our big heavy winter coats we wear up here in Minnesota!
Shiny centers really make the pins complete!
Again, let me add my disclaimer that I am in no way compensated or associated with any of the products or stores I write about, but Nicholas has a new book and it is wonderful.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Liberty of London Fabric-stashalish

My family took a week long vacation last spring to London. In addition to spending time on all the fabulous site seeing we squeezed in a bit of shopping.

I got a great tip from a Millinery shoppe owner to check out the fabric at Liberty of London.

I feel very fortunate that I asked her and that I was just down the block from Liberty, a historic haberdashery. A whole new world has opened to me.
The picture below is exactly what the building looks like today.
I was a bit overwhelmed at all the awesome choices. but I knew I had to buy at least one yard just to bring some of the wonderful stuff across the pond!

Thank goodness someone was buying this fabric and the bolt was still on the counter. It caught my eye and my choice was made.
It has been sitting in my sewing room and I was tempted to keep it as a treasured stash, but I bit the bullet and started cutting! Oh I am in love. I organized my purse with lovely new accessories.

Liberty of London Tana Lawn: Amy Jane

Liberty of London’s Spring/Summer 2013 Collection of Tana Lawn.


About the pattern, Amy Jane: “Intricate heart print composed of delicate flowers mingling with twisting vines, reminiscent of the exotic trees found in the Abbey Garden.”




Are you a Magpie? Shiny Objects in a Christmas Shadow Box

I am a Magpie. Magpies collect shiny objects; therefore, I am a Magpie.
I have boxes in my studio of shiny, rusty, dented, old, broken, perfect, soft, hard, lost and now found objects.
During Christmas vacation I made this shadow box filled with Christmas related finds. At garage and estate sales, do you buy little oddities, just because they speak to you somewhere in your soul? Do you look at something and say "that's cool"? Do you smile a secret smile and think to yourself "I can do something with that!" Well, you may be a magpie too.
What's in my shadow box? Rhinestones, glitter, antique plastic nativity pieces, antique ribbon, and vintage everything! I loaded up this shadow with all the pieces I love.
Let's play find the object:
  • Salt and Pepper shakers with awesome enameled tops.
  • A circle rhinestone belt bucket
  • Three gold angel figurines playing violin, trumpet, and bass
  • Three silver napkin rings
  • A sterling silver bell
  • A length of tatted lace


Friday, January 31, 2014

Spoon hook rack

I found 15 gorgeous silver plated spoons at an estate sale and made a few hook rack for Christmas presents.

I know there are fancy bracelet benders and other cool mandrels that would probably make this project easier, but I didn't have any of those handily.  So, I'll share with you how I did it and include the mistakes I made and what I learned!

Flattening the spoon

Lessons learned 1:

Heat the spoon before you hammer or bend it.  I used a welding torch flame, but a butane torch like they use to caramelize creme brûlée would work.  I put the spoon in a pan with flame resistant rocks and got it nice and hot.  Then I drenched it in water to cool.  The metal is now annealed which makes the metal softer.

When I annealed first, my hammered spoon bowl was smoother.  Plus annealing makes it MUCH easier to bend the spoon handle.  If you are using sterling plated and not real solid silver spoons, you can save yourself a lot of work if you heat it before you bend it.  

Lesson learned 2: 

I hammered the spoon flat by whacking it with a regular old hammer on my anvil.  Yep, I do have a big old anvil in my studio.  If you don't happen to have one laying around, make sure you hammer on something hard and something you don't care if you ding if (when) you miss.

I found it easiest if I hammered the spoon bowl on the back side and flattened the tip end first and worked my way back to the deeper part of the spoon. 

Mistake 1:

These spoons are tough!  Even though I annealed it, I still had to hammer it hard.  I found it was pretty easy to let the hammer blow fall and then I ended up with a "rustic" ding in the metal if sometime the head wasn't flat and the edge of the hammer head dug a little.

Drilling the Holes for the Screws

Lesson Learned 3: 

After the first 2 spoons I found it was really helpful to make a little paper template and use a sharpie to mark where I wanted to drill the hole.  That way I didn't have to eyeball or measure to get the holes even and straight.

Lesson Learned 4:

Drill presses are a wonderful thing.  My drill bit was new and it drilled right through the spoon like butter!

Mistake 2:

Remember to drill before you bend the spoon handle because it's not easy to drill the hole if the handle has been bent up so far it is blocking the spoon.

Bending the Spoon Handle

Learned 5: 

It's harder than it looks to get the hooks bent all the same!  I marked two spots in the same places on the all the spoon handle and put them it in a vice at those spots and pushed the handle over the vice jaws.  They ended up more squared than curved, but I liked them that way.  Otherwise I think you'd want  round pipe that you can lay the spoon on and hammer it around.  I just didn't want to damage this lovely pattern.

Mistake 3:
I learned the hard way that you want the top of the spoon handle with the beautiful pattern to show once you bend it.  To do that I actually hand to bend it backward!

Adding the Board

Lesson Learned 6:
By this time I was getting kinda tired so I enlisted my hubby to drill holes and screw in the spoons.
Best lesson learned!

Mistake 4: 

Measure and mark the placement myself.  Hubby isn't as precise as I am!

I hope I saved you a few mistakes!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Wow, I haven't sewed a potholder in 35 years! But my 1 year old puppy ate our potholders and we needed new ones.
I looked at the ones at the big box stores and the only ones I found were either stupid ugly or so thin I thought we'd get burned using them. And besides who doesn't love a cupcake done in retro vintage fabric?
If you're like me and haven't sewed a potholder in years, you're going to be surprised at the fillers on the market. I used two layers of filler, one called Insul Bright a filler that had thinsulate looking stuff in in it as well as Warm Batting a thick organic filler.
Now I want to make some more!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Young Man's Adventures

Oh what fun it is to mess with my son. 
One of my recent estate sale purchases was this great old green tool box. I dug through my studio and filled it full of antique "adventure findings"….shark teeth, antique bottles filled with mystery, a rabbits foot, shells, measuring and examination instruments and other cool things.

I brought it to my 12-year-old son and told him a lengthy story about how his great-great-uncle Ebenezer on his dad's side had died and left it with us.  I had just found it and remembered that he felt all young men should have adventures and that my son should have it when he was 12. 

He was terrified and stared at the contents for a long while without saying a thing. I guess I succeeded in getting the tone of the contents to be equal parts creepy and old world curiosity…...Perfect score. 

I now call it the creepy box.  
If he doesn't mind his mom, he has to open the creepy box!