Sunday, April 22, 2012

Garage Sale Chronicles #10 - A tatting shuttle!

Deep in the basement of a Minneapolis Mansion estate sale was a vintage fancy soap box with about 25 wooden spools and balls of crochet thread.  I was delighted to spy a pretty pink plastic shuttle amidst the tangle of thread.  Marked $2.00 for the box.  Needless to say I snatched it up!

Beautiful pink silk threads, so soft.

 I dug through stacks of old books to find a 1890 book on needlework which contains wonderful fold out patterns and directions.

The book illustrates the "right" way to embroider.

Many of the spools were silk.  Love the labels on the ends of the spools.

I also added two new tatted handkerchiefs to my collection from sorting through a handkerchief box.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Needle Book Collection

I've been collecting needle books for over 20 years and they look terrific framed and hanging in my sewing room.  
  A lot of needle books were early advertising for the latest tonic, particular store, or specific brand of needles.  Sometimes they are very plain, but I have always been attracted to the ones with image graphics.

I believe all of my collection is American, but I know there were Germain, British, and Japanese ones made as well.  
I've picked mine up at estate sales and an occasional one or two off Ebay, but I don't think I've paid over $5.00 for any given one.

I think it is really fun to see the same graphic content used over the years with the women illustrated  getting a fashion update each decade or so.

The insides are interesting and wonderful in their own way.  Usually they contain little foil packets of needles and occasionally a threader.  Sometimes the graphics are just as wonderful on the inside. 
I framed this one to show the inside of one that was complete and simply beautiful.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Garment District, New York!

A co-worker and I were in Newark visiting a customer and arrived in town early enough to do a little shopping in the Garment district.

My mecca!  MJ Trimming in the New York Garment district.
Trims, lace, buttons, rhinestones, oh my!

We also stopped in at Martha Stewart's favorite shop Tinsel trading.

For a few square blocks the window displays were making me want to stop in every store.

Central Park and 5th Avenue.

A beautiful day.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Vintage Sewing Room

My son outgrew his need for a "toy room" and I recently claimed it for my new sewing room.  My studio has no room in it for sewing machines and ironing boards and fabric that should be kept clean!

A few estate sale finds.  I just have to face it, I would rather buy vintage hands down over something new.  There is just something about the manufactured quality and the feel of history that makes me feel cozy and comfy.

This was my husband's grandmother's sewing machine, Emma Weiske.  It must have been so expensive when she bought it, as it has all the bells and whistles including a number of attachments.

The woman's portrait must be some sort of calendar print of the times.  I just love the tone of skin.  My mom contributed the children's sewing machine from her plentiful garage sale finds.  I guess I got my love of vintage from her.

My sewing table and framed collection of needle books.  Love this space.

I have no idea what possesses me to buy these yoyo dolls, but aren't they just a hoot?  The one of the right  has a disgusted look at the goofiness of the one on the left.  Looks so judgmental, doesn't it?

A length of tatting found in an antique store adorns my miniature mannequin.

An antique store find of his adorable donkey sewing notions holder.

A shadow box of vintage notions.  I need to find a new shadow box that has bigger openings.  I think I'm going to decorate the back of the squares with vintage patterns and paper.

A cozy chair for tatting and knitting.  Great light.

I'll post pictures of my needle book collection in another post so you can get a more close up look!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Garage Sale Chronicles #9 - Scrap Quilt

Estate Sale Quilt
Would you have paid $10?

All the fabric is sateen or rayon so it's smooth and silky feeling.

The back is pink satin.

I can't really decide if I like it or not.  But once again, a handmade item called my name and asked to be rescued.  The handwork alone was worth $10 to me.

Check out the individual stitches on each piece.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Garage Sale Chronicles #8

It's Saturday which means Goodwill and Garage sales for me and Karate classes for my son.

Lucky me our Dojo next to a Goodwill.  Oh, lucky me!

Today's Goodwill purchases.  
A beautiful china creamer (to be made into a pin cushion), a carnival glass coal bin shaped glass without the handle (it challenged me to create a handle for it) and a Yellowstone Park spool holder rocking chair made of cedar (Tell me you can't imagine it sitting on the shelf along with other park souvenirs just waiting to be picked out and brought back to another state as a reminder of the trip!  I always bought fuzzy black bears and cubs who always lost their fuzziness after a few years.)

I stopped at a garage sale later in the day.  A woman was selling a lot of her excess scrapbooking stash.  I wasn't able to pass it up even though I have no specific purpose for any of it at the moment.  I'll just add it to the studio and it'll get used.

All the items from the pictures above and below were in a big clear plastic toolbox!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Silhouette Rhinestones

A rhinestone birthday party in the studio!

Two young figure skaters came over to have some rhinestone fun.
We cut out rhinestone templates using my Silhouette Cameo and heat set them with an iron.

I heart Axels!


Garage Sales Chronicles #7

I walked through the garage door of an estate sale, turned my head to the right, saw this metal drawer system sitting on the workbench and said "I'll take it!"  Just like that, it was MINE!  
Cost?  $20.00.  Love it!

I thought about painting it the same red as my other drawer systems in my studio, but decided that this copper color was just perfect as it was.  

I cut up a free Minnesota map to use for labels and installed it on my worktable.  Ah...18 more drawers to fill.

My new tatting thread holder.
It was filled with sewing thread on old wooden spools.  

Two beautiful white pitchers, a 1950's How to Sew hardcover, a amber apothecary jar, some beautiful scissors (one hand forged in Minneapolis), 5 men's lapel pins with Burt's pins 1891 handwritten on the card, an old watch (one that will soon be added to my watchface bracelet) a box of buttons, and two skeleton keys.  All for around $10.00.

Ah, a box of buttons....who can resist?  I pawed through it when I got home and sorted out some of the more interesting buttons and put them into the amber apothecary jar.  I found the teeniest, tiny plastic elephant button that couldn't have been more than a quarter of an inch.  What do you suppose that came off of?

In addition to at above items I bought an arm load of old embroidered vintage linens.  

My tatting obsession continues!

Did you know that April 1st is International Tatting day?  
No April fools joke, it really is.  I don't think Hallmark has a card for it, but according to the internet it really is International Tatting day.  And, we know that everything on the internet is true.

My tatting obsession continues, it started back around Christmas so check out my previous posts.
I still tear out about half of what I tat when I make mistakes in counting double stitches or the number of picots. However, I can now throw that shuttle quite fast on those double stitches with the confidence that the thread is indeed flipping nicely.  Now it's just a matter of getting the end result to look nice!  Below are a couple of my pieces.

I fly a lot for work, and since you can't use electronic devices until 10,000 feet, I tat.  You wouldn't believe all the questions I get from my seat companions and the stewards.

My love for new crafting tools and supplies has driven me to search out and find a few related items.

A gift from my sister-in-law who tells me she shopped in my mom's basement years ago for this lovely vintage sewing box.  I added the vines in vinyl on the top to give it a bit more style. 

I don't think this had ever been used. I needed to replace all the screws because they've rusted and the sides didn't come out as fluid as they should.  I also used a black sharpie to cover some of the nicks in the black pieces.  That tip was given to me by a friend that works in a fine art store who says they repair nicks in frames all the time by covering them with sharpie!  Buyer beware, huh?

I got this lovely handheld sewing basket at a local estate sale and now it holds my threads.

I've also haunted ebay and antique stores looking for pattern books, shuttles, and samples of old tatting.  Yes, I know there's a ton of free and for purchase tatting instructions on the internet, but there's something about an old craft form and actually having the vintage books that people have learned from over the years in your hand.  

It just doesn't feel quite the same to have a print out of the pattern off my laser printer from my computer which is connected out to somewhere you can't see when you're trying to learn an old art.  Oh, I'll use those youtube videos and free patterns, but the hunt to find older items has an allure I can't ignore.

So far, I've found some very sweet tatted pieces in antique stores for a song.  Apparently, you're not going  to get rich tatting.  

I have found fragments of tatting that maybe were all the patience the tatter had patience to do or it is all that is left from a project.  Of course, I have to rescue it.  I will use it to sew up a cool tatting tote.

Well, that's my collection so far, stay tuned this obsession may last a bit longer than usual.