Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Zippy Posy

Gray day + ZIP "word of the year" = Posy! With a little time on my hands, I made a cheery little project. First, I cut out 6 little circles from a scrap of yellowish fleece. I used the bottom of the spray starch can as my template because I was too lazy to look elsewhere. Four circles were folded into quarters, then stitched together to make the petals in the middle. Next, a half of a metal zipper (9") was coiled to make the posy center. This was stitched to an unfolded little fleece circle and the top part of the flower was completed. On the bottom of the posy, another unfolded fleece circle was stitched. Two little leaf shapes were cut from felted wool and attached the the bottom of the posy. Lastly, the pin back was stitched to the bottom of the posy. Voila! A cheery little posy that can be worn as a pin or attached to a bag or hat. The pin back could be omitted and instead stitched directly to something or glued to a gift package. In mini size, it could even work as a barrette with the clip stitched to the back. Now I'm up to date with one zipper project a month.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Kind of Couture

Yes, I have totally fallen in love with this book!
Years, years and years ago, handkerchiefs were a staple in a woman's wardrobe - working women to fancy women. Both of my Kansas grandmothers, my mother and the ladies in the church could often be seen removing a little hankie from an apron pocket, the sleeve of a shirt or dress, a pocketbook or even an upper underwear "stabilizer" which I blush to even name by its name today!
Luckily, I have ended up with many of these special cloth squares in a collection I treasure.
But... what to do with them?

Not long ago, I found myself browsing in a book store, and stumbled upon this sweet book featuring 11 1/2 inch dolls (not Barbie) modelling couture fashions made from hankies. I was immediately smitten. Not only are the pictures and fashions wonderful, but the writing of the text is, too.

The author, Marsha Greenberg, has a way with words - clever, proper, catchy.

You might enjoy this book synopsis I found on the web:

What is Hankie Couture?
"A stunningly original collection of doll-sized fashions--everything from pajamas to wedding gowns--meticulously crafted from vintage handkerchiefs. Accented with slyly witty Hankie Couture girl "philosophy," this book is a stylish showcase of 125 unique fashions and accessories. It is also a how-to guide that allows you to transform treasured heirlooms or colorful flea-market finds into one-of-a-kind fashion ensembles.

Whether it's a floral sundress that fans out as it twirls, an apron dress with a scalloped border, or a neatly pin-tucked linen dress with pearl buttons, the book encompasses a seemingly infinite variety of exquisite dresses. Neither crafters nor doll collectors have ever seen a book like this, making Hankie Couture a uniquely irresistible challenge to crafters. And with its beautiful design and kitschy lifestyle advice, this makes a great gift book."

(Or a great calendar --- maybe on half-priced sale as we're nearly into the third month of the year?)

Too bad my Barbie/Project Runway challenge is past. I so would have been making her

challenges out of hankies! (By the way, I am rooting for Mondo to win P.R.A.S. currently underway)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Butterfly Whisperers

Apparently the two of us have something that makes butterflies happy.
Something that makes them slow down from the all the fluttering.
Maybe we smell good? Maybe we are sweet like nectar?
Or maybe we are just old and not running around in their sanctuary like the younger ones is more like it!
We like being able to give respite to a butterfly now and then.
This weekend found us out and about at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
with Miss E. We had a wonderful time.
I love the modern art that butterflies give us on their gossamer wings.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Thumb's UP for this Performer (And his Blog,too.)

See this man with Miss E? He the one. The only. Mr. Jim Gill!
He's a child-development specialist, singin', banjo pickin' wonder! And Ellie loves his music, especially Alabama, Mississippi. So when I heard he was giving a 'concert' nearby (sponsored by the Vernon Area library at Stevenson High School), I knew E. and I had to go see him.
She clapped, bounced, stamped, circled, tapped, watched, listened and
was beside herself when he actually performed Alabama, Mississippi just for her
personal pleasure.
For you out there in blogland, might I highly recommend going to your local library to grab one of his CD's and sharing it
with a little loved one in your life? Or ordering online?
You might wish to check out his blog link below as well.
Not only are his music games delightful for the young ones, but his words/thoughts/observations about early learning hit a bulls eye with this MeMo!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Apron Art

Hearing that an art exhibit by Women's Journeys in Fiber presenting
"Aprons: Myth & Fantasy" meant only one thing:
I had to go!
Not only did I have to get there, but I had the treat of being taken by my adventurous friend, Marti.
We drove to Kenosha, Wisconsin yesterday to the
Anderson Arts Center right along the shoreline of
a very beautiful, frozen Lake Michigan coast.
The show included quilts by several talented quilters,
a 3D gallery of The Three (Dis)Graces: Poverty, Neglect & Indifference and works on display by Central High School (Kenosha) students all set inside a glorious older mansion formally inhabited by the Simmons (as in mattress) family and now turned into an art gallery.
Might I highly recommend this show currently on display through March 25, 2012? It's that good!
As much as we enjoyed the quilts, our favorites were the
30 aprons on display and the stories behind their creation by their makers. Whimsical, nostalgic, poignant, sad, clever, creative, innovative....the list goes on.
These women are true artists in my way of thinking.
Let the pictures speak for themselves:
I loved seeing an apron that Marie Antoinette might have worn shouldst she ever appear in a kitchen.
Seeing a rendition of a combined Julie & Julia apron tickled me due to my former
Copycat Challenge in which I sewed my way through a whole book of projects.
Reading about a Granddaughter's memories of summers spent with her Grandma
at a Wisconsin lake cabin and interpreted into an apron tugged at my heartstrings.
Seeing a woman's work who is an expert gardener (and seamstress) and lover of flowers translated into a gorgeous apron was a feast for the eyes of one who has had enough of winter, mild as it might be presently.
I just might have to think about making a "statement" apron myself one of these days!
(Thanks, dear Marti, for a wonderful day!!)