Thanks Typepad for not letting me save that last post as a draft . . .
So, I have found some ideas of what I would like in a ball gown and thought instead of starting from scratch with fabric and pattern, I'll do a little upcycle. So, I am on the hunt for an ugly bridesmaid dress that I can give a new life to.
The first the photos are examples of what I would like to find and change into something like the last two photos. I know I am going to need to make a corset, so I'll need a pattern for that, I will also need a sheer shrug to wear so that my arms are covered because I can't possibly bare those!
This is going to be a fun challenge. I am home today with the baby chis since they were both neutered yesterday, poor little guys. I'm trying to keep them quiet and "down" at least for one full day. But tomorrow I'll be scouring some of my favorite thrift haunts to see what I can find.
I am part of a group that is planning our very first Time Travelers' Marketplace and Ball. I can't believe we only have a few weeks until the event. It will be October 9th, in Downtown Hillsboro. I'll be vending at the Marketplace and attending the Ball. While the event is open to all time periods, I've decided to dress Steampunk. I've been looking at patterns and have a few ideas for costumes. I need TWO. One for day at the Marketplace and a ball gown for evening. I think I need to get serious about this. I don't have much time.
Are you familiar with yo yo quilts? They were very popular in the late 1930's, during the depression when women didn't have money to buy beautiful fabrics to use for quilting projects. Instead they would use the scraps of fabric from the families worn and tattered clothing. Salvaging what they could of the beautiful dress cottons. Made from small circles of fabric, gathered and sewn into little yo yo's then carefully stitched together into a beautiful quilt. Most of the time these quilts were used more as bedspreads, without a fill or backing. Also, mostly made from the scraps of fabric their designs were random. Occasionally you will find one that has a pattern of sorts and I've also seen table covers and pillows made from the yo yo's. This is a photo of just a small portion of a yo yo quilt owned by my friend, she purchased it several years ago in an antique store here in Portland and enjoys displaying it on one of her beds.
This friend is the one who has me now hooked on yo yo-ing. We have been cutting circles and stitching them together during our breaks and lunch times at work. I am making a tablecloth to match my kitchen colors and it will be in a pattern of sorts, I'm not quite sure what that pattern will be but it is coming together slowly. She has a couple of different projects going, one table cloth and one small bedspread.
Apparently, there is some new yo yo gadget that is sold and it can make the yo yo-ing easier but really, these are so very simple to make there is no need for anything except a cardboard circle, a tracing pen, scissors, needle and thread. It is a great portable project (once you have your circles cut) and is quite relaxing. I'm currently exploring some other ideas with the yo yo's and know that there are hundreds I haven't even thought of yet.
The Button Bar is in sight . . . . finally! In October of 2008, we took on the mother of all estates. You may remember me writing about it on this blog. It took us about five months to move the entire contents of a house, truckload by truckload from the house in North Portland to our store in Hillsboro. It is the reason in fact, that we opened our second store location. The house was so full from the basement to the second story, there was only a small pathway to navigate through. Built in the early 1900’s, the house had been occupied by two generations of one family, who all loved to collect. When I discovered the boxes upon boxes of jars upon jars and ziplock bags and cigar boxes and old cookie tins filled with buttons I was in heaven. I hauled those buttons up out of the dark, grimy basement by putting the jars into smaller boxes so that I could carry them and then carrying the large jars by themselves. Who knew buttons were so heavy? Well, buttons in glass jars are very heavy. I have no idea how many buttons there are but it is the most I have ever seen in one place.
We came up with the idea somewhere along the way to sort out the buttons by color, displaying them in candy jars (buttons really are as good or better than candy to many of us aren’t they?) to create the Button Bar. Who doesn’t love to run their hands through jars of buttons? Picking them out one by one, examining their texture, quality and beauty. The jars and buttons have been waiting in our garage, while hopes of getting them sorted have been pushed aside by all the other work that has had to happen. We have made great progress on going through boxes from that estate, we still have a long way to go. Finally though, the space is chosen for the Button Bar, I’ve spent the last couple of days cleaning it out (still have another weekend of work left to do on that), the shelves are ready to go up, the jars are washed and I can picture it in my mind.
Once the shelves are up the clean empty jars will go up and then as the buttons are sorted they will be placed into the jars so the inventory will be constantly changing for quite awhile and it won’t be so overwhelming to look through all of the buttons at once.
I have assembled some help with the sorting, put out the word that you need help handling and sorting buttons and people come out of the woodwork. I could probably charge admission to have people sort through buttons. Instead, the honor is going to my mother mostly. She is taking jars home with her to sort during the day.
If all goes well the Button Bar could be open by May 1st. We will be including both vintage and antique lace, as well as ribbon. I may have to plan a Grand Opening event soon. Buttons are a great excuse for a party don’t you think?
A sneak peek at one of my current projects. I have recently discovered paperclay and love working with it. I don't want to tell too much about this project other than it is my altered one gallon paint can for a fundraiser that is coming up soon. I need to get busy as it needs to be finished by the end of the month.
Saturday night while at the Creative Inspirations get together I remembered that the art studio Art on a Lark has been asking customers to take a paper mache letter and art it up. The plan is to spell out the store name on the wall, each letter by a different artist. I chose the letter K because my plan was to paint a face and I needed a letter with some space. There are not many letters left so if this sounds fun to you head on over to the Hillsboro store and pick up a letter. You could even take your stuff with you and decorate the letter right there in the studio.
Here's my letter, I hope it will be a nice addition to their wall. I love doing these types of community projects and it felt so good yesterday to work on this throughout the day. In between catching up on laundry and dishes and shopping and such. Note to self: stop going to Costco on the weekends! It is a mad house.
After finishing this I was so inspired to start on my next project. While watching the Golden Globes I started sculpting some paper clay. I am keeping the actual project a secret but I am altering a one gallon paint can as part of a fundraiser for the Pythian Ballroom painting project. The ballroom is an amazing space that can be used for all sorts of community events once it receives a bit of a facelift. Doug & I are putting together this event to help them raise the funds to paint. I have a few paint cans left if any of you local artists are interested. The art work is donated and will be shown throughout town for a couple of months and then auctioned off in the spring.
My sculpture is taking shape. I really like working with the paper clay and enjoy the process of finding out what it can, and can't, do. Hopefully some pics soon of my project. At least a teaser or two.
Wow, my phone camera is obviously pretty lousy! Sorry for those awful pictures in the previous posts. Not so sure my picture a day idea is going to work. Who wants to look at a bunch of blurry, ugly photos where you can’t even tell what it is that is being photographed?
I am feeling like things are getting back to normal after the holidays and all the festivities. I’ve been working on some knitting patterns and will be self publishing a series of patterns called BeanWear. Dog sweaters, inspired of course by the Bean family, Pinto Bean, Cocoa Bean, Java Bean and Azuki Bean.
I’ve also designed a hat pattern using a fingering weight yarn and adding in a recycled belt or watch band. I found this amazing wire mesh belt during one of my lunch time thrift store outings. I think it is great for this hat. I am working on a worsted weight version of this hat because the fingering weight takes a bit longer to knit and I think most who knit hats like a quicker project.
oooh, those are some crow's feet!
Plugging away on the Hillsboro Art Walk plans, still looking for more artists!
The Paint Can fundraiser that I am working on to renovate the Pythian Ballroom is coming along nicely. I need to get started on my paint can though. In my mind it is turning out fabulous!
I was introduced to this project by artist friend Kelly. As soon as I learned about it I new it was right up my alley. A collaborative art project that will travel across the country, stopping at various galleries. The schedule of stops is still being formulated. Hmmm, I wonder if the Walters Cultural Art Center might be interested?
I received my sketchbook and it has been quietly calling to me for the last couple of weeks. My theme is "Over The Top" and I have been giving some thought to what I might create on it's pages. That quiet calling is becoming louder as the days pass. I have until the end of this year to return my completed sketchbook, but I have a couple of other projects that I must finish up this week before I can allow myself to start on this new project. That doesn't stop me from thinking about it though. I have a plan. I am hoping to make the book somewhat of a series of sketches, all having the same theme (Over The Top) and being similar in style. A story of sorts.
I will be photographing and documenting the pages both here and in the Sketchbook Project gallery. Once I have posted my entries, you can view my gallery on the Art House Co-op webiste here.
I always look forward to the weekend with big plans. My weekends are normally 3 days Saturday, Sunday and Monday, since I work four 10 hour shifts at my full time job. Since I commute 45 minutes each way and then work at our antique stores Saturday and Monday, this schedule works out pretty well for he most part. I try to save Sundays for a day off, to work on art projects in between laundry and all that other stuff that needs to be done.
Like I said, big plans. . . . . Most of the time my weekends get filled with work. Estates that need to be looked at, picked up and loaded, unloaded, estate sales that need to be prepped or held, antique shows where we set up and sell.
I had taken an extra day off last Friday to attend a class at ArtFiberFest but never did hear back about the details, which was really disappointing, but I was able to fill my day with fun stuff anyway.
There is a new thrift store that has opened up near my house and I took advantage of this rare occasion when I'm home during the week to check it out. I went and picked up my mom and we spent the day running around. I found a few great things, one of which is an organizer with drawers that I have been eyeing at Costco but didn't want to pay full price for. I can never have too many organizational cabinets, drawers or boxes. I also went to a couple of craft stores in search of "found stencils" for the online Stencilry class I'm taking. Also bought a few other things I didn't know I needed.
The rest of the weekend was spent working. We looked at an estate for an upcoming estate sale. Unloaded a full truck which meant we had to rearrange things at the 2nd Street store to make room for the stuff - that store is a disaster right now. So much work to be done. We loaded the truck halfway at another estate then went to our storage where we finished filling the truck after we made the decision to sell at a local flea market this coming Sunday. We have been so lucky to get all of this great estate merchandise and since our stores are so full we really need to pass this stuff on to others to enjoy. If you are in the area, check out the Polk County Flea Market this Sunday. We will be the ones selling out of the big truck in the parking lot.
I was able to work on one of my swap projects, which I must finish in the next couple of days. A fabric quiltie to honor Frida Kahlo. I was inspired by the Stencilry class and stenciled Frida on a piece of wool felt which I will now embelish with flowers, sequins and lace. I took it all with me to work so I can work on it during lunch.
I have several swap projects that need to finish in the next couple of weeks. I keep telling myself to stop signing up for so many swaps but then these great opportunities keep coming along and I cannot resist. I need a little something to do inbetween so much work anyway. I also started knitting a pair of socks (just simple mindless pattern that I can work on in the evenings to keep my hands busy) for Summer of Socks '09, I still have the Entomology Shawl I'm knitting and the Lace Ribbon Scarf is about a third of the way completed.
My days off for the next few weeks are non-existent though. This Sunday the flea market, next weekend is the Antique Expo, then I think we'll begin prepping an estate sale that is coming up at the end of the month. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.