Archive | July, 2010

fancy stitching

30 Jul

another item crossed off my thirty in thirty list! for my cute, vintage-loving friend’s 35th birthday, i’d promised to make him days-of-the-week hand towels. a few months ago, we were discussing anthropomorphic dish towels from the 1930s & 1940s and i showed him my grandmother’s hand-embroidered towels. he wanted to find vintage towels on ebay, but i had a better idea.

i’ve been a fan of jenny hart and sublime stitching for many years and i’ve collected quite a few patterns that have never been put to use.  i knew that the vintage lamps would be perfectly paired with days of the week for hand towels. plus, i’d get a chance to learn and utilize stitches other than the backstitch, which has had a lonely existence in my embroidery attempts.

i was worried about being able to find authentic flour sack towels, but the first stop on my search proved successful. i bought two packs of aunt martha’s old fashioned flour sack towels from jo-ann. i was originally aiming for one towel/day, but, because the flour sacks are so large (the ones i got were 28″ x 28″), i decided to embroider two days on each towel so it could just be flipped over when the next day rolled around.

for the days of the week, i picked what i thought was a retro-looking font (eek! i can’t remember the name – sorry!), typed up the words, and printed out a sheet, after adjusting the size a few times. using a light box and an embroidery transfer pen, i traced the words along the bottom of the towels.

i follwed the transfer instructions that came with the lamp pattern and i was ready to begin.

for the days of the week, i used all six strands of the thread for a split stitch. some stitches may not have split exactly, but i’m going to pretend that i didn’t notice.

next up: the satin stitch! the french knot! things of an elusive nature to me, i assure you. i went a bit french knot mad for the lightbulb on thursday’s lamp (which i love because i have this lamp!)

for the finer details, i only used three strands of thread and i love how delicate it looks. i used this technique on the faux bois lamp base for wednesday.

i think one of my favorite stitches to use was the stem stitch, which is so pretty and easy, especially for curves.

i had one side of one flour sack left over after stitching up the days of the week, so i decided to use my friend’s blog, where he chronicles all the vintage treasures he finds at estate sales in his neighborhood. if you visit his blog, i must warn you: you’ll be jealous. or is that only me? he manages to find the coolest things for pennies, i kid you not. everytime i go over there, he has something new to show me that only cost $5.

i’m quite excited to have new stitches in my know-how now. i actually have a leftover package of flour sacks and a stack of sexy librarian embroidery transfers begging to be used. if i made my own set of towels, i’d actually be crossing off another item on my list: reduce usage of paper towels.

but, really, who am i kidding? if i made towels, i’d probably not be able to use them for fear of ruining them. that’s why i like to give the things i make away – so somebody else can use and enjoy them.


thrift love thursday :: 07.29.2010

29 Jul

{thrift love thursday will be a (hopefully) regular feature. i plan on sharing one or some of my favorite thrifty finds each week. i hope you enjoy them!}


i have a very soft spot for paper ephemera. i have a very soft spot for the word ephemera, too, but that’s neither here nor there. i saw this cute framed card in a goodwill store and thought just that: “it’s cute. it’s framed. meh.” but then i flipped it over and melted when i saw that lienol (like lionel?) loved valerie. and he did so in 1942.

i have so many questions: was lienol in the war? was he married to valerie? or were they just sweet on each other? did valerie keep this gift secretly tucked away? or was it hanging for all to see?

i’m afraid that i’m that person who likes to daydream about where things came from. i can’t go to an estate sale without looking around and wondering about people’s lives, what they did, where they went, who they loved, who loved them. love always seems to come in it for me, somehow. i’m a true romantic, i’m afraid, no matter how many biting remarks escape my lips.

previous thursdays:
07.22.2010 | 07.15.2010

* doily and scallop clip art courtesy of the awesome pugly pixel

365 :: july 28, 2010

28 Jul

july 28, 2010. boo for car batteries that die and cost over $100 to replace. yay for dads who live nearby and will come over to replace your car battery for you.

365 :: july 27, 2010

28 Jul

july 27, 2010. have you ever woken up with a weird craving that you must indulge tout suite? my breakfast this morning was a cherry limeade icee. yeah, not a proud moment, but as the cup clearly states, “the coldest drink in town.” this is an important factor when you live in texas and it’s already a bajillion degrees at nine o’clock in the a.m.

365 :: july 26, 2010

28 Jul

july 26, 2010. happy nails! though i must say that painting your nails is all fun and games until you get to the right hand. i’m rubbish with the polish and don’t often take the time to makeover my nails, but i’ve been totally digging all of the cool matte and opaque colors that are everywhere now. next time: aqua and black.

on a side note, why does my hand look so freakishly pink?

365 :: july 25, 2010

28 Jul

july 25, 2010. please. stop what you are doing and go watch the room. only not really, because i don’t want to receive hate mail. this is the, i kid you not. it is such a train wreck that it is hilarious. my cheeks were aching at the end. the acting, the lines, the sets, the plot (i kid – there is not plot) – everything. so bad.

last week, my friends forced us to watch horrible you tube clips from the movie (which has a total cult following, btw) and we all agreed that we had to see the thing in full. here are a few of my favorite gems:

“hai doggie.”

“let’s go eat, huuuuh.”

if you live in the dallas area, check it out at the inwood on august 27th & 28th or september 24th & 25th as one of their midnight madness shows. i’ll totally be there to enjoy it as it should be seen: with a ton of other people shouting lines, throwing plastic cutlery, and generally honoring the worst movie ever.

365 :: july 24, 2010

28 Jul

july 24, 2010. we celebrated my friend’s upcoming 35th birthday tonight with a delicioso mexican feast, which included chicken and beef fajitas, homemade black bean enchiladas (insane, leila!), queso, guacamole, beans, chips, pomegranate mojitos and… ice cream cake, which, while not so much mexican feast, was nonetheless devoured. the ice cream cake has always been the favored birthday cake in my family and i can’t tell you how many times my mother has made this so easy dessert.

the recipe? here it is:

– 25 oreo cookies (plus 4-5 more for the topping)
– 1 stick of butter, melted
– 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (buy the kind in the rectangle box)
– 1 jar chocolate fudge sauce
– 1 tub whipped topping (i hate the word tub and i hate calling cool whip whipped topping)

in a food processor, grind the cookies to a sand-like consistency. mix with the melted butter and spread onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan. using a serrated knife, cut the block of ice cream into approximately 1″ thick slabs and layer on top of the oreo crust. heat the chocolate fudge sauce and pour over ice cream, leaving a bit left over for garnish, if desired. spread cool whip over the ice cream and fudge sauce. grind the remaining cookies and sprinkle on top. freeze until ready for annihilating.

i gotta tell you, the crust is by far the best part of this cake. the first piece is so hard to cut, but once you’re in, you’re not coming up for air until your pan looks mine.