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September 2010

August 2010

{ thrifting } destined for the shop

I still have an etsy shop.  I really do.  Still thrift a few times every week.  And I am still amassing a pile of goodies to share. 

part of saturday's thrift haul

This weekend I hit a jackpot of vintage handbags.  And there is no way I can use them all.  I already have a fairly impressive collection of vintage going-out clutches.

  part of saturday's thrift haul

These beauties are just waiting for another night out.

Soon, dearies.  I will list you in my little shop as soon as I can so you can once again be out on the town!  (Apparently I have to squeeze a rather lengthy photo shoot into this week.  I'd hate to disappoint them.)

part of saturday's thrift haul

Sometimes I can't believe my luck.  When I saw this little stack of sparkly coasters sitting, untouched, on the shelf, I couldn't believe my eyes.  They must have just been put out. Tiny jewel-like coasters.  I'm going to have a hard time parting with these.  


That's about all I have today.  My mind is mush as Wonderbaby lost her pacifier in the crib around four this morning and spent so much time looking for it that she decided she might as well just get up.  This didn't bode well for mama, who stayed up late toiling in her studio, gambling on a 7am wake up call.  Oy. 

How about you?  Any fancy luck at the Thrift lately?

Happy Monday!  xoxo
~miss chris

{ sewing } mini boden challenge: party skirt

We're plugging along here at the Fence, chipping away at the Mini Boden Challenge tear-out stack that is taunting me from the corner of my studio.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

Is it ever so fun.   And some of you have joined in!  Woohoo!

I went ahead and set up a flickr group, so we can all post our knock-offs and pat each other on the back and talk about how clever we are, over coffee.  Won't it be exciting to see how productive we've been? 


Today's inspiration was regretfully left out of the initial post.  It is a "bubble/balloon" skirt with a fun print that could easily get dressed up or down.  I didn't use a yoga-style knit waist like boden did, and I think that it would be a nice way to relieve some bulk at the top.  However, I did some pleating before running my elastic casing through the waist, so it isn't nearly as bulky as it could have been.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

I think this would drape and swish better if done in a rayon or washable silky blend.  I do have some of that, so we might just have another go-round.  This was pretty quick, once I had my head around the logistics of it!

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

[ Fabric: Caitlin Blooms in Spice from Alexander Henry.]

There is a little removable rosette for the front for some texture.  It matches the quick hair bows I made for the pony tails.  After our little photo shoot, Fidget told me she "just loves looking beautiful.  Like this, mommy.  I love it when I get to dress up in pretty clothes you make for me."

Well then.  Okay.  How could I ever resist that? 

Moreover, Why would I want to?!

Happy Weekending, peeps!  xoxo
~miss chris

{ sewing } boden challenge dress 1

Isn't it funny to hear how many of us look through the mini Boden catalog for inspiration?!


Since announcing my obsession with the catalog on Sunday, I have completed my first attempt. 

Don't be too impressed,though.  It wasn't much of a challenge because I am a Butterick Sew Easy B5119  veteran and have made this enough times to know exactly how to modify it to get what I wanted. 
My biggest complaint with that original pattern is that the recommended allowance for neckline elastic is crazy long.  I almost cut mine down by a half. 

Anyway, take a gander at the inspiration photo:


And the B5119/ 1 hour result:


A fair comparison, in my book.  :) 


  • Fine Whale Corduroy from Joann's, marked down 50%.  I used about a yard.
  • Butterick, Sew-Easy, B5119 (it's a nightgown pattern)
  • Omitted ruffles
  • shortened sleeve length to the gather line + turned fabric for casing and elastic.
  • length is approx between the A and B views.
  • I always mark the back with some ribbon.  This one is easy to get turned around while dressing a squirmer!
  • That is my old jewelry box.  When I was 5, I wrote my name on the bottom.  The ballerina still works.  I love this photo of Rachel's.

OK.  That's it.  On to my next challenge.

I'm curious.  How many of you are doing this same thing?  From the sound of the comments for my last post, there are quite a few.  I'd love to start a mini Boden rip-off flickr group.  :)  hee.

{ hmmm, I can do that } Mini Boden

The mini Boden catalog arrived a few weeks ago.


I love her hair.  And that gappy smile.  She is adorable.

I also love, love, love their clothes. I keep coming back to the Funky Duffle Coat, in particular.


Geez-o-pete. $88 for a jacket for a jacket that will only fit for 6 months?  It's not even a super dressy coat. Or down filled. However, those Boden people know how to make things irresistible and I do love the juicy color combos.

And I keep thinking I can make one. Or two. Like with the School Days Coat by Oliver + S. 

Am I crazy?  I certainly do not have so much time on my hands that this seems necessary, but my mind is spinning with the idea of coordinating little girl jackets for the girls.  Obsessing about it may be as far as I get.  Maybe. I love the finishing details of an Oliver + S pattern.  It's tempting.  I already have some gorgeous heather grey wool that I got thrifting this summer for $1.50  I know, crazy, right? 


What about these little dresses?  Is it just me or could this Simplicity pattern 2484 result in a similar pinafore w/edgy zipper combo?  I certainly think so.


Let's also talk about this fine whale corduroy dress: 


Does it not look eerily similar my favorite Butterick 5119?? It might be first on my list for Wonderbaby.  Yes, I'm pretty sure it is.

Moving on.


These apple applique skirts are just plain cute.  And easy.  Why not buy a $10 skirt at the store ( cheaper if you can find one at the Thrift), remove the pockets and add some smashing appliques to the backside?  Why. Not?? 


I love this one as well, and I think it is because of the similarity to the B5119 pattern.  It is simple and versatile and I'm pretty sure you could make it for less than $48.


The dress here -- view A -- in this Simplicity 2321 pattern would make a cute dress.  I'd probably mess with the sleeves a bit, but it looks pretty straightforward as well.  Add leggings and some boots and I think we have a winner.

Any patterns you all are looking at for the fall?  Please share!!

{ giveaway } Winner!

It is still morning in some parts of the world. 

When I said I'd post the winner of the book drawing on Friday morning I had totally forgotten about  my standing Friday Morning Coffee plans with friends.  So.  Now I'm caffeinated, Wonderbaby is asleep, and I'm going to get down to business.

Righty ho!


Thanks to for making it so easy to pick a number, even if it lacks the hoopla and dramatics of a live ticket drawing.  My first ever random comment drawing goes like this:

Woohoo!  Very exciting, yes?

Congratulations, Lise of In the Purple House!  You have won a copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause.  I hope you enjoy it, sweets!


{ craft hope } project 9: pillowcases

Have you heard about Craft Hope's Project 9 Pillowcases!?

ConKerr Cancer was started back in 2002, when Cindy Kerr's son was hospitalized for cancer treatment and she brightened his room with a fun pillowcase.  Once she saw how much Ryan loved it, she began making pillowcases for the other children in the oncology unit.  Since then, over 210,000 pillowcases have been made for sick children all over the world

Wow.  (Seriously, I challenge you to read through their website and not get choked up!  Especially the tribute to her son.  *sob*)  Most of the time when I read stuff like this, I just get overwhelmed.  I want to help, but I don't know how to reach out.  You know what?  I can make a pillowcase.  So can you. 

This is a quick and easy project.  Once you have your fabrics washed, it really only takes about 15 minutes to make one.  What a great way to use some of that stash fabric, too.  :)

I've challenged myself to make four cases: one for a teenage boy, a teenage girl, a little boy and a little girl. 


So far I've got the boys done.  A Mizzou-inspired simple combo (Go Tigers!!) and a Spidey. 


Up next, some pink and florals. Girls. They're so easy.

Pc 003

Want to join in?  ConKerr Cancer has the super simple directions on their site and the Craft Hope project deadline is September 15.  You may, of course, continue to make pillowcases for them as long as you want! 

Please send your finished pillowcases the address specified by your regional coordinator.

(I was thinking about upping the ante on the free book drawing -- like telling others on your blog or facebook about Craft Hope's Project 9, but I have no idea how to keep track of that stuff.  But why don't you it anyway??  Spread Hope!!!)

~ misschris

{ giveaway } Craft Hope book

We are smack dab in the middle of Craft Hope Book Month hysteria and the good stuff just won't stop.  Those generous people at Lark Craft have provided me with a book to give away and I'm just thrilled that one of my own PPF friends has a chance to win it.

So, would you like a free copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause?

You would?!  Super!


I'm not exactly an expert with the whole giveaway thing, so let's keep it simple.  Leave a comment on this post by midnight, Central Time, Thursday, August 19th and I'll announce the winner Friday morning. Woohoo!

Note to the future winner:  After you win and dance around with your new book that is chock full of projects for causes and inspiration and goodness, make sure you turn to page 90.  


Happy Monday!

miss chris

{ trending in my head } knee socks

Now that school is around the corner, I have become obsessed with knee high socks.

As seen

I come by it honest.  With double t-straps, even!  Here I am at 5 yrs, in a dress that my mom had made me (ric-rac!), toe-head white hair, and knee socks. 

By the way, that table-lamp combo piece resides in *my* living room now.


This was right before we moved to Louisiana.  I know this because my mother had just cut off my hair, insisting that it would be too hot and all the Little Girls Of the South would have short hair. 

Our new neighbors mistook me for a boy.

Clearly, she had no idea how popular long luscious girly locks were in the Bayou.

I wouldn't cut my hair again for 5 years.

It was growing out here:


(Age 6 or 7)

Can I ask, what more does a 6 year old girl want than a stage in her living room?  My father decided to build a fireplace in our Baton Rouge home back in 1978, and it started with a solid wood hearth foundation that extended the length of the room for months.  I was sad to see that fireplace actually installed.  If we had one of those in our house now we would totally use it when we played Rock Band.

And let's talk about the paneling.  Or the TV.  Or the awesome chunky table that TV with rabbit ears was sitting upon.  Or the fabulous painting.  Or not.  We can simply adore this snapshot of the late seventies for being just that.  Wow.

Anyway, this is about the socks.  (And that dress.  It was a fave.) And the socks and strappy shoes combo.

I am smitten.

Is it okay for a grown woman to wear them?  Is it possible to wear them and not look too coquettish or like you are trying to look 20 years younger?   Because I really, really love this.

And I know Fidget can and will get away with this look.

Oh, she will.

Do they make knee socks for toddlers, too?  Because Wonderbaby might need a pair.

We can be one giant knee sock loving family.


(PS: You might want to ignore this entire post.  I am pretty heavily medicated as a result of a nasty sinus infection. I'm not making good choices.  Seriously.  I spooned out a quarter cup of mayo thinking it was yogurt.  Ew.)

{ bookclub dish } The Beach Trip

At the suggestion of my sweet neighbor and fellow bookclubber, Jocelyn, I have decided that our book club books + dishes need sharing.

Because, yes, it is nice to talk about books.  And visit with friends.  And get out of the house once a month.  But, my oh my, do we ever eat well!  Lately, it's been thematic.

BeachtripTake, for instance, The Beach Trip, by Cathy Holton.

It is about four friends who have not been together in the 23 years since college and join each other at one of their homes on the Outer Banks for a week.  There are familiar threads of mid-life crossroads and secrets and digging in the to past, but the plot of the story isn't so light that it can be passed off as fluff.  We all enjoyed it and had a lively discussion.

It is also the book that introduced me to the Margarona.

beach trip - margaronas

Delicious and dangerous, this drink is a sipper.  It seemed fitting to serve it at book club, of course.

Margaronas a la Beach Trip:
Empty 1 can of limeaid into a blender.
Fill that can with tequila and pour it in.

Add two Coronas.

Stir and Serve with a lime wedge.


I have never filled that whole can with tequila.  And I use Corona Light.  And I have added a third beer to the pitcher to mellow it out a bit.  Doesn't matter.  It's all good.

For dinner, Jocelyn served the following:


Mexican Chopped Salad (image via Kraft)
1/3 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 tps ground cumin
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed
2 avocados, chopped
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper chopped
1/2  cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup Kraft Mexican Style Finely shredded four cheese
mix dressing and cumin
combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. add dressing mixture, mix lightly.



Heirloom Tomato Salad
(image via Kraft)
1 lb. mixed fresh tomatoes  chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/4 cup Athenos crumbled feta cheese with basil & tomato
1/4 cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing & Marinade
2tbsp chopped fresh basil
2tbsp chopped fresh parsley

combine ingredients...



Chili Chicken Kabobs
(via Eat Clean Diet)
Hers looked better than this and had squash + zucchini on the skewers , too.

• 3 Tbsp / 45 ml best-quality olive oil
• 1 1/2 Tbsp / 22 ml balsamic vinegar
• Juice of one fresh lime
• 1 tsp / 5 ml chili powder
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml paprika
• 1 large onion, chopped into thick pieces
• 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
• 1 tsp / 5ml cayenne pepper
Sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 lb / 454 g boneless skinless chicken breast*, cut into 1 1/2 inch / 4-cm pieces
• Yellow Squash, Zucchini, & Onion for skewers

I am pretty sure we all had seconds of everything.   It was so delicious and perfect for a hot summer evening.  Oh, Joc also served fresh homemade ice cream with strawberries for dessert.

Yeah, Book Club kind of rocks.