{ music } to my ears

One of the fantastic things about the being immersed in this vintage resale community is the access I have to other vendors and their cool stuff.

The sweetest stereo cabinet ever.

Like this pretty little Admiral stereo console.  She had been at one of our vendor's screen printing shop for years, but they were moving and there wasn't really room in their new space.  It broke her heart, but Sarah brought the beloved console into our shop, unwilling to even price her, for two months.  We all drooled and considered taking her home.  

I had grown up listening to my grandparents' giant console in their living room.  I loved it. However, there was a cross-country logistical issue.  And a space issue.  And it possibly smelled like 50 years of cigarette smoking and New Hampshire mildew.  I couldn't justify the cost and all the possibilities.  I'm sure the mister was glad for that short-lived possibility.

This one was smaller. Closer.  And didn't smell.  After selling a couple of my upholstered pieces, I just couldn't resist anymore.  I decided she was going home with me.


And it was just in the nick of time. 

Some local radio personalities happened to be in the store that night, getting ready for a live broadcast from the West Bottoms (kicking off our famous haunted house season, oy).  I saw them circling and oohing and ahhing and checking her out. 

They were quite disappointed to hear she was already spoken for.  Ahem.  I let them down gently, of course.  


I grew up listening to Disney record albums.  And I kept them.

I haven't heard them in decades.  

My old albums.

We've been making our way through albums, the girls flipping through the illustrated covers as we go. 

The radio works, too, and the sound…perfect.   


I still haven't found a spot for her in the house.  Right now she's sitting in my bedroom, keeping me company while I fold laundry.  (Incidentally it ALL got done this weekend.  Coincidence? Nope.)  And she won't stay this color blue, although it's pretty. She would be gorgeous in the playroom, but there are far too many curious little people in and out of our house!

My hope is to make her over so that she will live in one of our main living areas someday.  Perhaps in a smoky grey finish or a creamy white?  


For now, we're just having fun. 

{ sewing } teacher apron gift

As soon as I said 'this year I'm not going to commit to making any gifts', Fidget reminded me that I always make aprons for her teachers.  Always.  And the thing is, the teachers at her school know this.  Miss Jane might already be expecting one.  I don't know.  (She might be dreading it.)

At any rate, Christmas Teacher Apron 2010, is done and ready to wrap. I added a bit of tif's dottie angel styling to the pocket and used some vintage crochet trim on the bottom.  The pocket itself is made from a piece of an old eyelet bedskirt.  It is one of my favorite items in my stash.  So many, many uses.

I have also been finagled into making crocheted hair clips for Fidgie's friends.  That girl.  She can be awfully convincing, especially when she is talking about giving handmade... Fortunately those little crochet flowers whip up quickly whilst snuggling in front of a movie under a giant patchwork afghan. ;)

Happy weekending, friends!
miss chris

ps: and also... if you haven't yet seen this delightful little movie featuring tif, her mossy shed, and the chickens, treat yourself to 3 minutes of happy.  You'll be glad you did.  xoxo

pps: there is also still time to sign up for the W O R D giveaway -- midnight tonight (12/17)!

{ thrifted + modified } The Pile and The Boots

So, part of my Need to Clean and Purge includes attacking the pile of mending and alterations that has been collecting in my studio.  It's not going anywhere if I don't address it, right?

And it's largely stuff for me, which is fun. 

Thrifted_refashion-017Case in point, this pretty little vintage skirt. (The sweater is vintage + thrifted, too.  However, the sleeve cuffs were too tight.  I just snapped them off and now I can push the sleeves up.  Much better.)

I bought the skirt years ago for $8 and loved it, but rarely ever wore it because of the length.  It is A-line and cut on the bias, which are both universally flattering, even if you think oversized plaid isn't. But I totally had this Librarian thing going on.

I just insulted librarians.

I meant the matronly shhh-ing types.


I just insulted them again.

I hope you know what I mean.

It just wasn't working for me.


So, scissors, thread and about 25 minutes later....

I cut off about 6", hemmed it by hand -- such a nice touch on garments, don't you think? -- and used some of the extra fabric to make a detachable flower.  I would never dare to wear this length without tights or leggings, but it's an acrylic woolish blend that needs leg wear anyway.


And now I love it.

And yes, those are The Boots I picked up in Seattle at a flea market.  Where Jade was holding them up for me across the store and I could swear there was a gentle glow and a choir of angels.  I had been looking for vintage Frye Campus Boots for two years. 


And there they were.  I quickly discarded the stack of olive green Texas-Ware I had been admiring and ran across the store in that underwater kind of haze you have in dream sequences. 


She was saying 'size 6, right??!!'  Yes, yes, yes!

And as I got there I saw that, yes, they were exactly what I had been searching for. 

I'm not going to lie.  It's ridiculous to get this excited about boots.  And I'm pretty sure there is a Peter Cetera song that would aptly describe my joy at that moment.  It was kismet, me and my found boots.  All worn in and aged.  Scuffed and softened and teeming with character. 


I took them home and after a trip to the cobbler for new soles and a cleanup they are thrilled to be back in action.  (If that is what you call the grocery store, library and dance class. )

And all we lived happily ever after.

Next up: Dottie'd up funeral wear.  Happy weekending!

miss chris

{ blushing } thank you!

Well, gosh.  I'm so glad you like it, too!  I've been blushing with every sweet comment. 


Also pink?  This jewelry box thrifted today for just 1.98 at a local DAV Thrift.  My sister has been in town and we ran out for a morning of hoity-toity shopping.  Nothing says welcome-to-my-home better than, hello, would you care to go run about town and sift through people's discarded belongings, does it? 

No matter, sis is a thrifter as well.  We bond over dusty trinkets and practically new cashmere sweaters that might or might not get turned into cardigans.  

To quote Fidget at the children's farm yesterday, 'Well, anyway, it has been a wonderful day.'

Indeed it has.


{ thrifting } making me smile

whose face is happy?

Mine.  (FP desk, all pieces, $2)


(preschool-sized chair, 75 cents)

I have had wonderful luck garage sale-ing and thrifting lately.


(3 yds designer bambook print home dec fabric, $2.50)

Terribly good luck.

I even rescued this pony.


Who has a liking for vintage fabrics and linens as much as I do.


Her name is Pearl.


She likes these two very much.  It was hard to get her to step away.


I do believe Pearl quite fancies the camera, as well.

Silly filly.

{ re-entry } after the dottie angel workshop

... and just like that I am back.  A weekend with dearies and doilies and jaw-dropping vintage goodness from all over the world is over.

jessies bag
(sweet jessie's pretty suitcase of goodies)


It was perfect.  Peachy perfect, per dottie angel.

Setting_up(setting up for the apron shoot)

Words fall so short.


dottie weekend 136
(the moore mansion, where we worked.  it was a bit Beast's Castle)

We were friends and left sisters.


We pushed ourselves with time and space and supplies and tools.  (I had carried on my sewing machine, now named Miss Kendra.  She was quite useful and threw very few fits.  Pfew.  It would have been terribly embarressing if she had been tempermental that weekend.  She has, it seems, aged gracefully.)

Tif-chat(tif instructs, next to mr doily head)

We stepped out of our comfort zones.

Dottie weekend 008(happy garlands)

Scratch that.

trees2(garlands at volunteer park)

We leapt out of our comfort zones.

Slip-1(crappity crap camera phone photo)

I sashayed about Seattle's Capitol Hill in a custom slip, for crying out loud!

Dottie weekend 116

Heavens to Betsy, it was freeing.

Fairy hole (look!  a fairy hole!  I swear.)

I loved every minute.

chris(photo: beki :: artsy crafty babe)

Thank you, angela, for organizing this fantasy weekend in a fairytale place.  You inspire me to follow my dreams.


Thank you, mary, for being your sweet helpful self.  You have a grand + bright life ahead of you.   Angela is so lucky to have you assist in all things!


Thank you, tif, for bringing dottie angel to life and letting us into her special world.  You are a sparkly gem of a person.  Quirky and witty and sweet.  I wish I could keep you in my pocket.

And to the rest of the dearies... what an incredible treat it was to meet and visit with you all!  To have such instant connections with others!  Those meals 'round the table draped with Angela's lovely cloth-of-cloths were just as special as the making and doing and seeing. 

Finally, for Jade and Beki... my comrades in travel and adventure, there are no words.  You girls so get it.  xo


miss chris dearie(tif's photo of me channeling my inner dottie angel.)

More photos here in the dottie angel workshop group on flickr. They are worth a look as I left my big camera at home and failed to take many pictures with my little one. 

treed path

However, a word of caution.

You will both want to attack something with a doily and visit Seattle, stat.

Happy Weekending, all!


miss chris

{ home } Wonderbaby's Room

15 months ago I had a baby.  Since we didn't know for certain (although Hubs 100% suspected) that our newest little bundle would be yet another girl, the nursery sat unadorned for many months.  

Many months.

And then I started picking away at it. 

Knowing that by the time it was complete, she would be quite past the new-baby stage (sigh.  Do not let me go There.), I didn't want to incorporate anything that we would have to switch out again for a few years.

Also, there was the color palette. Deep Red.  Aqua.  Bright yellow.  Pink.  An overscaled Heather Bailey Pineapple Brocade!  I could even do it from my stash, as there was serious yardage left over from a project for the teengirl that took a u-turn long ago. 


Honestly, when I shared this with others, there was often a courteous smile and nod. I am positive they thought I was creating some kind of circus-like nightmare. Giant pineapples in a baby's room. Heavens to Betsy!


Neveryoumind.  I knew what I was doing and marched on, albeit with some trepidation.


There is a mini down comforter for which I made a duvet.  Wonderbaby likes her blankets and coziness.  The bedding is simple.  I made a pink bedskirt and added coordinating ties to a simple pink yard-sale bumper.  The framed crewel piece is one of my favorite finds from a local thrift.  I've had it for years and it works perfectly in here.


The window faces east, so it is lit up with the most gorgeous sunshine in the morning.  Makes getting decent photos a bit tricky for some reason... seems like there is either a lot of light in there, or not.  At any rate, The exposure meant that the floor length curtains needed a heavy duty lining.  I tried pleating the curtains for the first time, and they are quite far from perfect, but I like how it reduced bulk at the rod.  And it gives a playful print a more tailored look.


The dresser was picked up for $25 and given a new life with paint.  I love love love this color.  It's not too bubble gum or cadillac.  The hardware is original.  I know, it was perfect.   I say it all the time, but  they just don't make furniture like this anymore. They don't.  It is so solid!  (Do you like the finger smudges on the mirror?!  Good.  I'm just keeping it real. )

crib corner and wall art

There are plenty of blankets that get moved around and used all over.  One is a gorgeous quilt made by Beki, another is a red baby blanket from miss laeroport, one was picked up in the nie-nie auction in 2008, and a couple others are vintage finds that I had to rescue.  They take turns in the crib and out and sometimes covering up with white rocker that has seen years of constant use.  Jade made us one as well, but babygirl has adopted that as her snuggly favorite and it is never around for a photoshoot. 


My favorite corner of the room is this, which is directly in front of you when you are walking up the stairs. The print is from Elsie, and I picked it up at the Red Velvet Art brick and mortar store when home in Springfield last year.  The red shoes are from Jen.  I made the green dress in a last minute mad dash for St. Patty's wear.  The deer was picked up antiquing with my mom in Florida two years ago.


I still love embroidery.  The simple stuff especially.  I'm breaking tradition and by putting it up there, but I really like how her name became art so easily. 


My mother in law made a cross stitch birth announcement for the wall, and it hangs by my rocker with this felt circle garland (from the Craft Hope for Haiti fundraiser) that I love but for which I can't seem to find a home.  That moves around the room and sometimes comes downstairs for parties.  Lucky garland!

The nursery is not finished, of course.  What room ever is?  I have a vinyl cuckoo clock decal on it's way from Etsy to go over the mirror, and some day I would love to replace this carpet and/or get a pretty area rug.  But for now, it's all good. 


It's a happy little space and Wonderbaby wakes up cheery every day. 

{ thrifted } Supplies for the Dottie Weekend

Thank you so much for the sweet comments left about Rory's baby quilt.  It was a joy to make and design, but a girl still has self doubt.  I do. I don't often blog about blogging... it's a bit to meta for me, but I do think about it all the time.  The tiny impact that little comments and encouragement leave on a person. Or negativity for that matter. It's so much more than virtual.  I know you know what I'm talking about, so I'll get on with things.  In short, thanks.  It means a lot.  xo

Jade called me out (on FB) when she said the Rory quilt was Dottie Angel-ish.  I do have her aesthetic on the brain, as we are getting ready for our weekend retreat on the 24th. (With Beki too!  Look out, Seattle.  You have no idea what havoc awaits.)

Amassing the supplies has been terribly fun. So far they have all been found thrifting.  This is my stash of trims and binding and hem tape. 

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

There is talk about refashioning a slip and making all sorts of lovely things from a variety of scraps and grannyish doohickies we were told to bring along.  I'm quite sure everyone in my day to day life who has heard me rambling on about this is hoping they don't end up with some stranger's upcycled undergarments for Christmas this year.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

I have had very good luck finding the doilies and trimmings. Pillowcases and whatnots.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

The stool, not so much.  I thought I could fashion one myself.  One with removable legs that I could fit into a suitcase.  There is still time.  It will involve power tools.  Hubs doesn't like it so much when that happens.  I'm clumsy.  I don't have to bring one, but I love a challenge. 

There still are two weeks, after all.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

Until then, I have some crochet videos to watch. Apparently the needles have not yet seen the last of my lame attempts at blanket-making. Need I remind you what happened last time? The giant ruffle that would. not. stop. Miss Dottie Angel has her work cut out for her.

miss chris

{ sewing } baby quilt for Rory

We have been celebrating the sweetest news a la Fence.


There is a new cousin to love.


To snuggle.


To grow with.

rory quilt

Another little girl for the gaggle.


And we are so very very thrilled.

Rory quilt

Little Rory, we can't wait to love you up in person.   (New Mexico is So Far!)

Rory quilt

miss chris and her girlies


Supplies:  vintage sheeting + quilting cotton + flannel backing.  

Technique: In lieu of batting, I used simple quilter's cotton inside.  This is not a fluffy or stiff quilt -- very lightweight!  Running-stitch embroidery both before and after quilting.  Cotton heart doily applique on reverse.  Crazy quilted stripes in all directions. 

I loved making this one with all my heart.  The sheets are so incredibly soft, and the doily adds that special extra texture that babies love. We heard the nursery was pink and brown (or tan), so I just went with that. I hope it doesn't clash too terribly much and gets lots of use.