Thursday, August 4, 2016

Owl Have a Tiki-Tastic Good Time!

It's always so much fun to read a positive review from one of my Etsy customers, but followup photos are even better!

Today I'll share a couple that made me proud and tickled pink.

Every year, San Diego hosts the Tiki Oasis in August.  From what I can tell online, it's a ribald, retro good time. 

Everyone is encouraged to "dress" the part and Christina spotted the perfect playsuit in my RubyLemons shop last summer.

It's oh-so-tiki with that pattern of Hawaiian barkcloth!

...and cute little built-in shorts hiding under the skirt.

Here's Christina looking absolutely perfect at the Tiki Oasis 2015.
Thanks so much for sharing, Christina!

• • • • • • • • •

Flying in next are these embossed metal owls
that I just knew someone would have the perfect spot for.

And that someone was Carol, who was doing a makeover of her master bedroom.
Don't these two wise old owls suit the vintage boho setting well?  I say YES!
Thanks Carol!  
I'm inspired.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cabbage Roses and Caning

Well I wonder who first came up with the idea to CROSS STITCH caning on a chair with yarn?  I'm not sure, but the first time I saw it was when a customer, Beverly of Flamingo Toes Blog and Etsy Shop, sent me a follow up picture of a project she completed with fabric purchased from Groove Cloth.

 She purchased some of this beautiful sold out barkcloth
and wait until you see what she did with it!

 Look at this beautiful chair!  Great job Beverly!  So creative!
And yes folks, that's cross stitching with yarn on the cane back!  

And Beverly, thanks again for sharing your immense creativity!

Monday, August 10, 2015

All Good Things...

As the old saying goes, "All good things come to those who wait."

It must have been Breaking Dawn part I.  Yes - the timing would be right - November 2011.  A group of us had made it a date to go to the midnight premieres of the Twilight saga movies.   A fun girl thing.  

On this particular premiere night, we had a little time to kill and met at my house where the group gained access to my sewing room whereupon was spied some of the clothing I was trying to create and accumulate for the opening of my clothing-made-from-vintage-fabric Etsy shop.  

Those of you who have been readers of this blog (both of you - you know who you are... ha ha), know that I have struggled with time/focus/perfectionism to get it all going in my Etsy endeavors.  Anyway, at that time, I had decided to repeat what I did with my 90s business, Vintage Generations - only online.  So, it was ever-present in my mind that I HAD to get a dozen or so garments ready in order for my shop to have enough inventory, right?

And this was taking me for-ev-ver!

Enter my friend, Karen, on premiere night.  When she laid eyes on a little yellow eyelet shirt, apparently she was smitten.  With me, I always think people are just being nice and complimentary, so I wasn't sure.  For both you past readers, you may remember me blogging about the history and creation of said shirt and the post about how I would wear it.

Well, Karen - a woman of action, grabbed the hanger, disappeared for a moment, and returned wearing the shirt and belt much to the oohs and ahhs of all.  She looked great in it and it looked great on her.  Much better than it would have looked on 16-year-old Kathy in the 70s!  She wanted to buy it on the spot and asked me to name my price, any price.

Oh how I regret hemming and hawing and hawing and hemming.  Yes, it went on for awhile... in fact years!  I needed inventory to start my stupid shop!  Karen got pregnant.  I hemmed and hawed.  (What is hawing, by the way?)  Karen got pregnant again.  I hemmed and hawed.  By this time, I had decided to just GIVE her the shirt since my aforementioned time/focus/perfectionism was starting to steer me in another direction for the shop, but Karen got pregnant yet again!  Holy moly!  She was building a dynasty of beautiful little girls!

Well, as I said before, all good things come to those who wait and for those who have waited for this blog post to end, you will soon be rewarded as Karen FINALLY was about two weeks ago when I actually let her pry that shirt from my cold dead hands.  Ha - no I'm not Charleton Heston, I just finally gave it to her!

(Cue Hallelujah Chorus)

And she looks mighty fine in it.  Meant to be.
Sorry I was such a slug about it, Karen.
And thanks for the gorgeous DLB Gemstone necklace!
(You didn't have to, but I'm glad you did!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A River Runs Through It

Last December Shannon from Oregon purchased this 
sturdy vintage cotton canvas sportsman fabric from my Etsy shop. 

She's got a big heart and wanted to surprise her dad with
something special that would spark memories of his pre-stroke,
younger days of fly fishing and elk hunting in Montana.

Look at this gorgeous messenger bag she custom made
to fit his wheelchair!

Complete with camouflage khaki lining and a deep
pocket for his latest Field and Stream magazine.

This gentleman is blessed to have such a thoughtful daughter.
Thanks for sharing, Shannon.

Monday, May 4, 2015

I Finally Got My Groove On!

I should have posted a long time ago.  I finally opened my second Etsy store.  Six months ago.  I know.  Would it have been so hard to create a little blog post about it?  I mean, afterall, this is what I've been working toward for a long time, right?

The answers to those questions are no and yes.  

In my defense, running the shop has kept me busier than I thought it would and life continues to steer me down a difficult path.  Oh, but I don't want to go back to that!  Who wants to hear it!?  Nobody.  Let's talk about my shop.

I named my shop Groove Cloth and it opened with 325 items for sale including vintage fabric, patterns, trims, buttons, notions and even some things I've created myself.  It's been very difficult to keep my inventory above 300.  Whew!  It's hard!  In fact it's dwindled to about 250 right now, but I continually try to bring that number up.  In my first six months of operation, I've had 190 sales (make that 191) and I'm very satisfied with that.  With my other shop RubyLemons, working as a teacher's aide, and family --  I don't want to be much busier!  

Anyway, I enjoy running the shop and try to include all the extra touches to give my customers great service.  It's also been good to start chipping away at my hoard even though it's not easy to tell anything's been sold at all when you peek in my sewing room.  

It's a grand feeling to reach a goal and finally get my groove on!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dumb Daisies and Rusty Gold

As the growing season comes to an end, I want to share a little garden project and thrift victory from the spring/summer. 

A couple of years ago, I found this funky mid century plant stand at my favorite thrift store, Bethesda, near my sister's place in Horicon.  It was half off day, so it was only $2.50 - my kind of deal!  You can find a few of these for sale on Etsy most of the time for anywhere from $60-$120.  I'm no Mike Wolfe, but the rusty iron doesn't scare me.  I like stuff like that in the garden.

 Here's some rusty iron that's been in my garden for many years.  Is that a treble clef?

Anyway, back to the round plant stand that sat buried in the back corner of our shed for several years.  I'm sure my husband wanted to get rid of it.  In fact, I think I remember him saying, "Let me get rid of this thing."  Oh, but I could be confused with so many other times I've heard him say that.  Ha ha.  Cleaning it with brush and suds in the basement stationary tub was the hardest part.

Some spray paint and the job was done.

Of  course it looked better when the flowers filled in... except for the darn daisies which were custom chosen for that spot because of their height.  Anyone know why they never bloomed again all summer?  There were even buds that never opened!

Good luck with all your thrift store treasures, your daisies, and
fending off the discarding desires of your significant other!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Okay. Yes, I know it has been a while since I posted. Well, it's been a bumpy year. One I never, ever, ever saw coming. But life is long and life can be very hard. My empathy grows with every passing day for anyone with struggles or loves someone with struggles. I am not exempt and hopefully, happier times are forthcoming for all. That's all I'm going to say about that. Thank you for reading.

Now let's get on with the fun stuff.  One of my favorite things is browsing the pages of an old catalog - specifically old fabric in old catalogs.  Yard goods were everywhere from JC Penney to  Montgomery Ward to Sears Roebuck to Bloomingdale's.  Looking at old catalogs gives me clues in dating patterns and fabrics that are older than I am, but what happened last week has never happened before!

I found an exact fabric that I own!
Not once.
Not twice.
And in the same catalog!  
Enter the Sears 1953 spring catalog.  

Looking at some printed percales,
I spied the bright chevron in the middle and couldn't believe it.
I had it upstairs in my sewing room!

It was 36" wide and I thought perhaps it was from the late 60s.
WRONG!  1953!

Next I saw this barkcloth drapery fabric and I gasped, "I got that!"

Here's the proof in "Sunshine Yellow."

The last match was nothing short of a revelation and an education!   I had these two pieces of a very weird fabric that were buried in a box of vintage yardage that I bought at an estate sale.  In all my experience, I had never seen such a fabric.  Ever.  

It looked like a sheer seersucker or plissé, but felt like paper.

After burning a bit of it and watching it sizzle and drip,
I knew it was synthetic.

Truthfully, I considered it an abomination,
thinking the only possible use for it would be some kind
of artistic expression with it's papery, synthetic weird crispness.
Like bunch it up into a gigantic strange flower - it would hold the shape.

I thought surely it was an invention of the 70s.
One that failed and disappeared quickly.
I was right, but off by two decades!
Re-enter the 1953 Sears Catalog.

 Puckered nylon.  What?

And as you can see by the next year's catalog,
it was marked down and already heading
for the obsolescence graveyard.

There's always more to learn,
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