Spoonflower and Grandma's Paintings

In my last entry I posted a painting my that my grandmother painted years ago.  I thought it would be fun to showcase some of her work.
Growing up, these paintings graced the walls in the living room, family room and hallway.  My grandmother passed away long before I was born, so unfortunately I never knew her, but apparently she was a kick in the pants.  She was a wildly talented, creative and witty woman.  I like to think my designer jeans genes come not only from my mother, but from my grandmother too. 

For those in or around downtown Saratoga in California, this may look familiar.  Sometime in the 60's or 70's, this arch was scheduled to move across the street. Grandma captured it in its original location before the big move.

Years later, the arch was moved back to where it started and where it currently resides...  again.

She occasionally used my mom and perhaps my uncle as 'stand-ins' or models in her work.  In the painting below, my mom is the blonde in a red shirt and brown shorts to the left of the tree

Here she is again - Isn't she cute?!

 When I went away to college, I was allowed to take two of Grandma's paintings with me. One is a carousel horse - a gorgeous collage of colors that unfortuantely I don't have a photo of (read: I'm too lazy to take one). 
The other is this beautiful ballerina.  It reminds me of this sculpture by Degas in Paris (I heart Paris!)

Last spring, my friend Lan enlightened me on  www.spoonflower.com - DESIGN YOUR OWN FABRIC?!  Sign me up!  While my grandmother's medium was a canvas, my mom's medium is fabric - she can do amazing things with tiny pieces of fabrics in a variety of colors.  I knew what I wanted to do before I even checked the site out.
One day while Mom was out of town, Dad and I scoured the house, under the sofa, in the back of her closet, in the garage - you wouldn't believe the places we looked - all for examples of Grandma's work (Mom has 'em hiding everwhere!). I took digital photos of what I could and then got to work!  My goal was two or three pieces to convert to fabric - it was more difficult as Grandma's specialty was landscapes and I just couldn't get the layout or repitition right.

The above sketch I think was my first recollection as a little girl that my grandma was an artist - so I definitely wanted to use it.  The second was two individual paintings of a horse that I combined (Thanks Photoshop!).  Both pieces came out beautifully.   

I'm pretty sure Mom was pleased. Isn't she just as cute today as the little girl my grandma painted abovel?! (I love that her blonde curls stayed with her through the years!)


Crazy Lady Next Door (CLND)

So I have a cat. 

I admit it (I don't want to because I'm a dog person - I'm also currently single and in my 30s  - I want no association to a crazy cat lady.) 

His name is Rico

He looks all innocent and cuddly, but he's a punk (he beat up my brother's dog - and my brother's dog ain't small)

Maverick the dog

But we're starting to gain understanding of each other... He makes me laugh and we're starting to get along better.  I suppose that's because he thinks he's a dog (did I mention I'm a dog person?). 
  • He greets me at the door when I come home
  • He drinks out of the toilet
  • He chases balls down the hall
  • He begs for food
  • He chases his tail
I also have a weird neighbor.  She has very odd habits and she's loud and I'm a little afraid to cross her path, so I pretty much avoid her.  I call her the Crazy Lady Next Door aka CLND.

We live in an old-victorian-converted-duplex.  We share a front door and a wall and that's about it.  My bedroom is in the front of the house; the window looks into my porch and onto the street -for privacy reasons, my curtains are usually drawn

Not my house - but my grandma painted this sometime in the 1960s and its pretty darn close!

This morning I was rudely awakened by multiple slams of my front door
 "Ah..." I thought to myself mid-dream, "Crazy Lady Next Door!!"
I looked at my clock and saw it was 6:30am.  I was hoping to squeeze in a few more minutes of sleep.

Rico was curious about all of the commotion outside, so he lept off the bed, snuck behind my bedroom curtains, and plopped himself on my window sill ready to catch the side show.    

Twenty minutes pass (tick tock, tick tock)....


This is normal behavior for her so I usually ignore it.  Today, I pretended like I was happily in dreamland, but it was a little more difficult as she was on my porch talking loudly on her cell phone.  She has a high pitched rhaspy voice which to me equals nails on a chalkboard.

I pulled my blankets over my ears and waited for her voice to get fainter as she walked to her car

Except it didn't get fainter
And she was talking baby talk

Then I heard a faint "tap tap tap" on my window... Still trying to grasp the last few minutes of sleep, I ignored it.

Then I heard it again (the baby talk is still going on).  Annoyed - I sat up to silently throw insults her direction and figure out what was going on.   Rico was going crazy, jumping up on the window and attacking things between the curtain and my 100 year old plate glass bedroom windows.  

I looked at my clock - Not even 7:00am.

CLND was taunting my cat through my bedroom window.  Who does that?!  That's where the baby talk was coming from; where the tap-tap-tap was coming from.  Never mind the fact I was likely home and likely still in bed (I am a morning person, but I do err on the side of caution that most of the world does not like to be acknowledged before 7:00am)  Apparently not CLND.  No, not at all. 


I got up in a huff and shot CLND death stares through my walls.  I lured Rico away with his favorite toy and lectured him on the dangers of talking to strangers.  

Baby Katelyn!

Tomorrow I'm visiting Baby Katelyn who was born on Christmas Eve.  It will be my first time meeting her and like the Wise Men in Bethlehem (and the good girl my mama raised me to be), I come bearing gifts.  Not Frankensence or Myrrh, but onsies - Rumor has it, every baby and every mama can never have too many onsies.   

The idea came to me this morning in that moment when you're first waking up. First errend of the day was to Target to get a pack of plain onsies... The rest... was a fun fun project!

Five Unique onsies ready to be wrapped up

But first - lets look at them in a bit more detail...

Baby K's Initials

Someone's a Cutie-Pie!

Pretty Purple Bow

Orange with Ruffles and yellow buttons
The red-multi fabric came from Liberty of London. I purchased two yards last spring and made a wrap dress out of it.  This was the left over remnants.  I love the print, and feel of the fabric - I wish I purchased more!

And now for my favorite - Makes my ovaries go into overdrive.  My future babies won't leave their crib without these on their bums!

Do these ruffles make my butt look big?

I cannot take credit for the butt ruffles - that was sister/assistant's bright idea.  My first attempt to spell 'POOP' across the bum went in the toilet (figuratively speaking), so she suggested butt ruffles and I'm so glad she did.  Wanna see it in more detail?

pay no attention to the poor stitches

What about the front?!

Pretty ruffle-button flower

Ah!!  Hopefully Baby Katelyn and her mommy will be just as excited as I am!

Pillowcase to Shirt

Keeping with the theme of creating clothing from common household items... Today I embarked on bedding. I recently purchased a new set of jersey knit sheets. I knew I wouldn't use the pillowcases, so in the midst of Super Bowl grocery shopping/cooking, bridesmaid dress fittings (Being a bridesmaid and wedding attendee is a second career for me - but this is off topic - more on that in future posts), I snipped and sewed my way from a pillowcase to a shirt to wear as the nation watched the Saints win the Super Bowl!



How did I do it - You ask? 

  • With the pillow case laid flat on a solid surface; the opening towards the bottom, I laid a favorite tank top on top of the upper portion (closed seams) of the pillow case as a template for the neck, shoulders and armholes

    • the armholes are still unfinished which is why I'm wearing a sweater - that and it is February - Only Californians (Ok, and Hawaiians too) would dare wear a tank top in February.

  • I took in the side seams by a a total of seven to nine inches total to give it that slim-fitting look you see above

  • With the excess fabric from the side seams, I finished the neckline 

  • I liked the length of the pillow case so I decided not to alter that.  It was a comfy, casual look I was going for... helps hide the Super Bowl Yummies I ate AND depending on how its worn, gives it an automatic shirring look which is always flattering. 



Two of my favorite movies (of all time) are 'Sound of Music' and 'Gone with the Wind'. In addition to their academy awards, they have several other similarities.
  • Based on actual events
  • Pride for Austria vs Pride for the Confederacy
  • WWII vs the Civil War
  • Stubborn Maria vs Headstrong Scarlett
  • Captain Rhett Butler vs Captain Von Trapp
  • Mammy's red petticoat vs the Abbey's singing Nuns
 Scarlett tells Mammy to go up to the attic for Ellen's old patterns... Scarlett's going to have a new dress!
The Von Trapp Children's new playclothes

Cruising the wedding blog Once Wed, I was inspired by this dress
And then I found THIS print...

Its a curtain... a SHOWER curtain

I'm debating between this Simplicity Pattern
And this Butterick Pattern (the short one)

Again, not sure when I'll have a chance to work on it... but I can't wait!

Carnival Dress by Twinkle

My fabric for my Twinkle dress arrived.

I'm excited

I don't know when I'll get a chance to work on it...

but it's purty