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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bim Bam Big and new beginnings

I can officially claim my last quilted finish for 2016 - my Falling for Fall quilted wall hanging.

It measures 66" x 32" and is nearly all scrappy. It was the first time I utilized a charm pack (the outer border)  and free motion quilted the outline of the florals in the black fabric pattern. I appliqued flowers along the center line and one at the top, then bound with a scrappy French binding.

I am so excited to be starting a new quilt using a new sewing machine on a new sewing table. Once those two items are out of their boxes, I'll show you my new setup.
I am adding to my 2017 goal to make one competition quilt to enter in the county fair.

Linking up with Cynthia at quiltingismorefunthanhousework
Quilting is more fun than Housework
Bim Bam Big into the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Pinking into the New Year

What better way to segue into 2017 with a pink-saturday post featuring a pink and green sewing room? My thrift shop finds for the past week included some fabric and thread, (ok so totally going on fabric hiatus beginning Jan. 1), some cards and a 1968 McCall's Needlework & Crafts (spring/summer ed.) with three images from that magazine.

A pretty pink cover-up and a pink knit number (I am actually more interested in the artwork being shown behind the model).

Here is my sewing room setup. While the thrifted desk is the right height, it is not what you would call sturdy. Can you believe I quilted two queen-sized quilts on that tiny thing? I realized I will need to keep it up and running for the applique stitch.

Thrifting is returning to pre-holiday delightful finds with the last of Christmas filtering through. My $20 bought a bag of cotton batting priced at $8 (yay! just in time for my next quilt project), a lighted church for my next year's holiday town and a Charter Club pink paisley short-sleeved collared button up shirt.

Other finds included a chartreuse fine woven Arie sweater, a Southwest Canyon shirt, a Steampunk publication, a Duffy's Tavern ashtray from Tachikawa Japan and a starfish brooch.
It is still my intent to Steampunk out some dolls like I did with alice-has-gone-steampunk. Once she was all decked out, I didn't want to part with her. The key is finding just the right doll to go with the steampunkage process.

Sally Stand-In is posing with two of my fashion finds.

Pattern of the Day, while not pink, was part of my fun finds - a 1967 Simplicity and a close-up of the starfish pin.
I have been holding my feet to the fire to finish my FMQ project I began in October. I was going to begin work on my son's quilt but my thrifted vintage fabric precuts keep calling to me. Here is a sneek peak at the contestants. The plan is to sew together the blocks just as they are cut and quilt with a light gray thread.

I will reveal the new quilt and the updated sewing room soon.

How will you be pinking into the New Year?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Best of 2016 Linky Party

It has been a successful year for my blog. Around mid-year I opted out of posting my thrifted fashion ensembles with my focus turning to quilting, sewing, refashioning and my audience has grown.  

Image via the 1963 Woman's  Day Book of American Needlework

I found this Best of 2016 Linky Party at meadowmistdesigns.

Blogging is a unique platform and serves many purposes. For some time, I kept thinking I needed to capitalize on the exposure and sell something, anything to add to the Von Zalez retirement fund. I opened an Etsy shop, Mink and Pearls, only to have one item sell. Granted, I was only selling thrifted clothing and that one item for the past two years has been ugly Christmas sweaters.

On to my five most popular posts based on page views.

The-whole-nine-yards-of-fabric originated as a writing challenge prompt but highlighted the finish of my daughter's quilt.

Summer-sensations-blog-hop criteria was a quick and fun summer project and I chose a scrappy dolly quilt.

Spooky-steampunk-lap-quilt I almost bit off more than I could chew preparing this quilt for the hop. The pebbling stitch was the look I wanted but oh so time consuming.

Pink-and-scrappy challenge was to use pink and mint green scraps. I was so pleased with the outcome.

Merrily-we-quilt-along this was a baby quilt that was a surprise when it came together I chose a Hello Kitty fabric backing and it turned out the recipient had decorated the girl's room in that theme.

I am finishing the detail outline quilting on my Falling for Fall quilted wall hanging which I hope to post as completed prior to year's end. 

I've also got a brand new Brother quilting machine I will also feature into the New Year.  It was time for a machine upgrade and time to get serious about this quilting business!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have a Merry Christmas!

Modeling this year's Christmas fashion is Sally Stand-In wearing a Christmas Tree Skirt Dress. I picked up this little number at year's end in 2015.

This hair would go perfect with  the dress!

If you are so inclined or if you can even find these "gems," here is a list of the Best of the Worst Christmas Weird movies over at

What I am listening to - The Brothers Cazimero Christmas Collection with my favorite track being Hawaiian Santa.

Thank you for joining me again for this year's Countdown to Christmas.  Stay tuned for more mischief in 2017!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Bells a ringing

Offered for sale via etsy.
Day 23 to the Countdown to Christmas features Christmas bells

1974 BHG Holiday Decorations You Can Make
What I am listening to - A Merry Christmas with Englebert Humperdinck

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Comics and Magazines

Countdown to Christmas Day 22 - posting a few retro covers from comics and magazines found at
To go with your Galaxy magazine are these science-ornaments-your-christmas-tree.

What I am listening to - Christmas with Johnny Cash.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Scandinavian Christmas

Day 21 on the Countdown to Christmas highlights Scandinavia.

Apron listed as a Scandinavian print

Pattern of the Day feature Scandinavian ornaments.
A blogger that I have followed for a couple of years and originally discovered through the AtoZ Challenge posted about the dark-side-christmas-beware-yule-cat-yule-lads hailing from Iceland.

Viking boat makings

And a little sumpin sumpin to take us into the big day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Russian cookies and all

Day 20 to the Countdown to Christmas features a shout-out to my Russian audience now surpassing my American audience.
There is all kinds of brouhaha going on here in the U.S. about our past election, that somehow Russia had a hand in the election results and how Trump is besties with Putin. There are some funny and not-so-funny memes about the two of them. Such is the lot of those in the public eye. 

We need to focus on more important things, like this Russian cookie recipe from the 1966 BHG Cookies and Candies.  My mom must have made them at some point, since it was bookmarked and noted. Are these really one of your traditional cookies?

Here are links to a couple of my Russian-related posts nod-to-my-growing-russian-audience and shegurochka.

What I am listening to - A Blue Collar Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2016

X-mas lights

Day 19 to the Countdown to Christmas.
Christmas lights and link on where to see the best displays in the Sacramento area

What I am listening to - Jump, Jive & Jingle The Swing Kings.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dress Form Christmas Trees

Introducing Sally Stand-In, my vintage dress form that will be used to model my thrifted ensembles in 2017.

The newest Christmas crapht to hit the internet are Dress Form Christmas Trees. When I tried to recreate it with Sally Stand-In, I realized how much time and effort would be needed for one of those creations.

My focus has been to keep things simple. Many are completely stressed out and reflect it in the way they drive. I bought 100% of my gifts online this year, enabling me to stay home on the weekends leading up to Christmas.
This one is from Pinterest - artist unknown.

Another example posted by

And another that looks suspiciously like a Victoria's Secret model at

Even homedepot has an online tutorial.

Lots of greenery in this example posted by

What I am listening to - Christmas Crooners.