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Monday, April 30, 2018

Zipper Von Zalez

This here's a story about a lil dog named Zipper ...

We nearly lost this dog to some unknown illness last year. It began with her puffing up like she was pregnant. Oh, that would have been easier if she had been, but she wasn't.  

It appeared she wasn't eliminating properly (course there are coarser ways of saying it). She has always been a dog that engages in "intestinal indiscretions" as the vet has termed it. She will eat anything, critter poop, salad, fruits, you name it. In the muzzle, down the hatch it goes. 

When she fell ill, we were given the option of having her undergo surgery but the outcome would have been death. Open her up, find nothing, put her down. We didn't choose that option.  

We took her to the UC Davis Vet Hospital, specialists in the field. Some $4,000 later, they couldn't determine what was wrong with her.

Side note here - the Mr. had been feeding her Old Roy, a Walmart dog food that had been in the news regarding traces of pentobarbital having been detected (used to euthanize animals). 
She doesn't eat that dog food any more. 

She was placed on prednisone and antibiotics for months. She lost nearly all of her fur. We slowly weaned her off of those medications and have been supplementing her (now expensive) food with cooked lentils, pumpkin and chicken.  

It appears she has traveled that road to recovery and seems back to being a healthy, happy German Wirehaired Pointer. 

Thrifting update: $10 for the fabric and book lot. I love having these "eye candy" books. Sometimes I get ideas, like combining vintage needlework into a quilt. 

None of the fabric is particularly pretty but all usable. My second day's thrifting produced even more fabric so admittedly, I spent another $35 on remnants, precuts and (drum roll please) a brand new rotary cutter mat for $3.50. I had cut through my old mat so the replacement was timed perfectly. 

The Art with Fabric blog hop is coming up with my post on May 24.  I've made this massive flimsy (quilt top), ignoring traditional quilting, leaving fabric raw edge. More on my process later. I am hoping my experimentation and interpretation translate well to fabric.

Thank you for joining me for this AtoZ Challenge. Until next year~

Saturday, April 28, 2018


This is one of my recurring favorite topics for this letter. When I discover yarnbombing in the wild, I am delighted. A pop of color in unexpected places.  

Links to previous year yarnbombing posts:

Link to article and more images

Friday, April 27, 2018

Xena, Warrior Princess

This shows off her big ole paws!
Xena, my Maine Coon, is back in my life. We had one cat for two years who wouldn't allow her back on the property. That cat met an untimely demise (we believe it may have been by coyote).
Just a kitten in 2012
She is my warrior princess.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Weird and Wacky in the World of Thrift

As you can tell from the title of my blog, I spend a lot of time in thrift shops. Over the years, I have highlighted the Weird and Wacky in that realm.  
2017 version
2016 version
2015 version

The first three are all about heads.
Home traction - what could go wrong?

Deer hide head

Purple and glittery
A couple of dioramas.

And one big feathered chicken.

25 of the strangest things found at thrift shops

Have you found any weird and wacky things at a thrift shop?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Vintage and velvet

This handsome fella was immortalized on velvet but unluckily landed in thrift. At first glance, I thought it was John Wayne, more likely a county local.

As the years pass, I appreciate vintage items more and more. I now have the third batch of 35mm slides from our family photo archive to scan to digital. 
Americana Hotel
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sometimes I find slides in thrift stores, other times I buy lots from online auction sites.
1940s family has discovered a great use for patterns, she shrinks down the image and adds them to dollhouse sewing rooms.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

Things I Didn't Buy, Thrift Shop Finds

I enjoy reading about other's finds and deals, and even the things they didn't buy. Here are a few thrift shop finds worthy of good homes, just not mine.

At $75, it was a beautiful print in a frame alone worth that amount. Very large piece, I have limited wall space. 

This one was the best in a series of 4 Native-American themed paintings at $20 each. Had to pass it up. 
This oil on canvas was massive and dark. I even enhanced the image to bring out more light. Usually, I pick up nautical-themed artwork. I wasn't sure if the artist intended it to be so dark or if the canvas was aged and dirty. Confusing because the frame was clean. I did go back to see if it was still for sale the next day but the thrift shop was unexpectedly closed and I took that as a sign. 
Perfectly executed needlework with tufts of yarn. 

Things I did buy *fabric* and shameless flower photobombs.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Seed Packet Quilt

This began with mystery quilter's donation to thrift of the seed packet remnants. Then mystery quilter #2 donated the gray interior designer fabric (selvage from 1983) and mystery quilter #3 donated the 4" precuts. Once I had put together those segments, I knew I had to supplement with retail fabric. I use FabHopShop, not only to enter quilting-related prizes, but also to shop for particular fabrics needed to finish projects. I chose a floral panel and the last couple of yards available of Garden Girl fabric. 
Once I visited my mom at her assisted living center, I knew this project would be perfect for a Mother's Day gift. I had given her a couple of my creations when I first began quilting and was truly embarrassed to see my newbie quilter work. Still learning free motion quilting and tension settings, the quilts are something now I would never give away. I had to redeem myself and mom needed a new lap quilt. Since the Brother was acting balkly and skipping stitches, I ended up quilting with the newly-serviced Singer Stylist. All the more reason to invest in a backup machine. I bought her for next to nothing and spent $150 on repair. I'm in love.

Happily Quilting Away

May 2nd post update: I was going to show the completed quilt but entered her in  A photo contest with fabric kits as prizes. I wasn't one of the 12 winners but there are some wonderful images of those who did. 

I ended up cross hatch quilting in dusty rose and grey thread. I also doubled up the cotton batting, this gave the quilt more heft as I had done very little piecework. It is my best work so far. 

May 18 post update: Linking up with Amanda Jean at for Finish it up Friday. When I enter contests, I don't publish the finished work on my blog in case it is against the rules, but since the only winner was my mom - it is time to share it!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Retro block, cards and 78 RPMs

I continue to follow along with the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge with Green being the quilt block color for May. 

The background is a mural near Harv's Car Wash, the retro radio material from the SPCA Thrift - it is truly a "Sacramento" block.

Of the paper things I collect, one of them is cards. I wish they were dated - they look to be from the 1950s and 1960s. Here are a few of them.

I discovered this archive of 78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings, part of the Great 78 Project.  
The Great 78 Project is a community project for the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records. From about 1898 to the 1950s, an estimated 3 million sides (3 minute recordings) have been made on 78 rpm discs.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Watercolor Quilt

My next project (I keep bumping my other PIGs-projects in grocery sacks and WIPs-works in progress) is Watercolor Quilt. I scored the book thrift while visiting my mom. Here is the fabric pull. The criteria for this quilt for fabric is florals, paisleys, geometrics and theme prints. 

Instructions are to cut 2" squares and then combine the values. This is the type of project where you would need to plan out the blocks. 

Since I have immersed myself into the quilting culture, I am still surprised and delighted by new methods and techniques. 

In the first image, you can see the flimsy I've begun for the Art with Fabric Blog Hop next month. The challenge is to interpret a piece of artwork and then translate it to fabric. 

I did not follow traditional piecing for that project and will detail it more in my blog post in May.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Patterns of the Day

I don't collect as many patterns now that there is an online repository. I only buy them for the image as I don't enjoy sewing clothing. Here are a couple from the 1950s I hadn't posted yet.

One from the early 1960s

Another from 1969

Ending with two patterns from 1970.