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Sunday, March 31, 2024

March Weird and Wacky

This artist's work is displayed in a gallery of shops on R Street in Sacramento, Sacramento. 

This modified Celtic cross sold at the Goodwill boutique in Sacramento. Seemed a little weird. 

Because I have been a frequent thrifter these past 20 years or so, I see the good, the bad, and even the downright ugly. There is a home for everything because it always sells. 

Weird, wacky, and fun images follow.

State Fair entry update on the Patchwork Cupcake - it is in! I won't know until May 23 whether it will place or go on exhibition. I won't reveal the full project until after the state fair determination. 

Ending the post with a link to the Top 60 thrifting bloggers, I have moved up from the No.8 spot to No. 6! thrifting_blogs

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Patchwork Cupcake Project update

It has been two years since I entered a quilt into the California State Fair Crafts Competition. I did earn an honorable mention for the concept of The Knitting Woman. It did not go on exhibition because I made fold-over errors in the backing while quilting. I rushed to complete in time for entry. The quilt was king sized and it was the first time I quilted with wool batting. My straight-line quilting skewed, pulled by the weight of the quilt sandwich. 

Lessons learned on this go around:

    1.    Much easier to create given a prompt, this one being Almost Edible.

    2.    Get techniques spot on, such as curved piecing, and matched corners. With the Knitting Woman entry, it was the first time I attempted freestyle curved piecing. 

    3.    Keep the project a manageable size. I can quilt the wall-sized ones because it is not so hard on my hands. There is a lot of guiding the fabric through the machine. 

I keep a lot of crafting items on hand. This time, I am more than glad that I kept the pastel seed beads. I gave all of the other thrifted beadwork items to my hair stylist. The lead-off image is the beginning of the beadwork on this project. 

The seed beads act as frosting on the patchwork cupcake. 

On the subject of the State Fair, in years prior I was able to obtain a Media Pass. I am going to apply for one this year. A blogger must show proof of blog coverage and audience. I have emailed to find out how that is done. 

I believe all entries are accepted for judging. I am hoping this entry will place and be exhibited. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Patchwork Cupcake Project

I am plunging in to my new project of a quilted Patchwork Cupcake. A creative prompt had been released for the California State Fair competitions. The prompt Almost Edible will be judged on the level of skill, craftsmanship, creative use of fabric, and relationship to the theme. The reason I chose a cupcake is because that is the only food-related fabric I had in my stash. The gingham prints will be alternated with the cupcake prints. The concept is to use shades of white for the frosting and seed beads for the sprinkles. 

Moving on to another topic:

Blog stats are a source of fascination for me. If you take a look at my popular posts, some of them are from years ago. The traveling-yellow-skirt from 2013 is one of my favorites.  

Another from 2016 summer-sensations-blog-hop keeps popping up on the popular post list. 

After popping in to Google Analytics, I needed to update and place a Google tag just below my blog header. The United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are the top three locations of my audience. 

Ending the post with two Patterns of the Day. 

We are nowhere near Halloween-time but this pattern is soooo cute. Just had to be shared. I bet it will sell quickly.

And another cutie patootie pattern:

Be sure to visit at the end of the month for the March Weird and Wacky post.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Buying What Delights You

My dahlia bulb called Seattle made it through another season. I will try again with it replanted back in the greenhouse. Last year the deer nibbled it down, so no flower. I also planted two other dahlias Bora Bora and a yellow Gerber Vulcan. Blue sunflower seeds were planted between the asparagus. 

Starting my Women in Art class through the community college. There is a lot of pre-class  documentation you have to wade through before even starting the course. One slide notes when responding to other student posts, "You are not the center of cyberspace." πŸ˜„ "Don't flame, or post flame-bait." 

Of note, the majority of the 40 students are women. Not surprising. How do I know that? Our names and icons are displayed in the online roster. 

Changing topic to Buying What Delights You. When I moved mom to assisted living from her mobile home, she had a chandelier in her bedroom. For some reason, I didn't take that lamp and I wasn't able to track down who came to possess it. 

Fast forward to now - I bought not 1 but 2 Opaline chandelier lamps for my bedroom/office. I wanted chandeliers, I adore having them. Not an ad - I bought them from an eBay seller. 

Buying What Delights You can also include experiences. The Mr. and I have agreed on renting a permanent spot at an RV park for the next year. With my retirement mere months in the making, the summer will be spent on the California coast. 

My return to college is Buying What Delights You because I am buying knowledge I wouldn't otherwise possess. Sure, you can self study how art relates to history. Where is the fun in that? My class also includes a trip to a local museum. I am hoping it is the Crocker museum in Sacramento. I haven't been there since it was remodeled. 

Save your sheckels for things that truly delight you! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

AI Impacting Quilt Design?

I just received notice of our state fair's upcoming quilt competition. Among the categories, there is a unique one - Crafts Special Contests. The theme is Almost Edible, and described as follows: 

Concept: Food is a conversation starter across the world despite ethnicity, language, religion, or income class. Our common enjoyment of food brings families, cultures, and communities together for celebrations, traditions, and for simple pure enjoyment as Connoisseurs of Cuisine - or affectionately termed “Foodies.” Consider what your favorite food is and share with us your version of its appearance. It should elicit hunger cravings, evoke sentimental memories, and be so realistic that it is “Almost Edible”. However, beware it’s only art that is consumed by the eyes of onlookers for this competition!

The publication Quilt Folk posed the question Could AI Impact Quilt Design? As in my blog title, I can answer, "I don't know." At first I thought, "yes," but then the images below were AI generated. 

When I pondered this foodie prompt, the only thing that came to mind was a quilt in the shape of a pizza with pepperoni slices. I wanted to see what AI created with the following prompt:

An abstract quilt depicting food realistic

Not quite what I expected, they look obscene. Is that meant to be a joke? 

I threw in abstract because my last two competition quilts have been fabric interpretations of 1960s abstract paintings. I received honorable mention on each of them. I want this version to be abstract, just because. I am still leaning towards a Quilt Pizza. 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Corned Beef Dinner the 1970s Way

Thrifting brought me this keeper pheasant sewing pattern. 

I also scored on a $1.99 bag of fabric, batting for a queen sized quilt, and a Gaither Gospel sealed in package CD. This batting is meant for my purple-themed fan quilt currently in progress. I am in the boring part - trimming the blocks. 

Cute pattern of the day is from 1978. A few more were listed on eBay.

It is my first try at corned beef and cabbage. My fav grocery store had both items on nearly giveaway sales. I found this recipe in the 1971 publication of Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Barbie Leads the Way and Bidding the Day Away

Since Barbie is trending - leading off with this Barbie furniture sewing pattern from 1997. How cute is that? Loved Ryan Gosling's I'm Just Ken performance at the Oscars. Best. Part. Of. The. Show. πŸ’œThe Pink suit!

My online auction wins of two boxes, one with 1980s sewing patterns, and the other with needlekits and fabric were good gambles. One was 65 patterns for $45. Not sure where the patterns had been stored but they had that "old" smell. I just bought 100 new plastic sleeves to solve that problem.  

Those patterns are queued up next for listing after I air them out, and receive those new sleeves. In the meantime, here are two more sewing patterns I kept from the yard sale bunch. These two are vintage apron patterns that have been cut. Placing them as 1940s or 1950s. 

When you buy a box of fabric-related items on an auction site, there can be pleasant surprises. This recently purchased box contained not only the needlekits I bought it for, but also a quilt backing, a square plaid tablecloth perfect for a picnic table and a table runner (destined for my patriotic-themed summer trailer). 

There was a stain that I covered with an iron-on applique in my stock. 

I truly don't bid the day away as my post title suggests. I do plan on eBaying the day away in retirement. 

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Yard Sale Yabadabadoo

It was a glorious weekend of thrifting. Cotton candy Peeps (my fav) feature the second-hand fabric found at hospice thrift. It is kind of a scratchy cotton, so I am sending it back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond.  

The best find was at a local yard sale. When I saw fabric, I asked if they had any sewing patterns. First one box came out, then another, then another. I told them I will buy the lot, all that they had. 

Forty dollars (+ $2 tip) for the lot included 80 uncut sewing patterns, 35 cut patterns (3 of which I kept), a partially completed Christmas cross-stitch kit, fabric, and two boxes of purple globe lights. 

These patterns clearly came from another thrift shop pattern collector. There were the telltale signs of secondhand price tags. 

I got so excited about this group of patterns and the neat ones in the group, I forgot to organize them for listing. Usually it is alpha starting with Butterick and ending with Vogue, then organized by pattern number within their grouping. That way after I finish the sewing pattern listing session, I can file them away as they are grouped in the stockroom. This session I organized for the stockroom after I had them all listed. 

Patterns of the Day starts with chickens! πŸ” All of the following patterns came from the yard sale.

Next up are vintage dollies - I'm guessing 1980s?

Bonnie Bundles median sold price on eBay is $29.99. This pattern sold would nearly cover my Yabadabadoo Yard Sale Find! πŸ’œ

Ending the post with a really cute pattern - first time I have ever seen this one.

There are a bunch more to share, some Christmas, for another time. Galloping off into the sunset ...

Until next time,

Thursday, March 7, 2024

A 1970s Childhood featured on Throwback Thursday

The lead-off image is from a fashion show where I was wearing the latest in 70s kid's fashion, right down to the chain medallion and cat-eye glasses. Mom and I loved modeling. We both went through the Carolyn Hansen Modeling School in Seattle, Washington. 
What started this trip down memory lane was the picture of a hanging swag wicker lamp for sale brought me to tears. Still grieving the loss of my mother, 2 years gone to heaven. 

In my childhood home, my room was painted candy apple green. I had a lamp similar to the image above, with a grow light bulb and an indoor plant.  

I was free to roam the neighborhood on my bike and there was a cut-through path between neighbor's houses to other parts of the neighborhood. Many hours were spent lazily riding around on that Schwinn bike. 

Behind our house lived a drag racer Jerry Ruth. He would fire up his car from time to time and the noise would be deafening. Seems things haven't ended well for Mr. Ruth. Eight-indicted-in-Oregon-cocaine-operation

Sonic booms could be heard on a regular basis because we lived close to the Seattle International Airport formerly known as SeaTac Airport. 1970s SeaTac Airport

Mom was a fan of a couple of Pentecostal religious leaders of the time. We attended camp meetings of Morris Cerrullo, and Jimmy Swaggart. Proud-to-be-pentecostal We participated in our local church activities. It is no wonder lifelong friendships were formed because we went to church on the following schedule:

Wednesday night    Bible study
Sunday morning    Church
Sunday evening    Church

Sunday afternoon was spent at one of the other churchgoer's houses or another family at our house. If we met at a restaurant, there was Rose's Hiway Inn, a fried chicken place on Highway 99. rose-s-hiway-inn-goes-up-in-smoke

If I feigned an illness on Sunday night, I could watch the Wonderful World of Disney. But those instances were rare. 

As a teen the best part of that community were the youth group trips from Washington state into California, and into the interior of Tijuana, Mexico. It was the first time I had seen such poverty. Our group would help build orphanages over the border.  

I sang with more than one youth choir singing group. As an alto I never was a stand-out and blended in with the group. I am still trying to locate some images from that time period. 

I graduated high school in 1977, and traveled through Europe that summer as a French hornist with America's Youth in Concert. sense of accomplishment

Those are some of the highlights of my 1970s life from the age of 11 to 21.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Crochet Away

The fabric background of plaid paw prints will fit in quite nicely dog print quilt flimsy. Link to part 1 of dog print quilt pre-super-bowl-sewing. I like to arrange yarn and crochet items for sale in an arty phartsy kind of way.

On my last seller update post, I mentioned it would be a yarn listing session. Little did I know I would run into a $5.99 bag at hospice thrift of crocheted items and yarn. The crocheted pieces really were the ticket - I decided to thrift back all of the misc. yarn. 

I don't crochet and don't have a clue how you attach pieces together. Yet, they always sell. Well crafted, project abandoned - they deserve a second chance at their craft life to shine. 

I can't complain about my yarn deathpile, it will all be listed in a few hours when I begin that yarn listing session. 

On the gardening front, the greenhouse has been cleared from the summer detritus. Spring will have sprung on the 19th of this month.  

We are enduring some cold ⛈ weather in Northern California. Keeping the woodstove stoked, and relaxing indoors. 

With the weather, I haven't been out thrifting as much. I did buy outright 7.3 lbs. of quilting/crafting patterns from an online auction. I see some sure-fire winners to more than make my money back on that $50 total investment. 

I had to lurk awhile longer to get another lot with needle kits - Christmas ones at that! They were hidden in a hot mess of a photo on the auction. I will have my work cut out for me now. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Four Months to Freedom

I have completed all of the applications, informed all of the right people, now it is a mere four months to retirement. I have spent the last 10 years in state service for various departments in California. The game is to keep moving up so you can max out your monthly retirement benefit. 

There are three departments that I would recommend to anyone entering state service. All in Sacramento, they are:

Attorney General's Office
California Department of Health Care Services
California Department of Public Health

I won't list the two departments where I had sub-par experiences and left as quickly as possible. At one location, I lasted 3 months and requested a return to the AG's office. The other awful place was a 100% remote position where I struggled for over a year and left on medical leave. 

The beauty of the state's safety net for an older worker is if you don't succeed at a promotional position, you have the right to return to your last passed probationary position. Medical leave is also available if the stress of the job becomes overwhelming. 

I will miss Sacramento. It is just now starting to revive. State departments have mandated a two day return to office in the upcoming months. New restaurants are in the works. The mourning period from the last few years is starting to lift. 

I will not miss the commute. It is a one hour one way trek on a good day. Two hours on the road each in-office work day meant I listened to a lot of music. 

If you are someone in your 30s or 40s, my advice is to have a 3-legged stool in retirement. That stool represents your social security, retirement from your job, and your personal IRA. A fourth leg to a stool would be extra income such as eBay sales. The studier that stool is, the more comfortable you will be.