Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holly Hobbie & Vintage Toy Sewing Machines

First, thank you for the kind anniversary wishes. Second, to set the record straight, I was over twenty (well just…21)!
While we are on the topic of ancient history, I thought I would post about this little Holly Hobbie project.
My youngest sister knows what I like, e.g. my prairie revival tendencies. She always keeps an eye out for me on her thrifty adventures. Recently, she scored this lovely embroidery piece for about a buck at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop.  The embroidery pattern is from 1973: Simplicity 6005.  I have seen this particular pattern on Etsy here.
The piece needed to be washed (carefully), but I was able to turn it into a little pillow with cream corduroy and mini pompom trim.
On the reverse, there is a little pocket to hold my girls’ Holly (modern day Holly, sigh…).
Here’s a little more ancient history:
1. My first (toy) sewing machine was a Holly Hobbie Sewing Machine, much like this one available on Etsy, only blue.  Coincidentally, my sister recently spotted a bunch of “vintage” toy sewing machines at a thrift shop, including my first “machine” (bottom left).
3. More ancient history: a few more toy machines in case you are interested in this sort of nostalgia (Sew Mate & Jenny)
A Kittie?
3. I found a photo of my middle sister and I from 1978 sporting our Holly Hobbie purses: notice the very similar design to the embroidery.   The photograph was taken in Australia, but it is my recollection that my father brought back those purses for us from Boston.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my almost 4 decade old love for Holly,

This post is linked to Share the Love Wednesday

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Monday, August 22, 2011


Celebrating a little anniversary today.


Eighteen years ago today, two poor students sealed the deal at a sleepy sailing club around the corner from my childhood home.


Last night, for our family movie night, we watched the Little House on the Prairie episode where Adam and Mary get married.  The girls are very interested in weddings and I dug out our wedding scrapbook and photo album to share with them. 

I thought I would share some of the details in this space as well. It was a thrifty wedding with many friends, family, and strangers making it possible. The sailing club had never had a wedding. No professional photographer, just a few friends who enjoyed photography had a 35mm camera that they remembered to bring. A childhood friend was our bagpiper.  My father-in-law performed the ceremony.

in the week before the big day, me at the sewing machine in my dad’s dining room. My dress and all of the bridesmaid dresses were handmade.  In the bottom corner is my dress half done on a dress form. It probably cost less than $40 to make.

wedding0006 wedding0007

The inspiration for the veil is in the photo above, bottom left corner. I found a veil at the Goodwill for a few dollars.  I refashioned it and added satin bias tape.  I look a little serious in this photo.  I also made the hairpiece out of a grapevine and flowers, the veil was attached to the back of the grapevine so it could flip over.  I held daisies and ivy.


My BFF was my maid of honour.  She made her own dress, dupioni silk. The bridesmaid dresses were the same pattern.


wedding0008  My oldest nephew {then 4} was the ring bearer and stole the show :) I made black velvet vests for him and my oldest niece.  The kilts were rented.


After the reception, the Mister and I sailed away.  We had put up a notice  at the sailing club and very kind strangers offered to be our “limo”. They would not accept anything in return. 


The boat was named the Figment II.

fig·ment (fgmnt)


Something invented, made up, or fabricated


I always thought that was funny.  

Wishing you a great week,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crafting with my kids: Scrappy Princess and the Pea

We have been using the library quite a bit this summer.    Two of the biggest hits have been Tillie the terrible Swede : how one woman, a sewing needle, and a bicycle changed history and Lauren Child’s the Princess and the Pea. 
The girls and I worked on a little craft for the Princess and the Pea story.
Back in June, on his last day of school, my nephew brought home an adorable Princess and the Pea craft using fabric and scrapbook paper for the mattress and a dried pea.
I thought we would try it with fabric scraps from my stash, but you could use different scraps of a paper too.
(Materials: scraps, cardboard for background, single dried legume, glue, and either a cut out of a princess or better yet draw one yourself!)
Here is what Lily put together. Her illustrations have a very Lauren Child quality. She is a huge fan of Lauren’s Pippi book as well as the Charlie and Lola series.
See the dried kidney bean second mattress from the bottom?
It was a fun project incorporating fabric scraps and the girls were really engaged the entire time.  I highly recommend Lauren Child’s version if you haven’t enjoyed it already.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby Shower: Red headed duckies


One of my colleagues is becoming a dad at the end of the month.  The office  is quite good about celebrating these special moments in a person’s life.  The theme of the baby shower was nautical (ducks, boats, and fish).

My friend the Baking Barrister made these amazing cookies and I thought I would share them. Our colleague has red hair so she included a patch a red hair on some of the ducks. I thought that was such a sweet and thoughtful touch and I thought I would share a few photos from the event here.

034 She also made a sailboat cake. The recipe is Martha Stewart.  Blue seven minute frosting over chocolate cake.


041So yummy! 

047 My pal made some streamers using Made’s Ruffled Streamer Tutorial.  All rolled up.



There was also a little rubber duckie corsage for mum-to-be 045

and of course a little fish bowl centrepiece.


and goldfish crackers, the fifth food group.


It was a sweet event for an excited couple. I enjoy posting about collaborative projects like this and how they come together.

Have a great day,


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Apricot Freezer Jam


My oldest daughter loves apricots and apricot jam. When we were at the 1812 re-enactment she tried an apricot jam tart, apparently from an 19th c. recipe.  Given her interest, and only three ingredients are required, I thought it would be a nice project to try at home.

Apricots at the farmer’s market. Needed 3 litres.


I used the wisdom of this recipe on the Homesick Texan and this post on David Lebovitz.  Cooked the apricots for about an hour.001 Until they started to look like this.

002 A couple of hours in the fridge. Voila, weekend brunch.


I used the Ball freezer jam jars.  We have a tiny freezer so these containers are more practical.


I then attempted to recreate the 1812 tarts using *premade frozen* mini pastry shells. They were devoured so I had a brief supermum moment.


Have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by,