Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fun Fabric Finds from Florence

Last weekend Mom and I took a mini road trip down to the antique mall in Florence, KY. I found a few fun things to add to the website. (The website is undergoing some changes and upgrading, and may be down intermittently). First, I came across 4+ yards of this wonderful green and brown fabric by John Wolf Textiles. Its only 38 inches wide, so from that and the colors I'm guessing it dates to the early 1970's. Next, I found a fun buckle and button set and 10 yards of vibrant orange grosgrain ribbon. I have a slight obsession with ribbon, so I HAD to have it. :) matches several of my new fabrics perfectly! And last but not least, my favorite find of the day was 2 sets of vintage 1960-70's daisy curtains. Completely fabulous! Still in their unopened Croscill packages (I opened one for pictures and to check measurements). A nice surprise to find that each package contained 2 curtains. And they have the sweetest smocked/gathered top! We had fun. I can't think of a better way to spend a cold, gray day. Have a great week, everyone! :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Finally, One Bag For Every Outfit...well, almost

Has this ever happened to you?...You put together a cute outfit for a special outing, but at the last minute you realize that (a) you don't have a bag to match, or (b) you have a great new fabric that would be perfect with said outfit, but you don't have enough time to make a bag.

Well, it had happened to me one too many times and I was determined to find a solution! That's how this particular bag design came about. (I'm sure all the big designers will have their version in the stores next year, but remember, you saw it here first. :) LOL) The one pictured above is a basic natural linen tote with a slightly funky print for the interior and belt loops.

What gives this bag its character, is a simple little sash. The pumpkin colored one is the same front and back, but the one below has a different print on each side.

Tada! A completely different look in seconds!

I love how fast (I'm a slow sewer, and I can make a sash in 20 minutes) and easy it is to change the look of my tote. And lets not forget, economical! How much do we all LOVE these designer fabrics?! (Let's give a big shout-out to Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli, Heather Bailey, Tina Givens, Joel Dewberry and many others.) Not to mention the fantastic vintage fabrics. But, if I had to buy a whole yard of every print I wanted, I'd be in the fabric poor house. With this design, I get a lot of designer bang out of a mere 5 inch strip of fabric! Love that!

Here's the next grouping of fabrics being considered for sashes.
And I have another bag in the works that will allow me to use my most coveted vintage fabrics. Can't wait to show you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Sad Little Softie ... and Remodeling is Not For Wimps

Hi everyone! I know its been forever since I've posted anything...let me just say that remodeling projects in a small home are VERY trying and not for wimps. Unfortunately, I am a wimp and have complained through the entire ordeal...and its not over yet. The cabinets are in (yea!) and I do have a stove now(yea!) but, we're still without a sink and counter tops (boohoo).

I know it can't be easy to live through gutting a kitchen in any home, but I can't help but to think that in a larger house there is probably at least one room to retreat to that has not been coated in drywall dust. There is also, most likely, a garage in which to store the infinite number of large boxes containing the cabinets, hardware, sink, and major appliances rather than having them stacked to the ceiling in the living room, dining room, and hallway! (I still sound bitter, don't I? I need to work on that.) Its just such a mess here that I can't even bring myself to take pictures. Hubby has been documenting the process, though, and when its all done and I'm in a happier place, I'll share the kitchen reveal.

In the meantime, I have been sewing a little. I wanted to try my hand at one of these cute little softies. As a child I can only remember having one doll (a Thumbelina) but I had literally hundreds of stuffed animals. I just loved their cute little faces. While making a diaperbag/tote for a friend, I thought it would be so cute to make a matching "Purse Pet". I've never made anything like that before, so I thought I better use a pattern my first go around. The talented lady over at the Wee Wonderfuls blog provided a free print out pattern of this little bunny.

Now, my sad little softie bunny bares little resemblence to her cute examples. Mine is slightly lumpy, leans to one side, and I'm not sure what's going on with her eyes. LOL
But, as my first attempt, she will have an honored place in the sewing room. :) Hmmm....she still needs a name. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A New Fall Bag

Well, today was the first day it actually felt like fall. We have had 80-90 degree heat nearly everyday since early July. But today was remarkably different...brisk air, slightly overcast sky, and leaves rustling in a swift breeze.
I knew it (cooler weather) had to happen eventually, so this past weekend I set out to make myself a new bag for the autumn season. I had just received this fabulous green print from, and when I saw it next to the vintage embroidered trim (that was still out from the previous blog-post photoshoot) I knew they were meant for each other.

As you can see in the photo above, the trim by itself is just, kind of flat.

So I layered it on top of a wide white grosgrain ribbon. Much better. :)

A simple twill lining and divided pocket finish out the interior.

What are you sewing up this fall?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Vintage Ribbons Buttons and Trims

I love clothes and accessories that have the little added details of ribbons and trim...and if its vintage, even better! I feel compelled to purchase these vintage "finishing touches" whenever I see them. Velvet ribbons are definitely a favorite. The light yellow ribbon, above, is my most recent purchase. It came from the Speckled Egg, a fun website featuring vintage ephemera and embellishments.

I love the cute red and yellow cherry ruffle trim, above. And you can't go wrong adding Rick Rack and bakelite or glass buttons to your project.

Embroidered ribbons and trims are great for sewing or crafting (prefect for gift tags).

The exquisitely detailed victorian petticoat edging, black lace and silk shamrock embroidered trim is almost too pretty to use. But, I like having it around to admire. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fun and Funky 1970's Fabrics

Some of my favorite prints are from the 1960's and 70's. Think back to what you were wearing when you watched H.R.Puff-N-Stuff and the Bugaloos. LOL (Sid and Marty Krofft thought up some crazy wacked out shows, didn't they?). These fabrics just make me smile! I have a few on the website this week if you feel like adding one of these happy fabrics to your stash.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fabulous Flea Market Fabric Finds!

I went to one of my favorite flea markets over the weekend. Its an all antique and vintage market held in Indiana the first Sunday of every month. I ALWAYS find something fabulous, and this month was no exception.
First, I found 2 lovely floral hankies... (love the lily of the valley one!)
A few booths later, I found 3 monogrammed hankies. I'm pretty sure these are Madeira.
Next I found 2 fabrics from the 1940's. One is about 4 yards and the other 5 yards!
And just before they started packing up for the day, I spied these wonderful feedsacks. They're all in really nice condition, too! The Hawaiian surfer/hula dancer one is so cute!

I'm afraid most of the outdoor flea markets around here will be winding down this month. :(
Hmmm...maybe its time to plan a road trip.
I hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Counters and Cabinets and Tiles, OH MY!

Well, the kitchen is FINALLY getting done. Its probably more of an updating rather than an all out remodel. The room is tiny, will always be tiny, and short of a 2-story addition there's nothing that will change that.

So this week we have picked out the granite for the counters, installed the new oven, mounted the microwave above that, started to remove the old bead board and skim coat the walls, and we're now shopping around for the perfect glass tiles for the walls.

Here is a picture of our granite sample and one of the glass tile options we were considering.

We have a honey oak colored laminate wood floor, and I thought the colors in this tile combo would tie in those warm tones. I also have sea green and ocean blue paint colors in the kitchen and living room so it would work with that, too.

The tiles that hubby and I liked the best, though, are in a line called Beach Glass. We like the 2x4 inch tiles and would use a combo of green, blue, and sand. But, of course, the sand color doesn't come in that size. :( So, we're trying to think of a way around that.I'd show you more pictures, but honestly, there's not much to look at right now. We'll be out looking for a new sink this week, as well. I thought it was about time to retire the 60's avacado green one. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nice Matters

A big "THANK YOU" to Rosy Inspiration for nominating me for a Nice Matters award. Be sure to stop by for a peek into her lovely home and garden down under.

I really am overwhelmed at times by the number of beautiful blogs and talented people I've become aquainted with. I'm convinced that "NICE" is the norm in this section of blogland. I love visiting new sites and I'm thrilled to see comments from lurkers and new faces. I've been fighting with computer issues lately, which have limited my posting time, but they will hopefully be resoved soon. Also, I haven't figured out how to reply to comments via email, yet, so please don't think I'm ignoring you.

Community support for the Indie artist, Cottage industry home business, DIY project master, or Homemaker extraordinaire is so important. I'm inspired everyday by the lovely things I've seen. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Orange Glazed Salmon, asparagus, and Basmati rice. Mmmmmm...
We eat a fair amount of Salmon at the Niesz house. Usually we bake it in the oven with just a touch of lemon, butter and dill. However, this week I have no oven. The 1960's avocado green wall unit has finally been taken out and a new white one has been ordered. YEA!!!

So anyway, I needed a skillet recipe for salmon. I remembered seeing one over on the Whistlestop Cafe blog a few months back and decided to give it a try.

De-lic-ious and easy! Less than 30 minutes, not counting the marinade time. (Click on the Whistlestop link for the salmon recipe.)

We paired it with Basmati rice and asparagus. My husband makes the asparagus and he has written down the instructions for us. It has a lot more flavor than steamed. Thanks honey :)

1 bundle asparagus
1 tblsp EVOO
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp sesame seeds
1 tblsp margarine
Dash pepper
1 lemon wedge

Heat oil in skillet, medium heat
Add sesame seeds, allow to brown
Add all other ingredients
Stir occasionally
~ 10 minutes
Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Vintage Fabric Flower Bouquets

Its no secret that I have a vintage fabric "Hoarding Disorder". I'm drawn to many different styles of fabrics...Kitchy 50's prints, romantic florals, fun mod flower power prints, sweet children's fabrics, Mid-century atomic prints. However, the main thing that was responsible for sparking my collection was the gorgeous flower bouquet fabrics.

I have collected quite a few over the years, but I can always find room for one more. They make beautiful pillows, but can also be used to cover a bench seat or special chair. They even make a grand statement framed and hung in a group.

Here's a little flower show of just a few that have been in my collection over the years.
Many of these fabrics are listed on the website, and I even have a few on Ebay this week. Auction traffic is pretty slow with all the Back to School hubbub, so its a great time to find a bargain!

Is there room in your home for another flower bouquet?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Day at the Zoo

Today was my husband's company day at the zoo. My mom went with us. We thought we were going to get rained out, but, it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon!
If you've never been to the Cincinnati Zoo, you MUST add it to your list of sites to see when you're in the area. We have always tried to visit different zoos when we travel, and have been to many of the top rated ones in the country, but the one in Cincinnati is by far our favorite.
It not only houses a wonderful variety of animals, reptiles, and birds but, it is also a Botanical Garden. An absolutely GORGEOUS place to walk around! Here are some pictures of the day...

Me and Mom.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Easy Weekend Project - Summer Tote bag
(not sure why, but blogger wouldn't let me add a title)

Oh boy, I've only been at this a few months and already I'm deralict in my blogging duties. I can't believe 2 weeks has gone by without a new post. Well, at least the linens were pretty to look at. LOL :)

I haven't had a lot of time for big projects, but I did make myself a new summer bag. It went together very quickly so, I thought it would make a nice Easy Weekend Project. Plus, its Bag Month at the Sew Mama Sew blog. Pop over and you can read details about entering the contest.
I made this bag with a combination of fabrics from Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli, and a wonderful vintage 1960's "chain link" fabric purportedly from the warehouse of designer Ferdinando Sarmi.
I love the result! It feels fresh and summery with all of its sea glass tones. Two large outside pockets, exposed handles, and a roomy interior make this functional as well as pretty.

I also made this pink and gray one for a friend. This one is made with all new fabrics, but I did embellish with a couple of vintage fabric covered buttons.

Do you need a new flea market tote or beach bag? If so, steal a few hours for yourself this weekend and sew one up!!! :)