The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe


Just got a message from Dave at regarding  my post on juicing.  The image is from his site and should have been linked there.  Sorry, everyone.  Thought I had done that.  Be sure to visit the site.   It’s cool, and you’ll want everything you see.  I do!


May 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Maggie Gay

While many of us pursue elegance in every aspect of our lives, others seem to be born with it. Case in Point–Margie Gay. For those of you who don’t know, Margie Gay was a little girl who starred in Walt Disney’s shorts called the Alice Comedies between 1923 and 1927. Margie was not the first Alice, but I did find a couple of pictures of her in one of ds’s library books this week.

Margie Gay with Walt Disney

What a relaxed pose, and note the hat.

Margie Gay

A beautiful example of twenties fashion for children. The grace with which this child wears a hat amazes me. Unfortunately, there was very little real information and few pictures, if any, of Margie Gay on the net. The big question I had was whether or not she would show as much poise in moving pictures. It’s quite hard to tell, since we would consider those shorts primitive, compared to the clarity we’re used to today, even from our own pocket cameras, but as with all things twenties, the films are fascinating to watch. Always makes me wonder if my grandparents may have seen the same cartoon/movie/etc and what they may have thought about it. Then, I think about the fashions and who in my family may have worn clothes similar. I have a gorgeous picture around here somewhere of my aunt in her twenties finery. I’ll have to post that soon. Right now, I think this blog will be solely dedicated to Margie Gay. More of my favorite decade later.

And joy of joys, I found another, and certainly BETTER, blog post about the Alice Comedies. ENJOY!!!!!

May 28, 2008 Posted by | inspiration, The Twenties, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sale at Hancocks

I didn’t even check the price of this pattern. A seasoned (or just smart) craftster would probably be able to figure out how to make a bean bag. Me? I need a pattern.

When my sister was a teenager, she had a good friend named Jerrianne. How cute is that? Jerriane lived in a crafty house. I remember being there parked in a homemade bean bag stuffed with real beans and watching Rich Little on tv. Mostly, I was interested in where I could find a shaggy dog like his. Jerrianne also had curtains made out of Dentynne gum, a beaded curtain in one of their doorways, and, according to rumor, a covered toilet seat. No, I mean it. The same yarnny material other people slipped over the lid….they had on the seat. This, I only heard about. And, no, I’ve never seen a pattern for it.

I’m hoping these will be EASY and possibly flattering. Feeling my age these days and am interested in some sleek silhouettes. I’ll probably have to call Sissie in on this one. And the previous one. AND the next one.

Embellished v neck tunic pattern

My post-baby body appreciates the tunic. My Texas body would appreciate short sleeves. It’s a little hot.

Embellished pullover top pattern

I generally have little confidence (but lots of hope) in my sewing abilities. BUT, I really think I might enjoy embellishing little tops like these. One thing, though. I wouldn’t NEED jewelry if I wore beads on my clothes. Isn’t that wrong? Don’t I always need jewelry?

Disco Tops

These look like disco tops to me, especially with that chain belt. 5520 appealed to me because a) it looks easy, b) lower neckline, c) covers some of the upper arm. Could it also be that I want to be as skinny as this model is? Hmmmm.

Above Mid Knee Dress

This one was hard to find. One of the nice ladies at the park showed up in a darling black dress that really inspired me. This looks nothing like it. BUT, I think it could work for me. True, it shows more than I’d like on top (my extra weight is leaving soon, I swear) right now, but again, this is darn Texas. It’s HOT. I’ll have to DEAL until those changes show up. It’s certainly not tight or showy, otherwise, but it’s not a tent-dress, either. Here are my challenges—inverted pleats, pockets, and a zipper. I’ve been studying the pattern ever since I got it. There may be some frantic telephone calls to Sissie. Or I may beg her to come help me. Not sure which.

May 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Paper Crafts

One of my most treasured thriftshop finds of all time is this elementary school art textbook, perfect for homeschooling. Its copyright is 1961 and boasts a ton of black-and-white pictures. When I was much younger most photographs in most books were b&w. Southern Living had a mix, which really limited planning a landscape design, in my opinion. But, now that I can get multiple color pics of anything I desire, pretty much, thanks to the Net, I find that the lack of color helps me to keep my mind open. And, well, I need all the help I can get in that department. Open and functioning–my goal.

I especially loved this little blast from the past. Now that everyone is “going green,” words like “litterbug” are being cast aside. This was the extent of my knowledge (way back when) of harm being done to the environment. It’s what made the American Indian in the commercial cry, remember? I felt serious guilt every time I saw that, but in reality, the thought of throwing garbage on the ground was equal to kicking one’s grandmother in the shin. Unthinkable. At the same time, everyone knew the dump was an acceptable place to put your garbage. Not us. We burned ours. Incredible, isn’t it?

Some of the rest of these not only give me a way to do some penance but also spend some time with the boys IF they’ll sit still. Not a bad way to recycle some paper, I don’t think.

Now, the next one just makes me wish I had found this textbook back when my husband and I were dating and all things weird and somewhat antiquated scored big points for the finder. I would have been such a hit if I had presented them with this little pic for an album cover or a flyer.

Feast your eyes….

May 22, 2008 Posted by | thrifting, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , | 3 Comments

New Projects

It’s finally dawned on me that pattern companies are not interested in boys’ clothes. After scouring through the children’s sections of every catalog I could think of, the two patterns above spoke to me and said, “Hey! Shorts are shorts.” Not sure exactly which one I’ll use, but here are the fabrics my 4yo picked out. The Mickey Mouse flannel will actually be used for pajama pants and top, although I’m thinking of buying a red t-shirt for a short-sleeved pajama shirt. Maybe, by that time, I can schedule some lessons on applique or embroidery. Or, maybe an iron-on design? That might be fun.

AND, I’m working on a new purse.  Had plans for other things, but when you get down to one workable purse, you’ve got to do something, right?  This one, if I can figure out how to line it, will be good for lugging to park days and the grocery store, etc.   Best of all, it looks to be big enough for a book.  Or two!

Progress so far—-Feast your eyes……

May 17, 2008 Posted by | crochet, new projects, patterns, sew, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


One of my favorite places to go in Austin is  Daily Juice on Barton Springs Road right down from Zilker Park.  The best drink there is called The Fire Hydrant, which is a mix of beet, orange, lime jalapeno, carrot and garlic.  Check it out.

The only reason I ever looked this place up is because I was watching The 101’s Beauty and the Best and saw Janice Dickinson force a myriad of little juice cocktails on a model-in-training.    Instantly (as is often the case), I was intrigued.  Then, obsessed.  DH had just recently informed me that a lot of the vitamins I was counting on pumping into the kids (and myself) were cooked out if cooking temperature were raised so high.  Seemed like the answer to my prayers, right?

Rising costs of…EVERYTHING and my chaos-generating darling children prevent me from waltzing in to Daily Juice …DAILY, but then I got me an idea.

You’ve got to have heard of Jack LaLanne if you’ve been on this planet for more than 10 years.  If not, do yourself a favor and check out his site.  The man is nothing short of miraculous and has been into fitness longer than most of us have been alive.  This is one of the few infomercials that I didn’t yawn through.  Who am I kidding?  I was riveted!  I want one of these desperately!!  Can you imagine being able to get beets into your kids’ systems without the fuss of fixing them, putting them on your kids’ plates and arguing until the moment you throw them in the trash?  My husband and I often joke that we should just cut up the kids veggies and throw them in the garbage just to be able to say that we tried.

My husband does not want one more gadget on our counter, and this is understandable, considering our lack of space.  But, let me tell you, when we’re FINALLY able to go house-hunting, I will be picking a house that has ample space in the kitchen for this little baby.

And did I mention that during the infomercial LaLanne’s wife just puts WHOLE pineapples and WHOLE apples into this machine?  Key point being made here–my enthusiasm would wane, I’m convinced, if I had to core apples, picking out seeds, or if I had to slice off the outsides of pineapples.  They even put whole bunches of grapes in, too.  I know, I know.  If the machine can handle pineapple tops and seeds, obviously it can handle grape stems.  It’s worth mentioning, though, to demonstrate how little prep work is said to be required.

I want one.  I want one.  I want one.

Normally, I’m not a gadget girl, but the library has several juicing cookbooks (I guess technically juicing is not cooking.   But, that’s okay, because I’m not technical)  I want to try them all out.

And, oh baby, do I want to see what can be done with watermelon.

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Austin, Food and Drinks, inspiration | , , , | 6 Comments

Cranking it Out

As of late, the wannabe craftster has been hard at work finishing a lap blanket for Father’s Day, the remaining 6 placemats of the set of 10 her mother was supposed to have gotten for Christmas (She got 4 with 10 coasters), a t-shirt rug she had way too many t-shirts for, and a potholder problem that just has her stumped. But, she has persevered and has a few photos to share.

Okay, look. I never said I was a sewist. I said I WANTED to be. My sister is the one who can do anything, remember? SO, after royally ripping and reripping the stitches from one supposedly simple pattern for a skirt, I thought my problem might be that I was not starting small enough. Makes sense, right? Well, gosh, why not a potholder? It’s small, should be done quickly, won’t take up much material or thread, doesn’t need buttons, etc, and there’s no fitting. I is smart to think of that. Not to mention, I already had a few yards of denim material from a church bazaar. DH thought this was perfect fabric to use, since the best oven mitt he’s ever had is made of denim. Practically no cost and would be no trouble at all!

Oh, yeah? Well, try as I might, I could not draw straight lines for the quilting, so I’m sure anyone seeing them will suspect alcohol abuse during the sewing process. Let me state here and now– THAT was not the problem. I just can’t draw a straight line. EVEN with a ruler!

But, the kicker was the double bias tape. I watched the video at Angry Chicken lots of times, and I’m sure it would help a smart person. Problem was, I finally decided, that my potholder lining was too thick for normal bias tape. I did what I could. Here’s the result.

The only thing worse I can think of doing…..I did. Yes, that’s right. Instead of messing up once, why not twice? Uh-huh. NO lessons learned, because I turned around and did it AGAIN!

Now, the next fiasco I ended up giving to my son for his bedroom. No, I don’t hate him, and I’m not punishing him. It’s just that I can’t throw it away, really, but I figure his room can’t look any WORSE. DH says the colors are weird. That’s the least of this “rug’s” problems. It turns out that you can actually shape this thing, since t-shirts give a lot more than yarn. Makes sense. Good thing, too, because when I first finished it, it looked like a collapsed star. Imagine that if you will. (And I’m not talking about a real star, okay? I’m talking about a star SHAPE. Collapse that and you’ve got the picture.) Feast your eyes.

Thankfully, my daddy’s blanket came out pretty much the way I wanted it to. I can’t wait to give it to him. He’ll never understand how much work it took, but if he uses it and likes it, I’ll be elated. Yes, I think there is hope for the wannabe craftster.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Finished Projects, patterns, sew, thrifting, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments