The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe


Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t do yellow.  I don’t wear it, and I don’t choose it for anything, ever.  It doesn’t look good on me at all; I’m not the pretty, delicate china-doll type.  It might also have SOMETHING to do with the fact that in all the YEARS my mother was redecorating/remodeling the house, she finally got to MY room and refused to let me have pink.  (Okay, I know I just gave you the mini-speech about not being a china-doll, but I just wanted it, see?)  She said I could have yellow or white.  Being totally OVER her white obsession (and all the nurses in white I saw constantly because I was always sick and getting shots), I chose yellow.  She immediately amplified the yuck factor with deep green shag carpet.  She got the idea out of a Sears catalog model room.  ‘Nuff said?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But, yellow was one of the weapons in her arsenal that she used to annihilate any sense of style I was developing independently of her.  Not that I’m bitter, cause I’m not.

But doggone it, between Erica B. (Hook & Needles) and my wonderful and good friend who is putting some serious yellow in her gorgeous house, it’s beginning to get to me.  I still won’t wear it.  Still doesn’t look good on me.  And, I won’t decorate my house with it due to childhood trauma.  But…..

I bought some.  In fact, I bought a lot.  Since I made a lap blanket for my dad that seemed to really impress my mother, I decided to make one for her, too.  I don’t necessarily think she’s the crochet type, but she had a grandmother who could crochet and tat, and she didn’t get any of her beautiful work when she passed on.  I don’t claim to do beautiful work, but I’m going to do this for her.  I just have to choose a pattern from one of the best things I ever bought at Goodwill.

The only question is……which pattern?

I’ve been leaning towards this one, but……my guess is that it might be heavy.  My mama lives in Mississippi, and although we used to know what winter was down there, we don’t anymore!  I do not recall hearing her complain of being cold since she went through the change.  Hmmmmm.

This is totally my style.  But, I can’t say that it is close to hers.  I just don’t know.  She has surprised me within just the last few years.  Went out and bought herself satin sheets, for instance.  Said she’d always wanted them.  I never would have guessed that.  AND, she let Sissy make her pillows, a canopy and duvet with material that had……gasp…..palm trees on it!!!!!!!!   Come to think of it, this doesn’t seem nearly so much of a gamble in comparison.  What may be the deciding vote is the issue of weight.  This looks a little lighter than the other.  Still……I’m undecided.

In other news…….

A W*(#mart find.  Darn you, dollar table!  Seriously, once financial security is ours, we fully intend to shop local and independent…….absolutely!  For now, I have to do what I have to do.  I need new clothes, and I mean to learn to sew, so…….

I do have to be honest about my purchases.

But, I especially love this one.

I did find a site online of a local who provides fabric.  If we do well…sorry, when we do well financially, I’ll be giving her some business.  Take a look-see.  Maybe you can give her some now.


July 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments


If it ever got cool enough in Texas, I’d make something like the latest wrap/jacket that Erica Bunker has made. Her blog is one of my absolute favorites and was, if I remember correctly, the first one I ever bookmarked. Photography is great, and she has impeccable taste. Not perfectly matched with mine, of course. She’s tall like a model and I’m….not. I could never pull off some of the styles she favors and looks so good in. If you haven’t already, check it out.

July 25, 2008 Posted by | Austin, inspiration, patterns | , , , | Leave a comment

Birthday Madness

No Birthday Party This Year!


  1. STRESS! See news segment in my About Me section and documentary on algae below. Believe me, the stress and exhaustion does not remain in the lab. It comes home.
  2. STRESS! I’ve been sick for months and am finally coming out of it and sleeping at night. BUT, nothing waited! Laundry, dusting, organizing, etc. has all been piling up. Yikes.
  3. STRESS! My jewelry store is doing OKAY but not swimmingly. I noticed a big change when gas prices went up so high. I don’t even want to talk about tax preparation. The whole idea had to have been conceived in hell.
  4. STRESS! Two boys fighting constantly. Nuff said?
  5. MONEY/STRESS We gave up my income to homeschool. We don’t regret it for one second, BUT it certainly required a sacrifice. We’re feeling it now along with everyone else. Darn gas.
  6. We’d already gotten my son a Wii, anyway!

Still, you have to do SOMEthing to make your child’s tenth birthday special, right? Ten whole years since this…………….

So, we had a family birthday party after we went out to eat at our favorite diner here in Austin.

And, let me tell you, they have a tomato pie on their seasonal menu that will make you happy to be alive. FABULOUS!! Basil crust and olives and……oh my!

DS had ME bake a cake (I think he got a little too self-sacrificing in the hope that he MIGHT be getting a Wii) which turned out AWFUL!!! He picked something that was just a bit weird, and it wasn’t until a day or so later that I think I nailed the taste. Old lipstick. Uh-huh.

Looking at baby pictures (and weeping) reminded me of how idealistic (totally stupid) I was when I first became a mom. Everything was going to be perfect. There’d be no tv, no video games (ha HA), and I would make everything from scratch. Our birthday parties would be the envy of our hometown and eventually the world. Unrealistic expectations =pretty much my M.O. My penchant for old craft books and cookbooks doesn’t help. Regarde.

Mother’s Little Helper (alcoholism?) was probably invented just because of such notions as these.

Yeah, ha ha ha. After ten years, this was no longer my vision of how things were going to go at Kerbey Lane Diner. Reality was more like a) 4yo stealing 10yo’s crayons and putting them in his straw, b) 10yo’s growing panic/insanity with the idea that his birthday would be ruined by 4yo, c) both boys discovering the booth table would move and declaring boundary rights over the other, d) numerous threats from DH, e) 4yo declaring to the entire restaurant upon entering the restroom after waiting for a lady who took a very long time and exited with a newspaper under her arm that he “did NOT want to smell THAT!”

What’s equally funny to me is that one of these books is mostly full of party games. Do any of you bother with games at your parties? Oh my word, I’ve seen it attempted once, and you’re more likely to get a preacher to call his entire congregation back into the sanctuary upon dismissal for a second sermon. Ain’t goin’ to happen!

Funnier still, one of the games suggested for 6 year olds was….MURDER!!! I could say a lot about this, but I’ll just let you ponder for a while.

I have the feeling that this was supposed to represent chaos. It is for to laugh. Note the smiling faces on everyone? Maybe, it’s time for some Reality Publishing.

July 19, 2008 Posted by | Austin, thrifting, Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

The Power

There are times, especially like NOW, when I get kind of down.  Gas prices are making it more difficult to trek all over Austin,  and they’re driving the cost of everything else UP.  I spend most days wondering when algae is going to bring home the bacon.  (See post below.)  So, let me spread some good news.  If you’ve ever felt guilty for having a rich fantasy life, you can stop.   It is the one exercise in improving mental health that has not been explored nearly enough ( I’m not talking so much about visualization here), and it pulls me together more often than not.  Happily, it can be done anywhere, anytime and requires no special equipment.    For example, when I’m on the treadmill, I’m lead guitar for Weezer, Built to Spill, Radiohead, etc.  And, when I’m housecleaning in my husband’s old t-shirts and my yoga pants, I’m actually at an outdoor cafe, looking chic and wearing some laid-back but beautiful rings like the ones above.

I don’t know what you do to get through unhappy times, but when I’ve done my yoga, my deep-breathing, my moaning and going on, there’s one thing that never fails to lift me up….


July 16, 2008 Posted by | jewelry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fueling Ourselves — Algae innovators

Fueling Ourselves — Algae innovators, originally uploaded by Benjamin Arseguel / propelfilms.

The Wannabe Craftster has been a little busy holding down the fort. The breadwinner has been fooling around with algae.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment