The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe


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

Coming in Summer 08

I first found The Naughty Secretary online after watching THE coolest idea for a necklace EVER on Crafters Coast to Coast ……..,,HGTV_3225_3263016,00.html

Also, check out Austin Craft Mafia….

Cool TV Shows…

Now, to be perfectly honest…(and you know The Wannabe keeps it real…can’t believe I just said that)…some of the neatest people with the coolest crafts appear on programs that require some silliness. I know this. Frankly, there are times that I knit, crochet or paint very sternly!

Well, maybe not THAT sternly.

I’ll just say that there are a few craft programs that….well…require participants to dance and make dumb faces, eventually making them all seem mentally challenged rather than craft-happy. I realize I may be directing you to one or two of those. However, if I could put up with some of the silliness at Weight Watchers, I can put up with it from DIY. Luckily, Tivo allows you to fast forward. If I could somehow apply that to Weight Watchers meetings, I might still be attending!

June 28, 2008 Posted by | Austin, inspiration, jewelry, thrifting | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Little Mister’s Shorts

In all his glory………………………

He was really proud.  These are a little big on him, but I suspect he’ll have some growing time over the summer and they’ll fit perfectly by fall, which is as good as summer here in Austin.

I used this pattern…..

It was SUPER-easy.  Only 2 pieces if I recall correctly.  Yes, I know this is a pajama pattern, but I wasn’t happy with the other patterns for little boys that I found.   And let me say here and now, there are almost NO patterns for boys out there.

Pattern was bought at Lanetz.   Lady who runs THAT place is wonderfully nice, which is a huge plus in my book.

June 24, 2008 Posted by | Austin, Finished Products, patterns, sew, vintage | , , , | 2 Comments

Is There a Doctor in the House?


According to the folks at Roby Institute here in Austin, I’ll benefit from nasal irrigation.  They’d prefer I use a waterpik, but I’m wondering if a little cheap Netipot would work.  Many people seem to think so.    Playing detective in pursuit of the cause of my allergic reactions (hypersensitivity) involves some money.  DH has already bought me new pillows but none for himself.  If our pillows are causing problems, wouldn’t his in such close proximity to mine be just as much of  a trigger?  We’re also supposed to buy a cheap little fan with a filter on it instead of using our ceiling fans  Oh, they just suggested a whole lot of changes all of which we intend to make, BUT other things keep occuring to me.  For instance, cheapo miniblinds attract a huge amount of dust.  Wouldn’t it be better to actually have some curtains that I could take down and wash in the machine?

Oh, and there’s a diet involved, too.  Just when I had my Weight Watchers Core working well for everyone…..It’s just a five-day diet after which foods will be re-introduced to help track down any food allergies.  Still…..if I HAVE to stick to a diet, I really like for there to be a big pay-off.  Like 20 pounds gone in a week.

We pay a big price for living in Austin.

All that to say this—–no progress on any sewing or knitting or crochet for the past week or so.  BUT, it has not been put away and never will.  The Wannabe Craftster will survive.

Well, she will either survive or will ask to be put to sleep when she returns to the doctor.

June 20, 2008 Posted by | Austin | , , , | Leave a comment

Sale at Hancocks

This is something I could see myself wearing through a good bit of weight loss. (BTW, that Weight Watchers Core program is working, and DH finds it pretty easy to adjust to. We feel a lot better, too.)

This is probably my favorite of the bunch for this score. In my case, sympathy for the general public should steer me away from the sleeveless options. BUT, we’ve already got record temperatures here in Austin, and 3/4 sleeves is just too hot for me. I am comforted by the fact that I won’t join those with VERY questionable tastes who expose less than perfect midriffs, at the very least. Sorry, but it had to be said. I hope that wasn’t mean.

Another sleeveless top pattern. There is something about this that reminds me of a bathing suit, but I’m hoping to hide some ugliness under the generous fabric. My prayer is that nobody asks me if I’m pregnant. If someone does, I’m planning on rewarding them with heaving sobs. Again, I hate to show my big ole arms, but hopefully, that bit of ugliness won’t be lasting much longer.

Sleeveless, but you could definitely make a case for WARDROBE STAPLE with this one.

I’m not even sure why I bought this last one. It’s cute enough. Maybe, I thought defining the waistline (props to Clinton and Stacy) would help me appear slimmer. I’m not sure. When patterns are 99 cents, you just go for it.

So, right now, I’m working on a dress with inverted pleats. Once I get that done, for better or worse, the challenge will be pockets on the same dress and then……a zipper. I’ve never put one in…..ANYTHING! Wish me luck.

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Austin, patterns, sew, Uncategorized | , , | 7 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

Bethany Lutheran Church Garage Sale

I’m so very, very glad the weather wasn’t bad for the Bethany Lutheran Church Garage Sale. I’m not sure how long they’ve had this planned, but I believe it was entered into my Palm Pilot last month. Hopefully, they raised a great deal of money. What a nice bunch of folks. And, boy did we have fun!

Sign at Bethany Lutheran Church

I took my 9yo son with me, because….well, I just like to, and secondly, he’s a better bargain hunter than I am. I explained to him that there were advantages to showing up late (sellers don’t want to pack up a lot of stuff and are willing to let it go, IF it will go, at a really, really good price) and advantages of showing up early (the best stuff often goes first). Feast your eyes on the find of the day. Yes, he actually found a scooter for sale! He was on cloud nine and later declared it to be the best day of his life.

Garage Sale Gold

I didn’t do too shabby, either. I was really pleased with my lovely juice glasses and mugs. And, I got them from the nicest lady named Debbie who loves to paint. She had many items for sale that would have fit PERFECTLY into the theme for my younger son’s room—retro cowboys. Oh, how I was tempted! But, I suspect that there will be a theme change soon, especially if we move. Younger son has turned out to be more of an wombat than a cowboy. Debbie also told me about a site online that might help me develop my technique (read—“overcome disability”) for painting terra cotta pots. In particular, we talked about painting specifically for herbs. As much as I love and use herbs, I STILL often forget what is what once those seeds start sprouting. More of THAT in another post.

Juice Glasses


Here is some of Debbie’s handiwork. I would have loved to have brought this home, but we really have no room left, and my older son is too big for it. Sooooo cute, though.

Table and Chairs

Other lovely finds for someone. Can you believe it? A Schwinn bicycle built for two!!!!!!!

Shwinn bicycle built for two


And who can resist donuts and these pretty faces? Hmmmmm?


April 28, 2008 Posted by | "garage sale", Austin, glassware, thrifting, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , , | 6 Comments

I Love Austin

My complaining and whining about allergies has probably put more than one or two of you to sleep, and you, perhaps, have wished you could put ME to sleep, too.  The BIG sleep.  SO, while DS was in therapy today, I hit the trail and took some pictures.  No sense in avoiding Spring, since it’s seeping into the windows at home, right?  Those of you who know and love Austin as much as I do will recognize the path I took.  If you’re in a crummy mood, I CHALLENGE you to try to hang onto it with sights such as these.

April 15, 2008 Posted by | Austin | 1 Comment

Austin Siamese and Friends Garage Sale

Saturday, my son and I picked up some lovely little treasures at the Austin Siamese and Friends garage sale off South Congress. These folks foster homeless cats and kittens and need all the support they can get for cat food and all the other expenses that tend to accompany feline friends. We were prepared to dump a donation in the jar and leave just in case we didn’t see anything fun. Oh, but guess what? We did!! I was hoping to find some old sewing patterns or other craft materials—nope! There were, however, two sewing machines for sale. A great find for somebody. I wish I had taken a picture of the cat statuette table. Wouldn’t have minded picking up a few of those, but as I already have two of my own, I figured I’d better take care to avoid “the cat lady” label.

I did buy a plaque there that was quite unique and was told a fellow from England made them from recycled materials. Would look really cool outside in the garden, wouldn’t it?

This little yellow pot isn’t for sugar, although now that I’m looking at it with the two opaque cups, it seems logical. Why did I photograph them together? Can’t think of a good reason. Some Texas caviar might be a better choice, right?

The pick of the litter, so to speak, has to be this little group of rose party plates. Or, would you call them tea plates? You can see there’s a place for a matching cup, and I can just picture some like my grandmother’s. Tea and dainty little cucumber sandwiches. Now, I have the perfect excuse for more thrift shopping, since I’ve just got to find the cups that match.

I’ve also got the perfect excuse for diving into this book from the library and trying some of the recipes. More about THAT after I’ve had a chance to peruse.

Most importantly, if anyone is interested, I’m going to get started on some catnip mice (crocheting them, to be exact) for Shannon at She requested that I use this pattern These are great folks, and they’re working for a great cause, so if you’re interested in offering support, please feel free to drop them a line. Or, if you need something to do with your hands while you’re watching tv (no more nibbling or smoking these days, right?), I’m sure they’d appreciate some more mice for their foster kitties. Shannon also told me that the garage sale was such a big success that they’re scheduling another one for the fall. I’ll be there, hoping to find the cups for my little plates.

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Austin, Cats, Crochet Pattern, thrifting, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment