The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe



September 27, 2008 Posted by | Designer clothes, patterns, sew, thrifting, vintage | , , , , , , | 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

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

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

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

Vintage Blouse Patterns

Right now, I’m wishing for winter the way it was when I was growing up—you know, back when there were actual seasons? Remember putting away summer clothes after a frost or two and pulling out your winter wardrobe? Mine never totally recovered from the mothballs, and the mothballs let me down, I discovered, when I pulled out a gorgeous emerald green wool coat I’d worn ONCE and noticed mothholes on the arms. Winter clothes were always better than summer clothes, I thought, because you got to wear boots and shawls and ponchos! Well, I fantasized about wearing shawls, anyway. I finally have one but not the weather to wear it in. Sigh. If you couldn’t guess, my best winter wardrobe memories involve clothes from the 70s. Some early 80s, too, but I remember so well my sister’s clothes during the 70s. She had white jeans, I think, and knit tops, chunky heeled shoes, blouses that tied in the back, handkerchief blouses, and a tube top. She even made her own bikini.

This is her pattern, and I know she sewed it but I can’t recall the fabric she used. Seemed that it was reversible.

Some of the others, I’ve just picked up. Sometimes, you snatch them up before you think, right? Like this one–my bust could be a 32 1/2 again, right? Pppptttttttt! As if! And I’m sure I’d love to have to unzip my blouse in the back to take it off, wouldn’t I?

Another one of my sister’s. You can totally tell everybody wanted to look like Farrah.

Now, to be totally mushy and sad. These two, I bought when I was pregnant but before I knew I was carrying a boy. I thought for SURE, I’d get to buy pink. I suppose I could buy fabric and wait for someone I know to get pregnant….Has the time come for me to come to the realization that I won’t be needing any more baby clothes?

But the girly robes are darling, aren’t they? If you know anyone who needs anything so warm, that is. As long as I continue to live in Texas, it would probably be a good idea to resist the long sleeved little treasures like these. But, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a houseful of little girls in pajamas and nightgowns hurrying off to bed and waiting for their bedtime stories?

Okay, I guess the good news is that I won’t be humiliating a daughter by making her wear homemade clothes that would be, in the under 10’s set, considered out of style. And, truth be told, I may be trying to recapture something that is truly gone forever. BUT, I like pulling these out every once in a while to think about what might have been, remembering my own little 70s pink pajamas I got to wear by the fire, back when we had seasons.

April 18, 2008 Posted by | patterns, sew, thrifting, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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