The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe

I Can’t Help Bragging!


This is my MIL who is director of social services at the Salvation Army in our hometown.  The local paper wrote an article about her.  Tried to scan that in but didn’t come out well.  May try again soon.  It’s worth reading.


January 5, 2009 Posted by | inspiration, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Take the Sports Car Test

I’m a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you’re up-to-date with the latest technology. You’re ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige – you’re one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments


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

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

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

Fixing Sissie’s Lunch

This doesn’t look exactly like the lunchbox Sissie used to carry when she was a teenager, but it’s the best picture I could find on the net. You’d better believe I wanted one just like it. Or better yet, I wanted Sissie’s. Everything she did was cool, I thought. She went to camp with a funky little suitcase, which I coveted, of course. She had a funky seventies pillowcase, which I wanted. And she got to go to school and carry her lunch in this darling little case in my favorite color—red!

This is the story of how my imagination compromised Sissie’s dignity.

One morning, as Sissie was preparing to go to school, I was inspired to remove her lunch from the case and pack it F-U-L-L of…what else? My underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was pretending to take a trip, and it was made all the more real, because I was in reality riding along in our VW “Bug” in the backseat as my daddy drove Sissie to school.

I watched (having forgotten about my morning play as easily as children tend to do) as Sissie stepped out of the car, began walking toward the school which was, of course, SWIMMING with teenagers when…..oh what happened? That lunchbox popped open like a jack-in-the-box and out flew panties EVERYWHERE!

All I remember after that was teenagers laughing and pointing as Sissie frantically gathered my underwear off the road and stuffed it back in the lunchbox.

I’m amazed she still speaks to me, but I think she blocked this out of her memory. She probably comforts herself by believing I dreamed this. Or, as she often says, after raising children, she can’t BE embarrassed anymore.

If you like the lunchbox, head on over to Ebay. It’s a classic, anyway. Just don’t stuff it full of underwear.

June 13, 2008 Posted by | inspiration, sister, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , | 4 Comments

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


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