"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “sewing

Preparing Socks for Monkeys and the Front Porch Swing

The girls and I went to Aunt Lala’s today.  Uncle James was at work.

Aunt Lala did the girls hair.

Then we hung out with Penny the Golden Doodle on the front porch and the girls loved the porch swing.

Anna and Penny traded bandanas and headbands.  We had a relaxing summer afternoon.

Trying to not think about my return to school on Tuesday.

 

Aunt Lala's front porch

Aunt Lala’s front porch

 

porch swing and dog

 

 

 

Penny wearing Anna's headband

Penny wearing Anna’s headband

 

 

 

Socks ready to make into monkeys

Socks ready to make into monkeys

I used Laura’s sewing machine to stitch up the legs, arms and tails and now the two monkeys for Anna and her friend are ready to turn, stuff and stitch by hand.   The socks were on Clearance for 93 cents at Target last year.  I bought way too many thinking I would make a ton of monkeys.


A Repurposed Purse as a Camera Bag

(First of all I just reread the Psychology Today article on 8 Tips to Know if You’re Being Boring  by Gretchen Rubin of Happiness Project Blog )  but maybe someone has an old purse they can repurpose to hold a camera………………

What are they called in your part of the world? purse, handbag, pocketbook, tote, shoulder bag, carry-all ?

My DIL sent me a ton of links from ETSY and other places before Christmas as she knew I was looking for a cross body strap camera bag that didn’t look like a camera bag.

And there were some nice ones she found. (thanks Erika)

Her mother sent me an article with a link to camera bags created with women in mind and they were nice, too. (thanks Marlene)

But nothing seemed just right and at an affordable price.  The one I liked the best was about $325 so think again.

I have a big black padded and compartmentalized wheely backpack but it is just enormous and conspicuous.  Barely fits into the overhead on a plane, too.

This old slouchy  gray leather purse had the  lining split around the top.  I wasn’t using it as a purse anymore but the leather still seemed good.  I thought about relining it.  I thought about it so much and it seemed so tedious, I never did it!

I should have taken a before shot.  Didn’t think about photographing it until it was all stitched up!

At the local craft/fabric store I found the answer and I came right home and slipped this extra thick batting into the purse between the ripped lining and bag and then I stitched up the lining around the top with strong black thread.

And now I have a padded camera bag.  There is a zipper pocket inside which will hold camera cards or batteries nicely and there is room for a flash or an extra lens. And a top zipper is always a plus, which this bag has already.   A friend suggested treating the bag with mink oil to help moisturize the leather. It is not slouchy anymore, that’s for sure.

 

 

purse to camera bag 1

Now it stands up instead of slouches.  Grandson Michael tested it as a makeshift pillow as we sat in the bleachers, too.

I don’t know what brand the purse is originally, it has elephants all over the lining and says it was

Made in Italy.

 

purse to camera bag 2


My Artist Friend Joan and her Thread Collection

Joan has an array of thread colors and some are silky and some are shimmery.

So many different types of thread.

She makes beautiful fiber art,

and paints

and draws in ink.

Watch for her Female Martyr Series this summer.

You’ve seen Joan looking at Larimer School where she used to teach Art.

 

 

Spools of Thread

Even her pincushions are interesting.

 

 

An older photo

An older photo of the thread collection

 

and Joan on her back porch.  Her garden is so interesting.  Will have to do a photo tour.

 

Joan on her back porch

Joan grows the best rhubarb and puts up delicious apricot preserves.

 


My Grandmother Made This Too

 

 

 

 

 

Back home from Thanksgiving holiday break and thinking about being out of the traffic and home, safe, keeping warm.

Getting ready to start a new school week and wondering how it got to be December already.

If you have a doily or a piece of fine crochet, openwork, mounting it on a pillow is a good way to display it.

I thought this was a good  follow-on to my post of my grandmother’s afghan and quilt yesterday.

Downstairs, I have some samplers she made which I’ll post another time.

I sewed this antimacassar onto the pillow top with tiny stitches all around. Click on the word to read about the origin.

Photographed at my sister’s place in NYC.  I don’t  remember but it looks like we used extra upholstery fabric to make the pillow itself.

If you want to read a new crochet blog, my blogging friend Stef just started it (you read her comments on this blog perhaps) Click the link

This may be an example of tapestry crochet but I am sure a reader will set me straight.
home sweet home


E.T. Phone Home

 

I just got off the phone with my sister in NYC.  Good thing she has a landline.  And not one that sits in an electric powered charger cradle.  Just a plain old phone.   She is still without power. We were talking about phones.  The cancelled Halloween Parade in NYC.  Our Pittsburgh Halloween postponed until Saturday due to the weather, residual hurricane effects.

I started thinking about the ET costume I made for Mark years ago. (There is a McCall’s pattern 8311 on Ebay for 29.99, I just checked) Here he is in Germany(1983) with Matthew as Robin Hood.  Yes, I made that too.  Mark wore that when he was four in Clarion, PA  Thinking about Halloweens past.

And then years later Laura wore the ET Costume. It had a Day-Glo finger that matched the heart appliqué on the chest. The date on this photo says 1996.

 

 

 

And here is the costume head in the dining room tonight. I painted the eyes.  The head is lined with a piece of blanket.  It looks like it did when I made it! When I put on the mask this past weekend, Penny the Goldendoodle (Laura and James’ dog) growled and turned and left the room. My daughter-in-law made the ceramic jack-o-lantern in grade school and I saved it from the trash when she pitched it.


Slow Shutter and the Pink Sock Monkeys

When Anna was a baby I made her a sock monkey out of a pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks, just as I had done for her father when he was little.  The sock monkey didn’t get much playtime and I didn’t make anymore for the other three grandchildren. At Christmas I noticed Anna using the sock monkey like a puppet with the other kids at breakfast. Everyone was laughing and she was enjoying playing with her(it is a girl and her name is Mrs. Sock Monkey)  She asked me if I could make her a pink sock monkey.  I said I didn’t know how I could because I didn’t know at the time you could buy PINK red heel socks.

Last weekend when I visited, the old sock monkey had not only a bed made from a Costco box, covered in  blanket but there was a small basket added as a bunk with a junior sized sock monkey wrapped up in a hand knitted dishrag  (the sock monkey was one of Murphy the Airedale’s former toys!- every dog needs a sock monkey).

And to Anna and Maura’s surprise, I showed up with two pairs of PINK red heel socks I found online.  Laura brought over her portable sewing machine and I sat at the kitchen table stitching up the legs and arms.  Anna helped stuff the limbs.  The girls were really excited to watch the socks turn into monkeys. I embroidered the eyes and nostrils with some variegated cotton yarn I had as a knitting project.

The next morning as they were waiting to go to church, I had them open the front door to get some available light for a photo of them with their monkeys. Strawberry and Blueberry are their names. Blueberry has blue eyes like Maura and that’s how they can tell them apart.  I used a 1/5 shutter speed -handheld -which is really not a good idea.  Too much camera shake.

The snow in the night added some reflected light but the winter morning was fairly gray.  Murphy decided to come and see what was happening outside and Anna thought he would make a good horse for the monkeys. Murphy didn’t even mind.   He remained undisturbed even though Maura was squealing excitedly.  Then Anna wrote sock monkey on the condensation inside the storm door glass.   I love that all the fancy toys are ignored and the homemade bed out of box and a couple of pairs of socks, transformed into monkeys, delighted the girls.   I told Anna how Aunt Mary and I went to the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois.

Murphy isn't even paying attention to a couple of riders!

Maura watches Anna make the sock monkey wave!

I remember writing on windows. The condensation invites it!


Fiber Artist’s Palette- Like an Indoor Garden

Spools and spools of thread. Silk. Cotton.  Metallic.  All colors. Some shimmer. Rich colors.  Waiting to be selected, a length cut and the needle threaded. The embroidery comes alive under the artist’s fingers stitching.  I had asked Joan B if I could photograph her thread as I have another photo from before but today the light was so nice.  She made coffee in a French Press and homemade sticky buns, a Fiesta bowl full of  fresh fruit cut up and mixed with yogurt and honey.  An indoor garden of color! And the little cushioned chair holds the needles and pins.

Colors Create a Feeling

And these invite me
to think Spring.
Sunday night Thunderstorm-
March lions roar a day early.

Wanted some bright color for today's post. Knew where to find it! Joan's studio.


Button, Button, Whose Got the Button? ( & Bridal Veils, too!)

1700 Carson Street is the home of a great button store.  It fascinates me-  Parker Button. Boxes and boxes stacked from floor to ceiling.   All colors, shapes and sizes.  Like an artist’s palette.  Shank or flat. Frogs and belt buckles. Ribbon and trim. Spools of thread to sew them all on for utility or ornamentation. My mother had a glass jar full of buttons.  My sister made me the coolest necklace from vintage mother-of-pearl shirt buttons, strung onto embroidery floss. Do you have any clothing missing a button?

The other half of  the shop is Clarissa’s Boutique .   One word to describe the bridal veils, jewelry and accessories for custom headpieces and wedding necessities-  exquisite? lovely? classic? ethereal?  They will create a custom headpiece for you but allow three months.  Feathers, flowers, jewels, or pearls.       Voted the Best of the Knot for weddings 2011.

These Days Buttons are Often a Part of Web Design

Or people push our buttons.
Press the button to call the elevator
or select your floor.
Today’s post is the old fashioned kind.
Two-hole, four-hole or shank.
Metal, plastic, shell or bone.
Beatrix Potter shapes of rabbits.
When was the last time you sewed on a button?

Today marks 500 blog posts and counting!

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Growing up we had a record with the song ( these lyrics are from 1929)

Button up your overcoat, When the wind is free, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me! Eat an apple every day, Get to bed by three, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me! Be careful crossing streets, ooh-ooh, Cut out sweets, ooh-ooh, Lay off meat, ooh-ooh, You'll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum! 

Sock Monkey Signage in Museum Exhibit

From the archives.  My sister noticed I post a lot of food on the blog. It’s true. Tonight it could have been the pesto on penne and the apple plum one crust pie.    Instead I went to an old folder.   You probably didn’t know there’s  a Sock Monkey Exhibit in the Midway Village Museum in Rockford IL. Mary  and I went when we were visiting family.  The Rockford socks are no longer manufactured in Rockford but by Fox River Mills in Osage Iowa.  I have made a few sock monkeys in my day. People have feelings about Sock Monkeys.There is a convention called Sock Monkey Madness in Rockford.  They call the monkey Nelson after the man who invented the knitting machine that made the socks.

One of the displays at the Sock Monkey Exhibit


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