29 April 2007

spring cleaning

I've been turning our little apartment upside down with spring cleaning. Pulling junk out of closets, sorting clothes for the Goodwill, purging all the accumulated stuff out of the nooks and storage spaces. It feels good. Although not having a car, I have no way to get the enormous box of stuff to the Goodwill. I have to wait until they come pick it up. So it sits in the middle of my bedroom floor. That, in addition to the mountain of recycling which has accumulated because I am too lazy to drag it all out to the curb on the appropriate evening, as well as the mountain of laundry awaiting a trip to the laundromat, all together has had the effect of making the apartment look less, rather than more, clean. But at least it's organized, which makes me feel better despite the fact that you can barely move for all the piles of stuff.

In my cleaning I ran across some items that I don't want to keep, but can't bear to just give away to Goodwill. Things I've made over the past year, but don't have a good use for. Would you care to take any of it off my hands? Consider it a little mini yard (blog) sale. I've listed a price that will cover the postage. I really just want to get this stuff out of the house. Some of the items are gently used. Some are a little wonky in their construction.

Email me at juliemarieblog@yahoo.com if you want an item. Let's limit it to one thing per person, please. So here's the goods. Click the item's name to go back and read the original post about the item, and get the details.

Lady Doll ($8) sold!

Hans and Felix Pennant ($4) sold!

Patchwork pincushion ($4) sold!

Quilted tote ($6) sold!

Patchwork Placemats ($6) sold!

Snot Rag ($2) sold!

Ah, I feel better already. I am a purger at heart. I have a friend whose Mom took out all their baby memorabilia, like the little baby hand imprints in clay and the first grade crafts, took pictures of it, and then chucked it all in the garbage. I'm not sure I'm quite that ruthless, but I have to admire her for it.

Happy Sunday all--I am off to the Cherry Blossom Festival. (Fellow Brooklyners it's open today til 6:00 you should check it out!)

Edited to add: Thanks so much everybody! It's all going out in the mail this week!

24 April 2007

bermuda bag

This awesome Bermuda Bag is a treasured hand-me-down from my Mom. I can remember playing with it when I was little and thinking I was incredibly chic while carrying it. And of course being able to unbutton its little cover and replace it with a different one was just hours of fun. Mom gave the bag to us last year and I have been meaning to make a new cover for it for a while. This weekend the sunny weather inspired me to make this crazy tropical cover for it. Quite summery, no?

The lining is attached to the wooden handles, and then you just button the cover to the outside with the little pearl buttons. So cool.

Here's my cover with two of the ones my Mom made years ago. She made the one on the left for my Aunt and Uncle's wedding, over 30 years ago. (for the rehearsal dinner, right Mom? And it matched your dress too? *swoon*) And I love the floral on the top right. Isn't it funny how all that late 70s stuff is in style again? So often when my Mom and I are fabric-shopping I'll pull out a "retro" print and say I like it and she'll just look at me. Like I've grown a second head. And then she will shudder. But I dig it anyway. ;)

22 April 2007

brooklyn spring

It was that weekend in New York. You know, the one we've been waiting for. When suddenly the trees are blooming and the sun is hot and the streets are full of playing children.

I put away all my winter clothes. I have some of those cool plastic bag things that you can suck all the air out of with the vacuum. Fun. I love reducing my pile of down coats and scarfs and mittens to a flat stanley pallet that fits under my bed.

I baked brownies which made my house smell like my mom's. I took an afternoon nap with all the windows open. I took a long walk with my camera. And then I ate a brownie sundae for dinner. In other words, a good good day.

21 April 2007

long time no post

It's our first flip-flop day here in New York. My neighbor's daffodils are straining out onto the sidewalk. It is loverly.

I had no intention of being away from the blog so long. I am looking forward to catching up with all your blogs this afternoon, while a soft spring breeze floats in the window.

There has been precious little crafting done around here, though I did have a great time refurbishing this shirt for my friend Dorie. She had a button-up shirt from Old Navy that was several sizes too big for her. I don't have a before pic, but it was a long-sleeve shirt that looked like a tent on her. So we nipped in the side seams and reattached the sleeves at a three-quarter length. It's similar to this refurbed shirt I made last fall, using this tutorial. I'm glad it came out well—I was a bit nervous as I have never really sewn clothes for anyone but myself. And after the crafting we had late-night board games. Dorie decimated me and Twin at Scattergories. She said to us, "I thought you guys were smart." Apparently not at Scattergories.

I did manage to get my button swap off this week, several days late. My partner has been exceedingly kind about my tardiness--Aimee I hope you like your buttons!

One of our oldest family friends took this picture of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia. When I think of Blacksburg, I think of soft blue mountains, proud stone buildings, and the exuberant faces of students with maroon- and orange-painted gameday faces. One day of violence cannot diminish such beauty or strength.

This post is all over the place. I guess that's what happens when I don't post for nearly two weeks. I won't let it happen again. ;)
I hope you are all having a beautiful Saturday afternoon. xo

10 April 2007

"banking off of the northeast wind, sailin' on a southern breeze..."

"skippin' over the ocean like a stone." I've got that song, "Everybody's Talkin," in my head. Have you heard Madeleine Peyroux do this song? Quite good. My dad calls her a "chanteuse" which Twin laughingly repeats as "chartreuse." And now whenever I hear the album, I imagine the lovely lady Peyroux belting out her sultry singing with a sickly pea-green face.

We are off to Virginia for a few days. Looking forward to sunny warm weather, good home-cooked food, and a peaceful break.

Oh, and there's nothing like a straight skirt for getting your sewing mojo back. This awesome print is an Alexander Henry. And the pattern is from the Sew U book. Love it. Packing it in my bag in the hopes it'll be warm enough to wear it.

"going where the sun keeps shining through the pourin' rain. going where the weather suits my clothes..."

see you next week!

08 April 2007

further cinematic adventures of Olive

over on Twin's blog. This one is even funnier.

Hope everyone is having a beautiful Easter/Spring day/Sunday!!

07 April 2007

...and you lose some

In the spirit of celebrating my failures as well as my successes, I wanted to share with you this rather dreadful shirt I made last weekend. It's not a complete failure, I grant you, but it really does look awful on me. Maude carries it off a bit better. Sewing clothes can be so discouraging sometimes—there are so many factors to take into account: your own body shape; the type, weight, and drape of the material; the all-important pattern and your own ability to alter it as needed. Sewing a garment can be so time-consuming that to end up with a less-than-perfect result is very discouraging. But I guess it's the only way to learn, and I'm so stubborn that I am going to persevere.

I used a vintage pattern for this shirt, and it was several sizes too big. And that square neckline was just about impossible to get to lie flat. It puckers at the corners and you can see where it's already beginning to fray at one corner. Arg. I do like the crocheted trim, though I'm not certain this was the best use for it.

On a happier note, THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes! We had a lovely day and I'm happy to report that 28 feels about the same as 27. Except maybe a bit wiser, of course.

My wonderful coworkers know me so well—they got me a huge gift certificate to Purl. I had to go spend it immediately. The japanese print on the left is about to get cut up into a skirt. Which I know will turn out ok because it is a tried and true pattern. phew.

On a completely unrelated note, this is a big building just north of Penn Station on 8th Ave that they paint with advertisements. I have always wondered how they paint it. Don't the men look like little ants? Not a job I'd enjoy, I think.

05 April 2007

birthdays all around

Hi! Those of you who wear glasses know there are certain things that look better if you take your glasses off before looking at them. Like christmas lights, which are way prettier and twinklier when viewed with your glasses off. Well, my face is apparently one of those things. Best viewed a little blurry and out of focus. That is my conclusion, anyway, since after a half-hour attempt at self-portraiture, this fuzzy one is my favorite.

But I wanted to pop in and say hellooooooo in celebration of the fact that this little blog of mine turns 1 year old today. And I turn 28 years old today. Twin turns 28 today too. (funny how that happens) 28 seems simultaneously very old and very young. But I think it will be a very very good year.

I get my birthday off work (yippeee!) so I'm going to do whatever I want. Not sure what yet, but that's half the fun.

It is a joy and an honor to be part of this crafty blog community. Thank you to all who visit and comment and motivate me off my lazy rumpus to create a bit of crafty beauty. It has meant so much to me.

All right, off to find me a birthday cake to plant my face in...

[Oh and you probably want to know where I got those awesome earrings. From the lovely Susan's etsy shop, of course. I love them, and I'm not even much of a jewelry person.]

02 April 2007


cadbury milk eggs
i can eat bags and bags and
still want to eat more.

A haiku for Shari. I made this little felt box to hold our cadbury milk eggs. I was feeling the need to do itty-bitty handwork. Do you ever get that urge? I do, along with the urge to eat cadbury milk eggs. Good thing they only sell them at Easter, or I might begin to resemble a cadbury milk egg.

My neighbor's garden is waking up. Do you see his little daffodils in this shoddy picture I just snapped from my window? His garden fills me with such joy. Twin and I think he actually has fairies and/or gnomes who garden for him, though. Because despite his spectacular garden, we never see him working in it. It's a mystery.

I will leave you with a few links of some lovely crafty ladies I have discovered recently:
m. writes