Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday market booth

Got a wild hair and placed a deposit for a booth in my small town holiday market. It was a whim to see if people liked the stuff I made and if they would purchase said stuff. With a piece of chalk I mapped out a 10' X 10' space in my garage. Then I started making stuff like galvanized aluminum magnetic boards (shiny stuff!), cigar box valet boxes and handbags. Mom painted watercolor fleur-de-lis and Dawn fabricated tons of glass magnets.
My fabulous aunt offered use of her modular "walls" and Kay loaned me her ill-begotten table skirts (don't ask). The decor was kept simple and shiny! Caw, caw!

Here are some before and after photos:

Here are some holiday or craft fair pointers:

  • Arrive early to claim your spot. Even if previously assigned, an early bird may be able to trade or upgrade space. I overhead a trade conversation with the phrase "don't tell anyone but I'll move you to their space".

  • Bring more electrical cords than you think you need.

  • Lighting is key.

  • Decide ahead of time if you will accept checks. I accepted from personal acquaintances and folks that appeared to be good risks. Yes, I profiled but I have years of retail experience.

  • Don't even think about keeping a cash box. Stash that money in your apron or deep pockets.

  • Bring your boombox for ambient music.

  • Let your product explain itself. Some folks are shy and just want to browse.

  • Hangtags denote quality.

  • Mark each item with price. Some folks will not ask price because they are afraid that the price will embarrass them. I know it sounds stoopid but hey, some folks are stoopid.

  • Market coordinators may ask you for a door prize to promote the show. Luckily I thought to write a gift certificate on some of my logo paper. You want to draw folks to your booth.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My new favorite thing to make - fabric cuffs!

This is my new favorite thing to sew - fabric cuffs made of stray bits of ribbon, trim, vintage buttons, etc.

  • These two khaki cuffs are made with waistband from an old pair of pants.

  • The short edges are cut and sewn with exposed topstitching.

  • Some crochet bits and lace were tea stained.

  • Tattered edges are desirable.

  • Closure made with existing buttonhole, vintage button and pony tail elastic.

  • Velcro type hook and loop tape also used for closure

Thinking that future cuffs could also include a secret cash pocket!

Repurposed scraps, SkitzoLeezra style!

Silk headbands

Kay doesn't like the way her office co-workers look so she commissioned me to sew a dozen silk headbands for them. (In her perfect world, she would be in charge of styling and accessorizing everyone.)

Anywho, here are the headbands made of that fabulous silk tie fabric stash provided by the ever generous Eileen. The pattern was found on Heather Bailey's site. Thanks Heather!

Pajama pant revamp

Love these pajama pants from Old Navy but purchased the wrong size. While I like roomy lounge pants, the waist band was too large and even if I rolled the band down, still too large.
Had a moment of creativity and decided to revamp the pants with a buttonhole on the elastic band. Rolled waist band over and stitched down. Inserted a ribbon to cinch waist size.

Then I couldn't help myself and tried a iron-on number embroidery monogram by Dimensional Divine Style, using multiple rows of split stitch.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Decor, according to SkitzoLeezra

You gotta know the rules to break the rules.

White lights everywhere for Christmas decor - it is nice, it is tasteful. And kinda dull. Sometimes good taste can be boring.

  • Big retro color bulbs - good.

  • New pastel twinkle lights - a nice change.

  • Chaser lights - HORRORS! Stop that! Don't you know those things can send some folks into an epileptic seizure? For shame!

  • Inflatable yard decorations - yuck. They look like giant discarded condoms when not inflated.

  • Snowman themed decor in the South - just plain ol' stoopid.

  • YUCK

  • Wired ribbon cascading down the tree - unless placed by a gay man, don't even bother because you will never get it right. Instead drape ribbon around the tree, tucking ribbon in tree branches for less rigid look. Nah, call your gay man friend for that too.

  • Light projected Christmas images - rarely look good.

  • Green garland - always a yes. Even better when placed in an unexpected area, like tree houses, dog houses, etc.

  • Red pre-tied velvet bows sold at Walgreen's, WalMart - so cheap looking.

  • Smocked clothing on a boy older than 6 months - sissified.

  • Fiber optic - why?

  • Your collection of Santas or Christmas tree figurines or nutcrackers or ONE theme - neat.

  • Your collection of every damn holiday thing ever on every surface - disturbed.

Here are some break-the-rules ideas. Just make sure you ask a trusted friend if your version works or if you should just stick to tasteful and safe. OR send in your photos! The Skitzo community will tell ya what we think.

  • One strand of color lights wrapped around the trunk of the tree with white lights on branches.

  • Shiny stuff hanging from your outdoor trees.

  • Updated color combination. Red and green is just so predictable. How about bright pink and lime green? Copper and verdigris? Red and orange?

  • Funny holiday clothing on your dog(s).

  • Themed ornaments hanging from your chandelier.

  • Cookie cutters on garland/wreath in the kitchen.

  • Little trees in the children's bedrooms.

  • Black Christmas tree - why not?

  • Tinsel tree - shiny stuff!! Caw caw!! Me like-y!

  • Your decor should represent you.

  • More is more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

People give me stuff, part 3

Dawn gave me a box of earring parts consisting of big 1980's style earrings like pageant girls are wont to wear. I knew I would eventually find some use for them and finally did. WooHoo! It is a double People Give Me Stuff! Mom gave me the big ma'am-a jamma crystals and I combined them with the Dawn earring parts for fabulous suncatchers, Feng Shui crystals or Christmas tree ornaments.

Reduce, reuse, recycle - repurpose in the SkitzozLeezra way!

Tree skirt repurposed into a cute skirt!

Found this small tree skirt with rickrack trim in the box of estate sale fabric and wondered what to do with it. Held it up and thought: instead of a tree skirt, how's about a little girl circle skirt?
Called a little girl mama and obtained a little girl waist size. Before cutting, I luckily remembered that a circle skirt waist is cut by folding fabric into quarters and cutting top in SMALL increments or else you snip too much and have a huge hole. Nobody wants a huge hole.

  1. Anyhow, cut top of skirt and laid it flat to measure with tape. Repeated steps until desired measurement was complete.
  2. Finished cut edges of skirt seam by serging (you can zigzag also).
  3. Sewed edges together for side seam.
  4. Turned under the raw pinked hem edge and ironed with that magic tape stuff then hand stitched the hem. The hand stitching took longer than all the other steps combined.

  5. Applied stretch elastic to waist although a sewn casing and drawstring would work well too.
It is a Cee-ute skirt, I tell ya!
Repurposed in the SkitzoLeezra way!
I may have just made myself some craft karma.

After the holidays when you look at all of those 50% off tree skirts at the stores, look again, you might see cute skirt potential!

(Tried to wait for a photo with the petite model in her skirt but want to show the technique to you NOW! Will post action photo when available.)

Hold up, here's cute little girl in her twirly skirt!

Dance on, Miss G!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Shabby Chic Ornament Wreath

Y'know those nasty scratched up ornaments that folks toss when they purchase new ones? Well, I love 'em! And I have been collecting them for the last 7 years.
Here is my wreath made of vintage ornaments on a straw wreath wrapped in silver tinsel garland.
Pointers to make your own:
  • purchase sharp end metal floral pins
  • wrap straw wreath with silver tinsel garland and secure ends
  • for hanger, wrap wire around wreath several times and twist to bind strands together
  • begin at top and work around
  • place larger ornaments first and fill in with smaller
  • you may work on a flat surface to complete the bulk of the wreath but for completion, transfer to a sturdy nail on the wall. You will want to see empty spots and how ornaments dangle.
  • place a rug, mat or folded towel below wreath while it is hanging on wall because some ornaments will fall and break
  • reserve several ornaments for replacement
  • wreath is not recommended for a door. hang in stationary area.
  • store wreath in sturdy box

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tiffany & Co. giftbox cakes

My friend Chrysanthemum and her sis-in-law created these awesome cakes to simulate giftboxes from Tiffany & Co.

Chrysanthemum tells me that ordinary kitchen shears cut the fondant and an envelope aided her to attain straight edges. Imagine what they could do with REAL tools!

They are proud of their be-yoo-ti-ful achievement but are still nursing carpal tunnel aches and pains from constant fondant massaging.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More wallets!

Wallets for days!

Some of cotton broadcloth - easy.

Some of upholstery sample remnants - not so easy.

Idea: add grommet or eyelet for earbud wire and tuck an Ipod in that wallet!

Silk fabric wallet

Silk tie fabric again!

Fabric wallet with "mother of pearl" metal snap. Pattern found on
If you look closely at the inside of wallet, the grey stripe (third stripe from top) is opening for coins. The fold holds loose change inside and prevents fall out of coins. Three more sections hold cash and credit cards.
The tutorial posted at craftster is pretty easy to follow. My hint? It is all about pressing and ironing. Grab your iron, slide it to steam and mash that fabric.
That fabric is not the boss of you, YOU are the BOSS of fabric!

Embroidery stitch guide

Made this embroidery stitch guide for Megan.
Folded a square of fabric in half, then half again.
Lookie, there! Now it is a booklet, a stitch booklet.

Silk tie fabric scarf

My buddy Eileen sent me a stash of fabulous silk tie fabric so I just had to make her something wonderful to show my undying gratitude. She likes purple and a bit of glitz, thus, the bead trim.

Hey, remember that post about "people give me stuff"? My buddy Kay gave me the purple bead trim! Crafting karma, I tell ya! Eileen gives, she gets back. Kay gives, she gets . . . oops, better go make something for her!

Paying it backward,

I am,


  • Uncut men's silk tie fabric: 6 ties wide, full length
  • Folded and pressed, lengthwise
  • With wrong sides together, sewed long side together
  • Turned inside out
  • Pressed hem allowance on both short ends
  • Inserted bead trim with header, pinned
  • Hand sewed ends with whip stitch

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tote bag (grocery bag pattern)

Tried another tote made from grocery store bag pattern that I found on
This one is the ultimate in recyclable goods! The outer and liner fabrics are repurposed cotton shirts. Liner fabric (plaid) former front pocket now serves as a handy little pocket for your cell phone or money stash.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kitty on MY shirt!

Finally, an embroidered T-shirt for myself!

Stitched with an Aunt Martha iron-on design.
Employed Ultra Solvy stabilizer.
Mostly backstitch.
Satin stitch on nose and thread spools.
Couched threads held by kitty stitcher and thread hanging from spool.
Laced backstitch on dress hem.
Vintage mother-of-pearl buttons sewed where buttons appear on pattern.

If the kitty stitcher looks a little cross-eyed, give her a break!

Hours spent hunched over a hoop, but happy hours, I tell ya!

People give me stuff, part 2

Get ready to covet!

Ring stash is class ring samples and some tacky "nugget" rings.
Nugget? Fugget! And no, sample rings are not manufactured of genuine gold nor include genuine stones. (I know how you think.)

Cigar box stash from my good buddy Kay! She knows I'll do make something cool!

Okay, ready? Prepare to soil yourself~~~Italian silk fabric. Uncut men's ties. Be-yoo-ti-ful colors! Stay tuned to see what becomes of the ultimate in the mother of all hook ups! As the song goes, "I love ya, Eileen!"

Tote bag of upholstery fabric samples

Tote bag made of 2 squares of upholstery samples.
One side tan, the other olive green.
Handles of contrasting color.
Vintage ribbon covers topstitching.

Get The Buck Outta Here wallet

Had just a tiny bit of fabric left over from the Doe A Deer, A Female Deer purse so made this Get The Buck Outta Here wallet.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My name is SkitzoLeezra and I am a Ribbon Whore

It all started so innocently. Back in the day, I had preppy ribbon to match my headband to the watchband plus an interchangeable ribbon belt. (Heck, that was 20 years ago and I just recently sewed one of those old watchbands into a keyfob.) After my preppy phase passed, then began the ribbon obsession for gift wrapping. Ribbon on sale, clearance, post-holiday sell off, all of it gathered.

No nylon or this horrible shiny plastic ribbon for me. Yuck. Ugh! I just threw up in my mouth a little.


Hemp, cotton cord, and waxed linen made the cut and serves as ribbon for men's gifts. Eventually, I began grading gift recipients on their ribbon worthiness. If I feel a recipient will reuse the ribbon, I am happy to share. Should I suspect that the ribbon will go in the trash, I'll retrieve it beforehand. My dad has actually pulled his pocketknife and CUT satin ribbon! No more, he now gets raffia. Then I moved and created the SkitzoLeezra Studio. 20 feet of gutter cut down to four 5' sections and I still needed more space! Added a shelf above gutters. Sorted ribbon in metal baskets and hung ribbon from shelf bars.

I am a ribbon whore. But not ashamed of it.


People give me stuff

Folks give me the best stuff. Not sure if it is because I am so crafty, just good karma or a willing receiver of their cast-off trinkets.
Check out these recent acquisitions of a stash of vintage, old and not-so-old jewelry, contemporary jewelry and watches.
Caw, caw, me like shiny stuff!
All those buttons in previous post were given to me because of my craft tendencies. Plus the silver bowl of tatting and crochet thread. Oh my gosh, I am remembering even more stuff. Stay tune for Part 2.