Thursday, December 31, 2009

(Wh)Organizing kick off

Alright, bitches, enjoy your New Year's Eve fun because tomorrow is the first day of a month of organizing tips. As I warned ya, a couple weeks ago, more brand new tote boxes are not the solution. NOOOooooo more boxes until you get rid of the crap.

Straight talk and action are my methods so if you are looking for hand holding and quiet voices for hoarders, click on

I'm gonna hit ya with a mixture of common sense, feng shui and anal retentiveness and I'll make ya like it. You heard me, you'll love the results and then you'll start wanting the boss of everybody, just like me.

Invite your friends to join in on the fun and maybe I'll come with a giveaway.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's a wrap

Sure, I enjoy wrapping gifts but have learned the kids destroy paper so quickly that a thoughtful choice of coordinating paper and pretty ribbon warrants no notice so I now place small items in brown paper bags.

And by now, you realize I am a ribbon whore but there's no reason to use for the brat gifts so simply wrote their name on box with silver Sharpie pen.

Managed to wrap sister's gift with a small kitty print remnant. See underlay of contrasting paper. I know it looks like a parsimonious paper miser at work but she likes feline print paper.

And I just couldn't "waste" this Burberry brief box so simply tied on a ribbon and gave it to the 20 year old niece. She approved.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wish I had a photo of my muff

As a small tot, I had a white rabbit fur muff. Rarely was it so cold in southwest Louisiana to warrant the wearing of a muff but I loved having it so when my friend told us about her attire for a New Year's Eve wedding in Estes Park, Colorado, I just had to ask her if her ensemble would include a muff.
My childhood muff had a cord that fit through the opening and wrapped around my neck for hands-free motion. Not sure if adult versions of a muff include a ribbon through the hole.
Fancy fur muffs often feature zippered pockets for stashing of sterling silver flasks and snuff bottles. Men's muffs are typically larger in scale.
What would you place in your muff?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Costume jewelry quick fix

Spied this clever tip in January 2010 issue of Lucky magazine:
Krylon gold leaf pen for touch ups of discolored costume jewelry.
Think of other craft projects that need a quick touch of silver, gold, and copper!
Shiny stuff ~ caw, caw!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Liquor bottles - the new thing to collect

That is, the little bottles.
This miniature liquor bottle photo snow globe idea makes me wish I had more frequent traveler points. Dag-nab-it-all!
Check out Photojojo's instruction page

Come to think of it, how cute would a small bar Christmas tree look with "baby" bottles of liquor? Aw, HELLS to the yeah!

Monday, December 21, 2009

From tacky to understated / Shiny Stuff of the Week 13

When I imagine "tacky", I visualize shiny. Shiny satin dresses. Shiny glitzy sweaters. Shiny bright brass. Shiny yellowy gold. Shiny wallpaper.
Now, you've read many times I like shiny stuff but it is a particular ilk of shiny. White metals make me the happiest but gold can be done if with discernment.
So when I spied with my crow eyes these 2 gold tone costume jewelry items, both seemed to be that wrong shade of gold. What to do? Pulled out the small jar of "gold leaf" paint and brushed a thin layer to the metal and wondered if it would stick. It did and the finish looks great.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Heads up for (wh)organizing

Keep on with your slovenly selves for the remainder of the month because next month is (Wh)organizing January.
I'm gonna highlight organizing ideas and hopefully prevent us all to sliding into hoarder oblivion.
Until then, don't you dare purchase one single box, tub or container. Retailers push those bins the day after Christmas but don't you fall for it. Okay okay, if you cannot resist the gathering impulse, just promise to keep the freakin' receipt, y'hear? Because organizing is not putting things into nice new containers. Organizing begins by getting rid of CRAP!

Your job between now and January 1st: gather trash bags, cardboard boxes and markers

You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stuff added to Etsy

Plaid and tartan necktie wreath

Fleur de lis wall plaque

Preppy whale wall plaque
Check it out HERE

Monday, December 14, 2009

Plaid balls

No, not what you think . . . but it IS a cute make-it-yourself ornament idea by media whore Eddie Ross.
LOVING me some plaid!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Scavenger success

My new favorite buddy "Miss Sanford" hosted a shindig at her house this week and garnered lots of compliments on her fabulous bar. Now, I already liked her because she sews and has a super duper embroidery machine but when she told us that the bar was a hurricane Katrina curbside rescue and refurbish project, I knew I found my new dumpster diving partner.
She has the know-how.
I have a truck and zero shame.
We would be a team to be reckoned with, I tell ya!

Anywho, Miss Sanford sent me some "before" photos of said bar.

Please to enjoy, her successful re-do:

Pretty awesome, right?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Water meter cover of the day

Look at this neat reversible ring in sterling silver.

One side with the iconic Sewerage & Water Board Crescent Box Water Meter image and the other side reads "I love NOLA". (That's shorthand for New Orleans LA, for the rest of you people.)

Buy it here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas decor on the cheap

Tree branches painted white.

Tree bases made from plaster of Paris set in plastic bucket with PVC pipe in middle.

Branches stuck into pipe.

Inexpensive white lights strung on branches.

Gold spray painted Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling.

Glass crystals hung from ribbon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shiny Stuff of the Week 12

Covetousness, envy or jealousy -
I don't give a shit what you call it but
I WANT THIS Johnny Swing coin furniture!!!!
Shiny settee and chairs and such ~~oh my!
That is 7000 nickels, people!

Let's see Sammy the Shredder destroy this furniture. AND if the heat conducting legs sat on radiant heat flooring, that might just be a warm seat indeed.

(Johnny Swing also offers bowls, baskets and small teddy bears. As Elizabeth would say ~~ cancel.)

Thanks (or blame) to Mr. Peacock for the pointer.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hunk a Junque necklace

This necklace has been in my head for a year or so but after recently reading Amy Hanna's fabulous book, I pulled out all that People Give Me Stuff bauble and bead bounty, pilfered an antique watch from my crow-like candlelier and made myself a junque necklace from bits and pieces o' stuff. That's iron pyrite hanging from the shorter silver chain, fool's gold, I tell ya!

I wore my junque chains last night and received lots of compliment but kinda wonder if I look like a crazy lady that collects shiny bits, tin foil and cats and lives in a hoarder house?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

F marks the spot

My friend Elizabeth has been dying to etch some glass casserole dishes for gifts but wisely experimented on an old glass pie dish first. Look how great it looks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Had a tiny purple remnant from the Ernest fabric pile and made a tiny hiney skirt for a Louisiana State University loving little girl. Ernest will be proud, proud I tell ya since his home town is Baton Rouge.

(Yes, I agree the ribbon is too long but the little girl mama will trim it to desired length.)

My mom is right. It is easy, fast and fun to make clothing for those without hips and curves.

UPDATE: I asked Ernest for fabric content for care instructions and he told me it is silk dupioni! How many LSU skirts are silk?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Junque necklace in silver OR Shiny Stuff of the Week 11

Sister RikkiTikkiTavi lurves silver so my first attempt at the junque necklace is for her. All the "People Give Me Stuff" baubles, pieces and parts and shiny stuff came into play and should you find yourself bored, click on the link and see how many parts you can spy from previous postings.


Pearl grey satin ribbon ties at the back. Broken earrings, unpaired earrings, key, button, charms, beads and keychain dangles = FREE necklace.

Thanks, Amy Hanna, for the inspiration!

Take a look at my bathroom "Candle-lier" that I started 8 years ago - gonna start pilfering from it for shiny bits.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Schmatta, the documentary

Saw mention of it on Lindsay T Sews blog, found it on HBO and watched it last weekend. Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags documents the history of Manhattan's Garment District and the slow ebb of American-made apparel.
It was very interesting but I found a couple points to be contradictory. Immigrants and the bottom earners of society could find work in the thriving industry. One person noted jobs were done by mostly Jews and Italians and with each wave of immigration, the work force became more diverse. The industry needed controls to protect the safety and rights of workers and the unions answered that call. Over and over, the documentary subjects stated that their grandparents and parents worked in the "rag trade" just looking for a slice of the American dream but complained that the current economy does not allow them the middle class dream of earning enough money for a house, a car and tuition to a nice school for their children. That's the part that tripped me up. One generation comes to America with no education, finds employment at the entry level, seeks and achieves protection through a worker's union but the second and third generations expect to earn enough money to achieve middle to upper middle class levels and they wonder why their union jobs went overseas?
In the book Snobbery: The American Version, author Joseph Epstein explained that most immigrants strived to attain affluence for their future by the Three P's: becoming peddlers in the first generation, plumbers next followed by the third generation reaching the level of physicians. The garment industry workers did not look to the future to realize greater aspirations but instead are unhappy that their children will not be able to find work in their industry.
Agreed: It is sad that only 5% of apparel is manufactured in America and domestic manufacturers cannot compete with low labor rates overseas.
Contrast that with the testimony of one man stating that he is currently collecting $405 per week on unemployment with only 10 remaining weeks of benefits AND he said he didn't mind sharing that before being laid off, he made $3100 per week for 35 hours which brings the question: is an annual salary of $161,200 considered an average level for a skilled worker with no higher learning, diploma or license? There were many factors to led to the loss of American jobs. Unions, profit driven corporations and manufacturers seeking lower costs elsewhere but the ancestors of the garment workers need to look at themselves as well and ask why they relied on one industry to sustain them and their future generations.
Adapt and change are the learning words.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Venetian refashion

Liked these Venetian glass beads but rarely wore the strand because I didn't dig the garish gold accents and red thread knotting. Thinking I would wear it if more "metal neutral" so cut it up, added a few black Venetian glass beads and small bead spacers. It doesn't look that much different in these small pix but trust me, it's better.

Taa daa! New necklace for ~~FREE!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In a bind for twine

Ya know I have a ribbon fetish, right?

One day while picking up something at an electrical supply business, I spied a big roll of waxed twine. What the heck waxed twine has to do with electrical parts I dunno but I snatched it up in my greedy little hands and asked the counter guy "what's this used for?" He didn't know. Okay, how much? He didn't know the item number nor description so after a few minutes of tapping on his computer keys, he became exasperated enough to just shove it toward me and growl "take it". WooHoo, if it is FREE, it's for me!! I thanked him and bolted out of there before he changed his mind.

Waxed twine works for gift wrapping and all kinds of little household uses. Not good for macrame, it's too sticky.

Little did I know that there are fancy baker's twine out there in cool colors. Looka! 240 yards for $15.00 ~ that's .06 a yard!

Oh wait, here's a roll of 3,360 yards of packing twine for $17.40!! Available in red/white or green/white.

I smell another obsession~~~

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Covering my hole(s)!

Eons ago, my good buddy Ernest gave me some fabulous high-end fabric used for men's custom suits and jackets and last year, I finally cut it for a winter skirt during Chrysanthemum's and my skirt sewing marathon. After sewing the side seams, I realized there were a few holes in the fabric. The holes didn't look like moth holes but rather clips from careless scissor handling. Foo-ey! I loved the fabric, what to do?

Well, I said it before, I'll say it again, necessity is mother fucker of invention so I snipped some leaf shaped tweed scraps, ironed them on with that WonderUnder fusible web, did fast and sloppy applique stitch around the leaf and embroidered a meandering vine.
I used the same tweed fabric and iron-on petal idea on this little girl skirt.

For the price of FREE, what's not to like about this skirt?

Skirt from scraps

Last May, Chrysanthemum and I did another skirt marathon with summer fabrics. She graciously left behind her fabric scraps and I found there was juuuuuust enough of the sheer paisley print for a shorter skirt for sister RikkiTikkiTavi. Happily, Ernest sent me a box of varied fabrics last month and this cool purple is perfect for an under layer.

Over the weekend, I ignored overdue tasks in the house and used every shortcut I could think of to sew this skirt.


  • Used RikkiTikkiTavi's favorite skirt as a pattern

  • Serged the sheer fabric side seams

  • Serged the purple underlay side seams and hem

  • Joined sheer and purple layers at the top with foldover elastic

  • Straight stitched the purple hem

  • DID NOT hem the sheer layer but left the raw and cool looking selvage edge.

Complete and really cute! Another FREE skirt!

Hope to have a photo of Rik in skirt soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rotary cutter and idle hands

Saw this tutorial by ThreadBanger several months ago for a cool fabric tube necklace made by cutting strips from the body of a t-shirt and dang it all if I didn't find a scrap on my cutting table sitting right by the rotary cutter.
After you cut the strips, tug on the fabric and it magically coils into a tube.

Click on the tutorial link above to see an embellished version.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Strung and restrung

There is a stack of fabric waiting to be sewn into pillowcases.

Also, a stack of placemats that will be notebook organizers.

Endless piles of fabric for future skirts.

So what did I do last weekend?

Strung some new beads and tore apart other strands to restring for longer length or a different look.

Yay! A craft you can do while watching TV!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book review

For a state ranked so low in education levels, my left-handed bottom corner of Louisiana has a great public library system. My local branch recently offered a jewelry making class and for the price of ~~FREE~~ the bead choices were pretty good.
Anywho, the class reinvigorated my interest in crafting my very own baubles. The facilitator had new jewelry books on display and I rushed home to reserve as many as possible on the library online system but had no idea that all would be available in 2 days. WooHoo, a stack of books, full of ideas and inspiration!
(Checking out library copies is a great way to find books not available at your local bookstore and then, if you like it, order the book.)

Here are a few cool books you might want to check out:
  • Beadalicious by Sonya Nimri
25 projects with good instructions and nice explanation of bead choices.
  • Bejeweled: beautiful fashion jewelry to make and wear by Claire Aristides

Very detailed, fabulous photography and a nice touch, a variation of each featured project.

  • Beading with Pearls: beautiful jewelry, simple techniques by Jean Campbell
Simply inspiring.
  • Make it in minutes: memory jewelry by Liz Eaton
With any degree of imagination, you can adapt these rather pedestrian ideas to something less scrapbook-y and more artsy.

And my two favorites of the stack,
  • Stitched jewels by Marthe LeVan

Lots of ideas to tweak and personalize. LOVE the fabric covered button bracelet! Expect to see one on this site in the future.
  • Rejuvenated jewels: gorgeous designs with vintage jewelry and beads by Amy Hanna
Ho-ly Mother of Pearl, this is a dangerous book. Kinda like telling crack heads that there are "rocks" to be found in your neighbor's backyard. You'll want to step up your garage/estate sale activity once you see Amy's creations and stash AND beat up anyone else on the same mission. It's gonna get ugly, people. Any chick with even a smidge of girly girl will be enthralled with the treasure trove of jewelry and baubles parts.

Enjoy book shopping!