Pittsburgh Graffiti


Last week, the husband and I attended a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Our daughter and her friends wanted to go to the yearly anime convention, and we agreed to pseudo-chaperone – we were downtown, checked them into hotel rooms, but didn’t go to the convention itself. If they needed us, we were available, but otherwise they were on their own.

Since we moved to Pennsylvania, my spouse has wanted to walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The city closes it down on game days, so fans can walk to the park easier. We actually walked all over downtown, and it was glorious. While crossing the bridge I noticed all kinds of locks attached to it, so I had to check it out. I can think of no other way to describe it as Pittsburghers version of graffiti. All along the bridge locks were placed mostly with statements of love, but others that were equally beautiful. They were striking, so I snapped pictures of some of them while wondering about the lives of the people that left a lock on the bridge.

Word Fabric


Every since I read the March issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine, I have been obsessed with a little retro bus pincushion. It’s cute and practical – in other colors and designs, of course. The artist designed it to be mainly orange, which isn’t my thing. One of the things I really loved about it was the inclusion of Frumble UK’s Typography fabric, which try as I might is just not available. I have searched for an alternative and haven’t quite decided if I like any of them enough. I might just make my own through Spoonflower or with a fabric printed sheet – might be too uggg though. In my search for fabric, I have found some excellent examples of typography fabric though:

With visiting my nieces, I didn’t make anything this last week. I started a couple of things, but nothing to show for it yet. However, both of my nieces wanted to attend the Bristol Renaissance faire and dress up! I would have never expected it from the 16-year-old. She further shocked us by asking if she could dress as a gypsy in skirt and all! This is a girl who wants to wear her Vans, blue jeans, and an appropriately modest shirt every day, all day – nothing frilly or girly ever.

Christmas Card Wall Display


spideyboardI like to be able to see the Christmas cards I receive throughout the holiday season, but I’ve never really had a great place to display them. In previous years, I have taped a length of festive ribbon on the wall and taped the cards on the ribbon as I opened them. This year, though, I saw a Christmas card display, but it was rustic and country and powder slate blue (?). In my opinion: ugly.

I was just going to steal the idea carte blanche: find a wood frame I like. Print, find, or make a holiday picture. Drill some holes in the frame and tie ribbon between the holes. Put the picture in the frame and hang on the wall. But then, I remembered that I can’t be trusted with power tools, so that idea was out.

Instead, I went with quick and easy. For your very own card display you’ll need:

  • Foam board – cut in square dimensions of your choosing. I used 14X14. Bigger would have worked well. You could also buy Design Foam, but I find that a tad expensive.
  • Low-loft/craft batting – cut the same size as your foam board
  • Fabric – cut 2 inches larger than the foam board
  • Ribbon
  • Mini-clothes pins
  • Embellishments – stickers, buttons, washi tape, paint
  • Glue gun with glue

First, you will need to cut everything to the appropriate size. I used 14×14 foam board, so I cut my batting to 14×14 and my fabric to 16×16.

gluebattingGlue the batting to the foam board and let dry.

sewribbonThe next step is completely optional, I sewed ribbon to the edges of the fabric, so I didn’t have to rely on glue to keep it in place later.

corners glueboard








Then, glue the ribbon and fabric to the board. Fold the corners neatly to keep the fabric from bunching. Let dry.

clothespinsDecorate the clothes pin in a fashion that makes you happy. Pin to the ribbon.

finishedproductHang everything up on a wall or rest against a mantle or shelf. Enjoy your holiday cards all season.

Sewing Machine Trade Cards


Vintage sewing machine trade cards from the 19th century are something to enjoy. They had a practical purpose – a business card advertising a specific salesmen of a particular type of sewing machine. And they were pretty; sometimes depicting everything but what the card was meant to sell. They were traded much like we trade Magic: The Gathering cards or baseball cards. In many ways they are like the ACEOs that can be found on Etsy and other marketplaces. I rounded images of some of the ones I enjoy. If you want to learn more about them check out ISMACS International.

Despite my somewhat catty comments on these, I actually really love American art of this period. Some of these card are good examples of that. I just often wonder at the message that the advertisement company was trying to get across with some of these images.

Slow Progress


This has been a slow week sewing wise for me. I have a stack of projects to work on, and I didn’t start or finish a single one. Early on in the week, I felt the call of the kitchen and have spent most of my time there.

Still, I can’t help but look at the fabric waiting to be transformed and sigh. Mostly because it is sitting on the ironing board and sewing table mocking my laziness. To be honest, I am not even sure what I am going to do with half of it, but I started the week thinking I would figure it out.

Here a small collection of the projects that weren’t this week. I figure the pressure of posting this on my blog will inspire me. And if not, perhaps, I will be motivated to put this stuff away and get new stuff out.

I know all about me, but does anyone else have this problem?

Vintage Sewing Machine Ads