Monday, May 28, 2007

Made by Memorial Monday

Happy Memorial Day! Wait, that's not right. It's actually a pretty sad day. Well, I hope yours was an enjoyable one.

This week has been a productive one in the kokoleo studio. I think I finally got my baby-clothes-makin'-mojo back. Actually, it's more like toddler and kid clothes. When Sage was first born I tended to make more itty bitty baby stuff. As he's grown and I've gotten a sense of how big kids are at certain ages, my size range has expanded as well. Maybe the new kid will bring me back to the itty bitty. I already want to keep all these in a closet for her:

Starting in the top left corner, they are sizes 6 months, 12 months, 2T and 4T. And this one's size 18 months:

For the boys (size 3T):

. . . and the ever popular shoulder skully shirts (sizes 4/5 and 5/6):

and this one (size 2T):

And for the medium sized ladies, these:

Jeez. Taking pictures, photoshopping, and posting on the internet takes almost as much time as it does to make some of them. I hope to have them in my shop soon. Also, if you'll be in the L.A. area on July 15th, you can see them up close and personal at the Felt Club summer event. I can't wait!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday

I should have known today was going to be weird by the way it started. I overslept, and instead of taking a shower (don't worry, I had taken one the day before) I pulled my hair up into one of those clippy things, threw on some clothes, got Sage set up with breakfast (Erik takes him to school), and headed out the door. I stopped at 7-11 for a coffee (no pregnant-ladies-shouldn't-
drink-coffee lectures, please), oatmeal cookie, banana, and fruit bowl. Trying to balance it all, I spilled the coffee on the counter. "Rough morning?" the guy laughed. I'm glad he laughed.

I got to school on time. It was a good thing too because I ended up having to cover for the 2nd and 3rd grade classes whose teachers were out sick or on field trips. So I'm thrown into a room with 20-some kids and little direction. That's okay though. They don't scare me. The day even went relatively well. I don't talk about my days at school on my blog much because it seems like a conflict of interest, but this year has proven to me, more than ever, that I can handle just about anything.

One lingering problem though was my shirt. It must have been sitting damp in our lame dryer or something because all through the day I kept getting vague whiffs of mustiness. That, plus the occassional kid-fart, plus random wafts of unwashed kid-hair assaulted my senses all day. To top it off, I found some old milky coffee drink that I had left in my classroom last week and the little bit left at the bottom of the travel mug had turned RANCID. Rather than pour it out at school and make everyone else sick, I put it in my car to take it home for decontamination. Trouble is, on my way home, I went around a turn and it fell out of it's cup holder, spilling this chunky stuff that smelled like rotten vomit all over the passenger side carpet. The whole car reeked so much that on my way to pick up Sage at preschool I had to drive with all the windows down and my head out one of them gagging all the way. As soon as Sage got in the car he said, "Eww mom! What's that SMELL?!"

Aaaanyway, not all the fabric in my life smells bad, I swear. I make sure anything with a kokoleo tag attached is clean and fresh and ready to wear, I promise.

Here are a few things I made this week:

These are meant to go with my friend Andrea's valances that I made last week. They're a surprise though, so I hope she's not reading this.

I also made a few more tie cuffs and necklaces. At a yard sale this weekend, a lady gave me this rack for free:

And, because there's no rhyme or reason to the randomness of what I make, tonight I made these:

I held one up to show Erik and he looked at me rather puzzled and said, "So what is the statement you're trying to make with that?" I don't know! I haven't made many baby clothes lately and figured it was time to crank out a few. I have all sorts of ideas and intentions for some new sundresses, pants, hats, etc. So long as my belly doesn't grow to unusual proportions, I might even be able to make a few this summer. We'll see!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

All of these things are unlike any others

Last night, Sage and I were talking about how tomorrow would be Saturday. I said, "You know what that means!" thinking he would answer something to the effect of it's the day that we can sleep in, snuggle, watch cartoons, and not have to go to work or school. Instead, he said, "Yard Sales!" Hehe. I've created a monster. But a bargain-hunting one nevertheless.

At our first stop, I got all these needlepoint and embroidered pieces:

I imagine most of those will eventually become purses and pillows. When I was taking a picture of that last group, the skunks and green beans, Sage was dancing around them singing the song from Sesame Street:
Which of these things is not like the other?
Which of these things just doesn't belong?
Can you tell which one is not like the other. . .
by the time I finish this song!

Have you guessed which one yet? That's right! The green beans! Good job.

Speaking of retro stuff, I also got this:

I attempted to follow the instructions but ended up with a big mess. I thought it would be easy seeing as how it's meant for kids, but my feeble attempt just goes to prove that I suck at any form of knitting. Maybe Sage or the new kid will figure it out.

Speaking of the new kid, at the next yard sale, I got these:

They won't fit her for years, but I couldn't resist. Vintage! Handmade! At that house, I overheard a mom say to her little boy, "Sage, look at this." and I did a double-take. Her boy was named Sage too! It was our first other-kid-named-Sage encounter.

After that house we stumbled upon a carnival at an elementary school in Burbank. For $5 worth of tickets we played a few games, got a hot dog, 2 snowcones and a bag of popcorn. Sweet!

From there we scoped out a few more random sales and got a few more random things - a book and a fake drill for Sage, a tooled leather change purse for me, and a shirt for Erik. Not a bad way to spend a sunny Saturday morning. Total cost (including the carnival): $22.50, give or take an arm and a leg for gas.

Damn, now I can't get that Sesame Street song out of my head.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Made by Monday

In an effort to justify my thrift store and yard sale acquisitions, I've been trying to turn them quickly into kokoleos. Two weeks ago I got these cool vintage bath towels at an estate sale and thought they would make great beach totes. See?

I got that wool patchwork quilt they're laying on at a yard sale this weekend for $1. I'm thinking it might turn into purses soon. Or, I'll throw it in the trunk to be a nice picnic blanket. The big yellow buttons on the yellow tote came from the Melrose Ave. Flea Market. I finished the bag Saturday night and just needed some buttons to finish it off. When Erik asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day, I said I wanted to search for big yellow buttons and that my radar was telling me they were at the Melrose Ave. Flea Market. He and Sage humored my urge and went with me. After less than an hour I sniffed them out at the bottom of a box in the middle of the market - a bag of 4 big vintage bakelite buttons ($3) that were just waiting for their day in the sun.

I also got some vintage beaded appliques, more buttons and a big daisy pin:

I swear there's more to my life than shopping at thrift stores and yard sales and hoarding sewing notions. I do normal everyday stuff too like go to work, walk the dog, play with the kid, weed the garden, etc. These just happen to be the things I photograph the most.

Two other things I made this week were these valances:

Okay, I can't take the credit for the lovely quilt piece-work. A few years ago my friend Andrea gave me some quilt tops that her grandmother made. I told her I would hold on to them until she figured out something I could do with them for her. About a month ago Andrea proposed making valances for the windows in her son's room. I love the idea that something her grandmother made years ago will now look down on the great-grandson she wasn't able to get to know, and he can look up and see a part of his family's history.

I think that's why I love old stuff so much. I like to rescue previous generations' forgotten stuff and give it a new life.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

1974, my mom pregnant with her little girl:

2007, me pregnant with mine:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fire on the Mountain

R.I.P. Dante's View, one of our favorite hiking spots on the Mt. Hollywood trail. Here's a picture we took on the mountain last year:

And this was how the mountain looked last night:

Monday, May 07, 2007

Made by Monday

I'm going to start a new ritual for myself. (We'll see how long it lasts.) Every Monday I'm going to post pictures of the things I made during the preceding week. Usually people assess their weekly achievements on Friday or the weekends. I'm going to assess them on Mondays because, well, "Made by Monday" is alliterative and sounds better than "made by anyotherday."

Back in January I made a New Years resolution to "make something new every day." That didn't last too long because, quite frankly, some days (okay most days) it's all I can do just to make dinner (thankfully my husband is a pretty good cook). So I changed the goal to be "make new things every week" and have been able to keep up with that. Here now is what I made since last Monday:

For Jill, a return customer from Seattle:

It was for a girl, hence the non-masculine colors. The personalized commissions have been pretty steady and I have yet to get bored of doing them because, just like the kids I make them for, each one is totally different from others.

Another pillow, just because:

I got the front fabric of the girl and the bear on ebay. Believe it or not it's the exact print that covered my walls when I was a wee girl growing up in the 1970s. Well, that fabric is more blue. My wallpaper was in the pink color scheme which I have yet to find. A few weeks ago I scored a few yards of the orange color scheme fabric on ebay. Imagine having all these creatures covering your walls and staring down at you every night:

(edit: I found a picture of my old room. The little girl is my cousin Katy)

Those creatures were my friends and I loved them. I think I'm going to make that panel into curtains for my little girl so I can trip out the next generation.

I also made this purse this week

for no reason other than I laid the calendar linen on top of the orange embossed vinyl naugahyde and thought, "Hey, those look good together" and a few hours later they were together in a purse.

And lastly, a tie cuff:

I usually make a few of these a week because people at craft shows tend to go for them. Also, I've always loved working with neckties. Right now I'm stockpiling a bunch of necktie cuffs, necklaces, headbands, brooches, and glasses cases to sell at whatever craft show I do next. I'm trying to figure out a way to show/sell them on my website but haven't yet found the time to tackle that task.

Ack! It's almost midnight! I have to post this before it turns into Tuesday!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I guess I'm starting to show? Sage drew this picture of me today. I'm "playing in the sand."

I can still see my toes though, so that's a good thing.


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