Monday, March 31, 2008

Made by Raggedy Monday

McKenna got her first kokoleo sundress. She's finally at the point where she's not growing out of her clothes within weeks and I made this one big enough to last into the fall.

Seamstressing runs in our blood. Look at her examining my stitches.

Actually, she just thinks fringe is yummy. I made a series of sundresses with this print on them a few years ago, then last year, my friend Annette sent me more of the same fabric. Last week I finally cut into it, so much so that I've almost used it all up again. I made these:

Ladies size Large.
Ladies size small, with this

on the back.

And for the little ladies:
size 3T, and this
size 4T, both with "I Love You" hearts on the back.

I'm also working on two more sundresses, a wrap skirt, and maybe a few more shirts with the rest of the fabric. It's been a Raggedy week!

Friday, March 28, 2008

I blame Bush.

Anyone else feeling the pinch? The crunch? The economic monkey on your back? Sheesh. Gas is $3.63 around here. A gallon of milk is over $4.00. According to Zillow our house is now worth less than what we paid for it a year and a half ago (at the peak of the market, of course.) We always seem to be a few steps behind the times when livin' is easy, arriving on the scene just in time for the booms to bust and the bubbles to burst. Remember the (Bill) Clinton years? Those were fun. There was this new thing called the Internet and lots of shiny new dotcoms. The budget was balanced and there were jobs and houses sprouting up all over the place. When I think what's happened since then, it breaks my heart. I feel like we're in the (painful) home stretch. It'll be better soon. It can't get much worse. I hope.
I loved this sticker the minute I saw it and a few weeks later found out why. Shepherd Fairey made it. I love his art. You can buy this sticker here from Sticker Robot. Let's plaster it all over the place.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Retro Wednesday - Our Clothing

I found this book at a thrift store last year. The copyright date is 1943 and it seems to be a textbook of sorts from John Burroughs Junior High in Burbank.

It's a wee bit outdated. They offer no advice on lip piercing, texting lingo, or how to choose a tattoo. But they do teach the parts of a sewing machine:

Say what? Pitman? Band wheel crank? Leg? Where's the cord and the on/off button?

This girl has proper sewing posture:

I do not. If that were me, my leg would be outstretched searching halfway across the room for the foot pedal, my head would be resting on the machine, my finger dangerously close to the needle, and there would be scraps all over the floor.

Here they discuss the all important issue of hanger identification:

Notice, no wire hangers!

Chapter Five:

Eek! I'm what one might call a "settled married woman," a "Mrs. Jones" complete with "old eyeglass frames perched on my nose." Ack! I don't want this! I want to become my "best self" and achieve a "well-trained mind."

I'll start with my underwear:

Because "every day should be wash day for stockings and undergarments!"

These girls are the Goofuses of the the fashion world:

and these girls are the Gallants:

This is how much a young girl should budget for her wardrobe:

Which seems about right. . . for a thrift store!

I like how they encourage girls to make stuffed plushies for their friends:

Those are cute, but where are the monsters?

Here ends the antiquated Home-Ec lesson. I hope you learned something today. Now, sit up straight, oil your Pitman, put on your puffy sleeves, and go wash your girdle.

Win free stuff!

Do you have kids? Do you have friends that are having babies? Do you know kids who would appreciate cool stuff from indie designers? Then check this out:
Kokoleo is participating in the March giveaway at Funky Finds, a great blog that highlights indie designers from all over the web. Over $1,000 in goods will be given away to 15 lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment (up to 45!) on the blog post about any of the designers participating in the giveaway (like me!). Even if you don't have kids, know people who are having babies, or know kids who would appreciate cool stuff, go there anyway and leave a comment about one of the indie designers (like me!). If you win something you don't need you can send it to me - my kids will love it! Hurry, this contest ends at midnight CST Monday, March 31st. Winners will be chosen on April 1st by using a random number generator & will then be notified by email & announced on Funky Finds. Good luck!

Speaking of finding cool stuff, if you live in the L.A. area, check out the L.A. Kids Consignment sale at Seville Hall in Van Nuys this weekend. Its a huge sale with over 250 consignors (like me!). I dropped off a bunch of stuff the other day and was impressed with how organized they were. On Sunday, everything will be half-price. Sweet!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Lanas in Los Angeles

This past weekend, our friends Steve and Maureen and their girls Maggie and Olivia came all the way from West Virginia to visit us. Erik and Steve were roommates in college and years later I lived with Steve and Maureen on Main Street in Shepherdstown. Now, were all growed up with kids of our own. Here's they are on Easter morn:

My what big ears they have!

They were only here for 3 short days but we managed to cram a lot of sight-seeing and catching up in that time. Just like old days, we played darts in the garage:

and Erik and Steve (a.k.a. Run!! Paramedics) made art:

Maureen and Erik played Dance Dance Revolution:

while Steve and I played Easter Bunny:

On Sunday we treated them to a day at Disneyland (Erik works for the mouse, so it's free). Here they are on the tram:

and walking down Main Street:

which looks kind of like Shepherdstown, minus the castle in the distance. (Later, near this spot I saw Snoop Dog and his entourage walk right past me. )

Here are the kids waiting in line for the Nemo Submarine:

and on the new Pirate Island:

I forgot a hat for McKenna, so her burp cloth became her pirate do-rag:

Argh. We also went on the Pirates of the Carribbean ride (Sage's favorite), the (psychadelic) Winnie the Pooh ride, Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, and Autopia. Then we went to California Adventure park:

Where the grownups enjoyed wineland and the kids enjoyed A Bug's land. Sage and Maggie are somewhere in here:

and here's the Lana family on the tram ride back to the parking lot. Aren't they beautiful?

Of course, no one can visit us without going on the Kodak Theater / Grauman's Chinese Theater/ Hollywood and Highland / Pig and Whistle tour. On Monday morning while Erik was at work I took them to downtown Hollywood:

And then, with a wave on the 101, they were gone, heading toward the beach and then to visit friends in Santa Cruz. Thanks for visiting us you guys! See you next year!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I'm sitting here in the computer room with Steve and Maureen. The kids are in bed. We went to Disneyland today. Steve and Maureen are bickering behind me, just like they used to do when I lived with them. They haven't changed a bit. I love them. Pictures to follow. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Retro Wednesday - Eggeury

I'm going to try to do something different on Wednesdays now - Retro Wednesdays where I show funny craft projects from books I have, vintage children's books that Sage and I love, or whatever else retro I come across. Since Easter is coming up, I thought it'd be a good time to discuss Eggeury - the art of decorating eggs.

These books were published in 1972 and 1973 by artist June Hoffman.

There may have been some egg-decorating-movement back then because I first became aware of this art form in the late 70s and early 80s when my dad's secretary made us Christmas ornaments out of eggs. She turned them into things like picture frames, nativities, and little woodland worlds. I found these fascinating and vividly remember visiting her basement craft room one time, marveling at all the inviting beads, ribbon, glue and miniature creatures and knowing then that I wanted to grow up and be a crafter too.

Here are some of June Hoffman's creations:

Hinged "boxes" lined with velvet and decorated with jewels.

Some incorporated pictures or paintings in the background.

Some had scenes composed of cardboard cutouts.

or kitchy creatures

It's obvious this lady had a sense of humor.

And patience. And a steady hand. She sure picked a fragile medium. I wonder how many of these pieces have survived? If I were an egg, I'd like to be immortalized by this lady.

Inspired by these books, Sage and I decided to attempt to blow our own eggs and decorate them. First, I gently punched a hole on either end of the egg with a thick pin:

Then we stuck a straw in and Sage blew out the yolks. Ew.

I ran some water through them to clean out any residue. On a few of them, I inserted a knotted ribbon into one of the holes and secured it with hot glue.

For this one, I cut up some fabric into tiny squares and Mod Podged them onto the egg:

For this one, I coated the egg in Mod podge and rolled it in seed beads:

For this one, I hot glued a couple plastic eyeballs, a bead, some buttons and yarn to the egg and ended up with this little freak:

Sage made this cute little chick:

and this "biting dinosaur":

If I'm ever an art teacher again, I'm going to do this project with the kids. All you need are some eggs, straws, Mod Podge (or glue) and then a table full of beads, buttons, ribbon, feathers, paint (nail polish), googly eyeballs, toothpicks, fabric, etc. Let the kids have at it and you'll ended up with a huge mess, but also some pretty cute little eggs too.


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