Saturday, June 27, 2009

Speaking of thrifty deals. . .

Check out what I got at a yard sale today:

For $3! I nearly peed my pants when I heard that price. SOLD! It was in awesome ready-to-ride condition too, all it needed was a little more air in the tires. I rode it up our street when I got home and realized I hadn't been on a bike since before Sage was born - over 7 years ago. And you know what? It was just like riding a bike. . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The best fabric ever in the history of the whole wide world.

Two weekends ago I had a yard sale. Basically I just put a bunch of junk in the driveway and spent the day weeding the front yard and occasionally someone stopped by and gave me money for the things I didn't want anymore. Sage willingly parted with a bunch of junky toys and I got rid of some excess sewing notions and a bunch of fabric that just wasn't my style. I advertised it as a "Recession Special - Nothing over $1!" and made $50. Afterward, I dropped the leftovers off at the thrift store and then couldn't resist going in to browse and maybe spend some of that new cash.

And there I found it - something I'd been searching for for years. It must have been karma or kismet or the fabric gods sending me a gift for sharing my stash with others that day. It was the kind of find that makes your heart start pounding and you grab it and hug it tight and expect someone to fight you for it. But no one did. It was mine, all mine! It was this:

(Click to enlarge, it's awesome.)

A rare vintage Sesame Street bed sheet featuring such long lost characters as Mr. Hooper, David, Farley, Roosevelt Franklin (and his mother), Sherlock Hemlock, as well as Big Bird, Oscar, Grover, Cookie Monster, Snuffy, Ernie and Bert. I had bid on it a few times on ebay over the years but always got outbid (and watched one go for over $60!). I got this one for $2.50 - and not just a little bit, this much:

A whole swing set full! Sage thought it made a nice tent:

I, however, envisioned sundresses and skirts and pillows and bags and lots of other wonderful new things. But first I vowed to make something for McKenna and something for me. The rest will go to kokoleo. Here's what I made today:

And although we've never done the matchy-matchy mother / daughter thing before, I couldn't resist making this for me:

I can't wait to see what else will become of it. Thanks, fabric gods.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Come On Down! to visit.

I haven't been hanging out in blogland very much lately. Summer does that. There's too much going on to stop and blog about it all.

Last weekend my two best childhood friends, Amy and Carrie, flew out here all the way from the east coast to see me. The last time we were together was in 2006 at our friend Stew's wedding in Texas (blogged here). We've each had another kid since then. Even though it's been 3 years since I last saw them, the minute we get back together it's like we're in junior high all over again, except now we have husbands and children and houses and jobs and stuff.

Of course I took them on the Grauman's Chinese Theater/Hollywood and Highland/Pig and Whistle tour.

and then I made them hike up the Mt. Hollywood trail:

On Sunday, I used their visit as an excuse to visit the Melrose Ave. Flea Market (and gave Erik his Father's Day present - a few kidless hours of peace and quiet at home) . Later, our friend Jessie and her partner Janet came to visit and we got silly.

The next day we got even sillier and went on down to the CBS studios so we could be on The Price is Right (Amy's lifelong dream). We even made these shirts the night before. They had a $ on one shoulder and WV on the other (nevermind the fact that none of us even live in West Virginia anymore, we'll still represent it).

Unfortunately though, we were turned away at the gate. It seems that even if you have tickets (we did) they only accept the ones who camp out and show up before 6 a.m. Oops. Oh well, I told Amy that she got the quintessential Hollywood experience by having her hopes dashed and her heart crushed in this city of broken dreams. I also snuck into the gift shop and bought her a Price is Right travel mug, then shouted her name Price is Right style and told her she won it. Who needs a new car anyway?

This morning we did get up bright and early, but just so I could drive them to the airport. Now they're back home with their kids and husbands and jobs and stuff. Hopefully it won't be so long until I see them again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Let's go hiking.

This time last week I was sitting around a campfire with Erik at Sequoia National Park (the kids were finally asleep), under gigantic trees with gigantic mountains in the distance. Now we're back home. The clothes and blankets have all been washed and the pictures all uploaded. Operation impromptu vacation has been accomplished, now we're back to normal life with computers and washing machines and commission work and errands and entertaining children to fill our time. I haven't stopped and stared at a tree in days.

But last week we stopped and stared at trees - big humongous thousands-of-years-old trees, and mountains like you wouldn't believe. It's good for the soul to go see things you never knew existed - to stare at them and crawl in them and climb them and take pictures. That's what we did last week. Here are some of those pictures:

(Did you see Sage in there?)

(Did you see the potato chip truck in there?)

. . . and now we're back. You can see the whole slideshow in my Flickr album, though you might want to take some Dramamine first.

Friday, June 12, 2009

And the winner is...

(oops, this didn't post on Friday, sorry for the delay.) Okey-Doke, my random number generator picked #22. Congrats Patricia! You can email me at to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I always feel bad for the non-winners when I have a contest. Sorry! If I could, I'd handmake something for everyone. Since I can't do that, please know that you have my undying love and appreciation for taking the time to post a comment. You guys rock!

Friday, June 05, 2009

I need to celebrate something. . .

This is my 332nd post. I think I'll celebrate by having a contest. I was going to wait until post 333, but that's half of the evil number, so I figured now might be better. I feel like celebrating something, anything, because frankly this sucky economy hasn't been very celebratory lately.

But yay! for little accomplishments. I spruced up my web site this week - updated links, marked sold items, uploaded photos of friends and customers sporting kokoleo, and added some happy customer feedback. I also fixed these ugly icons:

Which have been bugging me for years. They don't even match! I just pulled them off some stock art site years ago and kept using them. After searching for way too long for some new ones, I finally broke down and spent all of 10 minutes in Photoshop making my own:

Much better. Lesson learned: Always make your own dang icons.

My biggest accomplishment, though was revamping and restocking the Toddler Sundress shop.

And now for the contest part -- go check it out, then come back to this post and let me know which dress is your favorite. I'm conducting a little market research to find out what fabrics people like best. Next Friday, noonish, I'll draw a name from all the entries and announce the winner.

What's the prize, you ask? One custom-made personalized patchwork banner (up to 10 letters). You can redeem this for yourself, your kid, your friend's kid, your grandkid, your goldfish, your monkey, or whoever else you love. You'll have a year to redeem it too so if you don't have a child to give it to, that'll give you time to make one.

So, which dress do you like best? Let me know and you just might win some kokoleo.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Santa Monica Swap-O-ramarama was awesome-awesome!

Unfortunately that's the extent of the pictures I took. That, and this awesome car that was outside the museum.

I was too busy to stop and take pictures during the event. I did snag some that Lori, the organizer posted though. Check 'em out. . .

and this collage, put together by the folks at the Santa Monica Museum of Art:

For three hours the place was buzzing with creativity. Screen printing, monster making, machine felting, appliques, and clothing alteration out the wazoo! I did manage to get a little something for myself this time, thanks to Aldo on the screen printing stage:

and this one for Sage:

Yep, I'm definitely an L.A. recycler. I do it every day when I gather up fabric and sewing notions and clothing at estate sales and thrift stores across the city and bring them into the kokoleo studio to be transformed into pillows and purses and sundresses and appliqued clothing and whatever else they inspire me to turn them into. Then I send these things back out into the world to enjoy a new life. No mass production here. One-of-a-kinds have more soul. I may not be getting rich off them, but I'm doing my part to remake America.

The next swap will be held during the Renegade show on July 11th. I'll be there helping people alter and applique. If you're in L.A., come check it out!


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