This weekend one of my favorite local events takes places, the weenie dog races in Buda. This year's 2 day event is entitled "Alice in Wienerland" which I find hilarious.
Last year we packed Tallulah up and headed south to the "Wiener of Oz" - these names slay me. Sadly I do not have a custom wiener dog outfit for the kids like I did last year, but I'll pull through. Who knows maybe I'll whip something up last minute, I do love my kids dressed in theme.
Thanks Ron.Frank for the action shot of the races. I have found that more than any other dog breed weenie dog owners take pride in the breed more seriously than anyone else. Take my husband, he has a giant weenie dog tattooed on his leg, it's how I noticed him. The wiener crazed fans of central Texas have created a whole festival and competitive sport for dachshunds. In Buda there are are several rounds of races. Proud owners put their pets at the starting gate and for about 30 seconds their dog is in a mini version of the Kentucky Derby. If only there were big hats and Mint Juleps. More like cowboy hats and Coors Lite.
Besides the races there is also a park and petting zoo for the kiddos. If you like carnival food like funnel cakes, nachos and sausage on a stick come hungry because there is plenty to be had. Speaking of food, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile usually makes an appearance. I can't wait to get a family picture made in front of it again. Country crafts also abound. If you are looking for the perfect gift for the weenie dog lover in your life, this is the place. You could always just make your own Weenie Dog Pull Toy like I did.
We come from a long line of weenie dog lovers at this house so I plan to keep up the tradition and make the pilgrimage to Buda a regular thing. You and your family should too.
Are there weenie dog races in your area? I'm sure it is not just a Central Texas thing.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I hope you were able to tune in to I Love to Create Live today. Don't worry if you missed it, you can catch the whole thing on Ustream. In case you are just now hearing about this whole shindig, let me fill you in. I Love to Create sent several crafters, myself included, a swag bag full of their crafty goodies. The challenge was to make something unique and different. Leave it to me to be drawn to not only the supplies, but also the hot pink bag it came in.
Feast your eyes on the selection of goodies that arrived on my doorstep. Where has that owl stencil and the Beads in a Bottle been my whole life? I was inspired and so was my daughter Tallulah. She loves to paint and craft with mommy so she immediately started helping me sort through the box. The first thing that came to my mind was to recycle the pink plastic bag and make her a craft smock.
The problem is as you know I am not much of a seamstress. That being the case my mother, AKA my hero, offered to help me out. I mailed my bag of goodies and my smock plan to North Texas and hoped for the best. What she sent back was amazing! I just asked her to sew me a smock, but my mother that crafty devil went a step above and beyond. For the bias trim she created a polka dot using Tacky Glue as a resist. She squirted various dots of glue on the trim and once it had dried to point of skimming over she sprayed the bias tape with Tulip Spray Dye. She then dried the dye with a hair dryer and washed the glue dots off in the sink. It's like Tacky Glue batik!
When the smock returned to Austin there was a giant white pocket for me to adorn. I painted the pocket with the lavender Tulip Soft Fabric Paint first. Next I added a top coat of Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint. Once the paint had dried I applied the letter and owl stencil to the smock and this is when disaster struck, sort of.
I had visions of embroidering everything on Tallulah's new craft smock, but that didn't happen. Please note Tallulah's unbrushed hair and Thomas the Train PJ's. I made the poor kid model while she was sick. when you have a sick toddler and a newborn, embroidering is a little tricky. I had already finished the owl, but since I was under a deadline for the live cast the letters were not going to make it. No worries I just painted them with Tulip Fabric Paint and covered the wet paint with tulip Fashion Glitter.
Tallulah is on the mend and seems to like her new smock. Hopefully we will be giving it a test run this weekend!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Like most of my collections, I have no idea why I started collecting thermoses. Years later I couldn't even give you a great answer as to why I am still buying them. They are kind of bulky and God knows they are not BPA free so it's not as if I am taking them on family picnics. What I do know is that they look cute on top of my fridge, and really do I need more reason than that?
As you can see I'm running out of room on the fridge, but I doubt that will stop this collection. Actually I have one already living on my patio that is home to a mother in law's tongue.
I brought said thermos with plant inside for a little polka dotted themed photo shoot. I got a new camera so bare with me and my attempts at artistic thermos photography.
If memory serves this little "Happy Motoring" cutie was my first purchase. How could I say no to the mid-century modern graphics of the United States and the perky little lemon head guy.
No this is not the cutest thermos in the world, but with a name like Therm-a-Jug how could I say no. I mean really could you have left it on the table at a flea market?
If you thought Therm-a-Jug was the best name for a thermos ever, Coolerama is a very close second. Plus let's be honest, it's cuter.
When you think of a thermos plaid is probably what comes to mind. It seems to be the most popular option because I have more in plaid than anything else.
If your wondering what purpose a thermos has beyond gracing your fridge, they also make a great vase.
Last but not least another gem in my collection. Spiffy Dot is a thermos with a one two punch - cute name and polka dots.
So there you have it folks, another glimpse into my unhealthy obsession with stuff. Stop by next week for part 2 and even more thermoses.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Choosing the perfect baby book can be a daunting task. That is probably why I bought 6 before Tallulah was born so I had plenty of choices. Sure I could have gone the Target, Babies R Us, random big box store route - but, that is so not me. Instead I went with vintage.
I have two books that I use for Tallulah. One is a traditional record keeping baby book. The other is a blank book to be used as more of a scrapbook.
I love the chipper graphics from the 1950's so this adorable little record keeping book fit the bill perfectly. I admit I have not been as good as I had hoped about writing in the baby book, but for someone who has no baby book of their own something is better than nothing.
With Baxter the next major life choice about baby books is upon me. I have 3 to choose from. If you are keeping track that means one book is missing and that is because I gave 1 to my friend Vickie to use for her daughter Clover. ANYWAY, back to my 3 choices. First up I have this groovy 70's version. I used a graphic from this book to make my baby shower invitation for Tallulah.
The next choice is a book from the 1940's that looks as if it could have been my father's baby book. I love the illustrations and interesting color combinations.
My last choice has most of the right qualities like cute graphics, fun colors and quirky little questions to fill out. The problem is that it is much thinner and smaller than the other books. I can hear the second child comments already "you love Tallulah more than me, that is why she got a bigger book". I have a younger sister, I know how this card gets played.
Got a favorite? I'm taking opinions. If you are looking for your own vintage baby book might I suggest Etsy. That is where I got all mine and a quick scan shows that they have several more. Where did you get your baby book? I'm sure these all came from the Big Box stores of their day and I'm not saying Target and Babies R' Us does not have some cute ones. My friend just got an adorable handmade one on Etsy. So many choices, it's enough to make a mom's head spin.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Do you have plans April 28th Thursday morning/afternoon from say 9-11 PST? If not, want to hang out with me, Traci Bautista, Angelea Daniels and several other crafty ladies? I Love to Create sent out 6 pink bags in the mail filled to the brim with craft supplies and no instructions other than "make something". I can't wait to see what everyone else made and to show off what I whipped up. Plus I've never been on Ustream and Skyped live so this should be fun. Oh did I mention that I Love to Create is giving away a bazillion free craft goodies during the live stream? Check out the I Love to Create blog for more details and I hope to see you Thursday.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Who knew Stylelicious was back on DIY Network? Not me, that's who. If you wanna see the ladies of the Austin Craft Mafia, myself included, smiling back at you early Monday mornings from your Tee Vee tune in 6am Central time or better yet set your DVR.
Tomorrow I'll be whipping up some belt buckles with resin and paintings by my sister. My buddy Susann Keohane revamps an old record into a belt buckle. Tina Sparkles makes belt magic with some kitschy fabric. Special guest Mark Joiner fuses some glass belt buckles. That is a whole lot of belt action.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Today the kids and I are attending an Easter themed mommy meet-up with our friends. All the mom's usually bring a snack of some sort so last night Tallulah and I whipped up some Easter Krispie Nests. I have had a hankering for Rice Krispie Treats and could not let Easter pass without indulging in Peeps so it was the perfect recipe.
Green Food Coloring
muffin tin or wine glasses
The first thing I did was make Rice Krispie treats according to the instructions on the box. 10oz package of marshmallows and 2 Tbl butter melted over low heat. When it is all gooey add 6 cups of cereal remove from heat and stir.
Once the Rice Krispie treats cool enough that you can touch them coat your hands with a little butter or Pam and mold the treats into nest shapes. I put mine into wine glasses and let them cool.
Next I needed to "feather" my nests. I used a little green food coloring on shaved coconut.
Adding eggs to the nests comes next. I used Jelly Beans as my eggs, but there are a plethora of egg shaped candies on the Easter aisle to choose from.
Last, but not least I sat my blue Peep atop his Krispie Easter nest. Not the healthiest toddler snack in town, but come on it's Easter your supposed to load your kids up on sugar.
Check out the internet for other variations on the nest, so many cute options out there. Looking for other unhealthy kid friendly treats? Check out my recipes for Cake Pops and Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Cathy Callahan may be the one crafter I know who appreciates kitschy vintage crafts as much as I do. As if I didn’t love her enough with her amazing flower loom kits on Etsy and the plethora of vintage craft book goodness on her blog Cathy of California – she goes off and writes my new favorite craft book. If you too have a penchant for vintage crafts you are going to want to get your hot little hands on a copy of Vintage Craft Workshop: Fresh Takes on Twenty-Four Classic Projects from the '60s and '70sstat!
I have a vast collection of vintage craft books that I pride myself on, apparently so does Cathy Callahan. If we got together with our stash and a cup of Sanka or a can of tab we could chat & craft it up for hours. We couldn’t do it in person so instead we had a chat over email which I thought I would share.
When I think of designers taking vintage crafts and re-working them you are always the first person that comes to mind. Your gorgeous loom flowers, perky mushroom pincushions & constant treasure trove of vintage craft book images on your blog. When did your love of vintage crafts begin?
Why thank you Jennifer! You will be able to read the whole story in my book but basically a few years ago (while I was preparing for my first craft fair) one thing lead to another and I discovered that the crafts I was making were very much like the ones my mom made in the 60s-70s. A friend mentioned that the stuff I was making reminded her of the crafts her family made from a particular line of kits when she was little. An eBay search lead me to a few of the how to books from the same company that made those kits. I bought one of the books and I discovered that the crafts featured in those books were just like the ones my mom made when I was little. I then set out on collecting craft books of the 60s and 70s both for inspiration and as a way to honor my mom.
Choosing which vintage crafts to make for Vintage Craft Workshop must have been like Sophie’s Choice. There are so many out there. How did you decide which to use in your book? Are there any projects that broke your heart not to include and we can expect to see in Vintage Craft Workshop Part 2?
The process of choosing which crafts to use in my book was both really fun and somewhat daunting all at the same time! Fun because I love looking thru vintage craft books and daunting because there was just so much to choose from. I tried my best to match projects up with each contributors special talents and love for a particular type of craft. Take Diane Gilleland's plastic canvas place mat project for example. It's Diane's mission to make plastic canvas cool so she was the perfect person to do a project inspired by "Serendipity in Hi-Straw" (plastic canvas projects made using raffia). Oh yes I would love to do a part 2! Truthfully I probably have enough ideas for a whole series.
I love the segments in the book about various pioneering crafty ladies. Two of my faves: Aleene Jackson and Enid Collins are profiled. I’m a collector of Enid Collins bags, I have a gut feeling you too have a stash. Am I right? Also is it just me or does it seem like Aleene and her Tacky glue invented every vintage craft ever? I once posted a picture on my blog of a Christmas tree covered in giant ice cream cones and Aleene’s daughter Tiffany Windsor emailed saying that was her. How did you decide which people to profile?
Why yes I do happen to have a few Enid bags and some of her jewelry. Working on the profiles was so much fun. Many of the women who started craft companies in the 50s and 60s have some pretty amazing stories - especially Enid and Aleene. The profiles really just grew from my research and they all ended up being extensions of the projects. Take for example my Flower Waste Paper Basket project. It was inspired by something my mom used to make as well as a photo found in a Hazel Pearson book. So naturally I had to profile Hazel. Also I am curious by nature and had always wondered if there was actually an Aleene. My mom used Tacky Glue in her crafts so I more or less grew up with it. A few years ago I discovered that Aleene was an actual person (as opposed to a Betty Crocker-like invented persona) and of course had to find out more about her.
The Vintage Craft Workshop has several contributing crafters reinterpreting classic crafts. How did you decide who would do what? Did you know Susan Beal had a love of mushrooms or that Nicole Vasbinder made a mean bulletin board?
I reached out to my friends and crafters whose work I admired. I had a pretty good idea what everyone enjoyed doing and what their areas of expertise were so it was easy to match people with projects. But some delightful and unexpected things also happened. I had the tissue paper tray project in mind for my friend Tom Early - who is a painter. When I went to meet with him about doing a project he showed me some new things he had been working on - tissue paper collages. It just worked out perfectly! Another cool thing happened when I was researching Enid Collins. I contacted her granddaughter to get some information. It turned out she was a crafter (who is very influenced by her grandmother) so it was just all to perfect that she do a project for the book.
I adore all the images in The Vintage Craft Workshop. The set ups and backdrops reflect the vintage feel of the book in a hip modern way. Inquiring minds want to know: are any of the goodies in the pictures from your own home or did you help style the photo shoot? Chronicle always makes the most wonderful books, yours is no exception.
I was beyond thrilled when Chronicle hired Meiko Takeshi Arquillos to photograph my book. I had long admired her photographs in many of Lotta Jansdotter's books. We hit it off right away. Her style and sensibility were just perfect for my book. Yes many of the props are my stuff. I basically loaded up about half of my home in my car and took it over to her studio. And yes some of the shots were done at my house. I love everything that Chronicle does and it was so nice to work with them.
Along with photos of the original projects & the crafty ladies profiled there is quite a bit of craft history included in The Vintage Craft Workshop. I love that not only are the readers learning a craft, they are learning about the history of craft. Was doing your homework for the book hard? Did you have a difficult time finding the information and crafts?
I was so happy that my publisher liked my idea of giving a little bit of history to go along with the projects. I felt it was important for readers who might not be familiar with what was going on in the 60s - 70s to have a little background. That way they could be inspired even more. The homework was not hard at all - I just turned to my collection of vintage books and magazines. I also reached out to some of ladies (and in some cases their families) who I profiled and got a lot of information from them. Tiffany Windsor (Aleene's daughter) was super helpful. One bittersweet note is that Jean Ray Laury just passed away. I did a couple of phone interviews with her last year and she was just the sweetest lady. She was still working on book proposals and her quilting. I was so looking forward to sending her a copy of the book.
For people interested in expanding their own vintage craft workshop where do you suggest they go to find more information? Do you have any favorite websites, books, Etsy stores ect for vintage supplies, books or information?
Ebay is by far the best place to find vintage craft supplies, fabric, books and magazines. It also serves as an amazing research tool. Figure out what you are looking for, sign yourself up for "saved searches" and your email in box will be filled with great finds everyday!
What is your most prized vintage craft treasure? Do you have any supplies that you just can’t bring yourself to use because you have not found the perfect project? I have tons of vintage jewelry supplies, kitschy wrapping paper and cupcake toppers that I can not seem to bring myself to part with. No craft project ever seems worthy. Yes I am a border line craft supply hoarder.
My most prized craft supplies are my mom's fabric scraps. I made a mini quilt using some of them last year - just as a way of preserving and documenting them. I also used some of that fabric for the project I did for for Crafting a Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco.
I got an email a couple of years ago from a guy who said his aunt had worked for Hazel Pearson (who I profile in my book) and that he was having a sale. There were tons of supplies from the 60s still in their original packaging. I bought a big box full of them which I am saving just because I like the packaging so much.
What does the future have in store for you? Any new books on the horizon? Has Martha Stewart called and asked you back for a repeat performance? Teaching any classes? For those of us that can not get enough Cathy Callahan tell us where to find you.
I will be doing a mini west coast book tour in May. I have just started a little blog devoted to the book where I will be posting all of the latest info. I do have a few book ideas in mind that I have started to develop. Fingers crossed I get to go on Martha again!
Like reading interviews with your favorite crafty peeps? I got lot's more for ya!