Saturday, October 20, 2012

Costumes, goats, shorts

I have a bunch of miscellaneous projects going on right now.  I re-made some goat horns for Lagunatics (a local show that's a musical spoof about our town) and I dyed some shorts.

Goat horns and jewelry.  (Goats have to be blingy, like everything in Lagunatics.)

This is a nude statue costume.  You strap it on and it looks like you're a kneeling statue.  This was worn in Lagunatics by 3 women who sang "In the Nude" to the tune of "In the Mood."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Carpet dying and skirt sewing

It's been a while since I posted, and I failed to memorialize several projects in the time I have been off line, so here goes.  I decided to try another carpet, and this one was huge.  I think it was about 9'x13' and I am pretty sure it's wool.  David told me it was nuts to do this, because of the work involved and the possibility of the results being disastrous.  Well, it was a ton of work, but it actually turned out pretty well.  Too bad about the lawn though, which unfortunately has died.



Here are some skirts I made out of round table cloths.  They look really cute on.

And here's a swivel chair that I fixed up and recovered, with help from David.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eventually, everything connects. --Charles Eames

David and I put together this chair, and I think it turned out pretty cool.  It's sort of like something you'd see at Anthropologie, except two people spent about a month making it.  Originally it came from my sister Kathy, and it was pretty beat up with no upholstery.  Just a shell.  I think it was my mom's before that.  David cut wood for the seat and back, and I covered it with foam and the needlepoint and old Mexican blankets. 

We're working on several other chairs.  The hard part is finding the right fabric, which is CRUCIAL.  Bad fabric means bad chair. I am on the hunt for some 50s fun stuff right now.

I'm also working on dying a couple more rugs.  This one belongs to a friend of a friend.  She didn't like the color, and she like the other rug I dyed, so I am doing this one for her.  It's huge.  It's also wool instead of silk, so that could change things a lot.  We decided to go with indigo blue and emerald green, so it should be interesting.   Notice how the lawn is dead in the back yard...that's the only way this kind of thing can be done.

Finally, in this last paragraph I am going to do some philosophising.  For the last last 4 months we have had a gift shop.  Much of what is in the shop we have either made, found, fixed, or a combination of the above, and it's been a lot of fun.  Some things have worked out really well, like the chairs and the dyed carpet and the boho jewelry, and some haven't worked out well, like the big, colorful 40s-looking jewelry.  I definitely want to make more of the things that are popular, so I am adapting.  What has really been fun has been learning that all these random skills that I have acquired over this lifetime have all come together to do these things.  I learned how to dye and sew and staple and glue from making costumes over the years.  And it has all come together to make this stuff that we are selling at Twig.  I have even become somewhat of a lamp person--with a lot of help.  I have learned a lot from Mickey, our "lamp guy" and from David, who successfully fixed an old switch on a very cool lamp. 

I watched a movie about Charles Eames on Netflix, which is where I got the quote, "Eventually, everything connects."  That's exactly what I have been realizing lately.  You just keep trying things, learning things, making things, and after about 50 or so years it ALL CONNECTS.  Too bad it has to take so long, and maybe for other people they will get there quicker.

I was also going to write about how you have to persevere when it seems like a lot of things are dragging you down, but meh, maybe another day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Sewing Machine

It seems like whenever I sew something it's always something really thick and heavy duty, like fur, suits, bags, belts, hats, etc.  I was constantly breaking needles and just wrestling with the machine to get it to go.

So, I google around to find out what kind of machine would go through heavy fabric, and I kept reading about the Pfaff 130, which is a 50+ year old machine.  Perfect!  I don't care about fancy stitches or anything. I just want to go straight, zig-zag, but most importantly go through THICK fabric.  The Pfaff 130 uses a large needle and has a 1.3 amp motor.

I got this one off of Ebay, and had it cleaned at AAA Sewing and Vacuum.  After a few glitches, like trying to figure out how to thread it, and adjust the tension it took off like a champ.  Almost too fast.  This machine flies.  And it purrs like a kitten at the same time.  Then it stopped!  It just stopped in the middle of a jacket I was sewing.  (I'm making a double breasted jacket look like an Austrian jacket for Sound of Music.)  I took the machine back to AAA, and apparently the way to fix a machine like this is you put it in the car, drive 10-15 miles, take it out of the car to show the sewing machine guy--and then it magically works again.)

Here's the machine

And the jacket

Also, David and I fixed up these two chairs for the store.  They both are covered with mid-century fabric that I happened to have, and I think they look great.

Finally, here is Barbara and Russell's golf cart that we borrowed and decorated for the Patriot's Day parade.  Kinda cute.

Here's the machine:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February is for building and reflecting

This month we have made some big progress and lots of changes at the store.  It's taken this long (2 months) to build inventory and rearrange the store to the point where it feels like a real store.  We have had a lot of people comment that they really like the feel of it.  We're adding new things every day: vintage belts and buckles, beautiful hand blown glass, hand woven tablecloths and napkins, screen printed cards, fun t-shirts, vintage items such as pictures, dishes, and...coming soon...some mid century chairs that David and I have restored to their former glory.

Here's the front of the store right now.  It changes constantly, thanks to Barbara Pierce, who is amazing at merchandising and arranging.

Here are some of our new things...