Monday, June 28, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Belated Father's Day Tribute

Father's Day weekend was so busy that I did not have time to put together the little post that I want to share with you in honor of my dad.

Many crafters often talk about their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or other significant women as the persons who nurtured their creative spirit as children and taught them the skills to sew, embroider, knit, or some other artistic endeavor.

I did learn to crochet with my mother as we took a class together when I was a kid, and she encouraged me to take art lessons (though I decided not to do so -- a decision I regret because I cannot draw worth a hoot).

But I believe that the person in my life who most nurtured my artistic side was my father, and I'm sure that it is he who passed down the "crafty" gene from his side of the family tree.

 I also get my love of collecting from him, as he was the first person taught me how fun it is to identify potential collectibles. He's still collecting various things today and we are now in competition for the coveted title of Best Costume Jewelry Collection Ever.

My father took many different classes as a child and teen where he could work with his hands: woodworking, working with clay and plastics, metal work. He made the requisite ashtrays and the like, but not much of his work has survived.

 I do have photos of couple of his handmade work completed around the age of 12 that have survived being tossed in a box and forgotten over the years.

This atomic age 1950s plastic salt and pepper shaker is unusually shaped, cut and layered by hand, and very cool. This photo doesn't do it justice and unfortunately, time has stained it a bit. You can see the opening for the pepper side in this picture:

This little piggy cutting board, also cut by hand, is one my favorite things:

So let's give three cheers for all the crafty dads out there! And happy (belated) Father's Day to my own dear dad.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Madison Avenue Monday: Gretchen Frocks

In keeping with this month's 1920s theme, a partial ad from the June 1926 issue Needlecraft Magazine:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Winner: Father's Day Giveaway from

I'm happy to announce that the winner of the vintage t-shirt of her choice from is:

Commenter #29, sturberry!

Thank you to all who entered; I enjoyed reading your comments and discovering which tees you liked best!  

Of course, I'll have another fabulous giveaway next month, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: The Marcelwaver

If you missed the two previous Vintage Thingies Thursday posts about 1920s clothing and other vintage fashion and textiles, click here for week one, and here for week two.

This is the final set of photos from my Lacis adventure(for more, see my Flickr account) that I am sharing with you as part of Vintage Thingies Thursday.  I was delighted to find an original Marcelwaver hot iron that made the 1920s woman with bobbed hair a set of picture-perfect undulating waves, known first as "undulation marcel" and later as "marcel waves". Suffice to say that along with bobby pins and the permanent wave this invention revolutionized women's hairstyles in the 1920s:

The Marcelwaver

"Marcelwaver gives you a natural wave -- done in your own boudoir -- in 12 minutes --
at a cost less than 2c -- and brings out your best individual charm"

If you are interested you can do a little web searching to find out more about the history of this iron, invented in 1875 by Marcel Grateau, and also take a look at the numerous books (such as the well-known Vintage Hairstyling), and web sites devoted to 1920s and 1930s hairstyling should you be interested in making your own set of waves.  I was charmed by the set of photos included with the hot iron to help the home hairstylist create her hairdo:

The Marcelwaver brings us to the end of this three-part Vintage Thingies Thursday series.  I hope that you enjoyed it, and don't forget to check some of the other great VTT posts on Coloradolady's blog!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Madison Avenue Monday: Sophisticates in Miniature

Another set of pages from a 1950s era Sears catalog....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quick Craft Update

Hello everyone! Just a quick update about my crafty projects. Yes, I am still sewing away on the purse that I am making, but I have to admit progress is slow. Some of you gave me great advice on Facebook and in the comments of the "Making Time to Sew" blog post.  Thank you to the reader who suggested that I try to sew in small time blocks each day.  In the last couple of weeks I've begun trying to sewing for about 20 minutes each day, and if I have the time to sew longer I do so.  I found that this really works because even if I only sew a couple of seams at least I make some progress nearly every day.  I also find that like one reader, I have strike when the inspiration hits because I either run out of steam before I finish a project or because I'm distracted by other projects.

My sewing instructor is really good at creating distractions I cannot resist.  Each week there is a new fun project that we can make in class, and I hardly ever seem to finish any of them.  However, a few weeks ago we marble printed silk scarves in class.  Needless to say I didn't get any sewing done in that session because I made a couple of these instead:

This was so, so easy and it produces really fantastic results.  Word of warning: this can be an extremely messy process so if you are at home do this in your garage or basement or somewhere that can take a few paint drips.  If you are interested in trying to marble print fabric there is an excellent explanation of the method we used at called "Marbling - How to Marble Fabric".  You can also watch the following video from the Brit magazine Quick & Crafty! that demonstrates the process on a smaller scale with paper:

Advance the video to 1:40 to start the demo

Hope your weekend is going well and are full of crafting.  Just a reminder, the June giveaway from ends in a week so get your entries in now!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles - Part Two

Click on this link to read Part One of this series if you missed it last week!

For this Vintage Thingies Thursday I'd like to continue my virtual tour of some of the amazingly beautiful vintage clothing and accessories at the Lacis Museum in Berkeley, California.

This gorgeous 1950s evening gown (*sigh*) was on display at the entry to the shop:

Hats galore for sale from many 20th century fashion eras:

During my visit I also had the good fortune to talk with Lacis employee Kelly of Bennett Millinery on Etsy, who has a real love for the 1920s.  She makes the most fabulous vintage-style hats, hair clips, and pins that often feature beautiful silk ribbon detailing, so I encourage you to stop by her shop for a peek. 
There are also gorgeous wedding dresses from the late 19th century and early 20th century on display throughout the Museum:

Of course there are entire walls of vintage and contemporary lace for purchase:

And amazing antique and vintage laces on display as well.  I encourage you to check out the online lace exibits on the Lacis website for some amazing pieces.  Here are a few beautiful handmade collars, jabots, and dickies:

I hope that you enjoyed this Vintage Thingies Thursday series about vintage fashion at the Lacis Mueseum; stop by Coloradolady's blog for other VTT posts.

I still have one more very special set of photos to share with you next week.  As I took many more pictures at Lacis than I can post on this blog I will be uploading many of them to my Flickr account soon, so stop by there as well if you want to see more!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Father's Day Giveaway from!

June's giveaway on Serendipity Handmade is for the man in your life!  Win a vintage t-shirt from!  Here are a few of my favorite tees: was founded in 2008 by Tim and Jess Cigelske in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their mission is to reclaim cool vintage t-shirts to make the best use of the planet's resources. Teecycle shirts are one-of-a-kind "pre-loved" t-shirts that are hand-selected from rummage sales, thrift stores, or were donated by friends. It is a simple and sustainable solution that is kind to our environment, and if you don't have the time to comb the local thrift store to find great t-shirts let Tim and Jess do it for you. (You can even get a t-shirt sent to you each month by subscription!)  I really like the fact that $1 of each sale is donated to the River Revitalization Foundation to help restore urban river trails and waterways in the Milwaukee area.  That means that each purchase makes a direct impact toward improving the health of our planet and making an urban environment more livable for residents.

You can find shirts for women, men, kids, and even your best friend on

My husband selected one of the Milwaukee tees to give it a test run and, well, I picked up the mail first and borrowed it (permanently) from him. I happy to tell you that our t-shirt is soft, comfortable, and in great condition.  

That brings me to this month's giveaway!  Tim and Jess have kindly offered a t-shirt of your choice for the winner of the Father's Day giveaway.  Help your dad, hubby, or boyfriend "Reduce. Reuse. Teecycle." for Father's Day, as the t-shirt can be sent directly to him.  You also have the option of selecting a t-shirt for yourself!

To enter: 

1. Visit and leave a comment on this post about the tee of your choice. (Required)

To increase your chances of winning, you have the option to do one or more of the following.  For each action post one additional comment on this post:

2. Follow Serendipity Handmade with Google Friend Connect in the right margin.
3. Follow Serendipity Vintage and on Twitter and tweet or retweet about this giveaway:

Giveaway! Win the vintage tee of your choice from at @SerendipityVint @Teecycle_org

4. Like the Serendipity Vintage Facebook page.
5. Like the Facebook page.

This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. only and will end on June 13th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. The winner will be drawn by random number at and announced on June 14th!  Be sure to leave your email address, website link, or profile link as part of your comment so I can easily contact you.  Good luck to everyone! provided me with a t-shirt so I could share my honest opinion with you. I received no monetary compensation and the opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meet the Artist Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for your participation in May's Meet the Artist giveaway of a lovely vintage-style Marie Antoinette necklace by Faerie Moon Creations!

The lucky winner is commenter number 4,
Kathryn Lanz, of Sassmowth Designs!

I wish that there could be more than one winner -- you all left some great comments.    My June giveaway is literally coming right up, so look for the post!