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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays from Green Kitchen


Vintage Animal Set

I put together a free download of the images from this vintage French stamp set — they're so cute, they had to be shared. The PDF is vector-based, so if you are Illustrator savvy you'll be able to select and scale the images to whatever size you wish without losing image integrity. For those more comfortable working with raster images (Photoshop, etc.) you can go to the Flickr set and view "all sizes" for whichever image you would like to use, then choose the size closest to what you want. You can also change the finished printed size with your printer software.

My first thought was to do some embroidery with them, then I thought I should get some new stamps made, then kid's clothes, then...

Whatever you do, let me know, so I can see, too.

Download the PDF (8.5 x 11)
Go to the Flickr set.


Peace to all. Love, Green Kitchen.

P.S. I just noticed that the frog is not on the PDF, so I'll get to that ASAP.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Flashback Friday — Big Hair Days

Originally uploaded by becktress.
My sister uploaded this gem, as well as a couple other wacky photos from back in our swing days. Actually, this was just prior to the move to the Red House with the Green Kitchen where we learned to dance. Once we started dancing I think the hair got much smaller. What were we thinking? Wacky stuff, I tell ya.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gatsby Picnic

Wool Felt Cloche
Wool Felt Cloche 2
At my mother-in-law's request our family attended the Gatsby Picnic a couple weeks back. It was motivating, if nothing else. Where does a 185 lb, 5 ft. 9.5 in. girl get herself some authentic 1920s or 30s vintage outfits in a hurry? She doesn't. She has to make them.

I started by buying some patterns from Decades of Style because they have redrafted some great vintage patterns to fit larger sizes (Angelina are you listening?). I made this skirt and this jacket (still a WIP). My sister found a vintage-looking Target sweater at a garage sale. I just happen to have some vintage size 11 shoes that worked. My goal was to look appropriate, but not too fancy.

After looking at the Vintage Pattern Lending Library I was dying to make one of these wonderful felt hats. Of course, I picked the one with the flowers. I used all materials from the stash — a benefit of being a hoarder. The picnic day turned out to be very warm, so I traded in the wool for a straw cloche that my MIL had. The wool hat made its debut at preschool last week when my hair was in a state that might scare small children. Turns out the hat scared them more than the hair. Go figure.

More photos from the picnic here.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hippie-potamus Generation

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

I missed the date, but had wanted to post these funny knit critters for my birthday because they are the same vintage as I am. The patterns are from a supplemental pamphlet from Woman's Day magazine, April, 1968.

Check them out, there are more:

Pages 2-3
Pages 4-5
Pages 6-7
Page 8

Also, thanks so much for the birthday wishes for my boy. Seems like this year is going to be short on craft and long on kid chasing. I'll try to make up for it with photos of my crafts-of-yore and other tidbits. I'm still sewing clothes and wrote up a glue-set zipper tutorial for Sew, Mama, Sew, which I believe is going live tomorrow.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Boys and Toys

Not much crafting going on around here. I've been cleaning my craft area, which took two whole days — sorted a mess of fabric by color and realized that I could sew for two years straight and not need to buy anything new. Help, someone stop me.

And, we're in the middle of birthday season around here, with five birthdays in about five weeks. These photos were taken by my sister at my dad's birthday party. My dad has been trying for years to find the pedal car of his childhood and he finally got one — handy timing for the grandkids. At the same time he bought one to match his current hotrod. He specializes in '32 Ford roadsters with vintage speed equipment. My sister pointed out that my dad is obsessed with the past, which made me realize our interest in vintage isn't that surprising. The apple doesn't fall from the heritage tree, as it were.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

New Vintage Wardrobe: Pink Dogwood Skirt

Day 70
Originally uploaded by becktress.
My favorite model wears a newly-made-by-me skirt from vintage fabric — a birthday present for her. These skirts work up really fast now. I can almost finish one during naptime on a good day. The lovely pink fabric came from the same stash as the red Hawaiian.

I'm reading an old book called Pants for Any Body by this author. It's about altering a commercial pants pattern to fit your body. They suggest using 1/4 inch gingham as a first draft to get your exact mesurements. It's a great book so far. My fear of pants is waning.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Happy Birthday little sis! We've come a long way. Well, actually, I still live here, but at least you moved. I am glad that you stayed in the same zip code, though. Sweet homemade clothes!

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Friday, March 23, 2007

My sister: Wardrobe Remix(ing) it Up

Hula Hoop
Originally uploaded by becktress.
My sis was a featured Wardrobe Remix(er) on Bits and Bobbins' blog yesterday. The Wardrobe Remix thing is kind of like craft blogs for clothes horses only it's a flickr pool with over 3000 members! Becky's on day 57 of posting a daily photo of what she's wearing. If you like vintage dresses you should check out her flickr set. I think she's past 100! They made super cute Moo cards.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Sneak Peek: A mini quilt for Julie Knoblock

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I truly am the slowest swapper ever. Just ask Samantha, Tricia, Alice (not technically a swap, but I did promise that I'd mail her some craft supplies, which took me about five months to do), and now Julie. I don't even want to look back and see how long it's been since Julie and I started talk about this mini quilt swap. I've been enjoying hers now for at least a couple of months. This here is a little sneak peak at the one I'm making for her. It's almost done! Part of my delay is that I started a different one and couldn't get anywhere with it. Finally I gave up on it and made a new one in less than a week. I like how it's turning out. Soon Julie, soon.

P.S. Check out Julie's interactive painting project. You get to help art direct a painting.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Vintage Wardrobe & Misc.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I know I should be posting a film strip style photo collection of myself as a follow up to the other two, but damn if I can't figure out some "fun idea." In addition to figuring out a theme I'd have to bathe, fix my hair, pluck hairs, match clothing, etc? That could take weeks.

Not much crafting is going on at my house these days. The little guy is walking and demanding a new level of attention.

Thank you to everyone who is still leaving comments. I used to reply sometimes, now it's almost never. I used to at least go visit the blogs of everyone who commented, but that's lessening, too. This two kid business is definitely busy. We survive by leaving the house, striving to have as much outdoor time as possible. I think I'm a couple years away from being back in tip top blogging shape. Until then I'll try and sneak in some crafting and posting at night and lurking to keep up with everyone.

On an exciting craft note, my friend Bethany from Bitter Betty is starting a sew-a-long of sorts called New Vintage Wardrobe. The idea is to sew contemporary clothes from vintage patterns and share the trials and tribulations with each other through blogs and the Flickr pool she started. She's already posted a couple of super cute outfits that her 11-year-old son photographed. Who knew mowing the lawn could be so fun.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Zip Zip Hurray!

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
Sorry for the pun. Onto the post, shall we? Here is my beautiful sister modeling my very first skirt with a zipper, emphasis on the zipper. I bought the book Sew What! Skirts and it helped me get over my fear of the zipper foot. I always thought the button hole foot was the zipper foot. Those button hole feet still intimidate me, but the zipper one — no problem. They recommend gluing the zipper into place before sewing it. It works! I didn't have any sewing glue, so I used a regular glue stick, ironing it to set it quickly. Can you tell I have little patience? Or, maybe I just have little time, or both.

The book also teaches you how to draft your own patterns based on your measurements. This was really fun — it must fit my style of learning. Kristin was talking about this recently. I don't really know which category of learning style I fit in, but patterns are always a little intimidating to me. I'm a reference book kind of gal. That's what this is, all wrapped up in a contemporary and visually appealing format. After reading about what to do I would, then, ask my mom questions. If she tried explaining before I read it, I wasn't ready. So, thanks, mom and to all of you who have written about this book, because it was on your recommendation that I bought it. I already have one skirt finished and FIVE in the works. They're really fast. No wonder everyone sews!

Details about the skirt:
I drafted the "Tourist Trap" skirt, which is basically an A-line with no waistband. It has a side zipper and facing (because of the no-waistband). I didn't put on pockets, like in the pattern, or, do the double-fold hem. For the hem I used bias tape and wrapped it around the front for a decorative element. The fabric is a vintage sheet, much like this lovely stack.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Embroidered Flowers with Vintage Buttons

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I'm longing for spring. Not that California weather is anything to complain about, but, still, I miss the flowers and the leaves and the longer days. I've been wanting to post photos of these stockings I made, but just missed the window of opportunity this Christmas because I started this blog in January. Since I can't wait till next December, I'm posting photos of the details, which are more springtime than Christmastime, anyway.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

I was inspired by an artist, Linda Solovic, that I found in a Mary Engelbreit magazine (yes, a guilty pleasure of mine). I'm beginning to wonder if I can have any original ideas. I seem to stagnate until I see something someone else has done, then go off and do my interpretation of it. Now, though, as I look back at her work, I can see there is more difference than I thought. I made these a year ago, so it has been awhile since I'd seen Linda's work. The question is: Will I ever pull ahead and create my own ideas/look/style, leaving behind any fears of copycatism?

More detail photos at Flickr.

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Vintage Lady Hanger Tutorial

Vintage Lady Hanger
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
This silent movie star hanger was my favorite holiday project that I made last year. It was inspired by a vintage hanger that my friend, Sundee, used to have when we were housemates. Her hanger lady was dark, moody and had a beautiful sixty-year patina. We hung her on the wall and she looked lovely. Somewhere along the way, after several cross-Atlantic movings, the original hanger lady got lost. I'll try to find a photo of her to post later.

One of the nice things about making a functional art piece is that if the gift receiver doesn't feel like putting it on their wall they can put it in their closet without feeling guilty. It doesn't take up a lot of room and it serves a very practical purpose. Also, it's fairly inexpensive if you already have the jigsaw, drill and paint.

First I went online to find a lovely lady. My requisites for the photo were: front facing, preferably with neck and shoulders exposed; hair that looked manageable from a sawing perspective; and a certain makeup style that included lots of dark eye shadow. I would have preferred to have an anonymous person, not a movie star - but because of time limitations, I figured an actress would be easier to find. I settled with a lesser known star, someone that I had never heard of: Anita Page. There are great photos to choose from here and here.

After I chose my photo I printed out a hanger-sized black and white copy to use as a template. It took several pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper taped together to get the whole image at the right size. Sizing was trial by error - I just kept trying until I got it right. I wanted it to be life size, so that it would look right with clothes hanging from it. I cut the template into a shape that I thought looked nice and would be functional.

Hanger Template
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

I traced the outline of the template onto a piece of high-quality plywood (smooth, no knots). With a jigsaw, and some ear protection on, I cut the basic shape for the hanger trying not to leave too many bumps that would have to be sanded later. My three-year-old son and I sanded the edges together by hand. I figured perfect sanding (i.e. with the grain) wasn't too important because I was going to be priming the wood white and then painting over it.

Hanger Template Back
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

To transfer the image from the template to the wood I used a pencil and marked up the back of the template since I didn't have any carbon transfer paper. Placing the template onto the wood I outlined the basic features, hairline and shading. I didn't get a photo of this stage of my project, but here is the same stage for a similar hanger project.

Template Transfer
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

With a color print out of the hand-tinted photo I went to work painting the hanger. I used acrylic paints, which dried a little too fast for my liking - but since I'm pregnant and working on the kitchen table it worked well enough. Her skin blending is a little more splotchy than I'd prefer. I did three sessions of painting and ended with a wash of transparent yellowish brown to give it a more aged look, rubbing some of it away so that it wasn't too thick. I painted the edges and the back black, letting some of it come over to the front of the hanger. If I wasn't pregnant I would have finished the painting with a thick varnish on the edges and back to give the clothes a more slippery surface for sliding onto.

Anita Page Portrait
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Finding the hook-shaped hardware to turn it into a hanger was challenging. I looked online for sources, but there didn't seem to be any. Sundee's dad, who was also working on a similar project to hang a knitted shawl from, found a great solution. He looked at various wooden hangers until he found the type that the hook is just screwed in - just unscrew it and you have your hardware. Since you are sacrificing a perfectly good hanger, it's nice to find them cheap at a $1 Store or garage sale - I found mine in my closet. Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the hook I, then, drilled a hole in the top of the hanger. Screw in the hook and you're done.

An alternative version, and a bit easier, would be to get a full-sized color print out and decoupage it to the wood - no painting! One of my next projects is going to be a children's hanger to display a vintage polka-dot bathing suit.

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