Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘clothing’ Category

I graduated from college with a degree in Art/Interior Design, so what I am about to show you is rather scary, but keep in mind that I just don’t care. What I mean is, I care about you, just not about what I am about to show you…

hot pink pants (great garden pans!) and very comfortable maroon sweatshirt

hot pink pants (great garden pans!) and very comfortable maroon sweatshirt

Actually I do have a good sense of what colors go together, you just can’t tell by what I am wearing when I work in the yard most of the time…another colorful outfit

The pink shorts (above photo) I bought on purpose many years ago. I bought the maroon sweatshirt on purpose many years ago too.

Those hot pink pants (above) were the perfect thrift store fine. Perfect for the garden. The blue windbreaker was another thrift store find, complete with a casino logo on it from California.

The army green muck boots – I really wanted the lime green ones at Fleet Farm up in Wisconsin, but they didn’t have my size. That really would have made my outfits complete! Right?

I know one person out there reading this is rolling her eyes right now. Her name starts with a “G” and I know she is thinking “What has happened to her?” (now that she has just read this last sentence, she is laughing – I hope!

I just want to say… I don’t go out in public wearing these clothes…. these are strictly yard clothes and I think that they are great yard clothes!

The neighbors don’t even seem to bat an eye (at least not in my presence!)

He helps with with the laundry

He helps with with the laundry

It is kind of funny that when I found Wocket and immediately brought him home (thrift store find). After all, he has the same fashion sense that I do when working outside.

Sincerely, Emily

 

Read Full Post »

Flower Power came onto the scene back in the late 1960′s and 70′s out in Berkley, California. It was a symbol of non-violence and passive resistance. Hippies embraced the idea and started colorful clothing with embroidered flowers and colors. Wearing flowers in their hair and handing out flowers, they became known as “flower children.”

***

Being a child of 1965, I (Sincerely, Emily) was old enough to remember some “Flower Power!” Right this moment, for me, Flower Power brings to mind pollination. (It also has me singing songs from the soundtrack from Forrest Gump) “To everything, turn… turn… turn. There is a season, turn… turn… turn” or “R E S P E C T. Find out what it means to me. R E S P E C T. Take care. TCB”  (TCB = Taking care of business)

062***

Funny you should mention that Emily…only the other day I (Fran) reacquainted myself with “Flower Power” in the form of a fibreglass cow wearing gumboots! ;)

DSCF5899“YEAH Baby!” ;)

DSCF3770

As Serendipity Farm is suffering the last throes of winter I had to hunt high and low for some flower material. These might be pretty to some folks but Forget-me-nots certainly live up to their name on Serendipity Farm…”WEEDS”! Just flowers in the wrong place ;)

DSCF3774

This is a “Where’s Wally” flower

DSCF3757

Who needs flowers when you have leaves like this?

I managed to take a few more flower images but I am saving them for Monday’s post…sorry guys, you will just have to take the bait and come see on Monday just what narf7 managed to find under all of the mud, flooded soil and windswept debris. Until then, I am officially envious beyond belief of all of you Northern Hemisphere full flowering summer folks…

***

Flower Power Central! Can you spot me (Alexandra) at the Independent Garden Center show in Chicago last week? (Thank you LaManda Joy for taking the photo!)

 xan***

What does “Flower Power” mean to you?

Read Full Post »

Yesterday over on my personal blog I posted  a photo of a beautiful old hand-painted wooden tray that came from my mom’s side of the family. I also commented on how I love to be surrounded by “stuff,” meaning things passed down from both sides of my family, or my husbands family. These things bring a smile to my face and I have good memories of them.

Wooden Tray 1

I also mentioned that there are times I am bothered by the clutter around me. Not the clutter of things from the past, but the clutter of projects that I am in the middle of or hoping finish soon, even dishes that need to be done.

Yesterday came and I had a bit of motivation in me, instead of working on a presentation I have coming up in January, I tackled an armoire in our bedroom. Ok, part of an armoire. I have more clothes than I could even need or use and it was time to chip away and decrease the piles. About 2 weeks ago, I took several boxes of clothes and other things over to a thrift store  and it felt really really good. Today I managed to fill one trash bag full of clothes.

cleaning out the closet

These clothes have a lot of life left in them and I need to let them get on with it. Live their life. Move on.

I know when I am met by a bit of motivation, I need to run with it. I get absolutely not where when I am not in the mood and I also know that I need to tackle things like this in small steps or it becomes too overwhelming and frustrating and then nothing gets done at all. So, I was in the mood, had a bit energy and got a lot done.

A laughed a bit, because as I went through the clothes, ever single piece was something that was handed down to me, things I didn’t spend a penny on and I don’t think I wore any of them. I hope someone else can get some better use out of them. They certainly aren’t doing anybody any good folded up in my armoire.

I still have way too many clothes, but it fells good to go through some of it and move it out. This journey continues.

What do you find is the best way for you to clean out a bit of stuff?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

Read Full Post »

Burnt orange, brown and mustard yellow have always been my favorite colors. That is they WERE my favorite colors until i moved to Austin, TX: land of the UT Longhorns with the team color of burnt orange. Burnt orange coated, no SATURATED that city and i wanted nothing to do with any affiliation with a sport team, so i quit wearing burnt orange. Luckily i moved! Now i live in a town with team colors in….. ORANGE! haha. Ah well, it’s Fall and i’m wearing orange, darnit!

I picked up some lovely batts of pygora fiber at this summer’s Black Sheep Gathering and spun it into a lovely three-ply yarn. I’ve finished my husband’s knit hat in time for the cooler weather, and it’s not quite Christmas knitting crunch time (though in reality, it probably already is) so i’m knitting myself something. Despite never having worn a cowl, or knitted lace – i’m combining both into my current experiemental knitting project. Doesn’t this yarn just scream autumn? I think so.

Read more about my knitting adventure and get the “pattern” for achieving this lacey look over at today’s Pocket Pause.

Are you a knitter? Do you rely on patterns and charts, or do you ever just wing it?

Read Full Post »

I have to laugh, because I have a great old sewing machine(affectionately called “The Dinosaur!”) Oh, it has had quite a work out over its lifetime, but one reason I am especially happy to have it is for patching things.Why? Well, I would much rather save the money than go out and buy new shorts just because there is a tear in them when I can fix it. Call it frugal. Call it cheap. Call it whatever you want, but I call it resourceful and I just saved a bunch of money.

It does get used for other things, in fact you may remember a post I did around the holidays about making napkins. I also posted recently over at Sincerely, Emily about being motivated to sew and I mentioned 5 pairs of shorts that I patched. I won’t tell you how long those shorts have been waiting. What I will tell you is that they were hardly missed or there would have been a need to patch them a lot sooner. My husband has enough shorts to last at least 3 weeks without needing to wash them. Same goes for things like underwear. I tease him, because he has so many t-shirts that he could wear one each day for the next 10 years and still not need to do laundry, but I can’t change that and each time he leaves home for an air show or trip, he will always come home with a minimum of 2 new t-shirts. You get my point. Anyway, I finally got around to patching his shorts.

First up, a sheet – its side hem had come out. For this I used a simple straight stitch – that is about as easy as it gets. I back stitch as each end to ensure it won’t come undone. Now, I know the sheet pattern is dated, but any sheet I can patch to save is better than worrying about fashion. It will be used as a top sheet over the beds to help protect the better sheets from cat hair and other cat related things (fur balls!)

Next up was the shorts. The first pair needed the waistband re-attached. Fairly easy, but the stopping and starting at each belt loops slowed the process down. After I repaired the parts that needed it, I also continued around the waistband to reinforced the rest of it so we wouldn’t need to re-visit that anytime soon. I always go a bit overboard, but I was there and it went quickly and it was the right thing to do.

After that I focused on the other shorts. They all had rips and tears in different spots. Years ago I used the iron on patches and they would last a while, but not long enough. Then I used the zig-zag stitch in different lengths and widths to mend these things. This time I decided a few spots needed some additional reinforcing (like the one you see pictured on the left.) I grabbed a rag (used to be a pair of short) that had some good weight to it and would hold up to the patch as well as hold the shorts together for a little while longer. In fact, I think the patches will outlast the shorts now. Like I said earlier, I tend to go a bit overboard.
All the shorts are patched and put back on the shelf to wear. Some have been patched more than once. Those will be worn around the house while the others are still good to wear to work.

I am glad I have my trust old sewing machine. It has done well over the years with regular tune-ups and no repairs of any nature. After 30+ good years, I get a bit worried because most of the major parts are no longer available and a day may come when something major happens and it is not fixable. Well, I increased my odds…. I bought another one – same model and everything.

I found it at a garage sale. It works well and has been recently serviced. Whatever happens to my Dinosaur, I either have another one for parts or to use if it comes down to that. For $40 is was far less than a replacement machine would cost.

Click on the badge to go see what others are doing.

Do you find you use your machine a lot for patching things? Do you have any techniques you can share with me?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

Read Full Post »

With all my traveling, sewing, soap making and present wrapping, i missed out on participating in much handmade holiday conversation here at Not Dabbling, so my post this week will be a run down of all the projects i worked on this year.

Check out An Austin Homestead in the next week or two to see all my projects revealed. You can also find all my original handmade holiday posts in the archives on the left sidebar.

I got started with my holiday gifts early this year, beginning in September with some canned blackberry jam made from berries i picked just down the road, blended with dried cayennes saved from my Austin garden.

While i harvested gobs of berries and sold veggies to folks at the local farmer’s market, i was inspired to make my own produce bags for use at market and at home. I played around with my crochet hooks and came up with a sweet and easy pattern. I made at least 6 of these to give to several family members as Christmas gifts. *And i’ll be posting a tutorial on how to make your own market bag soon- so stay in touch and crochet with me!

My spinning wheel was a big contributor to my gifts this year. Not only did i give some beautiful skeins of “meriboo” (merino/bamboo) yarn to my mother in law, i also spun the yarn for several knitting projects for other loved ones. One mother has a new scarf, one father has a new hat, and each sister has a headband or hat. I am especially proud of two hats i knitted for my two best friends. One is in Texas, the other in New York and thus one has ‘not so warm’ hat, and the other an extra warm hat made of handspun quivit fiber (musk ox). I don’t yet know how to follow a knitting pattern, so all my projects come out rather “uniquely” which makes them even more special: they’re the only ones like them!

Giving my handmade gifts filled me with so much pride this year. I think my recipients loved their gifts, and i could tell they were all touched by my truly ‘hands on’ experience with each of their presents. Whether spun then knit, or picked then canned: all my gifts started with me from scratch to become treasured and useful possessions that will hopefully remind my recipients of me whenever they taste, wear or use them. To sit down to spin yarn for a project for someone you love to enjoy for years to come: THAT is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. For me, at least.

In these dark days after Christmas (and other gift giving holidays) and before the new year, what thoughts and gifts are you pondering – both given and received? What present (given or received) stands out in your memory as the most treasured this year?

Read Full Post »

Yes, i spin yarn. No, my wheel is not an antique and neither are the robust group of friends i’ve made here in Oregon who are part of the even more robust fiber community. My wheel i picked up used at a great price and my friends i picked up from fiber stores and a local farmer’s market, and all of them already priceless to me. Isn’t “Clementine” spiffy? She’s a Clemes & Clemes Modern Wheel. (Please forgive the repulsive state of my kitchen. It’s a tiny apartment and it’s never clean.)

I am often asked “why would you spin yarn when you could just buy it in the store?” or “why would you want to knit a hat when you could just buy one in the store?” I believe those people are missing the point. I do still buy cotton yarn and lust after other folks’ gorgeous handspun occasionally. I don’t think everyone in the world needs to make everything from scratch, but in case you too are wondering why i’m crazy enough to spend hours holding balls of fluff in my hands and treadling my foot up and down, this is why i do it:

Some of my very first handspun, totally uneven, but super soft!

Spinning is an ancient art that is so simple yet so complex. By carefully holding the fiber of animals or plants in one hand, rotating it using a spindle or spinning wheel, and gently tugging it forward and back, you can create yarn: something beautiful and strong that can be used to make functional and long lasting garments. What’s better than that? I am also a sailer, or was in my younger days, and spinning is a bit like sailing in that you’re grasping just a few simple elements and harnessing them to do what you want. Wind and water make you go, fluff and twist make beautiful yarn.

Ultimately, I will be raising many of the animals who will contribute the fiber that i spin. I’m thinking of raising Icelandic sheep for their fiber and their meat, pygora goats for their cashmere-like fiber and friendship, and a few fluffy rabbits from which the softest of fiber comes. To raise an animal, sheer it, wash and prepare its fiber, spin it into yarn and create a sweater to be worn for the rest of your life: now THAT’S the reason that i spin. Spinning is relaxing, rewarding, and reconnects me to a time before the hussle and bussle of this century – and i get to wear or clothe my loved ones with the fruits of my labors!

What do you think of my very first knit hat? I’m an absolute beginner knitter, and it’s kind of atrocious. At least the yarn i spun for it is warm, if a bit uneven! I think the hubs likes it, even if it is “The hat of many mistakes.”  Read more about my spinning and knitting attempts and see how much nicer they’re both starting to look at An Austin Homestead. -Miranda

Are you a spinner? I know there are more of us out there than some may think… Why do YOU spin?

Read Full Post »

I’m so excited to have been asked by the wonderful contributors here at Not Dabbling in Normal to be part of this venture. For the past 5ish years I have been living and urban-homesteading in Austin, TX. For the past 2.5 years, my blog An Austin Homestead has been my outlet and journal of my ventures in DIY, gardening, cooking and sustainable/frugal living. While working (on and off, bah humbug to this infernally poor economy!) as a freelance illustrator, soap maker and taking the occasional part time job as needed, i make time to cook dinner for my family every night. In Austin, i tried to grow as many of our veggies as possible and got much of our protein from 4 laying hens’ eggs. Here in Oregon, my husband has been lucky enough to work on an organic farm that pays in part in organic vegetables. I’m passionate about serving Real Food every day, including to our 1 and a half year old corgi, Pocket who gets grain free kibble mixed with raw meat and vegetables. I have dabbled in cheesemaking, canning, and my personal favorite: fermenting, in order to extend our harvests and nourish our bodies with wholesome foods during all seasons. We drink raw milk, and have big plans for dairy goats, meat/milk/fiber sheep and pastured Guinea Hogs.

making spicy, herby cheese

We miss our urban homestead, but I can’t say that we miss 90+ days in a row of 100+ degrees. I’m sure the rainy Winters will take some re-acclimating for both myself who was raised in this state, and for my husband who was raised in balmy Houstin, Tx. While we’re without land to till, I have been focusing my homesteading time on the fiber arts and on providing for our family in ways other than food production. I’m still doing plenty of canning and dehydrating of foraged local fruits and veggies, but my biggest passion right now is developing my skills as a spinner and learning to knit.
My drop spindles

Yes, i spin yarn. No, my wheel is not an antique and neither are the robust group of friends i’ve made here in Oregon who are part of the even more robust fiber community. I am often asked “you spin yarn? can you spin hay into gold?” or “people DO that?” or “why would you spin yarn when you could just buy it in the store?” or “why would you want to knit a hat when you could just buy one in the store?” I believe those people are missing the point. But in case you too are wondering, check back in 2 weeks and i’ll wax on some more about the joys (and pains) of spinning.

I look forward to posting more about spinning, knitting, cooking and crafting up handmade holiday gifts, some easy and some more time consuming. I will probably be posting some tutorials and may invite you to a sew along. I’ll be “not dabbling” every other friday, and you can generally find a new post from me every weekday at An Austin Homestead. I hope you’ll join me there as well as here, and will come along for the ride as I post updates and make my eventual transition to a whole new blog and homestead somewhere in this fertile Willamette Valley.

Dabble on,

Miranda R.

Read Full Post »

kids grow like weeds so clothing them can be costly trying to keep up with them. having 4 kids of my own (plus 2 step kids), i’ve learned a few tricks keeping them clothed without breaking the budget. (most of these tricks work for adults too, except the first one.)

always buy up a size, sometimes 2 depending on the article
for instance, when i buy a coat for my kids, i always look for a well made, new looking coat that is 2 sizes too big. sleeves can be rolled up and it also makes for more room when wearing bulkier clothing that often happens in winter time. it extends the life of the clothing often by 2 years. i have even purchased shirts that were too big to wear as shirts but worked as dresses for a year or two until it was grown into enough to wear as a shirt. jaden has such a shirt that is now sadly in its last year of service for us. but, she has worn it since she was about 18 months and is going to be 5 later this summer. i’d say i got my $2 out of it!

jaden at 21 months wearing a shirt as a dress

jaden at 21 months wearing a shirt as a dress

cut back on expectations that kids need to own 10 pairs of pants, 50 shirts, 5 coats, 8 pairs of shoes, etc.
really, do they need to have 1 shirt for every day of the month? if you watch your kids, you’ll notice they only wear about 5-7 of those shirts (unless they are like my 14 year old son who just keeps wearing through all his clothes until everything is dirty and he can’t delay washing his clothes any more–yet another reason to cut back on the amount of clothing they own).

same for pants. mine only wear about 3-4 pairs of pants over and over again and anything else just sits there in the drawer, taking up space.

and, no, kids don’t need a coat or shoes to coordinate with every single outfit they own. an everyday coat can get most of us by, a ‘sunday best’ coat for dressing up is great to have but often not necessary and an old coat is great for wearing around the barnyard and for outdoor play to keep the everyday coat clean although again, not necessary. shoes are the same: an everyday pair (usually tennis shoes for the older ones) plus an old pair for around the farm (usually rubber boots or work boots) and a nice pair for dress up, plus a pair of sandals for summertime.

thrift shop and garage sales are golden
i can’t remember the last time i’ve purchased new clothing from a box store for my kids, excepting underwear and socks (although i have found some brand new ones still in packaging at thrift stores). none of my kids have ever objected to shopping at a thrift store and most have even begged for me to take them there! thrift shopping is a lot of fun, especially when we stop by the book section and find the harry potter book that’s been missing from our collection…

it seems our society has a sweet tooth for the latest fashions so once last year’s fashion is no longer stylish, off it goes to the thrift shop. luckily, none of us are fashionistas so last year’s fashions do us just fine, thank you! we have found some great name brand clothing that looks brand new at the thrift stores.

make a master list of what items are needed to keep you focused when shopping
it can be a little overwhelming to go into a thrift store and focus on what you are looking for. i keep a running list for each kid of what they need now and what they may need in the future and what size they fit into now.  by knowing we already have 7 pairs of jeans and only need 1 pair of dress or casual style pants, i am able to walk past those jeans calling to me on the rack and head over to the khaki section. and, when you’re towing little ones who have short attention spans, having a list helps keep your mind focused so you aren’t saying to yourself ‘now, did she need a long sleeved white shirt and a black tank top or a long sleeved black shirt and a white tank top?!

do clothing exchanges with friends who have kids older and younger than you
of course, charity begins at home so always hold on to clothes that you can pass down to your own but even then, if you know your younger child won’t like that style/color/design, then by all means, pass it on. this keeps the clutter out of the house, encourages friends to gift back new items (which cheers younger ones who always feel they have to wear big sis/bro’s clothing and it’s not fair that the older ones get new clothes but they don’t) and helps everyone out. i am always thrilled when a friend has a baby younger than our kids because it means i have someone else to pass our outgrown clothing to!

figure out ways to patch, recycle, upcycle, refashion clothing
jean ripped? my daughter loves patches on her jeans. we’ll cut out heart shapes from coordinating corduroy and hand sew it on for a fun look. i also use that tear mender glue (thanks nita for the suggestion!) for mending rips more discretely. i have also used fulled wool sweaters to patch holes…they make for great winter jeans, nice warm and cozy!

i use old clothing as patching material as well. sometimes, i’ll cut the legs off of jeans to make shorts and i’ll use the legs for patching material or for making pockets on upcycles and refashioned clothing.

long sleeved shirts get converted to short sleeved shirts when they still fit in the torso but not the wrists for my younger kids. this extends clothing another season. same with pants. even though i like to pass clothing on, if i especially like the clothing items (such as adorable patchwork pants for sage, my 2 year old), i’ll convert it as much as possible to make it last.

a dress made from an old dress shirt and a pillow case

a dress made from an old dress shirt and a pillow case

backside of the dress made from a pillow case and old linen dress shirt

backside of the dress made from a pillow case and old linen dress shirt

sometimes i’ll find an article of clothing that i really like the fabric but something just doesn’t work for my kids so i’ll buy it with refashioning/upcycling in mind. i’ll convert dresses into shirts by adding shortening the hem, make shirts into dresses by adding elastic around the waist area, and even greg’s dress shirts have become dresses and pants for my kids! (the arms make great pants when sewn together and hemmed and elastic added on). fun pillow case fabrics are often fodder for adding trim or bodices to dresses or even do well converted into a skirt. i’ve found women’s skirts that made lovely dresses for my 4 year old when paired up with a matching shirt that didn’t fit right. once the two were sewn together and elastic added (elastic is my friend!), viola! a lovely dress that she now wants to live in.

a girl's shirt and a woman's skirt make a lovely dress for jaden, 4 1/2

a girl's shirt and a woman's skirt make a lovely dress for jaden, 4 1/2

this part is so much fun for me to take old things and make them into something new. i often have 3 or 4 future refashions waiting to be finished when time permits. sometimes, i’ll hold onto an article of clothing for years before i come up with a use for it (not so great if you’re trying to keep down clutter). the idea is to have fun with it and see what you can create.

these are ideas i use for keeping my kids clothed without blowing our budget. does anyone else have any ideas they’d like to share on the subject?

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 354 other followers

%d bloggers like this: