I would like to wish you all happy holidays!  In the theme of gift giving and holiday cheer  I am giving away 5 hanks of Louet Gems Sport in Linen Grey (courtesy of Louet), five buttons & the Sweetheart Cardigan pattern.  For a chance to win all you have to do is post a comment in this blog post by December 31st 11:59 pm to enter.

You can turn this…

Into this!

About two or three years ago a friend asked me if I wanted this 1/2 bust form (she was ready to throw it away).  I said, yes!  Of course I want it…. (it’s free!).  So I took it home and started playing with it and all my garment samples.  Then I decided that the 1/2 bust was just hideous.  It really was.  Here is a photo, you can judge for yourself!


Here you can see all her imperfections and the chips in the paint.  She reminds me of Goldie Hawn & Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her:



So I had this brilliant idea.  I’ll decoupage her in her vintage sheet music!!! I drove all over town looking for vintage sheet music, only to find none.  I thought, okay I’ll settle for old sheet music.  So I took myself to thrift stores everywhere, but nope, no sheet music.  Then I got desperate, so I remembered that I drive by a piano store every day on my way home from work, so I headed over there.  They had LOTS of sheet music.  When I asked the guy if he had any sheet music that was inexpensive that I could tear up…. the look he gave me:  did not compute, ask again.  Finally he understands that all I want it something that looks like sheet music and I don’t really care about what kind of music is on it.  So he sold me a few copies of books of music that were defective in their binding.  Great!  I’m going to tear it up anyway.

So I headed home and started tearing up this music and I realized I could still give it that vintage look by dying the paper with tea!  I did this once in second grade and I remember that the paper looked a little worn, older, and brownier.  So over the course of the next week or so I dyed and dried the sheet music.  Here it is dying:

Here is a photo of all my dried strips.  I ran out of one tea and started using another, you can see the difference in the color of the strips. It’s more apparent in the finished piece.

Now when starting a project like this make sure you set up a work station for easy clean-up.  When I was drying my dyed sheets of music, I set them on an old towel.  I used the same towel underneath the decoupage project and jumped right in!

After almost 7 hours of decoupaging she was complete!!!  Here she is, no name 1/2 bust.  As you can see I used the matte finish for a more vintage feel and different shades of strips worked quite well.  Now if there is only something I can do about her poor posture.

I am so proud of this project, I have to show off just a few more photos!  The nipples and the corners were the hardest points to do, but the key is to use smaller pieces.



I thoroughly enjoyed this project!  I have so much extra sheet music that I am now looking for other things around the house to decoupage.  So far I have only found one small tin to decoupage, but do worry I will find other things!  Now – back to my needles!


Oh!  And one more thing.  I am going to have a give-a-way withing the next week.  This might (or might not) involve yarn and a pattern, but I’m not giving away any clues.  So make sure that you subscribe or check in regularly!

Yesterday was the last day of the Renegade Craft Fair here in Los Angeles.  Last minute I decided to go because I had heard good things and I really wanted to see what it was all about.  So I got in my little peanut of a car and headed over to Chinatown, what an adventure!

When I got there I was starving, so I met up with friends Hanna, Danielle & Jill and we headed for the line-up of food trucks.  Yesterday was my first time eating from a food-truck.  We went for the truck with the longest line because that meant it was the best truck, right?!  We ate from the Crispy Waffle & Frite Truck.  Here is a photo of Hanna & Danielle waiting in line for some fooooood!


Hanna & Danielle

I ended up getting the “Tripple B” – Bacon, Brie & Basil waffle with the medium fires with Lemon & Dill Aioli.  Carbs on carbs on fat on fat.  It was AMAZING!  And there was a surprise, the waffle had maple syrup under all the toppings.  I love food trucks!  Here is a close-up of my breakfast for the day.  Hungry yet???


The “Tripple B”


Frite with Lemon Dill Aioli – yummy!


Our bellies were full of a good hearty and healthy (lol) breakfast/lunch and we were ready to make our way through the aisles of the Renegade Craft Fair.  We didn’t have to walk very far to find some really cool things.  I found the awesome vendor LittleBirds.  She specializes in small bags and pouches…. hmmm…. kinda like knitting or crochet project bags and accessory pouches.  Of course I showed no restraint and bought two pouches.  One mini and one larger, one for my dpns and one for small crap like stitch markers.  You can find more of her lovely pouches and “project bags” on her etsy site.


Littlebirds products



Next I stumbled upon a local fiber artist, Miryha Runnerstorm of Blarney Yarn.  She had a wonderful selection of beautiful hand-dyed roving.  My favorite was the Polwarth.  I had never seen Polwarth before, I only read about it in The Book of Wool by Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review.  Polwarth reminds me a lot of merino, but it has a bit more of the lanolin feel (which I love) and a little bit of a sheen – not as much as Bluefaced Leicester, but more subtle.  I purchased two bundles of this roving, one in the colorway “Evergreen” and the other in “Autumn II”.  I’m not sure when I will have time time to spin this yummy Polwarth into yarn. Maybe when I retire I’ll have more time.  To find more products by Blarney Yarn visit her Etsy site.



I had made it about half way through the fair when I came across a really fun booth.  The booth belonged to fellow designer/blogger Leah Coccari-Swift of Ruby Submarine.  Leah had a really great and fun selection of crochet sea creatures, including squid, starfish & octopuses (yes octopuses, I looked it up).  They were bright and colorful and make great gifts.  Here is a photo of Leah in action and some of her pieces for sale.




Then a couple of booths over was the vendor Cookie and the Dude. I think that’s a very cute name, I wish I knew the story behind it.  I did not get a chance to meet the owner (I think she was getting lunch- maybe the Waffle truck) but I still got a few of her products.  She had these adorable fabric covered buttons that she turned into little hair pins and earrings.  I got two sets of hair pins and Danielle got a pair of earrings.




There were a few more vendors that I passed by that are definitely worth mentioning.  Rachel Pepper of Kingfly handbags & accessories.  I really fell in love with her handbags.  You can see their unique design and fun colors on her site.

The Bocket Store was another really great vendor.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the great bowl I bought (maybe on part II I’ll show you).  Sarah has a very unique product, she takes discarded wooden objects and rehabilitates them by paining teeny tiny dots on them with a very fine paintbrush. I imagine this takes a tremendous amount of patience and love for the work.  Please make sure you visit Sarah’s Etsy store to see what she is all about.

One of Hanna’s favorite vendors was Yellow Wallpaper Handmade.  It is a one woman handbag factory.  Every piece that she makes is made to order. Here is a picture of Hanna with her brand new bag, Nom Nom!



Another designer & vendor that was definitely worth mentioning, JFish Designs.  Wow!  I love ceramics – I but I was never too good at it, which is why I stick to my needles & yarn.  Jennifer Fisher’s pieces have a very modern yet adorable look.  They are very simple but very fun.  I fell in love with these little eggs…. I photographed them with a small safety pin so that you can get an idea of how tiny and adorable these little guys are.


Yellow & grey, my two favorite colors together!


Danielle fell in love with this little tiny potted succulent and I don’t blame her.  Now I wish I bought one for myself.  Boohoo! I am thinking about all the places where I can hang a tiny plant.  I think I might need like three of these cute little things.  Please make sure you check out Jennifer Fisher’s Etsy shop she has many really great products with functionality!


All in all I am really glad I got my butt out of bed for this event.  I found some really great local vendors and got lots of really great stuff!  Plus I got to eat from a food truck for the first time, woohoo and yum!  I can’t wait for this craft fair to come back to LA… maybe I’ll go to San Francisco next week so I can experience the fair all over again.  Haha!

There is still one more vendor that I didn’t mention in this blog post.  I love her concept so much that I thought she deserves her own post.  I don’t want to mention too much about this vendor (because I want it to be a surprise) but I won’t be able to blog about it for a while.  It’s kind of like a custom order thing…. but not really…. hard to explain.  You will just have to keep checking in to find out.  Eeek…. I’m so excited!!!

Well, it happened.  Yes I neglected my blog, but for a good cause.  I was working closely with Graphic Agenda to create a new face for my site.  Here is it!  I am very pleased!  Thank you Graphic Agenda!!!

I am always talking about the importance of blocking, I thought that today I would show you why it is so important and talk about one of the many ways of blocking.

I knit up the Janna’s Tunic as a trunk show piece and photographed it before and after blocking.  Here it is:

Read More