Etsy Treasury–Getting Ready For Fall

July 14, 2011 00:39 by ehouston

With the heat we have been experiencing here in the Richmond, VA area lately I am definitely looking forward to some fall weather.  Whew!  Lisa Ross of the Etsy shop Divine Bijoux was kind enough to include my Vintage Hankie Art Wall Hanging in her latest Treasury creation.


Not only can she curate a lovely Treasury, she also makes some pretty nice jewelry.  So, check out her shop in addition to checking out the Treasury.

Kitsch Krafts

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Making And Crafts–Old Fashioned Photo Albums

June 14, 2011 03:09 by ehouston

Unlike pretty much everyone else out there,  I just recently acquired a phone that takes pictures and has a decent screen for viewing.  Prior to that I was the woman who never had a picture of her family available when asked.  At one point, I shoved some extra photos of my Little Guy into the side pocket of my purse because I was so tired of getting grief from well meaning strangers at parties asking for a glimpse of my offspring.  It’s cool to share pictures, but sometimes people act crazy about needing to see what your child looks like.  As though they are going to know if he looks more like me or the Mister when they have just met me and never laid eyes on him.  I guess it’s my fault for not having a photo of all of us on hand at all times.

Last year, around Mother’s Day, I realized I was not the only one sporting the old-school cell and I decided to do something about it.  For all the mother’s in my (and the Hubs!) life I created little photo albums, or brag books for their purse.  I figured it was the perfect thing since The Mister’s side of the family keeps growing and growing in little ones.  I am sure grandma needs a way to let all her fellow parishioner's know that she has another one that just arrived while telling them yet another is on the way.  At least that’s how things felt last spring when I decided to whip these babies up!  (no pun intended, I promise.)

First, I dug up some of my neat vintage handkerchiefs and then snooped around the pile for other matching textiles.


As you can see above, the fraying on many of these vintage pieces meant they were perfect “cutters”.


I purchased some very affordable 4” X 6” sized plastic slide in pocket style photo albums from Joanne’s that had interesting, but not so cute cardboard cutout covers.  I opened these up and drew around them (adding 1 inch) on scrap paper to create a template for cutting the fabrics.


Using the same cheap-o album in a closed position I did the same thing to create a template for the inner flap. 


This would end up being the piece used to hide the inexpensive album that slides in to the finished album cover. 


I added marks for the middle of the album.  This helped in lining up the inner flaps before sewing all the pieces together.  Remember, you need to have a little space there between the flaps to accommodate the album width and any movement while opening and closing.  I also marked the spot for the elastic strap that would hold the finished album closed.IMG_8802

After cutting my base fabric pieces, front and back and two inner flap pieces I then arranged the vintage handkerchiefs on the front fabric to work on my lay out.  Once I decided on the look, I cut out the piece of hankie.  On some I used the corners of the handkerchief at an angle, while others were cut from the middle taking care to snip out only the best portions.  I even saved the hand tatted edgings on a couple and realigned those pieces after cutting and sewed them in place giving the look of one long continuous piece of trim.


Since the handkerchief pieces were so thin and the base fabrics were pretty bold I used fusible webbing to attach the hankie cut-outs to plain white cotton fabric prior to sewing them in place.  Once the flap design was completed I put the wrong sides together for the front and back with the side flap pieces sandwiched in between and I stitched around the whole shebang!  After a little trimming, I flipped the inside out, ironed the seams and sewed up the side slit used for flipping right side out.  The cheap-o photo albums slid right into the inner side flaps and we were in business.  I also added stacked vintage buttons and a loop of skinny elastic to hold the pages closed.



Each one came out very unique and I think the recipients were pleased with the results.




This year I resorted to ordering mugs with photos and sweet little notes for each mom.  My mom sent me and The Mister a set for Valentine’s Day with pics of us and our Little Guy.  They have been such a big hit we decided to share the love with others this year.  But, next year I hope to whip up another handmade item.  It’s finding new and interesting (but useful!) things that gets harder and harder with each new year.  What neat ideas have you come up with to send your mother’s way in the past?  I would love to hear all about your craftiness!

Kitsch Krafts

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Collecting: Vintage Hankies

June 16, 2009 13:19 by ehouston

I have written before about my love of fabric and textiles in general.  One item that I had to put the breaks on collecting years ago are vintage handkerchiefs.  As many of you know, there is a hankie for every style or interest you could imagine and even some new and bizarre versions you come across once in a while.  Years ago my mom and I found a treasure trove of hankies that her mom, my Grandma Betty, had tucked away in her big cedar chest up in the attic.  We brought them home and they stayed in another box in our house for several more years before I decided to make something with them.   It wasn't fancy or a super original idea, but I laid them out on the diagonal with the corners overlapping, sewed them to a backing fabric and ended up with a super sweet and sentimental table runner.  I gave this to my mom on Mother's Day one year when I was in high school and almost 20 years later she still displays it on her grandmother's sofa table.

I have started back to collecting, but don't have the heart to cut what I find.  I have seen so many great ideas out there that I think I may be able to suck it up and start some hanky projects.  Below are some of my favorite items created from vintage hankies.


REFILLABLE LAVANDE POCHE by Pear McGee a fellow Retro Handmade Etsy Street Team Member.  I have purchased just the lavender inserts that she sells and they are heavenly!

I have always loved these State versions.  Vintage Hankie Pillow by Robin's Egg Blue.

Even Blythe is getting in on the vintage hanky fever.  Dress by Pomme Pomme.

I also got into the act with a couple of fabric collage pieces that included nice large graphic hankies.

Check out my Artfire Shop for more details on Circle of Flowers and Leaf.

Here is a FLICKR mosaic of a portion of my vintage hanky collection.
KitschDesigns' Handkerchief Collection photoset KitschDesigns' Handkerchief Collection photoset


Kitsch Krafts

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