Kitschmas Time Is Here….

Possibly as a direct result of my new job keeping me from the sheer volume of Kitschmas crafts I’m itching to be churning out right now, I doubled up on the intensity of the decorations in the house.  So much so that even I questioned if it was too much.  Not that this was a snap decision, of course.  All year I’ve been adding little bits and bobs, stashing them away for Christmastime, like I do.  And when I unpacked everything Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered that I officially have a few new obsessions collections.  Wanna see?

New collection numero uno – Christmas trees!  You may remember the vintage pink Christmas tree I picked up at an after Christmas sale last year.  That got me thinking – why should I put up just one Christmas tree when I have so many fabulous trees?

So of course, the pink one went up:

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And I put up my beloved iridescent white tree:

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And speaking of white trees, guess who else wanted in on the action, much to her mother’s delight?  That’s right – our favorite Little Betty wanted a tree of her own.  She picked out a cute little white pre-lit tree and had a ball decorating her playhouse/bed for the holiday.

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But what self respecting vintage lovin’ gal would leave a fabulous vintage aluminum tree languishing in storage when there was clearly room for everyone to shine?  Maybe it was the blinding brilliance of the silver tree, maybe it was the eggnog.  Who knows.  All I can tell you is that I had the BEST. IDEA. EVER.  My aluminum tree would be devoted to my one true love, elves!

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Is it not glorious?  Does it not give your shriveled old heart a twinge of happiness?  It was also a great opportunity to showcase a new acquisition this year – my string of pixie lights.

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They came in the original box and everything!  I definitely paid too much for them, but we all have our weaknesses.  Don’t judge.

There were more new acquisitions/collections that were born this year.  For example, I seem to have somehow ended up with a collection of vintage holiday plushies.  Like this elf:

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And these Santas:

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Speaking of Santas, I apparently now collect celluloid and plastic holiday decor, especially Santas.

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I may have a Santa problem.  No biggie.  Although I’m a tad worried about Little Betty – she told me the other day that she and Santa got married and had a baby.  Might want to look into that.

Anyhoo – my budding Santa obsession is nothing compared to the Putz and glitter houses I’ve acquired this year.  I’m totally the Donald Trump of glitter houses.

Big:

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Or small:

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They’re like elves for me – I can’t leave one behind.  And yes, next year I promise to get a strand of lights with a white cord for this display.  I just couldn’t be bothered this year.

And you know I’ve always loved bottle brush trees, but I did ramp it up by a few trees this year:

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I have managed to scrounge together some time for some crafting, which will all be revealed soon.  Stay tuned friends – just cause I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting!

The Halloween Costume

It’s that time of year again… when your old pal Betty’s head begins to build up pressure at an alarming rate with a ridiculous queue of crafty goals for the holidays, until it inevitably explodes in a shower of bakelite buttons, miniature fawns, and knee hugging elves.  Of course, this year is no exception.  The holiday season craft extravaganza kick off, as always, is Little Betty’s Halloween costume.

Let’s review, shall we?

Little Betty’s first Halloween costume was the only one I didn’t make.  I found this totally adorbs ladybug costume and couldn’t pass it up.  Cute, no?

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The next year, however, it was on.  I wanted to capitalize on the very rare couple of years where I got to pick her costume entirely.  What would be super cute that she would never allow me to dress her as when she can express an opinion?  Why, a tiny lady gnome of course!

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Here she is with her little bestie.  I made the hat and the dress.  I am 1000% in love with the vintage fabric I used for the apron.

The following year I found such a precious 1950s pattern for a cowgirl outfit that I couldn’t resist.

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And now I can tell you from experience that sewing a tiny pearl snap western shirt is no laughing matter.  But the end result was so worth it!  I used the most incredible pink western print barkcloth for the yoke and cuffs.

Last year was the first year Little Betty decided what she wanted to be.  I was bracing for the inevitable princess, but thank Jeebus she decided she wanted to be a purple unicorn. 1980′s vintage pattern to the rescue!

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But this year I was not so lucky.  As you may remember from my last post, Little Betty wanted to be Rosie Bumps N Bruises from Lalaloopsy.  Hey, at least I dodged the princess bullet for another year, right?

This:

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Plus this:

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Equals this!

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And here she is with her little bestie again:

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Photo credit Jennifer M. Ramos

 

The resulting little dress is so great that I kinda want her to wear it all the time.  I love the little vintage buttons I used for the back:

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I used a pink and white seersucker and it really is just the cutest thing ever.  Of course, Little Betty much preferred the cheap satin costume that came with the wig and I had to do some serious negotiating to get her to wear the one I made.  The mister had to gently remind me that she is 4 and not purposely trying to wound me to my very core.

And now on to Kitschmas crafts!  My head is swimming, y’all.  I have a LOT of crafty endeavors lined up…

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

I know it’s been pretty quiet around the old blog lately, but things have been nuts at Casa Crafter!   Sadly the vintage store I had been renting space in is closing, so I decided with Little Betty heading off to preschool this year that it was time for me to go back to school too.  I am now once again a Special Education teacher!  So, I have been up to my eyeballs with trainings, getting my classroom ready, and adjusting to my radically different lifestyle, which is why I haven’t been blogging.  But that doesn’t mean my crafty mojo has petered out!  I’ve actually been quite busy.

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I’ve been working on what is maybe the most adorable sweater ever for Little Betty.

I’ve also been planning out her Halloween costume.  She wants to be Rosy Bumps N Bruises from Lalaloopsy:

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Now just because Little Betty wants to be a mass market character does not mean that your old pal Betty is going to forget about her vow to always make Little Betty’s Halloween costume, of course.  (Although I will probably buy a wig – don’t judge.)  Anyhoo – I think I’ve found a pattern that will serve as a basis quite nicely!

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All I’ll need to add is a crinoline, apron and nurse’s hat to view one and I should have a pretty adorable costume for my little lady!  I’m actually pretty excited about it!

I’ve been plotting away on Christmas presents to make, too.  I will tell you that I want to venture into new territory and I’m not at all sure I can pull it off, but I promise to keep you updated, good or bad.

Margot

I haven’t talked too much about making dolls here on the old blog, but I really enjoy it!  Especially the dolls in the most excellent book Wee Wonderfuls – 24 Dolls To Sew And Love.  Each pattern in the book is one I’d love to make, and I have made 6 of the patterns so far, and two of them twice now!  I’d like to show you one of those today, the pattern Margot, which I absolutely adore.

Margot is a “topsy turvy” doll, which means you flip her skirt to reveal a new doll underneath.  When I was little I had one that was Little Red Riding Hood on one side and the wolf on the other.  Margot is 2 versions of the same doll – one dressed up and one dressed down.  I made Little Betty one a couple of years ago.  Please keep in mind that she has been well loved for a couple of years now and has gotten a bit worn!

Here is the dressed up version:

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Isn’t she precious??  I of course used sumptuous heavy vintage fabrics.  Dolls and doll clothes are wonderful applications for vintage fabrics because you can use those small scraps you can’t bear to let go of.

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The facial features are so simply embroidered.  I love them.   It is truly a beautiful pattern.  I used muslin for the body of the doll – I like how the flecks sort of look like freckles.

Here is the dressed down side:

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Well my darling niece recently enjoyed her 1st birthday and I thought her very own Margot would be a great way to mark the big day!  It’s a good doll for small children because there are no buttons or doll eyes or anything that cold be choking hazards.  This is the case with most of the patterns in the book.

Here is my niece’s dressed up Margot:

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I didn’t use vintage fabrics on this one because I thought these would be more her style.  They are still heavy canvas and corduroy, though.  I think the weight works well for the skirt-flipping feature.

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I really love the oversized bow I did on this one – I think it makes her look very 1930s!  I forgot to add the rosy cheeks to this one; however, I still think it looks ok.  I initially tried to use a heavier canvas for the body but after 2 evenings of sweating and cursing trying to embroider the hair I pitched it and started over with muslin.  It was dang near impossible to get the doll needle through with the yarn!

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And here is her dressed down side!  I like the longer braids on this one vs Little Betty’s version, although they peek out of the bottom of the skirt a bit when the dressed up version is out.

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Since the apron fabric was a bit plain I decided to embroider my niece’s initial on it, and I’m glad I did!  It adds a bit of personalization and jazzes it up just a tad.

If you enjoy this sort of thing and need a gift for a little one, definitely check this book out!  There are so many great patterns.

I sewed a dress! It isn’t awesome.

I’ve been hankerin’ for some cute sundresses this summer, but not the tight waisted 50s dresses my closet is full of.  I’ve been wanting 70s and 80s breezy, colorful sundresses.  I have a few now and I’ve been wearing them out!  I’ve had this pattern in my stash for quite some time and finally decided I’d give it a whirl:

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I decided to try it with a cute ikat fabric.  The fabric I chose worked out great – it has a wonderful drape and is light without being sheer.

The dress is not what I would deem a total success, however.  First of all, why can’t my finished products ever look like the cartoon models on the envelope??  I like it much better when they have photos of real people wearing the project, but vintage patterns never do.  Anyhoo, mine turned out WAY too big and baggy – not at all flattering like it is in the picture, of course.  I took the bodice in an inch and a half on each side and that helped a lot.  Still, it’s not something I’ll wear if I’m trying to look nice.  I think it makes me look heavier than I am.  Ok, enough stalling – here it is.

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The bows on the shoulders look and feel a bit bulky for my taste as well.  But it sure is comfy!  It will be great for errands or gardening or loafing.

Next up – I need to take a class on how to custom fit patterns to your own body so I stop investing so much time in clothes that don’t fit right!

BIG Sale In My Etsy Shop!

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Have you been wanting to try one of my crewel kits?  Are you hunting for a killer vintage dress for an amazing price?  Well now is the time!  For a limited time I’m running a 50% off sale in my shop!!  Why?  Well, that’s a funny story.  I’ve got my eye on something special.  Something totally frivolous that I do not need at all.  Something I cannot live without.  So I have decided to raise the money through my etsy shop so I don’t feel so guilty!  Be the beneficiary of my shopping addiction – go scoop up some great deals in my shop while the sale is ON!

Just enter the coupon code “bettyneedsbling” and get 50% off the list price!  That means my Happiness Is Homemade kit is only $24, and KitKat is only $7.50!  Plus there are some killer vintage dresses up for grabs.  Go check it out here!

 

Scenes of Summer at Casa Crafter

Ah, the lazy, hazy days of summer.  We’ve been soaking up all the sun and free time with glee around here.

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I’ve even been doing some baby crafting!  I knitted up these cute mary jane booties for a grand niece who will be arriving soon:

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And I’ve been sewing up a sweet doll for my dear tiny niece’s first birthday present:

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We’ve been enjoying the many gifts the backyard is providing:

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…even if that means fighting off a persistently broody hen!

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We also set up shop at our very first antique fair.  It was a lot of fun meeting both the other dealers and the shoppers.  Plus it was pretty profitable!

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We also welcomed a new member to the family!  Meet the incredibly adorable Millie:

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Did your eyeballs explode from the cute??  Even though we are all shredded to bits from her tiny razor-sharp kitten claws, everyone in the houes adores her.

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We plan on wringing every last drop of enjoyment we can out of this summer.  What are you doing to enjoy the summer?

The one where I bought all the salt and pepper shakers. And planters. (and some cameras.)

The Crafter family just returned from a classic Griswold Family style road trip.  We really had a great time!  We got to visit lots of great kid friendly roadside attractions, spent time with far flung family and friends, visited some great museums, and yes, of course, pick up a carload of goodies on the way!  The theme of this trip definitely seemed to be salt and pepper shakers.  I bought 11 great sets!  I just kept running into them.  Of course they aren’t all for me – I’m only keeping one believe it or not.  I bought a few for friends and I will put the rest in the shop.

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Here are some highlights.

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These adorable piggies I’m keeping.   The pepper one I have as an orphan and have always wondered what its mate looked like.  Now I have a complete set!

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I think these little American Indian kids sitting in mocassins are just TOO cute.  Look at their little faces!

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The sea captains!!  It’s going to be hard to let these guys go.  Seriously – Cap’n Pepper and Old Salty??  Love.

And now for the copious amount of planters I brought home.

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2 of these Little Betty picked out.  Can you tell which ones they are?  Here are some of my favorites from the planter haul:

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Dog or cat?  I really can’t decide, but who cares anyway?  I’ve already planted him a cactus tail and set him in my kitchen window.  I love it so much.

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I know this is technically a vase and not a planter, but whatevs.  I really like bud vases for the flowers Little Betty is always bringing inside for me.  And I especially love the peacock drip glaze on this one!  So lovely.

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You may have noticed that most of the planters I brought home had a woodland theme – deer, squirrels, a bear, acorns, and this saucy little raccoon!  I’m not sure I can part with this guy.  Right now he’s sitting on my piano while his fate is being decided.

I didn’t just buy squirrel planters, of course.  Check out this cookie jar!

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He’s wearing a top hat!!  AND A TINY SUIT!!  GAH!!  Mr. Squirrel No Pants marks cookie jar number three for me, so I guess I collect cookie jars now too.  Great.  I think I definitely need professional help.

Here’s some more highlights from the scores.  Most of these are for the shop, not to keep.

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Mugs!  I really love the boy scout ones – so Moonrise Kingdom!  And you know I can’t pass up anything zodiac.

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A little American Indian chalk ware guy!  How sassy is he?  I was very excited to find him – I thought he would look great in my shop.  But predictably Mr. Crafter yanked him for his office.

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These mirrored Turners are fabulous, no?  I wish I had a good place for either one of these, but sadly they are shop-destined.

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This funeral parking sign is super rad.  I love everything about it.

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And lastly, I scored a new novelty alpine cuckoo clock!  This one came in the original box with the key too!  I was super pumped to find it.  And I didn’t have any with the bouncing girl yet!  Whee!  I bet the key will fit some of my others, too.

So there you have it folks – the hit list of the best of what will fit in a car with a family of three on a 2 week road trip.  Kind of impressive when you think about it, no?

Estate Sale Good Times

I haven’t been hitting up too many estate sales lately, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how fun they are!  So this weekend we decided to go full monty on one that looked good, held by my good buddies at Amber Ostrich Estate Sales.  We got up SUPER early to make sure we’d have a good chance at some of the goodies we saw in the pictures.  We didn’t end up using any of the snacks or entertainment we brought to pass the time though because I ended up gabbing away with the great peeps who were also waiting.  Who says estate sales are cutthroat?  Honestly, I haven’t had too many of those experiences.  After one of the gals told me what she was there for (she got there even earlier than we did!) I told her I’d grab it for her if I found it before she did.  Another guy was there for one of the things we were there for, but we talked it out and decided that if it was under a certain amount he would get it and if it was over that we would get it.  See?  There’s no reason to be nasty at these sales, folks.  You’re likely going to keep seeing these people at other sales, so be nice!

Now for the scores!  And oh yes, there were scores.

Here is the thing that went over the predetermined price limit with our line friend:

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The gentleman who lived in the house was a boat manufacturer and he made this couch out of fiberglass.  The back and bottom bubbles out as you can kind of see.  The legs are nothing short of totally amazing.  This one is three pieces and can be arranged as a loveseat and chair, couch, or 3 chairs.  The turquoise upholstery is in great shape except for one stain that I’m going to try to steam out.

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He also made this one.  Seriously, how great are these things???  It’s going to be SO hard not to keep them.  This one has some minor rips in the seat that I’m going to try to mend.  Aren’t they just the epitome of 1950s atomic cool?

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We are crazy in love with this caricature.  It’s dated 1956.  The guy featured was a prominent Austin lawyer and theater dude.

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Ok.  THIS CHAIR.  Holy balls!  I want to keep it SO bad but I’m going to be a good little reseller and resist.  But that aqua color is just perfect, and these Eisenhower chairs are so desirable and hard to find!

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I’m super excited about these unused craft kits!  The lady of the home was a member of a craft of the month club that sent her a craft kit every month.  How exciting are these??  The one with birds is an adorable apron and the other is a framed wall hanging with yarn flowers.  I can’t wait to do them.  Keep an eye on my column This IS Your Granny’s Crafting on Tuesdays over at No Pattern Required to see how they turn out when I make them!

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I paid a pretty penny for this pyrex, but it was unused straight out of the box and none of us had ever seen this pattern before!  And it’s such a great size for leftovers.  Speaking of leftovers, I can never have enough of these tupperware containers, so I snagged them right away.

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I was going to sell all of these things, but when I got home I noticed the deer planter had been repaired, so I guess he’s staying with me!

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I often buy things just for the packaging, and these camping supplies are a great example of that.  Love them.

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Kitschmas!!  I paid way too much for that tiny knee hugging elf but I’ve never been known to leave one behind.

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I’m also a known sucker for any vintage zodiak stuff and big eyed wall art.

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This amazing vintage sign is a present for someone.  We could not have found a more perfect present.  Although I really want to keep it – it’s awesome!!

Not a bad haul for one sale, huh?  Now that my estate sale bug has been reignited I can’t stop looking at the listings online!  I’m already thinking about going back to this sale for the rest of the craft kits - unbelievably I left a ton behind.  Maybe on the half price day I’ll go get the rest…