30 Percent Off Cyber Monday

Promo Code 30offCyberMonday2013 will get you 30 percent off everything in my Etsy shop—The Little Blue Trunk—today only.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLittleBlueTrunk

If you want something that isn’t listed. Contact me and I can create a listing and provide a discount.Happy Shopping!

Jan

Holiday Hearts and Stars

I know there’s probably a more productive way to spend my time, but with fabric, thread and buttons piled around I’ve been cutting and stitching these little ornaments the last few days.

IMG_0664.JPG

They’re about three or four inches tall.

IMG_0659.JPG

The hearts are hand cut to fit the scraps I had so they’re different sizes and shapes.

IMG_0657.JPG

Because I’m using scraps quantities are limited to what I have on hand.

IMG_0662.JPG

I used a template for the stars. To many points and angles to cut them freehand.

IMG_0667.JPG

I’ve listed this set of three stars in my Etsy shop.

IMG_0650.JPG

I have about 25 stitched up so far, so it’s time to stop stitching and get more listed.

If you want a custom order or a big batch of them contact me and we’ll work something out.

Jan

Country Christmas Wreaths

Once upon a time I came across a couple of small “store-bought” wreaths. I think they were in a box of craft supplies I got at an estate sale. These machine wrapped wreaths are a dime-a-dozen at craft stores these days.

I decided they’d been sitting around my house long enough, so I pulled out some vintage lace and buttons to dress them up.

IMG_0406.JPG

These six-inch wreaths are just the right size to decorate some of the small spaces in your house. In the guest bathroom for instance, they would make a nice little frame for a fragile vintage ornament.

In  a kid-friendly space this would be the perfect perch for a little elf to keep an eye on things.

You could hang them on a really large tree as an ornament. On a smaller tree one would make a charming little tree topper.

IMG_0400.JPG

I’ll include pictures and show you what I mean if they end up in my Etsy shop.

Anybody interested?

Christmas is Coming

 I’ve been making little handcrafted Christmas ornaments the last few days.

They’re great gifts for co-workers, classmates, and teachers. I’ll add a hang tag so they can be used as a gift tag.

Hang on one the neck of a bottle of wine for a hostess gift.

Fill a basket with them and gift to newlyweds for their first Christmas.

And if you have curious toddlers and pets, they are ideal for the bottom of the tree.

Burlap Stars, Jan Made it

These are all made by hand, by me, out of scraps I have around the house.

IMG_0578.JPG

They are about 4 inches tall.

I have more little hearts made of denim, ticking, and other shabby style fabrics.

I’m taking pictures and writing descriptions today to list them on Etsy.

I can use any color of thread, add beads or bangles, and customize a set to match your decor.

Let me know what you have in mind and I can make something just for you.

Jan

 

Got a pattern? Make a dress!

I love patterns. I don’t think I’d yet outgrown Christmas toy catalogs when I discovered pattern books.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

I didn’t realize turquoise was such a huge color in the 60s, but it keeps showing up on pattern envelopes from that decade. These two patterns are very different, one is understated and the other is ready to party, they equally represent the style of the era.

I used to spend forever flipping through those huge volumes looking for just the right dress or outfit for my wardrobe.

McCalls 6226 1978 vest pattern on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Diane Keaton started a new trend with her style in Annie Hall. I really like the shape of this Annie Hall inspired vest. I might have to make one of these before I sell this pattern.

My back-t0-school shopping started at the fabric store in July. Mom and I sent the pattern numbers I picked to my Florida Grandma and before Labor Day I would receive a box FULL of new clothes ready to wear.

1948 Swing Coat by Simplicity on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

I love 40s era swing coats, and was delighted to find this pattern in my stash. It’s lined, but I think I’ll use fleece and make it reversible. It’s Simplicity 2380, copyright 1948 and the pattern is uncut. I’ll draw my own pattern so this one will be for sale soon.

I have several tubs full of personal patterns and recently discovered the joys of collecting patterns that belonged to someone else.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

This dress has a pieced bodice, and the jacket is pieced along the same lines. It’s the perfect forerunner to the color block styles that made an appearance shortly. I like the little bow that’s on the jacket. It’s something Sally would wear on the Dick Van Dyke Show. She always had a little bow in her hair.

One batch—a baker’s dozen—was tied up with cotton string. The earliest is the 1948 swing coat, which I want to make for myself.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

We didn’t care how much trouble it was to go to the bathroom, these jumpsuits were a huge hit in the 60s. And yes, we managed even with the zipper in the back. These were very cute, and fun to wear.

Most of the patterns in this bundle are from the 60s, with the Nehru blouse set one of the most recent. Seems like about half this batch is uncut. The ones that are used are still very neat and tidy.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

In 1968 Nehru style was a big hit. I love this blouse set. The print on the left is open down the front and can be worn as a jacket. Check out the bell sleeves. The white one fits closer to the body and slips over your head. These would look great over a pair of leggings or skinny jeans. I wonder if I have a piece of vintage paisley somewhere around here.

I started itemizing my pattern collection last week but I  haven’t done the math to guess of how many patterns I might have. Every time I turn around I find a few more shoe boxes, or maybe a grocery sack full of them.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Can’t you see Peggy wearing this dress to the office in the early years of Mad Men

I realize I have way more patterns than I think I do. A stack six or eight inches tall turned out to be about twenty patterns so a shoe box might hold fifty patterns. I have a LOT of shoe boxes full of patterns.

IMG_0591.JPG

This looks like a dress and jacket, but it’s a blouse and skirt. And the blouse has a waistband so you don’t have to keep tucking it in. The blouse buttons up the back. That very tiny slit at the throat was a popular style element at the time. I think Betty Draper on Mad Men would have worn the floral print, with the matching jacket on the right. The solid color with contrast trim looks like something Jackie would have worn. The light and dark contrast and pillbox hat remind me of the pink and navy Chanel suit she wore in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. I like the 3/4 sleeves that perfectly line up with the hem of the jacket which makes them just right for those gloves.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Again on Mad Men this is absolutely something Peggy would have worn after her promotion to copy writer. This dress has a low waist that drops into a V on one hip. There is a sew-in waistband and attached bow. I’m not a fan of the kimono sleeves, but I like the waistline.This is a Marian Martin mail order pattern.

In the meantime, contact me if you see something you want.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Have you seen Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rear Window? Thelma Ritter played Jimmy Stewart‘s health care attendant in that movie, which is one of my favorites. She showed up as a housekeeper in a few movies of that era, and this dress and coat reminds me of something she might have worn when she worked with Doris Day.  How’s that for six degrees of separation from Rock Hudson?

Some pattern companies have reissued old patterns in the past few years and there are some retro-inspired patterns also available.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

This is your basic “I Love Lucy” kind of pajama set. A loose-fitting button front shirt with elastic waist pants is all there is to it, but I really like the little pouch they included. It’s a simple envelope all decked out with lace trim that matches the pjs. Too cute!

Tell me if there’s a style or specific pattern number you’re looking for and I’ll let you know when I come across it.

Tent Dress on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Tent dresses, as we called them, were all the rage when I was in junior high. I had a few, usually made by mom. My favorite was similar to this with a rolled collar. It was lightweight polyester crepe, white with huge green polka dots. I remember wearing it the last day of school in ninth grade. It was so cool and comfortable.

Shipping will be about $2 for most patterns. The oversize Vogue Designer patterns, and overstuffed pattern envelopes will cost more to ship and I will combine shipping for multiple purchases.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

This was a “mail order” pattern company. Once a week on the women’s page there was a small ad with one of the patterns and where to send your money to buy it. For fifty cents you could get a catalog.

As to individual pattern prices, it will depend on which pattern it is, and the condition of the pattern. I’ll check each pattern as I list them (which is why this will take a little while) to make sure all the pieces are there.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Matching coats were part of ensembles at the time. The dress, a simple construction with inset waist, sleeveless or with short sleeves, is made more interesting with a matching coat. The coat can also be made with 3/4 length sleeves.

I know some of the patterns have missing pieces and some patterns will be too wrinkled, crinkled and tattered to use for sewing. Those odds and ends will go into a stash and be available for decoupage or other paper projects.

Even if you don’t sew it’s fun to look through the fashions we wore.

Is there a certain style or era that speaks to you?

 

More Than A Hundred Grand Worth Of Stuff!

I probably have at least $100,000 worth of stuff in my house that needs to go.

Art Books and Atlases on JanMadeit.wordpress.com

Just a few of my art books and atlases. And isn’t that a cute little ceramic bowling planter?

That was an off-the-cuff remark I made to my brother recently.

Giraffes on janmadeit.wordpress.com

Framed giraffe art, 8 x 10, just of one of dozens and dozens of pieces on my walls.

Really?  he asked.

Painted Plate on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Signed painted china plate ready for a new home.

It was a wise crack, but after a minute I realized it’s no joke.

Pen and Ink on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Very sweet 70s era pen and ink art. It’s a set of two, pink and yellow, featuring two little pigtailed girls. I’ll list them individually. Yellow piece is signed. Frames are 8 x 10.

Which is totally crazy since I’m out of work and out of money.

Dooney & Bourke on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

One of a few designer bags I’ve acquired.  This small Dooney & Bourke shoulder bag has a round footed bottom and drawstring top. Very cute, barely used.

I’ve been selling and upcycling vintage stuff for a couple of years, making a few ends meet, but not selling as much as I was taking in. Without a truck or van I haven’t had the means to routinely turn a $5 find into a $300 showpiece which, over the past few years, could really have made a difference in turning this hobby into a business.

Designer Handbag on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Art deco and Dolce & Gabbana handbags hang on my wall.

And now I’m way past out of space along with all the other things I’m out of.

Signed and Numbered on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Tom Cat, signed and numbered. Matted and framed. Exquisite.

In October my house was just days away from the auction block and suddenly people who know I have a knack for acquiring things were interested in helping out by buying some of my stuff at the last minute. I soon realized they wanted to pay bottom dollar for family heirlooms that weren’t for sale. They wanted to help themselves and it wouldn’t help me in the long run.

IMG_9654.JPG

There was one more option available and with just days to spare I managed to start the process to pull my house out of foreclosure.

Squirrelly art on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

More animal art, signed and framed. There’s a chipmunk by the same artist.

I’m listing on Etsy, and my shop, The Little Blue Trunk,  is building up some steam, but I should have started at this pace three years ago. I have good stuff, good prices and good service.

Chipmunk Art on JanMadeI.wordpress.com

Every bit as cute as Chip and Dale.

Since I don’t have unlimited funds to list “everything” at once, I’m going to post photos and lists of things I have to sell here on my blog. I have lots of pictures to take, and more research to do, but in the meantime if you see something here you want, let me know and I’ll give it priority and get it listed for you.

China Doll on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Very small china doll in crocheted dress with pearl buttons.

Any pinning, tweeting or facebooking you want to do certainly won’t hurt the cause. I need to sell something in the next few days to be able to keep the site running. I hope to find new homes for most of my stuff soon.

Jan

Paisley Color Block Throw Pillows

I finally stuffed two bright color-block pillows I made a few months ago. They are now finished and available for sale in my shop, The Little Blue Trunk on Etsy. They’re for sale separately, but they go together if you want two pillows.

JanMadeIt Throw Pillow on The Little Blue Trunk

This one is about 10 x 14 inches. The front is gold and turquoise paisley with green gimp trim. The back is a red on red pattern.

JanMadeIt Throw Pillow on The Little Blue Trunk, back side.

This pillow is two-sided. Either side can be “the front.” It’s about 11 x 13 inches.

JanMadeIt Throw Pillow on The Little Blue Trunk, two-sided

I used the same turquoise paisley and gold and a different red print.

JanMadeIt Throw Pillow on The Little Blue Trunk, two-sided

The reverse side is just the gold and turquoise paisley.

Both are cotton blends stuffed with poly fill. They’re $24 each, and ship for $6 each.

I have about a half-dozen more pillow tops; patchwork, applique, and other styles that are nearly finished. If you’re in the market for extra pillows around the house I’ll have a lot to choose from!

I’ve always liked piles of pillows on couches and bed.  How about you?  Do you like extra pillows around, or do you prefer to sit on a bare couch?

Jan

Cutter Quilts ~ It’s Almost A Sin

Quilts that are so ragged they can’t be used as blankets anymore are called “cutter quilts.”  These are the quilts people buy to cut up and make into something else.

So far I haven’t been able to cut into an old quilt, and I have quite a few, but I love finding things other people have made out of them.

Quilty Teddy Bear on The Little Blue TrunkThis teddy bear is one. He was probably made in the 80s from a much older quilt.

Primitive Kitty on The Little Blue TrunkThis primitive kitty is another one. I love her little hand embroidered face, complete with whiskers and her little red tongue.

IMG_0238.JPGShe’s made from a hand pieced quilt and is a bit misshapen so it appears she was cut without benefit of a pattern. I get the feeling she might have been made by a young girl as an early sewing project.

IMG_0243.JPG

Her tail was tacked to the body in one spot and when I got her it had ripped away, taking a chunk of the quilt with it. I found a ragged crocheted doily that was perfect to  use as a patch. The tail is back in place and the repairs add to, rather than take away from the primitive charm.

She could probably stand to have another old doily or two added to her cheek and shoulder to protect the fraying top layer of the quilt. If I come across the right little doily I’ll make some more repairs and update the pictures.

A few months ago someone gave me an old “cutter quilt”. There’s a lot of red in it so it would make some beautiful Christmas stockings. I don’t need to keep another ragged quilt so it’s time for me to bite the bullet and make something out of it. As Christmas stockings it will have a whole new lease on life and brings smiles and laughter for many more years to come.

What do you do with old quilts?

Do you store them? Toss them?

Or do you cut them up and make something new?

Jan

New Wrap Bangles and $1.00 Shipping

I listed a few more wrap bangles today, and I reduced shipping to $1.00 each. Here are two of five new items in The Little Blue Trunk.

Recycled USB Cable on The Little Blue Trunk on EtsyThis is another recycled USB cable. Wrap this twice and it makes a really cool choker!

Click on the images to go to the listings for more information.

Chunky Wrap Bangle on The Little Blue TrunkThis chunky turquoise wrap is one of two bright ones I made.  The other is red with flower buttons. Wrap it four times to fit a smaller wrist (for little girls?).

I have a few more pieces of jewelry to list and then I’ll get back to vintage.

Jan

One Hundred Items Listed on Etsy

I listed item number 100 a few minutes ago. Three more bracelets took me to that milestone.

Chunky Crocheted Bracelet on The Little Blue Trunk on EtsyThere’s this blue paisley crocheted bracelet with a red and gold button.

 

Infinity Blue Bracelet on the Little Blue TrunkThis blue Infinity style features a large mother of pearl button on the top and a small blue vintage button on the back to fasten it.

 

4X Wrap Bracelet on the Little Blue TrunkThis 4x Wrap Bracelet is significantly repurposed.  Instead of using cotton cord for piping, this bracelet us made with a discarded USB computer cable.

My little felt falling leaves bobby pins have been featured in two treasuries.

IMG_9619.JPGI hope that means I’ll sell them.

Or maybe someone would prefer Candy Corn Bobby Pins.

IMG_9608.JPG

Locals can contact me to knock off the shipping for pick up.

I have a couple dozen more items photographed and in line to list. I’m researching Polaroid Land Cameras, Glass Insulators from 1893, a Paul Revere Reproduction silver pitcher, a couple of Italian hammered aluminum ice buckets, and a very cool three-in-one convertible handbag from 1957.  Very Mad Men-ish.

Any comments?

Jan

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: