Vintage Bargello

I should really change this to the "Bargello Blog", since that's what I seem to post about most often. But look what I found at my fave Salvation Army today! For $1.25!!!

It's a "four-way" Bargello design, which I've been wanting to try. It's in great condition, with no funky smells and totally clean. There were a few pulled stitches which I repaired in 5 minutes, and it needed a new pillow form because the old one was completely flat. I can't believe how great the colors are, it fits in perfectly with all the ones I've made so far.

I also picked up this cute little pot. No marks but it looks sorta Scandinavian and I love grey pottery in general. All in all a great thrifting trip and not bad for $5 total!



is soooo yummy. At least, this yarn is. It's all vintage Persian wool, in perfect condition, with tags dating from 1968-1977. Now that I've totally cleaned them out, I can reveal my source, Kit Kraft in Studio City. The guy who runs Kit Kraft told me it was brought in by the daughter of a woman who collected it for years, and when she died no one in her family wanted it.

Buying this yarn started as an impulse but has resulted in a incredible creative burst that has energized and inspired me. I've already used a lot of it up for my Bargello designs, but there is enough left to keep me busy for quite a while. I feel like the woman who collected it would be happy that another needle crafter has been able to put it to use. I plan on using it until every bit is gone. Then hopefully, I'll find another hidden treasure trove to inspire me!


New Bargello

I've been doing so much crafting for work that I haven't had a second to do anything for myself! It's good though, I'm happy as a clam coming up with new craft ideas every day. Anyway, here's the latest needlepoint pillow I finished a couple weeks ago. I bought several old books on bargello recently and this design is from one of them. I liked the result of leaving the top and bottom white, I think it keeps it more modern. Soon the house is going to be filled with these pillows, but they are so satisfying to work that I can't stop!


Patio Daddy-o!

It's been hotter than blazes here in LA, but me...I like the heat. And I love my little patio off the dining room, especially now that it's summer and we can keep the doors open all day. It's like we have a second living room, plus I love being with all my gorgeous plants. Most of the plants are "rescues"...plants that someone else threw out and I brought back to life (but that's another post).

We finally got some furniture out on the patio (thanks mom!) but of course I couldn't just buy the cushions from Cost Plus for $20. Nooooooo. I had to spend two days cutting foam, making piping (I hate nothing more than making piping) and putting in zippers. But of course I'm glad I did, I mean how cute is that?

The patio is still a work in progress (there's still room for a few more plants!) but it's shaping up nicely I think. A very nice spot to have breakfast and read blogs, and who could ask for more?


Before & After

Everybody loves a makeover, right? I sure do, especially when it's fast and cheap. I found this funky mirror at the Salvation Army in Pasadena for $5. The frame is plastic, and in it's original state of nasty spray-on gold finish, you could really tell it wasn't wood. But I liked how over the top it was, and the glass was in good shape.

So I had some high gloss paint mixed up in "Chili Pepper Red" for $6...spent an afternoon with a very small paintbrush...

and voila! It's still funky, obviously...but hopefully in a good way. And, ironically it doesn't look like plastic anymore. I hung it in the bathroom (where I have a whole orange thing going on) and now I can see the back of my head when I do my hair! I know the whole cheap furniture painted bright colors thing is kinda overdone at this point, but it really does add a nice pop of color in an unexpected place. And a funky statement piece for $11? Can't beat that with a stick.


OCD crafting

I'm making a temari ball right now. It's a traditional Asian craft, apparently women would start making them before the new year and then give them to their daughters so the first thing they would see when they opened their eyes on New Year's day was a beautiful embroidered ball.

This website describes them as a "Japanese symbol of perfection"...I don't know if mine is that, exactly. It's my first time making one so I'm learning as I go, but the secret seems to be about 1/2 hand-eye coordination and 1/2 obsessive attention to detail. Oh plus a lot of math, too. The math is what screwed me up a little, which is why it's no symbol of perfection. Plus I'm regretting my choice of background thread color...

Anyway I am sure I will make more of these, if only because I hate not getting something exactly right the first time. Plus it's very intricate yet I can do it while watching movies, which I love. If you're interested, it's a styrofoam ball, covered with a layer of batting, then a layer of yarn, then a layer of thread wrapped randomly around the ball. Then you divide it into sections and embroider a pattern.

It might be a craft in the next book I'm working on, but only if I can figure out how to write the directions for making one!


It really ties the room together

I'm a big fan of "The Big Lebowski". Like, so much of a fan that I actually attended "Lebowski Fest" last year, which in case you haven't heard, is the annual mecca for Achievers (which is the preferred nomenclature, dude).

One of my favorite things about the movie is the dialogue, which includes a lot of highly quote-able lines. "This aggression will not stand"..."Mark it 8, Dude"..."That rug really tied the room together". But probably the best line and the one that sums up the whole movie is "The Dude abides". It's deep. It's so deep, in fact, that I decided we needed it cross-stitched on a sampler. Because every home needs a sampler, but our home is not exactly the "Bless this house" type.

So I whipped up this little sampler and now it hangs near our front door. It was really easy, even figuring out the little bowling balls and pins wasn't too hard. And now whenever friends come over, they know...the Dude abides.

Next I'm gonna do "Nobody F*cks With The Jesus".