Sunday, December 15, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things!

Once upon a time I had a fabulous collection of vintage bulbs, all acquired for next to nothing at yard sales.  Found sadly in dusty boxes with the cellophane missing, usually with a mix match of newer bulbs.  One day a very bad cat decided they were so pretty that he would like a much better look and climbed the tree.  On Christmas morning no less!  Shards of broken pretties scattered on all the presents.  The sound was pure sadness.  And then the vacuum. 

 I have been much more cautious with what is left of my collection ever since!  I've come up with this much safer way to display and enjoy them.  The small pale pink bulbs at the top of the pink ladies are clustered together with silver leaves and are very delicate.  There used to be pale blue, green and silver too.  I've seen a few like them at antique stores, but the prices for old bulbs are crazy now... 

In my little condo cottage I don't have room to display all my holiday decor or we wouldn't be able to walk!  I have a few golden globes from my grandparents' house that I scooped up before they were donated.  They are about 6 inches and look handblown.  I never saw them on display there - my memories at my grandparents' house was a huge silver tree with blue bulbs.  The gold ones are packed away this season.  And so is my pink ceramic tree, a fabulous yard sale find!  I love that someone in the 1960-70's broke tradition and did a pink tree with pastel bulbs instead of the basic green!  Someone was very shabby chic before there was a name for it.  
I have a vintage silver tree too - also packed away.  I love that each branch goes back into its kraft paper sleeve.  For now this one will do, the girls have the mate to this small silver tree in their bedroom.  I like the scale of it.  And I L-O-V-E that I finally painted this trunk a pale white-washed blue.  It was my first real antique purchase back in 1992 and I paid top dollar at an antique store in Winchester.  Ouch - they saw this Yankee coming!  I haven't loved it since I left VA in '94 because it was just too country for my French Provincial, Shabby Chic style.  Now, I love it again.  The porcelain bisque items - also acquired in the 90s - during the Party Light candle party phase.  So happy that I ran out of space for 3-wick candles and bought something that endured!  Off to do some pierogi making and sewing... 'Tis the season!  Merry Christmas to all!  Thanks for stopping here!  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The sign that I have not been crafting...

I have time to link to a Saturday Night link party!
 My stuff is all nice, neat and orderly. So sad.  All these containers are full of little baubles, bling, buttons... but I have been so swamped at my real job that I have not crafted since August!  It was a serendipitous moment recently.  Me in my oversized royal blue sweat pants driving my daughter across the subdivision at 6:50am and spotting this white hutch in a neighbor's trash pile.  (BTW, Really?  Why don't people donate usable items? why send something like this to the landfill?) So I scored this very solid and very heavy hutch whilst still in my jammies, and operating this mission solo since no 10 and 12 year olds want to be seen picking trash with their mom in their own hood, I heaved it into the mini-van and up 3 flights of stairs!  Just in time too.  I had noticed that the middle shelf on the white bookcase was starting to bow under the weight of mason jars loaded with bling.    
Believe it or not, I know where every little bitsy bit is located, just as much as when it is all in a creative mess around my feet as I am pulling trim and sewing it onto stuff.

Not that I don't have a huge stash of work in progress!  But at least out of sight doesn't make me as crazy.  And, it's not like any of this is perishable - I'm missing the fall/winter vending season (pout/mean face) BUT it will all keep until I am able to focus my time and energy here.  I may end up gifting from my own inventory - co-workers, friends and family be warned - button jewelry, aprons and totes may be coming your way!

I do like having my inspiration board visible even in this creative drought.  Outback Red anyone?  Oh, my 1980's winter white cords and bulky ski sweater - such high fashion memories... this label was a great find that makes me smile!


I have an aversion to plastic storage containers.  I've had them back in the day for scrapbook stuff, but it drove me nuts!  So, my tiny beads and sequins are visible and orderly in baby food jars.  Why do I have baby food jars??  Well, not from a grandbaby thank goodness.  (I need another decade please, and I know V would agree!).  My sweet OLD tuxedo cat is 19 and has started an expensive diet of chicken puree baby food.  The glass jars are the only thing good about that...  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Yarn Bomb at the Andy Warhol Bridge

I am so thrilled that my mom called me at work Friday afternoon and let me know that it was the last night to see the Warhol Bridge before the Yarn Bomb installation was removed. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September - my own personal January 1st

 Oh my heart... my girls circa 2008. 
I realize that I love back-to-school with the brand-new expectations and hope that only new school supplies and shoes can bring.  I always struggle with New Year's resolutions - feeling so beat up from the holiday season, I prefer my January to be hibernation, snuggled under cozy quilts, watching a lot of old movies. 

September - I like the clean slate of a new school year.  For at least a season ;) I enjoy the order and structure.  I am more likely to exercise and eat healthy in September, October, November... I may get overwhelmed somewhere around Thanksgiving but for now, I am purging out-of-style and outgrown clothes, crumpled magazines and grimey make-up, cleaning out the pantry, organizing paperwork, making nice new places to put things. 

 I am also on the fence about a bunch of craft shows.  I think I am mentally exhausted from my real job and the demands of my crafting ventures and trying not to neglect my kiddos, health and home. IDK.  We'll see...

Random pictures...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Exciting August Schedule!

Sew excited ;) Spent the weekend at a softball tournament and then merchandising button necklaces with my girls - they are such great helpers!  Because...

This Friday, August 2nd - we'll have the tent up!  I love the soft lighting that the chandeliers add to the  taupe tent/booth - adds to the gypsy/bohemian feel of my products!

Garfield Night Market

And as if that isn't enough, this weekend is a family reunion of sorts and we'll be vending at the Tanger Outlets  on Saturday and Sunday - August 3rd and 4th! 

And that is just the first weekend!  Stay tuned for more updates! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

whoa... and suddenly it is July!


I don't know where June went - Softball, Work, Crafting... Here's a few pictures of what we made.  The paint-by-numbers are by my super talented and patient daughters!! 

And, this is what the last Night Market looked like!  Can't wait to set up this Friday night, July 12th and sell my pretties - lots of aprons, purses, found object magnets, rosary bead earrings... Tell your friends to come on down and see us!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Where did May go??

Like many of you, May is the peak activity month of the year for us.  The end of school year is a mash up of band/chorus/honors/field trips/track & field days.  Add 2 dance recitals, which WHY DON'T THEY DO THEM IN MARCH when there is nothing going on except crappy weather?  Why is it always a gorgeous sunny weekend spent inside a dark auditorium?  Toss in Mother's Day, Memorial Day, a 5k and a ton of softball.  Like, 7 hours today. But, I kept my sanity by doing small hands-on projects.  here are a few

 All are available for sale at 208 in the cultural district of downtown Pittsburgh or can be listed in my etsy store if you're interested in purchasing online. As always, thanks for your interest and stopping by!  Best regards, Kelley

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I forgot how much I love to make aprons until I found these photos from a few years ago...
These are all are long gone, off to the their happy homes... 
 But, I've been working on some new ones for Boutique 208 and adding a bunch of the vintage lace and trims I've been squirreling away (sounds so much better than hoarding!)
I love to do the button fish eye...   

 I'll bet some dog lover LOVED this one...
Next time I'll have some new ones! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sew excited!

I'm the newbie at Boutique 208 in Downtown Pittsburgh, across from Heinz Hall in the Cultural District.  It is a place for fellow handmade local artists to sell their specialities...and part of the Mayor's movement to revitalize downtown. 

These pictures are courtesy of C's iPod - thanks sweetie! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My name is Kelley and

I hoard buy a lot of fabric. And then I rip the cotton into long strips which I then sew back together.  Like this pretty purse...

When I worked at a fabric store, the quilters would often ask for their cotton to be hand torn not ripped. It seemed like a hassle, but it was so much more accurate than the way we would hack it at the fold. It may be that or my destructive nature, but I now prefer to tear my cotton/linen fabrics. Like the rough selvage edges, I prefer the texture once the fabric has been torn and then sewed back together. I am all about the texture!

on Etsy now...

This off-white and dusty cornflower blue toile is not exactly denim, but not lightweight cotton either. I tore long strips and sewed them back together with my favorite loopy vine stitch and rows of new-old-stock vintage lingerie labels “Eureka Hipform”, blush pink and ivory lace, two different widths of ivory ruffled eyelet, and as if that wasn’t enough – I hand sewed 6 ivory blossoms out of new-old-stock millinery petals. I adorned 5 of the flowers with vintage mother of pearl buttons and the last, focal point is an old cluster earring in pearls and crystal that I hand sewed on as well. A simple woven ribbon closure around another mother-of-pearl button. The handle is a lovely machine made lace. It is a fabulous… perfect for the first whispers of Spring… very Cottage, Shabby Chic, Prairie Chic, Gypsy Chic, Cowgirl Chic…It is a nice big size – perfect for slinging over your shoulder and heading for the antique show. It is fully lined with a new sturdy, cornflower upholstery damask. 

My next favorite things to collect...sewing notions and trims. Oh MY! 

I would love to have more time to create my pretties...we are heading into softball season and with both girls on different teams in different townships - I will be scrambling.  But, as always I will have a tin of buttons and beads to work on... so I will still have some time to create...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

300th post giveaway!

Welcome.  Some of you have been visiting for years, even when my creative life was off the track, in a ditch,  as I returned to work and tried to grasp leaving the lovely world of being a stay at home mom, raising my kids and helping them be creative and great people, and sewing, baking, leaving my marriage and I guess thinking out loud on my blog posts.  (wow, what a run-on sentence, huh?) 


I am so happy that I did keep this blog alive if even to be neglected so often, because I managed to capture a lot of little, mundane details of our lives.

My girls are very anxious to join in and sell their wonderfully creative wares - as Junquey GalS and I have some great friends to continue the creative path in new ways.

 So, if you ever stopped by and were happy just to have read an entry, and even better yet, kept stopping by - I am thrilled to offer the purse pictured on this post as a FREE giveaway -yes, my handmade, homemade, original purse.  If this is your very first time to ever hear of Junquey Gal - that is good too! 

To enter to win, all you have to do is comment on this post, and if you haven't already, Like Junquey Gal on Facebook or follow Junquey Gal on Etsy before April 1, 2013.  Random  drawing will be held for one lucky winner.  Tell your friends - the more the merrier!  Sorry but void where prohibited!  The winner will receive the purse via standard mail.  I will even ship it internationally, but be prepared for the long wait!

So, thanks!  Welcome!  Good luck!  ttfn! Kelley

Pretty in pink...

Cotton shirts.  Love 'em. Usually can't wear 'em.  Too tight. Pull at the boobs.  Or, shrink in the first wash.  And being a plu...