Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Camper Camporee Tag Swap

You may remember that I signed on to swap vintage camper tags on Paula Clare's blog. Well, my tags are on their way to Paula's campground and will soon join the other campers for a fun time.
As I wrote to Paula, I've spent hours on these tags and I loved every second, from the first rough sketch to the last glue dot.
I started with these papers and images as my inspiration. I knew I wanted to make a teardrop camper but I didn't know much of anything about them. I found that from the 1930s to the 1950s, there were a number of publications with plans for building your own teardrop. They were most popular following WWII.

Some minor things were changed when I put them together but I made my pattern from this final sketch.

I love detail and because of that, I seem to always have a realistic style in my crafts. For each tag I cut 20 separate pieces. For a while I was seeing spots!

Decorating the back of the tag was another story. I wanted to show the inside of the camper. I made a few sketches and had to admit that if I attempted this, I may not ever get these done. I had to simplify. Here's the back, all 12 finished!

And TA-DA!!! Here's the tag front. The flower print paper was glossy and I loved that, but I didn't love my plain aqua card-stock with it. The color was perfect, so I applied 3 coats of glossy sealer to one side of the card-stock. (It did curl the edges a bit.) I also wanted to include some sewing on my tags since my blog is mostly about sewing, so after cutting my pattern piece I stitched each one on my sewing machine. I used double stick tape to secure the threads to the back of the piece. My favorite part is the 'chrome' trim. Boy, was I glad to find that package of stickers. It was the perfect detail.

And now I am in love with vintage campers. After so much time working on my tags, I still wanted more. So I stitched up a souvenir tea towel to send along for our lovely campground host. (This design is from Sublime Stitching.) Now I will patiently wait for a package in the mail. In the meantime, Paula is posting each camper as it arrives. Pop over to her blog and take a look.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stepping Outside Of My Comfort Zone

In a previous post I have mentioned a quilt swap I'm in with 10 other lovely ladies. Each month we are to decorate a 6"x45" fabric strip in our partners theme and send it off to them with a coordinating fabric print strip. Once we all have sent to the other 10, we will assemble our quilts. I've never done a swap or a quilt like this, but I couldn't resist. The chosen themes were about what you might expect. Spring, Autumn, Christmas, cats. But one swappers theme had me worried from the beginning. And May was the month that I was paired up with her. I knew I would have to do some research and be very creative to pull off a Day of the Dead theme. This was definitely going to be a challenge. But there's nothing wrong with challenging yourself now and then. I was pleased with the outcome and I'd like to share it with you.

Five hand embroidered blocks pieced with bright colored strips to make the full length.

I was glad that I had started sketching these sugar skulls well before May when I was assigned the swap.

In fact, By May 1st I had 3 drawings completed and a fourth was in progress.

I seemed to gain some confidence as I progressed, as the designs got more detailed as I went. The 2 front facing skulls were my first and the center design with the sombrero was the last to get done.

I spent a month embroidering a bit each day to get this done. And as soon as it was done, I missed having an embroidery project to work on. Thank goodness I picked up a package of tea towels at JoAnn Fabrics the last time I was there. Now to choose a design and get to work.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oh, No! I'm Collecting Again

My son loves to search out Hot Wheels cars at flea markets and yard sales. A few weeks ago we took a ride around town and stopped at a few yard sales. At our first stop, Ryan found a box full of Hot Wheels, bagged up with 5-6 cars for $1.00 a bag. He spent $3.00. Next 2 stops, nothing. Next stop was way off the beaten path but since it was near my parent's neighborhood, I knew where we were headed. I think most people would have turned around before getting to the house with the yard sale. My son looked things over, found one die-cast car and started up a conversation with the owner, a woman my mother's age. She complained that we were one of the few cars that had stopped that day. She had a lot of pretty glassware. Nothing I 'needed'. But a set of 3 coffee mugs caught my eye.
One each in pink, yellow and a cocoa color with white interiors. They just screamed 1950s. They also reminded me of a blue mug that I hadn't packed up yet at my MIL's. No price? I asked and she wanted 50 cents each. Sold! My hubby just rolled his eyes at me. Now that I've done some research on these I know that the pink and yellow are marked with a Hazel Atlas mark. The cocoa one has no mark. My MIL's blue mug is a Fire King from the '50s but no white interior. They make me smile.
Since we were close by, we stopped by my parents. I told my mom what I bought and she remembered a few mugs from my childhood that were in the back of the cupboard.

Mom thinks these mugs were given on Children's Day at Sunday School when I was small. They are marked Fire King. Would I like them??? Oh, you bet I would! And so within an hour, I had a new collection of 7 coffee mugs. And it costs me $1.50.
And Ryan hit the jackpot when we made one last yard sale stop. An older man and his adult son had boxes of Hot Wheels for sale. Both of them were collectors, so they knew the value of what they had. (My son dreams of finding someone selling piles of vintage cars for pennies.) Ryan spent at least half an hour digging through boxes and pulling out his favorites. As with most of the adult Die-cast collectors we've dealt with, they were very generous to my son, charging well less than the value of the cars. Is everybody happy? A good day of junking is so much fun.