Thursday, June 28, 2007

My first Bakelite

"Everything we look upon is blest." (William Butler Yeats, found on

I'm still playing catch-up, posting a bunch of stuff I got a couple estate sales I went to several weeks ago. This is my first Bakelite purchase. After getting a pastry blender at an estate sale last year for $1, my sister told me to keep an eye open for one for her. I saw this one, then realized it was probably Bakelite. The women charged me $5 because she suspected too, and I confirmed it when I got home. They're going for anywhere from $18 to almost $40 on ebay, so I'll probably sell it. Sorry, Amy!

Here's some more of my loot: two metal canisters, a roll of gold floral contact paper, two pretty blue flowered pillowcases, a tie (for purse handles), and some turquoise and pink glass Christmas ornaments.

I couldn't pass up these adorable Swiss handkerchiefs, especially since they were in this cute box that said, "From the Swiss Alps." My last name, Schlumpf, is Swiss.

OK, so I bought a huge bag of old (60s and 70s) Girl Scout uniforms and accessories, thinking there might be a market for them on ebay. There is! I paid $6 or $7 for all this, and depending on how I list it (and how lucky I get) I could get 10 times that for it.

Buttons, from a sewing kit. There were some pretty ones in there.

A bunch of kids books I found in the attic of the second sale. A cute tea towel.
Stuff from the sewing basket, including that wild pattern for felted slippers!

Does anyone know that these are? They were in the sewing basket, but they say "Bordens" so I think it has something to do with milk. Aunt Pat, you always seem to be able to answer my questions. Anyone?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hi Joyce and Suzanne

"Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy." (Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Herschel)

I haven't shown any felted purses lately. I have been sewing a few here and there, but they seem to sell before I have a chance to post them! I'm still trying to build an inventory to do a craft fair this fall. We'll see.

While my friends from my Women's Spirituality Group were over several weeks ago for Karen's shower, a few went "shopping" in my felted bag collection. Suzanne bought two, including a gold-and-orange one I originally made for Ed's sister (she chose a pink and green one instead). Joyce also loved that one, and I promised to try to recreate something in similar colors. Then Suzanne offered to buy it for Joyce's birthday. I made these three last week and thought I'd put them out there for them to check out. Whatever they don't choose will go in my etsy shop.

1. This first one is made of a olive green sweater with a ribbed texture. The pocket is an orange tweed, and the tie is a cool orange diamond pattern. The vintage button is off white.

It it lined with this cute orange, gold, and green floral sheet, with an inside pocket and gold magnetic clasp.

It is approximately 16 x 12 inches.

2. The second one is also a sagey green, with cables in the thick sweater felt. The pocket is gold with a vintage black button. The tie is a cool 40s-looking one with gold and black patterning.

I lined it with the same leopard print that was in Suzanne's bag. Inside pocket and gold magnetic clasp again.

This one is about the same size as the first: 14 x 10 inches.

3. Option #3 is also a medium tweedy green with the tweedy orange pocket and big brown button. The tie matches perfectly: a green stripe.

The lining is the floral sheet again with inside pocket and gold magnetic clasp.

This one is the smallest of the three, but still good-sized: 13 x 10.
Joyce, let me know if any of these interest you.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Book lover

"The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them." (19th century British author Samuel Butler, whom we didn't mean to name our son after)

I could have called this post "Messy corners of my home." This is our (ahem) "study" aka the future nursery. One wall is solid bookshelves (Ikea's Billy) filled with books. I'd say 90 percent of them are mine, although Ed is adding to our collection more and more. When we moved in here, he almost died as he watched the movers carry up box after box labled "Nonfiction M-P" or "Fiction A-C." I have sinced mixed fiction and nonfiction, but still have everything shelved alphabetically by author (except for knitting books and reference, which are separate).

Anyway, as I mentioned this is going to be our future nursery. See the unassembled crib that hs been there for over a year? We can bring ourselves to set it up yet. But I did take a chance two weekends ago and let myself buy something for the kiddos: books, of course. My friends Kristin and John and their baby Lincoln and I went to the very cool Printers' Row Book Fair, and we hit the used children's book tents with a vengance. To see what new books I got, visit our adoption blog.

But I thought I'd share this oldie-but-goodie that I also picked up. My sister and I had The Bumper Book growing up, and I actually called her from the fair to see if we still had it. She didn't think so, and she thought for $16 it was worth getting. (She was right: Two are listed on Amazon for $57 and $81.) It's in great shape and contains all the stories I remember: "Wynken, Blynken and Nod," "The Wee Kitten Who Sucked Her Thumb," "We Won't Tell," "Animal Crackers," "The Owl and the Pussy Cat," and "The Ginham Dog and the Calico Cat." It was published in the 60s. Does anyone else remember it?

Thursday, June 21, 2007


"When you become quiet, it just dawns on you." (Thomas Edison)

I've noticed, while reading my hundred-some blogs through Bloglines (if you don't use bloglines to read your blogs, you really should try it. It's free and makes it so much easier). Anyway, I've noticed that most craft bloggers post during the week and then take the weekends off to be with their families, etc. I'm the exact opposite: My job is super-demanding these days and by the time I get home (8:30 p.m last night) I'm too tired to do much more than read about others' creative exploits. But I'm off on Fridays during the summer so use this day to catch up on everything and do some crafty stuff.

So I'm playing catch-up here. These photos are from last weekend's trip to Philadelphia. I had a writer's workshop for a magazine that I do some freelancing for there so my husband decided to come along and visit his parents. We spent a lot of time in the relaxing back yard (photo above).

I got quite a bit of knitting done there on this sweater I started while in Michigan. It's for my niece Elena. My sister-in-law picked the "Rosebud Cardigan" pattern from Simple Knits for Chrerished Babies, which wouldn't you know requires fine yarn and size 1 or 2 needles (I'm using 3's to get gauge). She picked out this wool sock yarn in a green, brown, and orange colorway, which is definiltely very nontraditional for a baby but it's growing on me. It's a German yarn called "Trekking Pro Natura." We got it at The Knit With, the yarn shop in Chestnut Hill near my in-law's house. I thought it would take forever (and it will!) but it's coming along. I finished the back over the weekend and have moved on to the front.

I'm also working on a baby blanket in pink. It may be for Sophie, or for whoever has a girl next. Seems like everyone is pregnant again (except me, of course), some on their second, third, or fourth child. I'm trying to be patient but we're not hearing anything positive from Vietnam. Not hearing much of anything, to be honest.

Still, I'm trying to enjoy what I really hope is my last summer without children. We went to Millennium Park on Wednesday night with friends Kristin, Jon and Lincoln. Tonight we're going to see a friend of Ed's who is performing at Starbuck's (singing and guitar). May meet up with friends Lourdes and Jason, too. Sunday is my sister's kids' "Rock U" performance. Can't wait to hear my nephew singing Bon Jovi.

Happy Solstice, to those of you who celebrate such things.

Monday, June 18, 2007


"Only grieving can heal grief... I'm pretty sure that it is only by experiencing the ocean of sadness in a naked and immediate way that we come to be healed." (Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies)

I have a bunch of very belated thank you's--for swaps, birthday gifts and assorted "in the mail" niceities. Isn't that a cool photo? Certainly you wouldn't call two boxes of assorted mosaic tiles "junk," would you? Well, that's just some of what I recieved from my swap partner in the Junk Swap, for which you were supposed to stuff a flat-rate box with assorted "junk" for your house in exchange for someone else's "junk."

This was my partner Sue's first swap, and she really did a great job. First of all, she stuffed that box with so much stuff, I just had to weigh it to see. It was 16 pounds by my scale! I'm sure those mosaic tiles were part of it, but she also crammed beach glass, shells, rubber duckies, religious artifacts, scarves, Pez dispensers, plus a bunch of office supplies, containers, sewing stuff, etc., etc., etc. I hope Sue starts a blog soon, since she is obviously a wonderful collector. Thank you, Sue!

A few days later I got this box of goodies from Lisa-Gabrielle at Jungle Dream Pagoda for winning her blogversary haiku contest. (We jokingly write haiku at work whenver a magazine layout spread is ready at deadline, so I've hd practice.) I had to laugh because she included a vintage birthday card and wrote "It's probaby not your birthday..." but it was! And what lovely gifts: a gorgeous and soft apron, a metallic purse, a cute 60s plastic mirror, Japanese bookmarks, and little wooden tiles. Thank you, Lisa-Gabrielle!

This little collection of vintage stuff is from my Aunt Pat, one of my crafting heroines. She sent me this antique creamer and sugar bowl, some vintage hankies, including several tatted by my grandmother, plus some knitting projects she has apparently given up on and some other craft supplies. Thanks, Aunt Pat!

One other craft-related birthday gift came from (who else?) my mom, who bought me a skein of this beautiful sock yarn that has aloe in it to keep you hands (and feet) soft while knitting (and wearing) it. She also gave me that cute little knitting projects bag. Thanks, Mom!
I also recently received some adorable postcards of Marianne's little people. I love them! And Rebecca at Thrifty Goodness sent me a Richard Scarry book she found thrifting in exchange for some wool felt (some's still for sale in my etsy shop, but it's going fast). Thank you, Marianne and Rebecca!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Vintage Christmas wrapping paper

"We plan, God laughs." (Yiddish proverb)

Update: the lime green Santa and wreath paper is gone. Sorry!

OK, some of you readers and paper crafters out there saw my mention of vintage Christmas wrapping paper and wanted to check it out. I have scanned in most of it here. (The top red one has a raised gold design.)

I love how the colors are so non-traditional. I know some of these scans are a bit dark, but how about those green and blue bells?

So if anyone is interested in buying some, I'm offering it to you before I put it in my etsy shop. Each sheet is 20 inches by 30 inches, and is folded into the traditional wrapping paper 10x10 square. (Oh, I love that mod green pattern!)

I'm charging $2 a sheet, includes shipping. And, at this point, you can request the ones you want, unless they're sold out. Whatever's left in a week or so will go in my etsy shop in premade bundles. So now's the time to be able to ask for which one you want. (OK, if no one buys that pink and gold one, I'm keeping it.)

My guess is that these are from the 50s and 60s. They are old, but were sealed in plastic so in as good as condition as you can expect for 40-year-old paper!

I bought them at an estate sale here in Chicago, and I'm selling some of my finds from thrifting to help support my craft habit and to help fund our adoptions.

If you are interested, please email me at: schlumpfh (at) claretians (dot) org. Move quickly or your favorite might be gone! I also would love to hear what you plan on making with them!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

FOs #2 and #3

"It takes a child to raise a village." (Karen and Jeff's friends' spin in the traditional African proverb)

OK maybe this doesn't count as two FOs, since I technically finished the teal sweater almost a year ago. But when my friend Karen learned that she and her husband were adopting twins from Ethiopia, I got started on a second one. I didn't finish the orange one in time for Karen's shower, but worked on it while she was in Ethiopia and just did the buttons last week.

You may remember this video of little Max (Mesvin) and Mari arriving in the U.S. from Ethiopia. They are doing really well (although their parents are fighting a parasite and are somewhat exhausted). I spent a few hours at the park yesterday morning with them, and they are still two little bundles of 3-year-old energy! You can follow their progress (when their parents have time to post) here. (Photo borrowed from their site.)

Stats on the sweater:

Pattern: This poorly written one on the lionbrand website. You have to register to get it, but registration is free. As I wrote back when I finished the teal one, this pattern is poorly written.

Yarn: Lions Brand Thick and Quick Wool-ease
Needles: Bamboo Size 11s
Buttons: Inexpensive wooden ones from Joann's
Notes: I made a few mistakes on this, kept knitting two right fronts instead of one each left and right and had to do much frogging. I also ended up with seven buttonholes instead of six like the teal one, but I don't think anyone will notice. With my notes and revisions to correct the poorly written pattern, it's starting to grow on me. I like the look of the sweater, even though I prefer raglan sleeves.

I'm hoping these will fit Max and Mari in the fall, but from how much I saw them eat yesterday I'm a little worried they might not!

FO #1

"The world is charged with the grandeur of God." (Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, "God's Grandeur")

I've got lots of FOs to post today. I've been busy knitting lots of baby/kids' sweaters and finally delivered them to their new owners Saturday. I finally finished this baby sweater that I started about a month ago. The goal was to finish it by little Lincoln's blessing ceremony but that didn't happen. I worked on it while camping, in New York, and in Michigan.

This is Lincoln at his blessing ceremony, which was his parents' (Jon and Kristen) alternative to briss or baptism. It was a very creative conglomoration of rituals that included hints of Jon's Jewish heritage, Kristin's Catholic and Latino background, and some modern twists as well (including two sets of godparents, of which we are one). Of course, Lincoln was the perfect baby throughout the whole thing!

The stats on the sweater:
Pattern: Yarn Harlot's Daisy Sweater pattern (on Knitty here), which I've made once before. I used the largest size.
Yarn: Paton's Katrina yarn in a soft sage green (used it once before in a smaller baby sweater here). It's nice and stretchy and good for summer. I used two skeins and a little bit of a third.
Buttons: Three white ones from my vintage collection.
Needles: My favorite pair of 7s
Notes: I like knitting with this yarn. It looks like it should fit 9-month-old for the next few months of the summer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Corners of my home

"Whatever you are meant to do, move toward it and it will come to you." (Corporate speaker and author Gloria Dunn)

This is a little shelf in the entryway of our condo above the front hall closet. It's one of those cheap moulding shelves, which I used to have in my old condo dining room area. At first I didn't think it fit into our new place, but then I decided to use it to display a collection of spiritual tchotchkes Ed and I have acquired in our international travels.

They are (from left, and interspersed with candles):

  • a Shiva statue from India
  • the triple spiral from Ireland (a symbol of the divine feminine)
  • Ed's Buddha from Thailand
  • the snake goddess from Crete
  • a reproduction of the Konark Sun Temple in Orissa, India
A bunch of these things used to be on my personal altar in my old place, but I thought they looked cool enough to be in a more public part of our home.

btw, I found another Heidi craft blogger (with me, I'm now up to four!). Check out yet another Heidi at My Paper Crane.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Top 10 reasons I love Michigan

"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." (Magician and writer Robert Orben)

Ed and I just got back from a four-day vacation to Michigan for my birthday. It was great. Here are the top 10 reasons I love Michigan:

10. Rain was forecast every day, but it didn't rain until our drive home. Beautiful drive on the way up. So many trees!

9. Wonderful B&B in Arcadia. Enjoyed the jacuzzi, the nearby beach (above), the tasty breakfasts, and especially the one-hour massage.

8. Going the weekend before tourist season. No crowds at the Frankfort Lighthouse (above).

7. Friday night fish fry near Frankfort.

6. Getting lost on the way to Mackinac Island. Stopping at garage sale for directions. Buying a toy for Sam.

5. The sweet smell of lilacs on Mackinac Island.

4. A surprise birthday gift from my sister: a gift certificate for dinner on the island.

3. Glorious sunset seen from the ferry ride home. View of the bridge from our cheap hotel in Mackinac City.

2. Pink and green buttons from a little antique place in Holland on the way home.

And the #1 reason I love Michigan: The officer who pulled me over for going 72 in a 55 mph zone, who after taking my license and proof of insurance back to his car (I didn't even have my registration) noticed that it was my birthday and told me, "No tickets on your birthday." I started crying. And then let Ed drive.

I also did a bunch of knitting so will post some new FOs and WIPs this week. Thanks, honey, for a great getaway weekend. I needed it!