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Archive for January, 2013

Mod Squad Flashback #2

January 29th, 2013 at 09:54 am

Is there a 60s revival going on I didn't know about? Or maybe it's just local to me? Last week I posted that the psychedelic Age of Aquarius invaded my personal space lately. Big reason #1 is the stash of vintage booklets I'm listing on line for a neighbor. Laugh with me on a trip to the past where Peter Max meets Betty Crocker

But that was just the start! I recently read Tom Brokaw's 'On America', his thoughtful overview even handed evaluation of the current state of US social and political culture. I had checked it out as an ebook and made good use of my bus commute time.

Shortly after, I picked up 'BOOM Voices of the 60s' (his next book) for $2 from the library sale shelf.

One of the first chapters is a lengthy look back at the how/what/why of the Vietnam war and effects of that issue today. OK. I was kinda young (preteen) at the time but it was good information from a trusted source.

Other chapters discussed women's lib (HA! now THAT I remember more as a 5th grader). Also a long analysis of presidential politics, Reagan and the following Christian conservative movement. Then Clinton and Bush and Cheney and Rove. And lots more. Fascinating. This guy would know, he was in the thick of it as a newsman.

On Paul Simon: Simon, who campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and George McGovern in 1972, has used the power of his fame and his bank account to perform benefit concerts for the homeless, for health care for the inner city, for autism, and for environmental causes. He is a serious student of music as a force in culture, and he seems dismayed that, as he puts it, "music is not the language of this generation."

On Lorne Michaels: When Lorne Michaels and I talked about that transition in television entertainment, he had a neat summary. When he was a writer on Laugh-In at the age of twenty-four, all the other writers were fifty and older, and most of them were veterans of radio comedy shows. When Michaels started SNL he was, at thirty, the oldest member of a staff that had grown up entirely in and on television. SNL was the first major show produced by a purely television generation. "I don't think it would have worked without Watergate. That made everything fair game. The resignation of a president, the imprisonment of his closest aides, the vice president forced from office for accepting bribes..."

Next post - The Help. Why on earth did that fall in my lap? It was a mere $2 on the library sale shelf and I hadn't seen the movie but knew it was good. So I read it. Oy. Back to 1963.

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Remember Peter Max?

January 25th, 2013 at 10:07 am

Why is the Age of Aquarius all around me lately? Unplanned and coincidentally I have been deluged by the 1960s and 70s. I'm not complaining, in fact it has been amusing.

First, what happened was I agreed to sell some vintage cook and craft booklets that my neighbor had at a recent garage sale. Just a short look in that box and I stopped her from tossing them in the recycle bin or giving them to the thrift store.

It wasn't because there were matching cookbooks from the big brands like Betty Crocker and Gold Medal. And that they were in perfect condition. What really caught me were the illustrations not the recipes. It was just that the style was so ... DATED or to put it more politely ... PERIOD.

See here what I mean-

1971 Betty Crocker meets Peter Max


This is the first page inside a dessert pamphlet! OK, google peter max, I dare you. Let's take a trip on the Yellow Submarine!! Seriously, poster art and album covers of this era are collectors items. Want it for $2.95? Go here

Who was this children's book illustrator?!


Another of the booklets is dated 1955, before the psychedelic times. And I recognize this type of illustration from books I read as a little kid. Anyone want to tell me who it might be? See more examples here

'You've Come a Long Way Baby'


This page is from a Gold Medal Flour pamphlet to commemorate their 75 years of production. Other pages illustrate the 1940s, and other decades. It contains simply beautiful graphics, history and a slice of Americana. I would label this as a true antique. See more here

So take a trip down memory lane and reminisce 'what a long strange trip it's been' THANK YOU

PS stay tuned for why the 1960s has permeated my life! Clue: anyone else READ the book 'The Help'?

More Gloves? and customer opinion poll

January 11th, 2013 at 09:12 am

Maybe I'm crazy but I want to make long fancy special occasion gloves sometime. In fact, this started at the thrift store where I found a pair of plain white elbow length vintage gloves for about $4.

I don't know what it is about gloves and me lately!!

Cross my doing bead and sequin work on knit gloves for the past couple years, and the jeweled eggs I'm making more recently and you get...

Jeweled, silk flowered, laced and embellished formal gloves?

Right now there are 3 gloves on my website:

Green and Orange Pop Lemon-Lime Eye Openers

Red White and Blue Baby!

Princess Alert Mittens

I did a search on Etsy for fancy white gloves, such as for wedding, graduation, quinceanera, etc. And there isn't alot out there. Mostly those fingerless lace arm thingys, and vintage pairs. Hmmm, is this a good sign as perhaps an unfufilled market area?

Anyway, the big problem I'm thinking is how to get a reliable supply of plain elbow length (or perhaps midi length) gloves. I love the vintage, but obviously this avenue is not reliable, NOR inexpensive. Sheesh.

I looked into wholesale especially at the LA garment district. The supply is not exactly great quality, mostly stretch polyester. And I am not sure I want to do the Made in China thing.

Soooo. The next idea is to make them myself. Good in concept, harder to execute. I am a reasonably experienced seamstress. There are two basic ways to sew gloves. One really easy, one more detailed and time intensive.

Fitted Glove


This style has the thumb in the palm area and gussets at the fingers. Best for cotton, satin, and fabrics with a small stretch.

Simple Glove


This style has the thumb on the side. Easy peasy. Best for knit, lycra, and 2 way stretch fabric I presume.


My goal is to use fabric with some weight such as a cotton/spandex mix. Or maybe full on lycra. Heavy weight lycra is not cheap. Anyway, the material must be substantial enough to hold sewn on flowers, crystals and decorations. I don't want alot of puckering at the fingers or thumb either.

But I don't want to become frustrated with a hard sewing job. The labor needs to be small enough so the end price is about $50/pair.

So which do you prefer?

How it Looks from start to finish - Work In Progress

January 9th, 2013 at 10:07 am

How do you get from raw materials to a pair of finished earrings? I was hired to do a custom pair of sea glass earrings about a week ago by an acquaintance who was given a sea glass pendant some months ago as a hostess gift.

Her pendant is a pale green glass held with a sterling silver wire cage. I had some jewelry on display at a boutique and she noticed my sea glass earrings. Though I don't use the same wire cage style, she liked my design and prices and we agreed to meet.

I brought my sea glass supplies to see if we had colors that would match the pendant. I've used most of the larger pieces of sea glass in my inventory, though I was thinking 2 smaller pieces linked together would be a nice substitute. She came to the same conclusion and picked out the 4 pieces.

I also was smart to have the right weight of sterling wire already in my supplies. And in fact, she requested post type ends which I also have a few pairs in my supply. Good planning ahead!

The only detail to include then, was a spiral somewhere in the earrings. The pendant has a couple spirals near the tip (a very common style of wire wrap). So I decided to have a spiral at the top of the upper link, and at the bottom of the lower link.

Here's what it looks like, before and after.

You missed the Monday Mindful Thanks?

January 8th, 2013 at 01:49 pm

Where's Paulette? didn't she start these blog posts, and in her absence I will continue the tradition.

Thanks for good health! All limbs are working, eyes fine, hearing and smelling ok. Thanks for the desire to play outdoors! To exercise, take walks, do yard gardening.

No flu, no headache, no stomach ache. No breathing issues. No heart disease.

THANKS for stopping in and reading!

Showing off my pretty wire heart necklace ~ Original Design, Hand Work



See all about it HERE

Sneak Peek | Long Tall Mint Green and Curly Peach

January 7th, 2013 at 11:42 am

Is the slow period for craft sellers over? When I started about 7 years ago making jewelry, cards and accessories and doing festivals and shows, other crafters would reminisce of selling out whole booths at past shows. Those must have been the golden days!

My experience was nearly about face for several years ~ sales were few, festivals struggled with attendence. I had a positive (naive?) outlook though because I was doing the jewelry design for fun and love. My enthusiasm was an asset, customers were happy to visit, browse and chat.

What a pleasant feeling though that the little business payed for itself. Perhaps there was no profit the first few years, but at least the company had income to buy a pop up tent, computer supplies and more. I gained LOADS of experience working with materials and designs. And even more experience working out my right brain!

Has the corner turned? It's only been a week in the year and I've gotten 3 sales already. I'm sure it's a combination of: better merchandise, stronger economy, and small business savvy. My prices have gone up but are still very attractive.

1. to Austria - sea glass earrings
2. to Oregon - hand beaded gloves

3. a custom order for jewelry from an art association contact.

NICE!

And the paint hasn't even dried on the artful jeweled eggs in progress. I will be offering these on line at Pretty Cheap Jewelry this year.

Want a sneak peek?

Long Tall and Green



The Araucana chicken lays this naturally tinted pale green egg. I've decorated with fine metallic thread, gold paint and mini peach bindi's (Indian body jewel). The tip is crowned with a stone, the bottom a double circle of rhinestones. String for hanging.
Contact me for additional photos, pricing and shipping.

Peach Curl



A fun playful egg painted with red and black curls separated by a center band of candy apple red swarovski crystals. String for hanging.
Contact me for additional photos, pricing and shipping.


Thanks for the tweets and reads. Comments appreciated!

My Holiday Moments - Hits and Misses

January 4th, 2013 at 11:50 am

What do you now remember as hits and misses these past few weeks?

My favorite Pretty Cheap Jewelry Family Hit ~

Christmas Eve and all through the house, the family was playing, including our mouse! Not really, but all our visiting with relatives was over (whew), the shopping was done, no more dance and stage performances, and my small business events were finished.

Since we had not done so during Chanukah, I made a latke dinner. Candlelight and good dishes. After which my teens hung around and we had a really wonderful UNPLUGGED family game time. EXACTLY what I'd hoped for. I had planned ahead and gotten a few $1 lottery scratch off tickets earlier in the day hoping these would attract the kids to some sort of family time.

It worked! First, while I washed up the kitchen, my son challenged Dad to some simple card games for a few minutes. Then my daughter ran and got her big white board (for organizing her school and social life) and we had a rousing game of Pictionary.

Seems my husband put a little Pictionary game app on his phone (my husband cannot keep himself from finding all manner of free stuff and playing with his phone). Of course my daughter eats this stuff up and loves doodling with her iPod the same way.

So how would YOU draw these:

'Japanese Monster Film'
'Phone store'
'Bouncy Castle' (I think they meant those jolly jumps)
'marksman'
'ferret'
'cop and robber'
'kazoo'
'anxious' (this was hilarious, my husband tried to draw a person waiting outside a bathroom trying to hold it and sweating!)

It was everyman for himself and the first to guess 5 correctly won a lottery ticket. We guessed all those above (some took longer than others) and many more.

And on the other side, the Pretty Cheap Jewelry Miss ~

At our extended family gathering, I bring gifts for people I've met once (and hardly remember) or not at all. We focus on the kids and there were two families; one with a 1.5 year old boy and the other with a new baby and two boys around 10 years old. I made two big baskets and both turned out very well. Here's the one for the 1.5 year old...



I happened to have a basket ready to fill and in went (library sale shelf) kids books, a dad apron and napkins (I sew'ed), a bottle of local restaurant BBQ sauce (local biz) and a scented candle/soap (regifted) made a nice family basket.

The miss? I gave my father in law's 2nd wife a really gorgeous handmade plate from the potter's guild with a bar of local handmade soap. She loved it, but I know she REALLY wanted a book store gift card. And another great aunt similar story. They are generous to my kids, so -- Next year!

More stories soon!