Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Etsy Shop, Guest Blogging & GIVEAWAY

Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There’s so much good news to share!  So grab a cuppa, sit down and relax! I’ve finally taken the plunge and opened an Etsy Shop!!!!  So, now we’re all going to party like CRAZY quilters, or CRAZY stitchers, or whatever your CRAZY thang is!!


Cathy’s CRAZY by Design ( will be open for business on Thursday, July 1.  I’m going to feature my Golden Laces  (venice and other laces dyed with potassium permanganate).  If you’ve ever seen the Australian publications, or the work of  Jenny Haskins or Judith & Kathryn, you are probably familiar with these unusual, lustrous, YUMMY laces.  Whenever I take them to a CQ conference, they sell out.  

I’ll also be offering you some of my great vintage finds:  vintage laces, vintage trims, vintage linens, and other whimseys.   And regular laces and trims.  And to round it out, I’ll have lots of farmgirl-type aprons (with denim bibs) and cute and kicky contemporary aprons for women and girls.  Some will be sedate and tame, others will be fun and wild!   Full aprons, half aprons,  and aprons you can “cook” in (but not necessarily in the kitchen, ahem, if you catch my drift....).  It’ll likely take me a couple weeks to get up to speed and get it all listed, but it’s a-comin’!!


So, let’s all celebrate!  I’m going to have a fun giveaway for YOU, with two prize packages.    First, let’s take a look at what I’ve put together.

Weekend in Paris??  Well, not quite!  But how about a lovely framed print of Paris, a little ceramic Eiffel tower bud vase, rose-scented imported Italian (pretend it’s French) soap in tulle, a vintage mother of pearl button, a vintage embroidered hankie, a vintage crocheted fan, a “golden” dyed fleur-de-lis, and some vintage baby blue trim (around the “tower”).    All you need to furnish is the wine and candles!!!

Ah, but maybe you’re more the type to get right to creating.  If so, how about some golden lace?

Over the years I’ve learned that different laces take the potassium permanganate in different ways.  That is true of most dyeing, I’m sure. The golden sheen is most apparent on rayon venice lace.  Some modern venices are part rayon and part OTHER.  And some of the laces I dye are cotton, which don’t have a sheen at all, just a nice light (ranging to dark) color.  The lace prize is all that’s pictured above, plus several items that I’ll add (at least 3 more nice ones, bringing it to a dozen pieces).  


My third wonderful announcement is that I’ve been asked by Pam Kellogg of Kitty & Me Designs  to be her first featured guest blogger.  That post is happening today, July 1, 2010.  Woo-hoo, again!  If you don’t know Pam (which I doubt, because EVERYONE knows and loves Pam), hop on over to her blog (as soon as you’re done here!).   Pam is an amazing crazy quilter, designer, and former cross-stitch pattern designer (well-published, I might add).  Her Etsy shop was my inspiration to open my own shop (because I spent so much money there, I had to gain another source of income) because her creations are so gorgeous!   And she is my new BFF!!!


So, all three of these items tie in together (in my “wonderful” category, anyway), and here is how YOU can be one of the giveaway winners.    There are 5 ways to get your name entered into the drawing, with a total of up to 8 chances to win!  Between today (Thursday, July 1) and Friday, July 9, 2010 at midnight (MDT), leave a comment ON THIS POST.  Please, it must be on this post!!  You will be entered one time.  But there are ways to get your name entered again, so let’s run them down:

1.  Leave a comment on this post - one entry
2.  Become a follower of this blog - one entry (current followers are automatically entered)
3.  Post about this giveaway (with a picture) in your blog & link back here - one more entry
4.  Become a follower of Kitty & Me Designs - one entry (current followers are automatically entered).  If you follow both blogs, you’re entered twice right off the bat!
5.  Make a purchase at Cathy’s Crazy by Design between now and July 9, midnight, and you will get three additional entries.

Make sure I have a way to contact you!  If you don’t have a blog, make sure your name and email address show up in your comment.  I don’t want you to lose out because I can’t find you!!

So, let the party commence!  And thank you one and all for your friendship and support!  YOU ARE THE BEST!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Block 2 of Images of Africa

Hi - just a short post today.  This is Block #2 of my Images of Africa quilt from three years ago.  Again, not one of my favorite blocks, but those will come soon enough.   Nothing much to explain on this one; images were fussy cut and fused.  Flowers near center are silk ribbon embroidered, lace near bottom was dyed, but not by me.  It was a lazy block, LOL.   And it’s true that sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, because as I go back and study these individual blocks, I realize I was caught up in the colors, theme and textures, not in the creativity, inspiration and technical execution....  :-)   And so it goes sometimes.....

And ... a quick reminder of my July 1 announcement.  Here are a couple short hints:  there’s a giveaway involved, and some lace, too.  I’ll give a couple more hints tomorrow.

Cathy maroon

Monday, June 28, 2010

Embroidered Originals by Sue Rangeley

Last week on June 23, Denise Felton published a picture of Sue Rangeley’s new book “Embroidered Originals”.  See the post here.   After checking Sue’s blog and admiring her amazing work, I ordered the book straightaway.  I can’t wait for it to arrive (any day now!!)
We exchanged several delightful emails, and this morning Sue sent me pictures of two purses that are among the six prizes in her giveaway drawing being held July 1 (that’s Thursday).

Look at the detail and workmanship on these purses!

They are both so lovely, I can’t pick a favorite!  

And here’s the press release, which gives Sue’s website address:

Press Release - Monday 28th June
With just three days of my Prize Draw Promotion, these are the images of my silk embellished bags which are the first and second prizes, tickets with every 'Embroidered Originals' book ordered from
Sue's embroidered evening bags are in private and public collections around the world. In 1993, during her solo show in Tokyo, one of her evening bags was given to Princess Masako, by the store Tokyu department store which was the venue of the exhibition.
These two silk evening bags are machine quilted, with hand-painted gold leaves. The floral embellishment combines applique and manipulation, with hand-beading using czech glass and freshwater pearls. The design inspiration is influenced by 1930s flower vases.
The bags are heirloom pieces created by a British embroiderer of international reputation.

Please take a few moments to check out this talented artist’s website.  You’ll be amazed at the beauty she creates.  Oh, to have such talent and skills!

Cathy maroon

Images of Africa and Surprise

What’s the surprise???  Well, I’m not telling you until next month!  LOL.   Actually, I’ll tell you on July 1, so it’s only three (gulp) days away!!  Lots of things to prepare before then!  And part of it involves a giveaway, so stay tuned!

OK, so I’m going to post my Images of Africa quilt, block by block.  There are twelve blocks, and since I’m likely to miss a day or two here and there, it’ll probably take a couple weeks.   But it’ll be “business as usual” for all the other stuff; the blocks will just be tucked in ....  :-)

Block 1

All the African blocks finished out at about 11” square.  In each one I tried to incorporate something relating to an animal, something of the flora (real or fantasy), and something relating to the people or cultures.  Of course, the continent of Africa (specifically lower Africa, below the equator) is comprised of many different countries and has some of the most magnificent and varied wildlife and landscapes on earth.  So, this is a rather generic “dreamers” quilt; it’s my interpretation of Africa.

Not much stitching on this block, seam-wise, except in the lower left fan area.  The “pot” is appliqued on and the “shield” is an old earring.   The flowers in the lower right area are a technique I learned from Lisa Caryl in a class at The John C. Campbell Folk School back in 2006, where this quilt was started.  Lisa was assisting Martha Green in teaching for an entire week.  The piecing used in many of these blocks was Martha’s “Carny Roadside Attraction” method.  The gold metal hoop amongst those flowers is ALSO an earring, one of a pair I found that week in a North Carolina flea market.

In the upper right I collaged chunky earth-colored fibers, a mask fetish, buttons, some larger beads and a leaf (a thrift store find).  The giraffe was fussy-cut from fabric, appliqued to canvas and then attached.  I fringed the edges.  A fussy-cut mask (from a mask printed fabric), a bead, and some stitched symbols complete the upper left.  All in all, it was not one of my better blocks, which is why it was put in the upper left of the quilt.

Oh..... that orange striped fabric in the fan area actually came from a vintage kimono.  Other fabrics are silk, cottons, rayon and velvet.  Not sure if that African print at bottom center was part of the real fabric or part of the repro fabric I had of that print....

* * * * * * * *
By the way, if you’re interested in seeing more spoon stacks, check out Candy’s blog and take a look at her amazing thrift shop find - 3 of them!!

Cathy maroon

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mysteries Solved & Some CQ Too!

Thank you all for your wonderful and interesting comments on my last post.  There were a lot of great ideas about what some of those "mystery" artifacts were, which led me into some fun online research.  So, I thought I'd just do a post to answer some of the questions and comments....
Let's start with this:

There were suggestions from Lesley and Leaking Moonlight that this was perhaps a bourdaloue.  From Lesley's description, I had a pretty good idea of what she meant, but I was wondering why it would be so decorative. Marilyn and Ruby both thought it was a spoon rest.  The answer is .... it IS a spoon rest.  Or more accurately, a spoon stack.     

This is a bourdaloue:

It is a portable chamber pot from the "good old days", LOL.  And yes, it's rather ornate for its function, don't you think?   Come to think of it though, even though most of the chamber pots I've seen (like in the historic farmhouse at Wheeler Farm where I work) are plain, I have seen some quite fancy ones.    By the way, a bourdaloue is also a fancy tart which can look something like this: 

Try not to get the two confused!!!  :-)  

So, this is what I found out about the spoon stack.  Here is a sample of a Noritake spoon stack.

Most of them were made between 1890 - 1910.  The Noritakes I've seen online at Replacements Ltd. and other auction houses sell for between $60 to $95 each.  But remember, mine had no markings?  Well, apparently Noritake made some blanks, and those were sold in more limited numbers to handpainters.  You can see the style is nearly identical, although my handles are more ornate.  The blanks are more rare, but I've only seen one sell, and that was for $45.  Either way, not a bad investment for the $5 I paid, was it??

Moving on to the mystery of this:

Kimberly in SLC (shout out to Kimberly!!!) suggested it might be a southern-type beverage cover.  So, I began Googling those.  But I noticed that they were less "airy" (to protect the pitcher or glass from bugs flying in) and were FLAT.  The flat crocheted protectors were draped over the pitcher.

So, then I checked out snoods, my original hunch, and I believe I'm right. Check out this vintage image:

Yes, they are LONG compared to today's shower caps and hair nets. Wow, and were there ever some stylish ones!  I saw a number of modern day versions that are being made (check it out sometime!) that are absolutely lovely.  I think I'll let my hair grow, LOL!!

And finally, to keep this somewhat related to stitching and crazy quilting, here is a picture of my Images of Africa quilt.  I made it for the $100,000 Quilting Challenge back in 2006-2007.   I was one of the ten semi-finalists (or was it quarter-finals?) in the Crazy Quilting category that were asked to send in their quilts.  However, it did not make it to publication in the magazine.  Oh well, it looks great in our African-themed library.

I've been thinking of perhaps posting this quilt block by block, but honestly, it has a lot of interesting  STUFF and ideas on it, but the stitching was a little on the lean side (at least compared to how I do things now).   There's another crazy quilt in me trying to get out, and I'll hopefully embark upon that this winter to meet the CQ by 2012 Challenge that I started on some of the CQ lists.   I ought to "put my money where my mouth is", eh?  (I ought to put something where my mouth is; this post has rambled on long enough!)

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fun Stuff from the Estate Sale

Most of us who love the needlearts, whether it be sewing, quilting, embroidery, CRAZY QUILTING, beading, etc., usually love (or at least appreciate) vintage linens and textiles.    I inherited a lot of crocheted and embroidered tablecloths, doilies, handtowels, hankies, and such from my mother and grandmother, which also included work from my great-grandmother Oma.  And I've always loved them.  It wasn't until I reached my forties that I began collecting them.

At first, I collected anything.  Now I'm much more selective, not to mention that I'm running out of storage space!  So, selling off a lot of my vintage linens and other finds to make room to breathe is part of the game plan that will begin this summer.  But in the meantime, when I find something really NICE, and reasonably priced, I'll buy it.

This piece, done on ivory linen, was only $3!  

Look at the lovely hand stitching!

And this 36 x 36" pristine tablecloth was also a steal at $3.

These two books were like new, fascinating, and only $1 each.  And see the hat stand?  No, it's not vintage.   It just is there to display the crocheted WHATEVER that I got.  There's a piece of ivory silk that I draped over the metal hat stand first (so the crochet wouldn't get snagged).

This is what it looks like from the top.  Is it a nightcap?  A snood?  

Someone would have to have had a lot of hair to fill it up!!  Any ideas???

But the REAL puzzler is the following porcelain piece.  Does anyone have any idea what it is?  Even the antique dealers were stumped.   This is the front, more ornately hand-painted side.

Here it is from the back

Looking inside.  Unusual shape and nice gold trim.

And this is the bottom  No markings!

I'm thinking it may have had some use at the dining table, and it looks nice with a vintage chocolate pot and snack set I have.  But for now, it's in the guest bedroom sitting on a vintage washstand.....  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this piece!!  Oh, it was originally priced at $12, then marked down to $8.  She sold it to me for $5.

Moving along, the vintage bottle above ($1) I just couldn't pass up, especially since the top part of this former talc shaker still works.   I've got some cool graphics of vintage French perfume and talc bottles that I can print up and decorate it with.  And the pin (too corny to be called a "brooch"!) is a "diamonoid" (as DH Bruce would say) banjo.   Bruce plays the banjo (and guitar), so we got a kick out of this.  I know it'll find its way into a personal art piece.  (too bad, eh?)

I started collecting vintage baby clothes last year.  Don't know why.  Perhaps because I became a grandma for the first time and was feeling sentimental?  Maybe that should just be plain ol' --MENTAL, not sentimental.   I checked out prices on Ebay, and they're really not worth much - at least not monetarily.   But I love them and often wonder about the children they belonged to.  The boys' things, above, are probably from the 1930's to 1940's.  The little girls' dresses, below, are more recent.  I'm thinking fifties.

But if nothing else, wouldn't they be cute in some type of collage?  They're all small; 12-18 month sizes mostly.

They'll all be listed on Ebay next month, too, and likely to go for a song.  I may keep a piece here and there for myself....  This one rather reminds me of a yellow dress I had my picture taken in at age 4.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Murray City Hall to find out about participating in our LOCAL Farmer's Market.  And I'll also set up a vendor booth in July at our Wheeler Farm Historic Fair.  My plan is to sell aprons, totes, sachets, pillows as well as girls' dresses and playclothes.   On Ebay I'll sell vintage collectibles, linens and hankies, fabric and the like.  On both Etsy and Ebay I'll be selling vintage laces and hand-dyed (with potassium permanganate) "golden" laces.  Maybe try an apron or two there as well to see how that goes.   I finally figured that it made sense to separate things this way for awhile until I get my extra stash and "inventory" cleared.  Then I'll re-evaluate and focus on what works best.

As always, "so much to do..... so little time'!!

Cathy maroon

Monday, June 21, 2010

What a Weekend!

... and I'm not even talking about the FAMILY part of it!  On Friday we drove past a yard sale in the neighborhood, on Saturday we visited the Salt Lake Farmers Market (scouting a good location for my booth next week), and then that afternoon we went to a GREAT estate sale.  And I have the treasures to prove it.

I've been busy sewing aprons (among other things.  I'll have pictures later this week).   For now, take a look at my studio.  

It looks like a cyclone hit it  like a creative mess, doesn't it??  Which is why I was not going anywhere near the "Where Bloggers Create" thingy this last weekend.  Heck, I would've been run out of Blogland!   There are over 40 aprons, adult and child, matched fabric and denim bibs, ready to sew.  And here is my furson Boomer, who "helps" me by sleeping in a box of old quilt pieces.  Better there than on my work-in-process piles!

Thanks to my dear friend Gerry, who gave me a great denim-bibbed apron last fall, I made lots of these aprons for the Christmas gift and boutique season.  (See posts here and here).  She also gave me a lot of floral home decorator fabrics last February (witnesseth it here).    So, when Bruce & I stopped at the yard sale on Friday after dinner (on our way to our favorite "Date Night" locale - the grocery store, LOL), I couldn't resist digging through a box of home decorator fabrics.  And I kept finding more and more that would make great aprons.  $5 later the box was mine.  And I also got a box of 100 pairs (or is pair the plural of pair?) of plastic gloves.   Lifetime supply of dyeing gloves!

Above is just a sampling of some of the fabrics from the box.  I spent a good part of the weekend washing and ironing them.

These shabby florals and toiles just make me swoon!  The hydrangea print at the bottom is a Laura Ashley.

Some of these (like the bottom one) I'm not so crazy about, but they'll all get used or passed on to my DIL, who is sewing her brains out for the Farmers Market, too.

And speaking of the Farmers Market, Bruce and I did go on Saturday morning and we were SO disappointed.  I must rant.  The (Salt Lake) Downtown Alliance, who organizes the Farmers Market has always been a choosy about who they let into the Market.  THAT is good.  In addition to the farmers and natural product booths, they've always included crafters whose products are handmade.  That, too is good; I hate the resellers of imported crap.  Those vendors who either weren't juried in to the Market, or who (like me) never tried and only have a Sidewalk Vendor permit, were allowed to set up booths at the south end of the park, where the regular Market traffic would visit.  The rules for Sidewalk Vendors were the same; items must be handmade.  Unfortunately, it was never monitored or enforced, so in past years, junky dealers and resellers gave them a black eye.

This year, an Enforcement Officer was hired full-time to be at the Market.  And since the area formerly designated for the Sidewalk Vendors was taken by a performance stage, all Market activities were spread out all over the park.  This disjointed set-up takes away a lot of the atmosphere of a community market.  And to top it off, although there are lots of empty areas in the park, they moved the Sidewalk Vendors a block away from the Market in spite of the enforcement, and the now-equal quality of the Sidewalk Vendors.   Those poor vendors were not doing well; their only foot traffic being those of us who parked in the free parking garage nearby.

It'll probably be an exercise in futility to set up there next week, but I do want to try it once.  In the meantime, I'm going to check out the local Murray City Farmers Market and probably participate in the Wheeler Farm boutiques, too.

But, I did find a wonderful booth called Twisted Spiders.  I had seen them before at Wheeler Farm, and there, like at the SL Farmers Market, their booth caused a sensation.  This is what I bought:

Check out her website for more of her lovely creations - pins (brooches), magnets and more.

Tomorrow, I'll show you my estate sale finds.  Tonight, I'm taking a rest from the sewing machine and reading more of my current favorite book:

See you tomorrow!

Cathy maroon

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day.... To my Son

Dear Shane,
Happy First Father's Day to you!  Thank you (and dear Heather) for bringing precious London into our lives.  You have been a wonderful father to your daughter, and I know she will continue to adore you as she grows.

I love you with all my heart.......

Cathy maroon

Monday, June 14, 2010

Final Block Finished for Wool CQ

This is the final block in the Wool DYB ("Do Your Own Block") Round Robin that I participated in this year with Crazy Quilting International.  The owner of these blocks, Karrin, pieced six different baskets and asked us to stitch flowers in them using threads or silk ribbons.  Here is the block I did.

Aargh!  I can see I still have forgotten to put the centers into the orange flowers on the right.  Hope I remember before I mail them tomorrow, LOL!  ;-)  Instead of a dragonfly, I decided to add a butterfly and red bug.  They seem to balance it out well, and are sort of folksy, which is the general feel of the blocks.  Here are all six blocks (the sixth and final will be done by Karrin herself).  The other stitchers in this round robin, besides Karrin and me, were Leslie, Hideko, Ritva, and Marya.

They'll be off in the mail to Karrin tomorrow.  And I move on to the next project, which is clean up my studio.  Then I can begin churning out some aprons for Farmers Market.  Next CQ project is an Art Nouveau block; ideas for that are percolating for the moment!
Cathy maroon

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just a Quick Photo

I didn't finish my art bra in time to submit it this year to A Way to Women's Wellness,  but hopefully can submit it at a later date if they need more for their traveling exhibit.  So, here's a progress shot, with much of it just in the pinning stages.  It's called "The Gypsy's Secret" and will eventually have tulle added along the top and lots more "bling".  So many things, so little time....

Cathy maroon