Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat!

It's Snapshot Friday again and this week's installment is:

Fun with Costumes!!
(aka Yay for Halloween!!)

(Remember to click to see them larger)

These gems also came from the infamous communal collage box in my Art Class.  I love that the same lady is in both, although I can't tell which came first.  These folks look like they are having a great time!  Afterall, she does have a drink both pictures.  The back is stamped 1975.

And just for giggles, I'll take you back to the days of my youth.  I was in 1st grade and had told my Mom I wanted to be a sugar plum fairy.  So she made me a costume, I'm the blondie.

 Ahh, 1990.  Looking at all of the costumes in this one really takes me back.

 My Mom rocks!  I still remember her handing me a pair of Keds, a bunch of paint and a bag of "jewels" and telling me to make my fairy shoes.  Hmmmm, perhaps I get my craftiness from her, no?

I hope everyone out there has fun rockin' their costume this year.  Be sure to have great (safe) holiday weekend.  I'm off to pick out my pumpkin and carve that baby up- the pumpkin, not a real baby!  Oh, and drink lots of apple cider and consume massive amounts of cookies.  Man, I love holidays.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


These are a few ATCs that I made yesterday.  Sorry, the photo quality is not so hot, I still haven't fixed my camera problem so I scanned them.  I know, excuses, excuses.  Maybe I'll have to re-post em later.

Pink Princess 

Watercolors, vintage lace, gemstone and paper clippings on Bristol.

Sailor's Demise

Security envelope, paper clippings, metallic heart and vintage lace on Bristol.
Not so happy with this one here.  Originally, it only had the one girl with the hands behind her head.  After some bad decisions I had to add the second girl to cover up the hot mess I had made.
Happily, I stuck to my "Waste not, want not" plan and adapted.  As tempting as it was I didn't throw it out.

And last but not least, my Halloween inspired card-
Zombie Wound.

  Watercolors and embroidery floss on Bristol.
I don't think it comes across as pus filled as I would have liked, but it is Zombie like.

Currently, all three of available for trade.  Contact me if interested or find me on Flickr, which is where I normally do my trading.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Craigslist Come Up!!

So, after years of watching Dillon find amazing things on Craigslist I finally lucked out.  Last weekend I picked up four boxes of old encyclopedias and yearbooks.  Yeah, that may not sound very exciting but I'm pumped.  I originally got them to use as ephemera for ATCs and other paper crafts.  However, upon seeing how great they are there is no way I can cut them up.  I'll just have to spend the rest of eternity scanning pages that I want to use.
They range in time from the 1950s through the 1970s.  The articles are amazing, especially the tone they are written in.  I love reading about the new concept of recycling and the newfangled label called a UPC bar code- which will probably be a huge flop...little did they know.  And how construction is set to get underway for a new complex in NYC called the World Trade Center.  And how at a whopping $400 Million dollars, it will be the world's most expensive building ever built.  Crazy how the world has changed.

The following pictures are from the 1971 World Book Yearbook.
This particular article explained the concept of Spaceship Earth based on the idea of international cooperation and education.  Turning the Earth from a battlefield that is guaranteed to eventually destroy itself, into one giant classroom.  Where all countries could work together to solve problems too big for just one country to tackle alone.  And all countries could prosper with the sharing of technology and scientific breakthroughs.   I think it's amazing food for thought.  I find it disappointing that nearly 40 years later that this hasn't been achieved, even on the smallest scale.

(Click on 'em to see 'em larger)

In war, mankind faces the ultimate unity of planetary death.  Earth's biosphere is our home... or our burial chamber

by watching and learning together, the earth can be a school-room rather than a battlefield.
(Referring to war) That could disrupt the life-giving energies of biosphere, the precious envelope pf air, soil, and water that sustains our very existence. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Snapshot Friday!

More vintage photo fun- The Girls

I came across these three photos years ago in an art class.  They were in a huge box of scraps that were to be used as collage materials.  I couldn't pass them up.  Needless to say, I didn't end up using them on my collage :)  Unfortunately, they are not in the best condition after their residency in the communal art box.  And someone cut them... very unevenly.

We call them, Margaret, Millicent, Mary-Anne and Mary-Jane. And then there's Fran, off in her own little world as usual.  I love their hair!

 This last lady looked like she was one tough cookie.  A sweet lady, until you messed with her.

p.s. I love the fake snotty expressions that the girl is making the the first and second one.  Too bad it's not the same gal.   (Click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I always have more than one project going at a time.  That way I don't get too burnt out or obsess too much over one particular thing.  I'll admit sometimes I'm bad about it.  I've cast aside a project or two for longer than I should have, but I always go back to them.  I love having a fresh perspective on an old project.
I thought I'd share the inspiration for a new embroidery project I'm starting.  It'll get added to the 3 others I'm working on right now (and to hundreds of items on my to-do list.)

Like almost everything else, I thrifted this book years ago.  I love the ultra 70s coloration and typography, mainly because it doesn't fit the mental image I have of the Capone days- at all.  Maybe I've watched The Untouchables a few too many times (wait, not possible)  but I just don't think "bright" when I think of Prohibition Era gangsters.  I'd like to reproduce it with these colors, just because it looks silly to me.
And talk about riding on the coat-tails of others, "The New Bestseller from the Publisher of THE GODFATHER".  They could come up with anything better than, hey we've published other good books!?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Embroidered Card

I have a whole bunch of rub-on decals just wasting away in a drawer, lonely.  So this weekend I decided to show them some love.  I whipped up this card to send to my grandparents back East.

(Gratuitous kitten shot, just because she happened to be sleeping on the desk where I was working)

This was my first time making an embroidered greeting card.
I love the results, but I would certainly change a few things next time.  As always, I just launched right into it without thinking.  I wasn't really careful about where I was punching the holes, so it's a bit wonky in places.  My love of pretty fonts backfired here too.  I need to pick one that's easier to read.  Even if I think it's "ugly" for typing, I'm sure it'll translate nicer in stitches.  Oh and I did it straight onto the card, so I had to add paper inside to cover the stitching.  I did this by folding a piece in half and sewing it onto the center of the card.  I like this part but probably won't to again because it was really hard not to wrinkle the card when I was turning it all over the place for the lettering.

A great learning experience and I'm ready to make more!  I think I'll take advantage of the upcoming holiday season for that.  (And I do mean upcoming even though most stores think it's already Christmas time...assholes!)  Ok, Halloween is right around the corner but I'm already crafting for that, silly!

For those of you who already embroider on paper, any advice for the newbie?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bloody Zombie Fairy

Bloody Zombie Fairy
Originally uploaded by Mafiosagrrl
So, you may have noticed our Bloody Zombie Fairy in the picture of the stuffie I made. Let me tell you a little more about her. Dillon thrifted this gal a few years ago from a Goodwill store. It appears to be one of those pre-made figurines that you would paint and glaze in a ceramics shop. She's a bit terrifying, featuring two blackened eyes, a head wound and slashed wrists. Our happy artist has also painted her upper arms bloody and slit her throat. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Art Therapy but I'm not sure if that would have done the trick in this case. Either this person has issues or an extreme hatred for fairies. Hopefully, its the latter. I'm using this crazy little statue as inspiration for an upcoming painting. Pictures to come soon!

Mail call!

I was excited to receive another trade in the mail today!  This little lovely came from Shayna in Alabama.  My scan here does not do it justice, the colors are amazing.  And the henna is so beautifully executed.

And check out this envelope she made to put it in.  Cute, cute, cute!!  It was like receiving two cards.  Plus, it was like opening a present.   Thank you so much Shayna.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fairy Stuffie

I made this stuffie for a friend's little girl.  I'm proud to say that I already had everything in my stash to make her.  I'm trying not to buy any crafty stuff until I make a significant dent in what I have.  It's tough for me, lol.  However, I stay easily motivated with this goal by living in a shitty economy.  The pattern is from the Sublime Stitching Craft Pad.  I'm very happy with how this turned out, except I put the opening to stuff it at the top.  Oh well, I doubt the little one will complain.  Yep, learned from that mistake-hopefully!

I'm especially glad that I used this butterfly fabric.  It's so pretty, but not really my style, so up until now I was stumped as to what to use it for.  Hard to tell here but it matches the green fabric on the front perfectly!  I love it when a plan comes together.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A wise man once said....

This is my entry for the Good Cause Challenge on Craftster, highlighting Domestic Violence Awareness.  There are some amazing pieces , so be sure to go give props to all of my fellow crafters.  The other good cause was Breast Cancer Awareness.  I had a piece planned for that but I didn't get it done, I'm a naughty stitcher.  I'm still going to stitch it up, it's a lovely quote from Abraham Lincoln.
I wanted to stay away from something too personal for this challenge.  It's not that I can't put myself out there, I'm just trying to take a positive approach to all aspects of my life.  I didn't want to look at this challenge as an opportunity to dwell on something from my past.  Anyone that knows me will tell you that I bitch about all sorts of things enough, no one needs to give me a reason, ha ha.  I wanted to take it as an opportunity to bring attention to a problem in every community.  It's not just about domestic violence but violence in general.  It's a problem that affects more than just the victim and the oppressor, and it doesn't just stay in the home.  It's not a personal problem, but a community problem.  I think Martin Luther King, Jr's quote speaks to the heart of the issue.  Once people understand this basic concept we can start to address the issue of domestic violence.

(swear it's not crooked, I just can't take pictures!)

I might end up tinting it because I hate the lapels on his jacket.  And that might make them less noticeable?  However, I've never done that after the stitching was completed so I don't know how it would work out.  Any opinions for either way?     Is it just me being neurotic?  Dillon would say yes :)

Hope I didn't come off as too preachy, it's just a subject I feel strongly about.

Vintage Flowers Pincushion Jar 1

Another item in my shop! Now if I could just get in gear and do this at a quicker rate of speed! Too much to list, too little time. All work and no play makes Jack a dull girl!

Friday, October 16, 2009

All the way from Austalia!

I received this little Gypsy card from Mel the Green Giraffe.  Thanks Mel!

Snapshot Friday!

Buenos Tardes!  Alright kiddies, time for this week's installment of vintage photo fun.  Btw, I'll do this every week on Fridays from now on.  Perfect excuse to buy more photos.  (Not that we need an excuse to go thrifting 'round here.) 
Snapshot Friday was born on a vacation when Dillon announced that it was our duty to take as many pictures as possible. We passed the camera around our group of friends all day and Dillon was happy to remind us, quite loudly at times, if we slacked on our picture taking.  So onward our family tradition marches.  I give you Snapshot Friday!

As promised, Uncle Jack the writer.  Of all my old timey photos, this is by far my favorite.
(Remember to click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger!)

One night we were discussing who this cheerful looking guy might have been.  We determined that Jack here was named for Jack London.  A reporter by day and budding detective novelist by night, he's ever the happy optimist.  For some reason I find a lot of inspiration in this guy, so he lives in a little frame right above the workbench where I do my crafting.

 I think this gem here is a classic goodie too.  No one looks good in it...awkward.  I also scanned the back.  Someone, I'm thinking Grandma, was nice enough to document the moment with comments.
It says:
Sept. 16 1954
This was a surprise picture.  Janie didn't have her hair back.  That's Janie Ann George myself + kiddies oldest one Larry then Bob, Anne Marie + Tom.

I think it's freaking hilarious that her biggest concern is that Janie didn't have her hair back!?  Got to nitpick, even in the caption.  Apparently it didn't bother her that she was caught adjusting her bra or that everyone has their eyes closed.  Or even that little Anne Marie is picking her nose?  Awesome.  Do be sure to check out the nice car in the driveway!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More littles.

I love, love, love the fall!!  For this guy, I used some vintage trim from my stash.  I'm not entirely happy with the color I made it with some pastels, but I'll get over it.  I miss living on the east coast where there are 4 definitive seasons.  Here, where I live in CA, fall and winter blend together in one big rainy mess.  Rain is lovely, but Fall is better!  Mmmm, I can't wait for Thanksgiving.
One night while using our silly voices and playing Wii, we decided bowling should have been called and possibly was back in the day, Tumbley Pins.  Yes, we're idiots.  Do we care? No.
I miss my rockin' Jem doll from the days of my youth.  With her pink and silver hair and white fishnets.  I mean, her earrings lit up for goodness sakes, how in the world could I have parted with that?  Hopefully, ebay has one that doesn't cost a fortune.
Incorporating, lovely rice paper from Mel the Green Giraffe in Australia.  I like how this one came out with the beads.
I wish I had love letters!  So, do these ladies here.
More of that vintage lace I've been loving so much lately.

Some of these are available.  Interested?  Find me on Flickr!

His and Hers

I'm always bugging Dillon to be creative with me.  We've taking enough art classes together that I know the man can hold a paint brush or manipulate some charcoal.  Plus, I've got so many supplies that a few projects here and there wouldn't even add a dent to the piles.  Alas, he never does.  It's understandable though, he's busy and probably tired.

However, I was  happy to hear him say, "I'll make one too," when I announced I was going to go make ATCs the other night.  (Even if he was picking the smallest possible thing, just to be able to say, "See, I do stuff with you," it was still cute.)


It's a robo-dog.  Robots are his thing.  And since I could never give his away, I made him one so we could trade.

I wanted to reflect his style of being a kid at heart.  Honestly though, sometimes it is like living with a 7 year old boy.  Well, a pair of them because we have a roommate too :)  The robots on here are fabric scraps from his favorite boxers that were shredded in the dryer shortly after purchase.  He loved them so much, he even showed them to the tattoo artist who designed our robot tattoos for inspiration, lol.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Made this in a Jiffy!

Wow, I'm almost as lame as my titles.  Oh well, at least I can admit it.  I'm big on recycling, so I like to save things I can make into cute stuff.  Like this little notebook for example.  I saw a similar notebook in a magazine a long time ago, but I've been making them since I was a kid.  I have tons of sugary cereal sketchbooks from back in the day.   My fav?   The  Froot Loops one with rainbow construction paper, hell yeah.  Thank goodness my man borrowed the paper-cutter from his work when I decided that I absolutely needed to make notebooks.  It made it so easy, I see a new investment item for my future. What can I say, I work in spurts.

Yep, more of that polka dot tissue paper. As well as some vintage gingham ribbon from my stash.  For this one, I just used my staple gun to bind it together (hence the ribbon to cover up the ugly staples!)  I'm really happy with this one.  The next one, not so much, lol.

I also made one from a 6 pack of my favorite beer, Racer 5.  Man, I'm so lucky to live in an area known for it's micro-brews.  Shop local!  For this one I actually stitched the paper together.  I didn't really know what I was doing so I doubt it's actually the "correct" way to bind it.  I attached the covers separately, I don't plan to do this in the future.  Sewing all the way through the next ones.  The edges are trimmed with vintage bias tape from my stash.
Inside I added silly little collages to cover the ugly cardboard.
The glittery Bee Keeper.
Sailor Jerry, tattoo artist and rum purveyor extraordinaire, on vacation at the Grand Canyon.
For some reason, when making things for myself I'm not so concerned with neatness.  That's what happened with my beer one.  This is one case where Modge-Podge was not my friend.  The inside collages demonstrate this well, haha, but then again I was just using the regular kind.  Maybe I need to venture out and use one of the specialized ones.  Oh well, I'll still use it.  I guess I figure since I'm a messy klutz no sense in making it perfect.  However, when making things as gifts or for clients I obsess over every little detail.  When it comes to everything else I'm a perfectionist, just not myself.  Go figure.

Too long!

I'm alive!  It's been too long since I last posted something.  I've been justifying it to myself with the excuse I busted the USB port on my camera.  However, truth be told I've been having one big pity party since my little kitty, Princess Franki died.  Well, I'm over it!  Not her, just feeling so stagnant.  I 've got to get off my big NY behind and get to work.
Besides, an alternative to my camera woes has been in front of me the whole time.  Hello, old scanner friend!  I've decide to post some lovely old photos I found while thrifting a few weeks ago.  I'm a sucker for old photos.  It makes me a little bummed to realize that no one wanted these lovely old memories so I scoop them up.  (I often end up making up little stories of my own for them...I know it's strange, don't judge me!)

These last two are my favorites of that days score.  I think "Baby's 1st Steps" when I look at the top one.  Just darling!
I scanned them to use for ATCs and such, as I would never want to destroy the originals.  I posted them so anyone else could use them too.  If you do use them, let me know, I'd love to see what you made!  Just leave me a comment this here blog or find me on Flickr.  Happy crafting!

P.S.  Coming up in the next installment of Vintage Photo Fun- the man we call, Uncle Jack the Writer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Seeing Red" pincushion jar

This is another kit available in my etsy shop.  Perfect for those who love the color red.  A recycled jar chock full of new and vintage supplies and topped off with a handmade pincushion.  My pincushion features eco-felt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles (yay for helping Mother Earth!)  I also adorned it with tiny little French knots.

I especially love this vintage handmade trim.  Mmmmm, rainbow goodness.