Monday, March 29, 2010

Introducing Patterns from Oh So Retro

I am very excited to introduce my newest product, Oh So Retro Accessories Patterns!

The first pattern released is Simple Cases: learn to sew a Card Case, Gadget Case and Glasses Case for beginner to intermediate sewers. Instructions are included for customizing your own templates and installing a snap, hook and loop tape (aka velcro) and an elastic loop and button closure.

I'm also happy to provide free email support with this pattern so that I can help you walk through any problems you might run into. I remember what it was like learning how to read a pattern and tried to explain things in an easy to follow way, including a page of Tips, Tricks & Techniques.

This 17 page pattern includes 3 full size templates that are ready for printing as well as detailed illustrations to guide you through the creation of your cases.

This was the first project that Randy and I worked on together and I'm so proud of how it's turned out! I know it might be a little basic for some of you with more advanced sewing skills but I wanted to start with the basics. My next pattern will be for a summer clutch and will be released next month.

As a special Thank You, I'm going to be offering Simple Cases to my blog readers at a special discounted price of $7.50 until April 3rd, 2010. Simply purchase through the paypal link provided in this entry & you will receive the pattern through email within several hours!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something Pretty

Green Rondelle Crystal Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Ring by SoftnShiny

I've always wanted a wire wrapped nest ring so when I saw that my friend Kaye had them in her shop I knew I had to have one. I've known Kaye for years - actually she's one of my oldest friends, who knew me "back when" and always encouraged me and checked up on me, even in the midst of her own crisis. She's always been an inspiration to me and I'm happy to finally own one of her creations.

Last year she started up her own shop on Artfire (and she's on Etsy too) as SoftnShiny, selling her crochet goodies and beaded jewelry. Her work is really great and I'm sure I will be adding more to my SoftnShiny collection in the future.

Here's a few of my favourites from her shop:

Amethyst Faceted Puffed Teardrop Briolette Necklace $9

Burnt Sienna Crochet Ladies Cloche Hat $14.00

Green Rondelle & Crystal AB Bicone Bracelet - Cerebral Palsy Awareness $30.00
Named in honor of Kayes son Jonas who has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. 20% of the price of the Jonas Collection will be donated to the NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities

You can also find SoftnShiny on Facebook to see more of her work & custom supplies.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Motivational Monday #1

I've decided to start an inspirational quote book, which is something that I should have done when I was 16 like most girls do. Every now and then I'd come across a quote in a magazine that resonated with me and would clip it out and paste it in my journal but it never amounted to any more than that.

To be honest, I found quotes boring. At least I thought I did, but now that I am older and wiser (humour me) I've realized that I just couldn't relate to them because I had no hope. That's really what quotes are, little bits of hope and love wrapped up into bite sized text.

We all know there's nothing more tedious than a large collection of someones favourite quotes so I will just post these two that are going to be the first entries into my hand written, hard bound, inspirational quote book.

"And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu


Feel free to leave your favourite quotes in the comments section! I would love to see what inspires you and maybe be inspired myself to add it to my collection.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashblack Friday #2

While looking for the elusive blanket photo from last weeks Flashback Friday I unearthed a box of photos and trinkets from my last boyfriend that I had hadn't seen in years. I actually thought I had gotten rid of it but when I lifted the lid off the pink cardboard box and saw the stack of photos with ribbon tired around them I was instantly glad that I had decided to save them. I can vaguely recall thinking at the time that I might want to look at them one day.

I started dating Blake right around my 19th birthday. Unfortunately for Blake this was also around the time when I really descended into depression and anxiety. When we met I was a functional girl, working as an admin assistant at the cable company. When we broke up three years later I was a housebound agoraphobic and 80 lbs heavier. It's a really hard period of my life to think about and I still have some guilt towards the way I treated Blake and his family.

Sometimes I think "If I could only go back..." but I can't. It is what it is. I try to keep in mind that I am the person I am today because of the lessons I learned during that period of my life. It was a long time ago now. It was nice to be able to look at the photos and feel happy at the good memories: our first apartment, our cat, our camping trips, our last apartment, the last photo of us together with him putting me in a headlock - how appropriate.

There was a time when I was terrified of running into him when I was out. We have a mutual friend so I know he's married with two children and doing well. I hope he's happy and I hope he's been able to forgive me so that if we ever run into each other we'll be able to say hi and introduce each other to our new families.

Here is our first picture together, taken in Polo Park Mall in 1998. So young!

Flashback Friday Button

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Good Life

life, or something like it by the half-blood prince

I've been having a hard time finding the motivation to do much of anything these days. I've always been a procrastinator and I think I'm also a bit of a perfectionist, which is a fatal combination because it's so easy to talk myself out of doing anything.

I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday while reading a blog written by a really lovely girl. I realized I was getting angry and this stream of negative thoughts was flowing through my head. I was so jealous of this persons goals and achievements, her photographs and writing and sewing. Someone was sharing their passion through their blog and here I was seething.

It shocked me to tune into my train of thought and hear myself. Why do I feel this way? It's so unhealthy! I never want to be jealous of another woman's success. I want to be celebrating along with her and feel genuinely happy. She works hard for the life she has. She deserves respect.

I realized that I need to focus on myself, or maybe not focus so much on myself. I need to stop measuring myself up to others and quit trying to achieve some kind of magical ideal that really doesn't exist. I expect instant results with minimal effort but life doesn't work that way.

I was thinking of what I can do, how I can go about organizing my life because that's really what I need right now - some direction. I remembered this website I used back when I was quitting smoking called 43 Things. I decided to dust off my account and will be updating it with my new, improved goals for my 30s.. it should be an interesting journey.

What do you want to do with your life?

Flashback Friday #1

(In true Adrienne fashion I am participating in my first Flashback Friday... on a Monday.)

I have been wanting to get my hands on this photo for a while now. Not for the people but for the lovely afghan on my grandmothers even lovelier sofa which happens to be the same afghan from Tias Flashback Friday banner. It must have been a kit sold in the 70s because I've seen it many times hiding in the background of old photos.

This was taken during Christmas at my grandmothers house. My brother is the baby, he's 4 months old and the life of the party, chatting up the ladies and showing off his brand new jogging suit. I'm 4 and probably on the floor playing with my cousins and our new toys. My mother is in the kitchen helping my grandmother with supper and my father is standing off to the side with my uncles and grandfather, like journalists, taking photos of the action. My aunts are smoking cigarettes and playing with the baby, because that seemed to be perfectly acceptable in 1982.

It's funny how something as simple as seeing the afghan from your grandmothers sofa in a photograph can bring back so many memories. I think that's why I like going thrift shopping. I will always find something that my grandmother had in her house like the sombrero salt shakers she kept on the back of the stove or the tacky ceramic walnut candy dish with the squirrel on it. I never buy these things, I just like to look at them and be transported back in time when life was very simple and very full.

Flashback Friday Button

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fashion Friday #6

Spring has sprung in Winnipeg! I was so happy to hang up my knee length parka at the back of the closet last week and air out my spring coats. Could winter really be over already? The birds seem to think so. I haven't bought a new coat in a few years so I decided to look on Etsy for something new and so I present to you:

Five Sweet Spring Jackets
(that also happen to be worn by pretty girls
in front of brick walls)

How's that for theme specific?

The Brandenburg by LittleHouses $115.50

I have a bit of an asymmetrical front jacket fixation (as you will be able to tell from this post) and I think no one does it more charmingly than Little Houses. Her light fall/spring jacket is made to order in sizes S - XL.

Pinktuck Spring Jacket by Cotylee $130.00

Cotylee pairs up her asymmetrical front jacket with 3 chunky buttons and some sweet pintuck detailing. It's made to order in sizes S/M and M/L.

Spring Coat by Sohomode $100.00

This beautiful swing coat by Sohomode is made with a vintage fabric and lined in green satin. It would look great paired up with a wide green belt over a solid coloured dress or wide jeans. It is a one off, one size.

Blame It On The Rain by VeraVague $48.00

Everyone should own a fire engine red rain coat! I adore the patterned lining. Vintage from Vera Vague, size M/L.

Cabin Fever by Wolfcalls $75.00
I love the wide waist band and chunky buttons on this shirt jacket from Wolf Calls. It's made from buffalo check flannel and is size small.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Look What I Found!

While digging around the Goodwill yesterday I came upon a real treasure, a Brownie Hawkeye outfit complete with flash, bulbs and 6 rolls of old film! The best part is that one of the rolls is exposed, although after 50 years in storage I'm not sure if there would still be anything on the film. I'll have to call a local developer and see what they say. I've never had a Brownie but I've always wanted one - I was a Polaroid Land Camera girl. (I think that says something about my attention span...) I just sold my last one on Etsy because I couldn't afford the film anymore. I'm certainly no photographer but for some reason I just love old cameras.. old books.. old type writers and tea pots and sewing machines. (I would definitely have a house full of "junk" if I had more room!)

Monday, March 01, 2010


I Know I Can I Be What I Want To Be by

I spent a lot of time thinking this winter.

Actually that's not true. As much as I hate to admit it, I spent a lot of time sleeping and feeling depressed this winter. I thought moving would help, but it's true what they say about running away from your problems. I thought a bigger window and more sunlight would help. I thought being back in my old neighbourhood would help. I even thought having a dishwasher would help. And it did, at first.

But it's not where I was physically that was the problem. It's where I was mentally. Where I am mentally. I was bored and unhappy with my life. I had to admit something to myself. I didn't want to sew anymore. I was completely burnt out and exhausted. I just couldn't do it anymore.

Once I decided to quit sewing I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. And oddly enough I wanted to sew again. So I started planning out some new wallets, thought about spring craft shows. I was almost euphoric with relief! I felt like myself again.

One day while drawing out a bill fold wallet, complete with sewing instructions, I realized that I loved the planning more than the sewing. I played around with this idea a bit, thought up some ideas & talked to Randy when he got home. We had a brain storming session and it was decided. I'm going to start making & selling my own patterns, fully illustrated by Randy!

It's at least a year since I've been really excited about my work. This first pattern will be 3 in 1 Simple Cases; card case, gadget case & glasses case. It's a beginner level pattern with learn to sew tips & techniques in it. I'm really pleased so far & can't wait to show you guys what I've been up to these past couple weeks. I have so many ideas that I've got my next 10 patterns already planned out!

I'm hoping to have it listed by Thursday, so if all goes well check back then for a free giveaway on my blog. :)