Today is Small Business Saturday!
What’s that, you ask? Here in the US, it’s all tied into the shopping frenzy that follows Thanksgiving. On Thursday, we gave thanks for all that we hold near and dear, hence Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday, which kicks off the December shopping madness, better known as Giftmas, err, Christmas.
Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for consumers to support their local merchants. After all, dollars spent in local establishments have three times more impact on community than those spent in national chains. To paraphrase – what’s spent here, stays here.
Have you ever wondered what’s in that shop with the tongue-twister of a name? Now’s the chance to find out!
That corner store with the wonderful window displays? Poke your head in, no telling what you’ll discover.
What can I say?
Even store bought T-shirts aren’t safe at Casa Thunderpaws
As you can tell from the label, there were acquired from that fine French establishment, Targét. On sale, no less. Alas, they languished on the cutting table for…well, for a long time. A month? Maybe more?
Anyway, this past weekend it was time to put them into the long-sleeved rotation, but who wants to wear blah T-shirts?
One of the discoveries I made while unpacking was a series of heat-set nailhead and rhinestone transfers I had acquired who-knows-where. Bling, meet T-shirt. T-shirt, meet Bling. A match made with the iron!
The top sheet of these transfers is clear, which makes working out a placement quite easy. Once the opaque backing has been removed it’s easy to tell how the designs will line up. A little wiggle here, a wiggle there, a check with the ruler and things were good to go!
The close-up at the right shows that the skull has a kiss on it: Smooch! That’s not some gruesome representation of someone’s demise.
Her work is never done! She’s responsible for helping out during all those oily disasters, sending mammals to the shoreline for cleaning, and heroically restoring order when is seems there is none in sight. Day in, day out, it’s one catastrophe after another. No wonder she’s a considered a curmudgeon by her seafaring sisters. At least she has good taste in jewelry. Perhaps this is the solidified remains of a long ago spill? Anyone remember the Exxon Valdez?
Oil Slick, another in the Mermaid Series. This one is dark and sparkly, made with size 8 seed beads in a pure grape and some very iridescent daggers. These daggers, at 11mm in length are neither as long nor as wide as those in Old Bones, but they work equally well.
I remain surprised by this series. They all look so formidable, yet in the hand, and on the wrist, they are supple and slinky and quite sensuous. Looks can be deceiving, even with beadwork.
Another wool knit top to block these chilly days. This time using Vogue 8323, which believe it or not, is still in print. At least according to the Vogue web site. The pattern has several variations. This is the first time I’ve made the funnel neck. What’s a funnel neck? Basically a loose floppy turtleneck on steriods. At least that’s my definition of it.
The pattern pieces for this version defy belief. The neck looks like it really will fit a giraffe, being oh, about 20+ inches long. You’re supposed to fold it in half for the facing. As you can see by the print on the inside, I opted not to do this. The body fabric is a lovely soft wool knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics. It feels very rich, however I was concerned that it would scratch so out came the ITY print.
In keeping with the theme of expanding my sewing horizons, I also put some slot seam embellishment (say that three times fast!) in the princess seams using the same knit as the facing. There’s a touch of print as the sleeve hem too.
Me being me, I couldn’t use just a straight seam to sew it all together. No. I had to use a decorative zigzag with variegated embroidery thread. Not the strongest seam, but the fit isn’t so snug I need to worry about popping out any time soon.
I had forgotten how much I liked this pattern, so perhaps there will be a few more in the near future. If I remember aright, the shawl collar works quite nicely too.
Light and fluffy on the wrist, some autumnal colors to go with our cooler weather. Before you ask, yes, these are felted balls, and no, I did not felt them. I cannot say they are beads, because they do not come with a hole through the center. That, I had to do…with a very large tapestry needle.
Colors of fall – rich browns and golden yellows, each highlighted with some whimsical beady accents. The beaded cones are a variation of herringbone stitch. They are also a much brighter gold than what they photographed. Everything strung together with deep brown and red-gold crystals.
This reminds me of the Flintstones – maybe something Betty Rubble would wear? Large, but not at all uncomfortable. Light, in fact.
She haunts the watery deep, easing the passage of those lost at sea,
the ones who did in fact go down with the ship,
or were washed overboard.
Another bracelet in the Mermaid series. This one looking like Old Bones. Which is not a bad thing. Perhaps this mermaid saved them from a worse fate? Maybe the bones are left behind when their earthly owners no longer needed them. Much better to adorn a Siren of the Sea than the belly of a beast, don’t you think?
Though this bracelet is very simple, simplicity, in this case, is absolutely what is called for. The base beads are topaz with an aurora borealis finish, while the daggers are mottled cream and tan. There is quite a bit of interplay between the opacity of the bones and the watery highlights of the seed beads, as well as movement when the daggers wave too and fro. The whole is closed with a nice hefty slide lock clasp.
Why no daggers near the clasp? Well, it’s ergonomics you see. You have to be able to wrest your wrist at some point during the day, don’t you think?
It’s the little things that can change the way we feel about something. A cashier who makes eye contact and has a real “hello” in their voice. A wait person who offers to modify an order without a special request being made. The clerk wandering the aisle who actually shows you where that widget is – hiding on the bottom shelf in back.
In this case, I picked up a bottle of champagne at Trader Joe’s. The bubbly created a lively conversation with the cashier – What was it for? Special celebration? Occasion? Being the shy retiring type, I was happy to oblige with answers.
On my way out the door, the store manager stopped me with this bouquet. “Congratulations Ma’am! Happy Anniversary! They’re on the house.”
I. Was. Dumbfounded.
Thank you Trader Joe’s! TJ’s (as they are known) will have my business in the future, you can be sure of that.