Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo Ya

Happy Halloween!

I'm just puttering about the craft castle gathering ingredients for knitty potions . . .

Yikes! What's that on the floor??

BRAINS?!? No . . . wait . . . it's yarn spaghetti! Even scarier.

And look over there! INTESTINES!?!

SQUEAL! It's vintage sequin ribbon STILL needing to be sorted out for the shop. I'd rather have intestines.

Enjoy Fright Night, my friends, and the first weekend of November. (Also sort of scary how time flies, eh?) I'll be here sorting through the brains and intestines. Visit The Goodness Shop for some very unscary vintage goodies and come back next week when I post my pattern for Posey Scarves inspired by a scarf made by my friend Diane. She is hosting a Fall Tea Swap and you can sign up through Monday. I'm in! Make sure you visit her Etsy Shop, too!



Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Flea Market Fancies

Ahhh . . . hockey season . . . ahem, just kidding. ;) Ahhhh . . . flea market season. The crisp air, the crisp dollars in your pocket . . . bliss.

Not only have I been able to hit some out of the way thrifts lately but I also took a trip to the Elephants Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut and the many antique shops in Cold Spring, New York. I must say, I lucked into some treasures.

The Connecticut Flea Market is a wonderful place. There are all sorts of goods to be found and for the most part, the prices are right! They even had entertainment. :)

These guys were great! What were they selling? Why music lessons of course. :)

My parents came for a long weekend visit. We took a day trip to Cold Spring, New York. It's a sweet little town on the Hudson River right near West Point. They have loads of antique and speciality shops and fun places to eat. Not to mention a killer view of the river.

So what did I bring home from my weekend shopping adventures?

Yards of luscious trims both for myself and The Shop.

Rolls of gorgeous vintage seam binding. {giggle} I love it. It's a bit musty but once I "get the stink out" I'll be listing some in the shop. Some will be mine, of course. Seam binding makes lovely ribbon for wrapping packages.

A few new vintage enamel flower pins for my collection including this blue one which may be my absolute favorite.

A sweet pair of cameo clip on earrings (to be repurposed obviously) and a pink linen doggy hankie that I just adore though it's intended to be gifted.

This incredibly unique silk pin cushion. See all the black and white beads? Those are pins. As are the silver head pins that outline the flowers. Much to cute to remove them, don't you think?

And my favorite find, a chippy pink rhinestone clothes brush. Seriously cute, no? And the blue quilted dresser box it's sitting on was a flea find as well. I also picked up a dark red quilted hosiery dresser box, too.

Some finds! I got lucky to say the least. Not shown are two framed pictures, including one of a photo of a collie that looks just like mine, several aprons destined for the shop and a few vintage Christmas items also for resale.

Whew! Now to get to work on listing some things. I just don't feel like it today. But soon, I promise. And I'll be listing at recession style prices, don't you worry. :) But tonight I will relax and watch the Rangers game. After all, it IS hockey season. ;)

hearts ~ Rebecca

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hats Off to Crochet!

Finally here is the Oh So Chic Crocheted Hat pattern. I'm sure there are others out there on net that are similar but I am happy with this one.

Simple Crocheted Beret

**This is a great stash buster project! You will need to modify the pattern slightly to fit the yarn and needle size that you choose. DON'T WORRY, it's easy to do and I'll help you along. Remember that you want your crocheted "fabric" to be tight and thick to keep your head cozy and warm!**

For basic crochet instructions go HERE.

For more information on increasing stitches go HERE. The hats are made by increasing a flat circle and then crocheting in a spiral.

For blue beret I used two strands of Bernat Satin held together and a size H hook. You could substitute any two worsted weight yarns for this pattern. Perhaps two strands of Lion Brand Homespun for a nubbly beret? Or two strands of soft wool for extra warmth. By doubling up the yarn you get a nice heavy warm hat. You could certainly use one strand of bulky yarn or even one strand of a lighter yarn though your hat will be more floppy and you'll need extra increase rows to get it to size. :)

For the brown and gold beret I used one strand of Bernat Satin and one strand of Paton's Brilliant. If you use a second yarn that is say, sport weight, you will need to add increase rounds to make the crown of your hat large enough.


2 skeins Bernat Satin or other worsted weight yarn
Size H crochet hook
1 stitch marker (the kind that can open and close, a safety pin will also work)


ch - chain
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet (go HERE for instructions.)

With both strands held together:

Ch 4, slip stitch in first ch to make a ring, ch 1

8 hdc in ring, slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

2 hdc in each hdc around (16 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

(1 hdc in first hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat until end (24 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

(1 hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 in next hdc) repeat until end (32 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

(1 hdc in next 3 hdc, 2 in next hdc) repeat until end (40 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

(1 hdc in next 4 hdc, 2 in next hdc) repeat until end (48 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

(1 hdc in next 5 hdc, 2 in next hdc) repeat until end (56 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1

(1 hdc in next 6 hdc, 2 in next hdc) repeat until end (64 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, DO NOT CHAIN ONE IF THIS IS YOUR LAST ROUND!

**at this point you want to put your flat circle on the crown of your head and pull it towards your ears. It should come about an inch from the top of your ears. If it's a little closer to your ears, that's okay! Your hat will be more roomy. But if it's farther from the tops of your ears you want to add more increase rounds so it will be large enough. You would continue to increase by 8. Just look at the last line of the pattern above and add one to the "hdc in next x amount hdc" each additional row. Make sense? If not, leave me a comment!**


**Now you will start doing spiral rounds with no slip stitches or chains at the end. This creates the body of your hat!**

1 hdc in each hdc around including the one with the stitch marker. Replace marker in last stitch each round to keep your place.

**continue stitching around until body of hat measures about 2 1/2 inches (you can alter this as well to make a larger, deeper hat). You'll notice now that your piece is bowl shaped. You can try it on occasionally to see if it's deep enough to go over your ears.**


BASIC HDC DECREASE INSTRUCTIONS (how to hdc next two hdcs together):

"Work a hdc in the next stitch without completing the very last step (keep all three loops on hook) , then hdc in the next stitch without completing the last step. You should have 5 loops on the hook then yarn over and draw through all the loops. Decrease made." borrowed from this site.

If you have followed this pattern exactly then your first decrease row will be as follows:

(1 hdc in next 6 hdc, hdc next two hdcs together) repeat until end (56 hdc) and replace marker

**if you added rows you would put your number in the row above, for example, if your last row for the crown (flat circle) was: (1 hdc in next 8 hdc, 2 in next hdc) repeat until end (80 hdc), slip stitch in first hdc, ch 1 then your first decrease row would be: (1 hdc in next 8 hdc, hdc next two hdcs together) repeat until end (72 hdc) and replace marker and so on.**

(1 hdc in next 5 hdc, hdc next two hdcs together) repeat until end (48 hdc) and replace marker

**at this point, when you have 48 hdc, you want to try your hat on again. It should be tighter to your ears. If not, do another decrease row in pattern.**

1 hdc in each stitch around until end (48 hdc) and replace marker

**you will now switch to single crochet to make the band**

1 sc in each stitch around until end (48 sc) and replace marker

Repeat last row 4 times and finish off and weave in ends. Voila!

Want to make a . . .


This scarf pattern is fun and easy. I made matching scarves for both the blue and the brown berets. For the blue one I used two strands of Bernat Satin held together and for the brown one I used two strands of Bernat Satin and one strand of Paton's Brilliant held together.

For two worsted weight strand scarves try a size I or J needle. Go bigger for a scarf made with three strands. To test it, make about 10 chains, turn and make HDCs in each chain and then repeat to get a feel for the weight of your scarf.

Now the fun part:

Chain as many as you want. I would say to about somewhere between 180 and 200 chains. Then put your chain around your neck as if it were a scarf (don't forget to wrap it!) to determine your final length. My scarves reach the middle of the torso with one wrap around the neck.

Once you have your base chain:

TURN and HDC in the second chain from hook and in all remaining chains, Chain 1 at end of row and turn

Next row:

HDC in the BACK LOOPS ONLY of each stitch. Instructions here. **this is what gives your scarf a ribbed look and makes it extra soft and pliable**

Continue until scarf is desired width. You can go skinny or extra wide. My scarves are about 6 inches wide.

This pattern would be good for men's scarves, too. Choose some manly colors and make it striped or just make it black. They like boring.

Easy right? I already started a third set in another color of Bernat Satin and that gold Paton's Brilliant:

If anyone makes a hat or scarf from my patterns, please let me know! I'd like to know if you think there should be changes or if there are mistakes. I made each piece a few times to make sure I got the pattern right but you never know!

And one the needles now . . .

Husband Hats! These are knit and quite wooly. I have a few more to make for the other husbands in our family. :)

So a lot of hat making going on here, huh? It will be nice to have some hand made gifts. Now if only I could sew some things! Anyone have any suggestions for some easy sewing gift projects for me? Think small and not too difficult. LOL

Coming soon . . . updates to te Goodness Shop! I'll have vintage seam binding, trim, game cards and lots of aprons! Oh and some photos of my fantastic flea market finds of the last few weekends. Fall is certainly the time to go treasure hunting!

Happy Fall,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Falling into Place

Fall has come to the Big Apple.

Time to kick it into high gear, no? I've enjoyed two fun weekends of house guests and have more coming this Saturday. Emily and her daughter stayed for one weekend and then my parents this past weekend . I had fun doing touristy things and of course lots of shopping!

My visit with Emily was so much fun! Her and her daughter, Carrie, are super nice and lovely house guests. And Emily is some cook!! She is also incredibly generous and gifted me with so my lovely things including a whole armload of patterns from her company Hootin' Annie's! I look forward to visiting her in Chicago and continuing to grow our new friendship. :)

I've not been posting much and I apologize for that. I really miss it! I also haven't been blog reading like I would like to be. Just a lot going on I guess. I promise to get back to it! I miss you guys!

Coming this week, that crocheted hat pattern I promised plus some AMAZING flea market finds. I did so well that I have goodies for me and the shop. Well mostly for me. :) I can't wait to share.

And by the way, that photo up there is a cow at the Queens Zoo. She was enjoying the leaves Carrie was feeding her. :) She was so sweet and soft.

Mmmm leaves . . .

Now I'm off to straighten up my craft room. AGAIN.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Lady of Leisure

Well, I'm a lazy bones. It's official. I think partly I'm being a little hard on myself. I vowed that once the weather was cooler and I was working from home that I would be like Little Suzy Homemaker and have a perfect house. Well . . . you can imagine that is not the case. Though I have cleaned out two closets, started switching out the seasonal clothing and am fairly caught up on laundry. However, I am still feeling like I could do MORE. Problem is I like TV and playing XBox (I know that's making you laugh) and reading. I've been doing quite a lot of these three things whilst stuffing my face with decadent treats like Cadbury Fruit & Nut bars and Aranciata San Pellegrino. Oh yes, I am THAT girl lately. Sigh . . .

Well it's time to get off my tookus as I have house guests for the next THREE weekends in a row. I'm pretty psyched as I love being a hostess and having visitors usually motivates me to do things like REALLY clean the bathroom and steam clean the rugs. All the stuff I wish I had a maid to take care of. :) So I'm getting back on my game and being less, well, leisurely.

Part of the new game plan is trying to use up what we already have around here. It helps me to stay neat (less clutter) and is necessary with the craziness going on with the economy these days. My husband has enjoyed the fact that I've been doing some baking (instead of buying sweet treats) and is encouraging about trying to sort through and create meals from pantry items. On tap for tonight? Tacos. I have a few taco fixings kits and some ground chicken. Voila indeed.

So you can see there is still some Thrifty Goodness going on over here. I have also been limiting myself at the thrift store but did pick up a few things recently:

Like these two totally cute vintage Christmas linen tea towels. Yoink! Mine at only 99 cents a piece.

And this super cute botanical strawberry print in a white chippy frame. LOVE IT. And it was only . . . $1.50! What a crappy picture, wow. One of my weekend house guests is my sister. I'll have to get her to show me how to take a proper photo lol.

And last but not least these two framed cross stitched pieces. I think they are pretty old based on the wear and tear and the type of frame. They are stitched on perforated paper. I have some and started some ornaments last year that never got finished. I'm encouraged now to try them again. :). 99 cents for each picture. Not sure yet what I'll do with them, they may be shop bound, but I am growing more attached to them every time I look their way. :)

So now, dear readers, I wish you a wonderful day and please send me some "get off your lazy butt" vibes if you get a moment.


Friday, October 03, 2008

It's in the Bag

First, let us get down to business and pull a winner for my Cleaning House giveaway . . . . drum roll . . . . Comment Number 8! Which is Meg from Curious Grace! Meg, please send me an email at rrdusquesne [at] aol [dot] com with your shipping address and next week I'll send you a packet of Goodness. Please stop by Meg's blog for a visit!

So I finally sewed something that is not a toy:

This picture doesn't really do them much justice, I'm quite pleased with how they turned out! Large makeup bag pattern from Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle, the new book by Tone Finnanger. Of course in the book they are made with pretty red and white holiday fabrics but since it's "use what you have" over here at Chez Goodness this is how they turned out.

See how it LOOKS like the flaps have piping? Yeah well they don't. That is a result of using that super stiff Interface and not cutting the seam allowance all the way down. fortunately, I like the effect! The interface also allows these bags to stand up on their own which I think is a plus in a make up bag. :) The black and white one was a mistake. It was supposed to be black on the outside with the pattern on the inside but I turned it out wrong. Again, I liked it so it stayed! While I did purchase the interface all the fabrics and the vintage pearl snaps were thrifted or from the remnant bin.

I'm happy that I finally made some gifts! I am also working a pattern of my own that I hope to share with you next week for some quick and easy chic crocheted hats. Yes I know "chic" and "crocheted" rarely go together* but I think you will like them.

I am also about to whip up some Christmas Mice from another Tone Finnanger book called Crafting Christmas Gifts. The book is out of print so grab one used on Amazon Market Place for around $7 shipped! Very cute projects including the Snowman in Pajamas I made last year for my Mom.

Yes I know, Christmas Mice are LIKE toys but I need to make them, okay? You know how it is. :) Don't worry, I'll go crazy knitting scarves soon.

hugs - R

* - for some truly hideous crochet check out What Not to Crochet.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'all

Does anyone else like Paula Deen? Admittedly, I haven't made many of her recipes but my mother makes her royal banana pudding and it's TO DIE FOR. And I don't even like bananas that much. I plan to make her Hummingbird cake in the next few weeks for when I have house guests. I love that she's full on sugar and fat. When I want dessert, that is what I want. Probably good that I don't bake that much, hmm? Here is a long list of Paula's dessert recipes.

So I love Fall. I know so many of us do. And in trying to get out of my funk (and I'm feeling MUCH better lately!) I picked up a few new Halloween decorations.

I'm not sure that this display is complete though I like it for now. It's on the top of our little fireplace. The doll and the flat party hat are both from Marshall's. $7.99 and $3.99 respectably. I LOVE the vintage look of that hat! It has a pumpkin on the other side. I figure I could make dolls like the pumpkin lady but couldn't pass her up for only $8. Isn't she cute? The leaves (which are lopsided I see lol) were in a bunch I picked up at the thrift for $2. I still have a few picks left, I'm considering making up a wreath for the door. And I made the little cross stitch ornament in the center:

I am happy with the way this turned out. The white doesn't show through as much really, I suppose that is because of the flash.

Doesn't the moon look terrified of the menacing owl? The pattern is from the current issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine. There are many cute Halloween designs in there. I may make another. After I stitched the design I cut it out and glued it to a piece of heavy cardboard. Then I cute a piece of felt a little bit bigger and trimmed it with pinking sheers. I then sandwiched a long piece of rick rack between the two and glued them. Voila! And I'm keeping this. I almost always gift my hand made items but this year I'm trying to save some for me. :)

Now today I think I'll go dig out the Fall Decorations bin and see what I have from last year. I know there are a few things out there that I love. I'm also making some headway on some holiday gifts and getting my house more organized. It's good to be back. :)

Please remember to leave a comment HERE to get in on my give away!

fondly - RR


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