Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I don't want any of you all to hate me, so I decided to let this sweet adorable illiterate baby choose the winners.

First I printed out all the comments and cut them into individual strips. (So much for being eco-friendly. I promise to recycle them.)

Then I folded them up. (Next time I think I'll just do one of those random number generator things.)

Then I let McKenna choose the winners.

I was going to wait until she had just one in her hand.

She sifted through them, tossed some onto the floor,

then dumped them ALL onto the floor. Wait! What's that?

That's the grand prize winner! It's . . .

SUGARCREEKSTUFF! Aww, yay! She's been commenting on my blog for a while now and is always generous with the crafty love. Congrats!

Now, the runners up. . .

I had to pry this one out of her mouth. It's. . .

Lela! Yay! Janegirls represent! Lela's been a kokoleo supporter since the very beginning. Congratulations!


It's. . .

Chantal/Cottagewoman! WooHoo! Your comment was so sweet. Thanks!

Let's see, who's next?

It's. . .

Beth in CT. Yay! Some funky notepads are going out to Beth in CT from Karebeth (that's me, KB) in CA. Congrats!

Last, but not least. . .

It's. . .

Stacy! A fellow thrift store junkie just scored herself a new little treasure!

So sugarcreekstuff, Lela, Chantal, Beth in CT, and Stacy please contact me - kbvanhorn@yahoo.com - with your addresses and your choice of notepad from this post. I will get them out to you this week!

To everyone else - I'm sorry. Thanks so much for entering and making me feel popular. It really brightened my week. I would love to be able to make you all a grocery tote but I'm afraid that would deplete my fabric and all that postage would put me in the poorhouse. Come back though! Let's be blog buddies! I promise to have more contests in the future. And please, don't be mad at my baby. She was very sad when I told her there could only be 5 winners. See?

(Actually, she was just mad at me for taking away all that delicious paper.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Winners will be annouced tomorrow!

Until then, you have until noon (West Coast time) on Tuesday to enter. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day. . . and Blog Birthday!

This is it, my 200th post! And look! You're here! Thanks for visiting. No, really, I appreciate it. I don't know why I keep yammering on the way I do or why I keep posting pictures of odd things. I don't even know who's reading, really. Sometimes it feels like I'm typing into a cyber void. I'd like to say I don't care who's reading, that I do it just for the fun of it, but I do care. So thank you for coming here. I'm glad you stopped by.

Also, I just realized while looking back on my posts that April 22 is the day I started this blog two years ago. And if that weren't enough, it's also Earth Day. To celebrate, I'm having a contest. The winner gets this:

A reversible grocery tote. By popular demand (O.K., just two people) I'm making these again and will be offering them on my website soon. This one, however, is up for grabs. All you have to do is tell me in at least 250 words why you love me. I will choose the best essay based on proper grammar and heartfeltedness.

Just kidding! Simply leave a comment with your name in it. That's it. You don't even have to leave a witty remark if you don't want to. You can even say, "You suck KB!" and I will still count it (but please don't, because that would hurt my feelings). A week from today I'll throw all the names into a hat and choose 5 winners.

Winner #1 gets the tote plus a phone pad and sketchbook from Rock Scissor Paper (blogged here) and maybe some other stuff thrown in too. Four more winners will receive phone pads and their choice of a sketchbook as well. One week from today I'll post the winners' names and they can email me with their addresses and sketchbook selections. Don't forget to check back to see if you won!

This contest is open to all crafty-friends, not-so-crafty friends, relatives, in-laws, secretaries, Shepherdstownies, Los Angelenos, former students, former bosses and co-workers, Janegirls, childhood friends, Flickr friends, international people, lurkers, first-timers, and total strangers. In other words - everyone! One entry per person please.

Meanwhile, I'm going to take a break from blogging this week. I need to spend a little time sprucing up my poor neglected website. Lately, I've been spending too much time here and not enough over there. I want to change things up a bit - tweak the design, take old stuff down, discontinue some items and introduce new ones. Hopefully this week I can get started on that, but I'll probably just spend all my time sewing.

Don't be shy - sign up! You just might win. Good luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Made by Monday - things that are bright, and dark.

I've been having fun playing around with the patchwork stars I got the other week. I made these two sundresses (12 months and 3T) and I've also been experimenting with turning some of the stars into brooches and barrettes.

I finished up a Raggedy Ann sundress (12 months).

and then, because I was tired of doing bright and dainty things, I did some dark and skully ones:

I made that brown leopard skully shirt (4T) and another checkered/cammo one (5T) which Sage promptly claimed for his own. He found it in my studio and picked it up and said, "Wow, I sure would like something like this. Hey, it's my size! Can I have it mom?" I couldn't deny my #1 fan.

For my studio, I made this:
Which is just a board propped against the corner to hold all my spools, but more importantly, its a solution to the where-to-hang-my-thread? problem. Also, I hemmed and hung these curtains on the doors:

They originally hung in my sewing room in Bedington (3 studios ago) and have been in storage ever since. I also made my hair bright red this week.

or part of it, at least. The back is still blond. I figure since I'm not teaching anymore I have no reason to look normal. Watch out! I'm a wild and kerrazy red-headed housewife!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thrift Thursday - Miscellaneous

I got these vintage stars (is that the proper quilting term?) at a North Hollywood estate sale last weekend. Two dollars for over 50 of them. I've already used 3. I'll show you on Monday.

Today I had to drive to Glendale to redeem my 50% off coupon at (@#$%^$!) JoAnn Fabrics. I can't go there without also visiting my old thrifting haunts. At the Family Store on Brand Blvd. I got this:

Erik told me it's "cheating" to buy a souvenir from some place other than the object's origin. I couldn't help it with this one. Birds! A skyline! San Francisco! We've been there twice and had a blast both times. This mug reminds me of those times. Nevermind that I got it in Glendale.

I also got this unopened kit from 1973:

The yarn colors are all burnt orange, mustard yellow and olive green. What was the fascination with those colors back then? As much as I love vintage needlework, I don't have the patience to follow the pattern that came with it. Besides, I kinda just like the print all by itself.

On the agenda for Saturday, these Craigslistings:

Garage sale, Saturday April 19, 7:00-1:00. 524 N Cordova St, Burbank. Near Verdugo and Hollywood Way. Lots of great things for sale. Household items, children's books, clothing, vintage fabric, fabric for quilters, TV's, Ping left handed golf clubs, etc. Everything is priced to sell quickly because everything must go!! Many items only 25cents.

Huge Charity Sale! Furniture, antiques, crafting supplies, owl paraphernalia, clothes, toys, movies, scrapbooking materials, vintage jewelry & fabric, books and lots of other cool stuff. Saturday, April 19th, 8am-2pm at 1200 Alameda Avenue, Glendale, CA.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Retro Wednesday - Artsy Notions

I got this little needle book at an estate sale last week. The inside came with 3 needles and a threader and says "The Most Beautiful Clothes are lined with EARL-GLO. . . Sanitized - treated for hygenic freshness." I'm guessing it's from the 1950s. I think I'm going to frame it.

Saturday in the yard

Monday, April 14, 2008

Made by. . . a while ago.

I have a tendency to make things and then put them away. This stockpiling comes in handy when I'm doing craft shows, but it doesn't do me any good to have a bunch of kokoleos crowding my closet and drawers. Trouble is, it's hard to find the time to photograph them (well), even harder to make the effort to get them into cyberspace, and even harder to market my weird stuff appropriately. When I do get some free time, all I want to do is sew. As soon as I complete one project, I start another completely different one until they're all neatly folded in a big pile at the end of my ironing board and no one knows they exist but me. What good is that? I need to get these things out into the world, whether it be in shops or shows or my (poor neglected) website or Etsy. I should also stop wasting time blabbering on this here blog. What good is that? Yet, I continue.

Last week, I had a little photo shoot in the backyard during McKenna's naptime and photographed some stuff that's been hanging in my closet. I'm still trying to get the hang of my Nikon and end up dumping 10 pictures for every one decent one.

Next, I need to upload them onto my website. But first, I wanna go sew.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Open House at All'Aboard!

Stuff like this always makes me giddy. Kokoleo in a window! On Sunset Blvd., no less. And on the other side of the shop, these guys:

It's a much better home for them than trapped in a trunk in my studio. Earlier this week I took a bunch of stuff in to All'Aboard! in Echo Park - sundresses, purses, monsters, aprons, and necktie accessories. It's been nice to free up space in my studio and get it out into the city.

Last night we attended an open house/art show at the shop celebrating their 3-year anniversary.

Michelle Romo's (Crowded Teeth) art was featured. Here she is with Gina (on the left), owner of All'Aboard!.

Gina is seriously the nicest shop owner I've met. She's super-supportive of the indie-designer community and has put together a unique and fun shop full of one-of-a-kind awesomeness. I'm so happy to have kokoleo be a part of it. Thanks Gina! Happy anniversary!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lookit what I made!

Isn't it beautiful? I love it. I'm so proud of myself for pulling it off. It came out just as I imagined it - even better! I made it Monday night and have been using it nonstop since then. It fits perfectly! And it frees up so much space in my sewing room. I think it's the best thing I ever made.


Can't guess what it is?

Here's a hint:

Remember this dresser I blogged about in October? Well it ended up being the perfect place to house all my kokoleo kid clothes and works-in-progress. I love it. The trouble was, I couldn't access it very well because my damn rickety ironing board was in the way. Unfortunately, it was the only place the ironing board could go (outlet logistics), but it was also right in the path where people have to walk to get outside. Then I got an idea. What if I turned the top of my dresser into an ironing board? I researched heat resistant fabric and ordered some. At $12.98 a yard, it's probably the most I've ever paid for one yard of fabric. I knew if I messed up my measurements, I was screwed.

It wasn't quite long enough so I had to add a few inches to the ends (from the excess width), then I folded over each edge and sewed a channel all the way around it (corners were a bit tricky). Then I inserted some elastic. That's what the first picture showed - the cover before I stretched it over the top of the dresser. I dissected my old ironing board, took off the foam pad, and laid it on top of the dresser with another layer of cotton batting (to give it a soft surface). If there was band in my studio it would have played a drumroll as I carefully stretched the elasticized cover over the top of the dresser. Luckily, thankfully, it fit!

Perfectly, I might add. The drawer and door open easily and the cover doesn't move around at all. Best of all, I can get rid of that precarious ironing board. I was so excited I roused Erik out of bed at 1:00 a.m. to come look. He didn't see what the big deal was. Pshaw. I guess it's something only a seamstress would appreciate. No matter. I love my little unassuming heat resistant dresser top ironing board.


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