Goodbye Sweet Hippie Chic Laptop Tote

One of the things I love the most about my online shop, Aunt Mayme’s Attic, is the opportunity to stretch my creativity.  Sometimes I get hurried, realizing that my shop is a little empty, and I get busy to make a bunch of things. I tell myself that I “need to get XXX amount of items done by XXX” in order to feel fulfilled.  Oh, the insanity!

But once in a great, great while, a small voice kicks in and says “Make something creative”, and I am given this opportunity to do something totally creative without a lot of rush involved.  The planning, the ideas, the steps—the “All that it is”.  I’m sure you creatives can feel this.  It’s a sense of fulfillment that can’t be compared to anything else.

So it was with my Hippie Chic Laptop Tote Bag.

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When I purchased the vintage pillow sham that the tote is made from, I knew right away what it would be, how it would look and all that went with it.  I just needed the time to slow my mind down and do it.  That small voice kept encouraging me, giving me the space I needed to create, and come up with something that I felt was my “Aunt Mayme’s Attic Flagship Piece”.

So a while back, I had that chance.  Possibly some of you have read the tutorial I created when I was making this.  It was more of an online journal through a creative journey that I was experiencing.  In case if you didn’t, you can read the journey here:  Pink Laptop Tote  And I knew the amount of love and time that went into it would hopefully call for a fair price. The materials were quite expensive (suede leather handles aren’t cheap!)  and I kept my labor quite low.  Too low, I must admit, because it took a little over four hours to make, with the design, planning, obtaining materials, embellishments and sewing it all.

Well, I posted it with a price, half worrying if someone would think my work was good enough to purchase, and the other half thinking it was priced too high.  What price is creativity?   Although it took a while, I wasn’t in a hurry to sell it and felt that the “right person” would come along at the right time and when they did, I’d be willing to let it go.  Just a few days ago, that person came along.

It’s a little bittersweet to think this will be no longer near me.  It held such meaning for me, such creativity and every single piece of it bears my heart and soul.  There is no other!  I do have another sham and could try to replicate it, but something is always lost when that is done.  Have you ever tried to copy something that was so perfect the first time, and yet when you did, you knew it was a little “less than”?  I know I have.  It’s something in our hearts that say “Hold onto this a little longer, as it will go away”.

But all is not to cry about!  There is a “silver lining” behind this “cloud”.  I am shipping it to the buyer who not only lives in the state of my homeland, the county of my homeland, the town of my homeland, but also is about 12 miles from where I grew up!

Now, could this have been any more perfect?  So this encourages me to slow down more, expand my creativity and just be at peace with what I do.  And let The Universe do the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me With a New Tagline

Well, it’s August, and it’s been four years since I opened my shop.  I always contemplate changes in August, although it might take me to December to implement them.  LOL.  So lately I’ve been thinking, and some have suggested, that I should have a new tagline, also known as a “byline”.  A tagline is a sort of jingle/sentence, etc., that identifies the company or person to which/whom it is attached.  We all know the tagline for USPS:  “We Deliver for You”.  “Whoever You Are, Find Whatever You’re Into”, is what Etsy uses.  And we know the ones for the current political candidates:  “Make America Great Again”, and “Stronger Together”.  One can quickly identify which one goes with whom.

I find I’m in a dilemma and can’t make up my mind.  When you go to my website or Etsy shop, you see the tagline of “Where Vintage Meets Something Between”.  Is this something you like or would you like to see it changed?  I thought I would put the question up to you and take a vote.  After all, it’s an election year, (in the US), and this type of voting is a lot easier than what many of us will be up against soon.  I value your input and would so appreciate it if you made a choice below to help me out of my dilemma.  Thank you!

Does Anyone from the 1970’s Remember Backless Dresses?

As I was surfing through Etsy the other day, I came across some cotton tapestry fabric A couple of links here:  Dan Morris Art , and here:  Kaftan fabric

If you’re as old as I am, you might remember the Indian prints so popular during the 1970’s.  About 50″ long, by 36″ wide pieces of fabric that was turned into billowing ceilings in our rooms, tacked onto walls for decoration, or made into shawls; long and drapey.  And of course, there were the backless dresses!

You had to be skinny enough to make one of these, because the fabric was just 36″ wide and that had to go around your hips; the bust didn’t matter as part of it was backless.  Steps are following.

First step, take the fabric, fold it down the straight grain (the long edge), and then starting at the top of one end, about half way in from the fold,  cut an angle, about 30 to 45 degrees, down the distance from your neckline to the top of your hips.  A good way to measure this is to place the measuring tape at your neck in the back and follow it down to the top of your hips.

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To sew,  finish the cut edge any way you want, fold over the top to make a casing, (this will what was left of the short edge and will be used to insert a drawstring), and then sew up the back seam, which will be the remaining length of fabric.  Cut off extra at the bottom of the dress and hem it any way you want.

Take a look at this listing on Etsy (fourth photo) to see what it looked like from the back:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/220815601/vintage-70s-floral-maxi-dress-with?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=backless%20hippie%20dress&ref=sr_gallery_1

Here’s one with a belt and a back zip:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/194580217/resort-backless-halter-dress-hippie?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=backless%20hippie%20dress&ref=sr_gallery_18

And one with the very Indian print fabric:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/102586895/hippie-chick-hippie-halter-dress-maroon?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=backless%20hippie%20dress&ref=sr_gallery_41

Of course, the ones we made back then weren’t as nice as the ones for sale.  Match one up with a pair of Birkies, a cute boho hippie chic handbag, some bangle bracelets, and you’re on your way!

Well, I think I’m going back to that site where the fabric is and have a looksee.  I’d like to stroll back down Memory Lane.

 

This Past Week in Retrospect

I’m intensely horrified and deeply saddened with the events over this last week.  As an American, I’m ashamed as to how my country is no longer the strong country it was.  What was, in my childhood, a proud place to live  has now become a battleground over racism and violence.

Growing up in California, of European parents who never felt that the color of one’s skin was something to be judged; that the value of the person was more important to one’s integrity, I never experienced the anger, angst and judgmental thinking that has now plagued us, and the world.  I was never brought up to hate, never brought up to think of one person over the other, and felt that the rest of the world saw it that way too.

I am reminded of when my former husband sunk our car in a rainwater-full drainage ditch in the South in the mid-1970’s.  After the initial shock, and trying to get my young son situated in the front seat so the car would steady itself, I looked around and saw not one white person coming to our aid.  After some critical and funny moments, two African American men came forth and helped us out.  One was well dressed, in a suit and the man with him was similar.

Something in their hearts told them we were okay; whether it was the California license plate on the car, my husband’s pony tail, or the fact I had a young child with me, I will never know.  But those two men sought out others who would pull out our car, gather together to work on getting it fixed, and most importantly, those two men took us around to buy us dinner and get us a place to stay for the night.

Sitting in the back seat of their car, I had a great history lesson; one I was never taught at home.  And I was in tears.  I couldn’t imagine the inequality over such kind people, I couldn’t imagine the dreadful treatment they received, and the fact that they were fearful.  When I asked them what made them feel they were safe with us, they couldn’t say, but that there was “something about us” that made them see our integrity.

What I later came to realize was that they were like us; outcasts in a world of hate and trying to live.  This came to light when I remembered the events of a few days previous  and the three of us walked into a restaurant.  After driving all day, hot and hungry, with no air conditioning in the car, we sat down at a table.  And after about an hour, no one came over to wait on us.  We did notice glances and whispers from the all-white patrons, but  I ignored them, feeling they didn’t concern us.

Finally my husband called someone over, who un-obligingly came and looked down on us.  He knew the situation.  “Please”, he asked the white female server, “if you won’t serve my wife and I, could you please give my son a drink of water”.  At that moment, three rather large white men stood up from a table.  It was then we left.  I can still remember my son crying that he was thirsty; that he wanted a drink–he couldn’t understand the hate that went on in that restaurant.  An innocent child who had a great need.

Then came the time when I was teaching at an inner-city college.  My classroom, or so I thought, was a place for all to come, shed off their cares and learn something new.  One particular African American student was having trouble, and was stressed out over something.  I could see the tension rise in her.  It was then she stood up, and threw her computer monitor at the wall, creating a large hole, and left.

The following day she exploded.  What she said in class was exactly how she felt; how she’d been sold on a promise, only to have it watered down by indifference and inequality.  Her boyfriend had told her the night before that she would never amount to anything in a white person’s world and that she might as well drop out of school. But school was her haven and her chance to get ahead, out of the ghetto where she lived and into a world of where things worked for her.  Her explosion was a culmination of not wanting to believe it and instead believing in herself, knowing the odds.

The first thing I wanted to do was console her, tell her it would be okay, but that it would be a struggle.  I wanted her to feel that even though she was an outcast in a world of hate and trying to live, that there were alternatives, much like what my husband, my son and I experienced in that restaurant. I wanted to tell her that there is prejudice, all over, whether you are African, Native American, or even white. But I never could say these things to her; she dropped out.  I felt bad I wasn’t able to help; to let her know that there are “gifts in the garbage” that one has to find.

Our world is crumbling.  Our country is falling apart when it should be joining together.  The current political climate is creating division and derision, hate and a lack of moral integrity.  Might isn’t always right.  What we need instead is an opportunity to come together; to overcome the hurt, anger, fear and pain. We need to come together as a country and heal our wounds.  And not use a political arena to do so. The terror attacks of 9/11 brought us together then; all races.  Do we have the courage and strength to do the same now?

 

 

 

One of the Things I Truly Love About my “Job”

Throughout my travels and connections with people, I come across some real gems.  “Gems” meaning people who are kind and enthusiastic about what I do.  The relationships I’ve established with them are wonderful and rewarding in such a way that I never experienced before, and I’m so very grateful for them.

Just the other day, one of these gems contacted me.  Her husband had recently passed away, and she was downsizing.  “I have a bunch of vintage fabrics I’m getting rid of and I’d like to give them to you”, was the voice on the other end of the phone (can’t say “line” here because more often than not, we no longer have “lines”).  So she came by.

What I was given was over 15 pounds of fabric.  How do I know it was over 15 pounds?  I divided half of it up and sent it off to my sister in Oregon.  A very expensive shipment, I’d say!

So what did I do?  I got busy and washed them all out and put them on the line.

 

Do you see anything you recognize?  Anything you like?  What alerted me first was the little girl and boy fabric.  Definitely pre-1960’s, and I’m sure you can figure out why.

So take a walk down Memory Lane and give yourself an opportunity to remind yourself of a past long ago.

I’ve Often Said I’m a Purslane Farmer

Now, truly, I don’t “farm” purslane ( known to some as watercress, cat’s tongue, portulaca, pig weed) as purslane grows wild.  It, rather, “grows” on me–quite literally.  Every time I try to grow lettuce or peas, the darn stuff takes over, crowding out my seeds, and placing even more nitrogen in my soil.

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Yes, it’s Purslane!

Yes, I’ve tried alternative methods such as growing buckwheat, which is very high in calcium to balance out the nitrogen.  But nothing seems to work, and I have to pull it out when it gets large enough; hoping it won’t spread.  So far, that hasn’t happened and I still have a bunch of it.  So I’ve devised a new method.  Announcing. . . . .

The Purslane Cultivation Device.

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Device before use

A 5 gallon paint bucket, and a tray that you get when you buy a group of small bedding plants. And an extra bucket.  If you have chickens, they will eat the stuff.  But my local favorite restaurant wants it for their salads.  If it wasn’t so darn good for you, I wouldn’t be interested in it much further; even to write about.  But purslane is high in Omega 3’s and is great for vegans. And it’s packed with magnesium too.

Steps:

  1. Find a purslane bed.
  2. Chances are, you already know where there are several of these.
  3. Take your Purslane Cultivation Device with you, as well as your extra bucket
  4. Lay the tray across the top of one bucket.
  5. Pull out the purslane from your beds and place the purslane in the tray.
  6. Gently shake the tray to remove the soil; it should fall into the bucket.  Be careful not to shake too hard as the holes on the side of the tray might be great “escape routes”
  7. The extra bucket is to toss the purslane into.

Why not just pull the purslane and not worry sifting it from the soil?  Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked hard on my veggie beds getting the soil (as in Goldilocks terminology), “Just right” and I’m not about to toss it out!

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Purslane Bed with lettuce seeds in there somewhere

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Step 4 above

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Step 5, purslane is in tray

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Step 6, sifted soil in bucket

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Manna from the garden

Laurel Festival No. 2, Down!

Well, it’s been a long weekend.  The 75th Annual Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival has come and gone.  And I was there, with bells on my toes.  Much of the days were spent talking to people; so many people and so kind.  I’d see them walk by the booth and gently smile, as if they were thinking of a memory of long past.  Their grandmother perhaps?  Or maybe an aunt.  Then they’d come in and look around, reminiscing of something in their past.  Their husbands would walk away and they would catch up with them later; they were busy “being”!

There was a woman from Germany, a nice young lady, who asked if I had any “American towels”.  Puzzled, I asked her to explain.  She said that in Germany, their dish towels aren’t the best, and her mother (?) asked if she would get her some while in the US.  So I sent her up the street about two blocks, stating that “we” (as in my town) probably have the last remaining family owned department store.  Then she looked puzzled at me.  And I had to explain about the huge shopping malls, the strip malls, and the like.  We just don’t have that here; yet.

Then there was the cute little girl who was “just looking”.  I had it in my mind that I was going to give a little girl a mini journal; just like I did last year.  And I gave it to her.  Interestingly, she loved books and that little booklet fit so well into her purse.

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Pink mini journal with recycled paper notebook and recycled plastic pen

And the woman who bought this makeup bag.

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Item No. Nec41, Sold!!!

I just knew that she was a Harley Enthusiast; don’t ask me why.  Maybe it was the dark clothing, so stylishly worn, or her boots; just not sure.  But when I showed it to her, and told her she reminded me of a woman who was a Harley Enthusiast from my last show and who purchased this bag

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Item No. Nec16  Sold!!

and who asked if I would attach a strap to it so she could wear it under her jacket while riding, the woman told me she was also a Harley Enthusiast.

Then she began to soften.  A warm smile came across her and I could tell she was thinking.  She pulled out her black leather handbag and quickly saw that the makeup bag would fit.  It was as if she was coming back to her “girl-ness”, long ago forgotten.  And she bought it!  In the meantime, she began to chat and talk about where she lived, etc.  Now I have a new friend.

And my Lucky 500 bag! It even included a $25 gift certificate!  The bag went to a woman who spends time in my all time favorite restaurant, West End Market Cafe.  Facebook Page

 

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Inside of booth, left side

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Inside of booth, right side

 

Loved the fair!  Loved the people!  And had a great time!

 

 

Today, Memorial Day, will have a new member

Today is a sad day.  Not only for it being Memorial Day, when we remember our dead.  But also a friend died today.  He was a good friend of Husband’s and he and Husband shared that relationship for longer than we have been married; over 20 years.

We all come to the end of our lives in many ways, and L came to his today.  After a recent surgery, and a trip back home, he apparently went downhill.  After being on life support and non-responsive, his wife had to make the awful decision what to do.  Although I can’t comprehend her pain, I feel for her.  They were married for almost as long as Husband and I; in fact, we were invited to their wedding.

It will be hard not to hear his voice speaking to Husband on Facetime, or hearing it on the phone.  It will also be hard not to see them both next Christmas, as we would do.  And I can only imagine what Husband feels, knowing he is just one year younger.

Yes, Memorial Day gained another veteran of Vietnam, gained another soul, and gained another heart to break.

 

Hush Little Baby

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word.
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass

And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat

And if that billy goat won’t pull,
Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover

And if that dog named Rover won’t bark
Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

How many of you remember this song?  I remember Joan Baez singing it on one of her albums, which the name escapes me now.   I believe it may have been 1968 or at least  sometime before 1970.  I remember singing it to my child when he was fussy.  And when I get incredibly stressed, I go back to that time when I was holding him in my arms, singing and the joy I felt of having such a precious little bundle.

So it was with divine precedence that I received an embroidered linen with this very song title.  It took me back; long ago to that time.  Stressed over dealing with a husband who had PTSD, young, married and a mom.  Struggling to make ends meet; I too was caught up in wanting someone to sing me a lullaby.

So I’m willing to send this little cutie off into the Universe, for the next person to share with their bundle.  Pillow in Gender Neutral Colors

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Pil17 in my Etsy Shop

Keeping you in stitches,

Beth

Aunt Mayme’s Attic Annual May Sale

It’s that time of year again, when Aunt Mayme’s Attic has a sale.  The other one is in late November.  This year, as well as last, I’m offering 25% off everything in my shop until May 11.  So if you’ve been putting off that extra special thing, now is the time to reconsider.

Use the coupon code MAYME by clicking on the blue link that says Apply Coupon Code.

I have several wonderful items in store for you; upcycled vintage linen things or evena few vintage items.

Sign up for my biannual newsletter to receive an even better offer!  Go to my website, http://www.auntmaymesattic.com and click on About Me, then Contact.  And did you know you can purchase from my website?  Oh yes.  Just click on the links on the first page, and you can figure out the rest.

Keeping you in stitches,

Beth