Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

A Cheap Date~

Mr T and I have a favorite pastime that we enjoy doing together.

2nd hand shopping!

misc. trimsWe were told that there was going to be an estate sale in the big city, so yesterday we left in the wee hours of the morning and headed to that big city.

linens, etc.When we arrived, we signed in as #53 and #54.

misc. fabricBy 9:00 there were well over 100 people going into the house, all at the same time.

I headed directly for the fabric room (I had peaked into some windows ahead of time).  A while later Mr T met me in the middle with an arm full of linens ~ just in case I might want them.  What a sweetie!

my favorites!These are two of my favorite things! 5o¢ and $3

The way that I prefer to go through an estate sale is, quick the first time, grabbing anything that I may want…then nice and slow the second time, thinking everything through as I go.  This sale was so crazy with people that one time was enough.  I met one sweet gal who had a piece of fabric that I wanted really bad.  🙂  It turns out that we do the Vintage Barn Sale together.

an old clock - that works$2~ and stuck to the bottom with yellowed, crackly tape:

Date: Apr 29/52
Guarantee void if this number removed

500 sheets!

This is some of my favorite paper to craft with.  I love it’s translucence and the ever-so-slight texture…and now I have an additional 500 sheets for $2!


As we finished our day with lunch at my favorite spot, Mr T wrapped it up well by saying that I was his favorite ‘cheap’ date!

after 25 years, there’s no other way to take it than, as it was intended,… a compliment!

February 28, 2009 Posted by | thrifty shopping | 8 Comments

An apron creation!

yo-yo cherryWith the danger of completely overdoing it, I made this apron utterly and wholly for ME!  It’s my lucky day!

faux awning for booth

a picture of the faux awning I've made for my booth

I made it with my booth design in mind because I plan to wear it for my summer shows.

vintage{y} apron

As I was working on this, I thought of how my grandmothers possibly made their aprons; taking a piece of fabric and making it work.  This linen, aqua polka dot wasn’t quite enough for two aprons (& I wanted two; 1 for submission & 1 just for me ~ although, I’m so in love with this polka dot that I’ll be keeping them both), …anyway, as I was laying another apron across the fabric to use as a pattern, I decided that I could make this work for two aprons if I pieced some of the contrasting fabric along each side.

close-upI also added a left-over piece of one of the shears that I used in my booth to the under-side of the apron.

yo-yo buttonsI love everything about this apron – it is most certainly my favorite one yet.   I did a few things out of necessity & even accidentally that I will now incorporate into others.

yo-yo buttons

apron pocket

February 26, 2009 Posted by | aprons, bespoke design, booth design, glorious fabric, sewing, vintage{y} apron | 5 Comments


platzThese are made with little snippets from {mostly} vintage license plates.

they are so challenging for me to work with ~ a completely different bird when it comes to soldering ~ but they are bunches of fun.

I have a friend who gave me a stack of license plates a while back and I’ve been wanting to make something for his wife, so here it is.  He restores vintage cars and she does all of the reupholstering for him.   She can use this on her key ring or as a necklace.  The car he is working on right now literally takes my breath away.  Someday I’ll slip in a photo.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | custom charms, license plate charms, solder, vintage | 3 Comments

I’m almost…


I’m so excited that The Farm Chicks added me to their blogroll yesterday ~ thx ladies


I loved it when more of you left sweet comments yesterday.  I don’t know what it is about that bit of communication from you but, I LOVE IT!  Keep it coming and on the days when I only get one or two, it makes me sad!  You mean that much to me!

February 25, 2009 Posted by | friends, Thank You! | 6 Comments

A very calming affect~

ME in my new apron!

I forget how therapeutic sewing can be for me, especially when I haven’t done it for so long.  Working away in complete silence except for the sporadic snap and sizzle from the wood stove.  It even settled my mind enough to cause me to be willing to pose for this shot.   Course, my hand is just a movin’ as I’m telling Mr T what to do.   He really loves that.  😉


This was an incredibly fun and creative project to work on and this post follows up my last one well…

apron pocket

…pulling together items that compliment and work well together, so very inspiring.  Every piece of fabric used in the apron is vintage and/or thrifted!

apron flap

I used the center of a vintage dresser scarf for the front.  It was ovalish so I cut a straight edge off of the top and took that piece and layered it back over itself.  (following me?)

another apron

I had already used one end of that same dresser scarf on this apron…

and yet another apron

and the other end on this apron.  So now I’ve used it in it’s entirety and I love all three of the aprons.

glass button

The final touch on my new apron was this button.  I believe it’s Bakelite.

Now I plan to bundle this sweet thing up and send it to Stampington & Co. for a Sept. 15th deadline and a hopeful submission in their new magazine, Apron*ology.   This will be my first ever attempt to be published.

February 24, 2009 Posted by | bespoke design, sewing, vintage{y} apron | 9 Comments

Never the twain…

paper fun

I work from two {twain} creative spots.

My main workspace is where I charm from.  Here, I also work on a variety of paper crafting, including collage work. It’s where papers are my #1 collecting fascination.


Downstairs I have a completely different area for creative endeavors.   This is where my #2 collecting fascination can be seen.

maybe just a little variety

I find that I do the same thing in both areas –

I collect!

more varietyIt really is a favorite pastime.  We all know that it’s so much better that a whole array of other interesting addictions and most often it is more cost effective.

cost effective!

It’s so rewarding when I’ve had an idea formulating in my mind for days or even, at times weeks, to go down to my little area and rummage through the stash to find what I need to pull together this idea and coordinate a  theme and the colors necessary to bring it all together.

this amazing and beautifully worn barkcloth is so wonderful to work with

this amazing and beautifully worn barkcloth is so wonderful to work with

I am actually in the middle of just such a project.

sewing that luscious barkcloth

So there you have it, I am completely justified is much of what I do.

These two areas don’t often mingle, although I have been know to use snippets of fabrics and trims in my #1 area – so, I guess that my initial claim, as stated in my title, is not 100% accurate.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,…Rudyard Kipling

my all-time favorite piece of barkcloth - I've had it for several years and I just cannot cut into it

my all-time favorite piece of barkcloth - I've had it for several years and I just cannot cut into it

I do have to say that sewing, most often, fills that little creative spot in me more than so many of the other things that I work on.  I find myself smiling often as I work along.  🙂

February 23, 2009 Posted by | collection, craftiness, sewing, thrifty shopping, vintage, vintage{y} apron | 3 Comments

Sunday Inspiration!

purityI recently took this picture of the snow just above my house.  At that time I thought, “How pure and untouched”.

In my own life, how I long to be so pure, and untouched by this world.  It has so much to offer, so much of it, often the parts that appear the most appealing, threatens to snip away at that purity until there remains  the potential of an open, weeping wound.  Sounds a bit dramatic, but so easily attainable with so little effort.  Really, it’s the effect of sin on our lives.  I have choices to make each and every day.

“Lord, I give this day to You!  Make my heart white as snow with Your cleansing power”.

February 22, 2009 Posted by | faith, Sunday Inspiration!, the view from my place | 4 Comments

pocket for an in-progress apron

I feel like my life is somewhat of an open book and that when I experience times of feeling completely uninspired, the whole world knows about it.   Whenever this happens I try to peg what the deal is….

  1. It could be that the fumes are leaking through the mask.
  2. …or, that this completely sugar-free body (YES!) is suffering from some ‘new’ brain disorder,
  3. …or possibly that I’ve been watching way too much TV (which is a rarity for me)…

Could be any # of things and it happens often enough that I’ll never be able to completely figure it out.  I’ve had an apron idea rumbling through my brain for quite a while but I just haven’t been doing any sewing so today I worked just a little bit on that and the pocket (pictured above) is the only thing that I got done.

close-upAs I work on projects like this, with no pattern involved, I can feel inspiration welling up!  🙂

I will be working on two aprons that could be a bit similar.  One will be for me to wear during my summer shows and the other one I want to submit to (Apron*ology), which, now that I look at the picture of that pocket, this would possibly be in an issue for Valentine’s Day 2010, so I had better snip a calendar for the month of February!   (sometimes I have such great ideas that I completely amaze myself)

February 21, 2009 Posted by | aprons, sewing, vintage{y} apron | 1 Comment

Another charmed week, indeed!

It’s been another week with a ‘charmed’ emphasis.


I love having a fun variety of mediums, textures and colors…around me as I work.

monogram charms

This is my attempt to ‘stock-up’ on these monogram charms.  They were a best-seller last year.

B monogram

I layer a letter monogram on top of some very, very old handwritten German paper.

Some of the charms have wallpaper on the 2nd side but I feel like that’s a bit wasteful when it comes to showing off this wonderful paper, so, on some of them I’ve done a simple bit of collag{ing} on the 2nd side.


With these snippets from a French theatrical book, some words appear not-so-sweet…


…and others recognizably sweet.

birdie!We tried to save this poor little tweety this week as he had flown into a screen and stuck there!  He eventually left this refuge and we’re hoping that he’s now looking forward to spring and green grass.

February 20, 2009 Posted by | bespoke design, collage, soldered charms, studio workspace, wild life | 3 Comments

a little look into my day…


Here is a true artist at work!  I actually have a hard time calling myself an artist but I remember what a relief I felt last year when I finally admitted to myself that ‘I am an artist.  It seemed as though it helped put another definition to the “who am I?’ question.  My crazy mind works like that of an artist.  I’ve often felt that if I had known that 30 years ago, I would have loved and flourished at an art school.  So, as it is, I am completely self-taught in most of what I do.   …sigh!      {this would be a great place to insert that I wouldn’t change anything in my life!}


I got this great new respirator mask this week to help save a few brain cells.  I completely despise it – except for the ‘saving brain cells’ part.


I really shouldn’t complain though – I mean, I know it looks hot!   …along with my new magnifying reading glasses!

more soldering

and, it not only curbs my addiction to hot beverages and alleviates any desire to chew gum (2 $ savers here), it also helps me with my average-0f-one-pound-weight-loss-per-week diet plan.  By causing a slight state of suffocation, it removes any and all appetite.

oh, my aching back!

I’m sorry if I’ve dashed your thoughts that soldering is a glamorous job with promises of a real future.

I’m afraid that breathing too many of those fumes would promise no real future at all.  We have, however,  some acceptable options in my area for suitable assisted living homes – after this post Mr T is going to be on the hunt for one.

Oh,my aching back!


On a lighter note (actually, there isn’t anything light about it – it’s made up of the kind of stuff that’s made me heavy!), I am completely in love with the King Arthur Flour blog.  Their last two posts fascinate me.

p.s. since I’m on the sensitive subject of ‘heavy’, I’m really not as heavy as those pics make me look – at least I don’t think I am.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | home life, solder, studio workspace | 7 Comments