Ghosts of Christmas Past

Over the years, I’ve accumulated more Christmas STUFF than I know what to do with! Getting it out each year to decorate is definitely a love/hate exercise. HATE dragging out all the boxes, testing the lights, and then cleaning up the mess, but LOVE strolling down memory lane and each thing I uncover brings back the ghosts of Christmas(es) past!
There was the year I made (I don’t know HOW MANY) little shelf angels. Each one had a name – I still have Glory Bea, Margaret and Lulu.

Glory Bea, Margaret and Lulu - the halos have slipped a bit and the hair's a little wild, but they're still cuties!

Glory Bea, Margaret and Lulu – the halos have slipped a bit and the hair’s a little wild, but they’re still cuties!

For many years, I collected Christmas musicals – I had over 75 at one point – I even took to making them when I couldn’t find what I wanted. Then, the munchkins reached shelf level and I had to turn to the soft toy-like musicals so they could play with them without me hovering around!

In the early days of the plush musicals, I had a Christmas pig that oinked Jingle Bells – he’s pretty tired these days, although I still have him. My special favorite is the muffler-clad duck who quacks a medley of tunes. Just when you think he’s done, he launches into another chorus – he’s VERY enthusiastic. In fact, he’s prone to giving you a random quack when you least expect it – sometimes even in the summer from his box in the storage room – lol! You’d think the poor thing had Tourette’s Syndrome, but he really just loves to sing!

With Chilly Willy, the sledding penguin.

With Chilly Willy, the sledding penguin.


Vintage Christmas-Swear Free Barbie Gown

She’s what??? 54 now? And nothing’s sagging! Barbie was quite scandalous when she was first introduced in 1959. There has been some controversy over Barbie Doll’s figure when it was realized that if Barbie was a real person her measurements would be an impossible 36-18-38. Barbie’s “real” measurements are 5 inches (bust), 3 ¼ inches (waist), 5 3/16 inches (hips). And, therein lies the problem for grannies trying to outfit these fashion dolls! Sure, my mom could do it, but when I tried, I was immediately taken off Santa’s ‘nice’ list and moved to the ‘naughty’ category (I think it was the language I was using – oops!).
Mom’s versions were beautiful then and still classy!

Thirty some years ago, when I attempted my first Barbie wardrobe, I had to come up with a simpler model or go crazy.
You may need some Barbie clothes this Christmas, too, so I’m going to share my semi-brilliant Barbie evening gown pattern with you – well, actually, it’s just some pics, but it’s pretty much fool proof, so I think you’ll get the idea!

Vintage Christmas-The Cabbage Patch Kids

Myrtle Ema and Little Lulu ready for our cold weather!

Myrtle Ema and Little Lulu ready for our cold weather!

Standing in line at the Post Office this a.m., mailing aprons around the country, a man was standing in line with a fairly big box. The clerk kindly offered to let him set it at the counter until his turn, but he said it wasn’t heavy, it was just dolls . . . Then, he elaborated . . .Costco had a shipment of the 30th anniversary Cabbage Patch Dolls and he got two that he was mailing to his granddaughters.

“I LOVE CABBAGE PATCHES!!!” I exclaim, and proceed to bore him with how many still live with me (5), how their clothes are getting kind of ratty, how my granddaughter and I still play with them, etc., etc.

The kids: Brenda Louisa, Bunson Honeydew, Little Lulu, Stephi Carmella and Myrtle Ema

The kids: Brenda Louisa, Bunson Honeydew, Little Lulu, Stephi Carmella and Myrtle Ema

Naturally, I ran home and got the kids out for a lookie loo, dressed them all up for a photo shoot and went through their wardrobes (some of the remaining clothes HAVE seen better days, plus I need to make some easy on/easy off clothes that a 2 year old can handle, so that I don’t have to be involved in all the wardrobe changes).
Once we had Cabbage Patches, I sewed outfits for them like crazy!

Once we had Cabbage Patches, I sewed outfits for them like crazy!

Myrtle Ema and Lulu are MINE!!! I have Myrtle’s birth certificate and adoption certificate but Lulu was a true adoption – she came from the thrift store. I couldn’t stand the thought that someone had given her up, so she came home with me, got a whole new wardrobe and a big sister, too!

My granddaughter, Penelope, loves playing ‘babies’ and we spend hours putting them to bed, feeding them and, of course, changing their outfits. When Penny finds out there are Cabbage Patch bunny slippers, she’s going to go a little crazy, I think!
They now, of course, have their official website:
AND their Facebook Fan page (Yes, of course I’m a fan!!!)

But I Don’t Cook!

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this when selling aprons at a Farmers’ Market, Craft Fair or similar event. And I want to say ‘REALLY??’ – you can’t think of anything else you can do in an apron? (Do you craft? Do you sew? Do you knit? Do you have animals?) You never give gifts? You don’t know anyone who DOES cook?!
I have to confess, I still mainly think of aprons as kitchen tools myself, but since the birth of Tie One On! Aprons, I’ve heard the other side of the argument as well – and gotten lots of great ideas in the process.
One customer ordered a red, white and blue utility apron somewhere around 4th of July. I thought, “Great! I’ll bet they’re working at a booth on the Fourth!”



Then I got a fun little note from the lady who purchased the apron that explained “My family owns a fireworks company. I’m the office manager and I’m going to wear the apron in the office.” YAY! How cool is that?
Another great idea – I think – is a set of aprons for a second marriage. When people marry later in life, they have pretty much everything they need – you don’t have to get them a toaster – you can get something fun. Several people have told me they were purchasing aprons for just that reason. In one case, we chose coordinating tiger print aprons for the bride and groom. Since the newlyweds were nearing 70, the animal prints elicited plenty of teasing.

The utility aprons, especially, make fabulous little gifts without a lot of expense. They’re perfect for kids and adults alike.
*Going to a dinner party? Staying overnight with a friend? – Choose a utility in a theme that matches the event or the person and watch their delight when they receive the apron!
*Trying to think of new things to stuff in those Christmas stockings? Aprons are perfect! They’re even more fun when you fill the pockets – pens, pencils, crayons, tablets, scissors, craft items, seeds, plant markers.
*Need a children’s birthday gift? Pair up a cute apron with another gift – a tea set, a children’s cookbook, felt food, a bake set.
*Going to a bridal shower? Aprons are back “in” and very popular with young brides! Choose one of the sexy models for that – she probably doesn’t cook, either, but who cares?
My grandsons have their own egg business and utility aprons have been a handy thing for them, too. I made them each their own apron.
They can even collect the eggs in them! We’ve donated aprons to their Chicken Club raffles (great prizes). The 4H leaders love them.
The 3B Egg Company - Fallon, Nevada

The 3B Egg Company – Fallon, Nevada

987-Rooster Waitress Apron on Red Dot w Yellow Ties

This was was chosen by a child as a Mother's Day present

This was was chosen by a child as a Mother’s Day present

One of my customers has a son and daughter-in-law who live in Italy. She chose the “Italian Cooking” print apron to send to her daughter-in-law.
1015-Italian Cooking Butcher
So, if you don’t cook and you can’t think of anything to do in an apron, think GIFT! Keep a few on hand for those last minute things that pop up – you’ll be glad you did!

Yes, boys DO like aprons!

Went to a class recently, and the woman sitting next to me learned I made aprons.  I mentioned I made quite a few for my grandsons and she gave me a look like I must’ve slipped a cog.  “What?”  I said.  “Boys like aprons, too!”

My son c. 1987.

My son c. 1987.

My son has always loved cooking and baking since he was a little boy.

My littlest grandson loves to play restaurant, complete with a kitchen, felt food and a waiter’s apron.  All of my boys are called upon to model aprons for me I volunteer, Grandma!

Beware of kitchen props!

Beware of kitchen props!

sometimes they are even called upon to model girl aprons, but they’re pretty good sports about that, too!).That pretty little blonde . . .Another blonde in sunflowers!

ALL of the kids love to join in at Christmas time for our annual cookie making day.

Rolling pin class

Rolling pin class

Never call it a cookie 'gun' when working with boys!  UFFDA

Never call it a cookie ‘gun’ when working with boys! UFFDA

So, yes, boys DO LOVE APRONS!

Child Models – UFFDA!

Working with child models has a lot of challenges, as you can well imagine!  They wiggle, they giggle, they use their props for battles, they have the attention span of a gnat – but oh, the laughs we have!

It’s CURTAINS for you!

When my Dad passed away, I found a set of polka dot cafe curtains and valances in the miscellaneous stuff he had stored.  Where they came from, I have no idea, because I don’t remember there EVER having been such  curtains in our home.  At any rate, I snagged them, thinking I could use them somehow in an apron.

I did a couple of aprons with rows of the narrower valances used on the bottom – these were about 5″ long and pre-ruffled.

My first 'curtain valance' apron!

My first ‘curtain valance’ apron!

Later, I used one of the longer ruffles (about 8 or 9″, I think) on a different style apron.

Take #2 - I used a deeper ruffle on the hem of this apron.

Take #2 – I used a deeper ruffle on the hem of this apron.

My girlfriend last Christmas begged me to make aprons from her mom’s curtains and I couldn’t say no (she’s the loyal lackey who helps me with all my craft fairs).  Her curtains were pink cotton Priscillas with yards of ruffled eyelet available.  I did one for my friend and one for her mother (whose curtains I was using).

With a paisley print.

With a paisley print.

With a large floral print

With a large floral print

Then I also did one for Karen’s daughter and granddaughter.  All in all, there are 4 generations of aprons created using Great Grandma’s curtains!  Fun.

799-Black and White Floral with triple ruffle and V yoke-SOLD Mother/Daughter Aprons