life, craft, kids, crap…

Category Archives: Lale

Wordle: la le Style's Etsy shop


Did you know I have a stash of vintage fabric? And a stash of new fabric? Shoot, I have a 950 square foot apartment that houses 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 preschools worth of toys, and 200 square feet of fabric.

But, I can stop any time…. really, I can. This isn’t a problem. No, it isn’t. I could give it all away tomorrow and not miss it one bit. For real.

Well, except that beautiful Heather Bailey Freshcut I’m hoarding saving for just the right project. I should keep it.

And the fabric I bought for the Paintbox quilt I’m working on. It would be a shame to get rid of it.

The cool (not dorky) hippo prints I have — well, Bean likes them, so I should keep them.

And, you never know when I’ll need more of that striped fabric.

And some of it came from my Grandma’s stash, so I’ll keep it.

And, you know, there’s the new fabric I bought for Britty’s baby quilt. Can’t get rid of that until Sweet Pea comes and her quilt is finished.

Sigh.

Ahem. My name is mab and I’m a fabric addict.

(Phew. That feels better. Now, take a look at some of my vintage stash!)

This piece of fabric inspired a little project I’m working on. More in a bit….

Then, check this out. It’s pre-Elmo Sesame Street fabric! Grover is my fave.

So, what is this post and this current post all about? I have decided to share some of my retro and vintage fabrics, great vintage finds, and random randomness with the world in a second Etsy shop. Ruby’s Retro City is slated to open in early April. My other shop, la*le Style, will stay open and will continue to have all of my handmade, non-vintagey items in it. But, the focus on opening Ruby’s Retro City strongly has kept me from working on la*le as much as I’d like. That’s why it’s been a bit neglected!

But now, I shall reveal the real reason I’m opening a shop with a major focus of vintage fabric . . . the more I sell, the more new lovelies I can buy.


I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and a fabulous Boxing Day!

I finally added two books to my book list. One of them was a sequel — and I realized I never added in the first book. This means I’ve actually read 16  books so far! I have two books that are in progress with a chapter to go on each one… it looks like I will make my book goal for the year!

I read back through my list of books I’ve read over the years. I can’t believe that I used to read so much. It actually isn’t the girls who get in my way now as much as my business. As I wrote about a few days ago, I’m really re-evaluating everything right now — setting long-term goals and making changes accordingly. This has all kept me super duper busy! But, in a good way.

I’ve been thinking of alternate names for the shop and have been reading through slang from the twenties, thirties, and forties. I think I’ve come up with something: Ducky Shincracker. It’s a positive term given to someone who is a great dancer. I love it. It’s hilarious. It’s funny. It sounds crazy. So what do you think? Should I rename my shop Ducky Shincracker? What’s that? You think it would be rather ironic since I can’t dance? What do you mean I can’t dance? Didn’t you see me at Uncle Louie’s polka party? (Major brownie points will be awarded to the person who can name that quote’s source….)

Oh, I digress.

Today we drove from RayRay’s hometown to mine. Halfway there we stopped and met Britty & Tito. They were coming from my hometown to Tito’s (which is by RayRay’s little village). It was great to see them! They’re so fun! They’re wonderful! In fact, they’re very talented dancers, too! You could call them a couple of ducky shincrackers! Ok, I’ve actually never seen Tito dance, so that’s an assumption.

While in the car, I started another book. (Come on, the other 2 only had a chapter left. If I had taken them with me, I would have finished them quickly and not had anything else to read. Or I would have had to have a big stack of available books in the car by me. This isn’t feasible. After all, within arm’s reach, I have to have the diaper bag, the snack bag, the blankets for the kids, the bag of toys, the movies for their DVD players, extra pacis, my beverage, my pillow, my iPod, my purse, my coat, the girls’ coats, and a book. I wasn’t adding a bunch of other crap….) Anyway, here’s the book:

It’s Mary Modern by Camille DeAngelis in case you can’t see the image clearly….

Besides having a gorgeous cover in amazing colors, the book is a great treat. I am thoroughly enjoying this creative and interesting read. I’m about 1/4 of the way in and I’m completely engrossed. In fact, I’m quitting this blog post now to go and read some more of it before I hit the sack….

Thanks for continuing to read my piffle….. Hey! I could rename my shop Pifflely Ducky Shincracker! Or Ducky Piffle Shincracker! Or Shinny Piffle Duckcracker!

Yes, it’s time for bed…


Well, the good news is that the crafty week went well, despite Bean throwing up all over the craft room. Yes. All over everything. She was coloring nicely at the back when the… um… eruption began. I panicked. Instead of putting a trash can in front of her while she took care of the rest of that… um… business, I picked her up and ran down the hall to the bathroom. Thereby covering myself in puke and the hallway in puke. Ok, so maybe it’s my fault that she puked all over the craft room.

Sigh.

Sorry you had to read that. But I’ll warn you that… um… puke will come up again in this post. But something important is coming along, too…

I came home with a sinus infection from the pit of hades. It put me out of comission. Completely. And then Peanut started to toss her cheerios. (See, I warned you.) Poor RayRay was in the midst of finals and couldn’t take care of all three of us while finishing his last projects/take home tests, so Poppy has arrived to rescue us. And in the midst of this, we have crafted. I made a lot of great gifts, but I’m not going to tell you about them now. Because some of you who read this will get said gifts for Christmas. Hah!

But, now on to the real things on my mind. Something has to change. I stink at this blog. I really really really stink at my bidniz blog. (It stinks. It stinks worse than my hastily-thrown together banner that looks like a 13 year old from the 80’s put together in print shop. The only good parts are what I ganked off of the bidniz cards Britty made me.) And, I’m struggling to find myself in my Etsy shop. It seems to be going in a direction that doesn’t fit me. It chafes like underwear that has been line-dried. Oh yeah, it looks all pretty in the laundry detergent ads and people sniff their towels and talk about the fresh air scent. But that’s crap. When you hang your stuff to dry, it smells like dirt. And, your towels, socks, and undies are as crunchy as an SOS scouring pad. Trust me. That’s how we dried our laundry during our stint overseas. I have never been so grateful for fabric softener as in any other time in my life.

But I once again digress. I’m going to take a bit of a break from my business. Not for long… just a few weeks. I’ll keep my shop open, but I won’t add anything new. I’m going to sew for myself. Finish some projects. Finally make that new purse for me. Learn to do something with the latticework smocking that I’m working on.

And, I’m going to think. Think about combining that blog and this blog. Think about changing my shop name and look. (What was I thinking in giving it a foreign name that no one can seem to pronounce…? Sigh..) I’m going to think about what kinds of projects I want to do and will keep doing in a sustainable way. I’m thinking about more craft fairs and how that could work. I’m thinking of reorganizing (well… just plain organizing) my craft space and getting it out of our over-crowded living room. I’m praying that we miraculously get moved into a 4 bedroom apartment so I’ll have a work room, room to house tables and props needed for a craft fair, and the inventory that would require.

In all of this, I welcome blunt input. From time to time I’ll ask direct questions. Some of you might get e-mails asking specific direct questions. All of you are welcome to tell me anything and everything about my business and the idea of combining these blogs. I know you all come to read the Blab because you want to know about my children puking. What if more of my craftiness comes in? (Double meaning implied and promised.) Will that alienate readers? Does it matter?

So, during this process, I’ll be blogging here and on my other blog, but not in a typical fashion. This will be my clipboard. Great items I’ve found — cool shops — stuff I wish I could make — ideas I have. Then, through the weeks, I’ll look back on everything and see what themes and ideas are forming.

I also haven’t forgotten the veggie/side-dish cook-off! I actually bought broccoli to make one of them. But, we have had one member of the family (or more) sick since the week of Thanksgiving. As primary caretaker (when I’m not sick-in-the-bed patient), I’ve been feeding my famliy whatever I could throw together that won’t stain my rug if it … um … comes back up. I’m sure the broccoli has spoiled. I am saving the recipes and once I return to my house after the Holiday Sojourn of 2009, I’ll start going through them. And, I’ll let you know how they all go. Even the ones with cabbage in them.

Now, must sleep. Thanks for letting me talk. Again, all input is welcome. I may listen or I may nod and smile.


I’m over the Swine flu. I fell much, much better. It was a wierd flu. I felt like crapola and every part of my body ached like crazy. I was absolutely exhausted and felt, well… sick. But, my appetite was fine. In fact, it was quite healthy. So there I was, laying on the couch and barely able to lift my quarter pounder with cheese to my lips…. Not a typical sight.

And no, the zombies didn’t give me Swine flu. The pigs did.

As for our own personal plans in case of the (inevitable) zombie attack, my father in law was in town to help this weekend. We worked out a basic plan for the zombies as well as what we’ll do if any radical group takes over the country and we are plunged into anarchy. Sorry to my side of the family, but if this country becomes a crazy, anarchy, revolutionary place, I’m headed to my in-laws. In their village of 150, there’s more guns and gunpowder than in the entire state of Texas. And that’s saying something. No, they don’t all have a school bus buried under their yards and they aren’t saving up for Armageddon or the day that the Dem’crats try to take their guns, they are all “hunters.” At least, that’s why most people I’ve met in Northeast Louisiana say they are well-armed.

No, RayRay’s family doesn’t have an obsessive amount of guns. Just a lot of his neighbors do. Glad to clarify.

No, we don’t have a gun.

No, I’m not against guns or for them. Well, I’m against crazy people having guns.

Do we have this issue settled?

In other news, my mind isn’t really dwelling on zombies, anarchists, or gun control. I’m freaking out about the craft fair coming up on Thursday night. I have made necklaces, bracelets, tote bags, drawstring bags, and a huge mess of bath salts and sugar scrubs. Now I have to label everything, get it ready to sell, and get everything set up to go. I am a sleep-deprived wreck.

I really, really, really, really, really hope I do well this year. If you’re in the NOLA area, pretty please come by and buy my stuff.

NOLA? New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s what they say here. With a fleur de lis thrown in somewhere. Or everywhere. I went to Michael’s the other day to get stuff to package my crap. I tried to find a fleur-de-lis paper punch. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis stamps. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis stickers. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis paper. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis ribbon. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis toilet paper. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis toilet cleaner. Sold out. Fleur-de-lis Q-tips. Sold out.

Ok, I might be exaggerating a teency bit.

Now, it’s later than I wanted to go to bed. And I’m tired.

Peace out, cub scouts.

Dangit! I forgot to tell y’all about the Zombie Dog! Ok, that’ll have to wait for another post….


Today I made a whole mess of stuff for the upcoming craft fair. Here’s what I decided to have at my booth:

  • Bath salts
  • Sugar scrub
  • Tote bags
  • Drawstring ditty bags (great re-usable gift bags, makeup bags, or cute storage)
  • iPod cases (if they get finished)
  • Beaded bracelets & necklaces.

Last year my booth was an absolute flop. I barely made enough to cover the booth rental and the two Chick-fil-A sandwiches my hub & I ate. Seriously. My profit was like $15. Part of the trouble was that I had too many high-priced items. I forgot that this is a craft fair here at the school where the hub attends & we live. Everyone is poor. We’re all grad students and most people have kids. Let me break that down for those of you who are unfamiliar with our particular socioeconomic group….

grad student = thinks ramen noodles are a gourmet meal

grad student with a spouse = shares a bowl of ramen and claims that “our love is all we need to survive”

grad student with kids = when not in class, dad sits by a busy intersection on campus with a sign saying “will write theses for food”

(Is theses the correct pluralization for thesis? Hmmm…. ) Ok, so this is a tiny bit exaggerated. A tiny bit. Still, even though I had exquisite handmade purses for $20 and gorgeous flannel baby blankets for only $15, they winced at the price tags. This year it will be different. A whole variety of crap for cheap, cheap, cheap. I’ll have about 3 necklaces that are $12 and I’ll have 3 or 4 of my best purses there (more for display than sale), but otherwise everything will be $10 and under.

I hope we sell a whole lot. A whole stinking lot.

Speaking of stink, I made the first batch of sugar scrub tonight. I actually made 3 batches. I finished 18 large jars (8 oz) and 37 smaller jars (4 oz) of three different scents. Tomorrow I’ll do a fourth scent. I’m stuck on some names, though. The official names of the scents (from the place I bought them) is Rose-vanilla, Pear Raspberry, Cotton Blossom, and Eternity Type. (It’s supposed to smell like the perfume. I think it smells more like Pledge. RayRay says it smells like a hospital or old-folks home. This won’t be good for marketing….) I’m changing the names to be more cooler. Pear Raspberry will be Very Peary Berry. Cotton Blossom will be…. well, the same. Eternity Type will either be Great Uncle Harvey’s Room at Shady Oaks -or- Fleur de Lis. (Come on, I live in New Orleans. If you slap a fleur de lis on a bag of dog poo, people will pay $20 bucks for it. I thought about having this in my booth at the fair, but dogs aren’t allowed on campus and I didn’t know where to find a good supply. )

Here’s the trouble: What should I call the Rose-vanilla scent? Cupcakes in the Garden? Um, no. Rosy Buttercream…. yuck. Yummy Food with a Bouquet of Flowers…. Yeah, I’m not going anywhere good. This scent combo is one of my faves. Any time I’m at Bath Junkie, it’s what I pick. It’s two familiar scents that when put together are sweet, but not saccharin. I dig it. And, unless y’all can help me out or inspiration strikes, I’ll get really fancy with the name and call it Vanilla Rose.

My house right now absolutely stinks. It is overwhelmingly scented like VanillaRoseVeryPearyBerryCottonBlossom. You can smell it from outside. Oh well, at least it masks the usually overwhelming scent of poopy diapers.


I play favorites.

Not with kids, but with friends. And I’d much rather give my giveaway to one of you people than someone else. Because you’re my friends. Because you let me blog and say crap a lot. And other stuff.

So, last chance: go to my business blog and enter my giveaway. You might be the lucky winner of a banner. Specially made for you.

Papa Steve wants one to say “Oh, Crap!” This got me to thinking…. what other 6 word phrases could you use? (Since the winner gets 6 free flags. No, not free 6 Flags. I can’t afford that.)

Here’s what I could think:

Skwurl (for Cliffie)

Shudup (for the teachers out there — to put in your classroom)

Gimme! (for the toddlers I know)

Dorkus (in honor of my beloved Bubbie)

RayRay (if you’re an admirer of my hubby)

AllDat (for those of you who think you’re All That and a bag of fritos

WhoDat (for the Saints fans out there — I understand why they say it, but I don’t get it)

Ok, now that I’ve inspired you, please go enter. Because it makes me feel happy to see more entries. And, it makes me feel more popular. And ever since I discovered that my table of friends in middle school was called the Nerd Herd, I’ve been seeking popularity like an ever-distant, ephemeral flower that is out of my grasp and elusive and stuff. Sigh…. I need to call my therapist now.

What other 6 word phrases can you think of?


I know I’m talking about my shop constantly, but it’s been something I’ve been working on a ton lately. Not only do I have a lot of new stuff in the shop, but I’m giving away a Super Deluxe Banner at my business blog. So, go to it and enter and maybe you’ll win. If you’re lucky.

I do take bribes in the form of chocolate. Not saying I’ll take the bribe and you’ll win in exchange. I’m just saying I’ll accept your bribe.


Thanks to all of you who gave me input for the previous post. I’ll still take more comments on ideas for the upcoming craft fair, so feel free to pass any thoughts on.

Now, get some cake and ice cream and celebrate with me the birthday of my Etsy shop! Yes, la•le Style is now 1 year old! So, go to my shop and to my business blog to see what’s going on. There’s freebies for every purchase and a big giveaway in the works.

Yes. Free stuff. There, now you have your incentive to go see the sites.

Thank you also to everyone who has been such an encouragement to me over this past year! The biggest shout-out goes to B.Hoody. She’s the best marketing consultant/graphic designer/proofreader/inputter/BFF in the world.


Today I got more pictures taken for my shop. I know, this is all I blog about. But, I only think about 2 things right now: my shop and potty training. I don’t think you want me to talk more about poop, so we’ll talk about my shop. Here’s my latest quandry and I need your help.

In November there’s a craft fair here on campus. Because everyone here on campus (except the professors) is poor, I need to have inexpensive items to sell. I know that November is a long time away, but I have to start planning and sewing now to have enough supply to sell.

So, tell me the types of items you’d buy. I’ll write a list of ideas below, but feel free to add others. Don’t answer with what you’d buy from me — tell me what you’d buy from a random stranger at a craft fair. If the answer is nothing, put that down. I need honesty, my lovelies.

Here’s my list of ideas:

Inexpensive journals covered in cool reusable fabric covers

fabric-wrapped headbands

cute clippies and bows for little girls

my Nifty Little Bags

Laundry bags (there are several dorms here on campus and people who use laundromats)

Small jars of bath salts or sugar scrub

Ok, so leave a comment telling me what you’d buy and how much you’d pay for it. Thanks. In return for being my marketing focus group, I’ll give you each a brownie. You have to come here to get it before they’re gone. I won’t ship them.



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