Findings: Cookie tins, earth pigments, and repair guides.

The holidays are all around us. I'm looking forward to taking a little break. I had my wisdom teeth taken out last week and the recovery has been a bit slower than expected (note: if at all possible, get them taken out when you are a teenager instead of waiting!)

On the Blueprints news front, there isn't too much to write though I do have a few different projects in the works: A zine, a new pattern, and the re-imagining of a pattern I started very early on in the process but took a break after development hit a wall.

 Doing a little re-development of a pattern concept I've been working with since I started Blueprints.

Doing a little re-development of a pattern concept I've been working with since I started Blueprints.

 When I make zines, I still really love to use a manual typewriter. I've had this old Royal since college and I find the process of writing on a typewriter so enjoyable.

When I make zines, I still really love to use a manual typewriter. I've had this old Royal since college and I find the process of writing on a typewriter so enjoyable.

I also have some fun tutorials I want to put together for you, specifically some variations on the A-Frame skirt. But those will have to wait until January as well. But I don't want to leave you blog readers hanging! I am not the most prolific of bloggers, but I try to be consistent when I can.

So, here's some 'findings' from both daily life and the internet:

I'm an avid hobby thrifter. Most of the time these days, I don't buy anything. But I love to look. I love the stories I uncover by browsing through discarded and forgotten possessions.

Last week, I discovered a cookie tin looking rather inconspicuous in the 'random junk' section of the thrift store (my favorite section, of course). When I see a cookie tin, I know to give it a shake and open if I hear a sound. Until the advent of plastic bags and the ubiquitous-ness of totes, many people kept sewing implements and craft projects in old tins. After eating whatever came in the tins, they became perfect vessels for storage. I'm a bit sad that the days of reusable packaging are mostly gone, though I try to buy stuff that comes in tins (tea, cookies, etc) whenever possible.

Upon opening, this tin revealed an unfinished project: A modular calendar. It even included the page from the magazine the kit was ordered from (a 1970's Better Homes & Gardens) that declared "Embroider this Calendar and Use It Forever". This, unfortunately, was not the case. The sad irony and beautiful partial handwork was enough to convince me to take this little surrendered project home.

In the past, I've found half finished projects and brought them home with the intention of completing them, but have not always been able to make it happen. I'm hoping the accountability of a blog declaration will keep me focused! (I also have a bag of partially pieced 1930's feedsack quilt blocks I hope to turn into a quilt some day...) There's something very poignant about finishing an unfinished project; The experience is very gratifying.

And while we're on the subject of finding old thing, I also picked up this beautiful late 30's/early 40's sewing patterns at a local vintage shop that specializes in nicely curated mid-century furniture and housewares. Tucked into a little box under a table was a lovely array of vintage patterns. While I love the illustrations on all these patterns, I tend to only buy ones that have very unique style lines. These two fit the bill AND are from my favorite era. I can see myself making the dress on the left in some color blocked linen or maybe a chambray with contrast stitching.

And some fun stuff from the internet:

From the Textile Arts Center: A tutorial on dyeing fabric using soymilk as a mordant! Apparently the protein in the soy acts as a binder for earth pigments. This is a technique I'd love to try in the future. All the fanfare about natural dyes has me thinking about the many possibilities of adding color to fabric using objects from my surroundings. Plants, dirt, mushrooms... If you're interested in other types of earth dyes, these are also quite interesting.

Patagonia has always been pretty cool when it comes to sustainability and accountability, but their latest move to publish guides on how to repair their clothing is awesome.

Have you ever rescued an unfinished project from a yard sale or thrift store? Did you finish it or re-purpose the materials?