Tuesday, December 19, 2006

don't you worry about a thing, my love

Just a quick note to Christopher.......

the working sock

the working sock
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
This little pretty is my "sock" as they say in New England, for work. We initiated a sock making contest for all the staff on 2B. This was my contribution. I will post more photos soon of the many contributors and a few "socks" that I made for some co-workers who were not feeling so crafty.
Season's fleeting, ye best get to Greeting.........

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Chrismas Corner

Chrismas around the house
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
This is the top of a small bookshelf by our front door. I found those sweet cordoroy reindeers with markings from Japan at a rummage sale this summer while in Philly. They came from North Light, which is a community center in Manayunk where I grew up. It warms me to think that they probably came from one of those old row homes in on the hill, where I spent all my Christmas'....It gives me pause for my Nanny, whose house I cherished around the holidays. Where my Nanny's 12+ family gathered and laughed into the night.
The second piece on the shelf which makes me smile is an old copy of the Night Before Christmas. I believe it was printed in 1910 complete with an inscription, "To my Dear Sweet Niece Josephine." An old roomate/adopted older brother gave it to me when I was a teenager & I've longed to read it to my family.....it was exciting to do it last year, but I think this year is going to be even more special because Milo knows who Santa Claus is.....
I am so looking forward to Christmas.....

Monday, December 11, 2006


Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Last week was full of big old scores in thrifting. I am in love with a few of these pieces and can't wait to dig in, yum! My favorites are a toss up between the 70's quilt print sleeping bag that Milo loves to hide in and the floral print in the back, that I ventured out into the snow the following day of the initial purchase & picked up the coordinating pieces, praying they'd still be there. I felt in touch with Soulemama & anxious and twitchy with her "lounge wear" entry a while back.

Milo and I wrote a letter to Santa today. He told Santa he wanted three things; a crane (check), Thomas trains (check) & a doll house....I damned near leapt with joy! Chris and I are actually making him a doll house of sort and its been in the works for a while. While thrifting I found this terrific box, that will be a perfect canidate for a doll house. Chris and I need to get cracking to have it done before Christmas. In September I managed to get some Ikea goodies for the holidays, and doll house furniture was one of the scores. I can't wait to play with it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

pin up gals

pin up gals
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Please met the lovely pin up gals. Inspired by a crafty mom over at Angry Chicken I went to town on these ladies, whom Milo calls likes to call the "girls". He has even made a few of his own. My favorite is the one in blue, I call her Chloe. This particular set is destined for our friend Hannah in Massachusettes. I have a feeling Chloe may have to stay home with me, or an incarnation of Chloe, a twin sister perhaps, called Mimi?!?
I am excited to post my Advent Garland....stay tuned!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

HM & DG forever

HM & DG forever
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
This pillow was made back in August for my friends Holly and Dan as a wedding gift. Within the year I hope to have made a matching quilt, which is very ambitious on my part, I know. I loved this pillow & had completely forgotten to take photos of it before I gave it to them. Thankfully Holly came through with this photo recently and sent it along. Such great memories.....I finished sewing the side together in my quiet hotel room at Sandals Montego Bay, Jamacia while indulging in uninterupted Project Runway in the room with a Carribean View. I went solo this trip, with some much appreciated alone time. Deliciously decadent, I say, to spend time with my friends drinking frozen Miami Vices at the swim up bar, eating petit fours and lounging in the sunshine. All for a sweet celebration, my oldest friend in the world's marrying the bright and always entertaining Dan. Thank you Holly and Dan for some great memories.
Holly is the gorgeous one in white with the dark hair.....
Nina, Jenna, Casey, Holly, Cheryl and Joe

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

late november, la di da

Late November Crafting
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Some of the products of my most recent toil. More small fabric notecards for Christmas, some of which have been sent to Ferdinand. Also more details of the gift for my Mama.

Have been very excited recently to start decorating for Christmas, but just haven't plunged in, I have been to busy sitting on my heiner and reading blogs and the like. I best get to it, only one month in the season.

Found this little bit of writing titled "stolen moments before bedtime, ghosts"

Teacup Judy lived behind the bureau in the basement by the heater. She didn't care for small children. It was rumored that she didn't bother to haunt them when they invaded the cellar on rainy days. Instead she made the heater rattle louder than usual in hopes to send them annoyed to the upstairs living room for some afternoon shows on UHF. She once worked for a radio program and believed that what she heard through the floor was a soap opera like the one she portrayed as a secretary for a man called Carlyle Davis. She quite liked this and the echo of footsteps through the floor. In the evenings she sipped tea behind the bureau resting on a broken milk crate filled with old shoes. She like to peer out from behind the bureau on the rare occasions when the adults played billards. The only trace of Judy was her teacup which perched high on the windowsill. Neighborhood children would hunker down on the sidewalk and squint against the sun to get a glimpse of its pink flowers lined with gold sitting crookied on its saucer.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

be-belated gift

Originally uploaded by zavodk.

Finally sent out my Sweet Mama's Birthday Gift. This is a photo of that gift with her favorite and only grandson poking his head into the shot. I couldn't resist. Happy Be-Belated Birthday Mom.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

What I am Thankful For....

milo meets grandma
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
I have had a lot of blessings this past week & wanted to share them with you here & what a great excuse Thanksgiving is for doing just that.

My creation

We have found out recently that Chris' Mom Pat and her husband Frank are going to be moving to Maine. It is very exciting to think that we will have family living close by us very soon. On a quest for a house to buy, they visited with us last week while looking just northwest of Portland. It was great to have them here for a visit. Just a little snapshot of what it will be like to have family close-by, lots of laughter, companionship and general sense of contented togetherness. It warms me to think that Milo will have more people in his life that care for him as much as his father and I do, how lucky. Pat also brought along a lovely gift that she handmade for me, & its not even my birthday! She decoupaged a basket/box with a collection of old stamps, most of them Czech with really nifty designs. I have a real thing for old Czech stamps, the art on them are amazing....I should take some more photos, they are just so beautiful. Inside she felted the bottom and put in dividers plus, the inside lid of the basket she made into a pin cushion. Its so fun, I am excited to be using it! Pat was also the one who gave me her sewing machine when she replaced hers a few years back, which I feel has been one of the more inspiring moments in my life....setting me free in way I never knew possible. It wonderful to share a love of crafting with her. Here are some photos of that terrifc box. I am so grateful to be a part of your family, thank you Pat!

Much to my delight, I ran across a copy of the The Hausfrau last week while hocking my wares at Ferdinand.
My spirit automatically lifted, plunged when I realized I didn't have my wallet with me, than soared again, when Ferdinand's Diane said that I could have it taken off the price of my notecards with a consigner's discounted deducted. Sweet! This issue has not been a disappointment, either. The Frau delves deep into "unhipness" The funniest part of the zine for me this quarter is that she knows she is not hip because her most popular issue of Hausfrau has been "Issue #3 The Lice Issue. Just recently I thought we may have had a run in with those detested parasites, at which point I ran for my copy of Issue #3 to reread her advice on how to handle those pesty nits! Luckily we didn't have them, but our shampoo bottles are swimming with tea tree oil, apparently I was a little heavy handed in my fear. Chris has requested an oil free shampoo! Anyway, Yaahhhh I am thankful for the Hausfrau....readers, go to her sight and enjoy the samples, its worth it!

what i love

Chris recently found this kicking recipe for No-Knead Bread This bread is so yummy! This bread was also a terrific excuse to purchase a creamy yellow vintage Corning Ware ceremic covered dish that I had been eying at my local thrift shop for months. When I finally had an excuse to purchase it, I was biting at the bit to get it. I had to bide my time though....finally when I got to the store I heaved a sigh of relief, there is was nuzzled under the shelf. The best part about this dish/pot is that it made the awesome bread even better. Now if only the companion part is still there!!!!

Over at Strange Maine wrote a beautiful piece of prose about why she is thankful to live in Maine. It was so beautiful, Thank you MIchelle...

hold on

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the scarf and the boy

the scarf and the boy
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Was so excited to make Milo a scarf this year. Last year he probably wouldn't have kept it on but this year is perfect for a scarf. He is actually excited about wearing it. I was inspired by Milo's friend Zane who was wearing a little yellow scarf his Auntie had made him. My next endeavor is a hat....I have been trying to make a hat for my brother Brad for about three years, & this is the year its going to happen.
Recently I found this neat little group called the Art Scouts on Whip Up. I was always a bit chagrinned that I never got to be a Girl Scout. I loved the uniform, badges and crafts........this group would allow me to live out a long held fantasy. So in the spirit of the Art Scouts(although I haven't officially joined, yet!) I asked one of the kind ladies who volunteer at my work to show me how to knit a hat. Barbara was happy to oblige. I have my lesson before work next week on Wednesday. I find it difficult to figure out knitting without being shown. So I hope this works out well, & than I can knit some hats for the nursery at the hospital in turn for her kindness.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

out in the world

fabric cards
Amidst the seeming forever rain we've had lately, I managed to get some crafting time in, and enough to finish 12 of these little fabric notecards, which I am so excited about. Excited enough to try my wares at Ferdinand one of our local handcrafted goodies stores. I consigned all twelve, lets hope they sell! It feels so good to get my wares out there!
While on the trip to Ferdinand I received a call from my friend "Ruby" in LA....
Sweet CONGRATULATIONS RUBY!!!! I have no doubt of your continued success!

Friday, November 10, 2006


some good fabric finds
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Yesterday I was able to make it out to my favorite local thrift shop...where all the ladies know me and the little one. They had just put out a ton of notions and fabric right before I arrived. T'was my lucky day. Yards of delicious fabric and even black ric-rac, my favorite. My favorite bit was the yellow blanket binding. And this here fabric,
Also did some late night crafting and finally finished this corduroy number that is actually reversible. I don't know how I managed it, but it looks pretty good and I even got to wear it today, this here is a pretty bad photo of it, but you get the gist.
my new skirt

Monday, November 06, 2006

Holy Mary

Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Recently I began photographing my growing collection of religious art. Specifically Mary statues. This is one of my favorites. I really enjoy the eastern look with the gold and almond eyes. I find her rouged lips to be striking.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

& one for Patricia

Patricia's Blanket
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
This is a photo of Patricia's (Chris' Ma) latest accomplishment. I wanted to showcase a mighty fine work of crochertry.....WOW, what great craftmanship.....thanks for sharing it with us, Pat!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stella the Maneater from Manayunk

As a little shout-out to Halloween, I happily dug up this little video! Oh what memories. Apparently Stella was from Manayunk, my home town, by way of South Philly. She had great cleavage and was super brave. Big shout out to Stella.....where ever your voluptous may be....

Also found this tid bit regarding Dr. Shock or Joe Zawislak, as people from the neighborhood knew him. I myself never saw Dr. Shock, but was regaled by tales of him & knew his house well. It sat on the tipy top of the Dupont St. Steps (see steps in Saturday Night Dead Opening) and had high lofty trees, spanning out over the hill, and there was room to move, unheard of in Manayunk. It was a single home with large windows & mysterious nooks and crannies on the porch. It was always a treat to see. Dr. Shock left behind many fans, one of which was my father, who turned up at one of my Aunt June's legendary Halloween Parties once, dressed in one of Dr. Shocks original designs. Apparently a friend of our family Jack, knew Dr. Shock well & had learned a few tricks from him, the result was astounding. My father was an unrecognizable wolf man, his face covered with fur....his brothers and sisters didn't even know him & he kept them going all night. I figured him out right away though, you see we have the same hands, even with the fur, I knew.

Happy Halloween. I have some crafties planned for the future, as well as Milo's Halloween Costume!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Human Clock

HUman Clock 2.JPG
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
While we were living at Zamek Brezina in the Czech Republic I insisted we put in an entry for the human clock website. In case your not farmilar with the Human Clock, it is a project started out to get photos of people to fill up the minutes of the day, each minute the photo changes. My original idea was to use the sheep at Brezina, painting a different number on each one and hope for the best. Well, the best has yet to come, those wiley sheep! Here is our submission.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

works in progress

Originally uploaded by zavodk.
I had a few moments to myself this afternoon before work, so I decided to take some photos of my favorite shelf in the house. A shelf that only my own things appear on, which in this house is rare! I can't tell you how happy it makes me. I find that I like it to be constantly evolving with objects and crafts that inspire me most. Chris asked me the other day whether or not I knew the person in the photo & I said, "no, he's cute...I wish I had know him!" The little fuzzy rabbit bank makes me giggle & the color of the ribbon thrills me so.

On to the other delightful things that caught my eyes this gray afternoon, ducky fabric cardthe ducky card, with the slogan, hope your feeling just ducky!
& a work in progress, the beginning of an apliqued baby quilt, which would be my first.
I was promised a morning alone to do some crafting on Saturday, I will keep my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

the steps

the steps
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
I let my feet graze the sidewalk bare
amongst the hidden & watchful hedge
felt your hand press upon my own, your pulled pockets worn teeth parting in the darkness
with insistence in the tangle of my hair
my feet stradling the stone,
keeping time with your rising breath
your thighs and my shoulders meeting, rocking

a train howling in the distance
marking the time of your late departure
when you'd rise like the kettle's call
& leave my feet and mouth to know this earth well
your evening ritual
where later I worked out a whole poem,
one of a scrap, a meal, a push
your broken nails & chipped teeth
that you did claim on my body

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the Chris doll

the Chris doll
Originally uploaded by zavodk.
Hello, I would like you to meet the Chris Doll.
The Chris doll came to my husband about 8 years ago while working at the Goodwill on Cumberland Ave. in Portland while he was in college. The funny thing is, he looks like my husband. See photo:
Hence naming him the Chris doll, or as MIlo coined him "the Daddy doll"

For many years the Chris doll has been floating around naked. He did have a cape for a while, but than that got tucked away somewhere else after Milo wore it on his first Halloween when he was SuperMilo. It has been on my to-do list for many moons to make him some clothes. Just recently Milo has been playing with him. The other night before bed we were even putting some of Milo's pj's on him which were way to big. Thus I felt I must make him some clothes!

I have been collecting some old clothes of Chris' just for the job. Well last Friday, I finally got around to it. One pair of tan courdoroys, one pair of plaid pajama pants and one green shirt that Chris has asked for a larger version. & here his is, pimping large and loving it in boot cut low rise cords!

I would like to point out I have no much experience making clothes and have never before done it for a doll. It has been a fun experience & look forward to making more clothes for this cute guy, perhaps a berret and pea coat? A jaunty crochet scarf? We shall see!

Also would like to use this post to give a big shout out and congratulations to Jess and Kevin! WOO-HOO!!!! Welcome Elliott!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Our Lady of Czestochowa

Originally uploaded by zavodk.
I am very fascinated with images of the Virgin Mary & this one in particular I love . The fact that she is Black just makes me giddy. About a year ago my mother-in-law found a print of this painting at a Catholic Thrift Shop....which reminded me of the time when I was in the 4th Grade at Saint Lucy's in Manayunk. The 4th, 5th & 6th graders all took a pilgrimage to

Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, PA & if your feeling frisky check it out in Polish!
It was a gray rainy day when we drove the 1 hour to Doylestown & if memory serves me correctly, the Shrine sits on a big green grassy hill with nothing around it. It was odd & empty, modern & white with cathedral ceilings. At the center of the sparse alter was this painting. I think now it may have even been the original. Perhaps on a traveling expedition which brought our school to the shrine, I am not quite sure & I was unable to find an answer through their extensive website.
I remember walking through the courtyard as a child & than being struck by this image of the virgin. It reeled me on my 9 year old feet. Having digested so much of the "whiteness" of the church & the only browness coming from our collections containers at Advent.
I was amazed & happily so.

But why, dear readers do I recall this story for you now? Well doing some research on the Black Madonna I stumbled upon this little nugget, which I implore you to check out and be astounded.

It makes me a little speechless, really..........

Saturday, September 30, 2006

salvation fabrics

salvation army find, originally uploaded by zavodk.

At 2 for .99 cents who could resist. I absolutely love the pink and white checked that came complete with its original tag 1 1/2 yards of yumminess!
I look forward to what they will become.

a corner of my home....the sewing area

work area, originally uploaded by zavodk.

This is my sewing corner and in the past three months it has become my favorite part of our home. I get to display my works in progress & look at all the fun crafties and little notions of goodness, yayh!

It wasn't until recently that I really started to sew & it has been such a great outlet for my cloistered creativity. I am a poet by habit & have been since the age of 10, but since I had a baby 2 years ago my way with words has taken a vacation. Honestly I don't really think that I have the capacity to form a proper sentence half the time (which I do apologize dear blog readers) Working with something tactile has been really amazing & freeing. Making pretty things that are functional and fun has made me so elated.
I am also happy to put to good use the sewing machine my mother-in-law gave me 3 1/2 years ago (thanks Pat!)

the fabric stash

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

saint lucy school-self portrait Tuesday

School Uniform, originally uploaded by zavodk.

One proud moment, last year in May, I fit into my 8th grade uniform. This is a photo of Milo and I from that moment.

10th Birthday Craft Love

gift for Tiffany's 10th Birthday, originally uploaded by zavodk.

My neice Tiffany's Birthday was August 15th & being perpetually belated, I just recently got her gift together. She is really into crafting with her mom, they even have a craft room with a chalk board wall in their new house. For a gift I thought crafting was an appropraite theme. On top of a Vintage Nancy Drew novel, I picked up some Sublime Stiching Patterns(dainty days & winter wonderland), jeweled colored embroidery floss, a hoop, one purple tape measure, Felt needle case (with needles) compliments of www.patternbee.com, muslin & 3 cloth napkins ready for embroidery & a doggie fabric card for the girl with the new dog. Also included but not pictured here, a pin with the slogan, "10 Year Olds Are Terrific" which I got for my 10th Birthday.
Ah, the memories of being ten. Bad hair, a wretched divorce & clouds. I remember so many clouds when I was 10. I have a feeling that 10 will be much better for Tiffany.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jean & Deborah

Jean & Deborah, originally uploaded by zavodk.

Jean is my Grandmother, the one on the left.

What are the 4 main streets of Philadelphia?

My grandmother's bawdy joke would undoubtably make me a blog name.
For Jean Kahny (nee Muth) this one is for you!