Sunday, November 8, 2009

Those adorable Kissy Heads, Squeezums or Kiss'n Critters...

Everyone has seen or had one of these at some time or another. They're known by various names: Squeezums, Kissy Heads, Kiss'n Critters, Kiss Me Quicks, and probably others that I can't think of right now. Squeeze their cheeks and their mouth opens wide. They're terrific for holding some tiny little surprise item, the most traditional use is with a Hershey's candy kiss in the mouth so when you squeeze the cheeks you get a kiss!!!

These make up quickly with Plastic Canvas and there are dozens of delightful designs to choose from. You can use them for Party Favors, adorable magnets (clamp your notes in the mouth), Christmas Stocking stuffers, to hold money for a gift, as package ties, placecard holders... the possibilities are endless. They're perfect for clamping (biting?) onto the branches of a Christmas Tree as Ornaments. Pass them out in the morning and they'll keep the kids occupied and happy... and give you a few minutes to relax before the day really gets going.

Kiss Me Quick from Leisure Arts has patterns for a Lion, Clown, Alligator, Zebra, Parrot, Lamb, Monkey and a Cow. Christmas Squeezums from American School of Needlework has over 2 dozen Holiday designs including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Snowflake Singers, Angels and more. Squeezum Folks from American School of Needlework has another 2 dozen or so designs that you'll love, like: Punk Rocker, Construction Worker, Fortune-Teller, Highway Patrolman and others. You can find a terrific assortment of Craft Patterns for Squeezums at Stone Hill Collectibles. While you're there check out all the other wonderful Craft Patterns for other great projects. And don't forget to pick out your Free item before you check out with your goodies... one per order (please) and NO minimum dollar amount required.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rainy Day Clothespin Crafts

What do you do on those cold dreary rainy days of Fall and Winter.... when you start to hear "Mom, there's nothing to do"?? You stop whatever you're doing and try to come up with something interesting to occupy the kids. Sometimes you might say "Let's make cookies". Sometimes you might "suggest" they clean their rooms (accompanied by the sounds of groans and wails of protest). Well here are some fun ideas for projects that will keep the kids busy, happy and productive (even the grown-up kids) using simple modest wooden clothespins. You'll definitely want to keep a stash on hand. And the really good news is, inflation hasn't caught up with the lowly clothespin yet!!!

So, what can you do with a wood clothespin? Has your child ever brought home from school a reindeer ornament made with 3 clothespins? Well, that's one of hundreds of possibilities. You can make clothespin dolls, clothespin dollhouse furniture, clothespin toys, clothespin ornaments, clothespin wall plaques... and more.

There are different types of wood clothespins available, some in different sizes, and they can all be used. There are Flat Clothespins (also packaged as "no-roll" clothespins), Doll Pins (round clothespins that have already had the ends trimmed off straight), and Spring Clothespin Halves (spring clothespins with the spring removed).

Here are some suggestions for your Rainy Day Clothespin Project Box:
1. Clothespins... LOTS of wood clothespins
2. Popsicle Sticks
3. Glue
4. Paints and inexpensive brushes
5. Colored marking pens
6. Fabric scraps
7. Yarn
8. Beads
9. Trims
10. Wood spools
11. ... anything else that might make a fun embellishment.

This is sure to be a favorite rainy day activity for the kids, so keep that project box full and ready.

The Clothespin Book by Jan Way has some adorable projects: a Toy Soldier, the cutest owls you ever saw, Raggedy Anne & Andy Dolls, a clothespin train (complete with Engine, Coal Tender, Milk Car, Tank Car, Box Car, Log Car and a Caboose) and more. Clothespin Critters and Other Fun Things by Geri Whetham is filled with ideas including: Camels, Boats, Horses, Planes, Tractors, an Astronaut and tons more. Cleverness with 3 Kinds of Clothespins from Plaid includes: Baskets, Planters, the 3 Wisemen ornaments, an eagle, an Indian Chief plaque and even more ideas. And finally there's a fantastic book from Hazel Pearson called Clothespin Dolls and Furniture including Spool Ornaments with projects like Indian Brave, Squaw, dollhouse furniture (bed, table, chair, vanity) and the neatest spool ornaments for the Christmas Tree.

If you're looking for even more Rainy Day project ideas for kids, stop by Stone Hill Collectibles and browse the shelves. I have over 1000 craft patterns now (and adding more all the time)!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Handpainted Tole, Rosemaling & Folk Art by Grammy BJ

Grammy BJ is my Mom. She's 89 and an amazing artist with a passion and a gift for painting. All too often I see the spark dim in seniors who don't have hobbies or interests. But not my Mom. She does beautiful Tole work, Rosemaling, Folk Art and Primitive Folk Art... and the real gift is her desire to share her work. She loves to paint and enjoys tremendously seeing her work show up "on the computer". So she paints and paints away her days... and hands off wonderful pieces to me, looking forward to seeing them in my online store.

She just recently handed me a collection of trinket and treasure boxes, and said "these would be perfect for Christmas". So I took lots and lots of photos and now they're "on the computer". These are mostly wooden boxes with hinged lids and a latch in the front. There's even one box with a rosemaling design that could be used as a way cool retro wood purse... it has metal corners, a hinged lid, latches AND a handle.

And what collection of rosemaling would be complete without a stunning design on a black background??? This truly would be a lovely one-of-a-kind gift to surprise someone with... it's just beautiful!!

You can see all of her boxes "on the computer" in my online store now. Mom broke her hip on Valentine's Day 2008. Painting was the last thing on her mind for a while, but she's back on her feet and doing terrific (and alot more careful about what she's doing). It's a real joy to see her painting again... and I hope you enjoy her art as much as I do.

But wait.... there's more!!!! She also had fun painting some delightful birdhouses (which are "on the computer")... and some precious miniature pieces called ACEO's (they measure about 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" and can be slipped right into your wallet for art to go!!)... also "on the computer". There are miniature Fanciful Birds and there are a few Other Critters. You'll fall in love with all of them for sure!!!

So if you're looking for something special for someone on your Christmas List... be sure to stop by Stone Hill Collectibles... a Grammy BJ original might be just what you're looking for!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The old-fashioned art of Tin Punch

The Colonial days of early America were filled with the hard work of building a new life, home and nation. The pleasures and comforts of life were few and far between and difficult to come by. Tin punching was easily accomplished using materials that could be found around the home. Candlelight was enhanced with tin punched shades of different shapes and sizes. Tin punched panels that would let air in but stop the insects worked beautifully as screens. The Pie Safe provided a place to store baked goods while they cooled... the decorative tin punched panel protected the food while the hot air escaped. Finished Tin Punch pieces added appeal to otherwise sparse and modestly decorated homes. The Welcome placque shown here is from a 1983 Tin Punch pattern book.

So are you ready to give this wonderful craft a try?? The tools required for tin punching are simple and you probably already have what you need around the house. You'll need a lightweight hammer, a center punch, and a piece of plywood that is at least 1/4" thick. The plywood should be the same size or a little larger than the piece you will be punching. You'll also need some tracing paper to copy your patterns onto and masking tape to fasten the traced designs to the metal. If you want a satin finish on your completed project you'll also need some 0000 steel wool and any brand of dull or matte finish plastic spray. This Colonial Couple is from a 1983 Tin Punch pattern book by Jan Way.

A variety of metals can be used: Tin, Tooling and Decorative Foil, and heavier metals (.010" to .020" in copper, brass or bronze, and aluminum).The choice of metal and material thickness will depend on the effects you'd like to achieve. Copper and Bronze or Brass will produce a rich, lustrous finish. Aluminum and Tin can be finished with various antiquing finishes (don't be afraid to experiment). Aluminum is not a traditional tin punch material, but it won't rust and can be finished with a lovely pewter effect. What appears to be quilt blocks to the left? This is just an example of some of the amazing effects you can accomplish by combining your imagination, creativity and tin punching. You'll find these patterns in a 1984 Tin Punch pattern book by Jan Way.

The thinner materials will produce a more rustic effect. The heavier metals will give a quilted effect. Whatever your choice, you'll achieve the best effects if your punch tool is not allowed to heavily pierce the metal. Practice on some small pieces until you get the hang of punching... and experiment to see what effects you like the looks of best.

So what can you make? Lampshades, Candle Shades, Picture Frames, Placques, and many other beautiful items. Locating vintage pattern books for Tin Punch designs can be difficult but I currently have several Tin Punch books available in addition to wonderful pattern books for many other crafts. Please come and browse my selection of items at Stone Hill Collectibles. And don't forget to check out the "Free with Purchase" craft patterns (no minimum purchase required).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recipe for September - Raisin Cake

This is a handwritten recipe found in a copy of the
1923 Household Science Cookbook

1 C Sugar
1/4 C butter
1 egg well beaten
1 cup raisins cooked 20 min in 1-1/2 cups water
1/2 C raisin water
1 tsps soda
2 cup flour
Bake in loaf

Browse our fantastic selection of vintage Cookbooks . They all contain more delicious and unusual recipes.

Do you have your own special recipe that you would like to share? (you know... the one everyone raves about when you make it???). Send it to me at Recipes . I'd love to include it here and in my next newsletter!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

FREE with Purchase!!

I've "inherited" an amazing collection of vintage Craft patterns and other items that were once offered as "advertising" giveaways by Manufacturers and Retail Stores. Most of these items are at least 10 years old and older and I'm offering them FREE with any purchase as a special thank you to my wonderful customers. I'm just starting to get these added to the store with lots more to come. New Items will be added each month so please check back often! Come see what Free with Purchase items I've listed so far!! Select any ONE item and receive it FREE with your purchase.

Offer good while supplies last!! NO minimum purchase required.

Offer limited to one item per purchase.

Visit me at Stone Hill Collectibles and check out all the goodies I have listed. You're welcome to kick off your shoes and set a spell. We love company!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Huck Weaving or Swedish Weaving

Huck weaving, also known as Swedish Weaving, is a very popular and fascinating form of needlework. The double raised thread that runs parallel to the selvage, usually considered the wrong side of material, is used to weave the designs. Some designs may also be worked on the right side of material using the single loops that run lengthwise of material.

The collage of patterns shown in blue are from a vintage Aunt Martha's booklet: Huck Weaving Patterns. Not dated but most likely circa 1960's. This is a great collection of Huck patterns with numerous Borders, Flowers, and more.

Designs are always started in the center of material with only a few exceptions. Count the pairs of threads to find the exact center of huck material to be decorated. This spaces the pattern evenly so edges will end alike. Begin with a thread long enough to work across the design without joining.

Work from left to right. Pull working thread half way through under center loop or threads, leaving remaining length to work other half of design. Count accurately and keep thread on top; never allow it to go through on underside of material. Do not pull threads too tight or piece will pucker. Cotton fabrics should be pre-laundered to minimize potential shrinkage.

Some excellent examples of completed Huck Weavings are shown below, used to embellish a Frame, as a Towel border, on a Place Mat, Napkin Ring, Clutch Purse and more. These are projects and patterns included in a 1981 "Teach Yourself" leaflet which illustrates six basic stitch types and techniques needed for working these huck patterns.

Please come visit Stone Hill Collectibles and enjoy browsing the selection.... now close to 1000 vintage and out of print Craft Pattern items in addition to other wonderful vintage treasures.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm a first-time Grammy today!

My first grandchild, Max, arrived today and he's a beautiful, perfect, blue-eyed angel. I won't whip out the family album of pictures, but I just had to share the very first photo of this little heart-stopper. Please feel free to oooh and aaah to your hearts content!

Mother, father and baby are all well... and his Mom and Dad are probably the two happiest people in the whole world this evening!!!

Happy Birthday Max!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Candlewicking ~ A beautiful Colonial needleart rediscovered!

Candlewicking is a beautiful textural-shadow needleart Embroidery developed by our resourceful Colonial ancestors. Because dyed European yarns and threads were a luxury, women turned to everyday household goods for their decorative stitching needs. One item brought in ample supply from Europe were candlewicks. Candlewicking or "knotting" survived to modern times and was rediscovered in rural Appalachia and the Carolina Low Country. To create traditional pieces, use natural colored 100% cotton candlewicking thread and muslin fabrics. Be imaginative and have fun with this wonderful needle-artform!! Cover your world with candlewicking - including Sachets, Clothing, Napkins, Tablecloths, Pillows, Shaker Box Lids, Quilts, Coverlets, Purses, Table Runners and Framed Pictures. The classic look of "white on white" candlewicking compliments any decor and your creations will endure for generations. But you can also be creative and experiment with colors for different effects... you might surprise yourself!!!

The beautiful pillows shown here are from a 1983 pattern book called "Sculpture-Wicking" by Cross-Stitch Originals. Sculpture-wicking incorporates the techniques of Candlewicking with Trapunto padding to create yet another variation on the use of muslin and cotton yarn for another traditional and ageless look in needlecraft.

Visit Stone Hill Collectibles for more wonderful traditional Candlewicking pattern books.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blouse, Hiphugger Shorts & Mini-Skirt ~ OOO-la-la Summer!!

Summer is definitely here (it's already hitting the 90's here in central Texas!!). What could be more perfect than an entire mix and match wardrobe in one package??? Fabulous 1968 Simplicity pattern 7646 in size 16, comes with a blouse, hiphugger shorts AND a mini-skirt. Retro 60s casual fashion that's so hot today... and perfect for those hot summer days!!

Visit Stone Hill Collectibles for a great selection of vintage patterns and much more!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Retro 70s Crocheted Dress

Fabulous crocheted dress pattern. From a small collection of knit and crochet patterns published by Unger in 1970. Sophisticated or casual... take your pick!!

Find this pattern and more at Stone Hill Collectibles.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fab! Bare-Hug Macrame & Crochet Bib Top with Belly Flap

Find the pattern for this outrageous retro top in vintage Lily Design Book #214. Circa 1960s and the Hippie era!! Book also includes patterns for Rugs, Hats, Scarfs, and more.

Lots of other fabulous retro macrame and crochet pattern books and leaflets at Stone Hill Collectibles.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vintage 1950s Vera Maxwell Designer Dress Pattern

Sophisticated shirtwaist dress by American Designer Vera Maxwell. Circa 1950s Spadea Mail order dress pattern #1155.... still in the original mailing envelope. Size 14 (Bust 36½, Waist 26½, Hip 37½). As timelessly stylish today as when it was first introduced in the 50s. Click on the picture to check it out!!!

Visit Stone Hill Collectibles for more delicious fashion finds !!!

I'm adding Vintage Sewing Patterns to the store!

Well.... I just couldn't resist the temptation. I recently unearthed an amazing treasure trove of vintage sewing patterns.... boxes and boxes... and BOXES.... of them. My mother (affectionately known as Grammy) has volunteered to count pattern pieces for me... a really time-consuming task (and really frustrating with the older pattern pieces that aren't printed). We're slowly working through them and I've started adding them to the store. For the pattern collector, I've even found some marvelous antique patterns in the boxes... there's a nightshirt like my Grampy wore, a Corset Cover...and more. Come check out the selection and you'll see!

Plus there are lots of the fab retro fashions that are soooooo hot today!!!

I'll pick out a couple of interesting ones to share here. These old patterns are so much fun!! And if you're looking for something in particular that's not in my store yet, just let me know. I'll see what I can find for you in one of those boxes!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No-Sew Shirred Fabric Photo Albums

Stone Hill Collectibles
Create your own stunning fabric Photo Albums with shirred frames... and best of all, there's NO sewing required!!!

Vintage craft booklet
from Lynn Paulin provides easy-to-follow instructions for making these lovely fabric Photo Albums for your heirloom photos.

Includes full size pattern sheets (uncut and unused) with simple directions for a beautiful collection of fabric photo album designs you can make including: Musical Bear Albums, Lace over Satin Wedding Album, Christmas Album with Counted Cross Stitch, Shirred Frame Albums... and a drop dead gorgeous Shirred Heart Wedding Album.

Visit Stone Hill Collectibles for more wonderful items like this one, full of ideas and projects you can make.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is it really already February???

Has it really been this long since I've talked about what's going on??? We've been busier than ever... My husband just started a new job with our little rural school district so we're adjusting to new schedules. Going from working from home on your own terms (and in your jammies and slippers) to working a regular Monday thru Friday daytime job is a HUGE transition. After you've worked for yourself for a while, your memories of "real" jobs get sooooo vague. But it's just like riding a Bicycle... it's amazing how quickly it all comes back to you. We are lucky that work for him is only about 4 miles from home, so every once in a while I actually get to see him for lunch!!!

So, his new job has been keeping both of us busy busy... For me it's settling down, so it's time for me to get back to my other life... my online store. I have this huge to-do list and can't wait to get to work!!! So what to do first??? Buttons? Postcards? Cookbooks? Craft Patterns? Sewing Patterns? Jewelry? Eeeeeesh....

Oooooh, I have other WONDERFUL news, too. My son is pregnant!!!! He's my one and only and I am so proud of him. Hmmm... well, actually he isn't pregnant, my beautiful daughter-in-law is, though!!! I wish they were closer... California is a loooong ways from Texas... but what's a couple of days of driving??? I think we're expecting sometime in July or August? I'm so excited about it that I'm having a hard time remembering the details..... lol. Just think.... first grand-puppies and now the real deal!!! Woooohooooo!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Well.... I'm just a little bit late on wishing everyone a Happy New Year... but better late than not at all!!! I hope everyone had a safe New Year and specially wish everyone Health, Happiness and Prosperity in the new year!!

We have been so busy and I have a ton of newly acquired vintage items to put in my store. We went to an auction that was just crazy crazy!!! I think we ended up with something like 230 pounds of items... (as in HEAVY). Now officially certifiably CRAZY, we had them shipped back to Texas. I'm still opening boxes (and wondering if I'll ever get through everything). So, what did I get??? So many vintage items I can't catch my breath!! There are Craft patterns (lots of Cross Stitch), jewelry, postcards, a few cookbooks... and I don't know what all else (remember? those boxes I haven't opened yet???). Would love to have you come visit my online store and poke around to see what you can find. There's something for everyone, and what's on the "shelves" is always changing:
Stone Hill Collectibles