Studio Update 3

It’s been over 3 months since I’ve updated on my Studio re-do. Many changes have been made, including complete rearrangement, but I still have a ways to go before it is finished.

My Design Studio ~ from Me & My House

The paper crafting station has moved. This is now my primary sewing corner, well, non-treadle corner anyhow.  My “non-vintage” Riccar sewing machine and new Janome serger are on the sewing table, and 1956 Singer 99K, “Roxie Anne,” in the cabinet. The 2 machines not housed (on the floor) are my 1952 Singer 15-91, “Louise,” and the “Dressmaker” Japanese zigzag c. 1950s. I haven’t used them much yet, (the Dressmaker needs a cord and 15-91 could use a new one.) I’m still debating whether to make a cover for the wooden ironing board and use it, or leave it as is. The sewing box and child’s iron on the shelves are from my childhood. The red child’s ironing board is a recent find, as I don’t have my childhood one anymore.

My Design Studio ~ from Me & My House

Where my sewing machines were is now my storage and cutting area. I moved the trestle table back up from the family room, and put it back up on risers for a perfect height cutting and pressing table. The dresser holds sewing basics and other supplies in the drawers, a 1922 White Family Rotary sewing machine in the bentwood case, “Betty“, and a drawer that survived a fire, from my dad’s wife’s cabinet that held her 1948 Singer 201-2 “Pamela”. (Buttons are in the cigar boxes.) Yarn, and cutting and ironing tools are housed on the shelves. And yes, the fan works, and is a great addition to the room as the weather warms up. The rolling cart holds all my ribbon, and rulers for cutting. At the end of the cutting table is my National 2 Spool (c. 1925) treadle sewing machine, “Maggie“, after Margaret Thatcher born in 1925. (Article coming soon.) (The mirror is now moved to behind the main door.)

My Design Studio ~ from Me & My House

My papercrafting corner has just moved down the wall to the other side of the door. Ruthie & Jocabed, my 1929 Singer 66 treadle and 1892 Singer 27 (also treadle, but doesn’t have its own cabinet) join the paper crafting storage in this bright corner. A drop down tabletop on the white cabinet, as well as the sewing cabinet top provide work space. My Needak rebounder, for exercise, rounds out this space. (The door to the outside is not used.)

2 things are not shown. My large, 6′ oak desk is in the other corner of the room. You can see a corner of the desk, with a printer and computer, next to the cutting table. Writing, bookkeeping, printing are all done there, so it is a mess. Since it has windows on 2 sides of it, maybe I’ll get a picture of it when I get my curtains made and post another update.

White Family Rotary sewing machines 1916 & 1929 ~ from Me & My House

My 1929 White Family Rotary treadle with cabinet (front), “Audrey” after Audrey Hepburn born in 1929, and (locked up and a bit rusty) 1916 White Family Rotary (with no house – back) have been moved to my bedroom, where my Riccar and serger table used to be. I don’t have either of them cleaned and up and running yet. More projects for another day.

For now, I need to be using these machines and get some sewing and a few other projects done – such as the curtains, crib skirt, and pillow, (for the new grandbabe coming soon,) and the 2 clothes pin bags that I’ve made this week.

Curtains, Pillow & Crib Skirt for K ~ from Me & My House

I am loving my new workspaces. They are so convenient and a delight to work in. I love that all my work can be done in this one room. No more cutting out in one room, sewing in another, crafting somewhere else. My tools are always at hand and ready to use. (Well, all sewing storage doesn’t fit in here, patterns, fabric stash, misc. supplies, etc. but …) I can leave projects out while I work on them. My hope is to finish the curtains and other sewing decor, put up some more shelving and other wall decor, and refinish the doors, in my studio this summer. Then I’ll update again.




Jocabed – Singer 27 Sphinx

I’d been looking at Vibrating Shuttle sewing machines. They intrigued me yet kind of scared me off, being different. But I still wanted to see if I could meet the challenge of getting one up and running. I stumbled upon one; she was part of the trio that followed me home. The other machines were: a) going to be a huge or impossible project, b) not really something that is high on my list. But this Singer 27 was something I wanted and worth tackling; though covered with much dirt and dust, she moved freely and wasn’t too badly gunked up inside. The price was right. Even if I couldn’t get her running, I was only out a couple bucks.

Singer 27 before ~ from Me & My House

Jocabed is a Singer model 27-1. She was made in 1892. The Singer model 27 is a vibrating shuttle, meaning instead of having a round bobbin and bobbin case, she has a bullet shaped bobbin case and a long bobbin. Her shuttle swings in an arch from front to back. The 2 sliding plates to the right of the needle indicate the shuttle/ long bobbin. The silver colored “shovel”, at the left of the arm, are also indicative of this model.

Singer 27 Long Bobbin ~ from Me & My House

Winding a long bobbin

Singer 27 Bullet Shuttle ~ from Me & My House

The bullet shuttle with the bobbin inserted, in the shuttle carrier.

Her decals are called the Sphinx pattern, with the Sphinx in the upper corner where her arm and pillar meet. Jocabed’s decals are worn, and in many places “silvered”, meaning the gold color has been eaten away.

Singer 27 Sphinx 1892 ~ from Me & My House

Her tension doesn’t automatically release, like later machines do. You must press and hold the tab under the tension screw to release it. She required taking the tension completely apart. This was a first for me, so was done with fear and trembling for getting it back together correctly. But I did it.

She came unhoused (just the head, no case or cabinet.) She is shown here in my 66 treadle cabinet, which I used to test her out. It wasn’t a good fit, so I need to find another option. But we all got to sew on her a bit, including 4 of the grands that I taught to treadle on her.

I named her Jocabed after Moses’ mother, an Israelite in slavery in Egypt.



It’s Raining It’s Pouring

I’ve been Sew Blessed, as I noted a couple weeks ago. And the blessings being rained down turned to an outpouring. I’ve been abundantly blessed again. As with many blessings (such as children) this one came requiring much work.

I noticed the overhead doors open at the shop of an antique guy I know, so I ventured in. He always has a lot of pretty furniture I admire. I asked about sewing. He showed me a couple of cabinets, with no machines. Then said he had 3 heads I could have for $10 total.


Under all the layers of dirt and dust I recognized a Singer 27 with Sphinx decals. The 27 is a shuttle bobbin type machine, different than any I have. She takes a long bobbin in a bullet shuttle, which is a type I’ve been hoping to get someday, and actually had already inquired on one elsewhere. Regardless of the dirt, and the fact that much of her decals were silvered, the wheel and needle moved and the shuttle and bobbin–and even both slide plates–were there. I also knew she would fit in the treadle cabinet I have. So with a good cleaning, she alone was worth more than the $10 to me.

Machine #2 was in far worse shape. Frozen solid. Nothing would move and quite a bit of rust. But she’s the same model as another gift from a great-grandma, a White Family Rotary. I figured even if I just take her apart and learn more about her, or even use her as a donor machine, (bobbin case and throat plate there if nothing else,) she was worth the rescue.

Machine #3 was far newer than the others, a light blue early zig-zag “Dressmaker” from post-war Japan. She turned, but had no foot pedal. Again, I figured if nothing else, a machine I could autopsy.

So home I came with 3 machines from 1 stop, and only $9 lighter (the amount of cash I had on hand.)

The 27 cleaned up fine and is sewing well. I’ll post about her later.


Well-loved Ruthie

20140429-141926.jpg Meet Ruthie. She’s an 85 year old shirt-tail relative, who joined my family a couple weeks ago. She’s my dad’s wife’s daughter’s husband’s grandmother’s. She shows her age in more than just her style, but also in her wear–which also shows she was well loved and used. She needed a little help in a few areas, but still gets along pretty good for an old gal.


Ruthie needed a good bath–a thorough, long scrub. She will never look like a spring chick, but not bad for an old gal. Her wear tells her life’s story, which continues as, after her scrubbing, oiling, and a new belt, tire, bobbin and needle, she is back to faithfully doing what she has always done. (I still have a stripped screw to try to replace and work to do on her cabinet.)


Ruthie, originally owned by Ruth Weiden, is a 1929 Singer 66 treadle with Filagree decals, in a Model 4, 7 drawer treadle cabinet. I’m happy to welcome her into my family. Thank you David and Nancy for allowing Ruthie to move in with me. She’s the first treadle to make it into my home. I wasn’t sure where she’d go, but when she was brought in, she was put at the end of my cutting table. She fits, so I think she’ll stay there. Maybe. (I still have another treadle to bring home in a couple weeks.)


I’m not the only one who enjoys her soothing rhythm. My 2 youngest boys have taken a delight in treadling away with her.



You know, I’ve told you before, how doing something creative is relaxing and brain building. Well, you can increase those benefits by treadling. The rhythm of treadling is truly soothing, and it is said that people can treadle longer and with more enjoyment for longer time periods than when using an electric sewing machine. As an added bonus, treadling is good exercise. Need to get those added steps in for the day? Treadle them away.

Have you ever used a treadle sewing machine?


Sew Blessed

I love sewing. I love antiques. Add the 2 together and you have a love for antique/vintage sewing machines. I particularly love the beautiful black, curvy ones, that classic shape of the early 1900’s Singers with black “japanned” paint jobs. Owning an old black treadle machine has always been a dream of mine, particularly a “red head” (red decals). Last year that dream began to take shape–in several steps.

In a spare bedroom at my dad’s sits a treadle. Last year I told him, if it hadn’t already been promised to someone else, I’d like to have it some day–and I’d like to come look at it. When we opened it, we were surprised to find not a treadle machine, not even one that had been converted from a treadle. From my research, I found it to be a 1948 Singer 201-2, a machine that I’d love to (and will) own, even if not a treadle. I’ve already named her Pamela, after my sister who died as a baby in 1948, and since she is coming from my dad.

1948 Singer 201-2 in Treadle Cabinet ~ from Me & My House

When I told an older lady how excited I was about that, she asked if I’d like to have her grandmother’s machine. Would I?!!! I’d seen it’s bentwood case in a spare bedroom at her house. It was time to find out just what was inside. A 1922 White Family Rotary that had originally been a treadle, but great grandma had put a swing-away motor on it and put it into the bentwood case, making a–very heavy–portable. I had to name her Betty! since she is a White and was “born” in 1922.

1922 White Family Rotary ~ from Me & My House

2 very old machines. Both close to treadles–but not. But cherished for what they are, not what they aren’t.

Since I now had a sewing room that was not also someone else’s bedroom or the schoolroom or playroom, or a hole in the wall in the attic, I started looking more actively for the treadle machine. By now, having studied enough about old sewing machines that I could identify many, Singers at least, I had a growing appreciation for old machines other than treadles. Although I’d looked at many–many times–nothing was ever quite what I was looking for, nor at a price I was willing or able to pay at the time. That treadle, that just surely called my name, never appeared.

Then, God…

decided to pour out an abundance on me–all within about 48 hours.

Last week, I found a machine on Craig’s List, about 100 miles away. It wasn’t a treadle, not even in any type of cabinet or case, but it was only $15 and they said it worked. It was also the only other model Singer made with the same motor as the one on dad’s machine–that didn’t work.  I figured if the motor worked, even if I didn’t like the machine, or it didn’t run, I wasn’t out anything. They were right. She worked beautifully. Just needed a bit of cleaning–and probably some sort of case would be nice. I was now the owner of a 1952 Singer 15-91. I named her Louise, after my sister’s middle name, who was born in 1951 (close enough,) and passed in 1965.

1952 Singer 15-91 ~ from Me & My House

The next day, I ran into a friend. She had noticed my old sewing machine posts, and told me she had one in her garage if I wanted to come look. If I wanted it, we could set up a trade (for essential oils). She didn’t know if it was treadle or not. It was buried in their garage. No treadle. But a cute little 1956 99K in a cabinet. I decided to take it, clean her up and see what she’d do. I had to name her Roxie Anne. 🙂 She came from a Roxanne, Anne is the 5th top name in the 1950’s, in Scotland where this machine was made, and my middle name.

1956 Singer 99K ~ from Me & My House

Not 24 hours later. I received a phone call from my dad’s wife’s daughter. She’d been talking to my dad and he told her about my machines. She has her husband’s grandmother’s machine. She doesn’t sew or have room for it, and no daughters or daughter-in-laws to pass it on to. She’d love to give it to me. It’s a…

1929 Singer 66 TREADLE! Never been converted to electric. Works. And… I just “happen” to be going that way–in less than a week.

Picture to come soon! 🙂

Do you have an old sewing machine? Is there one you want?



Design Studio Update 2

I’ve been working on my Design Studio a bit again. Have got a few things hung: my double-sided clock, a shelf, and a couple “letter racks”.  So I wanted to post an updated picture, and also a couple organization tips. (A second shelf will go above the first, when I decide how much higher.)

My Studio Update ~ from Me & My House

This is the crafting area of my studio, primarily paper crafting. I love that all my supplies are within reach, and that they are all modulars that can be changed around if need be–both moved around easily on wheels, and stacked in different ways. I also love that most everything is in drawers, shut away from sight but easily accessible, and I don’t have to dust every little piece. I’ve added a couple more modular pieces since my last update.

My Studio Update ~ from Me & My House

Within the drawers/shelves is further organization to make it easy to find what I’m needing quickly. The top drawer of the craft station (where my Cricut and Cuttlebug sit) holds my most used tools–scissors, rulers, (pick, tweezers, …) and most used adhesives (ATG, Scor-Tape, glue dots, Tiny Attacher). My paper trimmer, scoring board, cutting mat, and Envelope Punch Board slide into slots at the top of my modular stack. My ink pads are in repurposed cassette tape boxes on the shelves next to those. My patterned paper is on the bottom shelf of the modular stack, and my card stock in another modular on wheels (under my desk).

In between the paper and the ink is my newest organization update project–in the second modular in the stack. It now holds my stamps (all but wood mount) and dies, in DVD and CD cases. I love the uniformity of this storage. It takes up so much less room, makes things easier to find and easier to get to–and was far less expensive than other storage solutions. I also don’t like the bulk of storing in 3-ring binders, so knew that wouldn’t be the right solution for me. I’m loving this.

Stamp & Die Storage ~ from Me & My House

The CD cases are standard size (not slim,) standard cases with the tray insert. (Staples) I removed the trays.  The others are DVD size jewel cases, that don’t have the hub (knob) inside. Both of these are GREAT for this type of storage/organization.  Clear and rubber cling stamps will both cling to the inside of these cases. For the metal dies, I first attached a couple strips of magnetic tape on each side to hold the dies in place. I like that way best, but the magnet on the tape is not very strong. So I tried a strip of double-sided tape, since I figured that is what they are on in the package. We’ll see which way works out best in the long run.

Stamp & Die Storage ~ from Me & My House

Clear stamps and dies will fit 2 layers in the cases–one inside the front, one inside the back of case. Cling rubber stamps will fit only 1 layer. I used a label maker to label the spines. You can also adhere a picture of what’s inside to the front if you want.

I chose to use both DVD and CD cases because my drawer fits a DVD case next to a CD case across the width. So I started by putting my stamps in DVD cases and my dies in CD cases. My stamps all fit the row so far, but when I get more the extras will be put in CD cases to complete that row.

Clear plastic VHS cases are the perfect size for holding wood mounted stamps, but I only need 2 or 3 of them, and to buy them without the hub (which I haven’t been able to find to repurpose) they come in bulk (10, 25, 50, +). I don’t want a bunch of empty VHS cases sitting around, (or to pay the shipping that is more than the cases for 10) so my wood mounted stamps are still in cigar boxes (and may remain there.)

What tips do you have for inexpensively organizing your crafting space?






Design Studio Update

Slowly but surely I’m making progress in re-doing my design studio. The crafting corner is getting there, and is organized anyhow.

Design Studio Remake - from Me and My House

The tall drawer stacks, to the right, hold stamps, embossing folders, dies and Cuttlebug supplies, heat embossing supplies, punches, ribbon and washie tape, paper scraps, envelopes, paper bags, and other paper misc.

The shorter white stack holds 12×12 paper, card stock, and chipboard. The drawer holds embellishments and markers. The shelf holds ink pads and blending tools. On top is my exacto mat, score board and paper trimmer.

The workstation to the left holds my Cricut and Cuttlebug, small rotary mat and a Cricut mat, to keep it handy. Other Cricut mats are on the side. The drawers hold tools- scissors, other cutters, rulers, Cricut tools, stapler, etc. , adhesives-tapes, ATG, glues, glue gun, glue dots, foam dimensionals, magnets, etc, and paper flowers. The slots at the bottom hold 8.5×11 card stock, grunge board, and other smaller papers, stickers, mod podge, etc.

As you can see on the tall drawers, I still need another paper cube. I thought the work station slots would hold that size, but didn’t, so now I need another one. Other than that, and the fact that I haven’t painted yet–and added a shelf for my Cricut cartridges, I’m loving it. Everything is organized and ready at hand.



Newest Old Thing

I’ve always wanted a treadle sewing machine. I know. Weird. Not that I want to give up my modern (but not computerized) Riccar or serger. But just have that love of old things. I think a lot of it has to do with things that last – unlike most things today. I like quality.

Well, that dream for a treadle hasn’t come true yet, but close. Yesterday I was given a great-grandmother’s sewing machine. It’s 100 years old (or very close), a White Rotary, and electric. But, it was originally a treadle. The original owner had it converted along the way. The motor is a 1920 Hamilton Beach Sewing Motor.


I cleaned it up a little (it didn’t need a lot, just a bit dusty.) And I figured out how to thread it. Moment of truth. It worked! Produced a beautiful even stitch. I didn’t even have to adjust the tension. (I’ll do a more thorough cleaning and oiling.) I found out I can call Viking (who bought White out about 30 years ago) and give them the serial number and they can give me the exact age. (Last patent date on it is 1913.)

I am so excited to have this. Still hope to have a treadle some day though.




More Old Things New

Many old things bring a smile to my face. I love the time I live in, with all the technology and convenience. (I’m sure not complaining.) But I also love old things. My design studio is slowly becoming new with more old things.

I picked this up at a thrift store for $2. It was trashed, but I saw potential. May not be the quality of an old oak piece, but it will make a great craft/ design work table, with a little TLC.

gateleg_tableA little paint later and it’s about there. (Still need to sand and add another coat.) In the background you can see another new/old find. The white rolling cart, from an antique store, also needs some TLC – sanding and fresh paint. I’m considering doing it in pink. You can also see my newest old thing behind the table. No not the pink chair – it’s new – and getting a slip cover. Behind that. Come back tomorrow to read about it.




Somethings Old, Something New

I just realized I haven’t updated this blog all summer. It’s been a whirlwind. I planned a mini-family reunion when my dad’s half-sisters came to visit, shortly after my last post.

I’ve spent many hours in the orthodontist with our son – and a couple at the dentist with another son, and the Dr. with yet another son. Many hours on the baseball fields watching all our sons.

Attended Teach Them Diligently conference with our whole family. YEA!! It was great! Stopped to spend some time with my dad and his wife at the hospital, when she went in for surgery 3.5 hours away from us, on our way for vacation to see our second daughter. (Miss those grandbabes.) Did a bi-monthly Bible Study with a friend.

Celebrated more family birthdays in 2 months than most families have total. Planned, prepared for, made a lot of out of town trips for, made a lot of necessities for and did a lot of consulting for our 5th daughter’s wedding. At the end of June they decided to get married in August. We did everything ourselves – except sew the clothes, and daughter did much of the decor making herself. But that’s where my summer mainly went.

But all of that is old news now. Daughter is happily married as of last Saturday, and on Monday the furniture moving began. We changed up some bedrooms. The bedroom for our 2 youngest, that also held my office desk and some sewing supplies, became my studio/office – no longer shared with children. That’s my something new.

Here’s a couple pictures of the very beginnings. There is much to do – paint, shelves, storage, etc. That will take much time. But I figured this is a good start to sharing much more in this category of sewing and craft projects – fabric, yarn, paper crafts, DIY, etc. I’ve done so many projects (with all those birthdays) but never think – or take time – to post them. I’m beginning today.


Notice the missing serger. It’s been out of commission all summer too.


Oh, and exercise room too! (Note the Rebounder. My choice for exercise.)


My Cricut and Cuttlebug have been getting lots of workouts with all the birthdays this summer. The drawers are new, to house many new papercrafting supplies this summer.