World’s Largest Garage Sale–Textile Center of MN

 April 12, 2014


Success is mine!  Have gone through–that means have actually ‘touched’–every single piece of fabric in my stash and have three tubs ready to donate to the World’s Largest Garage Sale, an annual fund raiser for The Textile Center of MN, in St. Paul MN.

Sewists of all categories clean out their stash and donate so expect wonderful treasures from:  sewers, felters, knitters, dye-ers, quilters, beaders….

For $25, shop before the crowd (and there will be one) on Friday night from 6:30 – 8:00 PM.

Saturday’s sale is from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM; admission is $1.

Here is what I am bringing–this year.  There is plenty more that will probably go next year.  I need to let go in baby steps.

Get there early, be prepared to stand in line, and enjoy.  Know you will score some fantastic items.

Needlepoint bookmarks from London--10 years ago so well aged.

Needlepoint bookmarks from London–10 years ago so well aged.

a 5.5 yard piece of brown wool tweed, a 1.5 yd wool/poly tricotine, huge hunk of felted wool jersey + much more

a 1 5/8 yard piece of black wool tweed, a 1.5 yd wool/poly tricotine, huge hunk of felted wool jersey + much more


odds and ends

odds and ends

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Palm Springs Modernism Week Home Tour El Rancho Vista Estates

One of the last 2014 Modernism Week events was a Sunday morning home tour of ten homes in El Rancho Vista Estates.  The homes were open for tours and all offered snacks and beverages–most of the alcoholic variety.  I declined the Bloody Mary at the first house as figured I might be stumbling down the streets on the rest of the tour.  But it was a nice, welcoming touch and very MCM.  Have forgotten how much cocktails were a part of daily life 50 years ago.  One of the homes had three different bar areas featuring vintage liquor and mixes.  My fave from the era were/are the ice cream drinks:   Grasshopper, Pink Alexander, always served with huge dollops of whipped cream and two hazelnuts.  Hazelnuts were a treat as remember them only available at Christmas.  But I digress…El Rancho brocjure

El Rancho Vista, at E Vista Chino and Via Roberto Miguel, is the first residential subdivision by Wexler and Harrison, dating from late ’50s. The neighborhood is a collection of approximately 75 single-family homes located northeast of the Palm Springs International Airport.

They were designed as vacation homes so the homes were really bare bones:

  • Square footage in the 1500 + or – range
  • Large lots to include swimming pool
  • Small kitchens
  • Three bedrooms–small
  • Walled yards
  • No insulation
  • Polished concrete floors

“Variations on several open plan layouts include flat roofs, butterfly roofs, and the down-turned eave, which became something of a signature in later Harrison projects.  Other character-defining details include now classic mid-century architectural elements like decorative concrete block walls and floor-to-ceiling glass walls oriented to spectacular mountain views that enhance indoor/outdoor living.”  El Rancho Vista Estates (1960, Wexler & Harrison)

Many of the homes on the tour are investment properties and are available for rental.  These homes are beautifully updated with minimalist decor, i.e., no books, magazine, clutter.  A couple of the homes are owner-occupied exhibiting a realistic ‘lived-in’ ambience.

Street view of San Jacinto Mtns.  Note utility pole: Electrical lines are still above ground

Street view of San Jacinto Mtns. Note utility pole: Electrical lines are still above ground


Remodeled Kitchen. What you see is what you get in counter space.
The bar does help out in that respect.


Owner lives here so looks like a ‘regular’ home


Side yard softened by grasses in front of block wall


Typical drive/sidewalk treatment


Minimalist landscaping. Just rake it


Note the updated flooring. Believe it is tile


This is a rental home so very minimalist furnishings,
Note the updated floor


Clerestory windows


Original polished concrete floor, cracks and all


Updated with hanging fireplace


Close-up of hanging fireplace


Original concrete floors. See crack in lower right; that is what concrete does, so live with it.


Updated kitchen; wall has been removed behind new island


Upgraded to reflect MCM decorating


Draperies are probably consistent with MCM but not it’s best moment. Certainly not one to repeat.


Family room that is actually lived in. Note updated ceiling lights


Authentic MCM Bar set up on a side board.
Note the Pucci-inspired ice bucket.


Bedroom off back yard. Note floor-to-ceiling sliding doors


Updated kitchen with floating glass topped island. Island is probably not original.
Note how tiny, but it was designed as a vacation home.


Interesting exterior.
Not on tour but guess the grey/black wall (topped with white lattice)
encloses a patio and adds privacy from street


Pierced block privacy screen outside the floor to ceiling windows.
Note the bottom casement windows. Desert air cools at night and is heavier that hot air, hence bottom opening windows.


Outrageous updated shower


MBR off back yard/pool


Owner live-in home


Pool and yard of the last house on the tour. Tables were set up in the shade to serve food which was included in the tour. However, most of the other homes offered refreshments too, so you didn’t need breakfast before the tour.


Beautiful pool and view, enhanced (?) by utility lines.
Never noticed utility lines/poles until editing photos.


Bar at last house serving Dirty Cosmo’s, Margheritas and water.


Another original concrete floor. This is the one thing rarely updated. If it’s not broke…

  20140223_110027 20140223_110030

Related Articles:

El Rancho Vista Estates

celebrity homes in Vista Las Palmas walking tour

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Facebook Rant, Rant, Rant…Can’t Use/Find ‘Like’

Just spent way too much time–AGAIN–on Facebook trying to use my business page.  So why am I wasting so much time on a clearly frustrating, poorly run website?  Because the Powers that Be (who are they???) have decreed a FB Business Page is The Way to promote your business.  It is easy enough to set up, a Pain to use

FB policy is only ONE account, but a business page can be set up under the original account.  Countless FB users face a similar dilemma–how to use a business page set up under a personal page.  One way around this policy is to set up a separate account, a No No at FB.  In fact, if another account is set up under another name, FB can/will cut off all accounts.  Apparently, FB spends money looking for sinners but none on customer service per their disclaimer.   Anyone out there every received a reply from FB?  Please let me know so I can submit to  Guinness World Records.

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 11.05.55 AM

I’m not the only one with this problem, witness Google search.

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 11.58.59 AMThis is what FB Help says:  Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 10.43.21 AMWas this answer helpful?

NO!  Can’t Like if there is no ‘Like’ button.

You will notice a Friend Request was sent, but was sent from my personal page as, when using Business Page, the options below do not appear. Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 12.05.14 PMI finally resorted to sending a FB message with my business page address; how 20th century.

How to set up a FB business page:

  • Click on everything across the top of the FB site until you find Create a page.
  • Choose an appropriate icon
  • Follow instructions

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 12.13.26 PMThat’s the easy part; using the Page is the issue.
Even more frustrating is that some times things work and sometimes they don’t.  Can change within minutes/seconds.

This is a roadblock today; the link Get Started is not working so can’t use the FB community help.

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 10.51.04 AMYou’d think a company with a market value over $1 Billion (yes, that’s a ‘B’) could/would/should have a well functioning website both for the user and the customer.  Because, if I can’t use a business page effectively, customers can’t use it, and that defeats FB reason to exist–Sales.  I can and will go online elsewhere .

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 12.23.03 PMYeah, FB is snickering as the door slams behind me and larger $ sale businesses fill the gap.  Then again, perhaps FB is not the place for small businesses.

What do you think?

Read more:

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Claire B Shaeffer– The Queen of Chanel Couture

Meet Claire Shaeffer, the Queen of Couture, especially Chanel.  Claire turned to couture sewing after abandoning her first love, The Circus.  Like many of us, sewing was/is a way for Claire to wear couture fashion that fits and makes financial sense.

Claire, Oscar & Libby

Claire, Oscar & Libby

I met Claire at the first American Sewing Guild conference in San Francisco back in the late ’80s. Over the succeeding years, have followed Claire (even to London on a ‘London Couture Lovers Tour’), her classes, booksVogue patterns, articles in Threads MagazineVogue Pattern Magazine.


Just a few of Claire’s 15+ books

So, when in Palm Springs, CA, last month, stopped by for a visit with Claire at her home and was happy to meet the dogs, Oscar and Libby, Louise, who helps with the couture collection, and view another of Claire’s passions–Art.


Like Lewis Carroll’s Walrus, we talked of many things:

        • Lagerfield’s successor: “Karl doesn’t like to let go.”
        • Number of garments in collection:  2000+; Louise helps with the accession listing process.
        • Plans for the collection:  will go to Stephen’s College, Fashion Department in Columbia, MO.  “I know members of the faculty; the Fashion Design program is very good and they have an excellent placement record of graduates.”
        • The French Greeting Kiss–is it on both cheeks? Right then Left? Air kiss? “Usually; R; Yes.”
        • Mme Pouzieux:  Has she been replaced? “Not that I know of.”
        • Did you ever pursue a circus career?  “No, marriage, children, life got in the way and had a car accident that required spinal fusion.”
        • Where do you get garments?  “Online auctions, brokers, vintage stores, eBay.”
        • Do you blog, a website?  “No.  But do follow blogs.  A recent blog discovery is A Little Sewing.”  And do occasionally participate on Artisan Square, a sewing discussion site.”
        • How do you know if a garment is an original or a copy?  “That can be difficult as copies were welcomed during Coco’s day and made in NYC.  Also, labels are often missing.  Marlene Dietrich removed all the labels for one reason or another; the Berlin Museum has a bag of her couture labels.”
        • What is your next book?  “The Couture Skirt: Sewing Secrets from a Chanel Collector out Spring 2014.”
        • You don’t strike me a as a dog person.  “Both Oscar and Libby are from the Humane Society.  Libby is a drop-out from Guide Dog School.”  FYI:  Oscar and Libby are typical dogs who jump, beg under the table, and don’t always ‘hear’ commands; I could have played with them all day.
        • Next magazine article:  “Proposed for Threads–comparing Chanel originals with copies.”
        • Latest trip:  “Returned from Birthday Trip to Australia (Feb 2014) and off to London.”
        • What did you do/see in Australia?  “Went to the Opera and bought Aboriginal art to add to existing from a previous trip.”
        • “You should really interview Allen; he was my Paris guide for many years and is now in the States–Louisiana, I think.  Will get you his contact info.”  Thanx Claire, would love to.
        • “Do you know Hazel Matthys?  She is from MN.  You’d like her.”  Nope, don’t know Hazel but will Google her.
        • Next class:  “Chanel Jacket, May 11-16, 2014.  Couture Dressmaking Secrets, May 17-22, 2014.”  Click on link for details.
        • Thanx for having me Claire; could have spent the whole day with you.
Chanel Skirt.  Pleated waistband

Chanel Skirt. Ecru pleated out.

Detail Chanel Skirt from upcoming book

Chanel Skirt

Double back zipper opening

Double back zipper opening

The Collection

The Collection

Louise with accession information attached to garment

Louise with accession information attached to garment

Mobile from American artist
Mobile from American artist
Son's are included here. Can you guess which?

Son’s are included here.
Can you guess which?

Aboriginal art just arrived from Australia

Aboriginal art just arrived from Australia

Jason Wu

Jason Wu, Claire and Libby

Jason Wu hook closure

Jason Wu hook closure

Yves St Laurent

Yves St Laurent

The two C's Claire & Carol.

The two C’s
Claire & Carol.

Related Links:

Claire Shaeffer Couture Classes

Everything Just So

Claire Shaeffer Demystifies Couture

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Claire Shaeffer Couture Classes

Claire’s newest classes are scheduled for May, 2014.

Claire hosts the classes in Palm Springs, CA., a perfectly wonderful City offering lots to do, see, shop, and eat.


Palms, Mountains, Flowers in Palm Springs

These are five day workshops with a Meet and Greet at 5:00 PM the day before.

May 11-16

Chanel Jacket

May 17-22

Couture DressMaking Secrets.  Class is based on Vogue dress pattern 8786 and will cover the how-to’s and why-for’s of underlining, neckline finishes, floating seams and more…

Contact Claire for details.

Vogue 8786

Vogue 8786

Vogue 8786


Posted in FIBER FASHION FUN | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Heated Outdoor Furniture

Bench photo

Helios Lounge from Galanter & Jones

grey sofa shape

Brand new sofa design

You’d think heated outdoor furniture would be a slam dunk–readily available, lots of options?  Well, it is not–until Galanter & Jones.  Located and founded (2013) in San Francisco, Galanter and Jones is a design + fabrication studio that is changing the way we spend time outdoors.  Products, a brand new sofa style and a curvilinear lounge, are designed by Aaron Jones and made with help from talented, local tradespeople.

Met brother and sister, Aaron & Miranda at the Prefab Expo (now in its third year) at Modernism Week 2014 in Palm Springs, CA.

Miranda and Aaron at Prefab Expo, Palm Springs Ca.  Feb 2014

Miranda and Aaron at Prefab Expo, Palm Springs Ca. Feb 2014

I am so taken with the innovation and style of this convenient, appropriate, useful, suitable, practical, effective–well, you get the idea.

Think about it; if you live in the Northern tier of the US, the outdoor season is short, three months at most.  However, there are lots of days in the shoulder seasons–before Memorial Day and after Labor Day–that are comfortable outdoors if you are moving.  But sit still and it is too chilly.  If you had a heated seat, you could make more use of the outdoors.  And wouldn’t a heated seat be perfect for early morn or late evening.

Patio heaters are widely used but they don’t hold a candle to heated seating.

  • heats air
  • heated air rapidly disperses unless in enclosed area
  • heat source is far away from body
  • requires fuel

Heated Seats

  • heats body
  • retains heat
  • plug in to electrical outlet
  • waterproof
  • adjustable temp
  • available in 20 bench color and base combinations  + custom colors

You know you will be purchasing patio furniture so ramp it up a notch, available online at Potted, Los Angeles

Tell your neighbors and share shipping.  I am.

More Photos

Turn it On

Turn it On

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With Fur-Trimmed cowl/nose warmer

All I can say/sing is an anthem to Peter, Peter, Pilotto, Pilotto, PETER PILOTTO.

Peter Pilotto and his design partner, Christopher de Vos presented their Fall 2014 RTW collection February 17th and it is Magnificent, Fantastic, Marvelous, Wonderful, and…And, it is Wearable; not just for anorexic twenty somethings, but for Everyone, probably due to the long, lean athletic cut throughout all categories–dresses, coats, evening, sportswear.

The Pilotto colorways, graphics, mountain landscape prints, stained-glass mosaics, knits, textures–and the use of fur–all, all are inspired creativity.

Collections often quickly become boring with the constant repetition within the designs.  Pilotto’s collection is unified through repeating colors, fabrics and motifs but always a new twist to charm, intrigue.

See for yourself and click on link for entire collection.



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California Dates

The Coachella Valley in California has been growing dates for over 100 years due to the ideal climate–high temperatures, low humidity and low rainfall.

Shield's Date Gardens

Shield’s Date Gardens

In my opinion, you can’t appreciate dates until sampling them fresh from the farm.  And this you can do at my favorite, Shield’s Date Garden in Indio, CA.

Follow the previous link to the website for history, products, recipes and Internet ordering.

Shield's Date Palms

Shield’s Date Palms

Coachella Valley  - Dates Ready for Harvest

Coachella Valley – Dates Ready for Harvest

I was there yesterday and it is a busy place, offering the most date varieties of any source:

as well as other dried fruits, fresh grapefruit and oranges, jelly and jams, and other condiments.  I recommend trying the variety pack as each date has a unique flavor, sweetness, texture.  However, the Medjool is the favorite.  The Thoory Date not that tasty but best for baking.

A mix of the slightly smaller Medjool, Deglet Noor, Blonde & Brunette Dates.

A mix of the slightly smaller Medjool, Deglet Noor, Blonde & Brunette Dates.

The newest product are dried peas and wasabi coated peas and peanuts. 

wasabi wasabi peanuts

Also featured, is the famous Date Shake; yes a milk shake with dates–highly nutritious.   And the newest addition, is the Cafe with a large exterior, shaded seating area (patio heaters available)  and delicious breakfast and lunch items.  Breakfast is served until 2:30 PM which made me very happy as I could eat eggs anytime of the day.  Dinner service is coming soon–Yeah!

Shield's outdoor Cafe

Shield’s outdoor Cafe

The following is a reblog from Dave’s Travel Corner;  no sense reinventing the wheel when it is already written  :)  Thanx Dave.

Palm Springs, CA – Dates


Date Palms can be found in many locations in the Coachella Valley. Dates are among the oldest of the cultivated fruit in the world. Many of the dates in the Coachella Valley come from the Middle East including many varieties from Iraq.

The National Date Festival is an annual event held in Indio – and features exhibits and competitions relating to the date. This festival is usually held in February. Please visit: for more information.

Three of Dave’s favorite places to purchase dates are Hadley’s Date Gardens, Shields Date Gardens & Oasis Date Gardens. The three listings below are retail outlets and all will ship dates via the mail.

Visit their respective websites for ordering information. All stores below provide tasting samples of the dates before you buy.

Hadley Date Gardens are located off the 10 freeway about 12 miles west of the turnoff on 111 for Palm Springs. Hadley’s is located in the small town of Cabezon – at the Morongo Valley Casino turnoff – when you see the tall Indian Casino looming nearby you know you are very close to Hadley’s. Of the three date gardens listed here, this one is the most touristy. It is not located on the site of where the dates are actually grown.

You however, can choose from many varieties of packed whole dates. They also sell chopped dates, dried dates, and the wonderful date crystals. The date shake is truly a wonderful drink. It is a MUST try! Hadley’s has added their own twist to the regular date shake; they offer a banana date shake which is out of this world.

Hadley’s has their own restaurant on the side of the store. Choose from standard fare such as hot dogs, hamburgers and other food. Bathrooms are behind the main store, exiting through the back door.

Visit their website:

Shields Date Gardens established in 1924 is located at 80225 Highway 111 in Indio on the north side of the highway. This is about a 25-35 minute drive south on the 111 from downtown Palm Springs.

Shield’s Dates are among the oldest Date Gardens in the area.

The main store has a real neat 50′s feel. In fact nostalgia is a very appropriate word to describe Shields. Their main store is located right in front of their actual date gardens. They also grow and sell very fresh grapefruit and tangerines.

Be sure to try one of their famous date shakes. If you look at the date trees you will see metal ladders extending high up to the actual palm part of the trees. This is how they pick the dates. Unfortunately most of the surrounding land near Shield’s farms has been cannibalized for strip malls and other urban development so the surrounding atmosphere is not as nice as it used to be.

While here you can view a video in their 108 seat theatre, called “Romance and Sex Life of the Date.” (Highly recommended)There is a lot more to cultivating and growing dates than meets the eye. All cultivated date palms at Shields undergo hand pollination. That means someone must climb up to the top of the date trees during the right time and hand pollinate each bunch of dates!

Note: in 2005 Shields Date Gardens was sold to the Jewel Date Company. PHONE NUMBER: (760) 347-0996. The Shields Date Gardens is open daily from 10 to 6 PM. 119 varieties of dates are grown here. If you visit their store, you can pick up their free sheet listing about ten date recipes including the one for their Date Shakes. Visit their website for more information: and to order gift packs.

Just east of Hadley’s are two enormous dinosaur statues next to interstate 10. Inside one of these statues is a store that sells rocks and small trinkets. At night the eyes of these dinosaurs light up and become green and red.

Oasis Date Gardens is located in Thermal which is about another 10 miles south of Indio at 59-111 Highway 111 on the west side of the highway.

This is a 250 acre pioneer date garden, packing house, and retail shop. There is a picnic area and a cafe. The main store is located right among the date gardens – there are smaller trees located here than at some of the other date farms (more recently planted), and when in season, its very easy to see the dates hanging from the trees right in front of you. One nice feature is that they have open buckets of many varieties of dates – you simply put on plastic gloves and put as many as you want into a bag. The other two farms mentioned above have the dates already sealed up in packages or bags. PHONE NUMBER: 1-800-827-8017. Open daily from 6 AM to 5:30 PM. Website:

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The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA

The Living Desert in Palm Desert, CA, is 1200 acres dedicated to…”desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation”.

I highly recommend visiting when in the area as it is very well organized featuring hard surface trails with sand side trails containing scenarios of various desert life. It is easy walking and a shuttle runs constantly if walking is not suitable.

What these pictures cannot convey is the heat–in the sun–the cool–in the shade–the bird songs, And the fragrance of the desert.

Trail Map

Trail Map

Coral Fountain Grass

Coral Fountain Grass

Gecko along the trail

Gecko along the trail

Sculpture along the trail

Sculpture along the trail

Living Desert View

Living Desert View

Living Desert Palms

Living Desert Palms

Barrel Cactus Garden

Barrel Cactus Garden

Upper Colorado Desert

Upper Colorado Desert

Living Desert Trail View

Living Desert Trail View

Mexican Wolf

Mexican Wolf



Peccaries asleep

Peccaries asleep

Carousel with endangered species

Carousel with endangered species

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Palm Springs Vintage Market

Best part about Palm Springs–other than the fantastic weather–is the multitude of street fairs.  And not just in Palm Springs but up and down the Coachella Valley.

Palm Springs has a Street Fair every Saturday and a Vintage Market on Sunday’s.  Wrote about the Street Fair already, so here is the review of the Vintage Market.


This is not a ‘true’ vintage market as many of the vendors and their items are more garage sale.  Apparently, the Vintage Market is a new endeavor;there is an entrance fee and mailing list is taken.  Hopefully, the market will expand and be exclusive Vintage.

This is what I liked.

Rolls Royce Grill Wall hanging?  Coffee Table?

Rolls Royce Grill
Wall hanging? Coffee Table?

The Cardinal Travel Trailer belonged to a vendor who found it hidden behind a home up at Joshua Tree and bought it several years ago for $2200.00. Everything is original, except for the Travel Trailer fabric in the new curtains. He uses it for lodging when attending Street Fairs and as a guest bedroom in his backyard. How Cool! Have no idea what the vendor had in his booth as I, and everyone else were so fascinated by his pull along lodging.

1957 Cardinal Travel Trailer

1957 Cardinal Travel Trailer

[Caption id="attachment_1000" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Back of Cardinal Travel Trailer Back of Cardinal Travel Trailer[/caption]

Cardinal Travel Trailer Interior All Original

Cardinal Travel Trailer Interior
All Original
Note the print in the curtains–these are new.

This vendor had a mismatch of metal toys and art pottery. The Van Briggle caught my eye as had never seen this particular piece–Siren by he Sea–which he had in the mulberry coloration. Note the fish swimming on the inside of the rim.
The vendor was not particularly forthcoming–didn’t have a business card and when asked how I could reach him, he grudgingly provided a phone number.

Was intrigued enough to do some research on Van Briggle’s Siren of the Sea: It is from the late 1920′s, well after Artus Van Briggle’s death but apparently popular.. Found it in four basic colorations, the most popular is the Turquoise/Navy, then the Mulberry/Navy. Also found ‘Moonglow’, ‘Tan/Green’ and a lighter Turquois–see photos. Those in excellent condition, I.e., no crazing (hard to find without crazing), chips, and with the flower frog, fetch in the thousand+ dollars.

Van Briggle Siren of the Sea Planter with Nautilis Shell Frog, mulberry/navy,                       from 1920's

Van Briggle Siren of the Sea Planter with Nautilis Shell Frog, mulberry/navy,
from 1920′s

Siren of the Sea  Identification, marking

Siren of the Sea
Identification, marking

The following photos are color examples found on Google.

Siren by the Sea Turquoise/Navy

Siren by the Sea

Siren by the Sea Moonglow

Siren by the Sea

Siren by the Sea Turquoise

Siren by the Sea

Siren by the Sea Tan/Green

Siren by the Sea

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