Archive for 2008

Vinyl Bags for Vinyl Records + Christmas Crafts!

So here’s the latest from Babyracer: cute vinyl, hand stitched bags to hold all your 555 vinyl records. So far I’ve just tried out a couple of bags for 7″ records, but I’m working up to 12″ bags too for the series 100 vinyl releases. I think they look great, but the vinyl is thick to push through and I stitched and stitched until my fingers started to bleed!

What’s that? You don’t have enough vinyl records for your collection? Well hop right on over to to pick up copies of the LPs in the 100 series, or you can take advantage of our special 7″ bundle offer and get any five 7″ records for $18! What a recession buster deal!

So here’s how I’ve made them! (If anyone out there has made hand bags by hand before and has any helpful times for me, I’m all ears. I’m totally winging it here without any patterns or anything and if there’s an easier way, I’d love to hear it.) Here I am attaching the handle.

Here’s a shot of the glass of Jameson’s whiskey I’m drinking while attaching the handle. Yum. This was late night before last after Stew and Lu had both gone to sleep, so I had a nice little night cap while I sewed. As you can see I tried to embroider the babyracer logo onto the plain white back of this one. It came out a little messy because the vinyl is so hard to punch through. And maybe because of the whiskey too… But I think it looks pretty nice.

On this 2nd bag I decided to use pink embroidery floss instead of the red binding thread on the photo above, and I stitched the logo onto the side of the bag instead of the back. This is my English Flag bag.

See the Red Cross here? I’m hoping to work up to doing a whole Union Jack, but that’s going to take a bit more precision and skill, so I’ll give myself a little time to work out how to do it. For the moment though, I think these two are a good start. Every single stitch on each one is done by hand. Poor sore hands.

And now that Christmas is over, I can post a photo of some of the Christmas crafting I did for family and friends. Here is an example of the mittens and scarf sets I made using lots of colors of fleece. In the words of John Shuttleworth, “God bless the fleece, it gives you inner peace…” I love working with fleece. So warm, fuzzy and versatile. And best of all, it doesn’t unravel at the edges. If I can get through a few good bags I might try to make a few more of these to put up for sale on the etsy site.


I haven’t posted for quite awhile now because I didn’t really have everything I needed to do it while we were in England. And to be honest, I kept forgetting my camera every time we went somewhere or did something interesting. We had a much better time than these pictures show. But here they are, such as they are:
First Lu here in her glow-in-the-dark skeleton Halloween jammies and bib trying to figure out when to eat, sleep and be awake. She never adjusted to the time change fully. Instead she’d go to sleep around 8pm, get up at 10 or 10:30pm, stay up until 4am, sleep until 10 or 11am, take a nap some time between 2pm and 4pm and then start all over again. Poor thing. Funny thing was that once we got back she had one day of sleeping a whole lot, and then she was right back on our USA time schedule again.

We did an early Christmas with the Anderson Clan. Here is Lu helping out with the present wrapping. She tried very hard to wrap herself and just about every toy she brought with her. Then when it came time to unwrap some presents, she didn’t seem entirely sure that she wanted to. Kind of like she thought the paper was supposed to be there now.

Lu had some lovely play time with her cousin Laila, and with Laila’s brother Joseph as well. Here you can see Laila and Lu doing a duet on their Nanna’s electric piano. I did take some pictures of Joseph as well, but these didn’t come out very well. Children can be difficult moving targets.

Laila, Joseph, Ruth and Matt all took us to a really wonderful place, the name of which I can not recall, but the had an owlery, or a falconry or something to that effect. I’m not sure what the official name is. But there were all kinds of different birds of prey, and they even brought out this lovely small owl for us to hold. Lu desperately wanted to hold it herself, but she was making such fervent grabbing and grasping motions that we were pretty sure she’d startle it and get bit in the bargain, so Stew and I held it with her nearby, looking on. Fantastic! The bird handler told us about the plight of owls since the release of the Harry Potter series, how all sorts of people have bought owls on the black market to have as pets, not realizing that they are predators and a bit on the dangerous side, especially if you have rowdy kids who might taunt them. The said several owls had been rescued from such owners. The two snowy owls were named Hagrid and Hedwig. Of course holding the owl pictured here absolutely made me want my own pet owl… But I won’t go there.
Here were some bizarre chickens who took a lively interest in Lu and Stew. There were also a whole lot of hawks and falcons, one of which attacked Lu’s white fuzzy mitten when she dropped it near him. I supposed it might have looked a bit like a giant white mouse.

On the Sunday before we left England both of Stew’s sisters came over with their families and Lu got to meet all 7 of her cousins at once. Again I feel very silly that I took so few pictures of the day, and that the pictures I do have are so poor. But here is Lu with the paper crown from my Christmas Cracker on her head, happily eating her Jelly (that’s Jello in American).

And here is a picture of the three of us just after Christmas pudding. Very full. And a bit tipsy.

Another noteworthy night when I forgot my camera: John Shuttleworth!!! Ruth and Matt took Stew and me out for the evening (Dave and Vicki babysat for us- Thanks!) to see John Shuttleworth at the Leeds City Variety Theater and we had a really wonderful time. What a one-man-show that man puts on. And for nearly 2 and a half hours! That’s a long time to be on with no one else to play off of. The songs were great. Several new songs I’d never heard before. Like ‘One Cup of Tea is Never Enough, but Two is One Too Many’. And of course he did a lot of old songs like ‘Eggs and Gammon’, ‘Two Margarines on the Go’, and my personal favorite, ‘I Can’t Go Back to Savory Now’. Before leaving the states Stew was emailing Joan Chitty about some purchases we made and mentioned that we were traveling all the way from Arizona to see John, and do we get a prize for coming the furthest. She told us to go to the stage door after the show to say Hi to John, so we waiting for him, feeling a bit foolish, a bit geeky, but got to have a nice little chat. Seeing Graham Fellows emerge after watching John all night was a bit of a shock. He looked young. Really young. Not much older than us, though a quick calculation of the fact that Jilted John was released in 1978 when Graham was probably between 18-20, made me realize that he must be close to 50. Of course as John Shuttleworth he looks to be in his late sixties. We mentioned to him that I covered Jilted John, making it instead Jilted Jen and he asked us to send him a copy. Need to remember to do that. What a lovely man. I adore John Shuttleworth. Everyone should get his cds. And his movies. Look him up!

And on that note it’s time for bed. Stew and Lu have been asleep for a couple of hours now. We watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to get us in the Christmas mood after seeing real life reindeer (and a whole lot of other deer) at the Deer Farm petting zoo outside of Flagstaff yesterday- yet again I forgot my camera. It was Stew’s birthday and for his birthday he wanted to take Lu to the petting zoo. What a good Daddy. She had a blast. We’ll definitely go back and I will bring my camera next time.

Mod baby UK bound!

So last night Lu wanted to help me start getting packed to go to England this week. We got out the pink polka-dotted suitcase set and set to work. After a bit she decided she’d rather ride in the suitcase than deal with all the security hassels at the gate. Luckily she was already camoflauged in her own polka-dot PJs.

This morning Lu felt like dancin’! She tried to get Wheezy into the act, but Wheezy was a wallflower and prefered to watch. In th spirit of going to England we got Lu all geared up in her best Mod Gear.

How about these awesome English flag shoes? Uncle Eric Stoess gave her those. Smashing!
BTW- that bullseye onesie is available on

Lu hearts Wheezy, more embroidery and Tallulah Missoula

Tallulah has been working on her relationship with Wheezy. Sometimes it’s been a bit heartbreaking to watch. Lu loves Wheezy so much, follows her around, tries to pat her, talks to her in ‘dog-talk’, and hands over large amounts of her own food in bribes, but for the most part it’s been a one-way street. Wheezy has been very jealous of Lu. And the baby gates limiting her access to the house hasn’t helped much either. But through the medium of food, a tentative truce has been fostered. Lu gives Wheezy her crackers, snack bars, teething biscuits, bits of toast and sometimes even holds out her own mucky spoon, and Wheezy responds by tolerating her presence with only minimal grumbling. I can’t wait for the day they really begin to play together and Wheezy realizes Lu is her very best friend.
Mom gave me this fantastic embroidery book so I started learning some new stitches. 100 stitches! I never knew there were so many! Some of these are really complicated. Almost ridiculously so… But I’ll give ‘em a go!
I also made a new organic onesie for my ‘Women in Aviation’ series. This is the Seversky AP-7 as flown by Jackie Cochran in 1938 when she became the first woman to win the Bendix Trophy by finishing in a record breaking 8 hours, 10 minutes, averaging over 250mph. That must have seemed like light speed in 1938!

Lu has been hard at work practicing for her new band… The band that has only been formed in my mind. I’m thinking of an indie-ized version of Hanna Montana. How about Tallulah Missoula?
Instead of being the daughter of a super famous country singer, making millions with her own music, Lu will be the daughter of me and Stew and probably loose money making vinyl records and handmade stuff, just like we do! The other day Stew said that in order to rebel against us when she’s a teenager she’ll probably have to become a super conservative, executive, right-wing republican or something. Maybe wear power suits and pearls?

Big sky view, new airplane, and a blue scooter

Our friend Chuck arrived last night from NYC and is staying with us through Thanksgiving. One brave vegetarian to risk Thanksgiving on a cattle ranch.

This morning Lu and I drove Chuck around the ranch some and showed him one of our favorite views of the San Francisco Peaks. Then Lu promptly fell asleep for her morning nap.

Last night I finished sewing the first of my “Women in Aviation” series of organic onesies. This is a Lockheed Vega, about a 1927-28 model I think. Similar to the Vega 5B flown by Amelia Earhart on her famous transatlantic solo flight, but hers had slightly different detailing over the front wheels; a sort of space-age, aerodynamic cowling over the wheels.

This is another ’round the corner’ design which crosses the side seam under the left arm.

I really love these organic onesies I got from Zee Spot. Super soft with fantastic colors. Kind of makes the 2 and a half month wait worth while. I’ll remember to place a much bigger order next time now that I know how long it takes.

Here is the back detailing with the babyracer logo done all in green instead of the usual rainbow of colors. I thought it looked a bit more demure for this particular onesie.

And here is the completed blue version of the ’round the corner’ vespa. I think I’ll try it on the organic onesies next.

Coming soon: Organic Bamboo Christmas Scarves!