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Craft Fair Lessons Learned

Tween Jean Jacket front

Tween Jean JacketTween Jean Jacket apple patch

Tween Jean Jacket Recently I did my second craft fair ever. The YAH Craft Fair was put on by the Young At Heart senior group in Gardnerville, NV and was a great event!

It also proved to be a learning opportunity for me. Though I did fairly well, and met some lovely people, I could have done far better, if only:

  1. I remembered that (duh!) holidays are approaching and many fair goers were shopping for gifts
  2. Many of those fair goers were shopping for gifts for children
  3. Winter in Nevada is chilly, and people are not interested in skimpy summer wear…….right?
  4. Good idea to have more than twenty items in your booth space

Why the oversight on the above mentions? Well, the past few months have been filled with various life distractions, and when that happens my calendar somehow gets distorted (turn the pedal OFF-ha!) and I don’t always see holidays coming. As I have no children, I forget to appreciate that many folks will buy for children before they buy for themselves. The tween jacket pictured here is a piece that I donated to the fair’s raffle, and it received a lot of positive attention that day; I realized right away that I should have had more to offer like it. The jacket, incidentally, was a kick to do, and I look forward to crafting more whimsical denim wear for the smaller set.

Another realization that day was that what seemed like a great pile of inventory crammed into my tiny home work space hardly filled that booth space-I was instantly sorry I’d not spent more time sewing in the weeks prior.

What was a hit was my dummy (at right in lead photo) dressed to rock out; sneak peeks at the dummy from some of the older gentlemen was completely amusing!

Good takeaway. Good lessons learned.

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Betty’s Busy Life

Betty has been busy with both hats on!

Over the summer we had a fantastic time playing a number of shows in the Reno-Carson-Tahoe area. We debuted a few new


songs (that aren’t really new anymore!) and are now taking a break while we work on new material as it turns cold here in Northern Nevada.

Black Tshirts jeans Betty Rocker (2)

At this writing I’m prepping for a local craft fair the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Hopefully a few fair-goers will be inspired to get a new denim jacket or vest for their inner punk rocker!

I have also been having fun doing simple loom knitting, covering a couple of birthday gifts as well as some upcoming holiday gifts; very gratifying, loom knitting.

For now, back to the sewing machine, and then on to the guitar and the search for a cool riff 🙂

Faux fur side close up



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Get Inspired By Fabric Art!

Life sometimes has a way of preventing the happy swirl of creativity in my head from turning into something real, be it a song or a piece of art. The swirl seems to break up into tinier and tinier bits until it’s just dust. But it’s also the signal that I have too much on my plate, emotionally and otherwise, and that it’s time to clear it away and seek some fresh inspiration.

Some months ago I was given a copy of The Art Of Fabric Collage by Rosemary Eichorn as a gift and flipped through, dismissing this type of fabric art as being far beyond any sewing ability that I might have. But, there is some amazing art in there, and so I have lately been again flipping through with more of a sense of adventure; I’d love to do this!!

Another terrific inspiration is the crazy beautiful wearable art offered by Pat Berryhill of Magpie Dreams like the gorgeous piece here:

What do you do when life intrudes and hampers your creative sense?

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Upcycled Studded Denim Wrist Cuffs

Upcycled denim wrist cuffs

I was in the mood to do a small upcycle denim project and removed the wrist cuffs from two pairs of discarded jacket sleeves. I had quite a bit of soft animal print fabric left over from a pair of pajama pants, and black lace salvaged from a couple of vintage slips; the animal print wrist cuffs were easy to put together. The blue/purple themed cuffs are fashioned from a lovely old suit jacket and its gorgeous purple buttons.

Small accessories like wrist cuffs are fun, easy to wear and pack a lot of style punch! What do you think of wrist cuffs?

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What Would You Do With An Ankle Length Denim Shirt?

denim shirt ankle length front ankle length denim shirt backIt’s easy to find denim shirts in thrift stores. My eyes have gotten very accustomed to Continue reading What Would You Do With An Ankle Length Denim Shirt?

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What To Wear Back To School

Tween Jean JacketA while back I spent a number of years working for a major retailer. I didn’t work in the children’s department, but as a member of the store management staff, I regularly listened to complaints from parents about the offerings in that department, especially around back to school time.  The upset nearly always seemed to be levied toward the clothing styles aimed at so-called tweens, those girls aged 9-14-too old for toys but too young for boys. And I had to agree with those concerned parents-much of the clothing was devoid of practicality, a sense of fun and innocence, and often seemed entirely inappropriate for a young girl.

I came across a really nice, sturdy jean jacket recently and modded it out a bit for a fun back to school item:

I’d love to know if you’ve also found tween clothing a challenge!



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Betty Rocker Has Onstage Fun At Studio On 4th

Betty Rocker

Betty Rocker Studio On 4th Betty Rocker

Short and sweet post this morning…it’s tough to be up late rocking out on a school night! It was Betty’s first time playing at Studio On 4th in Reno- a popular venue that hosts many shows including local and touring bands. Last night we opened for The Lila Rose band; they were really something-do check them out!

There have been some recent changes in the band, with the happy addition of our bass player, Irma Geddon, and Carolyn moving to vocals only, and who is at this writing, working on incorporating some rhythm guitar. Stay tuned for more newer and better  Betty Rocker!

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A Blazer For Every Occasion

A Blazer For Every Occasion

Have you ever wondered about the origin of that closet staple, the blazer? Likely closets everywhere have at least one of these in residence. It would be tough indeed to find another garment with such broad style range, and one that serves us in so many ways throughout our lives. So varied is the blazer that it can top off your power interview outfit or lend you ultra coolness for your next rockshow.

From around 1825 to the Mod revival of the late 70s through today, the blazer has done it all! The Wiki history of this iconic wardrobe staple makes for entertaining reading:

100_1754 (2) 100_1764 (2)


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How To Machine Wash Embellished And Painted Denim


So you’ve got this great, one-of-a-kind denim jacket, jeans or vest-but how do you wash it? You can, of course, carefully do it by hand in a large sink or tub, but that can be really tough on your back and even tougher to wring the water out without damaging the piece. Machine washing is the easier way, and achieves a far better result.

1. Empty all pockets, button and/or zip all closures.

2. Fold like a shirt. If you have jeans, fold in half with front of legs touching, then into thirds.Fold like shirt front 1Fold like shirt rear 2

3. Use a lingerie bag, inexpensive and readily available in most markets and department stores.

This one is 16.5″ X 20.5″.Use large lingerie bag 3

4. Carefully fit the “package” into the lingerie bag; it should be mostly flat.

Fit into bag carefully
Fit into bag carefully

5. Set your machine to cold/delicate/cold rinse/medium size load (if your machine does not have a sensor), and wash with one other denim item of similar weight. Use just a tablespoon of your usual detergent.Cold wash 5

6. Flat dry on drying rack. Denim can also be hung to dry. DO NOT put such items in the dryer, and use care with an iron. DO NOT iron trims or paint.Dry flat 6

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Craft Fair Betty 4

100_1618My booth at the local downtown festival was a success last weekend! I was grateful to have had a loaned tent, and some assistance early the first morning setting it up. Having never dealt with an event tent, I was unaware that putting it up solo would have been nearly impossible for me. And by the time the temperature climbed to 102 that day, I was just grateful for the tent, period!

But before the heat really cranked up, I set up my space. I covered Uncle Bob’s old sway-backed folding table with gorgeous red fabric that had  once served as floor length dining room curtains. On top of that went two guitar stands holding small handbags. A couple of jackets hung from my mic stand, configured into a T. The clothing rack picked up through Craigslist held most of the jackets and vests, a thrift store black metal cd tower held a couple more. At the back of the tent I hung an old black mosquito net on its round frame. Lastly, I had Marvin the Martian holding down my band’s tiny merch table near the front. My trusty old amp cart made hauling all this stuff from car to space easy.

The two days were long and very hot. Planning ahead with an ice chest full of water, some cold salads and a washcloth for bringing my body temperature down helped tremendously. The ice chest kept me about as comfortable as I could be and allowed me to schmooze with a smile. When the afternoon breeze came along, the black mosquito net flowed luxuriously. The feedback was great! Even dubious looks from passersby counted as feedback in my book! But many were jazzed with some of the items, and some even took home things-ten items sold over the two days!

I may do another such event over the summer. I’ve not decided yet whether the purchase of an event tent is worth it, or if it’s even the direction I want to go in. However, this experience made me realize how much I miss doing vis-`a-vis retail. We’ll see!