Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Family Member

Well, sorta. :) This sewing machine will most likely be in our family for a very long time to come.

This past weekend we went to a neighborhood garage sale and found a replacement for our broken Singer sewing machine. I love the retro personality. It's going to be a great heavy duty workhorse that's in wonderful condition. We've only had to rewire the foot pedal due to deterioration, replace the bobbin winder tire thingy with the one from our old Singer, and oil some parts to get them to work properly. Even better, I found a compatible box of presser feet at one of the local thrift stores for $2. Yay, I'm ready to start sewing again!

I'd been looking for a all metal sewing machine for a very long time. Recently, our Fashion Mate257 from the 70's has had to be put down. It was damaged and no longer functions.

I'm so happy that we came across this one that only set us back $32 so far. I'm even more impressed at the condition and finding out the motor is more powerful than the one on our old Singer. I wish I knew more about the history of this machine. I know it was made in Japan probably sometime in the 60's. The only things the previous owner could tell me about it is that she bought it in high school for a home ec. class. Never used it much after that (as I can tell). And, she is in her fifties now. I'm in the process of researching it on sewing forums and will update if I find out anything interesting.

If you are in the market for a new sewing machine for crafting, I really recommend buying a vintage one. If you do proper research and have patience, you can find a great machine that will out last newer ones and be a joy to sew on for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beer-can-stein, the New and Improved Luxury "Brews"-Liner

Awhile ago, we bought a pewter stein, or tankard with a lid, from a local flea market. Mom wanted it for ren faires to go with her pirate garb because it had the hinged lid to keep pesky bees out of her drink. But, after failing a lead test, it wasn't safe to drink out of. We didn't know what to do with it. Maybe a pot for a plant?? Though we weren't pleased with it, we didn't just give up and toss it.

Since it only failed with lead in the seams of the handle and bottom where it was soldered together, we got the idea to make it safer with a lining. Then, after gluing a cheap beer cozy or foam sleeve inside the mug, a 12 oz. can fit perfectly inside while the lid covers it with a perfect seal. Now, while at faire it will keep her beer cold and hands free of condensation to stay dry.

You can see that the can sits just above and away from the rim all round. With much deliberation, I also decided it best to drill a tiny hole in the center bottom to help make it easier to remove the empty can when finished.

Curiously, it was engraved "Royal Viking SKALD" and had a bird looking design on the top of the lid, which after research I found to be the name of a Luxury Cruise-liner popular with the upper classes in the 80's. Not a pirate ship, but I'd have sailed on it! :)

Now, this tankard can enjoy a new life and be useful again! Cheers!