This cartoon has been making the rounds on Facebook. (It is uncredited, if you know the name of the artist, please let me know!) If you re-colored her hair to red and replaced the brick wall with the Fabrix storefront, it would be eerily familiar... For some folks, just replace the word "fabric" with "sewing machines" or "yarn". ;)
Edited to add: I searched on the cartoon image (did you know you could do that?) and I discovered that this cartoon depicts Mrs Bobbins, created by Julia Icenogle for the Kansas City Star's quilting website, Pickledish. I also learned that there is a 2012 Mrs Bobbins calendar!
Have you ever heard of Scrap SF? I usually describe it as a thrift store for craft supplies. Years ago, when my kids attended a cooperative nursery school, I first learned about Scrap. It's a huge warehouse filled with all sorts of stuff. You just never know what you'll find - both companies and individuals donate goods. It's the perfect place to buy supplies for kids projects, though plenty of artists shop there for their own projects.
Today I noticed a corner filled with photos that people have taken and discarded! They have tons of foam core board and the like. They also have lots of buttons and fabric pieces. Today I saw an old Kenmore sewing machine for $5. (Nope, wasn't even tempted, as I'm not a sewist who collects sewing machines.) Anyway, it's unlikely you will see a fabulous, high quality fabric/button goodie at Scrap, but you never know and it's fun to poke around.
Eldest daughter recently needed to create an inspiration board for a fashion class she was taking at Academy of Arts University. I took her to Scrap and she was able to gather most of her supplies. That, plus a quick trip to a paint store for paint cards, then a quick trip through my own scraps, and, for an outlay of less than $5, she was all set. (She also found a huge bin of bathroom signage and she scored a Womens sign for her pad for 50 cents.)
I follow Scrap SF on Facebook and yesterday they posted that they had gotten in a lot of Natesh rayon embroidery thread and were selling it for $1 a spool. This is a very nice brand of thread, so I ran over very quickly, with Alabama Chanin thoughts in my head. I selected 35 spools in scrummy colors, and took them to the register. The sales clerk charged me $26 - they usually give a discount off the posted prices. I was dumping them into my purse, when she mentioned that this thread wouldn't be good for machine embroidery, but should be fine for hand embroidery.
This puzzled me as Natesh thread is for machine embroidery and, as 100% rayon, should be strong enough. She handed me an opened spool. (Mine were individually sleeved in plastic, as you see in the photo from their Facebook page.) I gently tugged and the thread immediately snapped. This thread, while looking perfect, was obviously ancient and brittle. Grateful that she had mentioned this, I retrieved my $26 and dug the spools out of my purse. Thanking her profusely, I told her I would not even use these for hand sewing.
This was a good lesson for me. It's easy to assume that thread is sound if it looks good. But thread ages. If I had, say, bought this on ebay, I might have been out of luck.
On the sewing front, I have been altering a coat pattern. I cut it out along the wrong size, so I *really* have to alter it, because I don't want to buy the pattern again. I also have plans to make youngest daughter a dancing skirt. And I have a jacket that has been in timeout for some weeks now. I really should pull it out of timeout and finish it. ;)