Category Archives: jewelry

New New New (and slightly less-new)

Hi, I’m Troy McClure and you may remember me from such educational films as… no, wait, that’s not right.

But I am Tiddleywink (Design, Vintage) and Winkorama Vintage Sewing. Happy to fulfill your vintage clothing, vintage sewing, and freelance print production dreams. Not necessarily in that order.

As of today, I’m also Tiddleywink Retro. It’s not really a big deal, just a little shop for the misfits: the items of clothing, etc. which don’t qualify for my Etsy shop because they’re not truly vintage, but are too nice and/or expensive to simply toss in the donation pile. Trust me, there’s plenty in the donation pile already. These are things that I either bought for myself but never wore, or bought as vintage for the shop only to find upon close inspection that they’re not as “vintage” as may have been advertised. And so here is where those items will be posted, hoping for new homes. The listing prices will be set at whatever I paid for each item; no more, no less. No markup. No profit. No sales. No discounts.

Tiddleywink Retro. It looks an awful lot like this.

Due to the nature of the store contents, I hope I won’t be updating it very often. But, you know, things happen. Maybe a dealer missed a dead-giveaway label hidden in a side seam. Maybe a dress I bought online is a few inches shorter than I’d hoped. Maybe I ordered two pairs of identical shoes planning to return whichever pair didn’t fit, only to have the store go out of business before I could send a pair back. Um, you know, for instance. Hypothetically. (Yeah, that once happened.)

So stroll around, take a look, tell your friends. Buy stuff that deserves to be worn, rather than hanging in a dark closet with no foreseeable future.

You can get to all of the above links, and more, from this one swell page:

Swell, innit? Click to visit.


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Filed under collections, day job, design, fashion, jewelry, life-threatening clutter, shopping, vintage

Stupid, tiny hands.

Yeah, I know. My hands aren’t stupid. But they are, in relation to the rest of my adult-size body, tiny. Which really shouldn’t play into this discussion at all, because tiny or no, my rings fit MY hands.

I wear two rings every day, both on the ring finger (logical, eh?) of my right hand. One is a garnet cabochon set in sterling silver, and was a gift from my aunt when I was 9. Yes, it still fits. Tiny hands, remember? The other is a plain, silver band that found its way to me by chance and fate. That is to say, I found it in the laundry room of the condo complex where I lived many years ago, and it (rather surprisingly) fit. I posted a flier for a couple of weeks, hoping to find the proper owner, but nobody came forward. And so, it was mine. It disappeared once before, when a then-boyfriend had taken it in order to have a new ring made for me to the proper size. I knew he had it, I had lent it to him in the first place (I didn’t know what his plan was, he’d made up a plausible story for wanting it) and so there was no concern.

This morning, though. This morning I was taking a photo of my new, reverse-carved Lucite bangle bracelet (which is technically a watch although the battery is dead and I haven’t worn a watch in years anyway) and I looked at my hand in the photo and it looked funny. Peculiar. Why does it WHERE IS MY SILVER RING? I unmade the bed, hoping it had slipped off under a pillow during the night.* No such luck. I checked the bathroom counter, my purse, my jacket pockets. After doing chores like laundry and reorganizing my pantry (read: throwing away heinously outdated stuff), I was out and about “on the town” yesterday (ModMood, ARC, The Wrecking Ball), so it could have fallen off at any number of places.

Did the ring cost me any money? No. Was it sentimental? Other than I’ve had it for a long time, no. Is it irreplaceable? No, a quick search shows that I can find a new one online although for some inexplicable reason they’re less expensive in the (more common) larger sizes.

But this one was mine. And I lost it. And, if you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I hate losing things.

::Sad balloon::

*I sleep in my rings, I shower in my rings, I wash dishes in my rings… I don’t take them off, except when I’m applying pomade or moisturizer and I don’t want them getting gunky.


UPDATE: It’s now however many hours (8ishy) after I originally wrote this post, and HOLY CRAP I JUST FOUND MY RING!!! Right smack dab in the middle of my “office” floor. As in, about 4 feet DIRECTLY BEHIND THE VERY CHAIR I’M SITTING IN. And which I’ve had to walk OVER about 8 times today. Wotthehell? Best guess is that it WAS elsewhere, and one of the kittehs was playing with it until it landed here. Whatever. MY RING! Glee!


Filed under jewelry, pet peeves

Drill Down to the Heart of the Matter

Dice bracelets. I originally made them just for my own use, but someone said I should sell them, and so I started adding them to my Etsy shop in early ’08. I wound up bringing a pound or two of them with me to VLV10 for my gal-pals and I to mix and match with our wardrobes. They’re fun, and handy for covering up those vinyl wristbands which can mar an otherwise cool outfit.

My bracelets are made with real, new, game-play dice. Not casino dice, which are not only expensive but also bigger, heavier, and have very sharp edges. Those edges aren’t something you pay attention to until you want to wear them for a few hours. I specifically buy dice with rounded edges because of their contact with delicate wrists. And I drill each and every single die myself with a corded drill. One. At. A. Time. It’s a tedious process, and being “off” with my pressure can break or, more commonly, chip the dice. But the most frequent issue that I run into, as shown above, is that my drill bits heat up enough to melt the acrylic content of the dice, and seize within the confines. There is no way to get a seized drill bit out, save for application of a hammer. It wastes a heckuva lot of time, not to mention the dice that are murdered for the cause.

I’ve conferred with The Guys At The Hardware Store about ways around this unique problem. I’ve tried bits made from different compounds, I’ve tried dipping the bit in cold water between each pass, I’ve tried drilling slower and faster and upside-down and sideways (no, not really). Drill: seize. Drill: seize. Drill: seize. After a few years of this, I am, as the kids say, Over It. I do not make enough money on these bracelets to outweigh the loss of materials, let alone the manual labor.

I’ll leave any existing listings in the shop until they sell, but they will not be replaced. I’m keeping my supplies on hand for special requests or for other projects that may come up, such as Chop’s occasional solicitations for “danglies” for his custom bikes. However if you’ve been thinking about getting one or two but can’t decide on colors, now would be the time to act. I’ve already started letting some listings expire, so if there’s a color combo you want but don’t see, don’t hesitate to ask. I may very well still have it available.

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Filed under fashion, jewelry, pet peeves, vintage, Viva Las Vegas


What did the big tomato say to the little tomato? Hey, ketchup!

So here I am, probably a month since my last post, and where has the time gone?

I haven’t sewn anything since the last post, although I’ve managed to score some more vintage fabric yardage with which to make more dresses, to add to the stock of items in my etsy store. It’s only the actual SEWING OF THE DRESSES that I haven’t gotten around to. But I keep futzing with the pattern I drafted, or rather, I’m futzing with it in my head. What I need to do is futz with it on paper, and get the “final” pattern cut already! Perhaps I should add the Wild Ginger pattern drafting software to my Kaboodle list! Drooool. For myself, I bought a few new patterns: Simplicity 3673, Vogue 8555, Butterick 6582 (which was NOT on sale, and I rarely—if ever—pay as much for a modern pattern as I did for that one, but I didn’t want to wait for a sale and JoAnn was still out of stock, so I had to get it from Hancock and here it is two weeks later and I haven’t done a thing with it), and McCall’s 5382 for which I also bought a lovely Hawaiian-print fabric with which to sew View A. Of course, I already have plans to alter the dress with convertible straps and a contrast fabric, a choice forced by the just-a-bit-less-than-required length of that Hawaiian-print fabric that was left on the bolt.

My over-the-range microwave had a stroke, a fact that I mentioned on Twitter. Minutes later, as I was looking up prices for a replacement, a friend (@fruitlady) tweeted back that she had her old over-the-range sitting in her garage, and I could have it if I wanted. Let us now all praise the magic of Twitter, and the kindness of friends. Friends who offer up their microwaves, and other friends (@jgamet, @ekwoman, and @gogobigred) who offer their services and maintain a sense of humor while uninstalling the old and installing the new-to-me microwave. Complete with a late-night trip to the hardware store only to NOT find all of the bolts I needed, which required a second day of instally goodness when I did get the right bolts. New microwave in its native environment: IMG_0760

I made a dairy-free cake for the lactose-intolerant host of a 4th of July party, and it wasn’t half bad. I subbed coconut oil for the butter in a cocoa cake recipe that didn’t call for any milk in the first place. Filled the layers with cherry jam, and topped it with a meringue frosting which involved no milk, butter, or cream cheese. The cake was a little dry in my opinion, but I don’t know if that was a result of the fat substitution or of my high-altitude cooking adjustments. IMG_0770

I tried to make the cake a little patriotic, although the blue is more “baby shower” and less “field of stars.” I also wore my stars-and-stripes Chuck Taylors, a red, white, and blue Mickey Mouse t-shirt, and our host, an ex-cop, taught us a little about gun safety: IMG_0772IMG_0776IMG_0777

I took my mom to a Rockies game for her birthday. She enjoys baseball, but hadn’t been to a pro game since she last saw the Dodgers… at Ebbets Field. I believe she was 6. The weather was perfect, the company (we went with friends) was lovely, and the Rockies won the game 1-0. Mom described it as “like an amusement park, but without the sticky rides.” Which I think is a good thing. IMG_0795

Nick came out for a weekend visit, which nearly didn’t happen as his dog-sitter went missing before getting instructions regarding Ringo’s new medication. The dog sitter finally reappeared, but not until after Nick had missed his flight, and United cancelled both Nick’s arriving AND departing tickets, forcing him to buy them all over again, at last-minute prices. I cannot thank him enough for shelling out what he did just to come see me, and it was my great pleasure to make an airport run that night. As a result of all of the flurry and stress, we decided to skip the camping trip we’d anticipated, and instead spent a relaxing weekend loitering over coffees, floating in the pool, watching DVDs, and generally giggling. IMG_0806

Today, I’m back to a bit of jewelry making (a specific project, but I’ll try to get new things posted to my store soon) and thinking about what it will take to get my place in “guest condition” if Dave and Jessi decide to stay here for the duration of their upcoming visit to Denver. There are a few flies hanging out in the kitchen, a small offshoot gang from the swarm that has invaded my yard as a result of my next-door neighbors penning their dogs in their back yard 24/7 and then not picking up after them.* Yech. The fly trap is reaching maximum capacity, and stinks, so old-fashioned flypaper may be my next experiment.

*Every time I thought about reporting them to Animal Welfare, they would coincidentally clean up the poop. Additionally, the wife’s father is a cop in this town, and I wonder if anything would actually come of a warning or if it would get “taken care of.” I know it’s a health hazard, so I sent a message to the landlords. Even if they can’t do anything about it, they should know.

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Filed under fashion, friends, jewelry, kitchen, romance, relationships, sewing

Sacramento Tally

Mosquito bites: 8
Bloody gashes on shin: 1
Giant, painful zits: 1
Photos taken at car show: 14
Photos taken of ONE car at car show: 11
Pairs of dangly plastic whistle earrings: 1
Enormous black sun hats: 1
Estimated ’40s-vintage Vogue suits: 1
Saving-for-birthday-present vintage faux-leopard coats: 1
Circa 1969 PlayTape 1200 machines: 1
PlayTape cartridges: 3
Flat pennies: 3

Things to do upon returning home: approximately one million

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Filed under amusement, fashion, friends, jewelry, life-threatening clutter, nostalgia, romance, relationships, shopping, vacation, vintage