While it’s not as widely celebrated as Pi Day, and it’s not as momentous as national treasure Al Jaffee turning 102, today is a day that is kind of important to me – Fancy Notions is 15 years old today. If I could, I would buy this blog a beautiful poofy dress and throw a party with lots of boys and desserts and make the blog give a doll to someone.

What I’ll do instead is celebrate the day by resharing some of the more popular posts over the years. Many of the links are dead, some of the jokes don’t make any sense, but here we are.

2008: Etiquette & superstition: sailing
2009: Les Arachides #4: Snoopy’s crisis
2010: For all your Bauhaus flooring needs
2011: Important update
2012: Korean gingerbread
2013: Long after the getting has ceased to be good
2014: Christmas on Mars
2015: Etiquette & superstition: pots to piss in
2016: Ain’t it time we said goodbye?
2017: Please be carful
2018: Fly high and touch the sky
2019: Slayer cake
2020: Prêt-à-rester
2021: The people will survive in their environment
2022: Dios mío

Happy birthday, Fancy. I know it might seem like I’ve been neglecting you of late, but I do love you very much.

Word of the day for Monday, March 14th

Today is Fancy Notions’ 14th birthday, which means it’s ready for high school. All I can say about that is

zooterkins! Which I’m told means “blimey,” “cripes” or “zounds,” none of which sound especially celebratory (especially considering the latter derives from “God’s wounds”). And maybe that’s appropriate. I can’t help thinking about how my little baby blog is going to be able to drive in a couple of years, and before too long it’s going to move out and get its own place. They grow up so fast, don’t they?

Published in: on March 14, 2022 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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and the damage done

My friend Sally Dancing Machine found something for me at an estate sale recently – the Fall/Winter 1972-73 edition of McCall’s Needlework & Crafts magazine. I feel like I just got a copy of a secret Amy Sedaris book. There is too much here to encapsulate in just one post – it’s a dizzying array of ponchos, faux candles, sad dolls, knitting machines, holiday decor, pull-top jewelry, and get rich quick schemes. All that’s missing is ads for prescription uppers.

I’m probably going to revisit this magazine in the future, but for now please enjoy this rogues’ gallery of proud boys, scaredy cats, power couples, future Charlie’s Angels, nauseous young superheroes and human drag queen name generators. Do you think they all live in the same neighborhood?

Published in: on August 25, 2021 at 3:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fancy Notions – Miss Mary Mack edition

I’m not sure if this “Stop Being Lazy” self-hypnosis recording is working. You may have noticed that I haven’t posted here for nearly a week, but I don’t think that’s the fault of Stop Being Lazy. I’ve actually been kind of busy this week. Still, I started feeling guilty and decided that no matter what I had to make a post today. So, maybe it is working?

One thing I’ve realized is that a lot of my laziness comes from a desire to do a hundred things at once, and an inability to decide what to actually start doing. Paralysis sets in. So now I’m working on trying to just do one thing at a time, or at least set aside a block of time for just one thing. There are going to be other things I want to do during that time, but I should just stick with what I’m doing for a bit longer, or else I’ll never get anything done.

I also need to remember that I can’t do everything, and that it’s a fine idea to identify the projects I’d like to do but know I will never get to. One thing I think would be really great, but I know I will never do, is make a pair of these pants for some child I know

add these fancy silver buttons all along the waistline and the suspenders

and then, I don’t know. Make the child wear the pants, I guess. But I know I’m never going to do this. Even if I had a pair of ready-made Jodkins, I would never get around to doing this. Maybe you would.

Anyway, do you want these buttons? They’re silver and probably about 1 1/4″ in diameter (I’d go check but they’re all the way in the basement; rethinking the efficacy of Stop Being Lazy right now).

silverbuttonscuThere are more than ten buttons and fewer than 100. I have no idea what is says on the buttons. It’s really hard to read. I don’t think it says anything bad.

Write to me (in the comments section, via email, or other form of speedy communication) if you are interested in obtaining these fine notions. First person I hear from gets these sent to them free of charge. Jodkins not included.

Fancy notions, Gilbert and Sullivan edition

You know me. About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news, with many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse. But one thing I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do is count the number of items this neighborhood notions store French General has on its shelves. Fabric and ribbons and antique bingo cards and umbrella charms. Beads and buttons and little bits of chain. There are just too many things. Infinity plus one things.

I’m rather proud of myself for not buying a lot of stuff there, but as soon as I got home I felt the need to offer up a Fancy Notion  here, and now I’m worried that this is my subconscious trying to make rationalizations: “If I get rid of these thing here, I can buy ten umbrella charms.” What am I going to do with ten umbrella charms? Of course, this is what started the blog – the irrational collection of things like ten umbrella charms.

So anyway, let’s not worry about my subconscious and get to what I’m offering today: ten carved wooden buttons.


I don’t know what kind of wood they are. Teak? Monkeypod? Something. the big ones are 1 1/2″ in diameter and the smaller ones are 1 1/8″ in diameter. The quarter is there for comparison; you don’t get the quarter if you get the buttons. You never get the quarter.

If you would like these notions for a project of yours, just write in to the comments section. The first person to write in that can explain why someone would rhyme “animal and mineral” with “modern major-general” gets the notions sent to them free of charge.

Fancy Notions m’aider edition

You really have to help me. I don’t know what I was thinking. A woman I know was getting rid of a lot of upholstery fabric and trim, so I went over to her house to check out what she was giving away, and I wound up with a lot of stuff.

All of it is really good, but of course that isn’t the point. I now have an entire bolt of baby blue rough velour, a smaller bolt of stained sheer fabric, and so on and so forth. I can handle most of it. I can look at the stained sheer fabric and think “Sloppy Ghost costume!” Eventually I’m going to make some baby blue velour curtains much to Benny’s chagrin. But there is one item that is giving me terrible ideas and I just need to get rid of it.

Looks harmless enough, no? Well, all that comes into my head when I see this trim is, “Oh, I can hem some jeans shorts with this. Sort of a retro-’90s thing. Put it on the back pockets and such.” “I could sew all of it together and make a dirndl/bandage dress.” Things like that. And I know this can’t be true, but the package says I have 17 YARDS of this trim. I should have made it into mayday pole ribbons when I had the chance. Too late now.

Please, take it away from me before I do something foolish.

As per usual, first person who writes in expressing a desire for this gets it free of charge. I’m counting on you.

Published in: on May 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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Where the queen gets her kicks

Did I already post this video? I feel like I have, but why would I have posted it before? Today is Fancy Notions’ sixth birthday; it didn’t happen before now.

Well, in case I already posted that, here’s another one. Sort of weird to post something featuring strawberry shortcake on Pi Day, but maybe that’s why he falls down at the end. Oh wait, he always does that.

Krampy notions

Judging from the response I got from yesterday’s post about my Schabfrau costume, it seems that a lot of you may have an interest in making your own outfits for upcoming Krampus activities. If you do indeed have this interest, you are in luck. Today’s Fancy Notions offering is a costume kit, in the form of three bundles of pre-cut jute in different colors.

You see, I was working on one of the arms of my costume when I noticed that I was quickly running out of jute, so I ordered two more bundles from the Ghillie Suits-R-Us. As soon as the extra jute got here, I found this box in the garage with the missing jute. I was able to finish my costume and I still had all of this jute left over. I never want to see bundles of jute again in my life. Please take them from me.

I also have some leftover net, but it is only a small bit that I cut off when I was shaping the suit. You wouldn’t be able to make a whole Schabmänn/Schabfrau outfit with this bit of net, but you could make a cute little Schabfraulein ballet shrug.

You don’t get the quarter; the quarter is there merely for perspective. I can’t go around giving people quarters, you know.

For anyone who is not sure how this works, here is the deal: if you would like these items, just write in to the comments section. The first person to write in that sounds sincere gets the notions sent to them free of charge. Good luck, fancy dancers!

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fancy notions #25: Return of the buttons

I know I’ve featured buttons as a Fancy Notions giveaway before, but these buttons that I’m giving away today are magic buttons. I’m serious.

They just showed up the other day in my car drink holder. They showed up along with that tiny orange drink you see in the upper right hand corner, in fact. Obviously that drink is way too small for my drink holder, so this is leading me to believe that these buttons can shrink anything they come into contact with. Maybe not. Anyway, they just showed up. Magic.

As I was marvelling at the magic buttons, this spool o’ ribbon

showed up in the driveway as well. The first yard or so is kind of grimy because it was unspoolo’ed, but the rest is shiny satin red ribbon. Wow. What a miraculous day.

If you’re unfamiliar with the way these giveaways works, allow me to explain: the first person who comments to this post sincerely desiring these magical items will get them in the mail, free of charge from me. It’s possible that the spool o’ ribbon is actually Benny’s since I found it in the driveway, and in that case I can’t give it away, but you’ll definitely get the buttons and the tiny drink.


Published in: on August 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fancy notions monster summer edition

I finally finished embroidering this guy onto the back pocket of an old pair of Dickies:

thatguyLook at his little red boots. Ha. Anyway, my initial idea was to surround him with some flower appliques and also a big blue dragonfly,

but it turns out the guy is afraid of dragonflies. Just look how unhappy he is here:

I’m also not sure that my sit-down really needs as much embellishment as all that, so I’m prepared to offer up the flower and dragonfly appliques in today’s crowd-pleasing Fancy Notions giveaway. Not only do you get the appliques, but the back of the flower applique packages feature some psychedelic art just waiting for your fluorescent paint.

If you would like these notions for a project of yours, just write in to the comments section. The first person to write in that sounds sincere gets the notions sent to them free of charge. You do not get the pants with the guy on them unless you want to give me 200 bucks or something.

Published in: on July 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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