Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gifts Are Made

I didn't do as much gift-making this year as I have in years past because, honestly, the Christmas spirit is missing around here. A bit of a story that leads into what I did make... The Thursday before Thanksgiving we got the news that Eric's best friend since middle school had died suddenly. It was quite a blow. His kids all came to spend time with their dad because they knew how upset he would be. He very much enjoyed the company, of course, and while they were here both girls asked if I would make them socks. I agreed to because they were so good with their dad when he needed them most. The yarn for Meg's socks was easy to decide on, thank goodness.
The yarn was a gift from a House Cup friend a few years ago - it was waiting in the stash for the right project. I love how it knit up! The colors are beautiful together. Erica's socks took a bit longer - nothing jumped out at me. I finally came across a skein that I'd dyed a while ago.
It took a bit longer to knit these, too, because I couldn't believe how nice the yarn looked. My final handmade gift is a bit different.
They will hold lip balms and are for my brother's girlfriend's daughters. I don't know the girls very well, unfortunately, but they are both very sweet. I hope their mom doesn't mind them having glossy lips! I finally got around to putting our tree up yesterday. I then discovered that the box of ornaments, a big Rubbermaid tub, had gotten a lot of water in it when the basement flooded. I spent the afternoon throwing away so many ruined decorations. Worse yet, my star has disappeared. I made it thirteen years ago when the kids and I began our life without their dad. It was beautiful - cardboard, glue, and all of the glitters that I'd collected when I worked at the craft store. I'm heartbroken that we don't have it any more. I don't even want to decorate the tree now - it's in the corner in all its prelit glory, naked. Come January or so I'll start collecting glitter again to make a new star. It won't be the same, of course, but maybe this time I'll go with a silver, iridescent, and soft blue color scheme. Okay, enough with the down stuff! I have socks to wrap in the shiny purple paper that I had to get. (All of our paper was destroyed, too, so I got new rolls last week.) Tomorrow is the last day of school before Christmas break. Know what that means? Sleeping in! And probably rereading The Blood of Olympus - I love Rick Riordan's books so much. Did you know that his next series is Norse gods and mythology? So excited! So, tell me about your holiday plans and favorite books and crafts and stuff. I'll be back soon!

Monday, December 8, 2014

An Early Gift

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from etsy showing things I might be interested in. I get them from ebay all the time but don't open them to avoid temptation, but I was curious. It contained something I was very interested in - a vintage Halston ultrasuede shirt dress in my size. I closed the screen and pouted because, well, I'm broke and shouldn't have looked in the first place. A few days later Kerry and I ware chatting about random things and I told him about the dress. He said I should order it and it would be his Christmas present to me. A relative had given me some money (not through Go Fund Me, that's for the kids), so I ordered it. It came Saturday. I opened it with careful excitement - this is the dress that Halston sold 60,000 of for around two hundred dollars in the early 70s. I couldn't wait to see what vintage high-end looked like!
It's beautiful. The color isn't something I would normally get, but it will go with everything. The ultrasuede fabric is dreamy - soft and smooth. It looks like this dress wasn't worn much - no areas that are aged-looking. The tag was unattached on one side, as the listing said, but that's okay and easily fixable.
I was eager to see what the inside of this baby looked like. Right away I saw that the buttons are the cheap plastic kind. Kind of surprising. They're backed, though, unlike something I'd get new. When I got to the seams, though, I wondered if perhaps I was duped.
It looks like something I would make. I know the ultrasuede doesn't fray, but I was expecting something more - and the obvious notches really made me think that this had been handmade by someone and a label sewn in - some older patterns sometimes included a label. But! I came across these tags
that confirmed to me that this is, in fact, a real Halston dress. According to the union tag it's from after 1974. I was about 5 when this dress was made! One of the things that I really like is the attached belt
that won't get lost...although I had thought of wearing the dress with a cardigan over it and using the belt around both. Oh, well. Why are there no pictures of me modeling it? Well, it's a bit snug. I had hoped to wear it to my court appointment on Wednesday, but now I'll work on wearing it on my birthday in three weeks. I'll just exercise a bit more and eat less homemade toffee (yum!). I will wear the heck out of this dress! I did a bit of looking around for fabric to make some more versions. Holy cow can it be expensive! I found some on that's affordable and comes in some great colors. Maybe with some birthday money I can order a few yards. I need to learn how to copy this dress, though. anyone want to come teach me? I think that, with this style and my wrap dress, I can party like it's 1975 every day! On a related note, I've watched American Hustle so many times just for the clothes. I don't even pay attention to the story. It's all about the dresses, baby! Have you seen it? Okay, that's all for today. I have some gift knitting to finish that I'll show you later this week - and court to psych myself up for. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Update

Hi, everyone! It's gotten rather cold here lately. It's zapped all of my creative energy. I have a half-finished dress by the sewing machine and a nearly-finished shawl on my chair but mostly I sit and keep Joshua warm. He's not been feeling well and has become quite a heat-seeker. One of his favorite spots:
relaxing in a warm load of laundry. The times I've tried to knit he climbs on my lap and plops down on my project. It's nice to be wanted! I have set up a Go fund Me page here. If you know anyone who would be interested in helping, please pass it along. That's all for now. I'll be back soon!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Witchy!

I have a finished project to share that I'm super excited about - and have many pictures of, so prepare yourselves. This is the Lestrange Cloak from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits that came out last year. I've been working on it since May. It wasn't a difficult knit, but there was lots more to it than I thought. I used a cotton/nylon blend yarn that's been in my stash for a long time that's machine washable - but it left a layer of fuzz all over the dryer when I washed and dried it last night. Hopefully that won't happen again. Okay, on to the pictures!
I'm still trying to figure out my best smiling face. I look grouchy but, trust me, I'm not. I plan to make a magenta dress to wear under this, probably bias cut. A pair of Stevie Nicks boots would be great, too. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Today is Khloe's birthday. Fourteen years ago she was in a huge hurry to get out and she hasn't slowed down since. When I asked if I could take her picture, she grabbed Joshua to pose with her.
Then she switched to something a little bit silly and much more true to her personality.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zinnia Medallion

I recently finished this crochet project. The pattern is from the June 1949 issue of the Workbasket magazine. According to the pattern, the idea is to make a bunch of them to use as a table runner or bedspread.
I, however, am using it as part of a project from the Spring/Summer 1970 issue of McCall's Needlework and Craft magazine that I will share with you later - when it's finished. When I was cleaning after this latest basement flood I discovered that I have accumulated almost thirty skeins of fingering weight black acrylic yarn. I would have known this if it had all been in one place! The zinnia is made from some of that black yarn. I could, actually, make a bedspread with the stash I have...but I get a little bored making the same thing over and over again. You'll be seeing a lot of black projects, though! Yes, the doily is attached to a black embroidery hoop. It's not easy spray painting a hoop. My fingers were covered in paint from trying to hold it so all of the edges would get covered. I've started watching Farscape again, mostly because I love Zhaan so much.
She's a great character. She's very intelligent and spiritual and becomes the healer for everyone, including the ship, Moya. Her species is evolved from plants. It would be so cool to dress up as her for a sci-fi convention...if I could get the paint just right. Of course, I'm not nearly as peaceful as she is so I would break character quite often when dealing with long lines or missing ladies' rooms. That's all for today. Have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wrapped in Pink

I finished another Simplicity 7705 this summer. I love this pattern. I still have some adjustments to make so it fits better but I'm not sure exactly what it needs to be perfect. Anyone want to come help? :) anyway, I had a bit of a hard time getting a picture that both showed the color of the dress and didn't wash me out. This dress is really pink. I've had this fabric for a long time - Kerry is 15 and I've had it longer than I've had him! I tried to match it to a pattern many, many times but subconsciously I was waiting for this one I guess. I had just enough yardage for the dress and pieced together lengths to make the extra long tie belt (inspired by the Halston documentary on Netflix that I can't get enough of). What do you think?
I thought I was smiling...maybe only my brain was! I'm really happy with this dress. It will be a bright pop of color this winter when the world is snowy and dreary.