Monday, February 1, 2016

New Month, Finally

Wow, January kind of of sucked. It's enough to get the girl child back into school mode after being out on break for two weeks, but then David Bowie died. That was a shock. I held myself together long enough to get the girls to school (we heard the news on the radio) but cried the whole way home. Many blogs wrote about their feelings, but this one really touched me. I can't imagine too many other performers who meant so much to so many people. Then that week ended with Alan Rickman dying. You all know how much I love Harry Potter. He's also in a movie called CBGB that I really enjoy, so I watched it on netflix and read a couple of threads on Ravelry that shared feelings and celebrated his work. The very next day I got some unpleasant news about my son that hurt me a lot. Then we finish the month with a medical diagnosis for my dad that's only going to get worse. So my year is starting off quite crappily. I've been restless and antsy because I can't process so much at once. Last week I decided to check the charity shop. It was a good idea - lots of new goodies! They had cones of yarn - I'll be doing a burn test to determine the fiber. Three cones is more than enough for a couple of huge projects or dozens of small ones. I found lots of fabric, too. And these great patterns:

Aren't they cool? Three of them, the 70s ones, are too small for me so lots of tracing and adjusting will be required. I suppose I should finish getting my sewing area cleaned out and set up. The Butterick dress reminds me of something Sarah Jane would have worn during her adventures with the Fourth Doctor. I tried to look for some of her outfits but got teary-eyed knowing that the current Doctor won't get to have an adventure with her. Wouldn't they be great together? That's all for today. I'll be back soon, maybe even with something good to share. Have a lovely week!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thrifting Finds

My boyfriend is kind of hard to shop for. He says he doesn't want anything and if he needs something he just gets it. He likes painted or carved wooden boxes, so I decided to check the charity shop - they've moved to a bigger building and I hadn't yet checked it out. Well, no luck finding something for him...but I found myself some goodies!

I love old craft books. How could I resist a sewing book with "the 70s greatest looks" on the cover? I've flipped through it and it's full of tips and information. The Crafts and Hobbies book is crazy. It includes not only macrame, spinning, and tie-dye, but sculpture, bread baking, preserving fruit, and wine making. The knitting books seem to be for beginners but have some nice basic patterns. The needlepoint one is just pretty. Maybe I'll start doing that again someday.

They had so many patterns. I looked through all of them. There were A Lot of great 70s ones but for a person smaller around than I. Maybe I'll go get a few for inspiration, though, or to put in frames as decoration. I was surprised to find sewing patterns. When I volunteered there the general thought was to toss them. The new bosses obviously don't feel the same way. Thank goodness!

Fabric! The pink is a thin fleece and there's five yards. I don't have any ideas right now but something will eventually come to me. The black is four yards of a light cotton and the blue is seven yards (!) of a similar light cotton. The cashier was impressed that I like to make clothes and we talked a bit about how sad it is to think of the working conditions in clothing factories. I really need to get in there more often. They have it planned out nicely and it was easy to move around and look at everything. When I picked Kerry up yesterday I noticed three second-hand stores near his dad's house. (Kerry is staying with his dad. I'm heartbroken but he's doing great in school and that's what really matters.) I've noticed a small fabric store and a couple of "junk" stores, too. It seems like I should plan to spend a day checking it all out. Who knows what kind of goodies lie waiting for me?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weaving In Circles

When I was about five years old I had a boyfriend named Michael. I went to his house once. It was amazing. They lived out in the country because his dad had a small airplane with a runway out back. Inside his mom was playing a Jim Croce album and had a huge floor loom. She wasn't using it but it had a project on it. That image has stayed in my brain - a big loom against the wall, music playing, smiling people. Sadly I don't remember Michael's last name or know what's happened to him. I just have that one memory. Ever since I've been fascinated with weaving. It's amazing what can be done with a loom and thread. I once had a small table loom, made for children (I was about ten), but it disappeared through the years. My stash of things for being creative does include some small hand looms, but they're kind of awkward to use so I haven't done much with them. So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, recently on Cassie's blog she showed some CD weaving that her students had done. They look so neat. Then, by shear coincidence, CD weaving was all over my pinterest feed. I listened to the hints and found some unwanted discs in my son's room (he's notorious for not putting them back in their cases, leading to scratches). Add some scraps of leftover sock yarn and voila!

I had such a good time making these - and of course I started thinking about other color schemes - ombres and rainbows and striped monochromatics - and things to do with them - magnets for the fridge, glue a pin on the back for a brooch, hang lots on the wall, string together as a window screen - and it hasn't stopped. I even wondered about getting some crappy albums from Goodwill to weave into a huge design. I think they would be really nice around one of those great "God's Eyes" that are yarns wrapped around crossed sticks. No, it's not exactly the same as sitting at a big loom making large wall hangings or blankets, but it's sure fun. And, of course, it's helped me procrastinate more - those gifts still aren't done. I really need to get going on that...after I sew the zipper into the dress I'm making, of course.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Ready For Chills

I decided to get a jump on my Christmas knitting since I only have two gifts to make. One is done. The other is stalled out because it's for someone who doesn't like me. I'm knitting it as a sign of affection for someone else...and I'm really having a tough time finishing it. Instead I've made a couple of things for myself. The first was inspired initially by this project on the Up Sew blog. I selected this scarf labeled cashmere but cost five dollars so it's mystery fabric - but it's soft and warm and I love the wine color. I had the buttons sewn on but the fabric is too delicate and loose for button holes without stabilizer, which I don't have. So I took the buttons off and just sewed the ends up. It turned out pretty cool.

I still want to make one with buttons to make it like the inspiration project, though. Good thing my scarf collection is big! I just need to stop at the fabric store next week after court if I'm in a good enough mood, of course. The second one is a similar style - big rectangle sewn on the ends. I used some yarn that's been in my stash for around ten years. I'm glad I found a project for it finally. As I was knitting I thought of ways to add different stitch patterns to change it up, but the plain knitting was perfect for watching television.

I may make a couple more of these, too. I have other yarns that would be good for something this simple. I suppose I should finish this gift, though. After I finish the Patti Smith - inspired project that I've been working on...and find a sewing project to restart my mojo...and maybe knit a sweater vest to satisfy the strange urge I've been having...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

They Grow Up So Fast

Yesterday was my baby girl's fifteenth birthday. Fifteen. It seems like so recently when she was the tiny bundle with big blue eyes that charmed everyone. Now she's in high school and last weekend went to her first high school dance.

Isn't she beautiful? She went with a group of friends and had a really fun night. I'm glad she's enjoying school so far this year. In less happy news, I no longer have my job. I'm very heartbroken and depressed about it but won't talk about it further. It's back to the stress of looking now. Back with some finished projects soon, I hope.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Readjusting!

It's been a while since I've posted. The change from stay-at-home mom to working full time has been exhausting. Having to be awake at 4:30 and be thinking and learning for eight hours has taken some getting used to. I'm still in training for two more weeks, which is good. The company I'm working for makes medical equipment and it's all very, very tiny and exact. It's also a clean environment, so I've had to wash my hands nearly a dozen times a day - and my cuticles look horrible. We can't wear makeup or nail polish (contamination issues) and wear hair nets, so there's not much getting ready time in the mornings. I tried to dye my hair purple for some color but it didn't show much over my brown hair. Next time there will be bleach first so the purple really pops. I only have one picture for you - a project that I worked on slowly over a couple of weeks. I was inspired by button art on Pinterest and can't wait to get more canvases to make more. What do you think?

Well, that's all for tonight. Bedtime is approaching fast and I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

That 70's Skirt

My kids and I watch a lot of That 70's Show...some might say too much. Kerry and I laugh and laugh at the silly jokes and use the characters as descriptors, for example, "You're so Kelso" or "Stop being Red." My favorite character is Kitty Foreman. She's hilarious and reminds me so much of Molly Weasley - if Molly drank lots and lots of wine. Kitty often wears a wrap skirt and, after a bolt of lightning, I realized that it's the same as Tilly's Miette skirt. I'd been debating the pros and cons of digital patterns (the cons were winning!) when I got an email from a pattern seller with a discount code. I decided to browse and found this baby

on sale! With the discount code it was just over a dollar. Score! I picked out some fabric from the stash and got to work. When I tried it on to mark the hem I found a problem. The wrap didn't cover my backside! Yikes! I traced the pattern piece and made an extension, cranked some tunes (new Pat Benatar Greatest Hits cd, soundtrack of my youth) and got to work. Now my skirt is done and fits and, well, what do you think?

The fabric is another score. It's Robert Kaufman quilting cotton. I got the whole bolt for five bucks at the charity shop. Five. Bucks. I cut off a bit chunk for mom, who quilts, because I share. It's great for this type of skirt - comfortable and fairly light and washable. The design is really busy so my add-ons in the back don't really show. It's covered with flowers, fish, birds...I wouldn't be surprised to find a Tardis! Maybe I'll embroider one. Hmmm... Since I have so much of the fabric I did some dye experiments. I like dyeing things. It's fun to see what happens. Unfortunately, my dye selection is a bit sparse right now, so there will be more experimenting later. It was fun watching the color remover turn the swatch from blue and black to white and gray to cream and orange which dried to cream and tan. You'll see this fabric again, though, in some incarnation. So, in other news, remember the day of testing a couple months back? Well, they hired me! Yay! Monday I start a really great job. I'm super excited. The day starts at 6 a.m. so I've been gradually getting up earlier and earlier even though I've not been sleeping late this summer (except for after my surgery). Maybe by next summer I can go on vacation - I've been dreaming of a trip to the Grand Canyon for years. I'll even go alone if the kids and boyfriend don't want to go. I have lots of trips in mind - Orlando and the Wizarding World, some tropical beach, and maybe even a shopping trip to the mecca of secondhand shoppers, Second To None, that Vix and Curtise frequent. (That trip will most likely be just me since Eric has no interest in Europe at all.) It feels good to be optimistic again. This morning I have to go to court again. My ex doesn't seem to know when to just do what the judge says. I don't want to get into all of the problems I have with that piece of crap. I just hope that this time will be the last time. Okay, time to get ready to go. I'll be back, though, never fear! Have a lovely day!