Friday, May 31, 2013

an excursion on Tuesday

in which our plucky heroine and her pal Emily take a very short trip...

down by the river, the freeway is really high above you

the underneath of the bridge is easy to see

I am filled with happiness to have another photo pal

Emily and I had decided to go to OMSI,
since the weather was a bit unsettled, and I'd never been...

The pathway curves around outside the buildings

ferns, hanging on...

everywhere there is a place for life to gather, it does

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

industrious bees on the tilework inside the women's biffy

We only had time to see the Earth Sciences Hall,
and my favorite thing was this...

large glowing sphere, not sure if it was rotating or if the rotation was an artifact of the projected imagery

There were several loop films by NASA,
of the various currents of atmosphere...

and water currents...

very fascinating/disturbing time lapse imagery:
the temperature of the surface ocean currents

Sabertooth Tiger bites the planet

Dire Wolf looks on and laughs

as does Emily...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

rainhat details

I made yet another rain hat, in the same style as my previous ones, and this one I added a few new details... there are little tabs on the inside, with grommets, to attach a chin strap to (rather than attach directly to the seam, where the cord often simply pulls out. And there are these "micro-belt-loops" to run a hat band through. The hat band itself is made from two layers of synthetic ribbon handstitched together

Every time I go to the ribbon shop downtown, I have a wonderful conversation with the proprietor, and she and I have exchanged gifts several times... when I was buying the ribbon for the hat band, she insisted I take this sweet ribbon flower she'd made, since it coordinated beautifully. I added a few beads to the center, and some ribbon leaves, and made it into a brooch, now pinned to the side of my new rain hat.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

mid-May trip North

There are folks dear to me that live in Seattle, and unlike most other places, there is a Very Affordable way to get there. Bolt bus, whilst not anywhere near as comfortable as the train, is far cheaper than any of the other options. On a weekend in mid-May, our plucky heroine strapped her duffle to the wheely-cart and headed downtown to catch the bus...

An evening run up I-5 starts with crossing the river;

the bus windshield is splattered with rain, as the sun goes down.

Three hours later: the glowing orbs that light the area around King St, where the Bolt bus drops off Seattle passengers on the side of the street.

Across the street, one of the decorative gates to the International District.

The next morning, many steps lead down to the street, from my friends new house... There is white and lavender wisteria that forms a tunnel between the steps and the front porch, and this time of year it is so amazingly lovely!

Exploring the nearby neighborhood was a pleasant option. That my feet are working a bit better, so that walking is less painful, is also a treat. The Madrona school has this whimsical signage...

and this wonderful stylised madrona tree sculpture.

outside the local library, pig & panther are friends

as are sheep & wolf... I've been told that these sculptures commemorate the past times in this neighborhood, where the Black Panthers and police formerly were at odds, and where human predators found easy prey; these days it is a very different place...

california poppies echo and reverberate the orange siding on this building

white Tradescantia (aka spiderwort)

look down - bas-relief sidewalk artistry

with luck, the path of my life will allow many more visits!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013 SWAP is almost over...

This year there were eighteen folks that completed the 2013 Sewing With A Plan, which is a substantial turnout. I will be very curious to see who the top three "winners" will be; winners get the acclaim of their Stitcher's Guild message board peers, there are no actual prizes for winning, other than the prize that all who complete all or part of the challenge receive, to have coordinated clothing that fits their own lifestyle and body...

The entries are all visible here on Ann Rowley's Flickr site. Flickr has concomitantly redesigned their entire site, so it is a bit of a challenge to navigate, but well worth it. Our plucky heroine is very much enjoying not only the clothing, but to be able to put faces to the familiar online names. It will be very difficult indeed to choose three folks to vote for; (any member of Stitcher's Guild can vote for their choice of the top three entries) the voting ends on May 27th.

Here is a slideshow of my completed "Everyday Whimsey" 2013 SWAP


ah my friends and oh my foes, we made a lovely light...
and all those broadcasts, all that energy we spent so freely, it does go out into space, and will continue to long after we are dust. I am not sure if that is deeply sorrowful or a great blessing, all I know is that my tears and my joy are close neighbors nowadays. Is that something that happens with age, or is that something that happens with maturity?

Monday, May 13, 2013

we are stardust

this... made me cry... (sometimes, though we live in the midst of the beginning of the Long Decline, I remember that we humans did some awesome things)

I grew up a child of the Space Age, and one of my Very Early Memories is of being taken outside the house at night to look up and see The Satellite passing overhead. Along with the terror of "duck and cover" was the wonder of thinking that our destiny lay out among the stars. My Dad was an engineer, who worked on the space program, back when we really had one. This meant that we moved around to where the jobs were almost as much as military kids did, but that just seemed normal to me. I was proud of what my father did for his work... I still am.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

M3 2013 - day 11 & 12

In which our plucky heroine continues slow progress, and is grateful for a break in the weather...

Friday night I finished the grey pinafore, just under the wire for SWAP 2013, stitchery closed for that at midnight Friday. Technically my pinafores can be worn as sleeveless dresses, but I rarely do.

 There was really no way to get the planned wraparound apron completed in the time available (work life has a way of using up personal sewing time), since it was not only not a TNT pattern, but rather not a pattern at all, but a concept and a picture of a vintage garment from the 20's...

Safer indeed, and still quite useful, to trade a new dark grey pinafore for the "made before SWAP" black one, and trade out the apron as a bridge garment for a "made before SWAP" indigo cardigan sweater. This grey pinafore is made from a large textured cotton curtain from the As-Is bin at Ikea, said curtain a gift from some friends who snagged it knowing that sturdy pinafore fabric is always welcome, if it is in my color palette.

I have a very definite group of chosen colors for clothing; a limited palette makes getting dressed an easy thing, for most all the things in the wardrobe coordinate. Not everyone likes this, but our plucky heroine surely does... I was inspired by a graphic on The Vivienne Files (an extremely useful blog on wardrobe planning, though in a very different style than my own) to make my own personal color-graphic

Saturday, (M3 - Day 11) was yet another unseasonably beastly hot day at almost 90°F, hence a lightweight rayon popover dress, this one in batik indigo nightsky patterning. Spent most of the day hiding inside, sewing like a madwoman; 'tis too hot to run the kiln, that will have to wait till either cooler weather, or the middle of the night. Fortunately there is plenty of sewing that needs done.

Guess that the hens are actually both laying. The smaller brown egg is from the hen that lays most often, the odd long light one is from whichever hen only lays once in a while...


Sunday was forecast to be much cooler, so I started the day in my floral top and black denim overall-pinafore, both part of SWAP 2013. The day ended up a lot warmer, so I switched out to a popover dress instead. Was an excellent productive day, with a lot more sewing, along with good social time with my pal Elfrida. Girl has wanted a sewing pal for a long time, and hopefully we can continue this on an ongoing basis...

Friday, May 10, 2013

M3 2013 - day 9 & 10

So yesterday, since it was another misplaced June day and nicely cloudy in the morning, I wore my black denim pinafore with my grey tee shirt. I also learned that it is better to take my M3 pictures early in the day, before the sun gets high in the sky, since if it is up enough to find a way between the porch and the house, it makes some very odd bright spots... like on the skirt of my pinafore.

Today it is forecast to be close to 90°F. One layer will be all that is bearable. I chose to wear my one popover dress that is very colorful. Because I do not like to wear these colors anymore, this dress will last a long time. It is made from an assortment of linen fabrics, and has hand embroidered acorns and oak leaves around the neckline.
This dress originally started out to be SCA clothing, years ago, and then I decided that since the very bright colors are irredeemably modern (our ancestors did have bright colors too, but the colors available in natural dyestuff look different than the modern chemical ones) that it would not make me happy to wear it for my historic recreation events. I then modified my dress to change the sleeves, and to add pockets. There were no pockets in Viking Era clothes, pockets hadn't been invented. Back then folks either tied their EDC (everyday carry) to their belt, or hanging from their brooches, or tucked stuff into belt pouches, (or all of the above)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

M3 2013 - day 8

Today's MeMade May clothing is my new SWAP/6PAC tee shirt (finished last night), and worn with the coordinating denim pinafore from my springtime 6PAC. I like the way that the stencil design draws attention to my face. I had thought about adding decoration to the sleeves in addition to the neckline, but just stenciling around the neckline was not only faster, but looks better, keeping the visual attention in the "central column".

Yesterday at Project Night, I was able to pick up the piece of thin plywood that K's husband cut to shape for me. The plan is to make a border around the vent fan in the bathroom here, where there is some open spaces left from the former larger and noiser fan. Now all I need to do is a bit of sanding and several layers of paint, and it will be ready to complete that particular repair. Sanding and painting I know how to do, but there is no table saw living here to cut sheet plywood to size. Grateful for helpful friends I am indeed!

Not sure at all if I will manage to finish the decorative apron for my "bridge" garment for SWAP. There are only two more days, and I actually have work scheduled, which trumps sewing for my ownself, of course. My backup plan is to complete the grey pinafore (which I have been very slowly working on for the last month in stolen minutes here and there), which only needs edgebinding and leave off the pockets, for now, and substitute it in for the black ribbed pinafore (which was made before SWAP) Then I can use a storebought grey cardigan sweater as my bridge garment instead, or maybe my indigo recombinant cardigan...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

M3 2013 - day 7 + a little more textile stencil fun

Remember that stencil that our plucky heroine was working away on? Well it has been all cut out, and yesterday I used some of the motifs to decorate the neckline of a summertime tee shirt.
This one will be both part of my 2013 SWAP (substituting for the missing brown tee shirt) and the first of the projects for the summertime 6PAC. The fabric is a heather grey jersey, and the design is stenciled in indigo and brown paint. Once it is completed, it will coordinate with much of my current wardrobe, and will also look well, I hope, with the 6PAC pants I will be making later, from a textured weave linen in taupe and indigo. This brings my tee shirt total up to six.

Today's Me-Made-May clothing is this dress, which is one of my TNT "underdresses". These simple dresses are worn for most of the year underneath a pinafore, and take about five or six hours each to sew from cutting out the pieces to ready to go out in public. This particular one is made from some lightweight handwoven Guatemalan cotton ikat; to me the blue and white patterning looks like clouds. And, as often, my blue denim Me-Made hat, with all the hatband decorations...

Monday, May 6, 2013

M3 2013 - day 6

Today's dress is the very first one I made in this style, and as such, is getting rather too worn to be anything other than a housedress. I think that I look rather like my grandma here, something about the indigo and white print looks rather vintage to me...

Since it was also one of the first things I made using my serger, I discovered that while serging protects the edges from fraying, that a really fray prone fabric will fray right out from under the serged edge if there is any stress at all on the seam, and that in those cases it is a good idea to first stitch the seams with a fairly wide seam allowance. I usually use about a 3/8" seam, or a half inch seam, but in this case it would have been better to do the standard "big 4 style 5/8" and then serge just the edge, that way there wouldn't have been any stress on the fabric, and I would not be continually patching the small places where the seam opens up. Live and learn....

If the fabric was not this wonderful drape-y rayon crepe, in a print that makes me happy every time I look at it, I'd simply sent it to the ragbag, but as it is all those things, I get to practice the somewhat out of fashion techniqe of mending. Today is going to be, if anything, even hotter than yesterday, so I will be staying home and doing as much as possible to make progress on the various projects that yesterday's heat headache made very difficult and slow. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

M3 2013 - day 5 (+ random Sunday snippets)

The forecast today is for hot and sunny (mid 80's, which means closer to 90 here at Acorn Cottage); if this keeps on, the springtime flowers won't stay long. Last night, the pink dogwood down the street just glowed against the evening sky, and a few blocks away, wisteria along the fenceline smells so sweetly that I am transported back in memory to a happier springtime when I was out nightwalking with my beloved G. Still, time passes and life goes on...

Portrait of our plucky heroine with her fig trees... Today, the weather being not only turrible-hot but windy besides, I am wearing one of my summertime "popover" dresses, the design originally inspired by one of the Japanese patterns by NaniIro, and rather heavily modified by me. Lightweight rayon, all rectangles with some triangular gores along the hemline edge. My summertime 6PAC sewing plan includes four more dresses in this style. This particular one needed some leafy embroidery on the front to cover up the spots where I spilled tea down it one time, and make them look intentional!

Claire asked about the earrings I was wearing yesterday. While in yesterday's photo it looks a bit like they are a confection of large dangling coin pearls, they are actually something more whimsical and prosaic, being what I call notional haberdashery; the earrings are made from sewing notions, and were originally made to coordinate with my button crown.

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Started cutting another stencil, to do some embellishment on a summertime tee shirt. I was rather taken by this post on the Alabama Chanin journal; they did an entire week inspired by Marimekko. I decided to use one of the designs "Magdalena" that you can download as pdf files, and resized it to fit on an 11x17 sheet of paper. This time I decided to try using a piece of heavy mylar sold for making quilting templates... not anywhere near as easy to cut as the lighter mylar from the art supply store, but that only comes in 6" widths and I wanted something larger. My arm is a bit sore from the amount of cutting already (three days of small spare moments), and it is only halfway done. It will be curious to see how it works as a stencil. I'd also like to try out what some of the folks on SG are doing and simply have my design printed out and then laminated, and cut the lamination plastic for the stencil. Future experimentation is in order...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

M3 2013 - day 4

Chore day today, and our plucky heroine will start with a bike ride to the recycling center, to drop off several bags full of paper... The idea is to get as much of the outside-of-house tasks done early in the day, so this transplanted but overly adapted denizen of the NorthWet can hide in the shade for the worst of the hot-n-sunny... This morning's Me Made clothing are both from the dusk side of my current SWAP; the denim pinafore (here standing in for a skirt) and my "Bang said Max!" indigo tee shirt

Friday, May 3, 2013

M3 2013 - day 3

It was cool enough in the morning that I decided to wear my newly completed brown dog dress; I got several compliments from strangers while out doing errands before the day really heated up. My brown sunhat, and a very lightweight strand of felted wool beads, strung with taupe rocaille glass coordinated well.

The weekend forecast is for well over 80F. I intend to hide indoors, be productive, and work on sewing and studio projects that will generate income. My personal summertime 6PAC sewing plans (currently on hiatus) include a quartet of light rayon summer dresses, but fortunately I have several lightweight, me-made, summer dresses from the last few years; I'd not expected to need them till maybe late June.