Monday, December 7, 2020
Makeup Case Makeover Madness
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
A Walk Through Pine Creek
Where Two Tartans Meet
In 2015, I bought 1.9 metres of the tartan fabric you see above for under $10 with the idea that it would be used to make a dress for me. In 2017, I used a little of it to make a pincushion for a friend. In August 2020, I used some of it to accent a dress and purse for my grandniece Cauliflower, cutting out the pieces for my dress first to make sure I would have what I needed for it, and could feel free to use what was left for Cauliflower's dress. Then, once I'd finished the dress for Cauliflower, it was time to turn back to the pieces I'd cut out for my dress. I had a certain dread of making it, remembering what it was like to make a tartan skirt from a very similar fabric years before.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
New Jewelry and a New Neck
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The Pandemic Quilt
- "Separate Ways", Journey
- "So Lonely", The Police
- "Solitary Man", Neil Diamond
- "All By Myself", Eric Carmen
- "Alone", Heart
- "Stayin' Alive", Bee Gees
- "So Far Away", Carole King
- "Don't Stand So Close to Me", The Police
- "Ask the Lonely", Journey
- "You're Only Lonely", J.D. Souther
- "The Lonely Ones", Chris Isaak
- "When Will I See You Again", The Three Degrees
- "Solitaire", Carpenters
- "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", Elvis Presley
- "From a Distance", Bette Midler
- "We're All Alone", Rita Coolidge
- "Antisocial", Ed Sheeran & Travis Scott
- "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)", The Offspring
- "Separate Lives", Phil Collins
- "Dancing With Myself", Billy Idol
- "Lonesome", Kina Grannis
- "Isolation", John Lennon
- "Only the Lonely", The Motels
- "Living Inside Myself", Gino Vanelli
- "Only Lonely", Divinyls
- "Better Off Alone", Alice DJ
- "Having a Me Party", Amy Adams, Miss Piggy & the Muppets
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
The Very Last Dress
My grandniece Cauliflower turned 11 this August. I've been making her a dress every other year (on the alternate years she gets a sweater), and it occurred to me this year that this year's dress will likely be the last dress I can make for her. After puberty girls need their dresses fitted on them, and it isn't possible for me to do that given that I don't see her often. After this year she'll just get sweaters from me, and I felt this very last dress needed to be special.
I had a particular tartan fabric on hand that I loved. I'd bought the fabric on impulse in 2015, something I try never to do these days, as I am making every effort to buy only what I need and did not and do not need a new dress, but again this was years ago, before I began to crack down on impulse buys, and I will say that the fabric was on clearance and very inexpensive (I paid under $10 for the 1.9 metre piece), and that I still love it. I wanted to make myself a dress out of the tartan, but I thought that if I picked out a dress pattern for Cauliflower that called for a trim or sections of contrast fabric, that I could squeeze that out of the piece too.
Accordingly I searched for a suitable pattern for Cauliflower's dress, and found one in the McCall's M7680 pattern you see above. I could see option B working in navy with a deep hem of the tartan and perhaps a ruffle of it around the sleeve opening. I bought the pattern, and I bought a piece of navy crepe for the body of Cauliflower's dress, and I cut out my tartan dress first, cutting very strategically to make sure I'd have a sizable strip of the tartan left for Cauliflower's dress.
I'm pretty pleased with how the cuffs turned out. They look more or less professional. Cauliflower's present will also include the bracelet you see here, which was something of a find as it goes so well with the dress. Although now I'm wishing I'd made her a necklace to go with the dress instead, as it needs a necklace much more than it does a bracelet. I could still make her one for Christmas, I suppose....
And, of course, there had to be a matching purse for the dress. The purse has a tartan lining, and I made the little ribbon rosette you see here out a strip of turquoise ribbon from my ribbon canister and a half-dozen beads from my beading supplies box. Looking at it now, though, I think maybe I should have just left it without the rosette. I also think the rosette might have looked better if it were red. I thought I didn't have any red ribbon hand, only to discover I did after the gift had been given to my parents to pass along to Cauliflower -- it was in a box of Christmas ribbons I had stowed away in the gift wrap tote in the line closet, sigh. If only I'd remembered I had it.
Monday, August 17, 2020
A Wise Gift
When I came across the Oswald Owl cushion cover pattern, designed by Martin Storey, that you see depicted above, I knew it would be just the thing to make for a gift for my mother. It's a relatively simple yet striking design, and it's cute in a polished, adult way.
Mask R' Aid
I'm embarrassed to say that, although I did practice social distancing religiously from the outset of the COVID19 pandemic, I was a late adopter when it came to mask-wearing. It wasn't until May 24, 2020 that I went, maskless, to Fabricland to buy supplies to make masks, and then when I was waiting in the queue to get in, word came back along the line that Fabricland was requiring masks. I had checked their website before I came, and it had said nothing about masks being required, and there I facing the Catch 22 of having spent the bus fare and an hour getting to the store to buy materials so I could sew masks to wear, only to find I couldn't get in because I didn't already have a mask. There were other maskless people in that line up. We were stymied and disgruntled for a minute or two... but only for a minute or two.
Remember, this wasn't just any store, or any kind of customer in line that day. This was a line up of freaking crafters who were ten feet away from an excellent selection of new sewing supplies, and nothing was going to break our stride. We had skills, we had some materials and supplies in our bags, we had each other, and we rose to the occasion.
Monday, August 3, 2020
Salmon, Olive, and Lime
This project came to be because I needed to use up the Loops & Threads Meandering Serpentine yarn I got in my stocking for Christmas 2019. I used up some of it making a sweater and matching tam for my honorary niece Olivia's Christmas 2020 present, but I still had 460 grams left. And that was more than enough to make a sweater for me.
I'm not thrilled with the look of the salmon colour of the yarn on me, but I thought it would be wearable if combined with a couple of greens. I had a 100 gram skein of lime green worsted yarn in my stash (which was bought so long ago I no longer know what brand it is), and all I'd have to do was purchase a single skein of olive green worsted. I searched Ravelry for a suitable tri-colour pattern and found the Vintersol design, by Jennifer Steingass, pictured above. It's really lovely. And then I purchased a skein of Red Heart Soft in Dark Leaf. It's an Aran, which wasn't an ideal combination for a worsted, but greens are tricky to coordinate, and that was the only skein Michaels had that was the right tone.
And here's the finished project. I knitted it almost exactly as directed, and just changed the shaping a little bit. The pattern called for the sweater to be wider through the hip section than in the chest area, but since I'm actually smaller through the hips than I am through the chest and don't need that extra width, I made the hip area of the sweater the same width as the chest. I'm still not taken with that salmon yarn, but it won't be right next to my face, and it's certainly a passable-looking sweater that will be fine (and probably nearly indestructible) for around home wear. I had to put an olive twill skirt with the sweater in this photo as I didn't have a skirt that would go with this sweater, but for actual swear I will pair it with the olive khakis I often wear around home in winter.
This project used up all of the 100 gram lime green I had on hand, all of the olive green skein I bought, and 270 grams of the salmon, so that's a stash decrease of 370 grams. I still have 190 grams of the salmon left to use up. Oh well, I'm sure I can come up with another project plan for that. It is, after all, what I am so prone to do.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
I Have Receipts
The plan for this receipt folder project was born when my effort to prepare my 2019 tax return led to a full-on clean out of the files in my filing cabinet and desk shelves. I'd been meaning to get to that file drawer for awhile, because it was jammed so full that taking anything in or out was a frustrating, muscular, file-abusing exercise. I must have gone through half the files, and I discarded an 8" stack of stuff. I replaced a number of battered large envelopes with properly labelled file folders. I threw out receipts for stores that no longer exist, or that were so faded they'd basically gone blank, warranty information for items I no longer own, credit card information for cards I no longer have, and other incredibly pertinent documents. My 2016 tax return and a box of long envelopes that had been stored in the drawer above it had fallen behind the drawer and gotten jammed, so I fished those out. And now all my files fit easily and tidily in the drawer and the drawer itself shuts properly and it's ridiculously satisfying.
As I cleaned the files out, I tried to put them in the kind of order that would be self-perpetuating. If I extract and dispose of my oldest tax return file every year when I insert the new one, I shall never need to clean out my income tax returns. If I put the most recent utility bill or credit card statement in chronological order with the others from this year, it will be easy for me to grab all of 2020's documents when I'm doing my 2020 taxes, and I won't need to clean out those folders either. When I got to the point of reorganizing my desk shelves and I was tidying out my current receipts folder, I figured out a strategy for keeping that in order too, but once that was done, it occurred to me that I'd been keeping my receipts in the pockets of a spiral ring notebook that was nearly full, and what was I going to do with my receipts once I wanted to dispose of the notebook? I could have used an envelope, of course, but I wanted something that both looked nicer than that and would keep my receipts in good order. I wanted a portfolio type folder, in which I could sort the recipts according to my system.
First I considered buying a portfolio folder, and then I thought perhaps I could make one out of supplies I had on hand, so I googled to see what kind of portfolio tutorials the internet had to offer. I found the fabric folder portfolio tutorial for the portfolios you see above quite promptly, on the blog Niesz Vintage Home... and fabric. Next I looked to see what fabrics I had on hand, and found that I had enough of a brown jacquard decor fabric that I'd used for lining a handbag, and also of some brown satin lining, to do the job. I had cardboard on hand in my art supply cupboard, so this project cost $0.
The finished portfolio, open and shut. I am very pleased with this project. The tutorial was well-written and the portfolio easy to make. I've bookmarked the link to keep it handy for use in future -- these handy portfolios could make excellent little gifts. I even have an idea for how to add a pen slot.
The spine of the portfolio. Those lines of stitching make it flexible.
The portfolio in action, with my receipts for the current month on the left side, and the receipts I will need for income tax purposes and/or possible returns on the right. While I can't say I enjoy paying the bills at month's end anymore than before, it is a pleasure to use this little folder. Staying organized is much more fun and rewarding when one can do it in style.