Monday, December 9, 2013
Hi all! I'm just popping in to tell you about the exciting news that The Engineer now has his very own blog! Hooray! That's right, I'm as surprised as you! His blog is called Woodworking with Sasquatch (click the link to go see). Please stop by for a visit, and leave a nice comment if you will.
Happy Monday friends!
Friday, December 6, 2013
Having a partner with carpentry skills is a serious perk. In our new house, we have the space for my Mr. to have a shop, it is such a wonder that the both of us finally have our own creative spaces. It is awesome!
His latest project was built by him and made especially for me. I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous and very sturdy cutting/work table for my studio. He made it to my exact specifications; it is the perfect height and size for working on all sorts of projects.
So, of course I love it. I love it not just because it was made by my Mr., or because it is exactly what I wanted and needed, but because of what this table was made from. Reclaimed wood, you see.
Not just any old reclaimed wood, but wood reclaimed from our new house. The legs of this table were made from posts that were part of the framing of the walls that we knocked down in my studio. Like bones from our house, strong and sturdy. The trim on the top of the table was milled from the oak fireplace mantle we ummm... dismantled.
This table has a storied history even though it is "new." And I love that. It makes me happy. Not only was this a frugal project, but who knew we could shop for wood from our own home! Cool.
P.S. Thank you for my table dear!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Over the weekend a small miracle took place. It all started a few days ago when I was looking at some fetching photos on Instagram. Specifically, by Rachelle of Ted and Agnes, she has set forth a wickedly wonderful challenge called Handmade 365 where you pledge to wear at least one handmade thing each day for a year! Now, I haven't joined the challenge, but I did see a dress she made on Instagram and I thought, Ooh, now that looks good!
Now, I must tell you that I am absolute pants when it comes to making my own clothes, funny right? While I am a whiz with clothes for Pony Girl and other small folk, I just buck at the idea of sewing for myself. So, recently I've been giving myself a talking to, I've been promising to get over the hump and start making a few things for my wardrobe. Not so much a resolution, I've never been much for making those either, but a pledge to make more for myself in the coming year.
So to get started on the right foot, I thought I'd jump in after seeing Rachelle's handiwork. I bought the Tessuti Fabrics - Lily Linen Dress Pattern. After taping the pattern pieces together and tracing my size, I decided to go ahead without making any alterations, just a test dress, a muslin that with a huge amount of luck might just turn out wearable, but I wasn't holding my breath.
Here are my observations of making the dress.
1. Requires fabric wider than 45" I used a piece of 60" wide medium weight checked cotton canvas-like fabric that I picked up at a thrift shop ages ago.
2. Only 3 main pattern pieces to cut, easy peasy! (I did not use the pocket pattern piece)
3. All of the pieces fit together perfectly and the sewing was quick and simple. It took me an hour to make without finishing the hem and pockets. I did try on the dress at each stage and I found that there were no adjustments needed. I made it to length even though I am quite short, so it is a long dress on me. I will adjust length next time.
4. This dress has endless possibilities for customizing. Shorten the sleeves, sleeveless, length variation, etc. etc.
5. It is a loose fitting dress that I think would be flattering to most body types and it is so very comfortable!
6. I have plans to make this in a few different versions. So yes, I would most definitely make this again, and highly recommend the pattern!
I did not follow the pocket pattern or instructions, I started playing with vintage linen napkins instead.
When I finished the dress and stepped back, I was surprisingly pleased. I made something for myself that I will actually wear out in public. My wardrobe may start filling out with handmade frocks after all, small miracle indeed!
Happy Monday all, may your week bring you at least one small miracle!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
I'm joining in with The Colour Collaborative for the first time and feeling quite honored to do so. This month's theme was Faded or Decayed. At first I chose Decayed right off the bat. I had intentions of writing about phases and stages, death and re-birth, renewal and all such heady stuff. However, due to an unfortunate misunderstanding with my photo card, you have been spared shots of crumbling stumps, rotting apples and my compost bin.
As I wondered what on earth I would do instead, I thought about the theme of Faded, then looked out the window and saw my old blue jeans on the line drying in the crisp November sunlight. Faded indeed!
And from this vantage point, staring out at my old pants, the line "feelin' 'bout as faded as my jeans" from the song Me and Bobby McGee came to mind. Then I hummed more songs to myself, like Faded Love.
It got me to thinking. Faded feels familiar; like music and songs that you have known forever. It makes me think of something well worn and comforting, in a way. Like my old blue jeans.
It takes a mighty long time to develop this sort of symbiotic relationship with a pair of jeans, one that makes them your favorite, makes them soft as cotton flannel, makes them fit as no other jeans have fit, makes them as cherished as jeans could ever be. This particular pair is giving up the ghost, yet I can't bear to toss them out. Surely with a bit more mending, a couple of extra patches, they might last another 6 months!
So for me, along with the blue tint that seems to permeate the light as evening comes on in late November as the day fades, blue is the color of my faded old jeans. Soft, familiar, and loved.
Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, including three from November's guest bloggers, just click on the links below ...
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Annie at Knitsofacto
Nina at Tabiboo
Gillian at Tales from a Happy House
Lori at Lori Times Five
Madelief at Madelief
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
When you're walking down the street...
Or popping into your local fabric shop.
This morning I had a bit of a panic. I had that feeling like all was going wonky - and not in that charming sort of way that makes you smile a crooked smile. No, it was going wonky in the wrong way, and if I continued on my current path it was likely to spin out of control completely, leaving me spent and frankly, a little bitter. It was quite clear that I needed to step away from the computer and get the heck out of the house!
And so I did, I just threw on my lucky scarf and off I went. I headed to my favorite local fabric shop to look for supplies and some inspiration. My timing couldn't have been better, I found both! While there, I ended up having a chance meeting with the fabulous Miss Demeanor, A.K.A. Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman, the author of these amazing craft books:
I love these! I don't want to give away too much, but here's a couple of cool crafts from the books.
Seriously, if I had the body of a lithe 18 year old, and not the body of a middle aged crafter, I would so make this pull tab dress!
So, I've just been able to tick off a few Christmas presents for some smooth criminals and craft beer crafters I know! Both of her books are available HERE if you need to find just the perfect thing for somebody on your list this year. I also recommend the accompanying blogs.
Just so you know, the author herself, is fab! We had a lovely chat and she shared some really helpful information with me, and in general made me so glad that I decided to change direction and get out of the house. It really was just the thing I needed. I think sometimes, especially in this kooky modern world, it is easy to isolate, we forget how valuable human connection is - to talk face to face with our peers, our neighbors, and our community is good for us.
So I guess the moral of this story is: When things go wonky and wrong, step away from the computer, take a a breath, and get out there! Also, there is always room for a voodoo doll pincushion and beer can bunting!
Monday, November 18, 2013
"Walked for half an hour in the garden. A fine rain was falling, and the landscape was that of autumn. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered about the distant mountains - a melancholy nature. The leaves were falling on all sides like the last illusions of youth under the tears of irremediable grief. A brood of chattering birds were chasing each other through the shrubberies, and playing games among the branches, like a knot of hiding schoolboys. Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail."- Henri Frederic Amiel
The wind has come up, the days are colder and winter is clearly well on it's way. We have had our first fire in the fireplace and the rhythm and scents of baking have begun in earnest. This morning I took a good long look around the garden. There is a riot of color on the ground and amazing textures to be found once the leaves have dropped and revealed what is underneath the canopies. A quiet has settled in the neighborhood while people tuck themselves away inside in cozy warmth. It is a good time to shore up for winter, to take stock and plan for the coming year. Are you cozy, are you planning for the next season?
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Alright, I'm going to come clean, I'm going to tell you the real story. I don't like to over share, but the truth is I have recently come down with a serious case of blogger's block. It's pretty bad and honestly, I am a bit lost as to what to do about it. I keep thinking, "O.k., tomorrow, surely tomorrow I have will have something clever, crafty, or witty to say!" And when tomorrow comes... nothing, nadda, zip, zilch!
Perhaps it has something to do with the overwhelming pile of boxes still unpacked, hanging out in my new home. Or maybe it's due to a shocking dearth of shelving, therefore hindering the unpacking of said boxes. Or it could be that every room in the house needs painting and I don't know where to start. Or could it be that with Fall sliding headlong into Winter that I have become more quiet and introspective?
I have been spending time in my studio. Sewing and spiffing for an impending photo shoot and that is exciting, but too premature for me to share.
I have been mulling, scheming, imagining and thinking over what I want Lola Nova to become, where I want this whole creative business to go in the future. Having deep thoughts and big questions; am I a maker, a crafter, a seamstress, a designer, an artist? Oh good gravy! Artist is a potent word don't you think?
I have been pouring my energies and time into my family, making this new house a home (unpacked boxes and unpainted rooms aside), and trying to find my footing after a roller-coaster year.
If you are a blogger, maker, artist, family wrangler, do you ever feel blocked? What do you do to move past it? What helps you "unblock"? I'd love to know.
Monday, October 28, 2013
"This is the time of year to write to the Great Pumpkin."
Quoted from: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown