Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Significance of the Word

I always like to make my Christmas gifts to my Granddaughter Lucy and my Great Niece Annie.  So, this year I started out with Annie's, because I needed to mail it and Lucy's came next.  I was going to post when the present arrived.  But life being what it is and Christmas mail always hazardous, Annie's present didn't arrive until yesterday.  I was truly a nervous wreck.  But when I think about it, I must make better choices about what I listen to when I sew.  
With Annie's robe. I listened to Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop.  And when I think about it then
it makes a lot of sense that life has it own time stream and it would get there when it was to get there.  When I made Lucy's robe, I listened to Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.   And of course, it was ready and wrapped for Christmas.
Annie's robe is this wonderful Spandex Satin.  A friend gave me about 7 yards of it.  It is only 40 inches wide but the color captures the whole world.  The robe will hit the bottom of her calf.  She won't trip but will still have the long robe style.
Lucy's is a lovely shade of Periwinkle Lavender.  I wanted to try applique and since Lucy is such a lovely bud of a girl, that is the theme of the robe.

Actually, it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't make something for my loved ones and these two girls are very dear!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Zig Zag Afghan

I made this bag to take with me on a trip to see my niece in Alameda.  I needed a new fresh look.  Plus I needed a bag large enough to carry all the different things that I like to travel with, especially a book.
I found a "felted" Afghan (it is all wool) last year and knew immediately that I would be using this find for my own purse.  I loved the electric feeling and the zig zag end of the Afghan and knew that I would integrate it into the purse.  I washed it again in hot water and dried it in a hot dryer and the blanket shank once again.  I then began the purse.  I made a channel at the top of the purse.  I put a double layer of elastic in the channel and attached leather to the elastic.  I used my favorite strap to carry the purse.  The lining is a bright Satin and I put two pockets to hold keys and pens and glasses.  The purse was a successful traveler, holding all the needed papers and my book!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Hat

I look at all the animal blogs I can find.  I look at animals because it brings down my blood pressure and makes me happy.  Sometimes I embarrass myself by admitting I am a simple person.  But that said....this photo did tickle my fancy!
Maybe I could do a tutorial on "Fancy Hats for Baby Chicks".

Monday, November 14, 2011

Time in a Bottle

There is a song by Jim Croce that is titled Time in a Bottle.  That is what I have experienced while I was sewing this purse.  I have no idea when I started this but as of yesterday, it is finished.  What a relief to complete it.  Each row of ruffles had to be made.  Then it had to sewed onto GrosGrain ribbon.
I changed ideas a number of time.  Each time I did that, I had to rip out or re-create.  This purse was a test of my creativity and fortitude.
I fell in love with the color.  I felt that I could dive into the color and reach another universe.  I had to incorporate it into a purse.  The idea for the purse came whole into my mind.  In order to bring it into the "real" world seemed to take forever.    The inside has two pockets on one side and one pocket on the other.  I finished each pocket with a trim of ruffles.
Now my brain has to unwind before I can start another project.  I  keep the faith that I will finish in a respectable time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Joys of Childhood

I went to a Halloween Party at my grandchildren's school yesterday.  Lovely frightening fun.  My son and friends' made a Haunted House.  Children ran out screaming (I guess that means it was a success).  My sweet Lucy is the "Dead Zombie Schoolgirl".  Hollis, who did not want his picture taken is a Ninja.  I had the fun of going out with them to find the costumes.  It was really fun.  I listened to them discuss and then decide.  I really had fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time Is Going By So Swiftly

Time seems to be full and going very fast for me. Last Saturday, I was at a play that was the final part of Children's Summer Playhouse in Los Angeles. My grandchildren were occupied by wonderful classes. Classes that I would like to attend! But I am no longer a child, oh well! My Lucy (the one with red hair) is here in center stage, helping to tell an Aztec tale.

Here is Lucy again with a sign over her head saying "Que Linda", which is certainly true. Que Linda translates to How Pretty! I laughed to myself when I saw that.

Here is Hollis. I had my camera to the last close up focus but it is still fuzzy. Third from the right. Don't you love his hair? It is now cut for school. All the lovely waves and messyness that was so charming, all gone.

I have been so completely busy that I have not had time to post. So many situations that took all my time. I hope that now I have time to reflect and enjoy the coming season.

I am making an apron (big deal, huh?) but what I didn't think about is that aprons do come in all sizes and this one is much to small!
I also have a tapestry purse that is have way finished. This one will be mine! I have some lovely beads that were dug up from a Roman town in Syria. I can hardly wait to get to that part of the project.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Edible Art

This is one of the prettiest tortillas I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. The flower is a Squash Blossom.
This came as an appetizer with "Avocado Mousse". And the flavor equaled the beauty.

I went to this amazing restaurant this week and every dish was wonderful.

The Revera is a below the border style offerings. They emphasis Pre-Colombian, Colonial and Modern approaches to food.
It was a real adventure in dining, as they say. But this time it truly was!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I was at a dog show this weekend. It is called an Obedience Trial.
The photo on the left is the group (me on the far right) that I worked with.
The middle photo is of the "High Scoring Dog". Truly a beautiful site to see. The owner loves her dogs and the dogs seem want to please her and they always do their best.
The photo on the right is because I couldn't resist the face.
We had a successful day that finally ended at 6:00 at night. I was very "pooped".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why I like and Envy Cats

My friends and family know that I look at three sites every day - Awkward Family Photos, Cute Overload and Catasters. If they are good, they are very good. And usually they find at least one funny bone in me. This photo is off Catasters.
This photo had me laughing and showing it to Penelope (my gorgeous white cat). She is the epitome of the attitude these cats display.
The owners love those cats. Each cat has it's own food and water source. They don't have to look at the other's bad eating manners or listen to slurping. These cats are cared for and yet true to cat form, they don't care! So very funny!
I sympathize and truly, I understand. And I think that this is also why I like cats. You can't buy their love.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Last of the Dog Trial Purses

Since I made two purses for the Dog Trial with the rosettes from the award ribbons, I had the printed ribbons left over. I just couldn't throw these away. My feeling of using and not wasting kept gnawing at me. So, I decided to make this one the last. It has ribbons on the front and the back. I used the same web belting that I had used on the other one. The main trouble that I ran into is that the ribbons are very beautiful and lush when they are awarded, the fabric of the ribbons is very cheap. So I had to be very careful and exact when I sewed the ribbon. If I over sewed and then corrected by pulling out thread, it would show. Darn! But after coping with that and also allowing forgiveness on my part, I finished the purse.
The dog trial is next Saturday, so I will find out how well they are received!

This is the front of the fanny pack. The colors of the ribbons may not be familiar to you but they are

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Roaring Twenties" in Today's View

This is my interpretation of what women in the 1920's would have liked to wear. This is a "Fanny Pack" purse. It goes around the waist, opens freely to retrieve items. There is no fighting with zippers. It is cut Velvet, multi-hued and wonderful to the touch. I have added square cut Malachite beads and African Jade round beads. I so enjoy decorating my purses with jewels. I don't often have a chance but this fabric called out loud and clear for me to decorate it. I had to dye the belt to go with the purse colors. I lined the purse with a matching dark avocado green Silk.
Here is a close up of the many hues of the fabric and a close up of the square cut Malachite.
I have to say how much fun that I had making this purse. It is another one that came to me "whole cloth" in the middle of the night. It took some time to get all the parts I needed but every piece that I imagined arrive in time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Find This Funny

I think that if one can understand another's sense of humor, one could go a long way in understanding their psychology.
Now, I am not really fond of rabbits but I am exceptionally fond of cats. When I look at this kitten's face and the surprise on it, I laugh. Here he finds that these creatures are very much like he is but something is different. His little paw is up and it is like he can't figure if he should bolt and run or just plain ol' slap the bunnies face. But I never have the feeling he just will be friends. It capsulizes the enigma of life!
Oh, what to do, what to do?

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Last Offer for the Dog Club

Since I had so many dog ribbons left over I decided to make another bag for the Dog Club Raffle. My darling niece gave me this Chenille fabric sample and the whole idea came to me whole.
I used the same fabric for the lining (the map fabric) that I had used in the first purse. I put elastic on the ends, just to give it a little more of a profile.
Altogether it was made fast and fun. I hope that the people, who come to the trial, will enjoy my efforts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dog Raffle Donation

I belong to a dog club. It is an American Kennel Club "recognized club". We have a trial every year. A trial is where people bring their dogs to show off their obedience abilities. It is a challenge to train dogs. And it takes a lot of time to do it right. I did train Frida and when we entered a trial someone set off a fire cracker and that ended our "trial" experience.
However, I like the people and really enjoy the dogs.
One of the ways that we make money at the trial is to have a raffle. We raffle off baskets of dog goodies, tickets to fast food restaurants, dog pillows and for the last two years, Pat
Sieler's bag donations.
This is a fanny pack where the trainers can put treats to reward good behavior. The decorations are the rosettes that are from the ribbons that are awarded to the wonderful dogs. When I make the bags for the trial donation, I integrate dog ideas.
This one was fun to make.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Beach or Shopping Bags

I think that I have re-discovered my love of quilting. I look at Sew Me Something Good frequently and this lady is a master quilter, plus she seems to have fun doing it. Since I started sewing I would save my large scrapes. This was probably a hang over from making doll clothes. But then my Grandmother gave me a roll of batting (batting is used between the pieced top layer and the bottom layer, then one sews or tacks the 3 layers together), which confirmed that one day I would make a quilt. I made my first quilt when I was about 25. It was a baby quilt for a friend. I used my batting. The roll got smaller and smaller. At some point I realized that one does not have to have a batting filler. I have used flannel sheets, lightweight blankets and heavy knit cotton. Now, I know that there are many choices of batting but I always prefer to use what is at hand. But since the roll cotton batting is long gone. my next quilt will probably have to have "store bought" batting.
I was inspired to make these bags because of the Ghana nightgown that I just made. As I said before, I can't throw away usable scraps. I went through my Trader Joe bags (where I store my scraps -very high tech!) and came up with the rest of the pieces.
I lined the bags with fabric that looks like old maps. It is very light and detailed in color. What is intriguing about the print is that it show islands and land masses that do not exist.
I did enjoy this exercise and the re-awakening desire for quilt making.

Weekend Shopping Bags

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nightgown for the Many.

This is the nightgown that these instructions are about. There are quite a few variations and twists that can be done. You can make it knee length or waist length and add pajamas. The sleeves can be lengthened. Lace can be added. Decorations of many variety can be added.
What I mean to say, is that you can make it to your own personality. That is what I find so good about this pattern. Also, it whips up in a few hours. My granddaughter told her father that I had made a nightgown for her "in five minutes".

This is a cap sleeve.
I combined two fabrics. These fabrics are from Ghana and they make their fabrics only 36" wide.
What I am saying that there are endless variations. You never need to get bored with the pattern.


You will need for a ankle length short sleeve nightgown:
4 yards of 45" fabric, woven or knit
3 yards of 3/8" elastic
1 spool of matching thread

Measure the Bust and measure the upper Arm.
Bust measurement needs be half again as large.
(44" bust add 22" to it and that is the total measurement of 66")
Upper arm needs to half again as well ( 13" pus 7" for the total of 20").
The pattern of the nightgown measures 33" this is 1/2 of the total fabric.
The sleeve pattern measures 10".
Use tissue paper for the pattern.

1. Sew the sleeve angles to the body of the nightgown*.
*If you are using knit fabric, use a very small zig zag stitch, that way the tread won't break
when stretched.
Mark the length of the arm measurement with a marking pen.
2. Sew the sleeve and the body of the nightgown.
Sew a channel for the elastic on the sleeve and the neckline.
Use a safety pin to thread the elastic and then sew securely the marked elastic.
The neckline needs to be measured to get the right measure.
Measure across the chest and then measure from front to back.
Mark the elastic and thread through the top, sew the elastic at the mark.
3. Sew the hem.

4. Tack the elastic on the neck line at the sleeve and body of the nightgown. Use a small, tight zig zag stitch. This secures the gathering into one area.

Now you have a nightgown to wear tonight!

This nightgown is a knit and I put a self fabric ruffle on the hem.
I lengthened the sleeve and used the a zig zag stitch which held the corded elastic and then pulled the elastic to the right length and added the lace.
Mostly I use knit fabrics but for this tutorial, I used woven fabric.

Pajamas with mid-length sleeves and calf length pajamas.
Pajamas with short sleeves and elastic around the waist and lace added.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wishes Do Come True

I have wanted a power sewing machine since Design School. I had no idea that I would ever get one. But a friend of mine (whose mother sewed for the movie industry) had this machine and even though there was a sentimental need to keep it, the desire for more room in his studio won out. It weighs a lot but my son helped by going with me and loading it onto the truck and then bringing it into my house.
It was taken apart to make it lighter. Now my project for this week is to put it together and then christen it by sewing something and getting used to the speed. It will take the long seams so fast that I will have to keep my out of the way.
Just remember, if you have a desire and you hold it lightly......maybe you'll get it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Misses Matchie-Match

Right now, I am getting a kick as well as a great deal of pleasure making pajamas and nightgowns for the "little misses" in my life.
These are knee length pajamas that I made for Lucy and Annie. And the background is Big Sur. Since the cabins are situated in very tall and plentiful Redwood trees, the light is toned down. But looking out the window, I could see these darlings right away. The color jumps out to the eye.
The cousins approved!
The pattern is one that works with big as well as small bodies. I am working on a tutorial for it. Also, it is super easy, as well as light on the wallet.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lucy's Want List

1. See Roderick's Rules
2. Get more Barbies
3. Liberty coming to our house
4. Going to Paris
5. eating Mcdonald's pancakes
6. Have a Jumpy Water House on my birthday
7. Kasey coming to our house or going to there house tomorrow
8. Invite Liberty to movie night and maybe a sleepover
9. You getting that beautiful house on the way to school
10. See Annie!

I don't remember being able to define what I would want at eight years. I hope that Lucy gets everything good. She is a darling!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Hope That This Will be a Teenage Dream

This is for a young girl just becoming a "Teenager" (she is my Great grand niece). Her birthday is this Friday. The fabric was given to me and it is an Acrylic with silver metallic threads. I used a top gathered piece which layers over the body of the skirt and underneath there is a skirt of silver lame'. My camera will not pick up the beauty of the lame'. I put in a pocket instead of a zipper and I think that that makes it more interesting. To finish the edges, I used black gros grain.
One of the things I experienced was how heat sensitive that the fabric is. Initially, as I was ironing out the wrinkles, I practically melted the fabric. The iron was on the "silk" setting. Fortunately it was at the beginning of the cut!

This is a close up of the fabric. I like the fabric. My main concern is, will she?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Photographer on the Scene

This is Penelope. Annie, my great niece took this photo. Penelope looks a little cautious but she is holding her ground. I thought it was a very fine photo, capturing the beauty as well as the caution of Penelope.
Annie is 10 years old and has been handling her Mother's camera since she was three. Oh course there is a lot of experimentation that goes on, which is a fine teaching aid. But she does a lot of good solid work.

I think that this is terrific! I am going to hire her for future work.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And Beauty Surrounds You

My Darling Niece and her daughter, Sweet Annie, came down over the weekend. We have been busy every moment. Not a minute was spared. We lived and breathed the "rare" air of art and artistry.
Here they are out on the portico at the Getty Villa in Malibu. This magnificent museum was built to show the intense interest that J. Paul Getty had for early art. Art that has survived from the the countries and cities that abounded in the Mediterranean going back to prehistoric up to the fall of Rome. All of the flooring,
up to the ceilings were accurate to the times. Every item used in the buildings reflected those times.
There is a wonderful
amphitheater that we sat in and basked in the sun. There were people at the bottom of the amphitheater (where the actors would be) and their voices carried all the way up. This is a sculpture of a toddler satyr playing with a "drama" mask. Looking through the eye socket of the mask you could see his face. On his back side is a very short beginnings of a tail. Charming doesn't cover the wonderfulness of the statue. But my brain is still in overload. The magnificence of the Getty Villa has to be seen.
This is one of the "Wishing Ponds". The water is ever circulating. It comes over the edge to cross to the opposite side and slowly slides down the wall.
This is a Roman garden with a reflecting pool that is about 100 feet long. The statue is another satyr but this one is a youth. There is a portico that surrounds the pool. The floor of the portico is a replica of one in ancient Rome. All of stones for the floor mosaic are a duplicate the original floor. Every turn of a path or new room entered, held something new to inspect and enjoy.
A day later went went to the Tim Burton exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This time all of the children went.
This is how we entered. It was a beautifully constructed exhibit. The visitor got to see how Tim Burton started and carried forth his ideas of whimsy. That word, whimsy, is really too light a word to use with a Tim Burton work. However, since the subject matter is not representational, I cannot find a better word. The children shivered and enjoyed it all.

My Darling Niece put make up on Annie and Lucy similar to the Burton characters. They loved feeling a part of the show.
These ever changing air balloons were at the end of the show.
Somehow my darling Hollis felt out of sync with the girls but I think he enjoyed the show most.

It was a very special visit.

Visiting Museums is very thrilling and inspiring to me and I now get back to reality and use what inspired me.