Author of the Queen City Boys books

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Two down and what makes three?

Some days you just need to change everything.  And sometimes you remember to document it.  I’m pretty sure my hair was holding me back. Heh.



And of course if you’ve decided to have a week long mid-life crisis, then haircutting isn’t enough, you need to get a giant new tattoo as well:

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I was trying to think of a fitting send off for 2011, but really I wish it would sneak quietly out the back door and be done with.  I can’t really even be bothered to tell it not to let the door hit its ass on the way out.

In 2011 I got better.  I recovered, almost completely, from 2010 and 2009.  I reconnected with some amazing, beautiful old friends who I am so very glad to have back in my life.  I reconnected with my old online community which is no different than sitting down with old friends.  I learned, I changed, I stayed the same, I became more me, I remembered who I was, and who I want to be.  I think I managed to find myself again, or at least the creative center of myself, even if the rest of me seems much changed than who I was even a year ago.  I am glad to be moving forward, looking forward, and carrying on with the people I have around me.

In 2012 I plan to take myself less seriously.  I want to worry less about external pressures and ask less of myself.  I want to write more and laugh more and sing loudly even when I’m out of tune.

I have an extensive list of new projects I want to work on in 2012.  I’m not sure yet which will make the cut and which will fall by the wayside but I am going to strongly commit to one or a few and be dedicated and vigilant in my work on what I do choose.

I will be smarter and more me by the end of the 2012.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask of myself.

I am so grateful for my huge, wonderful family, for my mother and my sisters.  I am so very thankful for my friends and my community.  I wish I had the words and time to tell each of you just how much I love you and how much you mean to me.  I will carry that love in my heart every single day, I will use it to bolster myself against the hard times.  I will do my best to love you all even more, every single day.  I will trust you all and work to to learn to trust myself and my instincts more.  I will try harder to be worthy of the love given back to me.

Here we go!

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cookies and stories

Most importantly I made gluten free peanut butter cookies this past weekend.  Here is the recipe:

1c peanut butter
1c sugar
1tsp vanilla
1 egg

Beat peanut butter and sugar together, then add egg and vanilla.  Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on greased (or parchment papered) cookie sheet and crush in # pattern with fork.  Bake 10(ish) minutes at 350′.  Eat.  Be amazed at how much like a floured cookie this is.

I made many and brought them to work.  No one seemed able to tell that they were any different than any other peanut butter cookie.  I might next time reduce the sugar and add a second egg to see if they can be chewier.  These came out just like I remember the standard Joy of Cooking recipe, just like a PB cookie, but I would like chewier version.  Also I recommend greasing up your hands before rolling the dough balls, as they are sticky wickets.


I am still reading Deathless.  I don’t ever want it to end.  I feel like I’ve been seriously slowing down on it all week in a subconscious effort to draw out the fairytale as long as possible.  In my head the whole story is animated in paper cut-outs like the cover:

Also it makes me want to dress like a fashionable 1930s revolutionary and decorate my entire house in Russian folk art.

Speaking of folk art: Lubki prints of popular culture stories (I’m not linking to the original source here because it’s in Cyrillic).  I could totally decorate my house in there.  And then lounge around in this skirt.  And people would only think I’m slightly less crazy than they think right now.


I also saw X-men: First Class this week and loved it.  Think this is an awesome introduction to the universe.  Though I’d recommend the comics over the other movies.  But despite some small casting discrepancies it was pretty well done and very enjoyable for a summer movie.  My triffling story problems with it are endemic to current films and don’t really detract from the movie (characters have instant changes of heart, but who has time for back story and moralizing when there’s explosions to be watched?).  Also Michael Fassbender wears the heck out of some clothes in this movie.  Mmmmhmmm.

Heading to the west coast in a little more than a day for my amazing little sister’s graduation.  Very excited to escape the oppressive middle TN heat right now.  Need to pack a neat capsule wardrobe, both fashionable and urban and for much cooler temps.  It’s kind of exciting.  Also need to finish some web work I promised folks and do a metric ton a job work before I go.

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Housedress extravaganza

This is my old Target housedress that I have worn thin in places.  It’s perfect for lounging and pulling something on fast, but I’ve been wanting a cotton version of it for humid summer Southern days.  I found some ridiculous border print peacock quilting cotton and took a few evenings to pattern out and sew my own version of it.  I finished up all the details of it this past weekend.

And the back:

The cotton is definitely a little stiffer than the original rayon dress, but I think after a couple washings it’ll be just fine.  I’m very pleased with how this turned out.  There may be another one in my future in something cotton but with a softer hand.


I got amazing a lovely birthday day wishes and gifts from so many of people this weekend.  In lieu of actual content  here’s pictures of a just a few of them:

Handmade table runner and pretty bowl!

Le Creuset cassole dish getting it's first use.

And, yep, that all pretty much sums up my weekend!  Sewing and eating.  Oh I also read a book, The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint, which I’d highly recommend but only if you’re already into YA magic realism already.  Had a great Friday night birthday party at the Family Wash, missed everyone who wasn’t there, most especially my family.  More house pictures and birthday pictures just as soon as everything is all unpacked at home (that’s soon, I swear it is).


I said I do it and I’ve at least started!

Last night I did the test run on Simplicity 2258.  We’ll call this a wearable muslin.  The initial pattern size I cut ran really big.  This is about 2 sizes too large on me, but the elastic waist band makes it work okay.  The fabric was probably too stiff for this pattern, although maybe it would have been fine if the pattern had been sized correctly from the beginning.  That said I’ll probably wear this, at least until I find better black fabric for it.  I LOVE this pattern.  It went together in two hours from cutting through finishing.  The pockets are crazy easy, well sized and go in very easily.  I’m excited to try this again in different fabrics.

Here it is with my awesome new thrift store boots:

And the pocket detail:

And while I had the black canvas out, I made a new apron for table waiting shifts at the restaurant:

Hoping to cut out the brown version of the skirt this weekend and start on some of the refashions I need to get finished.

Momentum!  I has it!  Can I keep it going?

Bonus – recent search terms used to find my blog:

sunlight deficit
almost monday gif
sewing room before and afters
bedroom with grey walls
how to find a safety deposit box full of money and passports
april is not the cruelest month
wombat in sweater

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The sewing year begins…now! Go!

Because I firmly believe the year starts on April 1 (everything is subjective, right?) I’ve made some resolutions.  Including blogging here once a week about sewing and sewing related things. Yes, really, I’m gonna do it.  I’m settled in enough at the new house that I have good sewing space and I need to get going on it!  (No new house pictures yet, still waiting until there isn’t a stack of boxes in the living room.)

Today I bought these boots, in my size for $9 at the Goodwill on Berry Rd.  But what does one wear with such boots (besides the obvious skinny jeans or leggings)?  Conveniently I’ve started cutting out these patterns:

I think the Lisette will be view B (in grey canvas and hopefully a cool print fabric that I just haven’t discovered yet) and I’m already starting on 2258, view C (but without the waist tie in black canvas, brown stretch twill and some dark stretch denim).  Which means boots are now practical for summer if we have enough cute skirts, right?

I also have two dress refashions in the works.  Hopefully one will work for a wedding I’m attending in a couple weeks and the other will just be a cute summer dress.  I remembered to take before pictures, so surely I can remember to blog about them when I’m done.  I plan on making the view E Lisette top in a couple prints too, hopefully including one in this fabric.  It’s my goal not to buy any new clothes this summer and make or refashion everything I wear, preferably using my fairly substantial stash of fabric.  Is everyone else excited about spring sewing?


Honey, I’m home!

Haha!  I was just looking at that picture of the living room of my new apartment in my last post.  “What a nice room,” I thought.  Is does not look like that now.  Right now it looks like some sort of mad bomber set off a device filled with card board boxes and crafts supplies.  I haven’t even looked in the (surely tidy) closet which Shan so generously unpacked and hung all my clothes in.  Thus this morning I dressed in the only known clean pair of work pants (washed on Friday and left all weekend crushed in the bottom of a laundry basket, luckily I had the foresight to borrow an ironing board from my landlord yesterday to make curtains) and sweater despite the crazy warm temps here, I knew where the sweaters were (it’s a light a weight one as I could find).

A big, giant thank you to the men who hauled all my furniture up the stairs and did not break or damage anything.  Everything is in the place and ready to go, except, well I have only a lone office chair to sit it, which has been moving between the sewing table and the computer desk all weekend.  I think when I finally get around to having a couch it will be the most exciting thing ever.  Or, you know, even a single chair that doesn’t roll.

Here is my Amazon wish list, it is lofty and full of exciting home things I need (psst, my birthday is in 67 days!) or just want (there’s a lot of wanting going on).  I’m hoping to spend the next couple weeks scouring thrift and antique stores to find a drop leaf table for the kitchen and a couple chairs for in there.  And shelves, or something for shelf use. And anything else I see that I might need. It’s weird I feel like I have a relatively minimalist kitchen set up (at least as minimalist as it can be for someone who likes to cook) and yet I’m still surprised by house much stuff one needs even for a small household. I have purchased hundreds and hundreds of dollars of things in the past few weeks and still there’s more (always more).  I can barely comprehend how much stuff it takes to set up a new household for one person.  I totally understand the origin of wedding registries now. It’s just craziness.  Anyway, if you won the lottery this weekend, feel free to get on Amazon and buy me that couch.  In the meantime I’m contemplating how I can build one from the boxes, boxes everywhere (and not a place to sit) and few throw pillows.

Here is the picture I posted on FB yesterday of the kitchen:

I meant to take one this morning of the sea of  unpacking misery, but alas, did not remember too (although I did take out the trash!).  Here’s hoping I can make today a short work day and start making a dent in the mess, yeah?

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There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do

So I’m moving in a couple weeks. Trying to keep it as low key and not stressful as possible.  I figured the best way to do that was to embark on a bunch of really ambitious projects right before moving.  Hahahaha!  Sometimes I am dumb.  Still most of these projects revolve around refinishing or painting furniture that I’ve been meaning to update or fix forever and would love to have in its finished form in the new house.  Thus it’s been fun and I need something to keep me busy and out of trouble anyway.

Oh my!  Look at this tiny, pretty indoor pond.   I have been messing with terrariums for a bit now, on and off.  My new apartment has great light and I’m hoping to be more successful with my terrariums this spring.  But look at these amazing water terrariums, which, uh, I guess are aquariums, but just for plants!  So pretty.  There might be one of these in my future once I’m settled and done with everything else.

Also I love this hippo shower curtain, although I’m not buying it because I got clear shower curtains to take advantage of the light from all the windows in the new bathroom.  I’m hoping to get lucky some day and find fabric like this curtain, I love the cute little helpers the hippos have!

Here are some random bits about my new apartment:

My current commute is a marathon round trip: 26.1 miles
New commute: 21 miles
Annual driving miles eliminated: 1300
New apartment currently only has one (1) interior door
Ratio of wall light switches to interior doors: 1:1 (heh, most the lights have pull cords from the ceiling rather than switches)
Number of hobbit sized closets in the new space: 3
Number of hobbit sized people living in the apartment: 1 (me)
Amount of support provided by quite overly generous mother, both emotional and financial, in this move: incalculable (but surely somewhere in the billions)
Number of friends I realized I have while dealing with the things surrounding moving: 129,567 (if we are calculating at a rate that measures each person’s individual emotional worth)
Days until I move: 14
Things needed doing by then: 570,000
Personal excitement level about the new apartment, on a scale of 1-10: 42

Here is a sneak peak at a ‘before’ picture of the apartment:

Looking forward to having many after pictures to show!

(Title quoted from the peerless Bill Watterson.)

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If wishes were horses I’d be, uh, shoveling a lot

I have been thinking about it, and given the frequency and astounding brilliant content of my posts, I assume my readership to be made up entirely of incredibly wealthy, bored, would-be patrons who just haven’t found the right person to send gifts too.  In light of that, I would like to point out that today it is 94 days or 3 months, 4 days until my birthday (of course you don’t have to wait until my birthday for gifts, silly, even though it’s très gauche, I accept them at any time).  Here are some ideas of what you can get for me:

The purchase of this pillow would give me something soft upon which to rest my head and save me from having to to do hours of pains-taking, meticulous embroidery myself to recreate such a homespun masterpiece.

Any sized print of any of these three photographs (the larger the better!).  This would save me the time and expense of having to go 2500 miles across the country and waiting around in the damp woods for the perfect lighting conditions.  Plus, I am generally an abysmal photographer and mine certainly wouldn’t look this good.

The Frye Carson Lace-up.  This fulfills my need to romanticize early last century laborers, while looking cool, hip and stylish.  A purchase of these (dark brown, size 8.5 please) would save me from having to spend hours on pouring over Ebay to find some that were a tenth of the cost of these lovely originals.

If none of those suits your fancy, I am also accepting plane tickets to Spain (no return needed, assuming you are also purchasing a small coastal villa to reside in as well) or one (or both) of the following:


wombatMatt Damon

Thank you for your consideration to this very, very important matter.  If not gifts, you can direct flowers or checks directly to me in my office and I will use them to buy my own villa in Spain (assuming the flowers are filled with diamonds as well).

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joy joy joy

This is my new car.  She doesn’t have a name yet.  She is a Toyota Matrix S.  She has fancy tinted windows, a sunroof, power everything and good stereo. She is, by far and away, the nicest car I have ever owned.

I have been working insane, ridiculous, crazy hours at my new job as result of the aftermath of the floods.  It’s slowly getting under control, but I don’t know when I will come up for air socially again.  I actually conducted most of my new car purchase by email and phone.  It turns out that if you are very busy, you can just call the dealership and tell them you are very busy but want to give them money, and they will bring cars to your work to test drive and do as much paperwork as they can without you.  It’s awesome.  A good tip from my mom for all of you!  You don’t even have to be busy to use this tactic, just lazy!

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rainy days and Sundays

click for full size

I had the best day at Cheekwood.  It rained, but not too hard, so I dressed in my Seattle gear and was unfazed by it as we stomped through the gardens.  The museum had a superbly curated American Impressionist exhibit.  But the high point was the security guard.  We were going to take a quick pass through the Fabergé exhibit, as I’d seen it before but my companion hadn’t and we stayed because the security guard was giving a long, impromptu history lecture on the exhibit to a bunch of wealthy, 60+ white women.  He was a 40-something black man and his speech patterns and slang indicated sort of an average Southern, probably lower class background.  But.  Oh man, I can barely describe the beauty of the lecture he gave.  He had clearly spent a ton of time researching the history of Fabergé, the Russian Revolution, the Czars and all.  I sat on a bench with my phone and tried to transcribe notes of what he was saying.  All I managed to get down was:

“Yeah, Fabergé don’t make no junk.”
“You on that internet? Get on Netflix and get ‘The Czar’s Eggs.’ It’ll tell you about this. About that Nicholas and his Czarina and that one boy he had with the hemophilia. He was okay, then this knucklehead, Rasputin, comes in and it’s just a shame that People’s Revolution killed all those people.  Just a shame.”
“That artist [Fabergé] you got to give a high five too, the highest of fives.”

He went on about this one particular object , the Imperial Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket, and how there were 42 Fabergé eggs in the world but the Imperial Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket was the only one.  He told the ladies how the Czarina loved it so much that she took it from room to room with her so she could always admire it.  He knew, in depth, about each object in the Fabergé collection, he spoke how they were made and what they were used for.  Talked about Fabergé using his art to gain favor with the Czar by pleasing the Czarina with gifts.

As we were leaving he was telling about how everyone should come back for the upcoming Chihuly exhibit and demonstrated a fairly extensive about of knowledge on the that subject as well.

It was so pleasing, so wonderful to hear someone who was clearly self taught, speak so eloquently (in his own way), proudly and so knowledgeably about art.  Really, it was joyous and filled me with glee.

Afterwards we walked the water gardens and the Japanese garden in the rain.  Sat for a while under the roofed viewing area in the Japanese garden while it rained harder.

Then I spent too much money in the gift shop.  And had a lovely conversation with the woman who worked there (Mom, I think it was same woman as when you and I went) about art and about how Chihuly is such a marketing maniac that you can’t barely stock a gift shop without his say so (I didn’t get the impression that she cared for him much, heh).

Sometimes I think I could stay in Nashville forever if I could work at Cheekwood.  I wonder if they need a digital archivist?  I could maintain their botany library and the family’s private collections!  Heaven!

Here are some of my favorites of the Impressionist pictures I saw today.

Otto Stark – French Garden

Luther Emerson Van Gorder – Japanese Lanterns

Lilliam Wescott Hale – An Old Cherry Tree

Edith Baretto Parsons – Turtle Baby

Charles Coutney Curran – In the Luxembourg Garden

There was also a William Posey Silva piece that I can’t find a picture of that was called “Garden of Dreams” c. 1925 That was lovely.  Definitely want to see more of his work.

Yes, today was very good day.

Picture taken today with my phone, out the rain-streaked upper window of the Cheekwood mansion.  The window was in the middle of the Impressionists exhibit and I thought it looked Impressionistic too.


shopping related injuries and retail therapy

I went thrifting Monday and stupidly didn’t get a cart.  Last night my left arm hurt and I quickly realized that it was from carrying armloads of stuff around the store for hours.  Oops.  My old lady status increases daily as I realize things like this.

Most of my purchases were project related but I did manage to find one fantastic dress for myself.  New, tags still on.  The stitching is slightly ripped at the waist, but easily enough fixed.  Indeed it needs slight alterations for perfect fit in that area anyway.  And new buttons and a matching slip, as it is fairly see through.  Still, even with the work ahead of me it was well worth the dollar I pair for it.

And an up close of the pattern:

Turquoise buttons and a turquoise slip and it will be perfect of spring ever arrives.

Remember my “no spend” for February?  No non-necessities (I don’t count dollar dresses in this). I was doing FANTASTIC.  Until yesterday.  But sometimes the universe says, hey, here’s the perfect $80 shoes at 70% off and you can’t say no.

$23 worth of love.  Think these shoes, this dress.

You may well wonder what I was doing in a shoe store if I’m not spending money unnecessarily?  Well I was hopefully looking for inexpensive, but quality and comfortable shoes for work.  Walking for hours on concrete floors seems to take the comfort out of shoes quickly.  I find I need at least three pairs to rotate between and at least one of those comes to the end of it’s useful life for waiting tables in three or so months.  I did manage to find a new pair of clogs.  And again, my old lady status rises daily:

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A little black (plaid) dress

I can’t remember exactly where I found this dress, but I stumbled across it online somewhere:

I loved the idea of this dress, it seemed a little young for me, maybe, but simple enough to recreate, so I tried my hand at it.  Only a few mishaps and an afternoon’s worth of work and I have it:

Overall I’m pretty happy with it. I love the way the bias strips in the neckline and hem came out.  After wearing it for a night I see I need to adjust the neckline a little.  It’s just too wide and slips off my shoulders.  I’m not sure yet quite what I’ll do.  I might just handstitch it closed a little further on each side.  I’m also considering a little inverted box pleat on the outside of each arm.  It would match the pleat detailing on the front and bring the sleeves in a little.

The basic pattern came out a little sack like, so I brought it in about three inches just at the waist, so it has a little more shape.  I put on-seam pockets instead of the front patch pockets.  They worked out great except initially I sewed each one on backwards with French seams.  I ended up just covering the mistake with bias tape, so there’s a little black ribbon band right inside each pocket.  I also think it looks better belted but I didn’t think any belt I had was perfect.  I might sew all the scraps of the fabric I have left together and make a simple tie belt for it.  It’s a lovely midweight homespum cotton, so it breathes well but has a nice bit of texture to it.

In the next few days hopefully I’ll have a preview of some of my new (soon not to be) secret project. I’ve been working on it.  I seem to keep getting bogged down in the part where I take pictures to show you.  Soon, though, I swear.

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If you can’t decide where to donate for the victims of the earthquake tragedy in Haiti I suggest Doctors without Borders or Yéle, though there is a good and much longer list here (both in the post and in the comments as well). I like to believe we can all choose to forgo coffee and non necessities for a week in hopes it will save a life.  In this instance giving even a little helps a lot.

Also I got this list from my friend, Pun, of places you can “text” donations to.

If you’re in the U.S.:

* Text the word “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 on behalf of the Yéle Foundation.
* Text the word “Haiti” to 85944 to donate $5 on behalf of the Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International.
* Text the word “Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5 on behalf of the Internal Rescue Committee.
* Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 on behalf of the Red Cross in the U.S.

And for Canadians:

* Text the word “Haiti” to 45678 (in Canada only) on behalf of the Salvation Army in Canada.

On a personal note, I don’t know why tragedies like this always affect me so much, but they really do.  I’ve been crying on and off all day.  I am compulsively reading the news, though every photo of the wreckage sends me back into tears. It just feels close to home, I guess.  Not exactly in proximity but more in a “it could happen to you” kind of way.

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can’t make the proverbs come true

Momma love

Momma love

I was going to make a post.  Then I decided I was too lazy.  Then I was reading someone else’s blog and they posted the following:

“The lazier the man is, the more he plans to do tomorrow.” -Norwegian proverb

So, yeah.  I’m effing lazy.  Seriously.  I’ve kind fo been on vacation for the last week while my stedad and cousin were visiting.  I think they had a great time.  I had a good time.  We did a side trip to Chattanooga, which I’ll post pictures from as soon as I get them off loaded from the camera.  We saw lots of good music.  Ate lots of good food.  Drank lots of good wine.  I sort of feel like I need to eat raw vegetables and brown rice for the next week to recover.

I have a list of like 700 projects to finish. Am overwhelmed.  Will start tomorrow.  In the meantime I made myself new pajamas today.  And went to the grocery store.  And caught up on the best show ever, Modern Family.  Small achievements, but better, I guess than spending the whole day watching TV, which I was tempted to do.

Oh, and now, as I type this, we are having a classic WTF Nashville? moment.  Fireworks.  Randomly.  On a Thursday at 9:30 pm.  I’m not joking when I say this happens all the time.  Better yet, I just checked all the local news sources and there’s no comment on what event coulld be happening to cause this.  Libelle also was asleep.  Alas our cool E.Nash location means the fireworks always sound like the start of a new war.  *sigh*

It seemed the fireworks were over, but now low flying helicopters.  Nashville is definitely not the place to live if you have PTSD from being a war zone.  Or if you want to sleep on a week night.

Um, I can’t even remember what I was going to write about now. We will assume the fireworks are because it’s my momma’s birthday today. She deserves at least that much celebration.


mechanical joy

Here is my new sewing machine!!  It’s a digital Brother, factory refurbished, so I got it for about 55% off (including the same 25 year warranty the new machines come with).  To buy it I sold one of my manual machines and pair of cowboy boots (I will surely get more use out of this machine than my 8th pair of boots).  I have only played with it a little.  It has so many stitches!! Here’s a tiny few:

What I noticed most so far is that they few things I’m still good at as a seamstress, this machine appears to fix for me.  I have always had trouble regulating speed, especially when I need to go slowly.  This machine has speed settings, so when I need to go slow, I can just set it for slow! Also the needle always ends in a perfect down position, which is great for appliques.  And it has a fancy button that raises or lowers the needle to perfect up or perfect down.  These probably seem like such simple things to more advanced seamstresses (or people who already have fancy machines) but I can see that this is going to make many things much easier for me.

I kept the heavier duty of my two Kenmores.  Partly because I think a back-up is always a good idea and partly because I do a lot of shirring with elastic bobbin and I think that probably is guaranteed to go smoother on a manual machine (plus I can just keep the machine set up with elastic thread, so I don’t have to keep switching).  And all the fancy presser feet I bought in the last year also fit this machine, so I can switch them between machines!

I am very excited about this.  I guess I better get cracking on my big list of projects.  In the past 18 months I have gone from a 14-stitch machine to a 25-stitch manchine, to this fancy, digital 60 stitch machine.  I can’t wait to start making better utton holes!  The next step in my sewing evolution (in a few years) is an embroidery machine.  Then I will have to go entirely to children’s sewing because I will want to embroider hippos on everything!

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I say tomato


Had a lovely, lovely weekend.  Went to the Tomato Festival with Queen Mab (Queen of the fairies, who is not so tiny anymore) and her parents henceforth known as the Queen Mother and Haiku King because her mother looks like a fairy queen as well and her father–formerly Chef Daddy–is no longer a chef and won the Tomato haiku contest.  Grand champion, best in show of over 400 hundred entries, so that was pretty exciting.  I managed to only miss one little spot with the sunscreen and didn’t really get burned.  We had surprisingly delicious tomatillo and basil ice cream and ran into lots of neighborhood folks.

I confess that I never got dressed on Sunday.  As evidenced from yesterday’s post I spent the while day watching the first season of True Blood.  I did laundry, cooked, polished some boots, worked on some sewing projects, sorted out jewelry supplies and tidied up a bit (before I messed it all up again).  So the day wasn’t a complete loss.

Today I ran lots of errands, built myself a macro photo studio.  I need to get different lights as the ones I’d planned to use aren’t bright enough.  Kind of sucks because I probably could have found something at Target today, but alas I didn’t know until I’d already gotten home.  I paid bills, made a healthy dinner and went to yoga with the Queen Mother.  Now as a reward for my virtuous living I will spend the night on the couch watching more True Blood and eating chocolate covered dried cherries.

I’d feel bad about “undoing” all my good work, except that on Saturday I put on skirt I haven’t worn in quite a while and it was HUGE.  This is skirt that I let the waist out on by 2 inches before I went to Spain a few years ago.  Now it doesn’t even stay up.  So my choices clearly are to take the skirt back in a couple inches or eat chocolate cherries until it fits. Hmmmm.

Picture taken at the 2003 Chelsea Flower Show.

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What (not) to wear

Did I talk already about the Nine West Vintage America Collection?  It’s been rolling out slowly but I think all the pieces are available now.  I can’t remember where I heard about it originally, but I recall the description sounding like a line of clothes and shoes I would really love to wear.  I’m actually pretty disappointed in it over all.  I love the flats: Coby and Cambric (especially in the green and wine respectively).  And the Fiddle boots are fantastic.  The tops and jeans are exceptionally uninspired.  I mean sure I’d wear them, but only if I found them at a thrift store for under $5.  Definitely not things I’d buy new or bother to try and make.

Since I started sewing again I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes.  I own way more clothing than one person needs.  I’ve been meditating for a long time on trimming down my wardrobe to essentials.  I’ve been slowly working on this.  For every item of clothing I buy, I have to get rid of two similar items (this doesn’t count for things I sew myself).  I’ve tried hard to imagine what few, fabulous, well constructed necessities I’d need.

The idea of a vintage Americana line of clothing really appeals to me.  I’m all over the place in what I wear.  If I even have a defined style it’s definitely all my own because I take stuff from all eras and looks.  I’m not even sure I would want to wear just a vintage Americana collection, but I would love to design one.  Ever since I saw the Nine West collection I’ve been  imagining what would be in mine.  A pair or two of jeans, I guess.  A couple pairs of vintage looking cowboy boots. Old fashioned looking blouses (like this and this and this).  1950s-ish sundresses.  Cardigans.  A decent denim jacket with nothing fancy about it and good pockets.  Librarian-y shirtdresses in interesting non-floral prints.  A-line skirts in nifty border prints.  1930 and 1940s styled dress shoes.  Comfortable t-shirts cut for women out of soft cottons.  Practical, well sized handbags in elaborately tooled leather.

I have to give this more thought.  I’m half tempted to start a scrapbook or something to keep track of this idea.  Not that it hasn’t been done, or that I am going to revolutionize anything.  I don’t even have the sewing skills to make half this stuff.  But I like thinking about it.