Author of the Queen City Boys books

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Why isn’t the weekend longer?

This weekend I finished the second skirt from last week’s pattern.  I cut the pattern down two sizes and used a lighter, slightly stretchier fabric.  The results are certainly improved, though I think I need to use an even lighter fabric, or just something more drapey with a softer hand.  Still, this version is in dark brown and will definitely get summer wear.  I had to go to the fabric store to get elastic, so I got some lighter weight black fabric to revisit that with, and some grey fabric, to cover all my needs for neutral skirts (of which I currently only have denim ones so this will be great).  No skirt pictures today, I’ll save them for when I have some top finished to show it with.

I did take some pictures of the new digs this weekend though.  Not the living room yet, I’m saving that for when it’s fully furnished and not filled with stacks of unpacked boxes (though I am down to mostly books on that front and just need to get a bookshelf and rug or two to finish the room).  But for those who are interested or who asked, here’s shots of the kitchen and bedroom:

click for the full set at Flickr

Yeah, I want to paint that table and chairs.  Yeah, I want to cover those cabinet faces in wall paper or something, but it’s definitely coming along.  Need for rugs and a bookshelf aside, I am mostly comfortable hanging out art home now.  I could maybe use an ottoman and few more baking supplies, but over all it’s great.  Just don’t look in my closets which are jammed with stuff and probably should be actually organized at some point.

This weekend I put away the heavy winter bedding and did get some organizing done as well as few small, nitpicky tasks that needed doing (like hand sewing the corners on the bed skirt so the edges of the box spring would stop peeking out).  Last weekend I packed away my winter clothes and pulled out the summer dresses and lighter weight work slacks.  Bring it on, season change, I am ready!


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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My house, in the middle of my street

I know I’ve been promising pictures of the new house for months.  Well I have them, although I wonder why I took them when the house was so messy (don’t you go saying that it’s always messy).   If you want to see the whole house, endless hallways and all, I’ve put a set up at Flickr. I some how skipped the bed room all together, and the porches, and the laundry room and the bathroom (the tile is cool), but you’ll get some idea from the pics, I guess.

The house has many good points, but for the first time ever I have my own dedicated sewing room!  Look:

Ha!  These pictures didn’t seem so dark originally.  But there it is, in all it’s messy, lavender glory. It has fabric and notions and machines and books and shoes and a little TV for DVD movies to keep me company.  I want to get another table, for cutting, to put where the red tupperware bins are currently.  So yeah, I should get on some sewing projects, huh?


The season of giving

That is, the season of giving things to ME.  Look what Talk to Owls bought me:

It’s a shiny, PURPLE, girly bike for riding ’round town and ’round the park.  In case you forgot, TTO is charming, sweet and generous.  I didn’t forget.  I didn’t even need the bike to remind me, although it sure is nice to have.

My mom got me a shiny new phone which  am quit smitten with.  Except for getting used to typing on a touch screen it is perhaps the easiest, most intuitive device I have ever owned.

I also finished THREE sewing projects this weekend.  Pictures and project progress updates soon, I swear.  For now I am going to go take my last autumnal apple cake out of the oven (don’t be sad, winter gingerbread cake starts soon). And read a book.

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filling in the cracks

I really need to get some pictures taken of the new house for you all.  Also I need to get some pictures up on the walls in the new house.  In the mean time here’s some before and afters of my minor home improvements.

Here’s my sewing room pre-paint:

It just wasn’t a relaxing blue.  Too much like a plastic cap on a water bottle or something. So I fixed it:

Pretty! And inspiring! Will soon get some pics of it now that it’s all full of furniture.  It lacks a comfy sitting chair, but is otherwise and excellent personal retreat.

The living room is gorgeous with greenish grey walls, a huge fireplace and rich, dark wood floors.  Some creepy clown painted just the wall over the fireplace this hideous, yucky, utterly uncoordinated red:

This picture does not even begin to demonstrate how much this red really, really does not fit in this room.  Painting would have required exactly matching the surrounding paint. Too much trouble.  Instead we upholstered it with some heavy black twill fabric I had laying around:

Now it’s a lovely, theatery media center.  Also we have no fancy cable in favor of internet TV.  I’m so stupidly pleased with Netflix streaming.


It’s not my usual source of content for you but here’s two celebrity photos that have made me really happy this week:

Manly (there’s an alternate universe where I’m married to Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood is my dad and they are besties)

WHEEEEEEEEEE! (look at that face!  Also, wow, I wish I looked as effortlessly cool as Alyson Hannigan when I was just hanging out)

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back to normal blogging: food & shoes & unrelated pictures

I had a fine, mostly relaxing, albeit too short weekend. I capped it with a delicious dinner that I was so pleased with, I have to share it with you.

I started with a small pork tenderloin (about enough for two people with no leftovers) and marinated it for about 5 hours in:

1 cup white wine
3 tblsp. Dijon mustard
5 garlic cloves, minced
fresh Basil, chopped finely
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350º. Place meat in small roasting pan, with the remainder of the marinade poured over it.  Cook 45 mins, turning once, until internal temp is 140º.

Then we had a leek gratin.  I was a little leery of this, but it was incredibly delicious

3 leeks, trimmed, split lengthwise, and well rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tblsp. unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half & half because it’s all I had)
6 Tblsp. grated cheese (I used Edam, the original recipe called for Gruyere, but depending on what you’re going for, most any mild cheese would work)

Preheat oven to 350º. Arrange the leeks cut side up in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, dot with butter, and gently pour the cream over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese, cover with a lid or foil and bake for 35 minutes. Carefully uncover and bake 5 – 10 minutes more until the top is golden brown and the leeks are tender.

Even better than they cook for same amount of time at the same temp!

We had it with crusty whole grain bread and white wine.  I used too much butter (I never referred back to the recipe after I first saw it) to no ill effect, but I’ll probably try and do it right next time.  I also would cut the leeks into about 3″ pieces after splitting them, to make it easier to serve (although having a knife that’s actually sharp in my house would have gone a long way toward helping that).

I have been looking for a menswear styled woman’s oxford for close to two years now.  18 months ago I could find one pair and those weren’t real leather.  Now they seem to be the ubiquitous shoe for fall.  Although, as ever with something like this, I know exactly what I want and my need for detail often means the thing I want doesn’t exist.  But sometimes, as I did on Friday, I stumble on the exact thing I’d been hoping to find.  This time the bar was even raised: they come in purple.   Alas, I’m going to be saving my pennies for a while.  And I’ll probably get the grey ones for practicality’s sake.  Still in the interim, while the weather is still warm here, I will fantasize about fall outfits, with sweaters and the perfect oxfords.  In purple.

Today’s picture brought to you by my desire to have eaten such a lovely dinner in Catalan France, while wearing a vintage patterned shirtdress and purple oxfords.  Someday I’ll have a castle too.

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we work to make our dreams come true

Well here it is Tuesday again.  Fortunately for me, this Tuesday was preceded by a Monday and a weekend, not by 40 other Tuesdays as has so recently been the case.  Talks-to-Owls and I took advantage of that first weekend of freedom and escaped the city to lounge about in a hotel room and walk in Botanical Gardens and see Museums.  Work continues apace. I haven’t wrapped my head around not working 65+ hours a week.  I am exceedingly busy this week, despite not working as much, or perhaps because I am not working as much.  This weekend I will perhaps try and organize my life some.  Next weekend I am going to Seattle for the holiday.  After that everything will become somewhat more normal.  Or become the new normal, I guess, since it seems everything in my life has changed in the last seven weeks.  Actually I’m not sure at all what normal will be now.  I am just making it up as I go along.  Although I suppose that’s what we are all doing all the time.

So, uh, yeah.  I spent the weekend wandering museums while wearing sundresses.  I’m mentally all over the place.  I feel vague, distracted, sort of unable to work and unable to think or process anything that isn’t work. I wish I  lived in museum/sundress land all the time (picture above is from my phone to capture my Saturday night, what joy! wine and a view).  Plus the heat index here is over 100°F and is supposed to stay that way until, uh, September, I guess.  So that isn’t very motivating.

(Thoughts about the oil spill and other news redacted from this post for another time when I’m making more sense.)

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Day 37: Still Tuesday

Talks-to-Owls and I have agreed that this Tuesday never seems to end. It’s been about 37 days since we last had a day off of work.  Which makes every single day Tuesday.  In a regular week you can spend Monday reflecting on the past weekend, on Wednesday you’re halfway through, Thursday is almost Friday, and Friday is the end!  But Tuesday? Just another day with nothing great on either side of it.  So here I am having been through more than a month of Tuesdays, with half a dozen to a dozen more in front of me. Sure the bulk of it is behind me, but still, the light at the end of the tunnel is faint and seemingly far away.  I guess it won’t truly be bright until I actually have a solid end date. And that end date does depend on how fast my team can work, but it has many wobbly and unknowable outside factors creeping out of the tunnel shadows.

I work in the construction industry, in an office that was, until my arrival, mostly male.  I currently have a staff of 5 temps, all female, that are sitting in the larger shared office space that was, as stated, all male.  Overheard this morning (before the girls arrived):

S: Man, the ratio of boys to girls here is just so different you can’t even be yourself no more.
K: Better let one off before the girls get here.
S: T just did.
*I walk into the room laughing*
T: I ate daffodils for dinner last night.  It’s flowery when I let one off.
S: Farting honeysuckle everywhere you go, I knew you were that kind of guy.
T: Flowers and poppy seeds, that’s all I eat.

On the one hand, hilarious.  On the other hand, what does it even mean? I’ve been having weird Wizard of Oz field of poppies visions all morning because of that conversation leading to me to read more into it than I should and wonder what the underlying metaphors I missed were.  (The answer, none, no metaphors, just boys BSing.)

I have mentioned elsewhere that I am making a conscious decision NOT to boycott BP over the oil spill.  There are many reasons for this, the main one though is that the gas station I drive by every morning, my most convenient station, is a BP station.  I have been going there regularly for 4 years.  I know and like the people who own it.  I don’t want their livelihood to disappear just because they signed the “wrong” franchise agreement.  Honestly it could have been any oil company that caused this disaster and I do not want to see any more of the little guys get hurt.

(Southern Beale has written an excellent post on the kind of “punishment” that is fit for BP after this disaster.  Surely much more effective than a consumer boycott.)

Truly I ache for the fishermen, the people who live on those coasts and all the regular people who are so seriously impacted by this (we all are in the environmental sense, but the folks who might not pay bills right now because of it really weigh on me).  And it’s so wide reaching.  Like now BP might withhold dividends on stocks? Which would hurt British retirees whose retirement funds include BP stock.  How many more average people can BP fuck over with their greed and incompetence?

Here are some things I like:

Firefly lamp

Tom Robbins is weird

Synchronous fireflies

Banksy, especially his “Shop”

Blooming lamp

And my cousin and his wife had their first baby this week!!   Welcome Caleb James (who was clearly named after me, though that’s a joke that probably only my mom will get).  Weighing in at 9lbs and 4oz!  Hello big boy!  He’s healthy and home with mama, poppa and puppies.  HOORAY!  Here’s his “little” toes:

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Flowers North and South

I just spent a week in Boston, only to return and find that it’s really, really spring in Tennessee.  I took only a handful of pictures while up north.  And then mucked it up while uploading from my camera and somehow half of them disappeared. Oops.  Here’s the few I have left:

click to view all

Most of the missing pictures are also of flowers, since that’s all I ever seem to remember to shoot. A very European neighborhood, entirely paved over but filled with flower boxes in each window sill is miraculously beautiful!

Back in Tennessee every single spring flower in my neighborhood has opened up, so I took and afternoon to walk around and try and capture a little bit of the joy:

click to see all pictures

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Stomping the Devil’s Backbone

Hi hi hi!  It’s spring, people.  Actually, it appears Tennessee has moved straight to summer, bypassing spring altogether.  It’s currently 9pm and 81°F outside.

Yesterday, my pal, Talks to Owls, and I went hiking on one of the trails off the Natchez Trace Parkway, The Devil’s Backbone (click to see my pics from the day).  It was gorgeous out.  We had breakfast at Puckett’s, reminding me that I love living in the South because fried chicken is an acceptable breakfast food here.

We had a nice drive down part of the Natchez Trace and then hit the trail.  It was a little weird.  Pleasantly we were the only people on that trail.  But spring is really late this year because winter was so cold and long, so the leaves were hardly even peaking out.  But the air was warm and still and very much felt like high summer.  It made the entire hike feel sort of surreal, like time and space had somehow come together improperly.  Still the hike was no less wonderful for it.

Hopefully the pictures show the beauty of the Redbuds peeking out.  It really was a spectacular drive!

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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.

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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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Not from my own head

A few recent things I’m reposting here mostly so I’ll remember, but also a little bit for your edification.

From my mom’s Facebook page this past Monday:

MLK: “I am in _____ because injustice is here… I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in _____ and not be concerned about what happens in _____. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a sin…gle garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”


MLK, just before midnight: “We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in _____ and justice throughout the developing world — a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who pos…sess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Seen several places, grabbed from http://www.christyfrink.com

Brezsnyscope 2010 forecast for me.  Brezsny is both sensible and, I think, completely out of his mind.  If you aren’t already reading them, his horoscopes give excellent meditation fodder, even if you don’t believe in astrology.

Good commentary on the news out of Mass. today.

Today’s picture was taken on the Olympic Peninsula in July 2005.  I think it was from inside a cave at the far south end of Ruby beach.

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fantasy wardrobe, fantasy weather, lots of whining

I’ve just started watching Lie to Me.  It’s good so far.  I like crime procedurals and geeky things like the science around reading facial expressions. So far though, what I’m most impressed with is the wardrobe.  Who ever is dressing the women on this show is doing a spectacular job. The two dresses Dr. Foster wears in the pilot are fantastic. The grey sheath is flattering and simple but it the details on the neck line construction are beautiful.  The second dress has some amazing pleats down the front.  Sadly I can’t find a picture of it.  I’d love to try and reconstruct it.    Everything she wears is perfect.  The dress at the wedding.  The long coat and boots at the fire station.

Torres always looks perfectly professional and yet interesting and comfortable.  Even Dr. Lightman’s secretary has gorgeous clothes perfectly suited to her figure and her position.  Love her ruffly cardigan in the second episode and her cute plaid dress in the third ep.

The clothes on this show are so great that they make me almost wish that I worked in an office so that I could dress like these women.

Of course it’s so cold here that I can’t sew.  My sewing room is the coldest room in the house.  Sure I could drag the space heater in there or something, but I don’t know if it will keep my hands warm enough to do the work I need to do.  Really this whole Arctic blast thing or whatever it is is awful.  The current -2°F (windchill) is unbearable.  And yes, I know it’s colder in the NE or whatever, but I don’t live in the northeast.  I live in Tennessee, in a house with no insulation that could use at least a lot more weather stripping.  The forecast tells me I just need to make through until Sunday and temps will go back to normal.  But 3 days of temps not even hitting 30°F as high with windchills around 4°F is pretty awful even if I only have to be outside for a few minutes at a time.  Plus today’s gross wet snow is going to be an ice nightmare should I decide to venture out.

While I’m thinking about cold and clothes, I got this sweater over the holidays (thanks, mom!) and I love it so much I’m seriously considering getting the blue one too (the one I have is sort of muddled brown/deep purple), of course by the time it was shipped to me it would be warm again outside.   Still, soft!  Cozy!  Cute!  I want to wear it all the time.  And I guess, given the current temps, I’ll have that opportunity.

Today’s picture I took at Mt. Rainier in the summer of ’05.  Green!  So green!  Not like winter at all.

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There it is, the extent of my holiday decorating.  It is actually more than I can be bothered to do most years.  The tree is twinkily and sparkly, covered in tiny, tiny lights.  Which, really, what more do you need from a tree than lights?

My cards are 3/4ths done (all addressed, 2/3rds written).  I wish I could say the same about my shopping/making of gifts.  I’m not this last minutes, I swear, just this year the whole season crept up on me.  I blame November for being so warm.


(but not a real green dress, that’s cruel)

Final autumn dress (the previous ones are here and here).

This is the before:

Rhinestone buttons, ill-fitting bodice, awkward sleeves. But gorgeous fabric.

And after, with a few adjustments:

Took in side seams and bust darts, removed and re-set sleeves, shortened sleeves and skirt length, changed buttons and belt. I actually won’t wear this with fancy stockings and shoes, but rather with a flats and boots.  The angle is weird here too, camera low and tilting up, the dress looks shorter here than it appears when looking at it straight on.

I need to find a halfway decent photographer who wants to pad out their portfolio taking pictures of things I’ve sewn.  I am a really crummy photographer.  Although I suppose setting up the camera and using the self timer like this doesn’t really work out for anyone.

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and you in your autumn sweater

I just ate a very healthy dinner.  I slept for 10 hours last night.  Now I need to take my vitamins and drink about 3 more glasses of water, sleep 8 more hours and hopefully be all back to normal.  Rock star weekend seriously took it’s toll on me.

I did manage to finish a few projects and take a couple pictures.  First up is my new winter coat.

It’s wool, and new with the tags on.  Apparently from Italy and cost 119 euros.  I got it for $15 at a thrift store.  I am very pleased with this.  It’s purple!   (Also how cute are my boots?)  I do need to shorten the sleeves on it a bit, but otherwise, seriously, how awesome, right?

I also finished a couple dresses.  This one is a midweight blend, shirred at the waist, with pockets.  It’s designed, hopefully, to work under a cardigan in the fall and maybe over a turtleneck in the winter.  It only barely resembles what I had imagined when I started shopping for the fabric, but I’m pretty darn happy with it.

I have one more dress finished, though not yet photographed.  I made a lined jacket for a friend.  Which really was just me taking his jean jacket and one of his sweatshirts and sewing them together, but it came out pretty well I think (we’ll see when I give it back to him tomorrow).  I did most all of my mending over the wekend as well (just have a pair of pjs that need a little altering left to finish).  So I’m all ready.  I have a VERY ambitious list of new projects to start, many of which are already cut out.  I am feeling ready to get started now that I’ve finished my fall wardrobe.  Although I am pining for a pair of grey boots like these.  I know, I know, I really do already have enough pairs of boots, but look how pretty!!  And affordable.  Unlike these, which are my dream boots (in green, so impractical, price and reviews also make them impractical, but so GORGEOUS).

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Thinky thoughts

I am freaking exhausted.  Staying up until 4 am pretending to be a cool rock chick will do that, I guess. Fun night, better day (despite the hangover) showing the PNW boys Nashberg.

Fall still seems to be raining it’s way in.  I’ve gotten pretty used to Indian summers here. I guess it’s still possible.  It’s just been so overwhelmingly grey and insanely wet for the last week.  The air tastes like despair.  I have been here, in the sun, for so long now that apparently it takes only a week of grey for SAD to set in.  Luckily a good day of bright Southern sunlight can knock it out.  Now if only the sun would come out.

Libelle and I went shopping yesterday and I got an amazing wool coat, Italian, with the tags still on at the new Goodwill for $15.  I am smitten with it. It’s purple, but not too purple.  I like autumn all right, though I lament the loss of summer.  The coat is so wonderful that I think I might actually make it through winter.  I will try to take pictures tomorrow.

I lost my evening reading random personal blogs that Google Reader recommended me.  Usually it recs me sewing blogs or something clearly related to other blogs I read (like music or local news) but I got these two random ones.  One a girl who seems lonely and sad, but maybe doesn’t realize how pathetic she comes across (lots of writing about the boyfriend she misses, even though they broke up a year ago and she hasn’t spoken to him in seven months, ugh, so sad).  And another is a sort of hipstery dude in Brooklyn, but he posts kind of interesting art, and these hilarious (possibly unintentionally so) one line movie reviews, so I might follow him for a while.

Then I was thinking about how these blogs are nothing but weird windows into people’s lives so I went back and read my own entries from the last three Septembers.  And I guess since this blog is sort of about nothing, it is also a weird little window into my life.  I was reminded that I get really homesick every September, so it is excellent that I am going out to visit this week (omg, I need to pack).  And there’s odd little entries like this one that make my life seem interesting.  I guess my life is interesting.

I was contemplating some meme where you put all your past addresses into Google Earth and post the pictures of them, but then it seemed oddly morbid. Still, here is the house I grew up in.  It is part of what makes me interesting.  This pictures makes me happy.  Maybe it is because it seems so sunny.

The Placebo version of this song was on the premiere of Vampire Diaries (which so far doesn’t suck) and reminded me of how much I love it.  I have probably listened to it six times tonight.  It makes me feel lonely and happy at the same time.  This video is clearly dated though still incredibly lovely.

This live performance is also dated, but the emotion in it is fantastic.

I am covered in mosquito bites from walking around Spring Hill cemetery this morning.  I hate the word “upcycle.”  I am tired and achy.  I should be in bed.  Instead I am scrunched up on the love seat eating a sandwich consists of wheat bread (the cheap, crappy kind that is like brown white bread), tartar sauce (better than mayo on sandwiches) and havarti.  It is kind of trashy and incredibly delicious.

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a thousand more words

The picture above is from one of my favorite photoblogs, Simple Things.  I feel like it perfectly captures this short hanging moment between seasons, when the light has changed but the leaves have not turned yet. When you know winter melancholy is coming but summer isn’t truly over.

Corbis has an incredible series of pictures up with stories about each one.  Definitely worth taking a trip through thier site to see each pic.

I love this picture.  It feels like the future of the world starts and ends right here.

And something about the gap-toothed smile here just warms my crusty old heart.

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just blather, sewing related

I can’t decide what to do about the Burda World of Fashion pattern.  I’m disappointed that you can’t just go to their site and easily order a back issue.  It seems like a major failing on their part. Also all I want from the issue is the skirt pattern.  If I devoted an hour to it I could probably hunt down a similar pattern somewhere else?  Or I could just keep an Ebay search watch for the issue and hope I get one?  I have the fabric for the skirt already. Hmm….

In other sewing related news I will post pics today of my latest finished stuff.  In the meantime I am obsessing over fabric (and obviously the pattern above).  I stumbled on this fabric.  I NEED it.  At that width I could do with only a yard.  I mean you wouldn’t want to do a whole top out of it or anything.  Although, hmm, lined as an a-line skirt, just above the knee, I bet it would be pretty fantastic too.  I searched around for something similar that wasn’t $20 a yard and this is the closest thing I found. Not good enough.  But hey, $20 isn’t so much, so I will probably break down by the end of the day and buy the pretty blue medallions.  I actually have a little money I was setting aside for a jacket, but you know, I have half a dozen jackets, so maybe I’ll buy the fabric and make something lovely with it.

I found the sewing class I want to take locally.  It’s $380, but it’s 12 – 3 hours classes, so completely worth it, as that’s like $11 a class.  However my schedule really doesn’t work with it right now (plus my current travel plans would have me missing 3 of the 12 classes), so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that they will offer it again in the session starting in January.  Which would be perfect because it would give me something to occupy myself with in the dead of winter.  YAY!

I’m having a bunch of trouble shirring with elastic thread.  It’s extra frustrating because I do this all the time.  It’s usually so easy.  I guess I need to re-wrap all the bobbins and check the tension on my machine, top and bottom.  And then do a bunch of test runs.  And then carefully pick all the stitches out of my last two projects (or maybe one, I really might just sacrifice one of them).  And then resew once I make sure it all works. Blarg.

I think I’m going to work on my master list of sewing projects today.  Not sewing, just planning.  Since I’ve finished a bunch and abandoned a couple, I guess it needs updating.  I should probably clean my sewing table too, since maybe that will help me feel better when I attack the elastic thread problem.

Today’s picture doesn’t have jack to do with sewing, but I had a dirty dream about Alex Skarsgård last night, so I thought I’d post a picture, just to keep it fresh in my mind.  The picture also makes me want to sew a lot of fall clothes, so I guess that’s something sewing related.