Saturday, November 22, 2014

What I'm wearing (when not covered in horse hair and dirt)

Vogue 8691 in a grey ponte.
 I had high hopes for this top, but was disappointed by the fit and the neckline.  There is a lot of extra fabric under my arms-not a good look on a muscular build to start with.  Then, the neckband was too wide, and did not lay (lie?) correctly.  I ended up folding and stitching some detail into the front and adding a tab.  

I think this particular pattern will look MUCH better in a lighter knit such as a jersey.  

Who hasn't made Kwik Sew 3115, the yoga pant?
 Here they are in a basic black.  Perfect fit!

Finally, some Clovers in a novelty denim.
 I love this pattern, but these turned out just too big.  In an attempt to save them, I washed them and ran them through a hot dryer...they fit a little bit better now.  I did not have the pouchiness in front last time I made these.  Could my thighs have become more muscular in front and causing the fabric to not fall fluidly? If so, I blame this entirely on riding in a western saddle for the past few years.  

Enjoy your weekend everyone-I am off for a short trail ride and then finishing up a Katherine Tilton tunic. fondly, Mary

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Still here, and checking in with you

Hi Readers,  I am still here...recovering well from my bout of pneumonia, sewing some nice pants and tees, riding and in general, enjoying my life.  I have a backlog of posts and pictures to computer is in the shop and for some reason, I am having trouble with my camera/laptop relationship.  As Rosanna Rosannadanna said, "It's always something". 
Our house is becoming a home slowly.  We had a brickmason come in and reset our front patio-what a difference!  No more broken pieces, big dips, or unparallel lines (there is probably a construction term for that).  We also had the windows professionally cleaned until we can replace them and had some screens made.  The front of the house has been sealed, so we are ready for next year's monsoons.  These are all projects that cost bucks, and don't have a showy value.  But all together, they make the house look a bit more cared for. 
MONEY...we have now spent most of our profit from the Oregon house. 
1. one serious piece of art
2. some inexpensive pieces, and some folk art
3. furniture for the dining room/office combo
4. furniture for the sewing room (I put together)
5. landscaping front and back yards (we did lots of this)
6. servicing AC/heater combo and setting up service contract
7. repairing garage door and header (Ross did this)
8. new blinds for living room, dining room and sewing room blinds repaired
9. drapes for our bedroom
10. repairs to roof (flat roof needs upkeep), and parapet
11. minor plumbing repairs (Ross did these)
12. repair wall, windowsills, woodwork (we are doing this)
13. paint as above is done (we are doing this)
I shipped my horses here from Oregon, and that was a needed expense.  The cost of boarding is a bit higher here, and vet/farrier care is quite a bit higher. 
We drive more here, but have a Prius which averages 56mpg. 
There are so many places to go and things to see!  We are spending more on entertainment, and also on gym membership as we found that necessary in the hot summer.  We've also gone to the movies more here, and spent more on take out.
For those of you contemplating a move such as ours (from rural to city), there are costs to it.  Those costs are offest by the excitement of restaurants, theatre, dance, art and culture.
We are excited about our new life as desert dwellers, and love seeing our home develop.  I can't imagine not doing this.   

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fever dreams

I somehow contracted pneumonia.  I have been feeling poorly, and last weekend I crashed, ending up in the ER.  Since that time, I am drinking ice water, juice, soda (I know, I know) and a little bit of coffee.  Food?  I am trying.  Fruits and raw vegetables are mostly what I want, though I do eat a little lunch and dinner.  This is halfway through my antibiotic course and I am praying to see some improvement from today on.  

The nights are very odd, with fever spiking and sending me into night sweats.  My dreams are long, meandering journey dreams with no real conclusion or satisfaction found.  My husband, who is a wonderful musician and music lover, posted this video on FB the other day and I thought he could see into my dreams!  Of course, the night before I had read a bit of Rose by Martin Cruz Smith. There was a scene in which gorilla hands were displayed to a gathering of upper class English mine owners.  Obviously I saved that little snippit for my nocturnal journey.

I sleep most of the night, waking at 4, and reading a little.  Then, I try to sleep some more.  If I get up, and do anything, I'll be paying for that expenditure later in the day.  Today I slept from 9-12, and here I am talking to you before nap #2.  

My old jack russell Nick is in heaven.  The rule about sleeping on the guest bed?  What rule?  Up he comes for his own fever dreams!

I sewed some pants though, and they fit.  I still need to hem them but every time I move my head, there is a little rush of blood pressure adjustment which is not fun.  I'll wait.  I used this pattern and some black ponte from Fabric of Vision (very good knit).  

I sewed View A, medium through the high hip and small/medium down the thigh.  I then straightened the flare, using the small line, a 1/2" SA everywhere and some artistic license. There were notes on the pattern pieces, though I have zero memory of making these previously.  But, the notes led me to a good result.  

Some Clovers are also waiting their turn.  I cut them out in a cool denim from Sandy at FOV.  The denim is very strong, and has a teeny herringbone pattern throughout.  I have made a number of Clovers, and so I just went for it and cut them, not checking the waistband fit but hoping that all would work out...fever dream?
I will check back in with all of you, and keep you updated on my sewing progress, and if my immune system is kicking into high gear.  Stay healthy-get your flu shot-and wash your hands often.  love, "mom"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop has landed in Arizona

Coco, of Coco's Loft, passed me the blog hop baton last week.  Those of you who visit Coco know her to be stylish, casual, gorgeous, serene and creative.  I count her friendship a blessing in my life!

my photo, which has moved around Pinterest rapidly

So, here we are in arid Arizona after enjoying beach photos of Coco amid tropical lushness.  Here is my home-this is a photo I took in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is 2 hours from Tucson on the border of Mexico.  This is a popular crossing for Americans and Mexicans-we go down to the beach, and they drive up to shop.

Q #1: What am I working on?
In the immediate sense, I am trying to get well from some fever I got.  Off to the doctor tomorrow and I think she will say I have Valley fever.  I will let you all know.

This summer I worked to deplete my stash.  I want to start fresh, and perhaps only buy for specific projects.  hahahaaa, nice idea.  Isn't this a mess?  I just moved and really have had a hard time settling in.  Time...

Finally, I am always working to improve my writing.  I love to write, and keeping this blog has allowed me to develop my real voice.  Over years, this blog has become a way for me to examine my thoughts and reactions to my life. Looking back at certain posts is powerful for me. I can see that no matter how I am buffeted, I
am still the same person.

Q #2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
biblioblog has been here since Sept of 2009.  As a sewing blog, it is not as detailed as some and perhaps lacks a certain emphasis on technique.  Sometimes I will include process, but often will show start and finish pics, and discuss what worked and what did not.  I think everyone approaches the craft in different ways, and I love to learn about someone's creative process.

All that said, my blog is an opportunity to capture my development as an adventurous woman.  So, you will see posts about sewing, cooking, horse training, moving to a new state on the spur of the moment, and some loving emphasis on vintage finishing techniques.  I often take time to add hem lace to my clothing, stitching it with a herringbone stitch.

Q #3: Why do I write/create what I do?
That's the million dollar question...because it gives me pleasure.

Without detailing everything, my family disintegrated and as the youngest, I saw it all but could not reason why it was happening.  It was a slow process, punctuated with drama and death.
As traumatic as those years were, and the ones which followed, they are done but they put their mark on me.  Through the help of many people, and professionals, I learned to find strength in the scars.
I am a highly independent person, and deliberate, and tough.  These qualities are from my parents, who had them too, but lost their own way.

So, my sewing, and cooking, and riding, and sports, and hauling a large trailer, and going after a college degree before getting a HS diploma...these skills PROVE I am capable and reliable.  On a deeper level, all my activities are play for me.  I celebrate my brain, my heart, and my body every day.

Q #4: How does my writing/creating process work?
My urge to create something, to sew, cook, garden, or write builds within me.  This incubation might be one day or one year.  For example, our move to Arizona looked impulsive to our Oregon friends but I could feel myself moving away from Oregon for a long time before we made the decision.

I have learned to keep track of visual cues, or snippits, skipping across my subconscious, and to keep a notebook of thoughts.  I usually make general plans, leaving lots of room for inspired changes.  My sewing plans almost always begin as an outfit or a mini wardrobe, and then I fill in each garment as I go.  I love the process of seeing a theme emerge in my clothing.  This summer I made so many hi lo hems I was astounded when I checked.  Here is a recent blouse with a very modified hi lo hem and flirty girly collar-S 1693

I'm passing this baton onto starsthreads, a blog which is light, fun, and full of wonderful sewing!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dreambook-new Vogues

V1428 for a romantic holiday evening

I love the winter collection just released by Vogue.  Dresses are featured heavily in the collection, and there are styles appropriate for a glamorous holiday party or an open house in the neighborhood.  Here are some of my faves:
V1423 Look at the yoke-what a cool detail.
This would be so pretty in cranberry linen

V9046 Claire Schaeffer design-lots of tucks & waist stay.  This dress seems like a perfect daytime holiday dress. 
V1429  Cocktails on the Enterprise.  I love the dramatic collar.  The tee is a cool part of the pattern.
V1424 hmmm, looks like gym wear for after all the holiday feasting!
I like it, but not for me.

V9052 I hate the dress, but the jacket!  So wonderful, especially for a petite woman.

V1430 Sandra Betzina brings us another wearable and beautiful top/jacket.  This will be in my closet in spring.

V9067 Five Easy Pieces I will definitely buy this-it is made for me.

I find lots to love in this collection, even though my lifestyle doesn't really include dresses with innumerable tucks and a waist stay, or lace, or overlapping yokes.  However, we have been going out a lot more since moving to Tucson.  Maybe I do need a dinner dress with some bling.  

Next post: art