Friday, October 31, 2014

Clothes That Are Too Tight

 I don't know whether to apologize for not posting yesterday and promise to do better or be realistic and say that right now, it's highly unlikely I'll post every day unless I've accomplished something postable. There's no point in nattering on about nothing and I am sure you're not interested in what I ate for breakfast. Wednesday, I mostly knit. Yesterday, I did some sewing and mostly knit. Knitting is hard to post, especially when you're designing your own sweater. The process is incremental and so often one row forward and two rows back that progress is hard to detect. More on that later.





This picture is blurry. That's the best I could do with the mirror shot and there was no one around to take the picture. The pants are unfinished - Vogue 9035 - WITHOUT the zipper or the 1" waistband and at the original pattern length. As you can see, they are too short and too high. I'd need to shorten the crotch depth by at least an inch if I wanted to add the waistband which is actually typical for me but I wanted to see what the pattern as is would look like.





The pleats are a bit tricky but otherwise the design sews together nicely and I really like the French seams only the points are more pointed than the pattern envelope allows you to believe. The above pleats are the soft version and....





... this image shows the pleats pressed and top-stitched. If you go to the Vogue web page, you'll see that there are no picture of the pressed pleats front on. I hadn't expected them to be quite this pointy and I don't think the points - plus the fact that I could have gone up a size - are flattering to me right now. I have to say that an anti-anxiety drug that causes weight gain seems counterproductive to me because my increasing weight is surely causing me a lot of anxiety - LOL. If it doesn't reverse itself soon, I'll be making some changes HOWEVER... until then...





... reality is that clothes that are too tight only make you think about how heavy you are and are not - IMHO - flattering or conducive to losing weight. Clothes that fit flatter. Clothes that sausage don't. The pants above are Burda 8157 - a classic, straight leg, trouser style that I find...





... looks good on me and feels comfortable. I decided to sew it in jean yesterday and when I pulled out the fabric folded inside was the front already cut out in the size I wanted. I vaguely remember changing my mind because I'd lost weight earlier this year and they were going to be too big. The pair above are a size smaller than the ones I'm sewing now. I'll take this half cut project as a blessing.






I've shown this Vogue Knitting Fall 2005 Cropped Cardigan a few times. It's the pattern I'm working from although I'm only following the general outline. It's written with a chart and while a lot of people like working from a chart, I haven't found that rhythm yet especially when the symbol means this on the front and that on the back. Since the front rows are read left to right and the back rows are read right to left and you know you're on the back I don't understand why it can't be what it actually is without double checking if you need to do the opposite. I'm just saying.... why make it complicated? ANYWAY... I'm changing things.




Instead of the rolled edge, I used a Sea Scallop edge which has a gentle waving look and then, instead of the stockinette stitch band at the bottom, I used...





... a horizontal twisted rib stitch with nine repeats. I really like both the look and the stability of the stitch only my sample gauge and my real life knitting didn't match out mathematically and when I took the piece off the needles to test fit it, it was too short so I measured it, calculated how many more stitches I needed to add, and have started over. Naturally, I was knitting it all in one piece so I didn't just shorten the back or one front, I shortened both fronts and the back. And that's okay. It doesn't bother me to have to take this out and rework it. I like the challenge of figuring out a pattern.

SO... I'm not sure what to say to those of you who were looking forward to seeing Vogue 9035. On my body, as is, right now, it's not flattering and it's too short. I've put all the parts and pieces aside and when I'm down at least ten pounds, I'll pull it out again and see what I think then. If it's doable, I'll alter the crotch depth by moving the yoke down and add the zipper and waistband. In the image above, they're already hemmed the 3/4" suggested in the pattern. If you sew the pants, I'd love to see a picture.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - finding the jeans almost already cut out was encouraging to my sew the size you are and you'll feel a lot better belief.

Dress shabbily - or too tight - and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.
- Coco Chanel

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Creativity Connects

About a year ago, I switched Starbucks to one where there are quite a few regulars including two writers, a group of police officers, and a husband and wife who talk, write, and read the newspaper together. It's a "quieter" group and we're all there for a couple hours. Being a regular, I've gotten to know the people who work in "my" store. The first time the assistant manager - Tamara - saw me knitting she said she wanted to learn so....





... this past Saturday, we shopped for yarn and then started her on a basic garter stitch scarf in a gorgeous teal color. When Stephanie - who used to work at Starbucks - heard we were getting together, she asked to join us so...





... last night, the three of us met and knit. Stephanie is a beginner but not a total newbie. She has several started projects including the cowl she's working on above that she finished last night. It was so fun to see her excitement at learning how to cast off AND finishing a project. YES YES





Camaraderie is one of the fabulous things about creativity. For the most part, creative people are friendly and sharing people. Already Stephanie has someone she wants to invite to join us next week - a co-worker that is new to town. I've been knitting off and on for about forty-two years and it's delightful to be able to pass along my skills. As you can see, these ladies are significantly younger than me and it doesn't matter. Creativity connects.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - passing it on

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.
- Lao-Tse

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Stretched Out Dish Cloth

It's raining this morning. I feel like I should write a really long and profound post and delay walking the dog since dark and wet and cold are not exactly my favourite walking conditions only there's not a lot to say. I worked on the pant pattern yesterday morning and have the two legs together ready to add the yoke and waistband today.





After that, I concentrated on finishing the Baby Surprise Jacket. A lot of people really like this jacket. I'm not one of them. I think it's boxy and chunky looking but then, I consistently prefer garments with shaping so that makes sense. What I like about the pattern is the mystery how it develops.





Off the needles, it looks like a stretched out dish cloth until you fold you it into formation. Having knit the pattern a few times now, I'm starting to know where the parts are as they develop but even knowing how it works out in the end, when I'm at this stage...






... I wonder if I'm guessing correctly and am in awe of the designer's - Elizabeth Zimmerman's - ability to think and plan through this project. This page shows variations on the design, how to lengthen the sleeve, sizing, how to add a collar or hood, working with stripes and other design-it-yourself tips. I have enough yarn to add a crocheted edge and a collar.

On the weekend, I taught one of the women who works at Starbucks how to knit and tonight three of us are getting together. Tomorrow, I'll teach my friend how to read a pattern by starting the baby surprise jackets. She wants to knit them together. I'm not sure what yarn she's picked for hers but mine will be in a worsted weight wool for a larger size - something from the stash. We'll knit at her place - about 45 minutes away - for the afternoon which sounds great to me. I love spending time with friends and I love sharing creative skills that open up a whole new world of making things.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - sharing

People need joy. Quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more. 
- Margaret Collier Graham

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mine Are Emotionally Old

This sewing drought has been the longest I can remember - ever - almost two months. I was wondering why and what to do about it since I breath in fabric and the lack of consistent "air" has been making me somewhat cranky when it occurred to me that it was more in my best interest to stop wondering and to do something, an often truth.

This week, I'm testing out a not exactly new, more like slightly altered, routine starting with setting the alarm Monday to Friday. When I sleep in the day just never seems to go right. First thing will be blogging and then instead of running on the treadmill in my pajamas, I'll put on some exercise clothes and take Miss Chloe for a walk before getting pretty. It means dressing twice - first in exercise gear and then shower and "real" clothes - but this should get me back to an early posting and regular exercise while still allowing me to dress the way I want. I'm willing to put a hat over my bed head and walk in exercise gear but I'm not willing to wear that all day.




Speaking of clothes... mine are emotionally old. They're not worn out; I'm just sick of wearing them possibly because I maintain a small wardrobe although it doesn't really matter why. It just is and, with a few exceptions, I'd love to scoop the whole pile up and give it away.... which isn't possible... but it does give me the push to sew an entirely new wardrobe... which I have...it's flat folded in the stash closet waiting.

Another thing that I'm emotionally tired of is my furniture. Most of it is somewhere between twenty-six and thirty five years old and - IMHO - it is beyond time for new shapes, colors, and structures. One chair was torn and needed recovering. It was probably the oldest piece of furniture we had, an antique, a wedding gift. We decided to donate it since recovering it would be more expensive than purchasing a new one. Until we find what we want - and hopefully can afford - I brought some wicker chairs in from the porch. I'm enjoying turning them toward the view.




Over the last couple months, I've been doing a lot of knitting. The green is a sweater I'm designing by incorporating new stitch patterns into an existing outline. The pink is a newborn size of the famous Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. A friend wants to learn how to read a pattern so we're going to knit the jacket together. I'm making one ahead of time so she can see what we're doing and compare it to the written pattern.




I thought the new dresser was going to go under the bookshelves but I like it better under the desk. It replaces the filing cabinet and the two microwave stands that held up the counter-top and housed the printer and computer tower. The tower is on the floor at the far end of the dresser, the printer and office supplies are now in the top right drawer, and my sewing patterns moved from the filing cabinet to the middle and bottom right drawers. The top left drawer holds knitting supplies and the bottom two are empty for now.




Along with doing something in terms of developing a not entirely new and somewhat altered routine, I plan to do something in the studio - anything - just get started and see where it leads. Enough talk. It's time for action. Even though it's unusual for me, I put the coat aside because for some reason it was bogging me down. Instead, I've started on a pair Marcy's Vogue 9035 pants. Once again...




... the fashion fabric was less expensive than muslin fabric so I'm working with the real deal. My pleats above did not look at all like Marcy's pleats below...




... so I needed to go back to the instructions and try again although I'd swear I followed them exactly and quite possibly I did since the markings on my pattern piece look NOTHING at all like the markings in this tutorial of Marcy's. Using it, I did...




... manage to figure out the pleating pattern and now just need to stitch the folds in place and carry on. After getting dressed and going to journal, my plan is to do errands and appointments in the morning and studio work in the afternoon. After five years of roller coaster emotions, I'm starting to get used to not earning income or thinking all the time about how to earn income and settling into taking care of the home. It's a switch. I'm about 95-5% settled. There's that small part that still feels somewhat guilty and needs to "get a job" since I'm highly work oriented but right now, with Howard's health the way it is, this is my best role. Since I'm also goal oriented, I'm starting a new adventure today - regular coaching classes with Diane Ericson. I've never worked one-on-one with a coach for an extended period of time and I'm really excited to see where this goes and how it impacts my work. YES YES

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - just do it

I am not concerned about what happened yesterday. I know that today everything is made new.
- Ernest Holmes

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finding My Rhythm

It's been a busy day so far. Last night, we put together a large pile of things for Habitat For Humanity's Re-store and this morning, they picked them up and delivered...




... a new-to-me dresser for the studio. I want to move it backward underneath the bookshelves and maximize the space only it'll mean reversing which studio door is open. I'm not sure I'll like that but later, when I can move things around, I'll decide if the dresser is staying there but for now, that'll work. Nine more drawers of storage is perfect IMHO... except.... edited... apparently I can't count. Make that six drawers... but big ones.





Removing the patch was easier than I thought. I took out the stitching and then basically peeled it off. Very little of the glue remained but what did was...





... covered up with the new patch. I'm happier with this patch fabric but not sure that I'm happy with something square on my back. I'll see how it feels when I'm wearing it. This is a VERY easy project and I'm finding it quite stressful that it's taking me so long to finish. Me being me, I wonder why?

When we focus ourselves, we come into who we truly are. When we schedule the time to check our email, we are more efficient and accurate in our replies. Our sense of feeling scattered and overwhelmed dissipates as we control our devices rather than letting them into our lives at all hours. Like the nosy, overbearing person who asks for too much from us, we must set boundaries with our devices, leaving ourselves to our own devices, and letting ourselves be present in our own lives. - Julia Cameron.

Being controlled by my devices is not the issue. Other than the computer, I don't have any devices and I don't feel a need to check the screen the minute I hear that you've got mail sound and even so, the two words that stuck out in the above paragraph were schedule and boundaries. Since bringing Chloe (the dog) home and walking her for an hour every morning, my schedule has been all out of whack. I want to get things worked out and back ion track by Monday and get back to regular posting - on Monday - not tomorrow or Friday. Ideally, by then, the dresser will be in place, the studio functional, the coat finished, and I'm ready to start on another project and I have a sense of rhythm again.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the ability to regroup

The only way to deal with the future is to function efficiently in the now. 
- Gita Bellin

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fiddly And Other Art Forms

The coat hasn't moved forward, not even one stitch. I know what the problem is; it's the patch on the back. It's too bright for me and I want to reverse it to the darker patch with a lighter strip only that will require not only removing the stitching, but reheating the glue and peeling off the patch. It's not impossible, just fiddly, a word I've come to apply...





... to painting this weekend. The metal bed ends are now a solid black. I wanted these for our guest room and found the white/brass/floral ones at the second hand store. They've only sat for a couple months which is good. Getting the spray paint where the spray paint was supposed to be was fiddly but I know for sure that a brush would have been worse because...





... I used a brush on the fireplace... and a rag roller... and a teeny tiny sponge... and a thin detail brush... and it is almost done. There's just some touching up to do and I'm leaving that until the glazed tiles are well and truly dry so I can tape off. Right now, it feels like I fix the tile and get paint on the mantle and then I fix the mantle and get paint on the tile and that scenario...





... totally convinced me that painting - walls, furniture, fireplaces, stuff like that - is not my thing, at least not a long term thing, or a money earning thing. Doing the work for myself is enough and I'm glad to have that skill because it's a lot more expensive hiring someone to turn the below into the above especially when you have to do it twice. I repainted the base color turquoise and then reapplied the black glaze over top and now I like the look.





This is what all the original fireplaces in this complex looked like. I "borrowed" this picture from a recent listing because even though the decor is different, the fireplace is identical to what I had. It's good to have the skills to paint what you want to paint when you want to paint it even if you'd only ever paint for people you really Really REALLY love... like my kids.





While I was spraying the bed frame, I also sprayed the end table bought several months ago. I can't find an original picture so either I've labelled it some weird name or I didn't take one. It just needed some glue to firm up the frame, wood filler for a scratch on top, and a fresh coat of paint. I remember it was really inexpensive - like $5.00 - and it's perfect at the end of our couch upstairs.





AND... I primed the coffee table that I want to cover with buttons. It's in the studio waiting to move forward once I figure out how to support glass above it. I want to talk to the glass store about options first but other than that, I can begin as soon as I want to begin. I find there is more pressure in unfinished projects like...





... the fireplace, the bed ends, the end table, the coffee table, and this "self portrait" above - which has been waiting ten years to be finished - then there is in all of my studio stash. I tend to see the stash as potential and these types of projects as work. Wondering why that is had me thinking about other art forms. I've occasionally wondered if it's better for my primary art form if I have secondary ones that stimulate creative juices in entirely different ways. When I begin one of these other projects, I think YES YES and by the time I finish them I'm in the NO NO camp. Perhaps they are simply breathers to help me appreciate my love of fiber and what I can do with it. Perhaps some things - painting fabric - can ease their way into the mix and become part of the flow and others - painting furniture - are not so destined.

When we are focused on the competition, we are avoiding an action we need to take for ourselves. When we are jealous of another, we are probably avoiding a part of ourselves. We must be gentle with ourselves in these moments. We are avoiding ourselves because we are afraid. We are afraid that, even if we were to give it our all, our all won't be enough, that we're second-rate, that God's will is for us not to be as successful and acclaimed as the person we are fixated on. God's will is for us to be fully, completely, prosperously ourselves. WE are the treasure we are seeking. But until we focus our gaze squarely upon ourselves and redirect all those jealous energies toward our own projects, we will never find the pot of gold. 

The sentences above are from Julia Cameron's book The Prosperous Heart. I was impacted by them in today's reading which I found rather strange since I didn't think I was focused on any competition, jealous of another, or even avoiding a part of myself BUT... when something strikes you, there's always something else to think about... like am I afraid to give it my all, afraid that my all won't be enough. Most likely because I've been there done that and that might be part of what had me thinking about other art forms, a grass is greener kind of thought, and yet once again spending a weekend doing other things has only confirmed that for me that fabric and yarn are it and when we aren't having fun together, it's not the fabric's or the yarn's fault, it's just a blip I need to work through. It's normal.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - Re-Store

Laying aside every sense of burden or false responsibility, losing all fear and uncertainty from my thought, I enter into my kingdom of good today. 
- Ernest Holmes


Friday, October 17, 2014

The Fireplace Glitch

Adding an hour of dog walking a day seems to be playing havoc with my schedule. I'm not getting as much done as I'd like however we've only had Miss Chloe a week so hopefully I'll figure things out soon. I imagine - just possibly - that sleeping in, catching up on errands, and a few appointments are also contributing factors.





Above is as far as I got on the coat yesterday - playing with adding secondary patches to the large back patch. It's too big as it is and looks like a square bullseye. I think this arrangement has potential.

Mostly, I worked on the fireplace... which hit a glitch... and may or may not be finished... but definitely needs some final touch ups. It's amazing that no matter how well you tape off or how careful you are, paint always ends up where paint is not supposed to be.. or maybe that's just me.





My intention was to add black over the turquoise and lime splotches only when I sampled it with the oil base, it still looked splotchy. I ended up changing to acrylics so I could mix the black with a glaze. First I added...





... a layer of a blue over top to even out the colors only - as you can see on the hearth - I ran out and when I went to the store to get more they no longer had this color. It was an acrylic decor paint. I bought another one that should have been similar but it was actually quite a bit brighter and thinner. The one I had was quite old and that changes the color somewhat and the texture definitely. I tried mixing the new blue with a bit of black and that didn't work either. In the end, I decided that it would probably be okay because one was vertical and one was horizontal. NOT. The difference in color is bugging me and I'm not even sure I like the color. It's such a change from the blush pink that was there. I'm giving myself a bit of time to think about it.






The top photo is the vertical tiles around the fireplace and the bottom photo is the horizontal tiles on the hearth. I hoped when I added the black glaze that they'd blend better but they are obviously different so...





... I'm debating another coat of black over the brighter tiles and if that doesn't work, re-priming and starting over OR painting the tiles black OR another coat of a lighter color and then another coat of glaze. Either way, you can see some white splotches on the floor where the tape peeled off the paint and it needs fixing. I should have removed the tape while the primer was still wet and then reapplied it for the next layer.

The primer is Benjamin Moore's Stix. It's designed for difficult surfaces. The paint I'd intended to use is called Advance and it's fabulous for tiles and countertops. My friend used it on her kitchen tiles, even around the stove, and it's held up great with heat and steam and another person I know of used it on their countertop and even with cutting... which I definitely do not do on my countertop... it's held up great. Depending how I feel later today, we'll see what happens. Either way, I definitely prefer the silver trim to the brass.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the ability to try and try again until I get it to a way I like it

It can be said that our talents are gifts from God and our use of our talents is our gift back to God. 
- Julia Cameron

When I read this quote, I thought about my grandson and how delightful it is to see him growing and learning new things. No matter how small his accomplishment may be, I am thrilled and I smile, clap, and praise him as much as I can. I take delight in his accomplishments.God sees me as I see my grandson. He smiles and claps and is delighted with my accomplishments no matter how small they may seem to me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Very Own Painted Fabric

Both of my goals for yesterday were accomplished. I put three coats of white on the fireplace mantle and splashes of lime and turquoise over the primer on the tiles. Today, I'll cover those with black and plastic and create a marbled look. I'm excited to see how both it and...





...my coat turn out. I started choosing the patches by pinning the darker ones around the hem and the lighter ones along center front and then I played with which fabric should go where for the rest of the patches. Above, the lighter one is on the left shoulder and the right pocket. I think it's too bright and too blotchy. I decided to have the light ones up center front and the dark ones everywhere else.





At first, the back patch looked too big, most likely because I narrowed the back shoulder width by 1 1/2". When I cut that same amount off the patch, it looked more proportional. The strip of the darker print seems to break up the lighter expanse and add a point of interest. I'm debating stenciling letters. I'll see after the collar is on.





To attach the patches, I used a short, narrow zigzag. I wanted a dark color but not black. The olive I used for the first stitch sample was exactly right so I went with that.





All of the hemline patches are centered over the darts except for the two closest to center front. If I'd centered them, they would have overlapped the patch next to them so I drew a chalk line 5/8" from the edge and placed that over the dart making sure the two center patches matched side to side.

A 2" band is sewn to each side of center front and the button patches are sewn to the band. I have enough of the lighter painted fabric to cut out the under band - the one with the buttons - which might nicely compliment the over band with the buttonholes. I'll play with that idea once I'm further along. It's tickling for now, as is an idea for the collar. So far, I'm really pleased with how the coat is turning out and I'm especially thrilled to be using my very own painted fabric. YES YES ! ! !

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - "perfect" patches

I believe that God never wastes our time no matter how slow we think he is going. If we are waiting, we can assume God is working on the other players in our situation. Always. 
- Suzanne 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Just A Fireplace

Yesterday, I blogged, went to Starbucks to journal, took Miss Chloe for a long walk, gave the house a thorough cleaning since it hadn't been done for weeks, cleaned the downstairs fridge, sewed the darts, serge finished the seams, and sewed the center back seam on the coat, finished knitting the grey scarf, picked up groceries for dinner, and went to the paint store to research fireplaces, tiles, and countertops.





And then, I started painting the fireplace. I sprayed the insert with a gloss black and removed as many of the shiny brass pieces as possible to spray them silver. I had to paint the ones on the doors (including the handles) in place. Tricky. The tile is primed and ready for a faux finish. I'll paint the mantle first so I don't drip paint on my hard work doing it the wrong way around.





My goals for today are to put two coats on the fireplace mantle and to work with the painted fabric to make the patches for the Vogue 8934 coat. The main fabric seems to be working well and I've decided to use two of the painted fabrics for the patches and need to play with the placement of each on the design wall. I really wanted to get to that last night only there wasn't enough time and I didn't want to rush the process trying to get a picture for the blog so.... just a fireplace today.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - that tile and countertop paint = a color change with less mess and less expense

Tenacity is when you follow your heart - when the whole world is screaming to get back into your head.
- Sonya Choquette

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Defluffing, Eating Clean, And Not Enough Time

This week last year was one of the worst I have ever lived through and the 365 days that followed have been filled with roller coaster ups and downs related to my husband's health and to the impact of his health on mine. By the time the issue came to a head, I was already beyond exhausted and at first all I could do was cry and cry and cry. Thank God for the friends who were there for me. As sick as I was of crying, I can only imagine how they felt. Eventually...





... I caved and did something I almost never do - asked for medication. The anti-anxiety drug my doctor prescribed has worked wonders. In fact, there have been times since when a good cry was what I really wanted and it's darn hard to cry on those things. They've really helped me cope.





At first I wasn't hungry and actually lost weight and then - over the last few months - I've been packing on the pounds to the point that I've reached an all time high, numbers I've never seen before and hope to never see again. This is not the kind of "personal best" most of us are aiming for. Being this heavy is incredibly uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. Something has to change. I either need to tone up and lose weight or acquire an entirely new wardrobe because I'm at the edge of all my big clothes. I'd prefer to tone up and lose weight.





Yesterday, I researched the clean eating approach because it eliminates many of the foods I'm already sensitive too. If you've tried this way of eating, I'd love to hear your opinion. It seems it could also help with my goal to learn more about cooking and - from what I've read - it's important to incorporate exercise. Now that I have a dog that needs to be walked regularly, that should be less of a problem but I'm definitely a fair weather walker. Right now, we - as in Miss Chloe and I - have been taking a long walk in the mornings and a shorter one in the evenings. Hopefully, I can carry on with that when the cold weather comes.





One of the things that's so much better these last seven months is the work in the studio. Once the crying quite and I calmed down, I started putting a lot of emphasis on skill development including my two trips to Oregon. Before, I couldn't seem to push myself to do the work and the days were filled with endless, empty hours and now, I have so many ideas that there's not enough time in the day to get them all done. This is good. It's energizing. A fabulous bonus if you have to take drugs when you're not a take drugs kind of person.





Yesterday, I cut out the Vogue 8934 coat and then sewed up the underarm seams on the polka dot sweater that I'd painted the day before. Now that I have some experience, the next time I take a sweater apart I'll do a better job but right now, it's painted and back together and turned out not half bad for a sweater that was "ruined" by running dots. Once I pulled the tape off, there were a few places to touch up and in other areas I spritzed some black paint to imitate runs and achieve better balance of the grey tones. All in all, it's pretty great for a first try if I say so myself.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a now wearable sweater

We are made anxious by a life filled with too much velocity. But a life with too little velocity also hinders us. Great swaths of time before us can be intimidating. Relieved of any excuse, we feel pressured to perform. Instead, we are often most productive when we have limited time. 
- Julia Cameron. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Not Every Fabric Needs To Be A Star

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. Apparently - according to last night's news - our Thanksgiving weekend used to be in November like the United States and was changed to October in 1957. Personally, I think that was a great idea because November is way too close to Christmas.

We arrived back home on Friday and Saturday morning after breakfast Howard left on business so I've spent most of the weekend working in the studio which is fun but lacks turkey. Earlier, before we left for Calgary, I'd told the "boys" that I didn't want to cook the turkey this year and if they wanted turkey, they needed to cook it. They declined which is - of course - their choice so I had them over for apple crisp instead and went back to playing in the studio.





Micky Lawler's book SkyDyes was (and may still be) hugely popular with textile artists wanting to paint their own fabrics and especially with those creating landscape designs. It was published in 1997 and utilizes Setacolor paints which work best with plenty of water. That's almost twenty years ago and this was still not the first book I'd bought on painting. I had a yearning way back when. What I find funny is that....




... in 1997 I couldn't paint with any kind of uniformity to get an all over fabric useful for cutting up and piecing into a design and now...





... I can't seem to get anything but uniform "designs". The piece above is the most abstracted and even it veers toward even. And that's okay because...





... not every fabric needs to be a star. These layered background-ish pieces can be cut up and incorporated into a garment and if some star power is needed, it can be painted in or stitched on top and....





... that's a very familiar way of working for me and quite possibly the bridge into using painted fabrics. When we got home from Calgary, I did a bit more work on all of these pieces and then...





... packed up the painting supplies and moved them to the laundry room. The light is much, much, MUCH better here in the studio and I prefer working here but apparently I'm exceptionally good at over-painting which...





... required a considerable amount of time and effort to clean the paint off the wall, cabinets, and floor. I don't want to be continually worrying about that plus the water is in the laundry room and the laundry room is a carpeted walk down the hallway. It's only a matter of time before some paint gets on the carpet and that wouldn't be good. What is good is that...





 ... I'm about to start on Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8934 coat pattern using a combination of purchased and painted fabric.





The brown is a small black and brown check. It's dense with a nice hand and a silky reverse side. I'll use the painted piece shown for the patches although all the same may be too much and blotchy. If so, the darker gold piece (third down from top) would work well too. I'll just have to play and see what happens but first I'll sew a muslin to get the length and shape right. This will be my first sewing since the beginning of September and hopefully - VBG - I remember how.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a return to sewing

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose. 
- Indira Ghandi