Monday, August 30, 2010

memories of a t-shirt; done

well - a bug bite and a completely swollen ring finger unable to bend pretty much robbed me of productive activity friday and saturday.  I never truly appreciated that finger until then - no practicing violin or piano, no sewing or other art projects, minimal amount of drawing (even though I'm pretty much right-handed, that left finger really is important, somehow).

last night - with a much improved finger, finally finished the dress.  I hemmed it up and made the halter strap :)

this morning - zipped up the t-shirt scarf on the machine, flat-felled seams and all!  it's too bad the lime green really doesn't suit my skin tone.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the christmas miracle of jonathan toomey

Cleaning - and I love looking at old children's books.  I rediscovered one of my favorites - The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski.  it's about a grieving (and grumpy) widower's road to newfound happiness, by way of carving a Christmas nativity set for a widow and her son (okay, bad description but you get the picture...).  Whenever I read this book I end up in tears.

The illustrations are goregous, too - by P.J. Lynch.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Now this should be interesting.

Here's a project that takes the junk that people have in their pockets, and puts them on display - brought to you by the International Association for Empty Pockets, to "form a communal burial ground for the detritus of everyday life – and mark a new era of freedom for your pants."

Art House Coop - the pocket project

Monday, August 23, 2010

guitar + new camera

finally got a new coolpix L110.  haven't moved on the the really serious camera stage yet.  but this one is pretty nice, because it has like a 15x zoom.  and is, in general, way nicer than my other camera.  so that's what i've been up to this afternoon.  experimenting.

oh, and as it turns out, the calluses i'm getting from guitar are helping me with violin...because it seems that you only get minor calluses on your fingers from violin if you practice multiple hours a day.  which i do not do.  so by playing guitar i am benefiting my violin

[guitar-computer-painted toenails-bedroom floor; story of my week...]

easy songs list -
+this is not a test (she & him)
+you belong with me (taylor swift)
+rule the world (take that)
+the show (lenka)
+the winner takes it all (abba)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

madame x;

this post created upon the realization that although I have referred to this great lady a few different times, she does not have a post of her own!

Madame X, by John Singer Sargent 1884

Madame X, as originally painted - a photo as hung in the Paris Salon - with the right shoulder strap slipped down.  Scandalous!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

dress! part 2 :)

went for the long dress look :)  finished cutting everything out, put in the zipper yesterday (of which i am very proud...); all that there is left to do is hem the bottom.

oh, and my mom seems to think that i should put on straps so that the entire dress doesn't fall down when i'm wearing it.  although after multiple adjustments, and messing with the zipper placement more than once, the thing is, uh, pretty fitted.  comfortable, of course.  but fitted.

so, experiments with said straps.  i'm thinking that the halter thing is gonna win.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

a dressmaking dilemma!!!

So I started making a dress from this retro Butterick pattern.

The plan was, to use the pattern for the bodice (I love the detailing), and then attach a shorter skirt - so I could wear it as a little summer dress.

Well, I finished sewing together most of the bodice today, and now I have a seriously dilemma.

a short trial - me with a belt holding the top up, and the material tucked under the belt for the skirt.  It's cute enough.  Just what I was expecting.  But then, I had to let the material down.  All of it.  Of course, right?  Of COURSE I choose to make more choices for myself, and thus complicate life, JUST OUT OF CURIOSITY.

And here is like, something I would totally wear to the Oscars (without that really bad belt).  Or something.  Okay, maybe that was a slight exaggeration.

Anyway, major dilemma here.  Because while the first dress suits my personality the most, and its shorter length would allow me to wear it to more places, I still can't forget the longer version.  And if I did make it shorter, would I even wear the dress enough to make it all worth it?  Would it be better to just make the longer version, and wear it maybe only once?


This must be a sign that I have way too much free time.

Anway, I can't cut it out tonight.  I must think about it for a little while.  Even if this is not a healthy thing for me to do.

Friday, August 13, 2010

almost done...i wanna do something new anyway.

I got this giant cardboard-y paper at Costco for free - the kind that they somehow use for packing between boxes or something.  This was supposed to be my hour-a-day, two-week project.  Something new, since I have never painted anything this big before.  Just for fun, with practice I will (hopefully) get better, and acrylic paints are cheap.  Well, that daily project thing didn't quite work, considering I often switch gears and want to try something new.  So much for continuity.  It ended up being more like a month-long project, and I mostly finished today.  Well, it's not perfect, or finished, but I'll just call it finished for now.  I finished the hats anyway.  I based my painting off this black and white picture from that book on beauty through the decades, or something.

Anyway, back when I was doing the painting on a daily basis (all to the soundtrack of the lovely Madeleine Peyroux), I tracked my progress through pictures taken at the end of each session.  Like, 1-2 hour intervals.

So basically this is like the fast-forward let's-watch-a-plant-grow video.  But with painting.

I'm not too fond of these hats....

oh darn. i just remembered i forgot to fix the arm of the lady on the right.  oh well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

braided coaster/placemat/trivet + memories of a t-shirt

I have always been fascinated with braided rugs (I even started to make one - albeit a very a crude one - when I was little).  But they generally look so old-fashioned and country-ish!

New idea - use cool color scheme.  Like, black+white+red.  That way, it looks more modern...and I'm not going for an entire rug...a trivet will be good enough, thank you very much!  If it turns out I'll give it to my sister for her condo :)

I love the material together - especially the black and white patterned strip with the red!

Inspiration of this morning - a way to use up old t-shirts.  I used a really old t-shirt that I had painted on when I was little, for practice.

oh the memories...

making the first cut...always the scariest!

a rectangle cut from the front - and two rectangles of the same width cut from the back.

there! (whoops, got a random bit of my knee in there...)

and pinned together...okay, I lied - the whole thing wasn't long enough for me, so I cut out another rectangle from the front.

Now all I have to do is sew the bits together (I think I'll use flat-felled seams?), and...a comfy scarf!  There you have it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Phantom of the Opera.  I just love the costumes, in both the movie and the theatre production...

from the movie -
from: long ago captures

Hannibal scenes - London