Thursday, March 25, 2010

We're in!

Now: in our brand new cool little house with big blank slate of a yard in west seattle. 5 days of moving and shlepping boxes in rain, wind and cold, the shoulders hurt, but we've been homeowners for 5 days now. we slept 2 nites there already, with organizing, unboxing, downsizing, decorating, deciding, compromising yet to do but it's our lil piece of the rock. Rock on ~ we're in west seattle now!!!

we do have a view ~ not the serene banner view of my country dreams, but still... we look southeast, and see mt rainier and cascades when they're out. To the west, the beach is 2 mins away.

we are so proud

Sunday, March 14, 2010

drama in a dumb belt

one day a peacock, next day a feather duster

mostly i enjoy working out sewing problems. I can make things more complicated than they should be sometimes and take eons to finish sewing projects. oh well

i am making a fabric belt using vintage feedsack fabric with a small print. i was INTO collecting feedsack fabric a few yrs back.

I used 1" nylon strap for structure same fabric on both sides. i added a strip of burlap for structure in the middle but it turned out too thick for the 1" D rings i have.

the last belt i made was perfect in terms of how I think a fabric belt ought to feel. it's important to try to get that right. is that crazy? That belt was wider and had only burlap and interfacing for structure. i think maybe nylon strapping is intended for bag handles and backpack straps, and not belts ya think??!

Belt is needed for a pair of green fine wale cords found at a consignment shop. fine wale corduroy is not what I'd call robust. brand is Sitwell which i discovered is an anthropologie brand. these are crawling toward the goodwill sack, but i love them and want to help. waist sits down on on my hips and they slip down without a belt.

Long-term? Fix waist, copy pattern, toss em. no idea if I could extend the crotch length successfully.

right rear pocket, zipper opening on the right!

metal zippers add weight on pant legs so they swing

scoop pockets

short-waisted (photo closest to actual colors)

final step: D rings

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

my brilliant? career, schlepping, DIY

oivay, today i am schlepping thru my day job as a bookkeeper. It's not a brilliant career and this is not a brilliant company. it is a stepping stone as everything, and my goal was to be a bookkeeper, with the inherent independence, flexibility and QuickBooks experience, all good DIY assets. I can check these off - yep. Flexibility has slipped away 8 months in, as I work fulltime. although, i start before sunrise and finish by 3pm. So that's good. i work hard, learn every day and am grateful that my hubby and me live comfortably. i try to remember my self at work, in my tasks, and to not judge.

I saw and loved the Australian movie, My Brilliant Career" in my teens and now I can't believe the actress/actor pair were Judy Davis and Sam Neill. they had perfect chemistry ~ what a love story. today Judy Davis is thin and the character she portrayed in MBC was curvy with a big dollop of curly red hair worn either pinned to the top of her head, or loose to her waist. I guess it may have been a wig. It was a wonderful romantic movie for a headstrong teenager like me.

It's a chick flick that struck a crystal note for clueless young DIY me. I think the main reason for me is best quoted from a link about the director Gillian Anderson:

"My Brilliant Career has a strong design sense, supporting the visual telling of the story. The sets are rich with lace, wallpaper, paintings and attention to detail true to the period, all no doubt influenced by Armstrong's own experience in art departments."

I would add that the landscape scenes in the country were equally awesome.

here for more re Gillian Anderson

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

sew-ly amazing

Marimekko fabric
sewing grows on you...

share what you love about sewing. I'd love that.

Such a satisfying hobby, sewing is. truth be told it can also be maddeningly frustrating at times, filled with worm belly lows, frumpy failure, and the type of vanishing money that swirls down the tub drain and disappears with a few glug-glugs at the end. But, there are new discoveries aplenty for the adventurous and creative soul. For myself from the time I watched my mom cajole her old Singer to wondrous results - wonderful memories of things she sewed for me - to my moody pouts as I botched a project or ripped out yet another seam. But I stuck with it, turned to other activities, and returned again and again. I spent many an afternoon turning page after page of pattern books at the fabric store down the street, drooling over pictures and patterns, and knew all the Vogue models by heart. I had my favorites in the 1980s of course!


I've found a new sewing magazine simply called Stitch. It is published quarterly by a crafts publishing house in Loveland Colorado . I recommend it, the last issue focused on ethnic-inspired sewing businesses - in the u.s., japan and europe ~ i love that stuff. also a look at finland's great Marimekko fabric empire and its awesome founder Armi Ratia. More about that below!

Stitch magazine is pricey at $14 but it's a quarterly, includes lots of neat patterns and loads of style to boot to polish one's own style.

Fall 2009 issue

Tricia Waddell, the magazine's editor, writes a terrific article in the issue though I can't remember which one darnit. ha, I remembered. It's a pretty duvet and sham set - she is good at color. she made the duvet using an Indian silk sheet, with a contrast silk square in the center. i found some Indian sheets on the internet that ran about $90.

Tricia Waddell

More about Armi. Her look in this photo sears right thru the camera lens and makes you feel like you screwed up something doesn't it? But she's awfully impressive looking. Marimekko was founded in 1951 by Armi and her husband Viljo when Armi asked some of her artist friends to apply their mojo to textiles.

Armi Ratia

To show the bold, colorful fabric's possibilities, she designed some simple dresses using the fabric. Hugely influential company - scandinavians still follow and love the style vibe of Marimekko, personally witnessed in Amsterdam :)

Today's Marimekko is found at

vintage Marimekko dresses