Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Western Style Horses Define America (Field Trips)

I still remember moving west as a young girl. We had been living in an extremely urban part of Ohio. The midwest that I remember  was towns, trucks, crowded streets, smoke stacks, row after row of towering buildings, and cramped houses. 

And then we came to the farm and ranch lands of the west and I saw herd after herd of horses.  I knew I had arrived. 

This is my kind of America.

Clean As A Whistle Bobbin Zone (Sewing Machine Maintenance)

Cleaning out the lint
Puts less pressure on the works
Keeps it all going!

I absolutely wore out the engine on the first machine I bought - a Viking the salesman swore would last me a lifetime. If I took good care of it! After about twenty years it's motor was shot, even though I got it serviced regularly. The gentleman I took it to for it's final maintenance told me that motor had given up the ghost, because I let the lint build up around the bobbin case too many times. 

You can bet that these days  I'm very virtuous about cleaning out the lint. I clean it at least every time I change projects, when I also change the needle. And if I'm using a fabric that makes a lot of lint - like denim or fleece- I clean it out several times. It's reminds me of flossing my teeth, if I want my gums to hold up for the long haul, I need to get those little bits and pieces out.

Knowing how to care for my machine, and helping it to a long life, is just part of being....
Enchanted by Sewing

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Postcard from Disneyland

It's about 
Flower patches
Baskets of flowers
Happy, yelling children 
Moments with my daughter
Flying elephants
Elephants bathing in a river
Flying pirate ships
Talking birds
Singing birds
Dancing dolls
 Singing dolls
Mark Twain Steamboat
Well behaved, fun loving pirates
Singing ghosts
Buying souvenir socks with Mickey's face
Aladdin and Jasmine flying overhead in the Hyperion Theatre
Soaring over CA
Swimming in the Candy Cane Inn pool
Checking out the current crop of flower baskets at Candy Cane Inn

Disneyland is my home town.

Terminado! My CA Summer Skies Seersucker Shirt

You know the joys of completing another project, don't you?
Love my new blue and white checked seersucker shirt. It's just made for summer. Well in fact it is! That's what I made it for :-)
And it's perfect with that new denim, elastic waist skirt I finished a few weeks back and have been wearing all the time. No, I don't think of myself as a skirt person but this garment has changed my mind. It's both comfortable and flattering. Nothing beats being able to design for my own figure.

I drafted the skirt myself but the shirt is an altered version of B5526, that infamous pattern I've made four times now and talk about all the time in my podcast. Yup, it's the one my buddy Susan originally altered. It started out life as my No. 1 Ladys' Detective Agency shirt. It's so great having a pattern that fits well, and lets me move on creatively from there.

Alterations on B5526 this time, in addition to Susan's original alterations to fit me

- No collar band. Oh I like that!
- Cut ends of my 3/4 length sleeves straight. Then rolled them up and hand sewed them into a permanent just-above-the-elbow roll. I'm the kind of person who always rolls up a sleeve, so why not make it permanent?
- Added pockets on either side. I varied the original pocket on the pattern, taking out the tuck. Lined the inside of the pockets with silk organza. I also used silk organza for the interfacing on the front facing (not included on the pattern), and the collar.
-Less topstitching this time because of the seersucker. I just did one row on all the edges - the hem, collar, and front facing. On crisper fabrics I do 2 or 3 for more of an edge. One row on the seersucker gave it enough definition. I continued to use commercial bias tape on the inside hem, to define the hem edge. Gee that works great.

I'll be talking more about sewing this shirt in my June Enchanted by Sewing podcast.

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Web Resources

The Enchanted By Sewing Podcast

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ench By Sew-021- CA Summer Skies Sewing Summer Vacation Is a State of Mind

The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!

Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link 
~ OR ~
Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes

Did I miss any links mentioned in the show? If so, please post here and share them with everybody
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I know your June weather may not be the same as mine. Here in CA it’s time for summer skies, a little more heat, and a vacation feeling whether or not we’re able to leave town. (Hey,  feel free to post about what kind of sewing your climate inspires below!)

Sometimes I’m able to take an actual summer vacation and other years I focus on treating the summer like a vacation, even when I don’t leave the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. This summer I was able to take a mini vacation weekend trip to Disneyland. As a matter of fact I just got back☺  I went with my beautiful, kind and funny, young adult daughter. Getting to bond with her at this age is really fun!  I took along a newly finished garment from my summer wardrobe on the trip and I’ll talk about sewing that in the show. I’m going to continue to focus on treating the rest of the summer like a vacation, no matter what I get to do. And I’m going to continue to sew for my summer vacation, no matter how far afield of home I manage to go.

Here’s what I’m talking about in this month’s show

* Primero: Planning My Summer Vacation Sewing

I may be a casual dresser, but I'm not into Normcore, anti-fashion. No, I go for an arty-romantic look, creating summer vacation outfits that make me feel special– whether I wear them on a trip across an ocean, a local museum visit, or just special tea with a buddy on my patio, is the kind of thing that keeps me Enchanted by Sewing

I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas for summer sewing, either for a vacation away from home or making a includes patterns for relaxed and beautiful garments that vacation right where I live, from this new-to-me book

* Entonces/Then Key pieces I’ve created so far for my summer vacation sewists wardrobe

Love my new denim skirt - It flatters my figure type!
And how about that CA Summer Skies Shirt?
You bet I'm happy with my latest rendition of B5526
Of course I had to get some new red sandals to enhance my blue and white summer wardrobe theme :-)
a. Straight denim skirt
b. Summer Skies shirt
c. I refurbished two pair of shorts and and a pair of pants by adding thread belt loops. Guess who feels like she got three new garments? This posting from my regular blog includes a how-to link for those belt loops

d. Closet Shopping turned up a couple of pretty, arty shirts I’ve made in past that work well with my refurbished pants

These garments together give a slightly dressy edge to my summer vacation and make me stand up a little straighter and really feel good about myself. -

* I followup with Technicos: Focusing on seersucker sewing  with my CA Summer skies shirt

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Postcard from Casa De Fruta (Field Trip San Francisco Bay Area)

The United States Interstate Highway System was the pride of the country in the late 1950's.   The U.S. put a ton of money into paving highways after the war. Kids that remembered the Great Depression came of age during the great international conflict. After folks came back home they began shuttling around the country on the new highway system burning cheap gas, and enjoying modern access to intercontinental travel.

Casa De Fruta evokes a past era of post-WWII agricultural-centered roadside breaks. Most of these low-key recreational stopovers have gone the way of twenty five cent a gallon gas, Burma Shave signs, and the lack of perceived need for seat belts, but Casa de Fruta remains a roadside rest success. It's got lovely spacious grounds, clean bathrooms, plenty of parking, a place to park your trailer, a playground, a lovely pond complete with ducks, a wonderful little puffer billy train and plenty of fruit, wine, sandwiches and souvenirs. We always stop there on the way to and from trips, like Disneyland, on Interstate Highway 5.

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Web Resources

Postcard from Highway 152 - Field Trip San Francisco Bay Area

A Hundred Years of History at Casa de Fruta

The U.S. Interstate Highway System