Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

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

Wardrobe Refurbishing: A Sewist Loves to Rework her Wardrobe

Yeah! So much better with a well-fastened
waistband and belt loops
 When I daydream about sewing, it's the new stuff I focus on. Bet you too have a lot of goodies stashed away in your fabric inventory for which you have great plans. I don't, however, very often think about how to improve on garments I've made in the past. Refurbishing doesn't have the same éclat as creating. But when I think about it, it's often more satisfying to rework a garment that I've worn a bit and studied the value of for my lifestyle.

Recently I cleaned my closet, not really out of choice mind you! My husband needed access to the under-the-house zone. Access to the furnace and water heater in our little pre-war (that's WWII) cottage is only possible by crawling beneath the floors. Boy, do I appreciate him doing that work.  You better believe I don't complain that my only part in this project is to take everything out of my rather small 1939 closet, so that he can pull-up the trap door and slither through the opening.

When I shovel the contents of my wardrobe out, I often pause to sort through my clothes to clean out the inventory of garments I've got hanging in there. You know how it goes I bet - have I worn this in the last year? Am I likely to? Do I really like this piece? What's flattering? What needs replacing? Which things are just a waste of space?

Some decisions are hard to make, but there's an element of shopping my closet that makes the whole thing a bit more fun.

This eyelet peasant blouse I already had, is
 nice arty romantic look that really suits my wardrobe style
I wore these shorts (a green home dec print) a fair amount last summer, having finished them late in the summer of 2012. But they weren't a huge favorite.

Why was that? I wondered when I reviewed them against some of my other clothes?

1) The original waist closure wasn't well worked
2) The waistband, interfacing notwithstanding, doesn't give a crisp look at the waist.
3) I didn't feel like they went well with any of the tops in my closet or drawers.

So despite my latest June sewing goal, I stopped to do some refurbishing.

1) I sewed a new waistband hook  on either side of the waistband bits.

2) I sewed thread belt loops along the waistline.

3) I identified two white shirts that I already have, that look great with these shorts. (One of which I'd photographed in my original completion photo, but never actually worn with them!) In fact, when I biked over to the Sunset Open House last weekend, two different people unexpectedly complimented me on my outfit. At the time I was wearing the cap I made that matches the shorts and I think that makes it clear that the outfit is something I created. I have worn cap more than the shorts, because I'm pretty regular about skin protection, but it's even more fun to wear it with the matching shorts.

In fact, though I tend to think of tee shirts as being the appropriate garment for shorts, these white shirts give the garment a dressier more arty-romantic look than the tee-and-shorts style.

My cleanout work not only made my closet tidier, the resulting refurbishment project gave me one more reason to be ...
Enchanted by Sewing!

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Web Resources

Suzanne Beaubien - How to Sew Thread Belt Loops