Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Old CA In Style - Flowers and Views at Windy Hill

Poppies and Yarrow in Bloom at Windy Hill
We've been hiking Windy Hill weekly, to help my husband get his legs ready for summer field work. 

That's just an excuse of course. 

Sure, the 7 mile loop from Portola Valley up to the top and back down is a great way to get in some hill climbing, but with wildflower season in full force here on the Peninsula, you're not hearing any complaints from local hikers, taking in the flores and colores. The vistas are fantastic as well. All along the way you're treated to sudden peaks at the top of the rounded hills, and excellent views of the San Franciso Bay below.

Less mobile folks can drive along Skyline Boulevard, and gain easy access to picnic tables at the top turn-around point. From there you can get some lovely vistas of the Pacific Ocean on one side of the road, and the Bay from the edge of the picnic area. You can also amble along a shortish side trail to the top of one of the rounded domes - perfect for flying a kite.  

And yes, you can take the pooch. Dogs are allowed on several Windy Hill trails. (If you start off in Portola Valley, check the dog signs carefully as there are multiple trail heads, some of which do not allow dogs).

BTW, Windy Hill is within athletic bike riding distance of Stanford University and Silicon Valley, though it's not a mountain bike area.

On my Flower-Lovin' Hiker's Bookshelf

Damson Plumm Private Eye - Nibbled That Tee

Damson Plumm Private Eye is, as you might imagine, inspired by bounty hunter Stephanie Plum
Remember when I blogged about Lynda Maynard's French Pattern Drafting class starting to pay off? Yes, I am indeed mighty happy with this plum purple tee shirt I created from a pattern I drafted myself. It was based on nibbling away at  the moulage fitting pattern that came out of Lynda's class. I also really like the royal plum-purple rib knit that I used to make the tee. Can you believe I found this material in my fabric inventory? ( Fabric inventory sounds so much better than fabric stash.)

What did I learn while creating this tee? 1) Don't fit the front and back first and then add the sleeve. I thought this top fit so perfectly, after mocking up just the front and back, that I sewed over the basting stitches in the side seams and then went on to
a) Redraft the sleeve pattern- making it much narrower
b) Cut out the reduced size sleeve
c) Sew those nice narrow sleeves in.

Uh oh....Taking in those side seams would have been fine, if I'd wanted a sleeveless tee, but I didn't.

Hardy har har - you should have seen my arms looking like sausages, unable to move. And we all know how fun it is to pick stitches out of knit fabric!
2) So, good thing, I had already learned to  ... cut super wide seam allowances when I'm playing with new patterns I draft myself. Thank goodness I had made my seam allowances 1 and 1/4 inches wide. I wouldn't have had enough fabric to rework the underarm seams on my sleeves otherwise- because of course I'd redrafted the sleeve to be so much narrower, after I'd fitted the front and back together, taking in the side seam allowances by quite a lot (smaller than the original moulage indicated).
3) Even though I wasn't in the mood, I measured all the changes I made on this tee and prepped a complete new pattern, all ready to try out on another tee project. Because another thing I've learned is that I don't always remember what changes I made, and I can't always find the last garment I made from a pattern when I go to use it.

  ~ ~ ~
Damson Plum is, as you might imagine, inspired by bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is younger than me, even funnier than me and has a grandmother who drives a hard-working gal crazy, but I still identify with her.

Damson Plumm Private Eye is inspired by bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.
Way back when, I created a Damson Plumm Private Eye label for my home made plum jam (using my home grown damson plums). And now, thanks to my new pattern drafting skills, I've drafted the pattern for, and sewn, my own Damson Plum Private Eye tee shirt. I'm sure it's the plum-purple that Damson always wears, that helps her crack those tough cases.