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Showing posts from September, 2012

Scarves from T Shirts

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I'm guessing that it's the cooler weather that is suddenly making everyone think about scarves and other cosy clothing. The most "repinned" pin on my Pinterest boards is for a scarf made out of a T shirt. The activity around this topic has been especially heavy lately, with 15 people repinning or liking this pin in just 2 days. So I thought I should make up a few samples.

My first scarf turned out very well. Really, it is all a matter of finding the right kind of T shirt to start with. This sample is made from a good quality XL shirt which rendered up loops almost a metre long. As a result, it can be worn wrapped twice or thrice, or looped through it self. It's made from 17 tubes so it has a nice bulk, but is very light and soft. The tubes are held together with a simple wrap made from a short length of tube cut from the sleeve.

The T shirt used for this example had long sleeves. So I had the potential for a lot of short tubes that were not closed loops. Hmm, wha…

Shabby Gothic Scarf

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I don't really think that Shabby Gothic is a style per se - or at least it wasn't until now.

I have a secret love of Shabby Chic. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure. All that draped white cotton, old bits of lace and faded rose prints are so darn pretty. Of course the style has nothing at all to do with the reality of my life, how my home is decorated nor how I dress. Especially how I dress. The beautiful shabby chic clothes you see on endless Pinterest boards mostly look good on the young and the willowy – neither of which I am. And I'm not talking the over the top Magnolia Pearl "oh, I think I'll just take this underwear I found in my great granny's attic and wear it with these old work boots and a table cloth" look. But even that has it's own crazy appeal. 
So I thought that perhaps I could re-interpret Shabby Chic to my needs by working in black rather than pale pastels. And I think I might be on to something, except that not all my materials tur…

Dyeing and The Unexpected Legacy.

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I've been doing some dyeing and that means that for one afternoon all the patio furniture on the deck was draped in drying fabric and trim. Lovely day for it too. For some reason all this was of great interest to the gold finches. When I went out to check on things, several males were sitting amongst the black and purple items.

Not that I was expecting purple... but such is the nature of dyeing.

I was preparing some materials for a black scarf in the shabby chic mode. The grey linen that I dyed came out nice and black. But the white and off-white cotton trim and recycled lace items from the doily department at Value Village all came out a very dark purple, even after a repeat soak. What was to be a black on black scarf is going to be purple on black. More goth than shabby chic ...

So it was once I had these bits dyed and hanging out to dry that I discovered The Unexpected Legacy.

When I was a kid my grandparents lived next door, and my grandmother loved to dye things to perk them …

Of Voices and Vacuums

Week 2 of my sabbatical has been long and tough. It has also been a good learning experience in the end.

The little voice in my head that says "What? You mean you haven't got a finished project to show at the end of the day? What have you been doing with your time? Don't you feel guilty?" was pretty loud this week.

Like most people I know, my entire professional life has been about achieving outcomes with a known final deliverable and deadline. My days and weeks have been measured by hitting clearly defined milestones along the road to that deliverable. So to suddenly be on a not-so clearly marked road is a bit surprising and very disconcerting. I am really struggling with trying to change my ingrained 'have-to' thinking into 'want-to' thinking. It's going to take a while for me to easily allow myself the time for mucking about and accepting the non-linear nature of the creative process.

Wait, isn't that the entire point of this undertaking? Y…

First Things First

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The first thing on my to-do list was cleaning up my studio/sewing room/craft room/girl cave. I turned one of the spare bedrooms into this little oasis of storage and function about 18 months ago. Over the past year it seemed to have mostly become the repository of all the things that didn't have obvious homes elsewhere in the house. No longer! The debris has been removed, all supplies returned to their proper place and plenty of room made for getting down to the business of making things.

Ah, you have to love Ikea for spaces like this. Everything is so modular and scaled towards smaller spaces. The cupboards are good old Billy book cases with glass doors lined in wrapping paper. A DVD tower between them provides small display spaces. A series of boxes (yes they are labelled) fit perfectly on the high shelves and two simple tables give me plenty of work surface. Having the sewing machine and serger side by side is beyond great and plastic floor mats make it easy to roll between th…

40 First Days of School

Considering that I started the whole sabbatical ball rolling about 10 months ago and was granted it way back in the spring, you'd think that I would have a good handle on the whole thing. But you'd be wrong.

I haven't really been able to wrap my head around the concept at all. It is so alien. I can't remember a time when I wasn't working or going to school or both. Between being a student and being a teacher, I've had more than 40 first days of school in my life so far. How could I possibly imagine a September that didn't include that important event?

And suddenly my sabbatical is here. All the plans and people needed to make the Web Design program great this year are in place. The lab is full of new computers. The class is ready to roll. My office is tidy for pete's sake. I'm thinking my work there is done for now.

I plan to be posting at least once a month – about what I'm up to and what I'm making. Feel free to drop by and have a look!