Archive for February, 2008

getting better all the time

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Being sick is dull, dull, dull. I’m getting better but it feels like sixteen million years since I was in the studio making anything. I’ve been able to knit but that’s not WORK. The kind that satisfies my sense of purpose and brings in chunks of bacon. (Which still amazes me!)

So to shut up my whiny, sniffly self and create the illusion that I’ve been in the studio, here’s what I was working on before the great plague* descended.

I made another experimental piece out of half-cones. This time all the bumps are on the outside.

Again I think it’s a lovely object, but not yet wearable. The search continues… as soon as I get back into that beloved studio.

Happy Leap Year!

*aka common fluey cold.


Sunday, February 24th, 2008

I’m sick. M is sick. Days feel stripped down to essentials.

I’m frustrated at having all this time at home without the energy to make things. My studio looks sad and lonesome.

I need to learn from these guys how to relax and renew.

It’s all about naps.

in the studio

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Last week I set aside my cone experiments to work on an order for two Squares Necklaces in time for Valentine’s Day: one in soft pink, the other one in brown.

It’s always nice to work on a design I haven’t made in a while; like visiting an old friend. A meditative break from the constant questioning and figuring out that designing brings up.


Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I bought a new wallet and while cleaning out the old one I found a single porcupine quill tucked into one of the credit card compartments. I have no idea where it came from.

My grandparents live on a farm in Canada. Once, while visiting, I took the difficult path along the side of the lake – the one that usually only the dog takes, while people cross by canoe. On the steep bank under the fir trees I found the remains of a porcupine: skin and quills. Sacred.

I took a few of the spines and when I got back to the house I carefully put them into a matchbox which I carefully stashed in the cup holder by the driver’s seat in my car, and which I never saw again. I don’t know how I lost them when I was being so attentive, but it seemed right. Must not have been okay for me to take anything from that animal.

So the other day when I found the treasure in my purse it felt like full circle. I’ve been given back one quill.

jacket from scratch

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

I’m still catching up on sewing show & tell. I finished this guy back in December but no pics until now. Sorry the color’s a bit off.

I bought the fabric last year on my first expedition to Mood Fabric, during which there was much hyperventilation, and simultaneous desires to buy everything and to run screaming from the store.

Thankfully my friend Chris was with me, and by repeatedly stopping and staring at each other and saying over and over “this is amayyyyzing” and “I’m overwhelmed” we made it through the experience. I walked out with this upholstery fabric (for a bag? for a jacket? we didn’t know) and the fabric for my first pair of pants.

The jacket pattern is from Burda magazine, a reissue/update of one of their 60s patterns. Since my shoulders are 2 sizes smaller than everything else on my body I decided it would be smart to make a muslin, which felt like a terribly professional approach and turned out to be really helpful.

Basically I made a mock-up of the jacket out of cheap muslin and then tried it on and fitted it by pinning and basting until it seemed to fit right. I then transferred the changes back to my paper pattern, unstitching where needed to get the fabric flat again. This is like making two whole garments, which does sound crazy, but since it prevented the final piece from being thrown to the floor and stomped on in grief and frustration I think it was time well spent, and has become my M.O.

This fabric is so busy that I decided to skip making the pockets. Also because pockets seemed like more than I could handle. As it was I spent an entire evening puzzling out how to cut the fabric so the pattern would kinda sorta match up across seam lines and openings. I ended up making the back sleeves out of two fabric sections since there just wasn’t enough yardage to cut out the whole pieces and get the fabric pattern placed right.

The jacket is lined, which yet again is like making a second (in this case third) entire jacket, with slightly different edges. But the lining is red, and silky, and makes my jacket look like a real jacket so I love it.

I’m pleased and a little surprised at how well the whole thing turned out.

Even though I saw this design store window while on vacation, complete with pillows in the same fabric – different colorway.

Apparently I’m not done with upholstering myself.