Friday, July 31, 2020

OMG Dress Finished

Huzzah!  I made it.  I may not look happy in this photo, but I am!  (I'm just a little dizzy... see photos below.)

My OMG was to update this dancing dress.  I like the dress, but it needed some pizazz.  It has been sitting in my closet for years because I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  When I "fixed" my tank top earlier this year I decided to tackle the dress, too. 

This project turned out to be a lot more challenging than I had anticipated.  Plus I kept getting distracted... and interrupted.

What did happen:  lots of pinning and unpinning.  Started the design on the front, didn't like it; moved to the back - and hit upon a pattern I liked.  The upper front had several false starts before I got the hang of what I liked.  I was going to have the loopiness zig-zag across the front, and that didn't look right.  Instead I kept the ribbons swirling in one direction around the whole dress.  Working around boobs and butt added to the complexity.  LOL  There was a lot of fittings, being very careful not to stick myself with pins.  Ouch!

Once I pinned it where I liked it, I basted it - I didn't want to try sewing it with all those pins.  Stitching it took hours.  I've quilted quilts in less time than it took to stitch down this bias tape.  The humidity unfurled chunks of the tape.  I could re-iron that before it was pinned in place, but afterwards, it was a lot of work to keep the raw edges tucked underneath. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

I Like Thursday: A Week of Interruptions

Things have gone right, things have gone very wrong.  Very little has gone to plan.  So let's highlight some of the good stuff.

Having coped, we hung the second picture railing hung on Friday (two days later than I intended).  I am so happy!  I now have something other than a blank wall behind me when I zoom.  I'd show you the coped corner, but it's nothing interesting.  Came out pretty good!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Little Library Update

I made it back to Coggshall Park over the weekend to walk with my college friend.  Much different than the last time we met - the ground is clear of ice and snow, there's leaves on the trees, and masks on our faces.

We anticipated checking out the little free library and were surprised to find the old grandfather clock replaced with a spiffy TARDIS.  The owner was working in the yard and told us the grandfather clock fell apart in the spring.  They replaced it with this souped up recycled refrigerator unit. 

The details are terrific.  The TARDIS itself has so many references to Dr Who.  "Bad Wolf" was on one side, the other sported hash marks from the Silence.  The door handle had a couple of sonic screwdrivers painted on it.  I like the alterations they made to the police box placard, too.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Golden Orrery Redux

When Golden Orrery was in the planning stages, I was going to have it finished before the autumn fairs.  Then life intervened; I finished it just in time for Christmas.  In those blissful days before 2020, I planned to submit in this year's fairs... and obviously that's not going to happen. 

Plan B:  submit it online.  But the original photos were taken off our front porch, not a blank, uncluttered background that online competitions require.  So the search was on for a well lit, uniform background that could handle a nine-foot tall quilt.  That was a tall order (pun intended).  I received several offers and suggestions including contacting Greenfield Community College's art department (they were very nice, but unable to help at this time), photoshoping the original photos (thank you!) and an unexpected offer to hang it off the side of a friend's house (which was looking pretty good).

But then, Rob located a possible wall at the UMass Amherst campus.  Let the adventure begin....

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I Like Thursday: Down to Earth

Lots of outdoor photos again.  I didn't have a chance to write its own blog post, so they get included in my likes on Thursday!

I continue to discover new stuff at Cranberry pond.  There were so many dragonflies!  And lots of colors.  Look at the purple and blue on this one that took a ride on my kayak.

The water level has dropped quite a bit in the last few weeks.  This cormorant took the advantage of an exposed log to hang out.  I got quite close and he wasn't flustered at all.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

I Like Thursday: Outdoors, Indoors

My potted tomatoes are ridiculously happy.  The others are doing pretty well, too.  I'm not having so much luck with the kale and carrots, but the sage and basil are growing gangbusters, along with some scallions and the mystery melon/cucumber/squash.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Terrarium Reset

My mother gifted me a terrarium years and years ago.  I lost several plants over the years and tried adding a few, but I finally killed the last of them after we moved.  Forgot to water it?  Maybe not the right amount of sunlight?  It may have just been too old.

I love the teapot, so I did a bit of googling and decided to pull it apart and replant.  The original instructions said the terrarium could be restocked with any outdoor shady plants.  Lots of websites had ideas and advice how to assemble.  I dove in, unpacked the teapot while making note of how much soil, charcoal and pebbles were in there. 

I cleaned off the pebbles and put them back in, along with some of the salvaged charcoal and a handful of new charcoal.  Then some new potting soil (maybe too much?).  Lastly, I tucked in a bunch of interesting stuff I found around the yard.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Playing Around

It's interesting how the color and intensity of fabric changes depending on how you cut it.  I had selected five fabrics to possibly adorn my dress, but when the chunks became narrow strips, one fabric immediately fell out of the running and another was knocked down in the list.  I still have four that I am still considering, and which ones I like best now depend on the design.

Next step has been making bias strips of my top three favorites.  I hope to start pinning them to the dress later today to see what speaks to me.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I Like Thursday: A Colorful Week

So - I knew yesterday was Wednesday, but somehow forgot that that means it's Thursday today.  I had this post half written up last night figuring I had plenty of time to finish it up (including more photos!).  Well, let's go with what I have....

Butterflies!  They're usually too flittery to get a photo, but this one posed long with its wings open to get a good shot.  So pretty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Contemplating the Waves

I've picked up my wavy blocks again.  I had last arranged them somewhat by color along the diagonal.  I liked it, but wanted to try some more arrangements before stitching it together.  Photographs are great - I can always reset what I'm doing!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Oru Fairing Repair

I enjoy tinkering and fixing things.  My latest project was patching the ends of my kayak.  It's the first Oru design - the neoprene fairings (end caps) don't have binding (like my sister's kayak) nor the extra reinforcement of the current fairing design.  One end was very frayed around the strap and the other end was starting to shred.

I need to stop the fraying before the strap pulls away from the neoprene.  My sister's fairings were not ripping along the strap, but are developing holes where the neoprene rubs against a pair of large screws.  Mine would eventually have that problem, too. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Dress Update

I see One Monthly Goal float around on various blogs and finally took a closer look at it.  I've decided to give this a try as motivation to update this dress!

I made this dress years ago.  Love the shape and the feel of the fabric... but haven't been so thrilled my choice of color.  I tried jazzing it up four years ago, but it ended up in the closet and hasn't been worn since. 

After my successful spot removal, I decided I should give the dress another try.  I pulled possible colors nearly a month ago.  These are the finalists.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

I Like Thursday: Flowers

I've been outdoors quite a bit over the last week... walking, gardening, kayaking... at least until the rain started.  Oh!  the rain!  My lawn is so much happier; we've gotten close to an inch so far.

However, before the rain...

I saw these flowers while walking last week.  Love the colors and the shape.