Friday, January 22, 2010


Yeehaa! The tomatoes are finally colouring up and I ate the first one yesterday evening. It was delicious. I can't remember what sort these are, the plant is a volunteer that popped up in the same pot that I planted a tomato in last season. The fruit along this vine is slowly ripening, one by one. They may not make it as far as the kitchen because it's too tempting to eat them straight off the bush. Sometimes I'm conscientious enough to wash 'em under the garden tap, sometimes not.

In other vegie news, the zucchini are powering along. So far I've picked 20 zukes, many more on the way. The food dehydrator dealt with several, most have gone into meals. The dried zucchini were something of a taste surprise - the 'chips' are very sweet and the texture appealing enough to eat on their own as snacks rather than just reconstituting into soup or casserole. I'm sure a handful of zucchini chips will be much better for me than a cookie...

Doodle doodle doodlin'

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Purple Slow Stitching

This is the purple check dragonfly shirt that I made. Sorry for the crappy picture, the mozzies were about to eat me alive and I wasn't staying out to take more photos! The body of the shirt is purple check with little embroidered dragonflies scattered over it, and the sleeves and yoke are a solid handkerchief linen. I like this two-tone effect and will use it again (there is a large pile of shirt fabric lined up). I enjoyed making this! The buttons are five odd ones from the enormous button stash - I like the look of non-matching buttons (they match in size but not design or colour, except that they're all variations of purple/mauve). I've lost count of how many times I've used this particular pattern. Must be at least half a dozen incarnations.

Here is the dragonfly I stenciled and embroidered on the centre back of the yoke. The stencil wasn't quite crisp enough for my taste, so I split-stitched around it to give it a better edge.

This a 'swing' style vest in purple cotton, again with all raw edges either enclosed in the facings or french seams. The cotton is probably a little crisp for the design - it would be better in something more flowing, like jersey, maybe - but will soften with washing. It's a simple pattern, two main pattern pieces plus a neck and arm facing, and a button loop, but because it's cut on the bias takes a lot of fabric. Again, the button is from the seemingly bottomless button stash. I like the way this turned out; there's a jacket variation (basically the same as the vest but with sleeves) and a sleeveless top that I may make in the future. Pants, too, but I kind of swore off making pants due to fit issues. Perhaps I should try again.

I'm enjoying the sewing process now that I'm less deadline focussed. Taking pleasure in making and not worrying about finishing in a time frame. It will be done when it's done :)

Next: hmm, so many choices. Perhaps a skirt...

Friday, January 15, 2010

La, la, la

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Turn your back...

...for five minutes, and the baby zucchini barely the length of a hand turns into The Zukinator, scourge of the vegetable world.

And it brings friends.

There are three large zucchini currently processing in the food dehydrator, being turned into zucchini chips to store for later. The plants are busy producing lots more fruit; I'll be keeping a close eye on them lest more turn into marrows and threaten to take over the earth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


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Monday, January 11, 2010


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Slow Stitching

I made this skirt on Christmas Day. I haven't made a garment for myself in about a year, despite the lengths of fabric stashed away meant for clothing. I got a bit burned out on the process, I think, making things to sell on Ebay and Etsy, always rushing, not taking pleasure in the actual making but focused on outcome.

I decide to slow down and enjoy the making, with no deadline. It would take as long as it took. I wanted to properly finish all the seams and make it look good inside as well as out - I don't have a serger/overlocker and while zigzag stitching the edges of the pieces works okay, it's not pretty.
It doesn't show when wearing the garment, but I know it's there and it bothers me. This skirt is a simple one, a front, a back, and a pocket in each side seam. I used french seams for the side seams with the pockets, but it bunches a little where the pockets meet the front and back. I may try a Hong Kong finish next time. The waist is elastic, no waistband piece, just the top turned over. I did machine stitch the hem (see aforementioned rush to finish, which was kicking in at that point) but I think I'll hand hem next time.

I am far more pleased with this skirt than I've been with a garment I made in a long time. And I didn't have to frog a single seam :)

The fabric is cotton from Tanzania, one of my long ago Ebay purchases (detail below).

An email friend named this process for me: Slow Stitching. Taking time over details, allowing it to take as much time as necessary, enjoying the process, pausing to breath and look out the window from time to time, putting it aside when I'm tired or had enough, no rushing. Breeeaaaathhhe.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


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I love it when I find a new word, one I didn't know existed. I'm reading PD James' "The Lighthouse", and this passage taught me a new word: ...the dancing gules of light from the fire on the stone floor...

From my Cassel's English Dictionary: gules - n. a red colour, represented on an engraved escutcheon by vertical lines a. red

Saturday, January 9, 2010


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I tend not to make New Year's resolutions, but I am aiming toward a few goals (not related to the turning of the calendar, more in general). One of them is to get rid of stuff I don't need. I'm beginning to feel oppressed by the level of stuff in my house and garage, and I'm slowly whittling away at it. I think this oppression is preventing me starting projects (or finishing them), simply because I feel overwhelmed.

To this end - the whittling - each day I aim:
  • to clean/tidy something (at least in part - could be in the house/garage, may be in the garden)
  • work on a sewing or art project (don't have to finish, just progress)
  • draw every day (which I do, but it doesn't hurt to restate)
  • chuck something out (might be in the bin, might be in the box for freecycle/op shop, could be the "sell on Ebay or Etsy" box, might be in the "Sculpture Stuff" box, purpose of contents as yet undetermined)
This is a minimum, if I get more done, hey, bonus! And it's not hard and fast, if I miss a day it won't matter. It's to aim for.

Today I have:
  • put away a basket of clean laundry
  • worked on a sewing project (a drapey asymetrical vest, in glorious purple)
  • made my drawing-a-day, plus an extra drawing and a half (!)
  • sorted about a third of my wardrobe, culled one outfit for the "sell" box, and set a top aside to refashion - it needs shortening at hem and sleeves
Little by little, I intend to win the Battle of the Stuff.


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Another nice round number :)

And getting closer to 1,000. I think I should do something special when I reach that milestone.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


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