A MAP!!!

Look what we have here:

Another Sewing Scientist

Our friend, Vicki, over at Another Sewing Scientist has come up with a crazy cool way to see who is where and what they do : ) She’s made a MAP onto which you can ‘pin’ your lovely self and blog address. We can now SEE, at the click of a mouse, where everyone lives/creates !

Go to her website, check out the directions for getting yourself on there and do it!

THANK YOU Vicki for thinking of, and executing this, in a very busy time for you.

Gina Clarke Style : )

The Facts
: Printed denim from stash, at least 10 years old!
Pattern: Vogue 2442
Notions: A zipper, one jean button and 4 rivets
Year: 1977/8
Time to complete
: 4 hours
First worn: February 2013
Wear again? Absolutely! Maybe for Valentines day

Total Cost: $6.30

Finally! My ode to Gina Clarke : )

I have two looks for this outfit, but first notice the skinny jeans. Then you’ll notice the pink hair. My ABSOLUTE favorite post of Gina’s last year was the “Mad Fun” post she did for the Children’s Literature challenge at Sew Weekly. Notable were her skinny pants, pink wig and hat-made-from-fencing-material.

I didn’t do a hat but I used a piece of AMAZING printed denim that reminds me of the fun and fantasy Gina brought to this challenge. I tried pairing the pants with a sequined 50’s inspired cardigan and cute sequined collar but felt it was a little “off” for my tastes.

I do love this leg where you can see the roses, and then the eye watches you from behind my knee…

Then I changed things up a bit and pulled on a white denim jean jacket I forgot I had until I pulled out my shoes! Complete with rhinestone buttons I also threw on my very large rhinestone necklace and earrings and remembered why I never wear this jacket. I cannot stand the sleeves! Too long to be cute, they remind me of something my grandmother’s friends might wear. Don’t get me wrong, I admire my grandmother and her friends, I just don’t want to be there yet! I don’t have arm issues so these will be getting shortened soon : )

So I’m doing my best “Gina” pose here, trying for that contemporary fashionista thing. I have to say that I LOVE these pants! They fit really well, are comfy and the print makes me laugh whenever I look down.

My one criticism is the zipper – I don’t know if I had a brain fart when I put it in or just read the directions and did it as they say. It needs to be moved a little to the left. I’m also thinking I should have reinforced the front fly with a piece of woven non-fusible interfacing to mitigate the stretch. Ah well, I still like the pants and no, it may not be worth the frustration to take out 5 rows of stitching. Viva la zip!

My daughter tried to get me doing some “fashion” poses but they were dorky so this pic is for Vickie. Gina has that whole “I’m too cool for school” thing down : )

Here’s a close-up of the print. We’ve got lips, eyes, HUGE pearl and rhinestone jewelry, and roses…

We took these pics at the local Peace Garden. Gina embodies a soul seeking peace in a harsh world and this place is a little hamlet of quiet and solitude. The Peace Center is nearby and the path I’m standing on in the above photo leads to a labyrinth. I know Gina’s spirituality is very important to her and this place emobodies that to me. Parts of the area are certified Nature areas where deer and wild turkeys roam daily. The local community gardens are down below, where Chloe and I walk everyday. If you follow me on twitter or Intstagram you’ll see I’ve been taking a picture of a certain Oak tree everyday, and will continue to do so for the rest of the year. At the end of the year we’ll compile all the photos into a “movie” to see how the seasons ebb and flow.

So Gina, I dedicate this to you. Thank you for the inspiration not only creatively but spiritually, for showing us the ups and downs and day-to-day journey that is you : )

And now….another take on Gina!! Look what Liz made –

NOT only did she made a cutie of a dress but she made her own WIG! We both channeled Gina’s pink hairdo in completely different ways!! Check out her blog for all the fabulous details : )

Isn’t she amazing?

I also re-discovered my opinion that A) I don’t want short hair again and B) the whole crayon-colored hair thing isn’t my style. My daughter was every color of the rainbow at some point, it’s just not me.

Cute photo of the week:

Max “I’m King of the World” !

I came in from the backyard and found Max on the headboard, surveying the sleeping cat colony on my bed. You can’t see Olivia under the covers but Max found her as soon as he hopped down.

Phew!! I feel like I’ve climbed some huge mountain. I took a couple weeks off from sewing and blogging and am rusty! I’ve got stacks of projects in the sewing room, oodles of ideas and a fabulous weekend planned. The sun has shifted enough to hit the crystal in the window of my kitchen so early spring is here, the creative sap is rising : )

I’m heading into Stone Mountian Daughter on Saturday for their anniversary sale. I don’t know if I’ll be able to snap pics but I’ll try. On my list is Kazz-inspired fabric for the Kazz challenge. I’ve got a 25% off coupon so there may be some serious purchases in the works… They are also my source for decent stretch fabrics and I NEED new underwear. While that may sound a little TMI I’ve got a new vintage-inspired pattern to try that looks like fun and why put off the fun?

I was also going to try to make it to the Hand Made Book Fesitval on Sunday. My daughter did a class on bookmaking not long ago and I thought she’d love it. I was really wanting to meet some of the type-press people but sadly my poor daughter eneded up in the ER last night with a horrible cough and chest pain. She’s ok but is staying in bed for the forseeable future so no book fair : (  Instead I may try to head to the Academy of Sciences in the city to see my friend Ruth, the Smile Lady. She’ll be talking about the science behind smiling and happiness and maybe sign copies of her book (I hope!) She’s getting ready for a trip to Paraguay with Operation Smile, which helps kids with facial deficiencies get the surgery they need. This dark and dreary time of year I can always use a reason to smile : ) Sew on!

TWO quick side notes:
1) Someone asked if they could send me fabric to work with as part of a challenge. ABSOLUTELY!! Email me for my address and I would LOVE to incorporate your “finds” into a creation.
2) I was asked what makes the Not Your Daughters jeans “lift your butt”. I only have a suspicion of the answer SO I’m going to do my best to find out why : ) Stay tuned…

For all my east coast friends I hope the storm heading your way isn’t too bad, please stay safe.

Rivets and bricks

Just a few more steps until I’m done…

First up is fitting the legs. While this pattern was considered “tapered” in the late 70’s it isn’t so much by todays standards. I basted up the side and under leg seam and then tried these on INSIDE OUT. Pinning in the side seams and underleg seam isn’t the exercise in contortion-ism you might think : )

Keep in mind the grainline, which should run straight down the front and back of your leg. Ever worn a pair of jeans that “twist” around your leg? Most often happens in the cutting process. Manufactureres don’t cut one or two pairs at a time, they stack the fabric into a pile that can be a foot high and use what looks like a jigsaw to cut (at least they used to! Once time many years ago I toured the Levi’s factory in San Francisco before some genius closed it down and moved the whole shebang to China.) BUT you could just as easily take too much out of one side of the leg and end up with the same result so be aware!

You can see the pins on each side, I ended up taking out quite a bit, about 5″ around. I do have another pair of pants that I really like the tapering on so I used those as a guide. I re-stitched the legs, cut off the excess and tried them on again. Success! Now for the rivets!!

These are the standard kits you’ll find just about anywhere. I used to buy my leather goods at a wonderful western supply store in San Frrancisco called Western Storex, run by the same gentleman for a million years. He retired a few years ago so no more store : ( I still have quite a bit of “stuff” but wanted to show you what you can get without a lot of hunting. Most of the grommets carried by retail stores suck but the rivets are pretty good. They sell a kit for installation that I bought just for giggles but when I checked out the goods I said “Nope” and tossed it back in the bag to return.

Chloe is “helping” me here : ) I guess she thought the packages were going to run away.

 Here’s what I’m using instead:

A standard hammer, every girl should have one! A cutting board from IKEA (genius idea from another costumer AND AFFORDABLE ) and a professional hole punch. The hole punch is part of the kit for doing grommets and a little expensive but here’s the deal – you can buy the silly little kit from JoAnn’s for around $5 and it will last you a few times and be trashed. Or you buy the professional model and have it for years. The other parts and pieces in the Dritz kit are redundant, you really only need a good hole punch and a hammer. Then it’s as easy as punch the hole where you want the rivet, put the two pieces of the rivet together through the hole and pound with the hammer, twice. Not just once, three times is probably too many, just twice : ) I played around with a couple rivets in some scraps. Might as well trash a couple of them to get the technique down than put the first one in your jeans and not like it. This is the finished product:

And wouldn’t it have been a lovely thing to see the rivets as they go in? Yes it would. I thought of that the day after I did the rivets, went to find the box of them to take a couple more pictures and have spent the last week searching for them : ) This post is days later than I would have liked all for the box of rivets that I’m sure are somewhere very safe because I just can’t FIND THEM!

One thing I REALLY like about this pattern is the curved, fitted waistband. You can see the finished band above, with all it’s top stitched and funky pattern glory : ) I also bought a jeans button, nothing fancy about them. Make a buttonhole, mark where you want the button and it’s literally two pieces that you just push together. Took less than 5 minutes to do all 4 rivets and the button.

If you want a really wonderful tutorial on making jeans “by hand” check out the Wakefield Hotel in Wellington (Designer Ande Whall runs his own one-man design shop, VERY cool!)

And now….just another brick in the wall (I’m thinking of you Tempest!)

One of the projects on my “List o’ stuff to do” is finishing up some hardscape projects I started a few <ahem> years ago. I live on a hill, most people in Walnut Creek live with some kind of hillage in their lives. Which makes it very nice since it’s not all cookie-cutter-y but can be tricky if you want to play croquet. This particular part of my yard is sloped pretty well, at one point someone who lived here long ago started flattening out parts for planting. They even went so far as to put in a crude sort of retaining wall in wood that was fairly useful until a couple years ago when a large Acacia tree (40+ feet) decided to lay down. Took out part of the retaining wall, punctured the pond liner beyond repair and generally caused mischief and mayhem in the kingdom. We cut the tree up, pulled out the old pieces of wood and brought in many, many, MANY concrete blocks. The problem with this whole process is that it looks pretty good when it’s done so I want to do it all at once! However, as one who has a crushed disc between the L5 and S1 vertebrates, I can attest that moving thousands of pounds of anything QUICKLY is a really. bad. idea.

So it’s taken me years to get this project done but I’m ALMOST there! Last year we got a bunch of blocks from freecycle that I fianlly moved into place as the base for the last wall and in the last few weeks I’ve made three treks to the land of the big-orange-box store and in total hauled 6400 POUNDS of blocks around!

The bottom and curved wall is what replaced the wood wall a couple of years ago. Chloe is standing in front of the first tier and you can see the newest wall all the way at the top. It’s sitting in front of a decent sized hill that I do NOT want sliding down!

Here you can see the tiers behind my newest blueberry bushes. I’m so excited to have my own “patch”, I can’t wait for summer to just stand and eat blueberries in my own back yard!

I’m so excited to start planting this year, just need the weather to warm up a bit! Now that most of the heavy lifting is over I’ll spend a little more time behind the sewing machine : )

Chloe is helping : )

Next up – the finished GINA!!!