Summer Sewing

One of my goals for this summer is to sew as much as possible. And since I am a terrible procrastinator, this hasn’t happened very much. I did, however, get a pair of shorts sewn.

First showing project in a long time. I feel so 50’s when I wear these!

Well, shorts are practical for about 3 months in Wisconsin.
I was out shopping with my mom and grandma when I had a whim to go to the fabric store. Lucky me found out that there was a sale on Simplicity Patterns. $1 each! So, knowing that a vintage reproduction pattern that I have been coveting is a Simplicity pattern, I snapped it up. Along with two other vintage reproduction patterns.

The three patterns that I picked up. The top two are 1940’s style, the bottom is 1960’s.

I’ve been working on the top pattern’s shirt for the past couple weeks. I’m not very good at sitting down and doing it all in one or two days. I figured this is OK, because it’s a 3/4 length sleeve that I won’t be wearing until this fall.

A better photo of the pattern I’m currently making. The fabric that I picked out is an embroidered batik, and it makes me feel like a fortune teller.

I’m actually really excited to learn how to do a lot more sewing techniques. So far with this blouse I have hand-stitched the neckline. I used to be horrible at hand stitching, so I avoided it as much as I could. I realize I do need to know how to hand stitch, and the only way I’m going to become better at it is by practicing.

I’m also becoming a fan of darts. I worked with them in the shorts I made last month, and now I’ve put in eight darts (all in the sleeves) for the blouse.

I think my next project will be a skirt. The other 1940’s pattern has a skirt that has a darling waistband that is scalloped. Hopefully by the time I finish the skirt, I’ll be ready to make some Katherine Hepburn-style trousers.

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Summer Days

Now that summer may actually be in full swing for most people, I’d like to talk a little about my goals for this summer. I’m excited for this summer. Once I’m done with the mass media ethics class I’m taking I’m hoping on volunteering more at the local museum, where I mostly volunteer as a soda jerk. It’s lots of fun, but on slow days I have to make sure that I bring something to read or write.

Besides my class and my volunteer job, I have a lot planned that I want to do this summer. Should we start with my reading goals?

Here’s four books off of my reading list. I’ve managed to make it through two other books. Lots to go!

My big reading list book is Ulysses. I’ve read a lot of James Joyce’s short stories, but only read the first two pages of Ulysses before this. I think I may have grown into this book now, as opposed to when I was 17. Have any of you read Ulysses? What did you think?

I have a lot of mysteries on my reading list this summer. It’s one of my favorite genre of books. Elizabeth Peters and her Amelia Peabody series are great.

And then I have my sewing projects. I’m currently working on a pair of short. The pattern is from the 1970s, but I think they have a 1950s style to them.

The shorts pattern cover and fabric. I think this print is just great. Who else has shorts like that?

I’m currently just basting together the patterned fabric and the lining, but I’m hoping that this weekend I’ll be able to work some more on them.

My other sewing projects include a lovely 1952 blouse that I got at our gigantic antique store in Eau Claire. It looks simple enough to make, so I might be doing that once I get my shorts finished. I also have a 1912 themed party that I’ll be attending in late July, and even though I have a 1912 dinner dress that my mom made me a long time ago, I want sew up something for that party.

A mood board of what I’m thinking of sewing for a 1912 themed murder mystery party. 1 and 2 from OMG That Dress, 3 from Mothic Flights and Flutterings

I’m partial to the Irene Castle dress. It may be the fact that it looks so much more cooler and comfortable than the other two. I’m not sure if my friend has air conditioning at his house, so it might be in my best interest to go with something with not sleeves to stay cool. My guess is deciding on a costume will be a lot easier once I get my character.

I’m working as much as possible on my writing this summer.

And finally, there’s writing. I’m currently working on what is supposed to be my historical mystery novel. It’s chugging along better than I had planned, which makes me happy. Other than this, I do want to do some family research and interview my grandpa and grandma. I think a written family history would be great, especially with the stories that my grandparents tell. I also have a couple ideas for scripts floating around, so I might have to do some outlining of those this summer.

I’m excited for the rest of this summer, and even though I’d love to be back at UW-Eau Claire, I don’t want July and August to  go by too fast.

A Happy Girl With a Camera

This has been a up and down week for me.

Monday went as well as it’s been going for the past few weeks. And ‘well’ is not the word to describe it. Horrible. Tear-inducing. Any synonym for that. But, the week gets better, usually. And life goes on.

My mom’s dog Joy. A Jack Russel Terrier who is very photogenic.

This has been an interesting week. Monday’s Human Sexual Biology class had me becoming a hypochondriac as we had a lecture on the BRCA gene. Tuesday I got through a test in World History and a test in my Art History class. I’m pretty confident about those two tests. Wednesday Snowpocalypse  2012 hit western Wisconsin. I had doubted that it would really snow, because the formula for calculated the real amount of snow forecast-ed (as opposed to the fake amount of snow that the weatherman tells us) is to take the lower end of the forecast-ed number, divide it in half and subtract one. It was projected at first to be 4-8 inches of snow. So 4/2=2-1=1. No big deal. But then the number changed, and it was actually (sort of) right.

Slow shutter speed on the bridge facing The Hill. Notice The Hill is capitalized. Because it is that infamous.

What I’m saying is Wednesday was really bad. Living out in the country on a dead-end road usually means that we get plowed out last. Well, it also means that the power will go out. And out it went. I first noticed that the power was probably out when I woke up at 8: 20 and saw that my alarm hadn’t gone off. It took me a second to connect my blank screened clock with a power outage, but my sleepy brain got it. I then slept to 11:00. I got up and panicked because I couldn’t brush my teeth properly without water. Luckily the power came on just as I entered the bathroom. And then I went to class.

A shot of a script I’m starting. A friend and I want to do a silent movie and I’ve been working on some ideas.

Thursday was my exciting day. I went to classes, had an hour break before my time in the photo studio. The previous Saturday I had went to Best Buy and caved and bought a camera. Frankly, it was about time.

They were out of stock, so they told me to come in Thursday. And of course I went in.

And my new camera made my week.

The above photos are taken with my new camera.

‘Leaping Lizards and Other Childhood things

Today as I was reading the news during my usual scan of the major news producers I came across the most amazing thing. Apparently on some island somewhere warmer than Iowa they found three tiny breeds of chameleon The juveniles of one species is small enough to perch on the head of a match. Their adorableness reminded me of my own childhood and the summers I spent catching frogs and other creepy crawlies.  I remember one summer when Eli and I caught a bucketful of frogs for no apparent reason. My childhood was like almost everyone’s a happy time, and although looking back on myself at the time I was slightly neurotic, I did enjoy life.

I found this picture on Ebay, apparently this lunch box is now rare. I bet someone is just trying to get rid of it.

I have a few toys that I remember very sharply in my head and the first isn’t a toy at all. When I started Kindergarten I got my very first lunch box. It was My Little Pony and for the life of me I can’t understand why my parents bought it for me since I didn’t care about the toys at all. I remember making stories up about the ponies on the front of the lunchbox and sticking all the stickers my teacher gave me on the inside. I think I still have that lunchbox hiding somewhere in the house probably holding my ancient crayon collection.

Now for me my crayon collection was more than simply art supplies. In fact outside of school I didn’t care for crayons to color with at all. Instead I played house with my crayons. The periwinkle crayon was the princess and the scarlet and black the mother and the father. Of course the robin’s egg blues where evil, because I thought that color was ugly. The outside wrappers were gently slipped off of the crayons and exchanged so that the crayons could have different clothes and on it went. I don’t quite understand the  obsession anymore, but I played similar games with my hot wheel cars, marbles and colored pencils.

This didn’t mean that I didn’t have dolls, on the contrary I probably had to many, like many children from my generation. This doll in particular became the focal point of a traumatic childhood memory (at least to a five-year-old it was traumatic). I don’t know how I pestered my mother into letting me get this doll, but somehow I ended up with the Songbird Barbie. This doll came with a small pink/purple bird that balanced on a fingertip and sang when it’s beak was pressed. Anyway as soon as I got the doll I went to go play with it. We were living in a small house at the time that had one closet that opened into both of the bedrooms. It was here my parents stored their sewing supplies and other knickknacks that survived moving and was a perfect place to play with dolls. There were multiple sets of drawers and crevices to make the perfect barbie houses out of. However, it was also a great place to loose doll parts into. I somehow managed to pop the head of off my beautiful new barbie and loose her head in the mess of the closet. I was devastated and  ran to my mother who was with my little sister. She helped me look and since we were not able to find the head she told me to get rid of the body. The next day we found the head and I was very mad with my mother. Anyway long story short I hung on to that noisy little bird and hideous dress for a very long time afterward, probably till I was 13 or 14. It was something that reminded me of being a kid and it stayed hidden in a drawer forever.

This is a toy that I’m certain some people will recognize, it’s the original Polly Pocket! Although both Eli and I had both this version and the larger version that is still sold today. I remember sticking these in my pocket and bringing them outside for recess and playing under that trees. It was much better than tag or the playground and Eli and  I made up all sorts of stories about them.

Keeping Creative

My mom once told me that she likes to do something creative once a day. I’ve been trying to follow that advice.

Some days it’s easier than others. I’m sort of glad that I have a major (well, mix of majors) that allow me to think creatively. I suppose you think that journalism doesn’t sound like a very creative thing to go into, but it is. I’m also involved in classes and clubs at school that help me stay creative.

But right now I feel like I’m not keeping that creative vibe. I have a studio photography assignment, and I have ideas, but I just can execute them. Or I don’t know if I can. And I haven’t been writing lately. That makes me sad.

This is my little jar for misc. sewing supplies. The little dress on the hanger is a key chain Anne made for me.

Writing is one thing that I really care about being creative about. It’s what I want to do with my life, and when I go for more than a few days without writing anything creative I go a little crazy. At least I have somethings that help me to stay sane on the creative side. I talked before about how I like to do fashion drawings. And obviously photography. I like to be creative with sewing.

I don’t sew very much (I blame the time I don’t ever seem to have), but when I do I like thinking up what colors to use for fabric, and then what trim to use. It’s fun.

Water color painting.

Finally, although I’m not very good at it, I really like water color painting. I mostly paint flowers (because they are easy).

Source: beingbrazen.com via saltykisses

I first found this 33 ways to stay creative last summer, and recently re-found. How do you keep creative?