Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Costume

Last year at this time I was doing our local production of Les Miserables.  I made and worked on many costumes for that show. This is one of the posts from that time.  I have mentioned before that I like making costumes.  If you are interested you can read other posts about costumes by looking at the labels on the right.

My choice of fabric for costumes had been mainly cottons and cotton blends.  Even for fancier clothes. When my older kids were in Christian school in San Jose, they didn't have Halloween there.  They had Famous Americans Day which was celebrated the day before Thanksgiving.  The children wrote a report about a famous American and then dressed as that person.  There was a contest for the reports and for the costumes, per each class.  I thought it was great idea and the girls loved it.  Maybe not the report writing, though both won the essay contest at least once.

Alex, (L) was Helen Keller that year.
Elizabeth was Elizabeth Blackwell.

But once years before that, I made Elizabeth a clown costume using satin.  That was tricky.  Satin is slippery and it ravels terribly.

This is Alex wearing the hand-me-down clown costume.
After that experience I didn't sew shiny, slippery fabrics again until this year.

When Elizabeth got married, I made 2 of her 3 bridesmaid dresses.  It was May so we found lovely fine cotton floral fabric.  I'm sorry I don't have a photo of those dresses.  They turned out nice. Though not of silk or satin.

This Fall, a friend of mine asked me to make a costume for her granddaughter.  Helen had planned to make it herself but fire intervened and she asked me.  She had purchased nearly everything that was needed so all I had to do was get sewing.

Three fabrics (all slippery and shiny) thread, a zipper, braided trims and the pattern.  She even brought pins.

The sliver dotted fabric and the lovely heavy satin-type knit for the under dress.

The organza over cape attached, it still needs the sleeves.

A close-up of the braid at the waist.

All done. So happy.

I was going to take it over to Helen so I sent a text asking what day was best. There was still 10 days until Christmas.  She replied that she was already in Arizona with her family and could I mail it.  I did.

I hear the little one is loving her present from her Grandma.

And once more let me wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. A time to remember the greatest gift of all. God's gift to us, His Son, Jesus.

O Holy Night

Sung by the King's College Choir, Cambridge

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just so you Know

I am still planning to write my blog.  I believe I may have writer's block.  Though I'm busy doing things,  I'm not sure any of it is of interest.

Christmas time is wonderful.  I like celebrating the greatest gift.  God, our Father's gift of His Son.  I also like shopping for presents and decorating the tree.  Going to Christmas pageant's and concerts. Once in a while go to see the Nutcracker.  I love the Russian dancers.

Watch them here.

The Chinese dancer and Arabian dancers are also good.  Well, frankly, the whole darn show is grand.

One of my all time favorite Christmas movies is "The Homecoming"   Preview here.

When I was a child, I loved "Amahl and the Night Visitors." When I looked on YouTube, there were several versions.  If you're interested you can look them up.  The ones I watched years ago were performed live each year.

I also love "A Charlie Brown Christmas."  I love "Christmas Time is Here."  Here.

Perhaps I'll post again before Christmas comes, but in case I don't,  Happy Christmas to all of you and a peaceful, healthy, fun New Year.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The vest is done 2

I made my sister a vest a month or so ago see post here.  The pattern I used for it I had originally bought to make myself a fleece vest and so I have.

Please excuse the glare on my spectacles,  This was the best of several views so I went with it in spite.  I still struggled with the zipper.  This time I think it was my inexperience with fleece that caused the problem.  But one can't  tell from a distance, eh?  So I'm going to live with it.  It is nice and warm.

I am awaiting fabric for a robe as a gift and so it's off to make more bags for the co-op.  I went in yesterday and there were only five of the ten I made left.  Hooray for new members!  

So short and sweet. May your Thanksgiving be pleasant and not too filling.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Truly Whatever

Hello.  Have I said how much I love Autumn?  I have?  It bears repeating. I Love Fall!

Under the maple tree at the medical building.

Oh, turning leaves are beautiful, yes?  But I also love the misty, rainy days that happen after a rainless spring and summer.

The view out the window while paying bills yesterday.  How easily distracted I am.

Earlier yesterday, the rain stopped and the little birds came out looking for goodies.  The new green grass is out and the old brown summer grass is fading away. I love my fall flag.

Now don't despair.  There is sewing.  It's only bags for the Co-op, but there are ten of them.

I had fallen behind my 3 each week so I made these up and now I should keep it up.  

Also now is the Christmas sewing.  I have 5 things to make as gifts and one I've cut out for me so should whip that one up right away. It's a fleece vest in a lime green from the same pattern as my
 my sister's vest. We'll see how it goes.

Autumn Leaves sung by Nat King Cole

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I've been busier than normal all of October and November is kind of starting off like that. Okay, I'm done whining.

In June I wrote a post about a trip to Pacific Grove, Monterey and Big Sur with  my daughter.  And we went again. This time Alex had a librarian conference to go to so I tagged along. The weather was unbeatable.

We went to the Nepenthe Cafe Kevah. 

Along Highway 1, the ocean seemed to glow .
Bixby Creek Bridge, I love this bridge.
I drove on down then stopped and looked back.
That's it. My love post for Big Sur.

Come back, there's sure to be some sewing going on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Salt

This is just a small portion of the 'the salt' I'm talking about.
My husband loved the salt.

Before I ever knew him, he and a buddy came out to the flats to see Speed Week first hand.  They slept in the car.
Bonneville Nationals SCTA 

Before he had his own car, he went to see all the different race vehicles go as fast as they could.  From big rigs, to jet powered streamliners, to roadsters, to motorcycles. Even more.  



As we came over the hills to get to W. Wendover, NV, this is the sight he loved to see.
Miles and miles of salt.  The Salt.
His car.

In 2006, his dream of racing on the salt flats came true.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sheep to Shawl

I am a member for the Hangtown Fibers Guild.  We're a group of fiber enthusiasts meeting to enjoy and promote fiber arts. We are weavers, spinners, knitters, crocheters, basket makers and more.   The website here.

One of things we enjoy is participating in  Sheep to Shawl competitions.  These are held at some county fairs and at wool shows and festivals.  Yesterday it was Lambtown in Dixon, California.

What is a Sheep to Shawl competition?  Teams gather from various guilds to make a shawl from minimally prepared fiber in four hours.   Apparently many years ago, the event would be much longer and would start with a sheep.   So shearing, skirting and washing the fleece (they may have skipped the washing) teasing the fiber, carding (getting the fiber to go in one direction) spinning, plying and finally weaving.  We start with washed and dyed wool.  Ours was Romney from Mendenhall's in Loma Rica.  Want an amazing, very high quality fleece?  Here you go.

 Just getting set up. It's about 0900,  the competition starts at 1000.   The loom at center.  There are 5 teams.  We are setting up our info table.  Sometimes the judges also note the decorations and teams uniforms.  They are not really uniforms, but unifyers.  We had hats, aprons and some guild logo shirts.

We have on mascot, Loretta, in front.  She is a pack sheep with her pack saddle and gold pan.  We are The Fiber Miners. Go Miners.

This was my first competition on the team.  I don't spin or weave, but I can card.  However, I was the educator.  The educators job to answer questions from the public so the team members aren't stopping to answer.  The educator can not do anything to help the team. 

You can just see 2 spinners getting started. The educator is up front.

Here you can see the weaver, center stage.  We were all so thankful for the shade.  It was 93.

You can just see the carder's elbow on the right.

 The weaving in process.  It's lunch break.  Note team hat on chair.

We were first off the loom, but much finishing to so.  Don't you love the color?  The team is checking for error, winding the fringe and making the last tweaks before turning it in.

I'm sorry to say I have no photos of the other competitors, or their shawls.  That's really too bad as they were all very lovely.  

I'll just close by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my part in the Lambtown Sheep to Shawl competition.  And . . . . 

We got first place!

Alas no photo of the prizes or the whole team.  Some were taken, but not by me.

To be quite honest,  I did not think about a post for the blog at the show yesterday.  I just took some pictures.  Now I realize the starting fiber would have been nice to see and maybe some of the other teams.  I'm sorry it's not very complete.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Vest is Done

Yes, at long last I have finished my sister's vest.  I'm not terribly happy with the zipper placement.  It had been awhile since I put in a zipper and I'd never put in a separating one right in the front of the garment like it's a focal point. Aack.

I purposely chose this blurry photo so you get the idea without seeing the thing clearly. It's quite plain.  I wanted to decorate it somehow with stitching or embroidery.

And then for my modeling debut, I wore very ratty pants that detract severely.  And really, in the kitchen?  Why not out on the deck?

In the end I tried to disguise the zipper stitching with a decorative stitch after checking with Pat as to color of accent. She wanted blue.  
I did it slightly lighter shade, but it didn't cover up the original stitching. So I thought "ah ha" a beaded zipper pull to detract, hopefully, this time..  Nope.

Anyone who has ANY suggestions about putting in a separating zipper, please comment.  I've a fleece vest and a jacket to make that will each need a zipper.

Closing with this.

It's Placerville, California. That's the bell tower.
There are only two cities in El Dorado County. Placerville and South Lake Tahoe.

Friday, September 26, 2014

No Sewing Photos Today

Instead I'm going to show you my homework.  You might remember I'm taking an art class on color.  There have been assignments and there have been projects.  Using colored pencils and water colors paints so far.

This is a close-up of my color chart where I mixed each of the colors. I'm not terribly fond of the the white showing, but I like the shades.

This is my intensity chart. We could only use blue or red.  

This is the color chart we made by glazing.  I started over twice.

The following are only 3 out of 5 compositions we had to make using three items of fruit/veggies.  We had to draw 5 different arrangements. Then pick the one we thought was best, draw it five times on 7"x 10" papers. Then we had to paint them in five different color combinations.

This one is local color which means it's painted as it really looks. A red pear, a butternut squash and a green chile pepper, see the real pepper?

This one is color tetrad. That's four colors from the color wheel making square in the center of the wheel if you draw a straight line from one to the next. We had to also used the neutrals made from mixing those colors. That's grey on the background.

And this one is cool colors only. We had to use all the cool colors. 

So that's what's been happening on my dining table this week.

I want to thank the Lord for the rain and cooler temperatures.  It's helping with the firefighting. The King fire has consumed more that 95,000 acres of El Dorado County.
See you next time.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Who remembers Amos and Andy?  When it was on TV, I was a little kid.  I liked it. There was a character on there called Sapphire. (I mean women have had gemstone names for centuries like Ruby and Pearl, Jade, Coral.)    Here is a photo of the actress who played Sapphire both on radio and television. Her name is Ernestine Wade. (photos from Wikipedia)

And here she is as Sapphire.

Love the hat.  I had a telephone like that for a very long time even when more modern ones were available. The folks said no reason to change as that one worked fine.

This is all leading up to my decision about naming the car.  Pierce and Lapis were in serious contention, but I've decided the Subaru is a female persona.  So, you guessed it, I'm calling her Sapphire. Partly for the gemstone and partly for this wonderful character.

Although many people later thought her role negatively reflected on black women, she found much praise from people both black and white for her performances.

Now I'm wondering. Shall I name my new phone?  Ah, come on, why not?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Want to Name My Car

When cars first came into being and people bought them, they named them.  Perhaps this happened because people were used to naming their horses, i.e. Dobbin, Trigger etc. This morning while making the bed I was struck by the desire to name my car.  The reason being that it sounds nifty to say 'I'll pick up you up in  Old Betsy at 1000"  instead of  " in the Subaru".  Or "Old Betsy needs detailing".  You see what I'm talking about, eh?

This is the best photo I could find of my car.

This is from the internet. Mine is the same year and color, but no scoop and no luggage rack.

I thought about calling it Pierce after one of my favorite actors.  Or the Peacock after one of the ships in the Exploring Expedition of 1840.

Suggestions anyone?  Monet? Miro? Sapphire?

I value your opinion.  There is no prize, however, for suggesting the name I like best.  You'll might enjoy the knowledge that you contributed to my joy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Really Needed a Zipper


It's true, I did need a zipper.  That is all I have left to do on my sister's vest.  Oh, I bought a zipper when I bought the fabric, but I altered the pattern and the zipper I bought is too long.  When it comes to separating zippers, I'm a novice.  But I was being bold, yes, me, I was being bold.  I thought perhaps there was a way to shorten a separating zipper.  YouTube to the rescue. Number one and number two.  Both good.  So I tried.  No luck.  I could not pull the teeth off like both presenters said.

You must believe me,  I tried because I didn't want to go to Joann. (Secretly, I always want to go where there is fabric for sale). I really needed the zipper.  I contemplated going to Walmart (closer, but I dislike it intensely) for about 5 seconds.  So I gave myself a talking to and left.

You know what's coming, don't you?  Yes, I did get my zipper. And, I confess, that zipper cost me $51. That's not including gasoline.

See the finished vest very soon.  I'd like to get a picture of it on my sister, but I may not be able to do that for ages.  I'll get a model.  Ahem, me.

My grandson is going to a party in October where costumes are desired. He's going to be 'The Dread Pirate, Roberts' and for this year's pirate costume, he's going to make it himself with help from his mom.
He was much younger in photo above.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wandering to Fall

 I found this beautiful photo on the internet so long ago I don't even know where it is from except that it was taken in the Cotswalds, UK.

A poem of today and tomorrow.

 Summer morning cool and quiet no one up but me, sleepy eyes adjusting to dawn;

Sleepy eyes that awaken to a shadow of light creeping up the foothills sharing days;

Sharing days and mornings like this one with a silent creature , a spotted fawn;

A spotted fawn, a doe nearby to teach that it's okay to eat the roses that look that way;

That way are the roses but leave the daffodils and sage.  Ordinary tastes of  the garden;

Tastes of the garden for me are red like tomatoes and strawberries, cherry peppers small;

Small and round and spicy like an afternoon in the sun wandering its way to Fall.

Take a bit of a wander today.

path photo from internet, wallpaper place

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Going to School

 Rio Tinto,Spain ( from Bing)

Did I  tell you I was going to school?  Of course I did. Don't I tell you everything?  I was taking two classes. Art: Design Principles Color Theory and Art History: An Introduction to Art.  I really wanted to take both of them, but I forgot about school in the 15 years since I last went.  (I got my RN degree in 1999.) I missed the second day of Art History because I went to Arizona. It turns out the class was cancelled, but she assigned a library project due the following Thursday.  She did that on the internet at something called D2L.(Desire to Learn)  So I knew about the project while still in AZ.

The assignment said to to the college library look at 3 different art magazines and write about them.  To make this story short, let me say, the library had only one art magazine and it was for artists not about art.  I tried to buy an art magazine at both the stores in our small city alas all about painting not art.  Public library had one.  So  I thought,  why am I stressing, taking art is not supposed to be stressful over 60.  Really.  The second assignment was the topper. Online again.  She told us to follow the rules in week four folder, but week four folder would not open. 

That's it.  I dropped the class.  Ahhhhhhhhh the relief.  I'm still doing the color class which is a different kind of stress.  But first more Rio Tinto.


Can you believe that river?  What color!
(Also from Bing)

There is homework.  Most people who do homework want to do it correctly.  I'm sure I'm right about this. Particularly the over 60 crowd.
So yesterday I prepared to do mine.  That is not wine. Honest. Ice water.

It looks like I'm ready.

I'm using water color and I'm going to make a color wheel using glazing technique and also an intensity chart and a color chart.

Dear Readers, I have suddenly realized how uninteresting this may be. So I'm skipping ahead.  I had taken about four hours and several restarts to do these things.

The color chart, glazing. Still need to do another in mixing technique.

This is the intensity one. I'm not absolutely sure that's the correct name.

My color wheel.  And there's a shadow in the photo. It's me.  Anyway.  This is far from well done, but after 3 tries I said. . .

"Remember this is for Fun and not for a grade."   There will be grades, but they won't matter in the long run.  It is fun.

Started my sister's vest at last and will post some photos about sewing soon.  

Have a colorful day.