Saturday, 23 June 2012

Spidermen and Women

For the past 2 days I have been entertained on the back step by the birth of an egg sac of spiders. They seem to have been born on a roll of aluminum tape I put out to recycle. Now of course it stays until they no longer require it. Most of them have flown the coop, so to speak. But a resolute group remains 'in the nest'. They wander a few feet and then run back again to nap in a group. I check on them every few hours and they are always up to something.

I've been painting the house foundation wall. It's hard to do without injuring, killing or at least painting a few bugs. I hate that. I'm pro life when it comes to bugs. Considering the sheer number I'm up against on the house foundation, it hasn't gone as well as I usually like. I've found myself having a stern talk with me about my casual nonchalance regarding bug attrition during my painting. Sometimes you just need to slow down and remember what's important. I didn't, and now I feel regret. My little spiderlings are a good reminder. I promise to relocate slugs and lilly beetles with more care this week. There's plenty of yard for everyone, after all!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Shhh, I'm Not Talking

Today was my last day volunteering at school. I enjoyed it. I may even do it again next year. The teachers I worked with are excellent. I knew them previously as colleagues of course. We worked together and are friends. However, working in the classroom really shows me what excellent teachers they are. This year I was working with many children I had taught previously, so I knew them. To see how they developed and improved over the year has been wonderful. To see children taken from where I had them to a whole new level I hadn't even considered is so neat! It so impressed me to see such caring professionals do such excellent work. It almost makes me want to teach again. If retirement weren't such fun and indeed a full time job, I would consider teaching as a career all over again. I loved it. Working with caring, creative and brilliant people is a blast! Yep, that applies to both staff and students. I take great comfort in the fact that I have moved on, and those still in the trenches are so much better and kinder than I ever hoped to be. I am in awe of their brilliance.

DH was up back making a mountain out of a molehill when he was startled by 4 cute bunny babies sitting together under a fern. One of those Walt Disney moments for sure. I rescued a toad from our window well. And that seems to be the extent of the wildlife around here. I think everyone is too busy looking after their babies to visit. Usually we get a baby parade of ducklings on their way to the lake, but we missed it this year. You can't blink or you do. School had ducklings, so I got a good cuddle in there.

I got to see and touch the most beautiful wedding dress the other day! It had been worn by 3 generations of brides all married in the same church. Gorgeous silk with lace. It had been remodelled a bit between brides and you could trace the story of that if you followed seams and such. It was a like unlocking a mystery! Some of the renos had been done with a thread that may have then turned chocolate brown. It was so strange. The latest bride does not remember that brown thread, and there was enough of it to show for sure. The lace had also turned brown, but only matched the deepness of the thread where there was a snippet of lace contained inside the dress in a seam. The silk had gone from white to cream, but that was to be expected. I don't know what was up with the thread.

I love 'fancywork'. I believe I've mentioned this before. I have a huge collection of embroidery, crochet, tatting, lace and on and on. I usually swap my display collection around in the spring, but I haven't gotten around to it. Time to get to it. Nothing makes me happier than washing, ironing and admiring my collection.  I'm such a simple girl.

I forgot to say why I'm not talking!!! My voice is fading again. I lost it completely for a year a ways back, and I'm worried it's going again. Not talking (too much) is my plan currently, but it really seems to have no effect. Hear the pessimism? Shhh.... I'm not talking.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Button Holes

I got another buttonholer at Value Village today. I suppose 3 may be excessive, but this one is different! It's plastic and has more cams and some of those cams to make a bound buttonhole! I did leave a metal Greist one behind ($4.99 at Dartmouth VV) if you need one. These little puppies attach to your sewing machine and make perfect and identical buttonholes every time. I use mine on my straight stitch machines and love them.

Now the bound buttonhole happens by sewing the little box shape through the lip fabric and fashion fabric. Then you flip the flap inside, fold 2 lips and sew them down. The cams make the little box the same size every time. This is certainly one case of old ways being very worthwhile. Simple, reliable and consistent.

So this exciting day was brought to us by my sister, the one who has a birthday tomorrow and will then (along with her brother) be my age. For a month! This wasn't fun when we were little and bed times were age dependent. Now, it's the way we all remember how old we are. They ask me, I check with them. She needed company for an appointment and then we shopped VV and Guy Frenchy's. Some great finds were had by all. In my case a pink beaded purse and a red cashmere cardigan. She and I are different sizes, so if it wasn't for me it was often for her. Efficient, eh? I do try to school the sisters on how to reach into a pile and pull out the nicer natural fibres only. They're having limited success with this, but I continue to tutor.

By the way I am a WINNER! There is a great magazine here that showcases Atlantic books and authors. It's well written and opens you up to new things. I like it. It especially warms me up to the summer reading season. So, each edition they run a contest for a basket of books and I am the current WINNER! Look at my loot! Very handy arrival, as this is my first June when I won't be getting teacher presents, and those usually include many Chapters gift cards. A book buying trip always starts off my summer. Now it's done for me!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Learning To Parlez

Well, OMG! I signed up for the Frenchy's Challenge at Sewing Guild. Explanation needed for those who don't live here. Frenchy's is a clothing store where clothing is often second hand or store rejects, sold from bins cheaply. You can find great things there. I have a lovely Armani dress for example, purchased for $4. Going to Frenchy's is an Atlantic Canadian activity and this term may be used even if the store is Not a Frenchy's. I prefer Guy Frenchy's, but now we are really getting into it.

The Guild sent off a shopper to buy clothing that was then placed in bundles by colour theme. You drew a bundle, unseen, as you were called up. I got picked last - the tension was just like junior high gym as you can imagine. I was sweating.

I got tan and I was not looking forward to the reveal. It lived up to my expectations - blah! Now to be fair, I think I was too excited and expecting far too much. However I am a natural fibre snob, and I'm looking at white polyester (undyeable) beaded with plastic. Time to give my head a shake and woman up to the occasion!

I threw it all in the wash and sadly it all survived that and the dryer too. I was forlorn and depressed. There are elephants on the black skirt, so it would be wrong to acknowledge this high point. There just weren't enough of them (elephants and high points both).

Off to bed. Bed is a nice place. Warm, cozy, cat sleeping on my head, husband tucked under my arm. All is peaceful. And then it happens!

 At about 3:30 am I realized how to solve the fabric dilemma! It won't be easy, but it will be fun. So now I feel much better and  as a reward I went off to Guy Frenchy's myself and got some great silk skirts to line a jacket.  

I feel much better!

No, I can't tell you my plans. You will have to wait with everyone else until the big reveal in October.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I am a rainy day sewer! It's been cold and wet here lately and I am in the sewing room being productive. I am supposed to have my Little Black Dress finished for a show and tell next Tuesday. Therefore I am avoiding. I cleaned the whole house, organized, made lace, did laundry and cooked. Then I finally went to the LBD and found a few other unfinished projects to help with the delaying. I now have a brown silk shirt and my 1912 slip is done. I even bought fabric for a shirt for DH. 

So finally I dug out the LBD parts and pieces. What was I thinking! The top has a million pieces of what I think is a rayon brocade. It's beautiful, but really unstable to work with. I underlined it with silk organza but have come to the conclusion that organza is a poor stabilizer during the sewing process. It does its best work after the sewing is done and it adds body. I have puckers at the bosom and no idea how to make those bias seams drape smoothly. It may come to drastic measures, as soon as I figure out what that may be.

I did add the shirt to the top. This does help it to hang properly. I am also now wearing my famous black lace bustier for fittings. Now I know why I needed one of those things! It smooths all my wiggles to the waist, and a fitted top looks more like it should. This dress will also need lingerie snaps, as it is off the shoulder and sleeveless. 

I have no idea how I will get a lining to fit. I've made so many alterations to the original pattern pieces that I have no reference for cutting out a lining. I have plans to use a knit for the top and do the skirt with something else. I pray for the forgiveness a knit may bring to the issue. Who knows? 

I am planning a lingerie rainy day. I need bras, panties and some nighties, etc. I think I will make a few longer bras. Something to smooth my wrinkles and I also find less of a band to be more comfortable. I'll let you know. Lingerie brings me to the news that Dallas is coming back to TV this summer! Remember Alexis in all those amazing teddies and silk slips? I'm ready for it. I have some sequined vintage items in the closet and also picked up some beaded belts at a recent rummage sale. Now for some shoulder pads! What did they drink back then? I seem to remember Bourbon, but that doesn't sound delicious or good looking. I'll keep searching for a drink.