Thursday, August 30, 2007

Storms and floods

I haven't posted in the last week because I have been cleaning up after the intense storms we had here last Thursday. I was out with mom, Carla and Sio when the first one hit, we were having a late lunch. The power flickered in the restaurant a couple of times but never went out, but the rain was blowing sideways. I can't remember a storm like that in years, it was pretty scary. By the time we finished lunch, it was over, so we took mom to the grocery store. The power had been out there but was back on, Carla kept trying to call Jimmy and Rich, but all the circuits were busy. Sio finally reached her Chris who said it had been pretty bad by their house, and part of a tree had come down on the hot tub room. Their power was out, too. Carla finally reached Rich, who said the power was out up Main Street, and there were a lot of trees down. He suggested that we go home on all the back streets, stay off of Roosevelt, Main and Westmore. I tried to reach John, but couldn't. It wasn't til we got about 6 blocks from the grocery store that we began to realize how bad the storm actually had been. There were trees and branches down all over the place, no one had power and some of the power lines had been taken down by trees. Some of the streets were just not passable. We stopped at Jimmys mom on the way to make sure they were ok, she and Kevin were outside, and they were ok but there street was blocked by a tree. We saw several houses that had trees and/or big branches that had fallen on them. Carla drove by Chris and Sio's on the way here, and there maple was leaning against the hot tub room with part on the roof. Chris had already been up there and said he didn't think anything was damaged. We came here next, and John was sitting on the front porch. A third of the 55 year old maple was down and filling up the side yard; it had taken out my clothes line, and the garden. It bent the fence, and was on the power line but didn't actually break it. If it had been a foot further to the left it would have hit the house. John had already been out looking for us to make sure we were all ok; he said there was a car over by Rich's work that was squished from a tree, I saw it later and it was squished.Thank God no one was in it. Anyway, we got our power back in about 18 hours, but mom, Rich and Chris, and Sio didn't get theirs back til Saturday night. Because the sump pumps stopped, we ended up with an inch of water in the front part of the basement. I'm so glad I took the back part for my sewing room! None of that stuff got wet. Chris and Sio had water too.Anyway, the kids came over and cut the tree up and we have a lot of firewood. As soon as we have a chance we are taking them all out to dinner, maybe next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Owl embroidery

I finished the owl this morning, I think it came out very nice, very reminiscent of the 70's. I was originally planning a bag, but I might make something else instead. He would be equally cute as a kitchen accessory; maybe the center of a small quilted table topper , a pot holder or as part of one of those plastic bag holders although I'd like to discourage the use of plastic bags. I'm going to look through all my pictures and patterns and see. Maybe a tea cozy, those are cute.

I broke down and listed the apple tote bag; I really think it's cute and I hope it sells quick or else I'll be tempted to keep it when the listing expires.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sewing and gardening

I made this bag for Etsy last week and I like it so much I still haven't listed it. The pocket is made from a vintage tablecloth I got at Salvation Army. I took pics of it hanging on the clothesline and they really aren't very good. Maybe I did that on purpose so I have yet another excuse not to list it? I did sell a corduroy bag with a patchwork flap a couple of days ago.

I also went next door to see what was going on with the cucumber vine that's growing across the fence. No one has lived over there for months, it's apparently been foreclosd on and the bank has it up for sale. Anyway, I have gone over there a couple of times to pull weeds that are growing through the fence and to pick some of the cherry tomatoes that are growing through the fence. While I was over there I looked to see if there were any cucumbers and right up against the fence hiding partly under some leaves was the biggest cucumber I've had this year. It's almost 12 inches long, and really big around. I don't know how I managed to miss it. I also have some ripe peppers and my regular tomatoes are very good, too, and I have quite a few of them. I wish I had planted plum tomatoes because I want to make sun dried tomatoes.

I am making doll clothes for the Christmas show at work, I have practically every doll clothes pattern out there, plus a bunch of out of print ones. I can take them to the craft shows and maybe sell them with my other stuff.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Craft shows and miscellanea

I have been making reusable Christmas gift bags for the two shows I have coming up in October. I think they will sell pretty well this year as more and more people realize the importance of no longer filling our landfills with waste that takes forever to break down. I need to make a bit on them but not a lot, and I'm thinking of donating a dollar or two from every purchase to a charity like the Climate Crisis Coalition. I can sell 4 bags for $10 or $12, depending on the size and donate $2. Anyway, the sewing of them is really easy, I can make 4 in just about an hour, I made 12 this past Friday. I can get an average of 6 bags from a yard of fabric. I also started a crocheted baby blanket for my Etsy store. It's like a huge granny square, I'll take a picture when I'm done.
Sio and Chris came back from Disney yesterday and brought me a sailboat necklace. The sails are made from dyed shell. It's really pretty, I like it a lot. They had a good time. I am going to see her later at mom's. I have to bring over some tomatoes, we have way more than we can eat.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Colonial era costuming 2

Well, here is the pic of me wearing the costume. I don't know why the picture went on twice and I can't figure out how to delete one. Oh well. Anyway, the corset is a bit too big in the bust area, so I'll have to do some alterations before I wear it. The skirt is one from a different costume but it looks fine. I am going to make the other skirt today and then I can use the tan one for a petticoat or I also have a lighter maroon skirt that could serve the same purpose. The shawl is in the pattern and since I am making this as a model garment I went ahead and made it too, I used a homespun looking plaid. I think for the demo I am going to go ahead and knit a shawl. One out of black wool would be nice, but since it wouldn't be washable I'm thinking maybe an acrylic. Or maybe a blend, we have Lion brands Wool-Ease at work. I also made the cap, I had to do a few adjustments but it fits now. I just am not crazy about it and I probably won't wear it.

I have been going through my costume stuff from before and I have nice collection. I pulled out my hemp boned corset I made a few years ago, it's a bit too small but with much tugging and pulling on strings I think I could still wear it. It doesn't have straps, but I could add some. The one thing I really like about the McCalls one is the straps. I have a navy wool skirt that is almost finished, a shirt I've done some blackwork on, and a plaid wrap. Very Scottish looking, and I could wear that instead. Or it could be remade for someone else who wants to dress up. I have several lightly boned bodices, a brown velvet one, a brown corduroy one that I lined with blue cotton, and a gold one made with a drapery fabric.

I have decided to leave the brown fabric as it is and try to work around the flaws. However since I have this dyebath I made from the black walnuts that is a very dark brown, and a nice piece of hemp linen, I am going to dye it instead. It may become an apron, or even another boned corset since I really like making them and haven't perfected the sewing techniques yet.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hemp Boned Corset

Well the corset is finished, except for a couple of ribbon ties which were supposed to be brown but I didn't have enough ribbon so the straps in back are laced on with maroon satin ribbon. I wanted to show step by step how I made it, but I lent the camera to Melissa and Gregory when they were here and I couldn't get over to Rich and Chris' to pick up the other one. Mildred is much smaller than I am so I had to fold and pin the corset in place, the back looks a bit weird because of that. When John comes home I'm going to have him help me get into it and see how it fits and take another couple of pictures. It fit ok during construction so I'm thinking the finished one should be fine. I wanted to boil my black walnuts today and get a nice dye stock for the skirt fabric, but I'm not sure what to use to dye 3 1/2 yds. of 60" wide fabric and be able to apply heat. If I had a huge pot I might be able to rig something up on the barbeque grill, but I don't. Joan suggested a big metal garbage can, but I don't even know if you can buy those anymore. Since black walnuts really stain hands so much maybe I wouldn't need boiling water. I wonder if I could just pour the boiling dye bath into hot water from the tap and then put the fabric in and just soak it for a couple of hours or so. As long as I stir it a lot I'll get even color. It won't be colorfast, but that shouldn't matter for this event. My only concern is that it will be hanging in the store for a couple of months and I wonder if fading will become an issue. I am actually getting pretty excited about doing this whole thing, I think it will be fun to dress up and demo for the day, and I know enough about my family history that I can be a charachter from my own past. Anne Newells mother, Francis Moore was baptised in St. Pauls in Harbour Grace in I think 1745, although I'd have to check my records to be sure about the date. When she was my age she would have been a little out of date with this style of clothing, but I can just pretend I'm a bit younger and it'll be ok. She married John Newell and moved to Brigus where she had 3 children that I have been able to trace,Charlotte, who is my great great, great great Aunt, she married a Penney whose name I can't remember, it could have been Thomas, anyway, he was the grandfather of the Penney who is my great great great grandmother. Then there was John Newell, named after his father, I suspect he may be related to Glenda; I can't remember right offhand who he married; and Anne who married Ambrose Sparks sometime before 1801, maybe 1799 or 1800. Anyway, I know the most about Francis and the dates work out about right.