Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wine-colored dress

What I want:

Alison Sweeney's dress tonight on the Biggest Loser.  A-line, funky sleeves, nifty low-cut-ness, and wine colored.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I have tomorrow morning off of work... I have no money, but perhaps I might go to Target or something to see if there's something like that somewhere... No image, because there's not one online yet (heck, the show's still on!)... my second ever twitter search (first: to see if I was the only one having Blogger troubles or not a few days back) was to see if anyone else mentioned her dress; seems (so far at least) that nobody has.  Perhaps I'm crazy.

This is an excellent color, though:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bright and girly Emmeline apron

I just love making these.  The instructions are simple, I get to play with fabric and colors, and it's such a lovely finished project.  I hate photographing them, though -- it never turns out right.  I iron them, and they look great to the naked eye, but the photograph makes them look wrinkled, or uneven, or something.  And my mother's dress form sure looks busty! 

At least here you get true colors:

Both Jo-Ann prints.  The accent color/sash is a yellow with tiny white butterflies on it, picking up on the butterflies in the hot pink.  I need to get an up-close picture of the decorative stitching I did across the top band, but this is one finished project with which I am very pleased!

In other news, my list of unread posts from my 489 Google Reader subscriptions has gone down to 997 after weeks at 1000+!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I read this book this past week.  I must say I was looking forward to reading it, but did not expect to like it very much.  As it happened, though, I loved it! 

The book, for those who don't know, keeps almost all of Jane Austen's original text, adding in sections (and changing just a few words here and there) to add a background of a zombie plague across England, where the five Bennett girls (and Mr. Darcy, although not Mr. Bingley) are all well-trained in zombie fighting. 

(Spoilers ahead.)

Aside from my enjoyment of the zombie element, I very much appreciated the way that it made several pieces of the plot easier to understand.  Charlotte's decision to marry Mr. Collins, for example, stems not just from her fear of ending up an old maid, but also from her infection with the zombie plague, her awareness that she has but a few months to live, and her hope that her new situation will give her a better end.  Darcy's excuse that he warned Mr. Bingley off of Jane because he feared that her illness (from Jane Austen's original) might be a sign that she had also become infected with the zombie plague also is much more believable than that he feared she wasn't actually interested in him. 

In all, a very enjoyable book; the solidly 1900-era costumes on the girls in the illustrations aside, I heartily recommend it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No internet

My internet's out again -- 5th day out in the past 10 days.  Perhaps it's time to switch providers?  Anyhow -- back when it's fixed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Green miniature book

Again, blurry dying-camera shot, but you can see my little book's structure.  Case bound, linen resume paper, headbands from France, paper from odds and ends lying about... very fun little blank book.

I like this paper - it looks and feels like snakeskin.

Love the way the marbled paper turned out in such a tiny segment.

My hands look so big!  It's about an inch across and 1 1/2 or maybe 1 3/4 inches tall.  It, like the red one, is available in my shop.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Red miniature book

Sorry for the fuzzy pictures - the camera was dying.

Looks like leather, actually is paper.

Real marbled paper, off-cuts from a larger book.  My hand gives you some sense as to size -- it's about 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Six signatures of linen resume paper, headbands from france, case bound.  And very fun to make.
Along with the camera battery going, my internet has been out for the past two days... meh.  So, editing the scheduled post from work on my break (I'm a good girl, don't blog when I'm supposed to be working, but a 1-paragraph edit in my afternoon break is fine).  Hope it gets back up soon... although I'll probably get more of the house cleaned tomorrow if it's not!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


More detailed pics to come; this was the best one, though, so showing it off first.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Buttonhole book

I've been home sick today, and didn't do much but lie around. I picked up something from the kids I was around on Sunday, I expect; sadly, my grandfather is ill as well, as I had dinner with him Sunday night. I did get around to making this little buttonhole book today, though.

Neither of these pictures is right on the color -- it's greener than that. The paper is some I picked up in India in March; the paisleys are made out of little glued-on dots.

Sewn with linen thread from France. Boring old yellow copy paper on the inside, but the colors do match well. About 6 inches tall, about 4 inches wide... I suppose one could put a bunch of 3x5 photos in it!

The endpages (false endpages, technically). Don't know where I picked up this paper... heh - don't know where I picked up most of the yarn and paper I have lying around!

I also unearthed a few miniature books I made a while back; photos to come tomorrow.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Yarn

Look what I won from a Pfat Fiber giveaway!

It is such a lovely blend, so soft, and the colors are just gorgeous (see the dress below -- I like those colors!)... I'm a convert. The marketing plan worked -- when next I buy yarn like this, I'm highly inclined to make My8KidsMom my first stop!

Any ideas what to make with it? It's more than I'd need for a regular pair of socks... could make super-long socks, or something non-sock-ish... suggestions?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


What I'm wearing today:
The Danielle, from Burdastyle. (Cropped to remove silly hair.) Went together really fast. I'm very pleased! I made it in a tiny sundress, but that was much too short to show online (wore it to Galveston on July 4, but tiny sundresses are fine then). I love the fabric -- it looks like wool, but it's actually brushed cotton, so suitable for Houston weather. Here's to Joann's sales!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A few weeks ago, I was in Austin for a conference, and I was taken to Hill Country Weavers. The store's an amazing experience -- very hard to limit yourself. I bought some excellent yarn for a sweater for myself, and then I saw this. Fool that I am, I was too impatient to play with it to take a picture when it was nicely braided up, so this is all you get. It just looked like candy...

I got a drop spindle once, from a woman in Bolivia -- I bought a woven guitar strap from her, then some yarn, then was so interested in the spindle she was using that she sold that to me as well. I couldn't find it just now, though, so I watched some videos on youtube and then made my own temporary one out of a hook, a pencil, and a circle of cardboard, and spun away! It wasn't that hard.

First, after spinning it all, relatively evenly, I decided to ply it. Ended up a bit bulkier than I would have liked, so it went back to singles. More pictures to come.
Right now, I've done something to my wrist, so I can't knit, crochet, or even type much. Machine sewing seems ok, though...
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Fiber Arts Shops on Hwy 290

Hello all!

We went to Austin earlier this weekend, stopping by my grandparents' place in the little town of Carmine halfway there (claim to fame: the bank was robbed by Bonnie and Clyde -- they even have a plaque commemorating it). Along with gingerbread pancakes at the Magnolia Cafe, I wanted to try out a new weaving shop in Brenham I'd heard about at Winedale a while back.

Driving up to Austin, passing through Paige, I as always looked left and saw the little sign for the Paige Historical Museum and thought it might be nice to look in... and then I looked right and for the first time ever saw a sign for a business! On the way back I had to stop, and I easily found what may be the only business in Paige:Yarnorama! I wish I had an interior picture, but had no camera this weekend (the above is from their website). It's a lovely and exciting store, with roving, weaving materials, spinning wheels, masses of sock yarn and handpainted yarn and silk yarn and anything fancy you could ever want. Friendly people, too.

Having spent all my extra money at Half Price Books in Austin, I couldn't buy anything, so I went on down to Brenham.

There, into Fibers (sorry, no picture at all). My 6th grade art teacher, Mrs. Fowler (who it turns out is nationally known as an inkle weaver and has written articles on the subject), had us all use inkle looms to make belts. I bought the loom afterwards and loved it. When I saw someone at one of the Winedale historical events with an inkle loom, I told them about Mrs. Fowler, and the weaver knew of her and told me to come to the new shop in Brenham. It's a lovely shop, very big and open. It's certainly central Texas -- there were people in there with the same accent as my grandparents' German (actually Wendish, but who's telling?) farmhand, who's been in this country for generations, so the German modified itself beyond easy recognition but left its traces in the accent. It has tons of weaving, spinning, knitting, crochet, and probably other stuff as well. (I think I saw some scrapbook supplies.) The help desk/check-out counter is made from display cases showing lovely antique tatted and other fiber arts items.

Both certainly worth a repeat visit; both like nothing we have in Houston (If we do, Houston people, please tell me -- I've heard that the nearest weaving shop is in La Porte, and I never go that direction).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beard Hat!

I don't like buying things I can make myself, so when I saw the beard hat / beard toque for sale at various places, I figured I just needed to make one myself. I looked for patterns online, most of which were Ctulhu or crazy loosely-knit or loosely-crocheted things. My kid brother's going off to college in Colorado, and he's a good sport and also a big hat wearer, so I wanted to make him something that would be warm and hold up to a bit of wear. He's got great red hair and has in the past cultivated some very nice mutton chops, ones that make him look not like a belated hippy but like something out of Dickens, and I want him to go full-out lumberjack and get a big beard. I figured this might convince him, so I made up my own pattern, and here's the result (posed with an authentic Norwegian climbing pick):

I used a basic spiral single crochet hat pattern, then just made it the desired shape. For a moustache, I used Drea's pattern, and it was absolutely perfect. The beard, rather than being a flap, is a pocket that hooks over your chin and keeps your neck warm as well.

Does that shirt pattern look familiar? It's from a tutorial I couldn't find anywhere just now, but I know came through my blog reader sometime last fall (the best I can find is here, but the link afterwards is dead). I wasn't doing freezer paper stenciling, so I just used an iron-on transfer, which was fine.

I made four; they were Christmas presents for Himself, my brother, and both brothers-in-law.

This one's also gotten too small for the beard-wearer, as you can see, so it's mine now.
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