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Monday, March 28, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011 Week 4

I've tried to be more original this week and not repeat anything.
On Tuesday I wore these earrings (my own design, a similar pair has appeared at least once this month) in pinks and greens, with a pink floral skirt, a white Tshirt and black leggings.

On Wednesday I was on a roll with earrings.  These are also my own design, a slightly truncated version of the long ones because of the bigger beads.  I doubt if the 'turquoise' chips were real turquoise but I liked them anyway.  I wore them with grey pants and an embellished, asymmetrical top in shades of teal and turquoise and mauve and black, the sort of thing I would like to have made myself but actually bought.

On Thursday I wore the third of the quick, simple scarves, with a favorite plain cream rayon shirt and black pants.  The purple and the satin-cum-burnout velvet effect looked pretty damn good, though I say so myself!  It is the same width all the way down, honest, I just folded it badly when I took the photo.

Friday was the wedding!!!  I missed Casual Friday at work, but on the other hand, I HAD THE DAY OFF WORK.  I had had once had grand plans to make a dress to wear to the wedding, when it was announced six months ago, but that was before the whole Move House and Get A Job thing happened.  So I bought something in a sale, and then a 'pashmina' in another sale.  And wore nothing homemade.  Unlike the bride, who carried ...

Actually the Matron of Honour carried the mostly white one.  In the mostly blue one, the ruffly rosette on the middle right hand of the picture is the one I made at the bridal shower, previously blogged about.

It was the most gorgeous wedding and I cried buckets.  They were so happy and radiant with joy.  And nothing beats the Astor Theatre as a wedding venue!

And as it was cold, when we got home I changed into jeans and socks made by me.  Knitted from one of those soy/chiton/cotton/etc blends.

On Saturday I could have worn something made by me but I wanted to show off another of my favorite hand towels.  Made from leftovers of Rowan Dk cotton from long ago.

On Sunday I wore jeans and a grey top with spooky silver and grey and black printing all over it, and this cuff.  It's another of those crazy patchworky things for which I need a better name.  I think it looks pretty wicked, and it's surprisingly comfortable.
As the last week of Me-Made-March 2011 only has another four days to go, I am finishing off this post here and will do the last four days at the end of the week.  I will be quite sorry when this is over!  There may be a repeat or two next week though I will try to remain original, but I suspect that Monday, at least, will be a repeated brooch because it goes exactly with the clothes I want to wear.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Recycled Scarf

Some time ago I was inspired by a series of posts on Annekata's blog, and stored the idea of this scarf away in my mind for future reference.  I did not print out the blog post as, if I ever got around to making one, I didn't want it to be a slavish copy, but an 'inspired by'. 

I did, admittedly, reread the post last weekend in a quiet moment when I was rummaging around a series of blogs.

One of the things I was going to do for Me Made March 2011 was upcycle/repurpose/whatever it's called an old cardigan.  It had been mine a long time ago, when I wore long, straight cardigans and pretended to be Virginia Woolf.  (Except in the brilliant writing and the madness departments!)  Then I was going to send it to charity when Baby Bear caught sight of it and decided she liked it.  Then she got sick of it and it was about to go to charity again when I realised that it was 96% wool, a lovely bright green, and would probably felt nicely.  Then I decided not to felt it, but to cut off some of its length and trim it with mauve braid, give it new buttons and wear it as a cardigan again.  THEN I washed it in preparation for its rebirth and discovered that the silly thing was full of moth holes.

Back to the felting idea.  Also, I had been reorganising the wardrobe so as to find what 'corporate' clothes I had to be able to wear to my new job, and I found a pair of execrable pin-striped shorts.  What possessed me to buy them?  They had never been worn and I wasn't going to start now.  I do wear shorts in hot weather, comfy denim shorts, but never to work!!!

Hence this scarf.  The shorts were poly/cotton but I washed them in with the three washes that the cardigan went through, so that any shrinking that was going to happen, would.  Then cut them both into circles, and sewed them up as you can see.

I was hoping that I would have added an original creative touch to Annakata's scarf but actually she must like to sew in a meandering way like me, so they look very similar. 

The horrible shorts had five self-covered buttons on them which were reused as embellishment, as you can see, on the ends of the scarf.

The leftovers were chucked out as there wasn't enough left to do anything much with.

It is the sort of scarf that will be worn for decoration, not warmth, because apart from anything else, I can't put the felted wool against my increasingly tetchy neck!!!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011 Week 3

This is definitely a lot easier than I thought it would be!  The danger is now that I will get addicted to telling the world what I wear every day, which, believe me, is not actually that interesting in the long term :)

On Tuesday, you guessed it, I wore the glass brooch again.  Baby Bear paid me the compliment of saying that 'it doesn't look like something you made in a workshop, it looks like something someone else made and you paid lots of money for'.  At least I think that is a compliment!  When I get moved and settled in and unpacked - like in the next decade - I will dig out the microwave kiln and glass supplies that I bought in a flush of enthusiasm after that workshop, and make more of them.  Maybe even sell them!!  Oh yes, this week I wore it with the same purple top as last week, with a smashing skirt in a Japanesy style in assymetrical panels of black fabric interspersed with the same black fabric printed with a purple stylised floral pattern, and embellished with some random lengths of black grosgrain ribbon.  I am rediscovering clothes that I have only worn once or twice because they were too good for everyday, and wearing them to work!  I love this skirt and the pattern would be easy to copy, and I will.  When I have moved and unpacked, etc, etc.
On Wednesday I wore one of the scarves from Sunday's quick sewing session.  This looked really nice with a white shirt and black trousers.  I often wear that combo now, it being pretty damn corporate and also just begging for a nice embellishment of some sort.
Thursday was St Patrick's Day.  Being of very Irish origin on my mum's side, I wear green, though I draw the line at green beer.  (I only tried Guiness once, and yes it was the real stuff on tap in a Dublin pub, and thought it was GROSS).   This scarf looked nice with a muted green top, bright green earrings and a green watch.  The only green shoes I have are Crocs, NOT suitable for work, so they stayed at home.
Casual Friday, I do love thee.  I still get to wear jeans!  I wore this brooch with jeans and a red top.  Im ust think of a better, or at least more consistent, name for my raggedy frayed crazy patchwork textile jewellery.  Then maybe I could try to sell it.  Maybe I will run a competition when MMM is over.

I worked Saturday morning.  Again, I consider Saturdays to be more casual than the normal weekday, so I wore jeans again.  This time with a grey top.  And this brooch.  I thought it looked wicked.  It also worked well with the grocery shopping and the dinner with the old friend from England who we have not seen for AGES, and who is out here for work for a few weeks.  Oh, and I wore little diamante skull earrings :)

I have finished the crocheted felted bag.  Inevitably, I don't like it much.  I really should know better than to be seduced by variagated wool when I am felting.  It always looks like dog's vomit when it's been felted.  But for better or worse, I made it, and I used it on Sunday.  At least I like the embellishment.

For Monday, I present a bookmark.  The round bit is a crocheted - well, round bit - which I bashed about with the embellishing machine and then attached it to a couple of pieces of novelty yarn, all with the machine.  (So it is all thoroughly needlefelted together).  You probably can't see the subtle sparkle in the long bit (because it is subtle!) but it pleases me to use it.  The round bit probably makes it a bit thick to use in a good book, but it works for the tattier things I carry around in my handbag.

What will I wear tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011 Week 2

This continues to be fun and easier than expected!!

I wore this on Monday with a white shirt and black trousers.  It's a string of coral beads that I just restrung on tiger tail the way they came from the shop.  I did it once when I needed something glam in a hurry and I think I might actually redo them sometime, if nothing else the wire work and fastening at the back are uncomfortable and look amateurish!!

I will probably wear this at least once a week!  It's one of my favorites.  It's the fused glass brooch from last week, this time worn with a purple top and black cropped pants with a burnt velvet mesh overlay in black and purple.

The colours haven't shown up too well on this photo but these earrings are based around navy blue and orange.  I wore them with a flowy cream viscose blouse and, you guessed it, black trousers!  Plus a cropped cardy in an ombre colourway shading from orangy brown to browny orange.

I bought this Max Mara top from an op shop for next to nothing.  It is the sort of brilliant white that only looks good on olive skins or sun tans, neither of which I have, so I dropped it in the same dye bath as the top I wore last week that started off white and got dyed to cover up the orange juice stain. I wore it with white jeans and silver earrings from Florence.  I tried to pretend I was on the Lido instead of at work, with conspicuous lack of success!

Ah, the weekend, and not my weekend where I work on Saturday morning.  So this looked great with a black singlet and jeans and bejewelled black thongs (flip-flops).  It;s another of my tatty crazy patchwork creations.

Ok, this is a bit lazy, but I did say I would wear or USE something every day.  I use a hand-knitted kitchen towel every single day, but I wanted to post at least some of them, and this is Sunday's offering.

Monday was a public holiday here, but the library was open, and I offered to work and get a day off in lieu (some time!).  It was bit more casual than usual so this looked nice over the same white jeans and a hot pink singlet.  It's a plain denim shirt I bought in an op shop and embellished with suffolk puffs and buttons last year.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sometimes Something Really Simple...

... is all it takes to feel as though you have accomplished something. I fancied some quick scarves. These are practically cheating. 3 x 20cm of attractive fabrics, an hour zig-zagging and trimming, and I have three new scarves. They aren't especially polished in their execution or anything, but I feel as though I have finished something!

I was too lazy to get out the overlocker or play with the rolled hem edger that I have. And being across the width of the material they are a little too short to wrap extravagently and do an Isadora Duncan with, but they are perfectly nice and wearable scarves.

They are all polyester chiffon. The bottom one also has satin and burnout velvet on it.

I personally like the shadow effect in the photos of the two straight chiffon ones.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bobby the Ram Has a New Hobby


Bobby has found knitting needles.  Though he is still having problems with the whole issue of hooves/feet/paws.  But he means well.

See, he crocheted this whole flower all by himself!!!

And he hasn't lost his touch for photobombing.  In this case, a bridal shower with a difference.  We were knitting and crocheting flowers for bridal bouquets!!  Bobby was a big hit.  I think he might be getting an invite to the wedding :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011

Posted by PicasaThe first week of Me-Made-March 2011 proved easier than I had expected.  In order:

Cotton/acrylic cardigan knitted from a Vogue Knitting pattern by Norah Gaughan a few years ago - looked perfectly corporate over black trousers and a white shirt.

Glass brooch made by me a couple of years ago at a workshop where we learned how to slump glass in a microwave!  Worn with a dark grey pinstriped pinafore, white shirt and black leggings.

My wonderful denim jacket with the Entre Chien et Loup bead embroidery that I designed for my Graduate Exhibition three years ago.  It looked quite respectable over a cream top and black trousers.

A beaded brooch on a Carla Zampatti denim blazer I picked up in an op shop a few years ago (the jacket, that is - I made the brooch).  Bad photo, no time to take a better one!  Worn on Casual Friday so with black jeans and a floral top, and orange shoes!

Originally white top that I embellished with blue buttons all around the neckline.  The first time I wore it, I stained it indelibly with orange juice and dyed it this lovely Pacific blue.  The mottled effect is intentional.  Worn with black jeans.

One of my textile ragged crazy patchwork brooches, worn with a T shirt and shorts (at home!)

A long cotton skirt I made years ago, worn with a neat white blouse and ballet flats to look vaguely corporate for work.

I'm looking forward to the next week!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Resolutions - March Update

March was pretty good in terms of following through on my resolutions, or goals.  Report card time:

1.  Accomplish all the necessary stuff involved in selling this house and moving into the one we are buying.  This is the sort of resolution that, although not easy in itself, HAS to be followed through on. 

Report - We sold the house!  All systems are go to exchange contracts on both properties on April 15.  We haven't really done any more packing, but the storage unit is full and we are stuffed!!  I think this counts as definitely accomplished for the month :)

2.  Get a job.  It really is time after 18 years to go back to earning some sort of income.  This is a scary one.  I have no idea how I and the rest of the family will cope - they have all got used to me being available whenever required.  I did not have children or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome last time I worked.  A very large part of me does not want to go back to work.  But a small part of me craves the idea of doing something else. 

Report - The interview I mentioned last month was a success and I got the job.  The pay is poor.  It is a total shock to the system returning to work after 18 years.  The first two weeks were pretty awful, readjusting and learning new things, but this week I am starting to feel that I am settling in, learning the new routines, and actually starting to enjoy myself.  But gosh it is a time waster!!!  

3.  Complete a project a month.  Even if it is just a plain sock (pair of socks!)  Preferably try out some new techniques or whatever, but at least one project a month.

 Report - I have finished my February Beading Journal Project piece.  It was photographed and blogged about separately.  Very pleased with both it, and with finishing something!!  And I finished a pair of socks for George which I think I have also written about.  Plus I helped make knitted/crocheted flowers for the wedding bouquet for the wedding later in March!!

4.  Stop spending money like water.  With this in mind, this resolution is split into sections :

4.1 I will not buy any clothes or shoes unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.  'Necessary' means underwear if my current collection falls apart; if I end up in a job where I can't wear jeans, some other covering for my bottom half may be necessary beyond the one pair of black trousers and one black skirt I own; and I am going to a family wedding in March that MAY necessitate a new outfit.  I can make myself anything I like out of my vast stash of fabrics and patterns, however, and if this is the case, purchase of required notions will be permitted.  I would make an outfit for the wedding but that is likely to be around the time we move, and I am packing up my stash as we speak.

Report - Ha Ha!  Quite a few work clothes purchased, the new job requiring reasonably corporate clothing.  But nothing frivolous or not usable for work.  (Oh, and there were some shoes too, but ditto).  I bought a dress for the wedding, despite really wanting to make something, but realising that I just wouldn't get round to it, and the dress is suitable for work as well.  All in all, more money spent than I really should have done, but for a good reason.

4.2 I buy far too many DVDs.  I will restrict myself to the equivalent of one full-price film (i.e. one new release or something like those 3 for $30 specials you see around) and one TV series.  I need to be VERY STRICT about this.

Report - surprisingly successful.  I bought the latest series that is out of Waking the Dead, and for the film, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Absolutely nothing else.  Pleased with myself.

4.3 Likewise with books.  One full-price book or the equivalent per month.

Report - hey, guess what, did not buy ONE BOOK AT ALL.  Again.  But this time I am going to roll it over as I did not overspend on the DVD's nor did I buy privolous clothes.

4.4 Craft materials - only to be purchased if necessary to make a specific project immediately after purchase. Otherwise all craft material shopping is to be done from the stash.

Report - two dress patterns when I thought I would still have time to make a dress for the wedding.  They will get used, just not now.  Quite a few small sundries because I have a collection of small projects on the go and they are all either being used or in a queue for immediate use. 

4.5 Exceptions to the rules will include craft shows, where I will take a fixed amount of cash and leave my credit cards at home.  Nothing purchased under these circumstances will count towards the total!

Report - no craft shows, so I passed this one!

4.6 Items for any room in the new house, but especially the kitchen, will only be purchased if necessary, not just because they catch my eye.  There will be some purchases, planned in advance.

Report - I am pretty certain that I followed this one to the letter.  

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bead Journal Project February

Posted by PicasaI finished my BJP for February about halfway through the month, but haven't got round to blogging about it yet.

The face is yet another from a job lot I bought off Ebay, quite an attractive one I thought.  The found object has a history, this time - this piece of twisted wire, along with another one, were among my late father's effects.  I have no idea if he had intended to do anything with them but they have obviously been manipulated quite deliberately and I love the organic quality of the shape.  It went well with the face.

I chose a mostly green palette, including one mixture that included cream, purple, pink and mauve as well.  They went with the browns of the face and the copper wire.  This 'design' is a lot more organic than January's, because of the way the face and the wire spoke to me.

Again it is ATC size, 2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches, done on Lacy's Stiff Stuff and backed with ultrasuede.  I used my 'signature' encrusted beading edge again.

I haven't started March's yet, because I am about 2/3 of the way through crocheting what will become a felted bag and I want to get that out of the way, but I have chosen the face cab and the found object and the colours and I'm raring to go.  Next week, hopefully!