Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Chronicles of Griffin: Chapter One

...in which Griff learns what "drive through" means.



Chapter Two  Griff discovers the wonders of fries.

Readers, this dog is bigger than my Prius!  He also does not really respect my personal space, nor does he show much concern for the command "get back".   Clearly, I will need to visit McDs again.  

Canines and quarter pounders aside, the orange purse in the photo is a Brighton handbag which I picked up for $65.00 on  thredUP.  Check out the link-it is an online consignment store with wonderful bargains, especially if you are looking for higher end clothing or accessories.  I have had wonderful luck buying jeans, handbags, a wallet and some cute blouses and capris.   

It's interesting to me that as I have more time to sew, and maybe more resources for inspiration, I have found that buying some key pieces is motivational to my overall plan to sew for myself.  It is more fun to sew something which is sure to complement a piece already present in the closet.  

Here is my recent make-NL 6921 which I have made once before.  The dress has a zip on the side, and a nice vent at the back seam.  I love the boatneck and the notch in the neckline! The pattern has an all in one facing for the yoke, which I love to construct and appreciate in a dress.  This is a fitted dress and will be worn with a half slip or shapewear (depending on those qtr pounders!).  




Be well everyone,
Mary

Saturday, August 6, 2016

wonderful random stuff

This is a photo I took many years ago while camping at Catalina State Park in Tucson.   Who knew then that I would move here in a few years?





 I sure miss Woodrow and I miss endurance riding.  I will always be grateful for my realtionship with this beautiful horse.  He was one of those special companions.




Another horse from my past-Jumpin' Jack Flash.  He was great fun but an incredible challenge.  Independent and strong minded,  fearless and mischevious.





The view from my old house in Klamath Falls, OR.  Gorgeous landscapes and wilderness in that part of Oregon.





I'm trying to lose a few pounds.









Me and Jillian from JillyBeJoyful.  It has been a long distance friendship.







I am worried about the US, and the world.






I cut off my hair.










I am not taking big Nick up to Pinetop this month-all the "old" riders opted out and so this year the trip will be the twentysomethings and their horses.





In the meantime, big Nick and I are working on our dressage and some baby jumps.  





Griffin and I love each other SOOOOO much.






My husband is dealing with some severe pain in his hip, which cannot be remedied by surgery.  He is also suffering a bout of sciatica from a spinal problem which we knew nothing about.  So...pulling up the big girl panties and carrying a little bit more around the house.  


I do have some sewing to share and some art in the beginning stages.  Hope all of you are cruising through the end of summer and making fun plans for the fall.  
~mary

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dogged determination

Creativity is not orderly sometimes and I thrive on balance and order.  While I am creative in some pursuits, there are other activities in which I am a faithful follower.  I want to know where I am going, though I am flexible in how I get there.  

I've learned to honor my need for order, having healed from a tumultuous childhood.  There are times when the world, and MY world, are so challenging that the best use of my creativity is re-organizing my undies.  Recent world events have knocked me down, and I am doing what I need to do to stay focused on my own personal work.  That means reading light fiction, avoiding TV news, and paying special attention to those around me.  It also means spending more time with my husband and our animals as their love is so uncomplicated. 

I have 3 new shirts in my closet now.  Each of these shirts is from the same pattern, and each is slightly different in fit and details.  Sewing them was supremely satisfying at this time-I knew what to expect and could make small decisions on cuff design or button placement.  I established a small bit of order into my world by staying with this pattern, using dogged determination.

The pattern is Sewing Workshop's  Cortona shirt, which you first saw here.  I made it in a cute B/W cotton, and love it even while it is a bit big.  
 Version #2 followed in a quilting cotton-pretty color and a little heavy for an Arizona summer.  This shirt was cut smaller. I added a petite adjustment to the length and left off the plackets on the sleeves.  This is a riding shirt and needs to be loose.  
 
Version #3 is the same shirt in a taupe check seersucker.  What a wonderful fabric for 100 plus days.  I love this shirt, especially now that I reduced the shoulders and armscye to a size equivalent to xs in the pattern.  I actually forgot to do the alteration before cutting, so had to drape it on me and baste the sleeves in.  Then I removed them and adjusted the stitching line.  I know-very poor fitting technique!  Here it is:
This is the Cortona with plain cuffs, pleats in the back rather than gathers, and an added button band in the back.  I was feeling a little too much beige going on so ... added this bit of detail.

I am still needing to alter the back pattern piece so stay tuned for version #4!  In the meantime, I'll enjoy wearing this cool shirt both with flowing pants, and with breeches and boots.  




In other news, my dog Griff is a handful.  Handful of love, handful of fun, handful of natural beauty.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

graphic photos and safety gear

Hi Readers,

It has been awhile, hasn't it?  I have been working on my shirtmaking skills, as well as the usual mix of dog walking, horse training, reading, and fiddling with the house.  Oh, and various problems coming my way as I also am active on my HOA Board.  Life is good.

So, shirtmaking.  There is something so satisfying about working with a fine woven and building a shirt to your exact specifications.  I have used 2 patterns recently, both from Sewing Workshop.   They are the Siena and Cortona.  


The first is the Siena shirt.  I made it using some scraps in my stash, knowing at some level that the style was Just Not Right for me.  After a lot of analysis, I think it has to do with the vertical seams which form part of the sleeve.  These same quasi-princess seams are also on the Quincy jacket and I had the same problem with them.  The lines hit too far toward my shoulder, throwing the balance of the shirt off.  I could alter every piece, but why?  There are too many other patterns to try.

Onto the Cortona shirt.  This is a more traditional shirt, but with some wonderful features.  The collar and band are cut as one, the cuffs are narrow and perfectly flattering, the slight peplum is a feminine touch, and the darts are really pretty.  
I was so taken with Martha's Cortona that I copied her and used a B/W print as did she.  BTW, her blog Now Sewing is always a feast for the eyes.  Here is Martha's Cortona-


Onto more B/W graphic prints.  I got a new phone recently, an LG V10 and it is great.  But my cell phone case for riding is too small for this oversized phone.  So, I used some wonderful home dec fabric which my friend Janet gave me.  (Janet is a highly creative fiber artist and her website is gorgeous!  janetwindsor.com )

The graphic fabric is perfect for handbags and accessories (thanks so much Janet!).  My case has fusible batting, D rings for attaching to a strap or to the saddle, and 2 pockets.  The pockets are for my ID, and another for Carmex.  I'm pretty chuffed about this little case, and plan to make a few more as I now know adding velcro has to be done when everything is flat :-)  



Griff is settling in and is a wonderful companion when he isn't gnawing on my hands, feet or nose.  He also is learning that his nickname is NO since he hears it so often.  He is a lizard killer extraordinaire, which make me incredibly sad and pissed off when he gets one.  It is too late at that point-I have missed my chance to control the situation.  He is on a leash in the backyard most of the time now, to even the playing field.  We love him, and are happy to have an affectionate, tolerant dog sharing our space.  

Finally, here we are with the "kids" at Wendy and Albert's wedding.  Wendy is in red and in the center, with Albert to the right directly above me.  Katie is Albert's sister and is sitting next to me with her husband.  These young adults are our hope for the future-all hard working, very smart, very caring, very successful in their lives.  I couldn't be more pleased to count myself as part of these families.

Friday, June 3, 2016

beginnings and endings

I have been considering dropping some of my online presence, not because of anything negative, but because I have found myself really engaged in training, reading, and sewing.  I gave myself some time to see what felt right, and found some surprising things:

PatternReview no longer fills my need to talk sewing.  It is so large now and I am disenchanted with the censorship.  I understand why, but miss the vital conversations which were so interesting. I stop in each day and spend perhaps 15 minutes now.

Facebook has some value to me as I can use it to quickly scan the major political headlines and check in with some private groups to see what others are doing with sewing, art or horses.  I cut my time there by 75%. 

My blog goes quiet from time to time, and this recent hiatus allowed me to reconnect with my writer's voice.  For me, my blog is not about my accomplishments, but about my life.  Sewing, art, horses, dogs, politics, cooking, friends, family, books and movies all add to the mix here.  

Let me introduce a new member of my family:
                             Griffin (AKA Griff)

Griff is 1 year 2 months old and is from the Pima Co. Animal Shelter.  He is probably boxer/pit bull-2 breeds known for being good family dogs and quite tenacious.  I have had terriers for years so the obsessive tenacity (lizard!) is familiar.  Griff is 50 lbs right now and I expect him to gain maybe 10 more as he fills out.  He is super quiet:

and is very interested in people and people's stuff:

He is one of those special dogs who are sweet as pie, and love all people and other dogs.  In that, he is a perfect match for big Nick, who is also sweet as pie.

Griff has helped Ross and I manage our sadness in losing little Nick.  Little Nick was slowly giving up parts of his life and when he stopped wanting to walk, we knew it was time.  He was with us for 14 years and is now resting without pain.

I will always hold you in my heart little Nick.