Sunday, October 19, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop has landed in Arizona

Coco, of Coco's Loft, passed me the blog hop baton last week.  Those of you who visit Coco know her to be stylish, casual, gorgeous, serene and creative.  I count her friendship a blessing in my life!

my photo, which has moved around Pinterest rapidly

So, here we are in arid Arizona after enjoying beach photos of Coco amid tropical lushness.  Here is my home-this is a photo I took in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is 2 hours from Tucson on the border of Mexico.  This is a popular crossing for Americans and Mexicans-we go down to the beach, and they drive up to shop.

Q #1: What am I working on?
In the immediate sense, I am trying to get well from some fever I got.  Off to the doctor tomorrow and I think she will say I have Valley fever.  I will let you all know.

This summer I worked to deplete my stash.  I want to start fresh, and perhaps only buy for specific projects.  hahahaaa, nice idea.  Isn't this a mess?  I just moved and really have had a hard time settling in.  Time...

Finally, I am always working to improve my writing.  I love to write, and keeping this blog has allowed me to develop my real voice.  Over years, this blog has become a way for me to examine my thoughts and reactions to my life. Looking back at certain posts is powerful for me. I can see that no matter how I am buffeted, I
am still the same person.

Q #2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
biblioblog has been here since Sept of 2009.  As a sewing blog, it is not as detailed as some and perhaps lacks a certain emphasis on technique.  Sometimes I will include process, but often will show start and finish pics, and discuss what worked and what did not.  I think everyone approaches the craft in different ways, and I love to learn about someone's creative process.

All that said, my blog is an opportunity to capture my development as an adventurous woman.  So, you will see posts about sewing, cooking, horse training, moving to a new state on the spur of the moment, and some loving emphasis on vintage finishing techniques.  I often take time to add hem lace to my clothing, stitching it with a herringbone stitch.

Q #3: Why do I write/create what I do?
That's the million dollar question...because it gives me pleasure.

Without detailing everything, my family disintegrated and as the youngest, I saw it all but could not reason why it was happening.  It was a slow process, punctuated with drama and death.
As traumatic as those years were, and the ones which followed, they are done but they put their mark on me.  Through the help of many people, and professionals, I learned to find strength in the scars.
I am a highly independent person, and deliberate, and tough.  These qualities are from my parents, who had them too, but lost their own way.

So, my sewing, and cooking, and riding, and sports, and hauling a large trailer, and going after a college degree before getting a HS diploma...these skills PROVE I am capable and reliable.  On a deeper level, all my activities are play for me.  I celebrate my brain, my heart, and my body every day.

Q #4: How does my writing/creating process work?
My urge to create something, to sew, cook, garden, or write builds within me.  This incubation might be one day or one year.  For example, our move to Arizona looked impulsive to our Oregon friends but I could feel myself moving away from Oregon for a long time before we made the decision.

I have learned to keep track of visual cues, or snippits, skipping across my subconscious, and to keep a notebook of thoughts.  I usually make general plans, leaving lots of room for inspired changes.  My sewing plans almost always begin as an outfit or a mini wardrobe, and then I fill in each garment as I go.  I love the process of seeing a theme emerge in my clothing.  This summer I made so many hi lo hems I was astounded when I checked.  Here is a recent blouse with a very modified hi lo hem and flirty girly collar-S 1693

I'm passing this baton onto starsthreads, a blog which is light, fun, and full of wonderful sewing!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dreambook-new Vogues

V1428 for a romantic holiday evening

I love the winter collection just released by Vogue.  Dresses are featured heavily in the collection, and there are styles appropriate for a glamorous holiday party or an open house in the neighborhood.  Here are some of my faves:
V1423 Look at the yoke-what a cool detail.
This would be so pretty in cranberry linen

V9046 Claire Schaeffer design-lots of tucks & waist stay.  This dress seems like a perfect daytime holiday dress. 
V1429  Cocktails on the Enterprise.  I love the dramatic collar.  The tee is a cool part of the pattern.
V1424 hmmm, looks like gym wear for after all the holiday feasting!
I like it, but not for me.

V9052 I hate the dress, but the jacket!  So wonderful, especially for a petite woman.

V1430 Sandra Betzina brings us another wearable and beautiful top/jacket.  This will be in my closet in spring.

V9067 Five Easy Pieces I will definitely buy this-it is made for me.

I find lots to love in this collection, even though my lifestyle doesn't really include dresses with innumerable tucks and a waist stay, or lace, or overlapping yokes.  However, we have been going out a lot more since moving to Tucson.  Maybe I do need a dinner dress with some bling.  

Next post: art

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beautiful stitching

textile, mixed media, stitch
62 x 80cm

4' x 6" matted to * x 10" and ready to frame
                   photo and stitch on silk

           I have a desire, no, a need, to stitch a little bit of art.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The continuing saga of big Nick and his training; our heroine manages to survive and plans a day of sewing instead of riding

Nick Nick Nick!  What got into you today?  Actually what has gotten into you all week?  You are lucky I kinda like you, as there are people who would buy you based on looks alone.

I spent 50 minutes trying to load the black devil this morning.  Once started, you must win.  He did his usual evasions, and as he got tired from being worked, he got mad.  The evasions became a bit more dangerous, and I became a bit more aggressive.  I will not list what I did, but riders out there in blogland know how to use the butt end of a whip on a nose which is coming at you warp speed.

He really got a workout.  So did I.  I was wearing a pair of jeans one size too big, and they got bigger as I got warmer.

Anyway, the trainer drove in, walked over and said "You take the back end with a whip".  In he went.  shit.   There is nothing so demoralizing as evidence that you are NOT respected.

Unloading at the trailhead was also fraught with danger.  He actually tried to go UNDER the divider.  You know, maybe he got into some loco weed.

We had a lovely ride.  He was perfectly behaved under saddle, and did everything I asked.  Michelle, sorry I didn't get a boot picture, but there was no way I was going to get close to his feet today in order to put on his booties.

In sewing news, I have been participating in PR's Fabric Stash contest.  I've sewed up quite a lot of old stash and some of it even looks good.  Here is a smattering:
M 5713 OOP pleated cardi
table linens
top KS 3740;  B 3972 OOP skirt

M 6724   dress altered to a nightgown lined with tricot

More posts to come, as I have come across some wonderful books to share with you.  Until then, Mary

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sewing as a solitary activity

For the past year or so, I have had an odd feeling that as I sew, there are people watching my progress.  Not like "I see dead people", more like "I must do a good job because so and so expects it" This phenomenon of maintaining a reputation is probably a common affliction but I was surprised to see it pop up in an online format.  After serious thought about this character challenge (defect?), I realized that I do all my work by myself, and share the results online almost exclusively.  This is not the way the real world works.  Most of us struggle in public, and share our successes and our failures.  For example, today I took big Nick to the arena to lunge him.  He was amped up and ripped the line right out of my hands...away he went, the naughty goober.  People saw my inability to hold him, and my annoyance, and my slogging through the sand to chase him around until he wanted to come back to me.  Thread nests, equestrian style.

When I began sewing seriously some years back, there was very little support and community online for those of us struggling with thread nests and zippers.   I had friends who had sewn in the past but were too busy with their careers, family or other hobbies to sew.  One of my friends, the lovely Cathy V., attended Design Outside the Lines and came back full of fire.  She is a potter, beekeeper, rider, teacher (retired), sewist and much more.  Anyway, we drove over the mountain to visit Marcy Tilton and it was Marcy who said to me "Oh, you must look into PatternReview".

PatternReview was my lifeline to information, collaboration, and a sense of accomplishment as I taught myself to sew correctly.  I soaked up information, bought far too many patterns just because I loved someone's dress, and made some good friendships.  Since that time, I have branched out to other places online and find myself happy enough to post a picture and a short summary of my work, knowing that others will see it quickly as they too scroll through the projects.

While PR is a valuable community and I will continue to add to the database of pattern reviews, I appreciate the other ways to build community.  Here is a list of some of the places online which I visit.  I have not included blogs-that is a whole 'nother issue.


Facebook-sewing groups

Here is the main point of this long and rambling post-we do our work by ourselves, and can share it or not.  While online communities provide some support and collaboration, we should approach with some caution.  It is all too easy for the community to become the reason we sew, rather than the work of our hands.