Talkie time! Just a quick one about some exciting developments and a pretty new dress.
Happy Friday to you, wherever you are!
Love & Sunshine,
Two days in and going strong.
Well, not particularly strong, but going nonetheless.
Wednesday morning I was bouncing about filled with motivation. I managed to wake, eat breakfast and get in two coffees before beginning my Feldenkrais followed by sewing for 15 minutes plan. There are a lot of things that go along with sewing that take up much more time that the actual sewing itself. The project that I’m working on was only cut out, but still pinned to the pattern. Yesterday I cut out a piece I was missing and marked and removed the pattern piece from that part. Sorting out where I was up to and performing that one task took up my allotted sewing time.
My workspace. The dress I am working on is named Camille, I actually began her back in October, 2010.
Oh my, I have so much to tell you! I have been a little absent from blogging lately, on account of that I have been out having an actual life. Yes, off my couch!
There are many things that I want to share with you; adventures I’ve had, books I’ve read, plays I’ve seen, progress I’ve made…things have been looking up and that’s definitely cause for celebration.
Speaking of celebrations, today I wanted to share some pics from an amazing one that I attended last week. My friend Melissa celebrated her birthday in a rather unique way; the fancy dress theme was the 18th Century, the music was a fantastic mix of 1980s pop. Cleverly, she asked her guests to forgo gift buying and instead put that time and effort into their costumes. The result was amazing.
I arrived to a room filled with colour, wigs, bustles and feathers. Many guests had hired spectacular costumes, some so fancy that I was not surprised to hear that one costume hire place had only recently acquired them from Melbourne Theatre Company. The decor was superbly fitting, mauve curtains, old fashioned seating and chandeliers. Melissa even had a Marie Antoinette inspired tier of adorable petite fours and a cake with icing grand enough for a queen. Which was fitting indeed, considering how stunning she looked.
Loretta…my, what an adventure she has been! I love her though, it’s okay to love dresses, right? In an ‘I wanna get inside her’ kind of way? That’s how she makes me feel and I don’t care if the whole world knows it!
My goodness, doing things sure does take a lot out of me! I have been working hard at trying to pace productivity with pain. More than ever before, I feel committed to keeping on going, even when I feel like I am in more pain than I can manage. I don’t need to lament the wasted day, it’s not wasted. I simply need to play the cards that I am dealt by the morning goddess and continue healing and learning to cope more effectively. It’s not easy to make taking care of myself trump all my other priorities. I can feel a shift in my determination in regards to making better decisions, however the reality of living with chronic pain is still reality. I am very sore this evening, but I’m trying not to feel sad about it.
All I can do is rest, recover and keep on going. Even when keeping on going is just sticking it out until bedtime without letting the pain claim my emotions. The monotony of needing to go through the same coping motions each day can be a source of upset, but I am trying to let that go. It doesn’t do me any good to get upset about having to deal with things, it’s far more effective to just deal.
I am in the grips of sew-sew fever. I am constructing this dress (the blue-ish one) to wear to a friend’s wedding on Saturday. Her name is Loretta, she was in this many pieces this morning, but now she’s mostly together, lacking her collar and a zip.
I’m very excited to announce that Operation Sew A Pretty Dress was a blazing success! Well, not literally, on account of who wants to wear a dress that’s on fire?
The key for me being able to sew without setting off a funtown flare is soft hands. So often, I am tensing part of my body much more than needed and it causes me more pain than is necessary. I have been doing a lot of Feldenkrais audio tracks to break up my sewing periods and the result has been a much better reaction than the one that hit me the day after Operation Sew A Pretty Dress commenced. I am quite pleased and proud of myself for bouncing back from that flare and continuing the project, my determination to find a way to sew without increasing the pain too much has paid off in pretty dress goodness!
Oh Audy, lately it has been sucking to be me. It has been sucking to be me in a kingly manner (If you came in late….I have RSD in my right foot & ankle and I’m recovering from a hip operation on the other side). My stupid hip leg isn’t enjoying physio at all, to the point where now my knee isn’t tracking properly and the stupid thing is buggered from hip to toe…I hate my legs!! Audy, if your legs are OK, use them….use them now….use them much….appreciate them.
Hence, with all my owies, I have been restricted from my sewing machine again! Poor Miss Bonnie (bag currently in creation) is not impressed. Neither is Ada, who is stuck on the easel waiting for me to be able to sit up properly. I am having an owie induced creative slump….stupid owies.
And so….I have decided to take you back, Audy. Way, way back, into the distant past…when I was but a young novice….young, naïve, pimpled & pudgy. I wanted to learn to sew. I wanted to learn to make clothes that would fit and something different so that everyone would think I was awesome (teenage priorities). I experimented. Fluffy leopard print pants. I dabbled. Bright pink snakeskin pants. I ruled. Years passed…interests waned and ebbed. The day came when I wanted to make a bag. I wanted a pretty bag and I wanted it to be all my own.
I rejected ideas to look for a pattern, to ask for help. I took my determined little self out and bought material, ribbon and some pretty buttons. I pinned out the shape I wanted, round, so I traced a kitchen plate. I wanted a frilly part and so I folded and ironed and pinned, folded and ironed and pinned. I barricaded myself in Mum’s sewing room. I interfaced and I stitched and I ironed and I sewed. Eventually, I had created my little treasure. This was pre my figuring out to line things properly and thus is full of little zig zagged edges….but it’s special to me and I’m thinking I’m going to rehash this design sometime.
Candy, Candy, Candy I can’t let you go. All my life, you’re haunting me, I love you sooo.
Like you can say Candy without singing that.
Love & Owies
I’ve been longing to tell you all about The Beatrix for a while now, however it was designed for a gift and I could not show you before it had been given! The Beatrix was inspired by the film “Miss Potter”….which I loooooved. I loved this movie because Beatrix talked to her paintings and I talk to my paintings!! We are kindred spirits.
I decided to go for some pretty floral material that has a vintage feel to it. Mixed this up with some white that was leftover from a ballgown I once made, a little ribbon and some burgundy thread and I was ready to sew. OK, not quite ready because a huge percentage of sewing time is actually pinning, cutting and ironing…so I did some of that.
Miss Beatrix is only a little bag, a pretty accessory more than a functioning tool, but the world needs pretty things…whilst she was acquiring her pretty ribbon adornment, she decided to give me some trouble. For some reason the sewing machine, cotton and ribbon just did not get along, they were pulling stitches all over the place and just plain coming up messy. I was not impressed. Out came my handy little blue unpicker and grumbling I set about pulling apart what I had just put together.
I concluded that my only option as far as getting that ribbon where I wanted it was to use a needle and my hands. I stitched along the edges with a blanket stitch that kind of made the ribbon look special. I liked it, blanket stitched ribbon is the new black, but yet is fitting with an old fashioned type bag!
And so Audy, may I present…..The Beatrix!
She had her picture in the garden because she likes to pretend she is just a little bunny….bags absorb at lot from what you watch during their conception.
Love & Bunnies,
I swear the weeks are on some sort of whooshy speedy uppy hyper pills right now! I seem to have had lots of things to do that kept me from the sewing machine…you know, those boring paperwork things that all catch up on you sometimes.
On Thursday I was all geared up for my next bag creation, Miss Bonnie. It’s inspired by a dear little fluffy dog that I’ll introduce you to another time. I had drawn up the design and chosen my fabrics when I remembered that I had letters to post. I thought I’d be proactive and get it done…rather than getting lost in sewing world, a fate that might not see me found until well after postman-picks-up-o’clock. So, I bundled up against the cold (It is SO cold!), grabbed my crutches and hobbled on down to the corner, pleased to be getting my daily exercise.
It did not go well.
Typically, I hurt myself. More (For those who came in late…..I have a nerve condition called RSD in my right foot & ankle). I crutched wrong, Audy! Crutched wrong! I did something to my shoulder that spent the next couple of hours scaring me silly as it presented with sharp pains around my rib cage so that I couldn’t breathe properly. My partner came home and put me in the bath before giving my shoulder a rub. A weird little pop later and the sharp pains were gone! Woo! The soreness and stiffness is clearing up now….
One shoulder down, I decided sewing would not be wise, thus I have headed back to the drawing board to get my creative jiggles off…
Audy, I’d like to you meet Ada. Ada inspires my friend Melissa. Ada used to look like this:
She was the 2nd imaginaiad to ever exist. Imaginaiads are nymphs of the imagination, they inspire their artists with colours, guiding them to create beautiful things. It began with my imaginaiad, Rella, but everybody has one and as my skills improve the world will get to see more of them.
I’ve learnt a lot about guiding watercolour pencils in the past 6 months since Ada’s conception. Here’s a sneak preview at Ada Redux:
She’s hanging out on the easel right now…getting her colours and praying that Caf doesn’t mess her up!!
Love & Shading
Phew, it’s been a big weekend! I went to stay with friends and to introduce Gilbert 2 to his dear little owner. An introduction that proceeded unassisted when tiny tot came trotting in from the other end of the house to tell us all that he had found his present! Found it searching through Aunty Caf’s bags he did….little scallywag.
I am pleased to announce that Gilbert 2 came up roses! I was really winging it with this one and half expected him to turn into a big stitchy mess. I started by drawing out his parts, tracing around plates to get his sexy curves. I mixed and matched some raggy materials and interfaced those that were too weak to stand up to their role on their own.
When I started sewing on the eyes, I knew my circles were just not going to be straight enough (I need more practise!). I decided to hand sew around the edges with a blanket stitch and because of the stretch in the yellow material, the circles smoothed out. It was fun honing in on those needle skills, they haven’t been out to play in a while! Bit by bit I added the parts of his face, remembering his eyebrows just in time!! His nose was the biggest challenge and the fact that it kind of came out puppy nose shaped was just a bonus.
Stiched up and stuffed with beans something still looked odd about Gilbert 2. His cheeks were waaaaay to big, for some reason they made him look really lazy….so I sucked em in, stitched em up and HEY PRESTO I’ve made a Gilbert!
The journey of a toy is never complete until he take his place amongst his peers.
He wasn’t getting along with that zebra when I left but I reckon they’re gonna sort it out….
Love & Snoring