Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Days Before Thanksgiving...

-
Fleece hat with t-shirting lining...
(a bit of a Pilgrim look, no?)  <wink>

I was really planning on taking a little break from sewing after all the craziness of the past few weeks, but who was I kidding?  <wink>

I found this free pattern online from See Kate Sew and just wanted to give it a go with materials I had. Those didn't quite turn out to be the right materials (it became a bit fiddly) but all in all the pattern was really straightforward and could be done in half an hour or so. I think I might just make another one!  {smile}

Yesterday, while I was keeping in contact with Master C. with texts while he was travelling home by Greyhound bus, I managed to knit my first ever wrist-warmers: Yay! I sort of made up the pattern with some ribbing around the wrist and the fingers and some purls and knits in the middle et voila!


And with some embellishments...

They are super comfy and warm and again, I managed to make them in one afternoon...

On a side note, Master C.'s bus managed to break down just before reaching the top of the mountains in the middle of nowhere and at night. I must admit that it was just a tiny bit nerve-wrecking, but thank goodness for modern technology, Master C. was able to keep us posted along the way and the bus driver was able to fix the dang bus and they made it across the mountains only one hour late. It felt so good to finally fall asleep with the whole family under one roof...


Today he is going to visit his old High School stomping grounds and he might get a haircut (from me!) as well. Tomorrow is the big Ham eating day with Grandpa and Grandma, here at our home. We decided on a ham for Thanksgiving since we'll be eating turkey apparently for Christmas. It is all good!  Gobble Gobble!

I love this enamel plate!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Fancy Fleece Jacket & The Flirty Day Dress...

Simplicity #2057
Click! to enlarge...

Ha, that sounds like the title of a play! {smile} 

So this weekend I finished sewing the jacket above which was an absolute pleasure, most of the time. The dreaded collar made, after many minutes of deliberation, actual sense and I think I will use this method of attaching it to the neck and facing again in the future... 
The jacket is made out of a thick grey fleece and the only unexpected part in sewing with this material was that my special buttonhole foot didn't work on it! (thunder and blast) This meant I had to make the four main buttonholes by hand, still with the machine, but not as precise. Hopefully nobody will notice...
The jacket is so comfy, I will be wearing it today and many more days to come!

This weekend was also the weekend of the big school auction for which I got to wear my fancy Flirty Day Dress. The pictures were taken right before we left and it was obviously too dark and so the pics are rather fuzzy. I think you still get the picture though...


I am pretty certain my nice French shoulder bag was sold to an acquaintance of mine but I don't know yet about the rest of the items I made... The bidding this time was done via mobile phones which meant that you (people like me who don't own a smart phone) couldn't tell how the bidding was proceeding. It also meant that a lot of people who I normally would be talking to, were constantly checking their phones: no fun and I hope they change that next year...

Anyway, I'm glad this weekend is past us and that I now can focus on this Thanksgiving week: Master C. is coming home tomorrow via Greyhound bus!!!!!  {biggest smile} I can't wait to have him home again...
Mr. G's parents will be coming over for our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday and a Christmas tree will be bought the day after: Holidays, here we come!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Birdies...

Click! to enlarge...

This morning I found myself 'hiding' behind the kitchen window, camera in hand, to try and catch some shots of all the birdies in the frosty cold. (24F/ -4C this morning!). Do you see the Blue Jay hiding in the bushes?  (click!) They are incredibly flighty and therefore very difficult to catch on film...

I was hiding behind the kitchen window, because I'm in the middle of trying to attach the collar to the Fancy Fleece Jacket. This is always so complicated that I constantly have to walk away from the project to regain some perspective on all the steps involved. This makes me do lots of other stuff in between like taking pictures, vacuuming, playing with Photoshop etc...  <wink>

Well, another beautiful and cold day here in The Valley. I think I will be wearing my long-johns underneath my jeans today when I go to Little Bit: Brrrr!

Flirty Day Dress detail...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Overload...

Snow on top!

Yesterday was just amazing weather-wise and it looks like today will give us another one of those days. So lucky! {smile}

I took a short drive around the Valley in the afternoon and even though there wasn't as much snow on the mountains as I had hoped for, it was still breath taking!
Towards Mount Rainier...
Just a light dusting of snow on top...

Towards Mount Si...

And then this morning we woke up to even colder temperatures than yesterday: 26F/ -3C and the pictures became even more beautiful!



What an overload of beauty!

It is mighty cold though so it is a good thing that I have started (and almost finished!) a new and warm sewing project: a fancy fleece jacket! 

Click! to enlarge...

All it needs are the sleeves and the (complicated) collar. I'm loving it already and the fleece is so soft to sew with...

Right, I'd better get going and finally hem that pretty dress for this weekend's auction and then hopefully after that I will finish my jacket.

Man, all this sunshine has certainly given me a boost!

Here you see a Hummingbird in the reflection of the window.
Isn't he magnificent with his bright magenta head?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We're Walking In The Air...

Those drops you're seeing are actually ice-drops, not raindrops...







And a few more, taken about an hour and a half after the top ones...


And one to show you how much Olive's condition has improved: she can now amble along in the yard again, albeit with a funny gait...


Monday, November 18, 2013

The End Is In Sight!


The end of making the Flirty Day Dress that is!  <wink>


Like I mentioned before, this is definitely a higher level of sewing and yesterday's installing of the lapped zipper in the side seam (see pictures above) was absolutely no fun. But, I did it!!!

Today I added the sleeves (also a very 'fun' part of sewing... not!), but hooray, they look fab!

Now all that is left is the hemline. I haven't decided yet if I will go for a simple hem or if I will add some rik-rak or maybe even some lace to that hemline. Time for a little breather to think things over...

--  **  --  **  --

Can I just put a shameful plug here for classes taken on the Craftsy website?! You pay for the class and then you have unlimited access to the video's so you can watch certain segments over and over again. (and believe you me: I watched those segments on that lapped zipper many a time!)

And they don't only have sewing classes. You can study cake baking, knitting, photography etc. Fun! They also have good sales on their classes so keep an eye on them...


So yes, I have already signed up for two more classes. One is called "Sew Better, Sew Faster: Garment Industry Secrets" and the other one is called "Beginner Serging: Machine Basics and Techniques". The first class comes with a kind of jean-jacket pattern and I found some nice fabric for that at Joann's last week. I also found this contrasting fabric there designed by Juliana Horner, the daughter of AnnaMaria Horner, a wonderful fabric designer!

I bought the teal roses for the accent color,
but now I'm thinking maybe another dress???

Since the weather outside is frightful, I will have good time inside playing with my fabrics!  <wink>

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Oh It's Wonderful, Soak Up Every Word...

...I'm taking my time, after every line." 

Lyrics by Lemolo in 'Beautiful Night'. I thought she sang 'after every mile' which I thought was appropriate for this running post, but apparently that is not what she was singing. Oh well...  <wink>
The point I'm trying to make is that I haven't been touched my music like this for a very long time and now, every time I run, I listen to this cd only. It is just beautiful background music, not so in your face so to speak and now every time I hear it (when I'm not running) I can just see all the beautiful sites I've come across while running in the Snoqualmie Valley. Exhale!
Taken last year in November...

What a wonderful run this morning! Yes, I am still running, however with less intensity compared to last year, but, I'm still running and that is all that counts! {smile}

This morning the temperature was just right (around 44F/ 7C), no wind and everything just smelled soooo good. There were some clouds hanging above the river but I could see the trees behind it peeking through. Only a couple of people on the railroad trestle and the best thing of all? Meeting three miniature donkeys at my half-way point! Too cute for words and a great reason for a little stop and some scratching of their foreheads (and catching my breath)...

Upon my triumphant return home I was greeted by first the smell and then the sight (and later the taste) of some homemade pop-overs: yum! What a great start to the weekend! {smile}


PS: I couldn't resist any longer, my blog is in winter mode!!!  {smile}
(do you see The Snowman peeking out?)



Friday, November 15, 2013

Progress...


Oh yes, my 'Flirty Day Dress' is coming along nicely!  {smile} 

I'm taking very small steps at a time since the sewing is definitively at a higher level. And a lining no less: so fancy! 

--  **  --  **  --

In other news: our dog Olive (chocolate lab) jumped over the Lavender bushes the other day and managed to tear a ligament in her knee. This was her good knee so now she has two bum knees. {no smiling here} Poor baby, she is hobbling along and mainly just laying down most of the time. We've received some pain meds from the vet and we see improvement every day. It is all due to old age, she is almost 13 years old after all...

That's about it for now. The weather has turned colder and wetter today so I will be wearing my extra layers to Little Bit today. Afterwards I will go and cheer on our Girls' Middle School Basketball team of which Miss M. is the assistant coach. I'm loving it that she is loving it!  {smile}

Have a great weekend everyone!

PS:  My Little Bit class just got cancelled (to be honest I don't really mind with this 'yukkie' weather...) so I thought I'd better try this beast on. And what do you know? It fits!  {a 'tadaa' moment}  I'm hoping that with the addition and the weight of the skirt, the bodice part will fit a little bit better but overall I am quite pleased!

The sides are still pinned here...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Black & White...

No color today, black & white can be pretty too...

Last weekend a new shop opened in our little town: Tolt Yarn & Wool. I've been watching the renovations of this old building on our main street since earlier this summer and I was not disappointed when they opened their doors: what a beautiful space for creating! {smile}

Now I've never really been a knitter or a crocheter (if that is a word?) but I'm willing to give it a try again. I've actually signed up for a two hour class next week! Apparently I do still have some knitting skills, (see picture above with a pretty trim and some nice 'knitting' and 'purling' stitches going on) but it would be nice to actually learn how to read a pattern and it would also be nice to be reminded of on how to add another color to the mix. We shall see...

In the mean time I'm following another class on Craftsy called The Flirty Day Dress. I've actually made a muslin (a try-out version if you will) for the bodice and a good thing too: it was too big! 


Today I've cut out the pieces in the actual fabric and will start assembling it. I am a little bit nervous about this one since I would really like to wear it to our school's auction in 10 days time... This is what it will look like, hopefully:


I'm not in love with those puffy sleeves so will have to re-think that part...

And lastly some sad news: Haley, a friend of mine's lovely companion, passed away yesterday. I made my friend this collage to remember her by...

More black & white...



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Colorful Surprises...


After having spent the past two days inside (bad weather and nesting urges and all that), I went out in my robe and slippers this morning and found all these wonderful little surprises...


Have a wonderful and colorful weekend everybody!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nesting...


Notice the little diamond at the top of the crown?

No, no, no, I'm not pregnant!  <wink> More nesting in the sense of making the home more homey or 'gezellig'!

But first things first: I still had to send a nice 'thank you'-card to my great aunt Nel for the lovely embroidery patterns. I thought this card would be rather suitable for the Queen of our family... {smile}

Last Sunday I had the overwhelming urge to paint some walls, again! Since the ceilings are too high in the front part of the house (and I never want to paint in there again!) I decided to paint in the more lived-in areas of the hose: the tv-room, the dining area and the kitchen. 

Below you see on the left the 'before' and on the right the 'after' of each camera position....

Click! to enlarge...

It is not a huge difference, but I feel the colors are just a bit more muted now and not screaming in your face. I'm also trying to de-clutter somewhat, but that is not quite working out yet. Still a work in progress...

Plus I've been doing some quick and fun sewing. Look, a little skirt!


Today I'm wearing the version below (with thick tights and woolly socks underneath it), because the weather is just pants! (I love that British expression)


Hope you're staying dry out there?


Friday, November 1, 2013

A Finished W.I.P. And A New W.I.P. ...

The dots on the top part are a light pink on a darker grey...

Yay, I finished the dress today! 

I have to be honest with you, my sewing mojo has been missing for quite some time now so, even though I am not totally in love with this specimen (it looks a bit like a 'going-to-church-dress'), I am very happy to have actually finished a garment once again...

I'm hoping that with the aid of a vintage cardi, this dress shall be worn many a time!  <wink>

--  **  --  **  --

In other news, I have finally found a new cross-stitch project!

My mom visited us  from The Netherlands a couple of weeks ago and with her she brought some old cross-stitch patterns belonging to my great-aunt Nel. She is my Oma's younger sister and has reached the grand old age of (I think) 93.  We both share the love of cross-stitching and it is wonderful to now finally make one of her's...

Here is what it will look like in the end:

Design by: 'Permin of Copenhagen Farm 70-3128'
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! We will be enjoying that extra hour of sleep on Sunday, when our clocks will finally fall back that one lovely hour...

Rainy Days...

... don't get me down! (the Carpenters) Yep, still lots of rain here, but much higher temperatures and we've even enjoyed ...