Project 10: Reclining Nude

Dear Mom,

Now she looks like this:

Thank heavens you're not the blushing sort.


Your Daughter


Project 10: Reclining Nude

Dear Mom,

I restarted your painting yesterday. This is what it looks like.

I'm not exactly sure where you'll hang it. Maybe you can take down that dreadful painting I did in college that you have in the guest room. Just a suggestion.


Your Daughter


A Friday Poem

The Satin Dress
by Dorothy Parker

Needle, needle, dip and dart,
Thrusting up and down,
Where's the man could ease a heart
Like a satin gown?

See the stitches curve and crawl
Round the cunning seams-
Patterns thin and sweet and small
As a lady's dreams.

Wantons go in bright brocade;
Brides in organdie;
Gingham's for the plighted maid;
Satin's for the free!

Wool's to line a miser's chest;
Crape's to calm the old;
Velvet hides an empty breast
Satin's for the bold!

Lawn is for a bishop's yoke;
Linen's for a nun;
Satin is for wiser folk-
Would the dress were done!

Satin glows in candlelight-
Satin's for the proud!
They will say who watch at night,
"What a fine shroud!"

Sewing poems, what a way to start the day. Now I'm off to the fabric store because my needle broke on my machine last night, and I hadn't any backups!


Literal or Not?

Yesterday, the bead shop hosting the challenge posted the results on its website. I was not the winner, and this I am okay with. It was my first bead embroidery cuff, after all. I respect the amount of time and skill that goes into creating a bracelet of this sort, but what irks me is that the other seven entries are nearly identical.

Winner: Amy Jarvie, Venusaur
Mary Kyle, Lilies on the Pond

Julie Austin, A Day in the Life of a Lily

Julie Hauri-Foster, Monet's "Water Lilies, Night Effect"

Janis Mills, Hopping on Lilie Pads
Raette Kaiserlian, Your Pad or Mine

Teresa Kenyon, George & Gracie

 Blue with lily pads, blue with lily pads. Then there's mine:
Picture from the website.

Taken with my phone.
What I like about it, and what I'm proud of, is that it's not so literal. I used pink beads around the cabachon as a lily with green crystal circling it to hint at a lily pad. The green and mauve seed beads were meant to represent water rippled with reflections, much like Monet's paintings, where my inspiration came from.

I should have known from the charms that they wanted something more literal. I'll keep this in mind for next time. When I get it back, I will be snipping most of them off.


Project 9: Water Lily Bead Embroidery Cuff

The bead challenge is due by five o'clock tomorrow. I have a long evening ahead of me finishing this off, but I will hunker down with a needle and thread, and before you know it, I'll be winning the contest. Or at least that's how it works out in my head.

The method I used for the background is pretty hypnotic and my favorite thing about this bracelet. I'd like to do a piece that's made entirely of undulating beads. Note to self: do that.


MIA: Rosewood Buttons

I'm genuinely shocked to find that the last post was in January. It's been two months? I suppose that makes sense... One may recall that it was about this time last year that I fell off the face of the planet, leaving a void in my blogging. Winter marks my busiest time of year at work, gearing up for the traveling summer season and sending two publications off to press. I am happy to report that the winter rush is winding down, and life is about to return to normal. Sigh.

In fact, I have a slew a projects ready for posting, from a new dress finally using the white silk I got last year to the previously mentioned Beading Challenge bracelet. The competition ends in a week! Stay tuned!


Bead Challenge

I went to the local bead store today for a simple clasp, only to walk out having signed up for the spring beading challenge: taking the provided kit and creating a water lily inspired beaded cuff. I love beaded cuffs, if you haven't guessed it, and I've been eying Monet's Water Lilies quite a bit lately as a source of color.

The true challenge is the provided kit. Frogs. Dragon flies. Butterflies. Sigh.

Everything pictured has to be used. I'm not one for charms usually, so how do I incorporate Kermit into something sophisticated and lovely? Thinking cap on!


La Vie de Cirque

A week-long cold certainly gave me a head start on my goal to read a new book each month in 2011: I just completed my third for January. Water for Elephants by Sara Guin was certainly refreshing after the humdrum memoir Summer at Tiffany (prior to that was a reread the lovely History of Love by Nicole Krauss).

The dazzling imagery of life aboard a circus train is still swirling about my head, and I’m suddenly filled with the longing to surround myself with all things Big Top, from watching one of my favorite movies, Freaks, and brainstorming on how to use a couple of yard of yellow and white striped fabric from my aunt to spending an evening making an circus-themed Etsy treasury.

The glamor of the circus. Visit the collection here and give all these artists a bit of love. The feather dress, by the way, reminds me of the scene in Freaks where Koo Koo the Bird Girl dances on the table at the wedding feast, only far more fabulous.

Where does your inspiration come from?


New Year, New Dress (Project 8)

Let me start this by saying this is my first blog post while nestled at home. The awesomeness of it all is indescribable.

Meanwhile, when I received the invitation to a Mad Men themed New Years Eve party, I didn't exactly know what to expect having never having seen the show. I did know, however, that it would be the perfect opportunity to break out vintage pattern Butterick 6582. This classy little frock has the necessary mix of New Years Eve festivity and early 1960s class.

Armed with a few yards of amazing emerald taffeta, my dress form, and a slew of pins, I began a whirlwind twenty-four hour dress making extravaganza.

It must be said that when one scores excellent bargains like patterns for $1, sacrifices like proper size must be made to obtain the styles you want after other pattern pickers have left the drawers barren. I had to go up two sizes from the pattern, and I couldn't have done it without the genorous gift of my dress form.

A note to Mother Paquette:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was absolutely blown away by your gift. I was just about to attempt making my own dress form when I was presented with yours. I think you have forever changed my sewing life!

An hour before the party, I was trimming threads and applying fake eyelashes. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it was truly the perfect party dress (the twirling definitely gets an A). I'm particularly fond of the neckline. There's something about it that is both feminine and sophisticated. While it's higher, I didn't feel matronly. I will keep this pattern on call for the other silhouetted versions of the dress. It appears to be flattering on everyone from what I can tell in other photos around the web.

What a great looking group! Can you believe those rich colors?