Saturday, April 16, 2011

bp nichol was a genius

This is an early computer program / poem by one of my favorite Canadian poets:
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Finished Summer Blouse!

So, I finished my summer blouse from Weekend Sewing. I had read a lot of reviews of this pattern and they all said to shorten the front facing and the sleeves, lengthen the body and lower the neckline. I had also heard that this voile was really slippery. So with all that in mind I did all my proper sewing things: I made a muslin, I pinned my pattern onto the fabric (instead of just laying it out like I usually do), I used actual dressmaking pins and cross-pinned (put pins vertically and horizontally to keep things in place), and sewed relatively slowly. And the result:
I like what I've got. The body is a little unstructured and boxy (this is another complaint about this blouse), but I like it that way because I don't have a waistline to show off in any case. I must have freakishly long arms because I shortened the sleeves and they are more like 3/4 length for me when I'm actually doing things, and I should have done them full length. This fabric is soft and drapes beautifully and this makes for a nice, casual summer blouse. Now I just need to stitch on a button.

The skirt is also made by me -- its a repurposed pair of well loved jeans. I love this skirt, too, and so I had to add these patches this morning when I pulled it out of the closet as there was a big hole where the two original pieces of pant leg cross over. Because this was kind of a weird place to patch a skirt I added a few other patches to make it look more like a design decision rather than an oddly placed patch.

And, just so there's another photo, here's my fabric pulled for my messenger bag:
I'd like to get this put together for tomorrow since I start work and I need a bag for hauling files and marking and the like back and forth to and from school on the bus / metro. But I somehow don't think I'll get it done tomorrow morning.

After 6 1/2 years of more or less staying home, I'm a little nervous about going back to teaching full time. But I'm really excited, too. I love being a teacher -- its always been my dream and passion to inspired students to live well and learn actively.

I'm feeling very blessed and a little overwhelmed today. Life is about to change dramatically for us and our little nest. Wish us well.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

It A Beautiful Day . . . Don't Let It Get Away

Good day, friends! Spring has sprung in Montreal and after 7 months of looking and substituting and interviewing, I finally got a sick leave fill-in, teaching grade 9 and 10 English. This morning was a good day. The sun was shining, the temperatures were warm, and the kids were excited about the world. So excited that I had to send them out to play at about 7am to stop them from thumping back and forth on top of our basement tenant's head. Emma had to go out, too, although she mostly stayed on the deck:
She loves her yellow boots and her little baby right now. Lots of "Boos! Boos!" and "Bebe! Bebe!" (with proper French accents, I might add). The sun was so warm and beautiful.
The boys were busy hacking at the snow and swinging sticks around and jabbing at things.
Meanwhile, with the door open I got to stay inside to make pancakes
and drink tea from my favorite new cup. I really need a cool tea cozy for my teapot, don't I? I keep meaning to make one, but I can't decide what I want it to be like. Maybe I should just be like Jane Brockett and make about a dozen of them.
All this was possible because of this great door we have between the kitchen and the rest of the house. That way we could shut the door and keep all the cold and noise and sand in the kitchen (it was "warm" -- as in 5 degrees Celcius ). I love the stuff on the wall in that little corner, and shelf, but there's stacks of paper there right now, so I'll save it for another day.
This is the sweet beam of sunshine that visits our back deck in the early morning. I think this spot is going to need some chairs and a table for early morning tea / coffee sipping in the summer. Stay tuned for changes here eventually.

Well, I'm off to make seating plans and read the Quebec Sec 4 English Language Arts Curriculum. Is it weird that I get excited reading about learning goals, reader response and literary techniques? If there's such a thing as an English nerd, I am surely one.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Finished my Doll Quilt!

Well, I can finally show you this finished quilt since it has reached its new home in Texas! My partner Cindy loves all things colourful and whimsical (which makes her a great partner for me) and has a little white kitty named Took. When I was looking through her photostream for ideas of what to make her, she had a whole gallery of cat photos that she loved. She also had a lot of funny images in her mosaic (including a nod to Calvin and Hobbes' snowmen), so I thought I would do something silly for her.
This is the full quilt, which I couldn't show before or she would have seen her cat in it. As you can see, the cat is knocking the wonky mug over, creating "broken dishes", which is the name of the quilt blocks on the bottom half of the quilt.
Here is a close up of the cat. He is raw appliqued in brown thread with a little bit of extra thread painting to give him some "fur". I essentially drew the shape, traced it onto fusible web, fused it to the fabric and ironed it in place, then sewed around it in brown thread.
Here is the back. I had extra triangles, and I knew Cindy is really into rainbows right now from her favorites, so I thought I would give her a little rainbow hit on the back of her quilt. I was too lazy / busy to drive up to Fabricville (didn't feel like braving Hwy 15 which is always congested and crazy) so I embroidered the label. "Canada" just about killed me with all those a's, I tell you.
Here is another look at the wonky cups. I don't know if you can see, but little red riding hood is looking worried, because she's the next to fall . . .
And here is the bottom of the quilt. I was a little scared of making these blocks because I actually cut out the triangles so I could have more control over the tight composition, instead of making half-square triangles from two squares. The bias wasn't too bad to work with on such a small scale, so I didn't need to worry (they are not perfect, but the whole quilt is  a little wonky on purpose, so I thought it would be okay).

I was really nervous sending it off that Cindy wouldn't like it, because she hadn't commented on it in process much, but she was really thrilled with it. It always brings me a big smile and warm feeling to know I made something for someone and that they really loved it, so I couldn't be happier.

So that was my doll quilt. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of stretching and thinking went into that little quilt, so I think my next few projects are going to be some fast clothing for spring, and a laptop cover and my next sarah and molly's free peicing blocks. A few easy things before I do any more heavy design lifting.