Monday, November 28, 2011

Interpreting Anthropologie

After my visit to Anthropologie, and after trying on the Framework blouse, and after examining it very carefully,  I changed up from the sheer fabric that I thought I was going to use to a rayon print that I found at Joann’s from the April Johnston ( For Project Runway) collection.  Love the drape, loved the print. Actually, it’s quite a nice fabric. And the original blouse is rayon. So there.

By the way,  do you remember April Johnston? I think she was that really young designer, if memory serves me well.

Anyway, I was inspired by the Framework Blouse, and I used McCall’s  as my base pattern.
It required very little adjustment, really.  So, here’s what I did:

First, I combined the upper back piece with the lower back piece to make one back.
I cut and sewed two long ties.

The original blouse had princess seams in the lower front and in the back.  So instead of gathers, I took in the excess fabric with some deep darts which went all the way to the hem, and inserted the finished ties into the back darts…just like the Anthro top.

For the bodice, instead of gathers, I pleated the fabric under the bustline to fit. Just like the Anthro top.

The original top had a zipper in the side seam for a closer fit, but I didn’t want to fuss with that, and made it semi-fitted so that it could go over my head.

The Anthro top had a scandalously plunging neckline, so I made sure that my neckline would be work appropriate.

And completed..I think I achieved the look I wanted. Love it layered under a jacket for work, and it will be really cute on its own as a summer top, too.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Feast is Over!

So far, so good...the holiday week and weekend leaves us all pretty much no worse for wear, other than a sleepless Thanksgiving night because of heartburn. Which could actually happen pretty much on any night.

We had a Toddler Thanksgiving this year....I'm very thankful that Levie and Sof have decided to be friends with us. Just love those babies.

 And three more on the way....what could be better?

The first of the baby stuff is hot off the sewing machine.
The fabric is from  Moda...the Lily and Will Collection.
I used Kwik Sew 3685.

 This was such a fun and easy project. I added an extra touch by using  my machine's blanket, feather and cross stitch decorative settings.

And my poor sewing machine is begging for a break from all this batting!  I must confess, I do like to make a quilt every now and's like play-time sewing, just getting to have fun with fabrics and designs.

I think I"ll take a break from baby sewing just for a week because my wardrobe project pile is in desperate need of attention.

Which is what I'm going to do this afternoon...while I try to muster up some Christmas Spirit!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ten on Tuesday...on Wednesday

Am I thankful? Most of the time. I have to admit, every now and then I can feel sorry for myself or I can want more than I need. But when I think about gratitude, I can say that  I have blessings by the buckful.

And, in no particular order:
God, who somehow seems to keep blessing me, even though I don't deserve it.
My husband. I really, really don't know how I could exist without him. He's alive and healthy.
My family: kids and grandbabies, inlaws and outlaws, mom and all the rest...I love them, and they love me.
An adopted pug named Birdie...who is always excited to see me.
Good neighbors
A comfortable home that I get to care for because she's old and beautiful and deserves to live a long life.
My friends...especially the ones that know all my dirt and still choose to hang out with me.
A job that means something besides a paycheck.
The ability to make stuff and share it.
Pie. Oh, and stuffing. And homemade rolls. And pizza. I am thankful for pizza. And cupcakes, too. And Cheetohs, now that I think about it....

It's not a bad life, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving.

" I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A PB Pillow Tutorial

Secretly obsessing about the cool printed pillows that Pottery Barn always seems to have?
While I was browsing around the store, I happened to obsess even more about the Pinecone Print Lumbar Pillow. (retail for the cover? $39. With free shipping.)

And then, I happened to notice a wonderful holiday table display, which included Pinecone Print Napkins.
So, here's how you make your own PB Pinecone Print Pillow cover:

Buy a napkin for $8. 

To add more guts to the weight of it, I applied some of  Pam's Pro-Weft Fusible Interfacing to the back of the napkin.

Buy(or find in your stash) a similar color fabric for your pillow back. ( I found mine in a remnant bin for $1.50)

Create a standard envelope back for your pillow and sew the front to the back pieces. I used a 1/4 inch seam.

Turn right sides out, press and topstitch around the pillow over the original napkin hem.

Insert a pillow form.

How easy was that? I made it right at home among all of my knit pillow covers made from thrift store sweaters....another Pottery Barn influence.

I snuggled it right in with the cable knit pillows that I made from thrifted sweaters.

  Here's what else I did:

So, that about finishes up my fall pillow makeovers.

I think.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Anthropologie dreams...

Remember when just this week, I posted about  my mom teaching how to make folded magazine Christmas Trees?
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I visited the Anthropologie store last night.
Yup… Folded Magazine Christmas Trees.

And bundles of folded newspapers. Which I would have never thought of as an accessory, but I will probably have on my coffee table by next week!

My thoughts..feelings? Emotions about the first Anthropologie visit?

I was blown away. I don’t know if I can say much more than that…Blown away by the creativity, craftsmanship, uniqueness..the prices.
Blown away by the inspiration of it all. Like, who on Earth could think of putting a tiny tree inside a salt shaker?

You can bet I'll have these on my Christmas table!

I wish I could quit my day job and just create. Or I wish I could just live at the Anthropologie store…I could easily sleep on that fake bed under the Rivulettes Bedding while reading “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel”  and get takeout from the food court to eat on their Curious Deciduous Dinnerware. I would spend my days folding magazines into Christmas Trees and knitting chunky Nubby-knit Christmas Stockings  while I listen to ”A Very She and Him” Christmas Album under the drifing aroma of the Capri Blue Volcano Candle Tins.

And my summer home would be Pottery Barn.

Okay, wake up Lynne.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


There is a teacher inside of me.

And last night, for the first time in a long time, I felt like a missing piece of me had been plugged back into place. There is nothing more exciting to me than to be a part of helping someone do something they never thought they could do…to help them to get to that "Aha" moment.
Whether it was watching a kid finally understand  how to factor polynomials the during years that I was teaching at school,
or delighting in the fact that beginning painters achieved their own masterpiece when they thought that all they could draw was a stick figure,
or sharing the excitement of a new knitter, all tight and fumbly, knitting their first row.

Last night, my beginning knitting students did not fail me in their enthusiasm, frustration, doubt , and then ultimately their pride.

It’s the joy of being a teacher.
It’s what we do when we love creating and can pass that on to others.  Women have been gathering together to learn stuff at the guidance of another craftswoman for generations and generations. The world has been spun round and round because of our ability to sew, knit, tat, crochet, embroider, quilt and weave...all the ways that we have provided covering and warmth for our bodies and our homes. The bonus is that while all of these things are practical, they can also be the ways in which we express our inner artisan.  And we continue to glean from one another with the additional  benefit of blogs, and Ravelry and Pattern Review and YouTube. Still learning, still teaching…we just have more resources these days.

My mom was a great teacher. Women would gather around the dining room table for as far back as I remember to learn how to do something…many things… under the tutelage of my mother.  I was an eager student…whether it was learning how to fold a reader’s digest into a Christmas Tree or how to embroider tiny lazy’s funny to me that back in those days, however, that I had absolutely no interest in knitting and I resisted  with all my might when I had to learn how to sew.

But  these days?  My head could explode from the number of projects that I have in my head. And I am blessed to be able to explore with others their own hidden artisan within.

And never fail, knitting friends, I do have a few projects on the needles…

This is a knock off of the Kate Middleton Shopping Shawl.
AND I've been swatching, and swatching for some sweater projects:

Who taught you to knit? Who taught you to sew?

That's about it for now...our office/my sewing room are undergoing some redecorating and re-arranging, which we started tonight. Can't wait to get that finished up this week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy This, Occupy That

We were listening to the local news on the radio this morning. As I got up and was leaving the bedroom, I heard JR declare with great delight , " I'm going to Occupy This Bed. And I'm not leaving.
"good luck with that," I said.
His protest didn't last long. He wanted coffee and I wasn't going to bring it to him since I was Occupying the Shower.

I just wonder how our 40 Occupy Buffalo protesters are going to fare when snow flies. Just wondering.
Our local radio host said they'll probably occupy the mall instead.

Speaking of the mall...
You know, I completely forgot that there is an Anthropologie at a local mall! It's been there for several months and I haven't been there! Good grief. So, I'm going....this week some time. And I am so excited I can't stand it.

Speaking of Anthropologie...
I have been eyeing up this top:

Graphic Framework Blouse.
Love the fit, love the style, love the who shebang. So I started working on recreating it.

What else is on the project agenda other than baby stuff?
Oh, the pile keeps getting bigger. I think my head is going to explode.

Knitting talk. It's been awhile. A few posts ago, Esther wondered if I am still knitting. I am.
In fact, I have a new class of beginners starting tonight and I've also been swatching for sweaters. So yes, Esther, I'm still knitting.
Tomorrow, I think I'm going to talk about knitting.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Scotty Update

A Scotty Update
A few months ago, on our way back from a camping trip, I happened to be searching Craig's List for a vintage camper to restore...a dream of mine for a long, long time. To our surprise, there was just that thing I was looking not more than a few miles away.

It took much convincing and begging and promises of  this and that in order for JR to say yes. This little camper needed our TLC, and I was most certain we would not find another one like it for such a reasonable  price any time soon.  So a few  weeks later, we made arrangements to bring it home.
And now, she is living at our friend's garage, while we do the outside work, until can bring her home to do more detailed restoration in our own driveway.
A few weeks ago, JR and I spend an entire Saturday removing the aluminum skins....carefully preserving every piece, removing nails and staples and screws. The windows and door were taken out and brought home for their restoration... fortunately they are in pretty good shape for their age.

To our great surprise, our little Scotty was in better condition than we ever imagined!  We fully anticipated having to replace all the plywood structure, but someone ahead of us had started a careful restoration and had already replaced all but one side. Even the floor was rebuilt!

Now, mind you, she doesn't look very pretty right now, but here's the inside, stripped  of all but the basics.

 One of the nice surprises was finding some original parts tucked away...

I think about that little camper every day. We have measured and sketched and talked for hours about the layout. I dream of color schemes and fun stuff to put in it. I obsess about this project, which JR claims is really his project for a good long time because it involves power tools and building cupboards and nails and stuff.  I want her to come home. So I can at least watch him with his project.

Last week, I scored some very funky upholstery fabric at Joann's, of all places. Best of all? It was a red tag sale for $9 a yard, with a Veteran's Day special of  50% off, and a one day additional 25% off coupon! I ended up with 10 yards of fabric for about forty bucks! And best of all, I ended up with a color scheme!

This will be perfect with the shiny silver sides of the camper! What sealed the deal was that JR happened to come home that very week with a canvas awning that someone gave him that will be exactly what we need  for the outside of our Scotty. (I had first imagined this shiny bright silver camper having bright red hubcaps.)

Can you even believe our luck? 
So, I'm thinking of  red composite flooring and black boomerang Formica for the table and counter-top.

I think it's going to be fabulous. and fun. and funky. We'll paint the inside white or pale gray. And best of all, it will go with my vintage picnic basket and  metal cooler!

I'm so excited.