Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alló's punk-hippie skirt

This started out as a just a conversation between Alló and me. I think we were talking about 'hippie skirts' and quilts or maybe it was the other way around. I do recall talking about using heavy fabrics, such as you would find in old jeans and corduroy) hand-me-downs, to make a patchwork fabric and then turn it into a skirt. Regardless, I decided I was going to try to make a skirt like she had talked about.

Only, I was covetous of my corduroy squares. I have a hand pieced quilt I'm working on with them (and old jeans, etc =) What to do?! Would it be remain a hippie skirt if I used different fabrics? Would Alló still like it? 


Pink and purple.

If I'm going to veer off the beaten path, why not go all out! Pink and purple are Alló's favorite colors, so whatever fabrics I had that fit the color scheme would get used. 

Now, seriously. Those who have known me for any length of time would probably think "Dory. Pink. Nope, don't see that happening." If it makes you feel any better, I was shocked at how much pink fabric I had too. There were leftovers from previous projects, scraps from boxes I bought at yard sales, some from my ex-mother-in-law, remnants from a previous therapist, some fabric I had bought on a whim, and even children's clothes that people had thrown away (!!! can you believe it? Some of the coolest bits came from this category, including the embroidered dragon on the right side of the skirt!)

Over all, there are various cottons, satins, brocade, crushed velvet, sheers (layered), and rayon.

Of course it has beads. Really, can you imagine me doing all this stuff and *not* putting beads on it somewhere?? =) I used beads both to hold sequins on (oooh! MORE bright & shiny things!!!) as well as having couched them in curls on one panel. The other two panels were silk ribbon embroidery. The lavender is probably my favorite flower though the silk floss stem is rather drab. The funky daisy probably has the best stem. I forgot to get a photo of the freeform satin stitch embroidery with standard DMC cotton floss on a right rear panel. I'll have to add that later. I wanted to put more on the skirt, just in general, but Alló really wanted the skirt and I agreed. If I didn't decide it was 'finished' at some point, I'd just keep doing stuff to it.

The actual construction was easy. I'd say 'I cheated' but really I didn't. I used my serger (Toyota 3/4 overlock) to do almost all of it. I used up whatever I could, so some of my squares are cut strange relative to the bias, but it didn't really effect the overall piecing of the fabric. I put darts in from the waistband to the butt, added an inner lining of brilliant purple rayon (the inner skirt is only attached at the waist and ends about 6" higher than the bottom of the outer skirt.) The waistband was straight stitched so that there are two casing bands that hold 1/4" elastic. I thought doing it that way might be more comfortable than one heavier band of elastic.

Over all, for a 'test project', I'm very pleased. I've started another one already. The next punk-hippie skit is going to be in blues, greens, purples, and teals. A large chunk of the piecework is already done, but I got side tracked by other projects and sunshine, so it's on hold for the moment. Don't worry, I'll get to it. Now to figure out what the 3rd one will be!! ;-)

larger images of the skirt and details can be found on picasa.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well, it's a beautiful day here in Boalsburg. It feels really nice with my back to the sun, getting warm. Yesterday, I spent all day on campus. I got a tad sunburnt on the right side. I guess I'll have to flip and burn my left arm and ear today. Just kidding. Hey, I actually did really good yesterday. I sat outside of Kern writing some clasp instructions in my sketch book. If I can keep my act together, I'm going to do photos to go with the instructions and try submitting them to Beadwork and/or Bead&Button. I even asked strangers on 3 separate occasions what time it was!! I'm getting better. 

I decided I had enough blond for a while again and dyed my hair turquoise in an inverted V in the back and the rest is fuschia. Something different that I hadn't tried before. The turquoise fades pretty fast (at least the other couple of times I tried small areas of it) so I don't know how long this one will last. We'll see. I've also started getting more adventurous with my makeup that I wear outside. I guess I've gotten to the point where if I'm going to buy the bloody stuff, I should at least wear it, right?

Alló is coming over shortly and we're going to go putter around, maybe do some necessity shopping. Woo. A trip to walfart. Hold back all that excitement. She said she's going to wear The Skirt. I can't wait to see it on her. I warned her already that I want to take photos. I'll post later!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

meant to post more last night

I got really tired and just crashed last night, so no additional update like I wanted. I had to stop typing. I get about an hour, maybe 2 if I really push it and step away from the computer at the point where I have no choice (nauseous). It still really bums me out that I can't bang on a keyboard like I used to. My typing has started to slow down in speed as well as accuracy since I can't "practice" for large or frequent chunks of time, which further bum me out. Right now, my hands are sweating  at a disgusting rate and I have to keep wiping them on the thighs of my shorts. blech!

. Alló and I went to Shingletown Gap and walked the trail part way up the gap yesterday. I really am a pig for punishment, but I desperately wanted to get *out* for a while. It was so beautiful. I want to go back soon and take a whole bunch of photos for myself. The Great Rhododendron has unfurled and the buds are starting to swell. I ended up taking my Birks off and walking barefoot a big chunk of it. My crazy little monkey toes got better purchase on the rocks and rhododendron roots than the Birks did. The brown, fallen leaves from last fall made a soft carpet to walk on for most of it. My feet weren't even muddy, just a little grungy in the cracks. It was very much worth today's discomfort (and yesterday's shortness of breath and wobbly thighs =).

Alló said it reminded her somewhat of Ithaca New York. I've never been there, so I'm hoping we can day-trip there over the summer maybe. As it stands, she's hoping (as am I) for good weather this weekend so we can take Atom up there too. She's certain he's going to be pleased. 

For all the aches, pains, cramps and grumbling, it truely is worth the 'laborious walk' for me. I remember one of the reasons it seems so hard for me to consider moving away from here. Hemlocks by a cold, clear creek (pronounced "KR ick"  by us locals. 'KR' is like 'cr' in "creep" and the 'ick is like "pick". I think I was in 5th grade when I realized it wasn't spelled 'crick' and that it was the "same" as creek. Personally, "KR ick" and "KR eek" are two different sizes of bodies of water when I grew up, the former even smaller than the later...)

oop. time to go. More Dr appts....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Post 100!! =-)

howdy. Back from Dr. Spine_Guy. He really is nice. I also asked all kinds of pointy questions about what's going on with my back. I even got a disk of the MRI images. Sadly, they're not super huge resolution, but I'm going to work on turning them into animated gif's I think. Here goes, on a rant about computers before I tell you the verdict. =)

The disk comes as a 'package' that has a viewer already on it. You pretty much just pop it into your PC and go! Small issue there. I'm typing this on a Mac. Being the über geek girl that I am, that doesn't phase me. Annoy me, yes, stop me, no. Very annoyed. ANYHOW, It's in a standard format determined by this DICOM entity. Sure enough, a little poking around finds a VERY nice little program called ImageJ that will do all kinds of really cool graphics things (convert file types etc)  and it's free!!!! woohoo! I really suggest checking it out if you need something that works with esoteric graphic file formats. 

Ok, so the verdict is: more herniation. The problem at T11/T12 is called a Schmorl's Node. Yes, Schmorl was the guy's name that 'discovered' this sort of problem.

ugh. have to stop typing on the keyboard. I'm getting nauseous from my hands and wrists hurting. so not cool. more later....