28 May 2015

Hexie Madness

Snowcatcher Rainbow Lightning Hexies

Last year, I created Spoonflower fabric with some of my favorite Photoshopped hexagons. I thought a dress from this fabric might be awesome, but I didn't know how to do repeats and some of my hexies weren't as lined up as I'd like.

This came out so well, I'm going to try to learn how to do repeats so I can make this again and have enough width for a dress.

I worked my way through a couple of online tutorials, but my dinosaur version of Photoshop (three versions back from the first Creative Suite) isn't 64-bit repeat-friendly.

Drawing upon my seventh-grade art class memories, I figured out a way to build my own repeats manually. And it worked!

Hexie Madness Plum

This idea initially was inspired by digitally playing with rainbow photo I snapped through my back fence last July.

Rainbow Skeleton

I got some GREAT snowflake shapes by tinkering with the rainbow photo, but the colors were wrong. So I inverted the image. What a difference!

from a rainbow silhouette

Hexie Madness

I made 110 unique hexagons from that one photo (so far), and I used 102 of them in this fabric!

Next came several nights of digital quilting. This fabric image took approximately 20 nights after work to finish. Including days I needed a break and all the cycling training we've been trying to do, this fabric design took nearly two months to finish!

Spoonflower fabric takes a couple of weeks once ordered, then comes pattern-cutting, sewing, hemming, hand-stitching facings and trying on for size.

In the meantime, my Hexie Madness made Spoonflower's Trendy List!!!

Discovered Again!

My Trendy Hexies

Thankfully, sewing the dress once it arrived took only two nights.

My newest fabric design!

My newest dress!

The bodice is crafted from leftover fabric with quite the history. About a quarter of a century ago, a co-worker asked me to make plum costumes for her whole family for Halloween. (Her family's business incorporated the name of nearby Plum Creek.) She'd already bought the fabric, using the requirements on the back of the pattern envelope. (The pattern actually was for pumpkins, but the shape could easily be a plum, too, right?) When you're piecing six or eight outfits from a single cut of fabric, you don't need the 14 or so yards you might think, especially if you are a thrifty piecer like me. I think I had 7 yards of fabric leftover!

As a token of her appreciation, my co-worker let me keep the rest of the purple cotton. In reality, this particular co-worker didn't sew or do anything crafty, so she probably was very grateful I was willing to take the extra off her hands!

Ick

I used some of the fabric over the years to make clothing, quillows and gifts for my kids and for my nieces and nephews. I still had a ton of that purple leftover.

The bodice and lining of this dress used up another yard. Still about two more yards to go, but I'm getting close to working my way through it.

Hexie Madness

I used one of the larger hexagons from my first design attempt to break up the mass of solid plum fabric and add visual appeal.

Garden of the Gods

Modeling in Garden of the Gods

This project turned out so cool, I decided to create another hexagon design, this time, patchwork, with no set color scheme, sort of like the paperweights of the '70s.

Snowcatcher Hexie Patchwork

26 May 2015

Wordless Wednesday

lupine

lupine

lupine

Count the Flakes

my first lupine this year

lupine jewel

bejeweled

clear pearls

bejeweled

diamond-studded

stand tall

I will survive!

taking on color

purple tower

almost to the top

tender touch

a day in the sun

crystalized

A Short Ride After Work

South Platte White Water

Ride the Rockies is getting too close for comfort, so it's time to start spending more time on the bike.

Underpasses along the bike path are under water, so we decide to pack the bikes in the car, take our cycling clothes to work, and take a ride up Waterton Canyon come quittin' time.


The South Platte is still running pretty high and fast.

Sky Rage

The sky is still pretty dark. We decide to ride as far as we can, then race back down the canyon if we hear lightning.

An hour later, we race back down the canyon, trying to beat the storm. I can't keep up with The Lizard. He keeps circling back to ride with me.

Spilling Over

Suddenly, a bolt hits too close for comfort. We immediately take shelter right along the river.

shelter

We watch the sky.

stormwatcher

The Lizard enjoys his treat du jour, a Little Debbie brownie...

waiting out the storm

...while I aim for clouds and hope...

25 May 2015

Ziaflake Monday

honor

The Lizard and I have wanted to do the Santa Fe Century for what feels like forever. I'm from New Mexico, and The Lizard is a true desert rat. Or desert lizard... We finally decided this year to quit waiting for the perfect opportunity and registered, caution to the wind.

During the drive to Santa Fe, we stopped in Raton to replenish the fuel tank and learned the 2015 Run for the Wall would be arriving in about 15 minutes. Santa Fe could wait! We weren't about to miss this!


Run for the Wall, in its 27th year and nearly 400 motorcycles strong, starts in Ontario, California, and travels across the country to arrive in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day to visit The Wall. Participants include veterans and retired military who share Run for the Wall's mission: raise awareness of prisoners of war and military members missing in action, promote healing for veterans, support military personnel and honor the memory of those killed in action.

roll on

The Thunder Rolls

no one left behind

cuddly passenger

fuel up

says it all

fill 'er up

thirsty bikes

tailgunner

in tribute

This year's Run was to feature one of New Mexico's own, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor for services during the war in Afghanistan. Even though already wounded by gunfire, Petry lost his hand trying to throw a Taliban grenade that landed in his unit away from his fellow soldiers. He placed a tourniquet on his own arm after the grenade exploded. After surgery, recovery, a prosthetic and physical therapy, instead of a medical discharge, he returned to duty and continued to serve until his retirement last year. His prosthetic lists the names of the fallen Rangers from his regiment.

Petry's motorcycle broke down before Run for the Wall reached Raton, and he was unable to continue in this year's Run.

The Colfax County Young Marines presented a flag-raising ceremony for the motorcyclists, and city residents lined the streets to honor those who seek to honor POWs and MIAs.

Semper Fidelis

Young Marines

in their footsteps

attention

at ease


I was able to see The Wall in 2004. I was able to touch The Wall. To feel The Wall.

I've never served in the military, but both my grandfathers served in World War II, one in the Pacific theater and one in the Atlantic theater. My brother retired from the Air Force after the Persian Gulf War. My husband's father, step-father and uncles all served in various branches of the military. I grew up in a small town neighboring an Air Force base and spent many hours watching the F-15s doing touch and goes, listening to them break the sound barrier and later covering Air Force news for the local newspaper. My dad serviced the radios for the base and the local law enforcement agencies throughout my childhood.

I have a deep respect for all who serve our country, and I honor them this day.

The Wall

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Ziaflake

Finished Size: 5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Ziaflake Instructions

Make large magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in ring, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook (sc picot made), ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made, point made), 5 dc in ring; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Don't pull magic ring too tight.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: Ch 14 (counts as 1 dtr and ch 9), * 1 tr over point into middle dc of next 5/dc group; ch 9; repeat from * around 4 times, sl st in 5th ch of starting ch 9.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), * 4 dc in next ch 9 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, 2 dc in ring, [ch 9, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 7 ch, 2 dc in ring] 2 times, ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch (zia spokes made), 4 dc in ring, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Ziaflakes

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

colors
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