30 July 2021

Friday Fortius

This works for Parkinson's, too. Just add: Don't take cantankerous moments (or hours) personally. Be positive and supportive, no matter what.

29 July 2021

Fly Away

I finished my second butterfly dress the day I wanted to wear it! Sort of...

I finished the skirt segment in June. I'd been debating for years, literally, which of two fabrics in my stash I should use for the bodice.

About two weeks before the day I wanted to wear the dress, I found the prettiest butterfly fabric. There was but a half yard left, so I ordered it and hoped it would be here on time. I had another dress picked out to wear, just in case.

My purchase timing wasn't so great. It was the annual 4th of July sale, and I received an email notifying me the orders might take a bit longer. I received the half yard of fabric the day before I wanted to wear the dress.

I cut out the bodice that night, using a plain black solid for the lining, and all night long, I visualized how I would put the bodice together the next morning as soon as my alarm went off.

The lining was my own idea; the dress, which comes from three different patterns I mixed and matched, featured bodice facings I don't really like. When I do a full lining on a sleeveless bodice, I want the armholes and neckline to be perfect by stitching the entire curve, clipping the seams, then turning the bodice outside right with smooth contours. Most fully lined sleeveless bodice patterns provide instructions to make one or the other perfect, depending upon which order you construct the pieces.

I came up with my idea a few years ago to stitch together the bodice front curves then the bodice back curves, then sew the bodice sides together, then finish off by hand-sewing the shoulder seams by simply inserting the front armhole tabs into the back armhole openings. But it had been so long ago, I wasn't sure I could remember how I had done it. So I played with bodice pieces in my head and in my dreams until I figured it out again.

The next morning, I had the bodice finished in about an hour. I had forgotten I had added a couple of inches of length to the bodice and adjusted the skirt panels to fit the bodice when I designed my first butterfly dress back in 2018.

The skirt of the new butterfly dress was too big for the shorter-than-I planned bodice, so I gathered the skirt and attached it. Gathers were not in the original plan at all, and it wasn't something I wanted to do, especially with the now princess waistline, but it prevented having to undo the skirt panels (and the machine embroidery top stitching!!!). I can live with the modifications.

I didn't top stitch the side seams of the skirt, and I didn't tack down the lining on the inside, but the dress worked just fine for my best day ever because no one looked inside the dress and no one paid any attention to any of the seams.

I completed the side seam top stitching and the lining hand-stitching last weekend, and wore the fully completed dress to church on Sunday.

I liked the black butterfly fabric so much, I ordered another yard of it from a different shop. Then I decided it was high time I go through the last year of still-in-the-packaging fabric acquisitions, which have been hogging up space on my dining room table for probably a year, to organize them and put them away.

At the bottom of one stack was another yard of that same black butterfly fabric!!! I guess that's proof how much I like it! I had been thinking it might be nice to get six yards and make an entire dress (different pattern, of course) using just that fabric. Well, now I'm two yards into that dream and could pull it off if I buy four more yards!!! Ha ha ha!

But, no, I have other unfinished dresses waiting for my attention, and I have other fabric I initially bought for dresses I need to either use for dresses or figure out some other way to use up before they are so old, they are really out of style! Just teasing. I kind of like fabric and patterns that are no longer hip.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

27 July 2021

Bringing Home the Lavender

Lizard has dreamed of being a lavendar farmer for years now. I'm not sure we'll ever be able to buy acreage for a real farm now, but I can dig, and I can plant.

I spent an entire what-I-thought-would-not-be-as-hot-as-it-was Saturday tilling - by hand - a small section of our clay weed patch, then planting and mulching a modest lavender farm for Lizard.

Totally worth every drop of sweat invested. Now I just have to build some type of stairway so Lizard can access it.

26 July 2021

Snowflake Monday

I ordered these glowing fishing beads a while back, and I finally took the opportunity to play with them! I think I'll be doing a bit more of this!

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!

Finished Size: 6.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, 30 beads, size 7 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


Popcorn Stitch (pc)

Work 5 dc in designated st, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc.

Rainbow Glowflake Instructions

String 30 beads onto thread. I use fingernail polish to form a needle-like surface on the end of the thread to make stringing easier.

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [Pc in ring, ch 3] 6 times, omitting last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in top of starting pc to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, catching bead in st, [ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, catching bead in st] 5 times; ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of tr directly below, [in next ch 5 sp work (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc)] 5 times; in next ch 5 sp work 3 dc; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 4: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 3), 1 dc in gap between next 2 3/dc groups, catching bead in st, ch 3, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc and last ch 3 of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
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 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [3 dc in each of next 2 ch 3 sp, in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc and last ch 3 of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 6: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and [[ch 3, 1 dc in gap between next 2 3/dc groups] 3 times, catching bead in 1st and 3rd dc, ch 3, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc and last ch 3 of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [in next ch 3 sp work (1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc), in next ch 3 sp work (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc), ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 6, working back down spoke, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, sl st in next ch, catching bead in st, ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, in next ch 3 sp work (1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc), in next ch 3 sp work (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc), in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 5, working back down spoke, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 3 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

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 snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

22 July 2021

Snowflake Zone

I absolutely love creating snowflake-shaped kaleidoscopes in Photoshop. When I was forced to buy this laptop in 2016 (because the previous laptop just could no longer handle the heavy duty (mostly Photoshop) workouts I gave it. The Photoshop CD I'd bought what feels like several centuries ago now wouldn't work on this laptop, and I had to buy a Photoshop subscription.

Oh, I was NOT happy about that! But I use Photoshop so much, I don't think about the ten bucks I pay every month now for the priviledge of using the software. I'm not very happy that the updates don't work so well with this now old laptop, but I'm going to make this laptop last as long as I can. As a result, some Photoshop bells and whistles don't work well for me. I have to do some things manually.

I had a great plugin for the older computer that would create kaleidoscopes. As the computer aged, the plugin took longer and longer. Eventually, that old laptop just couldn't run Photoshop anymore. Took up too much memory.

The Photoshop subscription won't run that kaleidoscope plugin. So I've gone about five or six years now without being able to easily create kaleidoscope snowflakes.

I bought a different plugin for the Photoshop subscription, but it isn't as easy to figure out as the old plugin. I downloaded a couple of kaleidoscope apps for my phone, and I've played with those a bit. There have been some fun shots, but the camera apps aren't as easy to control as that first plugin.

It's so frustrating to me when software updates aren't as good as the old stuff!!!

The pink fireball sunrises we've been getting again this month made me long for that old plugin. I recently had to listen to a podcast that gave me time to play in Photoshop. I used an iPhone shot to create my second manual digital snowflake! (My first manual digital snowflake was created from an actual snowflake fragment photograph.)

my first manually created digital snowflake

my iPhone sunrise

my second manually created digital snowflake

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