In the Beginning

I started blogging in October of 2005. I have had 3 blogs and they are now consolidated into this one so just over 500 posts.

I started following blogs and other sewers many years ago. Back in the day there were Rings. There were sewing rings, embroidery and a lot of others. Blog rolls on the sidebars would lead you to other sites, I discovered like minded crafters  from around the world and learned  a lot from everyone. On Friends of Cloth Doll, I met up with a Canadian in Mexico and  after a move to Montreal, she finally moved to Vancouver. So that was fun meeting her as I admired  her work. I always amazed me how you would be reading a blog from someone knitting a heavy wool sweater to cope with the cold and the next blog would be about the heat in Australia. I always loved all the travel posts.

Then came yahoo groups, more dolls, polymer clay,  ATC  and knitting groups and eventually Ravelry.  I took art lessons from Suzi Blue and took another art course as well from Sue Bleiweiss. I have forgotten a lot of the courses that I took.

The journal cover was made before 2008, using a crumpled brown paper bag.

The doll picture I drew and embellished with crayons, paper , paper tape and encaustsic wax over the top, was inspired by Suzi Blu.

One thing that has changed is photography,  not just because of Instagram and filters and new phone technology. Now people are taking much more care in composition of their photos, no more fancy lace shawls displayed on quilted bedspreads. there was an incredible number of photos of socks being knit. sort of like time lapse but over a few weeks of the sock proudly displayed marching down someone’s foot! I was guilty of these things as well.

My topics haven’t changed, knitting, sewing , plants and gardens, travels and a good challenge still appeals.

New books

Thanks to my blog friends for sending words of sympathy on the passing of my mother.

I bought a few books while away on vacation.

A metalworking book for my jewelry, IMG_0018I have a lot of tools  and some pieces of metal and unfinished pieces that just need a bit more work. I took a course at night school and got to use all the big power tools and tanks of gas, this was a few years ago and I was a little out of my element.  I still wear the brass cuff bracelet. Some students in the class were newbies like me, but several had been coming for years and making some really nice rings and necklaces. One woman was doing several pieces for a one woman show, it was based on the different areas of the world where she had lived.  She was very inspiring as was the teacher.

The next book on altering photographs appeals to me as well,IMG_0017 back in the day when one got the film developed and reprints, the hoarder in me just couldn’t throw them out. Now if I can find them, I know I moved them, maybe I can have a little fun with various other media to do something with them. I know one can do all this on the computer but I am not ready to go there yet.

The last book by David Coffin, on trousers. IMG_0019It is a great reference book with lots of ideas. I have had his shirt book for years and refer to it often.  He does state that to get a pair of pants that fit, you should just draft your own pattern, rather than making alterations to a ready made pattern.  That statement alone stopped me in my tracks.

two book reviews

I picked up Stitch Journeys when I was in Sechelt at Sew Easy, when I picked up the Arequipa yarn. There are great pictures and ideas for various types of machine embroidery. Worked in a postcard format, which will give me some ideas for the fabric postcard workshop which I am hosting at the end of the month.
I have mixed feelings about the 1000 sweaters mainly because there are only 3 sizes of sweaters! Sizes 34, 36 and 38. On the other hand, the book is constructed like a flip book with sweater bodies in the top half of the book, with different stitch patterns and basic necklines, V, slit, round, square etc. Below the sweater bodies are the sleeve, pocket, neckline options that can be added to the various tops. I think it is a good starting point for me to figure out my own sweaters. I ordered my book on line from hampstead house books, but it is no longer in stock.

DIY and Self help books

I have been busy clearing up bookcases, 5 are technically in my spaces of the house. It is very rare that I buy a fiction book and probably 90 % of my books fall into the do it your self, or are related to various crafts and whatever interests I have at the time. So naturally, I have lots to do with sewing, knitting, jewelery making, stitching and mixed media, book binding and paper crafts. There was also a fairly large section on gardening, house design and decoration.
My magazines reflect the same passions, although I have culled down my purchasing of magazines to Threads, Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. I tend to only buy other magazines for a specific purpose or article. The first three I buy without even looking inside!

Around 30 years ago, a very popular book was “I’m OK, Your OK” and since then the books on discovering your bliss, the inner artist, the keys to good health, colouring your self beautiful, have all played apart in my reading. I particularly like books with lots of pictures, questions and approaches to the problem. I don’t often get through all of the questions and then again I very seldom used the exercises, and the list of techniques.

So the latest book to cross my path is Style Statement, Live by your own design. This was mentioned on line in one of my sewing groups. Once again an interesting group of questions. I have typed them out and am starting to answer them. In this book, you are to come up with 2 words which describe you. I wonder what words are mine.

Books for vacation

I’ve found some new to me books at the library. This one has a couple of purses that I am interested in making. The two colour purse on the cover is first up and I’ve purchased some wool and will be knitting while I am away on the boat. It’s called the Bag of Many Pockets.
The second book is Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron. Sized for adults, medium and large.
The third book is Fusing Fabric by Margaret Beal. I think I’ll be looking at that one mostly for eye candy.

Habit forming

I have belonged to Ravelry for awhile now. I find I have a ritual when I start to look at my bookmarks in the morning. I start with 3 or 4 clothing blogs, 1 online fabric store, and then I get on to Ravelry. First up, I go to groups, I am just so curious as to what new groups have been started since I last looked. I am only in about 7 groups and I have dropped out of a couple and may drop out of a couple more. Most of the time, I am only interested in knitting, or maybe my local area, I don’t think I’ll join any, tv show, ( I confess, I did belong to Greys Anatomy for awhile but I soon got tired of reading who had a crush on who and or why) religious or political groups, food related, book related or music related. I am pretty fickle with my blogs and sites that I visit. Everyday for years or just a couple of weeks. It is the same with yahoo groups, I have come and gone from quite a few of those as well.

Next, I check out the forums, just to catch up on the latest. I don’t post alot, still don’t manage to get pictures posted, although I have the how-to sheet on my desk, I haven’t bothered with it yet.
Third, friends. Activity and then their blogs. (this is my favorite part)
Last, I do patterns. I check out all the designers who are featured.

One of my favorite online magazines has folded—Magknits.
Some sites that are just starting up are the following:
Knitting: Inside Studio
Sewing republic:
Is the site for Bernina, it will have free patterns.

A week from now I will be on vacation. I have found a fabric store in Rome, which has 200,000 bolts of fabric. I am going to put it in the gps, as well as the tavern down the street. The men will get to watch the people walk by and have a cool one, I no doubt will need a cool on as well after my foray into the shop.

New book: 200 Braids to twist, knot, loop or weave by Jacqui Carey. Great photos and instructions, just the thing to use for that unique finishing touch.

New finds

My latest fashion mags in a foreign language, Portuguese from Brazil. Love the clothes and the different aesthetic from the different countries. We can get several editions of In Style and Elle locally but usually just UK, France, Australia, maybe Spain or Germany. Each one is different.
I don’t think I will be the least bit fluent in Italian, French of Spanish for my upcoming trip, I am just not disciplined enough to study. I’ll be packing my Spanish and Italian language books on the plane and hopefully my high school French will be enough to get by, I am willing to do charades much to the embarrassment of my friends.

My yarn from Skein of the month has arrived for March, Web’s own brand Valley Yarn, Stockbridge, which is Alpaca and Wool. Pretty lux, dark green, the colour of the next phase of Project Spectrum which is green, brown and metallics for April and May for Earth. These are destined to be wrist warmers.

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