13 October 2015

By the sea

We went to the ocean last Friday, well, not so much the ocean, close to it? We visited the UC Davis Marine Lab in Bodega Bay. We had driven by many times, but since we tend to go in the morning and it is only open Friday afternoons, we never had a chance.
I did not take any pictures inside, it's a working lab, students from UC Davis come and spend the summer semester there; housing is provided just down the road. There are researchers hard at work and the tour is tremendously interesting. Did you all know that all the debris thrown into the water (like plastic bags etc.) end up in about 5 different spots in the various oceans? And that fish eat that cr*p? And it ends up in their stomachs? Even fish taken out of the San Francisco Bay have plastic debris in their stomachs and intestines. Yuck.
Anyway, we had driven by these stone sculptures many times on the way out to Bodega Head to look for whales or go hiking, but this time we finally stopped and took pictures:

We actually watched somebody assemble them on a previous trip, painstaking work that involves concrete. Not just stacking one rock on top of the other mindlessly.

I made a book

Wow, first I don't blog in months and then I write two posts in as many days.
Anyway, I have been watching mixed media videos on YouTube, lots of them,  and finally gathered my supplies and my courage and made a book, from scratch.
I used one really big sheet of very nice paper, cut it into pieces and just followed the tutorial by Diana Trout on how to turn it into a book.
I sort of held my breath while I was decorating the outside sheet, I had played with that technique this morning and it took about 5 tries before I was happy with what I got, but this one worked in one go.
So, here is my first, slightly wonky book:

It's meant to be a journal, preferably an art journal, to be written in and decorated, embellished with paint, stamps, stencils, papers etc. etc. and that bit scares me still. I think I will try things out on tags or index cards and when I'm happy with my progress, then, and only then, will I work in this book - or I might just stick the tag or card inside.
It was fun, messy, but tremendously enjoyable. I still have paint under my nails, the rest washed off after a while.

In case anybody is interested:
Tutorial for making the journal:  One Sheet One Journal. The blog post also includes the video.
And the tutorial for the technique on the outside: Ghosting technique

And now I'd better go and make dinner, also from scratch - spicy chicken burgers.

12 October 2015

More toddler skirts

There hasn't been much sewing going on here lately, these were all made several weeks ago, but, finally finished this morning - there was just a little bit of hand sewing involved:

For those days, when a more subdued skirt is called for: chambray with an elephant border.

A little more colorful - with owls.

The little granddaughter and I share a love of yellow, I had this fabric in my stash and found, what I consider, a beautiful ribbon to match. Hope she (and her mum) like it as much as I do.

And, when you want something not at all subdued - the red skirt. The little skirts on the bottom are for I's dolls, or babies as she calls them. I happen to have the same "babies" and, yes, her's have a smallish wardrobe. I need to learn to sew tops, so far, all they have is bottoms, skirts and pouffy pants aka "Bollerhosen" (in case you speak "foreign.")
This one is made from a Japanese fabric that was in my stash.

Patterns: everything with a ribbon is made from the lazy days skirt tutorial. Quick and easy.

Everything else I sort of winged, and I wish I hadn't really; sewing on lace after the side seam is sewn is much more complicated than sewing it on before sewing up the side. Lesson learned.

Fabrics: all out of my stash.
Ribbons and lace: the best ones came from Hobby Lobby; the rest from Hancock's and JoAnn's.