30 March 2007
29 March 2007
If I were to buy a bike, it would be one of the beautiful bikes by Jorg and Olif. These bikes are so lovely and well designed. I love the seats. I love the big wheels. I love how they ride high. I love the chain and wheel guards. Beautiful! Spring always gets me thinking about zooming about town on a bike.
26 March 2007
TAURUS: You’d think that Taurus was a stable, dependable sign; practical as salt and boring as an Edith Wharton novel. This, of course, is almost totally untrue. Many of you are nothing short of zealous in your one-track need to adhere to your own bizarro set of principles. Take, for example, Taurean actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Seriously… are “dependable” and “stable” the best adjectives you can come up with for a man who refuses to break character, ever, for the duration of an entire eight-month film shoot? I mean, to the point where he fractures his own ribs and refuses treatment for pneumonia and urges crew members to not only verbally abuse, but throw cold water on him? And who then takes long sabbaticals from acting in order to pursue his passions for woodworking and becoming a cobbler’s apprentice? My feeling is that most, if not all Taureans are closeted DDL’s, waiting for the right opportunity to make the rest of the world bow and scrape at the altar of your secret, singular freakiness. Who knows? Maybe 2007 will be your year.
But enough about my mental problems. Sunday I went to the ICA for the "unveiling" of the 100 Mile Suit. Because the suit was not completely done, Aaron was not going to wear it, but I guess he was pursuaded to put it on. I missed that since I left the museum after the presentation because I desperately needed a nap. So here's a photo taken by the very energetic Kelly Cobb, the organizer of this interesting project.
And now for sewing news: I found this nice podcast called "Material Mama," which covers topics about sewing and crafting. Her website also has a lot of great links and ideas, so check it out.
And then there is this great little animated illustration that shows you how a bobbin works. I found myself hypnotized by it, staring at that little bobbin as it went round and round. Many thanks to the Material Mama website for the link.
I started working on a new design for a camisole. It's super cute and I wish I could put a picture on here, but some chip in my camera is fried and it doens't work anymore. Hopefully that situation will be resolved soon.
22 March 2007
Hey, if you're in the Philadelphia area and you haven't yet seen the Thomas Chimes retrospective at the PMA, you really should. And I'm not just saying that because I have to. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Tom and his work and am really excited to see this show happen for him.
He's even got me picking back up "The Banquet Years," a book I purchased almost over a year ago and never read.
20 March 2007
Gosh, I'm was so preoccupied with other things that I didn't even notice that two days ago was Betsy Ross' Journal one-year anniversary. Looking back, I see that I had just launched the #010 Charmed Dress pattern on betsyrosspatterns.com, I was drinking alarming amounts of Pastis, buying fabric with roosters on it, and posting drawings of mini ketchups. It's been fun!
Excuse me while I pose with my new friend: the vest for the 100-Mile Suit project. It sure is wild and wooly. I really love how the vest opening turned out- how the natural curves of the felted wool seem to fit together- you can't really see that from this picture, but it is really raw and pretty. Kelly and I decided to leave it open and not do any closures, which will only draw more attention to the open seams and the beautiful texture.
I am debating the look of the collar- one part of me really likes the roughness of it, but another part of me really wants to make it look more polished. Any ideas? Gotta figure it out before Sunday when the whole thing goes live at the ICA.
17 March 2007
This is the best telephone stand ever. I love it love it love it. It's by Eliot Noyes, and was designed for IBM around 1957. I saw it in the most recent Treadway/Toomey auction. I wish I had two. One for each side of the bed. And then I would put some flowers on them.
Gosh it's icy outside. Hard to believe that I was just wearing a short skirt and a light jacket on Thursday, and then suddenly yesterday it's all "Wintery Mix" this and "Wintery Mix" that. I predict it's the last of it for the season. So just put some boots on, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy that amazing light bouncing off the snow (great for photography, you know). Before you know it all of it will be melted.
15 March 2007
Horses and berries and long wing-ed insects,
Flowers and roosters and girls in pink dresses!
Upside down fiddles with pretty red strings...
these are a few of my favorite things!
...here's a pretty sampler to inspire you on a Friday. Happy weekend!
On warm days I like to walk home. It's now light out when I leave work, so that's even better.
....I like to read about crazy swimsuits by Rudi Gernreich.
.....and I like to think about flowers. All of these images come from the Magnolia Flowers website. I know I'm jumping the gun a little, but I can't wait until the farmer's markets get started again.
13 March 2007
Now's the time to start thinking about the summer wedding you're in. It's right around the corner, you know. And wouldn't the other bridesmaids love you if you made them all matching purses? Hmmmm? Or maybe you're the bride and you need one more thing to think about. Why not add "Make four matching cute homemade purses for bridesmaids" to the list? Why not?
So pick up one of our TGIF Purse (Thank God It's Funtional) patterns, and whip up a few. We've made it ultra-easy for you by making the pattern on heavy paper so you can use it again and again, and the instructions are super simple. Seriously, it won't take you that long, and if you have all of your bridesmaids cut out their own fabric, then that's even better.
Despite the beautiful, warm weather Philly has been having lately, Petey's favorite thing is crawling under the chenille bedspread to sleep. That bulge under the covers at the lower right of the photo is actually a cat. Sure, it's cute, but it's really frightening to be folding laundry on the bed and then have the bedspread start to move around....
The Shadowcraft fair last Sunday at the ICA was really fun. It's always nice to meet new people, hand out some website cards and see what other people are doing. Marissa was my booth buddy, and that made it even better. We were right in front of the giant cut-out of Hall and Oats on the stage, and if you know me, you know just how exciting that is.
I know that by mentioning this next thing I'm potentially making it harder for me to win, but this is too cool not to say anything about. Fred Flare is accepting applications for their annual "Next Big Thing" contest. If you are one of the 27 chosen, you get a special spot on their website. If you are voted the favorite by the website visitors, you win $1000. Good deal. Just the exposure on the site is a great thing. So get to it- applications are due by April 20.
I have been hard at work on making the vest for the 100 Mile Suit. Kelly Cobb, the organizer, gave me a vest that Aaron commonly wears to model the final product on. I traced the vest on kraft paper to get a rough idea of the shape and then set to work making a more exact pattern for it. After that, I cut out the pattern in muslin and pieced it together on the dress form with pins to see what sort of glaring mistakes I had made. It's actually not that bad. I think the only thing that has to be seriously adjusted is the making the collar longer, and since that's basically a rectangle, I'm not worried about it. Today I will baste it together so that Kelly can take it to Aaron for a fitting.
10 March 2007
In heavy rotation on my walkman while I work away in my sewing-closet-under-the-stairs is "I've Got My Own Hell To Raise," a cd by soul singer Bettye LaVette. This cd is really resounding with me right now for a few reasons, but mostly it's due to relevance of songs to my personal life. But I am also inspired by her biography. She clawed her way back after some "buzzard luck" (her term) and released an emotional, relevant, amazing album with a voice that has only gotten better with age.
I love that on this album she does covers of songs by woman songwriters, and I love that they are not typical soul songs- she does a cover of Aimee Mann's "How Am I Different" that is great, but the real stand-out of the album is the second track, "Joy" (originally by Lucinda Williams). If her voice on that song doesn't make your hair stand on end, you're sleepwalking.
Sing it, Bettye.
I thought I would post a list of links to some folks who have blogged about Betsy Ross patterns and posted photos of their garments/accessories. I hope these links inspire you. I am so thrilled that they have enjoyed the patterns and have done such great things with them.
If you know of other links or would like to submit your finished project, please let me know!
West Coast Crafty: "Wardrobe Refashion"
Posh Yarns: One Hot Skirt
Nikki-Shell: "Thrift Sheets Refashioned"
Unwind: "A Skirt"
Flying Pizza: "It's True. I made a Skirt."
Recycled Skirt Bag
08 March 2007
05 March 2007
Nerds. Haven't had too much time for Betsy Ross missives lately, what with the excessive traveling, and the working, and the legal action, and the preparing for Shadow Craft show. Sometimes I think the only thing that could top what happened on the previous day around here is if I found out I was adopted.
Action! List! feels so relevant to me lately. Yes, it seems as if I always have a Action! List! going, but I love how this list is all over the place. One number has to do with simply getting to school on time, while another has to do with building a boat? That's Aimee to a "t". Well.....except I don't have a problem with heroin.
[Action! List! taken from the Found Magazine website]
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you to get to the Shadow Craft show between 11 - 1, when it's free.
Now. On to today's topic. Damask: Don't hate it because it's beautiful!
While wandering around Manhattan's upper east side on Saturday, I saw some beautiful bedding/home decor shops featuring damask fabrics. Frette had a particularly beautiful bed in the window decked out with a lovely damask quilt. Today, the word damask is used as a blanket term (no pun intended) to refer to patterned fabrics that feature vases, flowers, columns or other ornate designs in a repetitive pattern. It's actually a weaving term- the "ground" is a twill or linen while the weave is made with satin.
I'm really attracted to ornate damask designs, especially ones with great contrast between the ground and pattern. Even if some of the things being called damask aren't really damask, I think they are really fun, especially this damask-inspired design made from squirrels! I found it on the Crowded Teeth website, but it doesn't appear as if it's available any longer. BUT you can buy another t-shirt- an adorable green one that says EAT!
02 March 2007
Craft Fair Alert Craft Fair Alert Craft Fair Alert Craft Fair Alert
It's part of the events surrounding the ICA's current exhibition, "Locally Localized Gravity." A good group of local crafters and boutiques are involved, and you can see a full list of participants here. I hope you will be able to come by and say hello!
Sunday, March 11, 11-5. ICA Philadelphia (at the University of Pennsylvania)
Addendum: Come between 11-1 for free admission!!